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Students shine in annual concert
CHRISTMAS CONCERT — NRHEG High School music instructor Jacob Bender conducts the band during the annual Christmas Concert Monday, Dec. 14. (Star Eagle photo by Nikki Erickson)
By NIKKI ERICKSON
The Christmas season began at NRHEG High School with the combined choir and band Christmas Concert Monday, Dec. 14.
The choir started the evening with a joyful piece called, “A Festival Holiday,” by Jerry Estes. This rhythmic holiday tune was filled with solos by Nicole Edon on the xylophone, Emma Tollefson on tambourine and Mircedes Mattson on the bongos.
“Tänd ett ljus,” a traditional Swedish piece, was played in celebration of NRHEG exchange student Linnea Strom-Olsen, who sang the lyrics in her native language. “Tänd eft ljus” translates to “light a candle” in hope for a better world.
“White Christmas,” by Irving Berlin and arranged by Joyce Eilers Bacak, was sung with all the longing for a beautiful season of snow during the Christmas season.
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Goette recounts near death experience
DIFFERENT NOW — Russ Goette and his fiancée Patti Carlson have a little different outlook visiting the graves of his parents since Goette suffered a heart attack and subsequent surreal experience three years ago. (Star Eagle photo by Deb Bently)
By DEB BENTLY
Although the date on his birth certificate indicates he is 55, Russ Goette of Ellendale feels he is telling the absolute truth when he says, “I recently celebrated my third birthday.”
And as unlikely as his statement may sound, his fiancée Patti Carlson will back him up 100 percent.
“Russ started a new life three years ago,” she says.
Carlson would know: she was there when his first life ended without warning on the afternoon of Saturday, September 8, 2012. Napping in a chair near her, he suddenly made a gurgling sound, met her eyes, reached out toward her as if unable to speak, and then lapsed into unconsciousness. Carlson knew a heart attack when she saw it, so she dialed 911, requested paramedics, then worked CPR on his unresponsive frame for 15 to 20 minutes until first responders arrived and restarted his heart.
“They had to use the defibrillator twice,” Carlson recalls. “But they got a beat going, and then they took him to the hospital.”
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MOTHERLY LOVE — Arianna Hansen, right, and her mother, Amy. (Star Eagle photo by Jessica Lutgens)
By JESSICA LUTGENS
Courage can often be found in those one might least expect.
Such is the case with Arianna Hansen, an 11-year-old fifth-grade student at NRHEG. In 2009, when Arianna was in kindergarten, a MRI revealed a brain tumor on her optic nerve.
“Her left eye had started to spasm,” Arianna’s mother, Amy, explained. “We took her in for an eye exam, and then we went to Rochester for the MRI.”
This type of brain tumor is called optic nerve glioma, and while rare, they almost always occur in children before age 20. In Arianna’s situation, if the tumor were not removed eventually, it would cause her to lose her vision.
At the time, because it is statistically slow-growing, it was thought the tumor likely wouldn’t grow – and if it did, only minimally.
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In the 1940s, boxing was king in New Richland
GOLDEN MEMORIES — Above, items on display at the New Richland Area Historical Society. Below, Earl Parriott with his silver gloves award (Star Eagle photos by Rodney Hatle)
(Editor’s note: This is the first in a seven-part series about local, area, and state amateur and professional boxing.)
By RODNEY HATLE
At times there really is a rhyme and a reason. In this story of 68 years ago, the rhyme could be written:
Best in the state
In nineteen forty-eight.
And the reason is that Raul J. Donoso won the Upper Midwest Golden Gloves Welterweight Championship through dedication to his own skills. It was February in Minneapolis.
The trophy is inscribed: “U.M.G.G. Team Champion 1948 – Raul Donoso – Welterweight.”
That was his graduation year at New Richland High School.
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Bohlen finally achieves perfection on the bowling lanes
FAMILY AFFAIR — Bowling has definitely been a family activity for Rick Bohlen of rural New Richland, who rolled his first 300 game Nov. 16 at Trapper’s Lanes. (Star Eagle photo by Jim Lutgens)
By JIM LUTGENS
Nobody’s perfect, of course, but on one night, for one shining moment, Rick Bohlen of rural New Richland was exactly that.
Bohlen, 55, finally bowled an elusive 300 game, hitting 12 consecutive strikes Monday, Nov. 16 during league competition at Trapper’s Lanes in New Richland.
It was the first of a three-game 710 series for Bohlen, who followed the perfecto with games of 217 and 193, and it was a long time coming for someone who started bowling more than 50 years ago when his father, Merlin, owned the bowling alley then known as Bohlen’s Lanes.
“I think it was kind of neat it was done here,” said Bohlen, who bowled for many years in Albert Lea before returning to town with his brother, James, to take over their father’s heating and air conditioning business in 2006. “To come back here to do it where we actually grew up and learned how to bowl, it was special.”