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"We just wanted to let them know we care." Sandi Mackynen, member of the Somerset Buds Garden Club, spoke of the Autumn Blaze maple tree that they had planted between the Somerset Town Hall and Highway 35. The 8-foot tall tree was purchased by the club back in early summer, using the proceeds from their annual plant sale. Each year, the club uses its fundraising money for a community beautification project. This year, Mackynen suggested doing something for the soldiers serving overseas. "I don't know anyone personally serving, or any of their families," said Mackynen.
What group can pay off a $1 million facility within a year of construction? Answer: the Hazel Mackin Library Board in Roberts. Suzanne Strack, treasurer of the library board, presented Willard Moeri, village president, with a final check of $24,444.59 at the Village of Roberts Board meeting on Monday, Oct. 10. The check was the last one in paying off the $1.5 million new library building that opened last September. "The actual construction did not cost the community members anything," commented Dora Rohl, former library board chairwoman.
It was a trickle at first, but then it was a tidal wave. Students at Paperjack Elementary School and their teachers took a 10-minute break during their morning routine to walk in the gym Thursday, Oct. 6. Walking to the strains of the mid-1990's hit "Macarena," the first group was joined by another, then another, and then another, until the entire gym was filled with kids.
Roxy (Martin) Berning has never considered herself a "girly girl." "I was known for my aggressive behavior," said Berning, a 2006 Somerset High School graduate. It is that aggressiveness that makes her fit right in with her teammates on the Minnesota Valkyries, a recent expansion team in the Lingerie Football League (LFL). The LFL has been in existence for three years; Minnesota's team is the 11th franchise in the league. Although they have already played and won 28-25 against the Green Bay Chill on Aug. 26, the Minnesota Valkyrie's home opener is on Friday, Oct. 14, at Target Center.
It was a strange thing for Jeff Moberg, New Richmond High School principal, to say on the job. "Welcome to McDonald's. May I help you?" Moberg, along with eight NRHS teachers, participated in McTeacher's Night at the local McDonald's located on 243 N. Knowles Ave. on Tuesday, Sept. 27. None of the teachers had ever worked in a fast-food restaurant before.
St. Anne's fourth annual marathon is well on its way of reaching its $15,000 goal. According to Randall Stanke, principal, 82 percent of students and their families participated in the event. "We are still collecting all this week," explained Stanke. "We've met our goal each year prior, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed." The marathon was held on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. The ½ mile course surrounded the St. Anne's School complex and each participant got one punch on his/her card after each lap completed. There were sixteen areas for punches on each card, equaling eight miles.
Seems like the block party committee was on the right track when they shifted the date and changed the name of the former Somerfest celebration in August. Re-christened the "Church Hill Block Party," the revised event took place Oct. 1 -2 in the parking lot of St. Anne's School. "The attendance was way up from last year and the year before," said Ann Erlitz, organizer of the event. "And it wasn't just people from St. Anne's - they were from all over." The weekend event started on Saturday, Oct.
There will be a new cat roaming the streets of Somerset. The Village of Somerset approved purchasing a CAT 921 to replace the old 1996 loader for the upcoming snow season. "We use this as a critical piece of snow removal equipment," explained Rob Weldon, public works supervisor. "It has us very nervous as we approach winter." Weldon got estimates from three manufacturers, and suggested going with the Caterpillar 921 H from CAT Fabco out of Eau Claire. The cost for the loader would be $92,174, on a five-year pay installment with the first year's payment being the 1996 loader trade-in.
Brad Marcello, 15, went on bear hunt and did indeed catch a big one. With the help of friends and family, the Somerset teen shot a 247 pound bear on a Sept. 16-18 hunting trip near Dairyland. What's even more remarkable: he did it without sitting in his wheelchair. Marcello has ostogenesis imperfecta, a generic disorder that causes brittle bones. He spends most of his time in a motorized wheelchair, but the summer tornados up north made the woods even more rugged. Not that the teen is unaccustomed to hunting.
The joint Somerset meeting between the village and the township on Sept. 26 focused on the new Fire/Rescue budget. Travis Belisle, Somerset Fire/Rescue chief, asked for a 1.5 percent increase from last year (approximately $2,200), citing supply needs and other expenses. After explaining to the boards that they were looking at purchasing portable lights for the engines, a program to store their files off-site and new hoses for trucks, Belisle was willing to cut back. "We can knock the hoses out of it and come back later to ask for the money if needed," he offered.