10 years ago:

Andy Strege, of Wyoming, was welcomed home after receiving a Purple Heart in Afghanistan following losing his right foot. He enlisted on his 18th birthday on Jan. 27, 2010. While in basic training he heard rumors of deployment and welcomed the challenge for his unit, the 25th Infantry. He was part of a patrol group on Sept. 12, when he stepped on an IED with his right foot. He underwent two surgeries while in Afghanistan before being sent to Germany, then Houston, Texas. His parents Kent and Carol Strege were relieved to know he was alive and were flown down to Houston to see him. Strege’s plans for the future was to get a degree in criminal justice and join a SWAT team because it would be the closest thing to the military he could get.

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Ava McCarver, an 8-year-old LILA student, was set to receive “Volunteer of the Year” next April from Birchwood Health Care Community for spending time volunteering there for a year. Her mother, Jeannie, said she was happy that her daughter was caring enough to give her time to volunteer at the center. Ava’s interest to volunteer spurred from a school trip to a nursing home which piqued her curiosity as to why the people didn’t get many visitors and why they didn’t live at home anymore. Her mother said she didn’t reach out to the nursing home right away in case Ava changed her mind and lost interest in getting involved, but that was not the case. So, Jeannie and Ava volunteered regularly at the nursing home to “make people happy” as Ava put it.

25 years ago:

Tom Skoglund, of Forest Lake, was offered the job as head golf professional at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami. Doral was one of the top 10 golf resorts in the United States and ranked in the top 50 around the world. Skoglund worked at Forest Hills Golf Club for five years prior to accepting the offer. He made the decision to leave his home in the Forest Lake area and relocate to Florida with his wife, Melanie, and two children, Matt and Rachel.

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Jillian and Jessica Tate, of Forest Lake, competed with Ann Noeker, of Afton, and Alison Larson, of Stillwater, on the Washington County Senior Team in the National World Championship Morgan Horse Show. The team competed at the Minnesota 4-H Horse Show to advance to the state competition. They won third place at the world championship horse show in early October.

• • • •

Six actors with the St. Croix Festival Theatre were rehearsing to perform “Hard Times,” a play with 25 characters. Each actor was required to play two significant roles in the play. One of the actors, Matthew Tallman, said his two characters were not the most likable in the play so he had to put in the work to understand their motives and desires to play the roles accurately. He had to switch characters within minutes during the performance.

50 years ago:

The Thanksgiving holiday spiked business for Thurnbeck Turkey Farms as one of the largest turkey producers in the state. Darrell, son of George Thurnbeck, was a partner of the operation that was owned by Mrs. Clem Thurnbeck. They raised and sold 120,000 turkeys for the holiday in 1971, which were all sold in months prior to Thanksgiving Day. The first step of turkey production began in February when the farm would obtain 1-day-old poults from hatcheries around Minnesota. Another brood would be added every six weeks following the initial shipment. In early May, around 5,000 turkeys would be placed on a range of 12-15 acres which has necessary feeding equipment to sustain the turkeys. Darrell said disease is their worst fear running the operation, but they were fortunate to keep a healthy turkey population through the years prior. Another issue that the farm dealt with the year before was from neighboring homes’ local dogs eating about 500 birds. The farm only lost 100 in 1971 and sold the rest to distributors.

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Alan Grant, of Wyoming, became the first male kindergarten teacher at Edgewood Elementary in Osseo. He attended Wyoming Elementary, attended Chisago City High School and graduated from Winona State College. Grant said he stopped by his students’ homes to meet them prior to the first day of class and added that no parents objected to a male teacher. He was teaching for five years prior to accepting a job in Osseo.

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