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Track Team Places in Six Events Benefit for Belle Plaine Man Saturday Page 4 Town Tigers Win Two of Three at Tigertown Classic Page 17 Page 17 ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIRST YEAR BELLE PLAINE, MINNESOTA, JUNE 13, 2012 75¢ SINGLE COPY NUMBER 24 A 125-year-old barn at the Stender farm in Belle Plaine Township was damaged but is fixable. Sunday Tornado Damages Belle Plaine Area Farms A Lot Going on Downtown This Friday and Saturday This year’s Belle Plaine German Days queen candidates are, from left, Katelyn Zurn, Cassandra Caola and Kourtney Klug. Sitting in their house Sunday evening shortly after 8, Sherry and Mike Krentz heard the windows vibrating. The sky was dark and the wind powerful. They thought about taking refuge in the basement. A few minutes later, it was over. “It got kind of weird, windows sucking in and out,” she said Monday. “It happened so fast. It was about 20 seconds from the time it started.” The couple spent much of Monday dealing with insurance adjusters and visiting with neighbors checking in to make sure they were OK. At their farm on German Road in Blakeley Township (County Road 53) just north of Highway 19, one silo was destroyed and two others were damaged. The roof was torn off a barn. The machine shop was “structurally damaged,” Krentz said. Debris was scattered for hundreds of yards to the north and east. Monday, the National Weather Service confirmed an EF-O tornado it described as “weak” A Classic Car Roll-In will touched down Sunday around kickoff Belle Plaine’s 30th an8:15 p.m. It packed winds be- nual German Days celebration this Friday and Saturday. The Damages event will coincide with the Downtown Community Cook(continued on page 6) out on Friday from 5-8 p.m. The introduction of the 2012 Bar-BQ Days queen candidates will also take place Friday evening (see list at end of article). The Whitesidewalls Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue and Street Dance will take place downtown from 8 p.m. to midnight. The Whitesidewalls have been one of the Midwest’s most well-known 1950s and 1960s doo-wop and rock & roll show band. This will be The Whitesidewalls third performance in downtown Belle Plaine in the past several years. A dance contest, the prize for Events Added for 30th Annual German Days which includes an autographed guitar, will take place during the performance. Saturday’s Events Saturday’s German Days events will start at 11 a.m. with the annual Motorcycle Run. You can start signing up for it at 9:30 a.m. There will be stops and door prizes in several towns. The German Days Parade will begin at 1 p.m. The lineup will take place near the Belle Plaine Clinic at 700 Prairie Street West. The route will proceed past The Lutheran Home to Main Street and then downtown. Participants are asked to check-in at the starting spot at least 30 minutes prior to the start. The grand marshals are Marilyn Koepp and Ray Meierbachtol (see separate story). The post-parade program downtown, which will again be emceed by Rick Brown, will include the German Days Queen Coronation. This year’s three candidates are Cassandra Caola, daughter of Robert and Michelle Caola; Kourtney Klug, daughter of Joe and Cammy Klug and Doreen Klug; and Katelyn Zurn, daughter of Audrey and Daniel Zurn. The Minnesota Minn-e-Rods Tractor Pull returns this year and will take place downtown starting at 3 p.m. Professional Wrestling featuring maineventer and local fan favorite Downtown (continued on page 6) Neighbors and friends stopped by the Krentz farm in Blakeley Township to help with cleanup Monday. A silo and out building were destroyed. Two silos were damaged. Marilyn Koepp and Ray Meierbachtol are grand marshals of this year’s Belle Plaine German Days Parade. At the Jeurissen farm in Belle Plaine, a large pole barn was destroyed when strong winds hit Sunday around 8:15 p.m. Business to Hold Grand Opening Saturday Belle Plaine Transmission and Auto Service will hold a grand opening this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 815 Prairie Street East. It’s the former Belle Auto building located next to the Subway restaurant. There will be a pig roast and sloppy joes will also be available, as well as refreshments. Belle Plaine Transmission and Auto Service will open for business 7:30 a.m. next Monday. It will be open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Belle Plaine Transmission and Auto Service specializes in automatic and standard transmissions, overhauls and Grand Opening (continued on page 5) Steve Cheever (head mechanic), Janelle Alken (bookkeeper) and Harm Alken (owner) will operate Belle Plaine Transmission and Auto Service. Marilyn Koepp, Ray Meierbachtol Grand Marshals of Saturday’s Parade by Dan Ruud The Marilyn Koepp and Ray Meierbachtol families have a lot in common – both their ancestral roots are in Germany and both have for decades operated farms in rural Belle Plaine. Marilyn’s and Ray’s spouses both died in the early 2000s. Before that, the two couples took trips together, including to Alaska and Hawaii. On Saturday, Marilyn, nee Stier, and Ray will have one more thing in common as they will be grand marshals of Belle Plaine’s 2012 German Days Parade. The Koepp family’s dairy farm is located near German Road in Blakeley Township, which is where Marilyn still lives. Her son Wayne currently operates the farm. All of her other children also live close by – Sherry (Krentz), Mark, John and Kim. Marilyn has nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Marilyn’s husband, Norman Koepp, died in 2000. Marilyn’s parents, the late John and Alma Stier, also farmed in the area most their lives. Marilyn’s great-grandfather, August Stier, made the voyage to America from Ger- many in about 1875 when he was a young boy. He too became a farmer. Marilyn, who graduated from Belle Plaine High School in 1957, said she never learned to speak German, but her parents could. “When the folks didn’t want us to know something, they talked Grand Marshals (continued on page 4)

June 13 2012 Belle Plaine Herald

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