Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 4:05 pm Saturday, April 16, 2016

Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To the jobs created under the JOBZ program.thumb.up

Albert Lea has much to be proud of when it comes to the Jobs Opportunity Building Zones program, which ended in December.

Through the statewide program, there have been 907 new jobs created in Albert Lea through seven companies.

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The participating businesses invested more than $62 million into the community.

When the program began in 2004, it had been only three years since Albert Lea lost the Farmland Foods plant in a fire. About 500 people lost their jobs when the company opted not to rebuild in the city.

Albert Lea can be proud that it not only replaced, but exceeded these jobs lost through the JOBZ program.

We hope state leaders will develop another program that will help make Greater Minnesota — and particularly border communities — more competitive to our neighbors in Iowa.


To distracted driving.thumb.down

In today’s day and age, people are connected 24/7 — be it through cellphone, iPad or some other electronic device.

Though everyone has a lot going on in their lives through work, family and other responsibilities, when we get into our vehicles to drive, all of that should be put on hold.

According to the Albert Lea Police Department, 328 people lost their lives and 1,138 people suffered life-changing injuries in distracted driving-related crashes from 2010 through 2014 in Minnesota.

Driver inattention or distraction was the No. 1 contributing factor in multiple vehicle crashes in 2014.

Texting while driving, posting on Facebook or looking up any other information on Google is against the law.

Let’s make this a priority not only during times of stepped-up law enforcement efforts, but always.


To the more than 500 scholarships given out through the Riverland Community College Foundation.thumb.up

In today’s newspaper, starting on Page A5 and continuing through Page A7, we printed the recipients of the more than 500 scholarships given out through a Riverland Community College Foundation awards banquet earlier this month.

We were impressed not only in the sheer number of scholarships given out, but in the total value of the scholarships, which was more than $540,000.

Congratulations to the hard-working students who are diligently working their way through school, and thank you to all of those people, companies and other organizations who are investing in this area’s future workforce.