On the city budget, triathlon, downtown street work, theatre, and Vikings training camp...

City leaders talk budget, look at the bigger picture
The Crookston City Council, Mayor Dave Genereux, CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth and maybe some other city officials or department heads will sit down Wednesday evening for a pretty important chat. They’ve been talking about this discussion for months, as an opportunity to not just envision what the 2014 city budget is going to look like, but also talk about some more big-picture, strategic things, like the way the city goes about its business, and if there are things that could be done differently, maybe even way differently. It seems like a lot to bite off at one sit-down, but at least they’re giving it a try. Still, put your money on Wednesday’s meeting not being the last of its kind.

Countdown is on toward Crookston’s first triathlon
The inaugural Crookston Triathlon is coming up quickly, Saturday, Aug. 10. The event consists of a 400-meter swim, 14-mile bike ride and 3.2-mile run. There is also a kids division of 50-meter swim, 2.4-mile bike ride and 1.2-mile run. The word "triathlon" may be intimidating to a lot of people and the distances may seem too much but why not register and see what your body is capable of. On Friday, Aug. 9 the Crookston Crocs swim team is holding a fundraiser, an all you can eat pasta supper at St. Paul's Lutheran Church from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Anyone is invited to the supper and to cheer on the athletes at the triathlon the next day. We hope more people participant in this event and it becomes a big success for Crookston.

Robert Street a headache, but roads are looking great
It’s going to be a little crazy in downtown Crookston this week, no, not because of a Crazy Days sequel or anything, but Robert Street is going to be closed off to traffic while Interstate Improvement continues its improvement of U.S. Highway 2 through Crookston. The contractor has been great so far at minimizing inconvenience to motorists as they’ve worked on Main, Broadway and Sixth Street, but closing Robert Street for a few days will no doubt require the biggest adjustment for those who drive through downtown Crookston on a regular basis. The resulting surface is worth the headache.

You can never have enough theatre options
Have you ever wanted to see a play or musical but have found yourself limited by the community you lived in? Grand Forks actually has quite a bit of theatre if you take the time to dig through the web and find out the dates and times, as well as commute the thirty minutes it takes to get there. Wouldn't it be nice to have more theatre-- and more theatre opportunities-- in Crookston? Theatre provides many benefits to a town-- community involvement, money and tourism. If Crookston could acquire more theatre it would do nothing but benefit, help grow and diversify the community. Let's bring more theatre opportunities to Crookston, and let's take the proper lights, camera and action to make this possible. – Torrie Greer, intern

No news is good news out of Vikings camp
Every football fan is elated that NFL training camps are underway and football season is right around the corner. With that comes the cliché stories about an unknown receiver that's displaying great speed and catching every pass from the third string quarterback. Or, stories like a veteran runningback who is showing some explosiveness he hasn't show before. But when it comes to NFL training camp you want your team to stay out of the headlines. No news is good news. Just since camps have started there have been three big names to go down with season-ending injuries. Dennis Pitta, tight end for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, suffered a fractured hip. Philadelphia Eagles speedy wide receiver Jeremy Maclin tore his ACL, along with Denver Broncos center Dan Koppen. Those injuries are devastating to those teams. Let's hope to keep reading stories out of Mankato about rookie punter Jeff Locke's kicking style and not about a starter going down with a major injury.