The Free Press, Mankato, MN


May 31, 2014

Our View:

Thumbs up to patience in Mankato’s various road construction zones.

With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, some of Mankato’s busiest streets and intersections are being torn up. Most prominent, of course, are the two roundabouts to be constructed at the intersections of Highway 22 and Madison Avenue and Highway 22 and Adams Street.

But another significant hilltop byway, Hoffman Road, is slated to be closed for about three weeks at some point this summer for reconstruction. The Hoffman work was intended to be done last year, but the bids were too high. Losing Hoffman’s link between Victory Drive and Highway 22 figures to further impede the traffic already diverted by the roundabout work.

Then there’s the two-stage project under way on downtown’s South Front Street, which already has sealed off a significant intersection at Cherry and Front streets.

It’s all a case of short-term pain for long-term gain. May that knowledge soothe you as you deal with the detours this construction season.

Early childhood support

Thumbs up to the availability of early childhood family education scholarships for low-income families in Minnesota.

Blue Earth, Nicollet, Brown and Watonwan counties received $1.6 million of that state money this year with $85,000 going to Mankato’s ECFE and School Readiness programs in the Mankato School District.

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius made a stop in Mankato this week to meet with the parents who received scholarships.

ECFE teachers are trained to recognize warning signs in a child’s development and work with parents to get the children the help they need early on. With brain development so rapid in childhood, it’s so important to reach children at the most crucial times in their lives.

Foundation starts strong

Thumbs up to civic leaders in Nicollet for starting the Greater Nicollet Area Community Foundation.

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