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Friday, July 29th, 2016
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JuliaClaire’s Repeat Boutique gets new owners


Mon, Apr 18th, 2016
Posted in All Features

Dave and Nancy Gardner stand behind the counter of their new store. Photo by Hannah Wingert

When Jan Knutson first asked Nancy Gardner if she’d like to volunteer with her at JuliaClaire Repeat Boutique back in 2012, Nancy was skeptical. She didn’t think the owner, Trish Keating would be interested in a volunteer for her store that she didn’t even know. Nonetheless, Nancy stopped into the store to offer her time and services and was surprised when Trish accepted. She began volunteering in October of 2012. Her husband, Dave Gardner was able to volunteer out at the store occasionally, as well.

Dave and Nancy originally met in a chat room on the internet in the summer of 1997 and hit it off right away. At the time, Dave was living in North Carolina and working as a food service manager, while Nancy lived in Silver Bay, Minn. Chuckling, Dave recalled that his phone bill was over $700 when they began calling each other. In January, 1998, Nancy moved to North Carolina to live with Dave and they were married in October, 1999.

One day, the clown that was scheduled to perform at the pizza restaurant Dave managed became ill and couldn’t come in to work. Dave asked Nancy if she would like to fill in. So she read up on clowning, learned a lot, and became Nanny Giggles. She enjoys performing at parties and special events, and Dave sometimes joins her as Uncle Chuckles.

In May 2002, the couple traveled to Preston, Minn. to visit Nancy’s parents, Robert and Marjorie Wherley, and fell in love with the town. Within a short time, they had packed up and moved to Preston. Ten years later, Nancy began volunteering at JuliaClaire.

For four years, Nancy volunteered daily at JuliaClaire and even learned how to run the cash register. Then, in February 2016, Trish asked the volunteers over to her home to discuss the future of the business. When they arrived, Trish informed them that she had enrolled in a school in Hawaii and would be moving there soon. She mentioned that she was planning to hire a manager to run the store after she left. Nancy was aghast at the idea of hiring someone else when most of the volunteers had been working there since the store opened and asked Trish to hire her instead. Trish agreed that that was a good idea, and they began making the change. However, a week later, Trish asked to meet with Nancy and her husband Dave again. During their meeting, she broke the news that she had decided to sell the store and gave the Gardners the first option to buy it. It didn’t take them lo .....
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Crowd hears Ostrander infrastructure plans

Mon, Apr 11th, 2016
Posted in All Features

The Ostrander City Council met on April 5 for a regular meeting with all members present (Erin Brugh, Pam Kunert, Mayor Pat Nesler, Clerk Chris Hyrkas, Heidi Jones, and DJ Start). Approximately 35 citizens attended the meeting, and the main topic w ..... 
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Tragic loss of local boy after ATV accident

Mon, Apr 4th, 2016
Posted in All Features

Losing a loved one is always hard, but the loss of a child is a different level of pain, which unfortunately, a local family experienced last week. Hunter Bergo, age 10, was involved in an ATV accident on the morning of Saturday, March 26, 2016 wh ..... 
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First fatal motorcycle crash of 2016 kills rider and passenger Public Safety officials urge motorcyclists to ride safe and smart, motorists to watch for motorcyclists

Mon, Mar 28th, 2016
Posted in All Features

ST. PAUL — The first fatal motorcycle crash of 2016 happened March 7 in Fridley, making this the second earliest motorcycle fatality ever in Minnesota. The rider and passenger were both killed when the motorcycle went through a red light and hit a ..... 
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Get to know your local Conservation District

Mon, Mar 28th, 2016
Posted in All Features

During the months of March and April, there are many celebrations recognizing the importance of our natural resources: International Day of Forests on March 21, Earth Day on April 22, Arbor Day on April 29, and the National Association of Conservati ..... 
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Low interest rate single family housing loans available

Mon, Mar 28th, 2016
Posted in All Features

FARIBAULT, MN – The USDA Rural Development Agency is currently accepting applications for loans available to low-income families to buy, build, rehabilitate or improve homes located in rural communities with a population of 20,000 or less. Faribau ..... 
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State gains 9,000 jobs in February Unemployment rate at 3.7% for fourth straight month

Mon, Mar 28th, 2016
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ST. PAUL – Minnesota employers added 9,000 jobs in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The state has gained 42,137 new jobs in the past yea ..... 
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Preston man determined to make great strides since accident

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Mar 21st, 2016
Posted in All Features

The morning of Thursday, February 18 is one Micki Gartner will never forget. Mid-morning, the Preston woman received a perplexing call from St. Mary’s Hospital while at work. The caller asked Gartner to clarify if she was Tom Gartner’s wife and ..... 
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St. Patrick’s Day

Mon, Mar 14th, 2016
Posted in All Features

By Connor Benson Every year on March 17, the Irish and Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. Why is it called “St. Patrick’s Day”? Saint Patrick was a patron saint who lived during the fifth century. Saint Patrick is ve ..... 
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