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Reflection of 2009


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Picture: Went snowboarding with some friends at Cougar-Tiger Hill in Morris, Minnesota on Sunday, December 20th of 2009

Happy New Year..2010!! Wow, what a year! What did you thought about 2009? Before we enter the "new year", I (Sal) would like to take some time to reflect on God's blessings of this past year. We sometimes easily forget what we did each year unless we STOP and think about what happened in our "busy" lives. During these holidays, I like to take advantage of the "break" and share with others "what happened in 2009"..

Prior to Christmas, I was making a slide show of 2009 for both my workplace (Stevens County D.A.C.) and my family back in St. Paul. I had a great time working on this video slide-show project as it helped me remember the great times this past year..

Attended my brother's birthday party at Lutsen Ski Resort by snowboarding.
It was my first time to visit Whapeton Zoo (Whapeton, Dakota), which some co-workers and I took (drove 1 hour NW from Morris, MN) some "clients" on a beautiful Sunday.
I got a week vacation to do a variety of activities (e.g. Dragon Festival at Lake Phalen and Ramsey County Fair) with family in St. Paul
Went to my first ever Minnesota Viking football training camp in Mankato, Minnesota. I went with a "client" from a group home I work part-time at. Unfortunately, Brett Farve was NOT a Viking...yet!
I joined some of my co-workers and clients to a Minnesota Twins baseball game, which would be my last baseball game at the Metrodome.
Got my ESL (English as a Second Language) Teaching Certificate after a 1-year of online courses through Hamline University (St. Paul, MN)
Went with my brother's family to the annual Hmong New Year at the River Centre in St. Paul
Saw "It's A Wonderful Life" (supporting many cast members from my "local church") for the first time (theatre presentation first at Glenwood, MN) and "many" great holiday gatherings (e.g. family in St. Paul during the BIG Winter Storm!

Picture: I shared this Human Rights Award with many "unnoticed" volunteers "making a difference" (e.g. working with our fairly large number of "mentally-physically challenged" population, teaching GED & ESL classes to help those in our "challenging" economy, reaching out to those in "lower-income levels", etc..) in the Morris area community, which I received from the City's Human Rights Commission on a "wintry" Tuesday (December 15th of 2009).

My New Year's Resolution is the same like every past years, which is to be more "Christ-like" (body, soul, and mind) with God's my daily personal relationship (e.g. reading the Bible, prayer, fellowship, praising-worshiping, etc..)..Also, to be more of a "peacemaker" in all situations in my daily surroundings through 2010!

Today (Saturday, January 9th of 2010) after over my first full-week of the "New Year", I decided to write down some "goals" (see purpose-driven life) I've been pondering about this past week. Here are some:

-plan a well-"budgeted"-plan house "remodeling" (e.g. finished my basement by April, get double-pane windows for my living room this summer, insulate my external basement walls, etc...) project (monthly if possible)
-build current and future relationships (family, friends, co-workers, etc.)
-take advantage of the "opportunities" to make "peace-reconciliation" with everybody in every situation
-Give God the glory in "everything" I do (e.g. work, family, leisure, etc..)
-teach what I know and learning in life with others (e.g. niece, nephew, ESL/GED students, etc..) "younger' than me



  • Morris in 2009: What Happened Around Here? Morris Sun Tribune Published December 25 2009

  • The economy leads to shutdowns and layoffs, a Stevens County jail plan sparks controversy, and a former Morris Area Tigers basketball star helps lead NDSU into the NCAA tournament. Here�s part one of our recap of the area�s top news stories in 2009
    "January 2009
    The DENCO ethanol plant in Morris ceased operations temporarily.
    Economic slowdowns in the aggregate and mining industries forced Superior Industries to lay off 30 employees and transfer 15 workers to its WestMor Industries operation.

    February 2009
    University of Minnesota, Morris Chancellor Jacquie Johnson served as an energy and climate change panelist at the Clinton Global Initiative University conference at the University of Texas.
    A group of Stevens County residents considered a recall campaign against 5th District Commissioner Don Munsterman, who supported a controversial jail building plan as part of a courthouse renovation and construction project.
    A Morris woman was found dead on the 600 block of East 8th Street in Morris.
    Laurie Ann Heintzelman, 46, died of exposure. She had been missing for almost two days. Morris Chief of Police Jim Beauregard said searchers found Heintzelman's body behind a shed on a property, and there was no indication of foul play.
    March 2009
    A man charged in an October 2008 stabbing in Morris pled guilty to first-degree assault and could face between six and nine years in prison. John Lewis Longcrow, 25, accepted a plea deal in Stevens County District Court for stabbing Ronnie White Mountain multiple times during an argument at the Lamplighter Apartment on West 5th Street in Morris. Longcrow was later sentenced to seven years in prison.
    Morris native Brett Winkelman and the North Dakota State's basketball team won the Summit League Tournament championship and a berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Bison played well before falling to defending national champion Kansas in the first round.
    The Morris Area High School cast of Lysistrata Interruptae received a starred performance in the Minnesota State High School League's One-Act Festival, putting it among the four schools in the eight-school Class A contest to earn the highest ranking possible. That's the One-Act equivalent of winning a state championship.
    A typical trip to the Fargo-Moorhead area for many Morris area residents might involve shopping, a concert, maybe a sporting event or a college visit.
    There wasn't a lot of fun in store for area residents and companies making the trip there this week, but what they are doing is probably more rewarding.
    Riley Brothers, of Morris, sent more than two dozen pieces of equipment and about 60 workers to the region to help with flood control efforts in the Red River Valley.
    More than 40 Morris Area students, teachers and parents boarded a bus and took off to help with sandbagging efforts. This after FFA students from Hancock and Morris traveled to the region.
    Riverview Dairy also sent between 25 and 35 people, including Hispanic workers and area residents, to Fargo on three separate trips, said Riverview's Kevin Wulf.
    Softball, volleyball and track athletes from the University of Minnesota, Morris traveled to Breckenridge to help with flood control efforts there, and another campus group went to Fargo to provide assistance.
    Supporters filled the Morris Area Elementary School gymnasium for a send-off for local troops being deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
    Some 560 soldiers with the Minnesota Army National Guard's 1st Battalion 151st Artillery are being deployed to the Middle East. The soldiers are deploying from units in Montevideo, Olivia, Appleton, Marshall, Madison, Morris and Ortonville.
    The event, lasting about 45 minutes, was filled with words of support and encouragement for the soldiers, their families, employers and communities.
    The program featured remarks by Major General Larry Shellito, Minnesota's Adjutant General, First Lady Mary Pawlenty, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Charlie Battery Commander Capt. David Johannson.
    The New London-Spicer Wildcats, the 2008 Class AA state champions, got to defend their title after toppling Morris Area 82-75 in the Section 6A championship game.
    The Wildcats kept doing just enough in the second half each time Morris would make a run at cutting down a 50-28 halftime deficit. The Tigers got as close as eight with about three minutes left, but NLS forced Morris to foul and then made its free throws down the stretch. NLS went 12 of 16 from the foul line in the last three minutes.
    April 2009
    Ground was broken on the West Central Research and Outreach Center's new 5,260 square foot expansion project...
    The University of Minnesota, Morris announced it would lay off eight staffers and reorganize or eliminate some classes in an attempt to comply with system-wide budget cuts.
    UMM Chancellor Jacquie Johnson said that the cuts were difficult but she reiterated U of M President Bob Bruininks statement, made in Morris earlier this month, that no U campuses would be closed as the state's land-grant university wrestles with an expected $20 million reduction in state funding.
    All U of M campuses were ordered to make the same percentage reductions, which equal between $1.6 million and $2.6 million at UMM, she said.
    A Donnelly man who was facing charges for cocaine distribution in Stevens County District Court was among 26 people under federal indictment after authorities cracked a cocaine pipeline between Texas and Minnesota.
    Refugio (Kookie) Hernandez Muniz, 51, was charged in March with first-degree felony sale of 10 grams or more of cocaine within a 90-day period. Muniz was facing penalties of 30 years in prison and/or a fine of $1 million.
    But Stevens County Attorney Charles Glasrud said that he dropped charges against Muniz after receiving word of the federal indictment against him.
    Muniz was arrested locally on Feb. 4.
    A former Morris priest facing prison for possessing pornographic images of children on computers had his sentences stayed and told the court It was difficult to tell those secrets I kept so long.
    John Lloyd Caskey, 54, will serve about a month in jail, be placed on probation for five years and must adhere to several conditions as part of his sentencing before Judge Peter Hoff in Stevens County District Court.
    The former Assumption Church priest was charged with 20 counts of possessing child pornography in Stevens County District Court in early 2008. In August 2008, he pled guilty to the first three counts and admitted possessing the images of minors.

    Morris in 2009: What Happened Around Here?, Part II, Published January 01 2010
    Area National Guard soldiers prepare for their second deployment to a war zone, Stevens County Commissioners drop controversial plans to build a jail, and Morris auto dealers escape closure. Here's part two of our recap of the area's top news stories in 2009
    *see GoodnewsEverybody: MiddleEastern Iraqi of Iraq Outreach
    Morris in 2009: What Happened Around Here?, Part III
    The Coborns grocery in Morris is slated for closure, UMM announces plans to add two wind turbines to its alternative energy project, and the Morris Area School District sees a jump in enrollment. Heres part three of our recap of the areas top news stories in 2009
    "July 2009
    Former Morris Area and North Dakota State basketball star Brett Winkelman signed a one-year contract with a team in Italys second division. Winkelman declined to disclose financial terms of the deal with Pavia of the Italian LegaDue, but said it was on the high end or beyond the average $40,000 to $70,000 scale for rookies.
    "Its one of the top second divisions in Europe, said Winkelman. " This one jumped out at me as the best offer. It was almost a no-brainer. Everything fit as far as what my criteria were."
    Winkelman said his agent received a few offers last month. Things started to heat up when teams from Italy, Belgium, Poland and Turkey called with offers, Winkelman said...

    *see Italians of Italy Outreach
    "Coborn's grocery, which has done business in Morris since 1996, announced it would close when its building lease expire in the fall...
    A Stevens County woman is the states first West Nile virus victim...
    U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson provided Republicans an opening to attack him when he said he does not hold town hall meetings in his western Minnesota district because many constituents believe the Bush administration helped carry out the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
    "Twenty-five percent of my people believe the Pentagon and (then-Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld were responsible for taking the twin towers down, Politico Monday quoted Democrat Peterson as saying. Thats why I dont do town meetings."

    *see GoodnewsUSA.Info 9-11-01
  • Morris in 2009: What Happened Around Here, part IV, from Published January 15 2010

  • UMM lost one of its original faculty members, the Big Stone II coal burner project fell through and Stevens County sold its ambulance service to its former director. Heres the final installment in our recap of the areas top news stories of 2009
    " October 2009
    Jim Gremmels was a basketball player and coach, a tennis lover who played into his 70s, a dedicated academician who delighted in teaching Moby Dick. A printer. A sailor. A committed political party member who cast one of Minnesotas 10 Electoral College votes for Americas first black president in 2008.
    Gremmels, one of the original 13 faculty members at the University of Minnesota, Morris, died Sept. 25 at his home near Glenwood. He was 82.
    The Stevens County Developmental Achievement Center celebrated its 40th anniversary.
    The county DAC was started by Stevens County Arc and concerned parents. The DAC had 10 clients at its inception and now serves 64.
    The Regional Fitness Center celebrated its 10th anniversary. The RFC was dedicated Oct. 16, 1999 through a collaboration of the City of Morris, Stevens County, the University of Minnesota, Morris and the Morris Area School District.
    The University of Minnesota, Morris' women's golf team won the 2009 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference championship. Paced by three all-conference players, the Cougars finished 16 strokes ahead of second place Northwestern College, at the Alexandria Golf Club.
    November 2009
    The Big Stone II coal power plant project fell apart when remaining partners in a South Dakota coal-fired power plant that was to provide electricity to the Upper Midwest announced they were killing the project.
    Big Stone IIs future was crippled when Otter Tail Power Co., coordinator of the project, dropped out in the summer.

    December 2009
    Corrections Corporation of America plans to close its Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton on Feb. 1, 2010.
    Stevens County Attorney Charles Glasrud was elected president of The Minnesota County Attorneys Association for 2010.
    Randy Fischer and Josh Fischer purchased the Stevens County Ambulance Service.
    The Stevens County Board of Commissioners, on a 3-2 vote, approved a proposal to sell the SCAS to the Fischers company for $810,000.
    Totally Scrooged!, a locally made film featuring more than 50 area residents, had its big-screen premiere at the Morris Theatre."


  • WCCO Reporters On 2009's Most Memorable Stories, Dec 31, 2009 10:56 pm US/Central

  • "Pat Kessler -- Franken Vs. Coleman
    As it was reported: Minnesota's senate election was not just the closest or the longest, it may also have been among the most rancorous ever. Al Franken claimed victory outside his Minneapolis home after a bruising campaign and drawn out court trial. ..
    Mark Rosen -- Favre Fever
    As it was reported: Mark Rosen broke the news a couple hours ago that Brett Favre was flying to the Twin Cities this morning. And as you can see here, he landed in St. Paul less than an hour ago to sign with the Vikings. ..

    *see Sports -Football Outreach


  • 2009: Year in Review - Special Coverage on, from

  • The Top 10 Everything of 2009 - TIME charts the highs and lows of the past year in 50 wide-ranging lists

  • Top 10 News Headlines of 2009, video added December 11, 2009

  • "Current News' Andrew Fitzgerald presents the top 10 headlines of 2009. Which stories made the list? Was it Balloon Boy or was it the war in Afghanistan? Or was it both? Take a look and comment below sharing which stories you felt were at the top of your list for 2009..."

  • The Top 10 Stories of 2009 by Warren Cole Smith — EP (Minnesota Christian Chronicle January 2010)

  • "2009 proved to be a significant year on numerous fronts, culturally, spiritually and economically. Below are the Top 10 Evangelical news stories of the year. There are listed in no particular order.
    Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Obama’s inauguration was not only historic because it was the first time a black man has held the office, but also because of the religious controversy it generated. The inauguration included controversial prayers by Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery, as well as a pre-ceremony prayer by gay Bishop Gene Robinson.

    *see USA Presidents: 44th (2009-present) Barack Obama
    "The War in Iraq. 2009 will be remembered, in retrospect, as the year the Bush strategy was vindicated. Casualties declined in Iraq, and nationwide elections have been scheduled for March 2010, further evidence of the establishment of democracy in a nation that nay-sayers warned could never govern itself peacefully.
    *see GoodnewsEverybody: MiddleEastern Iraqi of Iraq Outreach

    The recession. On top of the human toll brought on by 10 percent unemployment and financial bailouts that will take a generation to repay, Christian ministries and churches were hit hard with cutbacks and layoffs.
    *see LA: Economics, Economy, etc..

    Healthcare debate. The healthcare debate is one of the most significant events in a generation in part because the abortion issue will be the most significant issue in the debate. If healthcare reform passes with federal funding of abortion, look for an era of civil disobedience in this country not seen since the 1960s.
    *see LA: Clinic, Doctors, Hospital, Medical, Physicians, Pre-Med, etc...
    " The ELCA ordains gays. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the country’s largest Lutheran denomination, sanctioned the ordination of non-celibate gays and lesbians who were in “committed” relationships. The move will likely result in a mass exodus from the ELCA to other, more conservative Lutheran denominations, or—in all likelihood—to a newly formed Lutheran denomination now in the planning stages. (ELCA vote on gay clergy will significantly impact denomination — Sept. 09)
    *see Religious: Lutheran
    "The Anglican Church in North America. Faithful Christians have been leaving the Episcopal Church since the 1960s, for other protestant churches, and—sometimes—to form splinter groups. But with the formation this year of the Anglican Church in North America, the Episcopal diaspora has a new home. More than 100,000 people now attend ACNA churches on any given Sunday, and within a decade, if trends continue, the ACNA will be larger than the Episcopal Church, and will then be the dominant expression of Anglican worship in the U.S. (Episcopals break from national church to form new alliance — July 09)
    The retirement of James Dobson. As part of a long-planned transition plan, Dr. James Dobson stepped aside as the voice of the daily radio program this year. It’s the end of an era for Focus, and some say it’s the beginning of a new era for the Religious Right. (James Dobson steps down as Focus on the Family chairman — Mar. 09) (Dr. Dobson leaving radio ministry in February — Nov. 09)
    Violence in the abortion wars. Could the murders of abortion doctor George Tiller and pro-lifer Jim Pouillon be the beginnings of new militancy in the abortion wars? President Obama is “baiting” both sides by rolling back pro-life policies such as the “Mexico City Policy,” which prohibited foreign aid dollars from advocating or paying for abortion. If healthcare reform includes abortion provisions, the dam could burst. (Late-term abortion doctor killed — June 09) (Slain pro-life activist is martyr, some say — Sept. 09)

    *see Issues: Anti-Abortion, Abortion, Life Care Pregnancy, Plannet Parenthood, -Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, etc..
    "The Manhattan Declaration. Now with nearly 1-million signers, the Manhattan Declaration’s clear, direct argument for religious freedom and traditional family values could be the flag around which social conservatives gather for the 2010 elections. (Religious leaders issue the Manhattan Declaration, a ‘call of Christian conscience’ — Nov. 09)
    The Fort Hood Massacre. Not only was it the largest mass-murder ever on an American military base, it also brought jarringly to light the reality of home-grown terrorism. Count on this event to have a major impact on immigration reform talks, which will likely come up again in 2010. "

    *see Texas Outreach
  • 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

  • 6Best of 2009 and a nod to '10 , Jackson By Scoop Jackson

  • "Things that should have happened in 2009 but didn't:
    1. The Cavs getting to the NBA Finals
    2. Brett Favre failing in his return
    3. Lance Armstrong coming back and miraculously winning the Tour de France
    4. A-Rod not winning a ring
    5. Michael Jordan giving a gracious HOF speech
    Things that should have gone wrong:
    1. An athlete getting in legal trouble for something said on Facebook or Twitter
    2. Michael Vick's return to football
    3. Brandon Jennings' rookie season
    4. Ron Artest on the Lakers (still pending)
    5. The Angels' season after Nick Adenhart's death



  • 2009 AOL New Year Hot Searches,

  • "1. Barack Obama
    On January 20, Obama became the 44th President of the United States. In February, against the backdrop of 2009 Year End Hot Searchersthe worst recession in nearly three decades, he signed the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law.
    2. Cash for Clunkers
    3. Madoff Scheme
    4. Octomom
    5. Jasmine Fiore
    6. Health Care Reform

    *see LA: Clinic, Doctors, Hospital, Medical, Physicians, Pre-Med, etc...
    " 7. Sonia Sotomayor
    8. Craigslist Killer
    9. Chimp Attack
    10. Balloon Boy


  • Yahoo! Year in Review 2009
  • Global-Multicultural

    2009 Year in Review-Politicol News

    " -2009 Year in Review we highlighted the best of and the worst of news reports in politics, celebrities, and global world news"

  • Top 10 News Stories of 2009- The events, people, and debates of the past year that have shaped, or will significantly shape, evangelical life, thought, or mission. Also: Top 10 news stories of the decade. CT staff | posted 12/28/2009 09:43AM " 1. The Great Recession reduces missionary sending and closes hundreds of Christian schools as layoffs hit World Vision, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Focus on the Family, Asbury Seminary, CT, and many other ministries.
    2. Orthodox Anglicans launch a North American province as the Episcopal Church drops its moratoria on gay clergy and same-sex unions. The ELCA narrowly approves clergy in same-sex relationships, prompting conservative Lutherans to create a rival body. Methodistsand Presbyterians maintain their bans.
    3. Religious groups agitate for health-care reform. Pro-life Democrats and Republicans in the House surprisingly succeed at adding a ban on taxpayer-funded abortions to the House reform bill, largely thanks to Catholic clergy's lobbying.
    4. The Obama administration permits federal funds for embryonic stem-cell research and overseas groups that promote abortion, while cutting funds for abstinence-only education.
    5. Deadly Gojra riots in August prompt a government examination, and fresh international criticism, of Pakistan's notoriously abused blasphemy laws.
    6. Swine flu causes Christian churches worldwide to modify services. Egypt slaughters all pigs, devastating the livelihood of its Christian minority.

    *see Science: Biology, Animals, Biological Warfare, etc...
    7. Multisite churches and video-venue campuses evolve from megachurch experiment to near-default option as large congregations expand.
    8. Zondervan discontinues the controversial TNIV and announces that an updated NIV translation will debut in 2011.
    9. Gaza war hinders reconciliation efforts between Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians. Believers continue to flee Iraq; Somalia's Christians almost entirely vanish.

    *see African: Somali-Somalian of Somalia-Soomaaliya Outreach
    10. Hispanic evangelical leaders debate boycotting the 2010 Census as a way to call attention to immigration reform. Meanwhile, the National Association of Evangelicals and other groups prepare for the immigration debate to reignite in 2010."

  • Top 25 Censored Stories for 2009, from

  • "# #1. Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation
    # # 2 Security and Prosperity Partnership: Militarized NAFTA
    # # 3 InfraGard: The FBI Deputizes Business
    # # 4 ILEA: Is the US Restarting Dirty Wars in Latin America?
    # # 5 Seizing War Protesters� Assets
    # # 6 The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act
    # # 7 Guest Workers Inc.: Fraud and Human Trafficking
    # # 8 Executive Orders Can Be Changed Secretly

    /distrust.html">GoodnewsUSA.Info Government: Distrust
    " 9 Iraq and Afghanistan Vets Testify
    # # 10 APA Complicit in CIA Torture"..
    # 15 Worldwide Slavery

    *see Issues: Slavery-Labor, Modern, Sex, Financial "Debt", Sin, etc...
    "# 24 Japan Questions 9/11 and the Global War on Terror
    *see GoodnewsUSA.Info 9-11-01

    E-mail Forward from Tom W. (Canada)


    1. The Bible will still have the answers.
    2. Prayer will still work.
    3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
    4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
    5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
    6. There will still be singing of praise.
    7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
    8. There will still be room at the Cross.
    9. Jesus will still love you.
    10. Jesus will still save the lost.

    --Author Unknown

    I am truly thankful that God is Faithful even when we are not.

    *see Ministry: End Times, Prophecy, Prophetic, Rapture, Tribulation, etc...

    *see Bible

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