Fire department updates local townships on service in 2014

February 26, 2015

Firemen Meeting 1
The group was all smiles as door prizes were given away during the Lake Benton Fire Department’s annual meeting held at the Lake Benton Community Center last Thursday evening.

By Steven Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The annual meeting of the Lake Benton Fire Department, City of Lake Benton and the area townships took place last Thursday evening at the Lake Benton Community Center.
City Council Trustee Al Lindemann presided over the meeting and representatives were present from Drammen Township, Ash Lake Township, Diamond Lake Township, Fountain Prairie Township, Lake Benton Township, Shaokatan Township and Verdi Township. The purpose of the meeting was for the Lake Benton Fire Department to update these townships regarding the past year of service.
The financial report was provided by Fire Chief Pat McCarthy. In 2014, the department’s total revenues were $66,561 compared to $55,949 in 2013. Expenditures for the department in 2014 totaled $49,625 compared to $33,877 in 2013. The department has $148,086 in its capital improvement reserve fund.
The department received $10,241 this past year in run fees from service calls. This money was placed into a CD at First Security Bank, and it will be used in the future to take some financial burden off the city and townships.

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

City addresses sidewalk ordinance

February 26, 2015

By Steven Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton City Council revisited the topic of the city’s current sidewalk ordinance at their meeting last Tuesday evening at the Lake Benton Heritage Center. After discussion with legal counsel, it was determined that removal of sidewalks without replacement within the city can be approved by the council on a case-by-case basis with specific reasons being stated for said removal.
This determination followed an inquiry by Travis Lustfield of Grant Street as to whether he could remove the deteriorated sidewalk that is to the east of his property. The council approved allowing Lustfield to remove the sidewalk without replacing it because it is unsafe and unused by the general public.
Teri and Dave Bukowski were placed on the agenda in order to speak to the council regarding the continuing issue of speeding vehicles entering city limits from the south on Highway 75.
A speed study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation last year determined that 60 percent of drivers entering town from the south were speeding.

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

School Board approves budget

February 26, 2015

By Steven Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The board approved its revised 2014-2015 budget with expenditures in the amount of $2,278,694 and revenues in the amount of $2,409,131. This equates to roughly $130,000 in surplus funds.
The board took no action on the administrative report on recommendations for staffing and programs. Superintendent Ryan Nielsen recommended that no changes be made at this time. Nielsen did mention that if enrollment continues to increase, staff may need to be added next year.
The board discussed its 2015-2016 service agreements with the SW/SC Service Cooperative. These agreements will be revisited and approved at the March meeting.

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

Transit and golf cart usage ordinance discussed at commissioners meeting

February 26, 2015

By Tammy Mathison 
hendrickspioneer@gmail.com

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners heard from Cara Nielsen, head of the Lincoln County Transit, who requested approval of a resolution to con­tinue talks with the Lyon County Transit.
Nielsen said there has been one meeting, and, this being a step process, the next step was for the Lincoln and Lyon County Boards of Commissioners to ap­prove a resolution to continue talks.
Nielsen said one of the ques­tions is whether Lyon County will absorb or administrate Lin­coln County Transit. If it is ab­sorbed, then the drivers union will be dissolved and there will be a name change. If it is to ad­ministrate, then the union would still be in play, and it would still be Lincoln County.
“We will see what the num­bers are and go from there,” said Nielsen. “It’s going to be a long process.”

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

Cheerleaders in the making

February 20, 2015

Cheer Clinic 2
The Elkton-Lake Benton cheerleading squad is seen here as they lead the elementary students from Elkton Elementary and Lake Benton Elementary in a routine that was prepared during the Cheer Clinic earlier in the day last Friday.

By Steven Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
For around ten years now, the Elkton High School cheerleading squad has been offering a yearly cheer clinic open to elementary students.
Since the merger of the Elkton and Lake Benton schools, the cheer clinic has been open to students from Lake Benton Elementary as well as those from Elkton Elementary.
“It’s a fundraiser for the girls to raise money for their cheerleading squad, and these little kids just love this,” explained Cheerleading Coach Kim Huber. “It’s a way to get these kids to learn these cheers as well, and they’ll get them going during football and basketball games.”
The cheer clinic takes place in Elkton, is open to students from preschool to sixth grade, and is instructed by the current cheerleading squad – most of which attended the cheer clinic themselves when they were in elementary school.

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

Cheer Clinic
Students from Elkton Elementary and Lake Benton Elementary that took part in last Friday’s Cheer Clinic as seen here prior to their performance along with their instructors – the Elkton-Lake Benton cheerleading squad.

Elkton-Lake Benton Elks upset Arlington Cardinals in conference battle Monday

February 20, 2015

bbb vs arlington DSC_0018
Heath Schindler is seen here as he floats to the basket while having multiple photos taken of him during Monday evening’s 73-49 victory over the Arlington Cardinals at home in Elkton.

By Steven Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 

The Elkton-Lake Benton Elks took down the conference-lead­ing Arlington Cardinals 73-49 at home this past Monday evening in Elkton.
In their most recent faceoff, the Cardinals took a win from the Elks in the Dakota Valley Conference championship held in Elkton on Jan. 24.
“It was a fun game,” said Head Coach Steve Erickson. “We played them earlier in the year, and it was the same kind of basketball game except nobody pulled away like we did tonight.”
The Elks and Cards each came out of the gate firing on all cyl­inders on Monday with multiple lead changes occurring in the first half of play.
The Elks trailed by a single point at the end of the first quar­ter 16-17, but they retaliated in the second quarter and went into the half with a two point lead over the Cards 35-33.

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

Search for two missing individuals comes to an end in Lake Benton, body of Brad Lund recovered by authorities on Saturday

February 20, 2015

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 

Following a 13-day search effort by area authorities, the second of two missing individuals has been located under the ice of Lake Benton.
Bradley Lund was located by authorities at approximately 2:55 p.m. this past Saturday out near the Norwegian Creek Campground just north of the city of Lake Benton.
Search efforts began for Brad Lund and Brianna Thooft on Sunday, Feb. 1 when the pair was reported missing. The last known whereabouts of the couple was a fish house on Lake Benton, and they had not been heard from since an early morning phone call on Sunday.
The submerged vehicle that Lund and Thooft had been in was discovered by search teams on Monday, Feb. 2.
Thooft was recovered from the lake last Saturday, Feb. 7. A visual search for Lund continued throughout this past week, and he was located Saturday after search crews with sonar technology returned to the area and resumed their recovery efforts.

One missing person found in Lake Benton Lake, another still missing

February 12, 2015

Brianna for Steven's story- photo
                                                     Brianna Thooft                                                                                      

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
According to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, at approximately 12:30 p.m. this past Saturday, Feb. 7, the St. Louis County Rescue Squad located a female in the water. Rescue squad personnel extracted her from the water and transported her to shore where she was identified as Brianna Jean Thooft. The search for Bradley Allen Lund is currently ongoing.
The search for Brianna and Brad began last Sunday, Feb. 1 when the pair was reported missing. The last known whereabouts of the couple was a fish house on Lake Benton, and they had not been heard from since an early morning phone call on Sunday.
On Monday, Feb. 2, authorities were led to believe that a vehicle that Brianna and Brad were traveling in had fallen through the ice out near the Norwegian Creek Campground north of the City of Lake Benton. A multi-agency search was concentrated in that area, where a submerged vehicle was discovered.
The Lake Benton Police Department confirmed that the vehicle found submerged in Lake Benton was related to the two missing persons, Brianna Thooft and Brad Lund.
“We are confident that the truck is the one they were in on the night [in question],” confirmed Lake Benton Police Chief Guy Harding.

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

dive team DSC_0082
Various search and rescue volunteers that assisted in the search for Brianna Thooft and Brad Lund last week out near the Norwegian Creek Campground are pictured above.

Local cattle producers rank among the top in the nation

February 12, 2015

National Western - Delaney Herefords
The crew from Delaney Herefords is pictured after claiming the title of Grand Champion Carload of Herefords at the 2015 National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colo. last month.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
Four local cattle producers recently traveled to the 2015 National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colo. and showed that Lincoln County, Minn. is among the top cattle producers in the nation.
Chestnut Angus, Delaney Herefords, Paul Fehrman Family Red Angus and Weber Land and Cattle ranked among the top of the field in their respective categories at this year’s annual National Western Stock Show that took place on Jan. 18-25.
Paul Fehrman Family Red Angus had not competed in the stock show since 2007, but they went in with high expectations and came home with a grand champion pen of three Red Angus heifers.
“It’s been a few years since we participated, but we decided to go back and had the good fortune of winning,” said Paul Fehrman. “We’ve showed out there probably half a dozen times in the past, and we had never previously won. The National Western Stock Show is kind of the granddaddy of livestock shows, so it’s an honor to win out there.”
All three of the PFFR heifers were born last February, and Paul explained that all three heifers were sired by the bull Badlands Opportunity 53Y.
“We thought it was kind of a neat deal because we only had seven total heifers last year born to that bull,” said Paul. “We put three of them together, and they were good enough to win the pen show there in Denver, so that speaks highly of the bull itself.”
Fehrman also mentioned that it was the largest Red Angus heifer pen show that has ever taken place at the stock show.

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

Heroes come in all sizes

February 5, 2015

Grant
Grant Nielsen is pictured after arriving at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester in January.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 

Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome is an immune deficiency that is caused by a genetic mutation of the X chromosome and occurs in between one and ten out of every million individuals worldwide. Symptoms occur from birth and can include severe eczema, bloody stool, immune deficiency and thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count.)
Grant Nielsen, the 18-month-old son of Lake Benton Elementary Principal/Superintendent Ryan Nielsen, was diagnosed with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome when he was just a few weeks old.
“My wife and I started noticing little red dots on his skin when he was about a month old,” said Ryan. “The doctors decided to check him out, and they noticed his blood platelets were low.
They really didn’t know why his platelets were low. Sometimes with babies, when they get a cold, their platelets will drop. So, they monitored it, and it never got better. Sometimes his count would be high and sometimes it was low, but it never got better.”
Once his irregular platelet count was discovered, Grant underwent the first of multiple blood transfusions coupled with a steroid.
“After a few blood transfusions, they started digging deeper into it and the doctor said he was going to check for Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome,” explained Ryan. “He said it probably wouldn’t come back positive, but they wanted to check for it just to rule it out, and sure enough, it came back positive.”
Grant’s condition is not as severe as some cases of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, and that is what makes the diagnosis of a one-in-a-million health disorder difficult to believe for the Nielsen family…
The Lake Benton Volunteers for Education and the Lake Benton Elementary School staff will be holding a benefit fundraiser for the Nielsen family on Monday, Feb. 9 during the varsity girls and boys doubleheader basketball game at the Lake Benton Elementary School beginning at 5 p.m.

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