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Record Editorial: Cheers to DLHS and jeers to gov's 'bully pulpit'

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Record Editorial: Cheers to DLHS and jeers to gov's 'bully pulpit'
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Jeers to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty for his recent "cheap shots" line that even he admits crossed the line.

Pawlenty, a Republican, was asked by a radio show caller recently to explain why he had his top adviser tell House Majority Leader Tony Sertich "cheap shots are cheap, but they're not free."

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Pawlenty says he was bothered that Sertich criticized his involvement in state affairs. But the governor insists there was no retaliatory threat made against the DFL leader's bonding bill projects, which were vetoed.

Politics is a tough game, but Pawlenty did indeed cross the line on this one. He needs to grow a thicker skin and use his veto powers for the good of the state, not to bully DFL lawmakers who should be able to speak freely.

***

Cheers to students and staff at Detroit Lakes High school, who have gone the extra mile to support a staff member who has long battled cancer.

On Thursday morning, about 400 students paid $1 or more apiece to watch ninth-grader Andy Schupp get his head shaved for a good cause.

The money will go to benefit Janell Girodat, a counselor at the high school who was diagnosed with cancer seven years ago and has struggled through a wide variety of cancer treatments.

***

Jeers to MeritCare's decision to ban free drug samples from its clinics and hospitals starting May 1.

Those samples can really help ease the cost of prescription medications, especially the newer ones that have no generic equivalent yet.

We know, we know -- patients who have no insurance or who can't afford medications without the samples will be referred to the Prescription Assistance Program in Fargo.

That's not going to help those who don't qualify for the program, but could still use a break on high prescription costs once in a while.

***

On the other hand, cheers to the public relations staff at MeritCare hospital in Fargo.

They are the best around when it comes to helping reporters get the information they need in a timely manner.

They are unfailingly friendly, helpful and understand the meaning of a media deadline.

They always return calls -- the same day -- usually in a few hours, whether a reporter originally talked to them in person or just left a message.

They understand the law, know what information they can and cannot legally release, and work well with patients' families to get the word out to a concerned community.

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