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Cafeteria project detailed at special public meeting
NEW SCHOOL COMMONS AREA – The light yellow area indicates the proposed new Cafeteria/Commons area of the New Richland school building. The building’s main entrance, to be converted to secure double entry, is at lower left. The Upper Commons is in place of the current cafeteria, and the Lower Commons (area 17) is in place of the current south portion of the Media Center. The new Lower Commons will retain two skylights inherited from the Media Center. At lower right is the diagonally-placed main door to the smaller Media Center. At top is the facing wall of the new kitchen area, indicating large service openings with drop-down firewall dividers. (Drawing detail courtesy of SGN Wendel, recolored by Star Eagle)
By REED WALER
A special public meeting to display and answer questions on the proposed kitchen-commons-entryway remodeling of the New Richland school building was held last Tuesday at 7 p.m. immediately following the district’s annual Truth in Taxation hearing at 6:30.
Present were representatives of ICS Consulting and SGN Wendel Architects, to present the drawings and explain financing.
Visitors were first given a quick history of the project.
“It’s been in our minds for quite some time that the kitchen facility was aging quite rapidly,” said Supt. Kevin Wellen. “The kitchen and its equipment are over 50 years old, and the cafeteria is the same.”
“We involved some companies,” explained board chair Rick Schultz, “and we prioritized some other areas that could be improved.”
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GETTING ACQUAINTED — New Richland Care Center’s new administrator, Lyn Sebenaler, left, chats with resident Robert “Swan” Tollefson. (Star Eagle photo by Rachel Rietsema)
By RACHEL RIETSEMA
It’s no secret that New Richland Care Center residents are having a holly, jolly time this holiday season. And no, it’s not because of the mistletoe or colorful lights.
Sure, these Christmas-oriented things might liven up everybody’s spirits, but the core of their happiness stems from the newly-hired administrator, Lyn Sebenaler.
“I enrich lives that normally would be lonely,” Sebenaler said. “Nursing homes are notorious for being cold and impersonal, but I thought this place to be very warm and open.”
Actually, the moment she walked on the premises, there was an instant connection. Smaller-bed facilities just have a way of doing that to her.
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Annual event marks 25th year
FUN FOR ALL — The 25th Annual Christmas in the Country event offered something for all ages in downtown Ellendale Sunday, Dec. 2. (Star Eagle photos by Rachel Rietsema)
By RACHEL RIETSEMA
Sure, there may have been no white flakes blanketing Ellendale this past Sunday, but they sure had plenty of Christmas cheer to go around.
From noon to 5 p.m., town residents of all ages flocked to a myriad of entertainment and shopping events for Christmas in the Country. The kids especially had a grand ole time.
“I’ve called Santa Bingo since our kids were little, so we’ve been doing this for 25 years,” said Commercial Club member Brian Wayne. “All the bingo winners receive prizes provided by local businesses in town.”
Some of the prizes available for selection included Play-Doh, an Angry Birds ball, Candyland, bead kit, weaving loom and a Nerf basketball kit.
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Fans pack gym twice for Indoor Marching Band Concert
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA — NRHEG High School Band members donned masks, above, and generally had fun and displayed pride during the Indoor Marching Band Concert Nov. 19 and 20. Below, Director Tim Siewert presents Hans Frank the award for Panther of the Year. (Star Eagle photos by Chris Schlaak)
By NICOLE BILLING
The NRHEG High School Band had its annual Indoor Marching Band concert on Monday, November 19 and Tuesday, November 20 in New Richland. The concert began at 7:30 p.m. with the doors opening for the public at 7.
This year, the school made an exective decision to host the concert two nights, due to how popular it has been in the previous years. The concert was a success again this year with two bleachers filled both nights.
This year’s theme included songs from the movie The Phantom of the Opera.
The first group to perform was the jazz band, which performed four songs. They played songs such as “That’s How We Roll” and “Gospel John.”
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When Kari (Schlaak) Rettig was a little girl growing up in New Richland, she owned more than 100 dolls and used to tell people she wanted a dozen children someday. With the birth of her second set of twins this year, she now has an even dozen — and countless reasons to be thankful
A DOZEN AND THEN SOME — The Rettig family, front from left: Rockford, Victoria, Keira, Emma and one of the newest twins. Back: Elisabeth, Jacob, Mercedes, Christian, Lee, Hudson, Kari (holding the other twin) and Hannah. The new twins are named Abraham and Benjamin. (Submitted photo)
By RACHEL RIETSEMA
The saying, “The more the merrier,” well, the Rettig household has taken that one literally.
Yes, Kari and Lee Rettig definitely have their hands full, with 12 children in all. And they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“People remember me saying I wanted a dozen children,” said Kari, a New Richland native and daughter of Lyle and Diane Schlaak. “I remember having over a hundred dolls and I named most of them. My husband was the older of two; he debated about even having children before we were married. He then said four and once we had about two, he was fine with six.”
But, after bearing their first set of twins (numbers four and five) Lee’s exact words at the time were, “However many God blesses us with is fine.”