News Releases

Albert Lea Fire Rescue respond to house fire, cause appears to be battery failure during charging Jan. 24, 2023
Albert Lea Fire Rescue and Police Department were dispatched at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, to a house fire at 203 Giles Place. Upon arrival, fire crews found the occupants outside the home with smoke coming from the west side of the house. The occupants said they had returned home, after being away for about 4 hours, to find thick black smoke coming from the home. They were able to retrieve one dog, but two dogs and one cat remained in the home. They opened the doors to let out the remaining pets, but none came out.

No injuries reported in fire at cold-storage warehouse January 18, 2023
No injuries were reported in a roof fire at Vortex Cold Storage, 311 14th St. East, Albert Lea, on Tuesday afternoon. Albert Lea Fire Rescue and Police Department were dispatched at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 17 to the warehouse facility. Upon arrival, fire crews learned from Vortex personnel that a small area of the roof, which was under repair, was on fire.

Legacy of health: Blue Zones project lead retires November 29, 2022
Ellen Kehr has championed Blue Zones in Albert Lea since its 2009 pilot project. Under her leadership, Albert Lea was certified as the first Blue Zones community in the U.S., meaning the city and community partners work to make healthier choices easier for everyone, from physical activity along trails to nutritious foods at schools and worksites.

Exceptions to the rules: Board hears appeals from builders, homeowners November 16, 2022
Equity. Public health and safety. Neighborhood characteristics. The Albert Lea Board of Appeals weighs these factors and more when considering exceptions to zoning rules. These rules cover land use and development, usually related to the height, bulk and density of different building projects. To deviate from zoning rules, property owners need a variance, or permission, to do so.

Input invited for proposed trail from Albert Lea to Hartland October 27, 2022
Residents, businesses and officials are invited to learn more and provide feedback on a Trail Action Plan for a former rail corridor from Albert Lea to Hartland.

One arrested after vehicle pursuit in Albert Lea October 24, 2022
Jose Martinez, age 31, was arrested after leading Albert Lea Police and Freeborn County Sheriff’s Deputies on a vehicle pursuit this afternoon. Martinez, who has an active felony arrest warrant out of Mower County and no valid driver’s license, was spotted driving a 2006 Buick Lucerne on Southeast Broadway Avenue in Albert Lea at 12:19 p.m. today, Oct. 24. An Albert Lea police officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop when Martinez increased speed and fled in the vehicle. Martinez traveled east on Main Street and eventually turned northbound on Interstate 35 with two flat tires. Martinez crashed his vehicle into the median-barrier cables just south of State Highway 30. He was then taken into custody without incident.

Albert Lea Fire Rescue: Practice fire drill tonight, attend open house Saturday October 12, 2022
As part of Fire Prevention Week, Albert Lea Fire Rescue urges everyone to take part in Operation EDITH, which stands for Exit Drills In The Home. This annual fire drill will take place at 7 p.m. today, with civil defense sirens sounding. Take this time to practice your home escape plan in case of a fire.

Albert Lea Police investigating shooting, no injuries reported October 5, 2022
On Oct. 4 at approximately 9:34 p.m., Albert Lea Police responded to several 911 calls reporting a shooting at the parking lot at 201 N. Broadway Ave., known locally as the “North Lot.”

Albert Lea Police Department investigating fatality October 5, 2022
On Oct. 4 at approximately 11:30 p.m., Albert Lea Police responded to the Union Pacific railroad crossing near the intersection of Garfield Avenue and Ramsey Street after receiving a report from the train operations crew that an individual had been run over by the locomotive. The train was traveling southeast approaching this crossing when the crew observed a person laying across the railroad tracks. Immediate actions to stop the train before striking the person were unsuccessful.

Albert Lea proceeding with demo of 2 buildings on Broadway Avenue to protect public safety September 13, 2022
Demolition is underway this morning of the vacant and hazardous buildings at 324 and 332 Broadway Ave. after the Albert Lea City Council authorized emergency spending Monday night of up to $250,000 for their removal.

No inuries reported in Albert Lea house fire Thursday September 9, 2022
Albert Lea Fire Rescue extinguished a house fire at 1700 Eberhart St. Thursday morning, with no injuries reported.

City of Albert Lea proposing local regulations on THC products September 6, 2022
City to present law changes to school board, the public and other organizations for inputTo protect people under age 21 from the risks of THC, the psychoactive compound in hemp, the City of Albert Lea is considering adding to its tobacco law and sales regulations THC products legalized by the Minnesota Legislature earlier this year.

Who let the goats out? August 25, 2022
The City of Albert Lea recently hired Goats on the Go, a southern Minnesota company that provides prescribed grazing to control vegetation. The city owns land on Eunice Drive atop a bluff over Albert Lea Lake. Buckthorn and other undesired plants had overtaken the property and was spreading to residential lots. Instead of mowing or applying herbicides, which can lead to erosion and runoff that hurt water quality, the city decided to try this natural technique.

One-of-a-kind recycling business thriving in Albert Lea August 11, 2022
Infinite Recycled Technologies has found Albert Lea to be an ideal place to locate its unique glass recycling business.

Work with a view: New water tower taking shape August 3, 2022
The water tower at the corner of Newton Avenue and Fountain Street is making a big impact on the community, changing its skyline for decades to come and awing residents as it takes shape. The new tower, replacing one built in 1938, will hold 1 million gallons of water and cost $7 million. At 179.5 feet tall – 18 stories – it will stand 44.5 feet higher than the original tower.

You’re Invited: 100th birthday bash for Edgewater Park August 1, 2022
With 18 picnic tables scattered over 20 acres, Edgewater Park opened to the public on Aug. 13 in 1922. Today the park offers much more than picnic tables across its 60 acres, including playgrounds, fishing piers and pavilions. Albert Lea will celebrate the park’s 100th anniversary this Aug. 12 – 13 with a party of the century, and everyone is invited!

City proceeding with demo of two hazardous buildings downtown
The Albert Lea City Council will vote July 11 on declaring an order for demolishing the buildings at 332 and 324 S. Broadway Ave. These vacant buildings were in disrepair when the City acquired them through tax forfeiture.

Spraying for mosquito control set for Thursday this week
Weekly spraying for mosquito control will start at dusk Thursday, July 7, in Albert Lea. Mosquito Control of Iowa will provide the spraying service, as contracted by the City of Albert Lea. In case of rainy or windy weather, Friday will be the back-up day this week.

Filings for Albert Lea City Council close with full slate of candidates June 1, 2022
Filings for the Albert Lea City Council closed May 31 with a full slate of candidates. Albert Lea will have a new mayor after incumbent Vern Rasmussen Jr. has decided to step down after serving as mayor since   2012 and as ward 1 councilor before that. Ward 1 will have a new councilor after incumbent Rich Murray filed for mayor. And Ward 6 will have a new city councilor after long-time incumbent Al “Minnow” Brooks has decided not to run again.

Filings open May 17 for 5 of 7 Albert Lea City Council seats May 12, 2022
Filings open May 17 for five of the seven seats on the Albert Lea City Council.

Albert Lea Summer to Sizzle with Fun May 4, 2022
What do Willy Wonka, a magician, best-selling authors and a Tex-Mex band all have in common? They’re all coming to Albert Lea in the next few months!

Keep property neat to protect health and safety of community April 25, 2022
To protect our community’s health, safety and aesthetics, the Albert Lea Police Department enforces laws that regulate trash, junk vehicles and grass height.

Albert Lea City Council to vote on trail agreement, change in alcohol sales and property grants April 22, 2022
The Albert Lea City Council will vote at its April 25 meeting on a joint powers agreement with Freeborn County to develop a former railroad bed into a pedestrian trail within city limits. Under the agreement the city would assume responsibility for operating, maintaining and repairing the trail while the county would retain ownership.

Downtown Albert Lea on the upswing with events, building fixes April 12, 2022
Historic downtown Albert Lea is on the upswing with more than three dozen events held throughout the year and owners continuing to make building improvements.

Council decides to take proposals for skate park area, vacant lots March 28, 2022
City to keep beach, move skate park

At its March 28 meeting, the Albert Lea City Council voted 5-2 to advertise for proposals to develop a private marina, with new restrooms and perhaps a restaurant, in the skate park area of City Beach, 300 Johnson St. The City would move the skate park to a different area with the public beach remaining in place.

City proposing removal of two buildings on Broadway Avenue to protect public safety March 10, 2022
With vacant buildings at 324 and 332 Broadway Ave. already collapsing, the City of Albert Lea is proposing their demolition to prevent damage to the rest of the block and to protect public safety

No injuries reported in kitchen fire at Albert Lea home February 28, 2022
No injuries were reported in an Albert Lea home fire today that started in the kitchen area, according to the Albert Lea Fire Rescue Department. Albert Lea police and fire crews were dispatched to 618 Freeborn Ave. at 10:22 a.m. Feb. 28 after a neighbor reported the fire.

Due to growth, Albert Lea redistricting city council wards 1 and 2 February 25, 2022
Due to bringing in new areas and growing in population, the City of Albert Lea is redistricting its council wards for the first time since 1992. To assure equal representation for elected offices, City Clerk Daphney Maras is recommending that some voters shift from Ward 1 in northern Albert Lea to Ward 2 in the more central part of the city (see map at right).

Detective commended for investigation that took sex offender offline Friday, February 17, 2022
In September 2018, Albert Lea Police Detective Julie Lynne Kohl received a call from the Albany, Ore., Police Department inquiring about a registered sex offender residing in Albert Lea. After asking a few questions, Kohl got to work, starting a case that would take a little over 3 years and result in a sentence of life plus 10 years for a child pornographer, the longest sentence for any crime in Albert Lea’s recent history.

Jacobson building in downtown Albert Lea: Preserving history one piece at a time Wednesday, February 16, 2022
The front of the Jacobson Building in downtown Albert Lea is like a rare piece of art, with terra cotta pieces forming ornate designs of flowers, faces and other motifs. But this façade is cracking and breaking loose in places, with falling pieces posing a threat to pedestrians below.

Community encouraged to honor fallen firefighter Brett Boss at processional Saturday Wednesday, February 9, 2022
The community is encouraged to honor the late Lieutenant Brett Boss of Albert Lea Fire Rescue by viewing a processional Saturday of fire trucks and other vehicles. The processional will start around 4:15 p.m. Feb. 12 from his funeral at Crossroads Church and end at the Albert Lea Fire Station.

City seeking funding toward $60 million wastewater project Friday, January 21, 2022
The City of Albert Lea is working with local legislators to secure $30 million in state funding toward a major upgrade at the City’s wastewater treatment plant. This plant treats 3.5 million gallons of wastewater on average every day. This is where all the water from sinks, washers, tub, toilets and factory processing – 7,300 homes and businesses total – goes for cleanup. After treatment, the plant, which is located southeast of the City, discharges the water to the Shell Rock River.