"Thrivent Builds" team members pour concrete for the foundation of a home in a neighborhood in northern El Salvador. In April, two such homes were constructed in the same neighborhood.

Humblest of homes brings joy to El Salvadorans

by Dennis Dalman

news@thenewsleaders.com

Steve Reetz of Sartell was not surprised why El Salvadorans are so happy when they lend a hand building a new, nice, earthquake-proof home.

That’s because that Central American country’s landscape is littered with humble homes damaged or destroyed by earthquakes, mudslides or hurricanes. Many of the homes are patchwork hovels made of corrugated steel sheets, tin signs, scrapwood and even cardboard. Most have dirt floors. Many are in the process of constant makeshift repairs, damaged again and again by storms. Others are heaps of rubble, abandoned forever.

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Kennedy students plop pies in teachers’ faces, give them haircuts

by Cori Hilsgen

news@thenewsleaders.com

Kennedy Community School students delighted in plopping pies into their teachers’ faces and giving some of them haircuts at a recent fun fest.

The May 31 event was a celebration of the end of their annual walkathon and an appreciation for the funds they raised.

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photo by Dennis Dalman
Sherry Larson, Stearns County Daycare Provider of the Year, plays a board game with five of her young friends. From left to right are Riley Hagerty, Jax Gerber, Jacob Bonfield, Carly Bonfield and Ava Hagerty.

Smiles are constant reward for daycare provider

by Dennis Dalman

news@thenewsleaders.com

Sherry Larson has done day care for so long – 33 years – that she now looks after two children of a woman she took care of as a child many years ago – Joey and Brianna Neumann.

“Their mother, Stephanie, I did daycare for when she was just a baby, and I also did daycare for Stephanie’s brothers.”

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Lenora Hilsgen, 94, sings along with “Elvis” to the tune of "Love Me Tender."

Elvis ‘lives’ at Arlington Place assisted-living community

by Cori Hilsgen

news@thenewsleaders.com

“Elvis” made an appearance at the annual summer picnic June 1 at Arlington Place assisted-living community in St. Joseph.

Elvis circled the room and serenaded residents and guests as he draped scarves around women’s necks and even gave out a few coveted kisses.

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Energy, optimism abound among DogPAC members

by Dennis Dalman

news@thenewsleaders.com

Energy and optimism abound among the 30 or so members of the Sartell DogPAC, which is a tongue-in-cheek double play-on-words (“pack” and “political action committee”) for “Dog Park Committee.”

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Hanging flower baskets adorn St. Joseph city streets and can be viewed by walkers, bikers and drivers.

St. Joseph is blooming with colors (photos)

[/media-credit] Hanging flower baskets adorn St. Joseph city streets and can be viewed by walkers, bikers and drivers.

Hanging flower baskets adorn St. Joseph city streets and can be viewed by walkers, bikers and drivers.

In a lifetime of soup-making, Deb Duncan's soup repertoire now contains 70 kinds of soups, some of them wild but delicious creations of her own. Duncan, who first learned soup-making from her mother and grandmother, is the manager of Liquid Assets in Sartell.

With 70 varieties, Duncan is a ‘born’ soup-maker

by Dennis Dalman

news@thenewsleaders.com

Sometimes Deb Duncan feels as if she’s been born to be a soup-maker.

And it’s no wonder. She’s spent countless hours in her life making soup, soup, soup – 70 varieties of soup to date, and counting.

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Some of the students and staff at All Saints Academy–St. Joseph Campus happily end the school day on Friday, May 31. It was the students’ last school day for the year and also the Kindergarten and sixth-grade graduation day.

All Saints Academy celebrates last day