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Waseca’s Marcus Hansen has rewritten the school’s record books three times already this season. He reset his own shot put record Tuesday afternoon with a throw of 60-feet-4-inches. (Lucas Seehafer/southernminn.com)

Arik Matson recognized

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Military Order of the Purple Heart presented the National First Responder Recognition to Officer Arik Matson of the Waseca Police Department for “wounds received while serving the people of his city and the country as a whole.”

This program allows the national organization to honor police officers, firefighters and paramedics who are wounded or killed in the line of duty, as a result of criminal activity, fire, or EMS hazards. (Annie Granlund/southernminn.com)

Waseca native gives Upper Iowa students access to quality food
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Waseca native Caitlin Schauer is ensuring students at Upper Iowa University have access to quality, nutritious food on a daily basis.

Schauer, a senior at UIU majoring in marketing and psychology, led the effort to create the newly established Peacock Pantry as part of her psychology internship. The goal was to eliminate hunger and food insecurity for UIU’s Fayette Campus students by providing access to food products during break periods, promoting healthy nutrition and increasing student success by reducing barriers to a complete education.

“I want students to have a source of food on campus regardless if they lived on or off it,” she said in a statement. “Students shouldn’t have to decide between paying for a textbook and eating for the week.”

Schauer surveyed students in February to identify food insecurity on the campus. About half the students surveyed said they had experienced food disruptions because they didn’t have money or other resources for it and two-thirds of the students surveyed said they were aware of other students who had experienced food disruptions. Students reported low energy and fatigue, irritable mood, poor concentration and low sleep quality due to an inadequate amount of food.

“With the university meal plan being the only regular source of nutritional food for many students, we want the pantry to serve as a general resource of quality food for all students,” said UIU senior director of academic success Amy Tucker.

The Student Philanthropy Council’s crowdfunding campaign raised more than $2,000 for the pantry and the campaign was supported by the Alumni Office and Alumni Association board members. Peacocks for Progress student volunteers raised funds to provide shelving, food and other necessities to establish the pantry.

Mark Maisio, Elwood Star Cleaners

Mark Maisio (right) helps a customer at his downtown Owatonna dry cleaning business, Elwood Star Cleaners. The 65-year-old business was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic as a majority of people transitioned to work-from-home settings. (Annie Granlund/southernminn.com)

Tickets on sale for Waseca High School Variety Show
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Tickets are on sale for Waseca High School’s Variety Show.

The show is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. May 6-8 in the Performing Arts Center. There will be limited reserved seating. Social distancing, pre-entrance hand sanitizing and masks will be required.

The May 6 performance will include only large group numbers and no senior solos.

The May 7 performance will include senior soloists Morgan Honstad, Jaden Hiller, Jayda DeRaad, Anna Scheffert, Caylie Blowers, Ian Pomeroy, Emily Farley, Rachel Scheffert, Marianna Mendoza, Elijah Ayers and Amelia Roessler.

The May 8 performance will include senior soloists Ellie Jansen, Gabriela Rodriguez, Brittney Draeger, Matt Seberson, Mackenzie Chicos, Marcus Hansen, Rachel Borneke, Megan Nelson, Isabella Sorenson, Sophie Alinder, Aidan Sharp and Dravyn Spies.

Other featured seniors will include Collin Dufault and Sadie Staloch.

Tickets are $8 per seat. Tickets are available to purchase for parents of senior performers 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 24 and for parents of eighth through 11th graders 10 a.m.-1 p.m. May 1. Tickets will be for sale for the public May 3-5 at Waseca Music Co. and at the door.