Short takes for Nov. 8

Doing SW Minnesota proud

THUMBS UP: How big of a sports year has this been in the region? Not one, not two, but three high school football teams will be competing in the Minnesota State High School Football Tournament this year – Dawson-Boyd, Minneota/Lincoln HI and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton. What’s more, two volleyball teams – Marshall and Minneota – will take part in the state volleyball tournament once again (they opened tournament play Thursday in St. Paul. Not only should these communities be extremely proud of their respective student-athletes, but we, as a region, should be as well. To have five sports teams within a 40-mile radius of Marshall competing at the state level at one time is unprecedented, and we wish all of the athletes and coaches the best of luck.

Now that’s scary

THUMBS DOWN: It doesn’t get much scarier than this on Halloween: A mother in Virginia not only allowed her child to wear a Ku Klux Klan outfit for the big night, she made it for him. Is there really a place in this country where this is the norm? We’re not blind to the fact that racism still exists in parts of the country, and everyone is entitled to the freedom to wear the clothes they want, but there’s something particular about this story that goes beyond disturbing and disgusting.

Headed toward $2.99?

THUMBS UP: Don’t look now, but gas is on a path toward a sub-$3 price in the area. $2.99 has already shown up in the metro area, begging the question: Will it happen here? We hope so. The price for a gallon of unleaded Friday in Marshall was $3.07; it has been nearly two years since we’ve seen sub-$3.20 prices in this region (it was $3.17 in Slayton on Dec. 15, 2011). We don’t know how low it will go in the coming weeks, and we don’t know how long this will last, but at least we can enjoy it for the time being.