The big buddies and little buddies of Wadena-Deer Creek schools gathered Monday night to create Christmas crafts in the high school commons and play games in the gym. The Big Buddy / Little Buddy program is part of the peer helper program including peer tutors, peer mentors and academic boosters, said Cynthia Paulson, high school counselor. It involves 39 juniors and seniors from WDC High School and 48 students from WDC Elementary School. "It give[s] the little buddies a mentor, an older student they can look up to, a good role model," Paulson said.
by Sara Hacking, Staff Writer Flu season is well underway. And this is the time of the year when a cough can chase away coworkers and lead to missed days of work. As of Nov. 18 there have been no confirmed cases of influenza in Minnesota, although there have been reports of several positive flu cases, reports the Minnesota Department of Health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates a low level of influenza activity in the United States. "It's just the beginning," said Cindy Pederson, Wadena County Public Health family health supervisor.
Today tables are creaking with a cornucopia of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing and pies. And I will happily indulge in the feast set before me at my aunt and uncle's home for Thanksgiving. Eagerly anticipating a special meal at the home of relatives was not always the case for me, however. As a child I was an extremely picky eater. I am not really even sure how I survived my childhood, since I have very few memories of actually eating and enjoying food. I do remember some meals I really loved, though. Spaghetti was a favorite food for my family.
Every Thursday afternoon the Wadena United Methodist Church Cut-Ups gather in the basement dining room for stitching, cutting and coffee. "We're a very close-knit group," said Ellen Spear, group leader. The age 60-plus ladies are knitted in purpose and friendship, but quilting is the Cut-Ups' chosen form of textile work. Every member has a job to do and they take their work seriously -- most of the time anyway. "She's the boss," said Marilyn Cain indicating a chuckling Lillian Swenson, group leader. "She's a good boss. I kind of do what I want.
The Wadena Weight Watchers literally lost a ton during 2006. Their 2,000-pound weight loss was the weight equivalent of 100 large Thanksgiving turkeys and 166 pumpkin pies. "It was a group effort," said Danelle Weheir, group leader, about the members' substantial weight loss. Weheir said she and co-leader Karen Crandall decided last January to set a goal for the group to accomplish together. "The Wadena Weight Watchers, they have got something special," she said.
The Wadena County maintenance department will have some help plowing the streets this winter after the county board approved the purchase of a $3,722, including tax, V-plow attachment for the Bobcat. "It utilizes the Bobcat to the fullest extent," said Commissioner Orv Meyer. Commissioner Mary Harrison expressed some concerns about how long the V-plow attachment will be useful. "[I'm] not totally sure if one or two years down the line if we'll still need the Bobcat and plow," she said. Joel Ulring, Wadena County highway engineer, responded, "It's hard to predict the future." Harrison said
Southbrook Baptist Church of Wadena installed Jake Heppner as its new pastor on Sunday. Heppner began serving at Southbrook in September. Heppner has enjoyed getting to know the church's approximately 40-member congregation, he said. "It's a very close-knit family," he said. "They've taken very good care of us. It's just been neat to get to know them." He and his wife, Autumn, have also been impressed with the Wadena community.
A small herd of antelope, elk, caribou, moose and deer have invaded Dave and Norie Trout's farmhouse north of Wadena. The animals pose no threat, however, since their days roaming the forests are long over. They were hunted, enjoyed at the Trouts' dinner table, and now their antlers and horns adorn the walls of the family room as reminders of wilderness adventures with family and friends in Wyoming, Colorado, Quebec, Idaho and Minnesota. The small family room pays homage to the Trouts' love of the outdoors.
"The Oprah Winfrey Show" gave Wadena Resident Michelle Rousslang $1,000 to donate to her community and a DVD camcorder to record her gift when she attended the taping of a show urging Oprah audience members to experience the joys of giving. As part of the "Pay it Forward" challenge, Rousslang donated a table full of toys to the Wadena Pioneer Journal Empty Stocking Fund and arm loads of coats, snow pants, mittens, hats and boots to Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary School and Wadena County Social Services on Nov. 6. "Usually she does her favorite things give-away," Rousslang said.
The average American will gain 7 to 10 pounds this holiday season, according to Monica Foster, dietician. A typical Thanksgiving meal contains 7,100 calories alone. Foster shared strategies for sticking to a healthy diet through the holiday season during a presentation at the Perham Area Community Center Friday. "The next morning when you step on the scale, you don't want to be sad," she said about post-holiday weight gain. "This is a happy time of the year." The official holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day is 40 days long.