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Shark Stories


Fri, Aug 17th, 2001
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Monday, August 20, 2001

Oh, the shark has, pearly teeth babe...

Sharks have been in the news lately. A few weeks ago, Jessie Arbogast, a Mississippi eight-year old, was attacked by a 6-1/2 foot bull shark in the Gulf of Mexico. Jessie lost an arm and a huge chunk of his thigh in the attack. Last week, Jesse, who is still in a slight coma, finally was able to return home.

In another incident recently, a man staying at a resort in the Bahamas was attacked by a shark while swimming. Despite losing a leg just above the knee, the man managed to struggle to shore where he wrote his hotel room number in the sand before collapsing. He is now suing the resort, claiming negligence on the part of the life guards. Speaking of sharks, Johnny Cochran of O.J. Simpson fame is his lawyer.

My first encounter with sharks occurred more than 20 years ago while in the Peace Corps in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. A Minnesota native, this was my first time to spend any extensive time near the sea.

My wife and I lived on the north side of Guadalcanal, bordering the Pacific Ocean on Iron Bottom Sound, so named for the naval tonnage lying on the ocean floor from World War II. The reefs of Guadalcanal were dotted with sunken ships - transports, barges, oil tankers. A Japanese submarine was in 30 feet of water near Visali, fifteen miles from where we lived. This made the area a desired stop for snorkelers and scuba divers.

Closer to our home at Aurligo, which housed a secondary air field near the end of the war, a U.S. B-17 had been ditched in fifty feet of water 50 yards from shore. The plane looked like it did the day it ran off the assembly line, sans propeller, which must have been knocked off on impact.

It was while snorkeling with friends off the plane site that I saw my first sharks in the water. At first they were just a blur of movement to my right. Two grey-reef sharks, four to five feet long, swimming in tandem. Their stomachs were white with grey beginning on the sides and turning nearly black on their backsides. I can still see their eyes, off-set and back from the blunt nose. Reef sharks are noted for their unpredictability and their attacks on people are well documented.

The movement of a shark is indistinguishable from anything else that lives and swims in the ocean. And that was the first thing I noticed - the furtive movement of dark shapes at two-oclock, cruising near the water line.
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Fri, Aug 17th, 2001
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Fri, Aug 17th, 2001
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Fri, Aug 17th, 2001
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To the Editor,

Fri, Aug 17th, 2001
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Monday, August 6, 2001

We would like to address a problem that has bothered us for several years at the Fillmore Fair and also some of the other local fairs in our area.

Our problem is with the 4-H Livestock Auction. We feel the auct ..... 
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Submit a Letter to the Editorhere

Fri, Aug 17th, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, August 6, 2001

Emotions rule over law at Board of Adjustment meeting (July 30, 2001 Journal).

My sympathy goes out to the Livingoods.

My wife and I own a small farm on the outside of Mabel. Fil ..... 
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Vernon H. Vigeland

Fri, Aug 17th, 2001
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Vernon H. Vigeland, 77, of LaCrosse, Wis., formerly of Mabel, Minn. died March 12, 2001 at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel where he had resided for only a week.

Vernon was born September 5, 1923 in Preble Township, Fillmore County, M ..... 
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Gladys Judith Swain

Fri, Aug 17th, 2001
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Gladys Judith Swain, 93, of Rushford, a homemaker, died March 7, 2001 at her home.

Gladys Judith Williams was born May 15, 1907, on the Humble farm at Highland Prairie, moved to North Dakota with her family when she was 3 months old and retu ..... 
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Ronald Thorson

Fri, Aug 17th, 2001
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Ronald Thorson, 65, of rural Mabel, a retired Lockheed Corp. employee, died April 28, 2001 at Winneshiek County Memorial Hospital in Decorah, Iowa.

Ronald was born Aug. 28, 1935, in Decorah to Levi and Esther (Rotvold) Thorson. He graduated ..... 
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