Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid St. Joseph Newsleader St. Joseph, MN 56374 Permit No. 21 ECRWSS Postal Customer
Newsleader St. Joseph
Friday, March 7, 2014 Volume 25, Issue 10 Est. 1989
Huge snow banks prevent snowmobile trail grooming
Wayne Resseman of the Holdingford Snowfliers Snowmobile Club has informed the Stearns County Park Department they are unable to groom portions of the Lake Wobegon trail between Albany and Holdingford for snowmobiling. They report drifts on the trail so large grooming machines are not able to groom the trail. All snowmobilers are warned to watch for trail reroutes.
Commissioner to meet with constituents
Stearns County Commissioner Mark Bromenschenkel will meet with constituents for an informal coffee chat from 10-11 a.m. Saturday, March 8 at the Blue Line Sports Bar & Grill, 1101 2nd St. S., Sartell. The commissioner generally holds the coffee get-togethers on the first Saturday of every other month in three cities of his district: Sartell, St. Joseph and Waite Park. Bromenschenkel, a Sartell resident, represents Stearns County District 2 on the county board. For more information, visit www.thenewsleaders. com and click on Criers.
Actress Davis talks about media gender equality at CSB by Cori Hilsgen firstname.lastname@example.org
Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis spoke to a large crowd Feb. 25 at the College of St. Benedict and dazzled the audience with her humor to get an important message out about gender equality in the media. She said she started noticing the role women played in the media nine years ago when her daughter was 2. Davis began asking questions, gathering research and founded the “Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.” The institute, which targets children 11 and younger, works to increase female character representation in children’s media and to reduce female stereotyping in a male-dominated profession. photo by Cori Hilsgen Davis asked the audience Award-winning actress Geena Davis spoke Feb. 25 about gender equality to a crowd of more than Davis • page 8 500 people at the College of St. Benedict.
‘Fare for All’ food program coming to St. Joseph by Cori Hilsgen email@example.com
A local food program created to make fresh fruits and March is Food Share Month vegetables more affordable to March is Food Share Month in families in the Twin Cities is Minnesota where donations are coming to St. Joseph. matched during the month. Dur“Fare for All Express,” will ing this time of significant economic distress, many area fami- have a grand opening from lies are using local food shelves 4-6 p.m. Monday, March 17 more than ever before. Consider at the Resurrection Lutheran leveraging the match by running Church. a food drive within your work place, church or service club and donate to your local food shelf. Catholic Charities Emergency Services 320-229-4560 or the Salvation Army 320-252-4552.
Hot off the press
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Daylight Savings begins Sunday
Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 9. Residents should turn clocks ahead one hour.
For additional criers, visit www.thenewsleaders.com and click on Criers.
Local resident Mary Plafcan said she heard about a group of Resurrection Church members who were trying to help people in the community find resources to get the groceries they needed. She decided to offer her help. The group had been investigating “Ruby’s Pantry” in Sauk Centre to see if that option would work in St. Joseph. Someone had also heard
about Fare for All, so Plafcan and Resurrection member Amanda Roles contacted Scott Weatherhead from Fare for All. Weatherhead visited St. Joseph and spoke to various people about the program at a recent meeting. The group decided to go with Fare for All instead of Ruby’s Pantry because it fit the needs and the facility at St. Joseph better.
Plafcan said various other area organizations are also supporting Fare for All. Established in 2007 by Emergency Foodshelf Network, Fare for All Express purchases fresh fruits and vegetables and frozen meats in bulk and passes the savings on to anyone who would like to stretch their food budget dollars. Fare • page 5
River Runners to host ‘Community Day’ March 8 by Dennis Dalman firstname.lastname@example.org
While most central Minnesotans are grinning and bearing this winter, the members of the St. Stephen River Runners are grinning and loving it. In fact, they couldn’t be happier with all the snow and more snow. “We’re loving it,” said Lori Welch of St. Stephen. “This winter we can actually ride right from our house to the snowmobile trail. We don’t even have to use the (snowmobile) trailer.” It’s quite a change from the winter of two years ago when there were unusually warm temperatures and virtually no snow for most of the season.
The River Runners, a group of about two dozen snowmobile hobbyists, recently purchased a used 200 model Tucker grooming machine with drag from a company in Bloomington. They are eager to show off the new machine and have scheduled “Community Day” for that purpose from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, March 8 at Trobec’s Bar in St. Community Day • page 4 contributed photo
Rodney and Lori Welch, members of the St. Stephen River Runners snowmobile club, drive about 1,500 miles most winters on their machines. Their two children are also avid snowmobilers.
St. Joseph Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com
Pehler, Graves endorse Perske for DFL house seat
Joel Vogel, St. Joseph, of Mended Hearts Chapter 10, presents a donation to Susie Osaki-Holm of “Take Heart.” The money will be used to purchase and place two automatic external defibrillators in central Minnesota. This is the second year that Mended Hearts has donated funds for two AEDs to be placed in central Minnesota. Mended Hearts is preparing for it’s third annual golf tournament (Zipper Open), which will be held in the fall of 2014. The funds raised in this project are used for AEDs, education and training. Mended Hearts is a support group for those who have had any cardiac procedure and their families. All Mended Hearts gatherings are open to the public. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/MendedHeartsChapter10 or contact Mike Klein at 320-221-1943.
Concrete Pump Operator: MUST have a Class B license. Experience a plus but not required. Stop by and fill out an application at: 1374 105th St. NW, Rice, MN or contact Mark at 320-393-4485.
St. John the Baptist Parish Center, Collegeville Just west of St. John’s University Campus on Fruit Farm Road
Fridays, March 7 & 28 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Fish Fry Tickets at the door: Adults: $10, Children (ages 5-10): $5 Children under 5: FREE Menu: Fried fish, macaroni & cheese, baked potatoes, beans, coleslaw, bread, dessert buffet and beverages Take out available. Our dining room is handicap accessible.
Buttercup is a 6-and-a-half year old spayed and declawed brown tabby. She came to the shelter because someone in the home was allergic to her. Buttercup was friendly with young children when she met them and she got along well with other cats. Buttercup can be a little shy when first meeting new people, but after she’s had time to check you out she warms up and aims for your lap. Buttercup has been known to carry on a conversation, albeit quietly, with small little meows. “Helping one animal won’t change the world … but it will change the world for that one animal!” Dogs - 11 Puppy - 1
Cats - 25 Kittens - 3
Rats - 17
Friday, March 7, 2014
Tri-County Humane Society 735 8th St. NE • PO Box 701 St. Cloud, MN 56302
Hours: Monday-Thursday Noon-6 p.m., Friday Noon-8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. & Sunday Noon-5 p.m.
Jim Pehler, a former Minnesota senator, and Jim Graves, who lost to Michele Bachmann in the 2012 congressional race by a narrow margin, have both endorsed Joe Perske as the DFL candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives District 6. Perske, who is vying for the seat being vacated by Bachmann, is the current mayor of Sartell. He recently spoke at the Senate District 14 DFL meeting on Feb. 20 at the Great River Regional Library in St. Cloud. In endorsing Perske, Pehler commented, “I am endorsing Joe because he has been an elected official of a mid-sized city. He has close ties in the
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 www.tricountycrimestoppers.org. Crime Stoppers offers rewards up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for crimes.
central Minnesota area which has given him an understanding of the needs of average working men and women. Joe has a very common-sense approach to solving problems, and he knows how to work well with many different groups of people.” Pehler of St. Cloud served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1973-81 and in the Minnesota Senate from 1981-91. Graves, a hotel executive, said he believes Perske is the one who will look at both sides of an issue and decide what is best for the people of Congressional District 6.
punched in the face. He admitted it was a mutual pushing and shoving match. All individuals were intoxicated and wanted nothing done about the incident.
Feb. 12 12:38 a.m. Assist. Assisted Minnesota State Patrol with a report of a vehicle in the median on I-94 at MM 162. Arrived and found a ford pickup on its roof. Three occupants in the vehicle with no injuries. Stood by until state patrol arrived and assisted with transporting one of the occupants to the Holiday station to wait for a ride.
Feb. 15 5:17 a.m. Suspicious vehicle. Minnesota Street E. Observed a vehicle parked with no plates on vehicle. Twenty-one-day temporary license in back window expired on Dec. 14. Upon further investigation officer noticed the keys were still in the ignition and a checkbook was in plain view on the front seat. The checkbook contained 17 $100 bills, a debit card and a credit card. The keys and checkbook were removed for safekeeping. A message was left on the owner’s cell phone to contact the St. Joseph Police Department. Officer also left his business card in the vehicle. 10:26 a.m. Medical. Minnesota Street W./Second Avenue NW. A female fell on the ice hitting the back of her head. Officer made sure she was warm and did not move. Stood by until Gold Cross arrived to transport her.
Feb. 14 1:12 a.m. Fight. Minnesota Street W. Officer observed a female yelling and pushing a male on the sidewalk in front of Sal’s Bar. The female pushed the male up against the building. Another male was standing behind the female and yelling at the male the female was pushing. All parties were identified by their drivers’ licenses. One male stated he was
Feb. 16 2:28 a.m. Assist person. College Avenue N. Helped complainant try to find his phone he lost at a house party. No luck. 10:29 a.m. Verbal. Fourth Avenue NE. Female complainant stated her husband was yelling and throwing things in the house. Nothing physical to her or threats to her. She left and went to a friend’s house with her child. She
Feb. 11 10:35 p.m. Open door. 20th Avenue S. Officer found garage door on the new U.S. Army Reserve building site open. Some building materials and equipment inside. Officer closed the garage door.
Graves said, “I fully endorse, Joe; we need moderates in Washington who are willing to reach out to both sides of the aisle. I think when people study the issues and learn more about Joe, he will have a good run.” Graves will be working on behalf of Perske during the DFL endorsing convention May 3 in Monticello. Perske has said his primary concern is bettering the lives of middle-class people. “The U.S. House of Representatives is drowning in its own dysfunction,” he said. “I’m running to ensure the paralyzing gridlock in American government ends.”
asked the officer not to go to the house and talk to her husband in fear it may make him more angry. Officer stated since there was no crime and no children in the house, he would not contact him. She stated she was not going back to the house and her husband did not know where she went. Officer called Anna Marie House and had her talk to them while he was there. She was advised to call the police if she needed anything else or if her husband showed up. Feb. 17 12:58 p.m. Fire. Minnesota Street E. A male was working on a snowmobile in an unattached shed. He spilled gas and started a fire. He stated he was unable to get to a fire extinguisher in time. Officer assisted St. Joseph Fire Department with closing off the road. Feb. 18 8:50 a.m. Property damage accident. CR 75/CR 133. Vehicle 1 was stopped in the turn lane. Vehicle 2 was coming up to stop behind her and slid on the ice/ snow-covered road and hit vehicle 1 in the back. No injuries. Feb. 19 2:26 p.m. Property damage accident. First Avenue NW. Vehicle 1 was backing up and hit vehicle 2 which was parked facing north on the road. Very little scratches on vehicle 1’s left rear bumper. Vehicle 2 lost about a 3-inch x 3-inch piece of rust. The owner of vehicle 2 was notified. About $50 damage.
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St. Joseph Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com
Friday, March 7, 2014
Kennedy Academic Triathlon team takes second place by Cori Hilsgen firstname.lastname@example.org
A team of Kennedy Community School students took second place at the U.S. Academic Triathlon meet held Feb. 1 at Kennedy. Team members include Hanna Haeg, Caitlin Popp, Monica Rodel, Jamie Deuhs and Hazel Anderson-Larson. USAT is a creative problemsolving competition for students in fifth through eighth grade. Kennedy hosted the meet, which included five teams of seventh- and eighth-grade students from the area. Academic Achievement coordinator Jodie Kragness said a record number of nine teams, about 48 students, from Kennedy participated in USAT this year. She said five to nine teams
compete at each competition. Each team competes four times during the year. Competitions are held at various area schools. Kragness is responsible for coordinating the USAT practices and hosting competitions. Students who enjoy writing skits, playing games, answering trivia questions or thinking on their feet enjoy USAT. At USAT, students work as a team to solve questions from a variety of subject areas. They also work together creatively in problem-solving situations, creating a skit and presenting it to an audience. Kragness said at Kennedy they continually encourage good sportsmanship. They teach students it’s more important to work as a team than to receive a medal. She said at USAT students learn how to think outside the box and experience personal
growth. Fifth-grade student Emma Zimmer said she enjoys the “PARTY in a box” experience, which is the part of the competition during which the students are given a scenario and some objects. The students write a skit, create props and a backdrop together as a team. The skit is then presented to all teams and guests of team members. “I think PARTY in a box gives me confidence to be an actor,” Zimmer said. Fifth-grade student Abigail Huesers enjoys working with students in other grades. “USAT was fun because you can do math and PARTY in a box,” she said. “I also like working with sixth-grade students. Fifth-grade student Sam Brewer likes testing his knowledge.
“What I like about USAT is you get to test your knowledge in a bunch of difference subjects,” Brewer said. Kragness said the program benefits greatly from volunteer parent coaches. “We have 10 wonderful parent volunteers who coach the teams,” she said. “Without parent volunteers, this amazing opportunity would not be available to students. Parent volunteers assist in coaching practices and travel with their teams to all competitions.” Kennedy teams of parent coaches and students include coach Ann Alvord with Alex Alvord, Emmalee Miller, Hope Hartwig, Elizabeth Wolff, Haley App and Karley Essington; coach Tim Haeg with Hanna Haeg, Caitlin Popp, Monica Rodel and Jamie Deuhs; coach Ana Krekelberg with Jake Krekelberg, Abdul Khasim,
Gavin Buersken, Mya Jodsaas, Mackenzie Lee and Haley Joos; coach Kristin Wolf and Mason Wolf, Trever Weisser, Sam Holthaus and Nathan Knoblach; coach Susan Heidal Schiltz with Zack Schiltz, Andrew Theisen, Maison Zimmer, Mitchell Heiserich and Parker Cox; coach Cara Zimmer with Emma Zimmer, Enrique Gideon, Keila Swefield, Anna Penticuff, Katie Lygre and Sabrina Wuolu; coaches Tamara and Pat Huesers with Abigail Huesers, Heather Kirchner, Jenna Robideaux, Kassie Krey and Keardyn I-Hawker; coaches Alicia Peters and Sara Jorgenson with Lydia Peters, Micah Jorgenson, Paige Cox, Alison Schwab, and Jared Hennigs; and coach Deb Gold with Sam Brewer, Zane Waite, Makayla Thelen, Rhiannon Theis, Jack Pelzel and Sawyer Engholm.
Council votes to hire appraiser for Park Terrace project by Cori Hilsgen email@example.com
The St. Joseph City council recently voted to hire an independent appraiser for the Park Terrace area improvements project to help determine what future benefits of the project would be. City Administrator Judy Weyrens said the independent appraiser will conduct a pre-assessment report and will provide an opinion of the amount of probable benefit the
properties will receive from the improvement. His opinion will then be used by the city to determine the amount that may be assessed to the property owners. Park Terrace is one of the last sections of the city where old water pipe is still in service. That area contains about 42 homes. Deficiencies in the utility system include sewer pipes with root intrusions, cracked and broken pipes, inadequate water mains and other issues
which require updating. Proposed construction is estimated to cost about $1.9 million and includes water main, storm drain, sewer and road improvements. Past ongoing discussions between the city and area residents have focused on council members wanting to be proAre you energetic with a positive attitude? Do you want to make a difference in the life of a senior? Home Instead Senior Care is looking for CAREGivers in St. Cloud and surrounding areas. We need individuals with flexible schedules to accommodate our clients.
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active because the city doesn’t want the system to fail. Many residents agree the project is needed but question the cost and want the benefit to equal the assessment. In the past, the city has assessed 60 percent of improvement projects. Council member Steve Frank has said he would
like the city to develop a financial pool to help residents reduce their contributions and would like to see a lower property-owner contribution. He would like to see the council adopt a 50-percent formula for this and similar future projects.
Shop/Yard Foreman: Experience in the concrete business needed. Duties include direct maintenance man as to repairs needed, maintaining maintenance logs, keeping shop a clean safe environment, ordering supplies and some materials and preparing materials for jobs daily. Qualified applicants please stop by and fill out an application at: 1374 105th St. NW, Rice, MN or contact Mark at 320-393-4485.
Laborer Form Setters for Footings/Walls: Stop by and fill out an application at: 1374 105th St. NW, Rice, MN
St. Joseph Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com
The new used groomer, obtained from a Bloomington company, goes for a practice run by members of the St. Stephen River Runners snowmobile club.
Community Day from front page Stephen. All past and present club members are invited to attend. Landowners who live
along the St. Stephen snowmobile trail have been invited to the gathering at Trobec’s, along with anyone else who wants to show up. A Polaris snowmobile will be raffled, with a limit of 650 tickets sold.
Thanks to the new used groomer, several members can take turns keeping the trails in good order. The main groomer is Mark VanderWeyst, whose wife, Cindy is the mayor of St. Stephen and president of the River Runners. There are four
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Discovery Day Friday, March 14 Friday, April 11 Students in grades 5-11 are invited to experience Prep! Call 320-363-3315, option 3 to RSVP and reserve your space.
other groomers who help out, including Randy Welch, the husband of Lori Welch. All members of the club also help keep the trails shipshape in autumn by putting up or repairing signage and by cutting brush or limbs that intrude into the trails. The trails include a stretch between St. Stephen and St. Joseph, from St. Stephen to Opole and the St. Joseph trail that reaches Sartell. Altogether, those trails add up to about 15 miles. Since they are state grant-in-aid trails, the county and groomers receive so much recompense per mile to groom and maintain those trails, Lori Welch noted. Like other members of the River Runners, the Welches make snowmobiling a family affair. Rodney and Lori, when going for snowmobile rides, are often accompanied by their two children – Tyler, 24, and Hailey, 14. The family rides about 1,500 miles each winter, Rodney estimates. “Sometimes more,” he said. “And those are just the miles our family rides.”
Craft & Vendor Spring Fling March 22 10 a.m.-2 p.m. El Paso Bar & Grill 200 N.W. 2nd Ave. • St. Joseph
Door prizes! Vendors include: Scentsy, 31 Gifts, Avon, Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Young Living and many more! Handmade blankets, jewelry, wooden decor, etc.
CNC MACHINIST $1,000 SIGN-ON BONUS Industry-leading manufacturer of precision granite solutions is seeking a 2nd Shift CNC Machinist. Candidates applying for this position should understand blueprint reading, G&M codes and have a degree in Machining or two years experience. GibbsCAM and SolidWorks knowledge helpful but not required. We offer competitive wages and excellent benefits. We also offer a $1,000 sign-on bonus to those who qualify. If you would like to join this progressive, industryleading company, please send resume to: Paula Thompson, Human Resources Manager P.O. Box 430 1101 Prosper Drive Waite Park, MN 56387 email@example.com
Food and drink specials! **Please bring a canned or non-perishable food item for the local food shelf.**
Friday, March 7, 2014 Like other members of the club, the Welches emphasize safety at all times and make sure they have the right gear for the sometimes below-zero weather: snowmobile suits, bibs, jackets, goggles, hand-warmers on the sleds. River Runners’ members are trying to interest more younger members in joining their club. The current age of members ranges from early 30s to early 50s. The Welch family also belongs to the St. Joseph-based Sno Joes snowmobile club, as do some other River Runners. The St. Stephen club is comprised of members from St. Joseph, Sartell, St. Cloud and, of course, St. Stephen. The River Runners take an annual multi-day trip to other areas of Minnesota. Such trips have included areas near Bemidji, Virginia, Deer River and Alexandria, to name just four. Another annual event is when members go bowling every spring. “It’s kind of a family day for all the members,” Lori said. Each year, the club also does several fundraisers, such as selling pizzas and a snowmobile raffle event. In addition, club members, twice a year, keep a stretch of CR 2 clean of litter.
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Friday, March 7, 2014
Fare from front page In a press release, program manager Sophia Lenarz-Coy said the program is designed to make healthy foods available to people. “Many families have been forced to cut back on fresh produce and lean meats because of ever-shrinking food budgets,” Lenarz-Coy said. “Fair for All is designed to help make affordable, healthy foods available to those families.” When Fair for All launched in 2007, it served about 5,000
St. Joseph Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com households in nine Twin Cities locations. In 2013, it had grown to 24 locations and sold food packages to more than 37,000 households. The program is meant to supplement people’s grocery-story purchases. It provides produce and meat items that might not otherwise be affordable to them. Households who utilize the program have access to and often consume more healthy foods. Lenarz-Coy said the 700-percent growth of the program since its establishment demonstrates the need many Minnesotans have for affordable nutritious food. Because the program buys
food in bulk, it’s open to anyone. More participation means Fare for All can offer better deals. Plafcan said she wants to encourage everyone to take advantage of the program because the program is able to get better prices if more people use it. She said when it is possible, foods are purchased locally and often there are also free bread items which are donated. Plafcan said the program is looking for volunteers to help at distributions. Fare for All is open to everyone and does not require any registration. The program sells packages of fruits, vege-
tables and frozen meats and accepts cash, credit, debit and EBT cards. Fair for All food distributions will be one Monday each month at Resurrection Lutheran Church located at 610 CR 2 in St. Joseph. Distribution dates for 2014 include
March 17, April 14, May 12, June 9, July 7, Aug. 4, Sept. 15, Oct. 13, Nov. 10 and Dec. 8. For additional information contact Mary Plafcan at 320249-5718.
Ask A Trooper What is the difference between using ‘crash’ or ‘accident’ in the media? Q: As a traffic-safety official, I’m very upset people don’t realize there is some significance as to what is going on with using the term “crash” as compared to using the word “accident” in news articles and other media. I see both terms used and I personally know there is some intentionality about this. I know you use the word crash for a reason, so can you do an article about this issue so we can get everyone on the same page? A: There is indeed something going on, and intentionally for the most part. The spark for this issue stems from a court trial from more than a decade ago involving the intentional ramming of
a police vehicle, which resulted in the death of a police officer. During the trial, an attorney brought up the point the incident was referred to by police in all of the reports as an “accident.” It also was reported by police on an “accident” report form, thus it was argued the incident was not intentional and charges should be dismissed. I won’t get into the results of that trial, but ever since that time, traffic-safety officials in the state have made a huge effort to influence everyone to use the word “crash” and not the word “accident.” Personally, I have been on board with this since the beginning. Mostly, the initial efforts for change were aimed
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at officers, media and traffic-safety officials. We know human driving error causes the vast majority of crashes and are therefore preventable. These crashes are not accidents and we need to use the correct term to define this. Currently, the crash reports still have the word “accident” on them; however, I do think we have made great progress in changing the vernacular from accident to crash. We still have a lot of people using the term accident instead of crash, and it quite frankly is something all traffic-safety officials would like to see change. Toward Zero Deaths program officials also feel very strongly about
this and would love to see this change immediately. In addition, local traffic-safety coalitions have helped a lot with this issue in many regions of the state. I know this effort continues at the Department of Public Safety, in particular the Office of Traffic Safety. Also, most spokespersons at the Minnesota Department of Transportation have also learned to use the term crash in interviews. Even though we continue to emphasize the word crash, the media frequently refers to them as accidents. I’m sure this is because they have grown up hearing crashes called “car accidents.” As far as the media in general, I think there is
such a turnover in some media outlets, reporters move on and up into other venues and it seems like we are training in the new ones all the time. Everyone should get into the habit of using the word “crash” instead of “accident,” so we can all be on the same page with traffic safety and move forward. If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Hwy. 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 565012205 or follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state. mn.us.
St. Joseph Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com
There are ways to beat weary winter blahs
Many of us Minnesotans – and so many elsewhere – are beginning to feel like prisoners who’ve received life sentences and are waiting for a reprieve from a remote, mysterious governor. That’s how miserable this never-ending winter has been – a season of brutal onslaughts of snow, wind and months of below-zero temperatures. Is it any wonder some people are crabby, antsy, short-tempered and not their jolly old selves? Even pets look glum as they stare out the windows at the dunes of snow. Everyone has been saying, as if to convince themselves, as if whistling in the dark, that “spring is just around the corner.” Well, is it? We’re beginning to doubt it. But let’s hope so. Still, there are ways to keep hope alive, ways to beat these butt-end-of-winter blahs. One way is to get the family together to make detailed plans for a spring or summer getaway vacation. It can be as simple as a local fishing trip to a resort or as exotic as a trip to a foreign country. Another way to keep hope of spring alive is to plan for summer projects – a new paint job on the house, a new or refurbished deck or patio, a play area for the kids. One of the best ways to think spring is to plant some seeds in the house. Nothing makes hope for spring and summer come alive like the sight of tiny green seedlings popping up from a planter tray in the house on a cold winter day. And now is the perfect time to plant some seeds – six to eight weeks before the anticipated last-frost date, mid to late May, when planting outdoors is “safe” for our northern climate. Planting seeds is simple. The best way is to get one of those seed-planting flats at your local hardware store. They resemble rectangular black-plastic egg cartons with clear plastic covers. Also, buy a bag of seed-starter soil for your seed flat. Next, choose the seeds you want to plant. Tomatoes, herbs and certain types of flowers are good choices. Just be sure to read the directions on the back of the seed packets because some flowers are tricky to grow in the house from seeds. Once you have your supplies, carefully follow directions. Fill the flats with the soil, sprinkle well with water, plant seeds according to directions, cover the flats and place in indirect light in a place that is 70 degrees or more. The top of a fridge is ideal. In a week to 10 days, you should see tiny green hopes of spring popping up. In the meantime, start planning your outdoor garden, which can be a small tomato patch, a larger plot or even a sunny strip along one side of the house. Watching your seedlings grow, with their bright-green promise of spring and summer, is a good way to thumb your nose at Old Man Winter, who has long overstayed his welcome.
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, March 7, 2014
Opinion Shame on those who trash kids’ lunches The children denied school lunches in Salt Lake City, Utah is almost as sad as that heartrending scene in Charles Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist. Poor little orphaned Oliver, stuck inside a cruel workhouse where he and others are underfed and hungry, dares to approach the mean man doling out the watery lunch porridge. Holding up his bowl, he says, “Please, sir, I want some more.” The man, enraged by Twist’s plea, hauls off and punches the poor kid. In late January, at the Salt Lake City elementary school, 40 children in the lunch line filled their lunch trays. When the lunch officials noticed those children’s lunch accounts had outstanding balances, the trays were taken from the children and the food tossed in the trash. Lunchline workers are not allowed to reserve food that has been placed on trays. The children were given fruit and milk instead of the hot lunches. That despicable incident caused nationwide outrage. And rightfully so. The school-lunch manager has been placed on administrative leave. The very idea of taking food from a hungry child is hard to fathom in this day and age. Why should children be punished for their parents’ irresponsibility? Or, in some hardship cases, for parents’ inability to pay? What’s really disturbing is there are 46 school districts right here in Minnesota with policies that can and do refuse hot lunches to students if their lunch accounts are delinquent. In most cases, those students are given alternate lunches, such as a sandwich and milk. Some lunch workers in some districts even stamp
Dennis Dalman Editor children’s hands with the words “LUNCH” or “MONEY” so they’ll remember to remind their parents to pay up. This sounds about as cruel, arbitrary and spiteful as anything that can be found in the pages of Oliver Twist. The policy at Sartell schools is to allow up to three charges for hot lunches by students whose accounts are empty. After that, they are given a sandwich (choice of cheese or peanut butter) and a carton of milk. A similar policy is also in place at schools in the St. Cloud School District, including Kennedy Community School in St. Joseph. Some lunch programs, wisely, use a discreet method to handle the situation. Children whose accounts are empty are given bagged lunches before they get to the lunch room, thus sparing them the humiliation of having their lunch trays confiscated in front of them. Local lunch officials say denying hot lunches to children doesn’t happen very often. Repeated efforts are made to remind parents the accounts are dwindling or empty. Such reminders include emailing and/or telephoning twice a week. However, policy or no policy, snatching even one hot-lunch tray from a student, then trashing the food in front of that hungry child
is unforgivable. It should never be done, not even once, period! The Legal Aid Society of Minnesota recently did a survey of all school districts in the state. Ninetyfour percent of school districts (309) responded. Here are the results: 165 districts offer less-nutritious alternative meals in lieu of providing a hot lunch or turning a child away. Sartell and St. Cloud have policies similar to this one. 98 districts (three cheers for them) always provide a full menu-of-theday hot lunch to a low-income child even if that child or his parents cannot afford the lunch fee. 46 districts have policies of immediate or eventual refusal to serve a hot lunch to a student who cannot afford the 40-cent co-pay for the reduced-price lunch. Of course, it’s the responsibility of parents to pay for their children’s lunches. And, obviously, lunch programs cannot play the role of constant bill collectors. It’s even understandable, somewhat, that children be given bagged lunches, but only discreetly before they go through the lunch line. The St. Cloud and Sartell-St. Stephen school boards – along with all boards in the state – should revisit their lunch policies immediately. Local schools seem to be handling the problem fairly well. However, every lunch policy should ensure no child – ever! – should have to go through the humiliation and red-faced shame of placing food items on his or her tray, only to have the tray’s contents taken away and trashed. Shame on any lunch program that would allow such cruelty.
Letter to editor
Mayor Schultz encourages running water to keep pipes from freezing Mayor Rick Schultz Boy, has this been a long and trying winter! I blame the groundhog. While this winter is not the worst on record, it has had its moments. One of the recurring moments is frozen water pipes. It seems like a day doesn’t go by without city staff having to deal with this cold-weather issue. During the past weeks you may have read or heard stories on freezing water lines. There have been several drinking-water service lines freezing in the area cities, including St. Joseph. The best way to prevent the service line from freezing is to keep the water moving or running. A pencil width is effective to prevent freezing. The water line that runs from the city’s main to the inside of the home is the home owner’s responsibility. If you suspect your water line is
frozen, contact the city offices immediately, and someone there will notify the Public Works Department. The staff will provide a list of contractors who have successfully worked in the city, but ultimately the choice of contractor rests with the resident. The public-works department staff will work with the homeowner and contractor to assure access to the curb box, opening and closing the water flow. If your pipes have been frozen and thawed, we recommend this pencil-thin flow of water to prevent the service from refreezing. The cost of running water is cheaper (approximately $ 2 to $ 2.50 per day) than hiring a contractor to thaw the service line. Thawing of pipes can cost between several hundred dollars up to a thousand dollars for some. I understand running water is
an additional financial burden for residents. To help offset the cost, the sewer costs have been capped from the billing cycle in November and December. This cycle is typically the lowest consumption month providing the maximum benefit. Warmer weather is coming. At least that’s what the Farmer’s Almanac says! In the spring, the ground thaws from the top and bottom and the last frost to leave the ground is in the middle. The average last frost is around April 5 at a depth of about 20 inches. Near Ottertail, frost was measured at 95 inches (almost 8 feet) this winter. I encourage you to call the city or watch the city’s website for updates on when it’s safe to stop running water. Have a warm day!
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Friday, March 7, 2014 Friday, March 7 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800733-2767. Fish Fry, 4-7:30 p.m., St. Francis Xavier School, 219 2nd St. N., Sartell. Fish Fry, 4:30-7:30 p.m., parish center, St. John the Baptist Parish, Collegeville, 320-3632569. Fish Fry, 4:30-8 p.m., St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club fundraiser, American Legion, St. Joseph. Fish Fry, 5-8 p.m., 2012 Lions fundraiser, El Paso Sports Bar & Grill, St. Joseph. Saturday, March 8 C o m m i s s i o n e r Bromenschenkel Citizens to Coffee meeting, 10-11 a.m., everyone welcome, Blue Line Sports Bar & Grill, 1101 2nd Street S.,
Sartell. Sartell Farmers’ Winter Market, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Sartell City Hall, 125 Pinecone Road N. Monday, March 10 Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800733-2767. Writers Group, 6:30-8 p.m., Al Ringsmuth Public Library, Waite Park. 320-253-9359 Sartell City Council, 7 p.m., City Hall. 320-253-2171. Tuesday, March 11 Blood drive, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800733-2767. Basic computer and internet help, 11 a.m. - noon, Al Ringsmuth Public Library, Waite Park. 320-253-9359 Sartell Chamber of Com-
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Davis from front page what they thought the statistics were for women not just in leading roles but in crowd scenes. She said in family films there is one female character for every three male characters, and only 17 percent of the characters are females in crowd scenes. Davis said that meant all the fictitious worlds created – the underseas kingdoms, villages and planetary colonies – are only 17 percent female. “You think you’d almost have to go out of your way to leave out that many women,” Davis said. She shared other statistics from the University of Denver about roles of women in different professions, including 18 percent for congress, 22 percent for media, 19 percent for print media, 17 percent for military officers and others. Davis talked about the role of female orchestra musicians. Until someone had the idea to hold blind auditions and to have participants remove their shoes so they couldn’t be heard walking across the stage, there were only 10 percent female musicians. She also said the United States ranks 90th in female representation in the legislature and if we keep adding females to congress at that rate we would achieve parity in 500 years. With the small percentage of women’s roles in media,
St. Joseph Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com Davis said the message being sent is women and girls have far less value than men and boys do. She said the ratio of male to female characters has been the same since 1946. Her work has led her to ask how the media can change what the future looks like by adding more female characters in leadership roles, such as presidents, engineers, corporate leaders, doctors and other important roles. Davis gave the example of how many women now portray forensic scientists in the media and said colleges have had to add forensic science classes because of increased demand. “If young girls see it they can be it,” Davis said. “The time for change is now. All of us are powerful agents of change.” Davis was born in Warehem, Mass. She said she had an “unshakeable faith” she would be an actress. She is most recognized for her roles in “Commander in Chief,” “The Accidental Tourist,” “Thelma and Louise, “A League of Their Own,” “Beetlejuice,” and “Stuart Little.” She won an Academy Award for her performance in “The Accidental Tourist,” and a Golden Globe for her role in “Commander in Chief.” Davis said she didn’t know she was a good athlete until she played her role in “A League of Their Own.” In her 30s, she discovered she was coordinated and became comfortable in her body. She said she gained confidence
from playing sports and went on to become the nation’s 13th-ranked archer. Davis said playing sports also helped her realize women’s sports didn’t get much attention. Her role in “Thelma and Louise” put her on the cover of “Time” magazine a week after the movie opened. At the time, she wondered what the women in the audience were going to think. “I didn’t realize how it would change my life,” Davis said. She said the movie started many conversations with women about women’s roles. Davis spoke at the college as one of a series of speakers for “The Renaissance Series,” which was established by CSB President MaryAnn Baenninger in 2006 with a goal to bring speakers who show a variety of options available for women and men and encourage them to look at careers that are less traditional to their gender. Speakers for the series are chosen based on their unique points of view on a current topic and their potential to enhance the “intellectual vigor” of the colleges. Communication and marketing services interim co-director Diane Hageman said Baenninger and staff have developed a list of potential Renaissance Series speakers and felt Davis would be a great fit for the college’s centennial year. She said about 500 people filled the room and 100 more were in a room on the first floor listening to Davis.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Families sought to host international students Youth For Understanding USA, a nonprofit intercultural exchange organization, seeks local volunteers and host families to mentor and host highschool exchange students. Families of all shapes and sizes are welcome to host. Share your family traditions by welcoming an international teenager eager to experience American culture, learn about social responsibility and build bonds of
friendship that will last a lifetime. YFU exchange students bring spending money and have health insurance. They come ready to live by the rules and values of YFU and your family. International programs for American students and volunteer opportunities are also available. For more information, visit www.thenewsleaders.com and click on Criers.