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By LuAnn Schindler

Western Oil Company purchases Hi-Way Mart


September 7, 2023

LuAnn Schindler | SAM

Final shift • Hi-Way Mart employees (front row, l-r): Alyssa Beed (holding her son Walker), Magdalena Lux, Connie Cronin, (back, l-r): Amy Schonemann, Sarai Mendoza, Emma King, Maria Swanson, Carol Thiele, Chantel King, Vicki Latzel and Kala Kruger surprise Thiele with cake and gifts last Thursday evening. Joe and Carol Thiele recently sold the business to Western Oil Company of Valentine. LuAnn Schindler | SAM

The double glass doors at Clearwater's Hi-Way Mart have seen a lot of traffic. Through flooding and severe weather, holidays and ordinary days, the convenience store, located at 303 Highway 275, has been a community mainstay.

When owners Joe and Carol Thiele locked the doors for the final time on Aug. 31, it was bittersweet. For nearly 25 years, the Clearwater couple spent early morning hours opening the shop. Late-night hours were involved, too, keeping the "well-oiled machine" running on a daily basis.

Through the years, they'd been approached about selling the business.

None of the offer...

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