Star Herald doles out thumbs — this time all up

Star Herald Editorial

Maybe it’s the promise of a new year, or maybe we really do live in a great community, but this round of Star Herald “thumbs” are all pointed up.

Thumbs up — to the city workers who combed the field east of Blue Mound Avenue to pick up all the recycling that blew out early Monday morning.

Thumbs up — to the city of Beaver Creek for approving new “Welcome to Beaver Creek” signs at the city’s primary entrances. The warm sentiments encourage visitors to check out local amenities — like a free splash park —offered in the small community.

Thumbs up — to housing director Tammy Johnson and her team at the Blue Mound Tower for sweeping improvements to the 1971-built apartments. To say it’s a transformation is an understatement, and the result is a home that residents — college students, senior citizens and others — can be proud of.

Thumbs up — to Rock County commissioners for approving a $3,000 investment in a regional recreational trail study to connect what we enjoy locally with that of other communities.

Thumbs up — to the city of Luverne for clearing snow from The Loop after the Dec. 10 snowstorm. It allowed many people to enjoy the outdoors when unseasonably warm temperatures returned to the area following the storm.

Thumbs up — to the Luverne School District for its recently completed $31 million remodel and expansion. The updates were much needed and the new features — commons, media center and performing arts center —are reasons students, families, teachers and administration can be proud to be Cardinals.

Thumbs up — to the Minnesota Army National Guard (and private investors Warren Herreid II and Jeannine Rivet) for breaking ground on a 46,293 square-foot Readiness Center in Luverne to replace the 1921 armory. The project will benefit National Guardsmen and women and also the community.

Thumbs up — to historical-minded individuals and the Leicher family for bringing and sharing with the public an original Luverne Thirty automobile in The History Center showroom in Luverne. The rare collector car was built in Luverne and is now back in Luverne — home where it belongs.

Thumbs up — to local leaders who worked tirelessly for years at the region’s day care shortage crisis. The bold move to purchase the former Tri-State Insurance building for a day care center will likely be successful, with the promise of public subsidies going forward.

Until working families can afford to pay qualified child care professionals at the helm of such facilities, this is the investment communities must make to support growth. Which leads to our final …

Thumbs up — to local leaders, developers and investors for putting the complicated pieces together for the PrairiE Loft I and II apartments on South Highway 75. The 54 energy-efficient market-rate rental units will alleviate the tight housing market that tends to stifle growth.

Businesses can’t grow in Rock County if there aren’t workers, and workers can’t live here if there’s no child care or housing. With these two gems on the horizon — and all the recent “thumbs up,” we look forward to good things ahead in 2022 and beyond.

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