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By The Staff

DOWN thumb ... OUT OF ORDER SIGNALIZATION. For more than a month, motorists have faced a four-way stop at the busy intersection of University and Grand. The reason? Someone ran into the control box for traffic lights, and the cost to repair it could be as high as $30,000. So the local Department of Transportation has converted the traffic lights to flashing lights and stop signs.

A four-way stop where even two-lane roads meet is cumbersome enough, but where the four lanes on Grand meet the four lanes-plus on University, it’s a hazard. The Department of Transportation has decided to wait until the proposed improvements to Grand begin before fixing the traffic lights. But with a projected completion date as late as 2011, that’s a long period of retrogression.

We say fix the traffic lights and make further adjustments when the beautification project is completed.

UP thumb .. TREMENDOUS TURNAROUND. Seldom has Wilson Complex bulged as it did Tuesday night, when the Highlands University Cowboys came oh-so-close to defeating a determined Colorado Christian College team.

In perhaps the most amazing turnaround in the nation, the Cowboys, under first-year coach Joe Harge, went 20-7 this season; last year, HU won only one game. We hope this remarkable success story carries on for years to come.

UP thumb ... DESERVED REJECTION. The bond issue increase request by Luna Community College was resoundingly defeated at the polls Tuesday, when 83 percent of the voters rejected the idea of another tax increase. And it’s no wonder, given the college president’s limited efforts to get it passed and at least one of the college’s trustees actually speaking out against it.

We agreed with the voters on this one; the proposal wasn’t worth passing. Maybe in the future our educational leadership will think twice about making such a request just because they can. Next time, don’t take the voters for granted.

DOWN thumb ... WHERE DID ALL THE WATER GO? Like everyone else, we’re enjoying this mild, warm weather we’re having, but we all know there’s a downside. Without some more moisture this winter — and, yes, believe it or not it’s still winter for a couple more weeks — we’re in for a parched spring and summer.

Here’s hoping for a last-minute snowfall to better prepare us for the coming months.

UP thumb ... WELCOME BACK, CHIEF. Bringing back Philip Mares as the city’s fire chief was a great move by the mayor and City Council. Mares, who retired two years ago, is a well-respected former chief, and we’re glad to see such a valuable individual returning to public service.

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“You caught me off guard. I’m new to this. I better be quiet.”

— Mora Independent School Superintendent Dora Romero, after changing her story on whether she knew about alleged sexual assaults at the high school.