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Newsleader Sartell

Friday, March 7, 2014 Volume 19, Issue 10 Est. 1995

Town Crier

Centennial plans underway March 9

The City of St. Stephen will be celebrating its Centennial on Saturday, July 19. A planning meeting for residents interested in helping with the event will be held at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, March 9 at City Hall.

Sr. Connection hosts Pat McNeal’s ‘Journey to the End of the World’

“Journey to the End of the World,” sponsored by the Sartell Senior Connection, will be presented at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 11. Pat McNeal will start in Buenos Aires, fly to Calafate and visit world heritage sites such as Los Glaciers National Park and the Puerto Moreno Ice Field. Then we will travel through the Strait of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego, Glacier Alley and follow the route of Darwin through Beagle Channel. The highlight will be visiting the southernmost city in the world, landing on Cape Horn. Then we will take a hike to the tip of South America. Enjoy a fun trip in the middle of winter in the comfortable setting of the Sartell District Service Center, 212 3rd Ave. N.

Daylight Savings begins Sunday

Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 9. Residents should turn clocks ahead one hour.

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 and click on Criers.

Postal Patron

Empty lunch accounts can lead to sandwiches only by Dennis Dalman

Every school day, lunch workers in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District serve 2,500 hot lunches, and about 500 of those meals are free or reduced-price lunches for students from low-income families. Every now and then, some of those low-income students do not get a hot lunch. Instead, they are given a choice of a peanut-butter sandwich or cheese sandwich, along with a carton of milk. Each student has a lunchroom pin number. After they fill their hot-lunch trays, they enter their pin numbers at the end of the line where the cashier sits. The cashier can then see instantly on the computer screen the status of any student’s hot-lunch account. If the account is delinquent, the cashier will set the student’s food-filled tray aside,

and the student is given a certificate-coupon, which is good for the sandwich lunch. Using the certificate, the student also has the option of going to the office to call parents to remind them the account is empty. If a student makes that call, he or she can return to the cafeteria, give the certificate-coupon back to the cashier and receive the hot lunch. Before the sandwich option goes into effect, however, each family is allowed to have up to three hot lunches charged, until they put more money in their students’ lunch accounts. In kindergarten through fourthgrade, students’ families can have an unlimited amount of charges. In the meantime, the schools notify the families up to twice a week via phone calls or emails that the lunch photo by Dennis Dalman accounts must be paid, other- In the cafeteria, seventh-grader Kami Counter, who pays full lunch pricwise the students cannot have es, enters her pin number at the Sartell Middle School’s cashier’s station. The cashier is Sharon Schnapp. The Sartell-St. Stephen School District hot lunches.

Lunch • page 5 serves 2,500 lunches each day.

Police continue work on alleged abduction case by Dennis Dalman

Sartell police investigators are still trying to piece together information about the alleged abduction of a woman in Sartell on Feb. 12. Police have reviewed surveillance videos from businesses along the routes where the woman and her two captors had driven, but they were unable to establish any good leads.

The 56-year-old woman, whose name and city of residence have not been released, said she was abducted in the parking lot of the McDonald’s restaurant in Sartell at 9:30 p.m. Feb. 12 after she got into her car. A masked man hiding in the back seat sprang up and ordered the woman to drive. After driving around, he ordered her to go to another location where another masked man got into the car. They demanded money from the


Spring Resource Guide

into the Coborn’s store where she called police. She was taken to the St. Cloud Hospital, treated for injuries and released. Sartell Police Chief Jim Hughes has been reluctant to release any more information about the alleged abduction until more facts of the case can be pinned down. Anyone who knows anything about the incident should call the Sartell Police Department at 320-251-8186.

by Dennis Dalman

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. 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 other groomers who help out, including Randy Welch, the husband of Lori Welch.

River Runners to host ‘Community Day’ March 8

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 re-routes.

woman. At one point, she said, one of the men choked her until she lost consciousness. After nearly four hours of more driving around in the St. Cloud area, the men forced her from her car by the Coborn’s Super Store in Sauk Rapids, then they took off in the car. The vehicle was later found by Sauk Rapids police with much of the insides burned out. After the men pushed her from the car shortly before 2 a.m. Feb. 13, the woman fled

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.

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

Runners • page 5

Sartell Newsleader •


Friday, March 7, 2014

In debate, verbal football tossed back and forth (Part 1 was published in the Feb. 28 edition; to read the article in its entirety, visit www.

be the only ones with say-so. Not all parents are good stewards or aware of football dangers. Society in some cases must help protect children, just as it protects citizens with other laws, such as Questions roadway speed limits. During the debate’s second DeLand: Parents do have inround, questions were allowed put, and if kids want to be involved in sports, including football, it’s probably a good thing. Extracurricular activities of all kinds, not just sports, have been shown to help students in so many ways: increased focus, organization, regimental skills. Thus, such students do better in school and in later life. Moderater Candella: But isn’t this an ethical dilemma when we know football is inherently dangerous? Cunningham: It is an ethical obligation of adults not to let children get into such risk-taking activities as football. The teenage contributed photo A team of four students from Sartell Middle School competed brain does not mature until the against 13 other schools Feb. 4 to win the 2014 Lake Region mid-20s. It is a risk-taking brain Chapter MathCounts competition. From left to right are Tina when kids are in high school. Moderator Candella: What if Chen, Brandan Carlson, Coach Jesse Johnson, Nicholas Juna young person does not report tunen and Cindy Zhang. The team will proceed to the state a concussion? And what about championship March 14 and 15 in Plymouth and compete kids needing to feel tough and

a reluctance to show any weakness? Alexander: Education about concussions, especially by the coaching staff, can make a big difference in kids’ willingness to report problems. That “tough” mentality is changing. I’ve seen a change in the culture where that accusation of being a sissy is changing. Those changes are due to a new awareness by coaching staff and by younger players coming into the sports. Morris: A concussion is not like getting a cast for a visible injury. Concussions can’t be seen so other clues must be sought if kids aren’t aware of them or don’t report them. Adults must be aware of other signs, such as trouble concentrating in class and vision problems. Moderator Candella: But aren’t there hidden costs to playing, especially when the protocol seems to resume playing? And won’t some avoid treatment because of medical costs? Morris: The coach or staff must tell the player there will be no more play until he or she is seen by a trained profes-

If any readers have tips concerning crimes, they should call the Sartell Police Department at 320-251-8186 or Tri-County Crime Stoppers at 320255-1301 or access its tip site at www. Crime Stoppers offers rewards up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for crimes.

hicle in ditch. While on patrol, an officer noticed a vehicle stuck in the ditch. The officer provided safety lights until the vehicle was removed. 4:25 p.m. Benton Drive. Vehicle in ditch. While on patrol, an officer noticed a vehicle stuck in the ditch. The officer provided safety lights and assisted the driver’s father in pushing the vehicle out. 4:44 p.m. Riverside Avenue. Gunshots. A report was made regarding a neighbor shooting at rabbits and squirrels in their yard. The homeowner was notified regarding the city ordinance stating firearms cannot be discharged within city limits.

from the moderator and the audience: Moderator Candella: Where do parents rights’ fall into this debate? Cunningham: Yes, parents should have say so, but like other accidents, parents shouldn’t


against some 40 schools from throughout the state. The four winning teams will go on to the national championship May 8-11 at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. MathCounts is a math competition for middle-school students. Its mission is to make math interesting and fun and to enrich math learning through collaboration, problem solving, and tackling real-world problems. Molly Peichel, daughter of Sue and Philip Peichel, Rice, was recently named to the fall dean’s list at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. She is a graduate of Sartell High School. Students must attain a minimum grade-point average of 3.50 to achieve the honor. Six Sartell students were recently named to the fall dean’s list at Concordia College, Moorhead. They are the following: Katherine Miller, daughter of Patri-

cia and Stephen Miller, senior, a Sauk Rapids-Rice High School graduate; and Carl and Margaret Minnerath, son and daughter of Sylvia and Dale Minnerath, both sophomores; Robert Satterness, son of Lori and Neil Satterness, a senior; Grant Strom, son of Janelle and Terrance Strom, a senior; and Zachary Zitur, son of Jeanne Cashman, a sophomore, all Sartell High School graduates. Students must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.7 to qualify for the honor.

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Feb. 19 4:09 p.m. 5th Avenue S. Assault. There was a report made regarding an adult male hitting another adult male. Both males admitted to the physical assault. A citation was issued and the male was transported without incident. 8:09 p.m. 5th Avenue N. Attempted entry. While the residents were home, an unknown person attempted to unlock the front door and enter a home. Officers were unable to locate anyone in the area. Feb. 20 1:25 p.m. Riverside Avenue. Ve-


Feb. 21 11:44 p.m. Highway 15. Vehicle in ditch. While on patrol, an officer noticed a vehicle stuck in the ditch. The officer provided safety lights until the vehicle was removed. 4:33 p.m. Highway 15. Drug possession. A report was made regarding a vehicle stalled in a turn

sional. Most office visits for any problems incur out-of-pocket expenses. Some schools do have trainers on staff for care. It does take time away from school/ work, testing, evaluations and ongoing care until a concussion problem is cleared. Alexander: Any injury can have out-of-pocket costs. At the college level, athletes with major injuries have access to medical supervision, treatment, referrals and more. Most high schools, however, don’t have that kind of medical coverage. There are not nearly enough medical experts or trainers at high schools, although some states do have such highschool experts by law. Computerized neurological testing can be done, and there are six or seven stages that must be certified before an injured player is allowed to go back on the field. Not being properly treated at the very beginning, right after a concussion, is the big danger. Moderator Candella: There are lawsuits against the NFL because of players with brain injuries. Will high schools be vulnerable due to the same kinds of law-

lane. An officer arrived and found a juvenile male and the vehicle had a strong odor of burnt marijuana. The driver admitted to the marijuana use. A container of marijuana and multiple paraphernalia items were confiscated. The juvenile was issued a citation and released to his father while the vehicle was towed. Feb. 22 8:03 a.m. 10th Street N. Property damage. A report was made regarding two mailboxes that had been damaged sometime overnight. 8:16 a.m. 11th Street N. Property damage. A report was made regarding a mailbox that had been damaged sometime overnight. 7:54 p.m. CR 120. Traffic stop. While on patrol, an officer noticed the windows of a vehicle were obstructed with frost. It was found the driver had a revoked license. The driver stated she was not aware of that status. She was issued a citation and released to a valid driver.

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Published each Friday by Von Meyer Publishing Inc.

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

Publisher/Owner Janelle Von Pinnon

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Editor Dennis Dalman

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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.

Friday, March 7, 2014

(Part 2)

suits? DeLand: Comparing the NFL to the high-school level is like comparing apples to oranges. Cunningham: Maybe a lawsuit could happen in Sartell. And what about Texas where football is bigger than life. If some player is a star quarterback, it’s easy to see how he would tend to hide multiple hits to his head. It’s hard to imagine us taking ourselves out of the picture. Man in audience: How young do you start kids in football? I’m pro high-school football. Morris: Definitely not in grade school. The skull structure is not adequate at those ages. Neck strength is very important in decreasing risk of concussions. It’s often caused by how hard players hit the ground. Coordina-

Sartell Newsleader • tion is not adequate for younger children for them to learn how to tackle correctly, how to fall correctly. Alexander: “Checking,” a football technique, is not allowed at the Bantam, middle-school level. And, no, grade schoolers should definitely not play football. Cunningham: Helmet manufacturers make all kinds of claims. Concussions still happen. Players are bigger, faster, stronger. There was a “Pop Warner” game in Massachusetts in which there were five concussions in that one game. And yet, parents afterwards defended that game. Man in audience: How many people are on a football team compared to other sports. Isn’t that ratio (of concussions) skewed when more players are out there? Alexander: Most studies say there are one-half to two-thirds

the number of football injuries than for other sports. Ice hockey has a high number, but football has a higher incident of concussions per player because it’s a collision sport. Moderator Candella: What is a comparable sport to football? Why no attention to girls’ soccer? Anderson: Women have twice the rate of concussions in highschool sports than men do. It has a lot to do with less neck strength. Girls and women are also less hesitant than boys and men to report an injury. Soccer can involve repetitive trauma. Morris: All head and neck injuries are worrisome. What’s scary is cheerleading is the highest risk activity for the most serious neck and head injuries because of all of that tossing up into the air and being distracted sometimes when doing so.

Moderator Candella: Is football a different game today than years ago? DeLand: I’d like to see extent of injuries (statistics) way back in 1930s when they wore just leather helmets. Alexander: Those stats do exist. There were 428 deaths from head and neck injuries from 1931 to 1969 in high school and 63 in college from 1970 to 2000, the death rate was about half that. In the last 10 years, there were 35 deaths in high school. Helmets have made a huge dif-

3 ference. The media creates a frenzy about the NFL, so college and high-school athletes try to mimic that – the hard-hitting style and launching themselves like a bullet at opponents with their heads. Woman in audience: I was an athletic trainer, and now I’m a therapist who deals with athletes. I have a 12-year-old son and told him he can’t play football anymore. Cigarette smoke and underage drinking are lifethreatening. So why do we let

Football • page 4


Football from page 3 kids be involved in collision sports like football? Are par-

Sartell Newsleader • ents really understanding the assumption of risk in collision sports? Moderator Candella: And do schools assist in those risks? Man in audience: I was a football coach at one time. Coaches get unfairly criticized. When the

game is played properly, risks are reduced. Thousands die of gun injuries each year. There are students in bike accidents and car accidents. Why not concentrate on improving the safety of football so kids can pursue excellence rather than getting rid of the sport? Cunningham: Yes, I agree, it should be made as safe as possible. But the real question is: Is it too unsafe even with helmets and other safety measures? How much (long-term) damage can occur to the brain from those collisions is not yet known. Things we don’t know can hurt us. Morris: Football should probably not remain as it is in its current format. Can we find a better way to do it? I can see a future where small and big changes will happen in football.

Closing statements

DeLand: It’s pretty simple: Ev-

Friday, March 7, 2014

erybody has a thing they love to do, participate in, watch and has passion for. Extracurricular activities are enormously positive. Sports are every bit as much positive. My daughter was thrilled to be in a one-act play tournament. We can’t wrap ourselves in bubble wrap. Most athletes are in a sport because they love it. It’s an important part of their lives. It gets them more focused. It gets them doing things the right way. Cunningham: Yes, it’s important for people to do things they love. Athletics is a wonderful outlet. I grew up in New York City. We kids played a game, leaning against a wall and pushing our backsides out, and then other kids would throw rubber balls against our butts. Well, one day, I came around the corner and there was my younger brother, Kevin, playing that game and they were using baseballs, not rubber balls. I’m not demean-

ing football or coaches. But we are depending upon athletes in high school – faster, stronger, more powerful – to police their own health. Their brains aren’t fully developed. They are taking too many risks. Alexander: There are concussions in all sports. The problems in the NFL brought attention just to concussions in football. But the increased awareness is good because parents and schools will be able to make safety changes that must be made. If we ban football, we’ll have to examine all other sports. Good changes are being made, and the consequences (including consequences of not reporting concussions) must be understood by all. Morris: Historically, football has evolved. Changes have been made. Today’s helmets are better and have made football safer. Hopefully, football will be much safer somewhere down the road.

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Lunch from front page “We don’t have a lot of issues with it,” said Brenda Braulick, food-services director for Sartell schools. “It (the policy) has worked well here, and this policy has been in place even before I started here 14 years ago.” Braulick said so far this year there has been “just a handful of times” when students were given sandwiches instead of hot lunches when their accounts had overdue balances. Mostly, it’s a matter of forgetfulness on the part of parents, she said. “There are so many busy families that some just forget,” Braulick noted. “By and large, parents are very responsible.” Braulick said the staff tries to be very discreet when giving a student the sandwich option. “We don’t want to shame or stigmatize any student,” she said.


Parents are notified by the schools when there is only $20 remaining in lunch accounts. Then, they are notified again if that amount gets down to $10. They are also told if money cannot be placed in the accounts, the parents should consider sending bagged lunches with their children. The full cost of a hot lunch is $412.80 per student for the 172day school year. A lunch costs

Runners from front page 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

$2.30 in elementary schools and $2.40 for students in grades 5-12. There is also a “Sabre” meal option at $3.05 where entrees are more expensive and upscale, but students on free or reduced-lunch prices, Braulick noted, are allowed to get Sabre meals if they choose. The cost to parents of a reduced-price lunch is 40 cents per meal per student, which means parents are expected to pay about $70 per year for children in grades K-12. A combination of state and federal reimbursements covers the rest of the cost of each meal, Braulick noted. Federal income guidelines determine which families can get free or reduced-cost lunches, based on family income levels.


A widely publicized incident in a Salt Lake City, Utah grade school caused many school districts to revisit their lunchroom policies regarding children whose parents do not pay up lunch accounts. In the Utah school, on Jan. 31, some students were given bagged lunches after their food-filled hotlunch trays were taken from them in the lunch line and tossed in the garbage in front of them and their fellow students. Rules forbid food on a lunch tray to be re-used for other students. The Utah incident caught the attention of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, who has proposed spending state money so all students in low-income families receive free hot lunches.

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.” 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 news from Utah also outraged many parents and educators and spurred a statewide survey taken by Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid. Ninety-four percent of the state’s school districts participated in the survey, which asked questions about school-lunch policies regarding students whose lunch accounts are empty. Forty-six percent of the districts, including Sauk Rapids-Rice, have policies to refuse immediately or eventually hot lunches to children with delinquent accounts. About half of those districts offer, instead, lunches that are less ample and less nutritious. Some district stamp “LUNCH” or “MONEY” on students hands to remind them to tell parents the lunch-accounts need to have money in them. Slightly more than half of the 309 school districts, 165 of them, offer less-nutritious alternatives to hot lunches. They include St. Cloud and Sartell. About a third of districts, 98, will always provide a full-menu hot lunch to low-income children even if they cannot afford the cost. One such district is Little Falls. Those districts have developed strategies to cover the costs, which include Parent-Teacher-Association “angel” accounts, discretion by the principal, schoolboard-approved appropriations and future recovery when parents are able to pay.


The comments by participants in the survey varied widely in at-

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.

titudes and philosophies. Without naming particular districts, the survey listed some of the comments. The following are summaries of those comments as printed in the survey: “Many districts described the critical importance of a healthy lunch and ensuring the best nutrition for all students, particularly for those students who are economically vulnerable.” “A few districts reported serving butter sandwiches.” “One district described other districts’ practices of providing alternative meals and turning away children as ‘unconscionable bullying.’ “ “A few districts reported pulling trays and dumping exposed food into the trash in front of the child.” “One district policy states: ‘Lunch trays will be pulled from a student if there is not enough

5 money in the account. We do not enjoy pulling trays from students and it slows the line for other students trying to get through.’ “ One district justified its traypulling policy as a way of teaching children accountability and responsibility. “Many districts absolve themselves of responsibility for ensuring children do not go hungry, claiming parents are the ultimate decision-makers on whether their child eats.” “Several districts do not view a refusal to serve food as ‘turning children away.’ Many policies are stark. At a certain level of deficit, the language states: ‘students will not be allowed to eat,’ ‘students will be denied to eat lunch,’ ‘we stop the student from taking lunch’ or ‘student will be asked to replace wrapped food; unwrapped food will be discarded.’”

Sartell Newsleader •


Our View

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.

My life’s become nothing but numbers As we all must do, I had my annual physical recently. As a part of that examination, blood work is done. My doctor tells me almost everything that might be going on in my body can be told by my blood work-up. As a service to me, my results are printed out and shared with me. As I looked at this information, I have concluded my entire life has been reduced to a series of numbers. The first number is, of course, my age. There is not much I can do about that number. What comes next is a series of numbers that tells the whole story. My height and my weight. My height was determined before I was born. My weight is another thing, but we won’t talk about that. Those two numbers have caused some genius somewhere to come up with a whole new number, my body-mass index. They have determined optimum health depends on a BMI of some number they have also decided upon. For me to achieve the BMI they want, I would have to be dead for about six weeks and left out in a desert to dry out. Then I might get close. Oh well, we can’t win them all. Next we get to blood pressure.

Ron Scarbro Guest Writer Again we have numbers decided upon by some genius somewhere who doesn’t know me from Adam. This number is too high or this number is too low. I have a friend who believes these numbers are regularly changed in order to sell more medicine. One year 150/80 is too high and the next year the numbers should be 140/70. Just take this nice little medicine and you too can come into compliance. How about that cholesterol? It used to be your total cholesterol had to be below 230. Now they have decided there are two different readings, the HDL and the LDL – bad cholesterol and good cholesterol. It’s all so confusing. So I just take that little medicine and I get to the point where my doc is happy. Oh, and I can’t have any grapefruit. It seems grapefruit would render my cho-

lesterol medicine ineffective. There goes one of my favorite drinks – vodka and grapefruit juice. Now if one of these geniuses can just offer some proof high cholesterol is really bad for me I will feel better doing without grapefruit. The next number that attracts so much attention from my medical gestapo is blood sugar or glucose. That number used to be 120. Now it is less than 100. This one apparently is about diet and exercise. My second favorite thing in life is to worry about my diet and my exercise. I won’t tell you my most favorite. You will just have to imagine. On this print-out there are many more insidious little things with numerical values. They are, for the most part, words I can neither spell nor understand, but I am sure they are all important. The medical folks sure think they are. What this all amounts to is the simple fact my life has become nothing but a series of numbers. I am happy to have my health and grateful for the medical profession for their skill and expertise, but sometimes I wonder. Am I an actual life form or have I just become a math problem?

The Newsleaders P.O. Box 324 St. Joseph, MN 56374 Email:

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Sartell Newsleader •

Community Calendar

Friday, March 7 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-7332767. 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, 320-363-2569. 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.

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.

Saturday, March 8 Commissioner 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.

Thursday, March 13 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. 1-800-7332767. Teen Manga Night, 6-7:30 p.m., instruction on figure drawing, manga style. Registration required, attendance limit is 12. Al Ringsmuth Public Library, Waite Park. 320253-9359.

Monday, March 10 Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-


VIAGRA - Pfizer brand! Lowest price from USA pharmacies. No doctor visit needed! Discreet home delivery. Call 1-866-903-2541. (MFPA)


Tuesday, March 11 Basic computer and internet help, 11 a.m. - noon, Al Ringsmuth Public Library, Waite Park. 320253-9359. Sartell Chamber of Commerce, 11:45 a.m., City Hall. 320-253-2171. Holistic Moms Network, 7-8:30 p.m., Good Earth Co-op, St. Cloud. 320-252-2489.


TO INVESTIGATE OTHER ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES Call PaperChain at 931922-0484 or e-mail info@ (MFPA)


DONATE YOUR CAR, TRUCK OR BOAT to Heritage for the Blind. Free 3-day vacation. Tax deductible. Free towing. All paperwork taken care of. 1-800-423-0656. (MFPA)

CASH FOR CARS. All cars/ trucks wanted. Running or not! Top dollar paid. We come to you! Any make/model. Call for instant offer. 1-800-8719134. (MFPA)



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DISH TV RESELLER – SAVE! Starting $19.99/month (for 12 months). FREE premium movie channels. FREE equipment, installation and activation. Call, compare local deals! 1-800-314-4584 (MFPA)

MISCELLANEOUS STRUGGLING WITH YOUR MORTGAGE and worried about foreclosure? Reduce your mortgage and save money. Legal Loan Modification Services. Free consultation. Call Preferred Law 1-800-952-5147. (MFPA)


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MISCELLANEOUS All Things Basementy! Basement Systems Inc. Call us for all of your basement needs! Waterproofing? Finishing? Structural Repair? Humidity and mold control? FREE ESTIMATES! Call 1-866691-8804 (MFPA)


Computer Problems? Viruses, spyware, email, printer issues, bad internet connections – FIX IT NOW! Professional, U.S.-based technicians. $25 off service. Call for immediate help. 1-855717-2701 (MFPA)

HEALTH SAFE STEP WALK-IN TUB: Alert for Seniors: bathroom falls can be fatal. Approved by Arthritis Foundation. Therapeutic jets. Less than 4” Step-In. Wide door. Antislip floors. American made. Installation included. Call 888743-6845 for $750 off. (MFPA)

Home-buying seminar, 7 p.m., free, space limited. Central Minnesota Credit Union, 1300 Elm St. E., St. Joseph. Reserve a seat at Concordia College Chapel Choir, 7:30 p.m., concert, free will offering. Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4310 County Rd. 137, St. Cloud. Friday, March 14 Discovery Day, students in grades 5-11 are invited to tour. To RSVP call 320-363-3315, option 3. St. John’s Prep. Fish Fry, 5-8 p.m., Stride Academy fundraier, El Paso Sports Bar & Grill, St. Joseph. Saturday, March 15 Women’s Health 101, free health screenings, speakers, educational booths, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., CentraCare Health Plaza, 1900 CentraCare Circle, St. Cloud, 320-229-4980. Fish Fry, 5-7:30 p.m., Immaculate Conception Church, 145 2nd Ave. NE, Rice. 320-393-2725


Medical Alert for Seniors – 24/7 monitoring. FREE equipment. FREE shipping. Nationwide service. $29.95/ month. Call Medical Guardian today. 1-888-721-6758. (MFPA)


TOP DOLLAR PAID for wrecked, damaged, junk, running and non-running cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. Call now! 888-366-3353 Fast pick up! (MFPA)


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.

Weekly Lenten Fish fry serving: • deep fried fish • baked potato • coleslaw • baked beans • dinner rolls • coffee & milk

Fish Fry

Them ed B Raffl asket e!

March 7, 14, 21 & 28 • April 4 & 11 5-7:30 p.m. Adults: $9 12 & under: $5 • Under 4: free Call 320-393-3560 from 4:30-7 p.m. for take-outs.

Immaculate Conception Church

• slice of pizza & beverage 145 2nd Ave. NE • Rice • 320-393-2725 $1.50 All proceeds go toward our debt reduction.

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


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MISCELLANEOUS FRUIT TREES LOW AS $16. Blueberry, grape, strawberry, asparagus, evergreen and hardwood plants. FREE catalog. Woodstock Nursery N1831 Hwy. 95 Neillsville, WI 54456. Toll-free 1-888-8038733. (MFPA)

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Canada Drug Center is your choice for safe and affordable medications. Our licensed Canadian mail-order pharmacy will provide you with savings of up to 75% on all your medication needs. Call today. 1-800-406-9568 for $10 off your first prescription and free shipping. (MFPA)

COMMITTEE MEMBERS WANTED The City of St. Stephen is in need of new membership on its Park Board & Planning Commission Committee: Park Board: 2nd Monday of the month, meetings at 7 p.m., City-wide events throughout the year Planning Commission: 2nd Tuesday of the month, meetings at 7:30 p.m., Ordinance & Building/Business issues reviewed Please contact City Clerk Cris Drais Email: • Phone: 320-290-0424 Mail: St. Stephen City Hall, 2 6th Ave. SE, St. Stephen, MN 56375

Warehouse/Driver Position – Nights Two night positions available!

Warehouse Worker & Warehouse/Backup Driver Minimum 6 months warehouse experience, sit-down forklift experience preferred, must be able to pass written and driver’s forklift tests. Self-motivated to help maintain production schedules, be able to move pallets weighing up to 2,500 pounds with mechanical and manual equipment, and be able to frequently lift up to 50 pounds. Driver must have a minimum of a Class B commercial driver’s license (with air brakes endorsement).

Advancement Opportunities Great Pay & Benefits 12 Hour Shifts

Apply either in person at:

347 Glen St., Foley, MN 56329 Located off Hwy 23

Or email resume to:


Sartell Newsleader •

Friday, March 7, 2014

St. Stephen prepares for centennial celebration

2014 marks the centennial year for the City of St. Stephen. On May 2, 1914, an election took place at the Hall of Frank Vouk on the second floor for the purpose of voting for or against the incorporation of the Village of St. Stephen. Of the 41 votes cast, 30 were for incorporation. One-hundred years later, it’s time to celebrate “St. Stephen: A Place to Call Home.” Help is needed prior to the centennial and on the day of the celebration. A planning meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, March 9 at the City Hall. Those interested in helping

with the Centennial celebration are asked to attend the meeting. A centennial celebration will take place beginning Friday, July 18 with a car show in the east lot of the Church of St. Stephen. On Saturday, July 19, the city will host a parade. The parade will travel through St. Stephen along CR 2. The parade will begin in the area of Trobec’s Bus Service and will end at the Smoley Addition on the north end of town. Invitations will be going out to city and area businesses to participate. Families and neighborhoods are also welcome to participate in

the parade. Following the parade, activities for children and food booths will be set up around the ball field in the Smoley Addition. At 8 p.m., residents and visitors can enjoy the music of “2 Mile Final” from Big Lake. It’s a country/southern rock band that has performed throughout the Midwest. During the band’s 10 p.m. break, a fireworks show will take place over the upper ball field in the Smoley Addition. A centennial photo album is being assembled with the help of Verdell Rudolph and Anita Smol-

Visit Saint John’s Prep for

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.

ey. Those two women are working to collect photos of St. Stephen’s history. Residents are asked to contact them or the city with contributions. Digital copies are being made of pictures, and the originals are being returned. The album will be for sale on the day of the celebration. The city would also like to borrow family memorabilia to display at City Hall. Please contact Cindy VanderWeyst at 320-529-8498 or Cris Drais at 320-253-7946 if you’re able to help and unable to attend the March 9 meeting.

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