A few not so random thoughts

By: 
Chuck Kajer, The New Prague Times

This week we are putting the finishing touches on our annual New Prague High School graduation section. Each year we work hard to include each member of the senior class, but invariably, some students choose not to participate. The Times has been producing this special section for 29 years, and I have been a part of 27 of these sections (not including the one that had my graduation picture). The first one I worked on was in 1991, when there were about 135 graduates. It has gone up every year since then, and this year we started with a list of 318 names. We couldn’t do this without the help of the staff at New Prague High School, without the cooperation of the students (and sometimes, the parents) and without the support of local advertisers.

One of my favorite parts is getting to interview several students that we highlight in articles in the section. We always do a short story on the student speaker for that year’s graduation ceremony, but for others, we try to focus not on the students who are involved in activities and whose name appears in the paper constantly, though we do get our share of those. We look for students who have interesting stories to tell, who have unique future plans, who have achieved at a high level, or who have overcome difficulty. It’s always interesting to look back at some of those stories and occasionally see how some of those graduates might have achieved their goals or found new ones along the way.

* * * * * Over the past six years, it’s been almost a tradition that we take the Minnesota legislature to task for their failure to come to a budget agreement that makes it necessary to hold a special session in order to keep government working. We had hoped that this year would be different, and in some ways it was, as legislative leaders and Gov. Tim Walz announced an agreement was reached for funding the government for the next two years. While it’s disappointing that they reached this agreement too late to pass the necessary bills before the end of the session Monday evening, this year’s deadline seemed different. Most everyone seemed in agreement that things would be ready for a one or two-day special session later in the week that would avoid an all-too familiar game of political chicken and the pain that a government shutdown would bring. While it would have been nice to have everything ready for a vote on Monday, at least there are signs of real progress.

Of course, nothing is official until everything is voted on by both chambers of the legislature and signed by the governor, so it is too early to celebrate. We’ve seen agreements blow up in the past and there are indications that a bonding bill that was part of the agreement might not have enough Republican votes in the house to pass. It’s anybody’s guess as to how this will eventually play out.

* * * * * The spring sports season is winding down. We have already started the post season in boys tennis, softball and adapted softball, with baseball starting Friday and golf and track and field section meets scheduled for next week. The new kids on the block, the boys and girls lacrosse teams, will not be competing in the postseason this year as they played a junior varsity schedule, but the teams will be moving up to the varsity level next year. The girls JV team completed their schedule Monday undefeated, including at least three games against varsity teams. The boys team has been competitive and won a few games, and their season is scheduled to conclude Thursday when they take on Lakeville South at home.

Check out our website or Facebook page for up-to-date information on the Trojans in the post-season.

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