Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:25 pm Friday, December 6, 2019

To the Black Hawk helicopter that crashed Thursday during a routine maintenance test flight.

We were saddened with the rest of the state to hear word Thursday that a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in a farm field near St. Cloud, killing all three of its occupants, who were soldiers with the Minnesota National Guard.

Anytime a crash occurs, the results are devastating, and this one is particularly so, knowing that these three individuals were members of the National Guard who dedicated their lives to our state and country.

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The Guard lost contact with the helicopter shortly after it took off on a maintenance test flight from St. Cloud Thursday afternoon. The helicopter called mayday about nine minutes after takeoff.

Crews from multiple departments spent several hours searching before finding the crash.

As more information will likely surface in the coming days, our thoughts turn now to the families of these soldiers and to all those who are a part of the National Guard family. We thank you for your dedication and service and wish you peace in the aftermath of this tragedy.

To the announcement that Mayo Clinic is closing some of its facilities in southwest Minnesota.

It’s a story that is becoming all too familiar.

Mayo Clinic announced this week it is closing a hospital, ER and clinics in the city of Springfield, as well as clinics in nearby Lamberton on March 1, blaming a lack of patients and doctors. The health system in August announced it would close a clinic in La Crescent and in October announced it would close its clinic in Waukon, Iowa.

The Minnesota Hospital Association said in a statement that the Mayo closures reflect struggles of rural hospitals, which must reform to attract doctors and maintain high-quality medical care.

Whatever the case may be, we believe all residents deserve access to health care services, and we think something needs to be done to ensure that these patients and others, including in our own community, have this fulfilled.

To the Carter Christmas Lights Show.

Thanks to Mike and Freddy Carter for bringing their fun lights show to Albert Lea for a second year.

In addition to bringing holiday cheer, all donations from the show go to support a good cause.

The show this year is raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

We encourage people who haven’t seen it yet to check it out.

To a fire that damaged several garages Tuesday night at an apartment complex in Albert Lea.

With cold weather here, there has been a slight uptick in fires in the last few weeks. This week a fire believed to have started from a propane heater damaged multiple garages behind an apartment complex at 902 S. Fourth Ave.

We encourage residents to use caution when working around or using supplemental heating units and to not leave them unattended.