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Randy Rhodes of Council Bluffs, Iowa relays a story of a boy's honesty and the return of his lost wallet. "In May of this summer, while boating at Lake Okoboji in Iowa, I lost my wallet," he wrote in an email. "The wallet was in my sweatpants and after it warmed up I took them off and laid them on the seat. At some point they blew out of the boat unnoticed by me at the time." Apparently a couple of weeks went by and he received a call from a woman who said she had found my wallet along the shoreline. Somehow the woman eventually lost the wallet herself.
Hannah Pederson was snatched from the grip of death. "They thought I would die," she says after drawing in a deep breath and pronouncing each word with some effort. "But I didn't. Thanks to God I woke up." Since April 29, Pederson has been hospitalized in Eau Claire recovering from severe head injuries suffered in a one-car accident. That night she was rushed to the hospital in a coma. After more than three months in the hospital, Pederson finally returned home Aug. 9.
An New Richmond student spent two weeks this summer as an international U.S. ambassador Down Under. Kaleb Kier, 11, was among 41 Twin Cities area youth chosen to participate in the Dwight D. Eisenhower "People to People" student ambassador program trip to Australia July 18-Aug. 2. "It was very fun," Kier said during an interview last Thursday.
A dedicated group of teenagers has been handing out justice in New Richmond for nearly a year. The Teen Court, which was established in October of 2005, has considered nine cases so far. The violations they've dealt with have ranged from alcohol use to disorderly conduct with a motor vehicle to tobacco use. New Richmond Police Chief Mark Samelstad said he's been happy with the court and the young adults who serve as the prosecutors, jury and court officials. "The amount of effort the kids have put into this has really surprised me," he said.
A New Richmond nursing home is going through a major transformation. New Richmond Meadows, the former Signet Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, changed owners Aug. 1. The facility is now owned by a partnership consisting of Jack Halbleib (owner of Fall Creek Care Center) and George Samardich (owner of the Strum Nursing Home). They have hired former St. Croix Health Center administrator Carolyn Krieger to lead the facility into the future. She inherits a nursing home whose image has lagged in recent years.
Two New Richmond musicians have been touring Wisconsin this summer as part of an elite troupe of young performers. Alex Chilsen and Peter Elkin, both recent graduates of New Richmond High School, are part of the Kids From Wisconsin traveling performance group, based in West Allis. For the past two weeks, Kids From Wisconsin has been performing twice-a-day shows at the Wisconsin State Fair. The music, song and dance showcase hits the road the rest of the summer. They plan performances in Somerset (7 p.m. Aug. 23) at Float-Rite Amphitheater and Eau Claire (Aug.
Dust off your ox carts and head to Star Prairie this weekend. The community's annual Ox Cart Days is scheduled this Friday through Sunday. "It's going to be fun, but it's going to be a rough weekend I'm sure," said Cindy Gibson, Lion's Club member and Ox Cart Days coordinator. "There are not many Lion's Club members so we don't get much sleep." The volunteers devote so much time to the Ox Cart preparations because they enjoy providing the community with an annual celebration, Gibson said.
Emily Lindell is getting ready for school, but it will be far from a normal junior year. Lindell arrived in Cordoba, Mexico over the weekend to begin a one-year exchange student program sponsored by Rotary International. "I've been anticipating this since December, so I think I'm ready to go," she said in an interview Friday. "I'm really excited." The New Richmond High School student, who has taken three years of Spanish in school, said she's only a little nervous about her big adventure. "I'm kind of nervous to meet everyone there," she admitted. "And I'm nervous about the trip.
After more than a year of negotiating, New Richmond and its cable provider are finally tuned into the same channel. The City Council on Monday unanimously approved a 15-year cable franchise agreement with Rapid Cable. The agreement marked the end of a series of problems created when Rapid purchased the local cable franchise two years ago. Since the change in ownership, cable customers have complained about the lack of service and the quality of the signal provided by Rapid.
The first blossoms on green bean plants trigger the start of the busy season at Lakeside Foods in New Richmond. Erica Kunze, human resources manager at the canning facility, waits for those tiny flowers to appear in early summer and then takes a deep breath to brace herself. "Then I can start making arrangements," Kunze said. What follows is a mad dash for six months as the processing plant cans and packages more than 5 million cases of vegetables. But it's more than just an industrial challenge. Kunze's job includes coordinating travel, meals and housing for a group of 250 seasonal worke