Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The year 2008 will be a memorable one for a number of reasons. One highlight was an Olympics of, well, Olympic proportions in China, with ceremonies that were seven years in the making. The theme was "One World, One Dream" and, despite world unrest, we pretty much accomplished that, at least for two weeks. We got a new set of Olympic heroes like Michael Phelps and his mother. A lowlight was Russia claiming to have experienced its own "9-11" when Georgia fought to defend its territory in South Ossetia. (They don't even come close to getting it, do they?) We saw great movies like Wall-E, The Bucket List, Mamma Mia, and the long-awaited return of Indiana Jones, but we lost movie greats like Paul Newman, Charlton Heston, and Van Johnson. We lost a number of other "greats" this year, seemingly more than our usual share: Sir Edmund Hillary, Sir Arthur Clarke, Suzanne Pleshette, William F. Buckley Jr., Sydney Pollack, Harvey Korman, Yves Saint-Laurent, Bo Diddley, Tim Russert, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Isaac Hayes, Jerry Reed, Michael Crichton, Beverly Garland, and "Deep Throat" Mark Felt. It was a year of continued international war and conflict, with new flare-ups between Russia and Georgia, and the new war between Israel and Hamas. The United States continued its fight for peace and democracy (if that's what we're doing there) in Iraq and Afghanistan, in wars that seem to be losing the support and interest of the American people. Cuba's Fidel Castro stepped down in favor of his brother Raoul, Iran was viewed as a world threat, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il disappeared for months and was thought ill or dead. Russian imperialism reared its ugly head, and hints at a new Cold War were plentiful. Perhaps the biggest news at home was the 2008 election. Americans elected a new president, a young, educated, lawyer who happens to be half black. And then there's the Minnesota senatorial election that seems like it will never end. Economically, the year started strongly enough, but ended in a tailspin. 2008 became the year of foreclosures, bailouts, and layoffs. On the positive side, though, the price of gas at the end of 2008 was the lowest in four years ($1.59 in Kimball). JANUARY The first story of 2008 was about a special delivery to the Robin and Ryan Pettit farm. The Kimball Fire Department drove a fire truck filled with gifts, toys, and money donations by community organizations and individuals. Ryan had been battling cancer.
Fifteen Kimball students achieved their next belt rank after passing their Young American Karate exams in December; among them was Aeron Ashbrook who earned First Dan Black Belt. Kimball Tiger Cubs were spotted at the Kimball Fire Hall, library, and city hall. Auditions were held in early January for "The Odd Couple: Female Version", which was performed in March by the Kimball Community Playhouse. "Monster" Mike Schultz was featured for his strong start in the snocross season. The professional snocross snowmobile racer has been competing since 2003. Toward the end of 2008, his left foot touched the ground on landing during a race; the injury resulted in the loss of his lower left leg. As of Christmas 2008, he is home with his wife Sara (Becker) recovering and preparing for his next challenges. Austin Roerich of Kimball won the 2008 Geography Bee for Kimball, Jan. 11. The Kimball American Legion Club served up nearly 400 spaghetti dinners Jan. 12 in a benefit for Rick Bollman. On Jan. 17 former Fair Haven resident Zelda Stein celebrated her 105th birthday at Cokato Manor. The Kimball Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual Vegas Night at Playland Ballroom Jan. 26.
Kayla Kastanek and Scott Stenger were Kimball seniors selected to represent KAHS and Region 5A in the Academics, Arts, and Athletics (AAA) Award program of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL).
The Red Cross Bloodmobile stopped in Kimball Jan. 22. KES students of the month for January were Maicy Laumer, Michael Binsfeld, Adam Theis, Sidney Schreiner, Ashley Baumann, Brianna Jonas, and Olivia Straley. Joyce Donabauer of St. Cloud, Allison Korsmo of Kimball, and Mark Dockery of Kimball were winners in the State Bank of Kimball's Holiday Rewards Sweepstakes; they split a total prize of $1,000. The Tri-County News won two awards at the annual Minnesota Newspaper Association convention in Bloomington: Advertising excellence (overall, from among all weekly newspapers up to 1,500 circulation), and Best use of information graphics (from among weekly papers up to 5,000 circulation). Paynesville publishers Peter and Lynne Jacobson were honored at the convention with the Al McIntosh Distinguished Service to Journalism Award. Eden Valley opened its new fire hall Jan. 30. New business Chickadee Tree Floral and Gifts opened on Main Street (in the former barber shop building) by Eileen Dahlinger. Ronnie Rose was awarded the 2007 Kimball Fire & Rescue Chief's Award, presented by past-chief Tom Ehlinger at their Christmas party in January. Comings and goings: Born: 12/13/07 Natalie Mercedes Klaehn to Scott and Jackie (Miller) Klaehn of Rochester. Died: 12/27/07, William "Bill" Abbott, 68, formerly of Kimball. Died: 12/31/07, Ron Greely, 66, formerly of Kimball. Died: 1/4/08, Dennis Hesse, 44, of Howard Lake. Born: 1/7/08, Hailey Marie Rose Kuebelbeck to Crystal Boeson and Tim Kuebelbeck of Kimball. Died: 1/8/08, Lucile Vossen, 81, of Cold Spring. Born: 1/9/08, Bryce Michael VanNurden to Todd and Cheryl VanNurden of Kimball. Died: 1/11/08, Juanita Gohman, 86, of Waite Park. Died: 1/14/08, Alphonse Kuechle, 92, of Watkins. Born: 1/15/08, Tyler Joseph Wylie to Joshua and Jody Wylie. Born: 1/17/08, Gabrielle Faith Davis to Larry and Karla Davis of Kimball. Died: 1/22/08, Earl Rohrbeck, 86, of Watkins. Born: 1/23/08, Emerson John Lindberg to Matt and Mary Lindberg of Kimball. Died: 1/23/08, Jerry Lee "Goat Roper" Nelson, formerly of Kingston. Died: 1/24/08, George Fox, 88, of Maine Prairie Township. Died: 1/26/08, David Becker, 57, of South Haven. Died: 1/27/08, Harold Schmitz, 85, of Kimball. Died: 1/27/08, Robert Viking, 87, of Annandale. Died: 1/28/08, Henry Lueders, 90, of Annandale.