The newsroom weighs in on this week's top five things they want to see happen locally or around the world

Get educated on the future of your health insurance

    Health insurance and its future are beginning to confuse a lot of people. Obama Care has everyone in a tizzy, it seems. Some folks will have their policies terminated forcing them to look elsewhere. And there are those who don't really know anything about what will be happening. What about those people who don't have insurance? If you are on a lower income, Obama Care might be helpful for you. But you need to act fast. Rumor is that your federal tax return could be affected if you don't have anything set up. People need to get out there and get educated on this manner before it affects you and your family in a negative way.

Way to go, Pirate girls’ swimmers

    Congratulations and best of luck at the State Swim Meet to Pirates Marietta Geist, Sierra Pry, Kate MacGregor and Haley Roed, who qualified in the 200 freestyle relay after placing second at the Section 8A Meet Saturday in Bemidji, Minn. It's a huge accomplishment for the girls' swimming program and hopefully that will propel the program into bigger and better things. Head coach Marley Melbye's squad has a lot of quality swimmers but depth hampered the Pirates from team success during the season. So, best of luck to the four Pirates head down to U of M Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn. for the state meet Nov. 18-20 and best of luck to the swimming program as it continues to grow and find more success.

Even if you don’t know any veterans, thank them today, and after today

    November 11 is widely known and celebrated as Veteran's Day. Around the nation people will honor veterans in various ways, from donating flowers, visiting grave sites, flying flags, talking to veterans, wearing poppies, donating money to charities that help fallen/ injured veterans and dawning an all-around gleam of patriotism. It's vital to show veterans-- both past, present and even future-- that their sacrifice is noticed and highly appreciated. Where would the great nation that is the United States be without brave and courageous young men and women who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the masses? Throughout history there has always been a willingness to protect our home turf, and it's time to celebrate their heroic battle on not only designated holidays but whenever the opportunity strikes. Whether you personally know a veteran or happen to see someone in uniform, take time to give thanks to them for fighting for our freedom. – Torrie Greer, student staff writer

The catastrophe in the Philippines: The new normal?

    It takes something pretty big to knock all of the things out of the headlines we think are so important here in the United States – Miley Cyrus smoking a joint at the European MTV Video Awards, for instance – but something pretty big has killed, estimates say, at least 10,000 people in the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing a storm 300 miles wide, rocked the exposed-to-the-elements nation, leaving a path of absolute brutal destruction in its wake, mostly in the city of Tacloban. The Philippinos are no strangers to dealing with harsh weather, but this typhoon brought things to a whole new tragic level. Climate experts will tell you that this is basically the “new normal” that inhabitants of this globe are going to have to start getting accustomed to. Deeper, warmer seas have a way of making storms bigger and nastier, and that’s what we’re starting to see as the global climate continues to up the ante. Here’s hoping there’s a story of triumph and scattered heroic gestures as the Philippino people start coming back from such a monstrous catastrophe.

City administrator decision?

    “So I guess the decision’s been made for them, right?” That’s what a fairly prominent person in the Crookston community said after Brian Heck got hired late last week as city administrator in Montgomery, Minn. That leaves Shannon Stassen as the lone candidate who would still like to be Crookston’s new administrator, and the lone candidate that the city council and mayor would appear to want to be in that job. So will the current Chamber president and United Way executive director get it? The council will meet Wednesday evening to decide. Their only other option would seem to be going back to the drawing board, re-advertising the position and seeing if a deeper pool of candidates applies. If they hire Stassen, will the vote be unanimous? Or will some of the council still have concerns about the “integrity” of the process being compromised when it came down to Heck and Stassen for the Crookston job. We’ll know more by mid-week, so stay tuned.