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Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To Albert Lea being named a Bicycle Friendly Community.

Congratulations to all who played a part in helping Albert Lea be recognized this week as a Bicycle Friendly Community by The League of American Bicyclists.

The award recognizes Albert Lea for its commitment to creating transportation and recreational resources that benefit residents of all ages and abilities while encouraging healthier and more sustainable transportation choices, according to a press release.

The city was one of 53 new and renewing awardees across the nation. More than 850 communities have applied for recognition by the program, and there are currently 488 Bicycle Friendly Communities in the country.

We hope this designation can be an attraction to people outside the community and create more opportunities in the future for bicyclists here.

 

To the reopening of Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea’s Express Care this week.

A newly renovated Express Care inside Hy-Vee opened its doors to patients again this week after being closed for about two months for construction.

The clinic now includes two full exam rooms, a waiting room, a bathroom and lab space, along with stations for both a provider and a nurse.

The expanded exam rooms will accommodate more patients. This is a positive addition for busy parents and others who are looking for quick, easy-to-use care.

 

To counties across the state being asked to pay for mishaps on the state level.

We were disappointed to hear news this week that counties across the state are being asked to pay for a share of the state’s use of federal Medicaid funds to pay for substance use disorder treatment for patients in institutes of mental disease settings.

The state, which reportedly did this for more than five years, is required to reimburse the federal government for their share of those payments. As a result, the state Department of Human Services stated this week it underestimated the county share for these payments and is now seeking to collect additional money from counties.

In south-central Minnesota, this ranged from $17,000 in Waseca County, to $78,000 in Freeborn County and $128,000 in Steele County.

This money will put a strain on already challenged budgets, which will ultimately affect local taxpayers.