Another good Wright County Fair turnout
By Ed DuBois
A great crowd for the Combine Demolition Derby on the opening day of the 2017 Wright County Fair helped set the pace, and near-perfect county fair weather from Wednesday through Sunday, July 26-30 helped attract almost 68,000 people over the five days of the fair.
This year's total attendance was almost as good last year, when the attendance was about as good as it has ever been at the fair.
Fair Board President Ward Westphal said the county fair ran smoothly, and he commented that he was happy with fairgrounds improvements, such as a new fence and a new guardrail for the track at the Grandstand. Conditions were safer for the Demolition Derbies, he said.
Additionally, fairgrounds buildings were improved with a few upgrades and fresh paint. Some general maintenance on the fairgrounds spruced it up a bit for the arrival of the fairgoers, Westphal said.
He also mentioned that overhead speaker wires and electric wires at the Grandstand were put underground about five feet deep, which improved the appearance of the event area.
Throughout the fair, the daytime temperatures were in the 80s, the humidity was relatively low and no rain fell.
Fair Board member Dennis Beise said the Friday Demolition Derby sold out.
He mentioned that helicopter rides were new this year, and many people enjoyed an aerial view of the fair.
Beise also said four new food vendors were added this year, and all the food vendors reported they were happy.
"We thank everyone for coming to the fair," Beise commented.
While the carnival, musical entertainment, livestock shows, tractors pulls, exhibiting, and many other attractions were underway, a few extra special traditions included the Talent Show, Bull Riding, a Senior Citizens Program, a Military Day Program, and the Fairest of the Fair Coronation. (See the Talent Show results story elsewhere in this week's issue of the Journal-Press.)
At the Senior Citizens Program, this year's Outstanding Senior Citizens, Terry Marsh of Buffalo and Lillian Sukut of Maple Lake were recognized. Connie Lahr told the audience about Sukut's many community service activities and her consistent willingness to help others whenever needed. Sukut was not able to attend the program.
Dr. Andrew Burgdorf of the Buffalo Hospital and Allina Health Clinic told about the extraordinary airline pilot career of Terry Marsh, along with his numerous activities serving the community, including service on the hospital board and with the Buffalo Police Reserve. Marsh took some time to recognize loved ones in the audience and said his wife, Susan, always joins him at community events and projects "and ends up doing more than I do!"
The Wright County Farm Family of the Year, Willard Kreitlow, his daughter, Marienne Kreitlow, and her husband, Jerry Ford, all of Middleville Township, were recognized. Willard, at 95 years old, was the oldest man in attendance at the program.
Numerous flags, tributes to veterans, patriotic music, and a speech by Gen. Ken Penttila highlighted the Military Day Program. Penttila talked about the tremendous response by citizen soldiers whenever needed by their country. He also told about four Medal of Honor recipients who called Wright County their home. (The Journal-Press published a feature story about one of them, Dirk Vlug of Maple Lake, in the Dec. 15, 2016 issue.)
A "Ragged Old Flag" presentation by Kevin Dorsey was appreciated by the audience, as well as a U.S. flag folding demonstration by a group from Montrose.
Veterans groups from all over the county were represented at the program.
Wright County Veterans Services Director Greg Pickard welcomed any veterans with questions about services to visit him and several state officials he invited to the fair that day.
FAIREST OF THE FAIR
Three candidates were selected to serve as Fairest of the Fair Ambassadors in 2017-18. They are Madeline Clubb of Buffalo, Molly Pettit of Howard Lake and Ashton Roling of Cokato. Roling was also named Miss Congeniality.
One of the 2016-17 Ambassadors, Jenna Koosman of Howard Lake, is representing the Wright County Fair at the Minneapolis Aquatennial next year.
Aquatennial representatives at the Fairest of the Fair Coronation presented a Commodore Award for community service to Sheila Mazer of Monticello. She served on the Fairest of the Fair Committee and scheduled parades, appearances and activities for the Ambassadors.
Board approves new BHS/PLC assistant principal
By Ed DuBois
A new assistant principal for Buffalo High School (BHS) and Phoenix Learning Center (PLC) was approved during the Buffalo Hanover Montrose (BHM) School Board meeting last Monday, July 31.
Kyle Resler, the new appointee, will replace Kris Thompson, who stepped into the dual BHS/PLC position last school year, according to a BHM news release. Thompson will continue to serve as a BHS assistant principal.
What made Resler stand out above the other applicants was his broad experience working with a variety of students, according to the news release. From his work as a day-treatment program teacher to a special education teacher to an AP Social Studies teacher to an AVID Coordinator, Resler's experience is far-reaching. Throughout the interview process, words that were used to describe Resler were: sincere, humble, hard-working, supportive to the whole community, committed to growth, and a motivator. He is highly focused on learning and continuous improvement for students and staff.
"I'm extremely excited to have Mr. Resler join our BHS team," stated BHS Principal Mark Mischke. "He brings tremendous experiences from a variety of positions, both in a traditional high school and in alternative school settings, over the last 15 years. He is focused on serving students and staff in their pursuit of growth. He brings outstanding coaching skills and an internal drive that will make our team better."
Resler is excited to be working in a district he has had his sights set on for some time.
"I know people who work here in BHM Schools and this district has a great reputation," comments Resler. "I want to work with students who are in need of guidance and who have a community around them for support. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the next BHS assistant principal and am excited to get started."
Resler comes to BHS from Thomas Edison High School in Minneapolis, where for the last nine years he was a 9th grade administration program coordinator and building coach. He provided support to 9th grade teachers who worked to accommodate the transition and growth needs of students. Prior to that, he was a special education teacher in the Minneapolis School District and a social studies teacher for court-ordered teens at Keystone Community Services (day-treatment center).
He graduated from St. Cloud State University in 2003 with a degree in social studies. He continued his education at the University of St. Thomas, where in 2011 he earned a master's degree in special education, and in 2014 he earned his K-12 principal licensure from the University of St. Thomas.
Resler will begin at BHS on Aug. 14.
In other business:
A shortage of substitute teachers in many school districts led to a pay increase, which was ap-proved by the BHM School Board last Monday. The daily pay rate is increasing from $110 to $115. Those who work 20 days, will move up to $130 a day. After that, the rate goes up to $140 after 40 days and $150 after 80 days.
Evan Ronken, BHM director of human resourc-es, said the pay increase should help BHM stay competitive with other school districts in attracting and retaining substitute teachers.
The pay changes are expected to cost BHM about $21,000 more than the previous school year.
The Board approved a resolution calling for a school board election on Nov. 7. Three seats are open for the election. Those who currently hold those positions are Ken Ogden, Bob Sansevere and Stan Vander Kooi.
The filing period for those who want to be candidates in the election began Aug. 1 and will close on Aug. 15.
The Board discussed an Emergency Prescriptive Medication Plan, which is being developed and could be approved by the Board on Aug. 28.
Much of the discussion involved Epipens and who would be authorized to administer Epipen medications. A decision will need to be made on whether or not the school district would have Epipens available, or students would need to bring their own Epipens to school.
About 34 students have identified as being allergic to insect stings. Many others have been identified as having food allergies, and about 100 students have been identified as having heart conditions.
In other actions, the Board:
• received information about a trip being planned for six students to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis Oct. 24-28 (The Board could give final approval on Aug. 28.);
• approved the elementary school handbook; and
•accepted donations of $250 from the Buffalo Rotary Club, $1,889 from the Wright Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and $1889 from the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association.
Upcoming school board activities include:
• A board workshop Monday, Aug. 14, 4:30 p.m., Board Room;
• A regular board meeting Monday, Aug. 28, 7:00 p.m., Board Room; and
• A District Welcome Back Wednesday, Aug. 30, 9:00 a.m., BHS PAC.
New American Legion officers installed
By Ed DuBois
Around 40 people attended a formal installation of American Legion Post 270 officers in Buffalo on July 24. Bob Larson's term as post commander came to a close, and new Commander Scott Edwards began his term.
Larson commented that a formal installation had not been conducted for several years, and he was pleased to see so many people turn out for the event.
Besides Edwards, other new officers include: 1st Vice Commander Al Gulden, 2nd Vice Commander Jim Rykes, Adjutant Bruce Kottom, Finance Officer Jerome Bradford, and Chaplain Bonnie Hanson. Pat Miller continues as Sergeant at Arms.
Larson said Hanson was on "sick call." She was undergoing surgery that evening and could not attend the installation. Hanson recently completed a term as the American Legion Tenth District Commander.
New American Legion Department Vice Commander Bill Stump of St. Louis Park conducted the formal installation. He said the occasion was his first official function.
Larson spoke for a few minutes about the past few years as commander. He said he was diagnosed with prostate cancer when he was considering whether or not to seek the position. His wife, Jennifer, a cancer survivor, served as inspiration as Bob decided to go ahead.
Larson said "we," the Buffalo American Legion members and families, worked together and reached several goals, such as: helping the Legion bar and restaurant become profitable, increasing awareness of the Legion in the community, getting more active, and increasing newspaper coverage of Legion activities.
"Thanks to Legion members, the community and the Legion employees, all goals were met," Larson happily stated.
He added that a local American Legion Riders group was started.
He commented that the "power of one" (taking on challenges and goals one step at a time) worked well for the Buffalo American Legion.
Larson announced a few awards of thanks to people whose service was exemplary and outstanding. He said Carol Kottom was on sick call that evening. She recently completed a term as the American Legion Auxiliary Department (State) President. Larson's award to her was for all the help and support she has provided for the local Legion post.
Another award of thanks was presented to Marty Edwards for her work on the Legion post newsletter.
Bonnie Hanson will be given an award of thanks at a later time, Larson said.
Jerome Bradford, who serves as a liaison for the Legion Club, helps with equipment and is always available "when something needs to be done," was given an award of thanks, as well.
Larson said revenue produced by the Legion Club has been invested back into the building, which has undergone several im-provements.
While this was going on, a few very significant happenings took place. Carol Kottom became the American Legion Auxiliary Department President, and Bonnie Hanson became the American Legion Tenth District Commander.
Also, National American Legion Cmdr. Charles Schmidt visited the Buffalo post on Feb. 9, and National American Legion Auxiliary President Mary Davis visited the Buffalo post on June 14.
Following Larson's comments, Scott Edwards was formally installed as the new Legion commander, and he thanked Larson for "a good job." Edwards said Larson's very active role as a commander made him known in the community and helped get all his goals achieved.
Edwards commented that he has lived in 11 different places in the past, and he stated Buffalo is the best community he has called home. He has not been here long, but he likes what he sees and looks forward to continuing what Larson started.
He is impressed by all the Legion members and families who "work below the surface" and "just get things done" without being asked. People show up and do their part, he said.
"My goal is to build on what Bob started ... and have a lot of fun while doing it," Edwards said.
A retired Master Chief of the Navy Seabees, he served many years on active duty and reserve duty. He is retired from the workforce, in which he was a business developer and electrical estimator with corporations like Mortenson's.
School board election filing period ends Aug. 15
Those who would like to be candidates in the Nov. 7 Buffalo Hanover Montrose School Board election have until Aug. 15 to file.
The School Board has approved a resolution calling for a school board election on Nov. 7. Three seats are open for the election. Those who currently hold those positions are Ken Ogden, Bob Sansevere and Stan Vander Kooi.
The filing period for those who want to be candidates in the election began Aug. 1 and will close on Aug. 15. File at the school district office.
BCMS student Victoria Viteri reading winning essay
Twelve-year-old Buffalo Community Middle School student Victoria Viteri won the State Capital Grand Opening Essay Contest for grades 6-8 and will have the honor of reading her essay at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the post-restoration opening of the historic Minnesota State Capital on Friday, Aug. 11 at 9 a.m.
The essay contest was open to Minnesota elementary (grades 3-5), middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12) students and judged by top policymakers, elected officials and Lt. Governor Tina Smith.
Victoria's essay, "A place to remember history and history in the making," highlighted historical and symbolic events, such as the Dakota Conflict, the American Civil War and the Women's Movement, events that have changed Minnesota. Victoria says in her essay these events "remind us of how far we've come, and how far we need to go."
Victoria and the other category winners will each receive a $1,000 Minnesota College Savings Plan sponsored by the University of Minnesota and TIAA, the financial services company that manages the Minnesota College Savings Plan. The Minnesota College Savings Plan is a 529 account that helps families save for future higher education expenses.
A sign at the site of the new A&W restaurant shows what it will look like. Located next to Taco Bell and near Cub Foods in Buffalo, the business could open in December, if all goes as planned. (Photo by Ed DuBois)
By Ed DuBois
A&W is coming back to Buffalo.
Back in about the late 1950s, Thor Meyer and the late Ken Decker established an A&W restaurant on the northwest corner of the Highways 55 and 25 intersection, about where Arby's is now located. At first, customers could walk up to the window to order and pick up their food, and then later, teens were hired to deliver orders to cars, Meyer recalled. He said a phone system was installed so customers could order from their cars.
Eventually, that A&W restaurant closed. But now, a new A&W is coming. Work on a site next to Taco Bell and Cub Foods in Buffalo is already underway.
Bob Marohn, whose family owns Cub Foods in Buffalo and Marketplace stores in Annandale, Cokato and St. Michael, obtained an A&W franchise.
"When we would go on longer trips with the kids, we always loved stopping at A&W," he said. "We would go out of our way to find one."
Once when he was on the way to Little Falls, he spoke to an A&W owner and was given company contact information. He was soon invited to the A&W corporate headquarters in Kentucky, where he learned all about becoming a franchise holder ... and now he is one.
The Marohns had wanted to find a restaurant for the lot next to Taco Bell.
"We looked at Chick-fil-A, which we also like, but they won't go anywhere with a population under 70,000," Bob said.
The new A&W restaurant in Buffalo could be open in December if everything goes as planned. Bob said A&W has franchises all over the world.
Most new locations have seating for 60 or more people, but the Buffalo A&W will have seating for over 90, and there will be outdoor tables, as well.
Menu items include hand-breaded chicken strips, burgers, hotdogs, onion rings, and Wisconsin cheese curds. Of course, A&W's famous draft root beer and root beer floats will be available. Bob said a self-serve tap will be included in the restaurant. Drink from big glass mugs, or buy a gallon container and take some root beer home.
A new Mills Fleet Farm store is now open in Monticello. The store is located at 320 Chelsea Rd., south of I-94 and east of Highway 25. (Photo courtesy of Mills Fleet Farm)
A new Mills Fleet Farm store in Monticello opened on Wednesday, Aug. 2. The 165,000-square-foot store is located at 320 Chelsea Rd. The company says the store offers customers great values with a broad assortment of merchandise in a friendly, easy-to-shop environment.
Customers visiting the Monticello store will benefit from the convenience offered by an on-site Fleet Farm Gas Mart and an accompanying car wash. Like all Fleet Farm stores, the new store in Monticello carries a large selection of: sporting goods, pet supplies, auto supplies, lawn and garden equipment, farm supplies, home furnishings, candy and snacks, apparel, and much more. For customers looking for car service, an Auto Service Center will offer convenient and automotive service solutions for tires, batteries and oil changes.
"We're thrilled to open in Monticello and just as proud to bring new jobs to this community," said Derick Prelle, President and CEO of Mills Fleet Farm.
Community giving has long been one of Mills Fleet Farm's core values. In keeping with tradition, Fleet Farm announced their donation of $3,000 to the Wright County Volunteer Organizations supporting the Volunteer Mounted Patrol, Sheriff's Reserve and K-9 Unit. A check has been presented to Sergeant Brian Johnson of the Wright County Sheriff's Office.
Prelle said, "I can't think of a better way to begin a community giving program in Monticello than to start by supporting its sheriff's department."
Founded in 1955 by Stewart Mills Sr. along with his sons, Henry Mills II and Stewart Mills Jr., with major operations in Apple-ton, Wis. and Brainerd, Minn., Mills Fleet Farm is a Midwestern, value-based retailer of lifestyle merchandise serving active, outdoor families and suburban and farm consumers. The retailer has a diversified offering of merchandise and also offers a number of services such as: convenience stores, gas stations, car wash, and auto service. The company operates 37 stores located throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and North Dakota. For additional information about Mills Fleet Farm, please visit www.fleetfarm.com.
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