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Local briefs- June 1

Wadena residents recount tornado stories in new book 

WADENA — One year after tornadoes devastated their community, Wadena County residents will launch “Twisted Together by an EF4,” a book that shares and preserves incredible stories of the two EF4 tornadoes that destroyed homes, farms and Wadena-Deer Creek High School in June 2010.

More than a dozen Wadena County residents, ages 12-80, worked with a journalist, a book designer and oral history experts over several months to create the book.

“Twisted Together by an EF4” will be available June 17 as part of the city’s June Jubilee celebration. The book launch also features a performance of “Happy Days Are Here Again: Uplifting Songs of the 1930s and ’40s with Rhonda Laurie,” food from the Harvest Thyme Bistro and raffle prizes.

Book proceeds will benefit the local Disaster Relief Committee and the Wadena County Historical Society.

The book is part of the Minnesota Historical Society’s “Sharing Community Stories” program in which people of all ages share personal and community-based stories and work with creative partners to create lasting works inspired by those stories.

This program is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.

An excerpt of the book includes Rodney Tucker’s quote: “The sound of the glass and the community center metal roof falling on my house was just deafening.

“It spooked the dog; he ran upstairs, and without thinking I followed him. As soon as I got to him in the living room the house had caved in on both me and the dog and I was pinned down under the debris ...

“What saved my life was the dorm-type refrigerator my son had in the living room next to where I fell. It held everything up from falling on us ... it was the refrigerator of my son’s that saved my life, and the will of God, of course.”

Kids fishing contests again set for Tuesdays in Hackensack

For the 15th summer, kids’ fishing contests are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Tuesday (June 7 through Aug. 23) at the Hackensack fishing pier.

Come early to get registered and to get started right at 11 — first fish of the day in each age category is among the prizes. Just bring your own floatation device and fishing pole; the sponsors will supply the bait.

Through the first 14 years of the weekly contests, 15,069 kids have caught and released 46,010 fish, according to contest numbers. The contests have drawn children from as far away as Atsugi, Japan; Glasgow, Scotland; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Dusseldorf, Germany; Melbourne, Australia; and throughout Canada and the United States.

The number of sponsors has grown each year, too, from 13 the first year to 91 so far in 2011.

Catch some fun on Take-A-Kid fishing weekend June 10-12

Minnesotans who have yet to net their fishing license catch a break June 10-12 when they can fish without a license while accompanying a child age 15 or younger.

Minnesota’s annual Take-A-Kid Fishing weekend aims to help keep the state’s fishing tradition strong by encouraging adults and kids to share an angling experience on or along the state’s thousands of lakes, rivers and streams. 

For more information, go to the DNR website at index.html. The site also includes other helpful fishing information, including the location of fishing piers. Local bait shops can also offer good advice on where to take a child fishing. 

DNR announces new live peregrine falcon webcam

A live webcam has been placed in a peregrine falcon box in the Bremer Bank building in downtown St. Paul, according to the DNR.

The falcons can be viewed at

With cooperation from the Midwest Peregrine Society, the business tenants in Town Square and Sentinel Properties staff set up the camera to monitor the nest of a pair of peregrine falcons and their three young chicks. The chicks hatched May 13-14 and will stay in the box, dependent on their parents, until late June or early July. 

More information about peregrine falcons in Minnesota is available at    projects/peregrine.html.

DNR launches four new Facebook pages

The DNR has launched four Facebook pages for fans of fishing, hunting, the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine and Minnesota state parks and trails.

 The separate fishing and hunting pages, administered by the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Division, feature the latest news on those subjects, reminders of upcoming seasons and regulations and links to video and photos.

The Minnesota Conservation Volunteer page offers additional photos, videos and insight into stories from the DNR’s popular magazine, as well as updates on what’s happening outside around the state. 

The Minnesota state parks and trails page features the latest news and events at state parks and “insider” trip-planning tips, along with video and photos.

In the coming year, the DNR hopes to launch more Facebook pages on additional topics.

The DNR’s current Facebook pages may be found using the following URLs: 

The DNR also offers a variety of other ways for people to stay connected by becoming part of its online community. Learn more by visiting www.dnr.state.