Introducing the Class of 2015

May 21, 2015

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The graduating class of 2015 is seen here as they move their tassels from the right side to the left side during the commencement ceremony that took place at the Elkton High School this past Sunday afternoon.

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Salutatorian Billy Koch and Valedictorian McKenzie DeRuyter are pictured as they deliver a shared commencement address during the ceremony this past Sunday afternoon in Elkton.

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Elkton School Board member Tim Bauer is seen here as he hands Shelby McCarthy her diploma after Superintendent Brian Jandahl announced her name during the ceremony Sunday.

Music Fest begins Thursday

May 21, 2015

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Seen above are some of the Music Fest attendees from last year’s festival as they danced throughout the afternoon to music played by The Larry Olsen Band.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
This year will mark the twenty-first year that Larry and Brenda Olsen will host the annual Music Fest on their farm in Lake Benton.
Every year, attendees come to the festival from an average of 19 different states in the nation.
“There are also 25 volunteers that come up the Monday before the festival and help with setup,” said Brenda. “They are all appreciated, and we thank them for their help. It takes a lot of hard work to get ready for the weekend.”
Over the years, there have been many Polka Festivals throughout the Midwest. Many of them, however, are no longer running.
“We’re proud to say that ours is still going strong,” said Brenda. We hope you can all attend and enjoy a great weekend. Our Music Fest is ‘The Biggest and Best in the Midwest.’”
This year’s festival will run from Thursday, May 21 to Sunday May 24. Music begins at 3 p.m. on Thursday with nine different bands playing throughout the four-day festival.
Every year, an offering is taken during the Sunday morning Polka Worship Service, and those funds are then donated to charity. Last year’s offerings of just over $400 were recently donated to the Lake Benton First Responders in memory of Brad Lund and Brianna Thooft.

City to request coverage from Tyler

May 21, 2015

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
At their second regular May meeting, the Lake Benton City Council discussed plans to move forward with obtaining an interim police chief following the departure of outgoing Police Chief Guy Harding this Friday.
The council offered the position of interim chief to part-time patrolwoman Nicole Fitzsimmons, but she declined the position and tendered her letter of resignation to the council.
The council agreed to have legal counsel request temporary police coverage from the Tyler Police Department. If this request is accepted, a contract will be written up so that Lake Benton will continue to receive patrol coverage until a new police chief is hired.
Milo Downs came before the council on behalf of the Lake Benton Opera House Board to request that they approve allotting approximately $1,200 toward repairs to the southwest corner of the outside of the Kimball Building.

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

Fourth grade recognized for raising the most money for Relay for Life

May 21, 2015

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Pictured is the fourth grade class at Lake Benton Elementary School for having raised the most money through fund raising efforts for the Relay for Life. Together, the class raised nearly $200 for the cause.

Elkton-Lake Benton held spring awards banquet Tuesday evening

May 21, 2015

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Elizabeth Hegerfeld, McKenzie DeRuyter, Arturo Valencia and William Koch are pictured here after being awarded the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Elkton-Lake Benton spring awards banquet took place last Tuesday evening in the cafeteria at Elkton High School.
The banquet began with a potluck dinner before the awards were presented.
To begin the award presentations, Shelby Kampmann received a $1,000 Bankstar Financial Scholarship.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes provided a $150 scholarship to Sydney Jandahl for her leadership and faith.
Pam Veire represented the First Security Bank of Lake Benton in awarding the L.A. Amundson Scholarships. This year’s recipients were Shelby McCarthy, Jon Boltjes and Alex Trautman.
The U.S. Army Reserve scholar/athlete awards were then presented to McKenzie DeRuyter and Alex Trautman.
A $600 scholarship was awarded to Lexy Lynn for raising funds and working at the concession stands throughout her junior year of high school.
The St. Genevieve Parish of Lake Benton awarded a $100 scholarship to Heath Schindler.

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

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Steve Krause was honored for his eight years of coaching girls basketball at Elkton High School. He is seen here receiving a hug from Principal Neill.

Elkton High School holds spring concert

May 14, 2015

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Pictured is the quartet of Cole DeRuyter, Carter Bressler, Lexy Lynn and Marissa Bressler as they perform “America – The New Colossus” during last Friday’s spring concert.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
Students at Elkton High School performed their spring concert and received their music awards last Friday evening in the north gymnasium in Elkton, S.D.
Susan Sudtelgte conducted the high school girls choir to open the program as they sang “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” with Joanna Boll performing a solo on her flute to accompany the song.
After freshman awards were presented, the junior high choir performed two musical selections—“Elijah and Joshua” and “Follow the Sun.”
Junior high awards were then presented prior to band director Nicole Perry leading the junior high band in four selections. The junior high band performed “Ashton Overture,” “Revenge of the Dust Bunnies,” “Forward March” and a jazz band version of “Final Countdown.”

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

May declared Poppy Month

May 14, 2015

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Seen above are winners of the poppy poster contest sponsored by the Lake Benton American Legion Auxiliary. Pictured ,from left, are auxiliary member Coralee Rochel, Jasmine Rouge, Madeline Bressler, Madisyn Nielsen, Trinity Hagen, Jacob Timm, Kayla Goertz, Autumn Tooley and auxiliary member Faye Rochel.

Governor Mark Dayton has declared May 2015 as Poppy Month.
The American Legion Auxiliary strongly supports this program, which was established in 1920 when veterans assembled these poppies as a fundraising effort.
The American Legion Auxiliary followed in 1921, and the National Poppy Program was launched in 1924.
The poppy is to remind us all of our fallen heroes plus generate millions of dollars each year to support veterans in need. Wherever you see a bunch of poppies, feel free to leave a donation to support our veterans.
In conjunction with May being declared Poppy Month, the Lake Benton American Legion Auxiliary invited students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades at Lake Benton Elementary School to participate in its annual poppy poster contest.

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

LPRW projects estimated $3.6 million

May 14, 2015

By Tammy Mathison
hendrickspioneer@gmail.com

 

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners was provided with the Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water System (LPRW) 2014 auditors report and a 2015 project overview by CEO Mark Johnson.
Johnson said the auditors had given them a clean opinion with no qualifications. A hard copy of the auditor’s report was provided to the Commissioners.
In the information provided on the projects, Johnson said, “Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water System has submitted its first priority project list to Rural Development for financing. The estimated project costs are $3.6 million and are internal projects funded from water revenues as no expansion will result from these improvements. The projects consist of updating our SCADA system (Phase 1) in the south half of our system; upgrading the well drives at both our Holland and Verdi well fields; developing and completing our SD Verdi wells for use and to understand their long-term characteristic information as to any further treatment needs as well as stabilizing the Verdi well field; add a second connection point to the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System at Magnolia jointly with the Rock County Rural Water System for earlier and better use of this source; and miscellaneous transmission main improvements to address pressure and quantity problems. There are six other priorities that eventually need to be addressed, but the timing and funding of those are not set for any time soon,” said Johnson.
Johnson went on to talk about drought conditions. “Drought and drought conditions are big issues,” said Johnson. “Although the DNR are satisfied to the stability of all the LPRW aquifers, we at LPRW are the first line of protection to making wise use of these aquifers for the benefit of all and for the long term future for all in southwest Minnesota. Therefore, LPRW is working to emphasize the duty of all its customers to conserve water in what already looks like a very dry year. We are asking the cities to implement and work with LPRW through conservation measures and to ban lawn-watering should a drought get severe,” said Johnson.

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

The Lunch Box now open for business in downtown Lake Benton

May 7, 2015

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Peggy Gorter-Evans of The Lunch Box is pictured in front of a beautiful mural entitled “By Gods Grace” that was recently painted by Caren Petersen of Lake Benton.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lunch Box, a new eatery in Lake Benton, is opening its doors today.
According to proprietor Peggy Gorter-Evans, the Lunch Box will be specializing in breakfast foods and comfort foods for dinner.
“We’ll have home-cooked dinners, biscuits and gravy, caramel rolls, cinnamon rolls, donuts, bars, cookies and pies,” explained Gorter-Evans. “There will be daily dinner specials and weekly breakfast specials.”
Peggy grew up in Magnolia and attended Stewart School for Cosmetology in Sioux Falls, S.D. after graduating from high school.
“I worked for a year in Sioux City then opened up a salon in Pipestone,” said Gorter-Evans. “I then ended up teaching cosmetology at Minnesota West in Pipestone. I started in the hair business in 1975 and I had my own salon for 11 years. Then the school opened up in 1987 and I taught there for 23 years. Then I just kind of retired last May. Everyone says that I’m crazy because opening a restaurant is not retirement.”
The Lunch Box is not Peggy’s first time as a restaurateur. In 1998, during a break in her teaching career, she opened a restaurant in Pipestone—The Lunch Box.

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

Balaton couple die in suspected homicide, house fire Thursday

May 7, 2015

By Mark Wilmes
tributeeditor@gmail.com

 
Suspicious circumstances and an ensuing investigation have led to charges being filed against three men in connection with the deaths of Jim and Cathy Hively of Balaton. Emergency crews were summoned to the Hively home in rural Balaton on Thursday morning, April 30 shortly after 9 a.m. The home was engulfed in flames and the bodies of the Hivelys were discovered inside.
Being charged with second degree murder, arson and armed burglary on Monday in Lyon County District Court were Theodore Allen Como, 18, of Marshall and Derek Michael Hexum, 20, of Balaton. Kyle Richard Wesselink, 21, of Tyler was charged with first degree arson, first degree burglary and receiving stolen property.
After a traffic stop on April 30, police found stolen guns in the trunk of Wesselink’s vehicle. Como was a passenger of the vehicle at the time. Hexum was subsequently arrested at a residence adjacent to the Hively property.

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

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From left— Theodore Como, Derek Hexum and Kyle Wesselink.