Herald JournalHerald Journal, Jan. 3, 2005

2004: the year in review


In a surprise move, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Board Chair Jim Raymond resigned after 16 years on the board. Re-elected in November 2003, Raymond declined to take the oath of office. He wouldn’t say why he was resigning.

Scott Newman of Hutchinson won a special election to replace outgoing State Rep. Tony Kielkucki to become deputy secretary of state.

Howard Lake Council Member Don Danford resigned, citing health problems . . . More than 50 people gathered at Waverly City Offices to save their local grocery store, Pete’s Grocery, in town for 25 years . . . Alfred Mohring retired from the Montrose Fire Department after more than a half century of service. “It was a lot of fun, or I wouldn’t have stuck around so long,” Mohring said.

Ray Bayerl of Lester Prairie was elected new McLeod County Board Chairman . . . Dan and Dawn LaMott took over ownership of The Dodge House in Lester Prairie.

A Montrose skate park was closer to reality for area skateboarders when the Montrose City Council agreed to take construction bids in February, with a proposed opening date in late May or early June.


Angler Rod Werner estimated Howard Lake’s ice thickness to be about 18 inches to 20 inches and in good condition for the 58th annual fishing derby Feb. 7 . . . Creations Salon and Tanning in Waverly opened, offering services ranging from hair care to skin care . . . Almost 100 vintage snowmobile racers converged on Howard Lake Feb. 14. Among the racers were Jim Benson of Howard Lake with a 1970 Snojet SS, Brett and Mary Schlief with a 1973 Open Mod 295 SST, and Troy and Susie Lange with a 1973 295 SST Stock.

Howard Lake Mayor Gerry Smith appointed Rick Lammers to fill a council seat vacated by Danford . . . The Victor Township Board approved an orderly annexation agreement with the City of Howard Lake on a 2-0 vote Feb. 2 before almost 60 people . . . Holy Trinity’s convent was tore down to make room for a school expansion.

Curiosity caused many area people to buy advanced movie tickets for Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” . . . Sunni’s Grille restaurant along Highway 12 in Howard Lake opened. Owners are Michael Sundt of Howard Lake, and Kelly Smith of Watertown . . . Chopper Lammers played a show at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas during the American Disc Jockey Association Convention Feb. 17.


Richard and Marty Stommes of Waverly extended their love of gardening to their new shop, Natural Balance Floral and Garden, in Buffalo . . . What started as an internship 10 years ago for Waverly resident Stephen Philbrook has turned into a directing job for a top television station in the Twin Cities . . . Winsted Public Works supervisor Damon Thompson’s contract was terminated for providing inaccurate answers to questions he was being asked in an investigation by the city.

Pastor Tom Starkjohn brings the Harvest Community Church to Winsted . . .The seventh and eighth grade girls and boys basketball teams from Zion Lutheran in Mayer and St. Mark Lutheran in New Germany played in the Lutheran Basketball Association of America (LBAA) national championship in Valpariso, Ind.

Lester Prairie’s Josh Johnson and his brother Jim of Austin, Texas, man had a vision, a dream to boldly go produced and acted in their own retro Star Trek episode titled, “Starship Exeter, The Savage Empire” . . . Romie Sinnen, Nick Kubasch, and Chad Kubasch, all of New Germany, are among the state’s top five trap shooters.

Two Howard Lake girls, Mandi Stifter and Amy Kozitka vie for the Wright County Dairy Princess crown at the 49th annual banquet . . . Support Waverly, Inc., a grass roots economic development organization, forms to keep Pete’s Grocery in business.

Lester Prairie’s Crystal Foust attended the University of Costa Rica in San Ramon, Costa Rica, as an exchange student . . . Chris Gudvangen of Montrose receives the Boy Scouts’ highest honor, Eagle Scout . . . Golden Valley couple Denny and Sharon Sandin own The Millpond of Montrose, a business specializing in supplying local homeowners with hardscapes, or items such as stonework in landscaping.


Two bald eagle pairs return to Howard Lake for third consecutive year. One pair frequently flies over veterinarian Melissa Shelton’s Albright Mills home . . . For the second year, the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Knowledge Bowl team heads to state competition . . . KWOM 1600 AM went off the air after being bought out by WM Broadcasting.

A plea from several concerned citizens emphasizing the Howard Lake Public Library’s future expansion needs convinced the city council to postpone indefinitely selling a corner lot near the library . . . Citizens State Bank announced plans to expand its Montrose branch office.

Montrose Elementary began construction on an almost 12,000-square-foot addition, including a gym, four classrooms, administrative offices, rest rooms and storage space . . . Carol and Jeff Quast, whose family has been in trucking for decades, run their own trucking business, JC Quast Trucking, in Victor Township . . . Petie Littfin of Winsted was featured for her award-winning photography.

A crowd of almost 70 people plead with Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Board to keep chemical dependency counselor Jodi Woyke.


Minnesota Lakes Association named Lake Ann Improvement Association the best lake association of the year . . . Faye Bakeberg, who has been collecting for more than 20 years, told about her more than 100 salt and pepper shakers . . . Michelle Fleischacker took over ownership of Winsted Floral and Gifts.

Bryan Cafferty of Winsted looked back at 50 years in the automotive industry . . . The Rev. Daniel Runke, pastor of Albion Evangelical Free church, taught a short-term Bible school in Russia . . . Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Board discussed adding grades four and five to the Waverly and Winsted elementary schools.

Waverly City Council OKed a snowmobile trail through Waverly Terrace Park on the Waverly Lake’s northeast edge . . . A North Dakota surgeon was OK after he crashed his helicopter in a field north of Lester Prairie.

Doug, Dan, and Donavon DesMarais open Pacific Small Engine Repair in Waverly . . . Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted hired Becky Gerdes to replace retiring Howard Lake and Winsted elementary principal Julie Millerbernd.

United Methodist Church in Montrose broke ground for an addition that will double capacity . . . Lester Prairie Schools Superintendent James Redfield resigned to take a position in Rush City. . . . Steve Van Lith looked back on 30 years of auto repair in western Carver County.


Winstock headliners were Montgomery Gentry and Keith Urban . . . Sixteen churches in the Howard Lake and Cokato areas gathered more than 1,000 signatures favoring a US constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage . . . Waverly Park was renamed Legion Memorial Park.

Tiffany Ogle of Waverly was named Miss Minnesota in St. Paul and became eligible to compete in the Miss America pageant in September . . . Long-time friends Jeanne Brose and Mary Jo Painschab served as grand marshals for the Good Neighbor Days parade . . . Two former Winsted residents Sister Mary Jo Horstman and Sister Alexis Weinbeck celebrated 60 years as School Sisters of St. Francis . . . Elmer Hoernemann was named the grand marshal for the Longhorn Days parade . . . Growth prompted the Winsted Police Department to ask for a fourth officer.

Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted’s new middle school English teacher, Stephanie Allen, became new drama director, replacing long-time director Dave Metcalf.


Jeff Jagodzinski of Howard Lake returned from Europe as part of the People to People Student Ambassador Program . . . Waverly soldier Josh Berg returned home for a brief stay halfway through his service in Iraq . . The Lester Prairie School Board offered a superintendent contract to Joe Miller . . . Meghann Eiden of Lester Prairie, and Tonya Gregoire of Howard Lake, found 61-year-old Dennis Grant along the road and saved his life after Grant crashed his motorcycle. . . Former Howard Lake resident and HLWW graduate Gina De Luca published her second novel, “Minnesota Mafia, A Delicious Tale of Accidental Murder,” . . . The HLWW school board pared down two land choices for future long term facilities, a site just north of the Victor Town Hall in Victor Township owned by Don Dangers, and the Bakeberg property two miles east of Howard Lake on Highway 12 . . . St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly celebrated, 120 years, as well as the one year anniversary of Father Timothy Cloutier.


The Waverly Municipal Liquor Store expanded and was remodeled . . . Speedy’s Oil, Lube and Detailing opened its doors in Montrose . . . Chad Kubasch, 16, from New Germany became single and doubles champion in the junior division and overall junior champion this year in trapshooting . . . The Pit Stop Tire and Auto opened in Howard Lake along Highway 12 . . . Brendakay Thomas of Waverly opened an Independent Brokers Realty office in Waverly . . . Naomi Behrens, 18, of Winsted served as a volunteer on one of the Mercy Ships, which operate Christian hospital ships that travel to developing nations . . . A plane flipped over on South Lake, approximately two miles south of Winsted . . . A local group of people bought Lester Building Systems, following a management buyout of the Lester Prairie business from Butler Manufacturing Company . . . Tony Kielkucki was named the Winsted Summer Festival parade grand marshal.


An appeal by Darby Jon Opsahl, 36, was denied for the murder of Margaret Rehmann of rural Lester Prairie . . . An inspection found mold in the portable classroom for Winsted Elementary . . . Burglars attempted two break-ins at the Pantry Cafe in Winsted . . . Two historic buildings are for sale that served as churches in Howard Lake, a vintage building being used by Blessed Hope, and the old lumberyard used by Good News Church . . . Glenn Lachermeier of Lester Prairie was named driver of the month by the Minnesota Trucking Association . . . Fire consumed a barn on Rick and Sarah Heuer’s farm, southwest of Lester Prairie . . . Greg Wencl and Harold Manthey expanded their business with the opening of a new store, Golf Cars and More, in Montrose . . . Former Lester Prairie resident Jayne Mlynar published two cookbooks . . . Three fires in two days at Frank Weber’s farm occurred in Victor Township. The first was considered likely to be arson . . . Dawn Olchefske opened Olchefske Accounting Services from her Waverly home . . . More than 60 geologists from eight states and Canada arrived in Waverly to explore glacial deposits from past ice ages . . . Both the Winsted and Lester Prairie police departments expressed concerns about missing fog lines after the county resurfaced McLeod County Road 1 . . . Steve Wernimont and Mary Kay Metz opened the Central Cafe, located in Lester Prairie’s old pharmacy.


Several neighboring farmers lent a hand with harvest to Scott Youngren of Waverly after he injured his back . . . Several locals remember the Armistice Day blizzard of 1940 . . . For the second time, voters said “no” to an operating levy question for HLWW . . . A new Waverly salon opened, Going in Style III, in the old bank building, across from Pete’s Grocery . . . A shortage of firefighters prompted the Winsted City Council to discuss whether the volunteer force should be paid . . . Winsted Police Chief Mike Henrich was honored for 25 years of service.


Mountain climber Garrett Ehrke of Winsted recounted his fourth conquest, Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park in Alaska . . . Brothers Tommy and Mike Mathisen relocated to the Howard Lake industrial park with their business Mass Finishing . . . The Winsted council declined to extend the 1 p.m. closing time for bars . . . Kvinna Insurance, owned by Jayna Landberg, opened in Howard Lake . . . The HLWW settled on a date for a mail-in ballot regarding its operating levy . . . The Montrose VFW closed its doors after financial troubles.

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