Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:51 pm Thursday, November 9, 2023

To Albert Lea wrestler Michael Olson.

Congratulations to Albert Lea senior Michael Olson, who on Wednesday morning signed his letter of intent for North Dakota State University in a brief ceremony at Albert Lea High School in front of friends, family and coaches.

Olson, a former state champion wrestler, is a talented athlete and has been a fun one to watch over the years.

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We wish him well in his next phase and hope he remembers his hometown is always rooting for him.

To more new businesses opening in downtown Albert Lea.

A new store opened in downtown Albert Lea in recent weeks called the Gorgeous Sorrels Boutique.

Owned by Sara Peterson, who was raised in the Albert Lea area, the store centers around clothing and accessories but also has some horse and other country-related shopping, including some saddles.

We are happy to see another entrepreneur take the plunge to open a storefront and are pleased to see the activity take place downtown.

We encourage people to check out the store and the others that have opened in recent months and make sure to show them your support to help them stick around for many more years to come.

Albert Lea has several new stores and projects in the works downtown, and it’s exciting to see that area continue to grow. We hope this is only the beginning of what is to come.

To the passage of the Alden-Conger School referendum.

The week ahead of American Education Week, we were pleased to see the referendum pass at Alden-Conger School.

According to results from the Freeborn County Auditor-Treasurer’s Office, 59.6% of people voted in favor of the levy increase, while 40.4% voted against.

The vote increases the per pupil funding by $1,194, up from the $206 per pupil currently in place, and will create about $557,000 in annual revenue.

We hope this funding will help strengthen the long-term viability of the school and maintain all the things that people love about small-town schools, including small class sizes.

Across the state, nearly 60 districts had questions on their ballots related to bonds, capital project levies and operating levies, according to Minnesota Public Radio News. Of those, about two-thirds of the requests were approved.

Referendums failed in some areas in Greater Minnesota, including some other smaller districts in southern Minnesota.

The news organization said on average, 55% of similar requests are approved in even years across the state, while 74% pass in odd years.

While we know that these referendums come with a cost, and often include major increases for taxpayers, we believe the support for our school districts, and ultimately the rising generation is critical.

Now it will be up to the districts to make the best use for the money that will be raised.