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Softball hotbed

THUMBS UP: Congratulations to the New Ulm High School and Cathedral High School softball teams. On Thursday, both teams won their section championships and are heading to the Minnesota State High School League Softball Tournament next week.

It says a lot about the quality of the players and the coaching staffs that two schools in one city, working with the same talent pool, are both heading to state. Good luck to the Eagles and the Greyhounds.

Congratulations as well to Kelton Schmitz and Corinne McKeeth of the NUHS Golf Team, who earned trips to the state tournament as well.

Need for roads

THUMBS UP: Senator Amy Klobuchar visited New Ulm this week with Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle, as part of a Highway 14 tour. Klobuchar said she sees the need for expanding the highway to four lanes, and will be looking at some ways to funnel more federal money toward the project.

While the Congress no longer uses “earmarks” to focus dollars on specific projects, the needs of Highway 14 and hundreds of road projects like it across the country pose a challenge to Congress. How can this nation find the funding for billions in infrastructure needs?

We’re glad Klobuchar is interested in the problem, and willing to work on it.

Shinseki resigns

THUMBS UP: A preliminary inspector general’s report this week contained nothing in the way of good news for the Veterans Adminstration and embattled VA?Secretary Eric Shinseki. In the face of the report, and eroding support in Congress, Shinseki resigned Friday, clearing the way for a new leader who will tackle the problems that have been plaguing the VA.

At the Phoenix veterans hospital, about 1,700 veterans in need of care were “at risk of being lost or forgotten,” kept off the official aapointment waiting list as the administrators continued to report everyone was being seen within at least 24 days. In reality, those on the waiting list were waiting 115 days on average.

The problems in Phoenix appear to be systemic, the report said, with improper scheduling practices throughout the nation’s VA hospitals and clinics.

It is now up to Congress and the administration to investigate what is wrong with system, and put someone in place who will get it fixed.

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