Elementary students put on a dazzling Christmas program

December 18, 2014

Concert 1
The preschool class at Lake Benton Elementary School is pictured as they show what angels they are during their performance of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” at last Thursday’s Christmas program.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton Elementary Christmas Program was held last Thursday evening in the school gymnasium.
The program, under the direction of band and choir director Marijane Borresen, commenced with the sixth grade band’s performance of “Jingle Bell Polka.” The sixth grade band then played “Castles and Kings” before the fifth grade band joined in for the performance of “First Christmas Overture.”
The four-year-old preschoolers took to the stage and belted out “S!A!N!T!A!” along with some holiday classics that included “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and “Jingle Bells.”
Next, Julia Drietz, Brooklyn Nielsen and Hannah Krog played “Deck the Halls” as a saxophone trio.

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

New managing editor at Buffalo Ridge Newspapers

December 18, 2014

Wilmes Mark
Mark Wilmes

A familiar face returns to the Tyler Tribute, Lake Benton Valley Journal and Hendricks Pioneer this week. Mark Wilmes has returned to duties as Managing Editor of the three publications in the Buffalo Ridge Newspapers network. Wilmes left the position with Clark Printing in 2009, but recently accepted an offer to return to the papers and started settling in to his old position on Monday.
Wilmes spent nearly five years in the wind power business, working for enXco beginning in 2009, which eventually changed its name to EDF Renewable Services. He also spent the past few months working at Page 1 Printers in Slayton. He says he is looking forward to the opportunity to bring you the news once again on a weekly basis.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to help promote three great cities in southwest Minnesota and help keep them informed.”
Wilmes and Publisher Chuck Hunt will be doing some brainstorming on how to continue to improve the papers and make people look forward to seeing it in their mailboxes.

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

City transfers public housing units to county

December 18, 2014

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton City Council unanimously approved the transfer of the city’s low-rent public housing units from the Lake Benton HRA to the Lincoln County HRA.
The LBHRA reviewed options for reducing their yearly deficit, and this option was agreed upon as the best course of action. Transferring the public housing to the county will reduce the levy for the City of Lake Benton.
Based on 2014 tax rates, a $20,000 levy would cost each taxpayer in Lake Benton $0.0919 per tax capacity unit. That same $20,000 levy added to the county’s levy would come out to $0.0011 per tax capacity unit. For this financial reason and various other reasons, the transfer was requested and approved by both HRA boards, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners and now the Lake Benton City Council.
The council discussed the appointment of a trustee to the city council for a two-year term. The council agreed to appoint Al Lindemann to the council’s vacant two-year position.

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

Weather causes power outages across the region

December 18, 2014

By Mark Wilmes
tributeeditor@gmail.com

 
Widespread power outages affected thousands of Lyon-Lincoln Electric customers from Monday afternoon through Tuesday as this edition was being put together. Rain turned to freezing rain on Monday, followed by snow and blowing snow, closing schools and postponing events throughout the region.
Outages were reported from the Highway 14 corridor north, including Tyler, Lake Benton, Hendricks, Ivanhoe, Canby, Marshall, Russell and Minneota. A automated message helped handle the surge of calls to Lyon-Lincoln Electric, explaining that they were working to restore power around the clock, but it was unknown how long the process would take.

Opera House Christmas Show held

December 11, 2014

Christmas show newspaper 1
Picturted from left to right above are Gwen Serreyn, Ryelle Tuszynski, Faith Determan, Elizabeth Determan, Sydney DeVries, Elsie Bedow, Jenaya Drietz, Aliyah Drietz and Joslynn Drietz—the Snowgirls—performing their dance number at the Lake Benton Opera House Christmas Show.

For more photos, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

Blumeyer, Schreurs recognized for years on Extension Committee

December 11, 2014

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Lincoln County Auditor Kathy Schreurs, pictured above left, and Commissioner Curt Blumeyer, below left, were presented with certificates of appreciation from the University of Minnesota Extension by Kate Johnson at the Nov. 16 meeting of the Lincoln County Commissioners. The certificates read, “To recognize your dedicated and distinguished service to the people of Minnesota through contributions as a Lincoln County Extension Committee Member.”

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By Tammy Mathison
hendrickspioneer@gmail.com

 
Representing the Extension office, Kate Johnson presented Commissioner Curt Blumeyer and Lincoln County Auditor Kathy Schreurs with Certificates of Recognition from the University of Minnesota Extension at the Dec. 2 meeting of the Lincoln County Commissioners. The certificates read, “To recognize your dedicated and distinguished service to the people of Minnesota through contributions as a Lincoln County Extension Committee Member.”
Lincoln County Engineer Dave Halbersma reported that the department is working with the DNR Wildlife Management office to plan culvert work on County Road 9. There are protected wildlife species including two particular butterflies and a species of turtle in that area that need to be taken into account with the planning of the work, which should take place next year.
Halbersma reported that there have been issues with the county shop in Hendricks with three electrical items burning out in three weeks. The first was an air compressor, then the hot water heater and most recently, the electric motor on the overhead door. The electrician was contacted along with OtterTail. No cause has been found yet, but the possibility of a power spike is being checked into.

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

Elkton-Lake Benton winter concert held Thursday

December 11, 2014

Winter Concert 1
The junior high band is pictured performing “Variations On a French Carol” under the direction of Nicole Perry.

Winter Concert 2
The high school choir is pictured performing “O Come and Sing of Christmas” under the direction of Susan Sudtelgte during last Thursday evening’s winter concert in Elkton, S.D.

For more photos, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

Advent Concert set for this Sunday

December 4, 2014

Advent Concert 1
Advent Chorale members are pictured at St. John’s Lutheran Church last Sunday, Nov. 30, as they rehearse musical selections in preparation for this Sunday’s Advent Concert.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
St. John’s Lutheran Church of Lake Benton will host its second annual Advent Concert at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7.
Barb Trageser, who has been directing the St. John’s choir off and on for nearly 20 years, shared her thoughts about the event.
“If you enjoyed last year, bring a friend along this year because it will be better than before,” said Trageser. “This year, it took more to bring out the powerful voices, but we also chose more challenging music this year. We’re not professionals, but we’re really talented.”
With over 30 choir members from area WELS churches, the chorale has been rehearsing throughout the month of November in order to prepare for this special evening of music.
Area WELS churches that are participating in the concert are from Elkton, Ward, Pipestone, Tyler and Lake Benton.

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

Advent Concert 2

City’s public housing units may transfer to County HRA

December 4, 2014

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton City Council was presented information regarding the transfer of the city’s low-rent public housing units from the Lake Benton Housing and Redevelopment Authority to the Lincoln County Housing and Redevelopment Authority at their meeting on Monday.
This potential decision comes following a reduction in annual operating subsidies to the LBHRA from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The LBHRA has 25 units of HUD public housing currently under its authority, and due to insufficient funding, the decision has been made to transfer the 25 units to the LCHRA with a target date being July 1, 2015.
The 25 units include 20 units in the Valley Manor and five single-family residences on the west end of town.
The LBHRA had a $14,600 deficit this past fiscal year, and the LCHRA had a deficit of $10,200 this past fiscal year. The difference between the two is that the LCHRA uses a tax levy in order to support its mission. The LBHRA has never exercised its authority to levy taxes, but the city, along with other cities in the county, has been paying for the LCHRA levies throughout the years.

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

City approves tax levy

December 4, 2014

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton City Council held a truth in taxation hearing and certified the tax levy for the coming year during its first regularly scheduled December meeting on Monday.
The general fund levy will increase six percent from last year at $148,400. This equates to an approximate $3 per parcel per year increase for taxpayers. The council also approved a levy of $77,000 for the USDA improvement fund. The levies were unanimously approved.
The council authorized City Administrator Eileen Christensen to make the final payment to Ferguson Waterworks for the city’s new water meters in the amount of $4,833.21. A certificate of substantial completion was also approved, and with the approval of the payment, the project is now finalized.

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