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Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To the Lake Mills wrestling team.

Congratulations to the Lake Mills wrestling team, which competed at their sixth consecutive state dual tournament this week and finished in fifth place.

This is the fifth year in a row for the team to have a top-five finish, and this speaks to their talent and their coaches.

Hats off also to the five wrestlers from Lake Mills and one from Northwood-Kensett who competed as individuals in the Class 1A session of the tournament.

We know the athletes have worked hard this season.

To Albert Lea’s Casa Zamora.

Hats off to Albert Lea’s Casa Zamora, which was
featured in an article in the Tribune on Wednesday, and which has seen success as it shifted its business model during the pandemic.

The Zamora family is deeply rooted in the community, and we admire that they were able to come up with a way to adapt their restaurant because of the pandemic — and, in turn, achieve their goal of keeping their family, their employees and their customers healthy and safe.

It’s no wonder restaurants like that have been around a long time as they always have their customers top-of-mind.

Casa Zamora isn’t the only business in the community that has shifted its operations during the pandemic.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of our Progress edition, which publishes next weekend, to read stories about other business owners who have made similar changes and who have also seen success. We have a lot of community-minded, resilient people in Albert Lea, and it’s fun to see.

To the possibility of closing the driving test exam station in Freeborn County.

Information began circulating this week that the state Driver and Vehicle Services Divison is considering what to do about the driving test exam station in Freeborn County.

Though no decisions have been made yet, there is a possibility it will permanently close, and residents would have to drive to Mankato or Austin to take their road driving tests. The exam station has been closed since March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the exam station did close, residents would still be able to renew licenses, IDs and permits and complete Department of Natural Resources transactions.

Though we recognize the state is looking at how to serve people as efficiently as possible, this would bring a hardship to the people of Freeborn County to drive 20 miles to Austin or even more than 50 miles to Mankato to obtain this service.

Having new drivers conduct road tests in communities they are not familiar with would also be a disadvantage.

We encourage people to share their thoughts on the issue with Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington  at John.M.Harrington@state.mn.us or DVS Director Emma Corie at Emma.Corrie@state.mn.us.

To the temperatures on the seven-day forecast.

After the dangerously cold temperatures of recent weeks, it’s sure to feel like a heat wave on Monday and Tuesday when the temperatures are expected to reach 38 degrees and then sun will be out and shining.

We’re hoping it will be enough to do some melting, though it will likely not melt all the snow on the ground yet.

We encourage you to get out and about if you haven’t been out much in the last few weeks and get some fresh air. Go for a walk or a car ride, or take part in one of the many outdoor recreational opportunities available in Albert Lea. For Minnesota during the winter, temperatures in the upper 30s in February don’t come around very often, so enjoy them while you can.

Though it’s too soon to say whether winter is on its way out for the year, let’s take advantage of the time we have.

Hang in there friends, remember we’re almost through February and that means we’re moving into March and ultimately closer to springtime.