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Although the Caribbean may be a popular spot for snowbirds hoping to get away from the tough winters up north, there's one island there that isn't exactly being flocked to: the poverty- and earthquake-ravaged nation of Haiti. Tanja Dwire and her youth group from Blower's Chapel in Sebeka, however, worked for 15 months raising $11,000 for the chance to go. After finally finishing their fundraising efforts, Dwire's group left Christmas Day for Port Au Prince.
A curious cat leans in for close-up at the Wadena County Humane Society on Thursday. Photo by Zach Kayser
The looming topic of gun control in Washington, D.C. has already had dramatic effects in Wadena County.
Stephanie Larson is a nurse in her thirties who lives with her husband and two small children in Staples. When she was out with friends one night in October 2011, something happened that was inconceivable for someone at her age and fitness level. In front her friends, in the middle of what was supposed to be a relaxing night out, Larson's heart began to fail, and eventually stopped beating altogether.
The 21st annual "Great American Think-Off" essay contest is underway, and organizers say it's off to a roaring start. The contest, put on by the New York Mills Cultural Center, has been heavily publicized in the past, and since the 1990s has inspired average Americans to think more deeply about life's big questions. The event features essays that are submitted from across the country, with last year's winner hailing from New York state. This year's topic has already gotten a strong response, said Jamie Robertson, executive director of the Cultural Center.
At an undisclosed location somewhere along the Leaf River in Wadena County, there lies buried beneath the ground a hidden, mysterious world; a vestige of the French fur traders who explored the wilds of Minnesota more than 200 years ago.
The appeal of email may have resulted in some peoples' handwriting becoming as sloppy as the most hurried doctor's chicken scratch, but fear not for the penmanship prowess of future generations at Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary. Not only is the study of cursive going strong at WDC Elementary, but teachers actually use the prospect of learning it as an incentive for their kids. "They can hardly wait to start cursive," said Carol Tornquist, second grade teacher at WDC.
With family by her side, Gillette Kempf is sworn in as a new Wadena City Council member during Tuesday's meeting. Brian Hillesland was also sworn in at the meeting, as well as re-elected Mayor Wayne Wolden. Photo by Zach Kayser
Gayle Tabery and Judy Gilb of Brink's Jewelry present Carla Schwantz with a 14 karat white gold diamond pendant Monday for winning a drawing advertised in their Christmas flyer. Photo by Zach Kayser
Fluctuating temperatures have caused dangerously icy conditions around Wadena. Tom Kines, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather, said Wadena and the surrounding area experienced alternating freezing and regular rain from late afternoon Thursday to Friday morning. Wadena County Sheriff Mike Carr said as of approximately 9:30 a.m. Friday, there had been no motor vehicle or personal injury accidents in the county reported to his office in the past 24 hours.