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County and city leaders joined members of the Wadena County Fair board for a ribbon cutting last Wednesday to celebrate the extensive rebuilding of the fairgrounds following the EF-4 tornado that destroyed much of the facility in June 2010. The grand re-opening kicked off the 121st annual Wadena County Fair, which ended Sunday. "What a long way Wadena has come, especially the Wadena County Fairgrounds," said Shirley Uselman, executive director of the Wadena Chamber of Commerce.
To attract, improve and retain local businesses, Wadena County should create an economic development authority (EDA) and sign a contract with an existing agency to run it. That's the unanimous recommendation of a 13-member citizen committee. Wadena-Deer Creek superintendent Lee Westrum, the committee chairman, presented the group's report at the June 24 county board meeting. "We had a very active committee ..." Westrum said.
Fire flattened a rural Todd County home Friday. The owners, Rich and Connie Runston, were camping near Brainerd when they got word their home northeast of Bertha was a total loss. "There was nothing left," Rich Runston said. "The only thing we've got are the clothes we brought up for camping." At about 11:30 a.m.
After wowing the crowd and judges with a powerful spoken word poem during the talent competition, Alex Tollefson was crowned Miss Wadena 2014 at a “Swing!” themed pageant Saturday in...
After a storm rolled through the area Friday night, which delayed the start of the Sunnybrook Stomp 5K by a half hour, a sunshower hit Wadena. About an hour earlier, a funnel cloud was spotted south of town but it did not touch down. Although the weather didn't always cooperate Thursday and Friday, no June Jubilee were canceled. Mother Nature delivered a beautiful, hot Saturday for Family Fun Day events.
A Minneapolis-based software company that is developing ways for seniors to virtually connect with their communities has selected Wadena as the location of its first video call center. If the company secures financing, River Systems LLC is expected to bring several jobs to the city within a few months, said Dean Uselman, director of the Wadena Development Authority. Longer-term, it's hoped the call center will employ between 70 to 100 people, he said.
Four years ago last week, a tornado devastated the Wadena County Fairgrounds, leveling most of the main buildings and 80 percent of the trees. When volunteers scoped out the damage the evening of June 17, 2010 - about a month before the annual event was scheduled to begin - they found an unmitigated "mess," including an upside down school bus, recalled Mike Olson, Wadena County Ag Society president.
A rural Sebeka man who pleaded guilty to shooting up a pickup with three occupants has been sentenced to 240 days in the Wadena County jail and 10 years probation. Logan William Skov, 19, originally faced three counts of second degree attempted murder and three counts of second degree manslaughter for the Oct. 6 incident at a party near Bluegrass. He pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of third degree attempted murder in April, but his public defender and the prosecutor agreed to change the plea deal early this month.
Nyoaka Koone was weeding the garden at the house she just bought in southwest Wadena last week when she spotted a shiny object in the dirt. At first she thought it was just a cheap key ring and cast it aside. But after a few minutes, it caught her eye again. "I happened to see it had a diamond on it," said Koone, a social worker at Wadena County Human Services. She figured it belonged to the home's previous owner, Dorothy Beyer.
The Garden of Miracles at Fink Park, a small slice of city land in southwest Wadena, features this chainsaw wood sculpture, "The Lady of the Garden." A dedication ceremony for the piece - sculpted by rural Menahga artist Scott Johnson and designed by Cheryl Prindle - was held Saturday morning. The Greater Wadena Arts League and the local garden club teamed up to restore the park, which was destroyed in the 2010 tornado. The league has plans for at least two more sculptures, from local artists Brad Wegscheid and Kent Scheer.