On the way to finding solutions

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

In most years, the flow of news during the holiday season slows to a trickle. But that is not true this year due to a series of developments on the local and regional scene.

In the first days of the week leading up to Christmas, citizens in the Golden Plains learned that: (1) Deep well injection is the preferred way to dispose of waste from McCook's proposed water treatment plant; (2) A jail study for Red Willow County has been ordered at a cost of close to $30,000; and (3) Students from McCook and most area schools were rated "exemplary" or "very good" for mathematics and reading under the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Taken together, the recent news developments set the stage for a more positive approach to problem-solving in the year to come. The past few years have been controversial ones, filled with debate over difficult issues, most especially what to do about water.

It is good to see that the county commissioners are moving forward on the jail question. Until there's a new study, we won't know for sure whether a county jail is financially feasible. One of the principals in the firm doing the study, Allied Correctional Services, is Mark Martin. Mark is well-known in this area as he is a native of Benkelman. Another thing in Martin's favor is that he helped formulate Nebraska's jail standards.

Lastly, hats off to 4th, 8th and 11th grade students and their teachers for their performance on the math and reading tests. Of particular note is the 100 percent rating for McCook's 8th grade girls in math. That's as good as can be done. No grouping anywhere did any better. The girls deserve special commendation.

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