School Board talks new school year, recognizes yearbook accomplishments
By Arynn Maznio
The BHM School Board was called to order on Monday, August 27 at 7 p.m. After the Pledge of Allegiance, the board council opened the floor for open forum and approved the agenda. The board recognized a “well-run machine” – the Buffalo High School Tatanka Yearbook team, which earned an All-American recognition from the National Scholastic Press Association for the 2018 yearbook. This recognition is the highest award the yearbook team could receive, earning high scores in each category of judging (Essentials, Coverage, Writing and Editing, Design and Photography). The Editors-In-Chief were Lindsey Kauffman and Hannah Park. Alison Tokkesdal was the Managing Editor.
The School Board council members reported several donations received for District 877 schools and unanimously approved two actions pertaining to the upcoming school year. The Handbook for the 2018-2019 school year for the following was approved: BHS, BCMS, PLC, PRIDE, ECSE, ECFE, and Volunteer. The Designation of Identified Official With Authority (IOWA) for Superintendent Scott Theilman was also approved.
Director of Finance and Operations Gary Kawlewski reported on the levy process and timelines. He shared that it will be identical to last year. The approval for the levy will be sought during the September 24 meeting. Approval is needed by the end of September.
Dave Wilson reported that five individuals will attend the next safety training. Within the training sessions, participants focus on three key areas for school safety: facilities, procedures, and personnel. The session on facilities focuses on access areas to school buildings. The procedures session covers the systems and drills in place in case of the event of a fire, lockdown, or other emergency, along with the way in which staff respond to situations. The session on personnel focuses on the mental health of both staff and students in order to provide preventative and proactive solutions. After attending the meetings, current procedures will be assessed and recommendations will be made for any changes or improvements.
Scott Theilman reported on the current planning to reinforce three walls at the Wright Technical Center. The final budget items for the project were planned and it is recommended that a bond of $650,000 be used to cover the costs. The Governing Board meets on Tuesday, September 4 to make decisions on the project funding.
Following the committee reports, the School Board closed the general meeting at 7:15 p.m. to hold a closed session.
• A Board Workshop meeting will be held at Buffalo Community Middle School on Monday, September 10 at 4:30 p.m.
• The next BHM Board Meeting will be held on Monday, September 24 at 7 p.m. at the Discovery Elementary School Board Room.
Buffalo Theatre closed, guests referred to Delano and Monticello theatres
If you were planning to see a movie in Buffalo on Tuesday, August 28, you were met with a darkened theatre and a “closed” sign taped to the front door.
The Buffalo Theatre is currently closed. The sign reads: “Thank you for your patronage. We are sorry but this theatre is closed at this time. Please stay tuned for more updates. We are very sorry for any inconvenience.”
The closure note refers guests to Monticello or Delano’s theatres, or to the popular Fandago film app for nearby locations.
Commissioners okay County Ditch 10 application, vote to sell
The 11th Annual Classics by the Lake car show is taking place on Saturday, Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Sturges Park, Buffalo. Admission is free. Come and see hundreds of classic cars throughout the park overlooking Buffalo Lake. Trophies are going to the top 75 cars chosen by the show car owners. Also, a Spectators Award, a Sponsors Award and a Best in Show Award are being presented. All vehicles of interest are welcome. Parking spaces fill up quickly, and goody bags are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Enjoy shopping and antiquing nearby in downtown Buffalo too! Food and refreshments will be available on site at the car show. Entertainment to be provided by “Chopper, The World’s Nuttiest DJ.” For more information or to pre-register, visit www.morriesbuffalofordstore.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 763-765-1943. (Photo taken from the Wright County Journal-Press)
Buffalo Hospital Foundation has rebranded its annual event, which recognizes those receiving care for cancer.
Each year, Buffalo Hospital Foundation hosts the Street Party of Hope in Downtown Buffalo, Minn. This annual event, formerly called the Pink Street Party, elevates cancer awareness and raises money for Buffalo Hospital Foundation’s Community Cancer Care Fund, which provides financial support to individuals who have found their cancer diagnosis to be a financial burden. The new name was created to better recognize people experiencing any type of cancer. Along with the new name, the event is taking place this year on a new date: Thursday, September 13, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Throughout September, downtown Buffalo will be illuminated with lights in eight different colors, recognizing many of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, as well as caregivers. Community members are invited to sponsor a string of lights as a tribute to loved ones who have experienced cancer and will also have the opportunity to hang a medallion in their honor on one of the eight colored trees on the Splash Pad during the event. The highlight of the evening will be at 8 p.m. where organizers will throw the switch, illuminating downtown in lights that honor, support, celebrate and remember those who have experienced cancer. To learn more about these tributes and honor someone you love, go online and visit streetpartyofhope.org.
A variety of vendors will line the streets, and classic favorites and modern hits by “Crows Feet” will fill the air from the bandstand located near the Splash Pad. The event will also feature a performance by members of the Buffalo Community Theater, as they perform numbers from their fall show, “Company.” Over 60 business and organizations, in addition to food and beverage vendors, will be there in support of the Street Party of Hope. New this year is an Almost 5k Fun Run/Walk along the shores of Buffalo Lake, giving people another way to experience the event and honor loved ones by running or walking in their honor. Games, food, and festivities make this an event the whole family can enjoy. Be one of the most colorful guests or pets for a chance to win a prize!
On Saturday and Sunday, September 8 and 9, members of Chapter 878 of the Experimental Aircraft Association (https://www.eaa.org) will be celebrating general aviation at the Maple Lake Airport. The public is invited to be a part of all events.
Saturday starts early with “Young Eagle” flights for youth ages eight through 17 (www.youngeagles.org), which includes an introduction to aviation and an aircraft ride, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Contact either Kyle Weatherly at email@example.com, 612-759-5227, or Kurt Pennuto, firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-209-3478 for more info and to register for the flights.
Saturday evening is the Third Annual Airport Camp-Out in tents under aircraft wings or in campers. The evening includes burgers provided by the chapter, plus a “pot luck” meal (bring a dish to share) at 5 p.m. The evening concludes with a bonfire, socializing and recorded music.
Sunday, September 9, is the 32nd Annual Pork Chop Dinner, a noon meal served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a hot dog meal available. This popular fly-in event attracts pilots and aviation enthusiasts from around Minnesota with a wide variety of aircraft, as well as community supporters of the airport and those who want to see the airplanes, talk to pilots and learn about aviation.
This is a major fund-raising event for the chapter, which was formed in 1986 and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Funds are used to support the education and safety missions of the chapter, as well as for youth aviation promotion.
Information about the Experimental Aircraft Association and EAA Chapter 878 will be available. Face painting and a bouncy house will help keep the youngsters entertained.
Persons 18 and older are invited to inquire about “Eagle Flights,” an EAA mentoring program for adults who are interested in learning to fly.
For more information, contact Kurt at 612-209-3478, or email@example.com.
Pictured above is a graphic from the Wright County Highway Department, regarding the CSAH 35/CR 134 roundabout project, which is south of Lake Pulaski. The blue route depicts the detour, while purple indicates a closure. (Courtesy of the Wright Co. Hwy. Department)
The Wright County Highway Department would like to update the public on the construction of the Roundabout at the intersection of County State Aid Highway 34 and County Road 134 in the city of Buffalo, that began in early August.
The construction improvements consist of a modern roundabout to improve safety and traffic flow through the intersection. Fehn Excavating, Inc. of Albertville is the prime contractor doing the work. A posted detour route is in effect to direct traffic around the work zone. A temporary All-Way Stop condition has been placed along the detour route at the intersection of County State Aid Highway 35 and County Road 117. This All-Way Stop is temporary for the duration of the detour due to the increase in traffic volumes along the posted detour. The All-Way Stop will be removed upon the completion of the project and the intersection will return to side street stop control only.
Please continue to follow the posted detour signing to navigate around the work zone, and we appreciate you adjusting your driving schedule accordingly to accommodate this important construction project.
If you have any questions, please call 763-682-7383 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.
I-94 in Monticello
Additionally, Motorists on both directions of Interstate 94 in Monticello should watch for stopped traffic overnight as the road is reduced to a single lane, and intermittently closes, which began on Monday, Aug. 27.
The lane and road closures are needed while crews set bridge beams, and begin deck construction, for the new I-94/Fallon Avenue overpass bridge in Monticello.
Motorists should plan for the following traffic changes beginning Aug. 27:
• Both directions of I-94 between Highway 25 and County Road 18 will be intermittently reduced to a single lane at 9:30 p.m.
• All lanes going in one direction of I-94 will close for up to 15 minutes at a time, up to five times per night, for four to five nights; these full closures will occur between 10:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.
• No lane or road closures will occur on I-94 in Monticello over the Labor Day holiday weekend, from Friday night, Aug. 31 through Monday night, Sept. 3.
• The closures are expected to be complete by Sept. 14.
All times and dates above are tentative, and dependent on weather.
The new Fallon Avenue bridge is one part of a larger project to improve the transportation system in the area. The project will construct a new roadway and bridge that spans I-94 and connects Fallon Avenue to Seventh Street and includes three new roundabouts plus additional sidewalk and trail connections. When complete, the project will decrease congestion, improve mobility and safety for motorists and pedestrians, and provide improved access to schools and businesses on the south side of I-94 in Monticello.
The project is being led by the city of Monticello. For more information, visit www.ci.monticello.mn.us/projects.
For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota, check www.511mn.org.
The Lake Constance Improvement Association (LCIA), in a combined effort with Wright County Soil and Water, as well as the Minnesota DNR will be treating Lake Constance for Eurasian Milfoil. The treatment will take place over the period of August 31 to September 7. They will be treating 1.38 acres at an average depth of four feet. All treatment areas will be posted prior to the application. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
In honor of Labor Day, the office of Wright County Journal-Press and The Drummer will be closed Monday, September 3. Early copy is requested for the issue of September 6. Thank you.
It’s the last Thursday of Concerts in the Park, so why not make it a picnic? Don’t miss the final performance of music by “Butch Automatic and the Four Speeds,” who will perform a variety of throwback 50’s and 60’s tunes that are sure to get you up out of your seat with feet tapping like the good old days!
This event, as they have been all August, is free of charge and meets in Sturges Park at 7 p.m. on August 30. A special thanks to all the sponsors of this event, who made it possible for the entire summer, and filled our August Thursdays with fun-loving music and good times.
Buffalo Hospital Foundation invites runners and walkers of all ages and abilities to sign up for the Street Party of Hope Almost 5K Fun Run/Walk, taking place Thursday, September 13, at 6 p.m. This year, the Street Party of Hope, formerly known as Pink Street Party, is going bigger, better, and brighter for the 10th Anniversary Celebration. In order to better recognize people who have experienced any kind of cancer, the event has a new name and date, along with new features.
The Almost 5K Fun Run/Walk is another way people can honor loved ones who have experienced cancer. Each runner will receive a runner bib with a place to write the names of those they are running for. Awards will be given out to the best-dressed individual and best group effort for dressing in Street Party of Hope theme colors in honor of loved ones who have experienced cancer.
Registration is open online, so please visit: streetpartyofhope.org/run. Advanced registration is $25 and day-of registration is $30, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Street Party of Hope. The race begins near the Splash Pad in downtown Buffalo and runners will run along the north end of Buffalo Lake, turn around and finish at the Buffalo Library parking lot, where treats and swag bags will be distributed.
For more information, call Buffalo Hospital Foundation at 763-684-6800 or visit streetpartyofhope.org/run.
September is right around the corner, and just happens to be “Library Card Sign-Up Month,” a time when the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide, including all 32 Great River Regional Libraries (GRRL), join together to remind parents, caregivers and students that signing up for a library card is the first step towards academic achievement and lifelong learning.
How can you celebrate this month? Head to your library in September to see what’s new and take part in the celebration. Do you have friends or family members who don’t have library cards? Invite them to join you! It’s quick, easy and most importantly, it’s free.
We have a lot to look forward to here at GRRL this month, including a week dedicated to our groundbreaking “Fines Forgiveness” initiative, and new, patron-designed library cards. Stay tuned for more details on these events coming soon.
Late summer and early fall is the best time for mushrooms. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been out and about searching high and low for all sorts of mushrooms. I find peace in the simple act of walking in the woods without a specific purpose, and being happy with whatever I find.
About 25 years ago, I wrote a book about how to find wild, edible mushrooms. The book highlighted six common edible mushrooms that didn’t have poisonous look-a-likes. At the time, it seemed like not many people were willing to spend the time to learn how to safely collect edible mushrooms. Now, I am updating this book because it seems so many more people are interested in collecting edible mushrooms.
Finding and collecting edible mushrooms might seem like a daunting task, considering that there is an estimated 5.1 million different kinds of fungi in the world. Compare that to about 10,000 species of birds, and only 5,000 species of mammals. With over 5 million different kinds of fungi, no one can be an expert. It is just too much information for any one person to know it all.
First, let’s talk about what is a mushroom, or more technically, called a fungi. I like to make a comparison between an apple tree and fungi. The apple tree and the fungi are the living parts. The tree grows above ground compared to the fungi that grows underground or inside a fallen log. When it comes time for the apple tree to reproduce, it grows apples with the seeds inside. The apple is a vehicle to transport the seeds (within) to another location to grow another tree. When a fungi wants to reproduce, it does so by sending up, or sending out, mushrooms. The mushroom contains all of the spores (not seeds) for the fungi to reproduce. The spores blow away on the wind to grow another fungi. So the mushroom is just like the apple, only you can’t see the tree part unless you dig it up.
Fungi are not plants. The cells which make up the two organisms are fundamentally different. Plants are made up primarily of cellulose, while fungi consist mostly of chitin (pronounced kitin). Chitin is also the primary component of the exoskeletons of insects and what your fingernails and hair are made of. It is more difficult to digest than cellulose.
Fungi play one of the most important roles in all our ecosystems. Fungi are found in terrestrial, marine, and freshwater environments all over the planet. In fact, it is estimated that fungi grow in every square inch of soil everywhere. Fungi spores have been found in the air several miles high.
Fungi are on the front lines in the community of decomposers. In fact, without fungi, every branch and tree that has fallen in the forest would still be laying on the ground if it weren’t for the decomposing powers of the fungi. They take the large, dead objects, like tree trunks, and start breaking them down to the point where bacterial and other organisms can take over. This is so important to recycle the nutrients locked up in the trees and return the nutrients back to the soil, and thus, making it available for new trees.
Finding edible mushrooms and avoiding the deadly ones is the real trick. I was reminded of this recently when photographing an edible Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus) mushroom on a grassy trail. Just six feet away was a deadly Amanita mushroom that looks ridiculously similar. If you weren’t paying full attention, you might easily think they were both the edible Shaggy, and pick the deadly Amanita. The results would be disastrous.
By the way, everyone who has ever eaten a deadly mushroom reported that they tasted great. Unlike what you see in the movies and TV, when you eat a deadly mushroom, you don’t suddenly drop over dead. In fact, it is a long, drawn out process of many days and weeks. In fact, the first symptoms don’t show up until 48 to 72 hours (two to three days) after you eat the mushroom. This is because most of these toxins will kill your liver, and the first symptoms occur when your liver starts to fail.
The only treatment for this is a liver transplant. Something I would not recommend. So, this year, enjoy the mushrooms. There is an old saying that goes like this: There are old mushroom hunters and there are bold mushroom hunters, but there are NO old and bold mushroom hunters. Until next time...
Stan Tekiela is an author / naturalist and wildlife photographer who travels the US to study and photograph wildlife. He can be followed on facebook.com and twitter.com. He can be contacted via his web page at www.naturesmart.com.
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