Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Jan. 8, 2001

The year 2000 in review - Howard Lake and Waverly

By Lynda Jensen

January

Everyone braced for the Y2K computer bug, but nothing came of it.

Wright Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association reported a quiet night for New Year's Eve, although the company staffed extra personnel that night just in case.

New streetlights were ordered by the Howard Lake City Council for the section of Highway 12 from 13th Ave. to Sixth Ave.

An emergency Caesarean section was not enough to save the life of Lorelei Goepfert's unborn child after a two-car crash on Wright County roads 35 and 7. Goepfert, Waverly, was driving a 1994 Chevrolet Corsica west on Cty Rd. 35 when she was struck by Tamara Higgins of Howard lake, according to the Wright County Sheriff's Office.

Annexation of the Tom Ryan property on the east edge of Waverly was denied by a controversial 3-2 vote of the Waverly City Council. Some council members expressed concern that the city would have to spend money on the property.

The Minneapolis Police Department awarded Sergeant Michael Young of Waverly and fellow officers Tim Hanks and Dave Clifford the Medal of Valor, the second highest honor that the department gives.

The men were honored for bravery during a confrontation in Polk County with a suspected drug dealer, who was armed with a shotgun.

February

The Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school one-act play "Macbeth," placed second in sub-section competition.

Two highly trained search and rescue dogs died in a traffic accident in Mankato. They were owned by HLWW junior John Amborn, Cokato.

Amborn lost one yellow labrador named Cody, and a bloodhound named Coby, both of which were trained cadaver dogs used to find bodies at the site of an Alaska Airlines crash in California.

A new duck mascot was introduced to HLWW athletic events.

The Gordon Dalbec property was recommended by the HLWW School District Site Task Force.

The Dalbec property is located on the south side of Wright Co. Rd. 30 and just east of Wright Co. Rd. 6.

Members of the Waverly planning and zoning commission asked Waverly City Council members for written reasons why the Tom Ryan property was not annexed.

HLWW Sno-fest royalty were crowned Valentine's Day: Princess Angie Kriesel, Queen Jamie Hussman, King Ryan Muldoon and Prince Brooks Borrell.

Purchase of the Gordon Dalbec property was approved by the HLWW School Board.

The chemical dependency treatment center in Waverly known as New Beginnings resumed operations at the heels of Charter Behavorial Health System, which discontinued.

March

Lakers get perfect conference record in basketball. The boys varsity basketball team secured top honor in the conference as they defeated Big Lake 68-56 in Humphrey Hall.

A straw vote at a special meeting in Victor Township showed a lack of support to have the Dalbec property annexed. Among concerns voice by Victor Township were traffic, the driving habits of teenagers on a road traveled by farm implements, future development, and questions about information regarding a survey conducted previously.

Pat Salonek and Joey Graczyk wrestled at the state tournament, Salonek placed sixth in Class A competition.

A drug bust in Howard Lake ended in the arrests of Samuel Cruz, 38, of Winthrop and Alfredo Lopez, 24, of Hutchinson, both of whom were cited for possession of marijuana.

Juan Coronado, 23, Cokato and Andrew Ramirez, 24, Litchfield, were cited for possession of methamphetamines, according to Sheriff Don Hozempa.

Ramirez was spotted ingesting narcotics in the Dura Supreme parking lot in an attempt to elude arrest.

The HLWW task force regrouped after the Victor Township Board voted against the idea of a new school on the corner of Wright Co. Rd. 6 and 30.

April

Tony Ecklund of Howard Lake, petroleum manager of Cologne-based Mid-County Co-op will drive the Lester Prairie route for the cooperative, which purchased Ralph's Oil.

The city portion of costs associated with the Highway 12 reconstruction was approved by the Howard Lake City Council in the amount of $1,272,000.

The city pays for sewer and water, with the rest being paid 80 percent by federal dollars and the remainder divided between the city and state.

Gymnast Corbin Johnson, Howard Lake, won the level five state gymnastics championship.

Waverly's share of the Highway 12 reconstruction will be $363,000, mostly from the water main work that needs to be completed in conjunction with the project.

The Highway 12 reconstruction project was postponed one year, to be done simultaneously with Waverly's work in 2001.

The HLWW school district was short two bus drivers due to termination and alleged medical reasons, which meant longer waits for students.

May

A mature bald eagle made its way along The Greens golf course in Howard Lake, flying away after its visit.

World War II POWs were the subject of a story about author Dean Simmons, who wrote Swords Into Plowshares, a book about POW camps in Minnesota, presented at the Old Town Gallery.

A potential new school site dominated discussion at the HLWW school board meeting. The school board looked at two different properties, the Franke property south of Howard Lake and the Fiecke property north of Winsted.

Members decided to allow cities to "sweeten the pot," by making bids for properties in their respective areas. The cities were allowed a month to give a presentation on the physical aspects of their respective sites.

Waverly Council members discussed the possibility of joining a regional wastewater treatment facility with Montrose.

Construction begins on Howard Lake's new water tower.

HLWW sophomore Candice Berg was chosen to play in the Minnesota Music Educators Association All-State Band.

A time capsule was opened with soggy results by HLWW staff. The capsule was sealed by Howard Lake school in 1935, but its contents were not salvageable except for a few medals and piece of newspaper.

The HLWW School Board shared a vision for an agricultural partnership with the University of Minnesota.

June

The HLWW School Board Task Force, although frustrated, resolved to make another effort to find the "best site" for a potential new school.

Members appeared to take partisan sides about the school site, depending on their respective town, Howard Lake or Winsted.

For the unity of the school district, it was felt that more work needed to be done to find a site that was both acceptable to the township supervisors and wouldn't tear the district apart.

A surprise 3-1 vote by the Waverly City Council allowed the Waverly Lions Club to have music play until 12:30 a.m. at Waverly Daze.

Howard Lake crowned new royalty Miss Howard Lake Michelle Confeld, Princess and Miss Congeniality Miranda Painschab and Princess Heather Ostvig.

July

Dorothy Novak retired as the deputy clerk of Howard Lake.

Waverly crowned Queen Anna Millerbernd and Princess Jennifer Sawatzke.

Former professional boxer Bob Hazelton shared his story lost his legs to steriod use during his professional career. He shared his story with the Herald.

The Howard Lake City Council discussed the possible purchase of the Sand Bar and Grill by the city.

A series of two meetings by the council, both well attended by the public, persuaded the city council to cancel its plans to purchase the property.

A new judging arena was added to the cattle barn and new bathrooms were constructed at the Wright County Fairgrounds.

August

Eighth Avenue was changed to a two-way street after a judge threw out a number of tickets given to drivers for driving the wrong way on it.

"We don't have any way to stop it (the traffic going the the wrong way). We put a sign in the middle of the street and people hit the darn sign," Howard Lake Police Chief Mike Simmons said.

Sara Swenson of Howard Lake is named princess in the "Fairest of the Fair" competition along, with Queen Carisa Abbas, Buffalo, and Miss Congeniality Candice Baughman of Maple Lake, during the Wright County Fair.

The name of the park next to Waverly Lake was officially changed to Legion Waterfront Park, as decided by the Waverly City Council. This was to clear up confusion about the park's true name.

Pastor Gerhard Michael celebrated his 70th anniversary as a pastor in festivities at the St. James Lutheran School fellowship hall Aug. 13.

The sidewalk in front of the HLWW High School received a facelift.

September

Three male juveniles were arrested in Meeker County in connection with a string of burglaries.

The trio confessed to break-ins at local schools, churches, and businesses from July 27 to Aug. 16.

There will be no increase in city taxes for Howard Lake taxpayers to meet the city's budget.

Waverly's levy reflected a three percent increase.

Plans for a gas station/convenience store/car wash on Highway 12, owned by Rod Miller of Howard Lake, received final approval from the Howard Lake City Council.

October

Firefighters used a front-end loader to battle a blaze at Hackbarth Enterprises warehouse, a roofing company in Waverly.

The fire consumed the front section of the warehouse and heavily damaged its mid section. The Waverly, Montrose and Howard Lake fire departments responded to the fire.

The Humphrey Museum is a no-go as the museum board announced plans to end an effort to develop a museum and learning center in honor of Hubert Humphrey.

Lack of funds was cited as the reason for abandonment of the four-year fundraising project.

The new water tower proclaims "Historic Howard Lake" aloft the city scape.

An outpouring of community support was given to Brandon Rehmann, Winsted, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Rehmann, a third grader at Lester Prairie Elementary, was scheduled to have surgery at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.

The proposed detour for Howard Lake caused a stir at the city council meeting, causing council members to weigh their options with keeping businesses alive during construction and the potential danger of trucks being routed through residential streets.

Jerome Cafferty objected to the idea of routing semi trucks past two churches, the back of a school and a mortuary.

Plans moved forward to demolish the former Werner Hardware Building in Howard Lake, over the protests of those who claimed it is an historic building. It is not on the Register of Historic Places, although the building was built before 1900.

John Peterson and Mike Gagnon opened a joint office on Waverly's main street. Peterson is an attorney and Gagnon is a senior financial advisor for American Express.

November

The headline "Bush wins cliffhanger," modeled closely after the premature Star Tribune headline, prompts WCCO's Don Shelby and other personalities to interview Herald manager Dale Kovar, who came up with the headline.

An electronic weather system was placed upon the Howard Lake city hall building to monitor weather conditions.

Victor Township residents voted to keep its land use policy intact, which effectively eliminated the option of the Gordon Dalbec property from those available to the HLWW school board task force.

The following school board meeting saw a turnout of about 30 residents, including the mayors of Howard Lake and Waverly, to persuade the board to choose a property closer to Howard Lake.

Meanwhile, the HLWW school district's budget was impacted by lower enrollment numbers, although its auditor gave the district an "A" for the district's financial shape.

Brad Miller added a touchless car wash at the Howard Lake Auto Center, east on Highway 12. The business joins Howard Lake Fast Lube.

Vandals damaged property at the Wright County Fairgrounds.

December

The HLWW school board focused its attention on the Franke and Fiecke parcels.

Red's Pizza changed hands. Kim Hughes of Buffalo purchased the business from Bill and Gloria Strandquist. Hughes plans to change its name to Kim's Kountry Kafe by June.

A string of burglaries appeared to be solved with the execution of three search warrants, two in Howard Lake and one in Annandale.

The search turned up 150 bottles of liquor, stereo equipment, outdoor wear and other miscellaneous items, according to Scott Halonen of the Wright County Sheriff's Office.

Seven people are expected to be charged in connection with the robberies.

A new full-time police officer was hired by the City of Howard Lake, Tim Sonnek.

Thieves hit a Lake Ann ice house, taking a new box of tackle, portable radio, new walkie talkie and other items.

A Waverly man, Michael James Dahlin, 21, was charged with second degree murder in connection with the death of a Minnetonka man Dec. 16.


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