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Reaching EVERYbody!

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

Newsleader St. Joseph

Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 Volume 24, Issue 50 Est. 1989

Town Crier

Farmers’ market hosts holiday activities Dec. 20

The St. Joseph Winter Farmers’ Market hosts folk singer, songwriter Cathie English on Friday, Dec. 20. Decorate a natural ornament at the “Kids Kraft” table with Lisa Wallin. Shop the market for local goods for your last-minute gifts – maple syrup, honey, candles, soaps, popcorn, herbal tea, preserved goods, massage oils, candies, artisan bread, holiday cookies, eggs, produce from storage and much more – available for your holiday celebration. Market is open from 3-6 p.m. and is located in Resurrection Lutheran Church fellowship hall, 610 N. CR 2.

Charity Challenge matches up to $75,000 for food shelves

The Norman C. Skalicky Foundation and the Central Minnesota Community Foundation recently announced a 50-percent increase in the annual Charity Challenge match for local food shelves to help more people in need this holiday season. The Skalicky Foundation will match every dollar donated to three area food shelves up to $75,000 this holiday season. A reduction in the food-stamp program that went into effect earlier this month is compounding the need. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 previously had provided additional dollars for the program. The change means a family of four with food stamps will receive $36 less a month. Donations for the Charity Challenge need to be received by Dec. 31. For more information, visit and click on Criers.

Tales of the Carols set Dec. 20

“Tales Of The Carols,” two musicians who will play music and share the stories behind many beloved holiday songs, will be held from 4-5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20 at the Al Ringsmuth Public Library, Waite Park. The program will be presented by orchestral musicians Carrie Vecchione and Rolf Erdahl who play the oboe and bass. They are professional music educators, and as a duo they perform as Pages of Music. Everyone is welcome. The event is funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. 320-253-9359.

Postal Patron

‘Christmas in a Barn’ set for Dec. 23, 24 by Dennis Dalman

An antique, straw-filled, wooden bread bowl serves as the cradle for baby Jesus. Children gather near, dressed up as Mary, Joseph, an angel, a shepherd and a donkey. The manger scene takes place in a very old dairy barn near St. Joseph. The seventh annual “Christmas in a Barn” will take place at the Chad and Amy Leither farmstead near St. Joseph at 7 p.m. on two evenings – Monday, Dec. 23 and Tuesday, Dec. 24. Everyone is welcome to attend the free ceremonies. The old-fashioned, rustic, humble Christmas ceremony, which annually attracts 250 to 300 people, is an experience that offers a narration of the Christmas story, along with Christmas songs sung a cappella, hot cider and the shimmering beauty of many ice candles.

photo by Stuart Goldschen Pen n Pixels Photography

The seventh annual “Christmas in the Barn,” depicting the original Christmas story, will take place Dec. 23 and 24 at the Leither farm just north of St. Joseph. Amy Leither said the tradition began many years ago at Peace Lutheran Church in Cold Spring. One day, the pastor suggested holding the ceremony in a barn

to evoke an old-fashioned stable ambiance, like in the Christmas nativity story. Leither and her husband agreed to try the service in the old, unused, dirt-floor

dairy barn on their property. “There are big posts inside the barn holding up the haymow,” Amy said. “And there Christmas • page 5

woman was killed at the Minnesota Street intersection in November. According to the Public Works Department (Highway Department) Director Jodi Teich, all crashes have occurred during daylight hours. Crash reports indicate drivers approaching from the side streets are failing to yield to traffic on CR 2. It’s not known if drivers are failing to stop or are miscalculating the amount of time they have to pull out

onto CR 2. When the bypass first opened, some drivers approached the intersection as if it were a four-way stop. The county has added intersection lighting, larger “Stop Ahead” signs and larger-sized “Stop” signs. They have also installed intersection warning signs on CR2 with speed advisory limits of 45 mph, hoping this will allow drivers more time to react to vehicles pulling out in front of them. Concerns have been ex-

pressed about the super-elevation, or the way the road tilts in one direction. Teich said they have other intersections with the same design as this one, so they are trying to determine why this one is different. Things that are contributing to the crashes include the speed of traffic, the amount of traffic and the location and distance from the I-94 freeway entrance and exits among other things. County • page 3

request for bids out in early spring. If a bid is chosen and approved by the council, construction of the center could begin soon after. The estimated cost of the project is $4.4 million. That includes tearing down the current building, relocating staff and construction of the new center.

The center would be less than 18,000 square feet and would be built on the current site, which includes a corner lot purchased last year. It would include all city and police-office facilities, a council chambers, a community room that could be used as two spaces, a lobby and a garage. City Administrator Judy Weyrens said the current center is between 8,000 and 9,000 square feet. It was purchased for $545,000 and was remodeled for $329,000. A combination of funds already established for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling, and the roof, tax levy and sales tax revenue will be used to build the new cen-

ter. Mayor Rick Schultz said it’s hoped the new building will serve the City of St. Joseph for the next 40 or 50 years. The council has reviewed various alternatives including adding space on to the current facility, remodeling the current building, moving to a new site or building a new center. The St. Joseph Economic Development Authority recommended the government center continue to be located downtown. After a year of study and review of future space-needs, the council decided this was the best option and the right time to move forward. Council member Steve Frank voted against the motion.

County is reviewing CR 2 bypass road by Cori Hilsgen

Stearns County engineers are reviewing the CR 2 bypass road because of safety concerns. The new bypass road that was built to redirect traffic away from downtown St. Joseph opened last fall. There have been crashes at both the intersections where CR 2 meets 75 and where CR 2 meets Minnesota Street. A Cold Spring

Council votes to move forward on new center by Cori Hilsgen

The St. Joseph City Council recently voted in favor of having consultants prepare documents for a new government center/police station project to open for bids. City staff hopes to have the

Newsleader closed Dec. 23-27

The Newsleader office will be closed Dec. 23-27. A Dec. 27 edition will not be published. The office will reopen on Dec. 30 and will resume weekly publications beginning Jan. 3. Deadline for the Jan. 3 edition is Monday, Dec. 30.

See inside for our holiday greeting page!

photo courtesy of HMA Architects Ltd.

View of the proposed center from the northeast.

St. Joseph Newsleader •




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If any readers have tips concerning Scott A. Kalla, 38 crimes, they should call the St. Joseph Elk River, Minn. Police Department at 320-363-8250 or Oct. 11, 1975 - Dec. 14, 2013 Tri-County Crime Stoppers at 320-2551301 or access its tip site at www. Scott A. Crime StopKalla, 38, of pers offers rewards up to $1,000 for inRiver, formation leading to the arrest and con- Elk viction of those responsible for crimes. Minn., died Nov. 21 7:34 a.m. Traffic stop. College Avenue S./Ash Street. While sitting at the intersection, officer observed a female driving a Dodge Caravan. Officer knew her from previous contact and knew her driving privileges to have been revoked. He stopped the vehicle; she was the only occupant. She was asked why she was driving and she said her kids missed the bus. She stated she knew she wasn’t supposed to be driving but she was very close to getting her license back. Officer confirmed her revoked status with dispatch. She could not provide proof of insurance and her address on her driver’s license was incorrect as she had been living in St. Joseph for at least two years. Citation was issued for driving with revoked license, no proof of insurance and failure to change address. The van was left on the street and she was transported to her residence. Nov. 23 12:53 p.m. Unwanted. College Avenue N. Report of female with a gun who had gotten out of her car. Officers spoke to her and she was very uncooperative. She would not help officers with names or addresses of friends. She was not wearing shoes but did have socks on. Refused any help from officers and stated if she was not under arrest she wanted to leave. She was advised she could go. Sartell, Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud had all dealt with her today. 4:22 p.m. Suspicious activity. First Avenue SE. Complainant reported a female walked into his house and sat down. She did leave after talking a bit and left when she was told to. They wish nothing done, just make sure she was OK. Officers patrolled area to look for her.

Saturday Dec. 14 at the University of Minnesota Hospital due to unexpected heart complications. Services will be held at Dare’s Funeral and Cremation Services in Elk River. Visitation is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20 with memorial service beginning at 1 p.m. Kalla was born Oct. 11, 1975 in St. Cloud, to Al and Margie Kalla. He graduated from Apollo High School in 1994. He married Andrea (Annie) Ballweber on Sept. 12, 2007. They lived in

Elk River where Kalla worked as a logistics engineer at Kehe Distributors. Kalla enjoyed hunting, fishing and watching his favorite hockey team, the Minnesota Wild. He also enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. Kalla will be remembered for his easy-going personality, witty sense of humor and a genuine love for his family. He will be greatly missed by his loving wife Annie, son Spencer and dog Ruby. Survivors include his wife and son; parents Al and Marge Kalla, St. Joseph; sister Tammy and Joel Heinen of St. Joseph, brother Brian and Mary Kalla of Albany; parents-in-law Ed and Sue Ballweber, Elk River; sisters-in-law Darcy and Dan Ballweber of Coon Rapids; and Katie Golembski of St. Cloud; many nieces and nephews; and one great-grandnephew.


contributed photo

Despite frigid temperatures, more than 80 gift bags were distributed to area children who attended the annual tree-lighting and caroling festivities Dec. 6 in downtown St. Joseph. Event organizers include the following: (from left to right) Kayla Meyer, Mrs. Claus Lisa Wallin, Margy Hughes, Santa Steve Nelson, Living Tree Mike McDonald, Sr. Thomasette OSB, Kathy Engholm, Ellen Wahlstrom and Travis Moore.

RESIDENTIAL SUPERVISOR Seeking supervisor for one of six adult foster care homes that provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities (four clients in each home). The Supervisor assures the general health and habilitation of the clients, is responsible for the daily operation of the home and provides supervision of program staff. Requires high school diploma or equivalent, three years experience with persons with developmental disabilities, including familiarity with intensive behavior intervention, and a minimum of 1-year leadership/supervisory experience. Also prefer experience in assessing client needs and scheduling/budgeting. Position offers health-insurance benefits or cash waive-off benefit in lieu of insurance; 25 days paid time off first year; and additional comprehensive benefit package. Enjoyable, collaborative environment with regular team meetings with other Residential Supervisors. Starting wage $14-17 per hour. Applications will be reviewed commencing Tuesday, Dec. 31.

Apply online at: or HR • 911 18th St. N. St. Cloud, MN 56302 320-650-1529 EEO/AA

Published each Friday by Von Meyer Publishing Inc.

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

Publisher/Owner Janelle Von Pinnon

Contributing Writer Cori Hilsgen

Editor Dennis Dalman

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, Dec. 20, 2013

County from front page Teich said they recently conducted vehicle counts before SJU and CSB students went on break to ensure they had accurate numbers to determine if the Minnesota Street intersection meets the requirement for a traffic signal. She did not think that it did at this time. The county is considering installing a Rural Intersection Conflict Warning System which cautions drivers with a flashing light when it’s not safe to enter the road. A traffic signal is scheduled to be installed at the intersection where CR 2 meets CR 75. Teich said if the structural poles are able to be installed and no other delays occur, it’s hoped the signal will be installed by February or March 2014. She said Design Electric of St. Cloud had the low bid


photo by Cori Hilsgen

Several crashes and a fatal accident at an intersection west of St. Joseph where CR 2 connects to Minnesota Street have prompted more review because of safety concerns. Stearns County has installed intersection lights, larger “Stop Ahead” signs, larger “Stop” signs and 45-mph speed-advisory signs to help drivers be more aware. for the project. Teich would like to remind drivers to slow down on the bypass road. “I would hope drivers would slow down and drive more cautiously as they approach this and all intersections,” Teich said. “Drivers should always assume when they are approaching any intersection that cross-street traffic is going faster than it is and that other drivers might be distracted and not paying attention.”

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St. Joseph Newsleader •

Friday, Dec. 20, 2013

Red-kettle donations down for this time of year by Dennis Dalman

ilies currently on a waiting list for the emergency shelter. The 180-200 free community When people see Salvation meals served every day to anyArmy bell-ringers standing in one who needs one. front of area stores, they often The scores of breakfasts and think of holiday presents for the suppers served every day of the needy or of aid during natural week to clients who are staying disasters. temporarily at the shelter. Most probably do not think – The 240 tons of food distribor know about – the following uted from the Salvation Army reasons for the Salvation Army every year. red-kettle donations: What’s more, people might The 12 to 15 homeless fam- not know about the agency giving away free coats, hats, mittens and school supplies. “We’re not just a holiday organization; we’re open 12 months a year,” said Jim Muellenbach of Sartell, who is the Salvation Army’s community development director. The agency’s executive officer is Major Lee Morrison.

This holiday season, there are about 150 bell-ringers in seven cities served by the Salvation Army: St. Joseph, Sartell. St. Cloud, Waite Park, Sauk Rapids, Clearwater, St. Augusta (the St. Augusta mayor rings the kettle bell at Coborn’s in St. Cloud). The ringers work anywhere from one hour to 10 hours, depending on the time they can spare, said Shannon Smithers, special-events coordinator. This year’s goal is to raise between $225,000 and $230,000, and so far that goal is about $30,000 short for this time of year, Smithers noted. Last year, the grand total raised was $219,000. Smithers said she is always impressed by the sheer variety of bell-ringers, who represent

a veritable cross section of the community at large: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, mayors, church groups, parents with young children, hockey teams, college sororities, student councils, service organizations and more. The red kettles and bellringers can be seen in front of the following stores: all Coborn’s stores, Cash Wise stores, Shopkos, Walmarts, Sam’s Club, Fleet Farm, Byerly’s, Macy’s and J.C. Penney at the Crossroads Mall. Smithers said one reason donations may be down is because more and more people are carrying debit cards or just checks instead of cash or loose change. Some kind people, she noted, still contribute by writing out a

check and dropping it in the red kettle. Others will get cash from a purchase or ATM and drop it off. Still others write a check to the Salvation Army and bring it or mail it to the East St. Cloud headquarters. Bell-ringing volunteers are always needed, Smithers noted. Many bell-ringers make their “work” lots of fun by ringing in groups, bringing recorded music along, and a few might want to sing holiday songs or play instruments, she added. “It’s easy to do,” she said. “All you’ve got to do is ring a bell, smile and wish people a happy holiday.” Money raised during the red-kettle bell-ringing season makes spirits bright all year long, said Muellenbach, who gave summaries of the agency’s many services. Shelter There are currently 69 beds in the shelter. It’s not unusual one of every four beds is occupied by a child whose parents or siblings are homeless. There are seven families currently staying at the shelter. There are more on a waiting list. Muellenbach said many who must wait probably stay at acquaintances’ or relatives’ homes or even in vehicles during warmer weather.



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Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 “Too many people have an idea the typical client at a Salvation Army shelter is a man over age 50, probably with a drinking problem,” Muellenbach said. That, however, is no longer the typical client, he noted. Families down-on-their-luck are an increasingly sad reality at the shelter. Muellenbach said last year, the St. Cloud School District reported there were 732 homeless children counted who were homeless at one time or another during the school year. Seventy-two homeless families with children in school have been identified by the school district so far this year, Muellenbach added. Toy Store Last year, the Salvation Army tried something new to get toys to children who need them. The staff set up a Toy Store at its East St. Cloud headquarters. Then, through various agencies, needy parents were encouraged to register to visit the store where they could choose a cer-

Christmas from front page are old hay bales at one end. “We’ve had the service here for five years, and people enjoy it.” Amy reads the nativity narration, a version written from the viewpoint of Mary and Joseph. Pastor Mark Astrup of Peace Lutheran Church reads a message designed for the children present. The Leither children (Hannah, Jennie, John, Daniel) and their neighbor friends act as Mary, Joseph and other visitors

St. Joseph Newsleader • tain number of age-appropriate toys to give their children for Christmas. That method works very well, Muellenbach noted. Warm Clothing The Salvation Army collects coats, hats and mittens in good condition and gives them away. Last year, 5,000 of those items were distributed. Food Shelf The Salvation Army Food Shelf is available for people in all the cities in its region – the greater St. Cloud area. Last year, 240 tons of food were distributed. Second Harvest, the Twin Cities food-shelf food distributor, estimates 1.3 pounds of food equals one meal. By that measurement, the St. Cloud Area Salvation Army distributed enough food to prepare 169,000 meals last year, Muellenbach said. “Fill the Flyer” events have been scheduled now and then throughout the area. A bus from the New Flyer Co. is periodically parked outside of stores. People

who want to contribute food can purchase it in the stores and drop if off at the bus. The optimal way, however, to help the Salvation Army Food Shelf is to donate money. The Norm Skalicky Foundation is matching amounts donated to the Salvation Army and the food shelves located at Catholic Charities and in St. Joseph. For every $20 contributed, for example, the Skalicky Foundation chips in another $20. That $40 amount can buy food in volume from Second Harvest that would total $200-worth in the normal food market. That amount, Muellenbach noted, is a 10-fold increase in food amounts from that single $20 donation. Anyone who wants to donate food, toys or cash can drop off items at the Salvation Army, located at 400 Hwy. 10 S., St. Cloud, MN 56304; or mail a check to that address. People who would like to spend some time ringing redkettle bells should call Smithers at 320-252-4552.

to the manger. The baby Jesus is one of the girls’ dolls. Chad helps out, too, snowblowing a path to the barn for visitors and other helpful chores. Other helpers include lots of volunteers from the church. “It’s a kind of small barn, so we’ve never had real animals at the scene,” Amy said. “But this time we’re going to try to have a goat and donkey outside by the entrance to the barn.” The event has grown by leaps and bounds since the Leithers first began sponsoring it in their barn.

“As the service begins and we’re all nestled together in the barn, there is a connection with everyone, like we’re one big family,” Amy said. “We’ve had complete strangers stop us and tell us how much the service has meant to them. That’s what it’s all about.” Visitors to the service are encouraged to dress warm and to bring blankets if the weather turns colder. The Leither property is located four miles south of St. Joseph on CR 2, toward Cold Spring, right before Jacob’s Prairie.

106 2nd Ave. N.W. St. Joseph 320-282-2262

You are invited! Christmas Eve Candlelight Service from 6-7 p.m.


photo by Dennis Dalman

Josh Smithers of St. Cloud rings the Salvation Army red-kettle bell in front of Walmart in Sartell. On a bitterly cold Dec. 10, Smithers rang the bell from 3-8 p.m. His twin brother, Justin, also rang the kettle bell at the same time on the west entrance of Walmart. The Smither twins’ mother, Shannon, is the coordinator for 150 bell-ringers this season in the greater St. Cloud area.

St. Joseph Newsleader •


Our View

Please be generous in season of giving

‘Tis the season to be jolly. And generous. It’s disappointing to learn the local, St. Cloud-based Salvation Army is behind by about $30,000 on its red-kettle donations this season. The agency hopes to raise between $225,000 and $230,000. Last year the bellringers raised an impressive $219,000. Those funds are vital for operating many services at the Salvation Army. As Jim Muellenbach, community-development director for the Salvation Army, stated in a news story in the St. Joseph and Sartell Newsleaders last week, “We’re not just a holiday organization; we’re open 12 months a year.” Many people do not know that. Or forget that. They assume the Salvation Army is just a seasonal service to help feed needy people or to get toys to needy families. And the agency, indeed, does a great job in those important tasks. But, as Muellenbach pointed out, there are so many other tremendous services the agency offers. There is the 69-bed shelter in East St. Cloud that provides critical emergency shelter for people down on their luck, including quite a few families with children – some on a waiting list. The agency distributes annually more than 5,000 warm coats, hats and mittens, which is a crucial need in this region’s cold weather. The Salvation Army’s Food Shelf distributes, year-round, 240 tons of food to people who are hurting. It provides school supplies, including backpacks, to children whose parents are hardstrapped for money or who are completely broke. And, of course, in keeping with the season, there is the Toy Store program in which parents or guardians can choose toys for their children at a central location. Muellenbach said his job at the Salvation Army is by far the most rewarding job he’s ever had. That’s because not a day goes by but what he doesn’t see directly the result of people’s generosity and the agency’s services. And that heartwarming result is people getting back on their feet with a renewed spirit of hope and determination. Success stories abound, Muellenbach noted. It’s amazing what a “hand up” (as opposed to a “hand out”) can do to change the course of people’s lives. That ancient adage, “There but for fortune go you and I,” is so true. Muellenbach sees the truth of it every day when he meets people who were doing just fine just weeks before but who, through some calamity or combination of calamities, bring them to seek help at the Salvation Army. Such calamities include loss of a job, divorce or death, medical problems, mental problems or other forms of just plain rotten bad luck. It’s good to remember those people during this season of giving. Please be generous to the Salvation Army and to other charities.

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, Dec. 20, 2013

Opinion What’s sadder than a kid without a toy? Every Christmas season the twins Ken and Sandra cross my mind. They were two of the students in my third-grade class at Washington Elementary School in south St. Cloud way back in the 1950s. Christmas was always an exciting time in grade school. Our little heads were filled with happy thoughts of the toys “Santa” would be bringing us on Christmas Eve and the equally happy thought of getting days off from school, a chance to stay home and play endlessly with our new toys. Our school was always decorated top to bottom with Christmas images – its hallway walls lined with our color-crayon drawings, the huge tree in the vestibule sparkling with ornaments and the colored-paper chain garlands we students made, the gymnasium filled with the joyous singing at the Christmas concert. I can still remember, in third-grade, enjoying the concert, then walking in single file like ducklings down the highly-waxed green-tiled hallway back to our classroom. There, the teacher had arranged all the desks in a circle. It was gift-giving time. A week earlier we had plucked names out of a hat, and each student would then get a present from a mystery giver. Eagerly, we took our seats in our circle. The teacher distributed the colorfully wrapped gifts to the recipients. Then, bristling with excitement, each of us opened our presents, one at a time.

Dennis Dalman Editor My gift, I quickly noticed, looked somehow shabby sad. It was wrapped clumsily with what looked like oldand-faded birthday paper, the creases from some previous box still visible on it. I could tell instantly, from its shape and feel, it was some kind of coloring book. The gift said, “To Dennis from Ken.” I looked over at Ken and smiled and waved. He smiled back blushing, bashful, like he always did. Ken and Sandra, sad to say, were practically aliens in our classroom. They lived right across the street, their ramshackle gloomy old house on 8th Street, visible right through our big row of classroom windows. Those twins were so obviously living in poverty. They came to school looking vaguely unwashed, with tousled hair, always wearing hand-me-downs – Ken with worn corduroy pants way too big for him, Sandra with dresses that looked like they’d been handmade from faded flowery sheets. I felt so sorry for them because they always looked so nervous, as if they were ready to cry any minute. I would go out of my way to try to be nice to them. But they were so shy, it was hard to get through their skittish

reserve. “Dennis, it’s your turn,” Mrs. Dripp, the teacher, said. At that, I quickly opened the present. Sure enough, it was a connectthe-dots book. But, like the wrapping, it looked worn, used. I riffled through the pages and instantly saw the dull-gray smudge marks of erasures. Oh no! Poor Kenny or his parents couldn’t afford to buy a present, so he gave me his own connect-thedots book, having worked so hard to erase all the pencil lines. I looked across at Ken, who was looking so scared and so embarrassed, his head down. “Hey, Kenny!” I said. “Gee, thanks. This is just what I wanted.” I could see his visible relief. He smiled bashfully, blushing. “You’re welcome,” he said. Sandra was also looking over at the gift. She, too, seemed to brighten and smile. They say it’s not the gift that counts; it’s the thought. Well, that’s how I felt about Ken’s gift. He must have been up half the night, erasing, erasing, erasing those pencil lines. Every Christmas season, I remember Ken and his connect-the-dots gift. They remind me of how many children in poor families don’t have merry Christmases. Some don’t even get a single gift. And what is sadder than a kid without a toy on Christmas Day?

Christmas elves pay secret visit to Newsleader office After a long Thanksgiving weekend, I walked into the Newsleader office Monday morning, greeted the staff in my usual way and exclaimed, “Who put up the Christmas tree? What a nice surprise.” Smack in the middle of the front window stood a 5-foot tall imitation Christmas tree with brand new cinnamon-colored balls and baubles hung on its many branches. The two ladies in the office, Tara, our graphic designer, and Kathryn, my sales assistant, gave me a blank stare and Tara said slack-jawed, “We thought you did.” I assured them I’d been out of town for the holiday and only returned Sunday evening. “Well that’s strange,” Tara said, “I asked Kathy when I came in this morning if she was the culprit, but she’s denying the whole thing.” Kathryn said adamantly, “I didn’t do it.” Tara and I looked at each other and decided either she was telling the truth or she definitely could hold her poker face. “Then,” Tara said, “when Kathy said it wasn’t her, I assumed you and the kids had come in over the course of the weekend and put up the tree and ornaments.” I said, “Well I know it wasn’t me, but who would do that – pay for a fake tree and all the bells and whistles? And who else has access to the office besides us three?” We started to wonder out loud. Could it be the renters in the basement? No they don’t have access to the upstairs office. Could it be a past employee who may not

Janelle Von Pinnon Publisher have turned in the keys? Why would they want to do such a nice favor? Tara said, “I’ll call Glen (our delivery driver) and ask him if he planned it all.” But when she called she only got a voicemail message. “Maybe it was Dennis (our editor),” Tara said. “You know how much he loves Christmas and is always decorating his own place so nicely.” But when Dennis answered the phone, he was as surprised as the rest of us. “Maybe we have Christmas elves who secretly did the deed,” he said. “Or maybe Kathryn’s just a super good actress.” Then Glen stopped by because he happened to be in the area when he received the earlier message. We all stood around for a while, mystified by the whole thing. Then we decided if we couldn’t figure out who had done it, maybe we needed to get the police involved because someone had definitely been in the building during the weekend. “But there’s no sign of forced entry,” I said. “And if someone did break in, why would they do such a nice thing and not take anything else when they left?” I couldn’t fathom pressing charges against a “pay it forward” burglar. Then Glen piped up, “Maybe your

husband did it as a goodwill gesture on his part.” My husband did have to work Friday so was not with us for Thanksgiving weekend, but I assured all of them he doesn’t have access to the building either unless I give him my key when he’s helping with maintenance and the like. Finally, it dawned on me, my 19-yearold daughter, Rajahna, had been helping with administrative duties during the summer while one of the staff was on medical leave and may have kept her key. When I contacted her later that day, and when I asked her if she knew anything about the tree, she sheepishly said, “Maybe. What if I did?” Then she finally confessed and said, “Merry Christmas! I was having a hard time deciding what to get you for Christmas, and I know how much you love a tree for the holidays, so Noah (her boyfriend) and I came in Sunday evening and put together the tree and decorated it for you and everyone at the office to enjoy.” “What a thoughtful thing to do,” I said. “Thank you.” Later Dennis said, “Well I’m glad it turned out to be Rajahna. It was either that, or Kathryn deserves an Oscar for her straight-faced performance.” It was good to have the riddle solved. We’d been so stumped we were thinking about publishing in the paper a thank-you note to such a mysterious Christmas burglar who, instead of taking things, gives such good cheer.

Friday, Dec. 20, 2013

St. Joseph Newsleader •

Community Calendar

Friday, Dec. 20 St. Joseph Farmers’ Market, 3-6 p.m., Resurrection Lutheran Church, 610 CR 2 N., St. Joseph. “Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” 7 p.m., performed by the Eastside Boys and Girls Club. Admission is a free-will donation. Santa will make an appearance after the show. 320-2527616. “Stop Kiss,” 7:30 p.m., presented by SCSU Department of Theater, Arena Stage of the Performing Arts Center at St. Cloud State University. Tickets $10 general admission, $7 for students and seniors. 320-308-4636 or

Saturday, Dec. 21 Community meal, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., hot chicken meal available onsite or for delivery. Call if you know someone who could benefit. Sponsored by Resurrection Lutheran Church, 610 CR. 2, St. Joseph, and Sonrise Lutheran Church, 140 Stratford St., Avon. 320-363-4232 or 320-3569220. “Stop Kiss,” 7:30 p.m., presented by SCSU Department of Theater, Arena Stage of the Performing Arts Center at St. Cloud State University. Tickets $10 general admission, $7 for


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students and seniors. 320-308-4636 or

Sunday, Dec. 22 “Stop Kiss,” 7:30 p.m., presented by SCSU Department of Theater, Arena Stage of the Performing Arts Center at St. Cloud State University. Tickets $10 general admission, $7 for students and seniors. 320-308-4636 or Monday, Dec. 23 Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. Blood drive, 3-8 p.m., Resurrection Lutheran Church, 610, N. CR 2, St. Joseph. 1-800-733-2767. Christmas in the Barn, 7 p.m., narration and re-enactment of the Christmas Story with hymns, handmade ice candles and hot apple cider. 4 miles S. of St. Joseph on CR 2. Signs will be posted. 320-685-7656. “Stop Kiss,” 7:30 p.m., presented by SCSU Department of Theater, Arena Stage of the Performing Arts Center at St. Cloud State University. Tickets $10 general admission, $7 for students and seniors. 320-308-4636 or

Center at St. Cloud State University. Tickets $10 general admission, $7 for students and seniors. 320-308-4636 or Christmas in the Barn, 7 p.m., narration and re-enactment of the Christmas Story with hymns, handmade ice candles and hot apple cider. 4 miles S. of St. Joseph on CR 2. Signs will be posted. 320-685-7656. Thursday, Dec. 26 Coffee and Conversation, a senior 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.

Friday, Dec. 27 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. Blood drive, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Miller Auto Plaza, 2930 2nd St. S., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767.

Tuesday, Dec. 24 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. “Stop Kiss,” 2:00 p.m., presented by SCSU Department of Theater, Arena Stage of the Performing Arts

Thursday, Jan. 2 Coffee and Conversation, a senior 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. Great River Regional Coin Club, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Miller Auto Marine Sports Plaza, 2930 2nd St. S., St. Cloud. St. Joseph City Council, 7 p.m., City Hall. 320-363-7201.



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Newspaper Audit Report

Oct. 1, 2012 - Sept. 30, 2013 Free distribution every Friday

STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION Frequency of Issue: Weekly No. of issues Per Year: 50 Subscription Price: $75 per year. Mailing Address of Office of Publication: P.O. Box 324 St. Joseph, MN 56374 Mailing Address of Headquarters of General Business Offices of the Publisher: P.O. Box 324 St. Joseph, MN 56374 Full Name and Complete Mailing Address of the Editor: Janelle Von Pinnon P.O. Box 324 St. Joseph, MN 56374 Full Name and Complete Mailing Address of the Managing Editor: Janelle Von Pinnon P.O. Box 324 St. Joseph, MN 56374 Owner Name: Janelle Von Pinnon

Owner Mailing Address: P.O. Box 324 St. Joseph, MN 56374

Known Bondholders, Mortgagees and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or more of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages or other Securities: None Extent and nature of circulation Total No of copies (Net press run): Total paid or requested circulation: Free distribution by mail carrier: Newsstands Restock/office copies: Gross distribution: Unclaimed/returns: Net circulation:

12-Month Average St. Joseph Sartell 3,683 8,097 32 26 3,358 7,854 222 175 50 11 3,662 8,066 8 32 3,654


(Circulation Verification Council, P.O. Box 31523, St. Louis, MO 63131-0523)


St. Joseph Newsleader •

Happy holidays from all of us at


Friday, Dec. 20, 2013

The happiest of holidays to you!

PInEconE vISIon cEnTEr

700 40th Ave. N.E., Sauk Rapids • 320-252-9608

2380 Troop Drive, Ste. 201, Sartell • 320-258-3915

Wishing you the very best this holiday season!

Wishing you a holiday filled with wide-eyed wonder and excitement!


21 16th Ave. S.E., St. Joseph • 320-363-1313

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

AuTo boDy 2000

(Behind Coborn’s in the Industrial Park) St. Joseph • 320-363-1116

Yuletide wishes from all of us at

brEnny TrAnSPorTATIon Inc. 8505 Ridgewood Road, St. Joseph • 320-363-6999

Wishing you the very best this holiday season!

cEnTrAL MInnESoTA crEDIT unIon

1300 Elm St. E., St. Joseph • 320-271-0274

May your home be decorated with laughter, love, and peace.

chEM-Dry of ST. cLouD 320-252-9799

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

chIroPrAcTIc connEcTIon 709 County Road 75, St. Joseph • 320-363-4694

May all your hopes and dreams be realized during this season of wonder and celebration.

coLLEgE of SAInT bEnEDIcT & SAInT John’S unIvErSITy

St. Joseph • 320-363-5011 Collegeville • 320-363-2011

Warm wishes, smiles on every face and special moments with friends and family; may your holiday season be filled with all this and more!


26 2nd Avenue NW, St. Joseph • 320-363-4468

Wishing you the kind of holidays that warm your heart and make you smile.

DrS. STyLES, coTTon, MILbErT & STAff 1514 E. Minnesota St., St. Joseph • 320-363-7729

Hoping the warm glow of Christmas surrounds you throughout the year from all of us at

fIrE WorkS fIrEPLAcE 303 4th St. S., Waite Park • 320-240-9490

Wishing you a merry Christmas from all of us at


15 Minnesota St., Ste. 107, St. Joseph • 320-433-4326

A toast to you - thanks for your continued patronage.

ST. JoSEPh LIQuor ShoPPE Hwy. 75, St. Joseph • 320-363-8636

What’s Christmas without all the trimmings? We won’t be truly ready for the holidays until we say “thanks” to all of you!

ST. JoSEPh MEAT MArkET 26 1st Ave. N.W., St. Joseph • 320-363-4913

Holiday greetings from

ST. JoSEPh PLuMbIng & hEATIng 217 16th Ave SE, St. Joseph • 320-363-7224

We hope your holidays abound with good cheer and good things!

ST. JoSEPh roD & gun cLub John Melancon, president P. O. Box 374, St. Joseph • 320-267-7620

Wishing you the kind of holidays that warm the heart.


1722 Minnesota St., St. Joseph • 320-363-7756

Happy holidays from all of us at

SchErEr TruckIng

P.O. Box 178, St. Joseph • 320-363-8846

God’s blessings on all, including you.

SISTErS of ThE orDEr of SAInT bEnEDIcT

104 Chapel Lane, St. Joseph • 320-363-7100

Happy holidays from

STEArnS counTy AbSTrAcT co. 21 Court House Square, St. Cloud • 320-251-5920

Wishing you a merry Christmas and a safe new year

TrobEc’S buS SErvIcE Inc.

413 County Road 2 S., St. Stephen • 320-251-1202

May your holidays be bright and cheery!

vErIzon WIrELESS zonE Hwy. 75, St. Joseph • 320-363-4562


Here’s hoping you find miles of smiles and happy times this yuletide season.

A warm cup of cheer to you from

151 19th Street S., Ste. B • Sartell • 229-2233

19 W. Minnesota St., St. Joseph • 320-363-1011

We hope your holidays are overflowing with joy and happiness.

8914 Ridgewood Court, St. Joseph • 320-363-7453


Happy holidays from all of us at


32 First Avenue NW, St. Joseph • 363-7741


WEnnEr coS.

319 Main St., Cold Spring • 320-685-8673

St. Joseph V24 I50  
St. Joseph V24 I50