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In the 1950s, Silver Bay was a settlement that sprung up around Reserve Mining Company. Its residents worked hard to make the little community their home. Recently, Alexis Jacobson, a high school senior for whom Silver Bay has always been home, has received a service award, in part because of her help in gathering the stories of those first residents of her city. "She...is always looking for something to do," said Kent Kaiser, Jacobson's uncle, so he nominated her to attend the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership camp in Minneapolis in 2011. Ever since, she's been passionate about volunteering.
Next week, Joulupukki will visit the Clair Nelson Center in Finland. He's the Finnish version of Santa Claus, but instead of being accompanied by reindeer, his travel companion is usually a goat. And instead of sliding down chimneys in the dead of night, he knocks on doors on Christmas Eve and asks if there are any well-behaved children home.
December is chock-full of opportunities to support local businesses. Last weekend's Small Business Saturday was a shopping holiday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday intended to encourage consumers to spend their dollars locally. This Saturday, businesses along Highway 61 in Two Harbors are hosting open houses with music, treats and holiday discounts. The reasons to shop local are numerous, and Diana Roe, a florist at Anderson's Greenhouse in Two Harbors, said their business simply wouldn't be viable without local customers. "It's the local people that keep us open.
Cloud Cult has all the accolades of a big-label, mainstream band. They've graced the Billboard charts, been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone Magazine and the New York Times and performed on the Carson Daly Show. Their songs can be heard in an Esurance commercial, Degrassi: The Next Generation and How I Met Your Mother. Journalist Tony Van Zeyl even crafted an article arguing that they should be in the running for the best band ever. The band, however, doesn't have big label backing.
The Silver Bay Area girls' hockey team had only played two games this season by press time, but goalie Cassie Swanson already broke a school record. In its second game of the season against No.7 ranked Orono, senior goaltender Swanson made 47 saves--the most ever for a Silver Bay girls' goalie. She helped her team stay competitive throughout the game, finishing 1-3 after three tough periods of play. Swanson is the backbone of a strong defensive line, head coach Mike Guzzo said. "Our defense was impressive. We've got some strong seniors," he said.
Russell Nelson missed his lunch hour on Thursday. Instead, the Two Harbors High School senior spent those 40 minutes checking out AMSOIL's latest snocross racing technology, on display behind the mechanics shop at the high school. There was pizza available, but he was too busy hobnobbing with the AMSOIL snocross team's owner Steve Scheuring, mechanic Tony Clement and Air Force Staff Sergeant Dave Overstreet to grab a bite. He finally slipped away to have a snack but returned quickly for the grand finale of the afternoon--receiving a $200 scholarship from the AMSOIL team.
Fifty softly glowing lanterns lit up the main room last Thursday at Ecumen Scenic Shores in Two Harbors as a group of residents and community members bowed their heads in quiet reflection. The weather outside was cold and rainy, but inside loved ones were remembered warmly as Ecumen celebrated its 150th year as a nonprofit organization. "We thought it would be a great time to recognize Ecumen and its 150 years of dedication as a nonprofit as well as to honor those who have impacted our lives," Executive Director Blaine Gamst said.
The Lady Agates volleyball team lost to No. 1 seed Hermantown in their first playoff game on Oct. 24. The scores were 25-11, 25-6 and a hard-fought last set that ended with a score of 25-22. The girls had two wins throughout the season, but Head Coach Beth Innis said their record doesn't tell the whole story. "We really learned a lot this season. We made huge improvements in all areas," Innis said. The rebuilding season also bodes well for the future.
Minnehaha Elementary School students got a living history lesson last week when veterans from Superior came to give a presentation. They brought military artifacts from the past and stories of their service. John Kanzler served during World War II. He was in Tokyo Bay and watched as Japan signed the instrument of surrender, ending WWII. Though it was more than six decades ago, Kanzler said he remembers it well. "At that point, you knew you were going to go home -- that was the big thing," he said of the moment.
More than 30 people showed up at the Clair Nelson Center in Finland last week to give ideas and get answers about post office changes that will be affecting the community next year. U.S. Postal Service employees were on hand for the discussion. "They said this is the biggest crowd they've had so far," Finland resident Brenda van Bergen said. Van Bergen attended the meeting to hear what others had to say. She said she won't be too affected by the changes, which may entail having the office open only four hours per day instead of the current eight.