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Day set aside to remind students school should be ‘safe, welcoming, comfortable’


CARRYING THE BANNER — NRHEG first-grade students say “Kindness Matters” on Tuesday, January 17th at Ellendale School. From left: Aden Berg, Bree Ihrke, Taya Lembke, Logan Adams, Anton Domeier, Zac Possin, Cody Reistad, Alexus Chambers, Evan Schaefer, Mason Klemmensen, Spencer Swenson, Charles Tipton, Bailey Ihrke, Sidney Schultz, Evan Beckmann, Eva Wayne, Avery Routh, Sawyer Prigge and Gavin Wilkenson. The students are instructed by Jill Boran. (Star Eagle photo by Jody Wynnemer)


Staff Writer

Tuesday, January 17 was a “blue” day at Ellendale Elementary.

One normally associates the color blue with sadness, gloom or unhappiness, but students and staff displayed just the opposite as they celebrated “Kindness Matters Because… I Matter” day.

Classrooms and hallways were full of students wearing their blue T-shirts, and blue was even the color of the Jell-O served in the cafeteria at lunchtime.

“Last March a group of school staff got together and formed the Anti-Bullying Committee (ABC) group at the school,” said Elementary Coordinator Doug Anderson. “Ten members make up the committee and meet twice a month to discuss programming for our K-6 elementary school. With the help of that group, as a school we’ve talked about and worked our own school-wide expectations, how to give and get respect, how to handle a bully and how to get help if bullied and that “Kindness Does Matter.”

Sixth-graders’ move to NR approved; Cyr sniffs out bargain on band uniforms

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SCHOOL BOARD — The current NRHEG Board of Education. Front from left: Lori Routh, Michele Moxon, Karen Flatness and Lis Kormann. Back: Mike Moen, superintendent Kevin Wellen, Rick Schultz and John Harrington. (Star Eagle photo by Chris Schlaak)


Staff Writer

At the Tuesday, January 17 meeting, the NRHEG school board approved the purchase of new band uniforms, the move of the sixth grade to New Richland, and a February 15 joint meeting date with the New Richland City Council.

Joint meetings with New Richland City Council

Last month’s discussion with Jeff Reese led the board to consider arranging a meeting with the New Richland City Council to discuss the poor condition of the jointly-used Legion Field ball fields. 

After discussion with City Clerk Wayne Billing, a date of February 15 was proposed for a meeting of the full city council and the full school board, for the purpose of determining a possible agenda of items the school district and the city could collaborate on working on at future meetings.

What topics could be considered? “Not just the ball field,” said Superintendent Kevin Wellen, “but anything that could be discussed or shared, anything where we have a common interest.”

This might include crosswalks, parking, or traffic issues, among numerous possibilities.

2011 Year in Review, Part 4 of 4


Staff Writer


• The one-year anniversary of the New Richland flood of September 2010 was observed at the Care Center. After a blessing by Pastor Andree, Mikenzi Hebel released Monarch butterflies.

• Harold “Hap” Hagen of New Richland as his license plate says is a HAP-E-1. He received his nickname from his high school basketball coach.

• The Labor Day Harvest Festival Association of Freeborn collected over 45,000 aluminum can tabs which were given to the Miller Coors Brewing Co. as part of their “Give a Veteran a Piece of the High Life” program.

• Beaver Lake Fact or Fiction writer Bob Hanson bids Semper Fi to Russ Anderson, a classmate and former Marine who recently passed away.

• Gene Dodge’s 1936 hospital bill from Albert Lea’s Naeve hospital totaled $36.25 for removing Gene’s appendix. The average cost today would be around $20,761.

• A last-minute touchdown spoiled the NRHEG Panthers’ homecoming celebration. Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial edged the home team 13-12.

New Richland City Council


Staff Writer

There wasn’t a full agenda as the New Richland City Council gathered for its second meeting of 2012 Monday evening. All members were present as Mayor Tom McShane called the meeting to order.

The night’s agenda was approved and two items were pulled from the consent agenda for further discussion. They were a conditional use permit and a pay request from Civil Ag Group for work done on the sewer system upgrade.

There were no public hearings or citizen petitions to be heard.

PeopleService representative Brad Field reported normal operations at the Waste Water Treatment Facility and progress being made on the upgrade to the plant.

Maintenance Supervisor Ryan Nissen was present and appeared dressed for snow removal.

“We start moving snow at 7:30,” said Nissen.


PRIZED POSSESSION — Tanner Oquist, left, got his football autographed by Bob Lurtsema Friday at the Geneva Cancer Auction. He had Jim Marshall autograph the ball last year. (Star Eagle photo by Rachel Rietsema)


Staff Writer

There’s nothing like a little Bob Lurtsema banter to stir up the 28th Annual Geneva Cancer Auction crowd.

“I love small towns, so you people are right up my alley,” said the former Minnesota Viking player of six years.

Sure enough, this special guest’s ability to light up a room spread to even the smallest guests in attendance. But, he wasn’t the only one there to amplify the Geneva Bar & Grill’s atmosphere.

“When I heard you [Lurtsema] were coming and bringing the cheerleaders with you, I was really happy because you always seem to know what you are talking about,” said event CEO Whitey Hagen. “That’s what we like here.”

Not a moment later, Hagen extended a word of thanks for both Jacqui and Mary’s participation at this “28-year-old thing.”

“It’s always a pleasure to have the cheerleaders here,” Hagen said. “We’re proud to have them here at the cancer auction.”

Mind you, this pompom toting pair and former defensive end’s presence didn’t come free. Frontier Communications made it all possible with a generous sponsorship.