Take a look back at some of the memorable quotes of 2015

Published 9:00 am Sunday, January 3, 2016

Tribune news staff selected their favorite quotes from 2015.

Tribune news staff selected their favorite quotes from 2015.

Editor’s note: The news staff selected its favorite quotations from the past year and present them here for you to recall.


“There is a degree of healing that needs to be going on.” — Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag after being sworn in Jan. 5 at the Freeborn County Courthouse following a heated election between Freitag and former Sheriff Bob Kindler.

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“I want to move forward positively with the council, the employees in the organization and the community as a whole.” — Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams after a Jan. 5 vote by the Albert Lea City Council to issue a written reprimand against him after he reportedly violated the city’s respectful workplace policy.


“He’s been really amazing with his attitude. It’d be so easy for him to just give up, but he always has such a good attitude.” — Albert Lean Danielle Boss in February about her husband, Brett, who battled Ewing’s sarcoma.


“The funding shortfall will place an enormous burden on the taxpayers of the city of Albert Lea. We, the cities of Greater Minnesota, desperately need your assistance in closing the funding gap to provide safe corridors of commerce.” — Fifth Ward Albert Lea City Councilor Larry Anderson Feb. 27 during a public hearing in front of the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee about the need for increased transportation funding.


“Did I make a mistake? Of course I did. Maybe I should have lost my job over the matter, but to be charged and convicted of multiple felonies is beyond any sense of justice.” — Former Albert Lea City Manager Jim Norman in an article March 17 after a warrant was issued the week prior after Norman reportedly failed to appear for a probation violation hearing. He maintained his case had been an injustice, not only to himself but the taxpayers.


“Due to the council’s belief in Mr. Adams, the goals were set up for the removal of the written reprimand from his file. The goals have been met, and the reprimand has been removed from the file.” — Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr. April 13, about a written reprimand issued in January against Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams.

“If someone has high blood pressure or diabetes, they would go and have that treated. If someone has a broken leg, they should go and have it operated on. The same thing goes with your mood. You should take care of it.” — Sheeba Rahman, psychiatrist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea in the first in a three-part series about mental health in the Tribune on May 24.


“I got to the point I couldn’t go into the lunchroom without extreme anxiety. They describe it as butterflies in your stomach, but it never goes away.” — Albert Lean Ann Austin in the second in a three-part series about mental health on May 25.


“I didn’t want to be defined by the fact that we had been hit by a tornado, but it changed who we are.” — Beth Zeller in an article June 17 on the five-year anniversary of the June 17, 2010, tornadoes that struck Freeborn County. The Zellers’ home at 18681 650th Ave. was badly damaged.


“It’s not that I’m up for the rebel or the slavery part of it. It’s history. They’re trying to take this flag away. They’re basically trying to change the history and abolish it and get rid of it.” — Hartland resident Brian Nielsen after flying a Confederate flag on the back of the Hartland Fire Department truck during the Third of July Parade in Albert Lea.


“In years previous it would have been offensive, yes, but considering the current events that go along with the Confederate flag — whether you think it stands for that or not — makes it all the more shocking” — Albert Lea resident Amanda Lester after seeing the Confederate flag flying in Albert Lea’s Third of July Parade.


“We’re at a point overall in Greater Minnesota where it isn’t the lack of jobs. It is a lack of workers and where are we going to get them.” — Dan Dorman, executive director of the Greater Minnesota Partnership, in a July 30 article in the Tribune in what was the first article in a series called “Meeting the Workforce Challenge.”


“He was a very, very generous, very kind and welcoming man. He had a keen business mind, and he wanted the very best for his community. He demonstrated that by his involvement in the organizations in Albert Lea that he thought really helped the community.” — Mary Anne Wolesky, director of foundations and development for Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin, in an article on July 21 after the death of Albert Lea resident Claire Vermedahl.


“This just goes to show you that the school board can’t admit they’re wrong — that they can’t apologize for anything. They’re going to waste the taxpayers’ money instead of admitting they’re wrong.” — Rick Drescher, father of former USC student Alyssa Drescher, on Aug. 19, after the USC school district announced it would petition the Minnesota Supreme Court about the expulsion of Alyssa Drescher, who reportedly brought a pocket knife to school in 2014.


“It’s a great time to be here in Riverland. I am very happy that we are on the rebound.” — Riverland Community College President Adenuga Atewologun in an Oct. 15 article about the future of the college and the success the college has seen in the last year as it works to reconnect with the community and partner with businesses.


“We’re going to take some time and step back and review the ranking, and then we’ll go from there. It’s hard to say what direction we’re going to take.” — Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams Oct. 22 after finding out the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency opted not to award tax credits to redevelop the Freeborn National Bank building and Jacobson Apartments.


“You can’t replace him. He always did everything for you. He couldn’t say no.” — Albert Lean Darin Halstead in an article Dec. 20 about Cody Baseman, who died on Sept. 24 from a gunshot wound at 1510 Academy Ave.


“You have destroyed our trust in people and our surroundings. Not once have I seen you take responsibility for your actions, all you do is blame other people.” — Jeanette Hanson said after Tyrone Washington Jr. of Northwood was sentenced Oct. 30 in her daughter’s murder.


“Let’s be clear, seven investigations have already debunked all the conspiracy theories. It’s not about emails or servers, either. It’s about politics.” — Hillary Clinton, Democratic candidate for president, Aug. 14 in a speech at the 2015 Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake about investigations into the 2012 Benghazi attack.


“We’ve talked this over quite a bit and it’s something we need to move forward with. It’s the right thing to do to try to help us with our roads.” — Freeborn County District 1 Commissioner Glen Mathiason Aug. 18 in support of the half-cent sales tax to help repair county roads and bridges.


“If Dustin being charged prevents another family from this pain, another life saved, controlled substances from being sold, then Colton’s life has even greater meaning than all he gave to all of us. We need to remember the love, happiness, smiles, laughter, friendship and wisdom Colton brought to so many lives.” — Darlene Federly in a statement Aug. 27 of how the overdose death of her son, Colton Poplow, could serve as an important lesson to the community. Albert Lea resident Dustin Chenevert is charged with third-degree murder in Poplow’s death.

“We want to make sure we are doing the right things for students. If there is a set process we need to follow that, and that’s why we’re looking into this.” — Albert Lea Area Schools Superintendent Mike Funk on Oct.6, after the school announced it was investigating its 2015-16 National Honor Society applications.


“They want to destroy our right to negotiate a fair deal.”— Mayo Clinic Health System maintenance worker Gary Wichmann Nov. 16 during a Service Employees International Union Health Care Minnesota picket protesting the language in the union contract that would allow Mayo Clinic to change union benefits during the contract period.


“It ensures that all of our students get an education in a program that’s appropriate. This program provides them the same equal opportunities their general education setting peers have in a setting that’s appropriate.”— Albert Lea Special Services Director Sarah Kloeckl on Dec. 21 after the Albert Lea School Board approved moving forward with the Austin Public School District on a cooperative school to assist severe special-education students.


“We’re really appreciative of this award. We’ve received so much help from the community. Once you have cancer you understand the tough journey. Nobody should have to walk it alone.”— Charles Van Wey July 31 at the Freeborn County Relay for Life after winning the Regional Fight Back Through Advocacy Award.


“We always feel it. We’ve been there. We’ve been in that same situation.” — Chang Ruach, an Albert Lea resident, on the Syrian refugee crisis during a December interview with the Tribune. Ruach, a U.S. citizen since 2005, originally came to the U.S. in 1998 as a refugee from what is now South Sudan.


“Our papers were lost forever. We were literally trapped in Hitler’s hell.” — Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman on when the borders of Germany were closed during World War II, trapping her and her mother — who was Jewish, making Dittman half-Jewish — inside the country.


“After what I’ve seen, why should I live to be scared of what I die from? You can’t live that way.” — Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman in an April interview with the Tribune.


“I was born to an alcoholic father, a narcissistic mother and a pedophile. Those are my parents. I was destined for this.” — recovering methamphetamine addict Rochelle Kirsch in a September interview with the Tribune for its recovery series.


“I just always wanted more. I’m a firm believer that there’s just something in the brain of an addict that’s different. Something was missing, and I used drugs to try and fill that piece that was missing.” — recovering addict Ric Staloch in a September interview with the Tribune for its recovery series.


“Meth is nondiscriminatory. It doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, if you’re pretty or ugly, if you’re fat or thin, or smart or challenged. Meth will take ahold of you and it doesn’t care.” — recovering methamphetamine addict Jayne Stout in a September interview with the Tribune for its recovery series.


“I was just as much a part of it as he was. Only I was doing all my stuff sober, and he was doing his stuff drunk. … I learned I had to follow through.” — Joey Honsey, a widow of a recovered alcoholic, in a September interview with the Tribune for its recovery series.


“It made me the person I am today. It’s given me a profound respect for the law, no matter how screwed up it can be at times. … I own my mistakes and I know that made me a better man in the long run.” — James Shaman in February after finding out he was granted immigration relief and would be able to stay in the U.S. Shaman was born in Canada but grew up in the U.S., and a near-20-year-old misdemeanor almost got him kicked out of the country when immigration laws changed.


“When I look back on it now, it doesn’t seem as bad. So many more people have it way worse … I’m blessed that this wasn’t way worse than it could have been. It could’ve been so much worse.” — Albert Lea High School student Grace Andersen in January on her battle with leukemia.


“Does anyone remember that rumor that the world was gonna end in 2012? I was kind of hoping that would happen.” — Albert Lea Transitions Program alumnus Austin Carlson on his fears about facing adulthood during an interview in December.


“Being a recovering addict is hard work. I’m trying to be a better person today then I was yesterday ­every day.” — Matt Humphrey on one of the reasons he, along with girlfriend Jessica Anderson, chose to turn in cash they had found before Christmas.