News

Wed
07
Jun

Annual road construction not as severe in Wright County

There’s an old adage that there are two seasons in Minnesota – winter and road construction season. Anyone who travels any distance runs into detours, slowdowns, pilot cars and the like when they’re on the roads.
While the summer will impact a lot of drivers dealing with state highway and bridge projects, those in Wright County may have it a little easier than most, as most of the 2017 summer construction projects largely avoid the larger cities in the county.
Wright County Highway Engineer Virgil Hawkins explained the summer projects being done in Wright County and said that the projects they’re scheduling won’t have a major adverse impact on local driving.

Wed
31
May

Flower people are happy people: Butterfly Gardens builds community through flowers


Kathy Carlson, above, owns Butterfly Gardens in Maple Lake with her twin sister Colleen. The flower mart, located in the Cennex parking lot, has come to town each spring since 2009. (Photo by Shelby Maznio)

Located right off Highway 55 in the Cenex parking lot, Butterfly Gardens Flower Mart offers a wide selection of flowers and plants to aspiring and dedicated green thumbs. Owners and twin sisters, Kathy and Colleen Carlson, have made their business a place where the community can come together and chat while looking for a new flower to begin or add to their garden.
Growing up on a farm in Montrose the Carlson sisters began working in a greenhouse when they were about 14 or 15 years old. This led to buying their first location in Maple Plain in 1999, later moving it to a new location in Montrose in 2002. They expanded to Maple Grove in 2006 and came to Maple Lake in 2009, where Kathy oversees the greenhouse while Colleen is in Montrose.
“It sort of just became a part of who we are,” Kathy said. “We’ve been doing it now for roughly 18 years.”

Wed
31
May

Board holds off approving opening in sheriff’s department

For the last couple of months, there has been a lot of contention between the county and the sheriff’s department centering on the decision of Sheriff Joe Hagerty to reorganize his office, resulting in the job elimination of two longtime employees.
At the May 23 meeting of the Wright County Board, it would appear that things haven’t thawed, as Commissioner Darek Vetsch asked that a routine position replacement request put on the consent agenda be pulled for more discussion.
The position, a lieutenant in the sheriff’s administration division, was pulled by Vetsch because he wanted the board to have more of an impact in determining what the job description is for such a position in the reorganized sheriff’s office.

Wed
31
May

M&M addition means faster, better service


M&M Express Lube at 520 Division Street West changed the look of its entire building with new windows, siding, brick and signage in addition to three new vehicle bays. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

M&M Express Lube in Maple Lake added three new vehicle bays to its shop at 520 Division Street West, which means the company will be able to serve its customers better and faster.
Workers started construction on the 35- x 60-foot addition last winter, finishing in March, and business has been booming ever since.
“Those new bays are always full,” M&M Office Manager Darcey Bichler said. “Our technicians are always busy.”
So busy, in fact, that the full-service automotive shop has hired another full-time employee to service vehicles and increased the hours of its on-the-job training student, Mike Ness.

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Wed
24
May

A scary moment for Maple Lake


(Photo by Nick Pawlenty)

Max Boltman was transported to Buffalo Hospital after his 2002 Chevy Malibu hit a train at the Birch Ave. crossing in Maple Lake, Monday, May 22. Boltman was stopped at the railroad tracks facing south when around 1 p.m. his car, for unknown reasons, proceeded forward under the lowered stop arm and into the passing train. According to Maple Lake Fire Chief Steve Peterson, the Malibu was pushed into the ditch and the train proceeded west before stopping on the outskirts of town. The wheels of one of the oil cars had left the tracks, but the train car remained upright.

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Wed
24
May

Memorial Day service is Monday, May 29

For nearly 150 years Americans across the country have honored their fallen soldiers on what is known today as Memorial Day.
In Maple Lake, Memorial Day is celebrated with a somber morning parade made up of Legion and VFW color guards, firing squad and more. Led by the Maple Lake Fire Department, the group marches to the steady beat of a snare drum played by members of the Maple Lake High School Marching Band from the Legion Club, down Birch Ave. and along Division Street to the Veteran’s Memorial at the city park where speakers further remark upon the solemn day.
It all happens this year on Monday, May 29, starting at 10 a.m. with the parade.
Once the procession arrives at the park, the band will perform the National Anthem.

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Wed
24
May

Rusty Shamrock: The boutique of antiques and more to open Friday, June 2


Deanna and Mike Mantel have been hard at work preparing for the grand opening of their store, Rusty Shamrock, Friday, June 2, on Birch Ave. South in the heart of downtown Maple Lake. (Photo by Shelby Maznio)

Downtown Maple Lake will soon be home to a new business, the Rusty Shamrock. On Friday, June 2, the boutique of antiques, thrifty up-cycled finds and project pieces will open its doors.
Owners Deanna and Mike Mantel have been hard at work preparing for the grand opening of their store. Having been in the business of antique dealing for four years and dabbling in hobby dealing and thrift store searching, the Mantels wanted to take their passion to the next level, which led them to the decision of opening the Rusty Shamrock.
“It was time,” Deanna said. “It was the next step.”

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Wed
17
May

Board tables decision on imposing local option sales tax

For the last several months, Wright County has dealt with the likely necessity to impose a local option sales tax for road projects due to a significant decrease in road and bridge funding from the State of Minnesota. Following a public hearing May 4 that lasted almost three hours, it seemed as though passage in some form or another was inevitable since enough commissioners had spoken favorably of the proposal to have the needed votes to pass it.
However, shortly before the matter was expected to come to a vote, Commissioner Mark Daleiden asked that the matter be tabled until the June 13 meeting, much to the dismay of Commissioner Mike Potter – who didn’t see the motion coming and has grown tired of board agenda items consistently being tabled or postponed.

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Wed
17
May

Board OKs guns in trap team photos

At their most recent meeting, Monday, May 8, members of the Maple Lake School Board held a short but decisive discussion on school yearbook policy regarding the inclusion of firearms in photographs of shooting sports teams and their individual members. The conversation was sparked by a recent controversy in the Big Lake High School District, in which a team photo originally rejected by the school, because the students are pictured with guns in hand, was later allowed in the wake of parental and public opposition.
Superintendent Mark Redemske asked the board, “If someone is shooting at a clay pigeon, does anybody have a problem with a shotgun being in the picture?” He clarified his question, adding that the firearm would be expected to be used appropriately in any submitted photo.
Responses from around the table indicated immediately that no such controversy exists in the Maple Lake School District.

Wed
17
May

License fee increase needed to sustain great fishing

Minnesotans celebrated great fishing when the season formally kicked off on Saturday, May 13.
Just how great is that fishing? According to the DNR, it ranks second in the nation in the number of resident anglers, who number 1.4 million. It’s the third most popular inland fishing destination for out-of-state visitors.
But the fantastic fishing that creates $4.2 billion in economic activity and 35,000 private sector jobs doesn’t just happen, officials said. It’s the fisheries management work of the DNR that creates a myriad of varied opportunities.

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