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A skilled baker, canner and sausage maker, a superb bowler, a hard-working farm wife, a sales lady, a business owner and a downtown Wadena property owner - Elaine Kneisl was all of these things and more. "There was only one Elaine," said long-time friend and fellow bowler Cheryl Kempenich. The 92-year-old Wadena woman died Sept. 24 at a St. Cloud hospital following a fall and hip surgery.
It's common for people who are growing older to begin to plan for the legacy they will leave behind. It can be the wealth they've accumulated, the property they own or a business they have built. But what does an 8-year-old child leave behind so people know who they were, what they treasured? What can they give those they leave behind? That is the problem Jane Fiemeyer wrestled with before she left this world five years ago.
When John Hlebaen bought some property four miles north of Wadena, he was only after a place to hunt whitetail deer. Then he started seeing other possibilities. For the last 35 years, Hlebaen has been a taxidermist. His Trails End Taxidermy Studio is located in Rice, a small community 10 miles north of St. Cloud. "Once you're in a business this long you're married to it," Hlebaen laughed, "it goes where you go."
Big plays settled a back-and-forth battle Friday night as the Pelican Rapids Vikings notched a 36-22 victory over Wadena-Deer Creek in their Homecoming gam Throw out a 2-0 forfeit win over Frazee this season and it had been three years since Dave Haugen's Pelican Rapids Vikings had the privilege of celebrating a victory on a football field. "It's been a long time since we got to celebrate a win and we really don't know what to do," Haugen said following the game. The setback was Wadena-Deer Creek's fifth of the season but the Wolverines did not leave quietly.
The current absence of a county auditor/treasurer and deputy auditor/treasurer were keenly felt at Tuesday's meeting of the Wadena County Board. County Attorney Kyra Ladd found herself on the spot as the absence of auditor/treasurer Judy Taves created questions about who can be authorized to take over some of her work. At one point in the meeting, Ladd asked the assembled group "has anyone seen the auditor/treasurer?"
The local Veterans of Foreign Wars post is looking for nominations for their Teacher of the Year contest. Nominations must be submitted to the local VFW post by Oct. 31. Judging is held Nov. 1-15. Based on the nominees submitted, local posts will recognize one outstanding teacher in grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12. These recipients are then judged on a district and state level. The teachers who advance then have their names submitted for national awards.
The Wadena-Deer Creek School Board received a big dose of good news Monday evening when Ehlers' Jodie Zesbaugh reported on the sale of $9,450,000 of general obligation facilities maintenance bonds. Ehlers Financial received seven bids on the bonds, which the board authorized at its August meeting. The low bid, by FTN Financial Capital Markets of Memphis, Tenn., was for a true interest rate of 2.6134 percent. The sale of the bonds is a step forward in the school board's plans for upgrading facilities at the WDC Elementary School.
No formal action was taken - but a lot of smiles were passed - when a well-dressed young lady addressed the Wadena City Council and its city department heads Tuesday evening. Lily Parker was all business as she took her place in front of the guest podium and made her case for a poultry operation inside city limits. "I wonder if you would consider changing a city ordinance about the chicken farms?" Parker asked. The Wadena-Deer Creek fourth grader fearlessly pointed out that many other Minnesota communities currently allow poultry within their city limits.
Commissioners Chuck Horsager and Jim Hofer paved the way last Tuesday for Wadena County's preliminary revenue budget for 2018. "This was an assignment, I've never had one quite like this, it's a huge budget, a lot of moving parts and pieces," Horsager said. Horsager, who joined the board Jan. 3, talked about a joint goal of having a budget the committee "thought it could live with." Hofer presented details of the budget pointing out no staff increases for any department were being contemplated.
Paul Abzug said he "stumbled" into an opportunity when he came through Wadena looking for a site to build independent senior living. What the Deephaven, Minn. businessman realized was that Wadena was really wanting for assisted senior living. Some research confirmed the community had only one facility of that type.