Western Itasca Review http://westernitasca.com Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:00:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 Open Forum http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/open-forum-110/ http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/open-forum-110/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:00:17 +0000 http://westernitasca.com/?p=32009 Readers enjoy paper, ask for more

Dear Editor and Staff,

I look forward to every issue of the Western Itasca Review. “The Minnesota Farm Woman” and “The Loon Whisperer” – I always read these first. Then I read “Gifts from the Chippewa” – all are my favorites. “Ask a Trooper” – I always learn something more or at least the “why” of the law.

1. Could you think about asking John Latimer or Harry Hutchins about phenology or the Spruce Project?

2. Could you have a column by a native American writer.

3. A teen’s corner would be nice.

4. Finnish and Swedish history would be interesting to many up here.

5. Wild animal sightings are a draw: magpies now are up here as well as fox on the increase. We have seen moose, bear and a fisher family in Sand Lake Township.

6. Mobster history – they are all gone – they won’t be able to object. Stories around White Fish, Sand.

Thank you for your hard work. I made suggestions only because I am so curious and love this area.

Take care. Thanks for it all

Pam and Bernie Troje
Spring Lake

From the Editor:

I very much appreciated receiving this letter and the suggestions. They are all great ideas and if anyone out there can contribute articles or photos, that would be great! What better way to get items from every corner of our coverage area than to have the residents help with that?

Mr. Latimer and Mr. Hutchins are always welcome to write articles on the topics of their expertise and submit them for publication. I would love to have that.

Just a reminder concerning the mobster idea – Chris Marcott, writer of “Reminisce,” is working on a column about Al Capone and his recurring visits to our neck of the woods. Watch for that in an upcoming issue. (If you have any tidbits for her to contribute to this endeavor, contact her at reminiscewithchris@gmail.com)

For a time, we published a column titled “I Have Been Told” a Native American perspective written by our very own local author, Anne Dunn. Unfortunately,Anne became so involved in other activities and commitments in her life that she was no longer able to write the column. She is always welcome to contribute. Or someone else can start up a new column.

I would love a column from the perspective of a teen, written for teens.

We will always welcome and print submitted photos of wildlife. I, too, have seen a moose near my home, but I didn’t have a camera with me, and it was probably too far away to even show up in the photo! I also had a scarlet tanager in my yard for several days, but every time I tried to get a photo of it, it disappeared. They are elusive. Gene Madsen of Bigfork recently sent a photo of a wild turkey eating at his bird feeder.

The public is always welcome to submit articles and photos. Photos can be emailed to drpub@paulbun

yan.net. Please attach them as a jpeg and write up a little something to explain about the photo.

This is YOUR community newspaper.

Rebecca J. Passeri

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Minnesota Newspaper Week http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/minnesota-newspaper-week/ http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/minnesota-newspaper-week/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:59:43 +0000 http://westernitasca.com/?p=32011 This week, more than 200 newspapers across the State of Minnesota will publish no news on their front pages. This “Whiteout” is taking place during Minnesota Newspaper Week, August 13-19, a part of the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s (MNA) yearlong celebration of its 150th Anniversary. The Whiteout reminds Minnesotans of the important role that newspapers play, writing the first draft of history and telling the stories of their communities.

“In many communities across the State of Minnesota, the newspaper is the main source of local news,” said MNA Executive Director Lisa Hills. “Newspaper journalists across the state attend city council and school board meetings, they cover town festivals and local sports teams, they arrive on the scene to document history during natural disasters and other community challenges. We know newspapers play an important role.”

Today, 25 daily and 295 non-daily newspapers, from Worthington to Warroad, Bird Island to Baudette, Elbow Lake to Ely and every community in between, belong to the Minnesota Newspaper Association.

“Minnesota Newspaper Week is a statewide initiative that reminds individuals of the importance of a free press,” reads Governor Mark Dayton’s proclamation. “Freedom of the Press promotes a well-informed constituency, improves public policy, increases responsiveness and accountability, and enhances public confidence in governmental institutions.”

Minnesotans agree that newspapers play a vital role in the state. MNA’s member newspapers have a total circulation of more than 2.2 million each week. A 2014 Scarborough readership survey found that 89 percent of Minnesotans accessed a newspaper in print and/or digital format in the past month. Minnesotans of all ages read Minnesota newspapers in print and online. It’s no wonder that in a state where many read their local newspaper, the population is also civic-minded and involved in activities like voting in local elections. According to state officials, more than 81 percent of registered Minnesota voters cast ballots in the November 2016 election. That’s just under 75 percent of eligible Minnesotans.

“We are proud to support Minnesota’s vibrant newspaper industry and look forward to being here for the next 150 years,” said Hill.

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Proclamation http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/proclamation-5/ http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/proclamation-5/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:58:12 +0000 http://westernitasca.com/?p=32013 WHEREAS: The government of Minnesota has been “of the people, by the people, for the people” since its inception; and

WHEREAS: The Founders of this country understood that an informed constituency is an essential part of our democracy, and

WHEREAS: In the words of President James Madison, “a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives,” and

WHEREAS: The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”; and

WHEREAS: Minnesota Newspaper Week is a statewide initiative that reminds individuals of the importance of a free press, and

WHEREAS: Freedom of the Press promotes a well informed constituency, improves public policy, increases responsiveness and accountability, and enhances public confidence in governmental institutions.

NOW THEREFORE I, MARK DAYTON, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim the week of August 13-19, 2017, as MINNESOTA NEWSPAPER WEEK in the state of Minnesota.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Minnesota to be affixed at the State Capitol this 27th day of July,

/s/ Mark Dayton

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The Minnesota Farm Woman http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/the-minnesota-farm-woman-193/ http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/the-minnesota-farm-woman-193/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:57:10 +0000 http://westernitasca.com/?p=32015 by Chris Quaal Vinson


I’ll bet nobody else in the whole wide world takes a wool lap blanket along on their summer vacation. In HIS former life, my husband was a Master Electrician. My daughter and I love this man dearly and with all the love in our hearts call him The Electric Police behind his back. There was always (and still is) a familiar refrain at our house. The usual: “Who left the lights on?” or “Are you going to leave this oven on all day?” In the summer: “Why is the air conditioner cranked down so low?” In the winter: “Turn that thermostat down and put on more clothes if you are cold!” If you are congratulating HIM for saving natural resources and using less electricity, you can hold the applause. All bets are off once we go on vacation. If you were travelling on the highway last week heading south toward Kansas City, you could recognize our car by the Minnesota license plates and the frost on the interior of the windows. It may have been 90 degrees outside, but the interior of the car had to be only slightly above the freezing point. I was in the passenger seat with my book, travel pillow, and wool blanket. I would have worn long underwear but fellow travellers would have probably looked at me strangely at rest stops and restaurants along the way. It was August, after all. The first thing HE always does when we check into a hotel room is turn the thermostat down until icicles form outside the windows. The first thing I always do is check out the bathroom and make sure it is clean, then make sure there are extra blankets in the closet. This year, we stayed in a hotel that had a digital thermostat on the wall. Every time I passed it, SOMEONE had turned it down to 67 degrees. I turned it up to 72. The next time I looked, it was 67. I sneaked it back up to 70 and crawled under the covers, shivering. I swear HE must have checked every time he passed it because somehow, it ended back at 67. Knowing that I wouldn’t win, I gave up. We got home a few days ago to the typical hot and humid end-of-summer Minnesota weather. The days are steamy and sticky, the nights filled with thunder, lightening, and a barking Chihuahua who hates storms. After working outside for a couple of hours, I was hot and sweaty and thankful for central air conditioning. I turned the thermostat to 67 degrees to cool things down a bit. That didn’t last long, though. Before I knew it, HE had turned it back up to 72. *Sigh* Here we go again.


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Gene’s Corner http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/genes-corner-23/ http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/genes-corner-23/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:56:02 +0000 http://westernitasca.com/?p=32042 Submitted by Bigfork Resident, Gene Madsen

I would like to know why some people worry about the populations of wolves in Northern Minnesota. If we had alligators in our lakes, would people worry about their population? I moved to northern Minnesota in 1971, and for the past 45 years I have hunted deer at our camp. The past seven years, the deer are all but gone, and the problem is timber wolves. I can’t understand why some government agencies think we have to have a large supply of wolves here in the north to satisfy some people in Minnesota. What is the advantage of 3,800 timber wolves here in the north? If the wolves moved down to the Twin Cities and homeowners lost a few hundred cats and dogs, they would rebel. If I had a choice, I would eradicate mosquitoes and wood ticks. What purpose do they provide?

The wolves really have no friends here in the north; they eat baby deer, nice does carrying nice baby deer and nice young calves, and I know a friend who lost a 1,900-pound Brahman bull and a horse one winter to timber wolves. I wish I had the power to move them to the Twin Cities – they would find a lot of nice little cats and dogs to eat.


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Fieldsend hired as full-time employee of Public Works http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/fieldsend-hired-as-full-time-employee-of-public-works/ http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/fieldsend-hired-as-full-time-employee-of-public-works/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:55:33 +0000 http://westernitasca.com/?p=32044 by Louise H. McGregor, staff writer

        Richard Fieldsend

Richard Fieldsend of Deer River was hired as the new full-time employee of the Deer River Public Works Department and started on the job May 1, 2017.

Fieldsend, originally from Cohasset, and his wife Katie have been married since 2008 and have three children, Bailey (6), Cami (5) and Michael (3). Katie, whose maiden name is Rowe, is originally from Deer River. The Fieldsends have lived in the Deer River area for about 14 years.

Fieldsend worked as an automotive technician at Lakewoods Chrysler for 10 years. He left that job on April 28, 2017 to become an employee of the City of Deer River. He had joined the Deer River Fire Department in 2015 and has been a member there for two years.

Spending time with his family is important to Fieldsend and he enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing.

“I like my new job,” he said, “and I am learning a lot of different thing about city systems that I didn’t know before.”

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Veterans Corner http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/veterans-corner-3/ http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/veterans-corner-3/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:54:25 +0000 http://westernitasca.com/?p=32017 Camp Lejeune and Toxic Water

From the 1950s through the 1980s, people living or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals.

VA has established a presumptive service connection for veterans, reservists, and National Guard members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987 who later developed one of the following eight diseases: Adult leukemia, aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease.

If you or someone you know served on Camp Lejeune during the time frame specified above you should call our office and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If you are a widow/widower of a veteran who died of one the listed diseases and you believe they served on Camp Lejeune please call and schedule an appointment; you may eligible for benefits.

Thanks For Your Service and God Bless America

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Legion All Star game http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/legion-all-star-game/ http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/legion-all-star-game/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:53:36 +0000 http://westernitasca.com/?p=32047
In the Legion All Star game in Hibbing last Saturday, the South team rallied for a 4-3 victory over the North in the nine inning game. Deer River’s Jeffrey Moore started for the North All Star’s on the mound and threw two innings allowing one unearned run and struck out four. Deer River’s Jaxson Willis pitched one shut out inning and played well in the outfield.

Deer River players Robert Moore and Jalen Fairbanks played well for the North All Stars.
The North VFW All Star team defeated the South All Stars 6-0 last Saturday in Hibbing. The North team was coached by Arleigh Jorgenson of Cook County and Jim Erzar of Deer River.
Pictured from left to right are coach Jim Erzar, Jaxson Willis, Jeffrey Moore and coach John Moore.
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If there was no News Papers http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/if-there-was-no-news-papers/ http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/if-there-was-no-news-papers/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:52:42 +0000 http://westernitasca.com/?p=32029

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Gwenn Smith, Chuck Hilgedick Outstanding Senior Volunteers http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/gwenn-smith-chuck-hilgedick-outstanding-senior-volunteers/ http://westernitasca.com/2017/08/16/gwenn-smith-chuck-hilgedick-outstanding-senior-volunteers/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:51:03 +0000 http://westernitasca.com/?p=32019 The Outstanding Senior Volunteer Selection Committee is pleased to announce that Gwenn Smith of Deer River and Chuck Hilgedick of Wabana Township have been named as the 2017 Itasca County Outstanding Senior Volunteer award recipients. While all volunteers deserve recognition and appreciation, based on the nominations submitted, these two volunteers were noted to have gone above and beyond in service to many area organizations since the age of 65. Comprised of staff at the Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging in Duluth, the Selection Committee also notes First-Runner Up Judy Peterson of Grand Rapids for her many years of service to the Itasca County area.

With having served her community for decades, Gwenn Smith from Deer River serves with an open heart that wants to make a difference in her community. She uses her skills, as well as relates her personal life experiences as she meets people where they are, and perhaps when they need her most. Gwenn gives her time to the Deer River Health Care Foundation, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, ElderCircle Bone Builders, Itasca Hospice Partners, and others, as well as spends overnights at Grace House Shelter and at Kylar Glen Hospice House. As stated in a letter of recommendation, “Gwenn’s love of people, abundant supply of hugs and positive attitude are a perfect combination for serving others.”

When asked what is most rewarding about volunteering, Gwenn stated, “Volunteering is such a gift…everyone has something to offer…my passion is the health of individuals and the community as a whole, and I want to contribute in every manner that I am able.”

As a Veteran himself, Chuck Hilgedick is particularly passionate about serving other Veterans, most recently as a catalyst to get the local “Battle Buddies” group off the ground. As stated in a letter of recommendation, retired U.S. Army Sgt. and Itasca County Veterans Service Officer Hugh Quinn stated, “I can say without hesitation that without Chuck serving the Battle Buddies, whereby we match able-bodied Vets with Vets in nursing homes, Battle Buddies would have never gotten off the ground. It’s a comfort to know that Chuck is always ready and available on a moment’s notice.”

Chuck volunteers also serves as a driver for three area organizations—Arrowhead Transit, Itasca County Rapid Transit, and ElderCircle. Chuck has logged thousands of miles transporting clients of all ages to/from appointments across Minnesota. Using his personal vehicle, he may transport his clients to a medical or dental appointment, a supervised family visit, a scheduled court hearing, a detention center, or a social service agency. He has also spent several years as a hospice volunteer providing comfort and care to

patients and their families during a person’s end-of-life journey. Chuck is a strong advocate against consumer crime and fraud through AARP Advocacy and Fraud Fighter Network, particularly when older adults are targeted. He has also volunteered his time to AARP Tax Aide, ElderCircle Guardianship and Good Neighbor.

Named female Runner Up, Judy Peterson is someone who truly cares about people, and it appears that she is tireless in doing so. Her service is diverse, including AARP Tax Aide every tax season, the annual Open Door Coat Rack, delivering Ruby’s Pantry to homebound older adults each month, and coordinating ElderCircle’s entire grocery shopping and delivery services every week. Judy is an amazing steward of her time and talents as she maximizes her skills in finding opportunities to serve in her community. Sharing her endless energy and sincere compassion serves everyone well who comes into contact with Judy.

The annual Itasca County Outstanding Senior Volunteer awards ceremony will be held during “Senior Day at the Fair” on Friday, August 18 at 12:30 pm when Gwenn Smith and Chuck Hilgedick will be presented with their awards, and Judy Peterson will be recognized as well. Smith’s and Hilgedick’s nominations have also been forwarded to the Minnesota State Fair to represent Itasca County for consideration of the Minnesota State Senior Volunteer Awards, which will be presented on Thursday, August 31 at the State Fair. Past Minnesota State Outstanding Senior Volunteer award recipients from Itasca County have been Lloyd Adams from Wabana in 2013, Joan Oja from Pengilly in 2011, First Runner-Up Jim Sommers from Cohasset in 2015 and Lorraine Linser from Grand Rapids in 2008.

For more information about the Outstanding Senior Volunteer Awards, or to make a nomination for next year’s awards, please contact ElderCircle at 218-999-9233.

Chuck Hilgedick
Gwenn Smith
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