BHS students score at the Super Bowl LII's Taste of the NFL event
By Miriam Orr
Cooking, to many, is just a requirement in the daily happenings of life – for others, it's an afterthought as we grab a coffee and hurry out the door in the morning, or forget to have lunch for the second day that week.
For some, though, it is a way of a life; a way to find passion in preparing meals for others in new and exciting ways. It only stands to reason that without this passionate undertaking, we would not have many of the delicacies we have today.
For the Culinary Team at Buffalo High School, cooking is a passion that has, coincidentally, put them on the scoreboard.
With Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis came the opportunity for five BHS culinary students to participate in the Taste of the NFL event, put on by ProStart, a culinary program that BHS has been involved with in years past. ProStart is a two-year high school program, which teaches young adults culinary skills, while also providing education on the business aspects of the food industry. Due to their involvement, BHS students were invited to participate in the event during the Super Bowl.
Eleven Minnesota high schools were represented, with 83 students participating in the event. The Taste of the NFL event is a fundraiser to help alleviate hunger, and was held on Saturday, Feb. 3, and Sunday, Feb. 4. The event allowed students to work beside celebrity chefs, to offer small plate taste-testings at 35+ cooking stations. A celebrity chef hosted each station, with an NFL player representative.
This year's event raised over one million dollars in the effort against hunger.
Leah Ramsey (ninth grade), Grayson Wubben (eleventh grade), Sierra Garcia, Athena Schultz, and Katie Dismang (tenth graders) were students who represented Buffalo at the event. With them was Julie Mundahl, who is the team's advisor and a Family and Consumer Sciences instructor at the high school.
For BHS students, they weren't sure what exactly to expect from an event like this. Katie Dismang, who has been with the cu-linary team for two years, stated that she wasn't sure what to expect at first, but learned a lot from the experience. Her love for cooking grew. "It really showed me how chaotic a professional, industrial kitchen really is," Dismang stated. "There is a ton of moving parts – lots of people everywhere, lots of noise happening all around. It was great, and I learned a lot from it."
Grayson Wubben kept his expectations low, so "he wouldn't be disappointed," but ultimately stated, "The event was such a cool experience. After going there, I like the idea of becoming a professional chef more than before, now that I've actually got to do it and work with other people."
The students stated that celebrity chefs present at the event were helpful, hands-on, but also very "in the game." Each of them stated that they learned valuable "tips and tricks," that they can use now in their education, and look forward to using in the future.
Sierra Garcia, for instance, shared her experience of cutting onions for 8.5 hours. "I got really good at cutting onions!" she shared. "The event showed me the stressful side of cooking; it's not all fun and games – but it was still valuable and amazing all at the same time."
Leah Ramsey learned organization from her time at the Taste of the NFL. "You have to be organized," she commented, "It's always all chaos and noise. You have to know what you're doing and stay organized, otherwise it'll be a disaster, and that's a valuable lesson."
Garcia got to work beside Chef Kevin Rathbun, a celebrity chef in Atlanta, G.A., and stated that she was a little intimidated by him, but "in a good way."
Currently, the BHS Culinary Team is working to compete in a state championship, and hopes their time spent at the Taste of the NFL will pay off during the event.
BCO performs Saturday March 3
The Buffalo Community Orchestra plans to promote health through happiness on March 3, as the orchestra partners with the Bounce Back Project for a unique concert experience, "Bounce Back with BCO." The concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Buffalo High School, will feature an oboe solo by Michael Jeannot, as well as a side-by-side performance with Bravo Orchestra, a local youth orchestra led by Erin Walsh and Andrea Kjellberg.
The BCO will be performing pieces by Bernstein, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky during the concert. BCO Conductor, Ernesto Estigarribia, will discuss the evening's music in a Conductor Chat at 6:30 p.m. A reception with refreshments will take place in the Commons following the concert.
Tickets for the event will be available in advance at Buffalo Books & Coffee and at the door on the night of the performance. Online tickets are available through the BCO website. Adult tickets are $12.00 and Senior tickets are $10.00. The BCO is now offering free admission for Students. Children age five and under are also admitted without charge.
Please go online and visit www.bcomn.org for more information.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Central MN Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and in part by Buffalo Hospital (Allina).
Reich family fundraiser slated for Feb. 24
Editor's Note: By Nan Royce, and reprinted courtesy of Herald Journal Publishing.
Aaron and Kelly Reich were making their dreams come true.
They had been married for almost six years after a wedding in Waverly, loved being the parents of three little boys, under the age of 4, and were excited to have baby number four scheduled to arrive in July 2018.
The couple owned a home in rural Buffalo. Aaron worked as a truck driver, while Kelly was a stay-at-home mother.
Kelly didn't move too far from her roots. She is the daughter of Brian and Patti Barth. Brian has been a teacher at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Schools for many years; and her grandparents enjoyed living on Little Waverly Lake. Kelly is a HLWW graduate.
He stopped to help
The morning of December 13, 2017 started like any other regular day. That changed in heartbeat.
Aaron, already at work, had reportedly stopped to offer assistance to another truck driver in Hugo.
Somehow a front-end loader got loose and pinned Aaron between it and semi-trailer truck, according to the Star Tribune. The accident occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m.
Sgt. Joseph Stoehr of the Washington County Sheriff's Office was quoted in the Star Tribune as saying the victim "was pinned between them."
"Emergency responders carried out lifesaving efforts on the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene," the Star Tribune reported.
Aaron, 36, was gone. The accident remains under investigation.
Aaron and Kelly's families, many of whom live in the surrounding area, came together, and conducted a funeral for Aaron at Salem Lutheran Church in Greenfield Dec. 19, 2017.
In Aaron's obituary, Kelly was called "the love of his life."
Everyone wants to help
Kelly and her children are learning to keep moving forward, and have been surrounded by their communities in several ways. Someone started a meal train for the family. Kelly's girlfriends helped watch the children, and an FFA group hosted a spaghetti supper for the Reich family. Emily Long, one of Kelly's best friends, wanted to do something helpful, too.
Long was brainstorming with another friend, Howard Lake photographer and HLWW school board member Lacy Detlefsen.
Detlefsen knew the Reich family. She had been their wedding photographer, and also had taken family portraits for them in recent years.
Detlefsen noted that on Aaron and Kelly's wedding day, when she looked at the couple, "they sparkled." She said each time the family would come to her portrait studio for new family pictures, that sparkle between the husband and wife remained.
The pair came up with an idea for a fundraiser for Kelly and her boys.
They wanted to do something, and do something big. The Girls Gotta Stick Together Vendor Event for Kelly quickly went from just an idea into action phase.
Detlefsen and Long started the process by securing a venue.
Long has worked at the Howard Lake Legion for many years, and was able to reserve the space for the afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 24. The Howard Lake Fire Department offered the free use of its tables.
Next, the pair began to think of all the small businesses and vendors they liked themselves.
For a fee (which will go directly to Kelly), vendors could reserve a space in the Legion during the fundraiser to showcase their product lines. At press, time approximately 25 vendors had committed to the event, and the list continues to grow.
Confirmed vendors include: LuLaRoe, Scentsy, Enchanted Trunk, KEEP, Papparazzi, Pink Zebra, Avon, Tastefully Simple, LipSense/Senegence, Thirty-One, Pure Romance, Tupperware, Magnolia & Vine, Color Street, Java Momma, Young Living, Melaleuca, USborne Books, Plexus, and Pet Bandannas.
Making it even more fun
In addition to the vendor show, Detlefsen and Long got Legion staff to assist them in putting on a raffle, which will take place during the event.
Raffle prizes have started to come in, but those wishing to donate additional prizes can simply call Detlefsen or Long (their phone numbers are in the box) and the ladies will either give drop-off directions, or pick up the items themselves.
Detlefsen and Long also intend to set up a bake sale inside the Legion during the event, so attendees may take home some treats. Goodies may be dropped off at the Howard Lake American Legion by 11 a.m. the morning of Feb. 24, or call Detlefsen or Long to ask about other arrangements. All proceeds from the bake sale will go directly to Kelly and her boys.
For the ladies, manicures and hand massages will be offered.
A meat raffle will begin at 3 p.m., and the Legion will offer buy one drink, get one free specials during the meat raffle.
Donation buckets will be stationed around the Legion for those wishing to make a direct donation.
Anyone who cannot make the event for any reason, is welcome to write a donation check out to Kelly Reich, and mail it to Detlefsen at her photo studio, "That Chick with a Camera," at 817 6th St, Howard Lake, MN 55349.
"We need community involvement," Detlefsen said. "Everyone can give back. People's luck can turn in 30 seconds. We just don't want Kelly to be alone in this," she said. "This is an awesome community and we want to help."
Benefit fundraiser to honor Jess Ludenia's family
The friends and family of Jess Ludenia would like to invite you to a benefit held in Jess' honor, on Saturday, March 3, at the Thirsty Buffalo.
Jess Ludenia tragically lost her life on Nov. 14, 2017 in an act of domestic violence. She leaves behind an eight-year-old daughter, Aspyn. Please join us to support Aspy's continued care and future needs. All funds will be deposited into and account in Aspyn Ludenia's name.
This event begins at 4:30 p.m. and goes until 8:00 p.m. The menu includes dinner, drink specials, a silent auction, and a raffle.
For more information, please call Amanda Isaacs, at 309-397-1063.
Co. Sheriff's office recognizes donation at County Board
By Miriam Orr
Wright County Board and Sheriff's Office met to acknowledge and recognize a donation from Marion Larson, Director of Central Minnesota's Emergency Medical Services (Central MN EMS) for the region, who's work with Wright County has resulted in state funding in the county's stance and effort against opioid abuse, in the Opioid Overdose Prevention Program.
In coming weeks, Wright County Sheriff's deputies will be trained in the detection of potential opioid related emergencies, and the administration of Naloxone (Narcan) to overdose victims. Central MN EMS has donated 150 doses of Narcan, adding up to approximately $6,300.00 worth of the medication to aid Wright County in its efforts against drug overdoses.
Shawna Athman, Business Manager for Wright County's Sheriff's Office, presented the award to Larson with Capt. Dan Anselment and Lieu. Eric Kunkel.
"Without the Minnesota Department of Health, none of this would be possible," Larson commented. "They found us the funding to work towards this effort, and for that I'm thankful."
Once the Wright County Sheriff's deputies are trained in the use of Narcan, the hope is that they will be able to first assist overdose victims, as they are usually at the scene of opioid-related emergencies first. Once injected, Narcan, in a sense, absorbs opioid chemicals, and does not harm one's body in the event that they are not suffering from an opioid overdose and are injected with Narcan.
Distribution of Narcan to Wright County deputies is scheduled for sometime in March, after training has been offered.
The Board's Timed Agenda:
Parks and Recreation: Mark Mattice, Wright County's Parks and Recreation Director, requested the Board authorize the proceeding with accepting bids, contract development, and authorization of signatures for construction contracts related to Co-llinwood Park improvements for 2018.
Mattice presented two bids for Collinwood up-grades. One was from Gertken Brothers, Inc. for the grating, site, electrical, and sanitary work for ap-proximately $354,853 with a 10% contingency.
Also presented was a bid from Huffcutt Concrete, Inc. for the comfort station construction at Collinwood, estimated at $236,000 with a 10% contingency. Discussion was given regarding the decision of a modular or brick and mortar comfort station, in which Mattice concluded that a modular station would be more cost effective and efficient.
The contract and development for planning, engineering, and construction specifications of the future Bertram Chain of Lakes campground was also ap-proved, with signatures authorized for the project.
Wright Soil and Water Conservation District: A public hearing was held in regards to the local comprehensive water management plan's amendment of local summaries and implementation. The full amendment to the summary can be found online at wrightswcd.org. While staff was present at the hearing, no members of the public were present to comment. The Commissioners ap-proved the plan, unanimously.
Information Technology: The Board agreed to enter into a 36-month enterprise enrollment agreement with Microsoft, to provide Office 365 services.
Auditor/Treasurer: Passport application fees will be increased to $35.00 from its previous $25.00, per the U.S. Department of State, effective April 2, 2018.
Administration: A charitable gambling application to the Ancient Free and Accepted Mason of Minnesota at Rockford Township Hall, effective April 7, 2018, was approved.
Wright County Sheriff's Office: Haley Dubois was appointed as a representative on the Regional Logger Committee and Next Generation 911 Committee, and as an alternate representative to the Regional Advisory Committee, Owners and Operators Committee, and Users Committee, effective Feb. 20, 2018 with no expiration term; as well as Seth Hansen as a delegate to the Regional Advisory Committee, Owners and Operators Committee, and Users Committee, effective Feb. 20, 2018, with no expiration term.
Buffalo to seek electric revenue bonds for capital improvements to system
By Doug Voerding
The City of Buffalo is now seeking $1,765,000 in electric revenue bonds for capital improvements to provide electric service to property in the northwest part of the city that was recently annexed into the city.
Proposals for the sale of the bonds will be considered on Monday, March 5, at 7:00 p.m. with the awarding to follow the discussion. Since the bonds do not require a city rating, there is short turnaround of two weeks for the bidding process.
The council is using the competitive bidding pro-cess for the sale of the bonds to gain the lowest interest rate possible.
Nick Anhut of Ehlers and Associates, the city's financial advisor, told the council that in spite of the recent activity with stocks, "there is still interest in municipal bonds."
Said Anhut, "I am expecting the bids to come in with interest rates around 3.5 percent."
The ten-year bonds will be repaid from revenues from the electric utility system.
Upon the recommendation of the Planning Commission, the council ap-proved a Planned Unit De-velopment (PUD) amendment that allows Steve Ganz to construct eight detached townhomes on Grandview Circle. The original PUD was for 13 attached townhomes.
The property is already in an existing PUD in an underlying R-4 Townhome, Quadraminium, Low Density, Multi-Family district, a district that permits de-tached townhomes.
Grandview Circle is a private road maintained by a homeowners' association. The property is located southeast of the junction of County Road 12 and Highway 55.
The council accepted several donations including $100 from David and Denise Casey for Concerts in the Park; $500 from Buffalo Lions for the Community Center Toy Shop; $130 from William and Cheryl Neal, $50 from N. Ruth Evenson, and $50 from David and Denise Casey for Flora of Buffalo; $345 in donations from memorials in memory of Frank Johnson, $50 from Rebecca Hagan in memory of Frank Johnson, $300 from Duoss Brothers American Legion in memory of Frank Johnson, and $300 from Patti Rinne-Johnson in memory of Frank Johnson for Buffalo Fishing Forever; and $50 John and Kay Hagen in memory of Mianna Varner and $200 Rita Varner-Otness from memorials for Mianna Varner for the Community Center.
In other action, the council:
• heard from Planning and Development Coordinator Jennifer Nash that a number of properties in different areas of town are being considered by developers and that concept plans may be coming to the council in the near future.
• heard from Kristy Paul, owner of Evelyn's Wine Bar, who told the council about the start of "Thursday Nights are Better in Buffalo," an effort by local businesses to promote shopping and dining in downtown Buffalo on Thursday nights, beginning on March 8.
• approved an annual license to allow indoor sales of fireworks at Menards, 1415 County Road 134. The permit is valid through December 31, 2018.
• held a public hearing and then adopted a resolution to certify two past due utility accounts to the tax rolls. The properties are 105 - 7th Street South and 914 1/2 - 3rd Avenue NE, Apt. C.
• called for a public hearing on an annexation request for property owned by Gail and James Sturges on the southeast corner of County Road 35 and County Road 134. The property is in Buffalo Township but touches the current city limits and has city infrastructure nearby. The hearing will be Monday, April 2, at 7:00 p.m.
Wright County Seeks 2018 Farm Family of the Year Nominations
Wright County has over 1,400 farms, and has many outstanding farm families who make very positive contributions to the economic and cultural environment of the county while receiving little or no recognition.
The University of Minnesota Extension annually recognizes farm families throughout the state, and each county is invited to select a farm family to represent their county. Wright County is seeking nominations for Wright County Farm Family of the Year.
The family selected will receive county recognition at the Wright County Fair, as well as state-wide recognition at FarmFest 2018 near Redwood Falls, Minn., in early August.
Nominees should be actively involved in agricultural with one or more agricultural enterprises or have made significant short-term progress and/or innovative contributions with their agricultural endeavors.
Consider not only the popular crop and animal enterprises, but also production areas such as potato, vegetable, fruit, berries, aquaculture, agriforestry, renewable energy supplies, organic, alternative and sustainable farm enterprises.
In addition to demonstrating a commitment to enhancing and supporting the fields of agriculture and production, nominees should also be involved in their communities and related organizations.
To nominate a family to be Wright County Farm Family of 2018, call Rod Greder at University of Minnesota Extension, Wright County at 763-682-7381 or send an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a nomination form.
All nominations must be received by March 20, and a family will be selected by May 1st, 2018. To see a list of previously selected families in Wright Co, please go online and visit their website at: http://mnfarmfamilies.cfans.umn.edu.
Extra! Extra! New Journal-Press info
EAA Chapter 878's "Fly-in or Drive-in" Chili Fundraiser a flying success!
By Miriam Orr
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is home to over 170,000 individuals who together pursue the spirited passion, exhilaration, and adventure of flight. The organization began in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where the world's biggest civilian airshow welcomes over 10,000 planes and pilots and crowds numbering almost 600,000 people.
Maple Lake, Buffalo, and Winsted are all local airports where Chapter 878 welcomes pilots to maintenance, fly, and converse on the art of flight. Most members are west of the Minneapolis area and encompass the "lake country," flying in and out of local airports.
Wayne Flury is one such member of Chapter 878. He was a founding member of the chapter in 1986, and attends meetings in Buffalo and Maple Lake regularly. Flury learned to fly in college, and graduated from South Dakota State University, and went on to serve in the U.S. Airforce as a maintenance officer.
"Aviation is a wonderful hobby, and it's something that has been related to what I've done my entire life," Flury commented. "It gives you a different perspective of the planet, and it is a great community of people to create contacts and travel."
Among other things, Flury has his hand in chili feed fundraisers, called "Fly-in or Drive-ins," that welcome the community of both drivers and flyers to participate in a fundraiser for Chapter 878 – participants can either arrive by road, or by air.
Maple Lake has hosted the event for 28 years, and it has been a massive success. This year, however, was the first year that Buffalo's Municipal Airport put on the event out of the West Metro Aviation hangar, which is owned and operated by pilot Michael Wiskus, who just so happens to be a Lucas Oil Pitts Airshow Pilot. He has owned the Buffalo hangar since 2005.
Wiskus has been show piloting for 20+ years, but has been a flight enthusiast since he was six years old; when a plane touched down in his family farm's north pasture. From there, he knew he was going to fly, and worked his way into the business from the age of 13, onward.
As of 2017, Wiskus has been flying 24 shows a year in the Canadian and U.S. areas.
"I've never not known to fly," Wiskus stated, "It's always been a part of me, and it always will be."
Chapter 878 is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and their annual "Fly-in or Drive-in" chili feed's raise money for a variety of different areas. This year's funds were in hopes of sponsoring scholarships for young individuals interested in flight in order to pay for classes and vocational training.
"The goal is part of an objective to get the youth involved with flying again," Flury stated, "and as a way to bring awareness and knowledge to the fact that aviation is a vocational alternative, and is desperately needed in today's economy."
John Britz, from Buckman, Minnesota, was one of the pilots who flew in for the day's chili feed. He pilots a glorious red and gold Piper Cherokee 160, and had flown in from the Mille Lacs, Minnesota area where he and his passenger had had breakfast earlier that morning. He has been piloting since 1987, and stated that his 1+ hour trip by car had only taken 30 minutes by air from Mille Lacs.
At one point during the fundraiser, a total of 17 planes were parked at the airstrip, as pilots and passengers came from across the area to participate in raising proceeds for the fundraiser and listen to live music put on by the Dassel-Cokato localists known as "Cowboys and Sneakers."
The event hosted approximately 25 airplanes, and served almost 150 people. Wayne stated that the event was a success for their first year, and that they hoped next year's annual fundraiser would be just as big of a success as 2018's.