Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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The Salvation Army red kettle campaign is way behind schedule. As of Monday, only about $22,000 had been raised by St. Croix County bellringers. That's bad news for local Salvation Army officials who set an aggressive $100,000 goal for this year's effort. Last year the county gathered about $62,000 in donations, but the organization ran out of money by the end of the year. "I'm extremely concerned," said Duana Bremer, director of the Salvation Army of St. Croix County. "I'm not trying to scare people, but this is reality.
New Richmond is getting national recognition for its efforts to respect and involve the community's youth. During an eventful year for the YOUth and Families Initiative program, great progress has been made. The city's young people completed a survey in 2004 indicating that they don't feel valued. To counter these negative feelings, the Initiative reached out to people of all ages to get them to connect with each other at Stakeholders Gatherings, to share ideas about how to show support for youth.
New Richmond's tight grip on housing development within a mile and a half of its border might be loosening. The city council Monday conducted a public hearing to gather comments about a proposal to allow some subdivisions on the fringes of their extra-territorial zone. Current restrictions only allow for one housing unit on each 35 acres of land.
The great goose hunting experiment on Hatfield Lake is apparently working. New Richmond Regional Airport Manager Mike Demulling said the numbers of migratory geese on the lake have dwindled since hunting began. City officials had hoped to keep goose numbers down on the lake, as the waterfowl are a potential hazard for aircraft landing and taking off at the adjacent airport. The city council approved a special hunting zone within the city limits to accomplish the goal.
Kids sang heart-felt thank yous. Students shook the hands of veterans who sacrificed during times of war. Fellow veterans marked the passing of comrades during the year. Veterans Day celebrations were plentiful throughout New Richmond Friday morning. The morning kicked off with a ceremony at New Richmond Middle School. The local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10818 color guard was on hand to present the American flag to the crowd. As the ceremony began, teacher Vickie Cobian said a few years ago only adults understood the sacrifices of war.
Fido doesn't have to be lost forever, thanks to an emerging high-tech identification service. Microchip technology is picking up steam in the pet world. More and more pet owners are having tiny microchips implanted in their dogs, cats and other animals in case they ever are lost or run away. Once implanted under the skin, the microchips can be scanned and the pet's owner can be identified. Countryside Veterinary Service has been implanting microchips for several years, but only recently has their use been picking up dramatically. "It's kind of a nice thing to
Wal-Mart prepares for highly anticipated opening The shelves are stocked, the employees are trained and the Wal-Mart greeters are ready with their smiles. Let the New Richmond super center experience begin. When the clock strikes 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, shoppers will stream into the new 155,000-square-foot store on the southern edge of the city. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony will precede the opening at 7:30 a.m. From Oct. 26 on, the store will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A New Richmond toddler is the region's most beautiful baby. Onalie Rose Dennis, 10-months-old, captured the crown at the New Star Discovery pageant in Maplewood, Minn. Sept. 18. She also captured the top prize in the "Angel Face" and "Best Product" categories. Not only was Onalie judged tops in her 8-to-14-month age group, she received the overall crown for kids 0 to 3 years old. "They judged the girls and boys on appearance and personality," said Onalie's proud mother, Terina.
The United Way of St. Croix County has "adopted" Gulfport, Miss. in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. According to John Coughlin, executive director of the United Way of St. Croix County, the local non-profit organization decided to focus its relief efforts on one specific disaster area to maximize the impact. "We'll be able to see where our money and supplies are going," he said. The effort will assist residents in three of the hardest hit counties on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Sixty years ago this week, a young Nick Golz was hunkered down with his U.S. Army unit in Luzon, Philippines awaiting orders. "The opposition at that point had pretty much been vanquished," he recalled. At 17 years old, Golz looked barely 15 when he enlisted in the service. "Maybe it's stupidity, but I thought I had to go over there and help out.