Under ordinary conditions, this spring's weather would have us all brimming with positivity. Unfortunately, there is almost nothing that is ordinary these days. Instead of gathering for ball games and barbecues, we spend more time in our homes. We feel for struggling businesses and jobless residents who are in tough positions through no fault of their own. At the same time, our thoughts and prayers go out to the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. Cheers go out to the people who serve on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic - doctors, nurses and other medical staff, along with EMTs, law enforcement and the folks who work at grocery, convenience and hardware stores, plus other public service jobs. The work these people deliver varies by person, region and day. For instance, we've all heard stories of overworked and overstressed medical personnel in New York and other places. We know there are countless workers who face difficult situations, possibly involving their children, parents and other loved ones. Yet many of these same people are out there, selflessly, doing their work and helping America through one of the most difficult periods of this country's history. For years, Americans have seemed preoccupied with negativity. Let's try to be helpful. It's not nearly enough, but please take a moment to thank someone who serves on the front lines - for what they have done and are willing to do in the future. Cheers go to First Security Bank of Storden for its donation of $102,313 to the Storden Fire Department. The grant will help buy much needed equipment, such as new helmets, face masks and breathing apparatus for the department's 21 firefighters. It also helps build a 14x30 addition to the Storden Fire Hall. Storden's 21 firefighters can barely squeeze inside the hall's current meeting room for meetings and trainings.
It is listed as the bank's second largest donation and largest ever received by the fire department.
Jeers go out to the people who use outrageous price-gouging schemes to take advantage of others during the Coronavirus pandemic. There were reports of people buying huge quantities of hand sanitizers, toilet paper and other supplies and then selling them for huge profits. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said his office received more than 150 reports of price-gouging. He said some stores even got into the act. We tip our hat to Gov. Tim Walz for issuing an executive order that targets and punishes these activities. The governor's order makes it unlawful to sell essential goods at prices exceeding 20% of their cost prior to the Coronavirus outbreak. Violators could pay fines of up to $10,000. - Rahn Larson