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Local Editorials

Allegations out of Iowa are beyond disturbing

If one were to hear that the federal government was launching an investigation into allegations of human experimentation and other medical treatment concerns, one would be inclined to believe that such a probe involved looking at some totalitarian regime overseas. And one might wonder if this ...

Minnesotans can put their mark on campaign

In one week, Minnesota will hold its presidential primary election, one of a number of states conducting such contests on what is known as “Super Tuesday.” A total of 14 will hold their presidential preference contests that day. First and foremost, of course, we encourage citizens to ...

Peace deal? It’s time to get out in any case

A temporary truce took effect Friday in Afghanistan. It is meant to create the circumstances for the United States and the Taliban to reach a peace deal this week. Such a deal would end an 18-year commitment by U.S. military forces in that nation. Ending the U.S. presence in Afghanistan would ...

Et Cetera …

County ready to lobby Martin County commissioners this week agreed to pay $20,000 to a lobbyist to aid the county securing a $20 million grant from the state of Minnesota to help pay for the cost of a new justice center/jail. The $20 million would cover about half of the cost of the new ...

Senate Republicans rightly say: Give it back

The state of Minnesota has a big, fat $1 billion budget surplus and the Republicans who control the state Senate have a great idea: Give it back to the taxpayers. They call it the “Get Your Billion Back” plan. A state budget surplus means that the state is collecting more in revenue than ...

Everyone says they want lower drug prices

Everyone wants lower prices for prescription drugs. Every politician says they want it too. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is the latest. On Wednesday, he unveiled a task force report that makes 14 recommendations to accomplish the goal. State lawmakers already are considering some ...

‘Red flag’ laws posing constitutional concerns

So-called “red flag” laws have been suggested by some as at least a partial answer to keeping firearms away from those who might use them to harm themselves or others. But experiences in Florida, which has had such a statute for nearly three years, indicate a variety of concerns about ...

Democrats must offer viable choice to public

Things are about to get very real in the next month for Democrats who are looking to choose a presidential nominee. A huge slate of delegates is up for grabs in many states in early March on Super Tuesday. We hope those who are interested in the process and future of the country step ...

Et Cetera …

Tax proposal hits snag The city of Fairmont this week earns some frowns for news about its possible half-cent local option sales tax to pay for better streets. Because the city rushed the process to get its plan to the Legislature, the whole proposal is now in serious doubt. While city ...

We all must do what we can to help police

Within just a few days, four police officers — two in New York City and two in Forrest City, Arkansas — were shot by gunmen. A grim fact of life for law enforcement personnel is that by the time you read this, it may be outdated. Attacks on police officers and sheriff’s deputies have ...

U.S. must take seriously international cyber war

Some other governments spare no effort to gain advantage over U.S. businesses and consumers. Trade barriers and unreasonable restrictions in the name of product safety are examples. But some — including China — are involved in all-out assaults on Americans. Theft of U.S. companies’ ...

What happened in Iowa offers warning to others

These days, it seems as if there is an “app” for everything. But the fiasco last week with the Iowa Democratic Party’s presidential nominating caucuses is a reminder that the appeal of new technology needs to be tempered by concern over reliability. Iowa’s caucus process is the first ...

Fears of new virus? Old one plenty scary

So ... getting more worried by the day about the coronavirus epidemic center in China? Officials report more than 560 deaths among the approximately 28,000 patients with the disease, which has spread to 25 countries. Indeed, a few cases of panic have been reported. In one case, a man ...

Et Cetera …

Study tackles housing We extend kudos to the city of Fairmont and economic development director Linsey Preuss in the wake of a local housing study released this week. Preuss is facilitating use of the study with local stakeholders, and seeking the input of these experts. They say the study ...

Terrorism convicts need to be special category

Concern about overcrowded jails and prisons, combined with a laudable desire to give people who have made mistakes second chances in life, have prompted many Americans to rethink sentences for criminal offenses. That is occurring at the local, state and federal levels. But mistakes already ...

Low-yield weapon vital to U.S. national security

For generations, the U.S. nuclear arsenal was viewed as the ultimate deterrent. No one would dare attack us, we thought, out of fear of massive retaliation. But deterrence requires that a potential foe believe we might use powerful weapons. The strength of some nuclear devices makes that ...

Discussions may help, but problems run deep

The Fairmont City Council held a work session this week to try to take on some of its dysfunction. It was a good idea, and council members seemed to respond positively to talks with a collaboration and mediation manager. They hope to meet with her again in the future. Through further ...

Disturbing aspects to death row conviction

It may be impossible to devise a foolproof safeguard against bias on the part of jurors in criminal trials. Last week, Keith Tharpe reminded us why we need to keep trying. Tharpe, 61, died last week in a Georgia prison — still under a death sentence dating back to 1991. He was convicted ...

Emerging diseases demand more attention

We are told frequently that we ought to be worried about the seas rising, because of climate change. But another type of sea — of viruses and bacteria — also is rising. At this writing, Chinese officials had said the death toll in a viral epidemic there had risen to 213. Nearly 10,000 ...

Et Cetera …

Totally understandable A Fairmont City Council member this week said he would like to rehire former city administrator Mike Humpal, whom the councilman — Bruce Peters — never wanted to see leave. A majority trio on the council pushed Humpal out last year, and the city has since hired a ...