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Its in the wind


Fri, Feb 14th, 2003
Posted in Features

The McNeilus name has been on concrete trucks since 1976 and on garbage trucks since 1990. Garwin McNeilus high standards resulted in his company ranking Number One in the garbage/concrete truck industry when he sold it in 1998 to Oshkosh Truck.

Garwin is one of those people who uses his success to help others. Over the years he has sponsored hundreds of orphanages around the world, especially in Africa and Asia. In 2002 he was responsible for the construction of 370 churches, orphanages and schools in Burma. "Its about giving children a chance," he said as we sat and talked in his Dodge Center office.

Now Garwin is attaching his name to another venture that reaches even higher. Hes reaching out, using, then, letting go of a never-ending resourcethe wind. With thirty-four 950 kW turbines he will generate clean, renewable electricity for approximately 13,600 homes.

I found it interesting that Garwin once lived in Fillmore County. As a young boy his family lived on a farm near The Old Barn northeast of Preston. Garwin attended the long-gone #53 country school called Clear Grit.

Garwin reflected back on his youth, "We were poor," he said. "Dad was a junk man. As a kid Id go around with him to buy scrap iron piles. I learned how to envision what was in those piles. I learned how to value stuff and how to work hard. I remember one time when Dad underestimated the value of what he had bought. I witnessed him going back and giving the farmer some more money. Thats how Dad taught me about integrity."

Garwin graduated from Oak Park Academy in Nevada, Iowa in 1957. Not long after graduation he was walking past a construction site in Rochester, "I stopped and asked the boss for a job. I ran a jack hammer, dug footings, became a bookkeeper, then worked as a dispatcher," he recalled. In 1964 he started his own ready mix concrete business and needed to buy an additional truck. "I went to an auction at the St. Charles quarry and they had three trucks for sale. I bought them all, sold two and ended up with one for a good price. I then went into the used concrete truck business."

It didnt take long until he started buying new trucks and installing Smith Mixers. "One time there was confusion over an order and 90 trucks were delivered at one time. That was a problem because I was on a 60-day contract with the mixer people and they coul .....
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County holds public hearing on bonding

Fri, Feb 14th, 2003
Posted in Features

The bonding hearing for the courthouse remodeling project at Tuesdays county board meeting met no opposition as Michael Bubany, David Drown & Associates, reviewed the $3.8 million Capital Improvement Bonds (CIP) schedule. There was plenty of seating ..... 
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Pawlentys cuts hit local organizations hard

Fri, Feb 14th, 2003
Posted in Features

Blend a heap of revenue shortfalls and a bunch of budget deficits and simmer at low heat; fold in a pledge for no new taxes, then mix in a divided legislature. Chill and serve to a wary citizenry.

Sounds like a recipe for disast ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court:Heath guilty of drug charges

Fri, Feb 14th, 2003
Posted in Features

Mark Anthony Heath of Lanesboro was found guilty in Fillmore County District Court on five counts related to the manufacture of methamphetamine, stemming from an incident on May 6, 2002 in Rushford.

According to the criminal co ..... 
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Budget concerns drive Rushford Council decisions

Fri, Feb 14th, 2003
Posted in Features

Police Chief Sam Stensgard joined the Rushford City Council at their February 10 meeting to discuss the possibility of purchasing a new squad car. Stensgard had previously sent a memo to the council outlining his recommendation to purchase a second p ..... 
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Initiative Fund helps Rushford evaluate their community

Fri, Feb 14th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) presented their "site visit reflections" to the Rushford Community Thursday night at the Rushford-Peterson school theater to an audience of approximately twenty-four people. SMIF had visited Rushfor ..... 
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New administrator attends first Harmony council meeting

Fri, Feb 14th, 2003
Posted in Features

Due to bad weather on the evening of the Harmony City Councils meeting, this reporter wasnt able to attend. However, a telephone interview with the citys new Administrator was conducted.

Jerome Illg of Brooklyn Park, MN atten ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report

Fri, Feb 7th, 2003
Posted in Features

Editors note: Due to inclement weather, the Journals reporter was unable to attend Monday nights meeting. The following article is based on an interview with City Administrator Barbara Hoyhtya.  By John Torgrimson&n ..... 
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Choosing to live in rural America

Fri, Feb 7th, 2003
Posted in Features

A December article in the New York Times was titled "Pastoral Poverty; The Seeds of Despair." The article compared the current "rural collapse" to the inner city collapse of a few decades ago, and focused on poor rural counties all over the United St ..... 
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