On coats for kids, bullying, Golden Eagle football, education/career planning, and the zoo tiger attack.

Let’s help keep kids warm this winter
If you’ve called the Red River Valley home for any significant length of time and ever watched any TV news broadcast by the Fargo network affiliates, when you hear the term “Coats for Kids,” you know what it’s about. It’s an annual coat, hat, mitten and other winter garment drive for families in need, so their kids stay warm during the cold winters. The Care and Share Center in Crookston had in the past been involved as well, helping with publicity and distributing donated items to families in need in the Crookston area. Well, now, the TV station involved in “Coats for Kids” for so many years has bowed out, leaving the Care and Share on its own. Carol Gregg, center director, says they need lots of clean, gently used winter coats and other winter garments, and will gladly take money to buy coats, etc. if you don’t have any items lying around that are no longer worn by your kids or grandkids. Check your closets or your storage bins. Let’s help keep these kids warm this winter, and beyond.

Expose all types of bullying
In today's society, we see many anti-bullying campaigns and advocates and it seems to be geared towards one thing: the protection of gay teens. While that is completely fine (as it has become a big issue), does it always have to be the main objective of these kinds of groups? There are so many other minorities in high schools that get bullied and have just as big of a risk of becoming depressed and/or suicidal as anyone else. This person could either be physically or mentally disabled, abnormally sized than the average, or even one of a different race. There are groups out there who do speak out for these minorities, but they don't specifically speak about stopping bullying, and it does happen in schools, especially to those who are mentally handicapped. But it appears that when these incidents happen, they are kind of looked over by authority figures and the media. It  seems like no one cares about any target group getting bullied, and only one group is special. This needs to change. Every kind of bullying needs exposure.  Amanda Wagner, Times Intern

How about a winning streak?
After four games of Minnesota, Crookston Football what have we learned? First and foremost, Richard Haley is good, really good. Second, it's possible for the Golden Eagles to win a conference game. Third, the team likes to play at home. Sure, the quality of opponents in their two away games far outweigh the two home opponents but nonetheless, the Golden Eagles have performed dreadful on the road this season. It wasn't great to see the team break the 39-game conference losing streak on Saturday. It was awesome! Haley was dynamic, quarterback A.J. Barge was solid, the receivers made some key catches and the defense made some big stops. Just because UMC has won a conference game, though, doesn't mean more will automatically follow. The Golden Eagles will need to continue their hard work. It continues next Saturday in Bemidji against the Beavers, who are 1-3 on the season. Let's flip that losing streak into a winning streak!

Back to reality
Well seniors, last week was Homecoming, now it’s back to reality. It’s time to start taking that next step towards preparing yourselves for next year. One way of doing this may be to attend College Day in Thief River Falls on Tuesday. Schools from all over Minnesota and North Dakota will be there to tell you about their school, and why it may or may not be a good fit for you. The Minnesota Education Fair will be held in Northland Community & Technical College's gym from 9-11 a.m. on Tuesday. Students will be given the chance to meet with over 60 representatives from both private and public institutions. The intentions of this day are to give soon to be college freshmen a better understanding of how to choose a school that meets their educational and financial needs. Hopefully this day will get seniors more enthused about filling out those tedious college applications and planning for their futures. Katie Davidson

Placing blame correctly
A 400-pound Siberian tiger named Bashuta is breathing a sigh of relief about now, having been exonerated from blame for mauling 25-year-old David Villalobos in the tiger's quarters at the Bronx Zoo. That's because the tiger was only exercising what his natural instinct tells him to when something such as a human drops into its pen. Villalobos, who has been charged with trespassing from his hospital bed, did not get there by accident, though; he purposely leapt out of his train car to clear a 16-foot-high protective fence to enter the tiger enclosure and "be one" with the feline. The not-too-smart man will, luckily survive. Zoo Director Jim Breheny put the whole incident in perspective so eloquently, "When someone is determined to do something harmful to themselves, it's very hard to stop that."