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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 Postal Patron Drug-busting officer Town Crier earns service award Friday, April 18, 2014 Volume 19, Issue 16 Est. 1995 Burning restrictions in effect in central Minnesota The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has burning restrictions in place over the central part of the state including Stearns County because fire danger is expected to rapidly increase as winds pick up and snow continues to melt. The burning restrictions mean the state will not give out burning permits for burning brush or yard waste. Spring fire restrictions limit open burning until summer green-up occurs. Traditionally, most wildfires in Minnesota occur during April and May. More than 95 percent of these fires are caused by human error. The restrictions normally last from four to six weeks until sufficient green vegetative growth occurs. Campfires are still allowed. For more information, visit and click on Criers. Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 21-25 April 21-25 is Severe Weather Awareness Week, a time to remind Minnesotans about inevitable storms, lightning, wind, floods and tornadoes, and to provide people with information necessary to protect their lives when severe weather threatens. Stearns County’s Emergency Management Department encourages every family and business to take the opportunity during this week to build awareness of storm dangers and to put weather emergency plans into action. Subjects for Severe Weather Awareness Week are: Monday: Alerts and warnings; Tuesday: Thunderstorms, Lightning and Hail; Wednesday: Floods; Thursday, Tornadoes; and Friday: Heat. Two statewide tornado drills will take place on Thursday. The first drill is at 1:45 p.m. and allows schools and businesses to practice their emergency plans. The second drill is at 6:55 p.m. This drill allows families to practice their plans at home. For more information, visit www.thenewsleaders. com and click on Criers. Hot off the press If you’d like to receive the Newsleader hot off the press, send us your email address and we’ll notify you with a link when our website is updated, which is typically by noon a day in advance of the print edition. Send your email to and you should start receiving your reminder at that address within a week. Notify us otherwise. INSERT: The Waters Church Waterford of Country Manor by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders. com For many years, Sartell police officer Dan Miller has had a big hand in helping keep the Sartell area – and beyond – drug-free and safer. His peers, well aware of his dedicated work and achievements, recently honored him with the Distinguished Service Award at the annual Minnesota Police Chiefs’ Convention in Rochester. Miller, who is a member of the Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force, was hired by the Sartell Police Department in 2001. In the award citation honor- contributed photo Sartell Police Officer Dan Miller was recently honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the Minnesota Chief of Police Association. Miller • page 5 Fund established for police officer’s family The Central Minnesota Credit Union in St. Joseph is accepting checks for a fund on behalf of the family of Joe Schmitz, the Sartell police officer who died March 27 at the St. Cloud Hospital. Checks should be written to “Joe Schmitz 7907” and mailed to Central Minnesota Credit Union, P.O. Box 87, St. Joseph, MN 56374. Checks or cash can also be deposited in person at that bank or at any of the other 16 branches of Central Minnesota Credit Union, including ones in Albany, Avon, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Freeport and Paynesville.. Schmitz, 44, died following complications from surgery for a swollen disc in his neck. After surgery, when he was back home the next day, March 21, an artery ruptured, blocking off his air passage, and he was rushed back to the hospital. He died March 27 with his family by his side. Schmitz and his wife, Stacie Landborg-Schmitz, have a 4-year-old son, Andrew. Born and raised in Paynesville, Schmitz had a l o n g career in law enforcement, 19 years as an officer with the Paynesv i l l e P o l i c e Schmitz Department and 17 months with the Sartell Police Department. Schmitz’s wife, on the Caring Bridge website, wrote how she loved her husband’s smile. “He had the biggest smile on his face,” she said. “The smile I saw first at the finish of our first date when I asked him if he would want to meet me again; the smile when he asked me to marry him; the smile when our son was handed to us at his birth.” Sorrel named Volunteer of the Year by Dennis Dalman Even a quick reading of the resume of Sartell Senior Volunteer of the Year Jan Sorrel is apt to exhaust the average person because she has crammed so much work into a lifetime it makes one’s head spin: Wife, mother, motel owner, school teacher, yearbook director, photographer, editor, schoolmedia teacher, computer instructor, the member and/or chair of countless committees and organizations, spelling-bee judge, workshop facilitator, curriculum developer, published writer, speech-maker and active member of more than 10 professional organizations. Those activities barely scratch the surface. Most people in Sartell know Sorrel as one of the founding members of the Sartell Senior Connection, a group of mainly seniors that has brought a renewed dynamism to Sartell through its activities and its volunteerism. The group was founded in 2007, and Sorrel has just now finished her fourth year as the group’s board chair. Sorrel received thunderous applause and a standing ovation when she was named Sartell Senior Volunteer of the Year April 10 at the annual Sartell Area Chamber of Commerce ban- quet at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course. Despite some recent medical problems, including another knee replacement, Sorrel is up and at ‘em, just as active as ever. She doesn’t need a cane or a walker anymore. Her husband, Dale, loves to tease her by telling others, in front of her, that “Jan is off her walker.” Sorrel said her favorite activity is working with committees, brainstorming with others until good ideas emerge from the simmering conversations. “I love committees,” she said. “I love to get ideas together and let ideas come forth from others. That committee work is really what I do best.” Early life Sorrel was born in Richfield. Even in her school years she loved working with groups of students. She was a member of the yearbook and newspaper staff, and she was student-council president. After graduation in 1956 and marriage, she earned a degree in elementary education, with a math minor, from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Then she taught third grade in Hopkins for two years. She and her husband, Dale, one day made a bold decision. They decided in 1961 to move to Sartell where there was a motel for sale. The Winter Ha- contributed photo ven Motel, which they owned In 1987, Jan Sorrel was named and managed for eight years. Teacher of the Year for the St. Cloud Sorrel • page 8 School District. Compost site to open April 19 The Sartell Compost Site will open for the season 8 a.m. Saturday, April 19, but people will need to purchase an annual permit to use the site’s facilities. Permits can be purchased at Sartell City Hall or online as If people purchase permits online but don’t have the actual permit mailed to them yet, they should bring a print-out of the online receipt when they bring loads to the compost site. Please note Sartell City Hall will be closed Friday, April 18 for the Good Friday holiday. For city residents, Sartell compost-site permits cost $30 if purchased in person at city hall and $31 if purchased online. For non-city residents (LeSauk Township and St. Cloud), the cost is $61 for a 2014 permit. Permit stickers must be affixed to the lower left inside area of the windshield, on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Compost-site hours for the coming season are 4-7 p.m. Monday and Friday; 1-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and 8 am.-4 p.m. Saturday. Only clean yard waste, brush and tree waste will be accepted at the site.

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