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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
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Black Hawk Aviator, former Kingsland grad, visits home


Fri, Feb 21st, 2014
Posted in Spring Valley Features

Eric Mathison, a Black Hawk Aviator, graduated from Kingsland High School in 1996 and shortly after joined the U.S. Army. Photo submitted

Even as a young boy growing up in the community of Spring Valley, Minn., Eric Mathison knew he was destined to join the military. A long line of proud and dedicated servicemen in his family definitely had an impact on Mathison’s vision of his future. By the time he graduated from Kingsland in 1996, he had already researched each military branch and made his decision to join the U.S. Army.

And so began a career for Mathison and more than that, a way of life. Mathison started out in the infantry, moved to reserves, became a dental tech and then a recruiter. Today, he is a UH-60 Black Hawk aviator and serves as a Chief Warrant Officer, two. CW2’s become commissioned officers by the President of the United States; they are tactical and technical experts…in short, they’re kind of a big deal, but you would never hear Eric say that. Mathison simply wanted to become a Warrant Officer so he could have more fly time. He wasn’t interested in moving up the ranks to sit behind a desk and make big decisions; he wanted to make those decisions in the field and teach others to do what he does.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet because before Eric became an aviator, his life really began. In 1997, Eric had his first deployment to Korea. Being from a small town in southeast Minnesota, saying that Eric was excited is probably an understatement. To go from Spring Valley to Korea was a giant leap for a guy like Eric who had always been ‘the boy next door’. Korea was a peace keeping mission and a good experience for Mathison. By the time he had his second deployment to Bosnia in 1999, another peace keeping mission, Eric was more seasoned in the infantry.

Things were pretty low key after his first two deployments and even though Mathison now had some worldly experience under his belt, nothing could prepare him for what happened when he was stationed at Fort McCoy, Wis. The Army had prepared Eric for anything and everything, well, almost everything. In 2003 Eric met his now wife, Chelby. They were both stationed at Fort McCoy and reservists in the dental field at that time.

Chelby had made the decision to join the reserves to help with her college ambitions after high school. She readily admits that the thought to join the military never crossed her mind until a recruiter visited her high school. Chelby is from Bemidji, Minn. and grew up in Fargo, N.D. What a small world to meet a Minnesota guy w .....
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Christmas on Historic Broadway 2013

Fri, Dec 20th, 2013
Posted in Spring Valley Features

For the eighth consecutive year the lights on Broadway in Spring Valley, Minn. were a little brighter than usual during Christmas on Historic Broadway, which took place on Saturday, December 14, 2013. The annual event brings residents and visitors ..... 
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Spring Valley celebrates Ag Days 2013

Fri, Aug 23rd, 2013
Posted in Spring Valley Features

By Barb Jeffers Good old fashioned fun and some mud filled fun took place in Spring Valley, Minn. during the city’s annual Ag Days celebration. Ag Days took place from Tuesday, August 13 to Sunday, August 18, 2013 with a full schedule of events ..... 
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Spring Valley resident celebrates her 97th Year

Fri, Jul 12th, 2013
Posted in Spring Valley Features

By Barb Jeffers Her words of wisdom are few - “keep active and keep moving” says Maggie Gragert, a resident of the Evergreens at Spring Valley Senior Living in Spring Valley, Minn. Born on June 28, 1916, Maggie just turned 97 and continues t ..... 
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Almanzo Road Race hits Spring Valley

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, May 24th, 2013
Posted in Spring Valley Features

By Gary Peterson, Mitchell Walbridge As people gathered on the weekend of May 17-19 for Spring Valley’s annual WilderFest, many also participated in the seventh annual Almanzo Road Race. This year’s Almanzo Road Race bicyclists set out from ..... 
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The Spring Valley Fire Department

Fri, May 24th, 2013
Posted in Spring Valley Features

The Spring Valley Fire Department responded to a fire at 135 S. Broadway late Sunday afternoon. The apartment building had four units, two of which were occupied. The apartment where the fire is believed to have started had been unoccupied for over ..... 
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SMIF brings people together

Fri, Apr 26th, 2013
Posted in Spring Valley Features

By Jason Sethre On Thursday, April 18, at the prestigious and award-winning Four Daughters Winery and Vineyard located on the outskirts of Spring Valley, Minn. Tim Penny and the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) staff hosted an event ..... 
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A & W: The Hot Rod of Restaurants

Fri, Apr 26th, 2013
Posted in Spring Valley Features

By Jason Sethre The Spring Valley A & W Drive-in is rich with history tied to food, fun, and hot rods dating back to 1956 when the original owners Roger and Marge Simpson brought this restaurant to life in the small rural farming community. Back ..... 
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Almanzo Bike Race coming to Spring Valley

Fri, Apr 26th, 2013
Posted in Spring Valley Features

By Jade Sexton Chris Skogen of Rochester has been riding a bike since he was a kid, and as he grew into adulthood, he rode his bike in many races. In 2007, he decided to start something unique of his own. “I wanted a different way to race,” ..... 
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