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The organizers of Wadena’s Relay For Life are working hard at preparing for this summer’s event to benefit cancer research. New this year is an initiative to get more members on each relay team called, “13 on the ’13 Track,” wherein the goal is to have 13 people per team rather than the typical eight to 10 members. Julia Palmer, who is charge of marketing and publicity for the Wadena effort, said the idea is to get people involved who haven’t participated in the Relay before.
Chad Dickey is no ordinary trucker. Before he was part of Tony’s Transfer in Wadena, he was a defense contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq. Before that, he was a Green Beret, with over 20 years’ worth of military experience. His career highlights include working as an analyst to help take down Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar in the 1980s. He said it was his military training that helped him save a man from bleeding out – not in the jungles of South America or the Middle Eastern desert, but near a lonely stretch of freeway late one night last May in Tennessee.
If some wonder why it seems as if Wadena and surrounding areas have been getting more winter storms lately, they can thank weather patterns that are invading us from staging points in Canada. Senior Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck of AccuWeather said March 9 saw slightly less than 3 inches of snow in the Wadena area, part of which may have turned to ice as temperatures fell the next day. “It’s definitely been a more active pattern this winter compared to last winter by a long shot,” he said.
If some wonder why it seems as if Wadena and surrounding areas have been getting more winter storms lately, they can thank weather patterns that are invading us from staging points in Canada. The latest major winter system to affect the area was one on March 9-10, as of press time. Senior Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck of AccuWeather said March 9 saw slightly less than 3 inches of snow in the Wadena area, part of which may have turned to ice as temperatures fell the next day.
Jim White, adjutant for the Wadena VFW, said Tuesday that the post will be hosting one stop for a May motorcycle ride, which has been organized by the state VFW office and will traverse all of Minnesota. The Ride of Healing is intended to raise funds for an education center to become part of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., as well as recognize Vietnam vets in greater Minnesota.
Winter simply refuses to make an exit as the Wadena area was blanketed with up to 6-9 inches of snow earlier this week. Monday and Tuesday saw a storm move in from the Pacific Northwest that reached its peak intensity in the hours before dawn Tuesday, when visibility was under a mile, said AccuWeather Meteorologist Bill Deger. Deger said the decreased visibility combined with accumulation on the roads caused a safety hazard to drivers. However, he also said the Wadena area escaped the brunt of the storm’s snowfall as it moved eastward across the country.
The construction of a new and improved shelter near the little league fields and skating rink in the southwest part of Wadena is planned to begin in May and be finished by June, Park Advisory Board officials said Wednesday.
Fishing and iPads may seem like an odd combination, but Canada-based software developer The App Door has launched the Minnesotan version of a fishing app they hope will catch on in the land of 10,000 lakes. iFish Minnesota, which went live Feb. 20, is a combination that includes both state agency fishing data and information that’s uploaded in real time by users, said Randy Chamzuk, president of the App Door. “This tool really helps and allows you to scope out where you want to go,” he said. “You can see the activity and everything that’s going on before you get there.”
When gas prices went up to unseasonable highs recently, it wasn’t just the people at the pump that felt the crunch. Auto-related businesses around Wadena, like auto repair and tire shops, can feel a connection between higher gas prices and lower amounts of customers coming through the door.
The latest jobs numbers from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) have local officials talking optimistically about the economic future of Wadena County. The unemployment rate for the county in December 2012 was 7.6 percent, down from 8.2 percent for the same month in 2011 and 10.5 percent in 2010. The national unemployment rate in December was also 7.6 percent. “There’s no question that the drop that we’ve seen in the published percentage each month is really good news,” said Paul Sailer, director of Wadena County Human Services.