All invited to Memorial Day services
The American Legion Honor Guard in Buffalo invites you to the Memorial Day observances. Those pictured above are (from left): Terry Nelson, Pat Miller, Jim Winkleman, Leo Endres, Galen Recker, Art Anecki, Dave Randall, Terry Marsh, Gary Brown, Vern Solien, and Al Gulden. The two soldiers in the center front are National Guard members (names not available) who help at funerals. Honor Guard members not shown: Bob Larson, Bonnie Hanson, Bruce Kottom, Jerome Bradford, Jim Ryks, Barry Nordquast, Dale Lesser, Del Haag, Gerry Triplett, Les Dalman, and Blake Brelling. (Photo courtesy of Bob Larson)
A day to remember those who fought and died for our country, Memorial Day, is taking place Monday, May 29. Throughout Wright County, communities are conducting ceremonies to respect and honor the veterans.
In Buffalo, a Memorial Day Ceremony is taking place at the American Legion Club, 304 10th Ave. S., from 8:45-10 a.m. The guest speaker is General Ken Penttila.
Music is being provided for the ceremony by the Buffalo High School band members.
Weather permitting, the ceremony will be held outside. Bring a lawn chair.
If it is raining, the program will be held inside the Legion Club.
Following the ceremony, enjoy donuts and refreshments.
A list of the area ceremonies follows:
ALBERTVILLE, HANOVER, ST. MICHAEL, GREENFIELD
St. Michael American Legion Post 567 has prepared the following Mem-orial Day ceremonies sche-dule: 8 a.m., service at St. Michael Catholic Church on Frankfort Parkway; 9 a.m. services at St. Albert's Cemetery in Albertville; 9:35 a.m. services at St. Michael South Cemetery; 10:15 a.m. services at St. Paul's Cemetery in Han-over; 10:45 a.m. services at Salem Lutheran Church Cemetery in Greenfield.
The above times are tentative and could vary by five or ten minutes either way. Everyone is invited to come and take part in the Memorial Day observance. A brunch will be served at Salem Lutheran Church following the services at the cemetery in Greenfield.
The Memorial Day Par-ade is starting at Annan-dale Middle School at 10 a.m. and will proceed west on Chestnut Street, then north on Oak Ave. to Pleasant Lake, where there will be a brief ceremony. From there, the parade will continue on Park Street to Woodlawn Cemetery for a short program.
Annandale Boy Scout Troop 354 will host the 15th annual pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Annandale Municipal Park pavilion. All veterans and active duty personnel eat free.
Participants in the Mem-orial Day program include: the AHS Drumline, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the Annandale Honor Guard.
Mayor Dwight "Dewey" Gunnarson will be the speaker at the Woodlawn Cemetery program this year, and the Annandale Community Band, under the direction of Barbara Jacobson, will provide music. After the program, the Boy Scouts will conduct a flag retirement ceremony.
Everyone is invited to attend the 8:45 p.m. ceremony at Buffalo American Legion Post 270, 304 10th Ave. S.
The guest speaker is General Ken Penttila.
The Buffalo High School is providing music.
All in attendance are invited to join the Legion-naires for donuts and refreshments in the Legion Club immediately following the ceremony.
Cokato American Legion Post 209 will begin its Memorial Day ceremonies with a rifle volley and flag raising at the Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery at 7:30 a.m., followed by raising of the colors at Veterans Memorial Park at 8 a.m.
A parade will also take place in downtown Cokato at 10:15 a.m.
The Legion welcomes all individuals in the area who are currently active duty military, members of the National Guard and members of military reserve units to join them in the parade march. The line will form at 9:45 a.m. on the south side of Cokato Elem-entary School.
Following the parade, a Memorial Day program will take place at the Cokato Elementary School auditorium. The program will start 10:45 a.m.
Parade participants are lining up at 10:15 a.m. outside the Delano American Legion Club, and a parade will start at about 10:30 a.m. A brief stop on the bridge is usually followed by a march to the city park.
The guest speaker is Col. Scot Doboszenski, a Delano native who has served in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq on combat tours.
Following the ceremony in the park, everyone is invited to lunch in the Legion Club.
Members of American Legion Post 145 will assemble at the St. James Luth-eran Church parking lot at 9 a.m. and then march to the city cemetery, where the program will begin at 9:15 a.m.
A line-up for a parade begins at before 10 a.m. outside the Legion Club. The parade ends at the community park, where a ceremony is taking place.
A potluck lunch is planned in the Legion Club at 11:30 a.m.
In the event of rain, the ceremony will take place in the Legion Club.
The Memorial Day observances in Monticello are planned jointly by Monti-cello American Legion Post 260 and Monticello VFW Post 8731.
Wreath-laying services and gun salutes are taking place at 9:30 a.m. in Hill-side Cemetery, at 10 a.m. at Ellison Park Memorial and then at St. Henry's Catholic Cemetery.
Ceremonies at Riverside Cemetery begin at 10:30 a.m. and will include speaker John Pearson, plus wreath-laying services and gun salutes, and music provided by the Monticello High School Band.
At 11:45 a.m., the Honor Guards with Colors, as well as members of the VFW and American Legion, will line up at West 3rd Street and Walnut Street for the Memorial Day Procession, which will travel west on 3rd Street, ending at the American Legion on Elm Street. At the end of the procession, a wreath will be placed at the "Some Gave All" Memorial outside the Legion. The American Legion Honor Guard will fire a gun salute, and "Taps" will be played.
A lunch for the procession participants will be provided at the American Legion Post, 304 Elm Street. A freewill donation for lunch will be accepted for all others.
"The community is invited to come together on this day to honor our veterans."
The Memorial Day Se-vices and Ceremony in Montrose will be taking place at VFW Post 1901, 300 Zephyr Ave., on May 29, beginning upon the arrival of the Buffalo High School Band, shortly after 10:00 a.m.
Pledge of Allegiance will be led by the winners of the Americanism contest.
The keynote speaker is Roger Stoick, St. Michael VFW.
The ceremony will be led by Wright County VFW Commander Mark Brandt.
The Rockford Memorial Day Parade starts at 10 a.m. in front of the Rockford Middle School on Ash Street. Navy Memorial at Crow River (Bridge St. and Mechanic St.) at approximately 10:15 a.m. Memorial Service at Elmwood Cemetery (Maple Street) at ap-proximately 10:30 a.m.
A Lion's Pork Chop Dinner at Riverside Park, 8220 Elm Street, starts at 11 a.m. until sold out.
Historic Stork House Pie & Ice Cream Social, 8131 Bridge Street, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
A United Presbyterian Church Open House, 6301 Maple Street, approximately 10-11:30 a.m.
For more information, contact Rick Martinson at 612-875-1356 or rickm@city ofrockford.org.
Charles Claessens Legion Post 305 and Auxiliary Unit will observe Memorial Day with services Monday, May 29 at 10:30 a.m. in Railroad Park in Waverly
All veterans are welcome to march in the parade, which will assemble in front of the Waverly Village Hall at 10 a.m.
Awards for Mischke and Thielman announced during board meeting
By Ed DuBois
Awards for two administrators were recognized during the Buffalo Hanover Montrose (BHM) School Board meeting last Monday, May 22.
Buffalo High School Principal Mark Mischke has been named the Central Minnesota High School Principal of the Year by the Central Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals. The School Board offered congratulations and expressed their pride in his accomplishment.
Scott Thielman, BHM Superintendent, was recognized for his service as Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) President for 2016-17. Gary Amoroso, MASA executive director, was on hand to award a $1,000 scholarship on Thielman's behalf.
Supt. Thielman has also received the Region 6 District Leadership Award from the Minnesota Association of School Administrators.
Amoroso said Thielman has been an excellent representative for MASA during trips to Washington, D.C. Amoroso also expres-sed appreciation for Thielman's efforts at the State Capitol, where he has provided testimony regarding education matters.
"Thanks for lending him to us," Amoroso told the School Board.
In addition to presenting the scholarship, Amoroso presented Thielman with a special ring, which is traditionally given to the MASA president.
Thielman said the recipient of the scholarship will be announced at the Buffalo High School graduation June 9.
In other business;
In addition to the recognition for Supt. Thielman and Principal Mischke, the School Board is proud of:
• Mitch Bunting, senior at BHS who served as the Student Representative to the Board of Education for 2016-17;
• Discovery Elementary School students who raised $12,661 for the American Heart Association through the Jump Rope for Heart program;
• Meghan Cahill, Faith Kulzer, Elizabeth LaCasse, and Jonah Schmitz, BHS seniors who were selected to receive the Students of Excellence Award presented by Resource Training and Solutions;
• Ella Lichtenberg, 8th grader at Buffalo Community Middle School (BCMS) who took first place at the BHM Spelling Bee. Olivia Park, 5th grader at Northwinds Elementary School, and Jack Roberts, 7th grader at BCMS, tied for second place; and
• Sam King, Drew Elo, Olivia Carey, and Isabelle Thompson, 6th graders at BCMS who auditioned and were selected to perform in the American Choral Director's Association's Grades 4-5-6 Honor Choir.
BOND SALE SAVINGS
Six bids for the sale of $9.64 million in general obligation taxable OPEB bonds were opened on May 18, and the low bid from Baird of Milwaukee was an interest rate of 1.9859 percent. The refunding (refinancing) of the bonds will save the school district $673,598.
A bond rating of Aa2 for BHM helped the school district receive low bids. The rating reflects well on the district's financial management.
The timing of the bond sale worked out well. Stocks had dropped significantly, and investors were switching from stocks to bonds, creating more demand for bonds.
Numerous people spoke at the board meeting and asked for Scot Sorenson to be retained as the head girls' basketball coach at Buffalo High School. Many people stood up and explained why they feel Sorenson is an excellent coach, some speaking with passion and emotion.
Board discussed the matter during a closed session. Afterward, the Board voted to decline renewing Sorenson's coaching contract. Reasons included, "Your leadership style differs from the leadership style that is desired by the administration and the School Board."
(See related story in this week's issue of the Journal-Press for more information.)
The Board accepted $66,350 in donations and grants. Twenty-five donations included a $22,500 contribution from Buffalo American Legion Post 270 to help replace the Buffalo High School marching band trailer. The grants included $18,000 from United Way for the wRight Choice Backpack Buddies program.
BHS senior Mitch Bunting, the student representative to the School Board, was thanked for his service over the past year. He was on hand for his last board meeting before graduating. He is looking forward to activities planned for Student Appreciation Day, June 2. He took a moment to thank the board members for all they do for the students of the school district.
In other actions, the Board:
• approved MAP testing for use as the school district's nationally norm-referenced test in reading and math, beginning in the 2017-18 school year;
• approved three new courses at the Phoenix Learning Center, Botany, Community Connect and Engineering & Technology;
• approved Community Education budget adjustments, and the proposed budget is to be approved during the June 26 board meeting;
• approved a seasonal layoff resolution, which has been traditionally approv-ed at this time of the year for employees who do not work during the summer months (such as those in food service, education support professionals, clerical staff, and non-affiliated school year employees);
• approved an increase to $12 an hour for custodial substitutes, ESP (education support professionals) substitutes, clerical substitutes and food service substitutes, who have been paid from $10.45 to $11.55 an hour (The increase is aimed at keeping BHM competitive with other school districts.); and
• approved setting aside funds to act as a safety net for retiree insurance and severance obligations.
Upcoming meetings and activities include:
• ABE Graduation, Tuesday, June 6, 7:00 p.m., DES Aud.;
• PRIDE Graduation, Wednesday, June 7, 1:00 p.m., PRIDE facility;
• Phoenix Learn Center Graduation, Thursday, June 8, 7:00 p.m., Buffalo High School Performing Arts Center;
• Buffalo High School Graduation, Friday, June 9, 7:00 p.m., BHS.
• Board workshop, Monday, June 12, 4:30 p.m., Board Room at Discovery Center; and
• Board meeting, Monday, June 26, 7:00 p.m., Board Room, Discovery Center.
BHS girls' basketball coach contract not being renewed
By Ed DuBois
A room full of supporters spoke in favor of keeping Coach Scot Sorenson, but after a closed session, the Buffalo Hanover Montrose (BHM) School Board voted last Monday evening, May 22 not to renew his coaching contract.
Reasons for the action were included in a letter that was hand-delivered to Sorenson Tuesday and included the following:
"You have failed to meet the administration's and School Board's expectations."
"The administration and School Board want the District's basketball program to move in a different direction."
"Your leadership style differs from the leadership style that is desired by the administration and the School Board."
Many of those speaking at the board meeting did so with passion and some emotion. Statements to the board members were followed by loud, strident applause.
Emails were read from parents who stated Sorenson impacted the players positively. Because of his influence, one former player now wants to be a coach, the Board was told. Statements were made about Sorenson teaching skills while providing encouragement.
He was committed to the kids, a supporter said. He was a positive role model. A parent said her daughter is distraught that her coach is being dismissed.
The Board was told letting Sorenson go would be a huge mistake. He is great at helping out at all levels of the girls' basketball program, and every player was important to him. He often devoted his personal time to the program.
If there was a problem, the activities director should have mentored him and told him how to improve, the Board was told. It does no good to change coaches every three or four years, a speaker added.
A former player said letting Sorenson go would be one of the worst things for the program, which has been built up by Sorenson and has enjoyed significant success, including two state tournament appearances. He genuinely cares about the players, both on and off the court, the Board was told. He teaches both basketball skills and life skills.
A petition to keep the coach was signed by his players, the Board was told. An opposing coach, speaking for several coaches, said Sorenson is respected for how well he prepares his team and for how well he works with each player, showing professionalism, dignity, passion, and class.
"I need to be more like him. He is the type of coach I want for my daughters," a coach said.
Sorenson is respected both here and around the state, he added.
Board Chair Dave Wilson said all the comments would be taken very seriously.
"We will consider what you said," he told the audience.
The letter to Sorenson stated, "Pursuant to Min-nesota Statutes section 122A.33, subdivision 3, the purpose of this letter is to notify you that the School Board of Independent School District No. 877 has declined to renew your contract to serve as the head coach of the girls' varsity basketball team. As a result of this action, you will not be coaching for the District during the 2017-2018 school year."
Upon request, Sorenson may appear before the School Board for the purpose of responding to the Board's reasons for not renewing his coaching contract. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the School Board will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 26 in the Board Room located in the Discovery Center.
"If you would like to request an opportunity to respond to the Board's reasons at the meeting on June 26, 2017, please contact Moreen Orr or Evan Ron-ken, Directors of Human Resources, on or by June 20, 2017, at 763-682-8713. If you make such a request, the portion of the meeting addressing the reasons for your nonrenewal will be open or closed, at your election, unless the School Board closes the meeting to discuss private data in accordance with the Open Meeting Law," the letter concluded.
Train and car collide in Maple Lake
A car was struck by a train last Monday, May 22 shortly before 1 p.m. The driver, Max Boltman, 67, of Maple Lake was the loan occupant of the vehicle. According to the Wright County Sheriff's Office, Boltman was transported to Buffalo Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Just before the crash, Boltman was stopped at the crossing arm on Birch Ave. S. The train proceeded through the intersection, and at some point, Boltman suffered a medical issue, causing his vehicle to move forward toward the train. The car and train collided, causing extensive damage to Boltman's vehicle, as well as to several of the empty train cars. (Photo courtesy of John Haack of Maple Lake)
Gale Holmquist presented Lifetime Volunteer Award
The Lifetime Volunteer Award is presented to Gale Holmquist (left) by Mike Walsh (right). (Photo courtesy of Buffalo Community Theater)
In honor of their 30th anniversary, Buffalo Community Theater (BCT) awarded their first Lifetime Volunteer Award to Buffalo's Gale Holmquist last weekend.
Gale became involved with the local nonprofit by playing piano in the pit orchestra for "Brigadoon" in 1987 and has been involved ever since, playing for over 20 productions, many rehearsals, auditions, and even appearing on stage in the role of Mrs. Fraser (the grumpy accompanist) in BCT's 1996 production of "Stepping Out."
Director Michael Walsh, who presented the award last Sunday, May 21 during the performance of "Broadway in Buffalo," commented that "there have been some BCT productions that would never have been possible without her, 'Side By Side By Sondheim' and the first couple of years of Broadway in Buffalo ... and certainly the musical quality of the shows would not have been the same without her at the piano. Her standards of musicianship have always been an inspiration to me."
Gale was credited with having helped make BCT what it is today, and she was recognized for all the time, talent and music she shared with the Theater and with the community.
"Buffalo Community Theater is a volunteer organization that brings together the time and talents of actors, builders, singers, painters, dancers, technicians, costumers, and, of course, musicians," Walsh said while presenting the award. "I have had the pleasure of working with Gale for over 30 years in at least 20 and more likely about 25 pit orchestras over the years. I couldn't find all of the programs for confirmation. But as she mentioned in the pre-show video interview, it is the hours of rehearsing and recording that I remember well."
"She has always been eager to contribute from the first show she did for BCT to last weekend when I emailed her and asked her to come play for the 'Mary Poppins' auditions," Walsh also said.
"So, for all the time and talent and music you have shared with BCT and with the community, we are happy to pull you up out of the pit to recognize you for all you have given to us. Oh and by the way, I'll be talking to you after the show about something else I would like you to play for," Walsh concluded. "Your contributions have helped make BCT what it is today. Thank you for sharing your talents and skills accompanying many rehearsals, auditions and Pit Orchestras. You've been on stage, behind stage, and your 'whoo-hoos' make audiences come to life and give heart to every performer. You've been a supporter of BCT in every way. Thank you, Gale."
Arrest involving 13 pounds of meth made in Buffalo
An arrest involving 13 pounds of methamphetamine was made in Buffalo recently. The MSP Airport Police worked with the Wright County Sheriff's Office on the case. The Buffalo Police Department was also involved.
According to a criminal complaint on file in Wright County, the MSP Airport Police contacted the Sheriff's Office in regard to a suspicious package that was intercepted. The package was destined for 1110 Leo Lane in Buffalo. The MSP Airport Police executed a search warrant on the package and discovered it contained ap-proximately 13 pounds of a white crystal substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine.
A controlled delivery of the package in Buffalo was set up. An officer with the MSP Airport Police worked in an undercover capacity as a UPS driver and delivered the package to 1110 Leo Lane, where it was accepted by a resident. A few minutes later, officers executed a search warrant. The resident who accepted the package cooperated and told the officers a man who allegedly promised $500 for the package was on his way to pick up the package. The officers were given a description of the man and his vehicle.
All units cleared from the residence but maintained surveillance on the home. Two officers stayed in a back room of the house. A short time later, a man arrived and pickup up the package. His vehicle was stopped, and he was arrested.
The suspect, Juan Pablo Anzaldo, 31, of Brooklyn Center, has been charged with first-degree sale of 17 grams or more of meth and first-degree possession of 50 grams or more of meth.
Kept copters flying in Vietnam
click to see
Jerome Bradford of American Legion Post 270 in Buffalo helped provide transportation for intelligence personnel
By Ed DuBois
If there was such a thing as a good tour in Vietnam, Jermone Bradford experienced it. He explained it this way, "It was a good tour; I didn't have to kill anybody."
A 1964 Monticello High School graduate, Bradford realized after finishing high school there was a good chance he could be drafted. He said he was someone who preferred to control his own destiny. He spoke to a recruiter and obtained a guarantee that he could be a helicopter mechanic if he enlisted in the Army.
"I did not want to walk through the jungle and be shot at on a daily basis, going out on patrol for days at a time," he said. "If I waited to be drafted, they would put us where needed."
Bradford joined the Army on Oct. 30, 1967. His guarantee to be a helicopter mechanic was contingent upon one condition.
"I could be a helicopter mechanic as long as my test scores were good enough," he said, "and they were."
He was sworn in at an induction center in Minneapolis, and soon he was undergoing basic training at Fort Campbell, Ky.
Six weeks later, he was on his way to Fort Rucker, Ala. for aviation training. He was promoted to private first class (PFC) when he completed the training and was then sent to a school to learn about the UH-1 "Huey" helicopter.
"I was very lucky," Bradford said. "I came out at the top of the class as a distinguished graduate. This helped me with later promotion and a better job."
Small aviation unit
Promoted to specialist four (SP-4), he received orders to go back to Fort Campbell, where a small aviation unit was formed to go to Vietnam. Before leaving the USA, he was promoted to SP-5.
His unit was small but unique. He was part of an aviation detachment to the 525 Military Intelligence Unit based in Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam.
"They had posts all over the country, including: Saigon, Bien Hoa, Nha Trang, and Da Nang," Bradford said. "We had a helicopter at each site. We also had two fixed-wing Beaver airplanes and one airplane called a King Air, which was an 11-passenger, twin-engine, turbo-prop aircraft."
All the aircraft were used to transport intelligence personnel to various locations all over the country.
"I was stationed in Bien Hoa for the first five months in Vietnam," Bradford said. "I was the crew chief in charge of helicopter maintenance.
"When on a mission, I was on the left side of the aircraft with an M-60 machinegun. On the right was a door gunner. His job was to keep the helicopter and the machineguns clean."
Brought to Saigon
Eventually, the commanding officer decided to put Bradford in charge of the overall maintenance for the unit. He was brought to Saigon, and a maintenance area was set up at Phu Loi, a base just north of Saigon.
"I received an Army Commendation Medal for the work I did," Bradford said.
"I must say, I have many stories of my time in Vietnam, some good and some not so good," he mentioned. "Because my base was in Saigon, I made Vietnamese friends. I would like to go back and visit the country."
Altogether, Bradford was in Vietnam about two and a half years, from October 1967 to June 1970.
One close call
He remembers one close call during that time. He was driving back to Saigon from Phu Loi with another unit member one night when they experienced mechanical trouble with their truck. Bradford stayed with the truck while the other soldier went to get help.
All alone at night in the truck, Bradford heard gunfire, and then he saw two Vietnamese soldiers walking toward the truck.
Bradford was not sure if the two soldiers were friendly or enemies.
"As one of the soldiers reached for the door of the truck, I locked and loaded my M-16 (rifle)," he said. "The soldier asked, 'Got a cigarette?' I replied, 'I don't smoke.' After the soldiers left, I spent the rest of the night hidden in a ditch."
"You learned to be cautious," Bradford continued. "You learn you don't run over shoeboxes in the road, and you don't trust little kids."
Happier times while overseas involved an apartment that U.S. soldiers rented in Saigon. It was known as "Han's Place." The soldiers often brought food from the mess hall to share with neighboring families. Those who brought the food were considered "A-number-one."
A Thai bar the U.S. soldiers visited offered live band music, which often included Beatles tunes. Bradford enjoyed getting to know members of an Australian band.
Manufacturing and welding
After getting out of the Army, Bradford worked in manufacturing and welding. He was employed by Gresen Manufacturing of Minneapolis from 1973 to 1980. The company made hydraulic components.
After leaving the company, Bradford moved to Colorado to attend an aviation repair school. He worked at Kmart in Boulder. Later, he worked as a maintenance supervisor at Western Automation Laboratories in Boulder until 1986.
He returned to Minnesota and worked as a production manager at Foam Fabricators in Silver Creek Township until back troubles forced a change. He started his own small engine repair business, and in 1989, he became the onsite manager of Twelve Oaks Apartments in Monticello. He also puts in many hours cleaning the American Legion Club in Buffalo.
A 21-year member of American Legion Post 270 in Buffalo, he served as the Legion Commander from about 2006 to 2011.
Bradford is a consistent participant in veterans' activities at the Legion Club, and you will most likely see him at the Memorial Day ceremony on Monday morning, May 29.
He considers himself fortunate he did not have to take part in combat while in Vietnam. Most Vietnam veterans might likely tell you their tours of duty were not pleasant. But Bradford says he had a good tour; "I didn't have to kill anybody."