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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 Sartell Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 Volume 18, Issue 1 Est. 1995 Town Crier Postal Patron Year in Review Verso tragedy dominated news in 2012 by Dennis Dalman Sartell Sr. Connection Pat McNeal will share his photos and stories of Japan at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 8 during the monthly Sartell Senior Connection at the District Office Building at 212 3rd Ave. N., Sartell. McNeal will touch on Japanese culture, the importance of the island’s mountainous and volcanic landscape, an ascent of Mount Fuji, the influence of Shintoism and Buddhism, the beautiful Japanese gardens and the world’s largest fish market. Refreshments will be served. Compost site to accept trees The Sartell compost site will be open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5 so residents can bring in their Christmas trees. The service is free to any Sartell resident, but each driver is requested to bring a non-perishable item for the local food shelf. ReStore seeks volunteers ReStore is seeking one-time and ongoing volunteers to staff its store. All proceeds go to Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity to build more houses. If interested in volunteering, call Melanie Blake at the Habitat office (320) 656-8890 ext. 104 or email Furniture program neeeds donations Community Furniture Program is in need of slightly used beds, dressers, and table and chairs. The Community Furniture Program in St. Cloud is a non-profit organization which provides gently used furniture to those who are living without beds and other basic furnishings. If you have gently used furniture to donate especially single beds, dressers and/ or table and chairs, call (320) 6569004. Pick-up service is available. Any donation is tax deductible. United Way opportunity Help sick St. Croix Hospice is in need of people to volunteer their time visiting with terminally-ill patients and their families in the St. Cloud and surrounding areas. Training is provided. They also have volunteer opportunities in their office such as filing, answering phones, and special projects and events. Call Melissa, St. Croix Hospice volunteer coordinator, at (320) 252-2803. INSERT: Appliance Smart See inside for our Year in Review! contributed photos Above: A Sartell bystander shot this photo of a helicopter scooping water from the Mississippi River to help douse the flames during the Verso paper plant fire on Memorial Day 2012. Inset: Smoke billows up from the Verso plant as seen from this view taken from the west side of the Mississippi River. The year 2012 in Sartell will forever be known as the year the paper mill died. On May 28, Memorial Day, an explosion and fire at the Verso paper mill resulted in the death of an employee, Jon Maus of Albany, injuries to several employees and – ultimately – to the permanent shut-down of the iconic factory, which is as old as the City of Sartell – 106 years. Entire generations of residents worked at the plant, which was also an economic bedrock as one of the prime taxpayers of the city for so many decades. Shock waves of the catastrophic incident reverberated throughout the area all through the year and continue to trouble the city into the new year. Two big questions remain: Will its displaced workers find adequate new jobs in the area? Will a new industry or other purpose be found for the Verso site along the river? Another ongoing concern in Sartell was a public tempest over the behavior of the SartellReview • page 3 Survey shows residents want library, senior center by Dennis Dalman If wishes become realities, then a senior center and a library will be part of a Sartell community center, when and if one is built. A recently released survey indicates residents definitely want a library and senior center as amenities within a center. Among other items on people’s wish lists, according to the survey, are a swimming pool, a dog park, a downtown area and development of property along the Sauk River near Whitney Park for a regional scenic park with trails and river access. The survey was placed on the city’s website several months ago. It also contained questions about Sartell residents’ levels of satisfaction of city services. Eighty-seven percent of respondents rated those services “good” or “excellent.” Eight percent rated them as “Fair,” “Poor” or “Don’t Know.” The survey was designed to give city officials a good idea of what residents want so staff, planners and the Sartell City Council will have direct guidance from the public. A community-center task force, formed late last year, will also be better able to come up with community-center recommendations now that they have a better idea of what residents want. The center itself is almost certain to become a reality by 2014 because $1.6-million in half-cent sales-tax funding has already been tagged for construction of a center. In the last half of 2012, the Sartell City Council emphasized more than a few times that a center should be one of the city’s highest priorities because residents have wanted one for more than 10 years. In fact, a community center is one major reason residents voted for Sartell to beSurvey • page 2 Fundraisers continue to honor slain police officer More fundraisers in memory of Thomas Decker have been scheduled. Decker is the Cold SpringRichmond police officer who was murdered in cold blood by an unknown assailant or assailants in downtown Cold Spring on the night of Nov. 29. Decker is the father of four young children. One fundraising event, a three-band concert, will take place at Rocori High School in Cold Spring at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10. The bands that will perform are the wide- ly popular Diamondback, the Fabulous Armadillos and Rocket Club. Dubbed “Donate to Decker: A Tribute to a Hero,” the concert is sponsored by Leighton Broadcasting. All funds raised will go to Decker’s family. There are three other fundraisers in memory of Decker. Two of them involve local salons. Styles Plus Salon in Cold Spring and Avanti Salon in Waite Park will do haircuts and eyebrow waxes from 2-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9. The salons are requesting a minimum donation of $10. The money raised will be used for scholarships given by the Rocori Area Dollars for Scholars. The scholarships will be given to students interested in going on to study law enforcement as a means of honoring Decker and his years as a public servant. In late December, the Richmond Fire Department began selling blue light bulbs to raise money for Decker’s family. People who buy the bulbs, for $5 each, are requested to put Officer • page 5

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