The Times' Newsroom staff weigh in on their top five things of the week.
A second speed trailer for Crookston Police Department
As City of Crookston leaders look to make various “capital” purchases in the coming years, how about buying a second speed trailer? You’ve seen it around town; Crookston Police place the white trailer with its electronic vehicle speed monitoring system and digital readout, so passing motorists can see for themselves the degree to which they’re breaking the law. The 30 mile per hour speed limit is treated as a mere suggestion to brush off at the main entrances to town, University Avenue especially, but these trailers at least make lead-foot motorists check their speed and tap the brake. After all, an officer might be around. A second such trailer certainly can’t hurt.
Come out to 2017 Kids at Castle finale Monday
Kids at Castle Park will have its 2017 finale Monday from 5:30-7 p.m. in conjunction with the Crookston Early Childhood Initiative’s Boo Run Run. Dress up in your favorite costume and hit the Castle Park trails for a fun family run with surprises along the way. Nature-based play at Castle Park puts kids in touch with nature by encouraging them to play with rocks, water, sand, leaves, sticks, and other materials found outdoors.
The Minnesota Wild get back to playing tight defense
It’s only been two games, but the NHL’s Minnesota Wild are already showing a concerning trend. Playing against two teams that aren’t exactly in the league’s upper echelon, the Wild have given up eight goals, not counting the shootout Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Wild don’t give up eight goals in two games. The Wild as we know them play structured defense from the neutral zone into their own end, and play their positions smartly. Two games in, this version of the Wild, without Zach Parise and his ailing back, are simply playing too loose and undisciplined. This must change, because if the Wild have to score five goals a night to win, it’s going to be a long season.
A change in Gopher football offensive strategy
It's one thing if you're the state-champion Crookston Pirate football team in 1980, when they rolled to the title with a running game that was simply unrivaled. But it's another thing if you're a Big 10 football team in 2017 trying to win football games by running the same running play over and over and only passing when everyone in the stadium knows you have to pass. Yes, these are your 2017 Minnesota Gophers, who have a talented running back tandem in Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith, but they aren't enough to guarantee victory even over mediocre teams like Maryland and Purdue, who have each solved the Gophers' ultra-conservative, vanilla offense over the past two Saturdays and defeated the punchless Maroon and Gold. Fans grew so weary of graduated quarterback Mitch Leidner and his poor throws and questionable decision-making, but at least he could run. Current senior quarterback Conor Rhoda has an option to fake the handoff and run himself on almost every play, but he simply refuses to do so, and, again, the whole stadium knows it. Open it up a bit, Gophers. This current offensive game plan is, well, offensive. Maybe it’s time to bench Rhoda?
A hard freeze to hopefully get rid of these pesky, stubborn lady beetles
Most of us wish for winter's arrival, at least the brunt of it, to hold off as long as possible. But maybe it's about time we had our first hard, killing freeze of the fall and then maybe had no days featuring high temperatures of 65 or more, because apparently that's what triggers the swarm of lady beetles also known as Asian, Japanese or multi-colored lady beetles currently infesting our community. They crawl all over you, they bite, they emit a smelly, yellow-orange liquid that stains, and they're hell-bent on getting into our houses so they can "over-winter." Oh, and if they do get inside your house, they can emit a pheromone that, according to one expert on the internet, can attract a "gazillion" more lady beetles. So, come on winter!