Echo Press Editorial Board
Ignoring green lights
Leave it to scammers to take something cute — puppies — and turn it into something ugly. During this time of year when puppy buying is at its peak, scammers are pulling some old tricks out of their hats and using fake websites to con would-be pet owners out of money, according to the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota.
Now that we are finally getting some summer-like weather, it's an opportune time to focus on being safe on the water. Last year, the Douglas County area, which is brimming with lakes, was fortunate to have no drownings occur. But drownings claimed two people's lives here in 2017 and three in 2016. Let's all work harder to keep those drownings at zero for another summer. Statewide, boating fatalities claimed 14 lives in Minnesota last year and 12 the previous year. Only one of those deaths happened even though the victim was wearing a life jacket.
• Congratulations, graduates! • Class of 2019 seniors from our area — Alexandria, Brandon-Evansville, Osakis, Parkers Prairie and Minnewaska schools — will now turn their focus on two giant words: What's next. • Instead of the newspaper spouting some sage words of advice, we decided to offer some quotes we found from Shutterfly. At least some of them, we hope, will inspire and resonate:
Kids who care
Roundabouts. Drivers fear them until they get used to them. Some, however, never seem to get accustomed to how they work. Whenever the topic of a new roundabout pops up on the Echo Press Facebook page, many readers are quick to lambast the idea. They call roundabouts confusing, a waste of money or too narrow for trucks to maneuver through. They worry about getting sideswiped or cut-off. Some even avoid driving through them altogether, finding another way to get through that side of town.
Here's a bit of good news for those serving in the military. Minnesota is treating its veterans fairly well when compared to other states, according to a new study from the personal finance website, WalletHub. The study was released in May — Military Appreciation Month — and also coincides with Memorial Day. Minnesota ranked as the seventh best state for military retirees.
The word "crisis" gets tossed around quite a bit these days. But sometimes it takes a strong word like that to get people's attention. So here's another crisis: There are not nearly enough foster parents to take care of all the children out there who need a safe place to call home, at least for a little while. The number of children in the state's foster care system has grown — from 11,500 in 2013 to 16,500 in 2018.
Tobacco 21 builds momentum
Here's a little encouragement in these dire times: Things are not as bad as they seem. At least in our neck of the woods. The number of West Central residents who feel their community is performing well in roads and infrastructure, public transportation service, and cultural and arts opportunities improved significantly since 2016, according to the Rural Pulse survey of more than 1,560 Minnesotans just released by the Blandin Foundation.