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Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Wright County Journal-Press & The Drummer

Annexation matters occupy Council

By Doug Voerding

The Buffalo City Council at its regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 21 addressed several property issues, including annexation and zoning.

Three annexation issues required separate actions by the council.

Currently, there are six "infill" properties; they are properties 100 percent surrounded by the city.  To begin the annexation process for those six properties, the city will hold a public hearing on Monday, Sept. 18 at 7:00 p.m.

The city will be giving a 90-day notice of intent to annex fourteen parcels that are 60 percent surrounded by the city.  All are in Buffalo Township.  Seven of those properties are near the airport and owned by the city, so seven property owners will receive the intent to annex notice.

And, after reviewing a petition by Western Land Company, the council adopted a joint resolution to annex 40 acres of Maple Lake Township for the Bella Vista Second Addition.

With all annexations, the city provides a two-year tax reimbursement to the township.

Overtime Properties had applied for a zoning district amendment for 105 - 2nd Ave NE.  The property is currently zoned R-7 Residential Special Purpose and High Density but is currently nonconforming with a single-family residence.  The property is on the east side of Tower Hill apartments.

Overtime had proposed that the property be rezoned to R-3 Single and Two Family in order to operate the property as a duplex.

After Councilmember Eric Anderson, the liaison to the Planning Commission, indicated that there would be stalls for four vehicles, the council approved the zoning change.

United Faith Community applied for a conditional use permit (CUP) to operate a religious institution in the south half of 8 - 1st Ave S.  The building is owned by R & C Investments, which has approved the use.  Ritzy Replay is in the north half of the building.

The CUP is needed as the building is in the B-5 Central Business district.

The council approved the CUP for United Faith Community, which is recognized as a congregation of the United Church of Christ.

A variance and a CUP were needed for Bruce McAlpin, who is adding a 12-by-14 foot room to the northeast side of his home at 1937 Pulaski Road.

The lot is substandard in size, and the addition encroaches into the required setbacks. The addition would also increase the impervious surfaces on the property to more than that allowed by ordinance.

The council agreed to the variance and the CUP provided that McAlpin removes two cement pads to keep the existing percentage of impervious surface, as noted in the Planning Commission recommendation for approval.


Buffalo Police Officer Mark Brown has been promoted to Police Sergeant.  The position has been vacant nearly two years.  The promotion approved by the council came with strong support of Police Chief Pat Budke.

Brown has been a Buffalo police officer since 2010.  He had worked as a patrol officer and as the school resource officer at Buffalo Community Middle School.

The council also accepted the resignation of Emilee Topp.

Nick Knese Construction


Dave Carothers, a Buffalo resident and Wild Marsh Men's League golfer, recently won the 2017 Minnesota Golf Association Amateur Championship.

Mayor Teri Lachermeier presented Carothers with a plaque that read "In recognition of Dave Carothers, 2017 Minnesota Golf Association Amateur Champion, the Buffalo City Council recognizes the significant accomplishment of Dave Carothers by naming Wednesday, August 23, 2017, as Dave Carothers Day at Wild Marsh Golf Course."

Carothers has been playing at Wild Marsh for 15 years.  He said that although the course is demanding, "you learn how to drive well." Carothers also praised the staff at the course.



In other action, the council:

• heard an informal report from Eric Anderson about Sunday liquor sales. Anderson said that Sundays are now the second busiest day at the municipal liquor store on Highway 55 with about 40 customers per hour and sales averaging between $800 and $1000 per hour. Anderson also said that, since the Sunday liquor sales have started, the gross profit has been about $22,000.

• heard during the open forum, the plans of Brady Elsenpeter who is opening "What's the Scoop," an ice cream store, on Division Street in downtown Buffalo (18 Division St., just west of J's).  The store, featuring Cedar Crest ice cream, may be opening in the next couple of weeks.

• approved an amendment to the Trailblazer Joint Powers Agreement to allow Trailblazer to exercise a limited line of credit.

• approved the biennial airport maintenance and operations grant agreement with the state. MnDOT will pay for 75 percent of all eligible maintenance and operations costs up to $21,382 for each of the next two years.

• approved a certificate of compliance for the completion of the Allina Health Clinic at 755 Crossroads Campus Drive.

• approved a temporary on-sale liquor license for the Buffalo Lions for a Ladies' Night at Health Source Chiropractic, 639 Ryan's Way, on Sept. 22 from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.

• held a public hearing and then certified three delinquent utility accounts to the county tax roll.

• held a workshop session following the meeting to discuss city issues.


New Highway 24 bridge in Clearwater now open

The new Highway 24 bridge, which spans the Mississippi River and Wright County Road 7/Main Street in Clearwater, replaces the existing, 57-year-old bridge, which is on the far side of the new bridge in this photo.  (Photo courtesy of MnDOT)

Motorists will find all lanes of Highway 24 at the Mississippi River in Clearwater switched onto the new Highway 24 bridge this week.

The new Highway 24 bridge, which spans the Mississippi River and Wright County Road 7/Main Street in Clearwater, replaces the existing, 57-year-old bridge.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), the new two-lane bridge will preserve and improve an important local and regional river crossing serving an average of 16,000 trips daily, with weekend recreational traffic peaks well above 16,000 trips.  The new bridge has wider lanes, shoulders and a pedestrian trail separated by a concrete barrier for improved access and safety.

Construction on the new Highway 24 bridge began in August 2015.  The existing bridge, which is located only a few feet north, or upstream, of the new bridge, will be removed by fall 2018.

For more information about the Highway 24 Clearwater bridge project, or to view the project's webcam, visit 3/hwy24.


Stabbing in Minneapolis involves man who lived in Buffalo for a time

A victim of a stabbing in Minneapolis had formerly lived in Buffalo.

According to a KARE 11 TV news report, Minneapolis police said the stabbing occurred on the Midtown Greenway beneath the Bloomington Ave. overpass on the southern side of the city.

A 911 call around midnight last Sunday, Aug. 20 reported a stabbing victim was discovered.  The victim was identified as John Dale, 46.  His older brother, Marcus Dale, later told KARE 11 he was notified around 12:45 a.m. and then drove from Buffalo to check on John at HCMC (Hennepin County Medical Center).  John had reportedly been stabbed four times, and a stab in his chest pierced his heart.

Marcus reported his brother was in critical condition.  He said John was homeless and had been arrested several times.  Marcus told KARE his brother had lived with him in Buffalo for a while, but the landlord would not allow John to continue staying there because he was getting into too much trouble.

Police said two 18-year-old men were arrested in connection with John's stabbing and were being held on assault charges.


Auditions coming up for BCT show

Chev of DelanoAuditions for "The Murder Room" are coming up this weekend at Buffalo Community Theater.

"The Murder Room," directed by Jack Neveaux, might sound serious, but it is actually a mystery/comedy that promises to be an enormous amount of fun for everyone involved.

It has been described as Agatha Christie meets the Pink Panther.

If you've been thinking about getting on stage, or back on stage, "The Murder Room" could be the perfect opportunity for you, with roles for three men and three women.

More information is available on the BCT website,, and also on the Buffalo Community Theater Facebook page.

Two audition dates are available, though audition participants need only attend one: Friday, Aug. 25 from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Discovery Elementary School Auditorium, 214 1st Ave. NE, and the theater entrance is at the top of the ramp. (Door 5).

Regular rehearsals will take place weeknights beginning Sept. 5, leading up to performances Oct. 20-22, 27-29.

Volunteers are needed in all aspects of the production, so everyone is invited to stop by during auditions to sign up, or contact BCT via the website,, to help with things like ushering, set building, costumes, props, lighting and sound, painting, etc.

Don't miss this chance to get involved in your Community Theater.


New Ambassadors crowned during Montrose Days celebration

The 2017-2018 Montrose Ambassadors are Lexi Lyrek (left) and Sabrina Salonek (right), who were crowned on Sunday, Aug. 20 during the Montrose Days "Family Fun for Everyone" celebration.  Lexi was also named Miss Congeniality by the other candidates.  Monica Meidinger and Jocelyn Phillips were name junior ambassadors.  See more photos inside this week's issue of the Journal-Press.  (Photos by Doug Voerding)


Art and craft lovers fill up downtown Buffalo

The 34th Annual Art & Craft Festival in downtown Buffalo attracted another big crowd last Saturday, Aug. 19.  Artisans and artists displayed their creations under the white canopies, which covered the 1st Ave. and Division St.  See more photos inside this week's issue of the Journal-Press.  (Photos courtesy of Suzanne O'Dell, Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce)


'Gear-Heads' gather in Maple Lake

This 1956 Ford Thunderbird, owned by Paul and Linda Gustafson of Eden Praire, was decked out with a pink feather boa and black eyelashes around the headlights.  This car was one of many on display at the annual Gear-Head Get Together in Maple Lake last Saturday, Aug. 19.  The event has "No Trophies, No Plaques ... just a gathering of gear heads and their machines," organizers say.  Everyone was welcome to bring cars, trucks, lawn mowers, motorcycles, scooters, and other mechanical devices.  Live music and entertainment were offered, and a beer garden and food vendors were onsite.  The Get Together has become Maple Lake's largest event of the year.  See more photos inside this week's issue of the Journal-Press.  (Photos by Rob LaPlante)


Family of four Division I athletes

Basement walls getting covered with sports photos and more at Lee and Jean Carver's home

By Ed DuBois

The basement at Lee and Jean Carver's house was full of Corvette memorabilia at one time, and now a transformation has been taking place.  The walls are being covered with photos of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Most couples their age are proud of their families and like to show pictures.

Most of Lee and Jean's photos, and other visuals, are sports-related.  Three family members were Division I athletes, and a fourth has a verbal commitment to join the golf team at Duke University.

Four Division I athletes in one family?  Lee and Jean are amazed.


Basketball standout

It all began with their daughter, Stacy, who graduated from Buffalo High School in 1989 after stellar performances in volleyball and basketball.  She was a five-year starter in basketball and for a while held the Minnesota large school scoring record with 1,857 points.

Stacy then played at the University of Minnesota, where she held the record for most three-pointers in a game (nine), until Rachel Banham broke the record in 2016.

Stacy (Carver) Furtney now lives in St. Charles, Ill. with her husband, Craig, and they have three children.  Their daughter, Megan, will be a junior at St. Charles High School this fall, and she is the one who has a verbal commitment to play golf at Duke.

Megan's brother, Ben, a sophomore at St. Charles High, will likely start on the football team and also plays basketball.  Another brother, sixth-grader Jake, enjoys football, basketball and baseball.


St. Thomas basketball

Stacy's sister, Angie (Carver) Neisen, graduated from Buffalo High School in 1985 and was a volleyball, basketball and track athlete.  She now lives in New Prague with her husband, Chris.

"Angie was a tomboy, and she was at the gym a lot," Lee recalled.  "After high school, she played basketball at the University of St. Thomas."

"Angie led Buffalo High School three years in scoring, and then Stacy did it the next four years," Lee added.


New Prague teacher

Chris and Angie's two daughters, Steffi and Kenzie, were both Division I golfers.  Steffi was on five Missota Conference golf championship teams while at New Prague High School.  She then joined the University of Nebraska golf team, and she still holds the school record for the lowest score, 66.  Steffi was a 4.0 student at Nebraska and was a four-time Academic All-American.

Steffi now teaches in her hometown of New Prague and is also an assistant golf coach.


OSU golfer

Kenzie will be a senior at Oklahoma State University this fall.  Her team has won the Big 12 Conference championship twice.  Kenzie holds the conference tournament record low score of 207 (9 under), and like Steffi, she is also a 4.0 student.

At New Prague High School, she was on four Missota Conference golf champion teams.  The squad was a two-time Minnesota State High School League champion.

Lee added that Kenzie was the first female to win the State Open and State Amateur championships in the same year.


Two family members lost

Tragedy struck the family when brothers of Steffi and Kenzie, Sam and Tommy, died at age 16 and 15, respectively, from a rare genetic disorder, Hunter syndrome.  They were sons of Chris and Angie Neisen.  Sam died in March 2009, and Tom died in March 2015.


State Open Champ

On a happier note, Kenzie won the Minnesota State Open (Amateurs and Pros) at Deer Run in Victoria just a short time ago on Aug. 16.  She set a record with a score of 63 on the first day.

Kenzie is interested in going into medicine.  She is also thinking about whether or not to try pro golf for a while, Lee said.

Kenzie's golf achievements include: Minnesota state high school individual championship in both 2013 and 2014 (set record score, 135, 9 under, in 2014), Minnesota Women's Amateur Tournament Champion in 2015, Minnesota Women's Open Tournament Champion in 2015 (first time a women won both tournaments in the same year), 2015 Big 12 Conference Individual Champion, 2016 Big 12 Conference Individual Champion (set conference record of 207, 9 under), and 2017 Minnesota Women's Open Champion (set all-time record of 63 on the first day).


More in Delano

Other athletes in the Carver family include Lee and Jean's son, Kevin, who graduated from Buffalo in 1983.  He was in basketball and track.  He and his wife, Kathi, have three children.  Ryan will be a junior at Delano High School and plays basketball and baseball.  Grace will be a seventh grader and plays basketball and softball.  Nate will be a fifth grader.

Asked about his own athletic activities, Lee said he and his brother, Eddie Carver, "played softball all the time" while growing up.  Eddie was so involved with softball for so many years, a softball park in Montrose was named after him.


Corvette Cruisers

As for the Division I sports accomplishments of Lee and Jean's family, a desire to see the athletes in action has opened up opportunities to travel.  For example, this is the fourth year they are going to Hawaii for a golf tournament.

Lee mentioned he has a claim to some Hollywood fame.  Loni Anderson of the TV show "KKRP in Cincinnati" is a cousin.

Retired since 2006, Lee had started Sil-Pro, a medical manufacturing company in Delano.  His son, Kevin, is now the company president.

Lee and some friends started the Route 55 Corvette Cruisers in about 2008.  The club now has roughly 35 members (including several couples).  A highlight for club members was driving their cars on the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2015.  Lee has a photo from that day on a wall in the basement.


Proud of the kids

While Lee was using most of the basement for a collection of Corvette club mementoes, Jean was using a room upstairs for an extensive stamp collection.

They still enjoy their hobbies, but now most of what you see in the basement are photos and other visuals related to the extraordinary athletic accomplishments of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Like most couples their age, they are very proud of their family.

They have walls of pictures to prove it.

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