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Shutting down fair was right call

Published: Friday, July 26, 2013 11:55 a.m. CDT

One of the benefits of hindsight, is the ability to look back and understand the ramifications of many “what if” questions. A “20/20 vision” should not, however, diminish in any way the decision Monday night to shut down the Jasper County Fair.

A long line of powerful storms, working along a cold front, swept down out of the north, dumping large-diameter hail and producing nearly hurricane-force winds along the way. Either condition alone could have spelled disaster for those exposed to the elements at the fairgrounds, and it could have ended in tragedy.

Instead, the Fair Board made the informed decision to shut things down and to send people home. The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office and Colfax Police Department then worked admirably to get the people out of the storm’s path in an orderly and efficient manner.

No, the storm was not as damaging or dangerous as it had been by the time it reached Colfax. But, when the safety of thousands of people is at stake, taking those threats lightly is not an option.

Those who made the decision should be commended for putting the safety of exhibitors, spectators and the livestock ahead of predetermined scheduling constraints. Everyone can agree it was absolutely the right call.

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The preceding constitutes the opinion of the Daily News Editorial Board. Readers may respond with letters to the editor sent to P.O. Box 967, Newton, IA 50208, or at newsroom@newtondailynews.com via email.

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