This is usually something we advise in the fall, but with school having been out for the Christmas and New Year's holidays, kids are headed back to school this week, crossing the street at places we might not normally expect them to cross, throwing balls (or snowballs, if they can find any snow) at each other and forcing each other out into the street and otherwise wreaking all kinds of havoc and fun.
So, of course, this means slowing down and looking carefully at those intersections and between parked cars in front of schools, especially during those critical times such as 8-8:30 a.m. or 3-3:30 p.m.
Parents, too, can be in a hurry as they drop off their kids, so also take care when you're driving past Demoney Elementary, the Estherville Lincoln Central Middle School or the schools in either Armstrong or Ringsted.
And be careful, too, of those roads. We've had unseasonably warm weather through most of the winter. So make sure you don't just go cruising along and all of a sudden hit a slick bridge.
Unfortunately, Michele Bachmann decided to drop out of the Republican Presidential race after Tuesday's Iowa Caucuses.
Bachmann had a message that resonated with a lot of Iowa voters. Her Iowa roots (transplanted just across the border into Minnesota) and the message she had of less government, being pro-business and having a strong military is something that's fundamental with many people living in the heartland.
Above all, Bachmann ran a class campaign that was positive and without the below-the-belt punches that we're already seeing from the other candidates.
We know Bachmann cares about towns like Estherville because she visited us twice. And THAT'S impressive.
We hope whichever candidate gets the Republican nod takes a good look at Bachmann for a key position in a GOP administration, whether it's as vice president, secretary of state or some other position. Bachmann's razor-sharp intellect could go far in making a better America and a better world. Her message also resonates with many people.
It's one from which we could all benefit.