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Fire severely damages Verndale church

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Athena Demel was watching four sleeping children about 10 p.m. Tuesday when a man appeared at the door yelling about a fire.

Demel, Verndale Family Life Church secretary, couldn’t believe it at first. She was watching the youth pastor’s children in the parsonage a few feet from the church. The stranger at the door was yelling the church was on fire.


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Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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