Society news: Feb. 7

Duplicate Bridge

Tournament results for Jan. 6, 2016, four tables played: First place (tie), Eunice Mcaelis and Warren Behrends and Rick Stroup and Gene Domino; third place: Dave Ring and Orrin Roisen; fourth place: Edna Knobbe and Cleo Osmundson; fifth place: Larry Crowe and Jim Fisher.

Duplicate Bridge is played each Wednesday at noon at the Mower County Senior Center in Austin. All Bridge players are welcome. Bring a partner and enjoy an afternoon of cards.

 Brownsdale Study Club

Joyce Juhnke entertained the Brownsdale Study Club on Jan. 20, 2016. The meeting opened with all members reading the Collect. Minutes of the December meeting were read and approved.

Eleven members answered roll call by sharing a favorite saying like, “Rain in January; snow in May.” There was no old or new business. Fern Paschke adjourned the meeting. Hostess for our February meeting will be Mary Gallaher.

Hazel Schlichting gave the main topic, “The National Park Service Turns 100.” A century ago, on Aug. 25, 1916 President Woodrow Wilson signed into law, the Organis Act legislation that established our National Park Service. It was created to promote and regulate the use of the federal areas known as national parks, monuments and reservations. Since then, every summer brings people who view the scenery, the activity and history of our national parks. In Washington, D.C. they gaze at the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial and touch the names on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. Others go to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Old Faithful in our first national park Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Yosemite and Sequois National Park.

President Theadore Roosevelt passed the Antiquities Act in 1906 which granted him the authority to proclaim National Monuments.

He created 18 national monuments including the Grand Canyon and five national parks namely Crater Lake, Wind Cave, Sully’s Hill, Mesa Verde and the Chickasaw National Recreation area.

He also started the National Wildlife Refuge system which now has grown to 55 preserves.

In 2013, there were over 273 million recreational visits to the 405 properties and 13 million overnight stays in cabins, lodges, RVs, boats and backpackers. All are managed by the National Park Service which has 22,000 workers and over 221,000 volunteers.

The Rockfeller family have been big donors to provide lands for Acadia, Great Smokey Mountains, Shenandoach and Grand Teton National Parks. They also gave 5,000 acres to St. John Virgin Islands to protect coral reef. All properties total more than 84 million acres and surely are our national treasure. The secret mission of the National Park Service is “We Keep America.”

Mary Gallaher gave the outside reading – an autobiography, “Grace, Gold and Glory.”

Gabrielle (Gabby) Douglas was born, in Virginia with a rare blood disease in 1995. Times were hard. The family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in hope of finding work, but became homeless and lived in their van. Finally, her mom found work and an apartment in Texas. Then, when Gabby was six months old, a miracle happened. The blood disease had gone away and she became well and active again.

At the age of three, her sister Arielle showed her how to do cartwheels, splits and handstands. She told her mom that Gabby should be put in gymnastics. After awhile, her mom did take her to a training center that offered gym classes. Gabby knew she was in the right place. She was so excited that she began flipping and tumbling all across the gym. The owner saw her talent and thought she was already in training.

That day, at the age of six, she passed all the skills in the trial class. Then, her mom signed her up for six hours of lessons each week. “Work hard and trust God,” her mom said. So, she began her training for junior olympics and her gym teacher also put her in TOPS (talent open program) with U.S. Olympics. By the age of eight, she became Virginia State Champion.

In 2004, she did win the National TOPS Team and was invited to the Ranch Camp at the U.S. Training Center near Houston, Texas. The center was built by Marta and Bela Karolys in 2002. They had left Romania and came to America to national coordinator for U.S. Olympics. Since then, they have taught over 28 olympians and one of them became gold medalists including Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton. In their careers, the nations top gymnasts report to the Texas Ranch for four days of training every month. They become both mentally and physically strong. One year, Gabby had a stress fracture of her wrist. Times became hard again. However she did heal and at the age of 14 she moved to Des Moines, Iowa and began training with Coach Liang Chow. While there, she lived with the Parton Family who loved and supported her. Under Chow’s guidance she won nationals and Olympic trials and went on to the 2012 summer olympics in London. She was nicknamed, the “Flying Squirrel.” She won gold and took home two gold medals in individual and team events. Now she dreams of going on to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Joyce served a delicious chocolate cake and ice cream for lunch.


Expanding Opportunity: Austin Ford Chrysler breaks ground on addition, renovation

Mower County

Volunteers are needed for the statewide bumble bee survey

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Convictions June 3-10

Mower County

MnDOT asks motorists, riders to safely share the road during motorcycle convention in Rochester

Mower County

City of Austin to spray for mosquitoes

Mower County

Ikes to host steak cookout


Education: Accolades

Blooming Prairie

Education: Blooming Prairie Honor Roll

Mower County

In Your Community: Duplicate Bridge

Mower County

In Your Community: Mower County Senior Center


Family of bystander killed during Minneapolis police pursuit files lawsuit against the city


Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on rapid-fire rifle bump stocks, reopening political fight


New influenza testing rule for dairy cows going to Minnesota fairs

Mower County

Warrant issued for Jeffer Lorenzo after he fails to show for sentencing


Unanimous Supreme Court preserves access to widely used abortion medication


Audit finds Minnesota agency’s lax oversight fostered theft of $250M from federal food aid program


Partnerships celebrated during community event for Mower, Fillmore solar installations

Mower County

Mayo Ambulance training program hopes to increase EMT numbers


Workforce Development one of nine organizations to receive funding to train underrepresented workers for clean energy careers


Minneapolis police officer killed while responding to a shooting call is remembered as a hero

Mower County

Documentary follows AHS class across 50 years

Mower County

2024 Friendship Wagon Train coming to the area


New funding available for continuous living cover grants

Mower County

MDH inviting well users to seminar on nitrates