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Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. Wright County Journal-Press & The Drummer


Maple Lake St. Patrick's Day Parade

John Northenschold

The 41st Annual Grande Day St. Patrick's Day Parade is slated for 1:30 p.m. near the community park on Division Street in Maple Lake, on Saturday March 17.

Parade lineup will begin at 12:30 p.m., and registration can be done by completing the registration form, found at

The Annual Craft Sale will also be going on March 17, running from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Maple Lake Elementary Gymnasium, where a selection of quality items will be offered by area crafters. You can contact Betty Gordon at 320-963-5351 for more information regarding the craft sale.

Also underway will be the Irish Scamper, which is hosted by the track and field team and will feature a 5k winding through the "old town" of Maple Lake. The run begins at 11:00 a.m., with registration at 9:00 a.m. in the Maple Lake High School Commons Area. Awards are slated for shortly after the race. Please go online and visit: for more information and to register. Forms can also be picked up in person at the Maple Lake High School Office.

Coronation of Maple Lake's new Ambassadors will begin at 4:30 p.m. after the Grande Day Parade, where nine candidates will compete for titles. Admission for the coronation is $5.00, with children ages five and under free. Parade awards will be presented during the program as well in the Maple Lake High School Gym.

This year's Grand Marshal for the parade is John Northenschold. He began service with Maple Lake's City Council in 1987, and his service produced many bright ideas and dedication, which are still coming! Since moving to Maple Lake in 1972 with his wife Carole, Northenscold has been credited with bringing new businesses to the city's industrial park. At 81, he will be in the Grande Day Parade Saturday, March 17.

Throughout the day, the Maple Lake Legion will serve Mulligan Stew and other refreshments at the American Legion Club, while other civic organizations will offer St. Patrick's Day specials.

For questions, please contact Irene Hudek at 612-270-8586.


Buffalo approves bond sale for expanded electric service

By Doug Voerding

The Buffalo City Council on Monday, March 5, sold $1,765,000 in electric revenue bonds to Northland Securities of Minneapolis. The ten-year bonds will carry an interest rate of 2.84 percent.

The bonds are for capital improvements to provide electric service to recently annexed property known as Bella Vista II in the northwest part of the city.

The ten-year bonds will be repaid from revenues from the electric utility system, and no electric rate increase will be needed for bond payments.

City Administrator Mert Auger said, "We are very pleased with the low bid. We had estimated that the interest rate would be over three percent. This bid is very attractive."

Two other bids were submitted. Dougherty and Company of Minneapolis bid an interest rate of 2.9 percent, and Bernardi Securities of Chicago bid 2.93 percent.


Airport Fuel System

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) has agreed to a grant agreement for improvements to the airport fuel facilities. The grant is for upgrading point of sale system hardware and for brining the point of sale system into compliance with credit card security requirements.

The cost of the upgrade is $25,000 with MNDOT covering 70 percent of the costs with $17,500.

The city's share of $7,500 had previously been budgeted in the 2018 Capital Improvement Program.



In the 2018 city budget, some of the capital improvements items were earmarked to be funded through lease purchase agreements. The agreements allow the city to lease equipment of any kind and decide later to purchase or trade-in for new.

The council called for bids from financial institutions to enter into four-year lease purchase agreements for each of several pieces of equipment and software.

Those items include records management system for the police department, $33,232; a Ford F350 4x4 extended cab for the Street Department, $35,000; a Multi-One 6.3 articulating loader for the Electric Department, $64,598; radio read water meters for the Water Department, $90,000; point of sale software for the liquor stores, $46,405, and a Tri-Plex mower for Wild Marsh Golf Course, $35,205._The total for the lease purchases is $304,440.


Nick Knese Construction


Open Forum

Fred Naaktgeboren of the Buffalo Food Shelf reminded the council that March is Food Share Month, a time designed to increase awareness of the need for food drives and cash donations for the local food shelves.

Naaktgeboren said that the Buffalo Food Shelf operates on an annual budget of about $200,000.

Said Naaktgeboren, "In 2017, we distributed 400,000 pounds of food to 800 individual families. We need 7700 pounds of food per week. Of that, half is donated and half is purchased from Second Harvest Heartland."

Naaktgeboren also said that the food shelf volunteers delivered 35,000 pounds of food in 2017. The food is ordered and then delivered on Fridays, primarily to seniors.

"We have seen an increase in the number of seniors using the food shelf," said Naaktgeboren.

More information can be found at Cash donations can be sent to Buffalo Food Shelf, Box 222, Buffalo, MN 55313.



Donations for the Flora of Buffalo Program included Joel and Melissa Wanner, $75; Steven and Helen Runyon, $50; Mark and Patty Pokorney, $50; Linda Kennedy, $20; and Tony and Lynne Daniels, $65.


Other action

In other action, the council

• approved two temporary liquor licenses. The first is for the Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce for Friday, June 15, from 6:00 p.m. to midnight at Sturges Park for the Buffalo Days Beer Garden. The second is for Jacob Wurm for August 18, from 4:00 p.m. to midnight for a wedding at the Buffalo Civic Center.

• called for a public hearing on March 19 for past due utility accounts for 11 properties.

• learned that, this winter with the limited snow fall, the Public Works Department has used the time to remove buckthorn around the city, to work on extending the trail in Willow Glen, and to prepare equipment for use this summer.


14th annual job fair and career expo  

The 14th Annual Central Minnesota Job Fair will be hosted at the Monticello High School Tuesday, March 27, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., 5225 School Boulevard.

Don't hesitate in finding out about a career in manufacturing, skilled trades, education, transportation, social services, or other areas. Both full-time and part-time jobs will be featured at the career expo and job fair, as well as opportunities for summer jobs.

If you're looking for a career, we want you there with us. Free Lotzza Motzza pizza will be provided by Bernatello's Pizza for commuters from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – we encourage you to come and grab a slice and look for a job close to home!

For more information, call 763-271-3700, or visit An ASL interpreter will be available on site at the fair from 3:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., and reasonable accommodations are available upon request.

Contact the Monticello Workforce Center at 763-271-3722 for assistance.

Find your new career today – we're waiting for you!


BHS to present 23rd annual variety show

The Buffalo High School Tri-M Music Honor Society is pleased to present its 23rd Annual Tri-M Variety Show on Saturday, March 10th at 7:30 p.m. in the BHS Performing Arts Center. 

This year's show will include everything from original songs to covers of top artists; also there will be several dance acts, piano performances, comedy skits and a performance by the BHS Drumline!  All proceeds from the show go to provide music scholarships for students attending music camps and taking lessons. 

Tickets are available at the door - $10 for adults, $5 for students.  No activity passes or gold cards accepted as this is a fundraiser.

Participating in this year's show are Amara Alvarez, Madelyn Backes, Erin Bowers, Shelby Bowers, Archie Brallier, Eric Braun, Justin Bunting, Lauren Cepress, Peter Deneen,  Emily Frost, Victoria Herda, Rachel Huss, Caitlin Hutchcraft, Emily Kern, Amanda Krinke, Mya Lubben, Abby Luo, Gina Miller, Alexis Nichols, Aaron NobIe, Ian Pappenfus, Jennifer Prigge, Noah Raisanen, Tiger Reiss, Ben Ruhr, Danielle Ruhr,  Mason Schmidt, Abby Shelby, Lindsey Tazelaar, Samantha Twardy, Olivia Uecker, Tony Urbanski, Wes Wilson, and Grayson Wubben.  Special guest appearances by Mr. Jonathan Rydberg, Mrs. Jill Starr and the BHS Drumline.

Don't miss Buffalo's version of America's Got Talent!


St. Francis Xavier presents  "G2K Once Upon a Mattress" March 10 & 11

Saints on Stage (SOS), the extracurricular musical theater program of St. Francis Xavier School, in Buffalo, takes the stage March 10 at 7:00 p.m. and March 11 at 2:30 p.m. with its eighth production, "Getting to know Once Upon a Mattress," which is a retelling of the "Princess and the Pea."  (Submitted photo)

"G2K Once Upon a Mattress:"  is the junior version of the musical comedy "Once Upon a Mattress." The musical is based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale of "The Princess and the Pea."

It takes place in a kingdom being misruled by Queen Aggravain who is trying to find a suitable princess for her son, the prince.  The Queen devises an impossible sensitivity test for the potential Princess Winifred:  she must sense a small pea under 20 mattresses to prove she is worthy of marriage.  

Antics ensue as the whole kingdom gets involved with the match making. 

This years' Production has 55 student actors, from third grade through eighth grade and several more back stage. 

The fairytale"G2K Once Upon a Mattress" takes the stage at the St. Francis Xavier Education Center in Buffalo on Friday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, March 11 at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $8.00 and are on sale through the STFX school office during regular school hours.  Tickets will also be available at the door before performances.


Health and Human Services director discusses concerns with Wright County Commissioners on March 6

By Miriam Orr

"I wanted to come before the Board and present some concerns, as we begin considering what a location change will mean to Wright County and its government departments," said Jamie Goodrum Schwartz, Wright County Health and Human Services Director at Tuesday's County Board meeting.

 Since 1990, Goodrum Schwartz and her team at Health and Human Services have been utilizing the building they are currently located in – the building which used to be Pamida, directly off Hwy 55 and Hwy 25.

Jamie presented be-fore Commissioners a list of concerns regarding HHS' presence at the current building. Her presentation included areas including safety, professional space, and deferred maintenance issues, among others. 

"I am, frankly, concerned about the safety of this building," said Goodrum Schwartz. "There is really no safe space for us in the event of severe weather – as of now, we are instructed to gather in the northwest corner. When we've run tactical safety maneuvers with law enforcement, there's been concerns ex-pressed with wide corridors, too. I want staff, and those we service, to be safe no matter what."

She didn't stop there. The list continued, with concerns about morale in the area of no natural light from windows, as there are limited privacy windows which provide no natural light; as well as the concern about constrained parking and, having to retrofit cubicle space to house three employees at a station, which makes for cramped quarters.

Despite her list of concerns, Goodrum Schwartz wasn't complaining. She was simply stating her immediate concerns regarding the HHS facility in light of the county's potential relocation, and how she hoped the opportunity to move the HHS services would be "a primary concern for Commissioners."

Commissioner Mike Potter commented, "We have to realize nothing can be solidified in the area of a relocation until at least 2020, as that's when we're anticipating that a new location would even be ready," he continued. "This is to say that we have to keep things moving – this space study is important for cause and effect. It's going to determine how we move forward today and how we're being cost-effective, and it will tell us what we need to keep doing."

Goodrum Schwartz agreed that 2020 would be an appropriate date to discuss relocation, and that she "wasn't concerned with that timeframe." She, in turn, asked Commissioners to consider keeping her staff involved with relocation discussions, in hopes that it would keep morale high and provide confidence that their concerns were being heard and considered.

Potter volunteered to make it his "personal mission that the HHS staff stays involved and informed."


Other action:

Highway Department: Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, presented a resolution to approve the final acceptance of a payment regarding the CSAH 35/8 and 35/6 rural intersection warning system, in contract with Design Electric of St. Cloud, in the amount of $12,508.83. He also presented a resolution to pay the amount of $49,115.36 to the CSAH 3 reconstruction project, currently in works with Midwest Contracting, LLC of Marshall.

Hawkins requested setting a Committee of the Whole meeting regarding the discussion of transportation items including a traffic study proposal for Briarwood Avenue, a marked crosswalk policy update, highway maintenance planning items, and an updated five-year plan.



• April 17, 2018, is currently set for Boy/Girl County Day, as approved by Wright County Board Commissioners.

• Payment for Hwy. 25 Coalition dues was authorized.

• Warrants issued between Feb. 21, 2018 and Feb. 27, 2018 were acknowledged.


Committee of the Whole Meetings:

• COTW is set for March 20, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. regarding strategic planning.

• COTW in regards to space study is slated for for March 27, 2018 at 1:30 p.m.

• COTW for May 23, 2018 was rescheduled to May 30, 2018.


Broadway in Buffalo looking for auditions for May 19 and 20 performances

Interested in being in this year's Buffalo Community Theater/Tri-M Music Honor Society musical revue "Broadway in Buffalo?"

Anyone high school age or older is invited to audition. Please prepare a song for your audition that you would like to sing in the show.

The auditions will be held on Saturday or Sunday, March 17-18 between  1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Buffalo High School Performing Arts Center.

 Please bring music for the accompanist who will be provided at the audition.  Selected cast members will be invited to participate in additional ensemble numbers in the revue as well as their solos. 

Rehearsals will begin April 3 and run once or twice per week until the performances on May 19 and 20.


Italian Dinner Fundraiser

Enjoy live music brought you you br Bravo Strings of Montrose Friday, March 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Montrose Elementary School cafeteria.

Tickets for this event are $13.00, and students are $9.00 at the door. Children under four years old are free for admission! The menu includes spaghetti bake, meat-free alfredo bake, Caesar salad, and a breadstick. See page two inside for a photo.


2018 local township election candidates announced for March 13

On March 13, 2018, citizens alike will gather to elect local leadership for townships within the Wright County area. Polls will be open until 8:00 p.m. in various townships. Below are listed the candidates currently running in their respective townships.

• Albion Township: John Uecker (three years, Supervisor); Debbra Uecker, (two years, Clerk)

• Buffalo Township: Terry Weese, Joe Coolen (three years, Supervisor); Mark Hoffmann (two years, Clerk).

• Chatham Township: Thomas Schuveiller, (three years, Supervisor); James Bischoff (two years, Clerk).

• Cokato Township: Dean Mahlstedt, (three years, Supervisor);  (one year, Supervisor) Daniel W. Bravinder.

• Corinna Township: John Dearing (three years, Supervisor)

• Franklin Township: John Czanstkowski, Sr (three years, Supervisor).

• French Lake Township:

• Maple Lake Township: Tom Neumann, (three year, Supervisor)

• Marysville Township: Augie Riebel (three year, Supervisor)

• Middleville Township: Walt Barlow (three year, Supervisor); Joey Berg ( two year, Clerk).

• Monticello Township: Pete Stupar (three year, Position-A Supervisor)

• Rockford Township: Karen McDougall (three years, Supervisor Seat D);

• John Deitering (three years, Supervisor Seat E).

• Stockholm Township: Keaton Danielson (three years, Supervisor); Jody Selseth (two years, Clerk).

• Victor Township: David Glessing (three years, Supervisor); Michelle Bascom, Sharon Glessing (two years, Clerk).

• Woodland Township: Dan Domjahn (three years, Supervisor); Gloria Janikula (two years, clerk).


Delano dog, "Lou," found dead in Buffalo 

By Miriam Orr

Lou, a Labrador retriever assumed to be kidnapped and held hostage from Delano, has been found dead near in Buffalo on Thursday, March 1.

Jason Davis, the retriever's owner, reported the dog missing back in December 2017. Fox 9 reported on the event in January, where Davis reported that he and his wife had been receiving harassing phone calls from an individual who had found the dog. He had continued to harass Davis and his wife in demanding reward money, and making threats of harming Lou.

The Davis', afraid for their dog and hoping to bring him home safety, arranged for the $1,200.00 drop – but they never got Lou back.

The family's pet was found Thursday, March 1, near Pelican Lake when a tip from an ice-fisherman came to the family. Upon arrival, Lou was found to have been shot twice, and dead for some time. It has been assumed that Lou was not killed near the lake, but had been transported there.

Dozens of anonymous tips regarding the extortion of the $1,200.00 have been reported. Currently, U.S. Fugitive Apprehension is investigating the case and assessing audio files and pursuing the case, and have been looking into the case since Feb. 2018.

The agency stated in a press release that they "are confident that the person responsible for perpetrating this crime will be identified, apprehended, and brought to justice."

Those with information are encouraged to the agency's 24-hour, anonymous tip line at 612-808-6656, or to contact the Wright County Sheriff's Office.

A monetary reward of $5,000.00 is being offered for the tip that leads to the apprehension and prosecution of the party(s) responsible for the extortion of money and murder of the family pet.


Things go Polar for Buffalo's plunge

Brrring it on! It's never too early to sign up for the Polar Plunge. Come show your support for Special Olympics Minnesota (SOMN) and learn firsthand what it means to be "freezin' for a reason'!"

It takes courage, bravery and a little bit of crazy to be a Polar Plunger. Plungers put it all on the line as they jump to frozen glory to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota. The funds raised benefit more than 8,200 SOMN athletes as they train, compete and transform themselves, their communities, and the world. The wait is over for anxious Plungers as registration is now open for the 2018 Buffalo Polar Plunge.

The Buffalo Plunge will be held at Sturges Park, on Buffalo Lake, on Highway 25 and 2nd Ave. The Plunge begins at 1:00 p.m. on March 10. On the day of the Plunge, check-in will be held from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Plunge site.

Join these "do-gooders" as they take the Plunge into Minnesota's frigid waters by following four simple steps. First, register online at Participants may Plunge as individuals or in teams. They are also encouraged to wear unique and outrageous costumes on Plunge day. Second, ask everyone from family to friends to your community to pledge to your Plunge. Each participant must raise a minimum of $75. Third, check-in on Plunge day and bring your pledges with you. Shoes, towel and fun are also required! Finally, take a deep breath and get ready to be freezin' for a reason!

For more information or to register, visit or email


Closing the door to ice fishing houses

As March blows into Minnesota with snow and cold, many fishermen have said goodbye to spending time on the ice. Minnesota DNR sets regulations for when certain areas of the state are required to have their houses off the lake every season. In a release issued by the MnDNR on March 1, dates are determined by an east-west line formed by U.S. Hwy 10, east along Hwy 34 to Hwy 200, east along Hwy 200 to Hwy 2, to the Minn.-Wis. border. The deadline south of that line was March 5, and for north of that line, the deadline is slated for March 19, at the end of the day. (Photo by Miriam Orr)



Mattress dumping in Maple Lake

Maple Lake Township and the Wright County Sheriff's Office are looking for the identification of individuals who have been dumping mattresses in ditches on:

• 60th Street NW between Bishop Avenue NW,

• Clementa Avenue NW and 45th Street NW between Bolton Avenue NW and Crowfoot Avenue NW.

If anyone has information to assist in identifying those involved or responsible, please call Maple Lake Township at 320-963-3927, or the Wright County Sheriff's Office at 763-682-1162.


Wright Co. Pheasants Forever Banquet

Get ready to fluff your feathers for this year's Pheasants Forever banquet, slated for April 7. The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., in the Monticello Ballroom at River City Extreem (3875 School Boulevard, Monticello).

This marks the 33rd Annual banquet for Wright County's Pheasants Forever. For questions and ticket sales, please contact Jeff Nylund at 763-807-8191 or


Young girls between the ages of  10 to 12  years, applications are being accepted  for the title of "2018 Miss Pre-Teen Wright  County."

 Miss Pre-Teen Wright  County will represent her county at the Miss Pre-Teen Minnesota pageant, which  will be  held  at  the Wellstone Center, April 28, 2018 in the city of  St. Paul, Minnesota.

 The young lady chosen as Miss Pre-Teen Wright  County will become an ambassador from the Wright County area and will receive an official title and sash, and will receive a prize package and chance to represent Minnesota at The Miss Pre-Teen International pageant held in  Charleston, West Virginia in July.

The American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women"  is the official Charity of the Miss Pre-Teen Minnesota Pageant.

 Pre-Teens will compete in personal and on-stage interviews, fun fashion wear, and eveningwear. There is no talent, fitness, or swimwear competition. 

Young Pre-Teen ladies living in Wright County interested in applying should go online to:, or  write for a bio-form to Miss Pre-Teen Minnesota International Pageant,  P.O. Box 240537 , Apple Valley, Minn., 55124-0537.

 For information, please call (952) 432-6758 or fax (952) 953-3896. You can also email:

 The current reigning "2017" Miss Pre-Teen Minnesota is  Rebeka Mihalik of Waterville.  As Miss Pre-Teen Minnesota, Rebeka speaks out on " STOMP OUT BULLYING." For more information on Rebeka's campaign, go to:

The entry deadline for enrollment is March 31, 2018.


Set those clocks, folks!

This Saturday night, don't forget to set your clocks forward, as the old saying goes, "Spring ahead, fall back!"

Just remember that we spring forward ahead at 2:00 a.m., and yes, that means you're going to lose an hour of sleep. But, however, our days are about to get longer.

Don't forget to set any clocks that aren't on smart devices this year (that means your microwave, stove, or wall clocks). Your phone, tablet, and computer should set automatically at the switch.


Focus on Northern Hawk Owl

I often find it difficult to keep focused, pun intended, on what I need to be doing. I mean, nature is filled with so many cool and interesting subjects that distract me from the task at hand. Every tiny aspect of nature is capable of catching my eye and turning my head away from what I should be doing. For example, when I am working on a book about deer, moose and elk, I should be putting all my efforts into finding and photographing these critters. When I am not photographing them, I need to be researching and writing about them. But nooooo….. that is not what I am doing.

For the first time in number of years, we are experiencing a semi-real winter. For me, real winters mean birds. In particular, the Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) is a favorite winter photography subject. Sometimes, I have to drive long distances to find and photograph some of these daytime hunters.

The hawk owl is a northern species of owl that inhabits open areas with scattered trees. It is a non-migratory bird that usually remains in its home range all year. However, every so often, a number of these birds will irrupt into the northern tier of states, such as Minnesota, out of their northern home range and spend the winter.

Unlike other owls, the hawk owl is a daytime hunter. It is often said they are called "hawk owl" because they look like a hawk. Personally, I don't see it. They have a huge round head and a plump body and a long narrow tail. In my mind, I don't see a "hawk" when I look at these owls. However, they do fly and act like a hawk, not to mention again that they are daytime hunters. All of which would be good enough reason to be called a hawk owl.

I love the way they fly. Fast and direct. They don't waste any time going from point A to point B. When they leave their perch, they swoop down and travel close to the ground, flapping hard the entire time. They approach the spot where they are going to land very low, and at the last moment, swoop up to perch on impossibly tiny branches on the top of a tree. Here, they will sit for long periods of time watching and waiting for a mouse, vole or shrew to make one false move, and the hawk owl will spring into action.

Incredibly fast and completely silent, the hawk owl zips across the winter landscape and snatches up any rodent who has the misfortune to expose itself. After grabbing its prey, they fly directly to another perch with its prize, carrying the prey in its feet. It often first looks around making sure no other owls or hawks are around before raising the rodent to its beak where it delivers a single deep bite to the neck, instantly killing the prey.

What comes next is most interesting. Most of the time, the hawk owl flies off to a stand of trees to cache the food for later consumption. This is an interesting behavior not found in a lot of other species. The owl finds a crack in a tree or a narrow spot where a branch departs the main trunk and wedges in the prey. It remembers where all these hiding places are and returns later. These birds are well known for caching as much prey as they can catch in a day. They only eat a few and save the rest for later.  This is a wonderful survival tactic that seems to serve them well.

Of course, in this winter weather when the owl returns, it has a frozen dinner. I guess they don't mind a frozen dinner now and then. Until next time…


Stan Tekiela is an author / naturalist and wildlife photographer who travels the world to study and photograph wildlife. He can be followed on and He can be contacted via his web page at


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