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A report released last week demonstrates some of the potential human costs of widespread delays at medical facilities run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

An inspection requested by Montana’s U.S. senators found that four of the state’s military veterans may have been harmed by long wait times in getting appointments or receiving medical services in 2015, according to an Associated Press report.

One of them was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts while awaiting an appointment with a psychiatrist, one was not able to have surgery on a suspicious lesion before it was too late, one may have missed out on certain cancer treatment options because of the delays, and one survived a heart attack while waiting to have a medical procedure done on his heart.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said VA Secretary David Shulkin assured him that addressing the issues in the report will be a priority.

We certainly hope he’s right, because our veterans may not be able to wait much longer.

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Behind every great student is a great teacher. And we were pleased to see many of those great students and teachers from the Helena area recognized this week.

Each year, the Helena Education Foundation names 50 graduating seniors as distinguished students for their academic achievements, leadership or triumph over adversity. Those students then select the public school teachers who did the most to make that happen.

We published the names of all 100 distinguished students and educators this week, and they will all be honored during the HEF Celebration of Excellence on May 8.

We want to take this opportunity to congratulate the honorees for this great honor. We are proud to call them our friends and neighbors.

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