Press and News Fri, 17 Oct 2014 19:25:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Corcoran considers two finalists for police chief Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:20:12 +0000 Chief Gormley to retire Nov. 28

The city of Corcoran is searching for a new public safety director to succeed current Director Sean Gormley, who plans to retire on Nov. 28. The search committee has narrowed the list of candidates to two, neither of which are current members of the Corcoran Police Department.

City Administrator Brad Martens announced the two names at the Thursday, Oct. 9 Corcoran City Council meeting. They are Garett Flesand, patrol sergeant for the city of Brooklyn Center, and Matt Gottschalk, police chief for the city of Staples.

Martens also asked for and got council approval for a $1,500 budget to pay for a portion of the search for a public safety director. The budget includes $1,000 for leadership assessment of the top candidate, $200 for background assessment costs, $100 for a first round interview lunch for interviewers and $200 for a second round interview lunch for city councilors, staff and candidates. A future expense will be a uniform and equipment for the new hire.

Gormley stepped into his position more than eight years ago after arriving from the city of Champlin. He has served as Corcoran’s emergency management director. For the Lakes Area Emergency Management Planning Group, he has served as chair and also chaplain coordinator. A member of the Hennepin County Chiefs, he also was a member of its legislative committee.

Corcoran is planning a farewell for Gormley from 4-6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24, at Corcoran City Hall, 8200 County Road 116. The public is invited.

At the meeting, the council also took up other business. Here are some meeting highlights.


During recent meetings, the City Council has been discussing guidelines for public participation at council meetings. On Oct. 9, City Administrator Martens asked for approval of a statement that would be read at the start of future regular council meetings.

Councilors tweaked the wording and came up with this statement:

“Open Forum provides residents with the opportunity to address an issue with the City Council. The City Council will not take official action on items discussed during Open Forum, except to refer items to staff for future report or follow through. If you wish to address the City Council, please fill out the Open Forum sign-up sheet. Once it is your time to speak, approach the podium, state your name, address, and topic that you wish to discuss. Speakers will be limited to five minutes to discuss an issue unless additional time is approved by consensus of the City Council.”

The council also approved an explanation of the public participation guidelines that goes along with the statement. Both are posted on the city website at

The explanation says, in part, “During a meeting of the City Council, there is a need for civility and expedition in the carrying out of public business. In order to ensure the public has a full opportunity to be heard and the City Council has an opportunity to conduct business in an orderly manner, the following rules are established in regards to public participation at City Council meetings.”

At each meeting individuals in the audience who wish to speak on an item are invited to the podium during Open Forum. Before speaking, individuals must sign in with their names and addresses. At the podium they must speak loudly and clearly in the microphone so they can be heard in the audio recording. If anyone wants to make a presentation longer than five minutes, he or she must schedule the time with the city administrator’s office.

During open forum, the City Council might direct city staff to provide further information on an issue. To request specific information, a citizen will be required to complete an information disclosure request form to which city staff will respond.

“Public comments are always taken during public hearings,” the guidelines say. “However for other issues, it is left to the discretion of the mayor and councilors as to whether to take comments as they conduct the business of the city. Individuals unable to attend a City Council meeting or who would like to ask a question before a meeting are encouraged to contact the city administrator who may be able to answer questions on behalf of the city.”


The council approved fees for future development signs that will be posted along road frontages for proposed developments. The signs will say: “City of Corcoran. Proposed Development or Land Use Application. Call City Hall for Details. (763) 420-2288.”

City Administrator Martens said that the signs will be used for the first time on County Road 10 at the site of the proposed Peachtree single family housing development.

In 2014 developers will pay $165 for posting of the first sign and $50 for each additional sign.

Contact Susan Van Cleaf at


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Greenfield questions what to do with designated park property Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:18:02 +0000 BY ALYSSA KREKELBERG


The Greenfield City Council discussed a number of items at their last meeting, such as a parcel of land that was supposed to be used for a park, and the Greenfield Central Park memorial.

parcel for park use

In 2006, the city of Greenfield applied for and received a conditional use deed for a 1.23 acre parcel of land that is located on the northwest corner of 70 Avenue and Bell Street. This land was intended to build a neighborhood park.

Now the city needs to inform the Minnesota Department of Revenue on what has been done to this parcel of land.

“The city needs to either confirm that the land has been put to its intended use, which it has not at this time, or there are three options. One is to incorporate the property and its authorized public use into a formal plan. Number two is to reconvey the property back to the state of Minnesota. Or three, is to purchase the property,” said City Administrator Bonnie Ritter.

Administrator Ritter did not recommend that the council consider purchasing the property. If the council decided to use this parcel of land, it would require much work to make the land usable. The city would have level the land it before it could be built upon, and would have to rent equipment for this process. The city would also have to remove trees before a park could be built in this area.

The council discussed its options.

Mayor Brad Johnson stated, “To my recollection, this lot was deemed unbuildable in its present state.” He added that more than half of this parcel of land “is considered swamp.”

Councilor Chuck Alcon also weighed in on this topic, “We’re just not going to use this as a park. We can’t afford it.”

Park memorial

Also up for discussion was what should be done for the Veterans Memorial. The Parks Commission asked the council to discuss the type of memorial plaque as well as the surface, and the wording that will be on the plaque.

The Parks Commission representative went before the council to discuss the plans for the Veterans Memorial, which will be located in the Greenfield Community Park.

The plan is to use a large stone for the memorial, which would be placed on the northeast corner between the benches. The plaque placed on the rock will state, “In Memory of Those Who Have Gone Before Us.”

At the March Parks Commission and City Council joint workshop meeting, the council had also discussed the idea of having the Veterans Memorial wording to include not only the veterans, but also groups of people that have gone beyond what is necessary and the families that have sacrificed.


In other news, the city decided to hire Randy’s Sanitation for the recycling services in Greenfield.

The city also decided to approve an interim use application for a residence on Harff Road.

The next Greenfield City Council meeting will be Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers on 6390 Town Hall Drive.

Contact Alyssa Krekelberg at


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Affordable townhomes leap hurdle in Medina Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:15:58 +0000 Dominium, a developer and manager of affordable townhomes, has passed a first step in getting approval from the Medina City Council for a project proposed for the area behind the Medina Entertainment Center at 510 Clydesdale Trail.

The council, on Tuesday, Oct. 7, directed city staff to draft an approval resolution for a Mixed Use Stage I Plan, which establishes land uses, residential density and the general site layout. Dominium’s next step is to apply for Stage II Plan approval for building and engineering plans.

This is the national developer’s second proposal for affordable rental townhomes on the Clydesdale Trail site. Earlier this year Dominium proposed to build a 32-unit development at the same location. The City Council held town hall meetings to get citizen feedback on the project. Most of the speakers criticized the proposal, and Dominium withdrew its application before it reached the city council level.

Before the council discussed the new application, Mayor Elizabeth Weir pointed out some key differences between it and the first proposal.

The first time around, Dominium requested a rezoning to planned unit development to have flexibility for increasing the density of housing units on the 3.9-acre site. Because the second proposal calls for constructing 26 townhomes, the project would comply with mixed use zoning regulations.

Another key difference relates to financial incentives. With the first proposal, Dominium was poised to ask for waivers of sanitary sewer and water connection fees from the city. In the second proposal, the developer is not asking for any financial incentives from Medina.

Both Weir and City Attorney Ronald Batty said the City Council had very little discretion in the actions it legally could take on the second proposal, because Dominium was not asking for financial incentives or a zoning change.

Because the new proposal calls for six fewer units, the Dominium project has more room for larger garages, longer driveways and play space for youngsters. These were important issues for people who spoke against the first proposal.

Nick Andersen of Dominium explained that the two proposals are the same in an important way. According to guidelines from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, tenants are required to have 60 percent of area median income or less. This is calculated according to family size. A family of four would have a maximum income limit of $50,000 per year.

In Medina 335 households make less than $50,000 each year, Andersen said. Many of the tenants for the new townhomes are likely to come from Medina itself, so “there is a need” for the affordable units. Tenants are likely to be teachers, social workers, retail workers, restaurant employees, construction workers and people holding down similar jobs.

Both Dominium proposals also include earmarking four townhome units for families who have been homeless for at least a year. The developer will cooperate with Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners. IOCP will provide services to help the four families turn their lives around.

Jean Ferguson, vice president of Dominium, said HUD guidelines have a limit of two people per bedroom. The people in a particular townhome do not need to be related. Some of the Dominium townhomes will have two bedrooms. Others have three or four bedrooms. As many as eight people could live in a four-bedroom unit. Dominium inspects the units regularly to make sure tenants are complying with regulations.

Andersen said that, based upon experience with a similar project in Albertville, he was expecting an average household size of 3.5 people in the Medina project.

Before the City Council reviewed Dominium’s application, Weir said public comment was taken at a public hearing before the Planning Commission. The council would not hold a second public hearing, but audience members would be allowed to speak, with a time limit of three minutes.

Medina resident Mons Tieg said he favored the project. He called the prospective tenants people who have “hopes, plans and dreams” and are “trying to move ahead.” To refuse housing for them in Medina would be “economic profiling.” They might be seeking employment at places such as Countryside Cafe, but they can’t afford to live near there.

Medina resident Bob Franklin also supported the Dominium project. He said the development would serve working families “who serve us daily.” They would have children who might be friends with children of other Medina residents at school. Dominium tenants might be worshipping with Medina residents.

“At a different time this could be us,” Franklin said. “They should be able to afford a place to sleep at night.”

Medina resident Rochelle Rossini reminded the City Council about a petition from over 400 residents who opposed the first Dominium proposal. The residents said the project is “not a good fit for the community.” One reason is that the development would be located across the street from the bar at the Medina Entertainment Center.

Rossini asked whether the city could check to see who is living in the town homes after they are built.

Weir said, “We all know we need service people in our community.”

She added that the site “is not 100 percent ideal, but it is pretty good.”


The City Council also:

RECOGNIZED volunteers and contributors to Medina Celebration Day. Contributors included 38 Medina businesses and businesses from 33 surrounding cities.

DIRECTED city staff to prepare approval resolutions for Woodland Hill Preserve, a single-family residential development containing 15 lots proposed by developer Charles Cudd De Novo. The resolutions include approvals for rezoning to R-1 residential, preliminary and final plats and a variance for the maximum length of a cul-de-sac. The 7.9 net acre site is located east of County Road 116 and north of the Reserve of Medina.

DIRECTED city staff to prepare a resolution approving the site plan for an eight-unit, two-story apartment complex at 22 Hamel Road. Farhad Hakim is the developer for the complex, which would be located west of the Hamel Veterans of Foreign Wars parking lot.


Contact Susan Van Cleaf at


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Old stained glass window sparks memories of Corcoran church Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:11:28 +0000 Greenwood Methodist Church no longer is standing on County Road 10 near County Road 19 in Corcoran, but this stained glass window has survived. More than 20 years after the church was demolished, the newly restored window is back for the public to see at the Burschville School Museum on County Road 10. To make an appointment to visit the museum, contact Bonnie Maue at 763-639-1438 or before the museum closes for the winter.

Greenwood Methodist Church no longer is standing on County Road 10 near County Road 19 in Corcoran, but this stained glass window has survived. More than 20 years after the church was demolished, the newly restored window is back for the public to see at the Burschville School Museum on County Road 10. To make an appointment to visit the museum, contact Bonnie Maue at 763-639-1438 or before the museum closes for the winter.

Greenwood Methodist Church stood on County Road 10 near County Road 19 for over 100 years. Although the church was demolished long ago, parts of it have survived in memories of area residents and in the collection of the Burschville School Museum on County Road 10.

Bonnie Maue spoke glowingly about the newest addition to the museum’s collection — a restored stained glass window that once was mounted over the doorway at the church. Maue is president of the North Hennepin Pioneer Society/Burschville School.

The window made its debut at the annual museum Summerfest in August. The window had sat for over 30 years in someone’s garage or barn before being donated to the museum, according to Maue. She was uncertain about the window’s age. A newspaper clipping from 1974 referred to the church as being 106 years old at that time.

Visitors to Summerfest sat on an old pew from the church and gazed at the window and items on loan from members of the Pioneer Society and Hanover Methodist Church. The display prompted former congregation members to talk about weddings, confirmations and old family stories.

Maue said she wished that memories of Summerfest visitors had been recorded. She is inviting people to put their memories of Greenwood Methodist in writing and send them to the North Hennepin Pioneer Society at P.O. Box 391, Hanover, MN 55341, or call Maue at 763-639-1438 or Verneal Klersy at 763-498-8677. The Burschville School Museum also would welcome donations of artifacts from the church.

Meanwhile, the Pioneer Society is looking for any memorabilia from the Burschville area and especially from School District No. 107. The society can make copies of school class photos and return the originals to donors. Contact Maue or Betty at 763-420-3440.

The Pioneer Society is a nonprofit organization that raises funds to maintain the Burschville School grounds and the school and to preserve the collection of school items on display. Maue is writing a grant application to increase public access to the museum and the times it is open to the public. Currently the museum is open by appointment during nonwinter months. As soon as the snow flies, the museum will be closed until spring because it is not heated.

Burschville School was one of 10 or so schools in Corcoran. It was a one-room school for all eight grades.

In the 1970s schools in Corcoran were forced to consolidate, Maue said. Now the old schools are gone.

To find out about events and activities at Burschville School, visit the Corcoran city website at

Contact Susan Van Cleaf at


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Rockford football gives No. 4 ranked Pierz a tough test Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:01:50 +0000 Rockford’s Tommy Reinking caught one pass against Pierz Friday, but it was good for a 77-yard touchdown. (Photo by Charles Read)

Rockford’s Tommy Reinking caught one pass against Pierz Friday, but it was good for a 77-yard touchdown. (Photo by Charles Read)



Rockford did some good things against Pierz in a home football game Friday, but not enough to upset the No. 4 ranked team in Class 3A when losing 27-12.

The Central Minnesota Conference champion found itself in a battle when leading 14-12 late in the first half. Pierz scored before the break and once more in the second half to remain undefeated.

“We played a hard physical game,” said coach Dan Houghton. “They are a tough team but we were able to slow them down at times. However, a couple times we got caught not doing our jobs and they hit on a couple of big plays. We didn’t make enough plays to win.”

Rockford got on the board early with a 77-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Clouse to running back Tommy Reinking. The extra point attempt hit the upright.

Pierz responded with a 9-yard touchdown pass to grab a 7-6 lead. On its next drive, Pierz broke for an 86-yard touchdown run.

Rockford did not roll over and put together a 12-play 70-yard drive, capped by a 2-yard run by Reinking. The 2-point conversion attempt failed. Pierz scored again right before the half to lead 20-12.

To start the second half the Pioneers capped all scoring on a long drive making it 27-12. A long drive by Rockford was stopped by an interception.

The Rocket defense was able to keep Pierz off the board the rest of the way. One drive was stopped by a sack by Grant Friedlein. On another drive, Jake Schmitz stripped the ball and Jeremy Bingham jumped on it.

Jake Clouse led the way on defense with 22 tackles at linebacker. Nick Selly had 18 tackles and Alex Byers added 10.

On offense, Clouse was 5 of 13 passing for 124 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Reinking gained 37 yards on 10 carries and caught the one pass for 77 yards and a touchdown. Bingham had two receptions for 36 yards.

Rockford ended the regular season with a game at Howard lake-Waverly-Winsted Wednesday, after this issue went to press. Last year Rockford beat HLWW 29-26 and has won three straight in the series.

The Rockets are 3-4 overall, 2-4 in the conference. The playoffs begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21 at the home of the higher seed. The second round games are at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 and the title game is 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31.

“We are going to be on the road,” said Houghton about the first game. “There are some very close races, so who we will be playing all depends on Wednesday night games. The top teams are Providence Academy, Watertown-Mayer, Glencoe-Silver Lake and Breck.”

Houghton said his players are not totally healthy, but unless there are more injuries against HLWW, the coach hopes to be at full strength for the first time all season in the playoffs.

Factors of success include taking care of the ball and not giving up the big play. Houghton also believes facing so many tough conference teams gets his team ready for the playoffs each year.



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Rockford soccer teams end season in playoffs Thu, 16 Oct 2014 22:51:17 +0000 Sophomore Jackson Kulavik (right) battles for the ball for Rockford’s boys soccer team. (Photo by Bill Nord)

Sophomore Jackson Kulavik (right) battles for the ball for Rockford’s boys soccer team. (Photo by Bill Nord)

Maddi Bartlett is a senior midfielder for Rockford’s girls soccer team that ended its season with a 1-0 playoff loss. (Photo by Bill Nord)

Maddi Bartlett is a senior midfielder for Rockford’s girls soccer team that ended its season with a 1-0 playoff loss. (Photo by Bill Nord)

Rockford sports report



Rockford’s boys and girls soccer teams lost first round games in the Section 6A playoffs last week.

The girls lost 1-0 to Providence Academy to finish 6-8-1 on the season. The boys lost 10-0 to Benilde-St. Margaret’s to be 1-15.


Rockford’s cross country teams are gearing for the upcoming section meet on Oct. 23 in Milaca by running in invitational meets big and small.

Despite the snow and cold, the Rockets entered the Swain Invitational in Duluth, Oct. 4, one of the bigger meets in the state. Last week Rockford took part in the St. Peter Invite, one of the smaller meets.

“We have not been doing anything outstanding or poorly, just running like we are supposed to,” said coach Jason Hester. “I am hoping for a middle of the pack finish for both boys and girls at the conference meet.”

The Central Minnesota Conference meet was run Tuesday in Pierz after this issue went to press. The boys were without its top two runners, Nick Klonne, who attends college classes in Gustavus, and Austin Hubbs, who is out injured.

“However, this will be a good opportunity for some others to step it up a notch and let us see what they can do,” said Hester about openings on varsity. “We added Emma Hawley last week.  She had been out due to an injury in the off-season. I look for her to help us in sections.”

Hester adds how eighth-grader Erin Hopkins ran a very good race last week and continues to get stronger as the season nears the end. Hopkins placed second at the four-team St. Peter meet, followed by another eighth-grader, Grace Clark in fourth.

Next came Liz Nelson (7), Anya Cady (11), Charlotte Faue (16), Sam Bagaason (10) and Melinda Robinson (23). The team was second behind host St. Peter.  In Duluth, top finishers were Clark (52), Hopkins (75), Nelson (132) and Cady (150).

The Rocket boys also placed second out of four teams in St. Peter. Leaders were Klonne (2), Brandon Winters (4), Drew Haften (6), Joe Pothast (8), Caleb Duerr (10), Nick VanDanacker (11) and Lucas Klonne (13).

Rockford placed 18th out of 24 Class A teams in the much bigger Duluth boys meet. There were 17 more teams in Class AA. Top finishers were Klonne (41), Winters (73), Haften (95), Hubbs (106) and Pothast (109).

“We ran well at Duluth,” notes Hester. “Nick ran very well for not practicing with us much during the season. Austin ran with a knee injury and toughed it out to still did well. Joe is starting faster and maintaining his pace.”


Volleyball lost matches to Watertown-Mayer 3-1 and Pierz 3-0 last week, but coach Jen Stoa has seen improvement despite the 2-20 record.

Rockford won the first game against WM 25-18 before losing 25-15, 25-11 and 25-22. Pierz dominated the three games 25-9, 25-10 and 25-11.

Stoa points to the two matches the week prior when there was a big swing in how players started working better together. After losing to DeLaSalle, Stoa said she saw a whole new team against Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa.

“The girls have really figured out what it means to play together as a team,” adds Stoa. “Even though we lost to BBE, it was a good game for us. The girls played tough and they never gave up.”

Kill leaders against Watertown-Mayer were Emily Eberspacher (9), Emili Cain (4) and Nicole Lofstedt (4). Cain had two blocks. Taylor Tody and Eberspacher both had two ace serves.

For the season, kill leaders are Eberspacher (107), Cain (73), Hannah Carlson (63), Tody (40), Lofstedt (32) and Brittany Miller (27). Kaylyn Reed leads with 186 set assists. Cain has 21 ace serves, followed by Carlson with 17. Cain is tops with 20 blocks and Lauren Enge leads with 108 digs.

Section 6AA playoffs are scheduled for Oct. 23, 28, 30 and Nov. 1. The seeds were not set before this issue went to press.






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North Shore gym club places high in North St. Paul Thu, 16 Oct 2014 22:45:20 +0000 North Shore Gymnastics Association’s Level 4 team captured second at the recent Fall Hoe Down meet in North St. Paul. Pictured from left- Anika Budzius, Reese Lenort, Ava Jaenchen, Payton Amundson, Kylie Strobl, Kenndedy Schmidt, Marissa Dennis, Sophia Campbell, Ellie Amic, Mae Vickery, Sierra Ingle and Avery Lommel.

North Shore Gymnastics Association’s Level 4 team captured second at the recent Fall Hoe Down meet in North St. Paul. Pictured from left- Anika Budzius, Reese Lenort, Ava Jaenchen, Payton Amundson, Kylie Strobl, Kenndedy Schmidt, Marissa Dennis, Sophia Campbell, Ellie Amic, Mae Vickery, Sierra Ingle and Avery Lommel.

North Shore Gymnastics Association’s Level 3 and 4 teams placed high at the recent Fall Hoe Down in North St. Paul.

Level 4 placed second overall with a score of 104.275, while Level 3 was third with 106.675 points.

Sophia Campbell (9) paced the Level 4 squad by placing third in the all-around. She also was first on floor exercise (9.375). Reese Lenort (11) placed second on vault (8.775).

The North Shore Level 3 team had two top 10 all-around placements. Courtney Halvorson (9) landed in sixth place in the all-around, finishing fifth on the uneven bars. Kate Swenson (8) placed eighth in the all-around and was fifth on floor.

Information: 763-479-3189 or




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Mounds View again ends MG girls’ soccer season Thu, 16 Oct 2014 20:23:57 +0000 Maple Grove goalie Marissa Hamilton saves this Mounds View shot in the section semifinal game. (Photo by Rich Moll -

Maple Grove goalie Marissa Hamilton saves this Mounds View shot in the section semifinal game. (Photo by Rich Moll –

Maple Grove’s number one goal this season was to return to the Section 5 championship game and win it. But the Crimson will not get that chance as old nemesis Mounds View edged the host Crimson 1-0 in the semifinal Oct. 9.

Mounds View beat Maple Grove 1-0 in last year’s section final. The Mustangs were the top-ranked team last year but this season the Crimson were ranked higher and had the home field advantage.

The two teams tangled earlier this year and ended in a 1-1 tie. In the section semis, the Crimson had their chances but were denied by the goal post and had some misses. The Mustangs got the winner in the second half on a rebound goal.

Maple Grove finished the season 13-2-1 overall and took second in the conference with an 11-2 mark.


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Fietek to challenge Uglem for Dist. 36A seat Thu, 16 Oct 2014 20:10:04 +0000 Residents of Dist. 36A in Champlin will vote Tuesday, Nov. 4, in the general election to fill the Minnesota House of Representative seat. This district represents part of Coon Rapids and all of Champlin.

Candidates appearing on the ballot include Jefferson Fietek and incumbent Mark Uglem for the state representative seat. Fietek is a resident of Coon Rapids and Uglem resides in Champlin.

The candidates were asked to include their thoughts in statements. Each were asked to include in a response:

1. Candidate biography: Please include a short biography of yourself, your background, your personal and professional experiences and any other information you wish to share.

2. Candidate statement: Please comment on the top issues you feel are important in this election. Explain any changes you would like to see made to address the community’s most urgent problems. Please include your vision for the community’s future and what government should do to guide future growth.

The responses received include:

Jefferson Fietek


Jefferson has been a resident of Coon Rapids for 40 years and currently owns a townhome with his teenage son. He has been an educator for over sixteen years teaching preschool, middle school and college. He has served on several boards and commissions over the decades such as Coon Rapid’s Community Partners, Coon Rapids Arts Commission, MRAC Committee (which helps determine the disbursement of Minnesota’s Legacy Funds) and more. He founded two community focused organizations which address issues such as at-risk youth, anti-bullying, mental health and homelessness. He has received awards locally and nationally for his work for our community.JeffersonFietek


This community is made up of hard working people, many of whom are working one or more minimum wage jobs, yet barely keeping their heads above water.  Sadly, many corporations increase profits by cutting wages and healthcare benefits leaving their employees dependent on government assistance. While the corporation reaps the profits, society is burdened with carrying the cost of meeting the fundamental needs of employed families. When elected, I will work to make sure that people are paid fairly for their work. In terms of the unemployed, it is true that Minnesota has shown improvement in recent years but there is still a lot more work to be done. I want to help people get back to work. Part of this can come from helping ensure that training and education are accessible to all citizens, therefore making them more qualified or able to step into a new career track.

As a parent and educator, I know firsthand the importance of setting our kids up for adult success, getting them the best Pre-K, elementary, middle and high school education. We need to stop “teaching to the test” and start getting back to teaching the material. We need to make college and trade schools affordable and accessible, without leaving our young adults in overwhelming student debt.

I would like to change the conversation about mental health. We need to lift the veil of shame and secrecy that often comes with issues of mental health and then get people the help they need. We have so many people who are struggling with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other socially stigmatized disorders; while also feeling alone in that struggle. By addressing this need, we are working towards the goal of helping decrease the tragic results of untreated mental health issues: imprisonment, addiction, homelessness, unemployment, hospitalization and death. The current mental health system is broken, and needs to be addressed and repaired.

As a Representative, I will endeavor to go further than simply living in the community. I will bring a history of being actively engaged in this community for change, and will continue to work hard for this community because it is the right thing to do.

Mark W. Uglem


I have been a resident of Champlin for over 24 years and have a long record of service to the community. It began with the Champlin Park Youth Hockey Board to serving three terms as the Mayor of our community. Along the way I served on the Parent Advisory Committee at our high school, and the committee that built our Senior Housing complex. I was Chair of the Planning Commission and a City Council member.

Mark Uglem

Mark Uglem

I am a retired business executive (Executive V.P. Hirshfield’s Paints) and former Vice President of the North Metro Mayors.

I am married with three children.


Our great state and our community are at a crossroads and face great challenges. Many people are unhappy with government and apprehensive about the economy. That is why I have always been involved. We need answers, not just talk.

When I was Mayor we faced down the Great Recession. I fiscally managed in a responsible manner and Champlin’s credit rating actually went up! Much of our city’s development has happened on my watch, and this added to the tax base of the community. I intend to further those goals at the state.

Taxes and spending in Minnesota are out of control. Minnesota’s General Fund Spending increased 12.1 percent under Governor Dayton. Try doing that in your household. To support this spending, taxes increased a record $2.1 billion. Ever wonder why at the end of the month there is no money left in your checkbook? I believe we don’t need to raise taxes, but we need to prioritize spending. A perfect example is that we spent $11.4 BILLION on Health and Human Services but just $220 million on transportation. Everyone needs a safety net, but our roads and bridges are crumbling.

Another spending priority of Governor Dayton was a new office building for the Senate. This will cost upwards of $77 million and is simply NOT needed. The Senate already has offices!

What we need to do at the state is to concentrate on a few things and do them well. We need to improve K-12 education; I voted to increase funding for that. All day kindergarten was also one of my priorities because I believe in giving our children the tools to succeed in the 21st century.

Better transportation funding is also one of my priorities. I delivered on this by working “across the aisle” to get Hwy 610 built out all the way to Interstate 94 (starting spring 2015).

JOBS. We simply need to make this state more business friendly and encourage job growth through favorable taxes and less bureaucratic regulation. I voted for one of the larger job bills in this budget.

Lastly, we need to accomplish these goals in a bi-partisan manner. Nothing gets done with “in your face politics” and gridlock. I worked with the other side to get things done in a collaborative manner. That happens in business, it should happen at the Legislature.

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Haunted Acres brings creepy characters to Corcoran Thu, 16 Oct 2014 19:05:58 +0000 Haunted Acres will begin its Halloween season on Oct. 17 at Corcoran Lions Park, located on County Road 10 west of County Road 101. (Sun staff file photo by Linda Herkenhoff)

Haunted Acres will begin its Halloween season on Oct. 17 at Corcoran Lions Park, located on County Road 10 west of County Road 101. (Sun staff file photo by Linda Herkenhoff)

Haunted Acres is returning to Corcoran Lions Park, at county roads 101 and 10, for five days of scary experiences on Oct. 17, 18, 24, 25 and 31.

This year’s event is a joint effort of the Hamel and Corcoran Lions as well as the Corcoran Jaycees. The gates open at 7 p.m. on all five nights. Gates are scheduled to close at 10 p.m. However, if visitors are lined up at closing time, the gates will remain open until the line is gone.

Haunted Acres is the latest version of the Hamel Lions Haunted House that was established in 1997. From 1997 to 2008 the volunteer group haunted three locations, all of them donated by local businesses. In 2009 the third location in Hamel was torn down and the spooky characters had no place to haunt. After that, the event found a new home in Corcoran Lions Park.

“In 2008 alone we raised over $12,000 and 2,300 pounds of food for Interfaith Outreach,” the Haunted Acres website says.

The cost this year is $10 (cash only) per person for entry. Food donations are accepted and encouraged.

Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Visitors will find concessions, a bonfire and more inside the gates.

The website offers advice for visitors: Wear comfortable footwear, no flip flops or high heels. There are many changes in elevation and uneven surfaces throughout the whole grounds, so dress accordingly. Do not wear hanging earrings.

“Due to the intense nature of this event, you or your friends could accidentally pull them out of your ear,” the website says. Also hanging scenery and props could snag an earring.

Do not bring weapons, lighters, flashlights or laser pointers. If any of these are seen inside the attraction, they will be confiscated and will not be returned.

“These items ruin the effect for all those around you and could potentially harm actors/other guests,” the website says.

Leave cellphones inside the car. Many are dropped and few are recovered. Visitors who are seen with cellphones out while inside any attraction will be removed from the grounds immediately, without a refund. Anyone who touches actors, props or scenery also will be removed the grounds without a refund.

Lastly, anyone who is noticeably over the limit for alcohol, or appears to be under the influence of any illegal drugs, will not be allowed in or will be removed from the grounds without a refund.

Refunds will not be given to anyone who is too scared to make it through Haunted Acres.

There might, or might not be, stairways, steep hills, strobes, black lights, claustrophobic spaces, fog effects, performer-driven startle scares, automated startle scares, extreme darkness, intense sounds, extreme visual effects, graphic imagery and gore, disorienting lighting and other effects whether disclosed, or not disclosed, in use.

In other words, enter at your own risk.

Compiled by Susan Van Cleaf,




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