The Caledonia Argus The Caledonia Argus covers community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for the cities of Caledonia, Eitzen, and Brownsville; Independent School District 299 and Houston County, Minnesota. Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:53:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Balloons filled the skies this past weekend Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:53:16 +0000 Photos by Pam DeMorett and Diana Hammell

Photos by Pam DeMorett and Diana Hammell

Balloons_Caledonia Balloons_field Balloons_fillingup Balloons_fillingup2 Balloons_Fire Balloons_flying Balloons_kissing Balloons_school Balloons_school2 Balloons_shadow Balloons_touchingdown Balloons_view Balloons


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October 22 is Unity Day Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:31:02 +0000 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. National Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign in the United States founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Center for Bullying Prevention. The campaign is held during the month of October and unites communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. Traditionally held the first week in October, the event was expanded in 2010 to include activities, education, and awareness building for the entire month. National Bullying Prevention Month is recognized in communities across the United States, with hundreds of schools and organizations signing on as partners. Facebook, Disney, CNN and Yahoo! Kids have supported the month through media outreach and dissemination.

Caledonia area schools has been doing various activities throughout the month to educate and raise awareness of the problem of bullying.

“It is great that the teachers and administration show so much support here in Caledonia,” said MS/HS Counselor Ryan Schmidt.

Unity Day

Wednesday, October 22 is “Unity Day.”

The PACER Center has recognized one day during the month of October as a day to unite throughout the country against bullying.

In 2014 that day will be held on October 22. Students and staff at Caledonia area schools will be wearing orange in recognition of Unity Day.

“It is a great way to bring awareness to the whole issue of bullying or cyber bullying to our school,” said Schmidt.

The counselor hopes that parents will get involved in Unity Day as well.

“We are encouraging the students and staff to wear orange as well,” said Schmidt. “But we’re also hoping that parents and community members will get involved.”

Schmidt said that his hope is that someone might go to work and be asked ‘why are you wearing orange?’

“It creates the opportunity for a dialogue around this issue,” he said.

He also hopes that the message will be sent that there is support for those who are going through being bullied.

“We want everyone to know that you’re not alone,” he said. “We want to bring it into focus here in our school. Unity Day is a chance for everyone to come together as one and to end bullying.”

According to a UCLA psychology study, bullying boosts the social status and popularity of middle school students. Psychologists studied 1,895 students at 11 Los Angeles middle schools, where students were asked to name the students who were considered the “coolest”. According to Jaana Juvonen, the lead author of the study, “The ones who are ‘cool’ bully more, and the ones who bully more are seen as ‘cool’”.

• 20 percent of U.S. students in grades 9-12 reportedly have experienced bullying or are feeling bullied, while 28 percent of students in grades 6-12 report the same. Experts agree that most incidences of bullying occur during middle school.

•  According to one study cited by the DHHS, 29.3 percent of middle school students had experienced bullying in the classroom; 29 percent experienced it in hallways or lockers; 23.4 percent were bullied in the cafeteria; 19.5 percent were bullied during gym class; and 12.2 percent of bullied kids couldn’t even escape the torture in the bathroom.

• Most of the student in the study reported name calling as the most prevalent type of bullying, followed by teasing, rumor-spreading, physical incidents, purposeful isolation, threats, belongings being stolen, and sexual harassment. Surprisingly, cyberbullying occurred with the least frequency.

• 70.6 percent of teens have seen bullying occurring in their schools – and approximately 30 percent of young people admit to bullying themselves. With so many students seeing what goes on, one has to wonder why bullying proliferates – especially since the DHHS reports that bullying stops within 10 seconds 57 percent of the time when someone intervenes. Juvonen found in her study that “A simple message, such as ‘Bullying is not tolerated,’ is not likely to be very effective,” and that effective anti-bullying programs need to focus on the bystanders, who can step in and stop the behavior.


Bullying Statistics 2014:

Lasting Effects of CyberBullying

Most experts agree that bullying peaks in middle school, while children are making the transition from children to young adults. Although bullying certainly continues into high school – and even into adulthood, unfortunately – it does seem to subside with maturity. Even so, approximately 160,000 teens reportedly skip school every day because they are bullied, and 1 in 10 teens drops out of school due to repeated bullying.

• 83 percent of girls, and 79 percent of boys report being bullied either in school or online.

• 75 percent of school shootings have been linked to harassment and bullying against the shooter.

Not shockingly, students who are bullies as young adults continue the trend of abuse and violence into adulthood. By the age of 30, approximately 40 percent of boys who were identified as bullies in middle- and high school had been arrested three or more times.


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Houston County passes resolution aimed at keeping water control local Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:28:01 +0000 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Houston County passed a resolution against new regulations of the proposed new waters of the United States (WOUS) definition.

“The Minnesota County Engineers Association is recommending that this is something we do,” County Engineer Brian Pogodzinski said.

In fact, the engineer noted, that it is something local jurisdictions are treating with caution so as not to lose local control of their streams, rivers and waterways.

The resolution reads in part, “Houston County requests that the proposed new WOUS not be implemented and the EPA work with local and state governments to develop a map showing WOUS and/or clear and concise regional definitions. Houston County recognizes the need to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of the waters of the United States,” the resolution language states.

However, it notes, “Minnesota has the MPCA, MnDNR and BWSR regulatory programs effectively accomplishing this but recognizes some states do not.”

John Brunkhorst, Minnesota County Engineers Association president said “We are very concerned with the proposed new rules defining WOUS. The proposed rules at 88 pages as pubished  in the Federal Register are so complex and confusing, we are concerned our county members, especially smaller and mid-sized counties without environmental resource specialists, will be able to identify which waters require permits and which do not. We are concerned regulators will also have difficulty with this question.”

The ambiguity, Brunkhorst fears, will “result in additional costs and delays as we attempt to make this determination.”

Other news

• The schedule of findings for  the year ended December 2013 in the summary of auditor’s results, show that the Houston County financial statements received an “unmodified” finding.

“That is the highest we can receive,” Carol Lapham, County finance director said.

In the county’s financial statements, no material weaknesses were identified.

In the federal awards portion of the review, the county also recieved an ‘unmodified’ finding.

“This is good news,” Lapham said. “This is the first time since I’ve been here in 30 years.”

The findings will help the county save costs in addition to having the accurate financial data.

Should the county be qualified as a low risk auditee for two consecutive years, they will realize savings as a result of the designation.

• Jordan Goeden was hired as a probationary maintenance specialist, step one, at an hourly rate of $18.51.

Malika Eisberner had her status changed from probationary to regular effective October 21.

• Commissioners Judy Storlie and Dana Kjome were appointed to serve on the canvasing board. Commissioner Justin Zmyewksi and Teresa Walter were not eligible to serve as they are up for re-election. The canvassing board will meet at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 7, to certify the results of the November 4 election.

• Reminder: There is no board meeting on Tuesday, November 4 because it is election day. There is also no meeting on Tuesday, November 11, because of the Veteran’s Day holiday. Instead, the board will meet on Monday, November 10.

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Local artist mural on display during recent open house Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:27:28 +0000 By Daniel E. McGonigle

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus   Local artist Rocky Danielson poses next to the mural she painted in Mark Miller’s garage outside of La Crescent.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
Local artist Rocky Danielson poses next to the mural she painted in Mark Miller’s garage outside of La Crescent.

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Artist Rocky Danielson throws all of herself into each project that she does.

On October 12, the Caledonia artist held an open house to unviel some of her recent work.

“I enjoy hearing or seeing what people do that they enjoy,” Danielson said. “That which gives them peace and enthusiasim. This is a project that has made my heart sing.”

Danielson recently completed a mural as a tribute to the last car enthusiast Stan Belchinger.

The mural is painted on a remodeled garage at the home and business of auto body specialist Mark Miller.

“We decided to do something like this when my uncle ( Belchinger) passed away,” said Miller. “He was an auto body guy, like myself and so we wanted to do something as a tribute to him.”

So Miller approached Danielson who was eager to participate in the project.

“I spent time with the family wanting to understand exactly what they wanted,” said Danielson.

She and Miller went back and forth discussing just what should be painted.

Over the course of the conversation, Danielson got to know which cars Blechinger had worked to restore and those same cars were put into the murals in various places.

She also learned that Belchinger would travel to Rudy’s drive in in La Crosse each Tuesday night with his car club.

Many of the members of the club came to an open house held on Sunday, October 12.

They were treated to murals on the walls that featured Belchinger’s familiar pink Chevy 1957 Bel Aire. The mural also featured Rudy’s familiar drive in, and personal touches of Miller’s children, Joey and Miranda seated on a picnic table outside of Rudy’s.

“It turned out better than I could’ve imagined,” said Miller. “So many different folks came to see the work and commented on how proud Stan would’ve been.”

Dainelson, who has painted murals at Caledonia schools, the turkey sign, single family homes throughout the area, and other places, is proud that her work was so well recieved.

“It was a great project to be a part of,” she said.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus   Mark Miller poses with the 1957 Bel Aire that his late uncle, Stan Belchinger restored. Miller made the cooler/bar trailer pull behind shown in the photo.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
Mark Miller poses with the 1957 Bel Aire that his late uncle, Stan Belchinger restored. Miller made the cooler/bar trailer pull behind shown in the photo.

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Board denies peddler’s license to Thomas Costello Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:03:43 +0000 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

The Houston County board, on the recommendation of the sheriff, voted to deny a peddler’s license to Thomas Costello.

Costello, who has solicited business in the county offering the sevice of farm painting, has been the subject of several complaints submitted to the sheriff’s office.

On September 28, 2013, the Houston County Sheriff’s office received a complaint from a resident in Wilmington Township. The citizen reported that they gave Costello $3,750 to paint a building and the work has not been done.

“I called this citizen on October 6, 2014 and asked if the work had been completed by Mr. Costello,” said Houston County Sheriff Doug Ely. “They informed me that Mr. Costello was at their residence approximately one week ago and said he was going to do the work but has not done it yet.”

The citizen is now concerned that the temperatures have gotten too cold and the work will not get done again this year.

On October 5, the sheriff’s office received a call from a resident in Sheldon Township.

They reported three suspicious males at the residence. When deputies responded, Costello, his son Jimmy and an employee, Alvin Green, were identified.

Deputies reported that the reporting citizen’s husband had hired the three males, but because of their behavior they were asked to leave and not to return.

On October 6, 2014, Thomas Costello applied for a peddler’s license in Houston County.

On the application Mr. Costello indicated he had not been convicted of a felony gross misdemeanor or any crime of theft, fraud or issuance of worthless checks.

“In doing a basic search of Mr. Costello, I found that he had been convicted of a felony,” Ely said. “The Wisconsin Circuit Court access indicates that he plead guilty to a felony count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in La Crosse County on September 24, 2014.”

In fact, Ely noted, “it appears that Mr. Costello has at least five prior driving under the influence convictions and his driving privileges are revoked.”

The board voted unanimously to deny a peddler’s license to Costello.

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CHS senior donates to local food shelf Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:01:45 +0000 Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus  Carsen Coffield donated $276 to the local food shelf. His efforts continue at search food for friends.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
Carsen Coffield donated $276 to the local food shelf. His efforts continue at search food for friends.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Carsen Coffield knew he could help make a difference.

Coffield, the son of Mark and Linda of Caledonia, wanted to help raise money for the food shelf and he did so, to the tune of $276.

“About a month ago the school was talking about doing some fundraising for the food shelf,” Coffield said. “What the school was doing was great but I felt like I could help and do a little bit more.”

So Coffield created a website on and talked to his friends and their parents and asked them to chip in for a good cause.

In fact the site is still live and people can still go there and donate.

“You just go to and search ‘feed our friends,” Coffield, a senior at Caledonia high school, said. It is also shared on his facebook page so if you either are friends or search for him on facebook then click the link on his wall, you should be directed to where you can donate.

Coffield said he had the site active for about a month before making the contribution.

“When I walked in with the check, Barb Goetzinger (food shelf director) was surprised,” Coffield said. “She seemed really glad that I had done that.”

Coffield said he didn’t think it would have the impact that it did.

“But I’m really glad that it did,” he said. “It made me feel good. I want to do what I can to help people. It is a way to give back to my community.”

While the food shelf was happy to share the story about what Coffield had done, the modest senior said he didn’t really want all of the attention it brought.

“I kept it a secret that I was doing this and to be honest I really didn’t want anyone to know,” Coffield said. “I just hope it can inspire others to help and that people do more than just think of themselves.”

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Archers quiver with excitement over Houston range Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:59:59 +0000 By Kelley Stanage, 

Caledonia Argus

The city of Houston will be building an archery range, thanks to a $5,000 grant from the DNR. The grant, along with donations and a match from the city, will allow them to complete the 6.5-acre range in South Park by June 30, 2015 for a total of $12,000. The Houston city council was unanimously supportive of the project.

City administrator, Christina Peterson, has been working with the council for months to update the city ordinance. Earlier this year, the council had approved their ordinance prohibiting archery in residential districts outside designated areas. Peterson said, “Some people enjoy target shooting; but others are nervous if it’s too close. This offers a good compromise to allow people to target shoot and still follow the city’s ordinance.”

Peterson said, “The timing was perfect on this. It just fell into place. We passed the ordinance earlier this year, and were planning a range. We were going to do something either way. Then, we found the grant, which was due in August. We had to hustle to get it done. The grant allowed not only funding, but technical guidance.”

Archery enthusiast and public works employee, Ed Jacobs, spearheaded the project, with help from Randy Thesing, Audrey Hegland, Leonard Olson, Craig Stanislawski, and Bob Borowiak.

“It’s a very popular sport, and ever-increasing,” Audrey Hegland, Houston’s Administrative Assistant, said. “They need a place to practice and enhance their skills. And, it will be a good place (and a safe place) for kids to learn.” Dave Runningen, teacher at Houston High School, said, “I will encourage students who are very interested in archery that this might be a great place to practice and improve their skills.”

The DNR reports enthusiasm among students who otherwise resist physical education class. Students do not need to be stereotypical athletes to excel at archery. Jay Johnson, of the DNR asserts, “Outdoor recreation is becoming a smaller part of young peoples’ lives, which has negative consequences on their health and well-being. Introducing them to a lifetime sport such as archery has benefits inside and outside the classroom. Getting kids active in the outdoors makes it more likely that they will serve as stewards of our state’s bountiful natural resources, as well.”

Most archers in our area develop the skill for bow hunting. Archery is also an Olympic sport, developing mental abilities such as patience, discipline and focus. It can be practiced by the physically disabled and is an activity that people can enjoy throughout their lives. Houston’s plans for the range include handicapped accessibility.

Houston’s archery range will be one of only a few public ranges. Most are affiliated with private sporting clubs. The new archery range in South Park will add another activity to the long list of recreational opportunities available to Houston’s residents and visitors.

Houston also received $3,500 in Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) grants to promote the use of Trailhead Park and South Park. SHIP grants were utilized in past years to create the natural playground in Trailhead Park.

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City looks to have inspection done on water tower Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:58:27 +0000 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

KLM Engineering out of Lake Elmo submitted a proposal to inspect the 300,000 gallon elevated water tower located in Caledonia. KLM proposes to perform a detailed inspection of the existing conditions of the tower. The company would then submit a report and will break down in detail the conditions of the tower both internally and externally.

The report will review things like coating condition and structural conditions. It will also include any unsafe OSHA conditions.

Costs for the service will depend on which options the city decides to choose. A remote operated vehicle inspection is performed for a fee of $2,800. Coating samples can be collected for an additional $500. A second day of inspection would cost $1,200.

Other news

• Smith, Schafer and Associates will perform audits for the city of Caledonia for 2015 through 2017 for $2,500, $2,600 (2016) and $2,700 (2017).

• The city granted a Minnesota lawful gambling permit for a raffle to be held by the Caledonia Wrestling Club.

• The city council approved a policy on ensuring the security of non public data. The procedures ensure that only individuals whose work assigment reasonably requires access will have said authority.

• Trent Prince was offered a position of part-time police officer by the city of Caledonia.

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Lt. Governor candidate visits Caledonia Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:58:04 +0000 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Bill Kuisle and State Representative GreG Davids (R) were in Caledonia on Monday, October 20.

“We’re going to the cafe’s and buisnesses meeting people, shaking some hands and finding out what is on the voter’s mind,” said Kuisle.

As the November 4 election draws near, according to a KSTP poll, Governor Mark Dayton leads Jeff Johnson by 10 percentage points.

“In that same poll governor Pawlenty trailed by 10 points,” said Kuisle. “So we feel pretty good about where we are.”

The candidate noted that he’s been going throughout the state with the respresntatives and state senators in those areas trying to get his message out there.

“We’re really hearing a lot about Ebola right now,” he said. “We need good leadership on the issue.”

Kuisle also said that he’s hearing statewide that private insurance rates are increasing as a result of MNSure and Obamacare.

“Small business owners are seeing increases of $70,000 on their insurance premiums,” he said, pointing to one small business owner in the northern part of Minesota.

Kuisle also wants to address the rail backlog that is happening nationwide.

“It’s not so much in this part of the state because of the river infrastrucure being able to move freight,” he said. “But because so much of the oil is being moved by rail, and without approval of the pipeline, we’re really seeing prices on construction materials, sheet rock, and our wheat really being impacted.”

Kuisle said he’d like to see more being done on that issue.

“I drive by on highway 10 and 94 and I see how backed up the rail system is,” he said. “It’s one train after another and the cars are all carrying oil and gas.”

As the election gets closer, Kuisle said that he and Johnson will be making their way across the state attempting to connect to voters.

“We’re going to be making our way across the whole state,” he said. “I really enjoy the grass roots politics of door knocking, shaking hands and meeting with people.”

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A health care pioneer who sought justice Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:53:01 +0000 Dr-tomNORRISBy Joy Powell 

Star Tribune

The great Halloween Blizzard of 1991 paralyzed the Twin Cities, but that wasn’t going to stop Dr. Tom Norris from seeing his patients. At his St. Paul home, he donned his big old blue parka, prompting his wife to ask where he was going.

“They can’t get anyone to come in,” Norris said of fellow doctors at Riverside Urgent Care in Minneapolis. Out the front door he went from his home near Desnoyer Park, trudging through drifts five miles to the clinic.

Norris, known as a superb pediatrician who always went the extra mile, died June 6 of nonsmoker lung cancer. He was 74.

His wife, Beth Bennington, said Norris loved serving children and teens from diverse cultures. He believed in universal health care and “was always seeking social justice and health care as a right for everyone,” she said.

“He was influenced in the 1960s by the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, and he carried that with him throughout his life.”

He was a healer not only as a physician but in many other ways, said his pastor, the Rev. Dan Garnaas of Grace University Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

“He cared so much about reconciliation,” Garnaas said. “He was concerned about healing certainly his patients, but also healing in families and healing between groups in the community.

“He was concerned about folks who had less, concerned with folks who were struggling more than others in our society, and was deeply concerned about healing between nations. Tom was a peacemaker.”

Norris’ career included over 30 years with HealthPartners, most recently at Como Clinic in St. Paul.

He pioneered program development for Whole Child and Family Life Skills as the director of Minneapolis Children’s Health Center Outpatient Clinic and received many professional awards over the years.

“My dad loved his work and loved to fight for those who did not have a voice,” said son Jascha Bennington.

Norris was born in Caledonia where his surgeon father, Dr. Neil Norris, owned the hospital. Tom Norris graduated from Willmar High School, Hamline University, Stanford Medical School and later, the University of Minnesota, where he earned a master’s degree in public health.

His residency was at University of New Mexico, followed by private practice in Santa Cruz, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M., where he adopted a daughter, Kristina “Tina.”

He was a versatile, kind doctor known for humility. On the faculty of Albuquerque’s Lovelace Medical Center, Norris taught pediatric residents including Dr. Mark Nupen.

“His breadth of education including public-health training — working with some of the school programs and the different cultures he encountered in New Mexico and then in St. Paul — is quite unusual for most physicians,” said Nupen, of Anoka. “He was very well read, could teach the material and at the same time take such an interest in his patients.”

Nupen, a longtime friend, said Norris loved the direct care of patients and getting to know their families.

“Above all he had a desire to work hard, an ethic to do the right thing for patients, and a keen intellect to practice up-to-date and best pediatric care,” Nupen said.

Colleagues said Norris’ willingness to help residents learn was exceptional. If a resident called in the night with a care question, Norris wouldn’t answer by phone. He’d drive to the hospital to see the patient with the resident.

“Tom loved and lived to teach,” said Dr. Teresa Kovarik of Como Clinic. She called him a brilliant “lifelong learner” who was equally devoted to his patients.

“Tom’s love of medicine and his drive to provide only the most superior care for his pediatric patients fueled his creativity, giving birth to the visionary Teen Clinic and the overnight coverage program at Fairview Hospital for our patients,” Kovarik said.

Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Beth Kaye Bennington; children Katherine Norris Paries, Kristina Wright, Andre and Jascha Bennington; sisters Kathryn Norris and Kristine Stinson; three grandchildren; and stepmother Dr. Hilde Virnig.

Services have been held.

* Article originially appeared 

in the Star Tribune on Sunday, June 22, 2014: Reprinted with permission

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State Patrol accident reports Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:51:39 +0000 Motorcycle accident

On Saturday, October 11, at 2:11 p.m., Scott W. Hurner, age 42 of Mosinee, Wisconsin, lost control of his Harley Davidson motorcycle while driving north on Hwy 76 just north of Caledonia and went into a ditch, striking a culvert. Caledonia Fire and Spring Grove ambulance assisted on the scene. Hurner sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Collision at Hwys 76 and 44

Also on Saturday, October 11, at 1:31 p.m., Violet G. Runningen, age 83 of Houston, Minnesota and Ronald N. Puetz, age 57 of La Crosse, Wisconsin, collided at the intersection of Hwys 76 and 44 at Kingston Street in Caledonia. The collision occurred as Runningen’s SUV was northbound on Kingston and making an entrance to northbound Hwy 76 while Puetz’s van was westbound on Hwy 44. Runningen sustained non-life threatening injuries while Puetz had no apparent injuries.

Broadside at Hwys 16 and 26

On Saturday, October 11, at 9:43 a.m., a Chrysler van driven by  Lucas J. Hauser of Caledonia northbound on Hwy 26 collided with a Ford Edge driven by Susan M. Peterson of Houston and westbound on Hwy 16, the collision occurring at the intersection of those highways in foggy conditions. Hauser had no apparent injury, while Larry Goetzinger, a passenger in the van sustained non-life threatening injuries and David Lloyd Kruckow, age 38, also a passenger in the van had no apparent injury. Peterson had no apparent injury.

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Ridgeway schools proud of their farm to school accomplishments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:49:40 +0000 Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus  Jodi Dansingburg, School Coordinator at Ridgeway Community Schools, welcomes Charlie Poster MDA Assistant Commissioner to the school during his Farm to School tour. Joining them is Jeremy Miller (R) state representative from Winona.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
Jodi Dansingburg, School Coordinator at Ridgeway Community Schools, welcomes Charlie Poster MDA Assistant Commissioner to the school during his Farm to School tour. Joining them is Jeremy Miller (R) state representative from Winona.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Minnesota Department of Agriculture assistant commissioner Charlie Poster, Minnesota state representative Jeremy Miller (R-Winona), school staff, local farmers and representatives of Blue Cross Blue Shield were given a tour of the Ridgeway Community School farm to school program.

“The MDA is highlighting 2014 farm to school grant recipients around the state during farm to school month in Minnesota,” Poster said. “Ridgeway Community School purchased several items to improve the food it serves.”

Those items included a combination oven/steamer, salad bar, knives, cutting boards, submersible blender, vacuum sealer and a kitchen scale.

School coordinator Jodi Dansingburg took the entourage on a tour of the kitchen facilities, the cafeteria as well as the garden where they themselves grow vegetables, tend and ultimately serve to their students during lunch.

“It’s been a great program,” Dansingburg said.

Ridgeway students tend to the garden, grow the vegetables and were seen finishing all of the veggies on their plates on the day the group was there.

“You like your vegetables,” Poster asked of one student who eagerly replied, “Yep!”

In addition to the vegetable garden which grew sweet corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, carrots and other vegetables, the school grounds also have apple and plum trees and berry bushes.

“Little by little we are trying to add to the edible landscape,” Dansingburg noted.

Now that the summer/fall harvest has been completed, the school will be planting garlic seeds for a spring harvest.

During the summer months, those students who attend the summer programming help to work in the garden. There are also parent and family volunteers who offer to help with the garden during the off school months.

The school also prepares food for a neighboring school and it sources locally from area farmers and its school garden.

Some of those farmers were in attendance during the Wednesday, October 15 visit.

“The farm to school program and grants helps districts purchase and prepare local foods while educating students about health and nutrition choices,” Poster said.

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Quail Forever ready to roll in Houston County Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:47:35 +0000 Craig Moorhead  (L-R) Jason Bland and John Carlson of MNDNR Forestry, landowner Dave Whalen, Thurman Tucker and Chad Bloom of Quail Forever met in Caledonia last week to discuss plans for a new state forestry parcel which will be managed for the benefit of upland birds, specifically, Bobwhite Quail.

Craig Moorhead
(L-R) Jason Bland and John Carlson of MNDNR Forestry, landowner Dave Whalen, Thurman Tucker and Chad Bloom of Quail Forever met in Caledonia last week to discuss plans for a new state forestry parcel which will be managed for the benefit of upland birds, specifically, Bobwhite Quail.

By Craig Moorhead

Quail Forever is partnering with a willing landowner in Houston County to purchase approximately 70 acres of land specifically for upland bird habitat.

QF Minnesota coordinator Thurman Tucker told the Herald that the parcel, which is located in Jefferson Township, will be purchased by the organization’s national branch.

“It’s kind of in the preliminary stages,” he said. “The owners were the Whalens. Their father used to hunt quail back in the 50s. The two sons got together and wanted to donate some land. They called Quail Forever and had the land appraised, and from what I understand have actually offered the land at below market value.

Once QF buys the parcel, it will be turned over to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. QF will work with the state to develop a habitat management plan to benefit quail and other grassland birds.

Later this fall, a ribbon-cutting  ceremony will likely be held at the property to formally kick off the habitat project and give credit to those who have made it possible. Tucker said that the work will benefit a wide range of wildlife.

According to Covey Call, Minnesota’s QF newsletter, quail were seen on the land as recently as last year. But while the diminutive game birds once frequented the southeastern part of the state in fairly robust numbers, Minnesota’s quail season had to close in 1958. The birds have been rare in many parts of southern Minnesota since that time.

Tucker has actively worked in Houston County for decades and helped form QF’s Southeast Minnesota chapter.

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One day bond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:45:16 +0000 School Talk

By Ben Barton, Superintendent

The purpose of this week’s article is to inform you of the upcoming One Day Bond election that will be held on Tuesday, November 4th.  The One Day Bond is very unique!  We have the opportunity to go to the voters of this community for a One Day Bond election because of the state capital loan our school received in 2000 to build our Middle/High School and retrofit our Elementary School.  We are one of less than ten school districts in the state that currently have a capital loan.

Because our district received this loan, the state requires tax payers to be taxed at the maximum effort rate.  This rate is 29.39% of the adjusted net tax capacity of the property located in our district.  These taxes that are collected each year are first used to pay the local bond payment and any money that remains is sent to the state to pay on the capital loan.  Our loan is to be paid back over 50 years and if it is not, the loan is forgiven.  We are scheduled to pay this loan off 20 years early.

There is legislation that allows for capital loan districts to ask the voters to approve a One Day Bond.  If the voters approve this, the district will be able to hold back $495,000 of the taxes collected to be kept in the school district to be used for building and grounds, technology, and curriculum.

Our district has been blessed with the community’s support of passing One Day Bonds the last three years.  These dollars have been used to update our outdated curriculum materials, update technology infrastructure, purchase college in the classroom textbooks, place SmartBoards or projection units in each classroom, add security cameras in the Middle/High School, move to a one-to-one computing environment to place an iPad in the hands of each 4th – 9th grader, replacement of several failed heat pumps at the Middle/High School, increasing security by securing entrances and the list goes on.  Thank you so much for your previous support!

That being said, we continue to have great needs which serve as the rationale for the School Board asking the voters to approve an additional One Day Bond.  We need to continue to update our instructional materials, replace leaking roofs at the elementary building, tuck-point the elementary building, maintain and replace parking lots, resurface our track, grow our one-to-one computing initiative to additional grades, replace school vehicles, create 21st Century Learning spaces, etc.

The amount of yearly taxes collected will NOT change if voters approve the One Day Bond.  The One Day Bond will allow us to keep a portion of the taxes collected in the district versus sending it to the state.  It is important to note that if the voters approve the One Day Bond, we are able to hold back $495,000 and  will still be ahead of schedule on paying off our loan.

My best analogy to explain the One Day Bond is to compare it to the idea of trying to pay an extra $100 a month on your mortgage with the idea of paying the loan off early.  This is a great practice and is highly recommended.  However if an appliance, roof, vehicle, etc. needs to be replaced you may not be able to over pay on your mortgage.  You would be able to hold that overpayment back and redirect the dollars to other needs.

We hope you got to attend the October 20th Informational Meeting at 5:30 p.m. prior to the school board meeting.   If you cannot attend that meeting and still have questions, do  not hesitate to call, email, or set up an appointment with me if you would like to get additional details.

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Warriors are conference champs! Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:41:56 +0000 Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus   Tanner Gran (89) runs through a hole following  Hunter Hauser-Caldwell.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Tanner Gran (89) runs through a hole following Hunter Hauser-Caldwell.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

The Caledonia Warrior football team finished the season with a perfect 8-0 record following their 13-0 win over Goodhue Friday night.

The win means that the Warriors finished the season as conference champs for 2014!

The post-season will get underway when the Warriors host Hayfield on Tuesday, October 21 (information from that game will be posted on and published in the October 29 issue. This issue went to press on Monday, October 20. The Hayvield Vikings are 1-7 on the year, including a 53-0 defeat by our Warriors on September 12.

The scoring plays for the Warriors in the Goodhue game came on opening drives of the game and of the second half. Otherwise, it was a defensive struggle that saw the Warriors hold Goodhue out of the end-zone.

Each time the Wildcats would drive and threaten to score, the Warriors would stop them with an interception.

On two occasions, those interceptions came in the hands of defensive back Jacob Winjum, who also finished with 11 tackles.

Tanner Langen had an interception that also thwarted a Wildcat drive.

Winjum led the Warriors in tackles as the Wildcats ran several sweeps to his side of the field.

Hunter Hauser-Caldwell had eight tackles including a sack.

The Warriors got to the quarterback six times, including two sacks by Seth Twite. Twite also had eight tackles.

Austin  Bauer had six tackles and Alex Goergen finished with seven stops.

Justin Burg had six tackles and Mitchell Schmitz had four tackles.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  Tanner Langen stretches one hand out and brings down a pass but was unfortunately called back on a penalty.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Tanner Langen stretches one hand out and brings down a pass but was unfortunately called back on a penalty.

The Warriors had 140 yards on the ground and 42 yards passing. They finished with 182 yards of offense. The Wildcats had 23 yards rushing and 126 yards passing.

Caledonia had no turnovers.

Bauer was 3-of-5 passing for 42 yards and a score.

The first drive of the game ended with a 27 yard touchdown pass to Colton Lampert. Lampert finished the game with the one catch for 27 yards.

Tanner Gran had 42 yards rushing on eight carries and one catch for 10 yards.

Tanner Langen had one catch for five yards.

Mitchell Schmitz had 18 yards rushing on four carries.

Devan Heaney had 70 yards rushing on 21 carries.

Austin Bauer capped off the scoring drive on the first drive of the second half with a three yard run to put the Warriors up 13-0.

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Netters squelch PEM in three sets Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:39:19 +0000 By Diana Hammell

Argus Sports Writer

The Warrior volleyball squad traveled to Plainview for their match with Plainview-Elgin-Millville, defeating the Bulldogs in three games with scores of 25-19, 25-12 and 25-22.

“The girls played very hard,” coach Scott Koepke said. “We started a bit slow but the girls really turned up their defense. It was very fun to watch them competing so hard.

“The girls also had their best serving night of the season with only five errors,” Koepke said. “This is a testament to how hard the girls have worked throughout the entire season. They also do a nice job of putting shots in the court cooperatively when the ball needed to just be put in play.

The Warriors’ final regular season record in the conference is 8-4 and  18-11 overall.

Adrianna Reinhart had 1 kill, 26 set assists, 1 ace serve and 7 digs; Mariah Schroeder 7 kills, 2 aces and 7 digs; Bailey Peterson 1 kill; Katelyn Schulte 2 kills and 1 dig; Ashley Bichel 3 kills and 2 digs; Sophia Augedahl 13 digs; Mariah Schmitz 1 set assist and 2 digs; Alexis King 2 digs; McKenzie Denstad 5 kills, 2 aces and 9 digs; Hannah Cuda 2 kills and 2 digs; Sam Schroeder 9 kills, 3 set assists, 1 ace, 7 digs and 1 blocked shot.

Tournaments start

Caledonia will host the 1AA sub-section quarterfinal match with Lake City on Thursday, October 23 at 7 p.m. The winner of Thursday’s game will play at Mayo Civic Area at 2:30 on Saturday, October 25 versus the winner of the St. Charles and Cotter match.

You can contact Diana Hammell at

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Home Sweet Home or find me a lawyer quick Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:38:43 +0000 Bonnie Willemssen        

Special to the Argus

Recently, my husband and I met with my daughter and her husband at a quirky restaurant in Minneapolis. We drove our brand spankin’ new car up to the Cities.  Our other vehicle is Jim’s tiny sporty car that I bend my body into a pretzel to get into at which point the miniscule passenger seat wraps around me like saran wrap around bologna. Over quiche and crepes, the four of us talked about our respective lives. Eventually the discussion of our new automobile (one week old) came to the forefront. I was forced to admit that the car we would show them in a few minutes, the one with only a couple hundred miles on the odometer, was going to be returned to the dealer. My daughter looked at me like I had sprouted horns. It’s pretty much the look she gives me most of the time. I could see the wheels turning in her head, “Oh, my Lord, my Mother has finally gone over the hill!” I hoped she would keep her thoughts contained in her cranium, but no, next came her usual comment, said with humor but I suspect with a ring of truth, “Mom, do I have to get a lawyer and have you committed to the home?” It’s her “cute” way of telling me I’m off my rocker without coming right out and saying it in so many words.

You wonder why she would even think such a thing, right? After all, people make mistakes all the time. Everyone should have a do-over at least once. Don’t I deserve that consideration, too? Well, I guess I have to admit right here in front of God and Caledonia, that she might have remembered that I did this once before with a car.  Also, there was the house we built in 2004 that by 2005 I wanted to sell so we could rebuild – sans the mistakes. My husband managed to convince me to look beyond those few tiny issues I had with the windows, vents, floors, entrance, exit, rooms, size, shape and the rotation of the moon on its axis. I did love the view, however. Jim told me there’s never ever been a perfect house built… I heard his words but I dismissed them along with all his other wise words of wisdom.

Thirty-five years ago, when we were building our first house, I discovered I hated the new picture window so out it went – easy peasy. Later, same house, I realized that the kitchen flooring and kitchen wallpaper I had taken months to choose looked horrible together when it was being installed. I immediately drove to the store and chose new flooring in one hour. My daughter was only three at the time but she’s pretty smart so maybe she was makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice, gonna find out who needs to be put on ice.

Over the years, I’ve made tons of wrong decisions, partly because I’m an impulse buyer, partly because it’s too much work to think too long on one topic – it can fry the brain you know! Remember when we had VCRs? If you left the VCR on pause too long it burned through the tape – well, I’m pretty sure that’s what happened to my brain.

I’ve always been more of a hands-on type of person… show me don’t tell me. And for heaven’s sake, don’t make me read the directions. So, yes, many a decision has been mangled by my overwhelming stubbornness about research and my unwillingness to wait to make a decision. I choose to think it’s my creative mind; it doesn’t want to look at the same thing all the time. I like to remodel the family room, change up the colors of my clothing choices, and in the old days, before I actually got old, I used to change the color of my hair – a lot. You name a color, I tried it. I still look longingly at the gals with that lovely shade of fuchsia tresses.

Okay, maybe my daughter has a point. I need someone to oversee me. It’ll be nice in the home… three squares and all the Bingo I can handle.

You can visit Bonnie’s Facebook page @

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Finger-Pointing Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:38:00 +0000 By Angela Denstad Stigeler

Now is the perfect season for heightened finger-pointing—and I’m not referring to the heating up of political campaigns pre-election, either. Rather, this is perfect heating-up-of-soup weather, with these autumn breezes and chilly nights. And since chili and other hearty soups are always improved by a little something crispy and cracker-y on the side, cheese straws get my vote. The fact that these fun cheddar-cornmeal crackers can be easily construed to resemble witches’ fingers just adds to the Halloween season fun. Complete with sliced almond fingernails, these finger dippers look positively ghoulish in your goulash, soup or stew.

If you don’t feel like finger-pointing, instructions for conducting this dough into golden cheese straws are listed below. A quick straw poll of recent recipe tasters gives these cheesy fingers a big thumbs up. Fortunately, they come together in a snap. Good to know, if you find yourself down to the last straw.

Cheddar-Cornmeal Cheese Straws

5 tablespoons cold butter

4 ounces (about 1 cup) shredded cheddar cheese

¾ cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornmeal

¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)

1 large egg

Kosher salt

about 30 sliced almonds for garnish (optional)

In a food processor or large work bowl, whirl or rub together the butter, cheese, flour, cornmeal and cayenne (if using) until the mixture has the texture of wet sand. Add the egg and combine until the dough holds together. Pat the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for 15 minutes or refrigerate up to 3 days.

Roll the dough out into an 8×10-inch rectangle. Chill the dough for another 15 minutes while preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

For cheese straws: slice the dough into 8-inch long strips, about ½ inch wide. Twist each strip a couple of times before placing on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.

For witches’ fingers: slice the rectangle in half to make two 5-inch wide rectangles. Cut the dough into strips a scant ½ inch wide and arrange on a parchment-lined baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and use your fingers to form the dough into finger shapes, pressing the almond slices into the dough for the fingernails. Use a paring knife to make knuckle lines.

Bake the cheese straws until they are evenly golden, about 15 minutes. Allow them to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container for up to a week.

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Public Record Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:35:30 +0000 The following non-confidential traffic and criminal cases were  compiled from reports released from the court administrator’s office October 9 to October 16, 2014. Ages are given at time of offense.


Lisa May Abnet, 19, La Crescent, Minn., failure to stop at stop sign, fined $125.

Joshua Alan Bjerke, 27, Hokah, Minn., speeding, fined $115.

Andrew Dale Buck, 18, St. Charles, Minn., open bottle law violation, fined $175; speeding, fined $40.

Jeffrey Paul Coughlin, 60, Hokah, Minn. DWI, fined $1,100, $700 stayed for 2 yrs, jail 90 days stayed for 2 yrs, 2 yrs probation.

Julie Ann Freemule, 53, Phoenix, Ariz., speeding, fined $215.

Trinity Eric Scharlau, 22, Independence, Wis., use of wireless communication while driving, fined $125; speeding, fined $60.

Seth Robert Warner, 18, Holmen, Wis., speeding, fined $115.


Mark Furman, 37, Lake Zurich, Ill., speeding, fined $215.

Andrew Bernard Rethwisch, 18, Lansing, Iowa, driving w/o a valid license, fined $175; speeding, fined $50.


Robert Silas Benson, 61, Caledonia, Minn., issue dishonored check, fined $175, $50 stayed for 1 yr, $34.04 restitution, jail 10 days stayed for 6 mo., 6 mo probation.

John Myron Erickson, 62, Caledonia, Minn., disorderly conduct, fined $175, $50 stayed for 1 yr, jail 10 days stayed for 1 yr, 1 yr probation; issue dishonored check, fined $175, $50 stayed for 1 yr, jail 10 days stayed for 6 mo., 6 mo probation.

Jerry David Holter, 26, Caledonia, Minn. issue dishonored check, fined $175, $50 stayed for 1 yr, $46.03 restitution, jail 10 days stayed for 6 mo., 6 mo probation.

David George Schuldt, 73, Caledonia, Minn., DWI, fined $1,100, $700 stayed for 2 yrs, jail 90 days stayed for 2 yrs, 2 yrs probation.

Gordon Joseph Tippman, 91, Caledonia, Minn., operating bicycle on roadway or shoulder, fined $95.


Pavel Petrovich Matveychuk, 25, Minnetonka, Minn., speeding, fined $135.

Steven John Walter, 59, La Crescent, Minn., speeding, fined $135.

Peter Paul Washburn, 51, La Crosse, Wis., speeding, fined $115.


Rikki Lea Folsom, 27, Waukon, Iowa, driving after revocation, fined $275.

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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:33:38 +0000 To the editor:

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a designation that serves to raise awareness and dialog about domestic violence, which has a profound effect on a child’s well being and development. Children who grow up in homes with domestic violence often witness violence on a daily basis, live in fear, and blame themselves. Half of the batterers also abuse their children and the children who are not directly abused exhibit the same psychological impact as those who are.

Domestic violence and child abuse affect all of us in the greater Houston County community.  Children who grow up in violent homes are more likely to be involved in criminal activity, substance abuse and have difficulty in school.

Domestic violence includes physical, emotional, financial, and verbal abuse. Domestic Violence does not discriminate against gender, race, age, and socio-economic status. Domestic Violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.  One woman is beaten by their partner every 15 seconds in the United States.  A battering incident is rarely an isolated event. If you know someone who is in an abusive relationship, become informed, be willing to listen, never blame them or underestimate their fear or their potential danger.

Bluff Country Family Resources in Hokah, Minnesota serves people who experience domestic and sexual violence. Our overall goal is to improve the safety and self-sufficiency of survivors. We help survivors in Houston County use the tools and resources to empower them to create a non-violent space for themselves and their children. From 2007 – 2013, we served 1,262 women and 64 men who were survivors of domestic violence in Houston County. All of us must take responsibility for reducing domestic violence in our community.

We operate a 24-hour crisis line staffed by trained advocates. Our toll-free number is: 1-866-367-4297.


Fai DeMark, 

Executive Director

Bluff Country Family Resources

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