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Forty students in grades seven through 12 will take the stage at New York Mills High School this weekend for a wild performance of the musical, "Don't Stop Believin.'" For the first time in years, the cast is mostly made up of students who have never participated in drama, which made for some hectic practice sessions this fall, according to Director Rebecca Clarksean. Over the past few years, the drama department has been losing more and more students as they graduate.
Last Saturday night, 32-year-old Lisa Preuss and her family, friends and neighbors took to the dance floor to celebrate victory after a seven-month battle with breast cancer. Officially in remission, Preuss completed her final round of radiation Oct. 30, and wanted to celebrate surrounded by the people who helped her make it through. More than 200 visitors stopped by the New York Mills City Hall Ballroom for a fundraiser in her honor Saturday night, helping raise more than $3,000 in a silent auction and free will donation.
It's not every day a carnival comes to New York Mills. But when it does, hundreds of kids will walk away with pink and blue hair, glittery tattoos and a whole lot of loot they won as prizes. The carnival craziness is not only a good time; it's also for a good cause - enhancing classrooms at New York Mills Elementary School. The Second Annual NY Mills Community Carnival will be held Friday, Nov. 16 from 4-7 p.m. in the sports center at the school. With more than 25 different booths and games, kids of all ages can try their luck at winning prizes.
Dan Christenson's fifth grade students at Prairie Wind Middle School were buzzing with excitement last week when they received 21 letters from their Army pen pals - soldiers in the Bravo Company, first Battalion, 13th Infantry, currently in basic training in Fort Jackson, S.C. "It's really cool to write to someone in the Army," fifth grader Emma Bowers said.
Washington, D.C. filmmaker Mark Pagan spent the last week of his stay as a New York Mills artist in residence recording the sights and sounds of NY Mills, in an effort to capture the rhythm of the community. In an interview, Pagan said he wanted to "capture creatively what makes the town unique. Something more atmospheric." He added, "The train comes to mind.
Candidates for Perham School Board faced one of the most competitive local races, with eight - including all three incumbents - vying for just three open seats. With 100 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday, it was revealed that incumbents Cindy Huber and Sue Von Ruden will keep their seats, and newcomer Vince Pankonin will take incumbent Arnie Thompson's spot. According to unofficial numbers, Huber received the most votes with 2,665, followed by Von Ruden with 2,603 and Pankonin with 2,238. Thompson came in fourth with 1,939 votes.
Amy Wallgren, Kristina Ehnert, Julie Adams, and Wendy Hetland will be four newcomers on the New York Mills school board. With 13 of the 14 precinct totals at 11 p.m. on Tuesday night, Wallgren had the most votes with 1,297, followed by Ehnert with 1,119, then Adams with 1,111 and finally Hetland with 964. Chris Waltz was a fifth candidate who did not fill a seat with 795 votes. The five candidates were vying for four seats, left empty by school board members Josie Hendrickx, Tim Kupfer, Dan Welter and John Peeters.
Julie Gerber will be the first female mayor of New York Mills. Gerber won the seat with 315 votes against candidate Kenny Friese, who had 254 votes, according to unofficial totals on Tuesday night. Gerber has previously served a four-year term on the city council. Betsy Roder and Jason Schik will be the two new city councilors for New York Mills. Roder received 273 votes and Schik received 272.
Heart of the Lakes Elementary School's 11 new teachers offer more than just new faces for the community. They bring different educational ideas and backgrounds that could help improve education. HOTL Principal, Kari Yates, said in an email that staff members who have been teaching at the school for years have, "to be open to the new ideas and observations that can only come from someone with a fresh set of eyes seeing us from the inside." "Ultimately, if we can support and encourage a true exchange of ideas, our whole system will just keep getting stronger," Yates said.
Two weeks ago, Perham eighth grader Blake Franklin got some exciting news from his mom, Rhonda: "Guess what? You are going to be on live TV next week!" The following Thursday evening, Franklin spent about five minutes helping Hutch Johnson give the weather forecast on Valley News Live at Five on KVLY/KXJB Channel 11. "It felt like hours," Franklin said of his experience in an interview Monday.