After the storm, be thankful
Mother Nature's fury altered the northwoods landscape last week with two storms.
The July 2 storm, packing winds of 80 mph or more, and the Independence Day storm won't be soon forgotten.
Both left a trail of damage and debris throughout Beltrami County and beyond.
Miraculously, no deaths or significant injuries occurred in either storm.
Property owners and residents are left picking up the pieces, waiting for insurance adjusters and rebuilding.
It's time like these in which we find out a lot about a community and the fabric of the people who live here.
In the aftermath, there were strangers helping strangers, neighbors lending hands to neighbors and good Samaritans aid others without thought or hope of a simple thank you.
The cleanup of our communities, parks and trails will likely continue for weeks. For some, rebuilding will take months. Restoring the landscape as we know it may take a lifetime or longer.
Looking back, we have plenty to be thankful for - a strong community, absence of serious injury and many close calls that could have been much worse.
While the storms lasted minutes, the recovery and rebuilding will take time. It wears on us mentally, physically and emotionally.
In midst of this process, we need to look after each other, take time to laugh and play, and cherish what remains - a strong and vibrant community.
Carri Jones' inauguration as chairwoman of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe ushers in a new area for the tribe.
At 32, she officially becomes the youngest Leech Lake chair. Her victory last month also marked the first time a woman has been elected to the post.
Her experiences and education will be an asset for Leech Lake.
Arthur "Archie" LaRose, who initially appealed the election results, bowed out gracefully, thanking voters and supporters for his time in office. He handled election defeat with dignity and class - important for tribal government to move forward in a cohesive and collaborative effort.
While Gov. Mark Dayton learned last week that he was this year's recipient of the America's Greatest Education Governor Award, the state's top elected official didn't make time to address storm victims.
No word at all for the more than 20,000 Minnesota households and businesses that lost power after storms swept across the north.
Thousands lost power, spent the holiday week cleaning up, and are seeing the expenses pile up. We expect more out of our governor.