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The Republican Eagle publishes its top 10 local news and sports stories in today's print edition. We will unveil those stories on our Web site periodically over the next few days. The selection began earlier this month when staff members assembled a list of major stories from their respective beats -- community, crime, education, local government, etc. REaders' Board members -- past and present -- then helped us rank them. Some years the No. 1 story is tied to a single event.
One recent letter struck every REaders' Board member as especially pertinent and worthy of the Golden Quill. They found Bill Federbusch, Art Kenyon and Robert Hedin's Nov. 4 letter cohesive, coherent, thoughtful and essential to the public debate. Monday's vote was unanimous. Interestingly, Readers' Board members Nancy Harris and Don Regelman served on the Red Wing City Council when it formed the Port Authority in the 1980s.
Red Wing Shoe Co. and two national charitable organizations -- Our Hearts to Your Soles and Soles4Souls -- recently conducted foot care clinics for the homeless in more than 40 major U.S. cities. The clinics were designed to help people living on the street as they struggle to cope with the coming winter. "While free footwear was a part of the event, the volunteer medical staff that treated the homeless for foot problems/disease were the real stars," Peter Engel, Shoe Co.
Kenyon's largest employer had to downsize this month. Foldcraft Co. eliminated about 25 positions, making its work force roughly 200 at its Plymold plant in Kenyon and its facility in Bloomington, Minn. Foldcraft manufactures cluster seating, laminate tabletops, booths and similar products for restaurants, retailers and commercial uses. The company is entirely employee-owned. Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce will hold Business After Hours from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the new Red Wing Shoe Store, 315 Main St.
Diligent readers of the opinion page will have noticed a new editorial feature in recent weeks, "The Minnesota Cartoon." If you've missed seeing these cartoons that feature a Midwest twist, another one appears today. David Rue said he has been drawing for as long as he can remember. Over the years he has illustrated and cartooned for various business, organizations and newspapers. His first editorial cartoons ran in the Bemidji State University campus paper, the Northern Student.
Bill Hanisch jokes, "When you go to your local bakery remember 'Think outside the box.'" His wife and fellow baker, Robyn Hanisch, rose to the challenge in last weekend's Upper Midwest Baker's Association Cake Decorating Challenge.
September recipient: Kent Laugen, Red Wing "Wages flat, but no 'hard freeze'" First published Sept. 23 I believe the public deserves accurate and complete information, communicated in a way that the public can understand. Zero doesn't always equal nothing -- at least when you're talking government salaries. That was news to some REaders' Board members. They commended Kent Laugen for bringing this to citizens' attention. His letter, reprinted below, earned the board's Golden Quill for September. "The letter was most informative, with no ax to grind, " Don Regelman said.
Fairview Red Wing Medical Center is one of seven Minnesota hospitals that provide above-average health care, according to MyHealthCompare.com. The new hospital comparison Web Site uses data from 43 medical quality and satisfaction measures -- including heart disease, pneumonia, children's asthma and surgery -- to rate care. Fairview Red Wing scored 88.4 percent, second only to Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, Minn., which scored 88.9 percent.
This has been a busy week at the R-E. Staff members from every department helped publish our last "dailies" while also preparing for our transition to a twice-weekly print publication. "Aren't you just doing the same work but only two times a week instead of five?" one reader asked. If only it were that simple. (Yes, we'll still work five, six and sometimes seven days and nights a week. That's the news business.) The transition may take the newsroom a full year, according to my colleagues who have worked at both daily and weekly papers.
Plenty of people called the Republican Eagle this week simply to talk. They had read Tuesday's story that we'll publish twice a week starting next month. They wanted to ask questions, certainly, but most of them just needed someone to listen. I don't know how many times I replied, "I know" and "I understand" and "I'll miss the daily paper, too." I do know that every time I said, "I appreciate your call," I meant it. Some called to commiserate. They still miss the Monday paper -- which we discontinued in December 2005 -- and don't want to lose three more days.