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Could Clear Lake, Wis. be any further away from Los Angeles, Calif.? Ask the cast and crew of the independent feature film now being produced around the rural Polk County community. The actors, actresses, writers and producers from the West Coast were bundled up against the biting cold on Friday.
The face of rural Wisconsin has changed dramatically over the past couple decades. Farmers can no longer afford to simply grow crops or raise livestock for a living, while ignoring the global market forces that are creating sweeping changes in the business of food production. And rural communities can no longer rely solely on the steady income provided by their farm-based customers.
New Richmond's Ethics Committee hadn't met in more than 30 years. Rick Cooper, who was appointed to the New Richmond panel under former Mayor James Casey in the 1970s, couldn't remember that they'd ever met in all that time. So it was an unusual circumstance when the group finally met face to face last Tuesday, Nov. 20.
The New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce has unveiled its new community visitor center. The Chamber's downtown office, at 235 South Knowles, has been transformed from a functional office space into a more effective overall center for use by area residents and tourists alike. When the Chamber moved to its new location a year ago, Executive Director Russ Korpela said it was obvious some changes were needed. "It didn't require a whole lot of renovations to get the doors open," he said.
Our Web site has a new, fun addition this week. "Festive Pets" is a reader-generated photo gallery that should create some interest among pet lovers. All you have to do is e-mail us a picture of your pet (dressed in appropriate holiday attire) and we'll include the photo on our Web site. We also need a little information about the name of the pet, the names of the pet owners and where the pet resides to include with the picture. We already have one or two up on the Web site for you to see. Send those photographs to email@example.com so we can all enjoy the images.
Some unwanted visitors in Bette Stephens' garage completed a huge construction project over the summer. Stephens noticed a large number of wasps or bees around her garage during the late fall and eventually saw a huge grey blob inside one window. When she got closer, Stephens discovered that bees had created a large hive on the wall and window frame. "I noticed it about a month ago," she said. "It was huge and there were bees all over." Stephens decided to leave the hive alone until the fall freeze.
A plan to expand the Econofoods grocery store in New Richmond is getting favorable reviews. That's in contrast to a similar proposal five years ago that eventually was stopped by the City. Nash Finch representatives attended last Thursday's meeting of the Economic Development Commission to unveil their initial ideas. Melanie Clement, director of construction and engineering for Nash Finch, owner of the New Richmond store, said plans call for a 10,000-square-foot expansion of the building.
The ongoing debate over the future of an aging commercial building in New Richmond ended up in St. Croix County Court Thursday. In a hearing before Judge Edward Vlack, property owners Vernon and Carolyn Borst of rural Somerset continued their effort to save their building located at 648 West Fourth Street in New Richmond. Final arguments are slated for Dec. 13 at 10 a.m.
When "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" celebrates its 100th episode Sunday, Nov. 25, a New Richmond company will be part of the celebration. Balsam Millworks Moulding & Lumber, a custom wood products manufacturer located in the industrial park, played a small role in the filming of that landmark program. The two-hour special was originally filmed this summer in Minnetonka, Minn.
Kathleen Fredrickson had a "yee haw" moment when she hiked among the mountain peaks of Glacier National Park this summer. "I didn't know if I'd be able to do it," she confided during an interview at her rural New Richmond home. "Without God's intervention, I wouldn't be here as I am today. I really want to make sure God is praised through all this." The thankfulness may be a little hard for many to understand.