The Times' Newsroom staff weigh in on their top five things they'd like to see happen.

Watch your full Community Calendar, even in the winter

Whether you get your news and event happenings from the newspaper, radio, online, social media, or the grocery store bulletin board, there are plenty of things to check out in the Crookston area every weekend. Just this last weekend, there were almost a dozen events going on in town. Plenty of opportunities to get your families out of the house and, whether you preferred to venture outside or stay indoors, there was something for everyone. Coming up in the month of February, there are meetings, concerts, speakers, movies, fundraisers, sports games and tournaments, dances, blood drives, camps, a meet and greet, a wedding expo, an informational session on drugs, and even an event focused on wine, chocolate and gardening. Want to wait until warmer weather to venture outdoors? Don’t worry. Crookston will have plenty for you to do then, too.

Support Pirate wrestlers as they host section tourney

Crookston will be hosting the Section 8A individual wrestling tournament on Friday, February 23 and Saturday, February 24 at the Crookston High School gymnasium. The High School students will be dismissed from school early on Friday, February 23 as the individuals start to flood into the school. Everyone is welcome to get out and watch the individual tournament and cheer on the pirates weather you’re a big fan of wrestling or just want to see what it’s all about. The action will begin the weekend before on Saturday, February 17 for the Section 8A team tournament in Thief River Falls at the Ralph Engelstad Arena . Match times are 11, 2, 4, and 6. The Pirate wrestling team is having a good season as they are 11-4 and have been finishing strong in their tournaments.  The Pirates are coached by Wes Hanson, assistants Chris Dufault, Jake Larkin, and Nate Merten, and volunteer Zacn Berube.
– Ally Tiedemann, student writer

Some (reluctant) appreciation for the NFL staying on our minds, all the time

The National Football League brass have many faults, some of which are often listed on this page, but when it comes to keeping their sport on the minds of fans even when the start of the next season is many months away, no one does it like the NFL brass. The Super Bowl is barely finished, and the coaching carousel has just stopped spinning, and mock drafts in advance of April’s big event are being released by experts almost daily. Teams have major roster decisions to make by March, and then free agents can be signed. Then it’s “organized team activities” almost every weekend, mini-camp, training camp, preseason games, and the next season kicks off. Wow. It never ends. And for Vikings fans, put the WOW in all caps, because we don’t know who will be the starting quarterback next fall, but we all have an opinion, or two, or 10. That decision will dominate the Vikings off-season. Wait, what off-season? A tip of the cap to the NFL big-wigs: You never let your sport leave our train of thought.

Celebrate Black History Month at UMC

The University of Minnesota Crookston will be hosting multiple events during Black History Month and everyone is invited. Tuesday, February 13 at 7 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, they will have a free movie night showing “Selma.” There will be free popcorn and movie treats as guests learn about the Civil Rights Movement. Thursday, February 15 from 12-1:30 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Civil Rights Activitst/Historian/Author Maggie Lowery will give her message and sign her book, “Pressing My Way Throughout America.” That event is also free and open to the public. Saturday, February 17 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Crookston Library on Ash Street, UMC’s Black Student Association will host African reading and culture excursion, “Kuja Kusoma Na Sisi…Come Read With Us!” They will take people on a journey through ancestries, culture, and adventures experienced in native countries and the U.S. To top it off, on Tuesday, February 27 starting at 4:30 p.m., Night of Expression will start out with African/African American food in Brown Dining followed by a 6:30 p.m. program in Kiehle Auditorium. They will showcase Spoken Word, Steppers, African/African American Music from various genres, tributes to Black/African historical figures and celebrities, tribal and modern dance, and Gospel music.

Possible Pawlenty return? Yawn.

In a story in the Star Tribune Sunday on the possibility of former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty running for the job again, a Republican mover and shaker in southern Minnesota talked of a small crowd of nine at a Republican precinct caucus last week, and an elderly woman telling everyone that Pawlenty might end up running. Instantly, the GOP operative said, the energy at the caucus changed and everyone got all excited. Really? Is this the same Tim Pawlenty, who, after two middling terms as governor thought about being president before bowing out, and then went to Washington to be a lobbyist for big banks? That’s reason for an energy boost? Excitement among Minnesota Republicans? The best thing he’s done lately was denounce Donald Trump the presidential candidate prior to the 2016 election. Beyond that, there’s not much there, at least nothing that spurs energy and excitement.