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Local veteran takes historic tour


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Nov 10th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Features

Taking part in a public wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider at Arlington National Cemetery are (L to R) Roger Bullerman, US Navy, Joe Schorr, US Navy, Mike Hammell, US Marine Corp, John Rossi, US Army, and James Hewitt, US AirForce. Photo submitted

For Rushford’s Mike Hammell, a recent veteran’s tour provided both the trip of a lifetime and cause for further reflection. “This is something I’ve wanted to do,” he notes. “It was my first time back since 1969.”



Having served with the United States Marine Corps, 65-year old Hammell arranged the trip with his party of six, which included his fiancé, Pauline, and extended family. Leaving from Decorah, with a larger group from Legacy Tour and Travel, they headed east September 16. The majority of the group came from northeast Iowa, but three veterans hailed from southeast Minnesota. Close to fifty participated in the weeklong tour including veterans, their companions, widows of veterans, and a handful of volunteer guides. “We were totally impressed with this group,” adds Hammell. “They were up and ready to go early each morning. They couldn’t get enough of it.”



The tour was comprised of multiple states, including the first a day and a half in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. There, Hammel says he had the first of many key personal moments of the trip. As a young man, in junior high, he’d once given the Gettysburg Address for a Memorial Day service. Now, looking at a timeline of his life through historical sites, Hammell seized the opportunity to recite it again on hallowed ground. “It was really special for me,” he adds.



The tour continued to Washington, D.C. area where they were able to tour several key locations, including the White House. Interestingly enough, the group’s tour coincided with the day the now infamous jumper breached the White House gates and security. Luckily, it came just moments after the group had left the fence and they had no trouble proceeding on their journey as of Washington, D.C. reacted with security measures, but it did give Hammell pause for a chuckle.



Capital sights at the National Mall included the Lincoln, Washington, and Martin Luther King Memorials, among others such as the Smithsonian Museum, the WWII Museum, and the Pentagon. The National War monuments, a highlight for any veteran, included the WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A majority of those on the tour were Vietnam-era and the experience could only be summed up by a humbled Hammell as, “Something else. That by itself is something else.”



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Al Gathje joins Merchants Bank as a business banker

Mon, Nov 10th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Business Announcements

RUSHFORD, Minn. – Al Gathje has joined Merchants Bank in Rushford as a Business and Ag Banker. He will help people in the Rushford and Lanesboro area with business and agriculture loans. “We are excited to have Al on our team at Merchants,” ..... 
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Rushford preps for housing study, levee work

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Nov 3rd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

The Rushford council has approved the solicitation requests for proposals related for updating the current and projected housing demand for the city and surrounding area. The last study, done in 2008, does not adequately highlight the needs of workf ..... 
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Peterson approves County 25 project

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Oct 27th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Commentary

Peterson saw standing room only at the Wednesday, October 22 council meeting, a portion of which was dedicated to a second public hearing on the County 25 project planned for 2015. The state aid highway is scheduled to have a complete reconstruction ..... 
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R-P addresses referendum rumors, issues

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Oct 27th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Education

The district continues to address issues regarding the $38 million referendum, specifically those raised at recent forums, which haven’t eased public rumor and speculation. While the cost continues to be a major issue for many, as noted during the ..... 
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Rushford hires full-time officer

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Oct 20th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

The Rushford Police Department is in the midst of several staffing changes, following the recent resignations of officers Wade Anderson and Cody Bellock. The department was comprised of three full-time officers and one part-time officer, Ryan Quanr ..... 
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New school proposal in the R-P district

Mon, Oct 20th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Commentary

By Dale Evavold of Rushford, Minn. As is to be expected, there are a range of opinions and ideas about the new school proposal in the R-P district.  I see and hear comments regarding voting for the same issue as before, tax increases, poor buildi ..... 
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The R-P levy referendum: a fairy tale

Mon, Oct 20th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Commentary

By Kim Machutt of Rushford, Minn. Once upon a time, in a land not too far away, there was a homeowner named Rush Peters. Rush owned an older home that had fallen into a state of disrepair, but was still functional. Rush was faced with a choice to ..... 
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Make your vote count

Mon, Oct 20th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Commentary

By Linda Hovland of Rushford, Minn. When I was on the facilities committee, Chuck told us that our school district could not financially support any more than $24,000,000. The architect said, at the last informational meeting in Peterson, that ..... 
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