The Owatonna People's Press reports that Owatonna teen receives congressional award medal:
Duruji, a junior at Owatonna High School, has been volunteering since age 13 while living in Ketchikan, Alaska. During that time, he’s helped organize community book fairs, raise awareness about colon cancer and run scoreboards during athletic events.
And when his family moved to Owatonna in 2006, Duruji continued serving the community by assisting the Awanas at Grace Baptist Church. He also helps with youth wrestling and is a member of the Owatonna High School student council.
For his services, along with his athletic aspirations, Duruji was awarded the Congressional Award Bronze Medal by Congressman Tim Walz Friday at Owatonna High School.
“I’m very excited and honored to be the recipient of this award,” Duruji said.
The award comes from the Congressional Award Program, to promote people between the ages of 14 and 23 to “promote initiative, achievement and excellence,” according to the Web site of the Congressional Gold Medal.
In order to earn the award, one must set goals in four program areas: voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition.
Walz said it was an honor for him to present the award and encouraged Duruji’s peers to consider community service as a way to serve their country.
“It’s hard to fit them in, but they’re critically important,” he said. . . .
Duruji hopes to attend the U.S. Naval Academy after high school graduation, the OPP reports. Elsewhere in the paper, readers learn in Legislators talk policy over coffee :
And after consulting with numerous state economists, state Sen. Dick Day, R-Owatonna, said the forecast is not sounding good because it may wind up increasing the state budget deficit by another $2 billion.
“All of us are pretty nervous how we’re going to handle this,” Day said.
Day, along with state Rep.-elect Kory Kath, DFL-Owatonna, met with business leaders Friday at Fireside Coffee Beans in Owatonna to hear their concerns about the economy and what to expect out of the upcoming legislative session.
Kath said the upcoming session will be like someone going back into a burning building and trying to retrieve anything they can. He doesn’t believe a 10 percent cut across the board is the way to go in solving the budget crisis. . . .
Read both articles at the OPP.
In Money will determine when street project can start, the Post Bulletin reports:
It's scheduled to start in 2010, but construction of Olmsted County's 55th Street extension can start sooner or later than that, depending on a variety of factors.
Money is the biggest issue. The county has about $8.5 million less than the $23 million estimated price to complete the project. That figure includes price estimates for acquiring right-of-way, a considerable portion of which remains to be bought. . . .
. . .Federal funding has been solicited for the project, but the prospects do not appear promising.
U.S. Rep. Tim Walz included $4 million for the project in the federal appropriations bill, but few of these types of appropriations are likely to pass Congress, said Walz spokeswoman Meredith Salsbery.
We close with two Christmas related stories. If the Post Bulletin's Wish of Rochester soldier comes true and Al Batt's childhood story, "A Red Feather" in A bird can change the direction of a day don't move your heart, we don't want to know you.
Thinking about Christmas dinner? A little holiday cheers from the Swedish Chef: