Short Takes (Quick-hit version) for Sept. 5

Note: The “Quick-hit” version of “Thumbs Up” is a new feature that will run periodically as a twist to the regular commentary normally published in this space on Fridays.

THUMBS UP:

High school sports are back, and southwest Minnesota again looks to be a hot bed for volleyball. And if you’re looking to see some of the best teams in the state, head to the 9th annual Molten Southwest Minnesota Challenge today and Saturday in Marshall. Doesn’t get much better volleyball-wise, in our opinion.

Free all-day kindergarten is now the norm in Minnesota.

Get ready for gas prices to go down. Be patient, it will happen.

Another reminder the Marshall-Lyon County Library should rejoin the Plum Creek Library System – the county said this week that $205,000 in maintenance of effort will go toward the library, if it goes back with PCLS.

A big-time speaker, Ben Utecht, was in Balaton on Wednesday for the Jesus and Me kick-off. Utecht is an ex-football player with the Gophers and won a Super Bowl with the Colts. Good guy, good story.

Great to see the city of Marshall roll out the red carpet – or bike paths, if you want – for the state’s health commissioner last week. Marshall is big on bike paths, and we’re glad this big wig was able to see the city’s close up.

Meaningful Vikings football is back this weekend.

President Obama is pushing for a raise in the federal minimum wage. “America deserves a raise,” he said on Labor Day. We agree.

The tiny linebacker – dubbed “Adorable Tiny” – on the newest Madden video game is just plain funny, and sometimes we flat out need a good chuckle, right? Check it out online.

Plenty of rain has fallen in the area the last few days and combined with some heat and humidity should result in some good things for farmers. Now it can dry out for harvest, and we’ll be set.

THUMBS DOWN:

Another theft of guns was reported in Marshall last week. Disturbing. It’s the third time in 10 months firearms have been stolen from either a business or home.

Another beheading of an American at the hands of ISIS? More than disturbing. It’s downright frightening – a dark, stark reminder that terrorists are crawling around all over this planet like spiders. Time to act, Obama administration, and not just with words. What exactly are we waiting for?

“Delete” doesn’t mean delete. And watch what you post or put on your phone. Privacy is a myth.

How many feedlots are too many? We know it’s rural Minnesota and farmers have to make a living, but the aroma in some areas out in the country around here is almost enough to trigger a gag reflex. Merely an observation.

He has since apologized, but thumbs down to a Minnesota police chief who beheaded a 5-year-old boy’s pet chicken. He said he didn’t know it was a pet. Still.

Michael Sam, the first openly-gay football player to be drafted, just bought a new suit – we’re waiting on a national story about it. Sometimes, stories get dragged out too much, and this is one of those occasions. It was a good story, but let’s move on.

“I truly and deeply apologize for the comments attributed to me on Twitter. Those comments were idiotic, untrue and not what I believe.” CeeLo Green’s words after he tweeted: “If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent. Women who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!” Apology in 140 characters. Please. Hopefully vindication doesn’t follow. Green on Friday pleaded no contest to one felony count of giving a woman the drug Ecstasy at a dinner in 2012. He’ll probably get off with a slap on the wrist since he’s a celebrity, but he should do time just for that tweet.

Maybe this is futile, but please slow down on 23. In case you didn’t know, school’s back in session – both schools – so proceed with caution. Intersections out near the schools are much busier than we’re used to in the summer. Adjust.