Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:30 pm Friday, April 12, 2019

To the slated resurfacing of westbound I-90 near Albert Lea.

We were pleased to see that the Minnesota Department of Transportation included the resurfacing of Interstate 90 from near Albert Lea to Freeborn County Road 46 in its list of projects slated for this summer.

Though the roadwork will surely mean some traffic headaches for the summer, we will all be grateful when it’s done.

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The other state project being done in our area is the reconstruction of Interstate 90 rest areas near Hayward and Oakland Woods.


To the return of winter.

Just when we thought spring was here to stay, Old Man Winter returned with a vengeance this week.

Though we didn’t get much snow, the wind and ice took a toll on hundreds of power poles and led to power outages for thousands.

Thanks to Freeborn County officials, who organized the opening of three shelters for residents without power, and for Ellendale United Methodist Church that also opened its doors to people in need. There were likely others, as well.


To the passage of the new hands-free cell phone bill.

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday signed legislation that requires Minnesota drivers to use hands-free devices while driving.

Up until this law, it has only been illegal to text while driving in Minnesota, but it was not illegal to type in a phone number or program a GPS system while behind the wheel.

Starting Aug. 1, that will now be illegal and only voice-activated cell phones will be allowed, along with one-touch or headsets.

Phones have become such a large distraction in our society, and we believe this will help reduce the number of crashes and deaths because of cell phone use. 

Though the penalty will be the same as the current texting while driving citation — $50 fine for the first violation and $275 fine for subsequent violations — there is another bill being considered that would raise the penalty.


To promoters of healthy living in Albert Lea.

Thanks to the organizers of the annual Tiger Trot and Fountain Lake 5 — two events that promote active living in the community.

The Tiger Trot, which benefits Southwest Middle School, is a 5k run or walk, and the Fountain Lake 5 is a 5-mile run or walk, sponsored by the Albert Lea Family Y.

We particularly like that these events raise money for good causes while also encouraging families to be active together.

We hope these events are a success this year and for many years to come.