Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 5:52 pm Friday, December 20, 2019

To Alden-Conger High School graduate Erica Bute.

Congratulations to Alden-Conger graduate Erica Bute, who was crowned the 2019 female Minnesota High School Athlete of the Year last week at an awards ceremony in Minneapolis.

Bute was honored at the ceremony with college athletes of the year, professional athletes and this year’s inductees into the Star Tribune’s Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame.

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Bute was a three-sport athlete in high school, competing in volleyball, basketball and softball. She was also a part of the Northern Lights volleyball team, which won the national championship at the Girls’ Junior National tournament.

Now a freshman at Augustana University, she plays on the Vikings’ volleyball team.

We wish Bute nothing but the best as she plays for the college, and we remind her that everyone back home will always be rooting for her.

To students involved in MAAP Stars at the Albert Lea Area Learning Center.

Hats off to the students at the Area Learning Center who are demonstrating leadership and community-mindedness thanks to a class implemented over the last few years.

MAAP Stars is a student organization that started through the Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs and encourages success, teamwork, achievement, recognition and self-esteem. It also helps the students take part in community service projects and experience career-related activities for making career decisions, among other initiatives, she said. The students then take what they’ve learned and worked on locally and present at the state level for a chance to win awards.

We were impressed to hear about the many projects the students have organized to better the community, and we encourage them to continue this giving heart into the future as well.

These students are learning valuable life lessons, and we applaud them for taking the effort to make a difference.

To the businesses that failed the Albert Lea Police Department’s recent alcohol compliance checks.

We were surprised to hear earlier this week that seven retailers failed the Albert Lea Police Department’s alcohol compliance checks conducted the week prior. Compliance checks are conducted annually to make certain that alcohol and tobacco licensed businesses are properly checking the ages of their customers, according to a press release.

Of the 33 licensed alcohol retailers, the following businesses failed checks: 112 on Broadway, A1 Liquor, Cheers Liquor, Eddie’s Bar, Elbow Room, Liquor Depot and Wedgewood Cove.

All 26 of the tobacco retailers checked for compliance passed the checks.

We commend the tobacco retailers for successfully passing the checks, and we encourage all businesses, particularly those that failed the alcohol sales checks, to take advantage of the Police Department’s training on this issue.