As we begin the January edition of Cheers and Jeers, there's a sense of excitement swirling around the state as Minnesota seizes the nation's spotlight as host of the 2018 Super Bowl. In addition to the obvious economic impact, the host community usually gains an immeasurable opportunity to "sell" its advantages for businesses, tourists and new residents. However, we can't help but wonder whether the opportunity could backfire should one of the state's famous blizzards arrive on Super Bowl weekend.
Oh, and there is one more thing. In case you hadn't heard - if the Vikings can win a couple of playoff games, this would be the first team in NFL history to host its own Super Bowl. Wouldn't that be amazing?
Cheers go out to the organizers of last month's Christmas by Candlelight.
The annual event gave area shoppers and others a fun evening of excitement on the Square. Many people mentioned that the entire evening - with the music, elves, reindeer, wagon rides and other activities - had a magical Charles Dickens feel to it. But it was much more than that.
The mid-December event brought together businesses, volunteers and others for a common cause. It was a sense of community on display for all to see. And, it offered a hint at what Windom can do if people simply set their minds to it.
Wouldn't it be fantastic if our community could pull off additional unique weeknight events on the Square?
We tip our hats to all who make Christmas by Candlelight a reality. It definitely serves as one of the most enjoyable events of the Christmas season.
Jeers go out to the landlords in Windom who badly miss the mark on providing a safe and healthy environment for their tenants.
It is because of these landlords that the Windom City Council was recently forced to adopt a new rental ordinance. Anyone who takes a close look at the new rental ordinance will see that it offers an extremely low bar for property owners to clear.
Nonetheless, we have heard horror stories about things like exposed wiring, unsafe plumbing and heating systems, fire hazards and lack of hot running water. At a recent council meeting, Councilman Rod Byam told the audience, "I tell them (tenants) they need to talk to their landlord and then they tell me that the landlord doesn't care."
Without question, the new rental ordinance will see its share of tweaks after its first year, which is to be expected.
At the same time, we applaud our city council for standing behind an effort to bring Windom into the modern era. Ordinances such as this are common in the region.
Cheers go out to the staff and management of Fortune Transportation, which received the American Trucking Association's President's Award for small carriers.
It is known as one of the biggest prizes in the industry. For Fortune, which was founded by Don and Sharon Olson in 1980, it is the biggest award in its history.
Tony Scott, the safety director at Fortune, said the ATA has 37,000 members and there are three levels for the award- small, medium and large. This particular award goes to carriers that cover less than 25 million miles annually, which is considered a small carrier.
The judges look at five years worth of data including truck accidents, the shop, OSHA compliance and more.
"This award really represents a safety culture we have developed over time," Scott said.
In presenting this award to Fortune Transportation, the ATA has let the rest of the nation in on a secret that many Windom area residents already know - Fortune Transportation is a first-class trucking company full of high quality people.
We are fortunate to have such a solid trucking company and first-rate employer in our community.
Cheers go out to the Cottonwood County Farm Bureau for celebrating its 100th year of existence in the county.
Today, the organization has more than 400 members in Cottonwood County. The organization began with a focus on educating area residents, even helping to bring an extension agent to our community.
The educational focus continues today, with such things as its involvement in the annual Farm & Home Show, the Farm Safety Camp (for elementary students) in Lamberton and the annual Ag Appreciation Day in Windom. The latter event is quickly becoming one of the largest annual ag-related events in the county.
In addition, the Cottonwood County Farm Bureau has been a positive influence in lobbying the interests of Minnesota producers in Washington D.C.