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Amidst long tables filled with a circus of brightly colored hand made bowls, Hammond area students, teachers and parents gathered together to share a meal and participate in an auction as part of the Empty Bowls project at St. Croix Central High School Monday night. Middle School art teacher Kim Knutson is responsible for getting the event started two years ago.
With board member Peter Tharp dissenting, the Roberts Village Board approved rezoning a piece of property from ag-residential to a B-5 highway business district, moving the Flying J truck stop project one step closer to reality. Tharp expressed reservations that the process is moving forward too quickly and that there haven't been enough opportunities to properly scrutinize the project with regard to green space, road configuration and environmental issues.
Entering American Legion Post 80 Friday night, there were three announcements taped to the inside front door; an upcoming gun show, a Red Cross blood drive and a cribbage tournament. All three signaled that this was a community center but also harkened back to generations that experienced the world differently than we do today. Inside, a sea of card tables were set up from one end to the other all occupied by foursomes of card players. Along one side, a long narrow window opens into a commercial kitchen where pans of homemade desserts and trays of sandwiches stand at the ready.
Love Baskets and Grace Place had an unexpected delivery on Friday, Dec. 16: a stretch limo stuffed with new toys. "They just called us up and said they had all these toys to donate," said Tammy Rabb, of Grace Place in Somerset. Premier Business Partners BNI Group of Hudson - a networking group comprised of 22 local business owners - held a "Fill the Limo" toy drive event at the Agave Kitchen on Thursday, Dec. 15, in Hudson from 4-8 p.m. "We sent out a message on our Facebook page," explained Jason Gruber, member of the Premier Business Partners.
If anyone feels the need for a boost to get into the holiday spirit, there are plenty of places in Somerset you can go. *** Santa will be at the Somerset Ice Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 6-8 p.m. Bring a non-perishable food item and your camera to get a picture with Santa. *** The Somerset Library will host "Storyhour with Santa" on Tuesday, Dec. 20, from 11-11:30 a.m. Parents are encouraged to bring cameras to get photos with Santa. There will also be cookies for the children to decorate. *** St. Anne's School will stage their annual Christmas program on Monday, Dec. 19, at 6 p.m.
Some St. Croix Central Elementary School parents want Police Chief Dan Burgress fired - because he's doing his job and enforcing the law. "I get five to six calls wanting the dismissal of Dan on down," Willard Moeri told the Village of Roberts Board at its meeting on Monday, Dec. 12. He was commenting during Burgess' report regarding the traffic problem in the mornings at the elementary school. The complaints are direct results of citations issued to parents illegally parked in the bus loop. "There were four people in the loop," reported Burgess.
By day, he is a mild-mannered engineer for LWT Inc. in New Richmond. By night, he collects and delivers Christmas toys. Rick Lombardo has been the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots coordinator for St. Croix and Polk counties for the past 12 years. He places the red boxes in businesses, offices and other public areas for people to donate new toys. "I'm up to about 46 places between the two counties," said Lombardo.
"It started as an outreach project," said Kay Brooks, as she sat at a table in the New Richmond United Methodist Church's basement working on gift tags. "It's really made a transformation since then." Brooks has been a volunteer for Love Baskets for about 15 years. The project helps local families in need by collecting Christmas presents for them and food vouchers. It partners with the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program, the Salvation Army, as well as business and individual sponsors. "We used to be in the old Armory," Brooks explained.
If anyone feels the need for a boost to get into the holiday spirit, there are plenty of places in Somerset you can go. *** Santa will be at the Somerset Ice Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 6-8 p.m. Bring a non-perishable food item and your camera to get a picture with Santa. There will be free open skating; skate rentals available at the arena or Treadmill Sports. There will also be a spaghetti dinner available for purchase.
You could consider Breckin Beauvais's being here a miracle. Born 16 weeks premature, doctors told his parents that he had less than a 1 percent chance to live. "They wrote him off so many times," said Scott Beauvais in a 2004 interview with the New Richmond News. "They said to hope for the best, but told us he wasn't going to survive." Eight years later, Breckin continues to defy the odds. Watching him in his home, Breckin runs around the living room with his dog, Sparky, a Shorkie Tzu.