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Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid St. Joseph Newsleader St. Joseph, MN 56374 Permit No. 21 ECRWSS Postal Customer

Newsleader St. Joseph

Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 Volume 24, Issue 5 Est. 1989

Town Crier

Sue Borgeson benefit

A taco bar benefit and silent auction will be held for Sue Borgeson from 4:30-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8 at Westside Learning Center, 1001 2nd St. S., Sartell. Organizers are requesting those attending to pick up food tickets in advance to plan for the amount of people attending. Borgeson, a paraprofessional at Apollo High School and a Sartell resident, has battled breast cancer for the past year and won, and now has been diagnosed with colon cancer. She had surgery on Jan. 16 and is recovering. Proceeds will go toward her medical costs. St. Cloud Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans will match funds up to $2,000. Cash donations may be dropped off at Liberty Savings Bank, Sartell. Comments or donations may be directed to Jen Fox at 612-719-2707 or email

Living with Parkinson’s under the age of 60

A newly formed support group for those under 60 who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease will meet the second Tuesday of each month from 6-7:30 p.m. at Saron Lutheran Church in Big Lake, Minn. Specific topics will be scheduled along with an open forum. For more information, visit and click on Criers.

St. Joseph Rod, Gun hosts fishing contest tomorrow

The St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club will hold its 20th annual ice fishing contest from noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 at Kraemer Lake. Prizes for the three largest fish in each category of game and pan fish will be awarded. More than $3,000 worth of prizes, including a grandprize drawing for a free one-day fishhouse rental for four on Upper Red Lake, will be given away. The first 200 kids (15 and under) will receive a free piece of fishing equipment. Lunch, refreshments, restrooms and warming house are available. If the event is canceled due to poor weather, the club will not reschedule. For more information, call 320363-8803 or 320-251-2881.

Transportation volunteer for veterans

Transport veterans to their appointments at the medical center with a VA vehicle or drive a golf cart around the medical-center grounds to pick up and deliver patients, visitors and items throughout the medical center. Transportation volunteers require a driver’s license, safe driving record, physical exam and defensive driving course. Contact Patricia Aljets, St. Cloud VA Health Care System, at 320-255-6365 or


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Students compete in free-throw championship by TaLeiza Calloway

Nathional Basketball Association All-Star LeBron James needs to be on the lookout for Jon Ethen. In a matter of years he could be sharing the basketball court with him. If it was up to Ethen, they would be teammates. Ethen, 13, of St. Joseph, was one of nine youths who participated in a free-throw championship Jan. 27 at All Saints Academy. The local event is hosted by the St. Joseph Council of the Knights of Columbus. Boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 14 were competing at the local level in hopes of advancing to the district championship to be held in Sartell later this month. The Knights of Columbus Free-throw Championship is sponsored annually with winners progressing through local, district and state competition. International champions are announced by the Knights of Columbus international headquarters based on scores from state-level competitions. Students took three practice shots and then had to shoot

15 free throws. At the district level, participants will make 25 shots to see who advances to the state championship, Mark Berg-Arnold said. Berg-Arnold is a member of the St. Joseph Council of the Knights of Columbus and organized the event Jan. 27. Ethen said this was his third year participating in the event. He enjoys it every time. “I’ve been playing since third grade,” he said of his love for the sport. When asked if it’s hard to shoot 15 free throws in a row, his response was easy: “No.” It wasn’t hard for Hallie Hupf, Abbey Medelberg or Maggie O’Donnell of St. Joseph, either. This was their first year participating in the free-throw championships. The girls were glad they came. “It was fun,” Hupf said. For O’Donnell, basketball is her recreation so she was eager to participate in the recent championship. The 11-year-old advanced to the district level. Knights of Columbus member Vince DeVargas of St. JoStudents • page 4

photo by TaLeiza Calloway

Hallie Hupf, 11 of St. Joseph, shoots the ball during the 2013 Knights of Columbus Free-throw Championship at All Saints Academy.

Vora recalls expulsion from happy home into living hell by Dennis Dalman


That same day, Leokadia’s wagon came across a battle that was in progress – Ger-

mans and Russians battling to the death. The Wenzels quickly got out of their wagon and huddled underneath it as bullets and explosions ripped through the cold air. Leokadia told Erika years

Governor appoints St. Joseph resident by TaLeiza Calloway

St. Joseph resident William Rudolph said he takes good news as it comes. contributed photo So when Rudolph Gov. Mark Dayton announced his appointment to the statewide Independent Living Council this week, he was not sur-

prised but eager for the new experience. “It’s another challenge in life,” Rudolph said. “It’s a good thing. It will be a learning experience.” Rudolph was one of 10 people appointed to the statewide council Jan. 28. He replaces council member Roberta Cich as the Center for Independent Living Representative for the council. This was the second time Rudolph applied for the position. The term is a threeyear commitment. Rudolph • page 4

later: “Bodies were lying all around us, everywhere blood, the fresh-fallen snow had turned into a field of blood, blood everywhere we looked, bodies and blood.” By that time, they had only one horse for their wagon. Earlier, a Russian had taken one of the horses. After the battle, Polish men took the last horse and the wagon, tossing the Wenzels’ last possessions onto the road. Still later, another Pole came by and tossed the bundles of goods onto his wagon, saying it’s better he take them than the Russians. The Wenzels had nothing left except the clothing they were bundled in. Leokadia at least had the knee-high heavy boots she was wearing. But not for long. Later, a Pole took them, too. She wrapped her feet with her shawl and trudged on, holding her cold baby tightly to her, with the children following – all freezing, hungry, terrified.

(Part 2)

Kind-hearted Pole

Then they came upon a Polish woman with a kind heart, who gave Leokadia a pair of wooden shoes. They were far too big, and Leokadia’s feet kept coming out of them in the snow, but at least they kept her feet from freezing completely. Still later, they met another kind Polish woman who suggested the family take immediate shelter at a nearby dairy farm. On a hay pile in a barn, the Wenzels collapsed from hunger, cold and exhaustion – so grateful to be out of the cold outside air. Next morning, shaking with fright but determined, Leokadia found the courage to go knock on the door. She asked the people if she and her daughters could do some work for a bit of food. They agreed. They worked very hard at some chores, but in return did not get a bite to eat – except for a bowl of dried Vora • page 5

St. Joseph Newsleader •




Friday, Feb. 1, 2013

If any readers have tips concerning crimes, they should call the St. Joseph Police Department at 363-8250 or TriCounty Crime Stoppers at 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. 28 7:55 p.m. Vandalism. College Avenue S. Complainant stated sometime during the day someone keyed the driver’s side of her vehicle while parked at her apartment building. Estimated $800 damage.

contributed photo

Guests at the Rancourt Retreat grow very suspicious of each other as very odd occurrences start happening. Front row (left to right) Heather Mastromarco and Michael Geppert; (middle) Trish Soltis, Katie Zintek, Sherry Ask and Dan Hanes; and (back row): Brad Busse, Randy Soltis, Micah Dagel and Al Beckel.

Local residents, Busse and Motzko, play part in Cold Spring GNTC’s ‘Something’s Afoot’

by Lois Bauer-Rieffer

Two St. Joseph residents, have been busy with the play, ‘’Something’s Afoot’’ for the Great Northern Theater Company in Cold Spring since auditions in early December. ‘Something’s Afoot’ is a musical murder mystery comedy that will keep you guessing throughout. The production will be performed ThursdaySunday, Feb. 14-17 at the Great Blue Heron on Hwy. 23 in Cold Spring. Busse, who has been a member of GNTC for almost 10 years, is now one of the cast after having directed the last two dinner-theater productions, ‘’Two by Two’’ and ‘’My Old Friends.’’ Busse has been onstage with GNTC in many productions such as “The Sound of Music” and was involved as one of the four in the Deer Camp series which performed throughout Minnesota. He also has been in several productions with GREAT Theater. In this production, Busse portrays Colonel Gillweather, one of the guests at Rancour’s Manor, who helps to try and solve ‘why’ all the strange mishaps are going on during their weekend retreat. Motzko, another St. Joseph resident, has been a long-time GNTC member and has acted in several productions including “The Pajama Game,” “South Pacific” and “The Boys

Next Door.” Most recently, you’ll find Motzko behind the scenes helping with costumes, lights and sound and anything else that needs doing. In this production, she is once again the house manager, taking care of ticket sales and organizing ushers for the performances. This show promises to be a lot of fun with a twist and turn in every scene. As one guest puts it, ‘“people are ‘dropping like flies’” and have no way to escape as the bridge is washed out. The weekend guests all start turning on each other with accusations. Flint and the maid even plot to use a little boat he’s aware of and sings “I Have a Little Dinghy.” All we can say is the butler didn’t do it, but if you want to find out who did, you need to make your reservation now. Though the plot takes many twists and turns before you figure out this popular “whodunit,” so does the set, which can be considered a character in itself on the Great Blue Heron stage. Thursday-Saturday performances begin at 6 p.m. with a social hour; dinner’s at 7 p.m.; and the curtain opens at 8 p.m. with dessert being served during intermission. The Sunday show begins with a social hour at 1 p.m. Don’t miss the hilarious musical murder mystery which will keep you guessing to the end.

Dec. 29 12:24 p.m. Lost property. Minnesota Street E. Woman reported she lost her wallet. She believes it fell out while she was getting out of her car at the store. Her wallet contained approximately $20 cash, credit cards, driver’s license and possibly her social security card. She canceled her credit cards. Dec. 31 9:38 a.m. Property damage. Fourth Avenue SE. Report of damage to two garages on property. Appeared someone came around the icy corner of the building, slid and ended up hitting the garage. Suspected vehicle is a black Pontiac car. Car parts left at the scene were taken as evidence and photos were taken. Estimate of $2,000 in damage. Witnesses state it was a black medium-sized car. Jan. 1 1:48 a.m. Suspicious activity. Third Avenue SE. Caller stated there were two people in his driveway. They proceeded on foot, walking south on Third Avenue SE. Officers checked the area with negative contact. They did speak with two males on Fourth Avenue SE and they said they did not see or hear anyone. Jan. 2 4:22 p.m. Theft. 13th Avenue NE. Man reported a “For Sale by Owner” sign had been taken from his front lawn. He stated the sign had been an Edina Realty sign that was abandoned in his yard for four to five months, so he painted it and put lettering on it. He felt it was now his sign and he had about $50 into it. Officer advised he would check to see if Edina Realty had come to get the sign. The sign was worth approximately $300 and was picked up by Edina Realty. The sign was left because of a Blotter • page 8

contributed photo

Legionnaires (with hats from left to right) Dave Keller, Norm Hansen and Commander Bill Elfering present the book “War Stories, Volume II” to St. John’s Prep administration (left to right) Matthew Reichert, principal; Father Timothy Backous, OSB, headmaster; and Paul Menard, assistant principal. American Legion Post 328 of St. Joseph recently donated books to three area schools: All Saints Academy, Kennedy Elementary and St. John’s Prep School. The book, “War Stories, Volume II” by Al Zdon, a Minnesota author, contains 35 stories about the lives and experiences of soldiers during war. Zdon has the journalistic ability to draw out stories and experiences of soldiers that may well have been kept silent. Most of the stories are about the wartime experiences of men and women in World War II, but the book also has stories from veterans of Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The books were donated for inclusion in the school libraries to give students access to veteran’s experiences, their bravery, courage, determination and the sadness and loneliness they dealt with during wartime. It also reveals the honor with which they served.

contributed photo

Mark Berg-Arnold, Knights of Columbus (St. Joseph Council) member and organizer of the annual free-throw championship event, stands with the winners (from left to right) Jon Ethen, 13, Cooper Gerads, 12, Maggie O’Donnell, 11, and Abbey Medelberg, 12. The competition was held Jan. 27 at All Saints Academy in St. Joseph. Winners will compete at the district level on Feb. 10 at St. Francis Xavier School in Sartell. Alex Generous, St. Joseph, was recently named to the fall semester president’s list at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. He earned a 4.0 grade-point average to receive the honor. Tasha Johnson, St. Joseph, was recently named to the fall semester dean’s list at the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth. She is a first-year student majoring in elementary/middle education. Students must achieve a 3.75 grade-point average or above on a 4.0 scale to earn the honor. Tyler Tabatt, St. Joseph, was recently named to the fall semester dean’s list at Ridgewater

College, Willmar. Students must earn a grad-point average of 3.5 or higher to receive the honor. Amanda Walz, St. Joseph, was recently named to the fall semester dean’s list at Waldorf College, Forest City, Iowa. To receive the honor, students must earn a grade point average of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale and complete a minimum of 12 credits during the semester. Brianna Netter, St. Joseph, was among 789 students to graduate recently from North Dakota State University, Fargo. She earned a bachelor’s degree in management communication

Published each Friday by Von Meyer Publishing Inc. Publisher/Owner Janelle Von Pinnon Editor Dennis Dalman

Newstands BP Gas Station Casey’s General Store Holiday Gas Station Kay’s Kitchen

The Local Blend St. Joseph Meat Market St. Joseph Newsleader Office

Contributing Writers TaLeiza Calloway Cori Hilsgen Mark Lauer Design/Layout Tara Wiese

Advertising Sales Assistant Kathryn Bjorke Delivery Glen Lauer

P.O. Box 324 • 32 1st Ave. N.W. • St. Joseph, Minn. 56374 Phone (320) 363-7741 • Fax (320) 363-4195 • E-mail address: POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ST. JOSEPH NEWSLEADER, P.O. Box 324, St. Joseph, MN 56374.

St. Joseph Newsleader •

Friday, Feb. 1, 2013


LaFountaine honored with ‘Breaking Barriers Award’ by Dennis Dalman

W h e n it comes to sports and Title IX women’s rights, J a n n a L a F o u n - contributed photo taine has LaFountaine achieved a long-time steady series of goals that brought her this year’s “Breaking Barriers Award” from the College of St. Benedict. LaFountaine and others will be recognized during the CSB Blazer basketball game vs. Concordia at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6 at Claire Lynch Gymnasium on the CSB campus. Feb. 6 is “National Girls and Women in Sports Day.” All girls and women wearing a sports jersey will be admitted free to the game. LaFountaine is an associate professor and coaching-education advisor for CSB. She is also the coordinator for the sports management of the Coventry, England University Exchange Program. She has served at CSB since 2000.

LEgal notICE City of St. Joseph Public Hearing The St. Joseph City Council will conduct a public hearing on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 to considering adopting a Street Light Utility Ordinance. The proposed ordinance will authorize the city to implement a utility fee to maintain a citywide street lighting system. All property owners in the City of St. Joseph will be billed a proportionate share of the operation and maintenance of a city-wide street lighting system. Full text of the above Ordinance can be viewed at the City Offices, 25 College Ave. N. or on the city website: www. All persons wishing to testify will be heard with oral testimony limited to five minutes. Written testimony can be submitted to the City of St. Joseph, Attn: Judy Weyrens, P.O. Box 668, St. Joseph, MN 56374. Judy Weyrens Administrator Publish: Feb. 1, 2013

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LaFountaine has a long and distinguished, award-winning career in sports and education. She received a bachelor’s degree in physical education, health education and coaching from Gustavus Adolphus University in 1981 and a master’s degree in health education from St. Cloud State University in 1990. Her fields of study and expertise include coaching methods, sports administration, gender and sports, sport ethics, and culture and sports. She has participated as a speaker in dozens of conferences throughout the nation and has written many scholarly articles on virtually every subject that impinges on sports and women in sports. She is an authority on the importance of Title IX, a law passed in 1972 as part of the federal Opportunity in Education Act that greatly expanded school athletic programs to participation by girls and women. LaFountaine has 19 years of high school coaching experience, 11 years as an adjunct

professor at SCSU and five years as a college coach. LaFountaine excelled as a high school and college gymnast. She was a gymnastic’s contender for the 1976 Olympics but was deemed “too tall” to make the team. After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus, she coached gymnastics at Apollo High School for 15 years, as well as other coaching duties that included swimming and softball. During those years, LaFountaine was a tireless supporter of girls’ sports, mentored many gymnastic judges and advocated often for equal sporting opportunities for girls and women. At CSB, starting in 2002, she taught and coached the tennis program for five years and was recognized by the MIAC as “Coach of the Year,” with her team having finished second place and one other player making “All-American” status. As a professor, LaFountaine has expanded a curriculum that includes a study of the interrelationships among gender, cul-


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St. Joseph Newsleader •


Friday, Feb. 1, 2013

Mark Berg-Arnold, a member of the St. Joseph Council of the Knights of Columbus, explains the rules Jan. 27 for the annual free-throw championship at All Saints Academy.

Students from front page photos by TaLeiza Calloway

Trophies sit on a table Jan. 27 during the 2013 Knights of Columbus Free-throw Championship in St. Joseph.

seph said the children enjoy the championship every year. More than anything, they like

shooting the ball around. “It’s about getting them active and getting them involved,” DeVargas said. “Children like to compete.” The district-level championship will be held Sunday, Feb. 10 at St. Francis Xavier School

Rudolph from front page

Jon Ethen, 13 of St. Joseph prepares to shoot the ball during the 2013 Knights of Columbus Free-throw Championship Jan. 27 in St. Joseph. The annual event was held at All Saints Academy.

The statewide Independent Living Council provides planning and policies needed for independent living services. It’s made up of lay people and professionals appointed by the governor. Council members work jointly with State Services for the Blind and Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Both of those are branches of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, as well as the Minnesota Association of Centers for Independent Living. Rudolph has a 40-year

in Sartell. Practice is at 12:30 p.m. with the event starting at 1 p.m. St. Joseph participants who will advance to the district championship include Medelberg, O’Donnell, Ethen and Cooper Gerads.

background in carpentry and construction. He fell off a scaffold about 10 years ago so he had to transition into something new. For seven years he has been an accessibility specialist for Independent Lifestyles, one of eight centers for independent living in Minnesota. The open council seat fits his interests and his skills. “I actually design modifications to keep persons in their homes,” he said. “We do a lot of ramps. When it opened, I thought (my building skills) could benefit others.” Rudolph and his wife, Madeleine, have lived in St. Joseph for 36 years. They have three adult children.

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St. Joseph Newsleader •

Friday, Feb. 1, 2013

Vora from front page peas. Then the mother asked if, at least, the baby could get a little milk. “For Hitler’s kids we have not a single drop of milk! But wait, you like the peas so much.” The man brought back another bowl of peas purposely mixed with excrement. Then that family, shouting derisions, ordered the Wenzels out of their barn and off of their property. Down the road about a mile, they happened to meet another kind woman who brought them some milk and then led them to a house, where she lived in a straw-littered shack. Through that woman, the Wenzels met a Polish couple, who agreed to have the Wenzels work on their nearby farm, for free. Even though Leokadia suspected it would be an ordeal, she was hugely relieved as it would be some kind of shelter from more cold, more cruelty. At the Polish farmhouse, Leokadia became a virtual slave, toiling all day for the family and their frequent swarms of guests. But at least she and her family had a roof over their heads in a drafty room, and they had food now and then to eat. At that farmhouse, Leokadia was plagued by constant fears – fear the occasional Russian guests would rape and kill her, leaving her daughters all alone. Throughout the entire ordeals she faced, she prayed constantly God would keep her family together, even if it meant death for all – just so it would happen to them all at once. Leokadia’s worst fear was one or more of the children would be utterly alone, without their mother or anyone else to protect them and comfort them in their suddenly hellish world.

Bad to worse

Leokadia and her daughters toiled from sunup to sundown on the farm. They were, in fact, slaves. Through some secretive connections, Leokadia learned she could work on her grandmother’s farm where the grandmother and mother lived. That farm had been Leokadia’s childhood home, but it had been snatched away by the Poles, and the mother and grandmother were serving as maids to the new owners. Leokadia was overjoyed.

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That is, until a Polish owner and her mother pulled up in a carriage. She wanted to greet her mother with kisses and hugs, but she could not. They had to pretend they did not know each other. Leokadia’s heart dropped when she learned only she – not her daughters – would be allowed at the farm. Vowing never to be separated, she declined. She worried if the daughters were alone, they would be shipped to Siberian labor camps to be used as sex slaves by the Soviets. Not long after Leokadia’s crushing disappointment, she learned of another opportunity. A Polish major and his wife wanted German slaves for their farm. Since they had connections and power, they forced the “owners” of the Wenzel family to give them up. Life at the major’s farm was worse – far worse – than life before. The mother and daughters worked non-stop for two days with nothing to eat. The major’s wife had a lover, a sadistic Polish policeman who enjoyed brutally beating and whipping any German on mere whim, for the slightest of reasons. At one point, he beat Leokadia because she would not agree to give her baby (Erika) to the major’s wife or sign adoption papers. He lashed her with a whip over and over so viciously, in front of her screaming children, that she fainted. By some lucky fluke, the deranged policeman left her alone after that.


On one happy day, thanks to the secret plotting of Leokadia’s mother, who was a slave on a farm just 20 miles away, there was a chance for escape. After two years of misery and pain, there was a chance for hope, for escape. Kind Polish people living nearby helped the family. On a dark night, a man on her mother’s farm helped Leokadia and her children escape from the farm to a city called Stettin. After hiding hungry for days, they were taken to a refugee camp where they joyfully reunited with Leokadia’s mother and her grandmother, who was 80 years old. Hunger, humiliation and fears continued, however. Finally, the family with other German refugees were al-

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lowed to board a cattle train heading west, toward Sovietoccupied East Germany. The year was 1947, two years after the end of World War II. East Germany was another kind of hell. There were diseases like typhoid that killed many. Hunger was constant. Work was hard to find. They lived in a room of a bombedout castle. It was a bitter survival, a new kind of prison in which one could never express one’s thoughts because of strict Communist rules in a system of abject oppression. Morning, noon and night, Leokadia and her mother meticulously planned a way to escape from East Germany to West Germany, knowing they would be shot if they were caught. Luckily, they became aware of a man who would help them escape, a Mr. Demann, and coded messages fairly flew back and forth. The man, who refused any recompense and at the risk of his own life, helped the family escape one by one: first Sophie, then Edith and Lilli. Two years later, it was Leokadia’s turn with 5-year-old Erika. It was a very complicated plan that ended happily when mother and daughter slipped under an electrified barbedwire border on a dark, rainy, muddy night. Slithering under barbed-wire is a maneuver mother and daughter had practiced again and again. Once in West Germany (the year was 1950), Leokadia literally kissed the muddy ground. “But, Mom, it’s raining here too,” Erika said. “Is this really the Golden West?” “Yes, yes, my child,” the mother said, lifting her child into her arms and crying tears of joy. “We are in the West and its gold is our freedom.” Thus began a new productive, happy life for the Wenzel family. There were struggles, of course, but all of the difficulties were nothing compared to the horrors they had endured – together.

Where are they now?

Erika’s father, a German sol-

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contributed photo

Dr. Erika Vora, as a baby, along with her mother and three sisters, survived a hellish journey of cold, hunger, fear, pain, horrors and utter deprivation right after World War II. Her book “Will to Live” is her testimony of the events. der, survived the war and internment in a Soviet Siberian labor camp. Weighing only 80 pounds, he found his way back to Germany and his long-missing loved ones. Eventually, after brutally hard work by the whole family, he built a home for his family in Gohfeld, West Germany. He died, at age 85, in 1987. Leokadia died at her home in Gohfeld at age 90, in 2002, just three months after a happy family reunion. All of the four Wenzel daughters except for Sophie are still living – Edith in the family home in Gohfeld; Lilli in northern Michigan and Erika in St. Cloud. Sophie died of

cancer at age 60, also in Gohfeld. Vora’s book may be ordered by calling 1-888-795-4274 or online at or at She also has just had a new book published, entitled “Silent No More,” which tells the stories of 33 German women survivors who were forced from their homes and became refugees, like the Wenzel family was.

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St. Joseph Newsleader •


Friday, Feb. 1, 2013

Opinion Our View

Parks are a worthy investment for cities A community’s park system says a lot about the vibe of a city. In conversations about seasonal events, just the mention of a certain park can strike up memories of activities that happen in the park. Whether it’s hosting a baseball game or disc-golf tournament, parks make cities feel like home. Commitment to their upkeep and continuous improvement is a worthy investment for city officials. The St. Joseph Park Board voted last year to complete the third phase of improvements to Northland Park and focus on a transformation of Cloverdale Park this year. Just before winter temperatures arrived, members of the St. Joseph Public Works department extended a bridge from an existing slide and added two more slides for enjoyment at Northland Park. Additional planned improvements to the neighborhood park include a trail extension to the playground area and the addition of benches. Park board members voted to budget about $25,000 for improvements to the park. Work to take Cloverdale Park in St. Joseph from a tot lot to a contemplative space continues. Improvements include the addition of a gazebo in the middle of the park, plantings and a weaving walkway around the park. If the estimated project cost of $25,000 is reduced, board members said they hope to add passive play equipment. Updates to the park are slated for completion next year with some of the tree planting starting as early as Earth Day this year with the help of volunteers. Improvements to Cloverdale Park are part of the city’s master park plan. Created in 2008, the park plan proposed upgrades that include the addition of a gazebo, labyrinth, a walking trail, granite monuments and landscaping and other site amenities. The estimated cost of the proposed improvements is about $230,000. Plans might have been scaled back but efforts to improve the park remain. Parks matter. According to a previous survey by the National Association of Home Builders, 65 percent of home shoppers surveyed felt parks would seriously influence them to move to a community. With tight budgets and dwindling state aid, it’s inevitable some projects will be put on hold. This is the case for many area cities; St. Joseph is no exception. The city’s efforts to keep park projects moving forward shows just how important parks are to a community. They are a worthy investment and one that not only draws people to a community but can keep them there.

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.

It’s encouraging to see students embrace history The St. Cloud chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Its membership spans central Minnesota with support from members who live in the city of St. Joseph and beyond. The local organization recently held its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Fund Banquet. Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. I’m happy to say I was among the hundreds in the room who gathered to honor the memory of Dr. King and celebrate the work of the NAACP. The event was also held on the day of President Barack Obama’s inauguration. There was an added layer of excitement because of that fact. Participants cheered each time speakers made reference to the first two-term president of African-American descent. As a reporter, I’ve covered the event before and have attended for my personal enjoyment in year’s past. This year it was different. There were

TaLeiza Calloway Reporter more youth in the crowd talking with professors, senators, doctors and business men and women. I was surprised to see this but I shouldn’t have been. That is how it should be. They are a part of the community and should have a chance to learn about their communities and the organizations that fight for equality within them. The participants included a middleschool student entertaining the crowd by playing the piano (specifically playing “Maple Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin, an African-American composer and pianist) and a college student performing an original piece of poetry. It was good to see those young people well represented at the event. Their presence was encouraging. I was also moved by students at the

College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University who didn’t just accept their school had limited events or any at all that commemorated the legacy of King. This was the first year students led an effort to host a week of events centered on education, social justice and a reflection of history in honor of King. One of the most telling of the week’s activities was the introduction of a Freedom Wall. Students were not merely asked to sign their names to the wall. They were asked to share what freedom meant to them. To some, it meant being able to love who they want. For others it was about equality for all or being able to always be true to their beliefs. That wall filled up fast and it wasn’t just students of color signing it. Men and women of all ages and students and staff shared their views of freedom – something that unites us all. Those are just two examples of students embracing history and in some instances encouraging others to do the same.

Help save jobs: buy American, shop local Let’s help save American jobs; let’s start consciously shopping for products “Made in the U.S.A.” I’ve always tried to do that, but it’s problematic for a number of reasons. For example, some products are stamped with “Made in U.S.A.” on the outside, meaning the container was Americanmade, but the products “innards” were made somewhere else. For another thing, with a limited budget, it becomes almost necessary to buy a cheaper product no matter where it’s made. At least, we’ve been accustomed to thinking so. However, after buying three French-press coffee makers, all of which were made in China and all of which cracked shortly after purchasing them, I’ve decided “cheaper” is most definitely not always the better bargain. As a result, I check “Made” labels more often lately. And when I find a product “Made in U.S.A.,” I tend to buy it over a foreign-made brand, even if it costs a bit more and in some cases even a lot more. In doing comparison shopping, much to my surprise I found many American-made products are actually less expensive than their foreign counterparts. Here are some examples: Many famous name-brand greeting cards, which we think of as so all-American, are actually made elsewhere. You can buy American-made ones at dollar stores, such as Dollar Tree, for 50 cents or a buck each. KitchenAid products, such as blenders, are superbly designed, highly reliable and made in the U.S.A., and they are

Dennis Dalman Editor less expensive than many other foreignmade brands. One day, I found General Electric light bulbs made in Mexico, then nearby I found a box of generic-sounding light bulbs made in Cleveland, Ohio. I bought the latter. Less expensive, just as good. Which brings me to a point. We tend to think, almost by a process of commercial osmosis, that famous brands are allAmerican and thus “Made in America.” Not so. Some of the most recognizable brands of items (General Electric, Colgate, Hallmark) are now made in other countries. And such well-known American brands, these days, don’t always necessarily guarantee high quality the way they used to in the good old days. In other words, it pays to seek out lesser-known brands that are made in this country. There are many good reasons to scout for and buy American-made products. It helps keep jobs for fellow Americans. It helps stimulate our economy overall. In most cases, you will get better-made, more durable products. For years, corporations – sometimes unfortunately with the blessings of our government – have been shipping jobs overseas to maximize profits. While that may be financially sound for the com-

pany owners and shareholders, it’s hardly “sound” for their American workers left in the lurch, and it’s hardly an example of American patriotism. We can help counter those self-serving actions of offshoring jobs by buying “Made in U.S.A.” In addition, many foreign plants are a virtual equivalent of slave labor – hideous, unsafe working conditions; rampant pollution; pathetically low wages; child labor; long working hours; no benefits. It’s tragic unemployment is so widespread globally. My heart goes out to people everywhere who are struggling to survive and who need jobs – even wretched ones – to buy enough food for their families. However, some corporations cynically exploit that fact and take advantage of people for the sake of more and more profit. That is another good reason to shop “American.” It might help put pressure on those corporations to improve wages and working conditions, at least, for their foreign employees. I hope my readers join me in this new pursuit: a conscious effort to buy “Made in America.” And not to forget, another great way to help retain jobs and stimulate your area economy is to “Shop Locally!” There are some excellent websites to learn about “Made in U.S.A.” products. My favorite is, which gives detailed lists of American-made products, organized by categories. Check it out and then shop accordingly.

Send your opinions to: The Newsleaders • P.O. Box 324 • St. Joseph, MN 56374 or email us at

St. Joseph Newsleader •

Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 Friday, Feb. 1 Registration deadline for Evening at the Capitol, sponsored by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, 5-7 p.m., Best Western Kelly Inn, St. Paul. 320-656-3804 or 320656-3824. “Picking the Best, Letting Go of the Rest,” a Senior Enrichment Session, 10-11 a.m., Whitney Senior Center, 1527 Northway Drive, St Cloud. 320-255-7245. Blood drive, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., St. Cloud Blood Donation Center, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud, Minn. 1-800-RED CROSS or visit

Community Calendar

Sunday, Feb. 3 Breakfast for Holy Cross Parish of Pearl Lake (Marty), 8:30 a.m.-noon Holy Cross Catholic School. All proceeds will be matched by a Catholic United Financial grant. 320-398-7885. Monday, Feb. 4 Blood drive, from noon-6 p.m., St. Cloud Blood Donation Center, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood. org. Sartell Superstars 4H club meeting, 7 p.m. Call Kris at 828-1121 for location. Tuesday, Feb. 5 National Pancake Day, free shortstack of buttermilk pancakes in exchange for a voluntary contribution, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., IHOP, Waite Park. Proceeds benefits Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Dairy Management Workshop by Minnesota Milk Producers, 9:30 a.m., College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph. 320-255-6169.

Blood drive, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., St. Cloud Blood Donation Center, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-RED CROSS or visit 55+ driver improvement course (four-hour refresher), 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Life Assembly of God, 2409 Clearwater Road, St. Cloud. www. or call toll-free at 1-888-234-1294. Blood drive, from 1-6 p.m., Atonement Lutheran Church, 1144 29th Ave. N., St. Cloud. 1-800-RED CROSS or visit “Living Well with Chronic Conditions,” 2-4 p.m. today and five more Tuesdays, Whitney Senior Center, 1527 Northway Drive, St. Cloud. 320-255-7245. 55+ driver improvement course (four-hour refresher), 5-9 p.m., Apollo High School, 1000 44th Ave N, St. Cloud. or call toll-free at 1-888-234-1294. Home Stretch workshop, 5-9 p.m., today and Feb. 6, Middle School, Little Falls, Minn. 320-258-0681.




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Zonya Foco, a registered dietitian, professional speaker, TV host, best-selling author, guest presenter for “Oprah and Bob’s Best Life Challenge shares one-minute mini-meals and speed-feed tricks, from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Windfeldt Room at CentraCare Health Plaza, St. Cloud. Seating is limited. Call 320-255-5642 for more information. Wednesday, Feb. 6 GREAT Murder Mystery, adults and teens 16 and older are invited to take part in an interactive Murder Mystery with GREAT Theatre, 6:307:30 p.m., Waite Park Public Library. Advanced registration is required. 320-253-9359. St. Joseph Area Historical Society, 7 p.m., Old City Hall, St. Joseph. Thursday, Feb. 7 Coffee and Conversation, a senior discussion group, 9 a.m., Country Manor, Sartell. Daughters of Africa, presented by the Mixed Blood Theatre, 9:30-10:15 a.m. Discovery Elementary School, Waite Park. This performance for children in grades K-5 is sponsored by the Waite Park Public Library and open to the public. 320-253-9359.

Knit/crochet with St. Joseph Knittin’ Company, 10:30 a.m., Minnesota Street Market, downtown St. Joseph. Blood drive, from noon-6 p.m., St. Cloud Blood Donation Center, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood. org. Hibernation, a presentation for children 3-12 by staff from St. John’s Arboretum, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Waite Park Public Library. Advanced registration is required. 320-253-9359. St. Joseph City Council, 7 p.m., City Hall. 320-363-7201. Friday, Feb. 8 St. Joseph Farmers’ Market, 3-6 p.m., Resurrection Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall, 610 North County Road 2, St. Joseph. www. Saturday, Feb. 9 League of Women Voters annual membership luncheon, 11:30 a.m., the Stearns History Museum, 235 33rd Ave. S., St. Cloud, Minn. “Celebrating our successes,” by keynote speaker Sherri Knuth from the state LWV followed with a guided tour of the museum. 320-529-0146.

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St. Joseph Newsleader •


Friday, Feb. 1, 2013

Grand opening keeps Klinefelter’s memory alive by TaLeiza Calloway

About 50 people packed into the lobby of the McDonald’s restaurant in St. Joseph Tuesday to celebrate the opening of the business and to remember Brian Klinefelter. Tuesday marked 17 years since the St. Joseph police officer was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle carrying three liquor store robbery suspects. The business hosted a grand opening event Tuesday. Joe and Valerie Silva, co-owners of the McDonald’s said the restaurant will donate 20 percent of Tuesday’s profits to the Brian Klinefelter Foundation. “The community has really embraced this,” Valerie Silva said of the event. The foundation focuses on

Blotter from page 2 communication error. The owner wants nothing done as far as damage to the sign goes. 5:43 p.m. Fraud. Morningside Loop. Gentleman from Kentucky called to report his old Visa card was used at and a vacuum for $192.23 was charged and delivered by UPS to Morningside Loop. His credit card already canceled the charge and credited his account. He was told by his local agency to report it to the St. Joseph police. 10:06 p.m. Assist person. Fourth Avenue NE. Employee called to report a 17-year-old male was dropped off by his cousins. He was supposed to be dropped off in St. Cloud. She did

prevention programs for youth and has funded scholarships for students pursuing a career in law enforcement. Tuesday marked the beginning of a longterm partnership between the local business and the foundation. Joe Silva, co-owner of the St. Joseph store, said the festivities were about more than celebration but remembrance. A former Chicago police officer himself, he said “once you’re in law enforcement, you’re always in law enforcement.” The gathering Tuesday was a reminder of this commitment to service no matter the department. “This may be a grand opening, but this is about keeping Brian’s memory alive,” Joe said. Klinefelter’s parents, Lois and Dave Klinefelter, were glad to see so much community sup-

not want him to walk home due to the time of night. Jan. 3 10:47 a.m. Medical. 11th Avenue SE. Report of a safe that fell on a delivery person. When officer arrived on scene, a male was lying on the floor at the bottom of the stairs to the basement. His leg was pinned underneath the safe. The other male was holding the cart with the safe on it. St. Joseph Fire Department was able to get the safe off of the victim and he was not injured. Jan. 4 3:21 a.m. Alarm. Second Street S. Officer arrived on scene and checked perimeter of the building. All doors were locked and nothing appeared unusual. Officer met with keyholder and walked through the office area where the alarm was set. There

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port. And the fact the Silvas never knew their son is even more touching to them. The Klinefelters live in Sartell. “The support has been great and it was when it happened,” Lois Klinefelter said. “It has carried on. That’s the most meaningful part, that he’s not forgotten.” From phone calls and texts to Facebook posts, Wendy Klinefelter Tragiai said the support has been overwhelming for the foundation and her family. She is grateful. Tragiai was married to Klinefelter at the time of his death. Their daughter was 3 months old when her father was killed. photos by TaLeiza Calloway “It’s just been fantastic,” Savanna Silva, 6 and Ashley Verant (center), 7, talk with Klinefelter Tragiai said. “It’s Ronald McDonald Jan. 29 during a grand opening event for been a nice day of rememberMcDonald’s in St. Joseph. ing. After 17 years, it means a lot.”

were some papers on the floor from the printer. Everything else appeared to be in place. Jan. 27 3:40 p.m. Motor-vehicle accident. Ridgewood Road. A westbound truck lost control on the icy road and collided with a mailbox, a sign and an electrical transformer box owned by Stearns Electric. The driver was transported to St. Cloud Hospital by Gold Cross Ambulance. The Stearns County Sheriff’s office was assisted by the St. Joseph Police Department. Ronald McDonald helps Sydney and Savanna Silva cut a ribbon during the St. Joseph McDonald’s grand opening event Jan. 29.

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