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The Salvation Army just finished its inaugural "Christmas in July" fundraiser. Throughout the month, volunteers rang bells while standing outside local businesses in Polk County. "We raised $23,000," said Duana Bremer, director of Grace Place/Salvation Army in Somerset. "We're really happy about that." Bremer said that they were trying the program in Polk County for the first year, but will expand to St. Croix County in 2011. "The demand for services has been so great that it's difficult to keep up," she continued.
For those who prefer a more sophisticated day trip or night out, there are a number of venues available in the area, depending on your tastes. Touring wineries, breweries and distilleries provides glimpses of the behind-the-scenes production of wine, beer and spirits, respectively. Some businesses have scheduled tours, while others request that you call for an appointment. All businesses listed are within a 40 minute drive of New Richmond. Wine Chateau St. Croix, 1998 A State Road 87, St. Croix Falls.
The quarterly meeting between the Town of Somerset and the Village of Somerset on Tuesday, July 27 focused on an incident at the Fire Hall during Pea Soup Days. According to Travis Belisle, Somerset Fire/Rescue chief, after the water fights in downtown Somerset some beer was available for those fire department members older than 21 as a gesture of camaraderie. "It was back in the storage room -- not out here in public view," Belisle said. "We had 6-7 sober people here for calls and St. Joe (Fire/Rescue department); we were covered," he continued.
When the engine went out on the Somerset Police Department's 2000 Ford Expedition recently, the department was faced with a problem. It happened that the vehicle was the transport for the K-9 unit: Sgt. Mike Kappers and dog Xaro. The vehicle was not scheduled to be replaced until 2012, but at the Village of Somerset Board meeting on July 21, they decided to move up the date. Police Chief Doug Briggs told the board that selecting the vehicle was tricky. "We don't know how long Xaro is going to work," Briggs said of the 13-year-old dog.
My husband and I had a date night the other evening. Since our kids are gone visiting their grandparents, I decided to take up my friend's offer to go see the Arch Allies group play at the Fun Fest. It was a rare chance for my husband and I to get out. It had been a while since we attended a concert together; I think the last one was seeing Alice Cooper back in the 1990s.
The Traiser family has another lasting connection with Somerset. Charles F. Traiser and his wife MaryAnn recently purchased two memorial pavers honoring paternal family. "I heard they (the Old Town Hall committee) needed money to restore the Town Hall and I figured this would be a good way to honor our ancestors," Traiser said. "Plus we had been friends with Helen Landry for 55 years," MaryAnn added. The garden at the Old Town Hall is named after Landry. The pavers were installed earlier this summer.
Three little bouncer seats line the living room floor of the Van Weiderhofts' house in Somerset.
In 2008 when Somerset Drug opened its doors in the new River Hills Commons business park, owner Ken Nelson thought it was the start of a trend. At the time, the two new buildings would house several businesses -- Liquor Depot was the other occupant. However, the park did not grow much beyond that. "I think it was a combination of things," Nelson said.
It dawned on me the other day that I've been alive for almost four decades. Wow. While some people may be embarrassed to admit they are almost 40, I am actually proud and amazed I've lived so long. Of course, that doesn't stop my daughters from pointing out how much things have changed since I was in middle school (besides the fact that I had to walk 10 miles uphill to school in 5 feet of snow). Music Michael Jackson was "the" person when I was in junior high. I remember being scared of watching the "Thriller" video on MTV (back when they actually played music videos all day).
The Country Splash concert weekend in mid-June may have gone off without any major incidents, but the aftereffects are still being felt. At the finance meeting preceding the monthly Village of Somerset Board meeting on Thursday, June 24, the committee announced that a check from Archie's of Minnesota LLC, the company that sponsored the concert, was returned for insufficient funds. The check was for approximately $14,000, which was an estimation from the village as to what it would cost to staff extra police officers and other administrative costs associated with the concert.