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Prison-sentencing policies long overdue for change

The time for prison-sentencing reform is long overdue. Too many people have received ludicrously large sentences for small crimes, most especially for the possession of drugs. Many years ago, in the 1960s, long before marijuana was legalized or de-criminalized to a degree, some users of pot – especially in Texas – were sentenced to up […]

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Deal with Iran better than no deal

Is the U.S. deal with Iran a diplomatic triumph or an unmitigated disaster? Only time will tell. Most likely it will prove to be neither. However, those who are calling it a catastrophe are exactly like those who ripped into the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) before and after that legislation was approved. Like the ACA, […]

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Rapids River Days festival was a blast for one and all

If it takes a village to raise a good child, it takes a city to put on a good festival. And that is exactly what Sauk Rapids did June 25-27 for its annual Sauk Rapids River Days. The three-day festival was an unqualified success because elements of the entire city were involved in one way […]

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Does Sartell have case of Pinecone-itis?

Does Sartell have case of Pinecone-itis? Sartell has a bad case of Pinecone-itis. Or is it Pine Cone-itis? Or PineCone-itis? A visitor to Sartell would think its residents live in the middle of a dense pine forest. Newcomers are probably surprised when they see other trees besides pines in the city: oaks, maples, aspens, birches, […]

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Either dump or scale back grandiose water-park plans

It’s time for the St. Joseph City Council to cut its losses and either drastically scale back or put the kibosh on the overblown proposal for an outdoor aquatics center. The untenable economic facts should speak for themselves: The facility would cost $6.1 million, according to estimates. It would cost about $250,000 annually to operate. […]

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Winds of change suddenly bring landmark court rulings

The winds of change are slow, but every once in awhile in human history those winds blow strong enough to topple obstacles and open a path to the future. That is exactly what happened at the U.S. Supreme Court on two consecutive landmark days – June 25 and June 26. The slowly gathering winds of […]

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Have fun on the lakes, but do be very careful

Now that summer is officially here, it’s time to enjoy what may be Minnesota’s greatest asset – its thousands of lakes. But, the summertime joys of swimming, boating and fishing can – sad to say – bring tragedy all too often: boating accidents that cause injuries and deaths, drownings, awful injuries from diving into too-shallow […]

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Don’t mow, plant grasses to help wildlife, pollinators

The solution (not mowing roadside ditches) is so simple and yet how many people even consider it as a way to protect wildlife and pollinators? The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is urging all Minnesotans to delay mowing roadside ditches until Aug. 1. That date was chosen because it’s the time when pheasants have completed […]