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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A new community group is hoping to encourage the use and protection of the Willow River. The idea for the "Friends of the Willow River" was kicked around about a year ago among a handful of river lovers. Mike Kelly, chairman of the Friends group, and member Mike Reiter were two of the key figures in the groups beginnings. "Now that we're both retired," Kelly said, "we have some time to put into this stuff." Kelly said the Friends group, which total less than 10 members so far, hopes to accomplish several goals over the next few years. One major project will b
New Richmond School District officials thought more about their current and pending space crunch and decided to do something about it. As a short-term fix to a severe lack of classroom space in the elementary grade levels, the School Board voted 5-2 to lease six portable classrooms for two years. The portables would be attached to East Elementary at a cost of about $286,000 over two years. Superintendent Craig Hitchens set the stage for the portable classroom discussion by outlining enrollment numbers in the district. Without any additional new students in the distr
When Gibby's Lanes opens in New Richmond April 29, bowling enthusiasts will get a first-hand look at the changing face of the sport. This is not your grandfather's old-fashioned bowling alley. It's a high-energy, spacious, brightly lit building. Black lights help add a new twist to the bowling experience. Lanes, gutters, pins, tables, bowling balls and shoes all glow in the dark. Music and flashing lights put the finishing touch on anyone's bowling trip.
A growing flood of facts and a few guesses have New Richmond School Board members scratching their heads over what to do next. After a lengthy discussion Monday night, the board took no official action on its next step in addressing the lack of classroom space at the district's elementary schools. Members appeared to be leaning toward pushing for another referendum vote in the coming months, possibly as early as September. What's unclear is what new buildings, additions or renovation projects will make up the referendum package. Outgoing board member Andy Lieffort s
Last Wednesday's special New Richmond School Board meeting opened with a bit of fireworks. Board member Bill Brennan objected to a scheduled closed session to discuss "board communication" at the beginning of the evening. He said he had been advised that the discussion should not be held in closed session.
A new municipal judge has been appointed to finish the uncompleted term of James Utecht. After 24 years on the job, Utecht resigned his post just weeks before the completion of his elected term. On a 5-0 vote, the New Richmond City Council voted to appoint Jane Esbensen Schmaltz as municipal judge through May 2. Schmaltz was elected to the post during the April 5 election, but she does not officially take office until May. Utecht, however, unexpectedly resigned leaving the judge post empty for several weeks.
Security cameras are being installed at the New Richmond Middle School in an effort to end a recent rash of bomb scares. The New Richmond School Board and district administrators talked until the wee hours of the morning about the recent bomb threat issue Thursday night into Friday. Police report that 10 students have been detained and identified as bomb threat authors, according to Chief Mark Samelstad. The police are awaiting handwriting analyses to be completed by the state crime lab to help identify further suspects. Despite the stepped up activity, bomb scares
If local middle school students thought the recent string of bomb scares was funny, they learned last week it's a much more serious matter than they realized. The New Richmond School Board voted to suspend two sixth grade girls for working together on the school's second bomb scare note. The pair will not be allowed back into the district until after their eighth grade year, according to Superintendent Craig Hitchens. "It was a huge decision for the School Board to make," he said.
U.S. Senator Herb Kohl had lunch with the New Richmond Rotary Club Monday. The three-term Congressman was the special speaker for the day. Club members switched the speaking schedule around to accommodate a request from Kohl's office to visit. Kohl used the opportunity to provide the civic organization with an update on Washington legislation. He used the international club's 4-Way test as an outline for his own political leanings. The test: 1) Is it the truth. 2) Is it fair to all concerned. 3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Seventeen high school students used spring break to learn something extra. The New Richmond students were part of the semi-annual trip to Mexico, coordinated by the Spanish department. Local high school students have been travelling to Mexico every other year for the past 20 years. This is the first year that New Richmond conducted the trip during spring break. Typically the trip is planned early during summer vacation. The group, along with three chaperones, traveled to Mexico City for two days, then spent five days in Merida living with host families.