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Photo by Sandi Pratt Maren Levad, standing, from the Minnesota Historical Society, leads a discussion on Saturday, Feb. 12 about an upcoming book on the Wadena tornado. The book is expected to be ready for sale by the first anniversary of the twister.

Tornado book to be ready by anniversary

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A book chronicling the massive EF4 tornado that struck the Wadena and Bluffton areas is expected to be ready for sale to the public before June 17, the one-year anniversary of the disaster.

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The Minnesota Historical Society got involved with the project late last year, and a group of authors, young and old, have started piecing together the tome.

The Historical Society was able to bring resources and grant funding to the project by attracting students to take part in the process. Teams of adults and students will choose photos and write stories of the tornado for inclusion in the book.

Maren Levad, a program specialist from the Minnesota Historial Society, laid out the timetable for the book's production, which includes an every-other-Saturday meeting schedule until the project is complete on June 14. Levad also brought in renowned author Dave Kenney, who has written nearly a dozen books on Minnesota history after a successful career working in broadcast news, including for CNN in Atlanta.

A graphic designer and the art director for the Historical Society, Adam Demmer, will work on perfecting the look of the book.

Anyone who would be willing to share photos they took during the tornado for inclusion in the book should choose their two or three best pictures and direct them to Steve Schulz at pjeditor@gmail.com (or drop them off at the Pioneer Journal newspaper office at 314 S. Jefferson) or bring them to Sandi Pratt at the Wadena County Historical Society.

Proceeds for the book will benefit two organizations: the Wadena County Historical Society and the Long Term Recovery Committee, with funds going to help tornado survivors.

The next meeting of the group will be from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 26 at the Wadena County Historical Society.

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