Happy to be back homeWhen I interviewed the new police officers Greg and Ken, they both said they were thrilled to find work in Two Harbors after leaving the area. Greg went to school in Mankato, ten miles away from my alma mater, and then Hibbing before coming back to Two Harbors. Ken also left for school in Alexandria and found a job out there. He was gone for 20 years before finding work here.
By: Lareesa Sandretsky, Lake County News Chronicle
When I interviewed the new police officers Greg and Ken, they both said they were thrilled to find work in Two Harbors after leaving the area. Greg went to school in Mankato, ten miles away from my alma mater, and then Hibbing before coming back to Two Harbors. Ken also left for school in Alexandria and found a job out there. He was gone for 20 years before finding work here.
Speaking of jobs, I also got the opportunity to cover the new Victus Farm in Silver Bay last weekend. It was so inspiring to watch Administrator Fralich, Mayor Johnson, and the city councilors unveil all of their hard work. They’re all people who care so deeply about their community that they’re willing to go far beyond their job descriptions to find smart, sustainable solutions to what’s often known as “rural brain drain.”
Rural brain drain is when most of the educated people leave a small-town community due to lack of opportunity. Victus Farm is an awesome way to remedy the situation—a groundbreaking chance for the city to show off its innovative spirit and actually draw educated people to the area.
Writing these stories felt a little surreal. Like Greg and Ken, I was somewhat surprised and pleased to find steady work in Two Harbors as a reporter at the News-Chronicle. I thought I would be the next victim of brain drain and had planned on waitressing all summer to save some money before leaving for the greener, supposedly job-filled pastures of the Minneapolis-metro area.
I was eager to leave town after I graduated from Two Harbors High School. I completed my four-year degree in English at Gustavus Adolphus, a college that's a solid four hour drive from my house and surrounded by corn fields and the Minnesota River valley. I spent a semester in Istanbul, Turkey and travelled around Western Europe with my sister. I’ve also spent a lot of time in the Netherlands and I learned to speak decent Russian at Gustavus.
With my college experience taking me so far away from home, I never imagined I’d come back here.
Yet here I am, back in the town where everyone knows my last name. In fact, here’s some answers to my most frequently asked questions: yes, my dad writes the yearly Christmas poems; yes, my mom was your waitress at Betty’s; yes, you graduated with one of my sisters; yes, my brother works at the power company; yes, my other brother was your student; and yes, my nephews are on the hockey team.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’d like to meet you if I haven’t already. Feel free to drop me a line. E-mail, call, or write the office. You can even stop in--our administrative assistant Shari is the sweetest woman you’ll meet. If you have reactions to our stories, let us know. If you think we haven’t covered something vital, let us know. We’re hoping to return some stability to the paper. Your input would really help.