Try healthier options at home and when out to eat

Healthier options are everywhere: at the grocery store, at your favorite restaurant and even at fast food joints. One popular health trend is “zoodles” or noodles/pasta made from zucchini. Zoodles are light, crunchy, and low in calories. Substitute in your favorite entree like shrimp scampi or with grilled chicken in peanut sauce. Zoodles are a great gluten-free alternative to spaghetti and can even be purchased right here in Crookston. Another health trend is cauliflower rice. Cauliflower rice is a low-carb, grain-free, paleo and keto-friendly option, and rice alternative. It’s processed into rice-shape pieces and can be cooked with oil as a nice side dish. Both zoodles and cauliflower rice are sneaky ways of getting your vegetables into your diet, so why not try it? You might be surprised at the taste.

Stop pounding on the Plexiglas at hockey games

Is it too much to ask that if you're at a hockey game and you're seated in the rows closest to the ice you manage to resist the urge to pound your hands incessantly on the Plexiglas in front of you? The NHL playoffs are on TV, and watching these fans bang on the glass every time the action on the ice is nearby makes one wonder how much they've had to drink, and what kind of person they are in their everyday, normal lives. These seem like the same type of people who, when they’re at a pet store looking at kittens or puppies, they see the “Please don’t tap on the window” sign and proceed to slap it with reckless abandon.

Appreciate nurses on National Nurses Day

You might have heard of Florence Nightingale, the English nurse who became known as the founder of professional nursing through her work during the Crimean War. Nightingale was known as the “The Lady with the Lamp” as she had a habit of making her rounds at night. National Nurses Week was first observed in 1954 on the 100th anniversary of Nightingale’s mission to Crimea and, later, May 6 was introduced as the date for observance. There are great nurses everywhere and our nurses in Crookston, specifically, deserve some recognition for all their work. They take care of people young and old, they work whatever hours they’re needed, they work through simple appointments and during critical emergencies, and they do it all with caring in their heart. They’re the people you see the most during a hospital stay and they’re the people that often call to check up on you when you leave. Give some appreciation, if you can, on National Nurses Day. They certainly deserve it.

Extra appreciation for RiverView, Altru in Crookston

The Minneapolis Star Tribune on Sunday published a massive in-depth story on struggling rural hospitals in Minnesota, with many facing such an uphill battle, whether it's due to reimbursements or a myriad of other reasons, that their closure is imminent. Perhaps most encouraging of all for us around these parts is that RiverView Health is not mentioned in the story. It is included in a statewide graphic of rural Minnesota hospitals, one of a minority of hospitals listed as an "independent" not officially affiliated with any major provider. Reading a story like that, it makes one especially thankful that Crookston is home to not only RiverView Health, but Altru. The latter recently completed an expansion project, and the former just broke ground on a $51 million project. Doubly good news, for which Crookston and area residents should feel appreciative.

Judge should have to explain himself

It just doesn’t seem possible. A Brooklyn Park, Minnesota man, Trevon X.M. Morris, 27, fled from officers in a vehicle one afternoon in Minneapolis last week and soon after smashed into a sedan driven by Jose Angel Madrid Salcido, 50, a husband and father of four. He was killed. His widow, Martha Perea, is obviously devastated, as are their children, as she wonders what will happen to them now that the family’s “sole breadwinner” is gone. It’s a tragedy, obviously. But certainly possible. So what’s not possible? That McMorris, with a criminal history that includes at least 10 convictions for driving without a license, another 10 for driving without insurance, five for speeding, three for drug possession and one for disorderly conduct, was a free man at all. Even more impossible: A month ago he pleaded guilty to fleeing Brooklyn Park police after they tried to stop him for speeding, and the judge presiding over the case, Jay Quam, allowed McMorris to avoid jail time because, according to a Star Tribune story, he seemed “particularly amenable to probation,” appeared remorseful and took responsibility for his actions, court documents indicate. He was ordered to spend 80 hours with a work crew, remain law-abiding, not possess firearms, and complete a driver’s education program. Judge Quam should be required to explain his judgment in this case.