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Editorial: Guard against CO poisoning

If you don't have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, it's time to get one.

A Detroit Lakes woman had a close call with carbon monoxide poisoning recently, and five people were injured, two critically, in a carbon monoxide leak at a Minneapolis apartment building on Tuesday.

Fire crews found dangerously high carbon monoxide levels throughout the building after residents complained of nausea and headaches.

The city's fire marshal said the leak came from a furnace that had not been checked or cleaned in preparation for the winter.

Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed within 10 feet of bedrooms. The device should have a plug-in detector with a battery back-up.

Any fuel-burning machine can be the source of carbon monoxide. Symptoms include a severe headache, nausea and severe fatigue.

Detectors should be replaced every five to seven years because they can lose their sensitivity over time.


Jeers to whoever is attempting to smear Jeff Backer, a Republican and the mayor of Browns Valley who is challenging incumbent Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, for the District 9 Senate seat.

Somebody has been posting images in Browns Valley that show a picture of Backer with an image of Hitler against the background of a swastika.

The posters started showing up Friday, stapled to telephone poles near the city's library and school. Nine were found over the weekend, but Backer said at least five more showed up Monday.

In the latest posters, pictures of Backer have Hitler mustaches drawn on them. One of the posters was duct-taped to a street sign, according to a story in the Forum newspaper.

Both Backer and Langseth are mystified about who is behind the posters, but one thing's for sure: There's already more heat than light in politics, and it's sad to see anybody stoop to this level.


Cheers to emergency responders for all the work that goes into their annual disaster drill.

Becker County fire, rescue law enforcement and medical personnel practiced their response to a major weather event in the Wolf Lake area last week.

With participation from 21 agencies and over 150 volunteers, the drill involved departments from Wolf Lake, Park Rapids, Menahga, Lake Park, Frazee, Elbow Lake-Tulaby, Carsonville, Audubon and the Becker County Sheriffs Office Mounted Posse.

Three helicopters also took part -- from the State Patrol, Sanford Health, and North Memorial, along with EMS crews from St. Mary's, Perham, and North Memorial.

Sometimes the drills pay off sooner than you'd think, as in the case of Mahnomen County -- which held a railroad derailment drill last week and handled a real derailment on Monday.