Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:51 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

To the Good Samaritans who helped rescue a man from Fountain Lake.

Thank you to the individuals who were in a boat on Fountain Lake Wednesday, heard a pickup crash into the lake and ultimately helped the driver to safety.

Police stated the driver, an 85-year-old Blue Earth man, was westbound on Harriet Lane Wednesday morning when he reportedly drove into the front yard of 525 Harriet Lane, struck a retaining wall, traveled over a second retaining wall and entered the lake.

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Two people were in a boat on the lake nearby and heard the crash and then quickly responded. One was able to remove the driver from the pickup, which was about 30 feet from the shore, and bring him to a nearby dock.

It is unclear what would have happened if these individuals would not have been nearby and taken action.

We were glad to hear that the driver was not injured. Though the truck was likely a total loss and part of the retaining wall was damaged, it could have been much worse.

To the Tiger spirit in Albert Lea this week.

The Tiger spirit has been alive and well in Albert Lea this week as the school has celebrated homecoming week.

Whether you helped your children dress up for one of the themed days, wore cherry and blue yourself, attended a sporting event, decorated your windows or participated in the parade downtown, it has been fun to see people come together and jump aboard in supporting the school and its students.

The traditional Friday night football game was moved to 2 p.m. today, so if you have some time available, we encourage you to get out there and continue to show your support.

It’s fun to see some longtime traditions taking root again in recent years.

To the painting of the Freedom Rock this week outside of the Freeborn County Courthouse.

Several months after the 28,000-pound boulder was selected and placed outside the Freeborn County Courthouse to be turned into a Freedom Rock, the time finally came this week for the artist to paint the rock and bring it to life.

Freedom Rocks originated in Iowa by artist Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II, who in 1999 painted what he described as a “thank you” to veterans on a boulder in southwest Iowa. He has continued to honor veterans by donating his time for new murals on this boulder every May for Memorial Day, drawing in people each year to see what he has created. In addition to this boulder, the effort spread and Sorensen has since created Freedom Rocks in every county in Iowa and has now moved on to counties in a handful of other states, including Minnesota.

The rocks pay tribute to veterans for their sacrifices and typically highlight local stories.

In Freeborn County’s case, the Albert Lea American Legion Riders fundraised to bring Sorensen to town and paint the rock, and he has been painting under a big white tent north of the courthouse all week.

We are excited to see the results of all of Sorensen’s hard work, and we are sure it will be a fitting tribute to our area’s veterans.