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Arts briefs

Five area students placed in the Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp Contest, including two first-place winners.

Students submitted more than 1,100 pieces of artwork featuring the following species: whistling ducks, swans, geese, brant, dabbling ducks, diving ducks, sea ducks, mergansers, stiff tails, or Hawaiian ducks.

Best of show was won by Nick Buchal, 16, of Mahtomedi with an oil painting of a pair of Green-wing teals.

Best Conservation Message was won by Christopher Wreede, 16, of Litchfield with "A balance between innovation and conservation is the key to a balanced future."

Christopher Wreede also took first place in the seventh- to ninth-grade category.

In the 10th- to 12th-grade category, Ryan Kleven, 17, of Glenwood took first place; Ryan Wreede, 17, of Litchfield took second place; and receiving honorable mentions were Erica Stoen, 17, of Starbuck and Sabrina Andersen, 18, of Glenwood.

Artwork entries were judged on the basis of original design, anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for reproduction on a 1-by-1.5-inch stamp. The first-place art from the national contest is used to create a National Junior Duck Stamp each year.

The Junior Duck Stamp is available for $5 from the U.S. Postal Service. Proceeds from the sale of the stamps support conservation education and provide awards and scholarships for participating students, teachers and schools. For more information on contest rules and regulations for teachers and supervising adults found visit


Author to speak today at Ridgewater

WILLMAR -- Minnesota author Kao Kalia Yang, author of "The Latehomecomer," will speak at Ridgewater College from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today in the Large Outreach Room.

Yang's book is about her family's journey from Laos to St. Paul, arriving when she was 6 years old. She was born in a refugee camp in Thailand.

Yang tells the story of adapting to a new culture and a new language while maintaining her Hmong heritage.

The event is sponsored by The Multicultural Club, Student Life and the English Department at Ridgewater.