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Home & Garden Special Section


Fri, Sep 24th, 2004
Posted in Features

When Butch and Pam Niven looked at the wooded lot south of Highland in 1996, they decided it was just what they were looking for. Having a log cabin on the property was seen only as an added benefit. We were just looking for the land, says Butch, who likes to hunt.

The nearly 150 year old log cabin had been through a wide variety of owners and had now stood empty for over two years. The Nivens never saw the inside until they bought it which turned out to be quite a shock. Having been repeatedly vandalized and littered with graffiti, the log cabin was a huge mess. People told us to tear it down; burn it down. I said No! states Pam. Its stood this long, it deserves to keep standing. In the spring of 1997 they started renovating the cabin. The retired couple would drive down from their home in Vadnais Heights, Minn. to work on it. At first they stayed with friends near Lanesboro until they were able to get the cabin decent enough to stay in. They managed to sculpt it back into a cozy little abode, and moved in permanently in 2002. Our intent was always to build a house and use this [cabin] for the kids to come down, says Pam, but the more we thought about digging another well, putting in another septic system, taking care of two yards, it seemed like it wasnt the best plan, so we decided to add on to it. Unbeknownst to them at the time of planning the addition, they even got a tax break for adding onto an old house.

The new section of house was designed entirely by Pam using a home architect program on the computer. She kept drawing and redrawing the plans until all the utilities and dimensions fit just right. They then took the design to Rochester and had it professionally drafted. Now came the difficult search for a contractor. A friend of theirs suggested Amish contractor Henry Miller from Canton. He showed the Nivens four of the homes he had built. The couple was not only impressed by the houses but also by how happy the home owners were to see Mr. Miller. Three of the four houses he showed them were timber framed homes. The Nivens liked the timber framing so much they decided to incorporate it in with Pams original plans and hired Miller Timber Framing as their contractor.

In May of 2002, Butch, the former superintendent of the Water and Sewer Department in Shoreview, Minn., bought a backhoe and started digging the foundation. Once the foundation was done, Miller and his .....
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County budget set at $20.4 million for 2005

Fri, Sep 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

The Fillmore County budget will grow by about 3.79% in 2005. On Tuesday, the Fillmore County Board of Commissioners set the preliminary budget for 2005 at $20,421,852, up $748,562 from $19.6 million in 2004.

In her briefing to t ..... 
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Pechulis loses in primary election

Fri, Sep 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

Preston Mayor David Pechulis, running for Independent Party candidate for U.S. Representative in the first district, was defeated by candidate Gregory Mikkelson in Tuesdays partisan primary election.

Statewide, Pechulis receive ..... 
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Rushford City Council Report: Bluff site out Industrial Park site to be investigated

Fri, Sep 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

While Mike Wish of GenSys came to the September 13th City of Rushford Council meeting to discuss the city opting out of MISO, he spent much more of his visit answering questions about the standby generator project. Mayor T.S. Roberton asked Wish if G ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court

Fri, Sep 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

Felony Charges

Timothy James Newman, 27, Mabel, was charged in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, September 13, with one felony count of assault in the second degree - dangerous weapon, stemming from an incident in Mabel ..... 
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Preston history released in time for sesquicentennial

Fri, Sep 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

Al Mathison of Preston was probably the perfect person to write Prestons history. Not only does he have the writing credentialshes been a contributing writer for the Fillmore County Journal since 1996 when it was purchased by current owners, Pat a ..... 
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Harmony City Council Report: Council discusses Industrial Park TIF

Fri, Sep 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

Mike Bubany of David Drown & Associates briefed the Harmony City Council at their September 14 meeting on the upcoming Tax Increment Financing Amendment. A public hearing will be held on the matter on October 12.

The city of Har ..... 
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Presidential candidate visits Preston

Fri, Sep 10th, 2004
Posted in Features

PRESTON - While Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry was busy visiting Rochester on Wednesday, another presidential candidate was making the rounds of southeastern Minnesota.

Thomas Harens is the presidential candidate f ..... 
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Decorah City Council calls for environmental review of Heartland

Fri, Sep 10th, 2004
Posted in Features

DECORAH - On Tuesday, September 7, the Decorah City Council passed a resolution calling for an environmental review of the proposed Heartland tire-burning facility in Preston. Concerned about the potential impact of air pollution from the north, the ..... 
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