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Cheers and Jeers

Cheer

McCain Foods, one of the nation’s largest french fry producers, dropped a bombshell this week when it announced a $200 million expansion at its Burley plant. The company will add 180 new direct jobs.

Perhaps even more impressive, the increased capabilities at McCain will require another 15,000 acres of potato production in Idaho.

Construction will begin this month, and the expansion should be up and running by the end of next summer.

The project is a huge win for Burley and the Magic Valley, especially for the Mini-Cassia region, which continues to add new jobs and construction at a steady clip.

We’re fortunate to have companies that continue to see the value in this region and its workers.

Jeer

National Bike Month is this May, and local cyclers plan to host a Ride of Silence on May 17. That deserves a cheer.

But the reason why the ride is needed deserves a jeer. Nearly a thousand cyclists are killed every year on American roadways. In many cases, it’s because motorists aren’t respecting cyclists’ rights to ride on roads.

The Ride of Silence aims to raise awareness that cyclists have legal rights to public roads and to honor the cyclists who have been killed or injured. Learn more about the ride at www.rideofsilence.org.

In the meantime, slow down this summer when you see a cyclist on the road and remember that’s another human being pumping the pedals.

Cheer

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Idaho Gives, the annual one-day statewide charity fundraiser, collected more than $1.2 million Thursday for non-profits across the state.

The program allows donors to earmark their givings for specific groups, so we were surprised to see the organization that collected the most money was Planned Parenthood, at $39,000 from 500 individual donors.

For years, Republican lawmakers have been scheming for ways to defund Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics provide abortions. Clearly, though, a good number of benevolent Idahoans support the group.

Regardless of your political leanings, Idaho Gives is a phenomenal program that does immeasurable good for the state. Thank you, if you took the time to donate on Thursday.

If not, it’s never too late to lend a hand. All the groups that participate in Idaho Gives are eager to take your donations any time of year.

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