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We can still find some good news

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Dec 20, 2020

This issue of the Faribault County Register may be the one which has the biggest “variety packs” of stories we have ever produced.

This is our annual pre-Christmas issue known as “The Good News” edition. But, because of COVID-19, it is not filled with the same types of Christmas features we have had in the past. No Christmas concerts, cantatas, or school event photos. Gone are the photos and stories of people helping others during the Christmas season. Those events did not happen. And no letters to Santa.

Instead, we are featuring some stories of a variety of local people, and they are people not necessarily doing the regular holiday activities. However, they are all “Good News” stories none-the-less.

There is a story about the “Man of Steel,” (actually the “Men of Steel”) and I don’t mean Superman. Daryle Pomrenke and his son Matt and nephew Travis are doing some giant projects with steel out at their Winnebago Manufacturing plant, and I do mean giant. And, that is good news for the Blue Earth area community. Things are not all gloom and doom during this pandemic.

We congratulate them on their willingness to invest millions of dollars into the future of their business, and thus the community, as well. Perhaps they are super men, afterall.

There is a story about Faribault County commissioner Tom Warmka. He is a man of strong moral character if I have ever met one. I can call him “Ironman.”

The “Good News” is not that he is retiring from the County Board (although I am sure Tom will take some good-natured ribbing about his retirement being in the “Good News” edition), but it is rather that he was willing to give up so much of his time working to help this Faribault County community become a better place for us all. We thank him, congratulate him and wish him well.

There is a story about a woman willing to invest her time, hard work – and money – into turning a dilapidated old printing plant building into an arts show place. I call Jenna Johnson a woman of vision – and of perseverance. Not many of us have that kind of drive to do what it takes to turn a dream into reality. The community of Blue Earth is blessed to have people like her living here.

I still remember a cold and blustery day last winter when I stopped at the new arts center to see how the work was progressing. There was a construction worker up on a ladder, all bundled up in winter Carhartt insulated work clothes, wool cap and heavy sweatshirt hood over their head, to keep warm while putting siding on the new facade on the front of the building.

I asked them if Jenna was around so I could talk to her. Much to my embarrassment, it was Jenna on the ladder. Perhaps I should call her “Wonder Woman.” I am still in awe of everything she has done there.

I am likewise in awe of the community of Easton, which has seen a business boom in their small town this past year, despite the pandemic. The latest is the opening of a store in a former church called “A Little Something” and is owned by Melinda Wesch.

She’s another “Wonder Woman,” who, again with help from her family, transformed a former church into a business place.

You can read all about this venture by the community-minded Wesch family.

Another Easton area story is about one very lucky man, Sheldon Goodrich. He is a lucky man because he nearly didn’t get the medical assistance he desperately needed. It is a story you will definitely not want to miss reading. I guess I could call Sheldon the “Miracle Man.”

There are other stories in this week’s edition, including some news stories of meetings of the County Board, school boards and a city council. Perhaps they are good news stories, too. After all, our local governments are setting their local property tax levy increases very low.

So, I hope you enjoy this edition of our annual “Good News” issue of the Register.

As a friend of mine once told me, “Great job! There is actually a lot of news in your newspaper this week.”

That is, of course, our goal every week. And this week, it is a lot of “Good News.” Consider it our gift to all of you, from all of us at the Register.

Thanks for reading us.