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The Ben and Kerri Dirkes family of Sartell has faced many terrifying moments – life-and-death moments – in recent years. Fortunately, they have many moments now to be thankful and happy about. From left to right are father Ben, Elijah, Dakota, Zoey and mother Kerri.

A monster almost killed a husband and daddy

by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com For many harrowing days and nights, Ben Dirkes faced imminent death from a threatening monster, and every dreadful minute his wife, Kerri, faced that monster with him. And now, thankfully, the monster has been destroyed and Ben is still alive. There will be a benefit breakfast for the Dirkes family from […]

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Hammer-Cofell to perform originals at ‘Local Roots’ concert

by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com When Adam Hammer of Sartell was challenged in a “Songwriters’ Contest” to write a song about “skinny-dipping,” he accepted the challenge. In 20 minutes, seemingly without any effort, the song just came to him, and it remains a favorite of his listeners. “Underwater Love Song” Hammer describes as a “tongue-in-cheek sweet […]

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The Central Minnesota Housing Partnership helps first-time homebuyers prepare for the challenging but exciting adventure in purchasing a home.

‘Home Stretch’ takes guesswork out of first-time homebuying

by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com Many people thinking of buying their first home have no idea what a thicket of challenges and glitches the process can become. That is why the “Home Stretch” workshop was developed – to guide first-time buyers through the exciting but challenging steps that lead to home ownership. A “Home Stretch” one-day […]

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Sartell 2013 Year in Review: Good omens for future popped up all over

by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com The year 2013 in Sartell might well be described as “onward and upward,” because so many positive trends set in earlier years were either growing by leaps and bounds or coming to fruition during the year. The year was filled with academic and athletic achievements by Sartell-St. Stephen students, with several […]

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Sister Kara Hennes hands a box up the steps to Sister Dorothy Manuel when moving boxes from the one-day storage area to temporary storage spaces.

Monastery archives getting back to routine after flood restoration

by Cori Hilsgen news@thenewsleaders.com This past June, the St. Benedict’s Monastery oratory and archives flooded. Prioress Sister Michaela Hedican noticed the problem when she went to the oratory to pray at about 4:30 a.m. on June 21. She notified physical plant assistant director, Chris Eisenbacher, who came with his crew to help. The monastery maintenance […]