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home : opinion : editorial May 24, 2016

12/4/2013 9:03:00 AM
Cheers and Jeers

Right on cue, the winterlike weather appears to have settled in with the arrival of the first week of December.
As this edition of the Citizen went to press, the region had not received the type of measurable snow that we've often seen at this time of year. However, the forecast calls for a chance of snow and - if the forecast holds - single-digit highs are expected over the weekend.
However, cold weather should be no big deal for folks in these parts. We're hardy Minnesotans, right?
Well, some may argue that there's no crime in disliking cold weather. As we begin the December installment of Cheers and Jeers, maybe this will help: We send warm Christmas greetings to all of our readers.
Cheers go out to the Windom Area Hospital board, Administrator Gerri Burmeister and the staff as they unveil plans for major improvements at the facility (see story on page 1).
There is no debating the fact that our hospital is easily among the community's most valuable assets. In an era when rural communities are searching for an edge, one cannot put a price on the value of having such superb medical facilities so close to our homes and businesses.
Beyond that, a financially secure and growing hospital is an important local employer. The hospital has a staff of 115 well-paid workers and an annual payroll of $5.7 million. What's more, it is a drawing card for many doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other professionals who are not employed by the hospital.
Many years ago, the staff and hospital board laid out a multi-phase plan aimed at upgrading and securing our hospital. We applaud the current board and staff for not only sticking to that plan, but also for consistently being excellent stewards of this critical community asset.
Jeers go out to the folks who cannot seem to solve their differences without verbal or physical abuse.
In the past two weeks, the Windom Police Department and Cottonwood County Sheriff's Department have been called to address no less than six domestic disturbances. That's way too many.
We realize that it is unrealistic to expect a community to be free of domestic violence. On the other hand, society should not simply throw up its hands as if to say, "It's going to happen, regardless of what we do."
Unfortunately, trends show tell us that between now and the new year, the number of domestic disturbances will likely increase - not decrease. As usual, the taxpayers will foot the bill for this unacceptable behavior.
Cheers go out to the volunteers responsible for returning the State Theater to its lighted glory on 4th Ave. in Windom.
More than 125 people were on hand for the official lighting of the refurbished marque.
More than a few local residents were skeptical that we would ever see the State Theater's marquee looking as good as it does today. However, the leaders of Windom Theater Inc. have done a fantastic job of leading the fund-raising effort and the local volunteer repair efforts were nothing short of fantastic.
The marquee, with its neon lighting and bright colors, certainly dresses up our downtown. And, it gives other property owners incentive to spend a few bucks to upgrade their buildings as well.
Jeers go out to the folks who spend little or no time thinking of others during the holiday season.
There are seemingly endless opportunities for people to help out folks who need a little boost. Little things, like shoveling an elderly neighbor's walk, visiting lonely shut-ins, or fixing a casserole for a distressed family, can mean a great deal at this time of year.
Another way to help others is through the Christmas Cheer Box, Cottonwood County's annual Christmas gift collection program. The program is sponsored by the Windom Women of Today and Mt. Lake Police Department. Donations of cash can be dropped off at any local bank, or mailed to: Christmas Cheer Box, Women of Today, P.O. Box 222, Windom, MN, 56101. A list of Christmas Cheer Box collection sites can be found elsewhere in the Citizen.
Cheers go out to the Windom school leaders who have helped make the Positive Behavior Intervention Supports program a success at Winfair Elementary.
Recently, Elementary Principal Wayland Denny told the Windom school board that the program is "better than I ever imagined."
The program's aim is to reduce behavior issues in the school and reinforce positive behavior. As incentive, Winfair has a rewards program in place similar to that in place at the middle school and high school levels.
Denny said the number of student behavior issues has dropped from 85 last year at this point to 50 this year.
That kind of turnaround doesn't happen without excellent work by administration, staff and students.
- Rahn Larson

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