Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 9:00 pm Friday, January 1, 2021

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To three longtime Freeborn County commissioners who have served for many years on the county board.

Thank you to outgoing Freeborn County commissioners Glen Mathiason, Jim Nelson and Mike Lee, who served in their last meetings this week after a combined total of more than 45 years in office.

Mathiason, who represented the 1st District, served 20 years; Nelson, who represented the 3rd District, served 16 years; and Lee, who represented the 5th District, served almost 10.

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We thank them for being willing to dedicate their time and energy to the county and wish them well in the future.

Thank you also to those who will step into their roles, for being willing to serve.

To the start of cleanup at the former warehouse destroyed by fire at the beginning of December.

We were impressed to see the cleanup begin at 601 W. Main St., the site of the large warehouse fire from the beginning of December.

The city announced last week it had received a court order allowing it to contract with a business for the work. After taking bids, the city signed a contract with Dulas Excavating for $40,000 for the cleanup.

The fire, which also damaged some nearby properties, was believed to have started with some human interaction, however, because of the extent of the damage, investigators cannot determine whether the fire was started accidentally or intentionally.

For that reason, the Albert Lea Fire Department previously stated the specific cause of the fire is undetermined.

We thank the city for acting swiftly in this case to get this debris cleaned up.

To the start of COVID-19 vaccinations at the Albert Lea nursing homes this week.

We were pleased to see the start of COVID-19 vaccinations this week at Good Samaritan Society and St. John’s Lutheran Community.

The first round of residents and employees received their vaccinations, and will receive their second vaccine at a later time in subsequent vaccine clinics.

Thank you to all those who set up the vaccinations at these facilities and who are in turn helping to protect some of our most vulnerable community members. Vaccinations at the other area care facilities will surely follow in the near future.

Health officials on Wednesday said doses are being allocated by the federal government in proportion to states’ populations due to limited supply of the vaccine nationally. The state is expected to receive 250,000 doses by the end of the week, and more will still be needed to have administered shots to all individuals in the first high-priority group.

As of a week ago, 38,284 people had gotten their first shot in Minnesota.

The state aims to complete the first phase of vaccination by the end of January.