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When Rich Liljenquist arrived at the Aitkin County Fairgrounds July 24 just short of 6:30 p.m., he really didn’t have any idea what was going on.

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The Liljenquist family had a surprise for the family patriarch Friday, as the grandstand at the Aitkin County Fairgrounds was officially renamed the Rich Liljenquist Grandstand.

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This great grandma, who lives in western Minnesota, is 92 and has 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. One of the grandchildren is Nicole Schwartz Navratil, who is from Aitkin, and her husband Curt.

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Those who have enjoyed hearing the stories about Big Ernie, Needa Shortbottom or the Rev. Moon Shadow Peterson-Visnovic will be glad to know all those tales are now in one book, Tales From Lard Lake.

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The Aitkin Flyers, in coordination with the 99’s – a national group of female pilots – worked long hours Sunday to place an airmarking on the tarmac of Aitkin Municipal Airport. The blue and white “Compass Rose” was first marked, and then painted on the runway. The design, which is at severa…

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“Winning the lottery.” Often it’s a go-to expression for the near -impossible, and it’s odds make it unlikely to happen in any given lifetime. For the Powerball drawing held on May 6 by the Minnesota Lottery, the odds of taking home $1 million dollars in winnings, by matching the five Powerb…

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The Minnesota State Patrol has five troopers assigned to road patrol in Aitkin County, which is one of five stations in the Brainerd State Patrol district.

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The Hill City Police Department consists of one full-time officer and four part-time officers. The police department is an active member of the Itasca County Towards Zero Death Coalition (TZD), Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association and Northern Law Enforcement Executive Administration Counc…

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The mayors of Aitkin, Hill City and McGregor all issued official proclamations this month recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Billboards and yard signs around the county also  proclaim the theme, “Words Matter.”

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Todd Stowell, of Isle, was traveling on Hwy. 65 on his way to Grand Rapids last Thursday. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a barred owl. Being a lover of animals, when he sees animals that are hurt by the side of the road, he’ll try to help them – if he sees a turtle on the road, he’ll he…

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The Age wants your photos! Send a picturesque scene, a shot of wildlife or any photo that shows off the beauty of the area. Just send it to news@aitkinage.com for inclusion in a future issue. Be sure to include name, city, a brief description of the photo as well as where and when photo was taken. 

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Given the enthusiasm and dedication of its members, the Aitkin Color Guard is strong and its future secure.    

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“Except for grocery stores, which are busy and picked over, the streets of northeast  Minneapolis are pretty quiet as a result of people working at home and schools being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said independent artist Shanai Matteson.

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Volunteers Evelyn and Steve Ladd are adapting to the social changes in the community meal program Evie coordinates for her home community of Palisade.

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Kara Anderson, 30, started over from scratch with her two children when she moved to Aitkin in 2016. Leaving behind her children’s father and her military career, Anderson made the move from Texas – and was just selected as the homeowner for the Aitkin County Habitat for Humanity 2020 home build.

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Drs. George Pettersen and Richard Burman began a medical practice together in Aitkin that lasted 14 years.  Dr. Pettersen recently died and those in the community who remember him, might like to review a history of their time working as a medical team both in Aitkin, and after opening the fi…

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Warm as summer sunshine, real as the truth…Jonathan Edwards. Edwards was born in Aitkin, Minn. on July 28, 1946. The singer-songwriter is a veteran performer who is neither grizzled nor nostalgic.

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Aitkin County Land Department Forester Bob Kangas retired on Dec. 20 after 35 years of service to the people of Aitkin County.  Bob has no immediate plans, other than to enjoy a little time off. Shown at the recent reception in his honor are Aitkin County Land Commissioner (retired) Roger Ho…

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While November is the month known for giving thanks, December marks a time to engage in the spirit of giving. Within the McGregor community, the Minnewawa Sportsmen’s Club exemplifies this spirit of generosity not only in December but year round.

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Many “angels” gather on the third Wednesday of each month to shine a little positive light in McGregor. The McGregor ANGELS (Area Neighbors Giving Elderly Live-in Services) co-sponsors a Community Meal at the McGregor Community Center at 5:30 p.m. The meal is free and open to all area reside…

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Lydia Mehr, a first grader from Aitkin, and her mother, Brenda, representing Edina Realty, have what it takes to bring in donations for the Aitkin County Salvation Army kettle. Studies show that having live people at the kettle brings in increased donations and the addition of cute children …

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In life, people may feel compelled to do something nice for others. It may be a pay-it-forward act of kindness to help someone out for the day. For others, paying it forward may be more than one deed — it can be an ongoing act of kindness.

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On Tuesday, Oct. 29, eight Aitkin FFA members (seven chapter officers and one member) got on a charter bus and headed toward Indianapolis, Ind.

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Sharla Fossen is a resident of McGregor and a veteran of the United States Air Force. She is petite and feisty, and has overcome many challenges to create a life for herself and her son Michael.

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Correction: In the Nov. 6, 2019 print edition, article “A life well lived -- Brian Andrew Kokesh 10-18-69 – 10-16-19,” Mr. Kokesh’s senior year was incorrectly listed as 1992. The correct year was 1988. The Aitkin Independent Age apologizes for the error.

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On Sept. 23, Ford Model As and other classic automobiles lined the streets around the United Methodist Church in Aitkin. Family and friends gathered to remember the life of Russ McNitt, who passed earlier that month.

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Elaine Posterik presented this Quilt of Valor to Marita Burgess, Kansas City, Mo., for her 21 years of service in the U.S. Air Force, now retired.

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Area Neighbors Giving Elderly Live-in Services (ANGELS) was established in 2004 as a community-based program dedicated to providing assistance to seniors aged 60+ residing within Aitkin County so they would be able to live in their homes safely, independently and with dignity for as long as …

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“Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give them yours.” — Zig Ziglar