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Photo by Rachelle Klemme Heartland Tire relocated to the old Domino Ford building following the tornado. From left, Darrin Plinske, manager; Robert Minoletti, tire service; Ray Kaufman, retail sales; Morgan Brown, auto technician; and Rodger Miller, tire service.

Heartland Tire is thriving

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news Wadena, 56482
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson, P.O. Box 31 56482

Heartland Tire of Wadena is running on the east side of town on U.S. Highway 10 after having bounced back from the June 17 tornado that totaled its old location on the west side.

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The Goodyear sign up front, save for a couple of letters that had to be replaced, is the same sign from the old location. The letters were restored and moved after the tornado.

Ray Kaufman and Rodger Miller were inside the building when the EF4 steamrolled through town, but they found a safe place to ride out the storm.

Manager Darren Plinsky said he was on his way back to Brainerd around 4:30 p.m., but after a call from Kaufman, he returned to the building which was a total loss.

"We were actually up and running the very next day," Plinsky said.

However, the equipment was in disarray and there was a lot of cleaning and repairing to do.

"Our service truck was buried in the shop, and it was a mess," Plinsky said.

Heartland's owner decided to purchase the old Domino Ford building on the east side of Wadena. At the time, the building was vacant and owned by a bank in Park Rapids. They started the relocation process the Monday after the tornado.

"They let us move in early. Obviously we hadn't closed yet but they knew our situation so they let us start moving in," Plinsky said.

The process moved along quickly.

"We were back full operations here by July 5, 2010, which was a whirlwind," he said.

Plinsky said the building was smaller than their previous location, but had more shop room.

"We lost storage room, and now we have more service, which is what we needed," he said.

The company had been eyeing the new building in the past.

"We had actually looked at buying this building 10 years ago before Domino Ford opened up, and they had purchased it before we got the opportunity," Plinsky said.

Heartland Tire is a Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly Springfield tire dealer and also a full-service automotive repair facility.

Other locations of Heartland Tire Service are in Brainerd, Little Falls and Rochester.

Heartland Tire can be contacted at (218) 631-2710 or wadena@heartlandtireservice.com.

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