Reflection of 2007
What! It's almost the end of 2007? Wow, did this year go fast or what? I was just reading (Tuesday, December 18th of 2007) my "Reflection of 2006" to see what I can write about 2007 and I just couldn't believe how fast this year went by! Ok, I already know what my "New Year's Resolution for 2007" is, which is to "slow down more" and take it day my day as was mentioned in a recent sermon at my local church (see a new link called "Time", from my new webdomain I created this past month=>goodnewseverybody.com). Please feel free to remind me throughout 2008 of this to keep me accountable!
I wanted to take some time to reflect on what happened:
Family: I got my "first" nephew name Stefan, who was born in September, to my married younger brother and sister-in-law. My parents has reconciled after years of living in separate "homes" (5 houses away from each other) after many years of prayer (myself and others-thank you!)
Job: Starting full-time hours "again" at my day job just recently after being laid off for 2 weeks (8 days only of no work, which opened some time to "evaluate" my purpose in life).
Like all past years, 2007 too had some challenges/disapointments (e.g. victim of robberies that I don't care to share here-lol, Twins baseball team not having a winning record for the first time in this new "millenium"), but also rewards (e.g. being part of a winning team of the local Christmas Medallion Hunt).
I thanked Him for this blessing, which I asked Him how I can use it to bless others. I hope and pray that you too can ask God how you can bless/give to those who are "unfortunate". He has brought many friends (particularly folks from “utter most parts of the world”-Matthew 28)-Toni (ESL student of mine) from Bulgaria- my way to stay and live here for various number of days/weekends/weeks. In 2007, I challenge you all to "Count Your Blessings" before going to bed; no matter what circumstances you faced during each day! Feel free to contact me (e-mail me your own reflections of the past year or keep me updated throughout this new year or even let me know of any particular prayer requests) when you are around the Morris area of Minnesota to visit because "me casa es tu casa"!
Morris in 2007: What happened around here?
Morris Sun Tribune
Published Saturday, December 29, 2007
• Tim Pawlenty began his second term as Minnesota's governor in an hour-long ceremony ending at noon. Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau and three Democratic statewide officials also were to take their oaths, although two also planned separate ceremonies.
• New Stevens County Commissioner Don Munsterman was sworn in, along with current commissioner Herb Kloos, at the board’s annual reorganizational meeting Tuesday. Munsterman succeeds retired commissioner Bob Stevenson, who didn’t run for reelection after 40 years on the board.
• Carol Wilcox banged the gavel for her last time as Mayor of Morris on Tuesday. Sheldon Giese took the oath of office, then told Wilcox, "I have your phone number!"
• Morris Area Superintendent Scott Monson was not hired for the superintendent’s job in the Benson School District. The Benson School Board interviewed three finalists and ultimately hired its high school principal, Lee Westrum.
• The Cyrus School Board reorganized and welcomed two new members and reelected Dean Olson as chairman. Jerry Carlson and Patty Heder were elected as write-in candidates in November, while Jeff Pring was successful in his reelection bid.
• There undoubtedly was trepidation among Morris-area National Guard troops and their families following President Bush’s announcement that he intends to send more troops to Iraq. But local troops didn’t receive word that they’re going anywhere, Guard Readiness NCO Brent Fuhrman said.
• A modest loan from the city could mean a better quality of life for Hispanics and other minorities living in the Morris area. The Morris City Council gave a $12,500 loan from its Revolving Loan Fund to help develop a proposed store catering to the needs primarily of the Hispanic community.
• Martin Sayre and his cousin, Ryan Sayre, grew up just miles apart in Cyrus and Morris. But Martin’s eight-year age advantage meant that while they’d get together on occasion at a family lake place, they still didn’t share a lot in common. That age difference more or less vanishes given what the cousins do have in common now. Both are police officers who left behind family and friends to serve the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both returned to the U.S. before the year was over.
• Morris and Darnen township officials approved an annexation agreement. The Morris City Council unanimously approved the joint annexation resolution after also voting unanimously to repeal a previous resolution.
• The Morris City Council approved a financing arrangement for WestMor Industries, which is currently expanding on its site in the Morris industrial park to consolidate its operations at the park location. The council approved issuing Industrial Revenue Bonds totalling $4.5 million to facilitate the project, which includes construction of a new truck shop and centralized warehouse. The city is not liable to repay the bonds.
• Twins Winter Caravan visited Morris Area High School. Twins pitcher Boof Bonser, former Twins star and broadcaster Bert Blyleven and and now-former Twins shortstop Jason Bartlett stopped in the school office.
• The APEC ethanol plant project continued on schedule, according to plant officials, and utilization of different technology means the proposed plant will use less ground water than first anticipated.
• Minnesota Pollution Control Agency permitting continues, and first phase construction of the 100 million gallon per year plant was planned to begin in early- to mid-summer, said Jason Carter, vice president of operations for Greenway Consulting. However, APEC didn’t get full MPCA permitting until later in the year and construction was delayed.
• A bomb threat led Morris Area school officials to evacuate both the elementary school and high school in February. According to Superintendent Scott Monson, at approximately 1:05 p.m., a bomb threat against the school was discovered in one of the bathrooms. The threat did not identify individuals.
• Three Assumption Parish employees resigned or were placed on leave from positions, and church officials are working to fill the vacancies. The resignations of St. Mary’s School Principal Susan Hennen and Faith Formation Director Robyn Lampert were accepted, and Deacon Stan Hennen was placed on leave from his position as Pastoral Associate.
• The Stevens County Board of Commissioners responded to a letter from the Pope County Board about the regional jail concept. The commissioners approved meeting with Pope County.
• Athletic Director Mark Fohl announced that Todd Hickman had been named head football coach at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Hickman, who was selected following a national search, replaced Ken Crandall who resigned his position in December 2006.
• The Morris City Council approved a $2 million renovation of portions of West 6th Street and Lyndale Avenue.
• Juan Carlos Herrera-Serrano admitted killing his two-year-old stepson, David Rutherford. Herrera-Serrano, 25, pled guilty to second-degree unintentional murder and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
• There was an addition to the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office. The Stevens County Board of Commissioners gave Sheriff Randy Willis its blessing to hire a full-time deputy sheriff. Willis said he made the request based on the rising number of calls in the county.
• The Morris Area School District pondered a proposal to share its superintendent with the West Central Area district. The Morris Area School Board reviewed the proposal at its meeting Thursday, but took no formal action.
• Dallas Sams would have liked the way his former Minnesota Senate colleagues mourned his death -- in 16 years as senator he worked to be bipartisan. And that is how legislators remembered him. Sams, 54, died in a Twin Cities’ hospital Monday after battling brain cancer for more than two years.
• "Just one game" is what Nate Metcalf, University of Minnesota, Morris alumnus, kept repeating to himself when he was preparing for his appearance on the classic game show, "Jeopardy!" "That's all I wanted to win. He won $24,846 from the two shows on which he appeared.
• If everyone had Tammy Salonen’s affinity for the Regional Fitness Center, the Morris area would be quite the healthy community. Salonen, the RFC’s first Fitness Director, left the organization for a couple of years but now is back in her old position with new plans. “This community is really neat in that it’s able to collaborate,” Salonen said.
• The Morris City Council accepted a considerably lower bid from Riley Bros. Construction for water and sewer replacements on West 6th Street and a portion of Lyndale Avenue that helped keep residents' assessments down. The council approved accepting a bid of just more than $971,000 from Riley Bros. at its meeting Tuesday. All work, excepting a final coat on roadways, was completed by late fall.
• Even the thought of writing a book, to many, is almost impossibly daunting. But Morris native Greg Budig found that it’s really nothing compared to getting that book into the hands of readers. Budig, a writer and illustrator based in St. Cloud, published “I Hear The Wind.” He was back in his hometown in June to talk about the book during the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance’s 4th Annual Prairie Camp, an arts day camp for kids at the Morris Area High School.
• For the 15th consecutive year, the City of Morris received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award from the Government Finance Officers Association.
• Seventh District Congressman Collin Peterson attended and spoke at a local foods seminar at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, also said he believes that a growing market in local foods could bolster rural economies.
• The National Collegiate Athletic Association awarded University of Minnesota, Morris student-athlete Adam Turgeon (South St. Paul) a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Annually awarded to only 87 men and 87 women of the NCAA’s 380,000 athletes, the scholarship honors students who excel athletically and academically, and demonstrate outstanding citizenship and service to others.
• Jacqueline Johnson was officially installed as the University of Minnesota, Morris’ fifth chancellor during a day-long inauguration celebration. Johnson was hired to succeed Sam Schuman last year. She previously was Vice President and Dean of Faculty at Buena Vista University, in Storm Lake, Ia.
• Morris Area High School’s Knowledge Bowl team placed second at the state competition earlier this week at Cragun’s Resort, near Brainerd.
• Ed Larson, Morris’s City Manager for 26 years, announced his retirement at a City Council meeting.
• Area Superintendent Scott Monson and the school district reached agreement on a three-year contract. The Morris Area School Board unanimously approved the contract.
• The Morris Area School Board approved preliminary 2007-2008 budget reductions totalling more than $533,000.
• A state tax valuations settlement with Alliance Pipeline proved costly to area school districts and townships. The shortfall for the state, county, the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the school districts and townships totals more than $496,000.
• College of Saint Benedict senior Elizabeth Donovan’s research project presentation at an American Heart Association conference April 19 was featured in a recent edition of “Time” magazine. Donovan, a biology/nutrition science major, is the daughter of Joan and Gary Donovan of Morris.
• The University of Minnesota, Morris graduated its 44th class on a bright and slightly breezy Saturday on the Campus Mall. UMM’s fifth chancellor, Jacquie Johnson, presided over her first Commencement exercise.
• The Academic Challenge team representing Morris Area High School went 5-1 through the first three days of competition to qualify for the quarterfinals of the National Academic Challenge. However, they lost their first round of the quarterfinals and were eliminated from the competition.
• Craig and Jessica Beyer garnered shrinking energy bills and the public’s attention by installing a wood burner to heat water for their laundromat and the Beyer’s adjacent car wash on East 7th Street. The wood burner fit perfectly with the Beyer’s tree business, but a neighbor complained about emissions and the potential health hazards and the city Planning Commission crafted an ordinance for use of the wood burners.
• Rusty Kath loves sports and loves talking. Those two gifts – along with a strong understanding of his audience – are the reasons the University of Minnesota, Morris 2003 graduate in speech communications has been “called up” to the majors in the world of sports announcing for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, now known simply as the Rays.
• The University of Minnesota Board of Regents gave final approval for construction of a biomass plant on the campus of the University of Minnesota, Morris. The Regents Facilities Committee heard testimony and recommended approval.
• The Jim and Twyla Wulf family of Morris were among 68 families from around the state, one from each participating county, which have been named a "2007 Farm Family of the Year" by the University of Minnesota."
Morris in 2007: What happened around here?
Morris Sun Tribune
Published Tuesday, January 01, 2008
• In an omission from the June entries in part one of the Sun Tribune’s year-end story, a world War II-vintage B-25 bomber was the main attraction at the Morris Airport renaming celebration on June 17. The festivities also included renaming the airport “Charlie Schmidt Field” to honor the late Morris flyer many consider the backbone of local aviation.
• Ed Larson officially began retirement after 26 years as Morris City Manager. Dozens of family and friends honored Larson at a retirement party. Larson later took a job as a part-time consultant for the City of New York Mills.
• Pope County and Stevens County officials continued to meet to assess the viability of partnering on a “justice center,” which would include a jail, courts, administration and other joint law enforcement facilities. Stevens County Commissioner Paul Watzke noted that the concensus of the board is that they were not excited about the prospect of partnering with Douglas.
• Jay Pieske, of rural Cyrus, was severely injured in a motorcycle crash, and a cell phone and a police dog probably saved his life. Pieske was traveling on a motorcycle on a gravel road about one-quarter mile north of his home at about 9:30 p.m. July 4 when the cycle struck a deer. Pieske was injured but was able to make cell phone calls for assistance, although he was not sure where he was. Thanks to a search party, the search dog and signals from his cell phone, Pieske was finally located about 5 a.m. and hospitalized.
• Sergio Ismael Valdes, 18, fled Morris after allegedly shooting a 21-year-old man in the chest with a small caliber weapon at about 1:20 a.m. July 15.
• Steve Wolf has resigned as Morris Area High School Principal for a new job in Colorado. Wolf, who worked as a half-time principal and taught science last school year, said he was drawn to this position at Heritage High School, in Littleton, Colo.
• A group of Morris-area residents bought the Morris Theatre, and the group intends to keep it a home for first-run movies. The group closed the deal in October. The theatre will be operated as a for-profit business.
• At the 31st annual Miss Midwest Minnesota Scholarship Program, Bethany Tickle was named Miss Morris Area, and Kelsey Malecha was named Miss Midwest.
• Morris native Kathy Wilde was named Chief Nursing Officer for Hennepin County Medical Center. Wilde grew up in Morris and is the daughter of Allan and Marvel Anderson. She graduated from Morris High School in 1971. Wilde now is working with another Morris alumna, Joanne Sunquist (daughter of the late Melvin and Kate Sunquist), who is Hennepin County Medical Center's Chief Information Officer. Sunquist graduated in 1972.
• The new biomass facility at the University of Minnesota, Morris had its groundbreaking ceremony. The $9 million burner will convert corn stalks and other residual materials to produce clean energy. Construction is expected to be complete in spring 2008.
• The Morris City Council officially offered its city manager’s job to Morris native Blaine Hill, and Hill accepted. Hill began the job Sept. 1.
• The Habitat for Humanity of Prairie Lakes Stevens County Chapter dedicated its first home project in Alberta. Josh and Mary Backman, and their children Brianna and Dillon, moved in.
• At least seven people died and dozens were hurt in what Minnesota’s governor called “a catastrophe of historic proportions” in a Wednesday evening rush hour Twin Cities’ freeway bridge collapse. The Interstate 35W bridge near the University of Minnesota, fell in four pieces, crushing several vehicles and causing some to catch fire. The collapse resulted in 13 deaths.
• The Morris 14U baseball team took home its second MSF Class B state championship in three years in Austin. Morris previously took first place as a 12U team in 2005 and was the runner-up at 13U in 2006. The Morris team posted three shutouts and outscored its six opponents by a combined score of 70-6, winning the final five tournament games by the 10-run rule.
• The Stevens County Fair celebrated its 134th birthday and went off without a hitch.
• Mike Coquyt, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg High School principal for five years, was hired at Morris Area High School principal. Coquyt, 42, is a native of Milroy. He taught in Silver Lake and at Marshall for six years before becoming kindergarten-8th grade principal at Milroy Public School, and high school principal at KMS.
• Superior Industries unveiled is world-record TeleStacker Conveyor. Superior built two 60-inch by 190-foot TeleStacker for a silver and gold mine project in Mexico, and for a high-capacity rail load-out system near New Orleans.
• Scientists, economists and policy experts representing government and public institutions from 38 countries visited the University of Minnesota, Morris campus Thursday as part of U.S. Department of Agriculture's Global Conference on Agricultural Biofuels: Research and Economics.
• Jurez LeMar Slaughter was found guilty of second-degree felony murder Wednesday evening in Stevens County District Court in Morris. Slaughter, 24, was convicted of causing the June 2006 death of his five-month-old son, Paul Marcus Cohen. Slaughter was sentenced to 12 years in prison later in the year.
• The Stevens County Historical Society received the prestigious Leadership in History Award of Merit given by the American Association for State and Local History. The award recognizes the achievement and significance of the $1.8 million expansion and restoration of the historic Morris Carnegie Library building. The Leadership in History Awards program is the nation’s most prestigious competition for recognition of achievement in state and local history.
• Jennifer Grammond who grew up in Grey Eagle, Minn., and whose father was a high school principal, began her first year as new principal at St. Mary’s School.
• The University of Minnesota, Morris has again been designated as “Best in the Midwest” in The Princeton Review’s 2008 survey of college students. UMM is one of only 161 colleges and universities named.
• University of Minnesota, Morris clerical and technical workers joined other U of M workers on strike for more than two weeks. The workers are members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME union. The union found pay raises of 2.25 percent for clerical and technical employees, and 2.5 percent for health care employees unacceptable. The union later settled.
• Golfers got a chance to play the 10 new holes being readied at Pomme de Terre Golf Club. The full 18-hour layout will be open in spring 2008.
• Lutefisk isn’t nearly as bad as its reputation, according to bizarre foods aficionado Andrew Zimmern. The host of the Travel Channel program, “Bizarre Foods” had his first taste of the Scandinavian fish dish on Saturday in Cyrus. Zimmern and a production crew spent several hours in Cyrus, filming at the Cozy Cafe. The show is expected to be aired in early 2008.
• Judges from the 8th Judicial District gave a pledge to aid Stevens and Pope counties had they moved ahead to build a regional justice center. A majority of the 11 8th District judges approved of a resolution that stopped short of supporting the project, but did state that the bench would work with the counties if the project proceeds, said Paul Nelson, the 8th District’s chief judge. Stevens and Pope counties began exploring a regional justice center this spring.
• A broken rope during a tug-of-war at the University of Minnesota, Morris sent 13 students to Stevens Community Medical Center with mostly minor injuries. UMM said about 300 students were participating in the annual Homecoming Tug-of-War Thursday evening. Thirteen students were treated and released at SCMC.
• A Morris man has been charged with armed robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon following an altercation involving an alleged poker debt. Ronnie Leonard White Mountain, 39, is charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.White Mountain allegedly threatened Victor Melnichuk, of Morris, with a knife while seeking payment of the debt.
• The war in Iraq, the importance of Social Security, and universal health care were a few of the topics Minnesota U.S. Senate hopeful Al Franken covered during a speech to almost 300 people in the University of Minnesota, Morris Science Auditorium.
• The Stevens County Board of Commissioners voted to discontinue talks with Pope County regarding a regional justice center. By a 3-2 vote, the board resolved to discontinue discussions with Pope County regarding a regional justice center. Commissioners Neal Hofland, Herb Kloos, and Larry Sayre voted in favor of the resolution to end talks, while Commissioners Don Munsterman and Paul Watzke voted against.
• Morris Area High School Principal Mike Coquyt said assembly speaker Tina Marie “crossed the line” by making reference to subjects such as abortion and religion, but said that those instances were only a small part of an overall positive message from the actress and public speaker. Superintendent Scott Monson said the district heard from some people concerned about the assembly, and that the district responded to those who contacted the district about the assembly. Her appearance was sponsored by West Central Youth for Christ. Tina Marie spoke to junior high and senior high students about making the right choices and to be wary of messages in some popular music.
• A Morris man contends his late brother was famed hijacker D.B. Cooper, and evidence is leading some to believe that the 36-year unsolved mystery has been cracked. Lyle Christiansen, of Morris, has been in contact with private investigators and the FBI about his brother Kenneth’s involvement in the famed 1971 hijacking. Cooper became an instant legend, sparking a small cottage industry of books, a movie and song, as well as inspiring bounty hunters and other afficionados.
• Eric R. Hagen, 25, of Morris, and Rebecca K. Peterson, 27, of Glenwood, died in a two-vehicle crash near Cyrus. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Hagen was driving west in a 2002 Ford F150 pickup when his vehicle crossed the center line an collided head on with a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Peterson in the eastbound lane.
• Ron Flannigan received a second liver transplant and is recovering well. Flannigan, of Chokio, received his initial transplant from his wife, ArLou. But the transplant was beset by complications, and the transplantation of a cadaver liver was necessary. Flannigan was diagnosed last March with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a rare liver disease.
• The Morris Area School Board approved offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in terroristic threat incidents involving its schools. The board took action in connection with a November bomb threat that closed down Morris Area schools. Suspects have been charged in relation to three other bomb threats made in the district since February 2007.
• A family with area ties was featured on the ABC television program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” The show’s 100th episode will feature the Erik and Vicki Swenson family. Erik is the son of Courtland and Sylvia Swenson who live in Hoffman, and have ties to Morris. Erik and Vicki Swenson were chosen to receive a new home through the show after enduring several tragedies, First, Vicki’s sister, Teri Lee, and her four children lost their husdand and father in an automobile accident five years ago. Second, Teri was murdered last year by a co-worker she had been dating. The man had become abusive and threatened to kill her after she had broken off the relationship. Teri was murdered in September 2006. Erik and Vicki took in Teri’s four children to live with their family.
• Cheryl K. Contant was named vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean at the University of Minnesota, Morris following a national search.
• The Stevens Soil and Water Conservation District selected Ed Kopel as Stevens County's 2007 Outstanding Conservationist. Stevens SWCD chose Ed for this honor because of his efforts to conserve natural resources and create wildlife habitat on his land.
• Minnesota’s U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman met with a diverse crowd of more than 30 people at DeToy’s restaurant in Morris. The audience, ranging from college students to retirees and farmers, peppered Coleman with questions about U.S. energy policy, the Farm Bill, and the “rural renaissance” during the 45-minute visit.
• A Morris man facing several charges involving vehicle and personal property thefts last summer pled guilty in Stevens County District Court. Marc Allen Smith pled guilty to felony charges of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, motor vehicle theft and theft of a firearm. Smith was apprehended after a short chase with law enforcement ended with Smith crashing a stolen car into a garage on Columbia Avenue. Police found items which has been reported stolen in the Intrepid, and a subsequent search of Smith’s residence also turned up more stolen property.
• North Dakota State’s Brett Winkelman scored a game- and career-high 39 points to lead the Bison to a 102-99 overtime victory at Centenary in Shreveport, La. He ran his career point total to 1,014 to become the 26th player in NDSU history to reach the 1,000-point milestone.
• Tucker McCannon’s new Habitat for Humanity home was dedicated, marking the completion of the county chapter’s second Habitat home. McCannon put in 300 hours of labor on the project, and in total, more than 156 volunteers were involved in the project, putting in more than 2,200 volunteer hours.
• A trend that began last year continued on throughout 2007 in record-setting fashion. Morris Transit established a new annual ridership record, and two days later surpassed 60,000 riders for the first time in its 33-year history. The previous record of 59,775 riders was set in 1997.
• Nancy Huot was named as Morris’ second honoree of the Human Rights Award. Huot, who was nominated by Patty Kill, the 2006 award-winner, opened LaTienda in Morris last spring. LaTienda is a grocery and convenience store for the area’s Hispanic community.
• Sergio Ismael Valdes was back in Minnesota by the end of the year and faces attempted murder charges in Stevens County District Court. Valdes faces the charges relating to a July shooting in Morris, in which an acquaintance was seriously injured.Valdes fled the area but was arrested in Phoenix on Dec. 2."
2007: A Minnesota Year In Review, Dec 31, 2007 6:43 am US/Centra
"The collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge into the Mississippi River killed 13 people, injured more than 100 and drew visits from President Bush and journalists from around the world. It was the biggest story in Minnesota in 2007.
Elsewhere, flooding killed seven people in southeastern Minnesota and pushed dozens out of their homes on the western border with North Dakota. Along the Gunflint Trail in northeastern Minnesota, the worst wildfire in nearly a century burned for weeks and destroyed scores of homes and other buildings.
On the political front, a U.S. senator's career imploded after an incident in a Minnesota bathroom. Sen. Larry Craig, an Idaho Republican, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct stemming from his arrest at the Twin Cities airport for allegedly soliciting sex from an undercover officer. Craig's attempts to undo his plea failed.
There was some good news, too, including the return of about 2,800 National Guard soldiers who spent nearly two years in Iraq; a Nobel Prize for a retired University of Minnesota professor; and the arrival of Minnesota Vikings rookie sensation Adrian Peterson.
Earlier, in March, the Little Minnesota River overflowed, causing damage to more than 140 structures in Browns Valley, a city of 700 people near the South Dakota border. A few weeks later, flooding in the Red River Valley left Browns Valley residents homeless.
No one was seriously injured in the fire in the Arrowhead region, but it was the most destructive since 1918. The blaze, which started May 5, apparently from a campfire on Ham Lake, burned almost 119 square miles in Minnesota and Ontario. About 140 structures in Minnesota and 15 in Canada were lost, but fire crews and local residents were credited with saving dozens of other structures....
-- Tiffany Johnson, 26, who grew up in Chisholm and graduated from Hibbing High School, was killed along with another person Dec. 9 when a man began shooting at a missionary training center in Arvada, Colo.
-- Minnesota lost a distinctive voice and some well-known names: Herb Carneal, the Hall of Fame broadcaster and voice of the Twins since 1962; activist Vernon Bellecourt, who co-founded the American Indian Movement in Minneapolis in 1968; and Charles W. Lindberg, one of the U.S. marines who raised the first American flag on Iwo Jima -- before a similar flag-raising was staged for the famous AP photograph.
2007 Year In Review
America at a turning point, but which way will she turn?
by Warren Cole Smith (Minnesota Christian Chronicle January 2008)
"Was 2007 a turning point in our history? Part of the paradox of this expression is that one rarely knows if a year, or an event, or a moment, is a turning point until much later. But as we look back on 2007 we see some reason to believe it could be. From the war in Iraq to the war against abortion, 2007 may indeed be remembered by history as the year the tide turned.
The year begins
When 2007 began, we were a nation in public mourning. The last president to be born before the beginning of World War I, Gerald Ford, died on Dec. 26, but six days of religious services, mourning and celebration culminated on Jan. 2 with a service at Washington’s National Cathedral. Ford’s life brought forgiveness and healing to a troubled time in American history. His death at age 93 brought remembrances of a different time in American politics......
Signs of these times
The Virginia Tech shootings. If 2007 is remembered as a turning point—one way or the other—in American history, then the events of April 16 in Blacksburg, Va., will likely be cited as a pivot point....
Environmental engagement. Richard Cizik is the vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. He has also become perhaps the most outspoken evangelical voice in the battle over global warming...
A changing of the guard
There can be no doubt that there is a changing of the guard. The deaths of D. James Kennedy and Jerry Falwell highlighted this transition.
What made headlines this year?, from CNN updated 12:40 p.m. EST, Mon December 3, 2007
"# Story Highlights
# Unrest in Pakistan, Myanmar and Iranian nuclear standoff among top stories
# Other major news included the Virginia Tech massacre, California wildfires
# Your Picks: Rank the top stories of 2007
10 best sports stories of 2007, Updated: December 26, 2007, 4:04 PM EST (foxsports.com)
"This sports year bummed us out on many fronts. Steroid controversies spoiled some of the fun, forcing us to wonder which athletes were natural successes and which represented scientific breakthroughs.
Gambling, game-fixing, cheating, criminal activity, untimely death — 2007 brought all the bad stuff. But there were some amazing moments, too, which thrilled, uplifted and inspired us.
Here were the 10 best:
As Dalton Carriker came up to bat in the Little League World Series title game, he gathered himself. His Warner Robins, Ga., team was tied with Tokyo 2-2 in extra innings.
"God, please give me the strength to get a hit and help my team out," Carriker told himself.
"I felt like I was flying," said Dalton Carriker after hitting his winning home run. (Jim McIsaac / Getty Images)
The prayer worked. Carriker blasted the game-winning homer over the right-field wall and triggered a joyous celebration. "I felt like I was flying, like Peter Pan," Carriker said. "I didn't know what I was doing."
Upset of the year
America loves underdogs. And there was none bigger than little Appalachian State playing football at the University of Michigan.
The Wolverines were ranked fifth in the country at the time. They had 110,000 fans in the "Big House." Although Appalachian State was the defending champion of the Football Championship Subdivision, the Mountaineers from Boone, N.C., were way out of their element.
"It was David versus Goliath," Appalachian State receiver Dexter Jackson said.
But the Mountaineers outlasted the Wolverines 34-32 by blocking a field-goal attempt on the last play of the game. "Someone said it might be one of the biggest victories in college football," Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore said. "It may be the biggest."
Top Ten Stories from National Geographic
Ten Most Underreported News, from world net daily
Top Ten 2006, from Time (e.g. sports moments)
Top Ten Stories of 2007, from Christianity Today posted 12/18/2007 08:52AM
"1. Taliban takes Korean short-term mission team hostage, killing two
Afghanistan's resurgent Taliban used the team of 23 short-term workers from Saemmul Presbyterian Church as a bargaining chip, pressuring the South Korean government into a reported ransom payment and a promise to withdraw its 200 troops in the country. Bae Hyeong-gyu and Shim Seongmin were killed before the negotiation was completed.
2. Atheism tops the bestseller charts
Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens may be unhappy about the continuing "God delusion," but they can't be too displeased with their royalty checks.
3. Presidential campaigns start early, with some faith surprises
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama spoke easily of their faith, while Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson all stumbled in appeals to Christian voters.
4. Ruth Graham promoted to glory
The daughter of missionaries who, as a teenager, wanted to die a martyr's death, Ruth Graham instead became the wife of the world's most prominent evangelist—and an inspiration to millions.
5. Anglican Communion fractures over Scripture, homosexuality
Global South leaders issued an ultimatum for the U.S. Episcopal Church to return to orthodox interpretation of Scripture, four U.S. dioceses took steps to exit the church, and the basis for a conservative new Anglican province in the U.S.was laid. Besides that, all was quiet in the Anglican Communion.
6. Three Christians tortured and killed in eastern Turkey
Turkey's bid for entry into the European Union hasn't pleased the country's ultranationalist fringe, members of which are charged with slitting the throats of three Protestants at a Christian publishing house in Malatya.
7. Lions of the Religious Right pass away
Jerry Falwell and D. James Kennedy lived long enough to see great successes for the political movement they helped start.
Our coverage of Falwell and Kennedy
8. Francis Beckwith returns to Catholicism
No doubt many Protestants convert to the Roman Catholic Church every day. But most aren't serving as president of the Evangelical Theological Society, as Beckwith was when he returned to the faith in which he was raised.
9. Campaign to oust NAE's Richard Cizik fails
James Dobson and other religious conservatives couldn't depose the National Association of Evangelicals' vice president for his global warming activism.
10. Supreme Court upholds 2003 federal partial-birth abortion ban
The 5-4 decision marks the first national restriction on abortion since 1973's Roe v. Wade.
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