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Fri, Feb 23rd, 2001
Posted in

Editor’s note: The Journal invited the Houston Board of Education to respond to Ms. Tschumper’s letter.

To the Editor,
In November 2000 the Houston School Board approved a three-year contract for the district superintendent. Last week a group calling itself Houston Kids Come First (HKCF)sent a flyer to all district residents that has created confusion regarding the language of the contract and the salary of the superintendent. Letters to area papers have also contained inaccuracies.

On Tuesday, February 13, the Houston Board of Education approved a district response designed to clarify issues raised by the previous mailing. This publication will be sent to all district residents.

One major error by the HKCF group is their claim of a 56% increase in compensation for 2001 over 2000. The actual figures are as follows: salary increases: 7.6% for 2001-2002, 5.3% for 2002-2003, and 5.3% for 2003-2004. These increases bring our salary level closer to the average superintendent salary of similar sized schools in Southeastern Minnesota. If the total package, including health and dental insurance, additional duties, expenses and severance, is calculated, the increases for each year are 17.55%, 4.8% and 4.81% - far below the inflated figures of the HKFC group.

One month after our present superintendent assumed duties, he discovered that Houston School District was in statutory operating debt (S.O.D.), a condition of financial deficit that had been developing for some time. This predicament was due to several factors: 1) inadequate state financial support; 2) declining enrollment, and; 3) increased costs. The superintendent and the board of education immediately took a proactive approach making numerous short-term and long-term budget cuts, and approving a plan for getting the district out of S.O.D.

The board looked at trimming operation expenses and finding creative ways to increase funding. One-cost saving measure included providing transportation for Minnesota State High School League activities only. Many members of the community demonstrated their solid support by funding the remaining transportation costs. In fact, during the first year or our S.O.D. plan, community donations to the school district were in excess of $20,000! And today, even after staff reductions, class sizes are still quite favorable at 13.7 students per teacher with a full-range of course offerings and extra-curricular activities.

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Monday, February 19, 2001

Fri, Feb 23rd, 2001
Posted in

To the Editor,
I felt stunned and dismayed to read in the “Notes from a County Kitchen” column (Feb. 12, 2001) the quip that “A small town is where everybody not only knows which men beat their wives, but also which wives need it.”

N ..... 
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Henry Ulring

Fri, Feb 23rd, 2001
Posted in

Henry Ulring, 93, of Chatfield, retired manager of the Chatfield Creamery, died Tuesday, January 2, 2001, at Chosen Valley Care Center in Chatfield where he had resided since August 1998.

He was born March 14, 1907, in Webster, MN. On Sept. ..... 
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Lula Vix

Fri, Feb 23rd, 2001
Posted in

Lula Vix, 88, of Houston, a longtime area farm homemaker, died Sunday, January 28, 2001, at Franciscan-Skemp Medical Center in La Crosse, WI.

Lula A. Ray was born May 6, 1912, in Houston County. She married Lloyd O. Vix in 1930 in Winona, an ..... 
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Luellen VanGundy

Fri, Feb 23rd, 2001
Posted in

Luellen VanGundy, 95, of Houston, a longtime area farm homemaker, died Tuesday, January 30, 2001, at Valley View Nursing Home in Houston.

Luellen E. Olson was born April 27, 1905, in Ostrander and grew up in the Ostrander and Grand Meadow ar ..... 
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Mildred "Milly" Mundfrom

Fri, Feb 23rd, 2001
Posted in

Mildred "Milly" Mundfrom, 72, of rural Spring Valley, a former secretary and medical transcriptionist, died February 22, 2001 at her home following a lengthy illness.

Mildred Louise Johnson was born Dec. 27, 1928, to Carl and Rena Johnson in ..... 
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Louise Richards

Fri, Feb 23rd, 2001
Posted in

Louise Richards, 94, of Mabel, MN died February 21, 2001 at the St. Francis Hospital in LaCrosse, WI.

Louise was born January 6, 1907 in Houston County, MN to Philip and Bertha (Neumann) Elsheimer. She attended school in Houston County. For m ..... 
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Alice Stutsman Hahn

Fri, Feb 23rd, 2001
Posted in

Alice Stutsman Hahn, 96, of Harmony, a retired registered nurse, died February 12, 2001 at Harmony Healthcare Center.

Alice Elizabeth Mueller was born Dec. 23, 1904, in St. Louis. She was raised by her grandmother in Des Moines, and at the b ..... 
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Gladys L. Forte

Fri, Feb 23rd, 2001
Posted in

Gladys L. Forte, 82, of Chatfield, a retired cake decorator, died February 12, 2001 at Olmsted Medical Center hospital in Rochester.

Born Sept. 13, 1918, in Pilot Mound Township, Fillmore County, she grew up in rural Chatfield and graduated ..... 
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