The Free Press, Mankato, MN


June 14, 2014

Award shows they mean business

Thumbs up to Bob Coughlan and Tom Ahern of North Mankato-based Coughlan Companies for being named winners in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

The two were among nine winners in the Upper Midwest, in what is billed as the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs.

Bob and his brother Jim are the fourth generation of Coughlans to lead the companies, which include Capstone book publishing and Jordan Sands, a silica sand operation. Ahern is CEO of Capstone and Coughlan Companies.

The Coughlan Cos. has a long history in Mankato, dating back to Kasota stone quarries started in the early days of the city. It also has a long history of charity work in the region, creating a wonderful combination of economic and philanthropic benefits to the community.

Behavior progress

Thumbs up to today’s teens who appear to be making better decisions, according to a recently released study from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Drug and weapons use and risky sex dropped among teens in the last 20 years, which should evoke an audible sigh of relief from parents.

A notable statistic from the study is the drop in teen smokers. The CDC said less than 16 percent of teens are smoking compared to when the study started in 1991 when the rate was more than 27 percent. Questions about electronic cigarettes, however, were not in the study.

One area that showed a noticeable increase is the jump in the proportion of kids who spent three or more hours on an average school day on playing video, computer games or using their smartphone or electronic device for something other than schoolwork. And the survey also revealed 41 percent of teens texted while driving in the month before being surveyed.

It’s not too tough to find parents who text while they drive. It’s time they step up and show their children that driving and texting don’t mix.

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