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Erik Ludwinski, who succumbed to a rare pediatric cancer in February at the age of 24, will be awarded two degrees with highest honors posthumously May 7 at Bemidji State University. His parents, Paul and Donna, will accept his summa cum laude Bachelor of Science diploma, his majors in computer science and computer information systems. And this, his "proud mom" notes, was after Erik missed six weeks of school last fall while undergoing "internal" radiation, tests and chemo. His tenacity and good humor endeared him to hundreds in the course of his disease. The day he died, Feb.
Nevis School Board members, encouraged by staff, agreed the time is now to recruit students. The district saw a significant drop in student numbers this year, 505 compared with 540 a year ago. "We need to take action to draw students," said Shelly Mahowald, a Title I Reading Recovery teacher in the primary grades. Activities director Bryan Wormley agreed, noting this is the time of year when parents may be weighing their options. He suggested an open enrollment round-up for students in grades beyond kindergarten. "Students are leaving this district. The time is now," Mahowald said.
Duo gives subline new purpose to household artifacts>/B> Dawn Penning and Chris Nason have added a new R to the reduce, reuse, recycle credo. "We repurpose," Penning explains. "It's a sickness," the duo laments, grinning. "We're on a first name basis with the guys at the dump." Three years ago, the "rummage sale friends" who are co-workers at Century School, decided their inventory of goods had reached a crisis point. "You can only buy so much stuff," Nason said. Meanwhile, they had met their mentor, Iva Thielges, a.k.a. the Nashua Trader.
The Park Rapids School Board gave band director Jared Larson a (figurative) standing ovation this week for the success of the Pep Band and the concert band, earning a double star, superior rating in competitions. Band president Caleb Atkins reiterated the board's sentiments. "The band program is turning around thanks to a good band director," the saxophonist told the board. Principal Al Judson agreed, noting 19 students were enrolled in band last year, 30 are tooting their horns this year, and over 40 expected next year.
The Lake Belle Taine and 11th Crow Wing Lake public fishing piers will soon be replaced, the Nevis and Akeley councils learned this week. David Schotzko, DNR area supervisor for state parks and trails, said grants will fund the replacement of the existing 20+-year-old piers, but the timeline has not yet been determined. The piers will be constructed at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater, but a backlog exists. "Ideally, this summer," Schotzko said of the timeframe. But the funding, he said, is secure.