A reason for celebration

By Chuck Kajer

Minnesota is celebrating its 150th anniversary as a state this year.

During this sesquicentennial year, there will be a number of observances and celebrations. It seems everyone has an opinion on the shape this anniversary should take. Some think the state needs to spend a lot of money to celebrate its history; others think spending a lot of money to note some arbitrary celebration is foolish. Some have raised the point that for Native Americans, there is nothing to celebrate, since the anniversary marks the beginning of suffering and an end to their centuries-old way of life.

People love to find a reason to celebrate, and Minnesota has much to be proud of in its 150-year history. People of this state have contributed greatly to this nation and to the world with their discoveries, with their accomplishments and with their actions. While a celebration need not be extravagant, the 150-year milestone does need to be recognized and observed. By doing so, we honor those who have worked to build this state and make it what it is.

Settlement is good news

The New Prague Area School District and its teachers reached a contract settlement for for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 school years. The teachers approved the agreement last week, and the board approved it Monday, eliminating the threat of a penalty from the state.

A month ago, prospects for a settlement did not look good. The two sides hadn't met for awhile and were waiting for mediation sessions. However, negotiators had a couple of sessions to discuss the issues before the mediation session began, and when the mediator arrived, they met over a 13-hour period to hammer out the details of a contract both sides could live with.

Congratulations to both sides for working together for the good of the school district.

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