Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid St. Joseph Newsleader St. Joseph, MN 56374 Permit No. 21 ECRWSS Postal Customer
Friday, May 10, 2013 Volume 18, Issue 19 Est. 1995
Town Crier Lemonade, Laughter hosts author V.J. Smith
Author V.J. Smith will speak during the fifth annual Lemonade and Laughter, sponsored by the Sartell Senior Connection, at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 in the Gathering Place in St. Francis Xavier Church, Sartell. Smith is the author of “The Richest Man in Town,” which is based on the life of “Marty,” a memorable man who ran a cash register at Wal-Mart. He was considered rich because he was loved and respected. Audience members will go on an emotional roller coaster ride when they hear about Marty’s philosophies. Tickets will be sold at the door for a nominal fee. Come early to enjoy refreshments and visit the Regifting and Local Authors’ Tables. For more information, call Sartell-St. Stephen Community Education at 320-253-4036. The event is co-hosted by community education and the Waterford.
Athletic Hall of Fame accepting nominations
Sartell High School is currently accepting nominations for the Sartell High School Athletic Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame will recognize individuals in three categories: Student/Player/Athlete – An individual who has excelled in athletics and has been out of school for at least five years; Coach – A coach who has made a positive impact on the Sartell athletic tradition; and Community Member-at-Large – A member of the school or community who has made significant contributions to Sartell High School athletics. For a nomination form, visit www. sartell.k12.mn.us, and click on Latest News. Deadline is Wednesday, May 15.
Hill resigns as superintendent of school district by Dennis Dalman firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Joe Hill, the superintendent of the Sartell-St. Stephen School District, has resigned effective June 30, citing dif- Hill ferences with the school board over the future of the district. Hill had submitted a letter of resignation to the board during a special school-board meeting May 3, a meeting that was scheduled for only one agenda item: to consider Hill’s intention to resign. At that meeting, the board voted unanimously to accept the resignation. Hill’s short-but-sraightforward letter states, “Through candid conversations with board leadership, I believe it is in the best interest of my convictions and the direction of the district that I step down as superintendent of the Sartell-St. Stephen School District at the end of June.” Hill was hired by the district in 2010. At this time, Hill said his future remains uncertain. In a statement he read to the board May 3, Hill stated, “I plan to take some time with my family to consider our next steps. I am grateful for the support and leadership of the many board members I have been privileged to serve through the past three
years as together we have made significant progress in advancing the mission of the school
Jakin and Nicole Koll enjoy a board game with their two sons – Kaden (on floor) and Conor.
Tiny ticks cause big misery by Dennis Dalman www.thenewsleaders.com
Tiny ticks have caused big miseries for Jakin and Nicole Koll of Sartell. Both are suffering from Lyme disease, which is caused by infected deer ticks, so tiny they are slightly smaller than the head of a pin. The ticks, if they are on
the skin long enough, bite their hosts and then “drink” their blood. If the tick contains the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, the host will likely catch it.
The Kolls are on a mission to share their story and others’ stories about what ongoing misery a tiny biting tick can cause.
They hope by educating others, more can be active in informing others. The Kolls also recently started a Lyme Disease Support Group and are hoping others will be spurred to help them form and sustain such a group.
Kolls’ chronic disease
In most cases, Lyme disease, Ticks • page 3
Woman raised in St. Stephen mourns friend George Jones by Dennis Dalman email@example.com
Stearns County Commissioner Mark Bromenschenkel invites constituents to meet with him from 10-11 a.m. Saturday, May 11 at the Blue Line Sports Bar and Grill, 1101 2nd St. S., Sartell. The meeting is the latest in Bromenschenkel’s many get-togethers to learn what’s on the minds of the his constituents. Bromenschenkel represents Sartell, St. Joseph, Waite Park and the townships of Le Sauk, St. Joseph and St. Wendel. For more information, visit www.thenewsleaders.com and click on Criers.
renew Hill’s contract for three years with a $154,000 per-year Hill • page 2
Bromenschenkel sets local meeting
For additional criers, visit www.thenewsleaders.com and click on Criers.
district.” Just last October, the school board agreed, on a 4-2 vote, to
photo courtesy Brittany Allyn website
Brittany Allyn enjoys a humorous moment while singing with country legend George Jones, who died April 26. Allyn, who was raised in St. Stephen, sang with the traveling George Jones show for seven years. She walked along with the pallbearers at Jones’s funeral in Nashville May 2.
A “little girl” who grew up in St. Stephen – now the brilliant singer Brittany Allyn – walked with pallbearers at the funeral of her “friend, mentor, employer, country music legend and American music icon” George Jones. “Many times I have wondered how a little girl from St. Stephen, Minn. could somehow wind up singing for what many believe to be the greatest country singer there has ever been,” Allyn wrote on her website. Jones, who died April 26, was mourned and praised May 2 at a public funeral at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The funeral was broadcast live by a Nashville radio sta-
tion. Allyn (nee Trobec) had been a member of the George Jones touring show for seven years. In 1995, she was working as a back-up singer for Lorrie Morgan when she learned Jones had heard a tape Allyn had made and liked what he heard. Jones’ wife, Nancy, called Allyn and asked her if she would join Jones’ show. Stunned and honored as she was to be asked, she declined the offer out of deference to Morgan and stayed with Morgan, who herself had once sung in Jones’ band. Allyn was doubly stunned, once again, when 11 years later, in 2006, Jones’ bandleader called Allyn and asked if she’d join the touring show. “I’d been in this business Jones • page 8
Sartell Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com
Hill from front page
Abby Weber (left), 12, and Claire Boschee, 13, gymnasts from North Crest Gymnastics in Sauk Rapids, competed at the Region 4 USA Gymnastics Championships, held April 12-14 in St. Louis. Both girls qualified for the regional meet by scoring above 34.0 in the all-around at the Minnesota USAG State Meet. Weber, a Level 8 gymnast, is the daughter of Brent and Kelly Weber, Sartell. Boschee, a Level 9 gymnast, is the daughter of Paul and Sue Boschee, Sartell. The girls are coached by Michelle Monroe and Austin Kelly, both of Sartell.
Audrey Mueller of Sartell has recently become an independent consultant with Tastefully Simple
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salary, plus benefits. That decision, however, met with controversy in the district because many thought the board was approving the contract without adequate perusal of the job Hill had done. On the very night the board approved Hill’s contract, nearly 200 people attended that board meeting, and several spoke up, saying the consideration of Hill’s contract should be delayed at least for a week or two until further study could be done. Hill had earlier received mixed reviews on a job-performance evaluation. Complicating that controversy, at the same October meeting many people expressed dismay and even anger about the way the board was handling school issues. Many speakers said a decision to end spring break
had been rushed without adequate public input, that the board had become divisive with meetings turning into squabbles and that the board had arrived at a point where it was not representing the public, and conducting business without transparency. There was also an ongoing dispute about how the board was replacing members who had resigned. Just minutes after the public input, however, the board voted to renew Hill’s contract. Those voting in favor were Greg Asfeld, Chris Gross, Gary L. Schnellert and Dan Riordan. Voting against approval were Lesa Kramer and Mary McCabe. In the November election, voters elected four new members: Krista Durrwachter, Michelle Meyer, Jason Nies and Pam Raden. Of last year’s school board members, only McCabe and Riordan remain on the current board.
Friday, May 10, 2013 Throughout the election campaign, the candidates who eventually won promised voters a new cooperation on the board and a renewed effort to communicate with the public it serves. At the May 3 special meeting, the board also approved a separation agreement for Hill. The district will pay Hill’s accrued vacation days and sick days through June 30 to a maximum amount of $22,000. He will also receive six months of salary, about $77,000 and full premium payments for family health care for one year through June 2014 or until such time as Hill gets another health plan. He will also receive from the district life-insurance coverage for a year. School Board Chair Michelle Meyer said the school board will meet soon to form a task force charged with finding a new superintendent for the district.
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. April 24 6:26 p.m. Juvenile problem. 2nd Street N. A group of juveniles were skateboarding in and out of cars and near traffic. Officers spoke to them about their conduct and told them to stay off the road. 1:01 p.m. Vehicle accident. 4th Street N. A complaint was made that the caller’s vehicle was nearly hit by another vehicle backing out of a driveway, causing the caller to drive into and damage some mailboxes. When officers arrived, no homeowners could identify the vehicle and said many people have been using their driveway to turn around due to road construction. April 25 12:39 a.m. Hwy 15. Officer came across a stalled vehicle parked along the side of the road. The officer provided emergency lights for the driver as he changed his tire. 3:05 p.m. Fraud. 3rd Avenue N. Caller stated a family member had called asking her to wire money. She wired the money but later found it was not the family member that called and that she was scammed. Officers were able to help her cancel the money transfer and talked to her about fraud and giving information over the phone. 6:25 p.m. Traffic stop. 7th Street
N. A vehicle was witnessed with expired tabs and driver was not wearing a seatbelt. A citation was issued and the driver was released. April 26 11:30 a.m. Gas leak. 7th Street N. A report was made of strong odor of gas coming from the area. An officer arrived and could also smell gas. Xcel was notified and the fire department took over the call. 1:54 p.m. Found property. 19th Avenue N. An officer found a bike in the brush. The bike was taken to the police department. 10:29 p.m. Loud music. 15th Street S. Complaint was made of loud music playing but wasn’t sure where it was coming from. Officer went to that area and found a loud party outside of a home. Officer spoke to the homeowner and made him aware of the complaint and the noise ordinance. April 27 3:15 p.m. Traffic stop. Riverside Avenue N. A vehicle was witnessed traveling 46 mph in a 30-mph zone. The driver stated he was not aware of his speed. He was issued a citation and released. 8:04 p.m. Traffic stop. Connecticut Avenue S. Car was witnessed with a broken taillight. Driver was found to have a revoked driver’s license for failure to pay fines. A citation was issued for driving without a license and no proof of insurance. A valid driver came to remove the vehicle from the stop location. April 28 2:42 p.m. Theft. Walmart. A woman was witnessed attempting to leave the store with unpaid merchandise. She claimed she forgot about the items
she had put in her pockets and purse. She was issued a citation and released. 5:45 p.m. Dog bite. 5th Street N. A woman said her child was bit by a dog that was running around a play area unleashed. The mother did not see the dog bite her child. Officer found the bite area was red, but the skin did not break. The officer notified the owner of the dog of the complaint. The owner denied the allegations, stating the dog was with him the entire time. He was advised he needed to keep the dog leashed per city ordinance. No further action was taken. 8:48 p.m. Vehicle fire. 9th Avenue N. When officers arrived at the location, a car was burning from under the hood on the passenger side. Officers waited for fire department to arrive.
April 29 3:21 p.m. Bike accident. 1st Street NE. A driver was waiting his turn to go at a stop sign when a female on a bike made contact with the driver’s front panel. Witnesses reported the biker was going very fast and did not stop at the stop sign. Damage was done to the front of the vehicle. Ambulance transported the female to the hospital.
April 30 1:13 p.m. Traffic stop. 6th Street S. A stalled vehicle was blocking traffic. An officer stayed and kept lights on for safety until a tow truck arrived. 6:30 p.m. Traffic stop. County Rd 120. A vehicle was witnessed going the wrong way in a roundabout. An officer stopped the vehicle and instructed the driver how to drive in a roundabout. No further action was taken.
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Sartell Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com
Friday, May 10, 2013
from front page
if caught early enough, can be cured by a regimen of antibiotics over a period of two or three weeks. However, the Kolls were not so lucky. Nicole, for example, has had Lyme disease for six years. Jakin has had the disease for several years. Neither of the Kolls is positive exactly how long they’ve had Lyme disease because neither remembers being bit by a tick, and neither developed the well known “bulls-eye” rash – a reddish ring around the bitten area. What most frustrates the Kolls, besides the miserable symptoms they suffer, is the fact they, like others in their predicament, are at the very center of a raging controversy. Many doctors and some researchers do not believe Lyme disease can develop into such a chronic condition. Most doctors will not prolong antibiotic treatment beyond a month or so. “It’s a big controversy,” Nicole said. “They are always debating the issue. Too many doctors view people like us as some kind of hypochondriacs. We are not.” Nicole spent nearly three years in a constant search for a doctor who had enough faith in the existence of chronic Lyme disease to treat her and her husband. It was a wild-goose chase that had the couple feeling utterly helpless. At long last, Nicole managed to find a doctor who agreed to give her ongoing treatments. Part of her regimen includes taking two different kinds
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of antibiotic pills each day, along with a drug for rheumatoid arthritis. She also takes probiotics to build up her immune system. “The medication helps tremendously,” she said. “I haven’t felt like a whole person in years, and now I’m beginning to. No one knows how bad Lyme disease can be until they get it.” The St. Cloud doctor who treats Nicole sees up to 15-20 patients at a time, and genuine camaraderie has developed among them based on empathy of what all have suffered. Nicole’s Lyme disease symptoms have included, off and on and not all at once, the following: a skin rash (but not the bulls-eye kind), flaking skin, stuttering, depression for no known reason whatsoever, trouble with concentration, difficulty in reading and with daily tasks, extreme fatigue, muscle aches and lack of energy. At one time, she also developed a balance problem that would cause her to walk toward her left, to the point she would actually walk into a wall. She went through so many tests she couldn’t begin to count them, including tests for allergies and even tests for attentiondeficit disorder.
Through all the pain and frustration, Koll managed to keep a job at Resource Training and Solutions. She also managed to attend the Minnesota School of Business and to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She now works part-time for the St. Cloud Technical and Community College, where she helps organize cus-
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tomized health-training teams for businesses in the area. She feels fortunate she can work only part-time because that gives her the time to take care of her two boys and her husband. Her two boys are Kaden, 7; and Conor, 5. Husband Jakin has suffered symptoms of constant chronic headaches and joint pain so severe it virtually cripples him at times. The doctor has been giving Jakin a series of tests on his immunity system. Once those tests are completed, soon, Jakin can begin a long-range treatment similar to his wife’s. Jakin is a meteorologist for MnDOT. He helps install computer screens in MnDOT vehicles throughout the state and then coordinates weather reports on those screens for the drivers – typically plow drivers – and their supervisors. The Kolls are hoping and praying the long-term treatments
will finally keep the disease at bay, if not totally eradicate it from their bodies. Nicole estimates they have spent perhaps as much as $100,000 on medications throughout the years. They have also visited doctors, clinics and hospitals far and wide – Brooklyn Park, the University of Minnesota, Plymouth, Sartell, St. Cloud and many others. Jakin was even referred to an orthodontist because a general doctor thought he might be suffering from grindingteeth syndrome, thus causing his relenteless headaches. He also consulted with neurologists and allergists, in addition to doing occupational and physical therapies. Even botox nerve injections were tried. Nothing really worked. His suffering continued.
ease can lay dormant in the body for years before it erupts again – something that obviously happened to her and her husband. “A lot of people have it and don’t even know it,” she said. “Many are being treated for something else, something else they don’t even have. Lyme disease is caused by a little spiral-shaped bacteria, and it can affect everything in your body, including the musculo-skeletal system. Some people become very crippled by it. Lyme disease is extremely expensive because most insurance companies won’t cover treatments after the first initial weeks of treatment with antibiotics, so people have to pay for services out of their own pockets, Nicole said.
What most people do not know, Nicole said, is Lyme dis-
The Kolls often see weedy, Ticks • page 5
Sartell Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com
Friday, May 10, 2013
After 10 tries, club officers will resign – this time for sure by Dennis Dalman firstname.lastname@example.org
Bonnie Schraut and Jessie Kovall have tried to resign 10 times in the last 10 years, but it’s as if other people (or some mysterious fate) won’t let them. This spring, however, they are going to resign hell or high
water – no ifs, ands or buts about it. Both are the only two officers in the Sartell Volunteer Garden Club. Kovall is chair and Schraut is secretary/treasurer. The two women are not resigning from the club – only from their officer positions.
They’ve both decided it’s time for some “new blood” and new, fresh ideas from other people willing to serve as chair and secretary/treasurer. They are, however, willing to help new officers transition into the jobs. “It’s time for some new blood,” Schraut said. “I wouldn’t say I’m burned out.
It’s just there is a need for some new energy. I’m very busy. I do other volunteer work and have seven grandchildren.” Kovall, who has also been very busy, wants to quit her duties as chair, as much as she has loved serving the Sartell Garden Club for so many years – a task she will continue. Every year for the past 10 years, both women would announce they were not interested in keeping their positions in the club, but each time they felt compelled to continue because nobody else wanted to take over those positions, apparently. The duties of those two positions involve some planning, organizing, keeping books and leading occasional meetings. Years ago, the club would meet usually about once a month, but in recent years the meetings have been more sporadic. The heart and soul of the Sartell Volunteer Garden Club is its volunteers, who number about 50. They include individuals, families and even organizations like the local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The volunteers generally can choose their own projects. Most of them clean out debris from decorative gardens in the spring – a wide variety of gardens that can include shrubs, perennials, annuals or any combination of those. In some cases, in gardens that need annuals, the volunteers plant them in spring. Throughout the summer, the volunteers make return trips to the garden beds to check on them, to weed them if needed and to make sure they receive water, especially in dry spells. In many cases, when the gardens are greenery, shrubs and perennials, volunteers don’t have to expend much effort as normal rains are enough to keep them looking ship-shape. The garden club plants and tends 65 gardens, many of
them in the city’s 40 various parks, large and small. Volunteers clean, plant and tend dozens of landscaped plots in Sartell, from very simple (such as street-median planters) to roadside flower patches, from big parks like Sartell Lions Community Park to smaller parks with their several flower beds, such as Veterans Park along Riverside Avenue. It’s Veterans Park Kovall and Schraut are most concerned about these days. Each year, the garden club tries to have the park planted and spruced up for the May Memorial Day celebration (May 27 this year). But because of very late spring, volunteers will have to hustle to get Veterans Park’s gardens planted and thriving in time for the ceremony. Although the club has been fortunate by having dedicated volunteers, Schraut said she’s hoping more organizations will get involved and perhaps “adopt” a garden bed, the way some organizations and companies “adopt” a highway. A community-service project with volunteer employees would be an ideal way to maintain and improve garden plots throughout the city. The work of the garden club has brought widespread praise by residents and visitors, who have remarked about the beauty of Sartell, thanks largely to the work of the club’s volunteers. Kovall and Schraut are optimistic that kind of volunteerism and city beautification will continue. But in the meantime, they are both hoping two people step up to the plate to fill the positions they are vacating. Anyone interested in becoming either chair or secretary/ treasurer of the Sartell Volunteer Club should call Kovall at 320-203-0124 or Schraut at 320-251-5300.
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Sartell Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com
Friday, May 10, 2013
Lyme disease bacteria is devious by Dennis Dalman email@example.com
The cause of Lyme disease was not identified until 1981 when a man named Willy Burgdorfer succeeded in identifying the bacteria that causes it – a bacteria spread by certain types of ticks, most commonly in the United States by deer ticks (see related story on front page). Burgdorfer was a researcher at the Rocky Mountain Biological State Health Department. The spiral-shaped, devious bacteria he discovered is known as “Borrelia burgdorfen sensu stricto,” with the bug getting the “burgdorfen” part of its name from Burgdorfer himself. Lyme disease is named after the city of Lyme, Conn., where many cases of a mysterious illness occurred in 1975. The disease is the most common form of tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere. It affects an estimated 32 people per 100,000 in the states where it’s most common. And, in fact, 96 to 99 percent of Lyme disease cases occur in just 13 states, mainly in the New England area and parts of the Upper Midwest, places where white-tailed deer (the tick’s main hosts) are common. Those states are Minnesota, Wisconsin, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia. From 2002-11, cases in the
Ticks from page 3 grassy, wooded areas as battlefields where tiny enemies lie lurking. “We are constantly looking for ticks,” Nicole said. “We always use sprays, and we wear clothing that includes longsleeved shirts. And we always inspect our bodies after being outdoors.” Koll wants people to know that no safeguard is 100-percent certain. That is why, she said, people should wear light-colored clothing and pants should be tucked into boots, preferably. A tick lotion or tick spray should
United States have ranged from a low of 19,800 in 2004 to a high of 29,970 in 2009. There were about 24,000 cases in 2011. The vicious little bacteria that causes Lyme disease is apparently as old as civilization. The “Otzi the Ice Man,” who was found well preserved in an Austrian Alps glacier about 20 years ago, is estimated to have died suddenly and violently 5,300 years ago. Scientists found a DNA sequence in Otzi that matched up with the Borrelia bacteria.
How it happens
Deer ticks like to feed on mice and other rodents when they are in the nymph stages. Later, they tend to feed on white-tailed deer. The ticks are most common in grassy or weedy areas. When they manage to get onto a human host, they will release a numbing agent onto the skin before they bite and begin to ingest the host’s blood. Because of the numbing agent, many victims do not know they have been bitten. Most Lyme disease is caused when the very tiny nymphs bite humans. That is because the ticks are so tiny at that stage they are very hard to detect for early removal from the skin’s surface. The good news is only about 1 percent of tick bites result in Lyme infection. Another bit of good news is if the tick is removed within 24 hours of bitalso be used diligently. If a family has dogs, they should be thoroughly checked once they’re back in the house as ticks can move from a dog to humans, especially children who tend to play up-close physically with pets. Families should do a ritual tick search of bodies as soon as they come in from outdoors, and the entire body, including the hair, should be searched for the tiny ticks. If a tick is found, always put it in a plastic baggy, seal the bag and keep it in a safe place. And then, if any family member comes down with a rash or flu-like symptoms, that person should see a doctor immediately, and the tick in the baggy
Borgert Pavers • Willow Creek • Versalock Block exposure, but in some instancing a host, chances of being •infected are rare. Still more good es, the symptoms don’t appear news is if the victim is treated until long after the tick infecwith antibiotics for a period of tion, in some cases months or two to four weeks, chances of a even years. An almost certain symptom complete recovery are excellent. In some cases, however, the of the start of a Lyme disease disease can return after the infection is a red-rash “bullsinitial treatment, causing vari- eye” ring around the spot where ous symptoms that range from the tick fed on the skin. But fatigue to joint pains, from such a rash is not always presmuscle aches to tingling in the ent in a Lyme infection so it’s important for people to take hands. It’s waiting until later that precautions and search for the causes problems, partly be- tiny ticks on the entire body. Dogs should also be examcause the bacteria seems to go dormant or unnoticed in ined carefully as soon as they the body (it can mimic and enter the house after playing change), then bursts forth with in a wooded, weedy or grassy area. Special attention should a vengeance. The bad news is deer-tick be paid to the dog’s face, nose, bites can cause co-infections, neck and ears. In rare cases, Lyme disease making an accurate diagnosis of Lyme disease very difficult. has been known to kill dogs Often victims are misdiagnosed and people, but such cases are as having multiple sclerosis, exceedingly rare. To read this article in its rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, entirety, visit www.thenewsleadlupus, Crohn’s disease, HIV and ers.com. other auto-immune or degenerative diseases. Lyme disease symptoms can include headaches, aching muscles, fatigue and unexplainable depression. At its worst, it can IN SARTELL. Two-bedroom also cause memory loss, facial palsy, cognitive impairment, apartment. Spacious. panic attacks, anxiety disorder Many newly remodeled! and even delusional behavior. However, people suffering one Pets Welcome. Heat paid, or more of such symptoms fireplace, d/w, balconies. should not assume automatically they have Lyme disease. Quiet, residential area. Usually Lyme symptoms apFree cable! $639-$699. pear in about two weeks after
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For all of the above reasons – suffering, frustration, expense, lack of understanding – the Kolls are determined to help educate others about the disease and to form a local support group so sufferers of the disease have somewhere to turn in a world that often seems disbelieving or downright skeptical of chronic Lyme-disease victims.
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should be brought along. Nicole said it’s important to remember not everyone infected with Lyme disease will have a bullseye rash, although some other more generalized rashes can be noticed in many cases. The earlier people see a doctor, the better, Nicole advises.
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Sartell Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com
Bangladesh building collapse should make us all squirm
The recent horrific collapse of a garment-factory building in Bangladesh should cause people throughout the world to pause and ask some serious questions – questions that should make us all squirm. That collapse caused the deaths of at least 800 people, with more bodies yet to be recovered. For too long, some international companies have operated under a dirty little secret. And that dirty little secret is cheap labor, cheap goods, fat profits. One reason for the scarcity of American jobs is the long-time practice of companies either out-sourcing jobs to other countries or manufacturing goods here by using imported materials from sweat-shop factories elsewhere. Some of these companies were born and bred in America – venerable economic titans, loyal to the American workers who made them so successful. Loyal, that is, until the phenomenon of the “global economy” came into being after which, too often, many of the biggest American companies sought cheap labor overseas. They became so “international” in nature their sense of loyalty to their American workers evaporated. It’s not just American companies, either. Those from other countries play the same game, reaching tentacles out for cheaper labor. Of course, unrestrained free-market advocates justify such practices as “smart business.” Others call it for what it is: exploitation. The trouble is, much of that cheap labor (human beings) is housed in shoddily constructed, terribly unsafe buildings with no standards whatsoever, often on sites of deadly pollution. Some are cruel sweat shops where workers are virtual slaves. Some vicious owners even lock their workers inside. There have been deadly fires and other disasters, especially in garment factories, like the ones in Bangladesh. Incidentally, one of the worst factory disasters in history occurred in New York City in 1911, when 146 workers, almost all of them women, died in a fire because of no safety factors and a locked exit door. Last year, a fire in another Bangladesh garment factory killed 112 workers. Eighty percent of Bangladesh’s exports are garments. In the factory building that collapsed, workers made garments for major companies in Britain, Canada and the United States. The owner of the building and its engineer have been arrested because not only was the structure purposely built without proper permits, but the owner told workers to go into the building right after the police and others recommended evacuation shortly before the collapse. Workers in that building made the equivalent of $38 a month in U.S. money. Last year, it was half that until the workers went on strike. What’s needed badly are international standards for worker safety. Companies who rely upon foreign human labor to sell cheap goods should demand safety standards and decent living wages for those workers. Otherwise, their dealings with those unscrupulous scoundrels should cease. In despicable, avoidable tragedies like this, we are all a little bit guilty. That thought should cross our minds every time we buy “cheap bargain” clothing and other goods.
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, May 10, 2013
Opinion The great George Jones sang what he lived George Jones, the greatest country singer of all time, was a cat with nine lives – at least. He was the real thing; he sang what he knew. His own messy life, like an out-ofcontrol carnival ride, is right there in those songs. Anyone who’s heard a Jones’ song would have to conclude so many other country singers, compared to that master, sound more or less like wannabes. I’ve been listening to George Jones off and on all weekend. I had to borrow a bunch of his CDs from neighbor Rose Ann, the most loyal Jones fan I’ve ever met. She’s the one who crossed the street April 26 to tell me the great man had died. I have a lot of Jones songs, but they are all on good-ole’ scratched vinyl albums, and my ancient record player is long gone. In this overdue spring weather, it was enjoyable to sit on my deck and hear the one-and-only George Jones. Some of those tunes I hadn’t heard in years. They sound better than ever – a sure sign of songs that have reached classic status. Like a lot of country music, some Jones songs are a bit corn-pone sappy. But Jones could take the hokiest song and make it a great listening experience because his raw emotions filtered through that extraordinary voice and his unique verbal phrasing. His ability to express so many unvarnished emotions – so direct they bring chills – was the source of Jones’ genius. A good example is He Stopped Loving Her Today, widely regarded as the all-time best country
Dennis Dalman Editor song. Let’s face it, it’s an unabashed tearjerker to the point of being morbidly sentimental. Jones, however, redeems it with his transcendent singing – his voice soaring and groaning in waves of pure emotion. That voice! It’s a kind of clenched-teeth quavering that suddenly blooms in full force with grand tender emotion or erupts into a moan of grief-pain-regret. At times, it sounds as if Jones is almost sobbing rather than singing. It sounds, if you listen closely, like the sound of a man trying so hard not to fall apart. At times, the voice verges on a virtual howl of barely suppressed pain or anguish, but there’s always that vast tenderness for balance: sweet and sour. Four times married, Jones sang so often about broken romances, fractured love, betrayal and bitterness. All those brokenhearted ballads, instead of being miserable litanies of failure, reinforce the importance of relationships – of what was lost or what was never gained. In fact, Jones’ bittersweet songs tell us more about true love, lost and found and unrequited, than thousands of trite syrupy love songs.
Jones, as they say in the music business, paid his dues. It’s amazing he made it to the age of 81. There were the legendary bouts with alcohol and drugs; breakdowns; hospitalizations; accidents; spells of virtual poverty; embattled marriages; all the bruises and abrasions of reckless living. It’s no wonder his is the voice of a wounded survivor from the battle of living. But humor was his saving grace, his survival mechanism. Even some of his downbeat songs shine with touches of humor – that kind of deadpan humor country writers and singers use to such good effect. For example, If the Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me, Her Memory Will. I vividly recall with pleasure having a chance to interview Tammy Wynette in the mid-1980s. The interview took place in her luxurious travel bus outside the Runestone Arena in Alexandria. I asked her, “Tammy, do you still believe in that message of your great song about standing by your man?” She chuckled, then said, “Well, Dennis, just look around. You don’t see George Jones anywhere in here, do you?” We both cracked up laughing. Despite their knock-down-drag-out feuds, Wynette and Jones continued to sing together many times for years after their divorce. That’s a testament to two great entertainers. They’d both paid their dues, and when it came time to sing astonishing duets together, they were ready and willing. I, for one, am grateful for a half century of George Jones’ songs.
Letter to editor
Sartell schools fall short, fail to live up to reputation Melissa Pickens, Sartell When my family decided to move, we chose Sartell because of the school system. Having four children (two older and two preschool age at the time), we knew education was an important factor in our decision about where to buy a house. Newspaper articles boasted about the high test scores of Sartell students. Their reputation among the people in the surrounding districts was infallible. Sartell was the “place to be” for the best educational experience. Well, we have officially come to the end of our first year of school in Sartell. I am less than impressed. In fact, I am enraged. I am enraged, broke and I don’t know a single person in the district (not for lack of effort). Let me explain. My husband and I make an average income of about $55,000 a year. It’s not a lot, but we get by. We have a junior in high school, who chose for many reasons to attend another school in a different district and is sublimely happy with his choice. We have a kindergartener and a pre-preschooler, both in Sartell. First, the cost (I will include only our kindergartener, since he is technically the only one in the Sartell school system). My husband and I both work full time so we have to pay for before- and after-school care. Full-day kindergarten, giving him the best educational “kick-start,” in our opinion, in Sartell costs money. In Sartell there is a sliding fee scale for that, based on one’s income. We do not qualify for free- or reduced-cost lunch, and our son can eat. School supplies are not provided at school, and they ask you provide extra and
provide them throughout the school year. Activities are not covered, and donations are requested regularly. Total cost for kindergarten: Before and after-school care ($10 a day on school days, $20 when school is closed) - $440 School tuition ($200 per month) - $1,800 School lunch (roughly $90 per month) - $810 Activities fees, school supplies, etc. $200 Total - $3,250 Second, I don’t know a soul! I work full time (I have to with the cost of four kids), but I still manage to attend every single event at his school and volunteer in his classroom once per week and at events and/ or PTO activities when I can (they are usually during the day). I’m not a judgmental person; I’m usually very outgoing and nice. But nobody spoke to me. Nobody invited me into their “clique.” How can we expect our children to grow up to be accepting and non-judgmental individuals when we as parents are the worst of them all, cliquey rich and snobby. And finally, it’s time for the baby of the family to attend preschool next year. I brought him in for his preschool screening, and I was not surprised to discover he will need speech therapy. That was March 2013. A month later, they called me back to schedule a screening, but she couldn’t fit me in until May. Although once my appointment rolled around, she called and said she couldn’t do it until the fall because the district said they need 30 days in order to do an assessment. Well, here’s why it
matters to me. After spending two months trying to get in touch with the preschool coordinator for Sartell (apparently she also works for another district), my son got the last spot. She informs me Sartell does not provide busing or any sort of transportation UNLESS the child has special needs AND the family can prove hardship. Well, my husband and I work full time (as I mentioned) so we have no way to get him to preschool. So since the speech pathologist and district so eloquently put us off until the end of the year, we have no way to transport him to preschool unless I quit my job. But then I can’t afford it. Because of course it costs money, on top of daycare. Here’s how much… Daycare (full-time per week - $140); preschool (two days a week for two hours per week cost $130) Total per week cost - $270 Icing on the cake: I received a letter from the district saying since we moved in the middle of the school year, my son (the kindergartener), who has made friends at PME and finished his first year at a new school (and a teacher he loves – the only good thing about the school – great teachers), has to now switch to Oak Ridge Elmentary because of a “capacity issue.” So, parents beware. When choosing a place to move to, and reading those enticing newspaper articles about the flashy and fantastic Sartell, it’s not so fantastic. They will nickel-and-dime you and knock you around until you say “uncle.” Not to mention they are just downright mean here.
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Sartell Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com
Friday, May 10, 2013
Sartell senior citizens form hiking-biking series by Dennis Dalman email@example.com
The weather was cold, but the seniors were brave. On April 25, 10 senior citizens – most from Sartell – bundled up and took a four-mile hike in the woods at St. John’s University. The temperature that morning was in the low- to mid-30s. Weeks before, when they organized their trek, the seniors assumed spring would be in full bloom by late April. On the chilly morning, only two decided not to go. “We had a very enjoyable
Friday, May 10 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., St. Cloud Blood Donation Center, 1301 W. St. Germain, St. Cloud. 1-800-RED CROSS or redcrossblood.org. Eat to Live, 10 a.m., Whitney Senior Center, 1445 Northway Drive, St. Cloud. 320-255-7245. Saturday, May 11 Plant sale, 8:30 a.m.-noon (or until sold out), St. John’s Arboretum, New Science Building 104, Collegeville. www.csbsju.edu/arboretum. 320-3633163. 55+ driver improvement course, (four-hour refresher course), 9:15 a.m.1 p.m., Miller Auto Plaza-Community Room, 2930 2nd St. S., St. Cloud. 1-888-234-1294. Pitch, Hit & Run, sponsored by Major League Baseball, youth ages 7-14, noon-5 p.m., Whitney Park, 1445 Northway Drive, St. Cloud. Birth certificate and signed parent/guardian waiver form required. 320-257-5231.
trek,” said organizer Al Meier. “We walked around the lake there and stopped at the Stella Maria Chapel. On the way we saw two eagles’ nests. When the hike was over, we stopped at the Local Blend in St. Joseph for a cup of coffee and sandwiches. We all had a good time, and everybody said we should keep doing the treks.” Like most of the trekkers, Meier is a member of the Sartell Senior Connection, a group of older people who get together for a wide variety of activities. In recent months, some Connection members mentioned
Tuesday, May 14 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. Sartell Chamber of Commerce, 11:45 a.m., City Hall. 320-253-2171. Holistic Moms Network, 7-8:30 p.m., Good Earth Co-op, St. Cloud. 320-252-2489. “Compassion fatigue, the stress of caring too much,” 7-8 p.m., St. Cloud Hospital Hoppe Auditorium, 1406 6th Ave. N, St. Cloud.
Monday, May 13 Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., St. Cloud Blood Donation Center, 1301 W. St. Germain, St. Cloud. 1-800-RED CROSS or redcrossblood.org. Market Monday, 3-6:30 p.m., Sartell City Hall, 125 Pine Cone Road N., Sartell. www.marketmonday.org. Sartell City Council, 7 p.m., City
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they will go biking on one or more of the many biking trails in the area. Meier said the next hiking trip will probably take place at Quarry Park in St. Cloud. Other future possibilities are Warner Park and the Sherburne Wildlife Refuge. On May 16, a biking ride is planned that will start at Holdingford and end at Bowlus, where members, if they wish, can enjoy lunch at a cafe at the biking trailhead in Bowlus. In June, the group will take a bike trip on the Wobegon Trail, starting in St. Joseph and end-
Thursday, May 16 Coffee and Conversation, a senior discussion group, 9 a.m., Country Manor, Sartell. Blood drive, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Rasmussen College, 226 Park Ave. S., St. Cloud. Dealing with Difficult People, noon-1 p.m., professional development for busy people, Resource Training and Solutions, 4150 2nd St. S., Suite 550, St. Cloud. 320-255-3236. Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. Pillow Cleaning/Perennial plant sale, sponsored by the Y2K Lions, 5-8 p.m., St. Joseph Community Fire Hall. Evening Book Club for adults,
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the group should consider starting some physical-activities programs when spring arrives, such as hiking and biking trips. Meier, who has done lots of hiking and biking in his life, liked the suggestions. He brought the idea to the Connection Board, where it was enthusiastically received. Meier, with input from others, then organized the “Hike-Bike Series.” On the first Thursday of every month, the group and anybody else who wants to come along, will do hikes in interesting and scenic local places. On the third Wednesday of every month,
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6:30-7:30 p.m., Al Ringsmuth Public Library, 253 5th Ave. N., Waite Park. 320-253-9359. Friday, May 17 Pillow Cleaning, sponsored by the Y2K Lions, 7 a.m.-3 p.m., St. Joseph Community Fire Hall. Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. Saturday, May 18 Spirituality for the 21st Century talk/discussion, 10-11:30 a.m., St. John’s Abbey guesthouse. 320-557-
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ing in Avon or, for the more adventurous, further down the trail in Albany. “Our trips are not limited to people in Sartell or just for seniors,” Meier said. “Anybody can come. It’s for anybody who wants to get out and get some exercise.” For the St. John’s hiking trip, the walkers met at 10:30 am. at the Senior Connection headquarters in the Sartell School District Services building. Then, in three cars, they drove to the St. John’s campus where the hike began. Biking • page 8
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from page 7 During upcoming trips, they plan to car-pool again. Meier has bike carriers and a pickup with which to bring bicycles for the biking trips. Others may also be able to strap bikes into trunks or on their vehicles to transport them. “We will go at a slower pace than most people when we hike or bike,” Meier said. “We just want to be in the outdoors and have some fun while getting some exercise.” Meier has been retired eight years from his job at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. His wife, Rita, who also enjoys hiking-biking, is
Jones from front page long enough to know that opportunities rarely come around once, let alone twice,” she said. “That time, I said ‘yes.’” Allyn, whose home base is Nashville, has sung with Jones in his shows hundreds of times. Here is what she wrote in tribute to him: “George was 74 when I joined the band. It was my job to phrase with him – to listen to him intently every night. With
At right: Stella Maria Chapel at St. John’s University. Far right: Some members of the Sartell Connection Hiking-Biking Group gathered for a group portrait after reaching their hiking destination at the Stella Maria Chapel at St. John’s University woods. From left to right are Mike Gilbert, Mary Gilbert, Rita Meier, Pat Salzer, Milly Moran, Don Moran, Diane Winczewski, Al Meier and Art Ruzanic. Not pictured is John Roscoe, who took this photo. a retired Sartell Middle School nurse. For more information about the “Hike-Bike Series,” including times and dates, call Meier at 320-252-8830. just one word he could send chills through me and bring tears to my eyes. As a singer myself, I know how we tend to look at a lyric and choose the words to focus on. With George, many times the words he chose came as a surprise to me. As time went by, I came to realize George sang every word that way –there were no throwaway lyrics for him. He would sing a word and not let it go until he had wrung every ounce of emotion out of it. I don’t know of another artist in any genre of music that can or could do that to the extent George did.”
Friday, May 10, 2013
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Published on May 9, 2013