Pink Street Party 'with a purpose' raises $42,000 and counting
The 2017 Pink Street Party in downtown Buffalo last Thursday, Oct. 5 raised $42,000, and that is probably not the final total.
The funds are going into a Community Cancer Care Fund to help those whose cancer diagnosis is a significant financial burden. This year's event was the Ninth Annual Pink Street Party, which is hosted by the Buffalo Hospital Foundation. During a presentation at the party last Thursday evening, Karla Heeter, director of the Foundation, commented that funds from past parties have helped establish the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute at the Buffalo Hospital. She also said the hospital will soon add the latest 3D mammography equipment.
The Pink Street Party took place in the former Coborn's parking lot this year. People arrived and enjoyed the event all evening long. Heeter said about 90 percent of the people at the party liked the new location very much. However, downtown businesses prefer the party in the downtown streets, as in previous years. Heeter said she welcomes business people to attend the committee meetings, during which future plans for the party will be discussed.
The Crows Feet band entertained at the party, and following a program during which lists of those remembered, honored, celebrated, and supported were read, a brilliant laser light show with music capped the evening. The laser show was sponsored by Stellis Health.
Serendipity won the Pinkest Business Award for the third year in a row. Nancy Rouillard of Buffalo was first in the Pinkest on the Street Contest. The runners-up were Deb Kauppi of Buffalo and Lily Loge on Montrose.
An elderly dachshund owned by Cheryl Propson was first in the Pinkest Pet Contest, followed by Spice (owned by Camille Nelson) and Cooper (owned by Nathan and Stephanie Klein).
A special donation was delivered by Team Huro of Maple Lake. Mike Huro and his daughter, Casey, held up a giant check for $20,000 and presented it to Heeter. Team Huro has donated $50,000 over the past three years, Heeter said.
The "party with a purpose" was set up to honor, support, celebrate, and remember those who have experienced cancer in all forms.
Besides the music, fun and laser show, vendors filled the parking lot, and food trucks offered a variety of taste treats.
The Pink Street Party started in 2008 as an event that focused on cancer awareness, saving lives through screening and early detection, ultimately enhancing the quality of life for those diagnosed with cancer. To help create a bigger, better and brighter party, the 2018 event is shifting to an "Illuminate Buffalo" theme.
"We want to expand awareness and support to those individuals who have experienced cancer of any kind," said Heeter. "Instead of just pink lights, we want to light up Buffalo with all the lights that represent all the colors of the cancer awareness ribbons."
This new event will take place a month earlier on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. Mark your calendars.
Wright County Board reaching out to WCAT and Trailblazer Transit
By Ed DuBois
Wright County could be getting back into the bus business.
During the board meeting last Tuesday, Oct. 10, Commissioner Darek Vetsch reported on a meeting he and Commissioner Mike Potter had with transit officials on Oct. 4. Vetsch said it was a fruitful meeting. The topic involved what type of relationship Wright County could have with Wright County Area Transportation (WCAT) and Trailblazer Transit.
The Wright County Board has not been involved with local bus services since the RiverRider program was dissolved. At that time, negotiations between Wright County, Trailblazer and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) fell apart in May 2014. To keep bus service going in Wright County, an alliance of cities in Wright County formed Wright County Area Transportation (WCAT) and joined Trailblazer and its member counties, McLeod and Sibley.
Since that time, ridership in Wright County has increased significantly, according to Potter, and the smaller cities of WCAT have been struggling with the cost to maintain bus services and meet the growing demand for more buses. Meanwhile, WCAT has been pushing for a departure from Trailblazer and wants to continue as a standalone entity.
Wright County Board involvement with WCAT and Trailblazer could possibly inject the needed funds to help maintain and expand local bus service.
As a show of good faith, Vetsch proposed giving $225,125 left over from RiverRider to WCAT.
"This would show we are willing to be involved with transit," Vetsch said.
He went on to say local transit truly is a county function, and many counties in Minnesota are involved with local transit.
Commissioner Chris Husom agreed with Vetsch and said a show of good faith could help smooth relationships.
Board Chair Charlie Borrell was less enthusiastic. He called for establishing an agreement before turning over the funds left over from RiverRider.
But Commissioner Mark Daleiden said he likes the idea of providing the funds now to show the Wright County Board is willing to work with WCAT and Trailblazer.
"Let's let bygones be bygones. Let's move forward," he said.
Husom responded by saying, "If we are part of it (the local transit system), we can have a voice."
Potter said the people using the Trailblazer buses love them. He added that in his part of the county (the St. Michael and Albertville area), there are not enough buses right now to meet the demand.
Potter then thanked Vetsch for leading the effort to get the Wright County Board back to being involved with local transit.
Borrell commented that it was obvious where the Board was going. However, he stated he would vote against immediately providing the funds to WCAT because it would be "putting the cart before the horse."
A motion by Daleiden to turn the RiverRider money over to WCAT passed 4-1.
The Board plans to conduct a committee of the whole meeting on Oct. 19 at 9 a.m. to discuss what happens next in regard to local transit.
In other business:
WAVERLY ROAD IMPROVEMENT
The new local option sales tax in Wright County, which is providing more revenue for county highway projects, is funding a major improvement of CSAH (County State Aid Highway) 9 in Waverly. The Board approved an agreement with Waverly for the project, which is expected to get underway next spring.
Originally, the work was going to involve an overlay. But now, the roadway will be brought up to state safety standards.
Potter commented that the local option sales tax is allowing the project to be completed the right way and make CSAH 9 a much safer road in Waverly.
Problems with a new state computer system continue in the license bureau at the County Government Center. To help serve the public better, the Board approved a request to hire temporary help in the license bureau until the end of the year. Problems with the new computer system have caused long waits in line and frustration.
Bob Hiivala, the county auditor-treasurer, mentioned plans to install a drop-box for documents that can be dropped off. It is hoped the drop-box idea will help shorten the line at the license bureau.
The Board congratulated Wright County recipients of Minnesota Social Services Association (MSSA) awards. (A story about the honors appeared in the Oct. 5 issue of the Journal-Press.) Recipients included Samantha Dobbs, Cindy Hall, Ariel Johnson, and a community collaboration involving: Wright County Health & Human Services, Functional Industries, the Central Minnesota Mental Health Center, and Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Jami Goodrum Schwartz, health & human services director, referred to the award recipients as unsung heroes, and commented that they do not do their good work for awards, but recognition is very nice to receive.
In other actions, the Board:
• approved filling a deputy sheriff position;
• discussed the task of bringing computer programs up to date; and
• authorized attendance at a Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Tour on Oct. 18.
Car crashes into house during chase on Sunday
Following a suspected burglary, a car ran into a vacant house in St. Michael while being pursued by law enforcement officers.
On Sunday, Oct. 8 at approximately 12:34 a.m., Wright County Communications received a call about a burglary of a garage in the 10000 block of 42nd St NE, the Wright County Sheriff's Office reported. The homeowner observed a male walking away from the open garage door and leave in a vehicle. The homeowner noticed items missing from his vehicle parked in the garage and contacted the Sheriff's Office.
The suspect vehicle was located on County Road 35 near Edmonson Ave NE in Buffalo Township a short time later and fled from a deputy who attempted to stop the vehicle. A pursuit was initiated into the City of St Michael, where it was terminated due to high speeds. The vehicle was again located near the City of Hanover and failed to stop for a deputy who attempted to initiate another traffic stop. A second pursuit was initiated, and the vehicle crashed into a vacant house at the corner of Main St. and Central Ave. in St. Michael.
Two 16-year-old juvenile males were found in the vehicle with minor injuries, and the vehicle was found to be stolen. The juvenile males were transported to the hospital and were later booked into jail on multiple charges upon their release from the hospital.
Second-half property taxes due Oct. 16
Robert J. Hiivala, Wright County Auditor/Treasurer, would like to remind all county property owners that second-half property taxes for most properties are due Oct. 16, 2017. Exceptions to the Oct. 16 due date are properties classified as Agricultural and Manufactured Home property taxes, which are not due and payable until Nov. 15, 2017.
Please note, if you own multiple properties, some payments might be due Oct. 16, and some might be due Nov. 15. Please check each of your tax statements for the proper due date.
If for some reason you cannot locate your 2017 property tax statement and would like to get an additional copy, or if you have questions regarding your second-half taxes due, this information is available online at the county website, https://apps.co.wright. mn.us/proptax/. If you have misplaced your tax statement(s), you can print a copy of your statements for 2005 through 2017, if you wish. If you do not have access to the Internet, call the Wright County Auditor/Treasurer Department at 763-682-7572 or 763-682-7584 during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Property taxes can be paid in person, or they can be mailed and postmarked no later than Oct. 16, 2017 to avoid being assessed a late penalty. If you are mailing, send to: Robert J. Hiivala, Wright County Auditor/ Treasurer, 10 2nd St. NW, Room 230, Buffalo, MN 55313.
In addition, for property owner's convenience, there is a drop-box at the north entrance of the County Government Center on 2nd St. NW in Buffalo, to the left of the main entrance. Payments must be placed in the drop-box before 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 to avoid being assessed a late penalty.
The county accepts E-Check and Credit Card payments of property taxes online at the county website, https://apps.co.wright. mn.us/proptax/. Enter your PID# or address, then click "Search." When the correct property information is displayed, click the red "Pay Taxes" tab.
Please be advised that state law requires convenience fees to be charged to taxpayers who choose to make online credit card or e-check payment for property taxes (M.S. 276.02). These fees are not retained by Wright County, but rather they are paid to a third party vendor to cover the costs associated with the payment services.
Suicide prevention speaker Oct. 19
All are invited to come and hear Dr. Dan Reidenberg, executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), on Thursday evening, Oct. 19 at Zion Lutheran Church in Buffalo. He is a world-renown suicide prevention expert.
He will be speaking about the importance of mental health, mental wellness and suicide prevention in our lives.
The event is free and open to the public, and it is designed to give you knowledge, understanding and answers you and your family need.
A free dinner is planned from 5-5:45 p.m., and the program is from 6-7:30. A SAVE event at Sturges Park in Buffalo a while ago raised enough funds to offer the program and dinner at no cost to attendees, according to SAVE volunteer Gale Raisanen. The dinner is being catered by Elegant Entrees.
If you have any questions about this event, contact Linda Mars at email@example.com or call 952-946-7998.
Annandale man seriously injured in Buffalo crash
A crash in Buffalo on Highway 55 last Saturday, Oct. 7 resulted in seriously injuring a 28-year-old man from Annandale.
According to the State Patrol, a westbound car on Highway 55 and an eastbound SUV collided head-on after the car crossed the median. The crash took place just after noon near 3rd St. S.
The driver of the car, Travis Hill, 28, of Annandale sustained life-threatening injuries and was taken to the North Memorial Medical Center.
The driver of the SUV, Diane Burgess, 59, of Plymouth, sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to the Buffalo Hospital. A passenger in the SUV, Earl Monchamp, 69, of Plymouth, was also taken to the Buffalo Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
As of Monday, Oct. 9, Hill was listed in critical condition at North Memorial.
Colors of fall starting to show around here
Always the first to show their fall colors, the maple trees have been displaying brilliant yellow and orange leaves lately. This photo was taken in the Lakeview Cemetery, Buffalo. (Photo by Ed DuBois)
Pink Street Party '17
Ninth annual 'Party with a Purpose' features laser beams, plus honor and support for those affected by cancer.