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'Always remembered,' Faribault commemorates 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
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A group of about 60 Faribault area emergency responders, residents and representatives gathered at the city’s Fire Station just as the sun rose Saturday morning.

Attendees gather outside the Faribault Fire Station Saturday morning, near the station’s flag pole for the 9/11 commemoration. (Michelle Vlasak/southernminn.com)

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Faribault Fire Chief Dustin Dienst led the ceremony, which began at 7:46 a.m., the time (in the Central Time Zone) when the first of four hijacked planes — American Airlines Flight 11 — crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.

Faribault Fire Department, Faribault Police Department and Rice County Sheriff’s Office park squad cars in the driveway of the Faribault Fire Station prior to the start of the commemoration. (Michelle Vlasak/southernminn.com)

Eighteen minutes later, a second plane crashed into the World Trade Center’s South Tower. By 9:03 a.m. Central, two more planes had been hijacked and crashed, one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., another into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. A total of 2,977 people — excluding the 19 hijackers — were killed in the attacks. More than 6,000 were injured.

Faribault Firefighters salute as the Faribault Fire Department’s flag is raised and lowered to half staff in honor of the fallen. (Michelle Vlasak/southernminn.com)

Members of the Faribault Fire Department raise and lower the flag to half staff, while Faribault area first responders salute and attendees stand by with honor. (Michelle Vlasak/southernminn.com)

Saturday’s event began with a welcome from Dienst and three parts: raising/lowering the flag to half staff, ringing the station bell in a pattern of three sets of three — which symbolizes a firefighter not returning from a call — and the reciting of a eulogy.

The Faribault Fire Department’s bell rings in a pattern of three sets of three, which symbolizes a firefighter not returning from a call. (Michelle Vlasak/southernminn.com)

While the bell ringing takes places, Faribault area emergency responders salute. (Michelle Vlasak/southernminn.com)

Jon Niebuhr, pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Glencoe and a former Faribault firefighter, delivered the eulogy. Niebuhr began the eulogy by honoring the following who lost their lives that fateful day: 343 firefighters and 110 other firefighters who have died since, 71 police officers, 11 paramedics and EMTs, 37 passengers of Flight 93, 76 passengers of Flight 11 and countless others, and thousands of rescuers who continue to struggle with health issues to this day.

Jon Niebuhr, pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Glencoe and a former Faribault firefighter, delivers the eulogy during the Saturday morning ceremony. (Michelle Vlasak/southernminn.com)

Quoting a song titled, “We Will Never Forget,” Niebuhr pointed out that it states both “We will never forget, we will always remember,” interchangeably. He encouraged those attending to focus on the positive, instead of the negative, because that’s when evil wins.

(Michelle Vlasak/southernminn.com)

“What is it that we will remember? The sacrifices that were made on that day. We remember and we continue to serve proudly, just as they served proudly that day. We’ll remember that we serve the people,” said Niebuhr.

He left attendees with a very important question to answer, “Who wins today? You do and I do, and all of the people of America win today because of the sacrifice that was made for us 20 years ago. We are living free today because of what they did that day, and the days that follow.”

Members of the community gathered to participate in the 20th anniversary commemoration clothed in red, white and blue. (Michelle Vlasak/southernminn.com)

Niebuhr said the bigger question is about who wins in each person’s individual heart, the good or evil? He asked the assembly to choose to remember the sacrifice, and put the men and women who lost their lives on that first 9/11 and to countless men and women putting their lives on the line everyday in cities and towns across America today. He thanked all for their service to conclude the eulogy.

Saturday’s 9/11 commemoration in Faribault began right at 7:46 a.m., when (in the Central Time Zone) the first of four hijacked planes — American Airlines Flight 11 — crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. (Michelle Vlasak/southernminn.com)

On behalf of the Faribault Fire Department, Faribault Police Department and Rice County Sheriff’s Office, Dienst thanked all in attendance. He also took time to recognize those in the audience, including state Sen. John Jasinski, retired fire chief Mike Monge, Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn, retired Rice County sheriff Richard Cook, Faribault Mayor Kevin Voracek and a representative from Morristown Fire.

Minn. CattleWomen hosts educational beef program with 'The Butcher and The Chef'
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Serving beef enthusiasts in promotion, education and leadership over the course of the last 49 years, the Minnesota CattleWomen’s Association has been focusing on reviving, refreshing and refocusing its priorities for 2021.

“Women who raise cattle are a beautifully diverse group,” said Michelle Mouser, MNCW President-Elect in a previous press release. “From the sole operator/owner of their farm, to those who keep books and manage the homefront, each one plays an integral role in the success of our beef industry.”

At the heart of the MNCW, leadership describes a desire to encourage, promote, and support these women. To that end, MNCW leadership has dubbed 2021 as the “Great Minnesota Comeback,” with an assortment of events planned throughout the year. While most have already taken place, there are still a few in store for the rest of the year. In the local area, a fall event will take place at the Armstrong Farm in Owatonna Saturday, Sept. 18.

The event, called “The Butcher and The Chef,” is ideal for those looking for ideas on how to prepare freezer beef and learn more about the break down of primal cuts.

MNCW Vice President Rosemary Gustafson said of the program, “With COVID, there were lots of people who purchased freezer beef. Our butcher will show us how to break these down, and our chef will work with how to cook the specialty cuts, since they are a little more non-traditional cuts of meat people aren’t sure what to do with.”

Saturday’s program features a break down of primal cuts and a lesson about options for freezer beef cuts from Minnesota Association of Meat Processors President Brian Schatz; a discussion on versatility, qualities and seasonings for various specialty cuts from American Culinary Federation certified executive chef and culinary educators, and owner of “That Cooking School” Chef William Niemer; along with a lesson about the brewery and beers from brew master of Mineral Springs Brewery in Owatonna.

A $60 ticket includes dinner, served at 6:30 p.m. and drinks. Registration closes Sept. 14, and is open to all interested women and men, members or not.

Gustafson, who has been involved in the organization off and on for the last 10 years, has spent the last three years heavily active in the organization. With a main focus to promote beef and pull like-minded women together, Gustafson says MNCW’s mission is to promote, support and encourage women involved in the beef industry.

“It’s wonderful all of the different friendships I’ve made all over the state,” said Gustafson. “It’s so interesting to see the industries others are involved in, from those with their own meat market and others who might be selling bulls. There’s so many different ways you can take it.”

Along with promoting the beef industry, Gustafson says a larger focus has been put on supporting the younger generation with the beef ambassador program, as without youth, organizations have no future. With membership ebbing and flowing over the years, Gustafson says the state organization is really trying to build its membership back up this year, rebuild and show others it’s a great organization to be involved in.

“If you’re a woman and you have an interest in the beef industry, we’d love to have you,” said Gustafson.

Following the September event, MNCW hosts its annual Minnesota Beef Ambassador competition during the Minnesota Beef Expo, Oct. 21-24 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The competition is open to youth ages 16 to 19 who have a desire to promote beef and develop their leadership abilities while connecting with customers. Details on the competition can be found at mncattlewomen.org.

In order to meet the needs of cattle women in every stage of the beef industry, a press release states MNCW events focus on current industry issues, building a strong network of connections, and strengthening leaders in the beef industry.

COURT REPORT: Faribault men charged with selling drugs
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A pair of Faribault men are facing charges of selling drugs.

One is alleged to have sold hallucinogenic mushrooms twice in May, the other was charged with possession of more than ¼ pound of cocaine and intent to sell the drug after trying to run from Northfield police.

On Tuesday, a Northfield officer pulled over a truck driven by Deonte Lajune Nelson, 43, after reportedly noticing it weaving on a road on the northwest side of town.

While speaking with Nelson, the officer alleged he smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and saw Nelson holding “a crumpled joint in his right hand.” The officer then noticed that Nelson, who got out of the truck at the officer’s request, smelled of alcohol.

Nelson then reached back into the truck and reportedly retrieved a small black bag. After some back and forth, Nelson reportedly took off running with the bag in his hand.

A foot chase ensued, ending when Nelson tripped on a curb. Nelson allegedly got back on his feet and tried to run again, but was Tased in the back and arrested.

Inside the bag, officers found approximately 105 grams of cocaine, and another bag containing about 31 individually packaged baggies of cocaine, each weighing approximately one half a gram, according to court records. In Nelson’s pocket, officers said they found $2,766 in cash.

During an interview with investigators, Nelson said he was being paid $200 to deliver the cocaine to Faribault.

Nelson, who was convicted in November 2010 of second-degree drug sale in Rice County, was out on bond at the time of his arrest. He was charged in March 2019 with third-degree sale of cocaine, fifth-degree possession of marijuana and child endangerment after law enforcement searched his home. Officers reportedly found several packages of cocaine during the search. Each weighed a total of 2.35 grams. They also reported finding 26 grams of marijuana.

A jury trial set for April was canceled and has not yet been rescheduled.

A second area man facing drug charges, Timothy Allen Kuntze, 40, was charged by summons Friday after twice selling a police informant psilocybin mushrooms, according to court documents.

On May 13 and 27, the informant reportedly purchased and ounce of the mushrooms from Kuntze, paying $200 each time.

Kuntze was convicted in July 2017 of possession with intent to sell marijuana, a misdemeanor. As part of his sentence, Kuntze was placed on five years’ probation.