Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 10:56 pm Friday, August 3, 2018

To all of the people who helped organize, work or volunteer at the Freeborn County Fair.

Whether you who helped organize the entertainment, judged a contest, helped people park, sold food or anything in between, we thank you for another successful week at the Freeborn County Fair.

The fair is one of the area’s highlights of the summer — and the year — and we recognize that a lot of hard work goes into making it a reality.

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We thank you for your hours of dedication.


To this year’s Outstanding Senior Citizens.

Congratulations to Imogene Opdahl and Dave Mullenbach, who were recognized as Outstanding Senior Citizens on Wednesday during a ceremony at the Freeborn County Fair.

The award is presented by the Minnesota State Fair, Minnesota State Fair Foundation and the Minnesota Federation of County Fairs to recognize those who demonstrate the spirit of volunteerism and service on behalf of their community.

Opdahl has volunteered for blood drives, supervised the fair’s 4-H non-livestock building, serves on Emmons Lutheran Church’s parish council, volunteers at the Emmons library, is past mayor of Emmons and leads a Freeborn County Crisis Response team.

Mullenbach is a veteran and former Albert Lea American Legion Post 56 commander, past president of Daybreakers Kiwanis, former volunteer for the Albert Lea Township Fire Department, does maintenance at Freeborn County Historical Museum; is president of the wrestling, volleyball, softball and baseball associations; serves on St. Theodore Catholic Church’s financial council and volunteers with Shinefest, in addition to further commitments in the community.

We thank both Opdahl and Mullenbach for their dedication to Albert Lea.


To Alden’s Paul Jensen.

Congratulations to Paul Jensen, who is preparing to retire after 30 years with the U.S. Navy and is being awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for Heroism during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., this fall. The award is being given for his rescue response after a helicopter crash in Hawaii in 2016.

We thank Jensen for his service and for his dedication to the area and the nation.


To a longer than expected search for a new executive director for the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency.

We were disappointed to hear that the local search for a new Albert Lea Economic Development Agency executive director did not end well.

Out of the three candidates interviewed in person for the job, one candidate reportedly declined a job offer after he received a counter-offer from his current employer, a second candidate did not pass a background check and the ALEDA board declined to move forward with the third candidate.

The Albert Lea Port Authority voted this week to hire a search firm to help in the search, which we hope will bring better results.

This position is an important one for the community, and we hope someone can be found who is a good fit.