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Drug-busting officer Town Crier earns service award Friday, April 18, 2014 Volume 19, Issue 16 Est. 1995

Burning restrictions in effect in central Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has burning restrictions in place over the central part of the state including Stearns County because fire danger is expected to rapidly increase as winds pick up and snow continues to melt. The burning restrictions mean the state will not give out burning permits for burning brush or yard waste. Spring fire restrictions limit open burning until summer green-up occurs. Traditionally, most wildfires in Minnesota occur during April and May. More than 95 percent of these fires are caused by human error. The restrictions normally last from four to six weeks until sufficient green vegetative growth occurs. Campfires are still allowed. For more information, visit and click on Criers.

Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 21-25

April 21-25 is Severe Weather Awareness Week, a time to remind Minnesotans about inevitable storms, lightning, wind, floods and tornadoes, and to provide people with information necessary to protect their lives when severe weather threatens. Stearns County’s Emergency Management Department encourages every family and business to take the opportunity during this week to build awareness of storm dangers and to put weather emergency plans into action. Subjects for Severe Weather Awareness Week are: Monday: Alerts and warnings; Tuesday: Thunderstorms, Lightning and Hail; Wednesday: Floods; Thursday, Tornadoes; and Friday: Heat. Two statewide tornado drills will take place on Thursday. The first drill is at 1:45 p.m. and allows schools and businesses to practice their emergency plans. The second drill is at 6:55 p.m. This drill allows families to practice their plans at home. For more information, visit www.thenewsleaders. com and click on Criers.

Hot off the press

If you’d like to receive the Newsleader hot off the press, send us your email address and we’ll notify you with a link when our website is updated, which is typically by noon a day in advance of the print edition. Send your email to and you should start receiving your reminder at that address within a week. Notify us otherwise.


The Waters Church Waterford of Country Manor

by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders. com

For many years, Sartell police officer Dan Miller has had a big hand in helping keep the Sartell area – and beyond – drug-free and safer. His peers, well aware of his dedicated work and achievements, recently honored him with the Distinguished Service Award at the annual Minnesota Police Chiefs’ Convention in Rochester. Miller, who is a member of the Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force, was hired by the Sartell Police Department in 2001. In the award citation honor-

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Sartell Police Officer Dan Miller was recently honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the Minnesota Chief of Police Association. Miller • page 5

Fund established for police officer’s family The Central Minnesota Credit Union in St. Joseph is accepting checks for a fund on behalf of the family of Joe Schmitz, the Sartell police officer who died March 27 at the St. Cloud Hospital. Checks should be written to “Joe Schmitz 7907” and mailed to Central Minnesota Credit Union, P.O. Box 87, St. Joseph, MN 56374. Checks or cash can also be deposited in person at that bank or at any of the other 16 branches of Central Minnesota Credit Union, including ones in Albany, Avon, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Freeport and Paynesville.. Schmitz, 44, died following complications from surgery for a swollen disc in his neck. After surgery, when he was back home the next day, March 21, an artery ruptured, blocking off his air passage, and he was rushed back to the hospital. He died March 27 with his family by his side. Schmitz and his wife, Stacie Landborg-Schmitz, have a 4-year-old son, Andrew. Born and raised in Paynesville,

Schmitz had a l o n g career in law enforcement, 19 years as an officer with the Paynesv i l l e P o l i c e Schmitz Department and 17 months with the Sartell Police Department. Schmitz’s wife, on the Caring Bridge website, wrote how she loved her husband’s smile. “He had the biggest smile on his face,” she said. “The smile I saw first at the finish of our first date when I asked him if he would want to meet me again; the smile when he asked me to marry him; the smile when our son was handed to us at his birth.”

Sorrel named Volunteer of the Year by Dennis Dalman

Even a quick reading of the resume of Sartell Senior Volunteer of the Year Jan Sorrel is apt to exhaust the average person because she has crammed so much work into a lifetime it makes one’s head spin: Wife, mother, motel owner, school teacher, yearbook director, photographer, editor, schoolmedia teacher, computer instructor, the member and/or chair of countless committees and organizations, spelling-bee judge, workshop facilitator, curriculum developer, published writer, speech-maker and active member of more than 10 professional organizations. Those activities barely scratch the surface. Most people in Sartell know Sorrel as one of the founding members of the Sartell Senior Connection, a group of mainly seniors that has brought a renewed dynamism to Sartell through its activities and its volunteerism. The group was founded in 2007, and Sorrel has just now finished her fourth year as the group’s board chair. Sorrel received thunderous applause and a standing ovation when she was named Sartell Senior Volunteer of the Year April 10 at the annual Sartell Area Chamber of Commerce ban-

quet at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course. Despite some recent medical problems, including another knee replacement, Sorrel is up and at ‘em, just as active as ever. She doesn’t need a cane or a walker anymore. Her husband, Dale, loves to tease her by telling others, in front of her, that “Jan is off her walker.” Sorrel said her favorite activity is working with committees, brainstorming with others until good ideas emerge from the simmering conversations. “I love committees,” she said. “I love to get ideas together and let ideas come forth from others. That committee work is really what I do best.”

Early life

Sorrel was born in Richfield. Even in her school years she loved working with groups of students. She was a member of the yearbook and newspaper staff, and she was student-council president. After graduation in 1956 and marriage, she earned a degree in elementary education, with a math minor, from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Then she taught third grade in Hopkins for two years. She and her husband, Dale, one day made a bold decision. They decided in 1961 to move to Sartell where there was a motel for sale. The Winter Ha- contributed photo ven Motel, which they owned In 1987, Jan Sorrel was named and managed for eight years. Teacher of the Year for the St. Cloud Sorrel • page 8 School District.

Compost site to open April 19 The Sartell Compost Site will open for the season 8 a.m. Saturday, April 19, but people will need to purchase an annual permit to use the site’s facilities. Permits can be purchased at Sartell City Hall or online as If people purchase permits online but don’t have the actual permit mailed to them yet, they should bring a print-out of the online

receipt when they bring loads to the compost site. Please note Sartell City Hall will be closed Friday, April 18 for the Good Friday holiday. For city residents, Sartell compost-site permits cost $30 if purchased in person at city hall and $31 if purchased online. For non-city residents (LeSauk Township and St. Cloud), the cost is $61 for a 2014 permit.

Permit stickers must be affixed to the lower left inside area of the windshield, on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Compost-site hours for the coming season are 4-7 p.m. Monday and Friday; 1-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and 8 am.-4 p.m. Saturday. Only clean yard waste, brush and tree waste will be accepted at the site.

Sartell Newsleader •



Friday, April 18, 2014

Sartell Sapphire Gymnasts place at division meets

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Country manor resident Fran Klassen with Jacquie Hartman, Country Manor volunteer coordinator, during their introduction to the new Country Manor Activity Van. Country Manor staff, residents and families were elated to see the new Country Manor Activity Van arrive March 26. The Activity Van had been added to the Foundation “Wish List” last spring as an item that all felt would make a significant impact in the lives of those who call Country Manor home. The Country Manor Foundation began raising money for the new van, and through the generosity of donors and the success of the 2013 Hometown Classic Golf Event, it was with much excitement they announced the project would be brought to life. Experienced staff of Country Manor took this project under their wing and custom designed the 14-passenger van around the specific needs of residents and tenants. The Activity Van will enable individuals who are wheel-chair bound, and those requiring extra assistance to attend off-campus excursions in a safe, comfortable and well-equipped mode of transportation.



Janagan Ramanathan (right), a Sartell Middle School sixthgrader, and Mathew Bolton, an Oak Ridge Elementary fourthgrader, competed against 101 students from throughout the state of Minnesota in the state National Geographic Bee on April 4 at St. Cloud State University. Students compete in an eight-question preliminary round. Ten students won their way to the final round. The Sartell boys earned their way to the state bee by placing first in their respective school bees and then taking a state qualifying test.

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Two teams from the Sartell Sapphire Gymnastics program recently participated in the Midwest Amateur Gymnastics Association Divisional State Meet. Sartell Sapphire Silver qualified for MAGA Division 4 held March 9 in St. Michael, Minn., where they placed sixth. Pictured from left to right on floor: Brenna Chisholm, Kristin Martens, Christa Meyer (first on vault, second on bars, seventh in the all-around), Jessica Lemke, Paige Grabow. On the beam: Courtney Kosloski (fifth on vault), Ali Boschee (fourth on vault and seventh on floor), Emma Schwartz (second on vault, fourth on bars, seventh on beam, fifth on floor, third in the all-around), Marley Michaud (ninth on vault, 10th on bars, 10th on beam).


A front-page story about Joe Schmitz, Sartell police officer who died, (April 4 Newsleader) incorrectly stated where a fund has been established for Schmitz. The correct place is the Central Minnesota Credit Union. Checks can be written to “Joe Schmitz 7907” and sent to Central Minnesota Credit Union, P.O. Box 87, St. Joseph, MN 56374. Checks and cash can also be hand-delivered to that credit union or to any of its other 16 branches, including ones in Albany, Avon, Cold Spring, Freeport, Little Falls and Paynesville.

Mollie McGeary and Ryan Flynn, both of Rochester, announce their engagement. Parents are Betty and Ed McGeary and Margo and Steve Flynn, all of Sartell. McGeary and Flynn both graduated from Sartell High School, McGeary in 2007, Flynn in 2007. McGeary graduated in 2011 from Winona State University and is a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Flynn graduated in 2012 from University of Wisconsin-Stout and is a dental equipment technician at R-Tech Dental of Minnesota in Rochester. A June 21 wedding is planned at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Sartell.


If any readers have tips concerning crimes, they should call the Sartell Police Department at 320-251-8186 or TriCounty Crime Stoppers at 320-255-1301 or access its tip site at Crime Stoppers offers rewards up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for crimes.

April 2 3:01 a.m. Connecticut Avenue. Person assist. While on patrol, an officer saw a woman standing on the side of the road. The officer found the female was attempting to get home and he transported her to her residence. Blotter • page 7

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Zachary Jacobson, Sartell High School, was recently selected as the High School Big Brother of the Year. During the two years he has served as a mentor, Jacobson has helped his Little grow his self-esteem and improve academically. Jacobson has also helped to recruit mentors by speaking to classrooms of his peers about his experience with the program. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota currently has more than 100 children waiting for a mentor. To learn how to become involved in the life of a child as a mentor, volunteer or donor, call 320-253-1616 or visit www.bbbscentralmn. org.

Sartell Sapphire Blue qualified for MAGA Division 9 held March 1 in New Prague, Minn., where they placed sixth. Pictured from left to right: Dani Beumer, Belle Heinen (second on vault and third on floor), Annie Dummer (eighth on vault, third on bars, seventh on beam, fourth on floor, third in the all-around), Sarah Klimpel (ninth on beam), Abiagylae Starz (10th on vault), Alissa Ahrndt (ninth on bars), Gracie Wittmer-George (sixth on vault, ninth on beam, sixth on floor, seventh in the all around), Brooke Andel, Danielle Guigere, Eiley Koivisto (seventh on bars, 10th on beam, sixth on floor, eighth on the all-around). For more information about the Sartell Sapphire Gymnastics program, visit

Bursch Travel wins Representative Excellence Award Bursch Travel is one of 25 nationwide recipients of the American Express Travel Representative Excellence Award for 2013. This award honors the achievements of the American Express Travel Representative Network member agencies that have driven superior results and exceeded key business goals. “These 25 agencies have done more than just meet their business goals in the past year – they’ve demonstrated an unwavering commitment to service and excellence for their clients,” said Yana Gutierrez,

vice president of American Express Travel. “Each agency has been able to leverage the network’s programming, tools and training opportunities to lead their individual brands, forging a successful path for future growth. We are thrilled to honor Bursch Travel, and I’m confident they will continue elevating the Network by delivering outstanding results through unparalleled service and expertise.” As a 2013 award recipient, Bursch Travel will celebrate during a five-night/six-day trip to Marrakech, Morocco.

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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.

Sartell Newsleader •

Friday, April 18, 2014

Borgert plans for Honor Flight by Dennis Dalman

It’s been decades since Gene Borgert visited the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. He was there quite a few times when he was in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War in the early 1950s. Now he gets to go there again as a member of an “Honor Flight,” a program that flies veterans to Washington, D.C. to allow them to tour the capital and to see the monuments there that honor all the nation’s veterans. Borgert will leave April 22 on a flight with about 100 other veterans from the central Minnesota area. They’ll take a direct chartered flight from St. Cloud to a Maryland airport, then take a bus into Washington, D.C. He will be accompanied by one of his sons. Nearly 70 years ago, Borgert, now 82, served mainly on the Atlantic Ocean on the U.S.S. Newport News, a heavy cruiser. As a machinist mate, he repaired engines, air-conditioning units, airplane cranes and even ice machines. He’d learned all those skills at the Great Lakes Naval Base before being assigned to the U.S.S. Newport News. “I heard about the Honor Flight program more than a year ago, so I talked to a woman at the V.A. (Veterans’ Administrative) Center about it and was accepted to go along on a flight,” Borgert said. “Am I exited about the


James “Jim” P. Maier, 76 Sauk Rapids April 11, 1938-April 15, 2014

James “Jim” P. Maier, 76, of Sauk Rapids died April 15 at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center. His funeral was held April 24 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Sauk Rapids. The Rev. Jerry Dalseth officiated and entombment was at Sacred Heart Mausoleum, Sauk Rapids. Maier was born April 11, 1938 in Sauk Rapids to Paul and Anna (Otremba) Maier. He married Eleanor Illies on July 7, 1959 at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Elrosa, Minn. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves during the Vietnam War. He was a member of Sacred Heart church, the Antique Car Club and American Legion Post 254. Maier owned and operated Countryside Auto in Sauk Rapids since 1963. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, hunting, fishing, stockcar racing, snowmobile racing, horseshoes, cards, softball, volleyball, waterskiing, dancing,

contributed photos

Above: Gene and Lynn Borgert. At right: Gene Borgert in a photo taken aboard his ship circa 1951 during the Korean War. The ship was the U.S.S. Newport News.

trip? You better believe it!” Born in St. Cloud, for many years Borgert was one of the owners of Borgert Concrete, which was founded by his father, Lawrence, nearly 100 years ago. Gene worked there for 27 years. Later, he sold his share of the company to his brother, and the company still thrives after all those years in St. Joseph.

Borgert moved to Sartell after buying two acres of property for just $600 north of the town on the County Road 1 river-road. He and his wife, Lynn, have lived there every since. Borgert has several retirement hobbies: making wooden bowls in his basement wood shop is his main Borgert • page 11


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trap shooting, watching NASCAR and hobby farming. He was a competitive person who will be remembered for his sense of humor and frequent pranks. Survivors include the following: his wife; children, Michelle and Roger Traut of Sartell, Danita and Kenny Traut of St. Stephen, Jacqueline and Bruce Warnert of Mayhew Lake, Victoria Maier of Sauk Rapids and Jonathan and Jenny Maier of Holdingford; siblings, Edward and Helen Maier of Sauk Rapids, Abe and Carole Maier of Clearwater, Dorothy Schmitz of Waite Park, Laura and Val Rau of Richfield, Mildred Felling of Minneapolis, Kathleen Rosa of Sauk Rapids, Sharon and Don Wieber of St. Joseph, and Maxine and Vernon Goebel of Albany; 13 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; son, James; sister, Alvira Schwinghammer; brothers-in-law, Willard Schwinghammer, George Schmitz, Charles Picken, Donald Felling, Lloyd Rosa and Donald Emslander; and father- and mother-in-law, John and Gertrude Illies. Obituary, guest book and video tribute available online at: Roofing • Siding • Gutters • Windows • Metal Roofs HAAG™ Certified Roof Inspectors for hail/wind

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Sartell Newsleader •


Our View

Three cheers for wage increases

Thank goodness for Gov. Mark Dayton and the Democrats who control both houses in the Minnesota Legislature. On April 14, Dayton signed into law a somewhat watered-down version of a bill previously approved by the House. Last week, the Senate, on a 39-28 vote, approved its version. Thanks to Dayton and those lawmakers, there will be increases in the state’s minimum wage, something the Republicans in the U.S. Congress refuse to do, even though national polls show up to 80 percent of all people, including many Republican voters, approve a hefty increase in the national minimum wage. In our state, it should be noted no Republicans voted for the increase. Isn’t it ironic those are the same politicians who claim they represent “working folks?” Opponents of the raise trotted out the same tired arguments: too much too soon, a job-killer, companies will flee the state. Minnesota is the latest of several states that have upped the minimum wage, largely because of the stubborn and baseless inaction in the nation’s Capitol. In Minnesota, larger employers will have to pay $8 an hour in August and $9.50 in 2016. Smaller employers will pay less than that – $7.75 by 2016. Included in the bill is an inflation provision that would boost the minimum wage by 2.6 percent per year starting in 2018. All reasonable people have long agreed minimum wage is simply not enough to live on. The following sentence has become practically a mantra: “Any person who works 40 hours per week should not have to live in poverty.” And that, of course, is true. It doesn’t matter if minimum-wage employees are heads of households, single mothers or teenagers. All people, no matter who they are, deserve a fair and livable wage. That should go without saying. One could argue $9.50 is not enough – not nearly enough. If one factors in inflation, the minimum wage has shrunk in buying power in the last 30 years – so much so that if today’s minimum wage would match that of the late 1970s, it would have to be closer to $15 an hour rather than $9.50 an hour. Nevertheless, thanks to progressive legislators and forward-looking lawmakers, Minnesota has taken an important step in trying to alleviate these inexcusable inequities. It has become painfully obvious a “free economy” and “market forces” are not going to redress these and other grievances caused by a massively lopsided economic gap in which the top 1 percent take in and control most of the money generated in this country. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. There is a push by the Obama Administration and others to raise that to $10.10 an hour. Until this past week’s legislative action, Minnesota had one of the lowest minimum-wage rates in the nation: $6.15. The forces of progressivism have won the day in Minnesota. There is so much more progress to be made on the state level and the national level. But raising the minimum wage here and in other states is definitely a step in the right direction, with the ultimate goal of bringing living wages and dignity to all jobs for all working people.

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, April 18, 2014

Opinion Enough of pings; let’s have some news If I hear the word “ping” one more time, I’m going to do one of three things: 1. Smash my TV set 2. Wear tight ear plugs 24 hours a day 3. Vomit For more than a month, I have been hearing ping, ping, ping every time I turn on my TV to get the latest news. No, I don’t have hearing problems. Rather, it’s the news media’s problem – namely, their obsession with the disappearance of Flight 760, the jet carrying 229 passengers that apparently vanished into thin air March 10 while traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Lest you think I’m heartless, I assure you my heart goes out to the victims and to their loved ones who suffered – and are still suffering – from that horrible disappearance/ accident/hijacking – or whatever it was. There is nothing worse than grief compounded by uncertainty. Survivors have a deep need to know what happened to their loved ones, including how they died. Closure never ends grief, but it helps survivors in their day-to-day efforts to carry on, to keep living without being crippled by unanswered questions and dangling doubts. I am happy so many countries have joined forces, using their resources and technologies in the search for that missing airplane and its black box somewhere, probably, as they claim, on the bottom of the deep Indian Ocean. However, in my long life as a news enthuisast, I have never heard so

Dennis Dalman Editor much idle TV speculation and guessing games as I’ve heard after the plight of Flight 760. I myself spent many hours wondering what could have happened to that hapless plane and its passengers. I even had disturbing dreams about it. At first, some of the TV speculation was interesting, especially details about flight procedures, black boxes (actually orange), ocean currents, ocean litter, undersea topography (including mountains as high as Mount Everest). Most of the information was new and interesting to me. OK, that said, let me now complain: I don’t want to hear another word about that tragedy until the plane is found. For days and nights, I tuned into the TV news to learn more about the bleak situation in Ukraine, the ObamaCare sign-ups, the horrible high-school stabbings in Pennsylvania, the latest jobless stats. I wanted some in-depth news on those subjects. I did get some, in dribs and drabs, but mostly it was ping, ping and more pings, more non-news about efforts to find the lost aircraft. Last I heard, there may be no more pings because the black-box battery may have petered out. But now, go figure, the news is filled with infor-

mation about the lack of pings, the lack of debris fields, the lack of anything and everything. Experts – and the rest of us – are stumped, unable to solve the strange disappearance of that jet. It’s yet another example of how, despite our dazzling technology, something as simple as a dead black-box battery can defeat our best efforts. When and if these intrepid searchers find that plane, I will rush to turn on the TV to learn all about it. By all means, let the search continue. Flight 760 is like so many other stories that obsess TV news reporters and commentators (and some print reporters). They become as tiresome as those medieval theologians who would sit around for years wondering how many angels can dance upon the head of a pin or like Dark Age alchemists trying to turn lead into gold. Meaningless, meandering ruminations. Examples of this morbid myopic obsession are the relentless, non-stop TV analyses of O.J. Simpson, Scott and Lacey Peterson, the “Tot Mom” trial, Oscar Pistorius and so many other bloody stories that – sad and brutal as they are – have virtually nothing to do with the lives of workaday people – that is, you and me and most everybody else. Democracy, if I recall correctly, is dependent on a well informed citizenry. I truly hope they find that doomed jet. It will be big news, and I will want to hear all about it. Meantime, TV people, please quit updating us about pings and no-pings.

Letter to editor

Spring cleaning should include medicine cabinet too! Stacey Bartholomew, RPh, Sartell An often overlooked, yet extremely important part of the spring cleaning “to do” list should be the area where you store your medications. Is your medicine cabinet filled with expired drugs or medications you no longer use? According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, prescription drugs in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. More Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using drugs that normally are linked with drug abuse, such as cocaine and heroin. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed the majority of abused prescription drugs were

obtained from family and friends, taken from home medicine cabinets. There are a number of ways you can dispose unused and unwanted medications. One way is to mix the medications with used coffee grounds or kitty litter and put the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can or container. This makes the medications unrecognizable to those who may go through your garbage, as well as keeping it from leaking in your garbage bag. Don’t forget to scratch out personal information on the label (your name and drug name) before you throw the original container out. This ensures protection of your health information and privacy. Another way is to take advantage of the “Take Back” programs Stearns County has implemented. Pharma-

ceutical drop boxes are available at the Sartell and Waite Park police departments, Stearns County Law Enforcement Center, Melrose Police Department and the Paynesville Police Department. They will accept all medications, except sharps/needles, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. As medication consumers, we can be very grateful for this additional service our county provides for us. Take advantage of it and thank them. Additionally, never flush your prescription drugs down the toilet unless advised. Use the same disposal methods mentioned for over-the-counter medications. And, if in doubt, always talk to your pharmacist.

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Sartell Newsleader •

Friday, April 18, 2014

Miller from front page ing Miller, Lt. Gerald Edblad, commander of the task force, had high praise for Miller. “Dan’s ability to identify, collect and manage informants has led to information being gathered on some of the biggest criminal enterprises in the region,” Edblad wrote. “He has the respect and confidence of federal agencies and prosecutors to be able to share his information that has led to cases spreading out to other states. Dan’s work in the area of narcotics is invaluable to the entire region, and he is a great asset to the task force.” Miller was nominated for the Distinguished Service Award by Sartell Police Chief Jim Hughes, who said, “I continue to be impressed with his enthusiasm and dedication to the gang and drug work that he does. He’s an excellent interviewer and investigator that has impacted the gang and drug activity in central Minnesota, the state and even neighboring states for a number of years.”

The task force was formed in 2006 by the cities of Sartell, St. Joseph, Sauk Rapids and Waite Park. It was funded by a drug-officer position for what was at that time the Major Crimes Investigative Unit, which was comprised of officers from area counties. That unit and the St. Cloud Police Department were later combined into the Central Minnesota Violent Offenders Task Force, Hughes noted. Since the formation of the VOTF, Miller has been a gang investigator with several others in the force. Hughes cited several examples of how Miller’s work has paid off: • In 2011, Sherburne County deputies were picking up someone on a drug warrant. They observed marijuana packaging and called Miller for any possible background intelligence. From his previous work, he knew that resident to be a large supplier of a drug called Ecstasy. Miller then drafted a search warrant and seized the following: $13,792 in U.S. currency, 2,019 Ecstasy pills and a 2007 BMW vehicle that was eventually forfeited by the offender. • Also in 2011, Miller was

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instrumental in a case involving amphetamines that involved several area counties and more than a dozen suspects. The extensive investigation took about 18 months to piece together with all of its connections. • In 2012, Miller received information from an investigator. A search warrant was drafted for a Cold Spring residence where 1.75 pounds of methamphetamine and $4,615 in U.S. currency was seized. • Also in 2012, Miller met with a person under arrest for stolen property and feloni-

ous possession of a firearm. Miller interviewed the male, who finally admitted to several area burglaries. A search warrant was drafted for two residences where 20 stolen firearms were recovered. • In 2013, Miller received information about a female selling large amounts of amphetamine. Through surveillance, Miller was able to set up a traffic stop where one pound of amphetamines were seized. Miller’s latest honor is one among many. In 2004, he was awared the Sartell Police Department’s Meritorious

5 Service Award, along with another officer. In the previous year, Miller was responsible for the removal of 33.85 grams of methamphetamine, 4.76 grams of cocaine and more than 12 pounds of marijuana – the result of about 85 contacts with drug suspects. At that time, the estimated value of those illegal drugs was $74,000. Shortly thereafter, Miller wanted to continue his skills as a drug-buster and earned a certification as a drug-recognition expert. “His expertise in that area continues to assist him and his partners,” Hughes said.


Sartell Newsleader •

Friday, April 18, 2014

Chamber honors Liberty as Business of the Year by Dennis Dalman

contributed photos

A large audience enjoys one of the many Liberty Savings Bank’s sponsored music events. Liberty Savings Bank’s president and CEO Mark Bragelman is interviewed by radio personality Bob Hughes at the bank’s location in south St. Cloud, near St. Augusta.

Since 1939, Liberty Savings Bank in downtown St. Cloud has been serving loyal customers, and now – with its five locations – it has been honored by the Sartell Area Chamber of Commerce as Sartell Business of the Year. The surprise award was presented during the Chamber’s annual banquet April 10 at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course. Jan Sorell won the Senior Volunteer of the Year Award. (See related story.) “We were surprised and honored,” said Liberty Savings Bank Senior Vice President Robin Gohman, who accepted the award along with the bank’s president and CEO Mark Bragelman and other Liberty staff members. The plaque they received now has a place of honor on a wall inside the Liberty Savings Bank’s Sartell location on Pinecone Road S. In an interview with the Sartell Newsleader, Gohman outlined the long family history of Liberty Savings Bank.

It was founded in 1939 by the E.M. “Mike” Helgeson family, who also owned the Jack Frost Hatchery building in which the bank began. It’s the same location as where the St. Cloud Liberty Savings Bank is now located – at 111 7th Ave. S. in downtown St. Cloud. The bank, which has more than 30,000 customers (the total of its five branches) is now owned by Liberty Financial Services. About 55 people are employed at the bank’s five locations. One reason Liberty Savings Bank was honored with the Business of the Year Award is because of the company’s many good deeds and volunteerism in area cities, including Sartell. For example, last year the bank sponsored Sartell Libertyville, a familyoriented event at Pinecone Regional Park in Sartell. The free gathering took the place of the annual SummerFest carnival at Sartell Middle School, which had been discontinued. Liberty Savings Bank stepped forward to fill that gap with music, games and food during Libertyville. This summer, it will take place again, with inflatables for kids, face-painting, airbrush tattoos, food, refreshments and country-rock music by the legendary Charlie Daniels and his band. The event will take place from 5-9 p.m. Friday, June 13. Libertyville is an offshoot of what began 24 years ago in downtown St. Cloud. At that time, Liberty Savings Bank began an annual “Block Party”

next to its St. Cloud branch. Every summer, there were big-league singers and bands performing that included the likes of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tanya Tucker, Bobby Vee and the Vees, John Anderson, Juice Newton and the Rockin’ Hollywoods. The event quickly became an annual “family gathering spot,” Bragelman noted, and he and Liberty employees had a blast mixing with the same people year after year, many of them loyal Liberty customers. That kind of civic involvement is central to Liberty Savings Bank’s mission, said its president, Mark Bragelman. All employees are encouraged to participate as volunteers on local committees, boards, charitable organizations and other pursuits that enhance the quality of life in the central Minnesota area. “We live here,” Bragelman said. “Everything we do affects people around us.” Generations of local ownership, Bragelman said, have made the bank accessible to local people and local needs. That, he said, is why he maintains his office right next to the front door of the St. Cloud bank. “We’re accessible any time,” he said. “We’re retail. Our consumers are everyday people.” Liberty Savings Bank offers a wide range of services, including checking, savings, home loans, home equity, CDs, insurance, credit cards and online banking.


Sartell Newsleader •

Friday, April 18, 2014

Blotter from page 2 8:53 p.m. Walmart. Theft. An adult male was witnessed leaving the store with unpaid merchandise. He was issued a citation and released without incident. April 3 9:08 a.m. 14th Avenue E. Arrest warrant. An arrest warrant was issued for an adult male. He was located and place under arrest without incident. 1:25 p.m. Pinecone Road. Suspicious activity. A report was made regarding an adult male and adult female possibly doing drugs in a vehicle. Officers were unable to locate the vehicle. April 4 2:09 p.m. Lowell Lane. Arrest warrant. An arrest warrant was issued for an adult male. He was located and placed under arrest without incident. 3:39 p.m. Walmart. Theft. An adult male was witnessed attempting to leave the store with unpaid merchandise. The male admitted to the theft. He was issued a citation and released. April 5 2:19 a.m. Roberts Road. DWI. A vehicle was witnessed traveling with the high beams on. The driver was emitting the strong smell of alcoholic beverages. He was unable to pass field sobriety testing and was placed under arrest without incident. 3:31 a.m. 1st Street NE. Domestic. A report was made regarding an adult male and adult

female arguing. Officers arrived and found evidence of a physical altercation. The male was placed under arrest and transported to Benton County Jail without incident. 7:43 p.m. 2nd Street N. Arrest warrant. An arrest warrant was issued for an adult male. The male was located and placed under arrest without incident. April 6 4:57 p.m. Amber Avenue S. Domestic. A report was made regarding an argument between a male and a female. Officers arrived and were able to assist the female in leaving the residence without incident. 8:46 p.m. Riverside Avenue. Arrest warrant. An arrest warrant was issued for an adult male. The male was located and placed under arrest without incident. April 7 8:31 a.m. 7th Street N. Traffic stop. A vehicle was witnessed traveling 36 mph in a posted 20-mph zone. The driver was unaware of her speed. She was issued a citation and released. 1:58 p.m. 5th Avenue N. 911 Hang-up. A call was disconnected to 911 and dispatchers were unable to make contact. Officers arrived and found the residence was empty but were able to contact the homeowners and secure the residence. April 8 9:34 a.m. Riverside Avenue. Traffic stop. A vehicle was witnessed traveling 55 mph in a 30mph zone. The driver stated he was aware of his speed. He was issued a citation and released.

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Sartell Newsleader •


Sorrel from front page Before buying it they did a lot of research in motel ownership. The business would thrive, they were told, because it is on Highway 10, a very busy roadway, especially in the summer. The Sorrels and their ninemonth-old son, Jeff, moved to Sartell Jan. 1, 1962. At that time, there were not even 1,000 people living in the city. Near the Sorrel’s 11-unit motel, which was located just south of the now defunct Benton Drive Mini-Serve convenience gas-and-grocery, were the

Commodore Club and the Vee Bar. Besides his motel management, Dale was also a ceramic-tile installer, and he and Jan operated their business at first from the motel and later from the home Dale bought just north of what is now Val Smith Park. “Running a small motel was always a dream of Dale’s,” Sorrel said. “We owned that motel for eight years, and lived in it for four years. We had a lot of summer tourists passing through, many from the Chicago area. We had so much fun with visitors, especially in the summer months. One year, the first year, a lot off them were passing through on their way to the World’s Fair in Seattle.”

Friday, April 18, 2014

Eventually, the very busy Highway 10 right by the Winter Haven Hotel was moved, and the roadway became Benton Drive, diminishing the Sorrel’s motel business. By that time, Dale wanted to concentrate on his tile and construction business, and Jan, once again, had developed a hankering to teach again. In time, Dale joined Miller Construction, and Jan returned to teaching – one year of fourth-grade in St. Cloud’s Central School (now the city-hall building). Pregnant and with a child at home, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom for a time. Later, she was asked to help teach fourth grade in Sartell,

contributed photo

The Winter Haven Motel in Sartell, long gone, was once owned by Dale and Jan Sorrel. They bought the motel in 1962 and managed it for about eight years. The motel once stood on what is now the empty lot just south of the former Benton Mini Serve convenience store on Benton Drive. During the years of the motel, Benton Drive had been part of Highway 10. which she did, as well as teaching fifth grade off-and-on for nearly four years.


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In the late 1960s, Sorrel had become intensely interested in media and information systems. She earned a master’s degree in information media from St. Cloud State University, then she found work in 1972 as a media specialist at South Junior High School in St. Cloud. “I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” she said. “I actually almost felt guilty to take a paycheck because I loved it so much. I didn’t know whether to attribute my love of that job to the hand of God or just dumb luck.” In 1978, Sorrel was asked to

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transfer to Tech High School to become its media specialist (the new name then for librarian). There, she transformed what had been an old gymnasium into a media center. Sorrel worked at Tech High School three times during the 1970s and 1980s. Staff cuts during recessionary times took their toll on Sorrel and other school staff. Still, Sorrel managed to find teaching work between times. She taught fourth grade at Kennedy Elementary School and second grade at South Junior High School (for a few years that junior high school had become an elementary school). By then, a new job had opened in the school district. It needed a “resources facilities coordina-

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Sartell Newsleader •

Friday, April 18, 2014 tor for academic achievement,” and Sorrel got the job, working half her time at Tech, the other half at Apollo High School. She instructed other teachers about innovative ways to teach bright students. After nearly five years of that job, she returned full-time to Tech and stayed there for nearly 16 years, some of the happiest years of her life.


One of the first duties at Tech High School was to amass and collate a vast collection of school memorabilia that had accumulated helter-skelter throughout the years – such things as programs, yearbooks, pins, trophies and more. “I felt as if I’d inherited all that stuff, and it was marvelous stuff,” she recalled. One day, however, the memorabilia room had to be used as a textbook-storage room. Sorrel and others decided to raise money for a storage place for the large collection. Sorrel’s love of committee work and brainstorming once again surfaced. She was one of three people who organized an all-school reunion and then helped found a charter membership for an “Alumni Hall’” in Tech, with names on gold plates in the hall.


brave new world – the world of computers. What then to computer “geeks” seemed like the cat’s meow is now, in retrospect, in this Cyber Age, a clunky, awkward, roundabout way of doing things. Sorrel, however, found it very fascinating, and she began to teach teachers and students how to use computers about the time that tremendous innovation, the “Apple” came along.

Senior Connection

All of her lifetime talents and skills came to fruition with her work for the Sartell Senior Connection. It’s little wonder that fellow board members wanted her to be chair for four consecutive years. And, once again, her genius for committee work paid off, with new ideas brewing all the time for new Senior Connection activities or improvements of old ones. “We have such a dynamic group of people,” she said. “It’s one of the most vibrant groups I’ve ever worked with. They’re coming up with new ideas all the time. We like to analyze why things work, why they don’t work. We’re always tweaking things.” Sorrel is proud to be a member of the Senior Connection because she firmly believes it’s an asset to the Sartell area in more ways that one. Seniors, she said, tend to become withdrawn the longer they age – an outcome that can be unhealthy and even dangerous. By keeping seniors connected and active socially and intellectually,

During her time at South Junior High School, circa 1972, Sorrel was introduced to a then little-known world of computers. She became a member of the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium. There was a huge computer main-frame at the University of Minnesota. Sorrel and just a handful of other computer-savvy people could access that main frame by dialing to St. Cloud State University, then putting the More trips phone in a modem and getting a to be added! connection to the U of M mainframe via a teletype system. It was a very arcane, mysterious This certificate is good for




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they become more motivated and happier. That can result in fewer medical problems, fewer bills, a healthier society all around. And, not to forget, a big reason for the Senior Connection is all the play, the fun and the laughter that keeps Sorrel and so many others feeling as if they’ve happily reached their prime.


Dale and Jan Sorrel have three children – Jeff, 53, a retired Air Force man now working as a computer expert at a Minneapolis bank; Greg, 49, who works for an office-supply company in Alexandria and who lives in Sauk Centre; and Jill Maselter, a mother who home-schools her children and who lives just three blocks from her parents in Sartell. The Sorrels have 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.


contributed photo

Jan Sorrel (standing) helps teachers learn computer skills circa 1978 at Tech High School in St. Cloud. Sorrel was recently named Retired Volunteer of the Year by the Sartell Area Chamber of Commerce.

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Sartell Newsleader •

contributed photo

Alumni of the old Sartell School had a chance to tour their school building two years ago during an all-school reunion. Another reunion will take place this summer.

Organizers seek alumni for old-school reunion by Dennis Dalman

An 84-year-old Sartell school that has found a new purpose will be the focus of an all-grades reunion Saturday, June 14. The reunion will coincide with the annual Sartell SummerFest that day. After the SummerFest Grand Parade (10 a.m.-noon), reunion participants will gather by Bernick’s Arena in Pinecone Regional

Park, which has been reserved just for the reunion from 1-6 p.m. Bus rides throughout the day will give reunion people a tour of the city, as well as a guided tour of the old school. They’ll also have a chance to peruse scrapbooks and other memorabilia collected by organizers at the two previous reunions. Part of the tour will include a visit to the historic paper mill, now under demolition, where many alumni of the Sartell School worked dur-

ing their adult years. There will be food and nonalcoholic drinks for purchase at Pinecone Regional Park, or participants are welcome to bring their own. On the night of June 14, reunion folks can enjoy the SummerFest street dance and fireworks at Great River Bowl. Organizers of the reunion have been busy contacting people who attended the Sartell School. They are inviting all alumni, their families, as

Friday, April 18, 2014

well as any teachers or staff who worked at the school. Organizers are also asking alumni to bring along mementoes from their school years: photos, books, letters, printed class programs or any other items from their school years. For decades, the Sartell School, which is now the schools’ District Services Building, was the city’s only school, serving children in grades K-8. The brick building, constructed in 1930, replaced a former wooden school building. After eighth-grade graduation, students most often attended either St. Cloud Tech High School or Cathedral High School in St. Cloud. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that Sartell voters decided to create their own school district, which included a Sartell High School. In recent years, there have been two reunions at Sartell School. The first was planned with alumni from the 10-year period of 1950 to 1960. When others heard about the reunion – those who attended that school in other years – they raised a hue and cry that they would like to be invited, too, if another reunion should ever be held. Organizers liked the idea, and two years ago, the invitation was a wideopen one for anybody who attended or who had anything to do with the historic school. That reunion drew many participants who enjoyed a day of sharing memories and lots of laughter. “Generations of people –

grandparents, parents, their kids and grandkids – went to that school,” said Robert Becker, a life-long Sartell resident who himself attended Sartell School. “We want those people to come back to see the school before more remodeling makes it all but unrecognizable.” Becker was referring to how the old brick school has been retrofitted in recent years as office space for the school district, as well as the district’s Early Childhood Education classrooms. Major remodeling projects within the school have altered its look in surprising ways. Born in St. Cloud but raised in Sartell, Becker attended the Sartell School all the waythrough eighth grade, then transferred to St. Cloud Tech, where he met his future wife, Linda Bracken. Their son, Matthew, also attended the Sartell School, but – unlike his father who went to Tech – he was able to graduate from the new Sartell High School, which opened 45 years ago. Reunion organizers want to get the word out as quickly as possible so people far and wide can start planning to add the reunion event to their summer traveling schedules. Becker is encouraging alumni to call, email or post Facebook notices to anyone they know of who attended Sartell School. He also is asking people to remind one another to scrounge around to find mementoes to bring to the event. For more information, call Becker at 320-252-7956.

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Sartell Newsleader •

Friday, April 18, 2014

Community Calendar

Friday, April 18 Fish Fry, 5-8 p.m., St. Joseph Lions fundraiser, El Paso Sports Bar and Grill, 200 2nd Ave. NW, St. Joseph. St. Cloud Singles Club Dance, 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., all singles welcome, American Legion, 17 2nd Ave. N., Waite Park. 320-2178779 or

Monday, April 21 Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800733-2767. St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club meeting, 7 p.m., American Legion in St. Joseph.

fitness workshop series, 6-7 p.m., Room 208, Great River Regional Libraray, 12th Avenue and St. Germain St. W., St. Cloud.

Thursday, April 24 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. 1-800733-2767.

Tuesday, April 22 Blood drive, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800733-2767. “Drafting Your Financial Blueprint,” part of a financial

Friday, April 25 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800733-2767. Brat Sale, sponsored by St. Joseph Y2K Lions, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., St. Joseph Meat Market, St. Joseph. All tips and portion of profit donated to the American Diabetes Association Needlepoint. Old glasses, hearing aids and cell phones will be collected.



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Borgert from page 3 hobby, along with “a little fishing” now and then. But his all-time favorite hobby is his membership in the Lions Club. He’s been a member of the Sartell Lions Club for 35 years, then later he joined the Sauk Rapids Riverside Lions Club about 10 years ago. He was at one time a district governor for Lions Club International. “In 47 years as a Lion, I haven’t missed a single meeting,” he said. Borgert’s wife, Lynn, was a stay-at-home mom for many years, although she did some part-time work, including a job at the old Commo-

dore Club in Sartell. Now she works at the Door E Information Desk at the St. Cloud Hospital, a job she loves. “She’s a dandy,” Borgert said. “Loves to meet people.” The Borgerts have four children: Scott of Memphis, Tenn., who just retired after 22 years in the U.S. Navy; Tim, who works at Ferche Millwork in Rice; Denise Stang, who lives near her parents and who is a housewife and a ceramics artist who teaches that art at the St. Cloud Whitney Senior Center; and Pam McMahon, who has a job picking up and driving medical tests from and to hospitals all over the state. The Borgerts have a dozen grandchildren and 29 greatgrandchildren.

LEGAL NOTICE ORDINANCE NO. 14-02 ORDINANCE AMENDING TITLES 2 AND 4 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES 1. Chapter 3 of Title 2 of the Code of Ordinances related to Emergency Management Services is hereby repealed in its entirety. 2. Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the City Code of Ordinances related to Fire Department is hereby repealed in its entirety. 3. This ordinance shall be effective immediately upon its passage and publication.


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Sartell Newsleader •

10 Sartell runners head for Boston Marathon by Dennis Dalman

Sartell will be well represented at the April 21 Boston Marathon when nine Sartell people and a former Sartell resident run in the event, including a group of seven women friends. The friends are Shannan Houghton, Erin Lemke, Lilliana Lucas, Dawn Michaud, Laura Nordby, Aly Parker and Jill Smith. Most of them live in the Celebration neighborhood of Sartell and have been running together for years. One of them, Lucas, is a dentist who moved to Austin, Texas last year after selling her pediatric-dentistry business to a partner and another dentist. Nordby completed last year’s Boston Marathon and fortunately was not running toward the finish line when two bombs exploded, killing four people and injuring dozens of others. The others from Sartell who will run in the Boston Marathon are Megan Rose, Curt Karolus and Dave Schwartz. Lemke said two of the group’s husbands, including her own (Chad) will also go to the marathon. The other is Pat, who is Michaud’s husband. Those four will leave on Sunday. The other women in their group will leave earlier, Saturday. “We’re very excited,” said Lemke, who will be a first-timer at the Boston Marathon. She

qualified for it last year at the local Wobegon Marathon. “Our group,” she said, “is so excited to go and be a part of it and also to commemorate the ones who died and were injured a year ago. This race will be a tribute to them.” Last year, Lemke spearheaded a T-shirt fundraiser for Boston One Fund, a nationwide fundraiser to help victims of the marathon bombings and their families. She and members of the St. Cloud River Runners sold the T-shirts at the Earth Day Run in St. Cloud and raised about $1,000 for the fund.

Lemke, who is now a stayat-home mom, began running when she and her family moved to Sartell from Rosemount seven years ago. “This is a big running community for such a city that’s not so large,” she said. “It has such a high level of runners, bikers, walkers. So many people are so active here in so many ways.” Lemkes’ children (Jessica, a seventh-grader, and Jacob, a fifth-grader, both at Sartell Middle School) will stay at their grandparents in St. Cloud during the marathon.

Friday, April 18, 2014

contributed photo

Four good friends, neighbors and fellow runners gather for a Boston Marathon planning session in Sartell with a freshbaked “Boston Strong” cake. From left to right are Aly Parker, Erin Lemke, Shannan Houghton and Laura Nordby.

Sartell V19 I16  
Sartell V19 I16