By Dan Kuss
Mayor Mike Carpenter told the city council he has met with Legal Counsel Mike Cable, Executive Director Heather Ulrich-Glynn and Bar Committee person Al Lindemann and said they have a bid proposal packet near completion to sell the Lake Benton Municipal Bar and off-sale liquor store.
A classified ad will be posted with the Valley Journal covering Lake Benton, Tyler and Hendricks in Lincoln County on July 25 and Aug. 1 in addition to advertising in the Marshall Independent and the Brookings Register.
Anyone interested in proposing a bid can see Ulrich-Glynn to view the packet at the city office after noon on Tuesday, July 24.
The council set a bid proposal opening date of Aug. 15 at 5:30 p.m. in a closed meeting and hopes for a full council to be present.
Lindemann is an over the road trucker and said it is possible he could be 1,000 miles away at the time.
Carpenter updated the council on the library project saying the pre-construction meetings have been held with USDA Rural Development dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s, setting August as a start time and December as completion date. Rural Development suggested accepting bids from Thompson Electric for the electric and (Vern) Paschke and Lang for the heating and cooling of the building. Both are Lake Benton companies.
Carpenter said the city did a better job of saving money by going this route and the council approved pending certification of no taxes paid by the city.
A concerned citizen had a few water, sewer and gutter drainage questions during the open forum at the beginning of the meeting which Maintenance Supervisor Todd Draper addressed.
The council will follow up on a few property cleanups within the city and has received one letter saying the property owner will work with the city, hadn’t received a response from another and will chat again with a third.
The council will schedule dates for budget meetings at the first meeting in August.
Trustee Carl Burk updated the council on the status of administrative tickets and said the city is reviewing specific ordinances to see what the city can and cannot do as it doesn’t want to get in trouble with the state sub-ordinances.
Minimum fines were set at $300 while maximum fines were set at $1,000 and the committee should know more by the next meeting.
Draper said the rock for the seal coating will be left on the streets until the weather cools down a bit as the oil could leak through creating more of a mess.
Draper also said MnDOT has a problem with a pole by the slough at Highways 14 and 75 in the Xcel Energy – Otter Tail Power transmission line upgrade.
The city must sign off on an approach that goes nowhere and the council approved the clerk and mayor to sign after legal counsel approves.
The council has also met with legal counsel on the legal description of the land Kenny Nielsen inquired to purchase and Carpenter said it makes good sense to advertise the sale of the land to protect the city.
City Clerk Rosie DeZeeuw presented deferred loan payments for the rehabilitation grant for a total of $17,191 and the council approved payment when funds have reached the bank account.
The special meeting for Cottage Streethas been posted in the Valley Journal and will be held on Tuesday, July 24 at 7 p.m.
The next meeting of the Lake Benton City Council is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the City Office/Heritage Center.Filed under Community |
By Dan Kuss
LeAnn Winship and her daughter Jeanine Fricke’s unique doll houses made almost exclusively from recycled and repurposed materials have been on display for the past several weeks at First Security Bank in Lake Benton.
Winship and Fricke were looking for something to do during the cold Minnesota winters and since both have made doll furniture before, enlisted the help of their husbands, Miles Winship and Dan Fricke to form “On 2nd Thought” to try it on a larger scale.
“It all actually started in my childhood a long time ago when my mom made me a doll house complete with accessories,” said LeAnn Winship. “We built four doll houses when my girls were little and I began making small scale furniture and accessories for them to play with.”
Dan Fricke now builds the 30 inch tall by 30 inch long, 14 inch deep houses with an open faced front and includes tiny electric lights in each of the rooms while Miles Winship cuts the pieces for the furniture that LeAnn and Jeanine fashion and cover.
Winship and Fricke then design and construct every modern household accessory imaginable from discarded material.
“We made some furniture for our grandkids and decided it would be a fun family project to do when mom and dad moved back near us,” said Jeanine Fricke. “Mom was looking at her asthma vials one day and asked if we could use them for anything.”
“We make the kitchen blender, a vacuum cleaner, coffee maker and canisters with real food in them out of the vials and lamp stands out of old broken golf tees.”
Winship said it takes her a whole morning to make a fireplace out of an empty soap box and almost a whole day to make a sofa using plastic mesh as a base.
“Mom makes the sofa, chairs, ottomans and bigger pieces while I work on the smaller, little pieces and the pianos,” said Fricke. ”Out of one used lipstick tube we make an umbrella stand, a lamp base and a wastebasket complete with garbage.”
“Hot glue drippings which we later paint after they dry make excellent grapes in a bowl and hamburgers and eggs for the frying pan.”
Toilets are made with little wooden flower pots while plastic vials make excellent toilet paper holders, fireplace tools and faucets while sinks are made from the little jelly containers that accompany toast at a restaurant.
“We used to make curio cabinets from plastic spices jars but they are mostly glass now,” said Winship. “The only glass we use is the mirrors for the safety of the kids.”
“We have to make things durable so the kids can play with it, though they still have to use care.”
Ceiling fan blades are made from Popsicle sticks and old watches make great Grandfather Clocks.
Samples of wallpaper cover the walls in each room while rugs are made out of shelf liners.
“The more we do the better things get,” said Fricke. “If we make something and it falls apart, we just try again maybe using a different type of glue until it sticks.”
The Winships and Frickes have four such doll houses including a Victorian model with windows that is very intricate in detail.
“We have learned not to do siding out of popsicle sticks like we did on the Victorian as it is extremely time-consuming, like building a miniature house, cutting in around the windows,” said Winship. “No two items are exactly alike and everything is very intricate and creative in detail.”
“We use real food in containers and simulate everything in a household including quilts, plants, beds, dressers, doilies and everything else using mainly repurposed materials.”
The doll houses and accessories will be on display for a while longer at First Security Bank and will also be on display at the Lake Benton Craft Sale this fall, King of Trials, Highway 75 Flea Market in September in addition to other craft shows inTyler, Hendricks and Lake Benton.
The houses and accessories are available for purchase and can be seen on the On 2nd Thought Facebook page or www. on2ndthought.biz website.
For more information or to place an order contact Jeanine Fricke at 507-828- 1285 or email email@example.com.
“We have accessories for all seasons of the year and items can be purchased separately or with a house,” said Fricke. “We almost took out a house for sale, new construction, fully furnished ad in the newspaper for a nominal price, but didn’t because we didn’t want to confuse anybody.”Filed under Community |
Gary Serie has been chosen this year’s Relay for Life of Lincoln County Honorary Chairman. Gary and his wife Shirl own and manage Lake Benton Hardware/NAPA Auto Parts in Lake Benton.
Gary was diagnosed with cancer on Friday, April 13, 1984 following several months of doctoring with a family doctor for lower back pain. “They thought I had kidney infections,” recalls Serie. “I think I drank about ten gallons of cranberry juice during this time.”
The doctors performed an ultrasound and found a mass in his abdomen, luckily not in any vital organs. “To make me more nervous, when I had surgery at the Methodist Hospital in Minneapolis my doctor was Dr. “Gamble”.
A biopsy of the tumor showed cancer but the tumor was not removed. “To hear you have cancer is devastating; but they also told me that it was the type that is 95% curable.”
His treatment plan consisted of four chemotherapy treatments. “I went into the hospital on Monday and would start getting chemo until Friday through intravenous feeding,” said Serie. “Then on Friday night they would give me a drug that made me sick for 4-5 hours.” He would then return home on Saturday, only to go back to the hospital in a month for the next treatment. “The treatments would run me down and it would take a month to get strong enough for the next one.”
When asked about what one goes through when a cancer diagnosis is made, Serie stated, “When you have cancer your life just goes into a tail spin. If it hadn’t been for my wife, Shirl, I never would have made it through the ordeal. She kept me going as well as taking care of our two boys, ages 5 and 10 at the time, as well as keeping our business going when I was too sick to be there. She was my “rock” and still is today.”
In regards to the rest of his family, Serie says they were all very supportive in his recover process, both in taking care of the store and for lodging during his treatments in the Cities. “Our boys were just great as they did what they could and understood to the best they could that we were in a fight with a bad disease.” To make things even more stressful, Serie’s father passed away suddenly in between his second and third treatments.
Serie also credits his church and the rest of the community with his recovery efforts, “They were very supportive and offered to help in any way they could. Without them it would have been a lot more difficult.”
“Cancer makes you look at life differently,” Serie said emotionally. “You think about what is important and change your priorities and how you look at life. Relay is a wonderful thing as it helps bring people together to work for a common cause – to beat cancer.”
Serie will be speaking at this Friday evening’s event. He has been very active on the committee for the Relay for many years, heading up the Logistics Committee.
The Relay for Life of Lincoln County will be held Friday, July 20 at Gilson Field in Ivanhoe. This will be the final year in Ivanhoe as next year’s Relay returns toTyler. This year’s event schedule can be found elsewhere in this issue.Filed under Community |
In 1985, one man who wanted to make a difference in the fight against cancer ran 83 miles in 24 hours. Now 3.5 million Americans, follow in his footsteps by participating in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. Relayers fromLincolnCountywill demonstrate how their commitment to end cancer brings hope and healing at the 2012 Relay For Life event on July 20 at Gilson Field in Ivanhoe.
Organizers of the Relay For Life of Lincoln County explain that the event is held every year as a way to celebrate loved ones who have battled cancer, remember those lost and to come together to fight back against the disease.
“Being a part of Relay For Life means showing the world that there is hope after cancer. We are here tonight to showLincolnCountythat this is what hope looks like,” says Relay For Life volunteer chair Carrie Johnson.
The Relay For Life event of Lincoln County benefits the American Cancer Society in the local community. Funds raised at Relay For Life will enable the American Cancer Society to support local services and resources for cancer patients and their families. Funds also support critical cancer research and community education programs designed to teach people how to reduce their risk of developing cancer.
This year’s event will kick off at 5 p.m. on July 20 with a pork supper that will last until 7 p.m. Attendees will be able to purchase luminarias to honor loved ones, stop in at the Smart Shop, the Advocacy Booth and the silent auction. Cancer survivor sign-in runs from 5-6 p.m., with team photos and cancer survivor photos to follow, beginning at 6 p.m.
The entertainment will commence at 5:45 p.m. with acts including areaVacation Bible School students, members of the cast of “Seussical,” showing this summer at the Lake Benton Opera House, and The Trio (Kristy Gifford/Marty Rost/Chris Clarke).
Opening Ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m., including the singing of the National Anthem by the Lincoln HI Choir. The ceremony will conclude with introduction of survivors and the Victory Lap for Survivors.
The inspiring Luminaria Lighting Ceremony will begin at dusk. The silent auction will close at 10 p.m.
For a complete schedule of events, see the ad elsewhere in this newspaper.
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227- 2345 or visit cancer.org.Filed under Community |
By Dan Kuss
Local recording artist Lonny Carpenter recently recorded and released his new patriotic song “We Are” to the public about military personnel presently serving in the Armed Forces.
Carpenter performed the song live for the first time at the Lake Benton Memorial Day service at the Opera House on May 28 along with his songs “The Greatest Generation” and “Vietnam” accompanied by Bassist Jerry McCollough.
“I had never thought about writing it until we played a WWII POW Banquet recently,” said Carpenter. “As we were packing up a lady came to our table to buy a WWII and a Vietnam DVD and asked me to sign her copies.”
“She said her grandpa fought in WWII, her dad inVietnam, her brother in Desert Storm with another brother fighting inIraqright now. Have you ever thought about writing one for the guys there now?”
Carpenter said he sat down one day soon after and started diddling with his guitar when he came up with the first line, “I’m not WWII, Korea orVietnam” and that’s when it all started.
The song begins with a snare drum beat and rolls into vocals depicting service since the Desert Shield unrest and Iraqi occupation inKuwaitleading up to Desert Storm in January of 1991, into the war on terror inAfghanistanwhich began on Oct. 7, 2001 and Operation Iraqi Freedom which began in March of 2003.
Carpenter took time and care to revise the lyrics to make parts of the song more politically correct and less offensive to some while still getting his message across to everyone.
“I just got the mixed down version of the CD and I’m in the planning stages for the DVD which should begin in the near future,” Carpenter said. “The song has been well received wherever we’ve played it live but it’s kind of sad to see that many young people don’t come out to some of these events like the Memorial Day program.”
Carpenter’s lyrics slow to a talking part which explains that freedom is a fragile thing and the soldiers fighting now are the new liberators.
“If you don’t know what America stands for ask the ones who have fought on foreign shores,” sings Carpenter. “We need the right attitude to preserve the red, white and blue.”
The song ends with an emotional final instrumentation of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Copies of the CD are available now while the DVD video version will be out in the near future with a visual image planned of the Air Force flying in the Missing Man Formation.Filed under Community |
By Robert Wolfington
IVANHOE — Lincoln County Commissioner Don Evers of Lake Benton has been appointed to represent Lincoln County on the Western Community Action Board.
John Fitzgerald, executive director for WCA said previously the board included commissioners from the member counties along with other community leaders.
“We got away from that,” said Fitzgerald.
WCA serves people in need in the counties of Lincoln, Lyon, Redwood,Jackson and Cottonwood.
Evers term is for three years and he will be taking over for Loretta Lundberg who previously represented Lincoln County but has stepped down.
The commissioners approved a road sign for Becker’s Resort in Lake Bentonthat would direct motorists to the resort.
The commissioners said Becker’s Resort would be responsible for the cost of the sign.
Lee Amundson, Lincoln County engineer opened four bids for a road grading project in Limestone Township.
The winning bid came from Midwest Contracting of Marshall.
The contact will be awarded during the next Lincoln County Commissioners meeting.
A presentation on a paperless office was also given during the meeting.Filed under Community |
By Dan Kuss
Local artist Michelle Weber’s work is featured in Amanda Radke’s children’s book, “Levi’s Lost Calf,” which can be purchased at the Lake Benton Public Library.
Radke had written the book and held a contest online to find a painting for a front cover, so Weber submitted one of her paintings and won the contest.
“A month after I won the contest, Amanda was looking for an illustrator for the potential book and asked for some sketches,” said Weber. “It was an interesting chain of events, I drew some sketches and sent them on a Tuesday, she called on Wednesday and we met with the publisher on Friday.”
“It went really fast so it didn’t give me a chance to over-think or over-critique my work. I got the first one done and the rest just flowed.”
Weber and Radke had been monitoring each other’s work on their respective social media blog sites ever since the contest.
Radke, based out of Mitchell, S.D., writes for Beef Magazine and seven other publications while Weber contracts commission work on the side, where people send her photographs and she turns them into paintings.
The book process started in late June and the publisher wanted a fall deadline. Radke had submitted the story thinking it would never happen and a month later the two were diving into it.
“We set a deadline of one month for ourselves and I was to do 21 paintings in that month,” said Weber. “I was working full-time at Pipestone Publishing as a graphic designer so all the work I did was after hours and on my breaks.”
“I found myself looking forward to sketching on my lunch hour and 15 minute breaks. It had always been my dream to be an artist.”
Work on the book progressed in July and early August and “Levi’s Lost Calf” came out in September.
“I quit my job the first week of September about the time the book came out,” said Weber. “Now I paint full-time.”
Weber started painting in high school and initially went to college for art, but switched her major to marketing sociology in order to find a job that would pay the bills while continuing her love of painting.
“I met my husband Jesse, who raises cattle, and also work with him on the ranch,” said Weber. “I drive the grain cart, help with calving and breeding and plan to paint in the off-season.”
“We have come full circle farming and ranching atWeberLandand Cattle and there is never a dull moment.”
The Webers were expecting their first child on July 3, but their son Wacey was born on June 24.
“I planned to take some time off from commission work after the baby arrived,” said Weber. “I am working on eight paintings at once to get them all done before July.”
Weber and Radke have been asked about producing another book in the near future and both are open to the idea.
In addition to painting and ranching, Weber speaks at public events and recently gave two presentations on her art and illustrations at the Lake Benton Public Library’s Summer Reading Program entitled Dream Big: READ.
“It started at the Lake Benton Area Foundation Gala where I donated a book and a painting I did in college,” said Weber. “Lisa (Schardin) was interested in my work and we exchanged contact information.”
Schardin contacted Weber to speak and present two workshops for participants of the Summer Reading Program and also ordered 25 “Levi’s Lost Calf” books to sell at the library.
Weber said each of the sessions had a great turnout and six books were sold the first day with 12 sold the second day. Books are still available for sale at the Lake Benton Library.
“After some time off to spend with the baby, I plan to do more of my own work which keeps the creative juices flowing,” Weber said. “The future is wide open for my painting.”
Weber’s Facebook page is titled “Michelle Weber Custom Paintings.”Filed under Community |
By Dan Kuss
Lake Benton Elementary has been ranked in the top 15 percent of the highest performing Title I schools in Minnesota earning the school designation as a Reward School by the Minnesota Department of Education for 2012.
The Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR) is a more accurate and fairer accountability system based off of proficiency, growth and progress in closing achievement gaps to include graduation rates replacing the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act due to a waiver the state applied for last year.
“The goal is to close the achievement gaps and it makes me feel good we were in the top 15 percent,” said Superintendent/Principal Ryan Nielsen. “I feel it is a reflection of the hard work and great things we are doing here atLakeBentonElementary School.”
Lake Benton Elementary is one of 128 Title 1 schools in Minnesota earning the honor of Reward School.
The other two designations are Focus and Priority Schools. Elementary schools were scored on three out of the four categories, minus graduation rates, at 25 points per category.
Reward schools are designated on a year by year basis while Priority schools, five percent of the most persistently low Title 1 schools in the bottom 25 percent, are on a three year rotation based on growth, showing how a student has grown to prove that a school is doing its job. The middle designation is Focus schools which are 10 percent of Title I schools making the biggest gains on closing achievement gaps.
The accountability system takes into account the unique challenges facing each community providing districts with the flexibility necessary to create a turnaround plan that best addresses a school’s particular needs.
Lake Benton Elementary is based on poverty versus non-poverty performance and achievement as it does not have racial diversity issues.
“We have a faculty, staff, parents and a community that supports our school which is why we are aRewardSchool,” said Nielsen. “It’s a total team effort and we will continue to work hard to move up from good to great.”
“The last thing we want to do is become complacent with this Reward School designation.”Filed under Community |
By Dan Kuss
A group of nine young people between the ages of 18 and 30 from all over America, including one from Donegal, Ireland wearing PRO LIFE t-shirts walked through Lake Benton on Tuesday to raise awareness for Pro-Life.
The Crossroads Pro-Life Walk Across America began on May 19 fromSeattle,Wash.and will end on Aug. 11 inWashington,D.C.There are four groups simultaneously walking across America and this group is the northern group.
“We walk across America for the sanctity and dignity of all human life, especially the unborn, from conception until natural death,” said Mario Mannering of Donegal,Ireland. “I did this with my sister in Ireland last year and decided to do it in America this year.”
“I do this absolutely for the cause, but it’s nice to seeAmericatoo, since I’ve never been here before.”
The group met each other for the first time in Seattle, Wash. before setting out on their journey and also shares their message in churches on the weekends.
“It’s a walk of faith and God provides each step of the way,” said Stephanie Culy of Sacramento, Calif. “I carry Baby Anthony with me to signify that if a woman got pregnant on the day we started, the baby would be this size, 12 weeks, when we finish.”
Baby Anthony is a model of a 12-week-old infant in the womb doll that Culy carries with her every step of the way.
The group has one or two people walking 24 by seven followed by a van to protect the walkers who rely on donations from the churches they speak in to help pay for food and gas as they go.
They also travel in an RV for sleeping purposes and prepare meals for the entire group at parks and campsites.
They walked throughLakeBentonon Highway 14 towardTylerin the evening and met back at Hole- in- the-Mountai n Park to eat and camp for the night, driving the night shift walkers back to the point where they left off in the van.
The group averages 60 miles per day and all happen to be of the Catholic faith that walk all night and meet for Mass every morning.
They plan their route and find Mass, church services and places to stay on the Internet via the Smartphone that Team Leader John Ahearn ofLos Angeles,Calif.carries with him.
Besides Ahearn, Culy and Mannering, the group consists of Amanda Schrauth of Waucousta, Wisc., Josh Bathon of Greenville, S.C., Grace Farley of St. Louis, Mo., Kirstin Kleb of Nokesville, Va., Allison DeWolf of Burk, Va., and Peter Atkinson of St. John near Brunswick, now of Washington, D.C.
“We all write something unique and different on the water jug every day,” said Farley. “I have to say, this is the healthiest summer of my life with all the walking.”
The other three groups walking acrossAmericafor Crossroads are the southern group which left fromLos Angeles,Calif., the south central group fromSan Jose, Calif. and the central group from San Francisco, Calif.
All four groups will meet at the finish in Washington, D.C.on Aug. 11.
Each of the groups also hands out brochures and stickers informing people of their great cause.
“We appreciate your prayers for our safety,” said Culy. “We also pray for you and for all human beings, born and unborn.”Filed under Community |
By Dan Kuss
The school board approved a consent agenda containing minute review and approval for the May 16 meeting and fiscal approval of expenditures and faculty contracts for 2012-2013.
A consent agenda speeds up certain processes in a meeting.
The school board heard presentations by insurance representatives Pam Veire of Continental for property and Jerry Kozlowski of RAM for workmens compensation.
Veire said the quotes were pretty much the same as last year only about $940 higher due to global increases across the board.
Several enhancements to the standard policy provide a lot more coverage to include computers and outdoor property such as the tractor in addition to an additional automobile.
Kozlowski said the only change in work comp is a revised payroll from 2010 and experience modification.
Continental also proposed a work comp quote which Veire said may not be as competitive and came in $1,861 higher than RAM.
The board approved keeping things as they are for 2012-2013.
The board also opened bids for milk from Avera Pace which will still be provided by Dean Foods, bread from Earth Grains of Eagan formerly Sara Lee, a company bought out by Bimbo from Mexico, gas/diesel from Veire’s at .04 cents a gallon off, Lake Benton Valley Journal as the official newspaper and Hendricks Hospital for nursing at $47.50 per hour including travel and mileage.
The board approved each of these bids as there was only one quote per line item.
The board approved the revised budget for the 2011-2012 school fiscal year with revenues of $2,053, 011.61 and expenditures of $2,135,443.95.
“The gap had closed a long ways and may close even more,” said Nielsen. “There were no drastic cuts and we’re headed in the right direction, but it would be nice to get our money back from the state.”
The board unanimously approved a resolution in a roll call vote for the Springsted and aid anticipation application in the amount not to exceed $277,100, which are funds set aside at a very low interest rate if necessary
The school hasn’t had to use the funding and pays it back every year, but it is a good thing to have if needed.
The board also approved a resolution and established dates for filing affidavits of candidacy for school board election.
Potential candidates may file in the district office from July 31 to Aug. 14 by 5 p.m. and will be published in the official newspaper, the Valley Journal, two weeks prior to elections.
The board approved the contract for new hire, third grade teacher Angela Coe.
“We had a nice stack of applications with good quality candidates,” said Nielsen. “It was a tough decision but Angela will bring good experience to our school.”
The board reviewed and approved the Internet Acceptable Use Policy 524 which is a mandatory policy.
The Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) revised the policy according to a federal law mandate.
The board approved the 2012-2013 Capital Expenditure for Health and Safety Budget. Funds cannot be spent unless the summary is approved.
The only two capital outlay projects for 2012-2013 are the music curriculum upgrade at $13,500 and the introduction of iPad computer tablets for classrooms with a $3,000 grant from the Lake Benton Area Foundation.
Nielsen hasn’t ordered either as he is cautiously waiting to see what funds look like and hoping for the company to cover shipping and handling costs.
The iPads may be cut back a little for the classrooms and students will not be allowed to take them home.
Nielsen said the new seal-coating of the parking lot looks good and that they used infrared heat to fix the hole in the basketball court at the playground before seal-coating it. Lisa Arndt would like to sell her property west and south of the bus garage to the school. The property is valued at $8,200 and Arndt wants $10,000.
The school may consider a donation if the barrels and other debris on the property is cleaned up and removed.
Nielsen said in his district report that the preliminary budget for next year has been finalized, the gym floor looks nice with the new logo and waxed floor and that the school is not sure of enrollment for next year as preschool registers in July.
Nielsen also said the school received recognition as a State of Minnesota Reward School for 2012 which is in the top 15 percent in the state and quite an honor.
The next regular meeting of the Lake Benton School Board has been moved to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 16 as Superintendent/Principal Ryan Nielsen is scheduled to be out of town on July 18.Filed under Community |