Et Cetera …

Abortions down in state

Minnesota has again seen a decline in the number of abortions in the state. This year, the figure dropped below 10,000 for the first time since 1975. This continues a recent trend. Thank goodness.

While we cannot imagine telling a women what she can or cannot do regarding the functions of her body, we can say an abortion is generally not the result of responsible decision-making. Fewer abortions tell us women (and their partners) are making better choices ahead of time, or they are deciding that life is, indeed, precious. Both of these are preferable cultural indicators.

Stupid, awful tragedy

A Madison, S.D., man was charged this week with criminal vehicular homicide after his truck collided with a woman riding a bicycle along a highway in southwestern Minnesota. The woman was killed and her two children were injured.

The driver of the truck reportedly told police he was checking his smartphone, trying to conduct some banking online. If so, this is a stupid, awful, tragic waste of lives – including the driver’s – and a terrible lesson in the idiocy of overused modern gadgets.

People: When you are driving, drive. Distractions are deadly.

Otto has right approach

This is not an endorsement per se, but we agree with Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto about the duties of her office. Otto was in Fairmont this week during a campaign swing. She is facing a challenge within her party, the DFL, from former state Rep. Matt Entenza.

Otto says she is not in office to make policy. Rather, she wants to provide accurate information to the public and lawmakers about the condition of local governments, namely counties and larger cities. She believes local governments should be transparent and accountable. We think she is exactly right.

County rebuilding shop

Martin County commissioners this week opted to rebuild a highway shop building near Dunnell, even though insurance won’t quite cover the cost. The shop burned in the spring, the result of a fire that began in the starter of a motor grader.

With highway department chief Kevin Peyman saying the county could do some of the work of rebuilding to keep costs down, the $98,000 the county will get from its insurer can be stretched to put up another shop. Commissioners saw the decision as a pretty easy one, and deserve credit for that vision.