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The Aliga Christmas hunt


Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

December brought to an end the long rainy season in Aliga, Gabon, a tiny African village stitched haphazardly to the sandy Bateke Plateau. No electricity. No roads. I know. I wrestled a Land Cruiser out there in 1983 to build a Peace Corps school. Eager to pour footings, I arrived at work one morning to find the crew, all respected village men, gathered around my pickup.Andre, village chief and de facto foreman, pointed to a clump of trees slightly darker than the rusty line where pale clouds joined scrub grass. Bruno he drove the truck sometimes to collect sand and water translated Chief Andres Bateke into French, We hunt out there. Children need meat for Christmas. This week, no work.Game was scarce around Aliga. Villagers subsisted on manioc, a rubbery carbohydrate that slid down best with greens, bananas, small fish, rodents, palm grubs, termites. I slapped a fender. Ill drive.Next morning, a chill before sunrise, men and boys, their nets, machetes, spears and feisty, little red dogs swarmed the truck. Hunters perched on the roof, hood, fenders, tailgate, side boards. As leaf spring flattened against the frame, I shouted, Wait, somebodyll get hurt!Bruno laughed. Drive slow. Boys and dogs can walk back if the hunt is good.An hour later, the sun high, hot, we lumbered across the horizon. I leaned past Chief Andre, a small boy on his lap straddling the shift lever, to ask Bruno, proudly riding shotgun with an old shotgun on his lap, Here?No.We plowed on through deep sand for another hour until the taciturn Chief mumbled something, and there, in the middle of nowhere, Bruno waved with his shotgun. This way.The landscape changed. Dry grass plains rolled into gentle hills of dirty, white sand, gnarled trees. Andre muttered. Bruno pointed. That way.I cranked the wheel around until treetops bubbled up in the distance. Someone pounded the roof. Stop! Fidel, village tailor and promising mason, bolted up a mango tree. Suddenly at his fingertips, a big, white bird. Dozens of slip knots twisted from vines dangled all around, including one cinched around its long neck. Fidel raced back with his quarry. Go! Why not hunt here? I asked.Fidels aunt owns this grove, Bruno explained, pointing to the horizon. Aliga hunts over that way. Not far.Another hour passed .....
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The Holidays in Fillmore County

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

Fillmore County is stereotyped as being dominated by Norwegian Lutherans who have a strong affinity for lutefisk and lefse. Nativity scenes and plastic Santas are the norm for yard decorations and an angel or a star tops off a well-lit Christmas tree ..... 
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Country School Christmas Pageants

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

Hello, hello dear audience.  Were happy that youre here.  And soon well entertain you with  Our Christmas songs and cheer.  Get ready for our progr ..... 
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Hallingdal Rosemaling

Fri, Dec 10th, 2004
Posted in Features

During April 2004 I had the pleasure of meeting my distant relative, Nils Ellingsgard, from Norway for the first time. Nils was one of the keynote speakers at the first international rosemaling symposium, The Art of Rosemaling: Tradition Meets the Cr ..... 
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Increase in market values drives Preston taxes

Fri, Dec 10th, 2004
Posted in Features

Preston City Council members completed their business in less than a quarter of an hour Monday night. This included the Truth in Taxation hearing mandated to allow the public to question the proposed budget. Only a handful of citizens were in attenda ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court

Fri, Dec 10th, 2004
Posted in Features

Felony Charges

Michael Floyd Reese, 23, of Spring Valley was charged with one felony count of fleeing a police officer in Fillmore County District Court on Tuesday, December 7.

According to court documents, ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: Council holds Truth in Taxation hearing

Fri, Dec 10th, 2004
Posted in Features

At the Truth in Taxation public hearing December 6, Council member Joe OConnor applauded the work of Bobbie Torgerson and Rita Peterson in gathering the budget numbers for the years of 2003 and 2004 so the budget for 2005 could be a good estimate of ..... 
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Advancements in medical technology improve in-home care

Fri, Dec 3rd, 2004
Posted in Features

Each year technology seems to just get better and better. From cell phones that take pictures to plasma TVs and hybrid cars, a vast majority of the new high tech equipment is not just for our convenience and entertainment. The medical field is also k ..... 
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Davids named chair of House Ag Committee

Fri, Dec 3rd, 2004
Posted in Features

Representative Greg Davids has been named chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Policy Committee for the 2005-06 biennium.

Agriculture is the number one industry in Minnesota and I am humbled and honored to be ..... 
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