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It's not child's play. The BigBadToyStore, an internet-only business that sells collectible action figure toys located in Somerset, currently has a 12,000 square foot warehouse that they built in 2007. At the time, they also purchased a three-acre lot adjacent to it for future expansion. Now is the time for "future expansion." According to Joel Boblit, owner, the expansion will include 5,900 square feet of office space inside the 28,800 they will be adding on. "Bringing the total space to a 52,800 footprint with a lot of elevated storage and mezzanine space as well," said Boblit.
It's no longer summer, so it is no longer called "Somerfest." But St. Anne's Church is continuing with its annual fundraiser, just at a different time of the year. "In the summer there are so many people at the lake or on vacation, that we thought we would do better in the fall when there is nothing really going on," said Ann Erlitz, chairwoman of the event. Rechristened "Church Hill Block Party" and slated for Saturday, Oct. 1, from 4-11 p.m.
The weather wasn't the only thing hot this summer. Pebbles and Samantha Vanasse, 7, of Somerset went fishing with their dad, Kyle, on July 14 at a "secret spot" on the St. Croix River. Ten minutes after casting from their boat, they caught a four-pound northern pike, then a two-pounder, then another four-pounder. Each time they photographed the fish and released them. However, a catch 35 minutes later was destined for another fate. Samantha caught a 36-inch, 10-pound pike. "We had pictures and a celebration of high fives," recalled her father.
Catherine Cranston has always had a love of skating. Originally from Fergus Falls, Minn., Cranston began figure skating at an early age. By the time she was 20 years old, she was teaching figure skating. She then branched out into "power skating." "That's basically teaching hockey players how to skate," she explained. "My mentor taught me in the 1980s how to teach hockey players how to hold their hips, etc.
It was a subdued crowd that gathered on the lawn of the Veteran's Memorial in New Richmond on Sunday, Sept. 11. Fire engines stood to the side. An American flag towered over the entire proceedings from its perch atop the fire engine ladder that stood extended to the sky. The gathering was a memorial to the 9/11 events 10 years ago.
From a business standpoint, it was a pretty good summer. Although the new SoundTown concert didn't have as high a numbers as the previous Country Splash or OzzFest, the weather was good enough to entice tourists to flock to the Apple River and Somerset. "We had a great summer," said Patti Lepinski, manager of Super America gas station at 419 Main Str. "We had a lot of floaters, a couple of good concerts - it was a good year." Apple River Family Campground, 345 Church Hill Road, is one of the newer campgrounds in the area.
The hills were alive with the sound of yapping. Approximately 121 terriers took over the Apple River Family Campgrounds on Sept. 10-11 for the Arctic Blast Terrier Trials. "This has been our biggest year ever," said Brenda Buckles, one of the organizers of the event. The trials are a nationally-recognized event for Jack Russell terriers and other working terriers, which feature races, barn hunts, and obedience competitions. Prior to moving to Somerset, the trials have been held for the past 15 years out of Burkhardt and Glenwood City.
The former steps were, according to Melissa Tuura-Johnson, "scary." She would know. For the last several years Tuura-Johnson has been actively restoring the original Town Hall, along with fellow Somerset resident Rita Lawson. "The steps were so irregular in terms of height," said Lawson. "It was dangerous to come down them, especially with a big step from the building to the platform." The previous steps leading to the 1886 building were not original; they were estimated to have been built approximately 20-50 years ago. When the town celebrated its sesquicentennial in Sept.
A resident of the village spoke up during the public concerns portion of the Village of Roberts Board meeting on Monday, Sept. 12, about the warning sirens. He said that he lives less than a mile from the siren's location but could not hear it going off the other day when he was inside with his windows shut and air-conditioner unit off. "We should move it to the center of town," he suggested, citing that currently the rotating siren encompasses a large section of open field.
Since he was 12 years old, Jason Hankes has always had a place to workout. "I had my first set of weights when I was 10 years old," he announced proudly. "My uncles were good collegiate athletes and my dad always used to haul me around to gyms with him." Hankes is the owner of Hank's Gym, 2260 40th St., in Somerset Township.