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Et Cetera ...

July 28, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

Cancer rate actually lower

We have to assume that people in the Fairmont area just have a lot of good social ties. So they tend to notice when family, friends and neighbors face a tough health battle, such as cancer.

For years, rumors have circulated around town that Fairmont is a "cancer cluster." Just too many people are getting sick for it to be chance, some say. Well, it turns out we've actually been doing 5 percent better than the state average, the state Department of Health Cancer Surveillance System reported this week.

So, let's keep helping those close to us who face those tough fights. But let's give the paranoia a rest.

This is troubling news

In this day and age, we've all come to accept high-tech crime evidence analysis as an invaluable tool in the justice system. Heck, what are there, 28 TV?shows dedicated to crime scene investigators and all their neat gizmos and techniques.

So it is unsettling, to say the least, to hear that up to 20 crime labs in Minnesota may be operating in a substandard manner. Procedures and training have been called into question at these labs. This news could throw many criminal cases into doubt.

State lawmakers may consider requiring accreditation for labs. Certainly, some added level of accountability is needed.

Building could be sold

We can understand the view of Armstrong-Ringsted School Board members who are not keen on keeping the Ringsted school open for any extended period of time. Dollars spent on the abandoned school are dollars "lost." And if the building begins to deteriorate before it can be demolished, costs to tear it down may rise.

At the same time, a buyer may emerge to salvage the building. It could become a hub for start-up businesses, or be utilized as an assisted-living site. Certainly, Ringsted would benefit in either case.

The school board has set a Sept. 1 deadline to make a decision about the building. We hope those working on extending its life move fast, and we hope the school board will at least consider giving them a little leeway to get something done.



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