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Newsleader Sartell

Friday, May 24, 2013 Volume 18, Issue 21 Est. 1995

Town Crier More Than Pink

More Than Pink, a program designed just for girls in third through sixth grade led by women, promotes positive selfesteem, body image, relationships with friends and parents and begins June 10. Participants will also train for the Back to School 5k that will take place in September. Sign up at Sartell-St. Stephen Community Education at For more information or if you’d like to volunteer to teach a lesson or lead a workout session, call Ann at 320-253-4036.

Market Monday open Memorial Day

Market Monday will be open from 3-6:30 p.m. Monday, Memorial Day in the Sartell City Hall parking lot. Products available include pork, beef, chicken, eggs, greens, garden plants, canned and baked goods pottery and more. Come for the great perennial give away.

‘I Dairy’ou to Cook!’ recipe contest seeks entries

Celebrate June Dairy Month by entering the first ever “I Dairy’ou to Cook!” recipe contest. Enter an original recipe that includes your favorite dairy products including milk, cheese, yogurt and/or ice cream. Three finalists in each of three categories will compete in the live championship tasting round to be hosted June 8 at the St. Cloud Area Farmer’s Market. Prepared recipes will be judged by a panel of area celebrity judges. There will also be a ‘virtual’ People’s Choice championship round hosted online for those who do not live near the St. Cloud area but wish to enter. Winner of the People’s Choice round will be announced June 30. Prizes will be awarded to a winner in each category at the live tasting event. An over-all champion will also be chosen for the grand prize. For information on how to register, visit For additional criers, visit and click on Criers.


Salute to Grads

Postal Patron

Weis remembers WWII as if it were just yesterday by Dennis Dalman

A World War II veteran who was honored with nine battle stars for fighting in the Pacific will be the keynote speaker at the Sartell Memorial Day ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday, May 27 in Veterans Park. Rollie Weis of Sartell is the only surviving World War II veteran in the Sartell American Legion, a group Weis joined 68 years ago shortly after he was married. Like other veterans, Weis knows first-hand, deep in his heart, the meaning of Memorial Day. In the war, he lost not only many buddies but his own brother, Phillip, who was killed in the Battle of the Bulge. Those who paid the ultimate sacrifice should forever be honored and remembered, Weis said. At the Sartell ceremony, Weis will share the remarkable story of his brother. Phillip Weis was in the U.S. Army, serving in France, when the Battle of the Bulge began. That long, relentless battle in northern Europe began af-

ter the Allied powers invaded northern France from England, an event known as D-Day. The

Battle of the Bulge succeeded in pushing back the Nazis into Germany from the West and

led directly to Adolf Hitler’s utter defeat. Weis • page 3

PickItUp collects 110 pounds of trash

contributed photo

A group from the PickItUp Foundation spruced up the Sartell fishing pier park on May 8-9. More than 110 pounds of garbage was collected and disposed of. Pictured above are (left to right) Teagen South, 11; Scott Sutton, operations director, and Treydon South, 14. For more information, see page 2.

Red Cross appeals for help in wake of tornado disasters Calls for help are still coming from those assisting in the aftermath of tragedies caused by a series of tornadoes in the American South. The worst of the monstrous tornadoes was the one that devastated the city of Moore, Okla., which killed at least 24 people, at last count, including

10 children. Nearly the entire town was literally ripped to pieces by the massive twister, which was a mile wide and stayed on the ground for 40 minutes. Hundreds of people were seriously injured, and thousands of people lost their homes and literally everything they owned.

It’s the second time Moore has suffered such terror and loss. In May 1999, that city was also ravaged by one of the strongest tornadoes ever recorded, which killed dozens and wiped out much of the city. The best way to contribute to the relief effort, according to

rescue personnel, is to donate to the American Red Cross, which is full-force on the scene. People can donate online at or they can send a check to “American Red Cross,” addressed to American Red Cross, P.O. Box 4002018, Des Moines, IA 50340-2018.

Now 20, PAL to kick off season June 11 by Dennis Dalman

Local children have no excuse to be bored this summer – at least not on Tuesday and Thursday evenings when the Sartell Police Department hosts its Police Activities League. PAL, as it’s commonly known, is now celebrating its 20th year. For most of those years, it has taken place in East Sartell’s Val Smith Park. The free program is held every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the summer months from 6:30-8 contributed photo p.m., with this season’s first PAL Dan Whitson, a Sartell police officer and leader of the Police event set to begin June 11 with a Activities League, talks with a gathering of youth at a meeting free family picnic to start at 7:30 in Sartell’s Val Smith Park, where the participants meet every p.m. The last session will be July Tuesday and Thursday evenings. 25, an annual time of celebration

with staff, children and parents, who all enjoy a big picnic in the park. PAL includes both physical activities and artistic projects, and all students ages 5 to 15 can freely choose what they want to do. Art activities were added some years ago when the local program’s founder, police officer Dan Whitson, along with parents and children, realized not all children enjoy sports-type activities. About one-half of all participants now enjoy the art activities, which include painting, clay, sculpture and other hands-on arts taught by art teachers and assistants. Although the age range for PAL • page 3

Sartell Newsleader •


People SMS Math Masters takes top honors

Devin Peterson, son of Kristina and David Peterson and a sixth-grader at Sartell Middle School, recently received thirdplace honors for his poem “A Military Child,” in U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) second annual “My Experience as a Military Child” poetry contest. His poem will be displayed in Sen. Franken’s Senate office. “Military families sacrifice so much, and children are no exception when they miss out on time with loved ones who serve,” Sen. Franken said. “It was clear from reading Devin’s entry his family has given a lot to our country and deserves our thanks. I’m grateful he entered this contest and was touched by his poem.” The contest took place in April, which is both the “Month of the Military Child” and “National Poetry Month.” Sen. Franken initiated the poetry contest for military children in Minnesota in 2012 after his wife, Franni, suggested he do so in order to thank the families of service members. Sen. Franken received dozens of submissions from students all throughout the state of Minnesota.

Lauren Cruze, daughter of Ken and Londa Cruze, Sartell, will graduate this spring as a home-schooled student. She plans to attend St. Cloud Technical and Community College majoring in the Child, Adult Care and Education program in the fall. Cruze is not participating in Sartell’s commencement. She was honored in the Home Educated Youth graduation ceremony May 18 at Calvary Community Church, along with 17 other area home-schooled graduates. Shaun Curtis, son of Nancy Curtis, St. Cloud (formerly of Sartell), and the late Gerald Curtis, was recently initiated into the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society at the University of Minnesota-Crookston. Eligibility for membership in the society is based on a cumulative gradepoint average of 3.5 or better during the first term of college while a student is enrolled full time. Achieving this high level of academic performance is an accomplishment that less than 20 percent of college freshmen reach. Curtis is a 2012 graduate of Sartell High School. He is currently majoring in computer software engineering at the U of M-Crookston.

Friday, May 24, 2013


contributed photo

The Sartell Middle School fifth-grade Math Masters team recently participated in the Minnesota Math Masters Tournament at the Sartell Middle School. The team finished first place out of a field of 25 teams. Pictured (left to right) are Coach Carly Larson, Janagan Ramanathan, Luc Westling, Jacob Wieland, Zachary Elliot and Sam Fernholz.

PickItUp collects 110 pounds of trash On May 8 and 9, a small group from the PickItUp Foundation did a cleanup project at the Sartell fishing pier park. More than 110 pounds of fast-food wrappers, cans, plastic bottles and paper products were collected for proper disposal. Two 55-gallon contractor bags of twigs and weeds were also picked up and the larger downed tree branches in the park were stacked at a central point for Sartell crews to haul away. The PickItUp Foundation is a non-profit based in Sartell. The foundations’ directors have removed more than 20,000 pounds of trash during the last three years from many local parks and quite a few national public-use areas as well. Mississippi River Park, Quarry Park, Boundary Waters, St Croix Scenic Riverway, Zion National Park, Superior National Forest and various beaches on the national watch list have all had cleanup efforts with the PickItUp Foundation.

The idea behind the PickItUp Foundation was born from hiking- and mountain-biking treks in the red rocks of southern Utah and on canoe trips to the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area. Too many times, when miles from a dropin point or road, various items of trash were found discarded: old sandals, water bottles, old mountain-bike innertubes, broken sunglasses, glass bottles and more. Soon, a large garbage bag was a normal part of an excursion into the back country...and it always came back full of trash. The PickItUp Foundation works from grants and voluntary donations, but encourages everyone to make an effort to pick up after yourself when using our shared public parks, forests and waterways. For information, contact or PickItUp Foundation, P.O. Box 437, Sartell, MN 56377.


Heather Leyendecker and Timothy Zupan, both of Alexandria, Minn., announce their engagement. Parents are Roxanne Leyendecker, St. Stephen, and the late James Leyendecker and Brent and Sharla Zupan of Madison, Minn. Leyendecker is a 2004 graduate of Sartell High School and a 2010 graduate of Minnesota State University-Moorhead where she majored in accounting and finance. Zupan is a 2005 graduate of Lac Qui Parle Valley High School in Madison and a 2009 graduate of MSU where he majored in construction and mechanical drafting. Both are currently employed by Ellingson Plumbing, Heating and Electrical in Alexandra. Leyendecker works in accounting and IT support; Zupan is a commercial HVAC installer. The wedding is planned for Aug. 24 in St. Stephen Catholic Church.

People Taylor Daniels of Sartell was recently awarded a $2,000 Central Minnesota Arts Board High School Arts Daniels scholarship to attend the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and major in illustration or painting.. The program is designed to help graduating seniors who want to further their education in the arts. Each applicant must submit up to five art samples and three references along with answers to a set of questions. The highest-scoring applicants receive awards accord-

ing to funding available. Daniels’ activities and interests include the following: Sartell High School Girls Swim Team, Art Club, assisted with set design for several high school plays, painted several murals in Sartell High School at the request of various faculty members, currently working directly with artist Willicey Tynes on another mural project, volunteered at church for the Wednesday Night children’s program and Vacation Bible School. Piano player, avid reader and in the fifth year of studying Spanish. Work experience includes lifeguard and water safety instructor for Sartell Community Ed and Summer Recreation.

Three Sartell students were among 900 students recognized for academic achievement during Honors Day convocation May 3 at St. Olaf College, Northfield. They are the following: Samuel Engelsgjerd, son of Nancy and Mark Engelsgjerd, is a chemistry and mathematics major; Katherine Nash, daughter of Vickie Nash and Don Dewitt, is an undecided major; and Grant Wintheiser, son of Maria and Robb Wintheiser, is a biology major. Honors Day recognizes students who have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.60 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Three St. John’s Prep students recently earned top scores in the Na-

tional Spanish Exam. The are the following: freshman Sydney Lo, daughter of Rachel Schuneman and Yang Lo of Sartell, earned bronze-medal status, level 2; sophomore Andrew Bender, son of Dorothy Soukup-Bender, Sartell, and Dan Bender, St. Cloud, earned bronze-medal status, level 3: junior Lindsay Zerfas, daughter of Vicki Ray, Sartell, and Pat Zerfas, Elk River, earned honorable-mention status, level 3. More than 2,300 students in Minnesota took the exam. Awards are based on national performance. Bronze medalists ranked above the 74th percentile while honorable mention ranked from 50th-75th percentile. • 320-255-9999

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Friday, May 24, 2013

contributed photo

Rollie Weis, a WWII veteran.

Weis from front page While Phillip Weis was part of that historic battle, his brother, Rollie, was half a world away in the Pacific Ocean, helping fight the Japanese island to island. Rollie, who had been drafted into the U.S. Navy, was serving as a gunner on a destroyer named the USS Hopewell. In the meantime, Phillip was reported as missing in action, but Rollie did not know it at the time because mail sent from home to the Pacific forces was sporadic and slow. It wasn’t until many months later when Rollie, after the war, heard what had happened to his lost brother. He had been shot and killed sometime in January 1945 in a forest in Luxembourg, a land-locked country between France, Germany and Belgium. Nobody knew what had happened to Phillip until 10 months after his death. His body had lain in that forest that long until a Luxembourg couple, walking in the woods, found a skeleton and a few tattered personal effects, including an identification medal. All soldiers typically carried, usually on a chain necklace, two metal identifications, dubbed “dog tags.” The couple found out Rollie’s parents’ hometown address from the dog tags and sent a letter to Phil and Hazel Weis of Sartell, who happened to serve as Sartell postmasters at that time. The Weises, of course, were devas-

Sartell Newsleader • tated by the news but also relieved their deceased son had been accounted for, at least. He was buried in a Luxembourg cemetery by strangers, and the Weises were unable to be at the ceremony. Later, his remains were moved to an American military cemetery, also in Luxembourg, the same cemetery in which famed general George S. Patton is buried. It is an eerie coincidence that Phillip was killed just three miles from where his grandfather had lived before emigrating to the United States in 1871. Flash forward to 32 years later when another extraordinary coincidence happened. One day Rollie and his wife, Janette, received a letter from Luxembourg. It was from a man named Fernand Weis (no relation to Rollie – another amazing coincidence) who had found, by using a metal detector, a dog-tag in a forest in Luxembourg. The man, who is a hobbyist collector of World War II artifacts, traced the name and serial number on the dog tag through official channels at the cemetery where Phillip was buried. It took Fernand a lot of hassles to get an address, but finally he was given the address of Phillip’s parents in a faraway place called Sartell, Minn. Fortunately, Janette was working as a postal clerk at the time and noticed “Phil and Hazel Holt,” along with their old address on Sartell Street. By that time, Phil and Hazel had passed on. She and Rollie were stunned when they opened that letter and read the news. Astounded by the second find of a dog tag, Rollie and his wife, Janette, took a trip to Luxembourg to meet Fernand and to visit Phillip’s grave. Fernand has also visited the Weis family in Sartell. Rollie said he can remember the World War II years as vividly as anything that happened just yesterday. Drafted in 1953, he served for 2.5 years as a gunner on the USS Hopewell. One of the major encounters was assistance in helping liberate the Philippines from the Japanese occupiers. One day, as the ship was cruising off the island of Corregidor in Manila Bay and trying to spot and rescue men who had been clearing the harbor of mines, enemy forces from shore-lobbed shells at the ship, killing 10 of Weis’s fellow sailors and wounding

18. Chaos followed; P.T. boats swept in to rescue the minesweeping men from the bay. Weis also vividly remembers shooting down two kamikaze planes screaming in with deadly intent out of the sky toward the ship. Kamikaze, which is Japanese for “divine wind,” is a name given to pilots willing to commit suicide by crashing their planes into American ships in the Pacific, causing terrible destruction and loss of life. Weis was fortunate not to be injured after so many dangerous encounters. His nine battle stars are testament to the dangers he and other Navy personnel faced throughout the war in the Pacific. After the destroyer was damaged, it had to be brought back to San Francisco for repairs. Then it set out again for the far Pacific, all the way to the harbor at Guam. While tied to a battleship in the harbor, Weis and everyone else heard the ecstatic news: Japan had surrendered. The war in Europe had ended in April 1945, and at long last, in mid-August 1945, the war in the Pacific was also over. It was a very happy day to remember. After the good news, the USS Hopewell, with Weis aboard, was one of the destroyers that escorted the air-craft carrier USS Missouri to Tokyo Bay. It was on the deck of the USS Missouri that the Japanese signed surrender documents that finally ended the Pacific war. Weis spent two months in the harbor and had a chance to visit bomb-damaged Tokyo a few times. He was amazed how friendly all the Japanese were who he chanced to meet, many of whom spoke excellent English. “They were very friendly,” he said. “They welcomed us everywhere in Tokyo.” After the war, Weis moved back to Sartell and worked for many years as a printer, first at Sentinel Printing in St. Cloud, then as a printing instructor at the St. Cloud Correction Facility. Later, he worked part-time for Dingmann’s Funeral Home in Sauk Rapids before retiring. He and Janette have lived in the same house they built 50 years ago. They have been married 68 years and have two daughters, Sandy and Sue; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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PAL from front page participants is 5 to 15, no child will be turned away, no matter what the age, Whitson noted. The physical activities include dodge ball, floor hockey, water games, kickball, basketball, volleyball and many varieties of games of tag. After each PAL evening, all children receive some kind of treat, such as ice cream or candy. PAL is almost never cancelled, rain or shine. The shelter at Val Smith Park allows students to do projects even if the rain starts falling. PAL has had to cancel only three meetings in 20 years because of threatening storm weather. About 150 children come to one or more PAL programs, and 80 percent of those live in Sartell, Whitson noted. Some area cities that used to have PAL programs no longer do, including Sauk Rapids, Waite Park and St. Cloud. The Sartell program is open to all children in the greater St. Cloud area. Kids come from as far away as St. Joseph and Rice. Children who attend at least five PAL events receive a free PAL T-shirt. Parents or guardians are welcome to stay for the PAL evenings. Some parents like to bring books to read while their children have fun. While some cities cut PAL programs due to budget restraints, Sartell has always valued the importance of the program, and people have generously donated to its success. PAL in Sartell costs about $5,500 each year to operate. Donations of food and T-shirt expenses are donated by generous companies. For example, Array Services of Sartell recently contributed $1,000 to purchase PAL T-shirts. In 1992, when Officer Whitson started the Drug Awareness and Resistance Education program in Sartell schools, he began to consider doing a summer program for youth. After researching that topic, he learned of PAL programs and started one. Two officers have been central to the success of Sartell PAL for years – Whitson and Officer Adam

3 Vande Vrede, who are both schoolresource officers for the Sartell-St. Stephen School District. One of those two officers is always present at a PAL get-together, along with one other police officer – usually a different one each time. Two reserve officers also help out, as well as five paid part-time staff ages 17-18 who are former Pal participants. SartellSt. Stephen Community Education, which has always been a huge help for PAL, also provides four staff members for each PAL event. Whitson is happy about how the PAL program is becoming so “generational.” For example, a former PAL participant from Sartell is Mary Bentley, who teaches art in Foley and who now helps teach PAL students during their art sessions. Bentley was a member of Sartell pal when she was in sixth grade. “It really is a generational thing,” Whitson said. “A lot of former PAL members are now helping out. It’s really a good community program because kids get so excited about it. Relationships are built for kids in the park to do activities with police. We also establish relationships with the parents who want us to be part of their kids’ lives. And many of the children who come to PAL Adam (Vande Vrede) and I know from working with them in the schools.” Another advantage to PAL, Whitson said, is children’s play is safe because there is plenty of adult and police supervision.” PAL is a real lifeline for children, especially those who come from financially-strapped families, Whitson noted. The program is totally free, and many children from lowincome families have no structured summer activities to enjoy. Whitson said PAL would not be possible without the support of the City of Sartell and so many others – individuals and businesses. “Businesses are so good at helping out,” he said. Any child who wants to participate in PAL can just show up at any PAL event, although it’s recommended, if possible, children and parents or guardians should attend the June 11 meeting to sign up at 6:30 p.m.

Sartell Newsleader •


Friday, May 24, 2013

ontributed photos

Left: Mother Raelynn Justin and daughter Dana relax with a hug after Dana practiced her dance routine for the 25th annual Sartell-St. Stephen Community Education Dance Show. Right: Dancers do a performance at the April 20 dance show at Sartell High School.

Dancers earn raves at anniversary show by Dennis Dalman



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If it weren’t for the passion and persistence of Shelly Teff, the 25th annual Community Education Spring Dance Show would probably have been cancelled. A relentless bout of snowy cold spells in April just about spelled doom for rehearsals for the April 20 show, which typically draws standing-roomonly audiences at Sartell High School. Teff had to get special permission from the school district to hold rehearsals on a day when school was cancelled. Teff, parents and dancers kept wondering if snow and cold would wipe out their show. But, led by Teff, all participants were bound-and-determined to defeat the unseasonable spring. “The show must go on” was their attitude. And go on it did, with triumphant results. The ecstatic audience, filling the bleachers, roared its approval during and

after the April 20 anniversary show, with many performances by a total of 199 dancers of all ages, including a performance by dance-program alumni who came back to Sartell to join the anniversary show. After the show, parents presented Teff with two gifts – a new video recorder (her other one had broken this dance season) and a gift certificate for a tree at a local greenhouse. Teff, a gardening-flower enthusiast, had said she intends to plant a tree that, as it grows, will remind her of the many girls she watched grow and bloom under her 25 years of dance instruction. Twenty-five years ago, Teff began a dance program for the Sartell-St. Stephen School District because she wanted her young daughter, Missy, to have a chance to learn dancing. To this day, after all those years, Missy still helps her mother with the program and serves as emcee. Right after Teff started the class, there were just a few girls, but soon the program

became extremely popular for girls of all ages, through the Sartell-St. Stephen Community Education program. Teff has the sweet satisfaction of now teaching many of the daughters of the mothers she taught years ago. And after 25 years, Teff is not about to quit, which she made clear in a thank-you message sent to the Sartell Newsleader. “I would like to thank all my dancers and their parents for the wonderful gifts presented to me at our 25th anniversary dance show,” she wrote. “For 25 years I have had the honor of teaching dance to the most fantastic dancers and meeting their parents. It’s so good to know our Community Ed Dance Program is truly a community program, which is what makes it so great. With my wonderful staff, great support from the Community Education office, great parents and wonderful dancers, it’s easy to teach dance. My love for it never ends. I look forward to seeing those smiling faces back

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Friday, May 24, 2013 in the fall.” For years, parents of the dancers have praised Teff for making the dance program truly democratic in which each and every dancer, despite their relative skill levels, is treated as important. Teff, as many parents have pointed out, has the ability to make even the shyest girls bloom in her class, bringing about poise and confidence. One young girl was so shy, she didn’t think she could dance at all in a public show. Teff made sure the girl’s mother was sitting at the front of the bleachers, at eye level with her daughter. When the daughter, from the dance floor, saw her encouraging mother smiling, she too smiled and danced happily. What is emphasized above all else is a sense of fun – dancing as fun. To Teff and to everyone else involved, fun is the heart of the program. “Shelly makes dance fun for everyone,” said Raelynn Justin, whose daughter, 10-year-old Dana, dances in the program. “My daughter will keep dancing as long as Shelly keeps teaching.” Teff has a knack for transforming her students, Justin said. “She brings out the girls’ true characters and talents,” she

Sartell Newsleader • said. “She has a way of getting everybody to dance, and she always figures out a way so every girl who wants to dance can afford to be in the program. And she is very resourceful. She’s such a great teacher and so are all her assistant teachers.” For the April 20 show, many parents helped get the show ready, including Kristie Steffes, whose 12-year-old daughter, Summer Kleinschmidt, is a dancer and has been since age 4. The night before the show, Steffes and a friend cut out many construction-paper stars for the big day. Steffes herself was once a student of Teff’s, back in the years from 1988 to 1992. Steffes was one of about 25 alumni who danced in the anniversary show. “It was a lot of fun, even though I haven’t danced for 12 years,” she said. “Shelly has always been so supportive and put in so many hours year after year, doing most of the work by herself with help from assistants. She makes the dancing so much fun.” Julie Muenchow started dances with Teff when she was in kindergarten. She was one of the alumni dancers April 20. Throughout the years, especially after Muenchow was

no longer a student, she helped Teff teach the girls. “I helped her when I was in high school and college,” she said. “Shelly is wonderful. So good with kids. Always making sure it’s fun and everyone’s involved. She makes every dancer feel she’s important.” Muenchow was thrilled with the anniversary show because it’s the first one she actually had a chance to watch. In previous years, she’d been so busy helping with the shows she couldn’t see it as an audience member would. “In 15 years, it’s the first show I got to see from the bleachers,” she said. “It was wonderful.” Muenchow summed up Teff’s dance program with the following words: “It was always so much fun. And there was never pressure. Everybody, at the end of the day, knew we were there to do a good job, but while knowing that we always had a lot of fun.”


Pinecone to remain open during duathlon by Dennis Dalman

Pinecone Road will not be closed for the 31st annual Sartell Apple Duathlon, after all. At an early April Sartell City Council meeting, members of the duathlon-triathlon club had requested the council close Pinecone Road from 7th Street N. to 35th Street N. for safety reasons during the upcoming Sartell Apple Duathlon. The race will take place on the morning of Saturday, May 25. The council deferred the request for further study by the police department. However, when Police Chief Jim Hughes talked with Sartell Apple Duathlon organizer, Brandon Testa, he learned Testa had never requested that portion of Pinecone Road be closed. The request, instead, had come solely from members of the duathlontriathlon club. At the April 22 council meeting, Sgt. Dale Struffert, acting on behalf of Hughes, informed the council of

the police department’s knowledge about the road-closing request. He recommended to the council the race course be patrolled as it always has been in the past, with a police presence and the help of volunteers. Struffert said the department could consider adding more patrol, but that Pinecone, starting at 27th Street N. narrows considerably and more police cars would probably crowd the road and make it even less safe. As many as 450 runners-bikers will take place in the duathlon, which this year is a world-qualifier race. Council member Amy BraigLindstrom, who has participated in the Apple Duathlon, said she is very concerned about safety on Pinecone Road. While understanding the time and cost to the police department, Braig-Lindstrom said the city should definitely consider closing that road for a time on the morning of the race or at least making traffic just one-lane that Pinecone • page 8

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Sartell Newsleader •


Our View

Happy birthday, Sartell PAL, and may you have many more

It would be interesting to read the results of a study about the benefits of summer activities programs for children. We are not aware any such study has been done, but we would bet the beneficial outcomes of summer programs are significant. Children who partake in structured summer activities, we would wager, turn out to be more successful, healthier, happier and more socially connective than children who do not have an option for healthy summer activities. That is why we salute the Sartell Police Activities League program, which will celebrate its 20th year at its first meeting: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 11 at East Sartell’s Val Smith Park. The Sartell program has been so successful for so long because so many people passionately care about the program, in which success begets success. A good thing is its own best advertisement, and that is the case with Sartell PAL. First of all, the program reflects a longstanding and deep commitment to youth by the Sartell Police Department and the City of Sartell. Police officer Dan Whitson founded Sartell’s version of PAL 20 years ago. He and fellow officer Adam Vande Vrede have led and nurtured the program for years. Those two officers, who are marvelous in their ability to relate well to children, deserve our thanks. Both are school-resource officers who work wonders with children during the school season, not to mention summer. City staff, such as the park department, and the Sartell-St. Stephen Community Education program have also been a big help every year in keeping the program alive and growing. Last but not least, parents, guardians and companies large and small have generously helped to make PAL a wonderful program for children. They, too, deserve kudos. PAL is free for participants, and it’s truly egalitarian, welcoming all children, including out-of-towners. Many of the children in PAL come from low-income families, those who probably cannot afford structured, supervised summer-play time for their kids. It’s a truism that idle children on long summers with few constructive activities can quickly get into trouble of one sort or another. Programs like PAL can keep them on a good path. In their playtime relations with others – both fellow children and caring adults – they learn social skills and realize they are valued and accepted members of a larger local world. Such character traits and confidence can last them a lifetime. Unlike some area cities, which closed down their PAL programs, Sartell PAL is thriving. Thousands of children have benefited from it in incalculable ways. We hope it continues to thrive well into the future.

Opinion Mr. President, don’t let bloodhounds salivate This is my open letter to President Barack Obama: Dear Mr. President, Why are you playing right into the hands of your enemies? For years, I have been defending you in print and verbally against the jerks who have been hounding you, nipping at your heels, sabotaging everything you proposed and accusing you of insanely ridiculous charges – everything from not being a born American to being a socialist destroyer. The attacks against you, in fact, have been so baseless, so unrelenting, so racist and so disgusting I was – and still am – eager to defend you. However, in recent days, I have become crestfallen by your rather passive reactions to the chorus of accusations against you concerning three troublesome issues: Benghazi, IRS and the Associated Press. One or more people in your administration, on your watch, put a public-relations spin (or flat-out lied) about the security lapses that led to the deaths in Benghazi; one or more people in the Internal Revenue Service zealously pursued audits on ultra-conservative organizations, such as the Tea Party; and one or more people in the White House tried to intimidate and obstruct reporters trying to do their jobs. Those kinds of tactics are more worthy of a president like Richard Nixon, who had an “enemies list” and who broke the law by trying to “get even” with his political opponents. Mr. President, you shouldn’t waste another day downplaying those issues or dismissing them as just more examples in the long line of Republicans’ ridiculous charges. If you don’t answer those charges head-on, letting the chips fall

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.

Dennis Dalman Editor where they may, the rest of your presidency will be truly “lame duck,” to put it mildly. If their charges are not true, if you did not know about these things, then say so loudly and clearly. Obviously, there has never been a president in history who has not made mistakes and who has not told a lie now and then. To give just a few examples: President Lyndon Johnson lied about an attack in the Gulf of Tonkin that got us heavily involved in the long senseless war in Vietnam; Nixon was impeached and had to resign because of his lies relating to the Watergate scandal; Reagan was less than forthright in dealing with the scandal of illegally selling arms to the contras in Nicaragua; Clinton blatantly lied when he said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Being president of the United States has got to be the most difficult, loneliest job in the world. It’s hard to imagine anyone in his or her right mind wanting such a job where crises are always ready to explode in your face, dealing with a deadlocked Congress would be enough to drive anyone crazy, your every utterance and action is scrutinized mercilessly – often by hostile opponents. Being a president must be like having to hole up in a bunker with attacks coming from all sides. And that is probably the root of the problem – that bunker mentality that

sets in. All of the presidents mentioned above developed a bunker mentality to one degree or another, and all of them stonewalled or lied now and then. We’re told you, Mr. President, are slow and deliberative in your decision-making processes, that you are not a schmoozer and your approach to problems is cool, detached, cerebral. However, while those may be qualities to some degree, they can just as well be drawbacks. They can lead to disconnection and even distortions in a president’s perception of reality. In recent days, Mr. President, it has become painfully plain that you are not using your leadership skills. I have been absolutely astonished by your grace under pressure, the way you held your head high while having to endure the steady barrage of lies and character attacks from the ultra-right-wing paranoid-fantasy fringe. It’s understandable why you would go into a defensive mode, having to deal with lunatics like that. Nevertheless, it’s time to level with all those who, like me, enthusiastically voted for you twice. If those who are now accusing you of so many things are not on the level, say so now to prove how wrong they are and then lay out the proofs. Or if one or more people in the White House, the State Department or the IRS did wrong, fire them immediately. You’ve already taken some of those steps, but do more. Be more forthright. Mr. President, your enemies smell blood; they are licking their chops. Do something decisive, even if it hurts. Be a courageous leader we elected you to be. Don’t let those bloodhounds salivate any longer.

Letters to editor

Sad that Superintendent Hill is leaving Terry Kobbermann, Alexandria, Minn.

I am a grandmother of five grandchildren who live in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District. I am also a retired educator who had the privilege of having Joe Hill as my assistant principal and principal when we both worked at Discovery Middle School in Alexandria. I am sending a partial copy of a letter I sent to him when I heard he was hired as the superintendent of schools in the district where my grandchildren live. Dear Joe, Congratulations on your selection as the new superintendent of the Sartell-St. Stephen School District. I was following the selection process because both my

daughters live in Sartell, and my grandson attends Pine Meadow Elementary School. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I heard you accepted the position. The school district is so fortunate to have you in the key leadership position. I secretly thought of writing the school board a letter endorsing you. I was going to tell them my grandchildren needed you to be the superintendent of their school district because no one else could bring the enthusiasm, the love of children, the respect of staff and the dedication to excellence that you would bring to the job. I refrained from doing so because I knew you didn’t need my endorsement. It’ s so obvious to all who visit with you that you are an outstanding educator and the best

of the best. I feel as if our lives were destined to retain a connection, and now that you are in Sartell, I know I was right. I am thrilled for my grandchildren and for all of the children whose lives will be affected in a positive way by your presence. The teachers, administrators and support staff are also going to reap the benefits of your leadership. How exciting! I recentlly learned HIll has resigned because the school board and he did not share the same vision about the direction the school district should be following. Now some other school district will be the beneficiary of his vision, and it will not be my grandchildren or their classmates. I am selfishly very sad.

dering just how much money they have allocated to repair Sartell’s streets? The junction of Hwy. 29 and 5th Avenue has been temporarily repaired for more than three years and is in terrible condition. I’m sincerely hoping 5th avenue is com-

pletely repaired, not just another BandAid like in the past, especially with monies being spent for parks. I have noticed many other streets that need complete repair as well.

Residents say city street repairs need attention Ronald and Ruth Ann Schommer, Sartell I have noticed Sartell in the daily news a lot lately, approving money to buy a park and approving money to buy equipment for another park. I am won-

Fairness and ethics

Friday, May 24, 2013

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Sartell Newsleader •

Friday, May 24, 2013

Community Calendar

Friday, May 24 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. Saturday, May 25 Blood drive, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. Sunday, May 26 Memorial Service, 1:30 p.m. State Veterans’ Cemetery, 15550 Hwy. 115, Little Falls.

Monday, May 27 Memorial Day Service, hosted by Sartell Post 277, 9 a.m., Sartell Legion Park.


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Sartell joins regional human-rights effort

Tuesday, May 28 Blood drive, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767.

Thursday, May 30 Coffee and Conversation, a senior by Dennis Dalman discussion group, 9 a.m., Country Manor, Sartell. Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., American The Sartell City Council Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. voted 3-2 to join the regional Cloud. 1-800-733-2767.

Wednesday, May 29 Student information program about the St. Cloud Youth Leadership Academy and St. Cloud Area Chamber’s Student Summer Internship, 7:30-9 a.m., St. Cloud Police Department. or 320-656-3824. Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., Dickey’s

Friday, May 31 “How to Ride the Metro Bus” registration deadline for June 10-12 classes for kids and parents. 320-529-4497 or info@ Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767.


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human-rights office at no cost for the next 30 months. For several years, there have been plans to enlist the support of cities in the greater St. Cloud area to establish and maintain a human-rights office in the area. The rationale is people will find it more convenient to deal with human-rights issues locally rather than having to work through the statewide office in St. Paul. Recently, advocates of a local multi-city office offered cities to join free for 30 months, a trial period to see how effective the service would be. Council members Steve Hennes, Amy Braig-Lindstrom and Mayor Joe Perske spoke in favor of joining the effort, with Sartell becoming part of a jointpowers board. Hennes said a local office would help expedite human-rights problems, as well as being a good local force for

education and mediation of issues in the areas of mental health, employment and housing. Braig-Lindstrom said joining for no cost is a “no-brainer” and that human rights should be a priority for Sartell as well as elsewhere. Council member Sarah Jane Nicoll said there is no need for a local office as it would just duplicate what the state handles already. Council member David Peterson agreed with Nicoll about duplication and also said he is skeptical about the “no-cost” provision for 30 months. But Peterson added he is willing to consider joining a regional human-rights office in the future. Sartell City Administrator Patti Gartland told the council the no-cost provision is locked into the offer. If costs do enter the picture in the next 30 months, the council can opt out of the deal. The 30-month period will end Dec. 31, 2015. Nicoll and Peterson voted against the resolution.

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. Crime Stoppers offers rewards up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for crimes. May 8 7:33 p.m. Loud music. 5th Avenue E. A complaint was made regarding an ongoing problem of loud music coming from a residence. When officers arrived, the residence was dark and they heard no music. 11:31 p.m. Traffic stop. Highway 15. After checking a vehicle’s registration, it was found the driver’s license was revoked. The driver was issued another citation and was released to a valid licensed driver. May 9 9:02 a.m. Traffic stop. 19th Avenue N. A vehicle was witnessed traveling 55 mph in a posted 40-mph zone. The driver was aware of her speed. She was issued a citation and released. 12:04 p.m. Theft. 2nd Ave N. A report was made sometime between May 3-5, someone took the solar lights from a yard. No suspect information given. May 10 10:33 a.m. Traffic stop. Riverside Avenue S. A vehicle was witnessed traveling 43 mph in a posted 30-mph zone. The driver stated he was just lost in the area. A citation was issued and he was released. Noon. Suspicious person. A complaint was made regarding a male who had walked through a school playground while the children were playing. An officer was able to locate the male who stated he was taking a shortcut. He was advised not to return again and was released. 10:57 p.m. Minor consumption. 1st Street S. A report was made regarding a possible minor who was intoxicated

at an event. Officers found she was intoxicated. She was issued a citation and released to an adult. May 11 1 a.m. Welfare check. 7th Avenue S. A report was made from a female’s husband stating he hadn’t heard from her since she left Annandale earlier in the night. An officer went to her residence and found her home and she stated her phone had died. The officer allowed her to use his phone so she could contact her husband and let him know she was OK. 11:45 p.m. DWI. County Road 1. A complaint was made regarding a vehicle that was swerving on the road and had run up onto the curb. An officer arrived and found the driver to be intoxicated. Driver was placed under arrest and transported to Stearns County Jail. May 12 8:05 a.m. Dog. 8th Avenue N. A complaint was made regarding a dog that was running through a neighborhood and that this was an ongoing issue. An officer arrived and spoke with the dog’s owner and explained the city’s animal ordinance. The owner agreed to have the dog on a leash from now on. 8:43 a.m., 9:40 a.m. and 11:02 a.m. Vandalism. 4th Avenue N. Three separate reports were made regarding vehicles egged sometime during the night. May 13 7:58 p.m. Motorist assist. 3rd Street S. A request was placed for assistance to unlock a vehicle. An officer arrived and was able to unlock the vehicle for the owner. May 14 12:17 a.m. Traffic stop. Highway 15. A vehicle was witnessed traveling with a broken taillight. It was found the driver did not have the proper license to be driving at this time. The driver was also in possession of drug paraphernalia. A citation was issued for the license violation and possession of paraphernalia.


Sartell Newsleader •

Track team celebrates True-Team championship

Pinecone from page 5

contribuited photo

The Sartell Sabre Girls Track Team scored a triumph last Saturday when it took tops at the True-Team Championship in Stillwater. It’s the sixth time Sabre girls earned first place in the history of the school district, the last time being in 2006. At Stillwater, the Sartell boys’ team took second to defending champ Totino-Grace. As of Newsleader press time, the first round of the Section 8-2A track meet was expected to begin in Detroit Lakes. Sartell will host the section finals May 30. The girls’ team is coached by Jeff Kellerman. The statewide meet is set for June 7-8 at Hamline University.

morning. Others, however, said a onelane traffic solution would be unfeasible and possibly more unsafe than leaving the road wide open. Council member Sarah Jane Nicoll said she understands safety concerns but that solutions offered have been unfeasible, creating new dangers for athletes and motorists. Council member David Peterson agreed, saying proper plans must be implemented or the situation could be much worse. For next year, the Apple Duathlon committee should perhaps consider a new, safer route for the race, otherwise the safety problem will just continue to get worse every year as already busy traffic increases on that stretch of Pinecone Road. Mayor Joe Perske said if the duathlon committee and organizer

Friday, May 24, 2013 Testa didn’t request the closing, the city cannot do it. Then Perske noted some safety concerns of his own. Racers in wheelchairs, he said, should probably come equipped with flashing lights or some other means of warning motorists since it’s harder to see them as they are lower to the road. After further discussion, the council voted unanimously not to close the road, but throughout their discussion they made it obvious everyone – racers, police and volunteers – work together to maximize safety on race day.

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