On new hotel owners, the Wild, spring fitness, golf, and spring planting...

Welcome, Jacobsons, and good luck with your hotel
And so it begins, the process of building the Crookston Inn & Convention Center back up from the ground up. No, nothing is being torn down, but after years of the reputation of the Northland Inn, then America’s Best Value Inn and then the Crookston Inn getting worse, Todd Jacobson and his family have purchased Crookston’s north end lodging institution, and now the process of not only improving the hotel, bar and restaurant but making customers and potential customers know that improvements are happening under new ownership, can officially commence. A lot of money will be spent on renovations, but it will be improved cleanliness and customer service that will be key to turning all the negativity into positivity. Good luck, Jacobsons, and welcome to town.

They made it, and that’s all that matters
They made, just barely, but they made it. The Minnesota Wild ended a five-year playoff drought and are the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Game one is Tuesday at 7 p.m. against top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks. The seven-game series will feature games three, four and six in St. Paul. Let's not forget what seed the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings were last season, No. 8. Upsets are common in the NHL postseason as the No. 6 seeded New Jersey Devils, led by Zach Parise, faced the Kings in the finals last season. All a team needs is a hot goalie and some timely goals to make a run. As they say before every Wild home game, "Let's play hockey!"

Spring is here...do some stuff
Winter is finally over! If you haven't already done so, now it is time to start thinking about losing those extra pounds of fluffiness that kept you warm over the chilly months. Step number one is to drink plenty of water. Experts typically recommend eight to ten glasses per day, but depending on your body size, more or less may be equally as effective. Secondly, get outside and get moving! Even the least enthusiastic exerciser can manage to go for a walk or bike ride on nice days. You may even have so much fun, you'll forget you are burning fat and calories! Try to keep yourself motivated by walking or biking with friends, making an exercise chart, or by placing a clothing item that may not fit quite right in a prominent place to visually remind you to hit the pavement. Best wishes to a healthier you!

Let’s get started on the ‘most wonderful time of the year’
For some, the time is around late fall when they start humming the tune and singing those timeless lyrics, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” and seem to have a permanent grin on their face. They love the holiday season, and they’re not afraid to let the world know it. But for others, that familiar tune starts popping into their head when the snow starts to melt each spring and they venture to the garage or the shed to grab their golf clubs and start scrubbing them up in preparation for another season playing the greatest game ever invented by man. It’s almost May now, and golfers, spoiled by the early spring of 2012, have been humming the tune for weeks now. But now that spring is finally here, not just on the calendar but on the thermometer, too, let’s get some courses open and start playing.

Let’s dry things out so farmers can start planting
If you take a look at several fields around the area, you would probably notice they're not exactly dry. The spring melt has been in full swing for the past week, now, and fields are either underwater or sticky with mud, which are obviously not ideal conditions for farm equipment to get in to. Now there is a threat of rain coming, further pushing the planting season back. How about if the precipitation could hold off for a few weeks until things can dry out? It would be incredibly nice if the sun could stay out and temperatures remain in the 60s, which apparently won't seem to be the case this week. Well, it's the thought that counts. But as long as the rain stays away (any amount), farmers everywhere would appreciate it. - Amanda Wagner, Times’ intern