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Year in review part two – July-December 2007

January 7, 2008

Looking back at July-December 2007 from the back issues of the Delano Herald Journal.

July

The Delano Royalty Organization has been restructured and is implementing its new goals and missions with a fresh group of girls.

Six girls, Sarah Fleming, Kelly Amundson, Kayla Gravdal, Sarah Stoddard, Brittany Boorse, and Emily Hutter, ran to become the 2007-08 ambassadors of Delano under the new leadership of the volunteer committee of the Miss Delano Organization.

Fleming was named Miss Congeniality at a Meet the Candidates event at the Delano Middle School, and was also crowned Miss Delano at the ceremony. Brittany Boorse and Emily Hutter were crowned princesses . . .

Golden Living Center of Delano celebrated the crowning of its king and queen, Claude Teas and Marguerite Bang, June 27 – just in time for them to ride in the Fourth of July parade . . .

Captain Bob Cook of the Minneapolis Aquatennial presented the Commodore Award to Cathy Rieckenberg for her outstanding volunteerism exhibited throughout her lifetime, especially within the community of Delano . . .

Damon and Cynthia Kocina, the owners of land located on Brighton Avenue in Franklin Township, withdrew their request for a conditional use permit to construct and operate a dog kennel/boarding facility . . .

A high-speed pursuit that began in Hennepin County and sped through Delano on Highway 12 ended with the suspect crashing his vehicle west of town near Braddock Avenue . . .

Carl Ingebrigtson retired from Coborn’s after serving as a pharmacist in the area since 1969 . . .

August

More than 50 firefighters from five departments battled a blaze that destroyed a large horse barn and killed seven horses in northwestern Franklin Township July 30. The structure, which was built in 2003, is considered a loss of more than $1 million for owners Stu and Romy Ackerberg, who operate a saddlebred horse ranch at the location . . .

Ben Domjahn, Michael Rajewsky, Chris Herkenhoff, and Joey Dzurik were at the site of the I-35 bridge collapse shortly after it collapsed in Minneapolis . . .

A big part in what makes a store become part of the morning routine can be a smile, kind words, or friendly customer service, all of which are available at four places in Delano; Conoco Quik Shop, Holiday, Flippin’ Bill’s, and Coborn’s Holiday. Mohinder Singh, Kristie Kaddatz, Kim Meyer, and Ellen Finn are all proud to provide service to those passing through Delano every morning . . .

Most people know him as Mr. Haley, the sixth grade teacher at Delano Middle School, or even as Dad to his four children, but there is an entire community of people that know him by the call name of WA0ZDE. Rick Haley has been interested in amateur radio for many decades, and his passion began back during the “space race,” when astronauts landed on the moon . . .

Kim Niska opens Scrappin’ where The Bead Cellar used to be located in downtown Delano . . .

Wright County authorities investigated a homicide that took place at a residence on 36th Street in Marysville Township, north of Montrose, Aug. 4. A call was received from a concerned family friend when Ruth Ann Ouverson failed to show for an appointment. Two suspects, Jeremy Dewayne Brooks, aka Travis Allen Guntenaar, 27, and Coty Danos Martinez, 28, were later captured and remain in custody on murder charges . . .

Since 1996, Jim Herzog of Delano has been chaperoning people to the miraculous location of Medjugorje, located in Bosnia . . .

Construction will be a headache for local commuters next spring, when both Highway 12 and Highway 7 are scheduled for major roadwork for the summer of 2008 . . .

Wright County is included in a group of 24 Minnesota counties that have been designated as federal agricultural disaster areas due to the summer’s drought.

A total of six bridges in Wright County – three maintained by the county and three by the state – are defined as “structurally deficient,” according to county and state engineers. The bridges include the Highway 12 river bridge in Delano, which is a favorite of commuters, a bridge north of Cokato, and a third near Clearwater, with the remaining three located near Monticello by I-94 . . .

Plans for bringing assisted living to Delano keep moving along, as developer Tom Schuett received approval from the council for his conditional use permit and preliminary/final plat. Schuett proposed to the council 36 independent living units in a three-story apartment building, 48 units of assisted living in a three-story apartment building, and 16 units of memory care in a one-story building . . .

September

The Delano Herald Journal celebrates its one-year anniversary . . .

Four Delano residents, including two photographers, a sprinkler fitter (someone who installs fire protection units), and a public relations/graphic design artist, all donated time throughout the past few weeks at the site of a new home construction for a Minnetonka family brought together by a tragedy. The homebuilding process will be featured on the hit ABC television show “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” in a two-hour 100th episode special Nov. 25 . . .

The Wright County Board adopted a five year bridge replacement program. The resolution includes a list of 10 bridges that require replacement, rehabilitation, or removal within the next five years . . .

The Delano School District received approval of its request that the city convey property along Tiger Drive to the district for a possible school site . . .

A new waterpark and hotel located along Highway 12 is the hopes of the Schaffers of Delano and several partners . . .

Dr. Scott Rinne opened his own chiropractic business in his hometown of Delano . . .

A police chase that started just west of Maple Plain and ended in Delano Tuesday night resulted in no arrests. Apparently, a 55-year-old man from Bloomington was suffering a medical condition when he led West Hennepin Public Safety Department officers Stephanie Heupel and Ben Raskin on a sometimes high-speed chase west on Highway 12 . . .

When what is believed to be two thieves attempted to break in to the Franklin Township Hall and storage building south of Delano on Wright County Road 16, they took the adage of “if at first you don’t succeed, try again” to heart. After attempting, and failing, to kick in a door located on the back side of the building, two suspects kicked in the main door to the township hall, and pried open a second door to gain access. A considerable amount of tools and equipment, valued in excess of $5,000, were stolen from the township. . .

An average Friday evening at her restaurant suddenly turned into a painful experience for Chun Mee owner Helen Chun Sept. 7, as she suffered first and second degree burns over her face when oil ignited in a cooking mishap. Helen, along with her husband, John, were forced to close their restaurant for 10 days while Helen recovered from the burns, and the restaurant was cleaned . . .

Gwen Briesemeister entered a recent film into the Minnesota Historical Society challenge . . .

October

The City of Delano now has its population recognized by the State of Minnesota as more than 5,000 people – which, in turn, entitles the city to additional funding from the state . . .

The Delano Area Chamber of Commerce and Delano businesses presented the second annual Fall Harvest Festival and chili cook-off in the Delano Park Gazebo . . .

Since 2005, Delano National Honor Society (NHS) students have not only had the privilege of traveling to China over spring break, but also, they were each able to host a Chinese student in their own homes. The exchange time has come once again for NHS students Robert McMullen, Bethany Locklear, Charlie Gallagher, Amanda Doboszenski, Sarah Bingea, and Amy Prok . . .

Deb Muckenhirn and Dusty Jerde took over ownership of Equestrian Outfitters . . .

Delano Middle School student Nicole Middendorf has a chance to reconnect with her roots in Korea . . .

While not unusual for teacher contract negotiations to go into fall, teachers at Delano Schools and the Delano School Board were still a bit away from reaching a contract agreement . . .

Tragedy visited the Munoz family of Howard Lake, as their son Sam, 16, died Oct. 14 from injuries received in a serious car accident Oct. 9. The accident took place when the Munoz vehicle, carrying Sam, his mother, Kristine Munoz, 39, sister Amanda, 13, and his brother, Joshua, 10, crossed over the center line and hit a semi truck head-on along Highway 12 near Waverly. Kristine was the youth minister at Delano Catholic Community until 1998 . . .

Even though the Delano City Council approved a plan for John Tackaberry of Star West to proceed with building his car wash and pet wash Tuesday night, the chances of it happening in the near future seem unlikely . . .

Delano Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lisa Koenecke suffered a cardiac arrest at her office, and was in critical condition at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Koenecke, who has been with the chamber for two years, was in her office working just after 1 p.m. when the incident happened. She was transported by Ridgeview Ambulance to Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, and later to Abbott Northwestern Hospital . . .

Battling cystic fibrosis presents an extraordinary outlook on life for Day family . . .

Apple Jack Orchards has grown with the Delano community, and it has continuously appealed to varieties of people, not just in Delano, but throughout Minnesota . . .

November

The varsity voleyball team ‘Rue rallies’ to the state volleyball tournament at the Xcel Energy Center . . .

The Delano City Council began exploring taking over operations of the Delano Senior Center . . .

Local authorities investigated break-ins at two local churches and the Delano Elementary School that are believed to have taken place the early morning hours of Oct. 18 . . .

A five-year study recently released by the state reinforces the idea that Wright County has its share of speeders on the road. The speed study, which was conducted from 2002 to 2006, rated Wright County as the ninth highest out of 87 counties in the state for overall traffic deaths, and 16th for speed-related deaths . . .

With four more positive votes than negative, residents of the Delano School District narrowly voted in favor of the first question on the ballot at Tuesday’s election, which asked voters for funds to operate a new grade 4-6 building.

The only problem is, voters didn’t approve actually going forward with funding plans to buy land and construct the building, voting down the second question on the ballot by 142 votes.

Because the second question failed, the third question on the ballot, which asked for voter funding for turf on the football field and an additional athletic field, was automatically defeated, due to it being contingent upon the passage of questions one and two . . .

The City of Delano began its search for a new public works director in August, interviewed candidates in September, and the city council approved the hire of Ernie Eden in October . . .

Dr. Mike McDermott may not be new to practicing in Delano, but his building is. After seeing patients at Delano Family Dental Clinic for the past three years, McDermott recently built his own clinic next door. Being on Elm Avenue is a convenient location for students at Delano Schools, or anyone in the area . . .

A man who simply seemed to fall out of the sky as a god send to many people returned home last Sunday following a 17-year-battle with a liver condition, as well as bile duct cancer . . .

While known for so many things over the years – one friend said his resume reads like a list of “What hasn’t he done?” – Delano resident John Soberg, who died Nov. 11, was perhaps best known for being Garrison Keillor’s stand-in during filming of the movie “A Prairie Home Companion,” released in June 2006 . . .

Road construction on a 4.2-mile segment of CSAH 17 from the south Wright County line to the south city limits of Delano began recently . . .

A petition for a recount of question one on the recent Delano School District referendum was submitted to the school district. Wallace Johnson of Franklin Township submitted the petition . . .

A Delano High School graduate was injured when she was struck by a vehicle in Mankato Nov. 18, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Corinne L. Overstake, 21, a 2004 graduate of Delano High School and Loretto native, was with her friend Rissa J. Amen-Rief, 22, of Eden Prairie in Mankato when they were both struck while in the roadway on Third Avenue . . .

This year, as president of the Delano Area Foundation, Lloyd Griep has volunteered to match donations to the foundation of up to $12,500 . . .

Caroll Solberg opens A ‘Lil’ Gift Shop’ in downtown Delano . . .

Many local residents sleep outside in tents in an effort to raise funds for Love In the Name of Christ – Heartland . . .

December

Delano area residents experienced four power outages around Thanksgiving – including one about a half hour after the lighting of the Christmas tree in downtown . . .

“In spite of the potential huge surge when that tree was plugged in, that actually had nothing to do with it,” said Delano Municipal Utilities General Manager Hal Becker with a laugh.

Delano’s Teacher of the Year, Teresa Langton has a high-energy approach to teaching that brings out the love of learning in each of her students . . .

If walls could talk, there would be many stories to hear from the cute little, yellow building at 200 Babcock Blvd., most recently called The Daily Grinde.

Not only has it been able to stay open in Delano for more than 92 years, but it has also remained in the Motzko family. However, with Highway 12 expanding again, the store will, this time, permanently leave its perch . . .

Despite a “hanging chad” moment reminiscent of the presidential election in 2000, the Delano School District’s recount of its ballot from the Nov. 6 election showed question one still passed – this time by five votes instead of four . . .

When Dave Zitzloff asked you to do something – you wanted to do it.

Maybe not for yourself, or even the community necessarily, but for Dave.

Involved in countless things around the Delano community throughout his lifetime, Zitzloff “only spoke when he had something really important to say,” said Delano Mayor Joe McDonald. “But, when he spoke – people listened.”

That voice behind so many good things in Delano has been silenced by cancer. At the age of 52, Zitzloff passed away Dec. 12 . . .

After spending several years in Portugal, Christy Branes returns to teach in Delano . . .

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ welcomes Pastor Richard Flynn . . .

A contract agreement was reached between the Delano Teachers Association and the Delano School District for the next two years . . .

Delano resident Brian J. Ourada, 33, was involved in a head-on traffic accident near Redwood Falls Dec. 14 and remains hospitalized . . .

A 2008 Town and Country Touring Van was donated to the Munoz family, which was involved in a traffic accident on Highway 12 . . .

Tom Triplett of Delano shares his love of oil painting . . .