Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:50 pm Friday, February 18, 2022

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To the Albert Lea girls hockey team and coaches.

Congratulations to the Albert Lea girls hockey team and coaches, who on Thursday night made history when they won the Section 1A title and advanced to play in the Minnesota State Girls Hockey Tournament next week.

This will be the first time in program history for the Albert Lea girls’ team (14-10-1 overall) to play at the state tournament.

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We recognize the hard work the team has exhibited this season, and we wish them nothing but success. Remember, you will have many back home rooting for you.

To Myre-Big Island State Park.

Albert Leans have a major gem right in our own backyard in Myre-Big Island State Park.

The park is open year-round, but on Saturday people can get in for free as part of a free park day offered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at 75 state parks and recreation areas.

The free park day is one of four days each year the DNR waives the entrance fee for people to get in, all in hopes of getting more people out to the parks to enjoy nature.

The DNR states research shows that spending time outdoors in nature provides multiple health and wellness benefits.

We encourage people to take advantage of the opportunity. The other free park days this year are April 23, June 11 and Nov. 25.

Albert Lea’s Myre-Big Island State Park ranked as the eighth top tourist attraction in 2017 in southern Minnesota, according to Explore Minnesota.

To those who contributed to the Salvation Army’s Christmas campaign.

Congratulations to the Albert Lea Salvation Army, whose leader said this week the nonprofit had surpassed its annual Christmas campaign goal.

The goal was set at $199,000, and the campaign raised $209,000.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered to ring bells and collect donations, as well as those who helped match funds.

The funds go to support the Salvation Army in various causes throughout the school year, including supporting the food pantry, daily lunches and other emergency social services.

To Albert Lea Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Laskowske.

Congratulations to Albert Lea Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Laskwowske, who this week was named the 2022 recipient of the Rose Olmsted Advocacy Award.

Laskowske has been an asset to Albert Lea since he arrived, helping usher in the city’s new fire station, helping organize better procedures for firefighters to clean after fires, starting the clay target, trap, skeet and five stand teams at the high school, and volunteering at his church, among other accomplishments.

The award is named after Rose Olmsted, who worked for 38 years with Freeborn County, providing advocacy on a county, state and national level for victims of child abuse, sexual assault, crime, domestic violence and their loved ones. The first award in her name was given in 2015.