Thick skin and a good sense of humor on April Fools Day

It's April 1, and we all know what that means. To some, April Fools Day is practically their favorite day on the yearly calendar. Other people despise all that the day brings, while others are largely indifferent. At the Times, it means we're once again publishing our "fake news" April Fools Day alternate front page, on the back of the edition of the Times you're reading right now. Some of the content is 100 percent lighthearted and fun, while some of it has a bit of an edge. Yes, it's all preposterous, but there's an attempt at some Crookston community commentary. But it's all in good fun, so please take it that way.

Senior citizens: Take advantage of meals at the Golden Link

The Golden Link Senior Center has home-cooked from-scratch meals available daily at noon, Monday thru Friday, plus evening meals will again be available on Wednesdays after Easter for senior citizens ages 55 and older. All meals are $6 and come with vegetables, bread, butter, milk and dessert, plus wine and beer can be purchased for an additional $2. Favorites like chicken alfredo, fried chicken, and chip beef on toast are on April’s menu. Make it an easy and satisfying lunch by letting the Golden Link do your cooking. To make reservations or take your meal to-go, call 281-3072. While you’re there, check out their calendar of events as there’s always something to do or get involved in at the Link.

Get your tickets for Crookston Firefighters Fun Night

Crookston Firefighters Fun Night Fundraiser will be held this Saturday, April 6, at the Crookston Eagles with plenty of fun for everyone. The social starts at 5 p.m. followed by the dinner at 6 p.m. of either prime rib or walleye. Later in the evening, the popular band “Sushi Roll” will grace the Eagles stage to rock the night away until the place closes. Throughout the event, there will be raffles and door prizes from business and individual sponsors. All proceeds go to the Firefighters Association for protective equipment. Did you know it costs approximately $8,000 for one firefighter’s suit and gear? It makes it pretty easy to spend $25 on a ticket for a fun night out.

It’s time to consider a ban on lead sinkers

A whole bunch of trumpeter swans died at Sucker Creek in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota recently. The beautiful swans will stick around in Minnesota over the winter if open water is available, and portions of Sucker Creek have open water, and the trumpeters love it. It was initially thought they were malnourished, but tests confirmed they died of lead poisoning. The same goes for dead trumpeter swans this winter elsewhere in Minnesota. The birds, with their long necks, forage along creek bottoms for pebbles that pass through their system intact, but they often ingest lead fishing sinkers, which their systems partially absorb. All it takes is one lead sinker to kill a swan within a month. Lots of bald eagles die of lead poisoning, too, when they dine on carcass remains and gut piles of deer shot by hunters firing lead-tipped ammunition. Minnesota lawmakers have shied away from banning lead in fishing sinkers, instead choosing to let the market determine lead's fate, as more non-lead options are available. But this might be a situation that calls for some actual legislative action.

Get excited as we are about % change

Typically, in the media business, and perhaps any line of work, it's not wise to try and expand "shop talk" outside the confines of the shop. Outsiders either won't know what you're talking about, or, more likely, they simply won't care what you're talking about. But when media types start talking about what they do and how and why they do what they do, it can seem pretentious to some, even if that's not the intention. But, still, when the Associated Press Stylebook recommends a change in AP Style (how we use various symbols or abbreviations or punctuation in the news stories we write), it's usually big news. For us, that is. Late last week, the good people at the AP Stylebook said it's now OK for us ink-stained newspaper wretches to use the percent sign - % - in story copy, instead of writing out the word "percent." You're stunned, obviously. So are we, as we forge ahead in this brave new world, about 98% confident that this change is for the better.