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, Dec. 7, 2012 Volume 23, Issue 48 Est. 1989 Town Crier Tree lighting, caroling event tonight The annual tree-lighting and caroling festivites, including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. tonight, Dec. 7 in Downtown St. Joseph. The evening will include the lighting of a 17-foot Christmas tree on the outdoor plaza of Bello Cucina (the corner of Minnesota Street and College Avenue); caroling by Kennedy Community Middle School Singers, Benedictine Sisters Schola Choir and members of the St. Joseph Church adult choir; and indoor festivities, including refreshments and gift bags, at the LaPlayette. Participants are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item for the St. Joseph Food Shelf. For more information, call Margy Hughes at 320-249-6779. Wacosa recycles holiday lights Don’t throw those old holiday light sets in the garbage. Recycle them instead. WACOSA, in collaboration with the Recycling Association of Minnesota, is collecting unwanted light strings, electrical, telephone and appliance cords this holiday season. Several area businesses have collection boxes for these items that can be brought in during their regular business hours. These locations include the following: Brenny Transportation and Lee’s Ace Hardware in St. Joseph, Sentry Bank in St. Cloud and St. Joseph. For more information about the holiday light recycling program or if you would like collection bins for your business location, please call Beth at WACOSA 320-257-5182. Photo contest promotes safe winter practices Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management wants to make sure Minnesotans are prepared for both outdoor and indoor hazards. HSEM sponsors an annual photo contest. Amateur photographers, adult and youth, are encouraged to take good-quality digital photos of winter nature scenes, holiday gatherings, outdoor sports and kids enjoying winter. The contest runs from now to March 1. Prizes will be given away in each category at the end of the contest. Minnesotans must remember to assemble a winter-weather-survival kit. It should include: a blanket, hat, boots, gloves, flashlight with good batteries, snacks, matches, a tin cup to melt snow for drinking water and a bright ribbon to tie on the vehicle’s antenna to alert authorities help is needed. Visit www.hsem.dps.mn.gov for more information. Postal Patron Cold Spring officer’s murder stuns area by Dennis Dalman firstname.lastname@example.org Memorialized as a “brother, uncle and friend to many,” Cold Spring-Richmond police officer Thomas Decker was Decker buried with full police honors Wednesday after a funeral at St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville. Decker, 31, is the father of four children: Kelly, 8; Jade, 7; Justin, 6; and Devon, 5. Decker was murdered at 11 p.m. Nov. 29 in Cold Spring photos by Janelle Von Pinnon while attempting to check on the St. Joseph Police Officer Joel Klein diwell-being of a man who was rects traffic during the funeral procesreported to be suicidal. While sion Dec. 5 for slain Cold Spring-Richgetting out of his squad car in a mond Police Officer Thomas Decker, parking lot behind Winner’s bar, who was killed in the line of duty Nov. Decker was struck by at least 29. More than 2,300 vehicles from agencies throughout Minnesota and even from neighboring one bullet fired from a secondstates participated in the procession to show solidarity and support. The vehicles traveled side- story window above the bar. The by-side in the procession, which lasted 30 minutes. alleged shooter lived in an apartment above the bar. Decker was pronounced dead at the scene. The alleged shooter, Ryan Michael Larson, 34, was apprehended after a search in the St. Cloud Area School Dis- would like to see in the next board members, school staff, heart of the city. He remains trict 742 will hold two com- superintendent. Current Super- parents, students and commu- in Stearns County Jail and is munity input sessions Tuesday, intendent Bruce Watkins has nity members individually and expected to be charged with at Dec. 18 to help select a new served his resignation and will in focus groups in the next least one count of murder. Larsuperintendent. The first at 10 step down June 30, 2013. couple of weeks. Community son had been a student at St. a.m. at Whitney Senior Center; The input sessions are open members will also have the op- Cloud Technical College. the second at 7 p.m. at the to all staff and community mem- portunity to give confidential Officer Decker’s tragic death Apollo High School Resource bers. The District 742 Board of written feedback to the consul- shook the Cold Spring comCenter. Education has contracted with tants via the school’s website. munity and sent shock waves Community members are School Exec Connect, a super- Using this information, a profile throughout Minnesota. Flags asked to help determine chal- intendent search firm to as- of the desired skills and characwere flown at half-mast, and lenges, strengths and goals for sist with the search. A select teristics in the next superintenGov. Mark Dayton issued a statethe district as well as what group of consultants along with dent will be developed. Paper Decker • page 4 School • page 3 characteristics and skills they the search firm will meet with Community input sessions set to select new superintendent Caregivers share journeys during local event by TaLeiza Calloway email@example.com There is no universal recipe to be a good caregiver. Everyone has his or her own flavor and style. Whether caring for a spouse, parent or friend, one of the main ingredients is remembering each is not alone. About 15 caregivers gathered Nov. 29 at the St. Joseph Community Fire Hall to learn about area resources and networking as they shared their journeys. There were tears, there was laughter and there was unity among the group. Some had taken care of loved ones for years, some had lost loved and others were there to learn what’s needed to be a caregiver. Marjorie Henkemeyer, health and wellness minister at the Church of St. Joseph, said the presentation and gathering had three main purposes. The goal of the event was to celebrate the caregiver, provide a means to network and to share information about being a caregiver. The networking component of the day is where attendees thrived. “I think it went well,” Henkemeyer said. “They’re sharing their stories and networking. It helps to share.” St. Joseph resident Peg Walsh appreciated the information she received from the event. She is preparing to care for her 82-year-old mother. Her mother lives in the Twin Cities so Walsh came Nov. 29 to get more information about the transition process for her mother and herself. “It was very interesting,” Walsh said. “I feel ready to get started.” In addition to the sharing of resources by organizations including the Central Minnesota Council on Aging, the Assumption Community in Cold Spring and Arise Home Health Care, nursing students from the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University moderated a panel of caregivers. Panelists spoke about role Caregiver • page 8 www.thenewsleaders.com photo by TaLeiza Calloway Marjorie Henkemeyer, health and wellness minister at the Church of St. Joseph, talks about the materials included in a caregiver guide she created.