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Years of preparation behind NRHEG students’ barrel racing quest

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WORLD FINALS QUALIFIERS — NRHEG students Hannah Lewison, left, and her sister Grace have qualified for the National Barrel Horse Association Youth World Finals in Perry, Georgia this July. Both girls had a love of horses at an early age. (Submitted photo)



By RACHEL RIETSEMA

Staff Writer

The Lewison kitchen table is all abuzz these days, and it isn’t all about glitter and glam for NRHEG students Hannah and Grace Lewison. 

Prom dresses and Hello Kitty are important and all, but these National Barrel Horse Association Youth World Finals qualifiers have bigger fish to fry.

“We are very excited to represent the Midwest as we travel to Perry, Georgia in July,” said Hannah, 2011 youth 2D Reserve Champion. “The event is invitation only. Competitors all under age 18 must ride in their respective NBHA District Barrel Races to earn points.”

Her sister Grace, the 2011 Youth 3D Champion, added, “The top five point earners in each division qualify for the NBHA Youth World show. The NBHA Youth World Show is one of the largest barrel races in the World. Contestants will come from all over the U.S., Canada, Italy, and Australia to compete.”

Of course, this ginormous feat came with a combination of factors in their favor, the first two on that list being great determination and an undying love for horses.


Refurbished Byron Township Hall is something to behold

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SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF — It is hoped the newly refurbished Byron Township Hall in Matawan makes the National Historic Registry. (Submitted photo)


By RACHEL RIETSEMA

Staff Writer

Located in the whereabouts of Matawan, remains a white building that has had its share of alterations.

This historic structure has been a chameleon of sorts, adapting to the natures of both rambunctious elementary students and Byron Township board members. Not all at once of course.

“The town hall had become so run down that it wasn’t useful anymore,” said Geoff Jessen, township supervisor. “At one point, we considered it a teardown, but everyone involved soon found out that is a pretty cool, structurally sound building. That’s when the public got involved and voted to renovate it.”

The drop ceiling eradicated for good, this place of town meetings has returned to its 20th-century roots. No more musty smells either, that’s for sure.

“We have restored it to its original function, a schoolhouse,” Jessen said. “We gutted the whole building and tore out all the old plaster. We rewired, replastered walls, installed better heating and plumbing systems, and replaced windows and all the roof shingles.”

New Richland City Council

By JODY WYNNEMER

Staff Writer

The New Richland City Council met for its second meeting of March on Monday, March 26, with all members in attendance. Following the customary Pledge of Allegiance, the evening’s agenda was approved.

Maintenance supervisor Ryan Nissen was first up with his monthly report. Nissen and the council discussed crack filling and chip sealing for the coming season. 6th Street NW has some issues that require fixing. Bids were received from Ulland Brothers with possible options ranging from $5,000 for milling and overlay to $12,400 for removal and replacement. The company will be contacted to see when the job can be scheduled. The council next approved a request for 108 ton of rock at a cost of $1,774 for repair of alleys throughout the city. A request for a portable pump at a cost of $640 was approved less $245 received for recycled metal.

Brad Field of PeopleService reported the Waste Water Treatment Facility had received its five-year permit from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

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AG AWARDS — The Waseca County Farm Family of the Year and Outstanding Young Farmer were honored at the annual Farm and City Luncheon on Thursday, March 22 in Waseca. Pictured front (l-r): Trevor, Travis and Amy Beckstrand. Middle: Jamie and Marijo Beckstrand. Back: Jason Norton and Paul Beckstrand. (Star Eagle photo by Jody Wynnemer)


By JODY WYNNEMER

Staff Writer

The spring agricultural season in Waseca County officially kicked off with the Farm and City Luncheon at the Waseca American Legion Thursday, March 22. The annual affair, sponsored by the Waseca Area Chamber of Commerce, brings together agri-business leaders and recognizes individual accomplishments.

Following the Invocation by Father Marty Schaefer, guests were treated to a heaping platter of beef, pork, baked potato and corn, served up by blue-jacketed FFA members. As was custom, third grade students from Hartley Elementary provided hand-drawn placemats for the head tables.

Attendees were welcomed by Tracy Jevning, chair of the WACC who introduced Master of Ceremonies Hugh Chester-Jones. The keynote speaker was Ron Eustice, Executive Director of the MN Beef Council.

“My roots are very deep in this community,” said Eustice, who was born in Waseca. He was selected for the 4-H International Youth Exchange program where he spent six months in Uruguay in 1967-68.

Ellendale City Council

By SCOTT GROTH

Contributing Writer

The Ellendale City Council met Thursday March 22 with Mayor Engel, Councilmen Helland, Reiter, Goebel and Groth all in attendance. Also at the meeting were Jeff Johnson, Jeremy Reese, Clerk Louks and Gwen Reiss.

After approving the agenda for the evening, Mayor Engel called on Johnson to give the monthly fire department report. The total pay request for department bills was $1637.93. Chief Reese brought to the council’s attention that the department will be looking to buy different radios in the near future. Reese explained that with Steele County dispatch and law enforcement updating to the new 800 mhz, the department is looking at getting new pagers and mobile radios. 

Reese went on to explain that to set the department up in a relatively good fashion, the department will probably spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $22,000. The department will likely look into buying ten pagers, four portables and four units for the trucks. Reese was asked by the council what monetary compensation the city could provide.