Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 9:00 am Sunday, February 26, 2017

To increased graduation rates in the Albert Lea, Alden-Conger, Glenville-Emmons and NRHEG school districts.thumb.up

It was good news to hear Thursday that four of the school districts in the area saw increases in graduation rates over the last year, according to data released from the Minnesota Department of Education.

For the Albert Lea district, the rates increased slightly less than 1 percent. The rates are 9 percent higher than they were in 2012, and we hope they only continue to rise.

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A significant increase was seen for the Albert Lea Area Learning Center, specifically, where rates increased by about 10 percent.

Rates increased by 2 percent for Alden-Conger Public School District, nearly 30 percent for Glenville-Emmons School District and about 3 1/2 percent for NRHEG School District.

Congratulations to the teachers and administration at each of these area schools for the work done to guide more students to graduation.

To all of the donations and volunteer work done to complete the renovations for the New Richland Area Food Shelf.thumb.up

About two years after a major fundraising campaign began to renovate the former Hotel Washburn, at the intersection of Broadway Avenue and Division Street in New Richland, volunteers with the New Richland Area Food Shelf this week celebrated the opening of the food shelf at the building.

This has been a major project in coordination with the New Richland Area Historical Society, which is in the other half of the building. Kudos to the leaders of both organizations for accomplishing this task, and we hope the building will continue to service the people of the New Richland area for years to come.

To a bill that would create a state registry for firefighters with cancer.thumb.up

District 27A Rep. Peggy Bennett, R-Albert Lea, last week introduced a bill that would create a state registry for firefighters with cancer.

Under the legislation, the state commissioner of health would establish and maintain a voluntary patient registry to collect data on cancer cases among firefighters to monitor cancer rates and to collect information related to cancer trends among firefighters. The intent is to help gather information on cancer incidences among firefighters to improve safety precautions for them.

Firefighters have a higher chance of developing cancer than the general population because of their exposure to substances such as asbestos, lead, gases and fumes when responding to calls.

A federal bill that would create a cancer registry has also been introduced.

We hope both of these bills will find support and ultimately raise awareness of all that firefighters do for their communities. We owe it to them.