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Week in Review: Optimistic signs are around us

This week it was announced that the Mower County Senior Center would soon be opening its doors again, something we applaud wholeheartedly.

It’s been a tough year for seniors, considered our most vulnerable in the face of the pandemic. They were largely shut-in during the worst of it and places like the senior center, that provide a place for seniors to go, were closed down, cutting off opportunities to socialize, have a meal and get some exercise.

And so, this news gets our first ever “thumbs up,” as part of a recurring Saturday feature that goes back over the week and takes a look at the stories we’ve run.

Thumbs up: Riverland Theatre receives KCACTF award

The theater troupe won the award, from The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for its technical innovation on the virtual performance of “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms.”  In a year of bad situations, it was nice to see a group recognized for making the best of what they could, while entertaining us along the way.

Thumbs down: Courts struggling to catch up

This isn’t a criticism of law enforcement or the Mower County Attorney’s Office, but it is a recognition of the circumstances both find themselves in. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, jury trials and arrests have largely been pushed off to try to cut down on COVID exposures both in the jail and in the Jail and Justice Center. This has resulted in 289 pending jury trials and over 1,000 outstanding warrants in the county. County attorneys are looking at ways to cut into that and with restrictions relaxing it’s hope they can make further moves to get on top of this so justice can be served.

Thumbs up: Austin HS graduation goes to one ceremony

Sometimes things just bounce your way. Just ask Austin High School, which will be able to host one graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. on June 4. Just days after announcing that there would be two different commencements on that day, Principal Andrea Malo told the board Monday that because Gov. Tim Walz’ announcement of a relaxing of restrictions it was possible to move to one ceremony. Anything that can be done to get these kids back to normal will always earn a “thumbs up.’

Thumbs up: Freeborn County Fair is back on

Certainly, this is more of a benefit for Freeborn County, but it’s good news because it gives us the needed optimism that the Mower County Fair will be held this year as well. We’ll take that any day.

Thumbs down: Rising commodities cost hit Americans at home and on the road

This summer is going to be expensive as prices on most everything are getting higher and higher. Most all of this is related to the pandemic, but things like the cyberterrorist attack on a major pipeline, doesn’t help matters. We’re all going to have to get used to some pains in the wallet.