Press and News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:16:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Elect Eddie Frizell for sheriff Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:16:38 +0000 Many voters are unaware that the sheriff of Hennepin County is an elected position. Incumbent Rich Stanek is reaching the end of his second term. Eddie Frizell is the better-qualified candidate for Sheriff of Hennepin County.

Who says so? The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies Association, the official agency of actual deputies, held a vote for endorsing a contestant in the 2014 election. With 87.5 percent of Association members voting, only 9 percent chose Stanek. Frizell has earned the endorsement of major organizations and prominent civic leaders as well as 3/4 of active, voting deputies of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies Association.

Frizell’s experience includes 21 years in law enforcement, currently Deputy Police Chief for the City of Minneapolis. In addition, he has already served 25 years in the Minnesota Army National Guard with the present rank of Colonel. Frizell has also earned Master’s degrees from Augsburg and the U.S. Army War College. He is a proven leader.

With a budget of $92,000,000, Frizell is not looking for an increase that would result in more taxes. Instead, Frizell wants to re-distribute funds to make safer working conditions, improve teamwork and morale, and reduce top-heavy administration costs.

Support the Sheriff’s Deputies by choosing Eddie Frizell as the next sheriff of Hennepin County.

Sherry Powers,


]]> 0
Rockford cross country teams finish in middle of section pack Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:44:53 +0000 BY DAVE PEDERSEN


Rockford cross country teams finished in the middle of the 22-team field at last week’s Section 5A meet in Milaca.

The boys finished 10th out of 22 teams and the girls placed 13th out of the 22 squads competing.

“I was pleased with the results from both teams,” said coach Jason Hester. “The boys edged out Howard lake-Waverly-Winsted by a few points. HLWW beat us a week earlier in the conference meet. Senior Nick Klonne ran a strong race and turned in a personal best time. He missed advancing to state by about 15 seconds.”

Hester says senior Austin Hubbs ran his first race in a few weeks and turned in a respectable time despite still be hurt. The coach adds how ninth-grader Caleb Duerr continues to show improvement from race to race and sophomore Joe Pothast ran a much better race than the conference meet.

Following Klonne came senior Brannon Winter (38), senior Drew Hafften (42), Pothast (74), Hubbs (77), Duerr (79) and senior Nico VanDanacker (81).

On the girls side, eighth-graders and Grace Clark and Erin Hopkins continue to do well. Clare (35) was followed by Hopkins (44), sophomore Liz Nelson (63), junior Anya Cady (90) and ninth-grader Charlotte Faue (100).

“Overall, the season went well,” adds Hester. “I was happy with the improvement that the younger runners showed and even though we are losing a large number of senior boys, we will still have a good nucleus of runners.”

The Rocket girls return the top five runners, plus should get a couple others back from injury. Hester expects to have a stronger girls team next season.



]]> 0
GSL slows down Rockford’s offense in section football playoff setback Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:32:26 +0000 Defenders from Rockford circled the Glencoe-Silver Lake ball carrier in last week’s section playoff loss including from left, Brad Scribner, Kane Vogel, Nick Selly, Tommy Reinking, Nick Hall, Andrew VanDehey, Alex Byers and Jake Clouse. (Photo by Dave Pedersen)

Defenders from Rockford circled the Glencoe-Silver Lake ball carrier in last week’s section playoff loss including from left, Brad Scribner, Kane Vogel, Nick Selly, Tommy Reinking, Nick Hall, Andrew VanDehey, Alex Byers and Jake Clouse. (Photo by Dave Pedersen)

Rockford’s Nick Selly gets his hands on Glencoe-Silver Lake quarterback Keaton Anderson during the section playoff game. (Photo by Dave Pedersen)

Rockford’s Nick Selly gets his hands on Glencoe-Silver Lake quarterback Keaton Anderson during the section playoff game. (Photo by Dave Pedersen)



Glencoe-Silver Lake executed some big plays and trip plays when shutting out Rockford 35-0 in the first round of the Class 3A, Section 2 football playoffs last week.

The No. 6 seed Rockets struggled to stop the No. 3 seed Panthers early on when GSL scored on its first three possessions. It helped to convert on several third down plays and add an occasional big play. A faked punt was even converted into a first down to keep a scoring drive going.

Rockford’s offense was shut down for most of the first half, with one drive getting as far as the Panther 35. With 45 seconds left in the half GSL drove to the Rocket 35 before hitting a touchdown pass with one second to play, pushing the lead to 28-0 at the break.

Coach Dan Houghton said his team played much better in the second half, holding GSL to two three and outs in the first three possessions. The Panthers scored the only touchdown of the half.

“We didn’t play well and it was a very frustrating way to end the season,” said Houghton. “We had a very good group of guys and a good group of seniors. Hats off to GSL for playing very well.”

Quarterback Jake Clouse was 4 of 16 passing for 54 yards and two interceptions. Tommy Reinking had 10 carries for 47 yards. Clouse had seven carries for 33 yards and Fordy Thorson had six rushes for 26 yards.

Hayden Roehl had two receptions for 45 yards. Defensively, Clouse led the way with 14 tackles, while Kane Vogel had 13 and Andrew VanDehey and Nick Selly both had 11 tackles. VanDehey added two sacks.

Houghton adds how Rockford played a lot of tight games this season, ending up on the wrong end.

“We fought hard and never gave up, which shows good character in our players in this program,” says Houghton. “I am very proud of this group and the effort they gave for each other, our school and our community.”

For the season, Clouse completed 59 of 142 passes for 971 yards and eight touchdowns. Reinking rushed the ball 116 times for 545 yards and five touchdowns.

Jeremy Bingham caught 28 passes for 498 yards and six touchdowns. He is now ranked fourth all time in school history for career pass reception yards with 849.

Clouse was a leader on both sides of the ball. He led the team on defense with 111 tackles to rank second all time at Rockford with 352.

Other tackle leaders were Selly 99, Vogel 59, Alex Byers 55 and VanDehey 53, plus Luke Schmitz, Nick Hall and Tommy Reinking all with 44. VanDehey and Schmitz both had 10 tackles for loss and Schmitz had 3.5 sacks. Tommy Traen knocked down eight passes.

Bingham intercepted four passes to rank fifth all time in career interceptions with eight. Jimmy Monssen and Hunter Smith both had two forced fumbles and VanDehey recovered two funbles.

“Next year we return five offensive starters and nine with significant playing time,” notes Houghton. “Defensively, we return three starters and seven with significant playing time. Our JV was 4-2 on the season and the C squad was 3-4.”




]]> 0
Rockford volleyball ends season with loss to top section seed Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:25:59 +0000 Junior Kailyn Reed led Rockford volleyball with 200 set assists. (Photo by Bill Nord)

Junior Kailyn Reed led Rockford volleyball with 200 set assists. (Photo by Bill Nord)



Rockford had an uphill battled when opening the 5AA south sub-section tournament last week against No. 1 seed Maple Lake.

The hill was too tall to climb for the young Rocket team that lost in three games, 25-15, 25-14 and 25-8 to end the season.

“Maple Lake is a strong team and we knew that we would have to play at the top of our game to beat them,” said coach Jen Stoa. “Unfortunately, the game did not go as we had hoped. We started the match very strong and then struggled with unforced errors. The girls never gave up when things got tough and they played as a team.”

Senior Brittany Miller led the team in hitting percentage and junior Lauren Enge led the team in serving percentage against Maple Lake.

“Looking ahead to next season, we will have some large shoes to fill,” adds Stoa. “We will graduate some very talented leaders. I am excited to see how the returning players step up next season. We have some very talented and driven returning players who have some experience under their belts.”

Rockford finished the season at 2-22 overall. The team was young with a sophomore, Emili Cain, as a hitting leader and a seventh-grader Molly Schultz as a setter.

In the regular season, senior Emily Eberspacher led the team with 115 kills. Next came Cain (78), junior Hannah Carlson (64), ninth-grader Taylor Tody (41) and sophomore Nicole Lofstedt (36).

Junior Kailyn Reed provided 200 set assists and Schultz had 106. Cain led with 22 ace serves and Carlson had 18. Enge led with 113 digs and Cain was tops when in on 63 blocks.

Graduating seniors are Eberspacher, Miller, Allison Nordvall, Monica Orth, Rhiannon Monssen and Laura Jakes.



]]> 0
North Shore gym club takes winter program signup Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:23:47 +0000 North Shore Gymnastics Association will begin taking new student registrations for the winter program on Nov. 3.

The nine-week Winter I class session begins Nov. 10 and runs through Jan. 24, 2015. For more information or to register by phone, call 763-479-3189 or to view the schedule visit

NSGA offers preschool classes for boys and girls ages 12 months through 5 years and progressive classes for boys and girls ages 6 through 18.

North Shore also offers a variety of specialty classes for all ages including a combination dance and gymnastic class, tumbling, junior varsity and high school gymnastics classes as well as daytime classes for home school students.

Open gym times are offered on Friday evenings for ages 5 to 18 and during the day on Tuesday and Thursday for preschool ages.

North Shore Gymnastics Association is a non-profit organization serving the west metro area for 40 years. The club is located just off Highway 12 in Orono.


]]> 0
Rockford Area Schools to join the Wright County Conference Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:21:00 +0000 The Rockford Area School Board, District 883, discussed a number of items at their October meeting, such as taking a vote to join the Wright County Conference, hearing information about the guided reader training for staff at the elementary school, and the PrepMe program for high school students.

wright county conference

Prior to this October school board meeting the Central Minnesota Conference, which Rockford Area Schools is currently a part of, had approached Rockford Area Schools and suggested that they move to a different athletic conference.

Activities Director Dan Pratt of Rockford Area Schools reached out to the chairman of the Wright County Conference, and found that they would be more than willing to accept Rockford into their athletic conference.

The school board voted unanimously to join the Wright County Conference for the 2015 – 2016 season.

The board also decided to send letters to some cities in the Central Minnesota Conference to see if some high schools would be interested in continuing to play Rockford non-conference.

Currently, the high schools in the Wright County Conference include Annandale, Delano, Holy Family Catholic, Litchfield, New London-Spicer, Orono, Dassel-Cokato, Glencoe-Silver Lake, Hutchinson, Mound-Westonka, and New Prague.

Guided Reader Training

During the week of Nov. 3, staff at the elementary school will be receiving guided reader training. This training will help to achieve balanced literacy for students in the elementary school.

The guided reader training will target things that teachers should work on with their students to help literacy. Principal Brenda Petersmeyer said that one thing the staff development training will consist of is, “Do they really know those driving questions that they should ask a child to look for to raise that achievement?”

A handful of administrators will take a different grade level each day for a couple hours while their instructors are undergoing this staff development. The kids will go through Kindness Camp, where they will learn about anti-bulling, and also do art projects and a variety of other activities.


This is a free and personalized program that is available for Rockford High School seniors, which helps prepare them for the ACT.

In the PrepMe program, students take a twenty question test and are given feedback based on their results. This feedback tells students what areas they should focus on so they do better on the ACT.

The PrepMe service is available for seniors now, and the juniors will have access to this program in January, 2015. This program is online accessible and is a valuable tool to help students study for the ACT test.


In other news, Peter Grimm, the Director of Teaching and Learning, is forming a staff development committee and will use this group to better help target staff development efforts.

The school board approved a resolution to accept a grant to offset student activities.

The board also approved an eight day trip to Costa Rica in March, 2016 for students in Spanish 3 and 4 at the high school. The hope is that this trip will encourage more students to take upper-level Spanish classes, as well as provide an educational international experience.

Also, the board approved a trip to Louisville, Kentucky for middle school and high school students. This trip is occurring on Oct. 29 to Nov. 1, 2014 and the students will be traveling with another Minnesota high school.

Contact Alyssa Krekelberg at

]]> 0
Changes hit Corcoran Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:08:15 +0000 Pat Hank reacts to being appointed to succeed Diane Lynch on the Corcoran City Council. (Sun staff photo by Susan Van Cleaf)

Pat Hank reacts to being appointed to succeed Diane Lynch on the Corcoran City Council. (Sun staff photo by Susan Van Cleaf)

New city councilor, police chief, closed session procedure

October occurrences will bring immediate changes to Corcoran — a resigning council member, a prospective new public safety director and changes for going into closed executive session and requesting public data.

City Administrator Brad Martens brought all these changes before the Corcoran City Council on Thursday, Oct. 23.


Councilors accepted Diane Lynch’s Oct. 15 resignation from her council seat and declared the seat vacant. She resigned fewer than three weeks before city elections. She had slightly more than two years left in her four-year term. Lynch said in her resignation letter that, for the last 10 months, she has been operating two facilities for her employer.

“I feel the need to resign my city council seat. I simply cannot give the reading, research and decision making a council seat requires the time and energy it deserves,” she explained.

The decision about when to resign had caused Lynch “much angst,” she said in her letter. She concluded that the current City Council would be most effective if it appointed someone to replace her rather than waiting for the 2015 city council to choose a successor.

Appointing a city councilor to replace Lynch would give the current council a full contingent of five members. The odd number would make it possible for the council to have a majority vote on issues rather than 2-2 split decisions.

Meanwhile, the mayor’s seat and two council seats are on the ballot in the Nov. 4 election. All of them are contested. This means that Corcoran has the potential for three new faces on its five-member city council after Jan. 1. Mayor Ken Guenthner said it would be time consuming to get a new city councilor acquainted with issues and council duties. He knew someone who has experience with Corcoran government and could bring perspective to the council. He had asked that person, Pat Hank, if he was willing to serve, and he had said yes.

The City Council agreed with Guenthner and unanimously appointed Hank.

Hank served on of the Corcoran Planning Commission for a number years and moved up to the commission chair position. He also has served on the Parks and Trails Commission. He has a background in working in both commercial and residential construction.


City Administrator Martens asked for and got City Council approval to make a contingent job offer to the man who is likely to succeed Sean Gormley as public safety director. Gormley will retire on Nov. 28 after serving for eight years.

Martens planned to drive to Staples on Monday, Oct. 27, to offer the job to Staples Police Chief Matthew Gottschalk. The offer is contingent upon results of a leadership assessment and background check.

Gottschalk has been Staples police chief since May, 2012, according to his LinkedIn Web page. Since April 2013 he has served as law enforcement skills instructor for emergency vehicle operations at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. Also, since May 2012, he has served on the Todd County Child Protection Team.

Gottschalk would start work in Corcoran on Dec. 1.


City Administrator Martens reported on a decision of a Minnesota state agency on allegations that Corcoran violated the state open meeting law and state requirements for disclosure of public information. He said Corcoran already has made changes in its procedures for both. Changes were based upon recommendations of City Attorney Jeff Carson. Martens recommended no further action on the issues.

Corcoran discovered the allegations on Aug. 29, when the city received a letter from the Minnesota Information Policy Analysis Division. Corcoran resident Charles Lymangood had asked it for an advisory opinion on three counts: Did Corcoran properly close its March 13 and June 12 meetings before going into executive session? And did Corcoran fail to provide all public data to Lymangood about easement negotiations for the sewer and water project that would serve the new Ravinia housing development?

In its letter, the analysis division said that how Corcoran responded to its opinion could affect the outcome of lawsuits filed in court, if issues ever got that far.

In its Oct. 14 opinion, the division said that Corcoran did not properly close the two meetings and the city did not provide all public data to Lymangood.

The two executive sessions dealt with negotiations for Corcoran’s purchase of easements along County Road 101 for sewer and water utilities to serve residents of the Ravinia single-family housing development, located south of Corcoran Lions Park. Before the council went into closed session, City Attorney Carson announced the purpose of the sessions. He identified two of the 13 properties that were involved by the name of the property owner because the two properties did not have street addresses.

The Minnesota Information Policy Analysis Division ruled that only a member of the City Council could announce closed sessions. Properties in real estate transactions must be identified with specific locations.

While the analysis division was drafting its opinion, Carson and Martens looked at how Corcoran could change its procedures. Corcoran now will ask residents to be more specific when asking for all data on an issue. Residents will be required to fill out a public data request. Starting with the Oct. 9 City Council meeting, the council used a new procedure for announcing a closed session. A council member described properties in the easement negotiations with addresses and property identification numbers.

After learning of the analysis division ruling, Carson said: “The IPAD (analysis division) opinion was instructive. We’re confident we covered what needed to be covered. The good news is that no damage was done to anyone. There was no nefarious conduct, in my opinion.”

He said Corcoran had given Lymangood over 400 pages of public information. He could have received the missing set of meeting minutes by simply calling the city.

Martens said about the missing minutes: “Overall I am very proud of the way the city responded to 20 data requests that take significant time and energy. Ultimately, we missed one document in one of the requests.”

He said the city is considering charging for data requests to recoup costs of staff time.

Contact Susan Van Cleaf at





]]> 0
Corcoran puts gravel road paving on hold Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:05:52 +0000 “This was a waste of time,” a Corcoran resident said after an Oct. 23 public hearing about whether or not to pave Treeline and Foxline drives, both of which are gravel roads classified as neighborhood streets.

The resident was expressing frustration over the fact that some residents of the two streets have been advocating for paving their roads for more than 20 years.

And, after the public hearing, the Corcoran City Council had basically put the project on hold by deciding not to approve the preparation of plans and specifications for the project, along with requests for bids from contractors. The council made this decision after discussing the 2014 city budget outlook and the fact that the city is still solving the puzzle of how to finance paving of gravel roads.

Corcoran can get municipal state aid for improving collector streets, but not neighborhood streets, such as Treeline and Foxline Drives. Early next year the city is planning to develop a financial strategy for paving collector roads that would take advantage of state money. Meanwhile, Corcoran is sticking with its current policy for paving neighborhood streets, with benefitting property owners paying 70 percent of project costs and the city paying 30 percent.

The 70-30 policy was one reason that Treeline and Foxline residents experienced sticker shock when they read the feasibility report, dated Sept., 2014, for paving their streets. Property owners would be assessed $12,963.28 for each parcel. The City Council learned about residents’ reaction to the price tag at the public hearing.

The council held the hearing to find out whether residents supported paving of the two roads at a higher assessment cost than they had anticipated. Earlier this year, 35 of 37 neighborhood residents signed a petition and a plan for paving Treeline and Foxline drives, along with Trailhaven Road, which is a collector street. The plan was based upon an earlier feasibility report. Residents said Corcoran could save money on road maintenance if all three streets were paved.

City Councilor Ron Thomas listened to public comments and said the city does not have the money to pave neighborhood streets at this time. Corcoran has cut 2014 expenses to balance its budget. Cuts have included holding off on projects. Ordering plans and specifications for the Treeline and Foxline project and letting bids in 2014 would cost money that Corcoran does not have.

After the meeting, City Administrator Brad Martens said Corcoran could pick up the project at any time during early 2015. All it would take would be decisions at a council meeting.

At the hearing, residents raised two questions. One was why cost estimates have gone up noticeably in recent years and the other was why was Corcoran considering paving Treeline and Foxline before paving Trailhaven Road. Residents must drive on Trailhaven to get to their two neighborhood streets.

Foxline Drive resident Randy Barber said, “Trailhaven is a disaster.” Both shoulders are washed out and motorists are driving down the center of the road. Residents are “beating up their cars” while driving on Trailhaven but not on Treeline and Foxline. Motorists have been hitting a big hole in the middle of Trailhaven for years.

Barber said it didn’t make sense to drive down a dirt road to get to a paved road and Trailhaven should be fixed first. He asked the council to consider “economies of scale” and have Trailhaven paved at the same time as Treeline and Foxline drives.

Resident Tom Holford said Corcoran has done three feasibility reports to get cost estimates. Each time estimated assessment cost has gone up — from $7,292 to $7,450 to almost $13,000 per benefiting property. He asked why the price has suddenly jumped.

Resident Jim Abell asked the council to give residents a cost before it collects bids.

“Only when you tell us how much it’s going to cost can we make an informed decision,” he said.

Resident Carolyn Carlson said she had signed the petition for paving the three streets based upon estimated costs in the petition. A 45-year resident on her street, she is retired and on a fixed income. If the cost would be “reasonable,” she would consider supporting the improvements.

“We need to know where we’re at, so we know what we can afford,” Carlson said.

And she wanted the pavement discussion to be over and done with. “I’m sick of hearing about it,” she said.

City Engineer Kent Torve said that he could look at why cost estimates have doubled in eight years, with a 9 percent increase each year. He would check whether estimates were based on the same assumptions, such as amount of gravel base and amount of bituminous surface. Also, he would look at how large an area was included in each feasibility study. Was Trailhaven Road included in earlier feasibility reports?

Mayor Ken Guenthner closed the public hearing, and the council discussed what to do next. City Councilor Tom Cossette said he was optimistic about paving gravel roads, at least for collector streets. This was good news for several Treeline and Foxline residents who had said they wanted Corcoran to pave Trailhaven Road first.

Guenthner said he wanted the council to decide on a financial plan for paving collector streets immediately after the first of the year, whether or not he is re-elected as mayor. If necessary, he would advocate on Dec. 31 for this to happen.

Treehaven Road is first on a proposed schedule for paving collector streets.

Contact Susan Van Cleaf at


]]> 0
Greenfield to fix lane drainage issue Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:56:36 +0000 At the last Greenfield City Council meeting, the council discussed a lane drainage issue on Greenfield Road and a sewer tank issue on North Shore Drive.

Lane Drainage

The council discussed what should be done concerning a lane drainage issue on Greenfield Road.

The regrading of a park area has caused a significant amount of water to come down the ditch on the east side of Greenfield Road. The ditch is unable to contain all this water and has been spilling across a resident’s farm field.

Also, the drain tile on the west side of Greenfield Road is causing the lower part of a resident’s farm field to be wet.

The options to fix this problem would be to regrade the ditch, or to reroute the drainage tile. The council decided to apply for a grant to fix the drainage tile, which the council decided can wait until next year. Fixing the ditches is the priority at the moment.

Councilor Alcon suggested that the city tackles this project in three parts. First, to put off the rerouting of drainage tile on the west side until next year and apply for a grant in the meantime to pay for this project. Next, to put off the pond in the southwest corner of the park until next year, which would help with the water flow. And finally, fix the ditch this year.

The city council decided to set up a special council meeting to further discuss this project and to give City Administrator Bonnie Ritter time to collect bids for this project. Also, the council intends to contact a few residents on the west side of Greenfield Road that will be effected by this project so they can voice their opinions in this decision.

Sewer Tank

The council was approached by a resident regarding a sinkhole in his yard and damage to his driveway due to the Lake Sarah Sewer project.

Councilor Mark Holten asked the wife of the resident, who attended the meeting, if anyone had been out to their property to verify that the sewer project was the cause of the sinkhole. Mayor Brad Johnson assured Holten that the sinkhole was there, as he had been out to the property, and it is due to the Lake Sarah Sewer project.

The council discussed what damages the city is responsible to fix. Councilor Chuck Alcon reminded the other council members of the city’s agreement with its residents, “If there is settling, clearly the project owes the resident black dirt and fill and that should be provided,” said Alcon.

After some discussion, the council agreed that the city would provide the residents dirt and seed to fix the sinkhole on their property.

However, “as far as the driveway, I think that was outside the scope of the project and it’ll be on the homeowner to take care of that,” said Mayor Johnson.

Public Works is responsible for filling and seeding the area in which the sinkhole resides.


In other news, the council decided to purchase a new desktop computer for a Public Works employee.

Contact Alyssa Krekelberg at

]]> 0
Liberty Property Trust breaks ground in Dayton Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:43:32 +0000 Dayton staff and Liberty property trust members broke ground on the new building to be built just north of I-94 in Dayton.

Dayton staff and Liberty property trust members broke ground on the new building to be built just north of I-94 in Dayton.

Mayor Tim McNeil spoke and the ground breaking ceremony Monday, Oct. 20.

Mayor Tim McNeil spoke and the ground breaking ceremony Monday, Oct. 20.


]]> 0