Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:50 pm Friday, January 15, 2021

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To Arcadian Bank.

Thank you to Arcadian Bank, formerly known as Farmers State Bank, who this week said thank you to all Mayo Clinic Health system employees in Albert Lea with food vouchers purchased from local restaurants.

The bank purchased 800 meal vouchers from eight area restaurants and has plans to purchase and deliver 600 more to other area health care professionals in the coming weeks at nursing homes, the county public health department, hospice and others.

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We thank them for their generosity and also for providing a boost to local restaurants in turn. These businesses have had a challenging year, so any extra support they can receive is greatly appreciated.

The effort is a benefit to all parties involved.

To a bill introduced this week that would increase penalties for anyone who attempts to kill an

Sen. John Jasinski (R-24) and Rep. John Petersburg (R-24A) this week authored a bill that would require a person convicted of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer to serve a minimum of 30 years in prison. The bill also applies to anyone who attempts to kill a judge, prosecutor or correctional officer.

Waseca Police Officer Arik Matson, who was shot in the head a year ago while responding to a call of a suspicious person, spoke at the press conference announcing the bill with his wife, Megan.

Currently under Minnesota law, the maximum penalty for first-degree attempted murder of a police officer is 20 years in prison, and offenders can be released from prison after serving two-thirds of their sentence.

In addition to the increased penalty, the new bill would take away the option that perpetrators be released after serving two-thirds of their time.

We think this bill is a step in the right direction, as law enforcement officers put their lives on the line each day they go to work. We would also support harsher penalties for attempted murder of other non-law enforcement individuals as well. Minnesota has many criminal penalties that are much less severe than neighboring states.

To the uncertainty regarding the rollout of coronavirus vaccines across the nation.

Governors from several states are criticizing the federal government for uncertainty over whether states will receive increased shipments of COVID-19 vaccines.

In Minnesota as of Friday, about 2.9% of the state’s population — or 162,040 people — had received a first dose of the vaccine and 24,745 people have had both shots.

Whatever the case is happening, we agree that the vaccination rollout should occur quicker, as some of the most at-risk members of our society are still waiting to receive their vaccines.

We hope this will be able to be streamlined in the coming weeks and that people on all levels of government will work together so that our state and nation’s elderly population will soon be able to receive the vaccine.

Data shows that individuals in this age group are most likely to suffer more severe consequences if they contract the virus.

The sooner they can receive the vaccines, the better.