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A World War II veteran from Garfield was mobbed by appreciative crowds when he visited Normandy, France for the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6. "One lady told me, 'You saved my homeland,'" recounted James Clermont, 94, who was a teenager in 1944 when his ship, the U.S.S. Herndon, played a key role in the Allied invasion of Normandy. His crew led the attack on Omaha Beach, shelling German pillboxes along the coastline while taking heavy German fire. The Allied invasion eventually drove the Nazis out of France and turned the tide of the war.
At the tail end of a meeting about pollution in lakes Winona, Agnes and Henry, long-time fisheries operator Jim Bosek spoke up. "I believe I could make all three of those lakes crystal clear," said Bosek, who runs Bosek Fisheries, which supplies walleye fingerlings to the DNR. His secret? Barley seed, said the Garfield man. His pronouncement caused a stir among those attending a meeting led by the Alexandria Lakes Area Sanitary District, whose consultant, Joe Bischoff, had recommended cleaning Lake Agnes with treatments of aluminum sulfate.
Authorities are delaying a planned aluminum sulfate treatment of Lake Agnes until 2020, instead planning to concentrate on tagging carp in Lake Winona, they said at a Tuesday evening meeting. The two lakes, plus Lake Henry, form a chain of lakes affected by the decades-old practice of pumping sewage into the lakes. The lakes' levels of phosphorus, as well as chloride, have landed them on the state's list of impaired waters, a black eye for a region that capitalizes on its recreational lakes, most of which are not impaired.
This summer, Alexandria area drama students won't have to drive a few hours to the Twin Cities to take professional theater training. That's because the training will come to them. The Hennepin Theatre Trust will be providing four master classes at Theatre L'Homme Dieu throughout the summer, beginning June 26 through its Spotlight Education program, followed by programming throughout the school year. The first class will cover technical theater, movement and acting. The classes are open to high school musical theater students in Alexandria and surrounding communities.
The largest show ever to grace the Theatre L'Homme Dieu stage will arrive in a little over a week. "Bright Star," a musical set in the American South in the 1920s and '40s, will open the theater's 2019 season on Tuesday, June 25. "We have 65 people coming just to put on the show," said Executive Director Nicole Mulder. That's 22 technical workers, 35 cast members and eight musicians. "It's going to be a circus."
As the Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District moves forward with plans to reduce pollution in Lakes Winona, Henry and Agnes, it will hold a public hearing to explain its plans to treat Lake Agnes with alum. The hearing is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at the Douglas County Public Works building.
Goodbye, potholes. Hello, smooth black tar. Roadwork on County Road 12 north of Garfield is complete except for striping and putting gravel on the shoulder, said Douglas County Engineer Dave Robley. The paving was done much sooner than expected. "Now the road should last 20-plus years pretty easily," he said.
Melissa Werpy is not one to sit still. So when she and husband Dave roadtripped to Texas and California this winter, the pottery artist brought a little work along—a dozen mugs and four plates ready for sketching and glazing based on what she saw along the way. "The windmills made an impression on me in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma," she said. "Then we hit Arizona and New Mexico and I fell in love with cactus."
When Candace Simar heard that her great-grandfather drove a stagecoach to Fort Ambercrombie in North Dakota toward the end of the Civil War, she excitedly told her college-age children. They didn't care. She told them about the Sioux uprising in Minnesota in 1862. They'd never heard about it. But her son, noting his mom's enthusiasm, challenged her to do something about it: Write a book. So she did.
Maybe if they didn't call it a "catwalk." Or maybe if the darn paparazzi hadn't been all click-click-click, pointing some big old black thing at her like a club. In either case, Tinkerbell, the star of a dog fashion show on Friday, May 31, elicited fond and admiring comments from the intimate audience even after shying away from the camera and leaping from the runway (a coffee table draped with white cloths).