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The Rochester Repertory Theatre has purchased the building at 103 Seventh St. NE. It was a renter there since 2007.

Performing groups in Rochester have struggled in recent years to find available stages and venues. Most groups rent space wherever it can be found.

Rochester Repertory Theatre solved that issue last week by purchasing the building at 103 Seventh St. NE which it has been renting since 2007. It’s no small feat for a non-profit organization to complete a deal like this (purchase price: $410,000), but the Rep has drawn an extremely dedicated group of volunteers and donors during its 36 seasons.

The next act is to improve the facility, adding seating capacity and other enhancements. Those improvements will come, but for now, the Rep is justifiably celebrating owning a home of its own.

Thumbs down to bad weather on Thursdays

We want our Thursdays Downtown!

Unfortunately, the weather pattern in recent weeks has not cooperated. Thursdays Downtown, the outdoor street fair held every Thursday all summer, is one of the most popular attractions in the area. But rain forced an early closing on June 20, and the threat of severe weather made organizers cancel this week’s event. They made the right call — rain, thunder and lightning moved in late in the morning.

Well, there’s aways next week, right? Not really — the next Thursday is July 4, so Thursdays Downtown won’t be held. We have to wait until July 11 for our next fix of food, music and people-watching at Thursdays Downtown.

Thumbs up to T-21 win Olmsted County

Rochester and Olmsted County have always been in the forefront of efforts to curb tobacco use, and another step in that direction takes place Monday.

That’s when an Olmsted County ordinance raising the legal age for purchasing tobacco products goes into effect. Olmsted thus becomes one of five Minnesota counties and 30 cities, including Austin and Albert Lea, that have raised the age for purchasing tobacco to 21.

There are disagreements over how effective the law will be, especially since surrounding counties have not adopted T-21 legislation. Effective or not, Olmsted County’s ordinance reinforces the message to young people that smoking is not good for your health.

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