Elections, sports keep us on our toes at The Times

By Chuck Kajer

It's been awhile, but it's nice to be able to write a column again.

Over the past two months, this page has been dominated by letters to the editor relating to the upcoming election. My column appears this week, a week before the election, because our newspaper has a policy that we do not run letters on candidates or issues in the edition immediately preceding an election.

One of the reasons we do this is because we don't want to have a last-minute charge raised in our paper without a candidate having the chance to respond in our newspaper. We've had this policy for the last several elections, and we feel it has served us well.

We did get several letters after the deadline. Writers were told they did have the option of running the letter as a paid advertisement. In at least one case, a writer took us up on that offer.

In the coming weeks, this newspaper will evaluate how we cover the election and whether we should make any changes for the 2012 elections. We'll look at how we handle letters, how we put together our voters guide, how we handle news releases and other issues that have come up since the election season began last spring. We welcome any input you might have. Just send an email to news@newpraguetimes.com with your suggestions.

* * * * *

Elections aren't the only thing keeping us busy. It's also playoff time for high school sports. New Prague has already finished its seasons in boys and girls soccer and girls tennis. Section competition has begun in football and volleyball, and the Section 2AA cross country meet is Thursday in Willmar. The last team to hold its section meet is girls swimming, which has its sections in Austin on November 8 and 10. We've been kept busy all season and we will continue to cover the sports as best we can.

But even as the fall season draws to a close, we know that things aren't going to slow down any time soon. That's because we know the winter season is just around the corner. Consider: The Trojan girls hockey team begins practice next week.

I would be remiss if I didn't take the time to thank all of the fall sports coaches at New Prague High School for their cooperation during the season. If it weren't for the help of Julie Berg, Nick Meyer, Jim Benick, Sonya Kraft, Steve Kehrli, Jon Hopke, Kyle Zellner and Angie Andersen, along with their assistant coaches, our jobs at The Times would be much more difficult.

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