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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
December 31, 2002     The Ortonville Independent
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December 31, 2002

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NT Ortonvflle with a heart" )NVILLE'S ICE SKATING opened Thursday. Warm brou ht out lots of Skaters of hit the rink. ure skaters and hockey made use of the ice. Big Lake Area Waves Hockey racticed in the hockey on the north side of rink,_ ..... h the warm made it pleasant to it threatened to melt the it enough to close 'e temperature hours for open the holidays will 1 to 5 p.m. .m. Hours for open change after school above playJn "snake" the whip" I eft to riz and Claire Natalie- of Milbank, SD., Kippy of Ortonville and Natalie-Lees of Milbank. skater in back is Clarissa of Ortonville. Figure in side photo are lie first graders Rushford anor Brenna I| INDEPENDENT ! / Excellence Award for local H&R Block H&R Block, the nation's leading tax preparation company, announced today that Mlody Reuss, owner of the Benson and Ortonviile offices has been named as a 2002 Franchise Circle of Excellence award recipient. The award is given out to the top 20 franchises in the nation who 'reach the highest levels of increased operational excellence thus furthering strengthening the company's mission of helping clients achieve their financial objectives by serving as their tax and financial partner. ( Check out our web site at ) ;/ JOHNSON of Forest Lake displ his World War II medals, the Bronze Star which he received for duty in France and during World War II. He was wounded in action while as a medic in France 10 days after D-Day in June of 1944. Cliff Buchan. Leah Rohwer reveals countless blessings in the past year Former resident Leah Rohwer, now of Sanborn, IA, sends a Christmas greeting letter today that is full of human interest and which she asks us to share with our readers. She writes: "What a year this has been!!! There have been all kinds of blessings in our family this year! The first one was the birth of grandson Dylan Thomas born to daughter Jill and Tom on April 8. What a joy he has been to all of us! and such a good baby, always happy! (At least when Grandma and Grandpa are around!) I get to baby sit both Mikayla, age two and Dylan a tot and I love it !! The second blessing goes back over 40 years ago and I've kept the secret from most everyone since then. When I was 20 and living in Minneapolis I met a tall, dark, hand- some 27 year old Italian guy and I fell in love and he fell in "lust" and later when I told him I was pregnant he told me he was married!! He gave me $200 to get an abortion but I went to an Unwed Mother's Home instead and hid away until my baby was born and I gave him up for adoption. That was and still is today the most diffi- cult day of my life!! Anyway, back to the blessing, last July, Jill and I went to Mpls. to start our search for my son. Things went quite last alter that! Aug. 3, I received notice that he had looked for me back in '84. Sept. 9, I received a beautiful letter from him and then on 9-11 he called and we talked for almost two hours! It was as if we'd known each other for years!! Sept.' 29 he came to see me here in Sanborn and what a day that was!!! And what a fine young man he is! We've talked almost weekly ever jnce. Then Nov. 14 w his 40th birthday and Ben and I a*hd Jill and" "Newly -found" son Franco is shown here flanked by Leah and Ben Rohwer, former Ortonville residents now of Sanborn, IA. family were invited to his mother's home in Mason City (where he grew up!) on Saturday, Nov. 16 to help cel- ebrate his big 4-0! What a beautiful person she is and we met his sister and family, too! His name is Frank (he goes by Franco) Moen and he lives in Mpls. He is a divorced father of a 15 year old girl named Jade Eve, a really sweet and pretty girl, (my new grand- daughter!) We got to meet her at the party, too! So now the hole in my heart is closed and I can tell everyone my wonderful story with the happy ending!!! I'm so glad I didn't suck him into a sink "like a lot of women are doing. This just shows there is a better way out! We just came back from a fabulous weekend in Rochester with son, Mike, Lisa and grandsons Jaeger nine, Nicholas five and Jens four. They took us to see the Russian presentation of the Nutcracker Suite. It was most enjoyable. And then out to eat at fan- tastic restaurants all weekend long! We had a wonderful Christmas together and they gave us news of another blessing!! They're expecting a baby coming June!! We've all got our fingers crosses for a girl (I think Mike has his toes crossed too!!) but we'll take another boy if that's what God wants for them! We're having the Rohwer Christmas on the 22nd and expect Steve and family and Jim and Lisa and Jill and family. We're hoping Lori and family can make it, too! Should be a great time!! We have so much to be thankful for this year and the greatest blessing of all is the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!! May He Bless you and yours this Christmas and many years to come!! Much love from our house to yours, Ben and Leah." 2002 Looking Back section coming soon The 2002 year in review annual "looking Back" section will appear in the next few weeks in local copies of Adult reading at Public Library The adult reading program at the Ortonville Public Library will begin on Jan. 6, 2003. This year's theme is Black and White and Read all Over! Please stop into the library to register for this year's program. Weekly drawings will be held for prizes. To earn a chance in the weekly drawing, readers need to read a book, complete a reader's advisory sheet and sign up. E'veryone is welcome to participate in the program. The program will last until March 31, 2003. There will be twelve weeks of reading and chances to win a prize! Stop in now and get registered! The Ortonville Independent. The section features photos and news highlights from the past year Bud Johnson, WWII Vet Johnson in Forest Lake. There were just five there, but they came from across Minnesota to share old times and memories. It was a special time tbr Bud Johnson, 81, the head of the Johnson and lists area advertisers in order from the oldest to the newest businesses in the community. Annual Baby Contest (EdL note: The following appeared in a recent issue of the Forest Lake (MN)Times newspaper and features a for- mer Ortonville resident and long-time reader, Warren "Bud" Johnson, who owned and operated Bud's Red Owl in Ortonville for many years, coming here from his native South Dakota.) By Cliff Buchan News Editor Each year for nearly the past 60 years, members of the Army's 99th Infantry Battalion Separate has gath- ered to talk over old times. Like fam- ily members coming home for the hol- idays, these Army veterans have made it a point to attend the reunions. The numbers are dwindling as time marches on for this unit which met its most serious test in Belgium in 1944 when they were stuck in the middle of the Battle of the Bulge. It was a last gasp, albeit futile, onslaught by Hitler's German forces to turn the tide in World War II. Caught in the midtle was this unit of mostly Norwegian Minnesotans who formed a special battalion in the months leading up to D-Day and the Allied invasion of France in 1944. The bonds that were cemented in those trying times of the 1940s have been cracked only by age and time. The old soldiers met again on Friday, Nov. 15, this time in Forest Lake at the home of Warren "Bud" Prizes Galore In Store For First Baby Born Here In 20031 family who built the Johnson's Super Valu business in Forest Lake. Johnson is fi.ghting cancer this fall and the reumon was special. "I wanted to see these guys before I left," Johnson said. (DETAILS INSIDE THIS ISSUE) i R unit Arne Thomassen, 81, of Glenwood, was there, and so was Chester Moen, 84, of Fifty Lakes. Curtis Tasa, 82, of South Haven, made the trip to Forest Lake. Les Carlson, , (Continued on page 3) FIVE MEMBERS of the 99th Infantry Battalion Separate met at Bud Johnson's home in Forest Lake on Nov. 15. Left to right are: Arne Thomassen of Glenwood, Chester Moen of Fifty Lakes, Johnson and Les Carlson of Apple Valley. Standing is Curtis Tasa of South Haven. Photo by Cliff Buchan.