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5/16/2007 – News

Volume 124, Number 15             Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Leeds LRSC students write feature stories
Three stories written by Leeds High School students for credit at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake appear in this issue of the Farmers Press.
The students wrote the stories for their College Composition 120 class taken by Interactive Video Network at the Leeds School.

Students pledge to donate blood
Leeds High School students planning to donate for the blood drive in Leeds on May 17 are, left to right, front row: Amber Bracken and Callie Brossart. Middle row: Hope Keller, Whitney Streyle, Karlee Gronos, Gina Ritterman and Corinne Baker. Back row: Brett Kenner, RJ Darling, John Lunde, Tanner Larson, Daniel Harkness and April Peterson. Not pictured are Michael Peterson, Louise Tyndall, Ali Strand and Tabea Strich. (Photo by Louise Nelson)
Your heart pumping rapidly, hands sweating and a needle with blood flowing out of your arm may not seem like the most exciting thing to do, but think of how rewarding donating blood can be.
Seventeen students at Leeds High School plan to donate blood at their community blood drive on May 17 because they’ve acknowledged how important it is to give back. These 17 students are being true heroes and saving lives by simply taking half an hour out of their day to donate blood. The students will join the less than 5% of the population that donates and provides 100% of the blood needs. Putting it into perspective, 85% of the population will need blood at some time during their lives, and only 5% of the population actually donates.
According to United Blood Services, in order to meet patient needs, 300 units must be collected each day. Each student will donate one pint of blood, which could save the lives of up to three patients. When asked why these students planned on donating blood there were many different responses.
Gina Ritterman said, "I want to give back to my community." Hope Keller replied, "Maybe someday someone I love or I will need a blood transfusion." Amber Bracken said, "I want to help others in any way that I can." It’s great to see the young people of Leeds stepping up to the plate and donating.
Richard Larcombe, director of United Blood Services in Minot, says that as far back as their records show, United Blood Services has come to Leeds twice a year since 1976 for blood drives.
Unfortunately, blood donations have dropped from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Larcombe says, "By the mid 1980’s with the advances in medical care, improved surgical techniques and the donor base dropping rapidly, blood shortages started to occur." With life expectancy on the rise there’s an even higher demand for blood.
People are living longer and science has evolved, which means diseases that people used to die from are now treatable. Blood is used for procedures such as hip and knee replacements, major surgeries, car accidents, cancer treatments, transplants, etc. There is always a need for blood, so donors willing to give are always needed.
Every three seconds someone needs blood, which means in the time that it’s taken to read this article there are already approximately 270 people who need blood. Someday one of those people could be a relative, a friend, or even you.
Another benefit of donating blood is that the blood donated stays right here in North Dakota. Larcombe projects that North Dakota will need 77,000 units of blood this year. North Dakotans need to do their part in making sure that all units are provided.
Larcombe also said that if a person donates just once, they will continue to donate a couple times a year 99% of the time. This is because saving a life is an amazing feeling. Everyone knows there is no better gift than the gift of life. For the 17 new donors at Leeds High School, giving back is something they are eager to do.
For more information about the Leeds Blood Drive contact Whitney Streyle at 701-466-2597 or Lori Nelsen at 701-739-1153.

Demolition on hold for the present

Should it stay or should it go? A meeting was held Monday May 7, 2007 at the "new" Leeds City Hall concerning the "old" city hall/bank/library. The meeting will help to conclude the dispute on the demolition of the city hall.
For the past three years the city has been raising money to demolish this landmark. The city council and residents are trying to come to a decision on whether the building should be renovated or demolished.
"This didn’t seem to become an issue until about January," stated City Auditor Tammy Urness.
The building was built in 1901 to be used as a bank. But that wasn’t its only use. In 1934 it became the Leeds City Hall and Library until 1996.
In 1996 a new Leeds City Hall and library complex was built across the street and left the old building vacant. The old city hall was then used as a fund raising haunted house for a few years. For the past three years it has been vacant.
The old city hall has many antique qualities and designs. Tall marble pillars line each side of the door frame surrounded by glass. Inside the building there are high tin ceilings and a great deal of open space.
So should the building stay or should it go? This question is a current issue involving many that aren’t sure what the answer should be. It has been said the building is infested with black mold and there’s a water problem in the basement. These are a few of the minor issues this building holds. More costly issues might include the building only having one bathroom, which is located in the basement of the building, and not being accessible to the handicapped.
Demolishing the old city hall seems to be an easy way out of dealing with these issues, yet the easiest way might not be the best way.
When word of demolishing the old city hall got out, a local group known as the Resource Conservation and Development Council contacted Preservation North Dakota to help preserve the building.
The old city hall was recently nominated for the "2007 Three Most Endangered Historic Properties," and was given an honorable mention.
Before the meeting Monday several Leeds residents came up with a few ideas for use of the building: a museum, a place to host small art exhibits or other small events, bed and breakfast and a coffee shop are a few of the ideas the residents attending the meeting came up with, according to Urness.
All of these ideas are good, yet is the funding there to make them possible? Many grants will be needed to restore and preserve the old Leeds City Hall. According to Urness grants from organizations such as Preservation North Dakota and the Historical Society could help the residents who would like to see this old building stand. Most of the grants are said to be "in kind" meaning people would help out with labor and without pay, another grant may include 50/50 match grant. Other money collected would be from donations. The Leeds City Council said it wants a more certain answer on where the funding would come from.
It seems easier to demolish the old Leeds City Hall instead of restoring it, yet once the building and all of its history is gone there is no getting it back. The decision is still pending.

Built in 1901, the old Leeds City Hall has had many uses. The building is now vacant and has not been used the past few years.

Thirty-nine years of experience

Junice Lysne, the Leeds School secretary, has been working in Leeds for 39 years. She went to college at Minot State University, started her career as a teacher in a one-room school and really enjoyed it.
She taught for five years. One memory she has from teaching is how the younger kids would listen to the older kids and just learn from what they said.
She said, "I liked being around the kids and seeing how much they progressed and since it was a one-room school everyone was like one big happy family."
She quit teaching when her first child was born and was a stay-at-home mom until all the kids were in school. She then became a secretary because she didn’t have a lifetime certificate for teaching.
She is a mother of four: Dale, David, Steven and Judy and a grandmother of 13. She and her husband reared their family in Harlow, a small rural town southwest of Leeds. When the kids were older they moved into Leeds.
It is the little things that Junice does that go unrecognized. If a person were to call the school, Junice would be the one to answer the phone. She always answers the phone with a cheerful voice.
She also takes care of sending students’ transcripts where they need to go, records who eats lunch at school and which students won’t be coming to school. She also takes care of meal tickets and makes the bank deposit. If a student needs to pay for something, just ask Junice, she will know. If a student goes home sick, she calls or makes sure the student calls when he/she gets home to make sure he/she made it okay. Every morning she types the school announcements. She is always in the office with a smiling face and is always willing to give a helpful hand.
Junice says, "My favorite part of the job is being around the students and working with the faculty and staff. There is not one thing I don’t like about my job."
Superintendent Joel Braaten says, "Junice always has a pleasant personality when people call or come to the office that makes them feel welcome."
There have been some changes in the past 39 years. The biggest change she’s experienced is with technology. When she first started working, she was using a typewriter and is now using a computer. When it comes to technology she says, "There are always new things to learn, which also keeps my job interesting."
She’s at the school early and is usually one of the last to leave. She’s usually at school activities supporting the students, even after working those long hours. Not only is she active in school activities, she and her husband are also active in their church and community. After her busy days at work, a person may even see her walking in Leeds for exercise.
In her spare time she enjoys crocheting, gardening and baking. When she is finished working she plans to spend more time with her children and grandchildren. She really enjoys her grandchildren and loves to be around them.
She has a remarkable work ethic that’s demonstrated by working at one place for 39 years. She still goes beyond and above her duties. All who meet this amazing person see how she touches every student’s life in some way.

Junice Lysne busy at work on a Monday morning. (Photo by Hope Keller)

New city attorney
Tom Traynor of Devils Lake, right, is the new city attorney for Minnewaukan. He is pictured with Minnewaukan Mayor Curtis Yri, left. Traynor succeeds Michael N. Steffan, who was the city attorney for many years. Steffan had to resign because he was elected to the Benson County Commission and his service to Minnewaukan was perceived to be a conflict of interest. Traynor is also the attorney for the city of Devils Lake.

Earn 4-H awards
Katie Rice and Jordan Backstrom won the 4-H overall showmanship award for demonstrated knowledge and expertise on a variety of livestock. Katie earned the junior award and Jordan won the senior award.

The Key Club Award was presented to Kimberly Randle for demonstrated leadership skills and a willingness to help others.

The ten-year member award was presented to Heidi Simon for successfully completing at least 10 years in 4-H.

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