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INSTALLED ON THE FOOTBALL SCOREBOARD LAST TUESDAY, SEPT. 23 was a plaque in honor of Joel Brown, who died on Trojan Field while playing in a football game in 1961. The plaque was made possible through donations with the OHS Class of 1962. VFW member Tom Dorry made the plaque with the lettering done by Rausch Brothers. VFW members along with the OHS custodial staff installed the plaque. Pictured above, left to right, are OHS Dean of Students/Activities Director Jake Foslien, Brian Merritt, Bob Carlson, Tom Dorry, Bill Dorry and Mark Muenchow. A dedication will be held this Friday, Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. prior to the Ortonville/Hancock Homecoming football game. Everyone is invited to attend, as Joel Brown family members will be in attendance.

Refuge office to host 2014 MN Junior Duck Stamp exhibit

The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge near Odessa will be hosting the 2014 Junior Duck Stamp Exhibit from Oct. 1-20. The exhibit displays the works of Minnesota’s talented young artists in grades K-12, winners from this year’s competition. The art work depicts North American waterfowl in various mediums. The exhibit can be viewed at the Refuge Office during normal office hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 18 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The Refuge will be serving coffee and cookies on Saturday, Oct. 4 to visitors who stop by to see the exhibit and those enjoying the area Art Meander. 

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program is a conservation program designed to teach students about waterfowl and their habitat through an art and science-based curriculum. The program is available to all children in grades K-12. It is modeled after the Federal Duck Stamp Program and gives students an opportunity to create a design for a stamp. The painting must be of a North American duck, goose, or swan. This exhibit displays photocopies of the student’s original artwork.

The judges selected 100 winners. Felix Oh captured Best-of-Show honors with his picture of a Harlequin duck which was forwarded to the National Junior Duck Stamp competition which was held in April. The art which is selected as the National Winner serves as the design for the Junior Duck Stamp. The stamp sells for $5 and is considered a collectable. All the proceeds from the sale of the stamps are used to support the program. For more information about Junior Duck Stamps, click on this website:

For more information please contact the refuge office at 320-273-2191. For more information on the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service visit

Ort. Airport awarded $409,500 to improve infrastructure

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken announced that the Department of Transportation has awarded the Ortonville Airport in Ortonville $409,500 for infrastructure improvements.

“This support will help the Ortonville Airport make critical upgrades,” Klobuchar said. “By investing in our infrastructure today, we’re creating jobs and laying the groundwork to address Minnesota’s and the nation’s transportation needs in the future.”

“Airports are critically important to economic development and jobs in communities across Minnesota,” said Sen. Franken. “These grants will modernize our airport infrastructure, improve airport safety in Ortonville, help create jobs, and go a long way towards updating Minnesota’s overall transportation infrastructure.”

The $409,500 will fund the construction of a fuel facility, the sealing of the runway, and the rehabilitation of the access road and parking lot.

2014 Meander Arts Crawl to be held this weekend in area

The 11th annual Upper Minnesota River Meander Arts Crawl will be held this weekend, Oct, 3-5. The Meander is a free self-guided tour of artist studios featuring 45 local artists from five counties in western Minnesota.

The annual event has become a tradition for friends and relatives to experience the "hidden gem" art studios, small towns and family farms to be found in the Upper Minnesota River region in western Minnesota.  A Meander brochure can be downloaded from the web at: More information can also be found on the Meander Facebook page at

For 2014 featured artist Kristi Fernholz of Appleton, the Meander is an opportunity to collaborate with other artists who are “passionate, superfluid and easy going.” The design Fernholz created for this year’s Meander poster highlights the strength and beauty of three kinds of prairie plants. 

Fellow Meander artist Franz Richter of Clarkfield says that Fernholz’s print of Little Bluestem grass represents “persistence,” the one of the Hoary Puccoon plant evokes a feeling of “endurance" and her Prairie Onion print “exudes energy.”  Together they represent the persistent energy and enduring nature of homegrown art and the local landscape that has come to define this regional celebration.

Fernholz was chosen by a panel of local artists to design this year’s Meander poster. Fernholz was born in Williston, ND and grew up in Milan, graduating from Lac qui Parle Valley High School in 1993.  She went on to study photography and received a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1998.  Today she lives on an organic farm in the Minnesota River valley near Appleton, where she pursues her passion of photographing native grasses, prairie plants and landscapes.  For her day job, Fernholz is a Community Development Senior Planner for the Upper Minnesota Regional Development Commission in Appleton.

In addition to Fernholz, this year’s Meander Arts Crawl features several new artists including photographer John White, Chainsaw artist Jordan Dahl of Montevideo, painters Marva (Hayes) Harms and Nancy Bergman of Appleton and blacksmith Nick Johnson of Madison.

Locally, John White will have his exhibit set up at Listening Stone Farm, 33166 770th Ave. in Ortonville. Exhibiting at the Red Barn, located at 35131 760th Ave. in Ortonville are Neva Foster, John and Betty Wanke, Beverly Schultz and Kris Ninneman.

Mary Taffe will have her exhibit at JoLee’s Jewelry; Don Sherman at the former Sherman Studios; and Rob Rakow at Java Jules.

Exhibiting at the Big Stone Arts Gallerty at 42 2nd Street NW in Ortonville will be Kathleen Marihart and Edie Barret. Liz Rackl will be at the Helping Hands Therapeutic and Valerie Berg at Home Studios in Odessa.

The weekend will begin with studios opening at noon Friday, Oct. 3 and an opening night celebration from 4- 9 p.m. featuring the Granite Falls Walking Theatre, as well as music, food, street theater, historic tours and entertainment centered around the charming downtown shops in downtown Granite Falls.   For more information on Friday’s Opening Night celebration contact the Granite Falls Chamber at 320-564-4039 or visit

Art studios throughout the region will reopen at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, and culminate with a Belle Amour American Jazz Standards Concert at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Auditorium at 601 9th Street, Dawson. Tickets are available at the door and sell for $12 for Adults and $5 for Students.  For more information, contact the Box office: 320-769-2955 ext. 246 or

On Sunday, Oct. 5, art studios will again be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The mission of the Meander artists is to foster the culture and community of local artists, to develop economic opportunities for them, and to increase exposure of the region and its attractions to those from outside southwest Minnesota.

For artist Kristi Fernholz, the Meander is about “helping local artists make a living.”   Like the sturdy prairie grasses that push forth from the earth to create beauty every year, the Meander has put down roots and begins a second decade of creative regional expression.

Seth Parker