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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)
By JODY WYNNEMER
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.”
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Sixth-graders’ move to NR approved; Cyr sniffs out bargain on band uniforms
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)
By REED WALLER
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.
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NOW UP FOR BIDS — Above, Jesse Quam hoists one of the many items auctioned off during the 28th Annual Geneva Cancer Auction that wrapped up Saturday at Geneva Bar and Grill. (Star Eagle photo by Kathy Paulsen)
By KATHY PAULSEN
He called it the “people’s auction" as Whitey Hagen opened the Geneva Cancer Auction Friday, Jan. 13.
"It's the people in our area that know how to raise money for cancer research,” said Hagen. “It's the people who continue to donate and contribute to this great cause that keep these events going and money coming in to help fund a cure for cancer."
The 28th annual two-weekend event wrapped up Saturday at Geneva Bar & Grill.
Friday started with a jar of Vi Blazek's prize pickles, now made by her daughter, Sue Hill. Vi was instrumental in the early auction days with jars of her famous pickles, homegrown from her own patch and made with loving care. Sadly, Vi succumbed to cancer, but her legacy carries on through the loving efforts of her daughter, Sue, and this year her great granddaughter, Jade, contributed to the auction with her very first pickle donation, and it raised $60. Many years ago Vi had a jar of her pickles sell for $1,800.
Troy Hagen was the winning bidder of a jar of Sue Hill’s pickles, the first item up for bid Friday night. The cancer auction is noted for that: tradition; families and friends continuing to ever enlarge the efforts to fight this dreaded disease.
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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)
By RACHEL RIETSEMA
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.
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Bernard says enjoy it while it lasts, because it could change quickly
BROWN GROUND — Above, a dried-up pond just north of New Richland illustrates just how dry and unseasonably warm it’s been in the area lately. The pond usually is filled with a couple feet of water, normally frozen in January. Below, a small group of ice fishermen kept close to shore on Beaver Lake Sunday. (Star Eagle photos by Jim Lutgens)
By RACHEL RIETSEMA
Old man winter has been acting a tad peculiar this past December and January. Of course, there’s seemingly little room for complaint, but it would still be satisfying to hear a solid explanation.
So, here to shed some wisdom on our unseasonable brown surroundings is local agronomist, Mark Bernard.
“I seem to remember that the winters of 2006-07 and 01-02 were rather warm as well,” Bernard said. “But, why is there no snow on the ground? Well, there is no one reason. There are many factors to consider when this happens.”
According to Bernard, the matter at which these “open winters” occur is never predictable, due to frequency and magnitude of occurrence.
“The La Niña event in the Pacific, a cooling of the surface sea temperatures, is usually associated with above normal winter precipitation and colder than normal temperatures for us,” Bernard said. “That is why most forecasters were convinced we were in for a wetter and colder than normal winter. The same conditions existed last year, so it seemed like a slam dunk.”