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Running for Ruth

One year ago, 7-year-old Ruth Hobbs lost her hair.
Today, thick brown curls cover her head, indicating she’s on the road to recovery. Even though Ruth is officially in remission, her cancer fight continues, as do the costs for this New York Mills family.  
In an interview last week, Ruth’s mom Susan said she tries not to think about the costs of fighting cancer. Susan said the first hospital bill they received for Ruth’s initial diagnosis totaled $68,000.  And there have been many hospital stays since then. Thankfully, the family has health insurance so they are only responsible for a portion of the actual costs.
If things go as planned, Ruth’s treatment will continue until at least April 2016.
Diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in  read entire story. . . .

School to start before Labor Day


   This year, Labor Day will not be the “official end of summer.”
     New York Mills School District will start the 2015-16 school year before Labor Day, thanks to the new Education Finance and Policy Bill.
This is a one-year only change agreed upon during Minnesota’s recent special session. This upcoming school year, classes in NY Mills will begin Sept. 1 and end May 26, with graduation to be held on Friday, May 27. Labor Day is Sept. 7, the latest possible date it could occur. Three snow days have been scheduled for the end of the year.
           At a school board meeting a few   months ago, Superintendent Blaine Novak said the early-start date allows more flexibility in the school calendar. In comparison, the other calendar the school board was considering had 173 student days between Sept. 8-May 27, and two less vacation days.
While not every school is taking advantage of the early start allowance, some neighboring schools will also begin before Labor Day. NY Mills school board approved the calendar during Monday night’s meeting.  
      Following the meeting, kindergarten teacher Bridget Weller said she was excited for the start of this year in that the first week will be three days, the second week will be four days and the third week will be five days. She said it would be a good transition for young students.

Funding formula increase
In a separate interview, Novak said he is very happy about the new bill. The best part for NY Mills is the increase to the funding formula.
Schools receive state aid based on student enrollment, which is commonly  read entire story. . . .

DC church turns 100

Trinity Lutheran Church in Deer Creek will be celebrating an occasion 100 years in the making on Sunday. The church, which was founded in 1915, will mark its centennial anniversary with a day full of activities for young and old.
During the celebration, Pastor Martin Langemo, Jr. who is a son of the congregation, will lead the service. Following the service, there will be a variety of activities including a catered meal, snow cones and bean bags.
Pastor Paul Yearyean said a centennial celebration for a church and continuing to share the word of God, especially in a smaller community, is an important milestone in the history of a congregation.
The public is invited to attend the centennial celebration, as well as past members. The church service will begin at 9 a.m. and the celebration will continue at the church following the service.
 read entire story. . . .

Lowering school fees, one gun at a time

School activities and the VFW–an odd, yet successful combination.
For the last year, the NY Mills VFW Post 3289 has donated money to lower the cost of student’s activity fees at the NY Mills High School.
The goal of the VFW is a lofty one. They hope to cover the entire cost of activity fees for every child in the NY MIlls High School, which is thousands of dollars. Two years ago, before the VFW’s donation plan, about 300 students paid $16,000 in fees.
The VFW dubs the plan Pay-to-Play. The club approved the program in April of 2014, donating the first $5,000 in May of that year. NY Mills School Business Manager Marsha Maki said that donation helped lower the fee from  $60 for grades 9-12 and  read entire story. . . .

No future buildings on the Otter's Tail

After hearing objections from neighbors and the DNR, the Ottertail City Council unanimously said “No” to a proposed building on the Otter’s Tail on Thursday. The land is a thin spit of sand and woods between Otter Tail Lake and the Otter Tail River.
Ed Smith, who owns a lot on the tail, had scaled back a building plan from a 20-foot-high storage building to a 10-foot-high structure that was 240 square feet. Still, even with the downsizing, his proposed building was unable to meet setback requirements from property lines. The city  read entire story. . . .