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Five alarm chilis compete at event

Firefighters with the New Richmond Fire Department serve up the piping hot chili during Saturday's annual Chili Feed and Cook-Off.

There was a lot of "hot stuff" in the New Richmond Fire Hall on Saturday, April 2.

The second annual Chili Feed and Cook-Off attracted quite a crowd Saturday night. Eighteen participants entered their chili concoctions in three categories: mild, medium and hot.

A panel of judges critiqued the anonymous samples of chili based on appearance, aroma and taste. The panel consisted of New Richmond Mayor Fred Horne, Becky Miller, Joyce Melby, Karen Peterson and Brian Everson.

"There are a lot of good chili cooks here -- it will be fairly close," said Horne. The mild and medium categories had a tie after the initial judging, so the judges' taste buds were enlisted again.

In the mild category, John Davis won the first place plaque and Tama Schmidt was the runner-up.

In the medium category, Kayla Hedlund (a New Richmond paramedic) won first place and Scott Smith was the runner-up.

In the hot category, Theresa Bueno won first place and Assistant Fire Chief Robin Haffner was the runner-up.

In addition to the chili meal, there was also a silent auction and raffle.

"The expenses and donations have yet to be calculated, but by the rough look of things, it appears we have at least doubled our income from last year," said Jim VanderWyst, New Richmond fire chief.

"This is fantastic in light of the economy," he continued. "Guess it shows we have a strong community that supports our firefighters."