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Herald Journal | DC Enterprise-Dispatch | Delano Herald Journal
2013: the year in review
Jan. 6, 2014

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

DELANO, LORETTO, MONTROSE, MN – When the new year hits, it has become tradition to look back on the prior year through the pages of the Delano Herald Journal.

This edition showcases highlights from the communities the newspaper covers, large news events, and other milestones from 2013.

Viewpoints contributors from 2013 are recognized on this week’s Viewpoints page, found on 12A. This edition also features looks back from two local elected officials, and a preview of the agriculture industry for the coming year.

Loved ones lost are also remembered in the Obituaries in Review, which can be found on pages 6-9A of this week’s edition.


• Christmas came early for a horse named Dante who lives north of Montrose, thanks primarily to the members of the Montrose Fire Department who rescued Dante from the murky frozen water of Malardi Lake.

• Delano resident Fred Gordon was one of only three veterans to attend a final reunion of the Third Field Artillery Battalion at Fort Riley, KS in September – a rendezvous that brought 70-year-old memories to the forefront.

• Jack Russek was sworn in for a position on the Delano City Council. Prior to serving on the city council, Russek ended a run of 20 years as a Wright County Commissioner.

• The Delano Public School Board welcomed Mark Larson to the board. Larson was elected to a two-year term that runs through 2014.

• The Wright County Board for 2013 includes Christine Husom, Board Chair Pat Sawatzke, Charles Borrell, Mark Daleiden, and Michael Potter.

• The Healthy Delano initiative kicked off Jan. 21.

• Christian Phillip Oberender, 32, who has a Delano address in northern Watertown Township, was arrested Jan. 2 for being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, according to a formal complaint filed in Carver County.

• Thanks to Bill and Lori Hanson of Flippin Bill’s in Delano, the Delano Relay for Life/American Cancer Society received a $10,000 contribution from the BP Fueling Communities Program.


• Judy Krueger retires from Mt. Olive in Delano after 31 years of service.

• Being just a little too close to the edge pulled a propane tanker truck off a driveway and onto its side Tuesday in Independence at a Copeland Road, causing a propane leak from the truck.

• Delano man Denny Kumlin was inducted into the Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame.

• Neil Ramlow received a medal from the mayor of Rapid City for returning a class ring to a woman who lost it in the 1972 Rapid City flood.

• After being announced as the Delano Public Schools Teacher of the Year, Jim VanCura has been named a semifinalist in the Minnesota Teacher of the Year competition.


• Delano eighth-grader Tucker Sjomeling was the Class AA 106-pound state champion. Sjomeling is Delano’s first wrestling champion and only the second Tiger to make it to the title match.

• Landscape Structures founder Steve King has written a new book, “A Legacy of Play,” which is available at no charge to anyone who tours the facility (601 7th St. S. in Delano), or for purchase at Amazon.com.

• Current Franklin Township Supervisor Mike Barfknecht was elected as a write-in candidate for the three-year board position by 10 votes at the annual township election and meeting.

Darin Orr, whose name appeared on the ballot, received 50 votes to Barfknecht’s 60.

• Delano’s Jakob Lawman and his classmates at North Dakota State University were among thousands of people at St. Peter’s Square when Pope Francis was elected March 13.

• Randy’s Environmental Services of Delano was named the Delano Area Chamber of Commerce’s business of the year.


• Dale Vander Linden was honored as Delano’s citizen of the year with a banquet at the Delano American Legion.

• Bridget Haefner was installed as new pastor at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Delano.

• Delano native Katie Schneider begun a one-year AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) appointment in the Office of Community Engagement.

• Debra Hart, 57, of Delano, lost her life as the result of a traffic accident on Carver County Road 10 in Watertown Township.

• Ambrose and Leona Yantes of Delano celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary with a party for family and friends at the Delano American Legion.

• The Bohemian Wine Bar and Pub, owned by Sara and Ken Beamish, conducted its grand opening April 19-20.

• Delano’s Wendy Biel earned a medal for finishing the Boston Marathon April 15. Biel ran as far as she could - 25 miles - before she was forced to leave the course following the explosion of two bombs near the finish line.

• A chapter of Fourth of July tradition came to a close last week with the demolition of the commonly-known “bank building” in Delano’s Central Park.

• A barn owned by Thomas Brummer was destroyed by fire the morning of April 20.

• Delano resident Matthew Dylan Sisneros, 33, was taken into custody in connection with an armed robbery at the McDonald’s restaurant in Buffalo.


• The Saint Paul Saints baseball team played the North Star League All-Star team as a fundraiser for the recent renovations to Delano Municipal Stadium made in preparation for the 2013 State Amateur Baseball Tournament, which was played Aug. 16-Sept. 2 in Delano, Maple Lake and Howard Lake.

• The Delano Fire Department’s new fire engine, a 2013 Pierce at a cost of $597,908, arrived in town.

• Kevin Michael Slaby, 45, of Hudson, WI, a former Crow River State Bank employee was arrested May 7 after he allegedly brought a shotgun to the bank and made threats to the bank owner.

• DiamondBack performed at this year’s River Street Jam, Friday, May 31 on River Street in downtown Delano. The Jam was a benefit for St. Peter’s Catholic School.

• Delano made the grade this year by being named one of “America’s Best High Schools” by Newsweek and The Daily Beast.


• Delano Public Schools graduated 187 students.

• Dillon Field, the son of Bill and Sherri Field of Delano, devoted his Eagle Scout project to construction of a special memorial at the Delano American Legion Club, Babcock Blvd. W.

The monument was dedicated after Delano’s Memorial Day ceremony.

• Tom Emmer of Delano announced he will be seeking the Congressional seat representing Minnesota’s sixth district.

• Montrose Mayor Scott Czanstkowski submitted a resignation letter to the city.

• Lindsay Jensen of Rush Meadow Farm Performance Horses in Delano is one of 12 horse trainers in the US.

• Sarah and Andy Schumacher hope that Cancer Prevention Study - 3 (CPS-3) will help create a cancer-free future for the next generation.


• Mike Max of WCCO-TV served as Delano Fourth of July Celebration 2013 parade grand marshal. Anna Elsen, Hannah Chapman, and Victoria Hagen were crowned as Delano Royal Ambassadors.

• The City of Delano, which owns the property at 203 Bridge Avenue, is reviewing a purchase agreement presented to the city for the property.

• Delano’s Fred Gordon, 95, was selected to raise the flag at Target Field before the Minnesota Twins game against the Cleveland Indians July 21.

• Despite a windy, chilly evening, the Relay for Life in Delano Friday raised more than $88,000.

• For the second year in a row, the Delano Herald Journal (DHJ) received first place in its circulation class for best local news coverage in this year’s National Newspaper Association (NNA) Better Newspaper Contest.


• Serena Petersen of Delano, the daughter of Shawn and Angie Petersen, was chosen to represent Wright County Fair as a Fairest of the Fair ambassador, along with Jayda Palmer of Rockford and Mercedes Lemke of Cokato.

• The sixth-annual Delano Area Chamber of Commerce Task Force’s Taste of Delano event at Central Park drew more than 1,000 people to sample some of Delano’s finest eats.

• Having contributed more than 53,000 meals, Coborn’s of Delano continues to do its part to help those in need.

• A proposal from Old Apostolic Lutheran Church to build a church for up to 900 people in Franklin Township was brought to the township meeting Aug. 5.


• Butch Automatic has consisted of different band members throughout the years. For the Saturday, Sept. 7 reunion concert, performers included original members Delano Mayor Dale Graunke, Bob Hutter, Dave Socher, Mike Mathisen, Bob Seliski, Dave Pawelk, and Brad Bruhn, as well as Joe Seliski (who joined soon after the band’s start), and Doreen Shrode (a vocalist who was added in the 1990s).

• Kraus-Anderson (KA) has completed an extensive $4 million expansion project at Vinland National Center, which provides chemical dependency treatment for adults with disabilities.

• Two Howard Lake men didn’t come up winners after being charged with felony-level lottery fraud after allegedly stealing hundreds of dollars worth of lottery tickets from Red’s Café in Montrose in two separate incidents.

• Ellie Schmidt and Landon Hayes were crowned Delano High School’s 2013 homecoming queen and king Thursday afternoon at coronation.

• A water main break near Delano’s Central Park the night of Sept. 7 led to the city’s water tower being drained and the community left without water until the next morning.

• Medina Police Chief Ed Belland offered reassurance that the Loretto community is safe following a kidnapping that took place at a Chippewa Road residence Wednesday evening.

• Fire destroyed a Woodland Township barn in the 1700 block of 80th Street SW Saturday afternoon.

• As a teenager, Delano’s Peter Grant spent his autumns on the field at Metropolitan Stadium, where his father, Bud, coached the Minnesota Vikings.

• Delano Elementary School is one of seven Minnesota schools recognized as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School

• An Independence man pulled a Rockford woman from a vehicle moments before the vehicle went up in flames.

• Hal Becker of Delano Municipal Utilities (DMU) is one of eight people in the US to receive this year’s American Public Power Association’s Seven Hats Award.


• Butch Donahue sells Donahue Sports Center, a business he owned and operated for more than 40 years.

• Forbes recently released the results of its latest survey, “Best Schools for Your Housing Buck,” and Delano Public Schools is ranked number-one in the nation for high-performing schools with affordable housing.

• Delano Public Schools recently announced that students achieved high marks in all areas of testing during the 2012-13 school year.

• The owner of a Delano apartment building is thankful no one was hurt when a fire broke out in one of the units at the Franklin Avenue Apartments.


• It was a memorable weekend for Delano High School, as two of its fall sports teams, football and volleyball, captured berths in their respective state tournaments on back-to-back days.

• More than 10 years in the making, ground was formally broken for Delano’s Northwest Business Park.

• Lee Kelly has been named Wright County coordinator.


• The City of Delano terminated the employment of Public Works Director Ernest “Ernie” Eden at Tuesday night’s city council meeting, and Eden has indicated he is suing the city for what he claims is sexual harassment, gender bias, and certain activity among staff and retaliation against Eden for reporting it.

• Despite the cold, many enjoyed the Old-Fashioned Christmas activities throughout Delano.

• Fire heavily damaged a Maplewood Drive residence in Delano.

• The Delano Area Chamber of Commerce (DACC) Christmas Tree lighting was canceled due to cold temperatures. This year’s event was not rescheduled.

• On a split vote, Delano City Council decided to move forward with plans to expand Delano Municipal Wine and Spirits, along with enter into a 10-year lease at the facility’s present location.

• A very well-known and passionate figure from the community of Montrose passed away Dec. 6. Former Montrose Mayor Charlie Nelson, 71, died at his residence.

• Two 16-year-old males were taken into custody following an incident in a parking lot on the Delano Public Schools campus involving an “air soft” handgun Dec. 13.

• Christmas time is known as the giving season, but Delano’s Kerry Fillmore couldn’t wait until December to give his son, Jackson, the gift of health. When Jackson, 6, needed a kidney, a ‘selfish’ Kerry didn’t hesitate to fulfill his son’s need.

• The congregation of Saving Grace Lutheran Church, established in Delano in 2006, has voted to disband.

• A sanitary sewer user rate increase of 3 percent was approved by the Delano City Council Dec. 17, as was an increase in the rate the city pays for legal services.

• A former Delano man has been charged with felony-level manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident involving death following an incident at a Williston, ND bar Dec. 5.

David George Krause, 28, of Alpine, WY, formerly of Delano, was charged Dec. 13 in Williams County District Court in Williston.

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