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by Sara Hacking, Staff Writer A recent survey conducted by Wadena County Veterans Services has the county board discussing a possible transportation service for veterans to area veterans hospitals. Eighty-five percent of veterans who responded to the survey indicated they would use transportation services to travel to medical facilities in St. Cloud, Fargo, Minneapolis, Fergus Falls or Brainerd. St. Cloud and Fargo were the two most frequently selected locations. Lane Waldahl, county board chairman, said he believes the transportation system is an important service to offer veterans.
Judge Jay D. Carlson, 52, assumed a seat at the Wadena County Courthouse on Monday. He replaces Judge Timothy J. Baland, who retired on April 4, 2006. Carlson will rotate between Wadena County and Todd County every other week. Carslon's investiture to the Seventh Judicial District Court was held on Aug. 17 at the Todd County Courthouse. Judge Sally I. Robertson administered the oath. "It was probably the highest honor that I've ever received in my life," Carlson said about the ceremony witnessed by his mother, brother, sisters and friends.
The cultures of Germany, Poland, Brazil and Columbia are accenting Wadena-Deer Creek High School and the community this school year as seven foreign exchange students hone their English skills and get a taste of small town America. Victor Costa, 17, said Wadena is very different from the large city of Recife, Brazil, that he is from. "Everybody knows everybody here," he said.
This summer, Bob Swenson traded in his Wadena County sheriff's deputy badge for a dust protector and an air duct cleaner powered by a Ford 300 six-cylinder. "This is not your mother's vacuum cleaner," he said about his duct cleaning truck. "And it would make your father proud." Swenson retired after 28 years in law enforcement, more than 22 of which he spent serving Wadena County. "It was a very rewarding career," he said. "I got to meet a lot of nice people, put a few bad guys in jail." Age 50 is too young to retire completely and too old to get health insurance, he said.
Doris Riese, 81, of Wadena was a very surprised $10,000 cash prize winner at the Wad of Fun Finale on Saturday at Wadena County Stadium.
For 35 years, head custodian Russ Andrews has walked the halls of Wadena-Deer Creek schools, keys jangling from his jeans and blue shirt uniform, cleaning the floors, checking the boilers and preparing classrooms for students. The distinction of being a long-serving employee is an honor that comes somewhat unexpectedly for Andrews. "I didn't think I'd be here longer than six months," he said. The modest 61-year-old views his long career as a learning experience -- an experience shaped by the man who hired him and the employees under him.
Wadena County may add some additional park land for residents and visitors to enjoy next spring if a land exchange between Potlatch Corp., and the county is approved by the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board, according to Deana Skov, parks director. The land is located by the Crow Wing River and adjoins Tree Farm Landing in northern Wadena County.
The Ag Society emphasized the need for more volunteers and communication to a large crowd who gathered to discuss the fair's future last Wednesday in the 4-H building at the Wadena County Fairgrounds. Deteriorating fairground buildings, financial shortfalls and declining attendance have brought the fair's future into question. Tim Nolte, Ag Society vice president, introduced the meeting as an opportunity to address three topics related to keeping the fair: Is there enough interest? Are there enough exhibitors?