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Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
August 25, 2016     Tri-County News
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August 25, 2016

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## Your Hometown News 139 ,.hqi,uhlllu,,.Nh.,d.Uh,dlll,h,qmll,Hhd. *************lVIIXED ADC 553 12/31/2015 SMALLTOWN PAPERS, INC. 217 W COTA ST SHELTON WA 98584-2263 /6 $3 P1 Kimball, communities. Volume 69, Issue 30 Thursday August 25, 2016 Inside this week: OBITUARIES: Richard Elliott, 83; Alayna Ertl, 5; Marie Gmenes, 88; Carol Lenzmeier, 81; William "Bill" Loch, 80; Vivian Nelson, 90; Ted Newman, 64; and George Nothnagel, 94; pages 4-5. State baseball tourna- ment continues, page 6. High school fall sports schedule, page 6. Beware tech support scams, page 7. Forest City celebrates Threshers Show and Stockade Rendezvous, page 8. Mid Summer Blast 2016 draws big crowd, page 9. Candidates file for local offices, page 12. Business profile: W fllow Creek Concrete Products, page 13. KHS Class of 1955 met, page 16, EV-W and Kimball schools hold open houses, Aug. 31. Church & Obituaries ..... 4-5 Amateur Baseball ......... 6 Forest City 2016 .......... 8 Mid Summer Blast ........ 9 Business Directories ...10-11 Legals, Government... 10-13 Calendar ................ 14 Classifieds .............. 15 Newsstand Price: IIII!IllLI!I!II!I!!!!IIII By lean Doran Matua, Editor The church had 1,000 can- dles ready for the candlelight vigil Tuesday night, Aug. 23. They ran out. There were literally more people gathered in the parking lot behind St. Anthony Catholic Church in Watkins, for Alayna and her family, than the total popula- tion of the town. Each person there had a differ- ent reason for coming; a reason deep and personal. As the sun set, hundreds of bal- loons were released tinto the sky while Alayna's favorite song, "Let It Go" from "Frozen" played over the PA system. They rose and trav- eled northward, quickly disap- pearing from view. Father Aaron Nett, himself new to the parish, led the ser- vice. There were scripture read- ings, and Ft. Nett led those there through the five Kathy Pauls and Heidi Geislinger provided some of the music, and Dean Stewart pro- vided the sound equipment. Candles were lit, starting with Alayna's parents and family and spreading throughout the crowd. A cooling breeze on that warm humid night made the flames flicker and occasionally go out. Alayna's spirit was present: in her photos, in her music, in the balloons set free, in the breeze, and in the hearts and minds of everyone there. The slide show set to music started with Alayna's very first photo just moments after she was born. She was so truly happy in every photo, sometimes mugging for the camera, and always happy. Her bright smile and sparkling brown eyes filled the screen and melted hearts. Every description of Alayna has included that she was sweet, and happy. Every photo of her shows it. Alayna was definitely one of the best-dressed little girls in Wat- kins. She took great pride in put- ting together her outfits, complete with matching accessories. She loved to dress up, but it never stopped her from play- ing like a tomboy. One of Alay- na's favorite things at school was playing in the dress-up corner. She could also be seen riding her scooter or bike up and down their street. She often wore her cowboy boots, and her preschool teach- ers spoke of listening her footsteps down the hallways. Alayna was in the 7:30 a.m. preschool class in Watkins. Her Donations have poured in to a site from hundreds of donors, with all money going to Alayna's parents to help pay expenses related to this tragedy. A fund may be set up at Farmers State Bank of Watkins as well. teacher lenny Moe said she was amazed how wellAlayna took care of herself go early in the morn- ing. She knew the routine with her clothes, backpack and locker; she always knew what to do. "She was sweet as sweet could be," Moe said. Alayna has been described as being a little shy, especially at first, But she also was a friend to every- one she met. She was anxious to start kin- dergarten in less than two weeks. She was so excited to go back to school. No doubt, she had several outfits already planned out for those first few days of school. Later this week, a whole com- munity will prepare to say "good- bye" to Matt and Kayla's precious little girl and Carter's little sister. She will always be happy, and always be a princess. May we for- ever remember her so. Alayna Ertl was kidnapped and died Saturday, Aug. 20. The story of the crime is on page 10, inten- tionally separate from this one;. The story surrounding Alayna's untimely death is not for the faint of heart; please don't read it unless you feel you have to. The story on page 10 is the only place you'll find graphic descriptions of the crimes committed. Alayna's obituary is on page 4. There are two related stories on page 2. A January photo of Alayna used with permission. Ertl shows a joyful, beautiful little girl. Family's photo Hundreds of friends, family, and strangers alike gathered at St. Anthony Church in Watkins for a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening for 5-year-old Alayna Ertl who died Saturday at the hands of a family friend. It is estimated that more than 1,000 people gathered in back of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Watkins for the vigil. A screen in front showed dozens of photos of Alayna and her family as hundreds of candles danced in the wind. A cross made of luminaries shines in front of the stage throughout the service. Photo courtesy of Ryan Knutson and R&R Aerial Photography. P.O. Box 220, Kimbal MN 55353 . Tel./Fax (320) 398-5000 or 453-6397. news@tricountynews.MN . Web: tricountynews.MN