Opera House to present “The Wizard of Oz”

July 17, 2014

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Cast members of “The Wizard of Oz” are pictured working on choreography at a recent rehearsal. From left to right are Shelly Finzen of Lake Benton, Alexis Christensen of Lake Benton, Emilirose Rasmusson of Ivanhoe, Catlin DeRocher of Beresford, S.D., Samantha Fleet of Lake Benton, Rachael Blake of Tyler, Chesney Panka of Ivanhoe, Zoe Roelfsema-Hummel of Pipestone and choreographer Sonya Karels of Minneota.

The Lake Benton Opera House will present the classic story, “The Wizard of Oz,” for 10 performances opening July 24. The show boasts a cast and crew of over 50 area residents.
The Opera House board decided to present the show in 2014, the 75th anniversary of the movie starring Judy Garland.
Starring in the show will be Samantha Fleet of Lake Benton as Dorothy Gale, Tom Schmitt of Porter as the Cowardly Lion, Taylor Holck of Madison, S.D. as the Tin Man and Emilirose Rasmusson of Ivanhoe as the Scarecrow. Paula Nemes of Marshall will return to the Opera House stage as the Wicked Witch of the  West, with Baily Hintz of Canby appearing as Glinda, the Good Witch.
The show will also feature a variety of Munchkins, Ozians, Poppies and Jitterbugs from non-Kansas towns like Lake Benton, Tyler, Pipestone, Marshall, Ivanhoe, Tracy and Ruthton. Caroline Koska of Marshall, Jeanine Fricke of Lake Benton and Adam Madsen of Brookings, S.D. will provide the accompaniment.

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

Pribyl resigns from city council

July 17, 2014

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton City Council held a special meeting on Monday, July 14 to address the resignation of Councilman Guy Pribyl.
According to Pribyl’s resignation letter, he made his decision to resign for peace of mind and health reasons because of conflict within the council and stress caused to him by what he feels as unfairness within the city.
Pribyl’s resignation was unanimously approved by the council members present.
After consulting with legal counsel, City Administrator Eileen Christensen explained that because an election will be taking place later this year, the council has the option to appoint an interim council member, or they can hold off on that appointment for the next six months and be short one council member until elections are held.
This decision will be made at the next meeting of the Lake Benton City Council on Monday, July 21.
The council approved the declaration of a vacancy on the city council, and a spot will be added to the election ballot for a two-year term to finish off the remaining two years of Pribyl’s four-year term.

Sommers resigns as County Emergency Manager

July 17, 2014

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
At Tuesday’s regular meeting, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners accepted the resignation of Lincoln County Emergency Manager Jeanna Sommers effective Aug. 8.
Sommers has accepted a job with the State of Minnesota in Homeland Security Emergency Management as a regional program coordinator for Region 4, which is the west-central area of the state, and she will be moving closer to her family.
She began work for the county in 2011 just prior to the massive storm that came through the county that summer.
“It’s been a great three years,” said Sommers. “I greatly appreciate everything that you guys have done for me to let me grow this position to really work with the community members and work with the responders and build those relationships.”
In turn, each commissioner thanked Sommers for her service to the county.
“I’d like to congratulate Jeanna for all the service she has given and the opportunities that are ahead of her,” said Commissioner Larry Hansen.
“We hate to see you leave,” said Chairman Don Evers. “We wish you the best of luck.”

Honoring Independence Day

July 11, 2014

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The American flags were in full glory at Memorial Hill Cemetery this past Friday as the nation celebrated Independence Day.

No one fights alone

July 11, 2014

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Coworkers and friends of Jen Adolph are pictured outside the Lake Benton Bar last Wednesday during the Fightin’ for Jen Benefit. Jen is pictured fifth from the left in the back row.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
A benefit entitled “Fightin’ for Jen” for Jen Adolph of Lake Benton was held last Wednesday evening at the Lake Benton Bar & Off-sale.
On June 12, Jen was diagnosed with stage 4 invasive ductal carcinoma. This type of cancer originates in the breast then metastasizes throughout the body via the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
“I want to remind everyone that just because they tell you 40 for a mammogram doesn’t mean you should wait,” said Jen. “Early detection is the key. If you feel like something’s wrong, don’t wait. Get yourself checked!

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

Sod House Theater to host workshops in Lake Benton

July 11, 2014

Sod House Theater, a site specific Twin Cities-based theater company, will be bringing six professional performers known for their work on the stages of Minneapolis’ Guthrie, Children’s Theater and Ten Thousand Things to teach free theater classes for performers age 15 and older. Workshop classes will focus on creating a character through techniques such as physical comedy, clowning, mask and improvisation. All participants in the class will be given a speaking role in a site-specific production of “Peer Gynt,” a magical Norwegian tale for the whole family to enjoy. For more information contact Darcey Engen at Engen@augburg.edu.
The free theater classes will be held 6:30-9 p.m. Aug. 13-15 and Aug. 18-20 with outdoor performances of “Peer Gynt” on Aug. 21 and 22 at 7 p.m., all at the Creamery Park in Lake Benton.
Master Classes will be held Aug. 16-17 with times to be announced.
This is a free event for the whole family. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and a picnic lunch and enjoy!

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

No riding on sidewalks

July 11, 2014

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
At the first July meeting of the Lake Benton City Council, Police Chief Guy Harding addressed the issue of individuals riding bikes or skateboards on city sidewalks.
“It is a safety issue,” said Harding. “It is unsafe for the kids to be riding on the sidewalk with the elderly people coming in and out of the stores. It’s really a thing that needs to be dealt with by the parents instead of by law enforcement.”
It is prohibited by city ordinance to ride bikes and skateboards on sidewalks, and if the issue continues, action will be taken against offenders.

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

County moves to design new electrical room

July 11, 2014

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners authorized Lincoln County Emergency Manager Jeanna Sommers to contact Falls Architecture Studio, LLC and move forward with the design of the new electrical room for radio communication equipment in the Lincoln County Courthouse and law enforcement center.
The initial quote for the project from Baldridge and Nelson Architects and Engineers, Inc. came in just under $50,000.
Sommers explained that the county’s siren maintenance agreement was unanimously approved by all the cities within the county, so all of the county’s emergency sirens are now covered regarding maintenance.

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

Proudly walking at Relay For Life

July 3, 2014

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Cancer survivors are pictured during Relay for Life.

By Robert Wolfington
tributeeditor@gmail.com

 
Gloomy clouds hovered over the Lincoln County Fairgrounds Friday afternoon as Relay For Life of Lincoln County was set to begin its annual event.
Once the opening ceremonies began the skies started to clear and the sun began to shine, creating the stage for a positive event in support of cancer research.
A number of teams from around Lincoln County set up camp sites with activities, food and other goodies for the overnight fundraiser.
Buck Barber of Arco served as the Honorary Survivor. Barber spoke about his experience as a survivor since he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s-Lymphoma in November 2012.
“My caregivers have been there for me for rides and staying with me in Sioux Falls during my stem cell transplant,” Barber said in a story printed in the Relay For Life program.

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

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Samantha, left, and Kim Fleet helped provide entertainment during Lincoln County Relay For Life.

Vizecky retires as Sheriff of Lincoln County

July 3, 2014

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Retired Sheriff Jack Vizecky is pictured above shaking hands with County Commissioner Larry Hansen during Vizecky’s retirement party at the Lincoln County Courthouse last Friday.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
A retirement party for outgoing Lincoln County Sheriff Jack Vizecky was held last Friday at the Lincoln County Courthouse on his last official day of duty.
Vizecky has been in law enforcement within the county for over 34 years. Eleven of those years were as police chief in Hendricks before Vizecky stepped up to the county level as deputy for four years. He then became Lincoln County Sheriff and has held that position for the past 19-and-a-half years.
At the age of 66, Vizecky has decided to step down as Sheriff. This decision came after he attended a Public Employees Retirement Association meeting in April.
At the meeting, there was talk about recent legislation that was passed that would restrict cost-of-living increases for a two-year period for elected individuals who retired after July 1, 2014. The ambiguous wording within this piece of legislation is the reason for Vizecky leaving his office before his term was up at the end of this year.
“It didn’t make any sense to keep going because I could have lost the cost-of-living increase for the next two years,” explained Vizecky. “It could have been a very costly decision had I decided to hang on, so that was the reason that I decided to go.

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