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Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 Volume 25, Issue 31 Est. 1989

Town Crier

by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com

Lucky winners of Bluegrass tickets

Ticket recipients of the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Festival giveaway are as follows: Jennifer Burrows, Mark Conrad, Brian Czech, Jeff Davis, Katie Ellering, Susan Glazos, Jerry Guerrero, Chap Hiza, Colleen Hollinger Petters, Merry Hoppert, Mary Gilbert, Karna Kiplinger, Sandy Lalim, Matt and Lynn Larson, Lawrence LeClaire, Brenda Orth from Facebook, Diane Stommes, Clint Vastag and Rocklyn Woods.

Additional hours for absentee balloting

The Stearns County Auditor’s Office, Room 148, 705 Courthouse Square, St. Cloud will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9 and until 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 11 for absentee voting. For information, call Stearns County Auditor-Treasurer’s office at 320656-3920 or email elections@ co.stearns.mn.us.

Arts board seeks members

The Central Minnesota Arts Board is seeking volunteers to serve on its board of directors. The CMAB has served more than 34 years as one of 11 regional art councils designated by the Minnesota State Arts Board. The CMAB supports collaborative and innovative arts opportunities through partnerships and financial investments in Stearns, Benton, Sherburne and Wright counties. Applications will be accepted until Aug. 15. For more information, call the CMAB office at 1-866-345-7140 or visit www.thenewsleaders.com and click on Aug. 8 Criers.

Expo for Seniors focuses on State Fair

The 12th annual Expo for Seniors will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at the River’s Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud. This is a free event with free parking available in the River’s Edge Ramp. Free shuttle service will be provided from the Center Square ramp (located by Herberger’s) and St. Mary’s Church parking lot (Swan Lot). The featured speaker is reporter Boyd Huppert from KARE 11 TV’s “Land of 10,000 Stories” segment. For more information, visit www. thenewsleaders.com and click on Aug. 8 Criers.

For additional criers, visit www.thenewsleaders.com and click on Criers.

photo by Dennis Dalman

Todd Beumer of Collegeville Orchards near St. John’s University holds one of the bottles of his own honey at Market Monday, the farmers’ market in Sartell. Beumer is one of many vendors who sells fresh, home-produced products at the market, now in its fourth year.

Standing by his fresh mounds of colorful produce, Todd Beumer enjoys exchanging pleasantries with his customers at farmers’ markets. “I want to thank my customers,” he said. “With them, there would be no farmers’ markets.” Last Monday, during National Farmers’ Market Week (Aug. 3-9), Beumer was selling his products at Market Monday, the farmers’ market on the ground of Sartell City Hall. That market is open from 3-6:30 p.m. every Monday. Beumer and his wife, Cherie, own and operate Collegeville Orchards, west of St. Joseph, near St. John’s University. Beumer is a friendly regular at Market Monday in Sartell. He also sells his foods at the farmers’ markets at St. Joseph and St. Cloud State University. In addition, from

late August through October, there is a sales store open at Collegeville Orchards, a 14-acre spread where the Beumers grow everything from apples (24 varieties) to zucchini, and just about everything in between: carrots, cucumbers, gourds, green beans, kohlrabi, lettuce, potatoes, peppers, pumpkins (lots and lots of pumpkins), and more – not to mention grapes, strawberries and raspberries. Beumers’ crops are chemical-free, though not officially certified as “organic.” One exotic item Beumer sells is peacock feathers. He currently has one male peacock at his farm, and his parents, who live near Rockville, have 15. The Beumers also produce maple syrup for sale, as well as honey produced by the bees from the Beumers’ five hives. The couple has two children – Alex, 10; Maya, 5 – who help out in any way they Market • page 5

Grell participates in National Special Olympics games by Cori Hilsgen news@thenewsleaders.com

Local resident Maxx Grell recently brought back the “Gold” to his father for Father’s Day after scoring multiple medals in the 2014 Special Olympics USA games held June 13-21 in New Jersey. Grell’s mother, Sharon, said he was one of eight swim-

mers selected from the state of Minnesota to participate in the games and that each state brought at least four swimmers to participate. Pam Bergerson, vice president of sports and education for Special Olympics Minnesota, said Grell was one of eight chosen from 225 athletes who participated at the state event and earned a gold medal in a

qualifying event to attend nationals. Minnesota had athletes that competed in seven different sports. A total of 86 people, including athletes, coaches and others, travelled from Minnesota to this year’s games where more than 3,500 athletes participated. Grell participated in swimming and received a gold medal in the 100-yard freestyle, a

Widow hopes new workzone law will save lives by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com

Jodi Rajkowski of St. Joseph is hoping with all her might that a stricter work-zone traffic law will prevent roadway workers from being killed the way her husband was three years ago. Rajkowski is proud of the new law, which she helped push for. “It’s good,” she said. “Good. Good. We played a part in it, and I think it’s a start. It might not stop people from doing it (speeding in work zones), but it will make them more aware and hold people accountable for their actions.” Ron Rajkowski, 44, died Oct. 13, 2011 when a car veered off the road and killed him and a fellow worker, Craig Carlson. Both employees of the Egan Co. in Minneapolis, the two men were doing some work just off of a roadreconstruction project near the Twin

Cities. The man who hit them was from another state. He said he was adjusting his cruise control when his car veered to the left and, overcorrecting his steering, he caused the car to veer off the road, hitting and killing Carlson and Rajkowski. Rajkowski’s tragic, sudden death left his wife a widow and his two boys fatherless. Blake is now 11; Chase is 8. The new law requires posted signs saying that exceeding the posted speed limit in work zones will be punishable by a fine of a minimum of $300. Research by the Minnesota Department of Transportation has shown that signs saying “fines will be doubled” in work zones have little or no effect on many drivers, many of whom tend to mimic other drivers who are driving too fast through the zone. Since 2010, Minnesota has Work zones • page 5

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gold in the 25-yard backstroke, a bronze in the 50-yard freestyle and a bronze in the 4-by100 medley relay. To qualify for the national games, Grell had to first win a gold medal last year in his sport of swimming. He next completed the application paperwork, got three letters of recommendation and was inGrell • page 4

contributed photo

Chase Rajkowski, 8, proudly stands next to a photo of his father, Ron, at a “Road Workers Memorial Event” in the Twin Cities. Ron was killed when a driver veered into him and a coworker when they were working in a construction zone. Ron’s wife, Jodi, was instrumental in getting stricter laws passed regarding workzone driving violations.

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Blotter

People

Jeffrey Maleska, of St. Joseph, recently graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish cultural/literary studies from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul.

If any readers have tips concerning crimes, they should call the St. Joseph Police Department at 320-3638250 or Tri-County Crime Stoppers at 320-255-1301 or access its tip site at www.tricountycrimestoppers.org. Crime Stoppers offers rewards up to $1,000 Three St. Joseph students for information leading to the arrest were recently named to the spring and conviction of those responsible for dean’s list at the University of St. crimes.

Thomas, St. Paul. They are the following: Jazmin June 28 Brattensborg, Katrina Johnson 7:54 p.m. Animal complaint. 6th and Jeffrey Maleska. Avenue NW. A 27-year-old St. Joseph Students must earn a minimum male complained his dog was bitten grade-point averages of 3.5 to by a neighbor’s dog and suffered a qualify for this honor. Kathryn Baron, a native of St. Joseph, recently earned her master’s degree in rehabilitation and counselor education from the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

puncture wound to its hip and stomach area. The 34-year-old female owner of the dog who had caused the wound said her dog followed her children outside to play, offered to pay the vet fees and followed the owner of the injured dog

to the vet clinic to do so. Prior to her leaving, officer told her to quarantine dog for 10 days and keep on leash. She was also informed she would receive a letter by mail and a possible citation. June 29 10:59 a.m. Warrant. CR 75/CR 133. Stopped vehicle because of driving complaint that was called in. Identified driver. License check came back showing warrant. Confirmed with dispatch. Transported driver to Stearns County Jail for booking. 3:39 p.m. Shoplifting. Elm Street E. Coborn’s loss prevention dropped off reports, video and photos of a shoplifter from June 3. That night, manager caught an unknown male who walked out without paying for $142 worth of items. Manager did get the items back but did not identify suspect or call police at that time. Nothing further at this time. 8:48 p.m. Open container. Northland Drive/Hickory Drive. Four 21-year-olds, two males, two females were observed by officers walking along Northland Drive with beers in their hands and carrying a cooler. Officer stopped individuals and asked if containers were open; all had open containers. Issued citations to all for open container in public. July 1 2:30 p.m. Found property. 2nd Avenue NW. City maintenance turned in a cell phone found in the roadway. Called numbers on the phone and determined owner. Owner was called at work and came in to claim phone. 9:46 p.m. Suspicious vehicle. Ridgewood Road. Officer observed a vehicle park and turn lights off at the entrance to a business. Officer asked 27-year-old Foley driver what he was doing there and for his driver’s license. Driver stated he was parking for a bit before dropping his friend (27-year-old

Blotter • page 4

Friday, Aug. 8, 2014

Obituary

Joseph H. Klocker, 84 Waite Park, MN Feb. 23, 1930-Aug. 5, 2014

J o s e p h H e r m a n Klocker, 84, Waite Park, died Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, surrounded by his family, at the St. Cloud Hospital. His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, St. Cloud, MN. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8 at Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud, and one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Parish prayers will be at 7 p.m. at the funeral home on Friday. Private burial will be in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, Minn. Klocker was born Feb. 23, 1930 in Cold Spring, Minn. to Joseph J. and Mary Catherine (Fink) Klocker. He married Patricia A. Gohman on Nov. 8, 1956 in St. Cloud. He was employed as a heavy-equipment operator for Megarry Brothers from 1946-1951. From 1951-55, he served in the U.S. Navy. He then was employed by Barbarossa and Sons for 34 years, retiring in 1993. He was a member of Holy Spirit church where he was involved in many activities including Bouja sales. He was also a member of the American Legion Post #428 of Waite Park and Eagles Aerie #622 of St.

Cloud, and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49. He also volunteered his time with the Red Cross. Survivors include the following: his wife; daughters, Laurie (Joel) Vogel of St. Joseph; Kim (Keith) Schoenecker of Savage, Minn.; Theresa “Terri” (Steve) Dolphin of Mineral Point, Wis.; Jackie (Marc) Paulson of Menomonie, Wis.; son, Brian (Mary Koshiol) Klocker of Clearwater, Minn.; daughter-in-law, Lynn Klocker of Robbinsdale, Minn.; sisters, Agnes Mockenhaupt of St. Cloud; Francis Thiss of San Diego, Calif.; and brother, Donald Klocker of Taylors Falls, Minn. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren who lovingly referred to him as JoeJoe. He was preceded in death by his son, Mark Klocker on Aug. 7, 2007; parents; three brothers, Clarence, Sylvester and Irvin Klocker; and four sisters, Lucille Klein, Alvina Maehren, Marcella Smith and Isabella Peschl; and father-inlaw and mother-in-law, Peter and Isabella Gohman. The family would like to thank the staffs of St. Cloud VA Hospital, St. Cloud Hospital 5th-floor Oncology, Heartland Hospice, Sterling Park Health Care Center and St. Benedict’s Senior Community for the loving and compassionate care they provided for our husband and dad in the last months of his journey.

Published each Friday by Von Meyer Publishing Inc.

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Friday, Aug. 8, 2014

Wood teaches Kennedy students about writing by Cori Hilsgen news@thenewsleaders.com

At the end of the school year, local artist-in-residence Douglas Wood worked with fifth-grade students at Kennedy Community School to explore “A Writer’s Path.” Teacher Vicky Olston-Smith said Wood first met with students in a large-group session and entertained them with story telling, personal information and a song he had written. The song related to a story he told about perseverance. Later in the day, he met with individual classrooms where he encouraged students to follow a “writer’s path.” Through his sessions, Wood worked with students to help them understand accurate descriptions, creative language and word choice, and more. Wood helped the students describe a path they had seen, either in real life or in their imaginations. He also gave the students the three rules of being a successful writer – start, finish and edit. Wood finished the sessions by assigning the students to write about a personal path they’ve traveled and how they may have overcome some of the obstacles blocking their path. Two fifth-grade students shared their stories about Wood’s visit.

Here are the two responses: What I learned from Douglas Wood by Paige Cox The first thing we learned from Mr. Wood is he is a singer, songwriter, an author and so much more. He told us a story called The Windigo’s Return, and he sang us a song he wrote called That Minnesota Mosquito. Everyone enjoyed that. He showed us a couple of the books he wrote. Later that day, he came to our classroom. The first thing he taught us was the three steps of writing: Start, Finish and Edit. It doesn’t seem like much, but that second step can be extremely helpful. For his visit, we had to write an essay about a physical path. He told us to always keep your stories detailed so even if you made it up, it seems real. He also told us to use our five senses. For example: the tall red roses smelled fresh. Idea pile. Douglas Wood told us to use it. It’s where you pile up your ideas so you don’t get writer’s block in the middle of the story. When we started our story, he told us to misspell the first word. Why? So our rough drafts weren’t perfect. He showed us his first copy of his famous book, Old Turtle. It was pretty hard to read. He came back to our class about a month later to read our essays. Some of us read

our stories to the class. For the people who did read theirs, he told them what he liked about it, and what they could change. I think Douglas Wood coming in to talk to us made us all better writers. I hope we get to see him again. Our visit from Douglas Wood by Lydia Peters Douglas Wood is a musician, a motorcycle rider, a nature lover but most of all, a writer. Doug grew up not being able to read. He wrote a book many years later about his struggles with reading, and the teacher who taught him to read. It’s called: Ms. Little’s Gift. Once the book was published, he showed up at her house with the book and gave it to her. He told us about how happy she was when she saw him. This book is about not giving up. He told us the story Windigo’s Return, then played a song about that story. It was really funny. He told us more about himself then we had to go to recess. But he told us he would come to each of our classrooms separately. When he did, we talked about paths. Like what is on a path and stuff. Then we wrote about how our lives are like a path. Wood’s residency was funded by the Central Minnesota Arts Board. He is a published author of more than 30 books Wood • page 8

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Grell from front page terviewed. Grell trained by swimming with his Special Olympics Minnesota team and his nationals team. He also participated in a mock meet with the Albany High School girls swim team and practiced at the YMCA. The competitions took place during Father’s Day. When Grell’s mother asked him what he was going to get his father for Father’s Day, he said “a gold medal.” And he did.

Blotter from page 2

contributed photo

Maxx Grell is shown at the National Special Olympics games held June 13-21 in New Jersey. He was one of eight swimmers chosen from Minnesota to compete at the national events.

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Grell, who was born eight weeks premature, is the son of Jon and Sharon Grell. He has two sisters, Betty, 17, and Bridget, 20. Bridget is a coach for Special Olympics and was one of the coaches who worked with Grell to help him train for the games. The family all attended the national events. Grell became involved with Special Olympics when his coach, Eric Thede, thought he and his friends were great at floor hockey and started a poly hockey team. Poly hockey was the first Special Olympics Minnesota sport that Grell participated in.

Grell, 25, enjoys sports. He played adapted athletics in high school at Apollo High School and is a graduated student manager who still helps whenever he can. He also works at St. Cloud State University Garvey Commons dining services. Grell currently plays poly hockey, softball, track, swimming and bowling for Special Olympics Minnesota. He has won many gold, silver and bronze medals for Special Olympics Minnesota. Grell also enjoys fishing and has won ribbons at the Benton County Fair for his art and baking.

ger appeared nervous with bloodshot eyes. Officer asked if there were drugs in vehicle and asked to search vehicle. Driver and passenger consented. No drugs found. Passenger then left scene for work; driver waited for ride. Vehicle was left on scene. Citation was issued to driver.

not current. Letter sent. 9:48 a.m. Verbal argument. CR 3/CR 75. A 28-year-old male and 26-year-old female, both from St. Cloud, were arguing as officer checked campground. Both were trying to get a bag from each other. In speaking with other campers, they heard arguing but saw nothing physical. Officer advised both to pack up and move on. Both left on bicycles. 3:37 p.m. Traffic stop. CR 133. Officer stopped a small white vehicle because 21-year-old Little Falls female driver was not wearing a seatbelt. Upon running driver’s license, officer found driver had an outstanding warrant in Morrison County. After confirming with dispatch, driver was transported to Stearns County Jail without incident.

July 2 7:57 a.m. Dog complaint. Minnesota Street E. Caller found a black male poodle running at large in the 700 block. Officer followed dog for several blocks until it made its way home. Officer spoke with owner and advised him of situation. There have been no incidents in the past 12 months so verbal warning on dog at large. License was

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Friday, Aug. 8, 2014

Still time to enroll in police academy

Work zones from front page had 31 fatal crashes in work zones, with six of the victims roadside workers. Last year, there were 1,740 work-zone accidents, eight of them fatal ones. The new law, which went into effect Aug. 1, is the first change in work-zone laws in 15 years. The law also states if road or roadside workers are present and one lane or part of the traffic flow is closed down for more than 24 hours, the workzone speed limit will be lowered to 45 mph. Also, those drivers who ignore directions given by road workers controlling traffic can be fined a minimum of $300. Agencies can reduce work-zone speeds, depending on conditions, any time they think it appropriate. Before the new law, fines for violations in work zones varied from $50 to $200-plus, depending on the county. The average fine for a work-zone speeding violation last year was $212, according to MnDOT. Rajkowski is haunted by how her husband used to complain how many drivers would speed through work zones, oblivious to the obvious dangers and in some cases killing road workers or fellow motorists. Just a week before Ron was killed, he told her

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contributed photo

During a memorial for deceased road-construction workers, the Rajkowski family of St. Joseph is greeted by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton. At left in the photo is Jodi Rajkowski, widow of Ron Rajkowski, and their two children – Chase (foreground) and Blake. Their father was killed, along with a co-worker, by a car in a work zone near the Twin Cities. he probably wouldn’t live past the age of 50 the way some thoughtless and reckless motorists drive. Tragically, a week after making his sad prediction, his prediction proved to be all too true. Last year, Jodi, and Janet Carlson, the widow of the other man who was killed, joined with others and appeared to testify at hearings in the Minnesota House, in favor of a stricter bill. Jodi credited many others for their expertise, organization skills and time invested in tightening the law. They include Associated General Contractors of Minnesota; the Egan Co.; State Rep. Ron Erhardt

(DFL-Edina), who is chair of the House Transportation Policy Committee; and Lisa Raduenz of the Twin Cities, who had done a lot of work related to transportation issues and who befriended Jodi, and Janet Carlson. Many roadway workers Jodi has talked with remark about how, at the sound of squealing tires, they and others will jump with fear and quickly look up from their work, expecting to be hit by a vehicle. “I’m hopeful this (new law) will make a statement,” she said. “It’s frightening to think all that separates workers from speeding drivers is just a bunch of orange cones.”

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Get back into the swing of life

Anyone who wants to join Citizens Police Academy classes has until Aug. 15 to enroll by calling one’s local police department. The free classes, which begin Thursday, Sept. 4, will take place every Thursday from 6-10 p.m. at the Sauk Rapids Police Department – a total of nine classes through September and October. All applicants must be at least 18 years old, able to pass a criminal-background check and live in one of the participating cities. Those cities are Sartell, St. Joseph, St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids and Waite Park.

Market from front page can. Not surprisingly, the Beumers – far more than city-slicker complainers – always have one eye on the weather. “That’s always our biggest hurdle,” he said. “The weath-

The Citizens Police Academy course is a thorough introduction to police work, including traffic stops, investigations, narcotics, evidence and K9 training. Although graduates do not have any law-enforcement qualifications, they acquire a lot of information about police work that can be shared with others and thus help indirectly to make for safer cities. The number of the St. Joseph Police Department is 320229-9426. The Sartell department phone number is 320-251-8186.

er.” Besides their food-raising, the Beumers have other jobs. Todd is a landscaper and does some property management. Cherie is a speech pathologist at Melrose Elementary School. Collegeville Orchards is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. It opens this year Aug. 31, the day before Labor Day, and it closes the day after Halloween.

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Walk-ins Welcome

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Join our team! Are you looking for an environment where you are a key member of the team? Where your input and ideas are welcome? A place where you can have an impact? Newsleaders is looking for an entry-level associate to become a member of our team and family. The person we are seeking must enjoy variety; be flexible and a team player; have a strong interest in learning all aspects of the newspaper and publishing business; exhibit a positive, “can do” attitude; and be teachable and coachable. Participation in business and creative meetings as well as good communication skills is a must. Primary duties and responsibilities include: 1. Advertising sales 2. Administrative Support 3. Production Support 4. Community Engagement Email a cover sheet, resume and at least three references to Janelle at janellev@thenewsleaders.com

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Our View

St. Joseph Farmers’ Market brings local goodness galore

Minnesota has more than 175 farmers’ markets, and several of the best are right here in our own backyards – St. Joseph, Sartell and St. Cloud. Aug. 3-9 is National Farmers Market Week, a time to celebrate local growers, local markets and, last but not least, a blessedly abundant supply of fresh, delicious and nutritious foods. Farmers’ markets have been the forerunners of several healthy trends in recent years. Those trends include the “shop local” movement; an ever-increasing demand for fresh, locally grown products; a new awareness of the importance of quality nutrition (mainly eating more fresh vegetables, fruits, grains); a reluctance to buy mass-produced foods that have been treated with pesticides and herbicides; and a new interest by consumers in wanting to know where their food comes from and the methods that went into its production. This is not to suggest all mass-produced foods are bad or inferior. Furthermore, it’s impossible to buy all of one’s food locally. However, many people have discovered that getting even part of their food supply fresh-grown and locally produced is a good thing. As every great chef knows, fresh is best in every way. When farmers’ markets first began many years ago, there was a prevailing attitude they wouldn’t last, that they were a kind of back-to-nature, hippy-type indulgence favored by bunny huggers and pipe-dream environmentalists. But, in fact, year by year people of all walks of life are discovering the pleasures of farmers’ markets, not just for food but for a social nexus at which people can leisurely stroll about in the fresh air and meet and chat with interesting people. In essence, what happened is the “road-side food stand,” which has been around forever, morphed into a market where a stunning variety of that kind of road-side fresh food became more widely available. Farmers’ markets have long been a staple of European cities, stemming back to medieval times and even before. We recall the first farmers’ market in St. Joseph nearly 15 years ago. It was founded by a dedicated bunch of people who included visionaries from the St. Joseph Sustainability group, the St. Benedict Monastery and the two local colleges, as well as local growers eager and ready to sell their foods face-to-face with local customers. In its first few years, the market was located on the grounds of the old Del-Win Ballroom. Later, its venue became the grounds by the Wobegon Trailhead, with is winter market quarters inside Resurrection Lutheran Church. Each year, the Friday-afternoon market has been so successful it’s become a staple of the St. Joseph summer and winter seasons. From the very beginning, organizers added so many fun things to the market, such as musical performances, cooking demonstrations and kids’ games. It was yet another example of highlighting “local” – local talents along with local foods. During National Farmers Market Week, we salute the St. Joseph Farmers’ Market – its organizers and the local growers who make it such a success. We also salute all the farmers’ markets in the greater St. Cloud area and elsewhere.

Fairness and ethics

Newsleader staff members have the responsibility to report news fairly and accurately and are accountable to the public. Readers who feel we’ve fallen short of these standards are urged to call the Newsleader office at 363-7741. If matters cannot be resolved locally, readers are encouraged to take complaints to the Minnesota News Council, an independent agency designed to improve relationships between the public and the media and resolve conflicts. The council office may be reached at 612-341-9357.

Friday, Aug. 8, 2014

Opinion If it’s bad, Obama surely caused it Once again, the do-nothing Republicans in the U.S. Congress are making fools of themselves. Last week, they couldn’t even pass their own border-security bill. The week before that, they filed a lawsuit against President Obama, another desperately silly tactic in their ongoing war against our president. Voting 50 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act didn’t work. Shutting down the government and holding ObamaCare “hostage” (that stupid stunt led by Tea Party Wiz Kid Ted Cruz) didn’t work. Voting against everything Obama and the Democrats have ever proposed didn’t bring the Republicans any glory; no, that rampant obstructionism didn’t work – isn’t working – either. It’s tiresome to hear folks complain about that “worthless U.S. Congress.” Too many people who aren’t paying attention say things like, “They’re ALL good-for-nothings, Democrats and Republicans.” Trouble is, it’s not true. There are some hard-working Congress people trying to help solve problems and create opportunities for the American people. Even some courageous Republicans have braved right-wing reactionaries to work with Democrats and the president on some legislative efforts. However, the Frankenstein monsters the Republican Party have created – stitched-up Tea Party extremists like Ted Cruz – have pushed, pulled and stretched the party, like Turkish taffy, so far to the right its sole purpose for existing in the U.S. Congress is to squelch anything and everything the president proposes, even some that Republicans themselves had once proposed. The only thing that unites Congressional Republicans these days is a pathological hatred of our president, who is – to them – a

Letter to editor

Dennis Dalman Editor wicked sorcerer. They are as hysterically stirred up as the Puritan mobs and magistrates in Salem, Mass. in days of yore, looking for witches to hang. They want to un-elect the head witch. They want to cast their voodoo spells to make him disappear, fade away into the mists of history. Some day, hopefully by the mid-term elections, voters will come to understand just who are the do-nothings in Congress – the ones who belong to this cabal of anti-Obama extremists. Stuck in their rut, wheels spinning, they spend so much time revving up futile tactics to “neutralize” Obama they obviously have no time to work on any constructive legislation. The tune they sing is “Whatever he’s for, I’m against it!” Their lunatic lawsuit against Obama is just the latest example of nonsense brought to us, at our expense, by the Do-Nothing Party. The suit is based on the fact Obama has issued executive orders, in particular executive orders that delayed some provisions of his signature Affordable Care Act. What’s laughable is that they are the very same delays that were earlier demanded by vociferous Republican critics of the health-care plan. Go figure; they have no shame. Even though Obama has issued far fewer executive orders than presidents Reagan and

Bush II, radical right-wingers are accusing him of breaking the law by issuing such orders, thumbing his nose at the U.S. Constitution and acting like an imperial lawbreaker. The president has been compared, stupidly, to every villain in history, from Nero to Hitler. Our very own Rep. Michele Bachmann has been the shrill cheerleader for those wacky accusations to justify a lawsuit. They’re hollow charges that have no place in the realm of common sense, much less in a court of law. As Obama has said, with mordant irony, if Republicans had even tried slightly to work with him, these executive orders would not be necessary. Of course, according to the Tea Party playbook, Obama is responsible for anything bad that happens. It’s all his fault – the killings in Benghazi, Syrian civilian massacres, Russian interference in Ukraine, lack of respect for the United States, illegal immigration, sluggish economic forces, the use of food stamps, contraception, well . . . you name it. If that sounds silly, it is, because the president has been accused by Tea Party crazies like silly Sarah Palin of exactly those things – and more. By the mid-term elections, we’ll be hearing laments that Obama is responsible for droughts, forest fires, floods and disasters in general. Once their loony-tune lawsuit falls flat on its face, these witch-hunters can try yet another tactic they’ve promised for years – impeachment. Covering all bases, they can impeach the president for – among other high crimes and misdemeanors – causing bad weather, total eclipses and incoming asteroids.

Letter salutes St. Joseph, Sartell educators Elizabeth Harrison, St. Cloud, MN As another school year approaches, I’d like to give a nod to all of the educators working tirelessly to assure their students will receive an excellent education in the year ahead. As a former Minnesota Reading Corps literacy tutor at Madison Elementary in St. Cloud, I saw firsthand the work they did daily to shape the future of children in the community. Working in our schools is no easy task. One in three Minnesota third-graders does not read at grade level. When you consider 70 percent of jobs will soon require some form of post-secondary education, it’s never been more critical to ensure our students are on the right track.

One of my second-graders, whom we will call Caleb, started off our year together reading half a year below grade level. By the time he exited the Reading Corps program, he not only caught up but was reading at a fifth-grade level. I have no doubt these advanced reading skills have helped him in countless ways as he moved on in school. Minnesota Reading Corps tutors help our students learn to read by the end of third grade so they can read to learn from fourth grade onward. I am thankful I could help set Caleb up for success in his future academic endeavors. As a full-time tutor, I worked with 35 students during the course of the year. Minnesota Reading Corps and its sister program, Minnesota Math Corps, are still

seeking approximately 10 tutors to work with students in St. Joseph and Sartell schools. That’s more than 250 students who won’t receive the services they need if these positions are left unfilled – 250 students who may very well fall through the cracks. These programs rely on dedicated community members to serve a year. Please consider helping the children of Sartell and St. Joseph. For details, please go to www.MinnesotaReadingCorps.org or www.MinnesotaMathCorps.org. Again, I salute the great work St. Joseph and Sartell educators are doing, and I encourage anyone who is willing to serve to step up! Our children, and their futures, are certainly worth it.

Suing the president – or ‘impeachment lite’ So why is the House suing the president? First, you understand the House is made up of lawyers and suing is what lawyers do. Secondly, it’s because they know they cannot impeach him. The last time the Republicans tried to impeach a Democrat president, the press crucified them. That Democrat went on to be disbarred from the practice of law for lying to a Grand Jury and then, for no reason intelligent people could ever understand, became the darling of the Democrat party. Thirdly, even if they were successful with articles of impeachment, that would leave us with what has been identified as “impeachment insurance,” said Joe Biden. So they are left with only this attempt to embarrass the president. Let us now examine the real reason for this lawsuit. We are being told the suit is because the president is attempting to enact laws and change already written laws by executive order bypassing Congress, which they say is against the law. Well he is and he is obviously not the first president to do so. The problem for me is the laws he’s actually attempting to enact or change, not the fact he is doing so. It should come as no surprise to you I am no fan of this president or of his policies. But that said, he’s been elected and re-elected by the people. If he is guilty of lawbreaking, then

Ron Scarbro Guest Writer Congress should remove him. Otherwise, just keep quiet and work to defeat such policies in the next election. This lawsuit is nothing but political theater, period. It will be a gigantic waste of time and money designed to take voters’ attention away from the real issues facing us and creating a story for the press to follow. It’s a lot like the old carnivals which used to come to small towns. The dancing girls would come on the stage in their scanty outfits while the pickpockets moved among the crowd fleecing the gawkers. Does anybody really think this lawsuit will ever go anywhere? And even if it did, what would the Congress win? We already have a book of rules. We already have a Constitution. What we need is to have people in positions of authority who know and understand the law and work to enforce it. Our Congress passes numerous laws to stack upon the laws which

we already have but no one seems interested in enforcing the laws already on the books. Incidentally the House of Representatives holds the purse strings for the entire government and could, if they were truly serious, stop any action by any president by refusing to fund it. Clearly we don’t elect emperors. We don’t elect kings. We elect presidents and they represent all the people, not just the 40 percent who voted for them. Our laws should be enacted by the Congress as the Constitution requires. The president’s only role is to sign the law or to veto it. The Congress then has the authority, by that same Constitution, to override his veto. Suing this president might make some headlines, but it’s going to end up being a fiasco. Thoughtful, intelligent people need to sit down and figure out a way to get along for the good of the country and get on with the business of governing. Let’s leave theater to actors, not silly politicians. Scarbro is retired and spends most of his free time with his grandchildren having moved from Sartell to St. Simons Island, Ga.. Writing and commenting on the news of the day is a pastime. Visit his weekly blog at ronscarbro.blogspot.com for more commentary.

St. Joseph Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 Friday, Aug. 8 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-7332767. Grilled brat and hot dog sale, sponsored by St. Joseph Lions, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., St. Joseph Meat Market, 26 1st Ave. NW. St. Joseph Farmers’ Market, 3-6:30 p.m., near the Wobegon Trail Center, C.R. 2. Saturday, Aug. 9 Blood drive, 7 a.m.-1 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-7332767. Grilled brat and hot dog sale, sponsored by St. Joseph Lions, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Joseph Meat Market, 26 1st Ave. NW. Corn-on-the-cob feed and pork chop dinner, 4-9 p.m., St. James Parish, Jacobs Prairie. Monday, Aug. 11 Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-7332767. Market Monday, 3-6:30 p.m., Sartell City Hall, 125 Pine Cone Road N., Sartell. www.marketmonday.org. Tuesday, Aug. 12 Blood drive, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-7332767. Sartell Chamber of Commerce, 11:45 a.m., City Hall. 320253-2171. 55+ Driver Improvement program (four-hour refresher course), 5-9 p.m., Apollo High School, 100 44th Ave. N., St. Cloud, 1-888-2341294.

Community Calendar Arc Midstate Buddy Walk and Roll, 5 p.m. check-in, 5:30 p.m. walk, Sauk Rapids Municipal Park. 320251-7272. Holistic Moms Network, 7-8:30 p.m., Good Earth Co-op, St. Cloud. 320-252-2489. Wednesday, Aug. 13 St. Joseph Area Chamber of Commerce, 11:30 a.m., St. Joseph Community Fire Hall. www.stjosephchamber.com. SummerTime by George, 5-9 p.m., Lake George, St. Cloud. Free live concert by GB Leighton. Thursday, Aug. 14 55+ Driver Improvement program (eight-hour first-time course), 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Life Assembly of God,

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St. Joseph Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

8

What do you think of the movie in the park event? These folks are commenting on the free Outdoor Movie Night held Aug. 5 in which Free Birds was shown at Millstream Park. Event organizers said because of the good turnout, they will most likely hold another event yet this year and then hope to make it a regular thing beginning spring of 2015.

Friday, Aug. 8, 2014

Wood from page 3 for children and adults. He has received many awards, includ-

ing the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award for Old Turtle and the Christopher Medal for Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth. Wood is also a musician and plays the guitar, banjo and mandolin.

Author Kiffmeyer visits writers group Nick Gill, 14, St. Joseph “It’s a really big screen. Good popcorn.”

Tim Nelson, local business owner “It’s a good way to get everyone out and about.”

Carlee Reber, 6, St. Joseph “The people are eating the turkeys!”

Hannah Nuckolls, 6, St. Joseph “I’ve seen this movie before. I like the turkeys.”

Maddie Fowler, 14, St. Joseph “There’s a lot of people here!”

Andrew Figallo, St. Joseph “I’m glad they’re doing this for the community. I’ve been to drive-in movies before, but not like this in a park. It’s fun.”

Cade Illg, 14, St. Joseph “It’s a good time.”

Sam Pflueger, 14, St. Joseph “It’s kid-friendly.”

St. Joseph Police Officer Matt Johnson “It’s a great turn-out and a way to get the community together.”

Cody Nuckolls, 4, St. Joseph “I love the part when the humans chase after the birds. And we get some fresh air.”

Freelancers sought

The Newsleaders seeks freelance writers and photographers to cover town-specific events/meetings/personalities. Freelancers are paid per story/photo. If interested, please email a resume and a few writing/photo samples to janellev@thenewsleaders.com.

Megan Kiffmeyer, author of Moving On, will visit the adult writers group from 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 11 at the Al Ringsmuth Public Library, 253 5th Ave. N., Waite Park. The public is invited.

Kiffmeyer will talk about her writing and publishing process. She is a graduate of Technical High School in St. Cloud. Her novel, Moving On, tells the story of a woman who finds a new relationship after the death of her first husband.

photos by Tara Wiese

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