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Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To new economic development projects.

Too often we hear that nothing is happening in Albert Lea, but if you listened to the 76th annual Greater Jobs meeting this week, it is clear that is far from the truth.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Albert Lea area is seeing several new developments starting, which will transform portions of the community.

New projects to start this year include apartment complexes on both the Blazing Star Landing and at the former Marketplace Foods, along with the construction of the new Vortex Cold Storage facility, which is expected to bring 26 new jobs.

That’s on top of other projects already in the works, including the new MercyOne clinic, the new Freeborn-Mower Cooperatives Services headquarters, the new Veterans Affairs clinic, the new Riverland Community College transportation and trades center and the new Rihm Kenworth building. There have also been the opening of The Funky Zebras boutique and EJ’s Mercantile downtown.           

Congratulations to the staff of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency and the partners of the agency for their hard work and dedication.

Could Albert Lea improve to bring in more businesses? Sure, there can always be room for improvement, but it’s clear local leaders have been working diligently on this effort. We thank them for their work on the community’s behalf.

All of the work happening at the museum.

When we went to the Freeborn County Historical Museum this week for an interview, we were pleased to see all of the exhibits that had been reinterpreted during the various COVID-19 shutdowns.

The reinterpretation has brought new life to these historical artifacts and hopefully will help capture the interest of patrons to the museum.

We were also impressed to see all of the interactive components throughout the museum that are being in put in place to try to connect with museum visitors in a different way, as well.

Hats off to the museum staff and volunteers who made these projects a reality. We are lucky to have such a vibrant museum to showcase the history of our county.

To increases in people planning to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

On the Tribune’s website this last week, we have posted a question about whether people plan to be vaccinated in our poll.

We posted the same question back in mid-September, and at that time, 34% said they were planning to get the vaccine, while about 47% said they were not and about 19% said they were not sure.

In the poll this past week, almost 58% said they planned to get the vaccine, while 27% said they didn’t plan on it, about 7% said they had already received the first dose and about 7% said they were not sure.

The vaccinations have gone through clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people, and we hope that people who haven’t made up their minds will consider the benefits.