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Reaching Everybody!

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Newsleader St. Joseph

Friday, Jan. 17 2014 Volume 25, Issue 3 Est. 1989

Town Crier K of C to sponsor Youth Free-throw Championship

All boys and girls ages 9 to 14 are invited to participate in the local level of competition for the Knights of Columbus Free-throw championship, which will be held Sunday Jan. 26 at the gym at All Saints Academy, St. Joseph. Registration and practice is at 12:30 p.m.; the contest begins at 1 p.m. All contestants on the local level are recognized for their participation in the event. Participants are required to furnish proof of age and written parental consent. For details, contact Mark Berg-Arnold at 320-363-1077 or visit www. and click on Criers.

Newsleader website down for maintenance

The Newsleader has been notified by our internet provider that our website at will be down for maintenance from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 17-19. The staff apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

Kids Fighting Hunger sets Jan. 20 event

A Kids Fighting Hunger packaging event will be held Jan. 20 at Salem Lutheran Church, 90 Riverside Drive SE, St. Cloud. In addition to food packaging, educational breakout sessions will be available to allow volunteers to learn about hunger. Volunteers can sign up for two-hour shifts, individually or in groups and can be as young as 6, if accompanied by a parent. A suggested donation per child, college student and/or adult volunteer is asked to help cover the cost of ingredients used for packaging meals. Kids Fighting Hunger of Central Minnesota is a volunteer led, international hunger-relief campaign committed to combating hunger and poverty worldwide and locally by providing nutritious meals to those in need. Sign up to volunteer at For more information on this and other United Way opportunities, visit and click on Criers.

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If you’d like to receive the St. Joseph 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 news@thenewsleaders. com and you should start receiving your reminder at that address within a week. Notify us otherwise. For additional criers, visit and click on Criers.

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Community meal to be held in St. Joseph by Cori Hilsgen

All are welcome to a community meal that will be served from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26 at the American Legion in St. Joseph. The meal will be spaghetti, but a vegetarian option will also be offered. Various St. Joseph organizations and residents, who have been meeting for several months, are involved in the planning and promotion of the “Joe Town Table” community meal. Organizations involved include the College of St. Benedict Community Kitchen,

Church of St. Joseph, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Central Minnesota Catholic Worker and the College of St. Benedict Monastery. Central Minnesota Catholic Worker member Kevin LaNave said he wants people to know the meal is for everyone and is meant as a way for all people in the area to gather to share the meal and get to know one another better. It’s not just intended for those dealing with low-income situations. “I hope the community meal becomes a space in which the distances between us – whether Meal • page 3

contributed photos

Central Minnesota Catholic Worker member Kevin LaNave hopes many people will attend “Joe Town Table,” a community meal from 11:30 a.m.1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26 at the American Legion in St. Joseph. LaNave Keane He and other organizers hope it will bring people in the area together so they can bridge differences and accomplish productive goals. Community Kitchen organizer Natalie Keane is also hoping for a good turnout at the community meal. Community Kitchen is a new program on the CSB campus that addresses the problem of food waste and food insecurity, with an emphasis on rural Stearns County.

Meeting seeks input on sales-tax projects by Dennis Dalman

What do St. Joseph residents want as a regional sales-tax project in the greater St. Cloud area? Sprawling theme park? Gigantic athletic multiplex? Riverside arts-and-entertainment plaza? Aquatics center? At this point, it’s OK to daydream. That is why there will be a brainstorming open house from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22 at the St. Cloud Public Library. Everyone in the six cities in the greater St. Cloud area is

invited to attend to give ideas for regional projects. An aquatics center has been high on the “wish list” for many years. Residents’ input is important because all six cities are making plans for a half-cent sales-tax referendum. That sales tax was first approved in 2002 by most cities. St. Joseph, however, did not approve the tax until 2005. Voters approved an extension of the tax in 2006. That latest extension is due to expire in 2018 unless voters once again approve it. The Minnesota Legislature has given approval for

the six cities to extend the tax if voters so choose. The six cities are St. Joseph, Sartell, St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Waite Park and St. August. A sales-tax referendum could occur as early as this November or as late as 2016. This is how the regional halfcent sales tax works. One or more big regional projects must be built that would benefit all the cities’ residents. The major projects must be approved by the voters. Previously, that is how the St. Cloud Regional Public Library was funded,

as well as major expansion at the St. Cloud Regional Airport. Once the major regional project is funded, the rest of the salestax money is divided up among the participating cities, according to a formula partly based on population. The revenue comes from the extra half-cent added to a sale every time someone buys something taxable in any of those six cities. Those cities can then use the money for their own projects, as long as such projects have a more or less “regional” Sales tax • page 5

ASA students donate shoeboxes to ‘Place of Hope’ by Cori Hilsgen

All Saints Academy students donated 132 shoeboxes to Place of Hope for an Advent project, surpassing their goal of donating 100 boxes. Second-grade teacher Betty Pundsack organized the project with some help from school cook Mary Kay Pelkey and other staff members. For the project, students in preschool through sixth grade were encouraged to bring small items that would fit into a shoebox. Items were collected in bins labeled according to age and gender. Students also created wrapping paper. On a selected day, donated items were placed on tables in the school lunch room and the shoeboxes were divided among the tables. Students contributed photo Sixth-grade student Claire Kissela (left) and her first-grade buddy from each grade placed a variety of items in the boxes. Staff Belle Pennings work on the shoebox project together.

members checked the boxes to make sure items were equally distributed. Parent volunteers and student ambassadors coordinated the wrapping of the boxes. Children in all grades helped with wrapping and labeling the boxes. After the boxes were wrapped, they were transported by the school custodian Andy Loso to the Place of Hope for the children’s’ Christmas event. The boxes donated included various small toys, stuffed animals, hats, gloves, socks, candy, pencils, notebooks, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Pundsack said ASA has participated in this project for more than 10 years. She said they chose Place of Hope because of its programs involving children; many of whom are homeless and living on site, Shoeboxes • page 5

St. Joseph Newsleader •


Friday, Jan. 17, 2014

People Eighteen St. Joseph students were recently named to the fall dean’s list at St. Cloud State University. They and their majors are as follows: Michelle Barthel, undecided; Luke Brinkman, biochemistry; Kylie Carlson, nursing; Chelsea Christman, English; Matthew Donaldson, undecided; Elias Drake, undecided; Lukas Gohl, communication arts and literature; Seth Hennagir, undecided; Hannah Kalla, undecided; Erika Klein, communication studies; Michelle Lahr, community psychology; Tyler Lahr, mathematics; Molly McAlister, communication studies; Drew Poganski, business economics; Tanner Schafer, health and physical education; Katelyn Tiffany, social work; Caleb Traut, mechanical engineering; and Jeffrey Witthuhn, computer science. To be eligible for the honor, students must earn a grade-point average of 3.75 or higher. Rose Berg-Arnold, daughter of Brenda and Mark Berg-Arnold, St. Joseph, was recently named to the fall dean’s list at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, Winona. She earned a grade-point average of 3.60 or better to receive this recognition. Jarrett Crue of St. Joseph was recently named to the fall dean’s list at Graceland University, Lamoni, Iowa. He attained a 3.25 or better grade-point average to earn this recognition. Erin Nelson of St. Joseph recently earned honors during fall

If any readers have tips concerning crimes, they should call the St. Joseph Police Department at 320-363-8250 or Tri-County Crime Stoppers at 320-255-1301 or access its tip site at Crime Stoppers offers rewards up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for crimes. Dec. 17 12:51 a.m. Traffic stop. CR 75/20th Avenue SE. Officer spotted a vehicle with a driver known to have a suspended license for failure to pay fines. Officer stopped the vehicle and identified the driver by his Minnesota driver’s license. The driver also did not have proof of insurance in the vehicle or on his person. A citation was issued.

semester at Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall. She earned a 3.5 or better grade-point average for this recognition. Three St. Joseph students were recently named to the fall dean’s list at North Dakota State University, Fargo. They and their majors are as follows: Brandon Block, industrial engineering and management; Andrew Hellmann, psychology; and Allison Thelen, veterinary technology. Students must attain a 3.5 or higher grade-point average to qualify. Amber Sunder of St. Joseph was named to the fall dean’s list at Belmont University, Nashville, Tenn. She earned a 3.5 or better grade-point average to achieve this recognition. Sixteen St. Joseph students were recently named to the fall headmaster’s honor roll at St. John’s Preparatory School, Collegeville. They are the following: Leela Cofell, senior, daughter of Monica Cofell; Marisa Gaetz, sophomore, daughter of Rose and Rick Gaetz; Lauren Kissela, freshmen, daughter of Marcia Allard and Chad Kissela; Ben Lepinski, freshmen, son of Lois and Alan Lepinski; Gabrielle Martone, senior, daughter of Lisa and Mark Martone; Grace Martone, freshmen, daughter of Lisa and Mark Martone; John Martone, eighth grade, son of Lisa and Mark Martone; Reid Nydeen, seventh grade, daughter of Pam and Lance Nydeen; Taylor Nydeen, freshmen, daughter of Pam


He called his mother to come pick him up. Dec. 18 2:54 p.m. Custody. Baker Street E. Complainant called to report her son was to be returned to his school by his father be 11 a.m. per their agreement. She called his school several times and her son was not there. As the officer was at the complainant’s residence, her son came in the door. His father dropped him off and left. The mother wanted the situation documented. Nothing further. Dec. 19 9:34 a.m. Traffic stop. 10th Avenue S. Officer stopped car for no turn signal. Approached driver and advised reason for stop. Immediately noticed strong odor of mar-

and Lance Nydeen; Savannah O’Hare, sophomore, daughter of Amy O’Hare of St. Joseph and Peter O’Hare of Hixson, Tenn.; Clare Pfannenstein, junior, daughter of Joan and Patrick Pfannenstein; Cole Pfannenstein, freshmen, son of Joan and Patrick Pfannenstein; Emily Powers, junior, daughter of Bridget and James Powers of Collegeville; Sarah Schrup, junior, daughter of Myra and Tom Schrup; Justin Terhaar, sophomore, son of Jody and Karl Terhaar; and Anja Wuolu, sophomore, daughter of Lorie and David Wuolu. Students must attain a 3.50 or contributed photo higher grade-point average to earn First-graders Maria Glatzel, Sylvie Bechtold and Ethan Brown this recognition. work on math skills with Austin Wilson of the LumberJacks. Seven St. Joseph students were recently named to the fall principal’s honor roll at St. John’s Preparatory School, Collegeville. They are the following: Joel Kissela, seventh grade, son of Marcia Allard and Chad Kissela; Adam Lepinski, freshmen, son of Lois and Alan Lepinski; Haley Moog, sixth grade, daughter of Gina Loxtercamp and Joe Moog; Olivia Schleper, seventh grade, daughter of Susan and Alex Schleper; Caitlin Skahen, seventh grade, daughter of Jennifer and Sean Skahen; Kathleen Walz, sophomore, daughter of John Walz of St. Joseph and Susan Walz of contributed photo St. Cloud; and Lawson Wheatley, First-grade students Lily Schmitz and Anthony Brown work eighth grade, son of Parker Wheat- with Tobias Gabrielsen of the Granite City LumberJacks. ley and Jennifer Jimenez-Whitley of St. Joseph and Caroline Yaun of Northfield, Minn. Students must attain a 3.0 or higher grade-point average to earn this recognition.

ijuana. Driver denied marijuana but eventually admitted it. Located small amount and paraphernalia inside the vehicle. Citation was issued. Dec. 20 9:44 a.m. Gas leak. Birch Street W. Propane tank brought into BP by customer had a cracked valve and was leaking. St. Joseph Fire Department came and secured and disposed of the tank accordingly. Stood by for traffic control. 12:14 p.m. Fraud. Minnesota Street E. Complainant came to the police station to report fraudulent activity on her debit card. Online charges totaling $1,708.73 were charged to her card on Dec. 16 and 17. Blotter • page 8

contributed photo

First-graders Roe Hargrays, Austin Baird and Annie Kunkel work with Mitchell Gwost of the LumberJacks during math class.

Granite City LumberJacks visit All Saints Academy Granite City LumberJacks players Morgan Martelle, Mitchell Gwost, Austin Wilson and Toby Gabrielson, spent Jan. 3 at All Saints Academy, St. Joseph Campus. The players shared with students about their experiences play-

ing hockey for the Lumberjacks. They helped in the classrooms, worked with the children in small groups, ate lunch with the children and attended phy ed classes with the students.

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Friday, Jan. 17, 2014

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Former Verso workers wanted for get-together by Dennis Dalman

It will soon be a time of reminiscence once again for people who worked at the paper mill in Sartell, including many people who live in St. Joseph and Sartell. A group of former Verso workers have organized a social get-together for Saturday, Feb. 15 at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course north of Sartell. Currently, that core group of people are still seeking names and addresses or emails of anyone who has ever worked in the paper mill, including those from many years ago when the mill was called Champion or St. Regis. In more than 100 years,

Meal from front page due to differences in income, or in age, or in the length of time we’ve lived here – are bridged,” LaNave said. “Where we (can) meet new people, and experience new energy and ideas. Who knows what might happen when those kinds of conversations take place, what kinds of improvement in the quality of life throughout the community could emerge?” Central Minnesota Catholic Worker member Molly Weyrens said they want people to attend. “We hope it can be a community event for those who need it for financial reasons, but also seniors (senior citizens) looking for company along with a good meal and also St. Joe folks wanting to connect,” Weyrens said. Central Minnesota Catholic Worker member Laryn Kragt Bakker has lived in St. Joseph for a year. He also serves on the board of the St. Joseph Farmer’s Market and has found it somewhat difficult to get to


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generations have worked at the historic mill. All are invited to the Feb. 15 get-together. “Our records are not complete so we ask (former workers) to share the invitation with neighbors, friends or co-workers who worked at the paper plant,” said Dennis Molitor, one of the committee members. The other members of the organizing committee are John Bemboom, Sandy Brockway, Lori Bunde, Lyle Fleck, John Lovitz and Don Miklos. Registration is required for the event. People who plan to attend should call Molitor at 320-252-7055 and, if Molitor doesn’t answer, leave a message with the name(s) of those who will attend. The deadline know people in town. “Trying to break into a smalltown network has been more difficult than I had expected,” Kragt Bakker said. “So for me, the idea of a community meal where people eat and spend casual time with people from their own community sounds really nice. I’ve found in my experience in the last year, there’s a certain hesitation among people to go out and meet even their neighbors or meet the people around them. But as soon as they have a little push, it’s like a switch turns on. So hopefully, this community meal can be a little push like that.” AmeriCorps Vista Community Kitchen organizer Natalie Keane is involved in the planning of the meal. Community Kitchen officially began in October 2013. It’s a new program on the CSB campus to help address the problem of food waste and food insecurity, with an emphasis on rural Stearns County. “Our team of student leaders and volunteers utilize prepared, unserved food on campus through a congregate dining model that seeks to bridge services and build relationships

for registration is Tuesday, Jan. 28. Earlier this month, the committee sent out lots of invitations via email and by postal mail. The Feb. 15 event will start with a 4 p.m. social hour with a chicken dinner to follow at 5 p.m. To help stretch the committee’s limited resources, a nominal fee will be charged per person/couple. There will also be door prizes. Molitor and others are hoping there is enough interest among former paper-mill employees to start a “Sartell Mill Employee Club” that could meet quarterly or as often as its members decide. Even those who cannot attend the Feb. 15

dinner should call Molitor to let dropped that idea when memhim and committee members bers realized each worker know if they are interested in would get a very small sum. an employee club. Then, the committee decided “To say a lot has happened to hold another get-together. in the last two years is an un- Members worked for three derstatement,” Molitor noted in months trying to get together a his invitation. “We hope time list of names of people to invite. has made your adjustment to The funds came from Amerilife after the mill a little easier can Iron and Metal, which purwith each passing month.” chased the defunct Verso plant, One year after the explosion proceeds from a silent auction, and fire on Memorial Day 2012 a donation from the Steelworkthat shut down the Verso mill, ers Union and donations from there was a Verso reunion a the Verso mill workers in Buckyear later, Memorial Day 2013, sport, Maine. All told, the funds at Pinecone Regional Park in amount to about $10,000, MoliSartell. There were some funds tor noted. left over from that get-together, Molitor worked at the paper so the Verso committee was left mill, under its various ownerwondering how best to spend ships, for 38 years, his last the money. It had considered position being that of safety briefly splitting the money up coordinator. in the community,” Keane said. among former workers, but it She said all members of the area are invited to sit down, break bread with one another Matching Grant and share in conversations at the meal. “Community Kitchen seeks St. John’s Parish Center to be a mutually beneficial Collegeville campus-community partnership, and that success lies in Concession Stand the relationship we build,” KePARTY! Includes snacks and beverages ane said. “Our students are Bingo playing 6-9 p.m. excited for the chance to get to sponsored by: know our community members Cash prizes! FUN for all ages! off campus, and I think we are all excited for a delicious warm meal.” Central Minnesota Catholic Worker member Tim Hudock, Keane and CSB/SJU students Machine Operators Wanted plan to prepare the meals. Organizers hope church members Hiring Bonus • Advancement Opportunities and others in the area will also Great Pay & Benefits • 12-Hour Shifts become involved in cooking and serving the meals. There is no charge for the Apply either in person at: meal, but donations will be ac347 Glen St. cepted. Organizers plan to offer Foley, MN 56329 monthly meals at the same time (located off Hwy 23) and place on the fourth Sunday of each month. Or email resume to: For more information, tact

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Friday, Jan. 17, 2014

Faith in Action helps people maintain independence by Cori Hilsgen

As the “Baby Boom” generation continues to age, “boomers” are going to require more help and assistance in their homes and other places of residence. Local Faith in Action participants are often able to maintain their independence and remain in their homes longer because of new services offered. The theme of all FIA programs is “neighbors helping neighbors.” Minnesota’s FIA network offers support for developing successful, sustainable caregiving programs that can serve local areas. Overall, four programs are offered under FIA. These programs include: live-well-athome caregiver support/eldercare support services; family support services; volunteer services; and furniture and house-

contributed photo

The Rural Stearns Faith in Action Team from the Cold Spring office includes (left to right) Lindsey Sand, program coordinator/ caregiver consultant; Laura Sakry, service coordinator; Sadie Anderson, support planner/caregiver consultant; and Serena Robak, volunteer coordinator. The Cold Spring office serves the St. Joseph area. hold distribution program. (A second-hand shop is located at 717 Main St., Elk River). Local volunteers from churches, other houses of worship and local areas provide





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non-medical assistance to people in need. Some of the assistance they provide includes picking up groceries or running errands, providing a ride to the doctor, friendly visiting, simple home repairs or modifications, housekeeping or helping pay bills, relieving a caregiver and spending time with an aging senior. St. Joseph is part of the Rural Stearns FIA program. Director Lindsey Sand said the program served 180 people this year, 35 of those in St. Joseph. Services included transportation, homemaking, chore services, friendly visiting, respite care for caregivers, support planning, caregiver consulting, support groups and caregiver education. “Each year we serve more and more people,” Sand said. The program currently has 90 volunteers working throughout the rural service area. “We are continuously recruiting to meet the growing needs of those in our area,” Sand said. “We are always open to new volunteers and always in need.” The most frequently used services include support planning, caregiver consultation and transportation. Sand’s position as director

involves a lot of fund development and area connection work throughout the county. “We are continually searching for the financial means to continue our program and connecting with potential donors, participants and volunteers for our program,” Sand said. “I also spend a lot of time connecting with other communitybased programs and healthcare organizations to facilitate working relationships between providers and cross-referral for area seniors and people facing challenging life situations.” RSFIA receives funding through several providers, including Older American Act funding, New Freedom funding, donations from individuals and businesses in this area and from other various foundations. Sand said they have developed a client cost-share program in which they ask participants who are able and willing to help contribute toward the cost of the service(s) they are receiving. Nobody is denied service based on inability or unwillingness to pay. Volunteers are often referred through word-of-mouth or through connecting with RSFIA through advertisements in areas of services. Area churches, the United Way and Volunteer Match also often connect RSFIA with volunteers. “RSFIA is a neighbor-helping-neighbor program that was developed to fill the unmet needs of our area seniors and people facing challenging life situations in our area,” Sand said. “It’s amazing to see the commitment of our volunteers and staff. The care and services provided help so many individuals remain in their homes and prevent placement in long-term care facilities, and also prevent unnecessary hospitalizations. This past year 85 percent of program participants stated the services they received through RSVIA allowed them to stay in

their homes.” A recent St. Joseph participant who wished to remain anonymous has been using the program since May 2009. This person said he is happy to use the program and doesn’t know what he would do without it because the volunteers take him to all appointments. St. Joseph volunteer Kay Lemke has been volunteering with the RSFIA program since 2010. “I volunteer because there is a need for these services and it’s nice to feel you are helping someone,” Lemke said. She said people who are considering volunteering should do it. “Go for it,” Lemke said. “Just give it a try because you don’t know if it’s a good fit unless you do.” St. Joseph volunteer Noreen Loso started volunteering because of her father. He gave up his driver’s license a couple of years ago and struggles with getting transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, shopping, banking, attending church and other places. He is able to schedule transportation service to get him to locations, but this doesn’t work well because he has limited mobility or medical issues. Loso’s father has to carry his own oxygen tank, walker and other items to locations. “My dad lives on the East Coast, so I am not available to help him,” Loso said. “So, I am kind of paying it forward by helping others who live in my area that are facing the same challenges. In addition, my company, US Bank, is committed to making the communities we serve a better place and they encourage employees to become actively involved by providing paid time-off for employees interested in volunteering. “ Loso said she appreciates she is able to help the commuFaith • page 5


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St. Joseph Newsleader •

Friday, Jan. 17, 2014


Shoeboxes from front page in motels, in their parents’ cars, in fish houses and other locations. Pundsack said the St. Joseph ASA campus includes a “service to others” component as part of its mission. “This project is successful due to the generosity of time, talent and treasure from our entire school community,” Pundsack said. “We have a grandparent that brings hats, mittens and socks so each box will contain those items. This year a doll without clothing

Sales tax from front page aspect, such as roads traveled by people from outside the city or parks that can be used by anybody from anywhere. So far, since 2006, St. Joseph has received $2.1 million in half-cent sales-tax revenue, said St. Joseph City Administra-

Faith from page 4 nity she lives in. “I would say this is a great organization to volunteer with,” Loso said. “It’s extremely flexible for the number of hours/ days available to volunteer and it directly helps people in my community.” Sartell is serviced by the Great River Area Faith in Action program. Executive director Denice Freih said they are a stand-alone non-profit. This differs from the RSFIA program which is under the Assumption Home system in Cold Spring. The GRAFIA serves the St. Cloud metro area which includes Sartell. Freih said about 2,000 people presently use the service. More

was donated and our administrative assistant Linda Heinen purchased infant clothing so the doll would be dressed for the occasion. That’s probably the finest aspect of this project, the true spirit of Christmas in action.”

Place of Hope serves anyone in need in the Tri-County area. It’s goal is to provide a safe, welcoming place for anyone in need of a meal, housing, “hope” or other services. It’s located at 511 9th Ave. N., St. Cloud.

tor Judy Weyrens. By the time the current sales tax expires (2018), the city should receive almost another million, according to projections. St. Joseph used sales-tax revenue for trail extensions ($700,000), for two sidewalkconstruction projects ($750,000 and $200,000), for Centennial Park playground equipment ($33,200), for a park-and-trails development plan ($43,000), for installing a heating sys-

tem in the Lake Wobegon Trail building ($20,000) and to purchase the lot just north of city hall where the credit-union building used to be ($110,000). Weyrens said St. Joseph residents will have several chances to give input about the possibility of renewing the sales tax via a voter referendum. Those chances, including public meetings, will be announced soon.

than 1,000 volunteers provide more than 20,000 hours of volunteer service to participants in the program. The service most used in Sartell is transportation. Besides volunteer services GRAFIA also offers professional services such as Elder Care and Caregiver Support. Two professional caseworkers, Julie Pfannenstein and Maureen Graham, do assessments and develop plans to help residents stay in their homes. Both are nurses. Freih said many times caregivers die before the person they are caring for does. More than half will die first. She added the National Caregiver Alliance statistics show one out of four households are involved in caregiving for a family member. The GRAFIA professional services help support caregivers so they don’t burn out.

Unlike the RSFIA, the GRAFIA program also works with families going through crisis such as fire loss, home foreclosure and other things. Like the RSFIA, the GRAFIA program uses a low-cost fee schedule. For example, a round trip transportation service would be charged $5. Freih said the GRAFIA is a “Thrive” program. “A lot of families are surviving, but we want to help them to thrive,” Freih said.

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contributed photos

At left: third-grade students Henry Ebel (left) and Emanuel Kutzera show what they have placed in several shoeboxes to be donated to Place of Hope. Above, fourth-grade students (left to right) Santi Meyer, Sam Harren, Jaedyn Nydeen and Max Meyer wrap shoeboxes to be donated.

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Our View

Should pot be legalized? Keep an eye on Colorado

Seeing sweet grannies and grandpas lining up in Colorado to buy marijuana is like something out of a futuristic movie comedy. Can this really be happening? Yes, indeed, it can and it is. There are long lines of people of every age ever since Colorado legalized marijuana, which went into effect Jan. 1. The grandpas and grannies standing in those lines, which surprised many people, shouldn’t surprise us at all, considering those senior citizens were probably in their late teens or early 20s when “pot” was common during the 1960s’ “Hippy Era.” Back then, many parties, outdoor gatherings and dormitories often had the slight pungent reek in the air of burning “weed.” Should marijuana be legalized? The voters in Colorado certainly thought so. In recent years, the weed has been semi-legalized for medical purposes because it seems to have a beneficial effect on people suffering from certain medical conditions, including terminal cancer. A poll just released shows 55 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing pot. There is no doubt the drug should at least be decriminalized. It’s tragic how many people, many years ago, spent many years in prison just for smoking or selling pot. Still, questions linger. Is marijuana as harmless as so many people claim? Like many other drugs, including alcohol, the active ingredients in marijuana may well have no harm on most people with moderate usage. However, just about every kind of drug has the potential to affect some people adversely. It all depends on the person and that person’s own body chemistry. There have been numerous studies done on marijuana, but the results are still inconclusive. It’s still an open question, although most do agree the abuse of alcohol has caused more misery and destruction than all other drugs combined. However, just because alcohol is dangerous does not make marijuana necessarily harmless. One questions is this: Should people high on marijuana get behind the wheel of a car? With their mental states affected, couldn’t some of them be just as dangerous to others as drunk drivers? And here’s another question: Can frequent smoking of marijuana rob a person’s drive and ambition and lead to a desire to take other, stronger drugs? Advocates of pot legalization laugh those questions off, but such questions deserve to be studied. At the very least, Colorado will certainly become a kind of “test lab” for what happens when marijuana is legalized. All states should keep a close eye on that state. If statistics truly prove pot use is, in fact, harmless, fine. If not, states should think twice before they, too, legalize it.

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, Jan. 17, 2014

Opinion Did Christie cause his own roadblock? It’s baffling how New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s governing style and personality traits are viewed as despicable by some and admirable by others. Christie’s fans describe him as being confident, forthright, decisive and for “telling it like it is.” His detractors, based on those same traits, interpret them as being arrogant, rude, hot-headed, nasty and bullying. As they say, one person’s trash is another man’s treasure. Questions about the George Washington bridge closing are popping up like bright-orange road cones. In a long press conference Jan. 9, Christie denied – again – any previous knowledge of that scandal. For those who haven’t followed the dirty deed, here’s a brief summary: Without notification, from Sept. 9-13, two of three eastbound lanes of the George Washington bridge leading from Fort Lee, N.J. to New York City were closed. The bridge over the Hudson River is the busiest one in the world. The closings caused massive traffic jams at the bridge and throughout the city of Fort Lee and beyond. People found it almost impossible to get to work. School children were stuck in traffic for two hours and more. Emergency vehicles had trouble getting to scenes of crises. At first, everyone was told the lanes were closed because of a “traffic study.” That was quickly proven to be a lie. Then, it appeared to be an act of sabotage, political revenge for Fort Lee’s mayor not endorsing Christie for his then-upcoming re-election as governor. What was known weeks ago is that

Dennis Dalman Editor two men on the Port Authority, which controls the bridge, were Christie appointees who have since resigned. One had been a high-school buddy of Christie’s. During press conferences, Christie poo-poohed the ruckus over the bridge closing, firing off sarcastic, flippant answers in his (take your pick) arrogant/forthright way. Then, on Jan. 8, a smoking gun popped up in the form of an email exchange. It was sent just before the lane closings from Christie aide Bridget Kelly to David Wildstein, Christie’s high-school friend on the Port Authority. Kelly: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Wildstein: “Got it.” At his marathon press conference the next day, Christie fired Kelly, apologized to the people of Fort Lee and went to that city to apologize to its mayor. The governor’s comments, however, have just raised more questions. The mess is now called “Bridgegate,” dubbed as such after the “Watergate” scandal that led to the demise of President Nixon. Why should we care about a New Jersey bridge? We should care because Christie is the top Republican contender for the 2016 presidential election. Even if he was not involved, the fiasco has raised many questions about his competency as a leader – as governor or president. Why didn’t he make an immedi-

ate effort to find out why those lanes were closed? Why would a top aide in his office, all on her own out of the blue, suggest the closings if there were not a general consensus among top Christie operatives to enact a political vendetta against Fort Lee? Why would Wildstein email back “Got it” unless he knew exactly what Kelly was suggesting (lane closings), meaning it had already been considered? Why would Christie callously dismiss and joke about the traffic jams when he must have known the chaos and disruptions they caused to so many people, including children on their way to school? Why, in his Jan. 9 press conference, did he spend so much time in a “woe-is-me” mode rather than explaining why he’d ignored the scandal for so long? Why was there obviously such a lack of communication in the governor’s office, with one hand not knowing what the other was doing? Has the governor’s office used such outrageously inexcusable vendettas against other “enemies?” At the very least “Bridgegate” suggests Christie was not in command. At the worst, it shows him to have been unconnected, unaware, insensitive and arrogant – in a word, a bully. Which is not to say that Christie is not presidential material. There hasn’t been a president in history without some deficiencies in judgment and character flaws. However, it’s almost a sure bet that “Bridgegate” will close at least a couple “open” lanes along Christie’s hopeful trip to the presidency.

Letter to editor

Re a d e r e n d o rs e s Re a d f o r C o n g re s s James Graeve, St. Joseph

Jim Read, candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s 6th District, will hold a kickoff of his efforts to get DFL endorsement on Sunday, Jan. 26 in the Voyagers room at Atwood Center at St. Cloud State University. The event is from 2-4 p.m. It’s exciting to know we may have a candidate early on. Previous candidates got into the race in May of 2012 and almost beat three-term incumbent Michele Bachmann. I have no doubt if Jim Graves had gotten into the race earlier we would be looking at endorsing Graves for reelection. Read teaches our young folks at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict on how govern-

ment is supposed to work. He has been doing that for 25 years. Read has a slogan: “Let’s make Congress work.” The polls show Congress with an approval rating of 10 percent. So we need a serious hard-working person to restore some credibility to our democracy. Read fits that mold – Eagle Scout, Merit Scholar at the University of Chicago, fivestate champion in the high hurdles in his sophomore and senior years in college. Then on to Harvard for his PhD. The possible hurdle to his winning is mostly money. It will be a David (Read) vs Goliath (GOP) for funding. To offset the money imbalance, hundreds of volunteers are

needed and should be in place by May or early June. Voters in the booth are the great equalizer to the gross corporate dollars that contaminate the political process. Democracy should not and must not be bought. Come join us for a fun event on Jan. 26 and prove the Congressional 6th District is in play for Democrats in 2014. Do not forget the Tea Party members of Congress shut the government down in the fall of 2012 and cost the American economy $24-28 BILLION dollars and nearly collapsed the economy and our democracy.

Send it to: The Newsleaders P.O. Box 324 St. Joseph, MN 56374

or email us at: Please include your full name for publication (and address and phone number for verification only).

Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 Friday, Jan. 17 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. St. Joseph Farmers’ Market, 3-6 p.m., Resurrection Lutheran Church, 610 CR 2 N., St. Joseph. Monday, Jan. 20 Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast, 7-11 a.m., Atwood Center Ballroom, St. Cloud State University. 320308-2104. Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club meeting, 7 p.m., American Legion in St. Joseph. Tuesday, Jan. 21 Blood drive, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767.

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St. Joseph Newsleader •

Community Calendar

Wednesday, Jan. 22 55+ Driver Improvement program (eight-hour first time course), 8 a.m.-noon today and Jan. 23. Whitney Senior Center, 1527 Northway Drive, St. Cloud, 1-888-234-1294. Regional sales tax project ideas – open house, sponsored by Sartell, St. Joseph, St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Waite Park and St. Augusta cities, 3-7 p.m., informational presentations at 3 and 5 p.m., ideas about sales tax projects accepted anytime. Great River Regional Library, 1300 St. Germain St., St. Cloud. “All in All Out” worship tour concert, 6:15 p.m., Peder Eide, national recording artist, free concert, Celebration Lutheran Church, 1500 Pinecone Road N., Sartell. 320-2550488. Thursday, Jan. 23 Coffee and Conversation, a se-


nior discussion group, 9 a.m., Country Manor, Sartell. Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. “The Typist,” 6:30 p.m., documentary featuring Larry Tillemans, a WWII vet who typed transcripts during the trial of Nazi war criminals. Great River Regional Library, 1300 St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 320-650-2500. Friday, Jan. 24 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. Blood drive, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., College of St. Benedict, 37 S. College Ave., St. Joseph. 1-800-733-2767. Candlelight Hike and Snowshoe, one-mile, 6-9 p.m., Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site, 2151 S. Lindbergh Drive, Little Falls. 320-616-5421.

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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

Sunday, Jan. 26 Knights of Columbus Youth Free-throw Championship, 12:30 p.m. registration and practice, 1 p.m. contest begins. All boys and girls ages 9-14 are eligible to participate. All Saints Academy gym, St. Joseph.

320-363-1077. Sunday at the Abbey, 7 p.m. St. John’s Abbey Chapter House, Collegeville. Brother Dennis Beach, OSB, “Faith as a Transformative Force in El Salvador.”



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Rebel is a 3-year-old neutered, Australian Shepherd and Lab mix. He was an outdoor dog previously so it’s not known if he is completely housetrained. The good news is, he’s been keeping his kennel clean during his stay at the shelter, so that’s encouraging. Rebel walks nicely on a leash and is not a jumper. He has a history of interacting well with school-aged children and other dogs. He seems very bright and knows how to sit. Rebel is an affectionate canine and enjoys an occasional belly rub. “Helping one animal won’t change the world … but it will change the world for that one animal!” Dogs - 8 Gerbil - 1

Cats - 40 Kittens - 7

Rabbits - 5 Guinea Pig - 1

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Hours: Monday-Thursday Noon-6 p.m., Friday Noon-8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. & Sunday Noon-5 p.m.

St. Joseph Newsleader •


Friday, Jan. 17, 2014

Another list of accused offending priests released by Dennis Dalman

For the fourth time in the past two months, another list of Catholic clergy who had been the subject of sexual-abuse charges has been released – this time by the Diocese of St. Cloud under the new leadership of Bishop Donald Kettler. The list was released to media Jan. 3. Previous lists of offending priests or monks were released by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Diocese, the Duluth Diocese and St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville. More lists are expected to be released by other dioceses in the coming weeks. Those places released the lists after requests by the Twin Cities law firm of Jeff Anderson, who is widely known as a legal expert in cases involving allegations of sexual abuse by priests against boys and, in some cases, girls. In fact, on Jan. 2, Anderson and one of his clients, Robert Ethen, who lives in Stearns County, held a press conference in the Waite Park law office of Mike Bryant, who also represents clients claiming abuse by clergy. One reason for the recent increase of lawsuits against dioceses and clergy is that last year the Minnesota Legislature extended the statute of limitation on cases in which children were allegedly sexually abused, meaning that now, even many years after abuse, a lawsuit can be initiated against the alleged perpetrators or those who allegedly covered up their crimes. The St. Cloud Diocese list contains 33 names of priests who have had “likely claims” filed against them in the past. Twenty-one of the priests mentioned on the list are now deceased. The men served in dozens of parishes throughout the St. Cloud Diocese, including St. Joseph and in one case, St. Francis Xavier Church in Sartell. That priest, now deceased, was Fr. Allen Speiser. Bishop Kettler, who was ordained as new bishop for the St. Cloud Diocese, said he began reviewing all kinds of documents in the diocese right after his installation in November. Those documents, he added,

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included those outlining allegations of sexual abuse made against priests throughout the years. Kettler had served in Fairbanks, Alaska since 2002 before coming to St. Cloud. In the Robert Ethen lawsuit, it alleges a boy (not at that time Ethen) suffered abuse in 1964 at the hands of a priest, Fr. James A. Thoennes, at St. Anthony’s in St. Cloud. The St. Cloud Diocese is named as the defendant in that lawsuit, which alleges diocesan officials, including at least one bishop, kept allegations of sexual abuse from law authorities and the public. The lawsuit states, “Civil legal authorities were not contacted about the report, and upon information and belief the boy who reported the abuse was severely punished by an agent of

the Diocese.” Later, after authorities knew of the allegation of abuse of a boy by Thoennes, they allowed him in 1965 to accompany Ethen, then a St. Anthony student, for an overnight trip to Thoennes’ mother’s home in Sauk Centre. Ethen’s parents were unaware of the previous complaint against Thoennes and were not told anything about it. Thus, they allowed their son to travel with the priest. During that trip, the lawsuit alleges, Thoennes sexually abused Ethen. The suit also claims Thoennes was later accused of touching the genitals of Vietnamese refugee boys living in his home. When then-Bishop George Speltz and other diocesan officials learned of the allegations, the diocese ordered Thoennes

to go to chemical-dependency treatment and later to sex-offender counseling. He was prohibited from having contact with youth living or staying with him at any time. The suit accuses Speltz of keeping allegations of sexual conduct of minors by Thoennes from authorities in Otter Tail County. In 1993, there were more allegations of sexual abuse. A man claimed he had been repeatedly sexually abused by Thoennes in the 1960s when he, the boy, was a student and altar boy at St. Anthony’s. In 1997, then-Bishop John F. Kinney informed Thoennes he could no longer serve in public ministry in the diocese. Thoennes has served at St. Anthony’s, St. Mary’s in Melrose, St. Joseph’s in Waite Park.

St. John’s in Foley, St. Anne’s in Kimball, Sacred Heart in Dent, St. Leonard’s in Pelican Rapids, St. Joseph’s in Bertha, St. Edward’s in Henning and St. Mary’s Villa in Pierz. According to the list released by the St. Cloud Diocese, Thoennes is currently living in St. Cloud. The crux of the Ethen lawsuit against the diocese is this: “Despite multiple reports of sexual abuse of minors spanning Thoennes’ career, Defendant (St. Cloud Diocese) failed to inform law enforcement authorities or the public that he had sexually abused minor children. As a direct result, Thoennes avoided criminal investigation and prosecution and continued to sexually abuse minors.” The Ethen lawsuit calls for a jury trial.


hicle. Northland Drive. Officer ran license plate while driving through apartment complex. Vehicle came back as stolen. Officer was advised to drive the vehicle back to the police garage if possible and place inside for further processing. The keys were in the vehicle, but would not start even with being jumped. Car was secured for the evening for day shift to process the car and contact the owner.

dress. Prior to the search warrant a male party was observed leaving the address and was stopped by St. Joseph police and task force members a few blocks away. It was discovered the 33-year-old male had outstanding warrants for his arrest and was placed into custody. During a search of his vehicle and belongings, approximately 8 grams of methamphetamine, along with items associated with meth sales were located. He was transported to the Stearns County Jail and booked on his warrants. Additional charges are expected. During the execution of the search warrant, numerous people were located inside, including the homeowner, a 28 year-old female. The search turned up additional controlled substances and numerous items associated with the use of controlled substances including drug

paraphernalia. Other people at the residence at the time of the search were 33-year-old and 29-year-old males, and a 19-year-old female. The two males and 19-year-old female were also all found to have outstanding warrants from various jurisdictions and were arrested on those warrants. They were later transported to the Stearns County Jail and booked for the warrants. Additional charges may be possible against them for controlled substance crimes upon further investigation. The Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force was assisted by the St. Joseph Police Department and the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office. The task force is made up of officers from the cities of Little Falls, Sartell and St. Cloud and deputies from Stearns, Benton, Morrison, Todd and Sherburne counties.

from page 2 Dec. 21 9:25 a.m. Attempted entry. Seventh Avenue SE. Complainant’s niece was unable to unlock the main door to the house. Lock was found to be broken and they thought someone might have tried to gain entry. Officer examined the door and the lock and saw no sign of force on the door, the lock or the lock strike plate. Complainant stated there were no suspects or any other suspect activity. In examining the deadbolt lock, it appeared to be hardware failure. No further action requested or needed. Dec. 22 10:29 p.m. Recovered stolen ve-

Jan. 9 The Central Minnesota Violent Offender’s Task Force conducted a search warrant at Schneider Drive, in the city of St. Joseph. The search warrant was the result of an on-going investigation by the task force along with the St. Joseph Police Department into controlled substance use and sales occurring at the ad-

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