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Sarah Stultz: Looking for good news? Progress is full of it

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

Last Monday, we concluded the work on this year’s Progress edition.

After at least three months of planning and hard work writing, photographing and selling advertisements to highlight area businesses, we are now eagerly awaiting Saturday when the section publishes for you, our readers.

Progress is undoubtedly our largest project of the year, and after a challenging year for everyone with the pandemic, I hope you can set aside a few moments this weekend to read about the many positive things that have happened in the last year and the people who are going out of their way to move the community forward.

I, personally, had the opportunity to interview some of the people who have been on the front lines at the COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites and have seen the dedication they have to their jobs and to serving the community. I interviewed success coaches, who play an integral part in helping students in the Albert Lea school district, and whose role was even more critical when students were learning from home this winter.

We talked to business owners who adapted their business models because of the pandemic and who have seen growth, and we talked to business leaders in the community who are continuing to move developments forward that will bring in new jobs and opportunities for the community.

There are people who continue to be dedicated volunteers, pastors who have shifted the way they minister to their congregations, and nonprofit organizations that are constantly looking to better their operations all in service to the community.

And that’s just the start.

As in past years, we travel to many of the small towns outside of Albert Lea to find the good happening in those communities as well, and we present our annual Citizen of the Year, which this year was actually a tie between two people.

For those who ask where the positive is in the community, I ask you to pick up this section. It only takes a few moments of flipping through the pages to see that despite the bad things that have happened all around us this last year, there has been much good.

If you are inspired by something or find something you want to be a part of, I encourage you to jump aboard one or several of the many efforts to move the community forward, and we can continue to make Albert Lea and the surrounding area even better in the coming year.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.