The Free Press, Mankato, MN


May 17, 2014

Our View: Volunteers help clean up river

Thumbs up to the the Mankato Paddling and Outings Club members who have for 20 years led an annual effort to help clean up garbage along the river.

The club was joined by volunteers with Bent River Outfitter and others and spread out on the Blue Earth and Le Sueur rivers. The cleanup is part of the Department of Natural Resources Adopt-a-River Program.

Unfortunately, the volunteers find more junk than they can usually deal with. Tires, signs, auto parts, bottles, computer printers and just about anything else you can think of intentionally or accidentally ends up in the rivers. And there are the old dump sites in countless ravines that slowly erode and send junk into the rivers.

Thanks to the paddling enthusiasts in the area, our river banks and ravines look a little cleaner.

Samaritan helped save woman

Thumbs up to Michael Smith of Le Sueur, a young man who helped save a woman from a burning car.

Amid all the bad news surrounding our youth, it was heart-warming and encouraging to hear of 18-year-old Smith of who helped rescue a woman on Highway 60 one stormy evening.

He was on his way home when he spotted a policeman struggling to help a woman from her burning vehicle. He ran over, helped pull her to safety and then drove away. His girlfriend identified Smith after law enforcement put out the call to find out who he was.

“I didn’t think it was that big of a deal,” he said. “I just wanted to get home.” That says something about his character. We would like to think that helping others should be just a normal thing. To Smith, it is.

Broadband investment will pay off

Thumbs up to legislators from both parties who came to an agreement on a plan to invest $20 million in Internet broadband infrastructure throughout Minnesota.

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