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A “Norwegian” farm girl returns to her native Vietnam


Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Features

A self-described “Norwegian” farm girl, Julie Knutson DeHart grew up in rural Lanesboro, the adopted daughter of Sharon and Robert Knutson. At Lanesboro High School, the 1992 graduate played in the band, went out for volleyball and ran track. She was a 4-Her for two years and grew up attending services with her family at Elstad Lutheran Church near Highland.“I kept waiting for my eyes to turn blue and my hair to turn brown,” Julie recalled, a big smile spreading across her very Asian face. She says that she knows the feeling of growing up a Twinkie - yellow on the outside and white on the inside - in homogenous rural Minnesota.Julie was 8 1/2 months old when she left her native Vietnam in 1974, an orphaned girl named To Ngoc Dung. Vietnamese names are presented last name first, then middle name, and first name last. When Dung (pronounced Yoom) left Providence Orphanage in Can Tho, her adoption papers described her as a healthy baby with a “strong cry and no apparent abnormalities.” The papers didn’t say who her nautral parents were or the cirmstances surrounding her being orphaned. There was no mention of a war going on; Saigon would fall in April 1975. ***This past March, Julie, now 28, returned to Vietnam for the first time since being adopted by the Knutsons.A nurse at Franciscan Skemp in LaCrosse, Julie was one of 25 members of a medical mission sponsored by Children of Peace International (COPI), a non-profit organization that runs a number of orphanages and schools in Vietnam. Also a member of the team was Julie’s husband, David DeHart, a family physician with Franciscan Skemp in Prairie du Chien, where the couple live.Julie said she was not interested in going to Vietnam as a tourist, but when Dr. Lee Johnson at Francisican Kemp told her about the medical mission, she became enthused.“When Dr. Johnson talked to me about Children of Peace International and the medical mission to Vietnam, I thought it would be a nice way to do some good and visit my native country at the same time.”Each medical team member had to raise the necessary funds, about $2,400, to cover their expenses on the trip, which included airfare, hotels, and food.Before leaving for Vietnam, Julie wasn’t even sure if there would be time to travel to Can Tho, some three hours south of Saigon (now known as Ho Chi Minh City), where her last .....
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TJ Liquor

Preston Planning & Zoning Commission recommends granting CUP to Heartland

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Features

It was a balmy summer-like evening, the Preston City Hall overflowing with interested residents, when the Preston Planning & Zoning Commission met to consider a conditional use permit application from Heartland Energy & Recycling, LLC.

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Council hears possible water solutions

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Water Utility System Analysis Report presented by Bill Chang of BDM was the focal point of the Rushford City Council meeting on Monday, April 14. Chang first detailed some recent improvements to the water system of the city such as the new well # ..... 
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The fourth time’s the charm

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Features

Signs of spring were popping up all over the barnyard recently at the Paul and Cindy Lorius farm seven miles south of Cherry Grove. It's peak lambing time and the Lorius' herd of Suffolk sheep is growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, one of the coupl ..... 
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Council looks for ways to cut budget

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Features

With Local Government Aid (LGA) reductions affecting Harmony to the figure of $43,000 this year, and an additional $80,000 next year, council members started to take a close look at department budgets at their Tuesday, April 15 meeting.   ..... 
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County accepts bids on courthouse project

Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Features

"I was 28 years old when I started this project, and look at me now," joked David Kane, President of Kane and Johnson Architects, Inc. in Rochester, as his team was finally given the green light on the project to remodel the courthouse.
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County Board rules that EAW not required on Bucknell Subdivison

Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Features

A request by Bruce and Linda Bucknell of Racine for a conditional use permit to establish seven lots and two outside lots on land they own located in Sumner Township came to a halt in early March due to a petition requesting an Environmental Assessme ..... 
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Catholic nun recalls mission work in third world

Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Features

“Itchy feet.” That is the working title of a book Sister Joseen Vogt is planning on writing about her experiences around the world.

“When I was leaving Australia, the head master asked me what I was going to do next. I told him ..... 
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Discord over Heartland permit status

Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Preston City Council met Monday evening, April 7, on a day when mother nature struck the area with a heavy spring storm. When it came time to discuss the Heartland Energy & Recycling plant and the action to rescind the Conditional Use Permit (CUP ..... 
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