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BELL RINGING FOR THE SALVATION ARMY is underway at Hartman’s Super Valu in Ortonville. Pictured above, left to right, are Bill Hartman of Hartman’s Super Valu (making a donation to the Salvation Army) and Don Lundell of the local Ortonville Kiwanis. Individuals and members of various organizations will be bell ringing, and Mel Reinke of the local Salvation Army would like to thank everyone who is volunteering their time to help with bell ringing during the holiday season.

Ortonville man participates in New Zealand recovery efforts

By Petty Officer Second Class Bryan Jackson, Navy Office of Community Public Affairs

A 2008 Ortonville High School graduate and Ortonville, Minnesota native is a crewmember on the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), which assisted in earthquake recovery efforts in Kaikoura, a town on New Zealand’s South Island. 

The crew, originally scheduled to participate in New Zealand’s International Naval Review, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Navy, rendered assistance to those affected by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the South Island Nov. 14.

Sailors flew ashore in MH-60R helicopters to distribute water, aid in infrastructural repair, assess damage, and pass out informational packets that informed residents what services were available.

Petty Officer Second Class Travis Ohrtman is a Gunner’s Mate serving aboard USS Sampson. 

As a Gunner’s Mate, Ohrtman, is responsible for the maintenance of the weapons systems aboard USS Sampson.

“I love the experience of working on these weapons systems and fixing the issues that arise,” said Ohrtman. “The Navy also lets me go to places that most only dream of going and every day is a new challenge, something that is rare in the civilian world.”

USS Sampson is capable of helicopter operations and warfare areas such as anti-submarine, surface, air, and strike in support of ensuring stability and prosperity throughout the Pacific.

"While viewing sobering images of widespread infrastructural damage in Kaikoura, I was also reminded and encouraged by the sight of my Sailors going ashore with an unwavering can-do spirit that assures me we are doing our part in supporting the New Zealand forces," said Cmdr. Tim LaBenz, commanding officer of Sampson.

As one of approximately 350 crewmembers, Orhtman explained they are building a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes. As with the American Navy, New Zealand is an important leader in the Pacific, a key contributor to global security, and a valuable military partner on issues like humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and peacekeeping.

“I’ve been in the Navy for almost a decade and the USS Sampson is the first Navy warship I have the honor to serve aboard. I enjoy the close-knit, family-like atmosphere,” Ohrtman. “The experience of every challenge thrown my way makes me a better sailor and person.”

Sampson is the fourth U.S. destroyer named after Rear Adm. William Thomas Sampson, who served from 1857 to 1902, and commanded of the North Atlantic Station during the Spanish-American War in 1898. The U.S. Navy second ship named USS Sampson (DD-364) supported combat operations while patrolling Pacific waters north of New Zealand during World War II.  

OHS vocal Christmas Concert to be held Dec. 12

The Ortonville Vocal Music Department will be presenting their annual Christmas Concert on Monday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ortonville High School Auditorium. They invite you to come for an evening of holiday music.

This concert will feature the Concert Choir, Junior High Choir, Women's Ensemble, and Men's Ensemble as well as the Senior High Mixed Ensemble and Girls Ensemble. 

"Prayer of Thanksgiving", "Good King Kole", "Blizzard", and Ding Dong Merrily on High are a few of the Christmas selections that will be performed that evening by the Senior High students.

The Junior High students will be performing "Still, Still, Still", The Light Come Down & Christmas in 90 Seconds. The Junior and Concert Choir will combine to sing two numbers, Tell Me, Tell Me and 12 Days of Regifted Christmas.

They hope you will join them for cookies and juice in the commons following the concert. The vocal music instructor is Jennifer Neu. Accompanists for this concert are Lisa Berdan, Traci Conroy and student accompanist, Bethany Danielson. This concert is free to the public, as this is their holiday gift to you.


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