Treat cabin fever with indoor play

This time of year gets to be the longest part of spring’s anticipated wait and kids, parents and even pets start to show signs of cabin fever, especially on snow days. Indoor play can curb that feeling of being “trapped” inside. Playing board games, having a dance-off, or even a cleaning “game” are good for kids. Throwing a ball around the house, trying out that new animal-friendly treat recipe or a more relaxed game of “chase” could be good for pets. Exercising, reorganizing a room, or piling up unwanted items for goodwill can be good for adults. Either way you shake it, spring has to come some time. Right? Hang in there, folks.

Some Ward 5 diversity on Crookston City Council?

On Wednesday, six Ward 5 residents will be interviewed by a committee of their neighbors, who will then make their recommendation to the Crookston City Council on who should be appointed to finish the council term of Dale Stainbrook, recently appointed mayor. The Ward 5 term is up for election again in November 2020. Most of the people who have thrown their hat in the ring are familiar; many of them have run for the council before, and good for them for wanting to be involved. A couple of new, less familiar names, Casey Anderson and Kari Howey, are also seeking to be appointed. The council currently lacks any female voices, so here's hoping Anderson and Howey do well in the interviews.

A little excitement over an encouraging run of Gopher men’s hockey

How about the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers men's hockey team? A generation ago they were the gold standard when it came to the premiere NCAA Division I college hockey program in the country, but a lot has changed since then. The Gophers moved to the Big 10 Conference, rivalries were lost, Division I programs have sprouted up all over the place, and parity rules. As a result, it's been a pretty mediocre run for the Gophers, and in the smallest metropolitan area in the nation to support a full compliment of professional sports teams, interest has waned greatly. But in Bob Motzko's second year as coach, they're starting to turn things around and after a winning weekend against Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, the Gophers are tied for first in the Big 10 with Penn State. They'll need to keep it up, though, and make a strong run in the conference tournament if they are to make the 16-team field of the NCAA Tournament. Still, what matters right now is that there is real hope that the program is on the upswing.

Cooler heads prevail on Astros’ cheating scandal?

Look, this is tough, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, the Houston Astros ownership and Astros players involved in their cheating scandal that helped them win the 2017 World Series are not helping with their misguided responses to the situation so far. But people need to step back and take a deep, cleansing breath before flying off the handle. Seriously, there is real hatred here. There are real threats of constant beanballs directed at Astros players, whether they still play for the Astros or, like the Twins’ Marwin Gonzalez, now play for someone else. Fans should absolutely be frustrated and even angry, and Manfred has botched this big-time by giving the players involved immunity from punishment. And some of the players, even with that immunity, continue to come up with crazy stories that continue to deny the extreme level of their cheating. It was ugly. It is ugly. But let’s not let it get too ugly.

Brush up on trivia on President’s Day

Are you one of the luxurious few that get to kick back, put your feet up and enjoy a day off from work or school because it’s President’s Day? Do you do anything worthwhile to celebrate or educate yourself, or is it just another excuse for a day off? Well, here’s a few tidbits for you to look over while you enjoy the holiday. Did you know that the lodge in Minnesota’s Glendalough State Park has hosted two presidents (Eisenhower and Nixon) and a vice president (Mondale) over the years and was once a game farm? You can also rent that same historic lodge by the day. Did you know that Benjamin Franklin (US founding father), who appears on the $100 bill, and Alexander Hamilton (first US Secretary of Treasury), who appears on the $10 bill, were not presidents? And did you know that Calvin Coolidge became the first and only president to appear on a coin struck during his lifetime in 1926? Now you know.