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Hello Hillsboro: Honk if you watch geese
geese lake hillsboro
Hillsboros annual visitors are preparing to tip their wings and say goodbye as they begin another long trip South. - photo by Jack Knowles photo

You might wonder why the geese photo is included with this week’s column.

I took it Monday morning on my way to another assignment because it rattled some old memories that have been retired for quite a while.

For many years the Sentry Enterprise had its own small corps of “lake watchers” who faithfully kept us informed about incoming and outgoing flights of various visiting birds.

When the first visitors arrived in the Spring, the phone would ring and some helpful reader would say, “Better get someone down to the lake with a camera…the geese are coming in!”

I’m not kidding. This chore was performed with precise perfection, as if a Pulitzer Prize was on the line. I suspect it was also a good-natured contest between folks who lived on the lake at the time.

Naturally, in the Fall, those in the Sentry office were on high alert for the first “takeoff” phone call. And, if a photo wasn’t in the next edition, we would be toast, and probably have to post a security guard at our door.

This was all a long time ago…probably more than 20 years! With social media taking over the world, most folks would be more likely to post it on their Facebook page, rather than call the newspaper office!

I suppose some of those loyal “reporters” are gone now, possibly covering the  incoming and outgoing flights of angels.

But, somehow I miss them, and I’m glad I was here for that enchanting time when real news alerts were in the eye of the beholder.


On behalf of the many parents and grandparents who entrust the school teachers and administrators with our most valuable treasures on a daily basis, thank you for the highly professional actions and care during the recent fear of a gas leak at the Elementary School.

While the children were evacuated to the High School after a natural gas odor was detected, parents were alerted to the situation through a text messaging service and Facebook postings.

Coulee Region Mechanical Contractors checked the lines while lunch was served in the high school cafeteria before the students returned to the Elementary School.

However,  the next day, the Elementary School students were evacuated to the playground area until Alliant Energy technicians discovered that an exhaust pipe was close enough to a fresh air intake vent to pull some of the odor into the ventilation system.

The bottom line is that all personnel handled the situation very well.

With all the concern and worries about the safety of our children these days, the recent incidents can be considered an unexpected and highly successful safety drill.