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

Newsleader Sartell

Friday, April 5, 2013 Volume 18, Issue 14 Est. 1995

Town Crier

Senior Connection hosts presidential museums talk

Steve Hennes will speak on presidential libraries/museums during the Sartell Senior Connection meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 9 in the Sartell Senior Center, 212 3rd Ave. N., Sartell. Recently Hennes and his wife visited the Eisenhower Museum in Abiline, Kan. Come and learn first-hand about history while he shares photos and stories of all his tours to presidential libraries/ museums. Refreshments will be served.

Postal Patron

Yet another mural graces Sartell High School by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com

contributed photo

This is the new mural at Sartell High School. The winding birch tree in a landscape was created with acrylic paint on panels made of masonite and pine boards.

The interior of Sartell High School is beginning to resemble a veritable art museum. A couple of months ago, Deb Rolling’s art students completed a dazzling mural in a stairwell. The blazing-blue underwater scene was created under the guidance of an artist in residency. Last week, the students created another mural – this one under the tutelage of a different artist-in-residence – Dan Mondloch of St. Cloud, Rollings and art liaison Cori Schneider. Both projects were funded by a grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board. The new mural is a depiction, in multi-panels, of a birch tree within a landscape. The panels are acrylic paintings on masonite and pine boards.

Sportsmen’s hold breakfast April 7

The St. Stephen Sportsmen’s Club Breakfast will be held from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday, April 7 in the St. Stephen Parish Hall. A free-will offering will be accepted.

Methodist congregation eager to worship in new church

Independent Lifestyles offers ‘Train the Brain’

“Train the Brain” is an educational group for individuals who have suffered a mild brain injury and their families/friends. The group provides education on various topics to help assist people who have suffered a brain injury gain back their independence and function in everyday life. Classes will be held from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9 and May 14. For more information, visit www. thenewsleaders.com and click on Criers.

March for Babies set April 13 at SCSU

A March of Dimes Walk will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 13 at St. Cloud State University. Residents may sign up as individuals or a team of co-workers, family or friends at www.marchforbabies. org. For more information, visit www.thenewsleaders.com and click on Criers.

St. Stephen youth ball sets registration deadline

The St. Stephen Athletic Club will begin taking registration forms for the 2013 summer ball program. Available will be T-ball, pitch ball, baseball and softball for boys 5-14 years of age and girls 5-15 years of age. Forms will be available at Conomart in St. Stephen and the City of St. Stephen website (www.cityofststephen.com) through April 15.

For additional criers, visit www.thenewsleaders.com and click on Criers.

INSERT:

Czarnetzki’s Hardware Hank

Art instructor Rollings said the art works are part of a larger arts efforts in Sartell High School known as “Art in Motion,” which seeks to include the arts as an integral part of daily life for students, teachers, staff and visitors. Art in Motion is funded partly through a grant from the SartellSt. Stephen Education Foundation. The students who had a hand in the mural painting are Katelyn Dykhuizen, Mikayla Gessell, Rachel Stroh, Kaylin Meyer, Tyler Dockery, Kasey Muellenbach, Morgan Forbes, Kylee Bommersbach, Ann Malin, Rachel Teigland, Kyah Bengston, Jenna Bohlman, Kacy Dobe, Taylor Harren, Brett Jackels, Bree Kreutzer, Katherine Muntifering, Darien Prow, Alyssa Schoon, Jamal Skoog, Brandon Snoberger, Katelyn Evenson and Erin Deters.

Parents’ input needed for school calendar by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com

An online survey about the 2013-14 school calendar is now available online for parents, guardians and staff of the SartellSt. Stephen School District. The survey, which became available April 4, can be filled out online until noon Monday, April 8. The reason for the survey is for school-board members to get a good idea of what people expect in the way of a school calendar. The official calendar will be considered and possibly approved at the Monday, April 15 school-board meeting, which will take place at 6 p.m. at St. Stephen City Hall. The school board has created a district-calendar committee to consider all of the survey input and other factors. Last year, the board voted to end the traditional spring break in favor of a series of extended weekends. That decision caused a furor, with many parents and students claiming the decision was made too quickly without enough public input. Many also

accused the board of poor communication and of ignoring the needs and wishes of parents, students, staff and teachers. The current board is comprised of several new members who were elected in last November’s election. In their campaigns, those board members vowed to expand communication between the board and those it serves. The school-calendar survey is just one of those new communication efforts. On April 4, the school district sent out, via email, invitations to take the survey to parents and guardians whose email addresses are maintained in the district’s information-management system (known as “Skyward”). Invitations were also sent to staff members. Hard copies of the surveys were sent home to parents or guardians who do not have email addresses on file at the schools. What’s needed via the surveys is information about what parents/guardians would like the school calendar to be. Those options are: 1. A series of long vacation weekends in February, March Calendar • page 7

by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com

It was a long time coming, but members of First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud are ready and The Rev. Meier eager, at long last, to move into their new “home” in Sartell – a brand-new building on Pinecone Road S. “We’re thrilled to see the quality of the building and what it will provide for our ministry,” said Rev. William Meier after

paying a visit to the new facility last week. “It will be fun to see our ministry thrive in that space and that location.” For more than 100 years, First United Methodist Church was located in St. Cloud in four successive buildings, the first in a house. The current church, built more than 50 years ago, stands at 302 5th Ave. S. in St. Cloud, just south of the downtown area. In the past 10 years or so, the building had become woefully too small for the needs of the congregation. As early as 2007, the congregation at that site was faced with two choices: try to expand Church • page 4

contributed photo

The west wall stained-glass window from the previous church will be moved to the new Sartell church and reinstalled there. The window is more than 50 years old.

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Sartell Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

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Local businesses help FCA raise funds for huddles contributed photo

Steve Reetz of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans presents a check to Craig Mabis of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and members of the high school FCA leadership team. With help from Thrivent Financial and other local businesses, the Sartell FCA Huddle raised $2,200 at their bowling fundraiser March 3. Currently more than 100 students participate in FCA huddles at the Sartell Middle

Friday, April 5, 2013

Obituary

Elizabeth E. Traut, 85

Betty E. Traut, 85, of Sartell, died Easter Sunday at Country Manor Apartments, Sartell. Her funeral was held April 4 in St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Sartell. The Rev. Tim Baltes officiated. Burial was in the Parish Cemetery. Traut was born March 5, 1928 in Le Sauk Township, Stearns County to Alfred and Loretta (Feddema) Bromenschenkel. She married Alvin Traut on July 29, 1948 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in St. Cloud. She lived in Sartell most of her life where she was a mother and homemaker. Traut was later employed as a nursing assistant for Country Manor Nursing Home in Sartell. She was a charter member of St. Francis Xavier church and St. Monica’s Christian Women in Sartell a member of Daughters of Isabella, St. Anthony’s Mission Group, Catholic United Financial, a Eucharistic minister and TEC 46. Traut excelled at cake decorating. She was very active at St. Francis, the Fall Festival, quilting, 4-H, bowling, canning, sewing, volunteering, gardening and cards. She had a love for sports,

especially the Minnesota Twins. Fifty-four members of her family joined her on a cruise for her 80th birthday. Survivors include her children: Laura Marek (Brian) of St. Cloud, Ralph Traut (Eileen) of Sartell, Carol Lang (Tom) of Brainerd, Jean Muntifering (Bob) of Sartell, Donna Weihrauch (Tom) of St. Cloud, Dale Traut (Brenda) of Loveland, Colo., Connie Binsfeld (Jeff) of Sartell, Randy Traut (Kara) of Benson, Wendy Pikus (Russ) of Sauk Rapids; 22 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters, Edwina “Eddie” Ross of St. Cloud, Victor Bromenschenkel of Avon, Rita Rassier (Robert) of St. Joseph, Gilbert Bromenschenkel (Doris) of Fargo, N.D., Jean Heltemes (Gene) of White Bear Lake, Leo Bromenschenkel (Gail) of Sleepy Eye, Phylis Thielman (Lowell) of Avon, and James Bromenschenkel of Minneapolis; and sister-in-law Grace Ann Bromenschenkel of Hilton Head, S.C. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Alvin, June 1, 2002; brothers Earl, Roger, Kenneth and an infant brother; sister-inlaw, Mary Ellen Bromenschenkel; and brother-in-law, Floyd Ross. The family would especially like to thank all the staff at Country Manor and St. Cloud Hospital Hospice for the extraordinary care given their mother in her time of need.

Carpenter

Stylists & Receptionist

Sartell March 5, 1928 - March 31, 2013

School and High School. Pictured left to right are the following: Jake Johnson, Jake Nelson, Reetz, Mabis, Dave Bremer, Kallie Hengemuhle and Derek Mumm. The funds

raised at this event will be used toward those huddles and resources for coaches and players. For more information about the mission of FCA, contact Mabis at 320-237-8039.

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

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

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Contributing Writers TaLeiza Calloway Mark Lauer

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Sartell Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

Friday, April 5, 2013

Blotter 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. tricountycrimestoppers.org. Crime Stoppers offers rewards up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for crimes. March 20 1:50 p.m. Warrant arrest. 2nd Street N. An arrest warrant was issued for a female. Officers checked her residence and she was taken into custody without incident. 7:43 p.m. Stalled vehicle. C.R. 120. A vehicle was stalled on the side of the road. Officers provided traffic control until a tow truck arrived to remove the vehicle.

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Correction

March 21 2:32 a.m. Welfare check. Evergreen Drive. A report was made regarding an elderly female who seemed to be very confused and driving erratically. Officers were able to locate the female and found she was very confused and unaware how she had gotten to where she was. She was transported to the hospital and her family was contacted. 6:50 p.m. Traffic stop. Riverside Avenue. A vehicle was witnessed traveling 46 mph in a posted 30-mph zone. The driver was issued a citation and released. 8:58 p.m. Traffic stop. 7th Street N. A vehicle was witnessed traveling 46 mph in a posted 30-mph zone. The driver was aware of her speed. She was issued a citation and released.

March 22 8:51 a.m. Traffic stop. Pinecone Road. A vehicle was witnessed traveling 57 mph in a posted 40-mph zone. The driver also could not provide current proof of insurance. The driver was issued a citation for both violations and released. 3:54 p.m. Traffic stop. Benton Drive. A vehicle was witnessed traveling 50 mph in a posted 30-mph zone. The driver was unaware of her speed. She was issued a citation and released. 5:03 p.m. Juvenile complaint. 2nd Street S. A complaint was made regarding two juvenile boys throwing snowballs at vehicles. When an officer arrived, the boys ran. The officer caught them and went to their residence and spoke with the parents.

CITY OF SARTELL Summary Financial Report

A correction is needed for a frontpage story in the March 29 Sartell Newsleader about the Sartell Sabres basketball team making it to state competition. Before going to state, the Sabres triumphed over the Fergus Falls Otters in a game at Halenbeck Hall on the St. Cloud State University campus. In the remarkable last seconds of that game, just before

Tim Immelman made the winning basket, it was Sabre player Patrick Fischer who single-handedly controlled the ball for the last 45 seconds of the game, helping make Immelman’s winning basket possible. The story mistakenly credited another Sabre player for Fischer’s achievement. The Newsleader regrets the error.

CITY OF SARTELL Summary Financial Report

purpose of of this this report report is to provide summary of financial information concerning the City of Sartell to interested citizens. The the City of Sartell to interested citizens. The complete financial statements may be examined TheThe purpose isa to provide a summary of financial information concerning complete financial statements may be examined at City Hall, 125 Pine Cone Road North. Questions about this report should be directed to at City Hall, Pine Finance ConeDirector Roadat (320) North. Questions about this report should be directed to Mary Degiovanni, Finance Director at (320) 258-7309. Mary125 Degiovanni, 258-7309.

CITY OF SARTELL

REVENUES AND EXPENDITURES FOR GENERAL OPERATIONS (GOVERNMENTAL FUNDS)

Total 2012 REVENUES: Taxes: Property Sales Tax Increment Special Assessments Licenses and Permits Intergovernmental Charges for Services Fines and Forfeitures Miscellaneous Total Revenues

$

Total 2011

4,798,283 1,042,337 23,901 2,592,575 942,932 1,824,264 1,341,154 78,306 955,158 13,598,910

$

STATEMENT OF REVENUES, EXPENSES AND CHANGES IN FUND NET ASSETS - PROPRIETARY FUNDS For the Year Ended December 31, 2012

Percent Increase (Decrease)

4,479,278 899,023 24,045 2,304,624 792,341 2,260,096 1,074,605 68,981 105,617 12,008,610

7.12% 15.94% -0.60% 12.49% 19.01% -19.28% 24.80% 13.52% 804.36% 13.24%

EXPENDITURES: Current: General Government Public Safety Public Works Community and Economic Development Culture and Recreation Debt Service: Principal Interest and Fiscal Charges Capital Outlay: Total Expenditures

652,460 2,572,536 1,014,972 281,499 345,680

674,641 2,250,052 1,195,846 259,037 222,330

-3.29% 14.33% -15.13% 8.67% 55.48%

3,580,650 1,111,177 2,030,878 11,589,852

6,181,466 1,257,013 3,274,039 15,314,424

-42.07% -11.60% -37.97% -24.32%

Excess of Revenues Over (Under) Expenditures

OPERATING REVENUES: Charges for Services

1,648 100 (359,069) (357,321)

(147) 280,000 279,853

3,204 5,342 315,712 (853,980) (529,722)

Loss before Contributions and Transfers

(917,842)

(304,440)

(273,061)

(1,495,343)

99,930 939,578 (226,647)

381,971 872,000 (181,647)

18,235 (118,225)

500,136 1,811,578 (526,519)

(104,981)

767,884

(373,051)

289,852

Net Change in Fund Balances

6,313,549

(4,421,444)

242.79%

13,675,124

18,096,568

-24.43%

Change in Net Assets

13,675,124

46.17%

OPERATING REVENUES: Charges for Services OPERATING EXPENSES: Salaries and Benefits Supplies and Maintenance Utilities and Telephone Professional Services Sewer Treatment Depreciation Other Services and Charges Total Operating Expenses Operating Income (Loss)

$ 1,807,973

$ 1,654,240

336,382 740,584 163,070 32,762 911,573 89,190 2,273,561

146,684 241,466 46,707 18,912 518,431 592,871 36,288 1,601,359

Stormwater $

307,851

427,966 480 32,904 395,059 4,356 860,765

19,272,781

17,644,271

16,686,078

53,603,130

$ 19,167,800

$ 18,412,155

$ 16,313,027

$ 53,892,982

CITY OF SARTELL STATEMENT OF NET POSITION - PROPRIETARY FUNDS December 31, 2012

Totals $ 3,770,064

483,066 1,410,016 210,257 84,578 518,431 1,899,503 129,834 4,735,685

52,881

(552,914)

(965,621)

NONOPERATING REVENUES (EXPENSES): Investment Income Operating Grants and Contributions Refunds and Reimbursements Interest Expense Total Nonoperating Revenues (Expenses)

1,703 5,342 35,612 (494,911) (452,254)

1,648 100 (359,069) (357,321)

(147) 280,000 279,853

3,204 5,342 315,712 (853,980) (529,722)

Loss before Contributions and Transfers

(917,842)

(304,440)

(273,061)

(1,495,343)

Capital Contributions Transfers In Transfers Out

99,930 939,578 (226,647)

381,971 872,000 (181,647)

18,235 (118,225)

500,136 1,811,578 (526,519)

Change in Net Assets

(104,981)

767,884

(373,051)

289,852

End of Year

NET POSITION: Beginning of Year End of Year

(465,588)

NET POSITION: Beginning of Year

483,066 1,410,016 210,257 84,578 518,431 1,899,503 129,834 4,735,685

1,703 5,342 35,612 (494,911) (452,254)

Capital Contributions Transfers In Transfers Out

Sewer

427,966 480 32,904 395,059 4,356 860,765

NONOPERATING REVENUES (EXPENSES): Investment Income Operating Grants and Contributions Refunds and Reimbursements Interest Expense Total Nonoperating Revenues (Expenses)

N/A N/A -40.34% -6.44% -3.20% -485.83%

Water

$ 3,770,064

(965,621)

58,426 4,587,361 (5,761,417) (1,115,630)

STATEMENT OF REVENUES, EXPENSES AND CHANGES IN FUND NET ASSETS - PROPRIETARY FUNDS For the Year Ended December 31, 2012

146,684 241,466 46,707 18,912 518,431 592,871 36,288 1,601,359

307,851

(552,914)

5,450,000 104,695 34,855 4,292,046 (5,577,105) 4,304,491

CITY OF SARTELL

336,382 740,584 163,070 32,762 911,573 89,190 2,273,561

$

Totals

52,881

160.77%

$

$ 1,654,240

Stormwater

(465,588)

(3,305,814)

$ 19,988,673

$ 1,807,973

Operating Income (Loss)

2,009,058

End of Year

Sewer

OPERATING EXPENSES: Salaries and Benefits Supplies and Maintenance Utilities and Telephone Professional Services Sewer Treatment Depreciation Other Services and Charges Total Operating Expenses

OTHER FINANCING SOURCES (USES): Issuance of Debt Premium on Issuance of Debt Sale of Property Transfers In Transfers Out Total Other Financing Sources (Uses)

FUND BALANCES: Beginning of Year

Water

19,272,781

17,644,271

16,686,078

53,603,130

$ 19,167,800

$ 18,412,155

$ 16,313,027

$ 53,892,982

Water ASSETS: Cash and Investments Cash with Fiscal Agent Interest Receivable Accounts Receivable Prepaid Items Capital Assets not Depreciated: Land and Land Improvements Construction in Progress Sewer Rights Capital Assets Net of Accumulated Depreciation: Buildings and Improvements Sewer and Water Systems Machinery and Equipment Total Assets LIABILITIES AND NET POSITION: Liabilities: Accounts Payable Salaries and Benefits Payable Interest Payable Noncurrent Liabilities: Due Within One Year Due Within More than One Year Total Liabilities Net Position: Invested in Capital Assets, Net of Related Debt Restricted Unrestricted Total Net Position

$

724,527 902 424,015 19,176

$

Sewer

Stormwater

423,508 1,849,951 745 466,512 10,873

$

Totals

12,147 15 79,199 -

$ 1,160,182 1,849,951 1,662 969,726 30,049

1,148,901 96,278 -

91,486 377,187 12,836,012

4,552 -

1,240,387 478,017 12,836,012

13,451,834 17,385,884 62,499

20,744,259 61,139

16,222,864 -

13,451,834 54,353,007 123,638

$ 33,314,016

$ 36,861,672

$ 16,318,777

$ 86,494,465

$

$

$

48,792 3,847 202,214

205,334 2,360 78,501

5,750 -

259,876 6,207 280,715

815,791 13,075,572 14,146,216

903,969 17,259,353 18,449,517

5,750

1,719,760 30,334,925 32,601,483

18,280,396 887,404 19,167,800

15,960,178 1,849,951 602,026 18,412,155

16,227,416 85,611 16,313,027

50,467,990 1,849,951 1,575,041 53,892,982


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Sartell Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

Friday, April 5, 2013

Church from front page and renovate at the current site and fix an ailing infrastructure or build a new facility somewhere else. A task force was formed. Eventually, the congregation voted to move, despite many misgivings, including a certain sadness in giving up that site, which had long been the place of so much fellowship and worship. There was also concern about the precious artworks in the building. Would they have to be left behind. However, the congregation agreed wholeheartedly a new church would somehow accommodate the artworks. Those works include a magnificent large stained-glass panel from the west face of the church; an exterior sculpture of Mary and young Jesus sculpted in the 1950s by St. Cloud artist Otto Dallmann; and an interior abstract sculpture called “The Tree of Life” by artist Joseph O’Connell. All three will have prominent places in the new church. The pipe organ will also be moved, cleaned, re-wired and totally upgraded. A new baptismal font has been commissioned from Collegeville potter Richard Bresnahan. Fundraising for the new church began in 2010. The structure on a 20-acre site is 20,450 square feet, with a bell tower and a large education wing, which is unfinished but will be completed as funds become available. The church worship area can seat up to 400 people. There are 167 parking spots and enough room for future expansion. The site, Meier said, was chosen for “demographic potential, accessibility, visibility, size and sustainability.” The land was secured with help from the Minnesota Conference of the United Methodist Church. Murray Mack of Hagemeister and Mack Architects of St. Cloud developed the site and the building plan. Donlar Construction of Waite Park is managing the $4.3-million project. The last service at the St. Cloud location will be May 12. A week later, on May 19, the congregation will gather at the Sartell site for the first service

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Friday, April 5, 2013 there. In warmer weather, the church will hold many activities outdoors as there is plenty of room now. Meier has been with the St. Cloud First United Methodist Church for almost six years. Before that he served in Detroit Lakes for 12 years. He started in the ministry in Hendricks for five years, then served six years in a Methodist church in Rochester. Meier was born, literally, on the way to Ely. His father, who was also a minister, was bringing the family from its parsonage in Faribault to his new assignment in Ely. During the ride to Ely, Bill’s mother, a registered

nurse, began feeling labor pains. They stopped at the nearest place, and Bill was born. Meier and his wife, Linda, who was a nurse and then a legal secretary, have three grown children. Their oldest is Nicole Zitow of St. Cloud, who is a speech-language pathologist. She and husband, Tyson, have a 4-month-old baby, Cameron. The other children are Aaron, an engineer at a Fargo TV station; and Sarah, who lives in New Haven, Conn. To read this story in its entirety, visit www.thenewsleaders. com.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Opinion Our View

Kudos to school district for honoring all arts It’s a treat to see the interior of Sartell High School – and other schools – in Sartell so enlivened with art works. Most of us take art for granted. Life would be quite humdrum dreary without art. Imagine what the daily world would be like without all of the elements of art, of beauty. Without the architectural harmonies of public buildings and homes. Without landscaped parks and other green spaces. Without sculptures, paintings, theater and all of the other arts that surround us. It would, indeed, be a dull world. Many school districts have whittled down their arts and music programs to virtual non-existence, which is a crying shame. Some people, apparently, think arts and music are either frivolous subjects or unnecessary – the first to go during a budget crunch. That view is just plain wrong. Studies have shown students exposed to art and music not only live happier, enriched lives, but they are also more productive. The arts and music sharpen the senses, open the mind, pique curiosity and lead to innovative ways of approaching problems and finding solutions. Thank goodness the Sartell-St. Stephen School District realizes the importance of art and music. The two recent mural projects at Sartell High School are just two examples of how art is honored and is interwoven with other activities at the schools. It’s such a pleasure to see how the arts come together in the many excellent theatrical productions in Sartell schools. Those arts include music, singing, acting, stage sets, costume design, lighting and other components that add up to entertainment and often thought-provoking performances of quality plays. Our hats go off to all the art, theater and music teachers in the district. We also extend our kudos to the many fine artists-in-residence who share their talents year-round at the schools in Sartell. They include painters, poets, theater people, musicians and other instructors of amazing talents. It’s always impressive how those visiting masters instantly inspire the students, unleashing a flurry of creativity and bursts of imagination. We also want to thank the Sartell-St. Stephen Education Foundation, which funds so many artsrelated projects. Three cheers for the “Arts in Motion” program at Sartell High School and all of the other “arts in motion” that thrive in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District.

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.

If not ObamaCare, then what? As implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act approaches, Obamahaters are licking their chops, hoping to see it nose-dive. One of those detractors is our very own Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater), who delivered recently in the U.S. House of Representatives what may be the most ludicrous speech in recent memory. “Repeal this failure before it kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens,” she said in her pretend-crisis voice, calling once again for the repeal of ObamaCare. Her soap-opera delivery was such bad acting, I’m surprised lightning didn’t strike. Her, I mean. Bachmann was the first to submit a bill to repeal ObamaCare years ago. She won’t be the last. The latest spoiler, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), introduced yet another effort to repeal ObamaCare, the 36th time Senate Republicans have tried. Reasonable opposition to the Affordable Health Care Act is somewhat understandable. Much as I applaud it, I’ve said repeatedly in columns and to anyone who will listen that if ObamaCare does not lower health-care costs and healthcare premiums (the two are not always mutually related), Obama had better head back to the drawing board. There are efforts underway to sabotage Obama’s plan by those guarding extravagant profits made possible by the status-quo system. As many as 40 million good, hard-working Americans still

Dennis Dalman Editor don’t have insurance and can’t afford to get it. I know all too well, personally, what that can mean. A few years ago, after decades of employer-provided health insurance, I became a freelance writer. Because of a lower income, I was eligible to pay a reasonable monthly premium to MinnesotaCare (a kind of ObamaCare). Thanks to that, I was able to get a test and surgical procedure that saved my life. It was a cancerous tumor on a vocal cord I had no idea was there. Without MinnesotaCare, I would have put off that doctor’s visit, convincing myself that, oh well, it was just a persistent sore throat. Many others I know – hard-working people – cannot afford health-care insurance. They make too much (in many cases slightly too much) to qualify for MinnesotaCare or they don’t make nearly enough to afford premiums on the open market. Will ObamaCare change that? Make it better for all? I’ve got my fingers crossed and am hoping it’s a success. However, I actually do consider what opponents of ObamaCare have to say, unless they are histrionic divas like Bachmann who

live in dread of any Obama success. The reason I listen is because I believe ObamaCare is not the best solution to lopsided health care. The one-payer system like the rest of the civilized world has is much better, in my opinion. (Oh, my goodness, as I write this, I can just hear the angry letters I will receive: people dying to come to America for health care, people waiting in long lines, death panels in those evil socialist countries.) Before you write your angry letters, readers, please do some research about just which country’s health care is the best, in delivery and in numbers of people insured. And please do some research into what has been tried before, including the fabled “managed competition,” variations of which are still being trumpeted, uselessly, by those who want to cling to the status quo. Unlike Bachmann and her Tea Party naysayers, I hope ObamaCare works. It’s better than nothing, and it’s infinitely better than status quo (people dying or going broke without insurance). And most of all, I challenge those who despise ObamaCare to come up with an alternative. Do you have any solutions whatsoever other than the current disgrace under which so many of our fellow Americans are living in anxiety, going broke, suffering or dying because of lack of affordable health care? I await your solutions. Are you listening, Rep. Bachmann?

Early education investments will place kids on path to success Much has been written about the longterm benefits of high-quality early education and all-day kindergarten, especially for poor children. Research abounds to support investments in young learners as a critical way to close achievement gaps and improve student outcomes. Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget contains significant new investments for both early childhood education and all-day kindergarten, and every sign indicates substantial investments for early learning will be coming out of the legislature as well. Minnesota is home to some of the most compelling research on the high return of investment for early learning – up to $16 for every $1 invested according to former Federal Reserve Chair Art Rolnick. And there’s more: Childdevelopment researchers at the University of North Carolina recently published a study that found low-income students who attended preschool had higher math and reading scores in third grade than their low-income peers who did not. City University of New York conducted a study showing one in six students who can’t read at grade level by third grade will not finish high school by age 19 – nearly four times the rate of their more proficient peers. A study begun in 1962 in Michigan tracked two groups of low-income students – those who attended preschool and those who did not – and found at age 40, participants who attended preschool had attained higher levels of education, earned higher wages, were more likely to own a home and were less likely to have been incarcerated than those who did not attend preschool. Yet, despite the evidence, pockets of opposition continue to question the wis-

Brenda Cassellius MN Commissioner of Education dom of early childhood education. To which I say this: if you want a real life success story that illustrates the potential for high- quality early education to change a life, look at me. I was a Head Start baby. I can personally attest to the value of early learning, not only the early benefits to a poor girl growing up in the projects of south Minneapolis, but the long-term effects on my life. I could easily have ended up in a cycle of poverty and dependence, but I didn’t. Why? For many reasons, including hard work and a little bit of luck, but also because of the early opportunities I received and the parenting support given to my mother, who had my sister at 16 and me at 20. Head Start allowed me to develop school-readiness skills and a love of learning that have lasted a lifetime. I remember the fun of outlining my 4-yearold body on a big sheet of paper and labeling my parts, of watching a celery stalk turn red in a glass full of tinted water, of reading my first book, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and imagining my own dreams for adventure as I drew them with a purple crayon. My best memory, though, is when my teacher would round us up in a circle at the end of the day to touch the tip of her “magic wand” to the top of our heads, and if we were good and had done all of our work, the magic star on the end would light up. Why do these experiences matter now,

nearly four decades later? Because they taught me perhaps preschool’s greatest contribution to a students’ future success; the so-called “soft skills,” which help children learn how to pay attention and stay on task. My earliest teachers shaped me by instilling not only a love of learning, but also the principles of hard work, goodness and perseverance. These qualities cannot be measured by a test, but they matter a great deal in a competitive and diverse global economy and are necessary for success in life. I’ve been lucky. Lucky to be born in the right decade and that my mother had access to resources and support. Lucky to have had great teachers who pushed me to be my best. Lucky that wise Minnesotans who came before me realized a good education for every child was the surest way to strengthen our state’s competitive edge, leading a generation’s War on Poverty and crafting a Minnesota Miracle along the way. But should it come down to luck? The Governor and I believe not. We believe all children deserve access to the same great start I had. Investing now, this year, in our youngest learners – with more scholarships for high-quality earlyeducation programming and increased access to all-day kindergarten – gives us the best chance to fully leverage the potential that lies within every child. We may never be able to fully measure the profound impact early learning has on life success. Or maybe we can. Maybe we’re just waiting for a future education commissioner – a little girl or boy learning and dreaming in a sun-filled classroom today – to show us just how it’s done.


Sartell Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

Friday, April 5, 2013

Community Calendar

Friday, April 5 St. Joseph Farmers’ Market, 3-6 p.m., Resurrection Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall, 610 N. C.R. 2, St. Joseph. www.stjosephfarmersmarket.com.

made items and shop. All proceeds will benefit Anna Marie’s Alliance. 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Alumnae Hall, Haehn Campus Center, College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph. csbsenate@csbsju.edu.

Saturday, April 6 Maple Syrup Fest, 1-4 p.m., St. John’s Arboretum. Registration is near St. John’s Prep School. Call 320-363-3163 or visit www.csbsju. edu/arboretum. 4-H Camp Counselor meeting, 9 a.m. new counselors, 10 a.m.– 1 p.m. all counselors, 6:30 p.m., Midtown Square Mall, 3400 First St. N., Room 218, St. Cloud. www. extension.umn.edu.

Monday, April 8 Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., St. Cloud Blood Donation Center, 1301 W. St. Germain St. Cloud 1-800-RED CROSS or redcrossblood.org. Sartell City Council, 7 p.m., City Hall. 320-253-2171.

Sunday, April 7 CSB Community Craft Day Fundraiser. Donate your hand-

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High School, 1000 44th Ave. N., St. Cloud. 1-888-234-1294. 55+ driver improvement (eight-hour first-time course), 6-10 p.m. tonight and April 11, St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, 3030 1st St. S., St. Cloud. 1-888-234-1294. Holistic Moms Network, 7-8:30 p.m., Good Earth Co-op, St. Cloud. 320-252-2489. Blood drive, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Cloud Blood Donation Center, 1301 W. St. Germain St. Cloud 1-800-RED CROSS or redcrossblood.org. Food Manager Certification and Renewal Courses, 9 a.m.–1 p.m., Midtown Office Complex, 3400 First St. N., Room 108, St. Cloud. www.extension.umn.edu. Wednesday, April 10 St. Joseph Area Chamber of

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Commerce, 11:30 a.m., St. Joseph Community Fire Hall. www.stjosephchamber.com. National Active and Retired Federal Employee’s meeting 12:30 p.m., Whitney Senior Center, 1527 Northway Drive, St. Cloud.

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Calendar from front page

and April. 2. A five-day consecutive break in the spring. 3. A combination of the above Thursday, April 11 two options. Coffee and Conversation, a “The information the commitsenior discussion group, 9 a.m., tee is gathering will be beneficial Country Manor, Sartell. in supporting the recommendaBlood drive, noon-6 p.m., St. Cloud Blood Donation Center, tion (that will be) put forth,” said 1301 W. St. Germain St. Cloud Julie Tripp, committee chair and 1-800-RED CROSS or redcross- middle-school principal. “From blood.org. this feedback, we will be able to 55+ driver improvement (four- provide a data-driven decision hour refresher course), 5-9 p.m. for the 2013-14 calendar in comtonight Gilleland Chevrolet, 3019 bination with a myriad of other Division St., St. Cloud. 1-888-234factors that go into the creation 1294. of an academic calendar.”


Sartell Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

8

Friday, April 5, 2013

Ramanathan to compete in geography bee

Janagan Ramanathan, a Sartell Middle School student, will compete at the state-

wide National Geographic Bee April 5 at St. Cloud State University’s Ritsche Auditorium. The event starts at 9:15 a.m., with 100 students throughout the state compet-

Ramanathan

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ing. The winner will go on to compete in the national bee in Washington, D.C. The National Geographic Spelling Bee is for students in fourth through eighth grades.

Last year, Ramananthan’s older brother, Gopi, was the statewide winner and competed nationally. Gopi had won numerous bees. Since he is no longer in eighth grade,

he cannot compete anymore. This year, however, Gopi is a member of the Sartell-St. Stephen Knowledge Bowl team that will participate at the state level.


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