News

Wed
16
Aug

Front page whiteout

This week, more than 200 newspapers across the State of Minnesota will publish no news on their front pages. This “Whiteout” is taking place during Minnesota Newspaper Week, August 13-19, a part of the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s yearlong celebration of its 150th anniversary. The Whiteout reminds Minnesotans of the important role that newspapers play, writing the first draft of history and telling the stories of their communities.
“In many communities across the State of Minnesota, the newspaper is the main source of local news,” said MNA Executive Director Lisa Hills. “Newspaper journalists across the state attend city council and school board meetings, they cover town festivals and local sports teams, and they arrive on the scene to document history during natural disasters and other community challenges. We know newspapers play an important role.”

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Wed
16
Aug

Board approves jail medical contract amendment

There are times when additional costs aren’t viewed as a bad thing. At the Aug. 8 meeting of the Wright County Board of Commissioners, Captain Pat O’Malley of the sheriff’s department came to the board with a request for an additional $94,000 in funding for medical costs at the county jail.
However, the cost is due to the recent opening of a pod in the jail so the county can board more prisoners, which is more than paying for the additional cost.

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Wed
16
Aug

Great sound, great seats, great value


The St. Michael Theater Megaplex is home to more than just a few movie theatres. Musicians such as Bobby Vandel and others put on concerts on a regular basis on this stage.

The lobby of the Megaplex is as impressive as its theaters. It comes complete with a full bar. (Photos by Bob Zimmerman)

Why would anyone put a music venue in a movie theater?
Tom Pickard, one of the owners of the Le Musique room, says the answer is simple. Theaters are built for sound and have better acoustic properties than most bars, night clubs and arenas. Adding the right electronics adjusted to accommodate stadium seating for 200 people and featuring talented local and nationally known performers showcases the benefit of music in a theater. Watching and listening to singer Bobby Vandel at a recent matinee generated several reactions in me, the first being "wow, this is great sound" during the first tune. "Rich and lush" crossed my mind often and I appreciated being able to understand every word of the lyrics to every song. Toe tapping to "Don't Be Cruel" was more fun when the words and music complemented instead of competed with each other. "Wow, this is great sound" played softly on the broken record in my head during the entire show.

Wed
16
Aug

New fertilizer rule needs voice of farmers to work

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is requesting input from the farming community on a rule that limits fertilizer application in some areas of the state in an effort to minimize nitrate pollution in the state’s groundwater. To effectively achieve this goal, farmers need to voice their questions and concerns in order to help MDA formulate a final rule that works in practice, not only on paper.

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Wed
16
Aug

From hogs and hotrods, to classic cars and curiosities


Each member of the Gear Head committee is unique, but the common interest in machines brings them together. Led by Scott Chantland and John Rivers, the group combines their talents to create a memorable event each year. Committee members are pictured above, front row, from left, David Rivers, John Rivers, Scott Chantland; second row, from left, Tom Hanson, Linda Rassat, Beckah Pipenhagen; third row, from left, Tricia Manuel, Mike Zieska; fourth row, from left, Dan Albrecht, Larry Greene, Mary James; back row, from left, Roger James, Don Ramstad, Hans Melgaard. Not pictured are Becky Hance and Pete Miessen. . (Photo by Bob Zimmerman)

Maple Lake’s seventh annual Gear-Head Get Together takes place this weekend, Saturday, August 19, come rain or shine.
From 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. streets are closed in downtown Maple Lake to accommodate the 400-plus assortment of mechanical contrivances from hogs and hotrods to classic cars and curiosities that are sure to entertain.
There will be live music morning and afternoon from Pullstart Diesel Band and Darlene and the Boys, as well as a gear-head centered swappers meet and plenty of food to go around.
Last year an estimated 300 cars and 50-plus motorcycles were showcased at the event that took over much of the town and featured motorcycle stunt riders and a celebrity guest. This year organizers are looking to get back to their roots.

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Wed
16
Aug

Maple Lake Floral closes its doors


Going forward, Jewel Cabinet Refacing will use the old floral shop site on Birch Avenue as a showroom. Above, owners Scott Bohn and Julie Kreitz are ready to open their doors during Gear-Head Get Together this weekend. (Photos by Brenda Erdahl)

Another landmark business has left downtown Maple Lake this summer.
The Maple Lake Floral Shop has closed after many years of business in the community.
Owned and operated by Darell Jensen for a long time at its location on Division Street where the Costume Shoppe is now, the store was bought in 2015 by Brandy Sutton and moved to main street.
In 2016, Sutton moved the shop again to a location that provided more room and workability right next door.
Sutton recently closed the store and Jewel Cabinet Refacing has moved in to prepare the space for a new showroom.

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Wed
09
Aug

National Night Out is a sweet treat for the community


Maple Lake celebrated National Night Out, Tuesday, Aug. 1, with ice cream sandwiches donated by the Maple Lake Fire Department. Starting around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night, volunteers from the fire department set out in their trucks to deliver the treats to anybody out in their yards. The MLFD has been handing out treats on National Night Out for eight years now. They usually give away about 500 ice cream sandwiches. Oliver Manuel, Connor Spike and A.J. Manuel accept treats from Tom Blizil, a member of the fire department.
Wed
09
Aug

Local man publishes stories that teach lessons


Reuben Streich, of rural Maple Lake, has been telling stories of his made-up character Mr. Kaboodelboo to his children for years. Now children around the world have access to the life lessons he teaches in his newly published book. Above, he relaxes on his family's farm south of Maple Lake.  (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

Fifty-some years ago, Reuben Streich and his young family were living in California, far from everyone and everything they knew. Health reasons had necessitated the move from the Midwest to the far west of the country, and it was a far cry from what the Minnesota farm children were used to. 
To fill some of the void, Streich took to telling his five children stories centered around the farming lifestyle they had left behind.
"One night I would go to the boys room and tell a story and the next night I would go to the girls," he said with a smile.
He made up the stories as he went, always trying to include some sort of lesson.  
The adventures of Mr. Kaboodelboo and his Big Fat Dog were never forgotten, and now they never will be. Earlier this year, Streich published those tales in a collection of short stories, making them available through Amazon.com to virtually any little boy or girl in the world. 

Wed
09
Aug

Powered by the sun


It won't be long before solar panels adorn the roof over Maple Lake Elementary School. The district is taking advantage of a government solar incentive program that promises a more environmentally friendly and efficient way of producing electricity. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

Maple Lake Schools is taking steps toward a more environmentally friendly and efficient way of producing electricity.
By the time classes start on Tuesday, Sept. 5, an array of solar panels will adorn the roof over the elementary gymnasium, gathering energy from the sun to convert it to electricity to power necessities like lights, air conditioning and heat.
Maple Lake has been trying for a couple of years to take part in the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive program where schools are selected via a lottery to participate. There are no up-front costs and everything, including installation, maintenance and operation of the array, is taken care of by an overseeing company. In Maple Lake's case that company is Ideal Energies.
According to Brad Neutz, head of building and grounds at Maple Lake Schools, the Annandale School District has been benefiting from the program for several years.

Wed
09
Aug

Kingery Family shines at Holy Cross Music Festival


The Kingery Family of Central Minnesota performed gospel blue grass before a large audience at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Sunday, July 30, at the parish’s annual Music Festival.

Holy Cross Lutheran Church near Maple Lake held its annual Music Festival on Sunday, July 30. After a pulled pork dinner, guests settled in to the church’s sanctuary for music by The Kingery Family. Hailing from Central Minnesota, the musical group performs primarily gospel blue grass with a variety of string instruments and some a Capella. Head of the family Mike Kingery said the group’s calling was to minister together through music at primarily local venues. He and his wife, Chris, and their eight children started their ministry. The family has since grown to include two sons-in-law and seven grandchildren. Good will donations were accepted at the event. All proceeds will go to missions and outreach.

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