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2014: The year in review part 1
Dec. 29, 2014

By Gabe Licht


DELANO, MN – As the year winds down, it’s a good time to look back at the last year in the Delano Herald Journal.

This edition showcases highlights from the communities the newspaper covers, large news events and other milestones from January to June of 2014. The final six months of 2014 will be reviewed in the Jan. 5 edition.

Viewpoints contributors from 2014 are recognized on this week’s Viewpoints page, found on 11A.

Obituaries in Review pay tribute to loved ones lost from January to June of 2014 on pages 9-10A. Obituaries in Review for the final six months of 2014 will be included in the Jan. 5 edition.

• Governor Mark Dayton closed all schools Jan. 6 due to dangerously low temperatures.

• After 40 years in business, Jim and Carl Janzen sold Janzen’s Auto Body to Greg Harwood, who changed the name to Harwood’s.

• Travis Esler was appointed assistant Delano fire chief.

• Pastor Tyler Grant said farewell to WestPointe Church in Delano after serving the congregation for more than 14 years.

• A train struck a cab in Independence. No serious injuries were reported.

• Debbie DeBeer was named Delano’s 2014 citizen of the year.

• Gwen Egly was named the Delano Public Schools teacher of the year.

• No injuries were reported from a single-vehicle traffic crash that damaged one of the city’s entrance monuments near the intersection of Highway 12 and Bridge Avenue.

• Ameriprise Financial moved from the intersection of Bridge Avenue and River Street to 405 Babcock Blvd, Suite 120; Delano Chiropractice Clinic moved from Bridge Avenue to 1005 Crossings Dr.; Foster Bros. Marine moved from its former home on Highway 12 to the building formerly occupied by Delano Sports Center; and Magraw Dental merged with McLean Family Dental at 327 13th St. Suite 100.

• Members of the Delano Area Chamber of Commerce named Rieder Meat Market the 2014 business of the year.

• Former Delano Public Works Director Ernie Eden, who was terminated Dec. 3, 2013, sued the city for allegedly failing to pay wages promptly and alleged violations of the Minnesota Human Rights Act and the Minnesota Whistleblower Act. The city responded to the lawsuit in March.

• Delano Elementary School installed a new doorway that requires visitors to enter the school through the main offices for security purposes.


• Community members organized a benefit for the family of Craig Schansberg, a Delano man diagnosed with bladder cancer.

• Family and friends organized a benefit for 6-year-old Connor Menard, of Montrose, who was diagnosed with a rare disease called Hyper Eosinophilia Syndrome.

• A Buffalo woman was killed when her vehicle was struck by a train in Independence.

• Delano Elementary School celebrated being recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education.

• The Delano Senior Center received $92,000 from the will of Delano resident and former teacher Gwen Kittock.

• Solar Plastics announced plans for a $1.65 million, 26,000-square-foot expansion that would result in 20 additional jobs.

• DeWayne Bauman was re-elected to the Franklin Township Board.

• Gus and Do Ohlendorf celebrated 70 years of marriage.

• A judge refused to dismiss a felony manslaughter charge against David George Krause, of Alpine, WY, formerly of Delano, who was accused in a fatal hit-and-run. Krause later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and leaving the scene of an injury accident. He was sentenced to one year in jail with credit for 12 days served and the remainder of the sentence suspended for two years with unsupervised probation.

• Larry Keith Olson, 75, of Loretto, died after being crushed under a 60-foot piling pipe that rolled off the top of a partially-loaded semi trailer at Miller Trucking in Hanover.

• Alex Colborn announced his resignation as director of Golden LivingCenter in Delano.

• Gary Kroells was appointed to succeed Ray McCoy as director of West Hennepin Public Safety.

• The Delano Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the 25th annual Delano Businss Expo.

• Delano Public Schools, the city of Delano, and the Delano Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the SciTech showcase.

• Steven Crowley, 50, of Delano, and Nnamdi Brian Okulue, 25, of Burnsville, were killed in a head-on crash west of Hennepin County Road 6 on Highway 12. Crowley’s home was burglarized while his family was attending his funeral.

• Former State Rep. Steve Smith, who served from 1991 to 2012, passed away.

• Delano Elementary School teacher Meredith Huikko received the 2014 WEM Outstanding Educator Award for Teacher Achievement, which included a $15,000 prize.

• A benefit was hosted for Amber Socher, who was diagnosed with two brain arteriovenous malformations.

• Landscapes Structures received a championship of partnership award from the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation for its support of inclusive playgrounds for children of all ages and abilities.

• The Delano Middle School Auditorium was renovated.

• Nikki Carr retired from the Delano Post Office after serving 31 years as a mail-processing clerk under 14 different postmasters.

• Archbishop John C. Neinstedt approved the merger of the Church of St. Joseph and the Church of St. Peter.

• Delano Municipal Utilities celebrated 120 years.

• A 7-year-old youth was injured in Montrose when struck while riding a bicycle attempting to cross Highway 12.

• Delano High School students visited China.

• Mikey Christians and Nicole Rubertus were crowned Delano High School 2014 prom king and queen.

• FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips, invented by Jim Chiapetta, of Delano, were in the news as California Chrome made a run for the Triple Crown while wearing the strips.

• A footlocker found by Independence resident Joe Slavec inspired the movie “Memorial Day.”

• Tom Emmer, of Delano, filed for Michele Bachmann’s seat in the 6th Congressional District.

• A total of 197 students graduated from Delano High School during the school’s 120th annual commencement.

• The Bohemian Wine Bar and Pub closed, with plans to reopen as South Fork Brewing Company in the same location.

• Nick Neaton was hired as Delano’s senior and community services coordinator following the retirement of Delano Senior Center Coordinator Gail Sinkel.

• Derek Spencer installed a bat rack and helmet rack at baseball and softball fields at Delano Sports Complex as part of his Eagle Scout service project.

• Bistro 19 opened under new ownership in Loretto.

• Kevin Chun, of Delano, was a contestant on the truTV series Motor City Masters.

• B’s on the River hosted the fifth annual Rib Fest.

• The South Fork of the Crow River hit a crest of 21.02, the second-highest level since 1965.

• Dan Vick opened Wise Supplies in the Country Mall (45 Babcock Blvd. E.)

• A group of runners ran through Montrose and Delano as part of a run from the South Dakota border to Stillwater to raise funds and awareness of humanitarian injustices in Southeast Asia.

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