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Reaching Everybody! Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid St. Joseph Newsleader St. Joseph, MN 56374 Permit No. 21 ECRWSS Postal Customer Newsleader St. Joseph Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 Volume 24, Issue 6 Est. 1989 Munden a top fundraiser in polar plunge Town Crier by Dennis Dalman Council hosts meeting about community center For taking an ice-cold plunge, MaryBeth Munden of St. Joseph raised almost $1,700 for the Minnesota Special Olympics. She was one of the two top fundraisers among the 1,000 “plungers” who took an icy dip into a lake at Maple Grove Feb. 2. It was the third of 16 “Polar Bear Plunge” events scheduled for this winter throughout Minnesota. Sponsored by law-enforcement agencies, the plunge events raise funds, through pledges, for Special Olympics Minnesota. This was Munden’s fourth time in a Polar Bear Plunge, which is now in its 16th year. “It was cold, but it was fun,” Munden said. “The temperature was about 15 degrees. But we all had a good time. And they had the event set up really well this year so we didn’t stay cold for long. Right after our plunge, we sat in hot tubs for awhile.” The 1,000 plungers, divided into smaller teams, all took their frigid plunge City Council representatives will host a meeting to discuss the proposed community center and elements that should be included in a facility at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12 in the St. Joseph City Council Chambers. All residents are welcome. Pastiche performs Pastiche, the faculty chamber music ensemble from the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 in Escher Auditorium in the Benedicta Arts Center on the campus of the College of St. Benedict. The program will feature a wide variety of music from Bach, Beethoven and Puccini to David Evan Thomas, Duke Ellington and others. Featured performers include David Arnott (violin), Andrea Fedele (oboe), Carolyn Finley (mezzosoprano), Marcie Hagen Givens (soprano), Ted Godbout (piano), Amy Grinsteiner (piano), Patricia Kent (soprano), Lucia Magney (cello), Bruce Thornton (clarinet and flute) and Edward Turley (piano). 320-363-5777. Candlelight trails night set Feb. 15 Ski, snowshoe or hike 1.4 miles of trails by candelight from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 in Charles Lindbergh State Park, Little Falls. Afterward, visitors can relax in a 1938 wood-heated log-cabin-style shelter building. Ski rentals are available in Little Falls. Snowshoe rentals and vehicle permits are available at the park office. In case of bad weather call 320-616-2525. The park is located at 1615 Lindbergh Drive S., on the southwest side of Little Falls. For more information, visit and click on Criers. Volunteers sought for reading, math support St. Cloud Area School District 742 needs volunteers to assist students with their reading fluency and comprehension as well as their basic math skills. Volunteers should know basic math as well as have experience with reading. For more information on this and other United Way volunteer opportunities, visit and click on Criers. Postal Patron within one hour. Munden had two fellow team members – her boyfriend, Rick Welch of Sartell; and her long-time friend since childhood, Jill Vonfeldt, who flew to Minnesota from Colorado for the event. Munden, who is the dispatcher for the St. Joseph Police Department, grew up in Colorado. So far, the Maple Grove Polar Plunge raised $126,231, but those are only online pledges, and more are still coming in. Plunge • page 5 contributed photo Holding hands and gritting their teeth, MaryBeth Munden of St. Joseph and Rick Welch of Sartell prepare to take the plunge Feb. 2 at a lake in Maple Grove. The couple and their teammate, Jill Vonfeldt of Colorado, raised nearly $1,700 for the Minnesota Special Olympics for their brave participation in the “Polar Bear Plunge.” The Maple Grove plunge is one of 16 scheduled for this winter throughout the state. It’s sponsored by law-enforcement agenices throughout Minnesota. Rajkowski reacts to sentencing contributed photo Ron Rajkowski was killed Oct. 13, 2011 when a car veered into a construction site along a road in Burnsville. A coworker, Craig Carlson of Ramsey, was also killed. by Dennis Dalman Jodi Rajkowski knows all too well the sentencing of the man who caused her husband’s death won’t bring her husband back, but she’s hoping Ron’s death might cause drivers to slow down and not drive foolishly – especially in work zones. Last week, a Dakota County judge sentenced Kirk Edward Deamos, 23, to 30 days in jail and 200 hours of community service, as well as a fine of $100. Earlier, Deamos, who is from Raymore, Mo., pleaded guilty to one count of careless driving, which is a misdemeanor. The stiffest sentence Deamos could have received was up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine and possibly a restitution amount. On Oct. 13, 2011, Deamos was driving on Hwy. 35W in Burnsville when his car veered to the side into a construction site, striking two workmen and killing them. The workers were Ron Rajkowski, 44, of St. Joseph; and Craig Carlson, 47, of Ramsey. According to the prosecutor in the case, Deamos could not be charged with a felony for two reasons: He was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident and he did not flee the scene. Therefore, gross negligence could not be proved. The widows of Rajkowski and Carlson (Jodi and Deb), who have become friends, agreed jail time would be rather pointless for Deamos. Instead, they urged the attorneys and the judge to require Deamos to do an increased amount of community service and to either do work with children who have autism or do road work. “We’d rather have him put in community service by working on roads,” Jodi said. “That might help him understand the dangers those workers (construction workers and law enforcement) have to face every day.” Rajkowski and Carlson are contacting legislators, urging them to increase penalties for distracted driving, especially in work-zone areas. “The fines should be doubled,” Jodi said. “These kinds of accidents can happen so quickly and so easily. We are all guilty of sometimes being distracted while driving, but we all have to learn not to do that. These kinds of deadly incidents can happen to any of us – even to someone on the side of the road fixing a tire. We’ve got to realize that.” Jodi said she firmly believes stricter penalties would have an impact, just as tightened penalties have decreased the rate of drunken driving and increased the use of seatbelts. “There should be an automatic $100 fine for hitting a construction person,” she said. The two widows are also pushing for enhanced safety features at roadway construction sites, such as more barriers. “It’s so sad,” Jodi said. “There’s nothing we can do for Ron or Craig, but at least we can try to get something done before it happens to someone else. Those workers out there are doing their jobs and working on our behalf. We should Rajkowski • page 4

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