Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 9:37 pm Friday, August 30, 2019

To Freeborn County resident Judy Popp-Anderson.

Congratulations to Freeborn County’s Judy Popp-Anderson, who was named Minnesota’s 2019 Outstanding Female Senior Citizen of the Year Thursday at the Minnesota State Fair.

Whether it was as a social worker, alcohol and drug counselor, grief counselor or some other capacity, Popp-Anderson has helped countless people during some of the most challenging parts of their lives.

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We thank her for her dedication to the community and for all her service over the years.

Freeborn County has been lucky to have you all these years, and we are glad the entire state now can see what an impact you have made.


To the purchase of the Elks Lodge made official on Thursday.

We, like many others, were thrilled to hear news Thursday that the former Elks Lodge building had been purchased by a group of local attorneys with plans to redevelop it for two separate businesses.

The building, which has been an important part of Albert Lea’s history for many years, has been empty since 2009.

Plans call for renovating the building to house the Peterson, Kolker, Haedt & Benda law firm and a real estate development and financing firm owned by former attorney Richard N. Davies and family.

We wish the best to these companies in this new chapter and are excited to see the building put to use.

We also look forward to seeing the history of the building revived through this project and will be interested to see memories shared through the group’s Facebook page at “Albert Lea Improvement.”


To increased enrollment at Riverland Community College.

It’s always good to see students start a new year at Riverland Community College, whether at the school’s Albert Lea, Austin or Owatonna campuses.

Preliminary numbers show enrollment is up by between 3% and 5% from last fall between all three campuses this year.

According to school officials, enrollment in accounting, automotive service technology, business, business office and technology, electrician-construction, industrial maintenance and supervisory management on the Albert Lea campus are 3.6% higher this year than last at this same time of year.

We thank Riverland staff and leadership for the role they play in educating the next generation of the workforce, and we wish everyone a successful year.

We also look forward to seeing the start of a construction project at the college’s Albert Lea campus, which will relocate truck driving and collision programs from Austin to Albert Lea and to integrate the programs into shared spaces with auto service and diesel programs. Construction work is intended to begin in September, with a formal groundbreaking Sept. 24.


To continued growth of Albert Lea Seed.

Congratulations to Albert Lea Seed, which is seeing growth in more than one way with the construction of a new plant that will house a semi-automated seed cleaning and packaging system and the purchase of the former Fountain Industries building in the Jobs Industrial Park.

The third-generation, family-owned farm seed company broke ground for the new plant in the spring that will house a semi-automated seed cleaning and packaging system.

Plans include a new covered receiving building where growers will drop off seed and a separate building for the seed cleaning, which will separate desired farm seed from damaged seeds, weed seeds and debris.

The former Fountain Industries building will be used for storing packaged seed initially, and over time additional services may be added.

Thank you to Albert Lea Seed for your continued investment in Albert Lea.