Short takes for March 29

Tax relief


Too often, news from the Legislature is about how politicians are unable to compromise for the greater good, and our pessimism toward our elected officials and politics in general is bolstered. Last week, however, some good news came out of St. Paul when Gov. Mark Dayton signed a tax bill that will spread $444 million in permanent tax relief around the state. Whether you’ve filed your taxes or not, it seems many, many people will see the benefits of this measure. And not only will some 250,000 Minnesota taxpayers realize personal tax relief, the kibosh was put on the much-criticized warehouse sales tax. In all, business tax cuts reached more than $230 million. Good news from the Capitol; how refreshing – we sure hope there’s more to come in the next two months.

Moving ahead in Slayton


Plenty of news was made again in Slayton this week as the Murray County Medical Center board accepted the resignation of CEO Mel Snow. The hospital surely has been the topic of plenty of water-cooler talk around town, as well as on social media sites, and everything that has transpired this week, we hope, is the start of a healing process for everyone involved. We don’t know when all the issues will get resolved and what the final outcomes will be, but leaders need to rise up and lead a drive to get things turned around – for the hospital’s and the residents’ sake. Complaints have been aired in public, which we believe is a great starting point in that healing process, and other steps will follow, including hiring a replacement for Snow. Then comes the former employees of the hospital. What will become of them? Will they return? What will be done about a supposed hostile work environment at MCMC? Questions remain that need to be answered before the community can move ahead.

Players and paychecks?


Have fun dealing with college athletes now, NCAA. A ruling earlier this week that members of the Northwestern football team can bargain with the school as employees represented by a union could soon put the onus on the NCAA and the schools to give something back to the players. It’s about time, we say. These Division I athletes are part of programs that bring in billions of dollars to the NCAA and to the schools they play for. The NCAA is laughing all the way to the bank because of billion-dollar TV deals – deals it wouldn’t be able to make if college sports weren’t so popular. It’s time the players who make it so popular get their cut. But we offer a provision. Remind the players, many who are on full-ride scholarships, that they are more than athletes, they are student-athletes, by granting them a stipend only if they perform to a certain standard in the classroom. If they can’t carry, say a B average, they don’t get paid. By not holding these players accountable in the classroom, all we’re telling them is sports are more important than school. And that’s the wrong message.

A state tournament to remember


The Marshall Tigers girls’ basketball team didn’t come home with the hardware they were hoping and playing for, but they have nothing to hang their heads about. The girls left it all on the floor in a triple-overtime loss to Park Center in last weekend’s Class AAA state tournament championship game. If you caught it on TV Saturday night you witnessed one of the best state tournament games in state history, and we couldn’t be more proud of the Tigers and how they represented Section 2. Kudos go out to the Minnesota girls’ team as well. They, too, finished as runners-up in Class A, but like the Tigers performed like true champions and represented their section about as well as any team could. Congratulations Tigers and Vikings on two great seasons and two great state tournament runs.