Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 10:47 pm Friday, September 7, 2018

To progress being made on the dredging of Fountain Lake.

As of this week, about 196,000 cubic yards of sediment had been dredged from the lake, which is about one-third of the total goal for the first phase of the project.

Dredging will continue through November of this year, with the last day dependent on when the ice arrives for the winter.

The Shell Rock River Watershed District hops to remove 617,000 cubic yards of sediment in total during the first phase of the project.

We look forward to seeing more of this project completed.


To the Freeborn County board of commissioners’ purchase of body cameras for the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office.

Kudos to the board for unanimously approving the purchase of body cameras for Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies and deputies serving in the jail.

This includes 22 cameras in total, along with transfer stations for downloading the video.

We think these cameras will be a good addition around and will not only protect law enforcement but the public as well.

They should also help prosecutors better present cases in court.


To two reports of armed robberies in the past week.

It often rattles the community to hear about armed robberies — let alone two in the same week.

That’s just what has happened this week with armed robberies reported at both AmericInn in Albert Lea and the Gopher Stop in Clarks Grove.

In the first instance, the suspect reportedly fled the hotel with an undisclosed amount of cash.

In the second instance, the suspect did not leave with any money before he fled from the store.

Though no arrests have been made, Albert Lea police and Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office deputies continue to investigate both instances.

Anyone with information about either of these crimes is encouraged to call authorities.


To no improvement statewide in math and reading testing scores.

Statewide test results were released Aug. 31, showing reading scores remained flat across the state for the third year despite efforts to boost test scores and reduce disparities between student groups.

According to the scores, 60 percent of students met the state’s proficiency standards in the 2017-18 year. Math scores declined from 59 percent to 57 percent of students meeting state standards.

Locally, the Albert Lea school district also saw need for improvement. The district’s proficiency in math MCAs dropped from 51 percent to 48.1 percent from 2017 to 2018, and in reading, the district performance was close to static, losing less than a percentage between 2017 and 2018 with 51.6 percent proficiency.

Looking to the future, Superintendent Mike Funk said the district aims for more consistency in curriculum implementation. For English language learners, the district also plans to have small guided study halls at the high school and add more instruction from a reading teacher at Southwest Middle School.

We hope these changes help improve learning — and ultimately, the test scores.