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Et Cetera …

A commendable effort

The Don’t Give Up campaign in Fairmont is putting a focus on suicide prevention. If it saves just one life, it will be well worth it. The effort is led by Fairmont resident Chris Gerhardt, who is working in conjunction with several groups.

Signs around Fairmont offer messages such as “Don’t give up,” “You’re not alone” and “You’re worth it.” Social media and other messaging helps reinforce the cause.

We hope people take notice if they, friends or family need help. More information is available at gerhardtsafetysolutions.com

Brothers move ahead

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, it has been difficult to hear about the damage being done to businesses across the nation and locally. Even if restrictions on businesses were to be lifted, many people would remain wary of going out, for fear of catching the virus.

But there was a piece of encouraging local news lately with the opening of Loxley Coffee in Fairmont. Three brothers have established the shop, a small batch specialty coffee roasting business that will target sales to consumers and businesses alike. Kudos to these guys for moving ahead amid imperfect economic conditions.

Giving voice to youth

Fairmont Area Schools now has two representatives on the Minnesota Youth Council, with Kaycie Brookens joining Weston Loughmiller. The 36-member council is a collaboration of youth and adults who work together to empower and mobilize young people to work on issues affecting youth.

Brookens’ attitude is inspiring: “I wanted to step up and take a role and not only engage myself, but be able to bring that opportunity of engagement to a lot of younger people in my community.”

We wish her and Loughmiller the best of luck as they move forward.

Hold them accountable

Various local government entities are certifying their proposed 2021 budgets and property tax levies these days. Many are making sure to point out that these are preliminary numbers that can — and likely will — be whittled down by the end of the year, when budgets are finalized.

We understand what officials are saying, but we believe citizens need to be vigilant and hold them accountable. Possible double-digit tax hikes need to be explained and reconciled with the actual inflation rate in the country. There had better be compelling reasons to raise budgets and levies beyond sensible amounts.

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