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"There's Grandma!" two young girls hollered on their way to music class at New York Mills School on Monday, detouring over to a smiling woman for a quick hug. This kind of interaction doesn't just happen at school. It happens at stores, garage sales and other places around town - wherever and whenever any of the school's three beloved 'Grandmas' are spotted. In this case, it happened during an interview with two of the 'Grandmas,' including Patty Jokela.
Lakes Area Internet antennas may be taken off the New York Mills water tower in upcoming months, if the company doesn't catch up with its monthly lease payments. At a city council meeting April 10, councilors said if the company does not respond by May 8, removing the antennas would be the next step - a move that would affect Lakes Area Internet customers. Lakes Area Internet has not replied to a number of letters or phone calls from the city, said Clerk Darla Berry. Multiple phone calls from the EOT Focus were also not returned. Currently, the company is three months behind on its lease.
Northern Lights Resort on Dead Lake exchanged owners last week. Mike and Cheryl Harris retired and handed the reins over to Vince and Cheryl Prososki. In an interview last week with both couples, the Harrises shared highlights of their 17 years as resort owners and the Prososkies talked of their upcoming plans. "We (resort owners) are a different breed of people," Cheryl Harris said. "You really have to put yourself out there for guests." The Harrises have also seen times when the guests went above and beyond for their hosts.
Anglers may have the opportunity to hit the lakes a week earlier this year thanks to a proposal working its way through St. Paul, and local resort owners are scrambling at the thought of a lost week of preparation. Currently scheduled for May 12, Minnesota's fishing opener may be moved up to May 5 if a bill is approved by the senate and Gov. Mark Dayton.
The Perham Area Public Library is celebrating its 90th birthday this year, and with it "90 years of volunteers," said librarian Susan Heusser-Ladwig. In an interview last week, Heusser-Ladwig shared stories from the library's history as recorded in various scrapbooks. Newspaper clippings, photos and library board minutes have been compiled over the years by many volunteers, including former librarian Catherine Drahmann. For the library's first 50 years, everything was done voluntarily - from administrative duties to fundraising events to day-to-day operations.
"He can make anything out of wood. Anything," Karen Kilby said of her husband Patrick. And she means "anything." Even casket furniture. For those who have never heard of it before, casket furniture is just what it sounds like - furniture, such as a bookcase, that converts into a casket when its owner is ready to be taken to his or her final resting place. The Kilbys, who own A Simple Pine Box, LLC and Sugar Creek Woodworking in New York Mills, have one of these bookcases at their shop now. Leaning up against a wall, ready for spring, it looks nothing like a casket yet.
More than 30 citizens came together last week to brainstorm possible community uses of the creamery building that was donated in December to the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. Cultural center board member Vicki Chepulis directed the brainstorming process at a special public meeting last Thursday.
Born and raised in Perham, Anne Lee is back in town - or her name is, at least.
Lakes Family Eye Care is celebrating a decade of offering unique eyewear for women. The Perham business has had a successful 10 years, according to owner Gail Pavlacky, with its customer count more than doubling in that time. Pavlacky credits this to the strong, "sense of community support" here. Perham residents support their local businesses more so than in any other town she has worked in, she said, and she is grateful for that. Pavlacky believes Lakes Family Eye Care has found its niche in Perham - offering women unique (and never duplicated) frames.
New York Mills School's technology coordinator, Lapene Maijala, gave an overview of the technology plan at the school board workshop last week. A committee has been discussing technology priorities since the $50,000 per year referendum passed in November. Maijala said the first priority will be updating the school's six computer labs, with a total of 150 refurbished computers, at an estimated $40,000. The old computers could be revamped to replace classroom computers. Another possibility would be to bring laptops into the classroom, for an estimated $60,000-$70,000.