Finzen takes over position of library director at public library

January 29, 2015

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Shelly Finzen is the new library director of the Lake Benton Public Library.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
After serving as the interim library director since last May, Shelly Finzen of Lake Benton has officially been hired as the new director of the Lake Benton Public Library.
Finzen is a native of Villisca, Iowa, where she grew up and graduated from Villisca Community High School. Upon graduating, she attended Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa for a semester where she met her husband Ivan.
Unfortunately, due to sickness she withdrew from college before finishing the semester. That spring, she and her husband were in an automobile accident that resulted in Ivan suffering a broken back, and furthering her education was put on hold so that she could care for him.
Some years later, in 2009, Shelly obtained an associates degree from Minnesota West in Pipestone. It was just before that in July 2008 that Ivan, Shelly and their three children moved to Lake Benton. Just this past spring, Shelly obtained a double bachelors degree from Southwest Minnesota State University in secondary English education in both speech and literature.
“There is a lot of connection between a high school English teacher and a librarian,” said Finzen. “Here at the library, I have many opportunities to teach many people, and I’m not focused on just one group of kids. I get to teach preschoolers. I’ve had opportunities to teach adults in the library for various programs, and you don’t get that in a high school setting. I’m taking my education and degree and expanding on it.”
Finzen began working at the library as a Saturday librarian back in 2009 while she was finishing her education when Shanna Worth was the director.

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

School Board takes oath of office

January 29, 2015

School Board Oath
Elected officials on the Lake Benton Board of Education took the oath of office at their January meeting held last Wednesday evening. Pictured from left to right are Steven Hurd, Janell DeVries, Tony Schwing and Heath Houselog.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The elected members of the Lake Benton School Board took their oaths of office at the regularly scheduled January meeting last Wednesday evening at Lake Benton Public School.
Following the oath, members nominated and elected officers for the coming year. Tony Schwing was elected as Board Chair. Ladon Prosch was elected as Vice-chair. Roger Rudebusch was elected as Clerk. Janell DeVries was elected as Treasurer.
In board action, the board approved snow days from Jan. 6 and Jan. 7 to be made up on Feb. 16 and April 2.
The board approved recognizing Jan. 25 through Jan. 31 as Paraprofessional Week as declared by Governor Mark Dayton.
The board approved accepting a $500 donation from Bob and Gail Worth of Lake Benton to be used for the School Readiness Program at Lake Benton Elementary School.

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

City working toward grant to improve Lakeside Park area

January 29, 2015

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton City Council authorized the Lake Benton Sportsman’s Club to hold an ice fishing tournament on Lake Benton on Jan. 31.
The council approved hiring Bill Weber to perform as assessment in order to qualify for a DNR grant that would be used to improve the Lakeside Park area in Lake Benton. The grant application is due on March 1.
Representatives from the Lake Benton Public Library informed the council that they have hired Shelly Finzen of Lake Benton as the new full-time library director. The council approved the hiring of Finzen, along with the Lake Benton Public Library’s annual report.
The council approved the 2015 lease agreement with the Lake Benton Historical Society for the use of the Lake Benton Heritage Center.

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

Burk and Carpenter end 12 years of service to City of Lake Benton

January 22, 2015

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Mike Carpenter is pictured, right, sitting next to Lake Benton City Administrator Eileen Christensen as he adjourns the final meeting of his 12-year incumbency as the Mayor of Lake Benton.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 

After 12 years of service to the community of Lake Benton, former mayor Mike Carpenter and former city council trustee Carl Burk decided not to run for reelection this past November.
Both Burk and Carpenter be­gan their service to the com­munity in 2002. Burk filed for city council at the request of his brother Jack Burk.
“My brother kind of talked me into it,” explained Carl. “Jack had been on the city council for a number of years, and he figured it was time that he got off so he said that I should run. So fool­ishly, I went ahead and did it, and that started my 12 years of involvement in the City of Lake Benton.”
Carpenter also filed for city council at that time after hav­ing served as EDA director for a number of years along with three terms on the Lake Benton Board of Education. Carpenter filed for a position on the city council, but he was also written in as mayor in that election.
“I guess I just felt a need to give back a little bit to the commu­nity,” said Mike. “I filed for city council, but I was written in as mayor. I had a decision to make as to whether I should serve on the council or accept the posi­tion of mayor. After thinking about it, I just decided to jump in. Six terms and 12 years later, here we are.”

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

Burk
Carl Burk is pictured, right, in December as he sat in his usual spot next to Barb Powell during the last meeting of his 12-year tenure as Lake Benton City Councilmember.

Sorenson takes step down at United Methodist Church

January 15, 2015

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Lake Benton United Methodist Church lay leader Jim Sorenson and his wife Carol were honored at the Sunday worship service on Jan. 11. Mike DeVries, representing the congregation, presented Carol and Jim Sorenson with a plaque and words of thanks for their faithful service these last six and one-half years. A potluck lunch followed the service.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
After filling in for six and a half years at the United Methodist Church of Lake Benton, lay leader Jim Sorenson has made the decision to step down as interim minister.
Jim was born and raised in Lynd, where he graduated from high school. He is the son of a Baptist father and a Catholic mother, but because neither church was available in Lynd at the time, the family attended the Methodist Church in Lynd during Jim’s upbringing.
Jim and his wife Carol have lived in Lake Benton for 30 years now, and for 25 of those years Jim has served as lay leader for the Lake Benton UMC.
“Normally, a lay leader kind of fills in if the pastor can’t make it or can’t find somebody,” explained Jim. “As it progressed, it got to the point where I was filling the same services that a regular minister was. It was only six and a half years ago that it turned into a little more than being just the lay leader. It turned into kind of a full-time job.”
Jim went on to explain how circumstances within the church led to him taking the reins for the church.

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

Opera House annual meeting rescheduled

January 15, 2015

Due to weather conditions, the annual meeting of the Lake Benton Opera House, Inc. to be held on Jan. 8 was postponed. The meeting will be held on Thursday, Jan. 15 at 5:30 p.m. in the Kimball Building.

Newly elected county officials sworn in at meeting

January 15, 2015

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Newly elected and re-elected Lincoln County officials were sworn in on Tuesday, Jan. 6. Pictured from left to right are Commissioners Joe Drietz and Mic VanDeVere, Sheriff Chad Meester, Lincoln County Treasurer Sue Paluch, Lincoln County Auditor Deb Vierhuf and Lincoln County Court Administrator Wendy Rost swearing them in.

By Tammy Mathison
hendrickspioneer@gmail.com

 
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners had several annual approval items on the agenda for their first meeting of 2015 on Jan. 6.
Prior to the start of the meeting, newly elected and re-elected county officials were sworn in. These included Commissioners Joe Drietz and Mic VanDeVere, Lincoln County Auditor Deb Vierhuf, Sheriff Chad Meester, and Lincoln County Court Administrator Wendy Rost.
Don Evers was re-elected to board chair, with Joan Jagt elected as vice-chair.
The meeting time and days remained at 9 a.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, with the Truth and Taxation meeting set for Dec. 1 at 2 p.m.
The appointment of the Ag Inspector was tabled.
The annual appropriation to the Legions and VFWs was approved at $100 per organization as well as the funding assistance for the operation of aeration systems at $300 per organization.
Committee appointments were made, as well as re-appointments.
The commissioners approved the newspaper bid for the placement of legals. The bid was made jointly between the Ivanhoe Times and the Buffalo Ridge Newspaper Group as the Lincoln County Editorial Association. Legal ads will appear in all four of the newspapers in Lincoln County—the Tyler Tribute, Lake Benton Valley Journal, Hendricks Pioneer and the Ivanhoe Times.

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

Show up . . sing . . save money by avoiding therapist

January 15, 2015

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Adam Christie

By Mark Wilmes
tributeeditor@gmail.com

 
Adam Christie has a message for you.
Yes, he is talking to you, there, in your living room.
He thinks you need to come to First English Lutheran Church (FELC) on Sunday afternoon at 4:15 p.m. and just see what you think. Christie is working on launching the Tyler Chorale, a community choir that he says will have a minimum time commitment but a major payback in a currency called “fun.”
The group meets Sunday afternoons from 4:15-5:15 p.m. at FELC. Christie says that in addition to having some fun, you will also be celebrating some Upper Midwest history.
“A good part of Minnesota heritage was people getting together and singing,” Christie said. “I’m hoping people of this area can get together and reconnect with this great tradition.”
Although the rehearsals are held in the church, he said the group is not a part of any church affiliation, nor is it part of the Southwest Minnesota Honors Choir that meets just before the Tyler Chorale.

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

Lustfield retires after 47 years

January 7, 2015

Retirement
A retirement celebration for Larry Lustfield and his Sportsman’s Barber Shop of Lake Benton was held this past Saturday afternoon. Lustfield is pictured above, center, as he chats with Clyde Krog during the farewell party.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
After 47 years of barbering, Larry Lustfield of the Sportsman’s Barber Shop in Lake Benton has decided to hang up his scissors for good and retire.
Lustfield became a barber in 1967 after graduating from the St. Paul Barber School. He decided that he was not satisfied with his current job at a tire shop in Sioux Falls, and barbering would be a good job to have.
Upon graduating from barber school, Lustfield worked in Canby as a barber’s assistant before he made the trip south to Lake Benton.
“There was a barber shop for sale in Lake Benton, and my brother lived around there,” said Lustfield. “The person wanted to sell the shop and retire, so I bought it, and he worked with me for about a year before he retired. Then I took over and bought the building from him.”
That building is currently the site of Happy Hound Dog Grooming in Lake Benton.
“I always like to say that place really went to the dogs,” joked Lustfield.

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

New mayor and trustees sworn in

January 7, 2015

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By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
To begin the first regular meeting of the Lake Benton City Council for 2015, Mayor-elect Barb Powell was sworn in along with trustees-elect Jack Redlinger, Susan Johnson and Al Lindemann.
The city council met with Gary Serie and Chuck DeBates of the Lake Benton First Responders to discuss options for the purchase of a new ambulance for the city.
The responders are in the process of trading off the current ambulance, and they have found a new one to purchase. It is a 2002 Ford E-450 7.3 liter diesel with 80,000 miles that comes out of North Dakota.
The current ambulance has over 150,000 miles.
It will be available by as early as next week.
The new ambulance has a $20,000 asking price. The first responders have the funds available in their budget for the purchase. The city will pay for the insurance and upkeep of the vehicle.
The council approved a motion to authorize the Lake Benton First Responders to purchase the new ambulance.
Debates also mentioned that six new members have recently joined the first responders.

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