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Et Cetera ...

October 6, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

Assault charges? Really?

No school official, teacher, custodian, bus driver, etc., should ever slap a child. But it allegedly happened recently at Blue Earth Area Schools, where a 72-year-old bus driver is in trouble over an incident involving a 6-year-old.

The young hellion reportedly was assaulting other children and spitting on them. The story leading up to the alleged slap would indeed frustrate any adult. While a slap can't be condoned, we'd sure understand a swat on the butt. But that too is probably out of line these days. Still, it's just difficult to believe that the bus driver is now facing prosecution for assault. That seems excessive too.

Projects serve residents

The city of Fairmont is a busy place these days when it comes to major improvement projects. We believe these upgrades will pay immediate and long-term dividends, in terms of the services the city offers and in its ability to attract visitors and business investment.

Work is currently proceeding on the municipal airport, the water treatment plant, the Winnebago Sports Complex and the Lair Road bridge. These projects include a combination of federal, state and local funding. We believe the city is generally a wise steward of these dollars, and has the best interests of everyone in mind as it proceeds.

Bleess did a great job

Austin Bleess walked into a difficult situation more than two years ago when he took over as Winnebago's city administrator. There had been a running battle between his predecessor and the City Council, as well as city staff.

In retrospect, it now seems a lot clearer that those troubles were two-sided and, as it turned out, the changeover that brought Bleess to town served Winnebago well. It demonstrated how much smoother things run when working relationships are not frustrated by mistrust.

Bleess has now decided to make a change for his own career. He is moving on to Caribou, Maine, to a bigger town with more challenges. We wish him the very best and thank him for his service to Winnebago and the region.



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