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Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To the theft of campaign signs.

Every year it seems to happen, and this year is no different.

This week, we heard the first reports of stolen campaign signs of the season.

At first the reports came in of a single sign missing here or there, but then the Albert Lea Police Department posted on Facebook that a large number of stolen signs had been recovered. These included both DFL and Republican Party signs, as well as signs from local nonpartisan races, construction companies and children-at-play signs.

We remind people that signs are not free and come at a cost.

If you do not agree with a sign posted in someone else’s yard, you can always get a sign from the opposing party or simply look the other way. It is their right to post a sign in their yard.


To Gov. Tim Walz’s decision to allow local districts to decide about school in the fall.

We were pleased to hear Gov. Tim Walz announce Thursday he would leave the decision to local districts for whether to reopen school in the fall in-person, through distance learning or a combination of both. Differing COVID-19 case numbers are being reported across the state, and it makes sense to rely more on local numbers with this important decision.

Though it will ultimately be up to the districts, the state did give some guidance for the districts to consider when making the decision — particularly a new formula and corresponding chart that outlines recommendations based on case counts over the last two weeks. Districts will be asked to provide ongoing reviews as cases change.

Walz acknowledged the importance of schools and the value of in-person learning, but said the state’s top priority is safety.

The Minnesota State High School League is slated to release an update on programming options for the 2020-21 school year on Tuesday.


To efforts to distribute 18,000 masks to local businesses.

Thanks to the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce, the Freeborn County Public Health Department, Freeborn County law enforcement and the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau for efforts to distribute 18,000 masks to local businesses on Friday.

The masks are coming from the state level, following the executive order requiring facial coverings when inside indoor businesses and indoor public settings.

We hope businesses took advantage of the opportunity. For questions, call the chamber office at 507-373-3938 or email


To recent decisions by several retail stores to end Thanksgiving Day store shopping.

The list of retail establishments that have announced they will be closed on Thanksgiving Day is growing by the day.

As of Friday morning, that list includes Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohl’s, Target and Walmart.

Though some of it is to allow employees a day off with their families, another major factor is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Stores have yet to announce how they will handle their Black Friday sales once they do open the day after Thanksgiving. The sales typically draw large crowds, which have been discouraged as the nation battles the virus.

We’re sure many of the companies will place a larger focus on online shopping heading into the holiday season.


To reports of suspicious vehicles reported in the area.

Reports of suspicious vehicles driving around in Albert Lea, Hayward, Conger and the Ellendale area are causing alert for many parents in the community.

The vehicles have been said to be either following children or driving slowly through towns and checking out the communities.

We encourage parents to remind their children of proper safety protocol and to keep an eye on their children, especially younger ones.


About Editorial Board

The Editorial Board of the Albert Lea Tribune comprises Scott Schmeltzer, Tim Engstrom and Sarah Stultz.

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