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Travelers' tales


Fri, Feb 2nd, 2001
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A visit to the Raffles Hotel in SingaporeBy Neil HaugerudMonday, February 5, 2001

During the third week of January, I accompanied my daughter Renee on a business trip to Singapore. The sub-tropical temperatures, combined with the exotic flora and fauna, stood out in contrast to the Minnesota winter landscape that I had left at home.

We stayed at the historic Raffles Hotel. Located amid the skyscrapers of downtown Singapore, the Raffles encompasses an area much larger than Preston's entire downtown business district, including the courthouse square. Prior to being occupied by the invading Japanese in 1942 the Raffles Hotel was a most popular place for U.S. and British Colonial military personnel. Many of our soldiers who were captured or escaped from Singapore during World War II made a vow to return to the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel should they survive the war. To this day many veterans continue to make the journey to the Hotel for a reunion at the Long Bar.

The country of Singapore sits on the tip of the Malay Peninsula facing the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. With a population of about 3 million, the city-state consists of the main island of Singapore, which is 25 miles in length and 23 miles in breadth. There are another 60 smaller islands, many of them uninhabited, that make up the country. Singapore began as a trading station established by Sir Stanford Raffles in 1819, and in 1867 control of Singapore was transferred to the British Colonial office. Singapore eventually became an independent country in 1965.

In 1991 a multimillion-dollar restoration project returned the Raffles Hotel to its original colonial splendor of 1915. There are shops, restaurants, lounges, bars, a nineteenth century playhouse, courtyards and a living replica of a rain forest within the complex.

In the main lobby there is an open area called the Writer's Bar which many distinguished writers have frequented over the years, and subsequently made famous. Writers such as Somerset Maugham, who described the hotel as 'the fables of the Exotic East' and Rudyard Kipling was quoted as saying, 'when in Singapore, feed at the Raffles.'

On our first afternoon, while Renee was off at a business meeting, I seated myself in a comfortable chair beneath a sign that said 'WRITERS BAR'. The place was empty except for the bartender, so picking up on the writing tradition of the Raffles I placed a fiction manuscript of min .....
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Hoffman Stables

Board seat to be vacant 30 days

Fri, Feb 2nd, 2001
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Monday, February 5, 2001

Even with the best of planning, it appears that the Fillmore County Third District Commissioner’s seat will be vacant a minimum of 30 days.

Commissioner Gary Peterson announced at the January 23 county board me ..... 
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Commission deals with sawmill permits, tower

Fri, Feb 2nd, 2001
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Monday, January 29, 2001

Mike Tuohy’s first act as newly elected chairman of the Fillmore County Planning Commission was to implement a sign up system for the public to give input at public hearings.

"We need to register the speakers ..... 
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Benson denies MPCA request

Fri, Feb 2nd, 2001
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By John TorgrimsonMonday, February 5, 2001

On Thursday, February 1, Fillmore County District Judge Robert Benson denied a request from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to reconsider his decision of December 2 ..... 
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The war against grime

Fri, Feb 2nd, 2001
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Monday, January 29, 2001

I had a feeling that there was something in the wind. There seemed to be an unnatural quiet and I had a premonition that something dreadful was going to happen. It was as though there was a dense fog bank and I knew so ..... 
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The Gift of Life

Fri, Feb 2nd, 2001
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Monday, December 18, 2000

When the phone rang at three a.m. last Monday morning, my husband Joe sat straight up out of a deep sleep, "Baby time," he said.

With one foot on the floor, he then heard me saying, "Yes, you can dry ginger a ..... 
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A tribute

Fri, Feb 2nd, 2001
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Monday, February 5, 2001

Two writing classes have been major influences on me. One is an Advanced Placement English class. The teacher of this class has done many things to improve my writing. The other was a class on grammar. I signed up late ..... 
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Winter Birds

Fri, Feb 2nd, 2001
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Monday, January 22, 2000

January 1, 2001: We hear birds singing and see activity in fir trees as we drive slowly past a farm bordering the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Dana Gardner and I are participating in the Whitewater Christ ..... 
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Beneath Tropical Seas

Fri, Feb 2nd, 2001
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Monday, February 5, 2001

Waves roll in and then recede, as the ocean endlessly caresses this lonely tropical shore. Shallow, crystal clear and deliciously warm are the waters of the all-encompassing sea. The white sand beach is deserted, polis ..... 
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