Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 10:48 pm Friday, September 21, 2018

To efforts by the Albert Lea Veterans Affairs Clinic to raise awareness of suicide prevention.

Thanks to the Albert Lea VA Clinic, which hosted a walk outside Skyline Plaza on Wednesday, to bring a focus to suicide awareness and prevention.

The walk particularly emphasized the need to address veterans’ mental health issues.

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According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, approximately 18.5 percent of service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan deal with PTSD or depression, and 19.5 percent report having a traumatic brain injury during deployment.

The event raised awareness of resources available locally and encouraged people who may be battling with these types of issues to seek service.




To the Walk to End Alzheimer’s slated to take place Sunday.

The Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place in Albert Lea on Sunday, starting at Frank Hall Park. The event hopes to raise awareness and funds to fight Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The event is held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, according to the group’s website.

We hope local residents take time to participate in this effort. The event is for all ages.




To another round of severe weather.

Much of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa were under a threat for severe weather Thursday evening as heavy rain and wind moved into the area.

The storm system led to power outages in the Clarks Grove, New Richland and Hayward areas, along with a portion of Albert Lea. The steeple of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church fell on the church roof and side wall before collapsing to the ground in Easton. Fountain Lake and Albert Lea Lake are under no wake restrictions after recent rains increased water levels at least 1 foot. Scheduled drag boat races Saturday on Fountain Lake are canceled.

We hope this will be the last major storm of its kind for Minnesotans this year.




To news of possible missed opportunities to catch the kidnapper and killer of Jacob Wetterling only months after he went missing.

We are saddened to hear Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson said at a news conference Thursday that there were possible missed opportunities to sooner catch Danny Heinrich, 55, who confessed to killing 11-year-old Wetterling in 2016.

Wetterling went missing in October 1989.

According to Gudmundson, Heinrich was arrested at a bar in Roscoe in February 1990, only a few months after Wetterling was kidnapped, but FBI profilers at the time, who Gudmundson described as “inexperienced,” concluded Heinrich did not abduct Jacob.

The sheriff said there were about 20 things that pointed to Heinrich being the abductor.

News came as authorities released about 42,000 pages of files from investigators tied to the case.

We are interested to see now as journalists begin digging into these pages what exactly was the case. Though looking through the files will not change the outcome, we hope agencies can learn from how the case unfolded.