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

Good questions, answers at Meet the Candidates forum

Organizers are trying to squeeze more than 20 candidates for local office into a single evening at tonight's "Meet the Candidates Forum" in Kiehle Auditorium on the U of M Crookston campus. It's a pretty ambitious evening, to be sure, and on the plus side you can bet things will be kept moving along at a rapid pace. Here's hoping that the candidates for the various offices will be posed some interesting, specific questions. Here's also hoping that the questions aren't so general in nature that we end up with a lot of candidates repeating themselves and repeating each other, with candidates starting their answers by saying things like, "Well, everyone's pretty much said what I would have said..." The Times, obviously, will be covering the forum, but in the weeks leading up to the election, we'll also be doing question-and-answer interviews with the candidates in contested races.

Be extra cautious around the sugar beet trucks

Sharing the road during harvest time is a given, but it’s always good to remind yourself and others to take precaution around beet trucks and farm vehicles. Pay attention to flashing lights, watch for farm vehicles turning from the highway to rural roads, and maintain a safe distance from fully-loaded trucks. Farmers and their employees are typically on a limited schedule and have already been working long hours plus they’re trying to be safe driving around citizens in smaller cars, SUVs and pickups, so consider moving over or waiting for them to pass on your way to and from work, school and home.

Celebrate Crookston’s manufacturing businesses, this week and every week

The first week of October is Minnesota Manufacturing Week and Crookston businesses will be highlighted all week long. New Flyer of America, American Crystal Sugar Company, DEE, Inc., Eickhof Columbaria and SunOpta will be the focus and public tours are planned at Crystal Sugar on Tuesday, Oct. 2, DEE on Wednesday, Oct. 3 and Eickhof on Thursday, Oct. 4 all from 9-10 a.m. Manufacturer’s Week is sponsored by Crookston Area Chamber & Visitor’s Bureau and Crookston Housing & Economic Development Authority.

Appreciate Mauer for what he was, and what he became

After the emotional, sentimental love-fest that concluded the Twins' season-ending victory at home over the White Sox on Sunday, it’s safe to assume that Joe Mauer is indeed retiring at age 35. His precedent-setting accomplishments earlier in his career, most notably winning the first three batting titles ever by a catcher, are definitely impressive, but even the hometown, nice-guy Mauer will leave behind a career that spurs much debate. Concussions and other health-related issues cut short his career as a catcher, and even though he remained a solid hitter and a tough out, his lack of production when it came to home runs and RBIs, essentially every season except for his "contract year" in 2009 when he hit 28 dingers and won American League MVP, continues to perplex. But we need to appreciate Mauer for what he was, and still is: A great guy, a great teammate, an immensely talented athlete, and someone who chose to stay home because that's the kind of guy he is, and he loves it here.

It’s October, so it’s time to get into the Halloween spirit

It’s finally October, that means its officially Halloween. Well maybe not, but its time to get into the Halloween spirit. Every year, millions of Americans attend and host haunted attractions, horror movie marathons, costume parties, and more frightening festivities. ’Tis the season for Candy Corn concoctions and pumpkin carving, choosing the perfect costume whether it be spooky or sweet, reading your favorite grim literature, and getting into that spooky state of mind. Halloween is more than just one night of dressing up and getting candy from neighborhood strangers, it’s a celebration of all things ghoulish and strange. Remember, only go to the houses with lights on, check your candy before you eat it, stay warm, and be safe on the streets this Halloween. – Anna Huck, student writer