IT’S A WELCOME relief that we are gaining control of the Covid-19 virus through safe practices and vaccinations. 

More businesses are opening and finally we can go to restaurants without as much fear.

Practicing good health is always in order. We are still short of the herd immunity percentage level of 70%, but we are gaining.

Continue good practices and little by little we will learn more about how this virus  has hit the human population around the world.

MANY STUDENTS HAVE been caught short during this unusual year of online classrooms. Our states are recognizing the need for summer school and are providing funds. Take advantage and help your student catch up where they may be short.

GRADUATION IS A time to celebrate achievements. Whether it be high school, college or postgraduate degrees, they provide new beginnings and challenges. Plan your future carefully, never stop your education process and enjoy the challenges of a society that is moving forward in technology at a faster and faster pace.

I’M AN IMPATIENT person, my family reminds me. What I have come to learn over these past 85 years is you can’t expect instant results. Success lags.

With this in mind, the cost of bad habits reflects in one’s future. Good habits result in future rewards. It’s a tough lesson and life goes by all too quickly.

TIP FOR PEOPLE doing the hiring for a job: recruit and hire those who you can coach.

WE’RE SEEING SIGNS of inflation with postage going up by 9% on Aug. 29 for periodicals like newspapers. First class stamps will go from 55 cents to 58 cents.

Food prices, as I’m sure you have noticed, are the highest in a decade. Gasoline prices are up over $1.00/gallon compared to a year ago. Some of that should settle, but we do have more cars back on the road this summer after the Covid-19 shutdown.

With more and more cars becoming electric, gasoline taxes will be reduced for state governments. People living in condos will have the individual expense or assessment as power is made available in their respective garages for charging purposes. 

ON JULY 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks, and backyard barbeques across the country. 

Chances are the hot dogs and pork sausages on the grill originated in Iowa, home to farmers who raise millions of hogs every year.

The fireworks industry has had unprecedented growth over the past decade. For example, display fireworks revenue in 2020 was $93 million, down because of Covid-19, compared to 2019 at $375 million in revenue. Consumer fireworks revenue in 2020 was $1.9 billion compared to $1 billion in 2019. In the U.S., Missouri is the state that spends the most on fireworks and Nebraska and Kansas take second and third.

Last year the U.S. imported about $279,996,624 worth of fireworks, with nearly all of it from China.

Total imports for Minnesota were $484,924, or only nine cents per capita.

JUNE 20 IS just around the corner and that is our Summer Solstice or the first day of summer. The reality comes with it that it’s the longest day of the year and then the days begin to get shorter. This year the solstice occurs on Father’s Day.

Treat the dads well and enjoy the Fourth, but be safe. We don’t want to lose any of our newspaper readers.


Gene Johnson is publisher emeritus of Press Publications.

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