The Free Press, Mankato, MN


February 22, 2013

Our View: Don’t deny a walk in the woods


A new report by the nonprofit MN Community Measurement finds rates vary dramatically in Minnesota. Statewide, the rate for first-time mothers is about 26 percent. Some clinics have reduced their rates to 17 percent, while other clinics have rates as high as 51 percent.

Local providers have done pretty well. Mankato Clinic ranked just below the state average while Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato was just above the state average.

Shenanigans unwarranted with Hagel archives

To secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel and his defenders who have continued to deny access to his archives at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Thousands of papers, speeches, audio and video files have been stored at the university, and since Hagel’s confirmation has yet to be voted upon by the full Senate, information that could be gleaned from them could go far in providing context to his views, which are still being debated despite the fact that on Thursday his confirmation was said to be likely.

The archives were given to the university in 2008, yet the university has said they will remain sealed until they are processed and indexed. Seems a poor excuse to protect this nominee from further scrutiny, especially when considering the fact that university officials said they’d go ahead and grant reporter access anyway if Hagel would agree to it.

He has not.

Patrick rises in racing

You’ve got to like Danica Patrick who recently added to her racing successes by winning the pole position for the Daytona 500 that kicks off Sunday.

Patrick was the fastest qualifying round for Daytona, which put her in the first position as the race starts. As she marks a racing milestone, the media couldn’t help but ask about “important things” like her new dating relationship with fellow race driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Both are battling for Spring Cup Rookie of the Year honors.

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