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Surviving the Beargrease


Fri, Mar 12th, 2004
Posted in Features

Four amateur radio operators from Spring Valley - Gary and Gladys Peterson, Roland and Marilyn Matson - made the annual trek earlier this month, to the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. There are actually two races: the Mid Distance, which begins in Duluth and finishes at Tofte, a total of 141.6 miles; and the Marathon, which clocks in at 390 miles. The Marathon starts in Duluth and makes the trip north to Devil Track before returning to Duluth.

Gladys and I left the comfort of our home in Spring Valley early morning on March 6th and headed north in our little yellow travel trailer. Roland and Marilyn were already in Duluth. We would join up with them later.

The annual "BARC" meeting was held the first evening. Here was where the plans for amateur radio coverage of the event were reviewed. All the ham repeaters from Eau Claire along the North Shore were tied together, with the base of operations at the Buena Vista Motel in Duluth.

This year there were a couple of new mushers. A young woman from Bend, Oregon, Rachael Scdoris was entered in the Marathon Race. She is legally blind and was being accompanied by a friend with a sled team in front of her. And there was Matt Blair, a former Minnesota Viking, who was entered in the Mid Distance race.

The race started on Sunday, March 7. The morning found the entourage of ham radio operators, numbering over 75, to pre-assigned checkpoints and road crossings along the race route. It takes many people with a reliable communications system to keep track of all the mushers that are in the races. Our purpose was to ensure the safety of everyone involved, including the race judges, veterinarians, volunteer workers, mushers, and other support personnel.

The Matson's have always staffed the community center in Finland. This year they had an over abundance of dogs as both the Marathon and the Mid Distance came through their busy checkpoint. Roland and Marilyn are two of the nicest people in the world and their dedication to the Beargrease is well known in race circles. They work for days on end, checking and double-checking the estimated times of all the teams. If someone is overdue, they are on the ham radio, calling the previous checkpoint for an update. Sleeping on the floor at the Community Center is not the easiest place in the world to spend your nights, but they do it and always look forward to coming ba .....
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Rushford City Council Report: Well number three targeted for improvement

Fri, Mar 12th, 2004
Posted in Features

Mayor Pro-tem Ron Mireau reported to the Rushford City Council at their March 8th meeting on the options and suggestions for the city’s wells. The Water Utility Commission recommended “babysitting” well number two for the time being and concentrating ..... 
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Ethanol spill near Inspiration Point shuts down Highway 16

Fri, Mar 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

Early Thursday morning, a semi tanker owned by Cargo Transport Inc. of Milwaukee rolled over on Highway 16 near Inspiration Point southwest of Lanesboro. The crash occurred at approximately 5:30 a.m. The truck was transporting 7700 gallons of ethanol ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: To B or not to B

Fri, Mar 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

The former Hillcrest Gast Hus property once again garnered the attention of the Lanesboro City Council when they met on Monday, March 1.

New owner Marv Eggert once again requested a conditional use permit to increase the number ..... 
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Preston City Council Report: Maust denies offering mayor bribe

Fri, Mar 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

At a short council meeting Monday evening members managed to deal with routine business efficiently. The exception was a letter from Robert Maust.

Mr. Maust had his letter listed on the agenda. He didn’t provide copies of the l ..... 
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Date set in federal court for Heartland suit

Fri, Mar 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

A trial date for the mandamus suit brought by Robert and Elaine Maust and Heartland Energy & Recycling LLC vs. the city of Preston, which was moved to federal court in January, has been set for February 1, 2005. Federal Judge John Tunheim and Federal ..... 
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Fillmore County Sheriff’s Report

Fri, Mar 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

Steven Gunderson, 21, and Alando Starkey, 19, both of Spring Valley, were arraigned on methamphetamine related charges in Fillmore County District Court on Thursday, March 4, 2004. They were arrested Tuesday night near Wykoff. after a Fillmore County ..... 
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Phase I of Fillmore County courthouse project nears completion

Fri, Mar 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

Workmen have been busy putting the final touches to the courthouse addition this past week in preparation for moving offices on March 15-17. Phase I of construction, which included adding 16,000 square feet of offices for the court system, as well as ..... 
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Fillmore County Commissioners Report: 2003 funds balance reviewed

Fri, Mar 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

Though Fillmore County’s population is considered small in comparison to other counties, its ledger books show some pretty big numbers. Philip Burkholder, briefed the commissioners on the closing figures for 2003 funds available which came in at $9,3 ..... 
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