The Free Press, Mankato, MN


July 13, 2013

Kasota stone graced Mankato and the world

Thumbs up to Mankato Kasota Stone for bringing beautiful local limestone to so many buildings and other structures for more than a century.

The Coughlan family announced the stone quarry that has been in their family for 125 years has been closed after a steep decline in the market in recent years due to the construction slowdown.

The family plans to begin operation of its Jordan Sands silica sand mining operation next year, with hopes of bringing some former Mankato Kasota Stone employees back.

The local Kasota stone has been prized for its yellow-pink color variations since settlers first came to the river valley. That stone — quarried by Coughlans and by the larger Vetter Stone company — has found its way into skyscrapers in Minneapolis, homes and buildings in the region and embassies in Russia, to name a few.

It’s a local, natural resource to be proud of and the Coughlans have been an integral part of the quarry business since the earliest days of Mankato.

Kirchner makes us proud at White House

Thumbs up to Kaitlyn Kirchner, the 9-year-old Madelia girl, who made us proud as a representative at the White House.

Kirchner was one of the winners of a national contest to create healthy recipes as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to improve kids’ nutrition.

Kirchner presented her stir fry recipe, with most of the ingredients coming from her own garden.

Kaitlyn and her mom not only got to meet the first lady but the group had a surprise visit from the president as well.

Kaitlyn did well representing the bountiful farmlands of southern Minnesota.

Lillo continues to amaze with creations

Thumbs up to local metal artist Arnie Lillo and his newest creation — an unbelievable Cinderella carriage.

Lillo has long added to the Mankato area landscape with his handiwork done at his farm shop near Good Thunder. He has constructed metal silhouettes of things like the James-Younger Gang’s Northfield bank robbery as well as dozens of other creations for an onsite historical display.

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