The men and women of the 136th Infantry, based in Moorhead, are at Camp Ripley north of Little Falls performing live-fire drills with their Abrams and Bradley tanks in preparation for a rotation at the prestigious National Training Center in California. Kevin Wallevand of Forum News Service says the 600 National Guard members are undergoing three weeks of realistic war games in Minnesota to prepare for the assignment. “Out of the other similar units across the Army National Guard, we’re the only one to get this type of training,” said the company’s commander, Lt. Col. Jason Benson. The 136’s stint in Iraq was the longest National Guard deployment ever. The 136th in Moorhead has guard members from Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Wadena, Grand Rapids, Crookston and Thief River Falls.
It’s just not spring without some podium-worthy advice. Albert Lea High School seniors were advised last weekend to always maintain goals, grit and gumption. Hannah Dillon of the Albert Lea Tribune was taking notes as Adenuga Atewologun, president of Riverland Community College, told grads, “You have accomplished an important milestone,” one he remembers crossing 40 years ago in his home country of Namibia. To get the things you want in life, he said you have to have goals (to keep your focus), grit (the courage and resolve to stick to your goals), and gumption, which Atewologun defined as having a spirited or mission or being resourceful.
The Rochester Post-Bulletin noted that last weekend was the 25th anniversary of Paul Wellstone’s announcement that he’d fight incumbent Independent-Republican Sen. Rudy Boschwitz for his seat in the U.S. senate. Has it really been that long?
Rain has slowed the alfalfa hay harvest and crop spraying in Minnesota, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The first cutting of alfalfa is four days ahead of last year but five days behind the five-year average. Most of the corn crop has emerged with corn condition rated 73 percent good to excellent, up 3 percentage points from last week. Soybean planting is 97 percent complete. Eighty-eight percent of the soybean acreage has emerged, 13 days ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of average.
Preliminary figures showed that 416 motorcycles and 550 riders took part in the Ride for the Troops in Bemidji on Sunday, according to the Bemidji Pioneer. This is the event’s 10th year. The annual raffle raised $900 and the Zerkel Store, where Zerkel community members sell food and donate money back, raised $800, while overall tentative numbers have the 2015 Ride for the Troops raising more than $17,000 for military families. The event kicked off Sunday with a pancake breakfast put on by local Boys Scouts. Sunday’s ride was for 134 miles.
Trey Mewes of the Austin Daily Herald tells the story of an unfortunate man who broke into two homes uninvited. Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger said homeowners at the 1900 block of Sixth Avenue Northwest reported the suspect allegedly walked through their home at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday and stopped in the kitchen before he walked out. Officers caught the man nearby a short time after and took him to the Mower County jail pending formal charges. Krueger said the man tested over the legal blood-alcohol content limit while at jail. “People need to lock their doors,” he said. “That’s all there is to it.”
Over in Austin, an Austin woman woke up just before 3 a.m. Friday to find a half-naked woman crawling on the floor and clawing at the carpet, the Austin Daily Herald reported. The homeowner, who lives at the 1600 block of First Avenue Southeast, told police the intruder allegedly had no shirt or bra on but did wear a red jacket. The victim believed the intruder, in her 40s or 50s, was high at the time, according to Police Chief Brian Krueger. The homeowner walked the intruder out of her home before police responded. “Again, the message is please, please secure our doors when you are turned in for the night or at home,” he said. “This could have been a lot worse.”
A bronze statue of Shaynowishkung looking peaceful and holding court over the Bemijigamaag was dedicated on the shores of Lake Bemidji, the Bemidji Pioneer reports. Shaynowishkung, or Chief Bemidji, stood beneath raindrops gazing at Bemijigamaag from the shores of Lake Bemidji on Saturday afternoon. Surrounded by family, the new bronze-cast sculpture was serenaded by wooden flutes, waves lapping the shore and a southeasterly wind. Shaynowishkung’s great-great grandson Donnie Headbird, of Cass Lake, was one of the people witnessing the monument dedication. Artist Gareth Curtiss of Olympia, Wash., created the statue. Curtiss said what drew him to the project were the powerful photographs of Chief Bemidji. “I felt a great connection when I saw the images,” Curtiss said.