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THUMBS UP/THUMBS DOWN

Carter (left) and Owen Kuehl are shown with the new tackle boxes they received after their shared tackle box was lost. (Contributed)

Continuing fishing traditions

Thumbs Up: Area sportsmen clubs and the Minnesota DNR realize the importance of developing interest in the outdoors at a young level. Earlier this summer, we came across an act of kindness that is another example of looking out for our youth. Owen and Carter Kuehl of Alexandria shared a tackle box, but in the course of using it, the 11- and 13-year-old brothers discovered one day that it was missing. They tried to retrace their steps but to no avail. Their mother, Megan Kuehl, put a plea out on Facebook to try and relocate it, and even offered a reward. It's one thing to replace a tackle box, and quite another to replenish it with all of the fishing lures that it contained. They were unable to recover the original, but the Kuehls received quite the response. A friend, Jake Porter of Alexandria, supplied each boy with their own tackle bags, and enough tackle to fill them up. They also received tackle from their cousin, Emmett Marti. Talk about a nice way to make two boys fishermen for life.

Brightening a sad day

Thumbs Up: A local senior citizen shared the following day-brightener: It has been said, "Not every day is a good day, but there is good in every day." How true those words. A few days ago, I received sad news from a friend. I did what I often do at such times, in order to think or to grieve. I drove my car to a familiar parking lot, took my plastic bag and "Gripper" and began to pick up litter along one of our busier local streets. After some minutes, I heard a voice behind me say "Excuse me, I saw what you are doing. I want to say thank you. Here, I brought you a drink from Caribou." I accepted the young lady's gift — not as a reward — but as a kindness that touched my heart. She asked me questions. I explained that I delittered messy areas for the satisfaction it brought me through relaxation, sunshine, fresh air, exercise and knowing a bit of my community looked a little better, at least for a few days. We visited for awhile. We didn't exchange names. Later, I wish we had. But as that sweet, young lady begins her first year of college at Gustavus in St. Peter. This senior citizen will remember the GOOD she put into my otherwise sad day.

Help from Culver's

Thumbs Up: Beau Lofgren of Hawley sends a "thumbs up" to the workers at Culver's in Alexandria. He, his wife and their three young boys often stop there when traveling to

the Twin Cities. A few weeks ago, they stopped at Culvers and ate at an outside table before driving to Wells Fargo. As the family left the bank, Lofgren's wife realized that she must have left her iPhone at Culver's. "I did my best legal-Nascar driving through downtown as I raced back to Culver's. Upon my arrival at the front counter, I found that they had my wife's phone safe and

sound," Lofgren said. They don't know whether a good Samaritan found it, or if a

Culver's worker did but they're thankful. "You hear and read about so much dysfunction in our society these days, but we also need to report the positive that takes place on a regular basis

as well," Lofgren said. "It certainly wasn't a life or death situation, but it could've been a

spendy one that would've dampened the start of our vacation."

Friendly athletes

Thumbs Up: John and Barb Pletcher of Woodbury were impressed with friendly behavior they experienced while biking on the Central Lakes Trail near Alexandria. "For about a mile, we met members of the girls and boys cross country team working out on the trail," John said. "We were pleasantly surprised that almost all of them said 'good morning' before we did. Kudos to their parents and coach! We doubt if this would have happened on our trails in Woodbury."

Courteous clerks

Thumbs Up: Behind the headlines of local store closings is a human issue that goes overlooked — the impact on the people who worked at the stores, some of them for many years. An Alexandria resident sent us a note about it. (We received it before news was posted on the Herberger's website last Friday that companywide, stores are "coming back" in some unspecified shape or form.) The resident wrote, "It was sad to lose our Penney's store and now our Herberger's store. I hope all the people find new jobs. I was impressed with the clerks at these stores. During the time it was announced they were closing, the clerks were all friendly and very courteous to the last day. Good luck to all employees and thank you."

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If you have a suggestion for a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, email it to aedenloff@echopress.com or mail it to Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.

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