Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:50 pm Friday, April 29, 2022

To an uptick in catalytic converter thefts.

With the weather starting to get a little warmer, we’re noticing an increase in the number of catalytic converters being stolen again — both in the city of Albert Lea and Freeborn County. 

The thieves take the parts and try to recycle them for money. 

As in the past, we urge people to report any suspicious behavior you see to authorities and to take measures to protect your vehicles, such as parking in well-lit areas or a garage, installing cameras or motion-detection lights and even etching your license plate number onto your catalytic converter to make it identifiable to law enforcement.

The theft of a catalytic converter can be costly to the victim.

To some movement forward by both the city and county for the rail-to-trail project. 

We are pleased to see some steps being taken by both the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners and the Albert Lea City Council for the development of a public trail on the abandoned Union Pacific Railroad line that starts in Albert Lea and runs to Hartland. 

The county approved the purchase of the trail from the railroad company in 2014. 

Though the project is still in the early stages, we are happy both governmental bodies are making this a priority. It will be an asset for the county when complete and is sure to be an attraction for people both within the county and in neighboring communities. The city and county now have a joint powers agreement in place for the portion of the trail that runs through the city, and the county approved allowing a company to review what needs to be done to retrofit four bridges on the trail. The county board also approved a contract to clear brush and trails on the property to prevent further regrowth. 

Ultimately, we hope the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will jump on board to make this a state trail and contribute funding toward this project in the future.