Herald JournalHerald Journal, Dec. 29, 2003

Lakers' state championship takes the spotlight for 2003

By Lynda Jensen

The trophy for the Class 1A state championship ­ brought home by the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted baseball team in June ­ highlighted a busy year for residents in 2003.

Other major events that took place include:

· the ongoing struggle for the HLWW school district to solve its long-term facility issues,

· annexation talks with area townships, pertaining to Waverly and Howard Lake, and the vigorous growth in both cities.

· the continued court case of Rep. Dick Borrell, who is charged with false campaign material during his election campaign.

· the diagnosis and remission of kindergarten teacher Joanie Hanson; and the recovery of Pastor Joel Swedberg from an airplane accident.

· the addition of metro calling to the Howard Lake 543 dialling exchange. The impact will reverberate amongst both commercial and residential real estate sales.

The following is a summary of the first six months of 2003.

January

The year started with the names of Herald Journal Publishing's two paid-subscription newspapers were changed this week.

They are now known as the Winsted-Lester Prairie-New Germany Herald Journal and Howard Lake-Waverly-Montrose Herald Journal.

The change is meant to further identify the newspapers with their parent company, Herald Journal Publishing, and its highly successful web site, www.herald-journal.com.

Darkness enveloped the City of Waverly, as a downed transformer caused a power outage that lasted 12 hours.

An equipment failure caused the power to go out, leaving 468 Xcel customers without power. There are 800 customers in Waverly, with the others being served by Wright Hennepin Electric.

Scotty's Restaurant, located on the south side of Highway 12 in Waverly, was opened by Scott and Kathleen Czanstkowski.

Warm, high winds and unusual weather sent about 10 ice fishing houses through the ice in Howard Lake.

The City of Montrose chose the Howard Lake-Waverly-Montrose Herald Journal as its legal newspaper.

A new roof was put on the Waverly Village Hall. Results of a forum Jan. 7 gave ideas for the village hall's future purpose ­ or whatever building would replace it ­ including an open space for dancing, dining, use as a safety shelter, and smaller conference room areas, among other ideas - in short, much the same of what the hall is used for now.

Fire once again caused dismay to the Jeff Long family, as a hog barn was consumed by flames northeast of Howard Lake.

The barn fire killed 25 feeder pigs, which is about half of the Longs' herd, said Jeff's wife, Ginny.

Previously, the Longs' home was completely destroyed by fire Feb. 10, 1995.

With a 4-3 vote, school board member Jim Raymond retained his seat as chairman of the HLWW school board, at the board reorganizational meeting.

Raymond managed to keep his seat despite persuasion to vote newly appointed Al Doering as chairman.

More units in both the National Guard and Reserves were called up.

February

A huge turnout of supporters attended a fundraiser for kindergarten teacher Joanie Hanson at Howard Lake Elementary.

Hanson, 55, of Howard Lake, was diagnosed with esophagus cancer in October 2002.

After rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and three surgeries, Hanson has been in remission since February.

She returned teaching part time since then, although she has not yet resumed full-time status.

Local ice fishing enthusiasts reported Howard Lake ice to be in good condition for the 57th annual fishing derby Feb. 8, despite the reports of several fish houses falling in the center of the lake three weeks ago.

Rocky's Bar and Grill in Waverly was sold to Jim Walter and Selmer Olson and will be renamed the Uptown Bar and Grill.

Carpenters voted a resounding "no" to the question of union representation at ABC Truss in Montrose.

ABC Truss relocated from Long Lake to Montrose a little over a year ago.

The joint wastewater treatment project, which is located in Montrose and is set to serve both Montrose and Waverly, passed the halfway mark.

Mold is the latest misfortune to befall some area flood victims from the summer.

The mold is growing in basements, some of which are flood victims who didn't think they had water damage during the flooding, said Mel Armbruster of the Central Minnesota Jobs and Training in Monticello.

The mold is causing respiratory illnesses and related health problems for those who have it, he said.

Taking a well-traveled road, the HLWW school board set several public meetings to discuss its long-term facilities once again.

Previously, a five-year process of building a new high school resulted in a three-way split among the communities of Howard Lake, Winsted, and Waverly, when a location near Winsted was chosen to build the new school, and the idea of adding Lester Prairie school district was being discussed.

The idea of adding Lester Prairie was dropped, and elections in the fall of 2001 installed two board members from Howard Lake and Waverly.

March

No parking along Highway 12 is a sore point for Howard Lake retail business owners left without it ­ and is now being blamed for the closing of George's Seafood in Howard Lake.

The parking was removed from Highway 12 as part of an agreement in 1997 between the city and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The lack of parking, combined with the downturned economy, appear to be too much for George's Seafood, which sold its building to a construction and carpentry business.

Willard Kreitlow, 80, of Howard Lake was honored for 42 years of service on the park board.

Kreitlow worked diligently for decades to ensure public access to lakes and enjoyment of parks.

Crowds attended informal town meetings at Waverly and Winsted for the beginning of public discussion about HLWW School District site issues.

During the meetings, attendees wrote messages on sticky notes, making remarks about site ideas.

So far, more than 200 old time photos have been received for the Howard Lake history book, with about half of these going into the book, commented established author Kirk Besse, who is writing it.

With sorrow and concern, two dozen senior citizens gathered to rally Wednesday in Howard Lake behind a program on the chopping block for Gov. Pawlenty's budget, the foster grandparent program.

The program involves senior citizen volunteers giving one-on-one reading assistance to young students at the HLWW School District and Head Start in Montrose, among many other districts.

The program was eventually reinstated.

The City of Waverly is in very good financial shape despite the huge impact of the flood, auditor Caroline Stutsman told the Waverly City Council at its meeting.

A conservative estimate of flood expenses to the city is about $131,000, said Clerk Deb Ryks.

Area township spring elections included a variety of outcomes.

Voters elected incumbents Jim Trombley and Gene Janikula in Woodland Township's annual election, said Clerk Gloria Janikula.

Marysville Township residents had their first election in their new town hall with 123 people voting.

Marysville incumbents Augie Riebel and Bonita Foede were elected for supervisor and treasurer, respectively.

Middleville Township voters elected Craig Gruenhagen supervisor and incumbent Everrett Smith for treasurer.

For Victor Township, incumbents David Hoover and Sean Groos won seats as supervisor and treasurer, said Clerk Sharon Glessing.

Remodeling appeared to be favored by a majority of the HLWW school board for its long-term site plans during a special meeting.

Most of the board members felt that a variation of the "red option," which appeared to be favored by the public, would solve immediate space-issues by making additions to the buildings at Waverly and Winsted.

The red option would expand both the Waverly and Winsted buildings by adding classes there, but include remodeling only for the Howard Lake building, Supt. George Ladd said.

The HLWW board unaminiously opted to petition the Tenth Judicial Court to correct its current "imbalance" - that is, that five seats are up this fall for the seven member board.

Seats scheduled to expire are Al Doering, who was appointed to fill out Gene Lorentz's term, Chairman Jim Raymond, Jim Fowler, Charles Weber, and Ken Zimmerman.

A grand jury assembled March 25 in Buffalo to determine if Rep. Dick Borrell keeps his political seat.

Borrell is charged with false campaign material, which could result in his removal from office of state representative District 19B, if he is found guilty of the offense.

Borrell won a tight three-way race among DFLer Lori Schmidt, and Republican write-in rival Darren Knight.

This kind of case would be the first one in recent history for Wright County.

The case stems from pamphlets and statements allegedly distributed by Borrell supporters five days before the election, claiming that Knight was charged with unfair campaign practices and criminal defamation by Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly, neither of which was true.

In fact, Kelly will be a witness in this case, and as a result the prosecutor is Meeker County attorney Michael Thompson, since it would be a conflict of interest for Kelly.

Dr. Jennifer Butturff of Preferred Choice Chiropractic in Howard Lake will speak at the first-ever Women's Expo at the Blue Note of Winsted

Youth at the St. John's church in Howard Lake gathered more than 800 pounds of food for the Wright County Food Shelf.

Wright County commissioners are trying to decide what to do with the stone arch bridge located north of Waverly. It is a bridge that existed before the cities of Waverly or Howard Lake were formed.

The commissioners are waiting for a feasibility study from the Army Corps of Engineers related to the bridge.

The study will give a picture of storm water flow from Lake Ann to the Crow River by engineers.

Several new drugs can now be administered on-the-spot by the Howard Lake Ambulance Crew, as the result of a variance granted by the state, said Dennis Bobrowske of the Howard Lake Fire Department.

The new array of drugs will enable Howard Lake's emergency crews to administer drugs for a variety of ailments, from heart attacks to diabetes.

The intention is to provide better care to patients.

April

Talk of annexation is buzzing around Howard Lake, brought on by two proposed development projects north and south of town.

The proposed development north of town is to be called Lake Ridge, just west of Golf View Estates, by Woodland Development.

The proposed project south of town is to be called Village Park.

Construction crews converged in Montrose, milling blacktop off at Wright County Road 12 and a short section of Highway 25, in preparation for major utility work under that road.

German POW researcher Dr. Michael Luick-Thrams, Ph.D. returned to Howard Lake once again to revisit the subject of German POWs housed at the Wright County Fairgrounds in the 1940s.

Previously, Luick-Thrams visited the area and toured the fair grounds in 2001, as well as interviewing locals.

Taking turns, a long string of south side residents successfully pressed the Howard Lake City Council to keep city streets the same width during its meeting.

The council planned to narrow several streets on the south side to a standard 32 feet upon the engineer's request, since the roads in question are all different widths ranging from 28 to 42 feet.

Rep. Dick Borrell was indicted on two counts of false political campaign advertising.

Two scholarships are being set up for the HLWW school district to honor the memories of two past graduates, Julie Ann (Gilmer) Holtz, and Jodi Just Diedrich.

The Gilmer-Holtz scholarship was awarded for the first time this spring, and the Diedrich scholarship will be tentatively awarded in June of 2004.

A bit of detective work by Ed and Sue Claussen of Waverly unlocked a miniature mystery surrounding an old photo of the Stumpf bridge.

The photo potrayed a threshing machine in 1908 atop a broken wooden bridge at the Crow River.

The bridge was located north of Waverly on Wright County Road 8, where it crosses the Crow River. Local relatives of the threshing crews were unearthed as a result of publication.

Part of the old German American State Bank building received a new lease on life with the opening of Inspired By Nature, a garden-themed gift shop, April 19.

Tammy Amland of Howard Lake operates the shop, with the financial backing of her sister, Barb Lockway of Somerset, Wisc.

May

The state vetoed remodeling options favored by the HLWW school district public - leaving the board to look for alternatives that would achieve some results, but still satisfy the state.

Eric Sawatzke, a member of the HLWW FFA Chapter, was selected as the Minnesota State FFA vice president at the 74th State FFA Convention.

Andy Sorsoleil was selected to serve as one of five student representatives on the prestigious University of Minnesota Board of Regents, starting May 1.

Metro Dairy, located three miles south of Waverly, was recently purchased by two brothers from the Glencoe area.

Chris and Josh Engelmann took over operations of the 1,135 dairy cow facility.

The name will be changed from Metro Dairy to Woodland Dairy, Josh Engelmann said.

The Howard Lake City Council passed a joint resolution with Middleville Township regarding a 10-year orderly annexation agreement for land north of town.

A boom truck attempted to pass under the railroad bridge at Wright County Road 6, knocking into the bridge, and spilling more than 60 gallons of diesel fuel near the southwestern shores of Howard Lake.

Quick action by the Howard Lake Fire Department prevented most of between 60 and 75 gallons of diesel fuel, as well as several gallons of hydraulic fluid, from reaching the lake.

The accident occurred at about 5:20 a.m., when driver Jonathan Walters, 31, of Buffalo, going southbound, attempted to pass under the bridge, according to the Wright County Sheriff's report.

The clearance at the bridge is labeled as being 11 feet, seven inches. Walters indicated that the crane clearance was 13 feet, according to the accident report.

Howard Lake resident Marissa Hovlid will visit Australia as part of a delegation of young people from the US.

Hovlid, 17, packed her bags and was one of about 45 young Minnesotans leaving for Australia May 28 as part of the People to People Student Ambassador program.

Mandi Stifter of Howard Lake was named the 2003 Minnesota Jersey Queen in March.

Stifter, 17, is the daughter of Matt and Cyndi Stifter of Howard Lake. She is a junior at Holy Trinity Schools in Winsted.

Waverly Flooring & Design opened along Highway 12

It is owned by Tim and Sandy Stasson of Buffalo.

A petition with about 150 signatures, presented by about one dozen concerned parents, highlighted the HLWW school board meeting.

The parents believe that a single campus complex, which would contain an elementary, middle and high school in one neutral location yet to be determined, would serve the district best.

The group, which has a core of about 25 people from all three communities, pressed the board to distribute a survey to district parents asking about this idea.

Katie Jagodzinski of Howard Lake will be part of the Junior People to People program for three weeks, along with a delegation of others mainly from St. Cloud, she said.

June

A new landscape and garden center called Cattail Corner opened along Highway 12 in Howard Lake.

The business is owned by Merle and Stephanie Friesen.

The HLWW Lakers baseball team won the Class 1A state baseball tournament.

The Bulldogs and the Lakers hooked up in a best of three series for the Section 4A championship at Midway Stadium in St. Paul.

Charting a new course, the HLWW School Board approved the concept of a single campus idea that will contain one elementary, a middle and high school in one location for bond issue in the fall.

The campus concept is contingent on the purchase of 20 to 30 acres of land near Winsted for a future elementary and assumes the land in Waverly will be kept for this purpose as well.

Two pumps purchased by the City of Howard Lake caused unhappy discussion during the council meeting.

Steve Van Oss of Burly Pumps in Plymouth spoke with the council about problems with the pumps.

Immediate problems were reported on the pump's operation and priming, since it does not self prime, which means the pump stops running once water runs low, said Public Works Supervisor Tom Goepfert.

Residents of the HLWW School District will vote on a $47.7 million building bond this fall.

The district will also ask for an operating/learning levy of $661,041.

The court case of Representative Dick Borrell moved forward.

Borrell was in court for an omnibus hearing in Buffalo. His attorney, Mark Wersal, requested the entire transcript of the grand jury hearing proceedings that was conducted in March.

Naturopath specialist Laura Robideau of New Germany joined staff at the Montrose Chiropractic Center.

Naturopath specialists are sometimes referred to as "drugless doctors," although they are not medical doctors. They do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery.

The Howard Lake City Council closed the compost site July 15, out of frustration with a minority of people who were leaving a mess at the site.

Major Scott Watson, grandson of Catherine Anderson of Howard Lake, was awarded the Bronze Star medal for his actions in helping to collect "suspected chemical and biological warfare agents," in Iraq during his tour of duty there, according to his certificate.

On the anniversary of last year's flood, it rained.

Lightning and heavy rain ranging from four to six inches in the local area marked the one-year anniversary of historic flooding one year ago, June 24 through 25, 2002.

However, unlike last year, the ground wasn't saturated; with little overall damage being reported by local city offices and law enforcement agencies.

The worst of it appeared to be west and north, as rain gauge readers from Stockholm and Albion townships reported 6.15 and 5.8 inches, respectively.


Back to Current Stories Menu | Back to Archives List

Herald Journal
Stories | Columns | Obituaries | Classifieds
Guides | Sitemap | Search | Home Page