Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:50 pm Friday, February 3, 2023

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To people stepping up to help fill gaps in rides for people without transportation.

Thank you to the LuVerne and Wendy Bock, who are expanding their company Vern’s Ride Services, as well as new Uber drivers Tim Tappe and Marc Rasmussen, who are responding to the need for more transportation options after the recent closure of Albert Lea Taxi.

The Bocks had already been in business when the taxi company closed and have decided to add on additional vehicles because of the need.

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Tappe and Rasmussen joined Uber in addition to their full-time jobs to help out.

We encourage people to utilize the services as they are available, particularly if you plan on a night out with alcoholic beverages instead of drinking and driving.

Senior Resources and SMART Transit also remain in the community and will accommodate riders as well.

We were reminded this week that in addition to providing rides for seniors, Senior Resources also provides rides for younger (or older) riders for medical or mental health visits as long as the rider is not wheelchair bound.

To Lake Mills girls basketball player Taylor Vanek.

Congratulations to Taylor Vanek of the Lake Mills girls basketball team, who this week set two school records — one for assists and one for steals.

Vanek, as of Tuesday, has had at least 101 assists and 71 steals.

Kudos to all your hard work and the success you’ve seen as a result.

To Gov. Tim Walz signing Juneteenth into law as a state holiday.

We applaud the Minnesota House of Representatives, Senate and Gov. Tim Walz for the passage of a law this week making Juneteenth an official state holiday.

Juneteenth commemorates the day slavery was outlawed in Texas on June 19, 1865. It has been celebrated by Black Americans for decades because it marks the day that the final enslaved African Americans learned they were free.

According to an Associated Press article about the passage of the law, the lawmakers who carried the legislation hope honoring the date as a state holiday will help Minnesotans remember the country’s history and move toward equality.

A bill to recognize Juneteenth was first introduced in the Minnesota House by the late Rep. Richard Jefferson in 1996.

It passed with a clear majority, 126-1 in the House and 57-8 in the Senate.

Minnesota is now the 26th state to approve the holiday.

To Freeborn County Public Health’s new effort to reach out to members of the Karen community through a community health worker.

We were pleased to hear Freeborn County Public Health has hired a new community health worker to reach out to members of the Karen community living in the county. The role is designed to help build relationships with these individuals, help them with health care situations and help them learn how to live as well as possible in the community.

The Albert Lea school district has had great success in adding individuals to reach out to the Karen residents in the schools, and we hope this effort will be just as successful.