Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:51 pm Friday, July 5, 2024

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To the organizers of this year’s Fourth of July festivities.

Hats off to those who planned all of the activities for this year’s Fourth of July. Despite the weather and the cancellation of a few events, we were lucky there was a beautiful day for the Third of July Parade and that there were clear skies for the Fourth of July fireworks.

We know moving the fireworks this year was a lot of work, and we particularly thank the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce, Albert Lea Fire Rescue and the fireworks vendor for organizing a great show. We’ve heard nothing but great comments from people since it took place.

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We hope the community will continue to financially support the fireworks and this opportunity we have each year.

To what seems like never-ending rainstorms.

According to the data from the Albert Lea wastewater treatment plant, Albert Lea received just shy of 12 inches of rain during the month of June, while the average received for the same month is 5.47 inches.

Even though the month has ended, the rain hasn’t let up, with precipitation falling several days this week.

The ground is saturated, with many areas flooding — not just once but multiple times.

We encourage people who have had water damage in their homes or businesses, to complete the damage assessment form for Freeborn County as it seeks to obtain assistance for individuals from the flooding. The form is available online at https://www.co.freeborn.mn.us/.

To increased nicotine dependence among Minnesota teens who vape.

Results of the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey were released this week, showing that Minnesota students who use e-cigarettes are increasingly trapped in nicotine dependence.

According to the survey, seven out of 10 students who vape want to quit, and nearly two-thirds have tried to quit — some even said they have tried to quit 10 or more times. Among students who vaped in the past 30 days, nearly half did so on at least 20 of the past 30 days, a 47% increase in frequent vaping since 2020.

Increased vaping is also tied to mood fluctuations, increased stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression.

The Minnesota Department of Health is promoting a program for teens to use to quit vaping by texting “Start My Quit” to 36072 to talk with a coach and receive materials to help. We encourage teens who have struggling with this to check it out.