Five things the newsroom staff would like to see happen.

Some direction on the school facilities front

Members of the Crookston School Board, Superintendent Chris Bates, Business Manager Laura Lyczewski, school principals, swimming pool proponents, Johnson Controls representatives and, finally, last week, Crookston School District residents joined the discussion about how to approach around $16 million in needed maintenance and improvement projects at the three school buildings and pool. Now, Monday morning, the board held a working session to discuss where to go from here, and at 5 p.m. early Monday evening, they’re expected to make an official decision on how many projects they’ll take on, how many they’ll levy for on their own, and how much they’ll ask the voters to support. Whether you agree or disagree, at this this week you’ll have some clarity.

Be healthy and happy, and smart

With summer in full swing, there are millions of advertisements for new diet programs to help get viewers into their perfect "bathing suit body." With catchlines promoting summer health regimes and mass media displaying the "ideal type of body," it can become distressing to discern how to stay healthy while feeling good about yourself. While it's important to stay healthy and to take care of your body, it's also important to not harm yourself with crazy diet fads or medicines. Self confidence is just as important as maintaining or losing weight, eating healthy and exercising often. Don't let crazy weight-loss claims give you the summer blues-- instead, work toward your smart summer goals and enjoy yourself along the way.

- Torrie Greer, Times intern

A succesful, busy Crazy Days

Minnesota’s own diminuitive rock/funk musical superstar Prince sang a long time ago, for the soundtrack of his 1984 biopic film, “Purple Rain” that people needed to “go crazy” and “get nuts.” The song was  “Let’s Go Crazy,” obviously. Well, although some could bring a negative connotation or two into people going crazy and getting nuts, in the context of this Thursday, July 18 being Crazy Days in Crookston, let’s stick to the positive by encouraging people to venture downtown and to other Crookston businesses to shop, buy some merchandise, grab a bite to eat, and take in whatever else might be happening as part of the annual event. Yes, indeed, let’s go crazy, let’s get nuts. Just don’t go bonkers.

Support new businesses, and existing ones, too

It's exciting to have new businesses opening in Crookston this summer and into the early fall. There are new sights, smells and tastes in store for everyone. As fun as it is to check out someplace new, please remember to continue to support that business  past its grand opening and to patronize other Crookston businesses whenever possible. Owning and operating a business in a small town is no easy task, especially with Grand Forks shopping and dining only a quick drive away. Local merchants need local customers to stay afloat and Crookston needs businesses to add appeal for residents and visitors alike.

Anyone heading to Mankato?

Where has summer gone? We are just ten days away from the Minnesota Vikings reporting to Mankato for training camp. This will be a pivotal season for Christian Ponder, who enters his third season. There are no excuses for the Florida State product anymore. It's either take the next step and win a playoff game or move on and become a career backup. The latter would be devastating for the Vikings, who are losing time with superstars Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen. The Vikings front office and put pieces around Ponder to make him successful and now it is time for him to start beating teams rather than not losing games for the Vikings. Also, the front office patched some holes in the linebacking core and secondary so hopefully that will also continue to improve. With all that said, be thankful your favorite team, the Vikings, doesn't have to answer question after question about their teammate in jail for murder. Good luck with that, Patriots.