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Et Cetera …

Troubling crime stats

Martin County Attorney Terry Viesselman this week shared some discouraging news. Major crimes increased 66 percent in the last decade in the county, with Viesselman pointing to drugs as a major cause.

Drug use also tears at families, with Viesselman noting that the need for child protective services also has gone up. This comes with a cost for taxpayers too.

People need to know that use of illicit drugs will never improve their lives. They are a path to disaster. The time to reject them is the very first time.

Support, thank them

There was better news in Blue Earth this week, where Police Chief Tom Fletcher noted a 4 percent drop in police calls during 2019, compared to the previous year. This included 47 fewer criminal investigations. It constitutes good news any time police are needed less.

At the same time, one never knows when the trends will shift or linger, as in the case of Martin County, noted above. We hope all area residents will take a moment to reflect on the work police officers and prosecutors do to tackle crime problems. Citizens can support their work through cooperation and, of course, by thanking them.

Farmers get relief

Farmers this week received welcome news and a much-needed break from the Trump administration. The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have rolled back a broad definition of “waterway” under the Clean Water Act. According to the administration, this means farmers can plow their fields without fear of unintentionally straying over the banks of a federally protected dry creek, bog or ditch.

We believe our area farmers are great stewards of the land and can be trusted to act without Big Brother’s interference.

Real worry is the flu

The coronavirus in China may be grabbing headlines, but its threat to southern Minnesota is minimal, if not negligible. What has been a real threat to people in the region is the flu. Especially for the very young, the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.

We hope people have been doing the right things, such as getting their flu vaccines. But the other small steps to avoid the flu matter as well. Such as keeping your hands away from your face, washing your hands regularly, getting sufficient sleep, eating properly and taking other recommended precautions.

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