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EDITORIAL (Feb. 8, 2017): Magazine will feature county’s melting pot

With the United States erupting with debates and protests about immigration policies in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order severely restricting immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries, suspending all refugee admission for four months, and barring all Syrian refugees indefinitely, it’s ironic how well our 2017 Portraits in Pierce theme fits in with all of this.

We had no idea when we picked the theme “Tapestry of Cultures” last summer that immigration would be such a raw, emotional topic right now.

The theme of Portraits this year celebrates the diversity of this county, which is a melting pot in itself. Most of us do not descend from the natives of this continent; at one time, our descendants came to America hoping for a new life. Whether that was one generation ago or six, does it really matter? We are all Americans, yet we’re all unique.

The Portraits magazine will highlight the different cultures and customs that comprise the fabric of area residents. Woven together, these stories detail a history rich with colorful traditions, heartfelt recollections of coming to the United States, making a home among the hills and valleys of Pierce County and preserving customs.

Until we began this project, we had no idea how many different cultures are represented right here in our own backyards. This magazine will allow you to learn about your neighbors and friends who might not have the same background as you. Surprisingly enough, not everyone around here is Scandinavian and bows down to lefse (though it is very good), which is a common misconception.

Pierce County is home to Irish, Mexican, Peruvian, Hmong, Chinese, German, Italian, Finnish, Russian and Brazilian families. And that is only scratching the surface.

If you or someone you know celebrates customs and culture as a way to remember your ancestors and your roots, and would be interested in being featured in Portraits, please call editor Sarah Young at 715-273-4334, email her at, or stop in 126 S. Chestnut St., Ellsworth. We’d love to hear from you.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

(715) 273-4334