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Reaching Everybody!

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

Newsleader Sartell

Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 Volume 18, Issue 1 Est. 1995

Town Crier

Postal Patron

Year in Review

Verso tragedy dominated news in 2012 by Dennis Dalman

Sartell Sr. Connection

Pat McNeal will share his photos and stories of Japan at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 8 during the monthly Sartell Senior Connection at the District Office Building at 212 3rd Ave. N., Sartell. McNeal will touch on Japanese culture, the importance of the island’s mountainous and volcanic landscape, an ascent of Mount Fuji, the influence of Shintoism and Buddhism, the beautiful Japanese gardens and the world’s largest fish market. Refreshments will be served.

Compost site to accept trees

The Sartell compost site will be open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5 so residents can bring in their Christmas trees. The service is free to any Sartell resident, but each driver is requested to bring a non-perishable item for the local food shelf.

ReStore seeks volunteers

ReStore is seeking one-time and ongoing volunteers to staff its store. All proceeds go to Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity to build more houses. If interested in volunteering, call Melanie Blake at the Habitat office (320) 656-8890 ext. 104 or email

Furniture program neeeds donations

Community Furniture Program is in need of slightly used beds, dressers, and table and chairs. The Community Furniture Program in St. Cloud is a non-profit organization which provides gently used furniture to those who are living without beds and other basic furnishings. If you have gently used furniture to donate especially single beds, dressers and/ or table and chairs, call (320) 6569004. Pick-up service is available. Any donation is tax deductible.

United Way opportunity

Help sick St. Croix Hospice is in need of people to volunteer their time visiting with terminally-ill patients and their families in the St. Cloud and surrounding areas. Training is provided. They also have volunteer opportunities in their office such as filing, answering phones, and special projects and events. Call Melissa, St. Croix Hospice volunteer coordinator, at (320) 252-2803.


Appliance Smart See inside for our Year in Review!

contributed photos

Above: A Sartell bystander shot this photo of a helicopter scooping water from the Mississippi River to help douse the flames during the Verso paper plant fire on Memorial Day 2012. Inset: Smoke billows up from the Verso plant as seen from this view taken from the west side of the Mississippi River.

The year 2012 in Sartell will forever be known as the year the paper mill died. On May 28, Memorial Day, an explosion and fire at the Verso paper mill resulted in the death of an employee, Jon Maus of Albany, injuries to several employees and – ultimately – to the permanent shut-down of the iconic factory, which is as old as the City of Sartell – 106 years. Entire generations of residents worked at the plant, which was also an economic bedrock as one of the prime taxpayers of the city for so many decades. Shock waves of the catastrophic incident reverberated throughout the area all through the year and continue to trouble the city into the new year. Two big questions remain: Will its displaced workers find adequate new jobs in the area? Will a new industry or other purpose be found for the Verso site along the river? Another ongoing concern in Sartell was a public tempest over the behavior of the SartellReview • page 3

Survey shows residents want library, senior center by Dennis Dalman

If wishes become realities, then a senior center and a library will be part of a Sartell community center, when and if one is built. A recently released survey indicates residents definitely want a library and senior center as amenities within a center. Among other items on people’s wish lists, according to the survey, are a swimming pool, a dog park, a downtown area and development of property along the Sauk River near Whitney Park for a regional scenic park with trails and river access. The survey was placed on the city’s website several months ago. It also contained questions about Sartell residents’ levels of satisfaction of city services. Eighty-seven percent of respondents rated those services “good” or “excellent.” Eight percent rated them as “Fair,” “Poor” or “Don’t Know.” The survey was designed to give city officials a good

idea of what residents want so staff, planners and the Sartell City Council will have direct guidance from the public. A community-center task force, formed late last year, will also be better able to come up with community-center recommendations now that they have a

better idea of what residents want. The center itself is almost certain to become a reality by 2014 because $1.6-million in half-cent sales-tax funding has already been tagged for construction of a center. In the last half of 2012, the Sartell City

Council emphasized more than a few times that a center should be one of the city’s highest priorities because residents have wanted one for more than 10 years. In fact, a community center is one major reason residents voted for Sartell to beSurvey • page 2

Fundraisers continue to honor slain police officer More fundraisers in memory of Thomas Decker have been scheduled. Decker is the Cold SpringRichmond police officer who was murdered in cold blood by an unknown assailant or assailants in downtown Cold Spring on the night of Nov. 29. Decker is the father of four young children. One fundraising event, a three-band concert, will take place at Rocori High School in Cold Spring at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10. The bands that will perform are the wide-

ly popular Diamondback, the Fabulous Armadillos and Rocket Club. Dubbed “Donate to Decker: A Tribute to a Hero,” the concert is sponsored by Leighton Broadcasting. All funds raised will go to Decker’s family. There are three other fundraisers in memory of Decker. Two of them involve local salons. Styles Plus Salon in Cold Spring and Avanti Salon in Waite Park will do haircuts and eyebrow waxes from 2-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9. The salons are requesting a

minimum donation of $10. The money raised will be used for scholarships given by the Rocori Area Dollars for Scholars. The scholarships will be given to students interested in going on to study law enforcement as a means of honoring Decker and his years as a public servant. In late December, the Richmond Fire Department began selling blue light bulbs to raise money for Decker’s family. People who buy the bulbs, for $5 each, are requested to put Officer • page 5

Sartell Newsleader •


SSEF thankful for support

Survey from front page

come part of the regional halfcent sales-tax legislation. In previous surveys in past years, residents have also listed the following as amenities to be included in the center: an area for historical artifacts of the Sartell Historical Society, community meetcontributed photo ing rooms, youth recreation, The Sartell-St. Stephen Education Foundation is thankful for on-site cooking facilities for another record-breaking year. Through the kindness and gen- events. erosity of its supporters, the organization was able to raise more than $67,000 to support leading-edge ideas and programs in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District. Sally Traut of Sartell was awarded the First-year Experience Scholarship in the amount of $125 for spring semester 2013. She is a sophomore at St. Cloud State University. To be eligible, a student must be a first-year student and submit an essay to the Common Reading Program Essay Competition. Recipients participate in a special session at the Student Research Colloquium during spring semester. Garrett Weston of Sartell re-

Coborn’s Inc. raised $186,000 at its 11th annual Grocers on the Green golf tournament on Sept. 12. The funds will support the pediatric cancer program at CentraCare Health Plaza and Coborn Cancer Center, which allows

Central Minnesota children and families to stay close to home while receiving treatment. The funds also will partially fund two professional child-life specialists. To date, the event has raised nearly $1.4 million. This past

If any readers have tips concerning crimes, they should call the Sartell Police Department at 251-8186 or Tri-County Crime Stoppers at 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.

Avenue N. Winter-parking citation issued. 1:49 a.m. Parking violation. 17th Street N. Winter-parking citation issued. 1:55 a.m. Parking violation. Sartell Lane. Winter-parking citation issued. 12:14 p.m. Suspicious vehicle. 4th Avenue NE. A complaint was made regarding two people who were sitting inside a parked vehicle for about 30 minutes. The two were eating lunch and said they were leaving shortly. 4:38 p.m. Vehicle theft. Troop Drive. A report was made of a wallet that was stolen from an unlocked vehicle sometime between 2-4 p.m.

contributed photo

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Experienced Woodworkers Wilkie Sanderson is seeking a full-time, custom woodworker who is interested in joining a growing team. Qualifications: ability to read blueprints and build custom commercial millwork products with minimal supervision, Experience in custom woodworking required. As an employee-owned company, we offer a competitive wage, health/dental/life insurance, paid vacation, holidays, and 401(k). We are an equal ppportunity and affirmative action Employer. Pre-employment drug screening is mandatory for this position. Apply in person at: Wilkie Sanderson, 1010 N Summit Ave., Sauk Rapids, MN 56379 or online at EOE/AA


cently graduated officer training for the U.S. Air Force at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Ala., and has been promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. He is currently completing his Combat Systems Operator flight training in Pensacola, Fla. Weston is a 2003 graduate of Sartell High School; he joined the Air Force Reserves upon graduation from high school. He is a veteran of the Iraq War and a

SSEF supports artist-in-residence at SHS

Congratulations to Aleysha Vas, Bridget Maas and Kathy Overbey, along with Marissa Scherer and Claire Kurvers for their achievements in the poetry contest that was held after Dr. Patrick Hicks, writer in residence, conducted five creative-writing workshops that impacted more than 300 Sartell High School students.

A survey question about safety received mostly favorable responses, with 79 percent saying they feel “Very Safe” and 21 percent saying “Somewhat Unsafe.” There were some complaints about snowplowing, and some asked why it takes so long to get their streets plowed. A fire-protection question had respondents rating level of satisfaction at 73 percent rating it “Excellent” or “Good” and only 3 percent rating it “Poor.”

Dec. 19 6:58 p.m. Theft. Walmart. A female was witnessed attempting to leave the store with unpaid merchandise. The female was arrested. Dec. 20 1:56 a.m. Warrant arrest. CR 120. While on patrol, an officer checked a license plate of a driver and found the owner had a warrant for his arrest. The driver was aware of his warrant. He was placed under arrest and transported to the jail without incident. 5:55 p.m. Found property. Keys were left at the Sartell Police Department. They are being held until claimed. Dec. 21 1:31 a.m. Parking violation. 8th

In Business


Dec. 22 1:07 a.m. Gas smell. Hwy. 15. A complaint was made regarding the strong odor of natural gas. Officers checked the area and were unable to detect any leaks. Dec. 23 9:19 p.m. Unwanted person. Coborn’s. A complaint was made regarding an unwanted and possibly

Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 On the city-satisfaction portion of the survey, some of the positive comments were these: “Sartell is the best city in the area.” “An incredible place to live.” “What’s not to like? It’s Sartell.” The negative comments included the following: “The cost to build a house is high. The fees are a hindrance and may send business elsewhere.” “Some of the (city’s) fees seem to be excessive.”

2009 graduate of St. Cloud State University. Weston is the son of Judy Gabriel-Weston and Larry Weston of Sartell. Three Sartell students recently graduated Dec. 15 from Mankato State University. They are Hannah DesMarais, bachelor's degree in theatre arts; Arielle Mastellar, bachelor's degree in social work, cum laude; and Thomas Stang, master's in Spanish.

fall, Coborn’s and its vendors also raised $78,400 through its annual Food for the Cure promotion, which supports the Coborn Cancer Center.

intoxicated person inside the store. The male had left by officer’s arrival. Dec. 24 12:56 am. Parking violation. Pheasant Crest Loop. A citation was given for a vehicle that was parked in a marked fire lane. 8:49 pm. Found property. Family Dollar. A wallet was found in the store and attempts have been made to contact the owner. The wallet is being held at the Sartell Police Department. 6:50 pm. Gas leak. Sartell Street W. A carbon-monoxide alarm was going off inside a home. Officers arrived and checked the home and received a positive reading. Xcel was contacted for the family. Dec. 25 1 p.m. Missing person. 1st Street NE. A notification was given of an elderly male who had walked off and they were not sure of his location. He was later found inside his home and wanted to spend his holiday evening there.

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

Newstands Country Store and Pharmacy Holiday on Riverside Drive Holiday on 7th Street N House of Pizza JM Speedstop

Little Dukes on Pinecone Sartell City Hall Sartell-St. Stephen School District Offices Walgreens

Editor Dennis Dalman

Contributing Writers TaLeiza Calloway Cori Hilsgen

Advertising Sales Assistant Kathryn Bjorke

Design/Layout Tara Wiese

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.

Sartell Newsleader •

Friday, Jan. 4, 2013

Review from front page St. Stephen School Board that included squabbles and bitter recriminations among board members, resignations and accusations from the public about the board not listening to or heeding the concerns of the public it is supposed to serve. The three main bones of contention involved the board’s decision to end spring break, its policies of replacing board members and its protocol in renewing the superintendent’s work contract. Many in Sartell are hoping the election of four board members in the Nov. 6 election will put the board back on track. Despite the Verso tragedy and the disaffection about the school board, however, many positive developments happened in Sartell during 2012: a multi-milliondollar series of improvements at Sartell schools as authorized by voters in 2011, more business growth, academic achievements, athletic triumphs, construction of a divergent-diamond interchange and other infrastructure improvements, the further development of recreational facilities in Pinecone Central Park and a vigorous consensus about creating a Sartell community center in the near future. The following are brief summaries, month by month, of some of the main news developments in Sartell during 2012:


Sartell Mayor Joe Perske is named “Bell Ringing Champ” by the Salvation Army for the Christmas season. In just a fourhour session, Perske (with help from city council member Steve Hennes) raised $1,551.66 while ringing the bell by the red kettle at Walmart in Epic Center. John Ross announces he will retire from coaching after 17 years. Ross was a football coach in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District for 17 years. He coached an estimated 190 games. Born in St. Stephen, Ross graduated from Sartell High School in 1983. Eric Jungels of Sartell raises more than $10,000 for the National Alliance to End Homelessness. To raise the money and bring attention to homelessness, Jungels slept for 18 consecutive nights in a tent pitched next to the Blue Line Bar and Grill. The Sartell-St. Stephen School Board decides to end an extended spring-break period starting 2013-14, instead putting three extended weekends on the school calendar. The decision, in the weeks and months to come, will cause widespread controversy and accusations by many parents that the decision was arrived at too hastily with hardly any public input. Lesa Kramer is chosen as the

new school-board chair.


Sartell Sabre Dance Team is named tops at Central Lakes Conference meet, taking first place in both the jazz and high-kick categories. The dancers competed against 13 other teams during the Section 4AA meet at Sartell High School. Former, long-time Sartell Police Chief Jerry O’Driscoll dies, and hundreds of mourners attend a memorial service at St. Francis Xavier Church. O’Driscoll served Sartell from 1963 to 1993 when he retired. It was O’Driscoll who hired the current police chief, Jim Hughes, as an officer in 1991. O’Driscoll died at age 75 after a 10-week battle with cancer. He and his wife, Joyce, are the father of three children and many grandchildren. One of their children is State Rep. Tim O’Driscoll, a former mayor of Sartell. Once again, for the third time, the Sartell Post Office is honored for selling the most breast-cancer stamps in the postal region. The December-January period in the area, including Sartell, was the warmest recorded in the past 98 years. Five Nordic freestyle skiers from the Sartell-St. Stephen School District advance to state competition in Biwabik. The skiers, who do well in the race, are Josh Hill, Andrea Franz and Anna Lindstrom. The two qualifiers are Greta Danielson and Kyle Sovada. Michael Heim, 14, of Sartell is one of 102 young honorees in the nation to be given the “Prudential Spirit of Community” award for volunteerism. Heim organized a project to gather much-needed items for the Anna Marie Women’s Shelter in St. Cloud. Connie Froehle celebrates 34 years in the daycare business. The Sartell woman started her business in her home in 1971 after the birth of her first child. “Having been part of so many families for so long has been a blessing to me,” she said. Sartell Police Chief Jim Hughes and police sergeant Kelly Mader both receive “Lifesaving” awards for helping save the life of a Sartell woman and her young daughter. Both rescuers jumped into a freezing-cold pond when the woman’s car slid into it near the Grand View Estates Apartments. Alyssa Franzmeier, an eighthgrader at Sartell Middle School, wins the regional spelling bee at St. John’s University by spelling correctly the word “menagerie.”


Evie Dingmann of Sartell retires after 30 years as a mail carrier. Once again, the Sartell Community Showcase is a success at Sartell Middle School. The annual event showcases Sartell area businesses and services,

along with family-fun activities. Jeff Sackett is named the new pastor at Celebration Lutheran Church. Simmering dissatisfaction about the elimination of spring break at Sartell schools boils over into a protest when more than 150 people present a petition to the Sartell-St. Stephen School Board. The petition, signed by 300 people, requests the board to reconsider its decision about ending spring break and replacing it with several extended weekends. Those against the decision said it was made with virtually no public input. Sartell Sabre swimmer-diver Tanner Nordlund takes first place as state championship diver in a meet at the Minnesota Aquatic Center. His win was remarkable because at the time Nordlund was extremely sick and fatigued because of some kind of flu bug. Julie Zupfer Anderson resigns from the school board because of differences with some other board members and what she feels is a lack of common vision on the board. It’s the second resignation on the board. On Feb. 21, Lesa Kramer resigned from her role as the board’s chair, although she agreed to remain on the board. The Sartell High School speech team reaps a slew of awards through the season, earning several first-place awards at meets, as well as other high honors. At 21 members, it’s the largest team in 10 years. A School-Land-Trust-Reform bill drafted mainly by Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (R-Sartell) passes the Minnesota House of Representatives. The bill changes the law so school trust lands are no longer administered by the Department of Natural Resources. With changed management of those lands, O’Driscoll and others hope more revenue can be generated for schools through increased investments and revenue-generating operations on those lands. The entire legislature will approve that bill, thus making it into law, later in the year.


For the fourth time, Gopi Ramanathan of Sartell wins the Minnesota Geography Bee, qualifying him for the national contest. An eighth-grader at Sartell Middle School, Ramanathan competed in Washington, D.C. when he was a sixth-grader. Taylor Daniels, a junior at Sartell High School, wins “Best of Show” in the prestigious 32nd annual regional High School Arts competition. Her acrylic painting, which shows girls standing in autumn woods, is on display at an exhibit in the Paramount Theatre in St. Cloud. Sartell math wizard Austin Sura, an eighth-grader at Sartell Middle School, once again earns the chance to compete in the “Math Counts” state contest. Review • page 4











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Sartell resident Ester Sharrow celebrates her 106th birthday and is honored by family, friends and dignitaries during a party at Whitney Senior Center in St. Cloud. Mayor Joe Perske says to Ester in a birthday card, “You are an inspiration to all of us in Sartell. Ester, you are one year older than the City of Sartell!” Some Sartell residents are voicing opposition to the way the Sartell-St. Stephen School Board is choosing to replace people who resign from the board. They say the process should be more open, including acceptance of applications from anyone interested in serving, rather than appointments of people one or more board members happen to know. The controversy rises when the board considers a replacement for Julie Zupfer Anderson, who left the board in February. Some Sartell students spend their spring break on a trip to the Dominican Republic where they deliver school supplies to an elementary school in that Caribbean nation. The students

raised money for the supplies before leaving on the trip, which was organized by Lee Hurd of Sartell, executive vice president of Bursch Travel. Scott Hentges is named as the new football coach, to replace John Ross, who retired after decades of a highly successful coaching position for the Sartell Sabres. Hentges has been part of the Sartell-St. Stephen football program since 2000. The City of Sartell introduces a new, improved, interactive city web page. A mock crash staged behind Sartell Middle School fills student spectators with horror. The Sartell police and fire department personnel reacted to the scene as if the dead and injured youth were actually “real.” The mock crash, an annual event, is meant to show students the terrible dangers of drunk or reckless driving. Pine Meadow Elementary School enacts its own “Olympics” event, complete with flags of all nations, a procession, music and guest speakers. The event is an homage to the Olym-

pic summer games slated to open soon in London, England. The school board agrees to open up its member-replacement policy by actively soliciting applications from people interested in serving. Public pressure is brought to bear on the board, and many accuse the board of poor communication and ignoring the opinions of the residents of Sartell and St. Stephen.


The House of Pizza is named “Business of the Year” by the Sartell Area Chamber of Commerce. Its owner, Brandon Testa, opened the branch of the long-established St. Cloud business in Sartell’s Pine Cone Marketplace in 2004. The honor was bestowed during the chamber’s annual banquet at Mulligan’s Event Center. Also at the banquet, Tom Offerdahl was named “Citizen of the Year” and Lint Edgerly was named “Volunteer of the Year.” Both have contributed countless hours of volunteerism to the city. The Sartell Lions help clean

Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 up the City of Sartell as part of Earth Day. Another person resigns from the Sartell-St. Stephen School Board – Patrick Jacobson-Schulte, who is moving with his family out of the school district. His resignation follows that of Julie Zupfer Anderson, who resigned in March. Also in March, Lesa Kramer resigned from her position as board chair. For “Community Service Day,” 1,000 students in grades 9-12 in the school system roll up their sleeves and do a wide variety of work for Sartell, including tidying up the outdoors, reading to young school children and many other connective kindnesses. Linda Wilfahrt announces she will retire as principal of St. Francis Xavier Elementary School after 17 years of service. Four Sartell Middle School students earn honors at the Minnesota Science and Engineering Fair in Bloomington. One team, comprised of Sam Neuman and Rory Spanier, earned the Gold Award for their invention – an Review • page 5

Knowledge Bowl volunteers needed through March The Sartell Knowledge Bowl has so many members and teams this year that at least one more adult volunteer is needed to accompany the students to their meets. Typically, buses leave between 7-8 a.m. Saturdays and return from the meets between

8-9 p.m. For weekday meets, buses leave at about 3 p.m. and return between 8-9 p.m. Volunteers interested could choose one or more of the dates for the following Knowledge Bowl meets: Saturday, Jan. 5 at Buffalo; Saturday, Jan. 12 at Albany; Saturday, Jan. 19 at Sauk

Rapids; Saturday, Jan. 26 at Elk River; Monday, Jan. 28 at St. Cloud Apollo; Saturday, Feb. 2 at North Branch; Saturday, Feb. 9 at Princeton; Thursday, Feb. 14 at St. Cloud Tech; Thursday, Feb. 21 at Granite City Mixer (St. Cloud Cathedral); Saturday, Feb. 23 at Rogers; or Sat-

urday, March 2 at Monticello. If anyone would like to volunteer as a Knowledge Bowl travel attendant, call coordinator Ann Doyscher-Domres at 253-4036, option 2. Let her know which dates would be possible.

Sartell Newsleader •

Friday, Jan. 4, 2013


Review from page 4 interactive tic-tac-toe game. Other students on other teams also placed highly at the event. Fourteen Sartell Middle School students return from the regional “Envirothon” with lots of awards, including a first-place honor for a team comprised of Elliot Edeburn, Jacob Fisher, Jarret Janu, Adam Johnson and Turner Kuhn. Sartell will get only a drop-inthe-bucket of state aid for 2013 – a paltry $3,300, which is the same amount the city received in 2012. Sartell High School is one of three schools in outstate Minnesota to be honored with a rating of “excellent” by U.S. News and World Reports magazine. The award is based on a variety of criteria, including student test scores and how well disadvantaged students are doing. Gopi Ramanathan finishes among the top 10 in the National Geography Bee in Washington, D.C. He is an eighth-grader at Sartell Middle School and participated in the national bee previously. The school board and teachers approve a two-year teaching contract, which calls for a 1.75-percent salary increase in its first year and a 1.0-percent increase in the second year. Veterans and many residents gather to honor the nation’s soldiers and their sacrifices at the annual Memorial Day service in

Officer from front page them in light sockets in front of their homes and let them glow in honor of Decker. The bulbs can be purchased at the city halls in Cold Spring, Richmond and Rockville. In addition, several banks are still accepting donations





photos by Dennis Dalman

Kevin Wilke of Milaca plays with granddaughter Asher Lynder while waiting for the SummerFest Mayor’s 5k Race to begin. Asher is the daughter of Dale and Angie Lynder of Sartell. Four of the people in their group ran the race, including Angie; Wilke’s wife, Adele; and the Lynders’ other two children, Abby and Abram. Veterans’ Park along the river. During the moving ceremony, the Sartell choir and community band perform. Guest speakers give heartfelt speeches about the heroism of veterans. Less than two hours after the Memorial Day ceremony on a beautiful blue-sky morning, an explosion and fire at the Verso paper mill in Sartell sends emotional shock waves throughout the area. The plant, as old as the city of Sartell, served as a place of employment for generations of people – Sartell residents and others. An employee, 51-yearold Jon Maus of Albany, dies in the explosion, and several others are injured. As firefighters

rush to the scene, the beautiful May morning clouds up suddenly and some rain begins to fall. The tragic incident continues to haunt the city all through 2012. A big question looms: What will become of the Verso site, and can it be adapted someday to another use that could provide jobs?

for the Decker family. Checks can be written out to “The Decker Family” and deposited or mailed to one or more of the following banks. Any Wells Fargo banks in any city. The State Bank of Cold Spring, P.O. Box 415, Cold Spring, MN 56320. The First National Bank of Cold Spring, P.O. Box 416, Cold Spring, MN 56320. The Central Minnesota

Credit Union, 202 Red River Ave. S., Cold Spring, MN 56320.


The Verso plant explosion and fire May 28 proves to be almost impossible to contain. The fire burns into huge paper bales in a storage unit. It takes many days and many personnel to put out the fire completely and to Review • page 8








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Sartell Newsleader •


Friday, Jan. 4, 2013

Opinion Our View

Obstructionism bodes ill for future of America During the “fiscal cliff” crisis, the Tea Party was once again playing its favorite contrarian game: stone-wall obstructionism. In this new year, we’re going to see more of the same-o, same-o from legislative obstructionists. The original Tea Party goals had at least a semblance of merit: fiscal responsibility, a limited role for government, trimming spending. Soon, however, giddy with their victories, most morphed into do-nothing, dead-end obstructionists dedicated to the proposition of No, No, No. The following would seem to be the new “principles” of most Tea Party members: starve social programs, privatize everything in sight, bring the government to a standstill and – at the tip of that lopsided iceberg – further aggrandize millionaires and billionaires, especially by not raising their taxes by so much as a dime. These self-described neo-patriots, united by their sacred motto of “No New Taxes,” are beholden to Grover Norquist, the tin god who convinced so many Republicans to sign his “no-tax” pledge. They are also united by a deep-seated contempt for President Obama. They were enraged when he was first elected, even more enraged by his re-election. The Tea Party is dedicated to making Obama look bad by nixing anything he proposes in a constant jeering chorus of “Nays.” One of those naysayers is the titular head of the Tea Party, our “very own” Rep. Michele Bachmann, who squeaked through in the last election thanks hugely to campaign bucks from super-rich outstate organizations. One of the bullying tactics of the Tea Prty is to challenge moderate, intelligent, rational Republicans in primaries, replacing them with zanies – many of whom, fortunately, lost elections thanks to voters, including some right-wing ones, who rightly view such candidates as beyond the pale. There is a bloc of about 50 Tea Party folks in the U.S. House who strong-arm their fellow Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, into giving the thumbsdown on anything proposed by the Obama camp. How sad it is for America this damaging obstructionism will continue. It will likely sink any progress toward the upcoming debt-ceiling resolution (as happened in 2011, thus deflating the nation’s credit rating). Tea Party obstructionism will also probably put the kabosh on gun control, immigration reform, tax-code changes, cleanenergy proposals, reasonable spending cuts and longoverdue infrastructure improvements. The Tea Party doesn’t just want to limit government; it wants to weaken or destroy it by undermining representative democracy. These perpetual naysayers are not fit to govern us. They are not part of the solution; they are the problem. Wouldn’t it be nice if these mule-headed politicians would have enough sense to heed the prescient warning of Bob Dylan when, a half century ago, he sang these words: Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call. Don’t stand in the doorway, Don’t block up the hall. For he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled. There’s a battle outside And it’s ragin.’ It’ll soon shake your windows And rattle your walls For the times they are a-changin.’

Mailbox brings rude reminders of mortality These days, at my age, I’m leery when I approach my mailbox. I never know what nasty surprise awaits me there. This week it was an offer for a free hearing test. Last week there were several offers for pre-planned burials and a bunch of pitches for life-insurance policies. The week before that it was an offer from the Lakes Area Cremation Society. I haven’t even kicked the bucket yet and already somebody wants to torch me. Yikes. In the upper-left corner on the back of the large-sized postcard is a photo of a graying couple. A little girl is hugging the man around his neck. The man and woman both have their eyes closed? Are they dead? Ready for the flames? Below the decrepit couple are four box options to check: 1. I would like to hear how Lakes Area Cremation Society and Purple Cross can help with this decision. 2. I am interested in how the Trust is protected from nursing homes. 3. Easy payment plans available. 4. I am interested in a green burial. What, I’d like to know, is a “green” burial? It sounds a wee bit better than terminal incineration. There should have been a fifth box on that card, one that says, “I am not interested in being burned or

Editor buried just yet, thank you.” On the front of the card is another old couple, but unlike the couple on the back, these two look fairly chipper and cheerful. I suppose we are to think they are happy, now that they’d made the big decision to go up in smoke. To the left of the couple, it says, “For some people ‘the traditional’ funeral just never seemed right. For those preferring cremation, we can help!” Gee, aren’t they kind? Aren’t they caring? Oh, sure, they can help, all right. They can light the match after I finish making those easy payment plans. Ah, the indignities of old age. Just because some of us baby boomers are turning 65, does that give all these mailbox hucksters the right to assume we are all at death’s door? Shame on them. I remember Dad used to rage against the thought of people trying to make money off of someone’s dead body. He always vowed he would be buried in a wooden crate. Poor Dad. He didn’t get his wish. It’s illegal to just go bury somebody

From the Bench:

Minnesota is a leader in victims’ rights

Crime victims have rights. It’s the law in Minnesota. Chapter 611A of the Minnesota Statutes is entitled “Crime Victims: Rights, Programs, Agencies.” The first provisions were enacted by the state legislature in 1983. In the intervening years, this chapter has been expanded and revised. The provisions of Minn. Stat. 611A address victims of both adult and juvenile offenders. A crime victim may be “heard” at multiple stages of a criminal prosecution. Crime victims have the right to be advised by prosecutors (the attorneys for the State) of a plea agreement and to voice objections at the plea hearing. Crime victims have the right to be heard at sentencing hearings. Sometimes the victim presents his or her comments in writing, sometimes in person and sometimes through the comments of the prosecutor. The crime victim is typically contacted as well by probation officers in the course of completing a pre-sentence investigation report for the court before the sentencing hearing. In addition, a Fairness and ethics Newsleader staff members have the responsi- crime victim may seek restitution for bility 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.

Dennis Dalman

in the backyard. Dad, like Mom, was cremated. My oldest brother, Jimmy, was buried with his carpentry tools, including his pencil tucked behind his ear. His wife and kids insisted on it. Oh, well, when it comes to the rituals of death, each to his own. Another brother, Michael, was cremated, which he had requested. Dad, Mom, Jimmy and Michael all had one thing in common. They were forever cracking macabre but funny jokes about death. In that respect, they were very like the Irish who have a knack for ridiculing death and even celebrating it at boozy wakes. I have to admit I did get a few chuckles out of the cremation offer, especially a return address on it that reads, “M-spark - ignite results” of Helena, Ala. Ignite results, indeed! Well, I have news for the M-spark folks: You’re not going to make a crispy critter out of me. Not yet! Meantime, getting the mail is no fun anymore. It’s rarely checks and never a love letter. It’s mainly bills, along with these rude reminders of decrepitude and mortality. What cruel surprise next awaits me in that box? The mailbox, I mean. Will I soon find in it a hip-replacement package? Or worse, a can of kerosene and a book of matches – a do-it-yourself cremation kit?

Ann Carrott District Court Judge monetary damages or losses due to the defendant’s criminal conduct. If an offender is sent to jail or prison, a crime victim may request notification of the offender’s upcoming release. Many prosecutors have victim/witness staff in their offices. Victim advocates routinely attend court proceedings to monitor the progress of cases and communicate with crime victims. The state legislature established a Crime Victims Reparation Board. That board provides compensation to crime victims for economic loss when the crime victim suffers personal injury or a person is injured when engaged in a “good-faith effort” to prevent a crime or to apprehend a person suspected of having committed a crime. The person seeking reparation must apply to the

board and then a determination is made as to whether the applicant qualifies and how much reparation is reasonable. Frequently, the reparation board will seek restitution from the offender for money paid out to the victim. In addition, to direct crime victim services and programs, mediation and restorative-justice programs may be established to create alternative options for victims to resolve issues with offenders. Restorative-justice programs have been successful in many communities. Crime victims and offenders meet with criminal justice professionals and discuss the impact of the crime on the victim. The goal is to reduce recidivism and prevent further victimization. This has had profound personal impact on many offenders and victims. The State of Minnesota has been a leader in the recognition of victims’ rights during the past 25 years. If you are a crime victim, know your rights. The Hon. Ann L. Carrott is a Seventh District Court Judge chambered in Douglas County.

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

Friday, Jan. 4, 2013

Sartell Newsleader •

Community Calendar

Friday, Jan. 4 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., St. Cloud Blood Donation Center, 1301 W. St. Germain St. 1-800-RED CROSS or visit

Saturday, Jan. 5 Sartell Farmers’ Market Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Sartell City Hall, 125 Pinecone Road N. Citizen meeting with Stearns County Commissioner Mark Bromenschenkel, 11 a.m.-noon, Café Renaissance, 2140 Frontage Road N., Waite Park.

four-hour refresher course, 8:30 a.m.12:30 p.m. Life Assembly of God, 2409 Clearwater Road, St. Cloud. 1-(888)234-1294. A Matter of Balance, 9-11 a.m., today and Jan. 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29 and 31, Realife Cooperative at Mueller Gardens, 6670 Northwood Lane, St. Cloud. 320-229-4591. Blood drive, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Cloud Blood Donation Center, 1301 W. St. Germain St. 1-800-RED CROSS or visit Sartell Chamber of Commerce, 11:45 a.m., City Hall. 253-2171. Holistic Moms Network, 7-8:30 p.m., Good Earth Co-op, St. Cloud. 320-252-2489.

LEgal notICE

visit 55+ Driver improvement course, four-hour refresher course, 5-9 p.m.. Gilleland Chevrolet, 3019 Division St., St. Cloud. 1-(888)-234-1294. “Oklahoma,” performed by Homeschool Theatre, a group of home-educated youth from central Minnesota, 7 p.m., Calvary Community Church, 1200 Roosevelt Road, St. Cloud.

Thursday, Jan. 10 Coffee and Conversation, a senior discussion group, 9 a.m., Country Manor, Sartell. Blood drive, noon.-6 p.m., St. Cloud Blood Donation Center, 1301 W. St. Germain St. 1-800-RED CROSS or

Friday, Jan. 11 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., St. Cloud Blood Donation Center, 1301 W. St. Germain St. 1-800-RED CROSS or visit Bingo party, a matching grant event sponsored by Catholic United Financial, 6-9 p.m., St. John’s Parish Center, Collegeville. All proceeds go to religious education. “Oklahoma,” performed by Homeschool Theatre, a group of home-educated youth from central Minnesota, 7 p.m., Calvary Community Church, 1200 Roosevelt Road, St. Cloud.




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ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS PART 1 - GENERAL 1.1 PROJECT A. ISD 748 Parking Lot Reconstruction Project – High School, Middle School and District Service Center 212 3rd Ave. N., Sartell, MN 56377 1.2 OWNER A. Sartell-St. Stephen ISD 748 212 3rd Ave. N., Sartell, MN 56377 1.3 CONSTRUCTION MANAGER A. Winkelman Building Corp., 340 Highway 10 S., St. Cloud, MN 56304 1.4 PRE-BID MEETING A. Site Visitation: Bidders may visit Project site to familiarize themselves with local conditions after checking in with Owner at Administrative Office before visiting Project site. Owner will maintain continuous occupancy during construction. 1.5 BIDS DUE A. 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. 1.6 PLACE DUE A. Submit bids to the attention of Steve Wruck at District Offices located at 212 3rd Ave. N, Sartell, MN 56377. B. Bids will be opened in public and will be accepted by sealed envelope. 1.7 TYPE OF BIDDING, AND CLASSES OF WORK A. Owner will accept proposals from Bidders for the separate prime contract awards for the Parking Lot Reconstruction at Sartell High School, Sartell Middle School and District Service Center. The specific contract packages are delineated in Section: Description of Base Bid and Alternates. 1.8

AVAILABILITY OF DOCUMENTS Drawings and specifications are on file at the following locations: 1.) The office of the Construction Manager, Winkelman Building Corp. in St. Cloud, Minn. 2.) St. Cloud Builders Exchange 3.) Minneapolis Builders Exchange 4.) Reed Construction Data

1.9 DOCUMENTS DEPOSIT A. Documents may be obtained from Thomas Reprographics (formally Albinson’s) on deposit of (one hundred fifty) dollars ($150) per set made payable to Winkelman Building Corp. Please call ahead to the office of Thomas Reprographics (320-656-1300) for the release of the prints to you. Return documents to the office of Winkelman Building 340 Highway 10 S, St. Cloud, MN. Deposit is refundable upon return of Documents (Spec book(s), plans/drawings and all Addendum(s), in good condition, to Construction Manager’s office WITHIN 14 DAYS AFTER CONTRACT HAS BEEN AWARDED. Failure to submit Bid or to return Documents, as indicated, will result in forfeiture of deposit. B. Documents requiring mailing will be charged an additional twenty-five dollars ($25) per set non-refundable, made out to Thomas Reprographics. C. Bidding documents will be posted on website for downloading. Contact Winkelman Building Corp. with questions regarding access to this website. 1.10

BIDDING DOCUMENTS A. Persons requiring Documents other than as above may purchase them. No refunds on purchased items. Bidder is solely responsible for selection of Drawing sheets and completeness of their Bid. Submit request in writing or by phone. For purchase of complete sets, Drawing sheets or Specification sheets, contact Architect.

1.11 BID SECURITY: A. Prime Contract Bidders shall submit certified check or surety bond, payable to Owner, in amount of 5 percent of Bid. Surety must be authorized to do business in State of Minnesota. Bid security to be guarantee that Bidder will not withdraw bid without owner’s consent. Bids to be valid for 30 days. 1.12 PERFORMANCE BOND A. Performance Bond is required for contracts $75,000 and higher. 1.13 REJECTION A. Owner reserves the right to reject any or all proposals and to wa ive Bidding formalities, and to award prime contracts to Bidder that Owner finds to their best advantage. B. Each Bidder agrees to waive any claim it has or may have against Owner, Architect, engineer, and their respective employees, arising out of or in connection with administration, evaluation or recommendation of any Bid. 1.14 PRIOR APPROVAL A. This Contract has a 7-calendar day prior approval clause for product Substitutions. PART 2 - PRODUCTS NOT USED PART 3 - EXECUTION NOT USED END OF SECTION Publish: Dec. 21, 2012 & Jan. 4, 2013


Review from page 5 cool down the site. Nearly 100 agencies (fire, police, emergency responders) from throughout the state rush to Sartell to help out. Patrick Parish, 27, of Bloomington, is the winner of the annual Sartell Apple Duathlon. The female winner is Ruth Brennan Morrey, 37, of Rochester. The winners of the children’s Apple Duathlon the night before the adult race are Jennifer Mettler, 9, of Chanhassen; and Noah Eide, 14, of Avon. The 20th annual Sartell SummerFest (June 8) features the ever-popular Grand Parade,

Sartell Newsleader • Family Carnival and an entertaining show put on by the Timberworks lumberjacks. In the evening, a big crowd enjoys a dance with music by Diamondback and fireworks. Through the month of June (and beyond), the future of the Verso paper mill continues to concern people far and wide. It took almost a week before the fire and its hot spots were declared no longer a danger. Estimates of the cost of firefighting and other follow-up duties range as high as $500,000. The question on everyone’s mind is: Will Verso be able to resume production?

For the rest of the story, see the Jan. 11 edition of the Sartell Newsleader.

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Friday, Jan. 4, 2013

Lower Your Heating Costs While Improving Your Air Quality

Expires: January 17, 2013

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Sartell Newsleader Jan. 1, 2013

Sartell V18 I1  

Sartell Newsleader Jan. 1, 2013