Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:51 pm Friday, March 26, 2021

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To Albert Lea’s new VA Clinic.

Thank you to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the continued investment in the veterans from Freeborn County and the surrounding area with the new VA Clinic on East Main Street in Albert Lea.

Officials this week celebrated a ribbon-cutting at the site, and we were pleased to see the new facility where veterans will go to receive their health care services. The site is about 4,000 square feet larger than the previous clinic in Albert Lea and includes space for expanded telemedicine services.

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VA Clinic staff said the Albert Lea clinic serves 1,940 veterans and will employee 17 staff members. 

We thank the veterans who will utilize this space for their service and are glad they will be able to continue to receive this health care close to home rather than drive up to Minneapolis.

To a relatively early ice-out.

We cheered when we heard that this year’s ice-out date on Fountain Lake will be recorded as March 24.

According to Mark Malepsy, the official watcher of the lake, anytime the lake melts in March is considered early, and we hope that is a sign of a great spring and summer ahead.

The ice has melted as early as March 7 in 2000 and as late as April 27 in both 1951 and 2018.

The ice-out was one week prior to 2020. 

We enjoy this long-standing Albert Lea tradition of recording ice-out dates, which is the third oldest in the state.

To Albert Lea wrestlers Caleb Talamantes and Cameron Davis.

Congratulations to Albert Lea senior Caleb Talamantes and junior Cameron Davis, who traveled to St. Michael-Albertville High School Thursday for the state high school wrestling tournament. Talamantes came away with a fourth-place win, and Davis finished in fifth place.

Both athletes have shown continued dedication throughout the season and have much to be proud of.

In addition to their places at the state tournament, Talamantes finished the season with a record of 30-4 while Davis ended his season with a 35-2 record.

Though Talamantes will graduate this year, we look forward to seeing Davis’s continued growth next year in his senior year.

To the announcement that Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association has plans to expand fiber optic technology to all of Albert Lea.

It was big news to hear the CEO of Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association announce Monday during the Albert Lea City Council meeting that the cooperative has plans to bring its telephone, long distance, broadband internet and digital TV services to all of Albert Lea.

The cooperative has been in existence for over 70 years and serves 28 communities in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.

In addition to the quality that comes with fiber technology, the plans should bring increased competition to the city, which hopefully will mean better outcomes for local residents.

Thanks to WCTA for investing in the city, and we are excited to see how these plans play out.