The Caledonia Argus http://hometownargus.com 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, 27 Jan 2015 15:20:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 United Auto Supply is now Auto Value http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/united-auto-supply-is-now-auto-value/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/united-auto-supply-is-now-auto-value/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:20:56 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36843 Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus  John Welscher, manager at Auto Value. As part of the conversion from United Auto Supply, the store can offer increased heavy duty parts, more import vehicle parts and more variety. The business is staffed by the same five friendly individuals who worked for United Auto Supply.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
John Welscher, manager at Auto Value. As part of the conversion from United Auto Supply, the store can offer increased heavy duty parts, more import vehicle parts and more variety. The business is staffed by the same five friendly individuals who worked for United Auto Supply.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

It was once a root beer stand. It was also at one point in its history, a wood working shop.

In 1997, United Auto Supply moved from across the street into what is now “Auto Value” parts store.

United Auto Supply stores have joined forces with Automotive Parts Headquarters from St. Cloud and will operate under the Auto Value name.

While the name has changed, the same friendly faces will greet you when you walk into the store looking for that automotive part.

John Welscher continues to manage the Caledonia store and John and his staff will contniue to provide the kind of service that you have come to expect in Caledonia.

“As part of a larger organization, we now have access to more tools and more resources to serve our customers better than before,” Welscher noted.

The Caledonia Auto Value location employs five individuals, the same five who served at United Auto Supply.

As part of the change, the Caledonia Auto Value will now get overnight delivery from the massive Automotive Parts headquarters in St. Cloud.

With access to an over $13 million inventory of parts, Caledonia customers benefit because there is a second delivery each day from the $2 million hub store inventory in La Crosse.

“We’ve also improved our delivery system of professional installers,” Welscher noted.

That service is available Monday through Friday from 8 to 11 a.m.

The changes means more heavy duty parts, more import vehicle parts, a greater variety of products.

“We can also offer inventory tailored to Caledonia and the surrounding area,” Welscher said.

Deep roots in Caledonia 

Vernon “Bud” Marnach was one of the original five individuals who started the auto parts supply store.

Located across the street from its current location, Marnach was instrumental in relocating the store to the location in which it is currently housed.

“It used to be located in the front of that building right there,” Welscher said pointing to the now St. Mary’s Body Shop.

United started in 1958 and Caledonia was the third store in United’s chain.

While long-time Caledonia resident Bud Marnach was one of the original founders of United Auto Supply, his son Greg was vice president at the time of sale in September 2014.

The business operated in the current body shop location since 1967 until the move in 1997.

United Auto Supply, founded in La Crosse at the time of sale had 14 locations covering western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and northwest Iowa.

All United Auto Supply locations are being converted to the Auto Value name.

Auto Value is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The United Auto Supply management team is expected to join the APH management team. Once all of the locations are converted, the corporate store count across the upper Midwest will be 98 stores.

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While young, new Caledonia mayor Josh Gran knows it takes a village, points to so much support in his position http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/while-young-new-caledonia-mayor-josh-gran-knows-it-takes-a-village-points-to-so-much-support-in-his-position/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/while-young-new-caledonia-mayor-josh-gran-knows-it-takes-a-village-points-to-so-much-support-in-his-position/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:18:42 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36840 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus  New Caledonia mayor Josh Gran has been appreciative of the support by the previous mayor, current and former council members as well as the community. Gran, 21, is the youngest current serving mayor in the state.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
New Caledonia mayor Josh Gran has been appreciative of the support by the previous mayor, current and former council members as well as the community. Gran, 21, is the youngest current serving mayor in the state.

Born in August, when Josh Gran was elected as mayor of Caledonia, he was a ‘very young’ 21.

“I think I’m the youngest mayor ever elected in the state,” he smiled.  “I don’t really know how you look that up, but that’s not what I’m focused on.”

Gran has jumped right into the job. After being elected and prior to taking office, Gran attended as many city functions as he was able to.

“I just want to jump right in and learn as much as I can,” he noted.

Gran has also reached out to the county board and the school board even attending their meeting in January to show his desire to work with the school.

“I think we’ve got a great school here,” he told the board. “I want to work together and partner to help market Caledonia. I think this school is a gem.”

Appreciative of the sentiment, superintendent Ben Barton too expressed a desire to cooperate.

“We think that is great and thank you for being here,” Barton said.

Always interested in politics

“My dad (Mike) and I have always been able to talk politics,” Gran said. “It is something I’ve always been interested in.”

Gran said he got involved to “make a difference any way I can.”

“I want to have an impact on my community,” he added. “I love Caledonia and I think we can really promote what Caledonia has to offer.”

While Gran said he might have designs on holding a higher office one day, he said for now he is content with doing all he can to make Caledonia better.

“That will come one day,” he said of future political opportunities. “Would I love to be President of the United States, you bet. At some point I may run for senator or a state office, or governor. But for now I want to do all I can to help Caledonia.”

Gran said he’d like to work with the EDA to help bring new business to town. While no official news has been made public yet, Gran said there are several irons in the fire on the new business front that he is excited to be a part of.

He also noted that the current council has done so much to help him transition into the mayor role.

“They’ve been very supportive, very helpful,” he said. “It is a huge learning curve and they bring a lot of years of experience.”

Gran was pleased to learn that Caledonia has the third lowest tax rate in southeastern Minnesota, and said he wants to work to keep that rate low.

“Our people are living on a fixed income,” he said. “I don’t want to see our taxes increase.”

Still lives with his parents

Gran understands the irony of being such a strong advocate against raising taxes while still living in the same bedroom he did as a kid.

The UW-La Crosse student knows how hard his parents have worked to provide that roof over his and his siblings, Courtney and Zach’s heads as they grew up.

“My mom (Karen) joked that she might disconnect the phone so that she doesn’t take so many phone calls for the mayor,” Gran smiled. “But overall my family has been very supportive of my decision to run and my being elected as mayor.”

Gran said that he hopes to make it up to them by never having to increase their tax rates.

Gran is set to graduate with a double major in Finance and Economics and a minor in Accounting.

He is a 2011 graduate of Caledonia high school and credits the school with helping to make him what he is today.

Gran extends a thank you to the community regarding the support they’ve shown him since being elected.

“People have been very helpful and supportive. This town really watches out for each other,” he added.

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One Act Play performs over the weekend http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/one-act-play-performs-over-the-weekend/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/one-act-play-performs-over-the-weekend/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:15:11 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36838 Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus After expressing their interest in a written essay, Abby Hoskins, Olivia Schmitz, Amanda Forrester and Joe Haverty joined over 1,100 students from around the Midwest at the annual Dorian Music Festival held on January 10 and 11 at Luther College in Decorah.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
Pictured front row left to right: Michaela Kasten, Kelsea Evans and Katrina Paulson. Back row: Advisor Tory Kale-Schulz, Mason Anderson, Dalton McHan and Casey Scanlan. Congratulations on a great performance.

The cast and crew of the One Act Play in Caledonia have been busy this past week with performances for the students and staff, a performance open to the community, another given to the Caledonia Rotary Club, as well as continued practices. Over the weekend the One Act competition was held in Rushford where Caledonia finished in 4th.

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Ordinance approved, will now go to Houston County Commissioners for their consideration http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/ordinance-approved-will-now-go-to-houston-county-commissioners-for-their-consideration/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/ordinance-approved-will-now-go-to-houston-county-commissioners-for-their-consideration/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:13:47 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36836 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Feedback from a public hearing held on January 6 regarding a proposed mineral extraction ordinance sent the Houston County Planning Commission back to the drawing board.

On January 15 a new ordinance regarding mineral mining and extraction was released for public review.

A week later, on January 22, the commission voted 5-2 to approve the ordinance.

It will now go to the county board to be adopted or rejected.

“The goal of the planning commission was to adopt a mining and extraction ordinance that would protect the residents of Houston County from the negative impacts of large scale industrial mining, but in doing so, not hinder the economic viability of our existing sand mines and rock quarries,” Planning Commission Chairman Dan Griffin said. “I think this draft ordinance accomplishes that goal.”

For nearly three years, proponents of the ordinance sought to limit or outright ban the practice of frac sand mining in Houston County. Many would argue that this does so.

The ordinance allows sand mines to produce up to 60,000 cubic yards of material per year. Any more would be classified as an industrial mining activity, which is prohibited. A wide range of other materials, including metals and petroleum-based products are also classified as “industrial,” and cannot be extracted. That leaves sand and aggregate mines as the only operations permitted in Houston County.

“As long as you stay at less than 60,000 yards you can do what you want with your sand,” Griffin said. He added that the 60,000 yard per year limit was adopted because some existing sand mines already produce anywhere from 30,000 to 45,000 cubic yards.  Large frac sand mines produce anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million yards, Griffin stated.

Editor’s Note: It was reported last week that this provision was removed from the language in the ordinance. That was incorrect.

January 22 meeting

Like the meeting on January 6, the meeting was well attended. However, unlike the previous meeting where the public was given the chance to speak, no comments were allowed. Instead written questions were taken following a review of the draft ordinance.

The biggest change from earlier versions of that ordinance is the substitution of conditional use permits over interim use permits for long-term operations. While an IUP will still suffice for a “short term” mine for up to three years and up to 10,000 cubic yards of material per year, a CUP will be required of all other applicants. That (CUP) permit has no “sunset” provision, and can be sold or  inherited. The IUP cannot be transferred to a new owner, and it cannot be renewed beyond its original term, according to the language in the draft.

“The reason we went to a CUP for new mines was because of the investment requirements,” Griffin said. “A new mining operation could easily spend $100,000 to get off the ground.”

The pervious draft placed all new mines under an IUP. Every time they change hands a new permit would be required.

Another substantial change  in the January 15 proposed ordinance is in regards to non-conforming “grandfathered” mines.

Those operations pre-date zoning regulations (which began in 1972), and will now be required to either register bi-annually or reclaim and close.

Zoning administrator Bob Scanlan said that some of those mines could be considered as “naturally reclaimed” since they are now re-vegetated. For the rest, some work and/or expense will be required. The registration paperwork will carry a fee which has yet to be determined. In addition, mines that want to continue will need to meet “minimal requirements,” as far as following the regulations that other prospectors are expected to follow, Scanlan added. Those laws refer to density, volume, size and reclamation standards.

The draft now goes to the Houston County commissioners for their consideration.

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Student school board representatives happy to represent their fellow students http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/student-school-board-representatives-happy-to-represent-their-fellow-students/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/student-school-board-representatives-happy-to-represent-their-fellow-students/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:12:45 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36834 Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus  Brenna Werner and Emily Ranzenberger are the student school board representatives at Caledonia. The pair joined the board at the regular January meeting.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
Brenna Werner and Emily Ranzenberger are the student school board representatives at Caledonia. The pair joined the board at the regular January meeting.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

They didn’t win any election to be there, but their service is none-the-less very important to the overall goals of the Caledonia area school board. Emily Ranzenberger and Brenna Werner stepped up to serve as student representatives on the board.

“When the teachers came to us in a group setting and asked if there was anyone who wanted to be on the board I didn’t really think about it,” Werner said.

But as her mother, Michelle who serves on the board, and her father, Mike, talked to her about the opportunity, she began more and more to consider it.

However, it wasn’t until one- on-one conversations with teachers happened that she and Emily decided to sign up.

“I think it worked better when our teachers talked to us about it,” Ranzenberger said. “Mrs. Link asked me if I’d be interested and I decided to give it a try.”

Glad they did is the early report from the newest board members.

“You see a side of the school that you wouldn’t normally get to experience,” Ranzenberger said.

The duo attended their first meeting on January 20 and were welcomed by board chairman Kelly McGraw.

“Thank you for your service,” he said. “We appreciate having the perspective of the student.”

Brenna Werner said that by having students involved with the board, “we can provide perspective and bring information to the board on behalf of our fellow students.”

“It is nice to provide that different point of view,” Ranzenberger added.

Involvement at the school

For Werner and Ranzenberger, the transition to the board was a natural one.

Both are involved in National Honor Society and serve on Student Council.

Ranzenberger plays softball and Werner is involved athletically in soccer and track.

Superintendent Ben Barton hopes that Werner and Ranzenberger can help to grow the position and provide future opportunities for other students.

“We really hope you’ll take this back to students who are juniors,” Barton said. “We hope to expand and grow this as an ongoing thing.”

The girls have some ideas on who might be excellent candidates to one day take their place.

“We have some ideas,” Ranzenberger said. “We’ll go talk to them on a one-on-one basis.”

“I think it will be easier to find somebody when we can go to them and tell them what we’re doing,” Werner added.

Serving on the board will be a learning experience but neither would commit to it leading to a political career.

Ranzenberger, the daughter of Mark and Kris, plans to attend Winona State University next year and said she’ll draw on her experience on the school board.

Werner, unsure of where she plans to attend college, said she is happy to represent Caledonia at the moment, but stopped short of following in her mother’s footsteps and one day serving on the board herself.

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Houston Area Cancer Support to hold events February 7-8 http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/houston-area-cancer-support-to-hold-events-february-7-8/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/houston-area-cancer-support-to-hold-events-february-7-8/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:06:59 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36832 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

The Houston area cancer support group and the Houston area Lions invite you to their pancake breakfast at the Community Center. On Sunday, February 8 from 7 a.m. until noon, breakfast will be served.

On February 7 at 6 p.m. on Saturday night, food will be served from 5 until 7 p.m. There will be an auction and a door prize will be given away. Please note you need to be present to win.

The money made at the auction is used by the Houston Area Cancer Support (HACS) to help families within the area that are battling cancer.

“We have helped with gas cards, grocery cards, medical bills, insurance and, sorry to say, funeral expenses,” the group noted.

The designated geographical area from which applications for cancer support will be accepted is the city of Houston, the Townships of Houston, Money Creek, Sheldon, Mound Prairie, Yucatan and Union (in the state of Minnesota).

Donations are still being accepted and can be dropped off at Fingers in Motion or Snow’s Beauty Salon.

Please come out and show your support at this important auction and breakfast.

Your bidding number will be used for the drawing for the door prize.

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HVED gives update to school board http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/hved-gives-update-to-school-board/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/hved-gives-update-to-school-board/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:06:26 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36830 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Simoine Boilin, region director with Hiawatha Valley Education District (HVED) came before the Caledonia area school board to give the board an update about how her agency has been benefiting the district.

Boilin noted that her agency has offered support specialists who cover 17 unique learner needs, from birth to three early intervening speech services, to helping with hard of hearing or visually impaired students.

HVED helps the district prepare state/federal reports and monitor their special ed funds.

“We’ve really been happy with all of the services HVED provides to our district,” superintendent Ben Barton noted.

HVED serves multiple districts throughout southeastern Minnesota.

Other news

New board chairman Kelley McGraw thanked several businesses, organizations and individuals for what they do for our district.

• Thank you to the Caledonia Bakery for donating treats to our elementary students of the month.

• Thank you to the Caledonia Fire Department for donating 70 window punches to the Caledonia Area Public School District.

• Thank you to Merchants Bank for their generous donations to the Caledonia Area Elementary, Middle School and High School Buildings.

• Thank you to Keith Hollatz for all your years of service and dedication you have given Caledonia Area Public School District as a teacher and as a driver’s education instructor.

The district approved the Memorandum of Understanding between Mr. Paul DeMorett, Middle/High School Principal, and the school regarding the additional $3,500.00 as the activities director stipend amount retroactive to  the 2013-2014 school year.

Spring coaches contracts were also approved by the board.

The district also approved the leasing of approximately ½ acre of tillable land located north of Warrior Avenue to Eric Johnson beginning April of 2013, through December of 2016, at rental amount of $240 per acre ($120) with the payment date of May 15 each year.

Several policies received both their first and second (implementation) readings, as required by state statute.

Caledonia mayor Josh Gran was on hand for the meeting. He spoke of a desire to work with the district any way possible.

The 2011 Caledonia graduate was welcomed by chairman McGraw and Barton noted that dialogue will continue between the city and school.

He thanked Gran for his attendance and spoke of looking forward to working with him.

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MEnD to provide correctional care services to Houston County http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/mend-to-provide-correctional-care-services-to-houston-county/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/mend-to-provide-correctional-care-services-to-houston-county/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:05:32 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36828 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

The Houston County board approved a contract with MEnD Correctional Care to provide the county with correctional health care services.

“We had a nurse who terminated her employment with the county so we thought this was the perfect time to take a look at our options,” Mary Marchel, County public health director stated.

Marchel, whose agency had provided this service to the county for several years, said that correctional medicine has become a specialized field in itself.

In areas like mental health services and more director doctor to patient care, public health was unable to offer these types of services, whereas MEnD does offer them, and at less cost to the county.

“It is the one place in America where you have to provide health care,” said Mark Schiltz, the jailer who worked closely with Marchel on the change.

In 2014, while the program was under Public Health, the county spent $102,913.81 in an 11 month period.

“We wanted to look at how can we more effectively and efficiently and progressively provide for the inmates we house,” Marchel said. “We really believe this is specialty care. Thirty years ago it was what can we do with Q-tips, band aids and aspirin, but now things have changed.”

Under the contract that commissioners approved for 2015, MEnD will provide a medical director who will provide general and urgent care to all inmates housed in the Houston County jail.

They will hire and train one part-time RN who will conduct routine health assessments, lab draws and will provide other general health services.

The contract, which will cost the county $86,400, will also include mental health services, dental care, diagnostic testing, hospitalizations and ambulance transportation when needed.

These services were estimated to cost the county $106,844 were they still to be provided by Public Health staff.

Sheriff Mark Inglett who was a part of the discussions and research into the options as well, was also in favor of making the change.

Officials from MEnD met with Inglett, Schiltz, Marchel and others regarding the services they offer.

Schiltz called several other facilities where MEnD operates and said they all spoke very highly of the company.

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5th Annual Rock ’n Roll Extravaganza is February 14 http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/5th-annual-rock-n-roll-extravaganza-is-february-14/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/5th-annual-rock-n-roll-extravaganza-is-february-14/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:04:51 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36825 Submitted  Studebaker 7 will perform on Saturday, February 14 at the Four Seasons Community Center. Playing rock and roll from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, the band is made up of: Row 1, left to right, Ross Martin, Shane Drey, Ken Isler. Row 2, Mary Jo Bilot, Jeff Abraham. Row 3, Ban Backhaus, Shaelan Barr, Dustin Moburg, Wally Crook.

Submitted
Studebaker 7 will perform on Saturday, February 14 at the Four Seasons Community Center. Playing rock and roll from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, the band is made up of: Row 1, left to right, Ross Martin, Shane Drey, Ken Isler. Row 2, Mary Jo Bilot, Jeff Abraham. Row 3, Ban Backhaus, Shaelan Barr, Dustin Moburg, Wally Crook.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

If you’re up for a rockin’ good time right here in Caledonia, all for a good cause, then plan to attend the 5th Annual Rock ’n Roll Extravaganza on Saturday, February 14.

Held at the Four Season Community Center, doors open at 6 p.m.

The band, Studebaker 7, will take the stage from 7 to 11 p.m. where they will play ’60s, ’70s and ’80s music.

“It is a fund-raiser for our music department’s trip,” Ross Martin, Caledonia Choir instructor and lead singer of the group said.

The fundraiser is something that Martin has done at previous schools and was such a hit he brought it with him when he joined the Caledonia district.

Band director Dustin Moburg would add his talents to the band when he joined the nine piece outfit based in La Crosse, three years ago.

“Ross has been with the band a little longer than I have,” Moburg said.

Martin said that the fundraiser has been well received.

“It seems to keep growing,” he noted. “A lot of people have come forward and said it is a great idea for a fund-raiser. Something different. Last year we had the biggest crowd we’ve ever had.”

“And we hope to top that again this year,”  Moburg added.

The tickets are $10 when purchased in advance or $12 at the door.

Tickets are available from high school band and choir students, The Country Store, Redwood Cafe, True Value Hardware, The Caledonia Argus, Eitzen State Bank, Bank of the West, The Pine Cone Place and Quillin’s.

The pair said that the band has been working on some new music.

“When Dustin joined the group, and added horns, our sound really changed,” Martin said.

The band is made up of four current high school music instructors and one current.

“We’ve grown a lot as a group,” Martin said. “We have some very talented musicians.”

The money raised will go to help offset the cost of the music trip to Nashville where students will visit the Grand ‘Ol Opry, record music in a recording studio, visit the Arch in St. Louis among other things.

“All of the proceeds will go to the trip,” Moburg noted.

Cats Pajamas

The Rock ’n Roll Extravaganza is the main fund-raiser for the music department.

They hope you will all attend and support the students and the music program.

In addition, on March 9, “Cats Pajamas” an acapella group from Branson, Missouri, will be in Caledonia where they will hold workshops during the day with music students and will hold an evening concert that will be a fundraiser as well.

Plan to attend both of these unique musical opportunities, all for a good cause.

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HS students give back http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/hs-students-give-back/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/hs-students-give-back/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:03:08 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36823 Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus  Students who worked on the igloo for the kindergarteners are seated left to right: Emily Haggerott, Amanda Forrester, Brenna Werner, Emily Ranzenberger, Lindsey Handkins. Standing left to right: Austin Bauer, Kyle Sorenson, Tressa King, Sam Colleran, Liam Sullivan, Devin Heaney and Nolan Rohrer. Not pictured is Zarif Rahman.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
Students who worked on the igloo for the kindergarteners are seated left to right: Emily Haggerott, Amanda Forrester, Brenna Werner, Emily Ranzenberger, Lindsey Handkins. Standing left to right: Austin Bauer, Kyle Sorenson, Tressa King, Sam Colleran, Liam Sullivan, Devin Heaney and Nolan Rohrer. Not pictured is Zarif Rahman.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Members of the class of 2015 and 2016 lent their knowledge of physics and their artistic abilities to do a solid for the class of 2027.

Students from Amy Wild’s advisory came to the kindergarten wing of the Caledonia Elementary school to build the students an igloo.

The students, made up of mostly juniors and seniors, spent nearly 10 hours overall on the project.

Prior to “the build,” students and staff from across the district collected discarded milk jugs.

“We didn’t count, but it’s a lot of milk,” senior Liam Sullivan, one of the builders, said.

The students laid out the base of the structure along the floor by measuring from the center equidistant all the way around.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus  Eager kindergarten students look on as the high school students work on the igloo structure that will serve as an additional learning and play space for the young learners.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
Eager kindergarten students look on as the high school students work on the igloo structure that will serve as an additional learning and play space for the young learners.

Jugs were then put in place along the outside to make the base. They were glued together and row after row on up were glued first a half inch back on up to three and a half inches set back.

Eager kindergarten students watched as the structure began to take form.

“I can’t wait to go inside and read a book,” one student said to another.

Mrs. Klug, who helped organize the igloo project, was happy that the high school was so eager to help.

“My husband and I used to do this by ourselves,” she told the students. “You guys are a lot faster then we were.

The top of the structure is made of cardboard as the milk jug supply ran low.

False snow was added along the top to keep with the winter theme.

Brenna Werner, Tressa King and other students strung Christmas lights throughout the structure to give it that perfect touch.

At the end, senior Kyle Schroeder added two penguins who stand guard at the four row high, milk jug entrance.

“Coooool” exclaimed the kindergartners when they saw the finished project.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus  Samantha Colleran and Brenna Werner work on a portion of the igloo wall while Liam Sullivan and Emily Haggerott offer their support.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
Samantha Colleran and Brenna Werner work on a portion of the igloo wall while Liam Sullivan and Emily Haggerott offer their support.

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Options remain for historic jail building http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/options-remain-for-historic-jail-building/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/options-remain-for-historic-jail-building/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:01:02 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36821 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

A damage replacement estimate of $1,129,416.35 was provided to the county regarding the historic jail building.

The county received a check from their insurance company in an amount of $734,503.24.

This amount reflects the actual cash value of damages.

“Depreciated value,” noted Tess Arrick-Kruger, HR Manager with Houston County. “This methodology is employed once the building sits vacant for more than 60 days.”

Options

So the county continues to consider any and all options regarding what to do with the historic jail.

Two quotes were received from area firms regarding razing the building.

The first, from Generation X Construction out of Rushford, was in an amount of $55,000 for demolition, removal of entire structure including the above and below grade foundation, as well as leaving the site backfilled and graded to street level.

Generation X would charge an additional $20,000 in engineering and shoring costs to protect the new jail during demo. This, however, excludes asbestos and lead paint abatement costs.

The second quote came from Frazier Construction of Rochester.

For $114,950.00, Frazier would obtain all necessary permits, demo and dispose of materials, remove and dispose of front sidewalk, fill the basement with 3” crushed concrete from the existing building, and grade the site level to the surrounding area.

The firm would also install 6” of topsoil across the site and seed.

This bid excludes the disconnection of gas, electric, cable, water or sanitary sewer, and the handling of any hazardous materials such as asbestos, lead paint, mercury, contaminated soils among others.

For the building to remain “moth balled” as it currently is, the cost of heating to 50 degrees via a high efficiency natural gas furnace, would cost the county approximately in the range of $360 to $385 in the winter months.

“The summer months run approximately $15 per month,” Kruger said.

For rehabilitation for county use, the estimated cost is $1,129,416.35, the quote supplied to the county for replacement costs.

The largest portions of this cost are installation of the HVAC system estimated at $269,900, plumbing at $104,676.35, trim work at $189,650 and labor at $169,950.

“This reflects replacement costs due to damage only,” Kruger said. “Other repair and betterment projects include, replace the roofing system, install fire/security system, including interior locks and keys and an elevator if required.”

The county could also consider selling the building for commercial use.

“This could occur with or without historical preservation restrictions,” Kruger stated. “The benefits by going this route are of course, the building would be on the tax roll and may help to salvage the historic structure.”

Kruger and her staff also continue to pursue partnerships with local, regional, state, federal and non-profit organizations.

“The EDA has taken up investigating,” Kruger said. “There is greater potential from the state or federal government for grant funding by going with this option.”

The county continues to look at tourism dollars being generated and the potential economic shift should the building be maintained as some sort of historical point.

“We want to see what is the big picture and try to create a win-win for the region,” Kruger said of this option.

A final decision has yet to be made and the county will continue to consider all of the above while moving forward.

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Four Caledonia students attend Dorian Music Festival http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/four-caledonia-students-attend-dorian-music-festival/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/four-caledonia-students-attend-dorian-music-festival/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:58:35 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36810 Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus  After expressing their interest in a written essay, Abby Hoskins, Olivia Schmitz, Amanda Forrester and Joe Haverty joined over 1,100 students from around the Midwest at the annual Dorian Music Festival held on January 10 and 11 at Luther College in Decorah.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
After expressing their interest in a written essay, Abby Hoskins, Olivia Schmitz, Amanda Forrester and Joe Haverty joined over 1,100 students from around the Midwest at the annual Dorian Music Festival held on January 10 and 11 at Luther College in Decorah.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Caledonia had four students represent the school at the 65th Annual Dorian Music Festival at Luther College in Decorah.

Juniors Abby Hoskins and Olivia Schmitz were joined by two time attendee and senior Amanda Forrester and Joe Haverty, also a senior.

“I thought it was neat how people really cared and wanted to be there,” Haverty noted. “We all worked really hard on what we were singing and we sounded awesome!”

The students were among 1,100 to 1,200 students representing close to 300 schools from around the upper Midwest.

States like Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, the Dakotas, attend the prestigious music festival where they work with music directors on their craft.

“We invite choral directors each year to nominate outstanding high school junior and senior vocalists to attend the Dorian Vocal Festival,” James Buzza Dorian Music Coordinator, said. “Approximately 1,125 students will be accepted into the Festival Choir.”

Caledonia choir director Ross Martin said he nominated these four students because of their dedication in the classroom.

“I knew they would represent Caledonia well,” he said.

Dorian participants were sent a few pieces of music prior to attending.

They work on the songs and once at the workshop, which took place on Friday, January 9 through Sunday, January 11, they are immersed in music.

“Singing with the all female choir during the all girls rehearsal really stood out,” said Schmitz. “It was fun to be a part of that and working with all the talented female singers.”

This being the second year for Forrester, she said she learned even more going back for a second time.

“The thing that stands out is that you’re surrounded by a group of people who all want to be there,” she said. “You realize that everyone wants to be there and they all work really hard to learn as much as they can.”

“Dorian is a life-changing experience,” Martin noted. “Musically. I saw how it changed her (Forrester) when she came back last year. She came back a leader within our music program.”

Martin said he sees the change in this year’s attendees as they work to keep the Caledonia choir on task to try and provide the best sound and experience possible.

“I’ve really seen it in terms of my confidence,” noted Forrester. “Before attending I might not have signed up for solos and after I’ve attended solo ensemble.”

Hoskins said that instructor Tesfa Wondemagegmehu really stood out to her about the experience.

“He made rehearsals really fun,” she noted.

“I had the opportunity to attend years ago, back in the ‘70’s and I was grateful for my experiences,” Martin said. “I am happy that these students got to share in that opportunity as well.”

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Party Passers http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/party-passers/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/party-passers/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:54:11 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36808 By Angela Denstad Stigeler

Plenty of parties are in the plans for American football fans, casual observers and advertising aficionados alike this weekend. Whether you’re on the receiving end of the invitation or have the home field advantage, these little party buns will score big. Easy to assemble and a cinch to take-and-bake, these ham-and-cheese buns are hard not to like. They’re easy to pass and hard to resist, baked to a buttery brown and held fast with melted cheese so there’s no loose filling to fumble. Of course, if you really want buttery fingers, some recipes as much as double the seasoned butter. But that’ll be your call to make. Even if you decide to pass on the parties, you might want to intercept a few of these sandwiches while they’re hot. Whether you serve them up with a good soup bowl or during the Superbowl, they just might be a game-changer for how you take on the classic team of ham and cheese.

Hot Ham and

Cheese Party Buns

24 tea biscuits or other party buns

1 pound good quality deli ham, thinly sliced

1 pound deli cheese, such as Swiss or muenster

½ cup (1 stick) melted butter

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon dried minced onion

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter the bottoms of two baking dishes which, together, are large enough to hold all the rolls. Slice the rolls in half horizontally, doing a dozen at once if you’re able, and lay the bottoms in the prepared dishes. Top the bread with the deli ham and then the cheese, dividing it equally among the sandwiches. Put the tops of the buns back in place.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small saucepan until melted. Off the heat add the mustard, honey, dried onion and poppy seeds, stirring vigorously until slightly thickened. Brush the butter mixture liberally over all the rolls and bake until the tops are nicely golden and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. If necessary, slice through the ham to separate the buns, pull apart and serve warm.

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Warrior grapplers in action during several tournament events over the past week http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/warrior-grapplers-in-action-during-several-tournament-events-over-the-past-week/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/warrior-grapplers-in-action-during-several-tournament-events-over-the-past-week/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:53:06 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36806 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Sitting at 10-8 overall on the season, the Caledonia Warrior wrestlers are coming into the home stretch of their schedule.

In the recent days, the Warrior wrestlers defeated Fillmore Central-Lanesboro-M-C 58-14 on Thursday, January 15.

Saturday, January 17, the Warrior grapplers went 1-2 falling to host Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 49-20 and also losing to Stewartville, 39-21. The Warriors defeated Worthington, 37-30 for their lone win of the tournament.

On Thursday, January 22, the Warriors fell to Chatfield, 45-23.

This past weekend, on Saturday, January 24, the Warriors went 1-4 on the afternoon in a tournament held in Kasson.

The Warriors defated the team from Byron on a squeaker, 35-34.

They lost three straight to Prior Lake, 52-12, Centennial, 51-12 and they fell to Farmington, 53-19.

Upcoming schedule

The wrestlers travel to La Crescent on Thursday, January 29.

On Saturday, January 31, they are in action at the Pine Island Invite.

Other teams who will be there are: Burnsville, Pine Island, Fillmore Central/Lanesboro/M-C, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, Medford, Rochester Mayo, Waseca and Zimmerman.

The Warrior wrestlers conclude their regular season action against Dover-Eyota at home on Tuesday, February 3.

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Warriors win two out of three to get back on track http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/warriors-win-two-out-of-three-to-get-back-on-track/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/warriors-win-two-out-of-three-to-get-back-on-track/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:52:30 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36802 Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  Alexis King pressures the ball against Bloomington Kennedy.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Alexis King pressures the ball against Bloomington Kennedy.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

After losing four in a row, the Caledonia Warrior girls’ basketball team is putting together a new winning streak after defeating Wabasha-Kellogg, 77-59.

The Warriors used solid team basketball in the first half to cruise to the win.

“Tracy Felten had the hot hand in this game,” head coach Kevin Klug said. “She made five three pointers in row and got us out to a big lead.  We moved the ball well and were able to get open shots.  The first half was fun to watch as the girls played great team basketball, as we had 15 assists and 14 steals in the half.”

Stats

Mariah Schroder 21 pts, 9 rebs, 6 steals, 6 assists

Tracy Felten 19 pts, 5 rebs, 4 assists

Sam Schroeder 17 pts, 4 steals

Jordyn Krause 8 pts

Trece Frank 5 pts

Alexis King 5 pts

Hannah Cuda 2 pts

Lydia DeMorett 4 rebs, 5 assists

Defeat Rushford

After dropping four straight, the Lady Warriors got back in the win column with a 58-46 victory over Rushford-Peterson.

Leading by 20 at halftime, 36-16, the Warriors cruised to the 12 point win with a solid defensive effort.

“We were able to find points in this one without relying on the three point shot,” head coach Kevin Klug said.  “We had nine different girls score and all the girls added good minutes.  It was a good conference win for us.”

Stats

Lydia DeMorett 3 pts

Tracy Felton 10 pts

Trece Frank 5 pts

Mariah Schroeder 14 pts

Hannah Cude 4 pts

Alexis King 4 pts

Alyssa Meiners 2 pts

Abby Bauer 4 pts

Samantha Schroeder 12 pts

Warriors fall to BK

Trailing 9-1 early, the Warrior girls basketball team used solid defense and picked up the intensity to close to within a basket at the half, 21-19.

Against Bloomington Kennedy, the Warriors took the lead early in the second half, but couldn’t seal the deal down the stretch as BK defeated Caledonia 49-45.

The loss dropped the Lady Warriors to 9-5 on the season, but they had some chances to win the game.

Stats

Jordyn Krause 15 pts

Mariah Schroeder 15 pts

Samantha Schroeder 14 pts

Tracy Felton 1 pts

The week ahead has the girls team at Winona Cotter on Jan. 30.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus<br /> Abby Bauer against Bloomington Kennedy.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Abby Bauer against Bloomington Kennedy.

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Gymnasts nurse injuries; still defeat La Crescent http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/gymnasts-nurse-injuries-still-defeat-la-crescent/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/gymnasts-nurse-injuries-still-defeat-la-crescent/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:46:05 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36795 Abby Hoskins.

Abby Hoskins.

The Warrior gymnastics squad hosted La Crescent on Tuesday, January 20 for Parents Night. Caledonia, suffering from injuries, still eked out the win with 123.025 total points to the Lancers total of 122.225.

“We had to shuffle a few girls from junior varsity to varsity on both floor and beam,” Caledonia coach Jackie Johnson said. “Abby Hoskins sat out on floor, recovering from a fall at the Holmen meet. Jessi Knutson has been battling with tendonitis in her ankles, so she sat out of beam and floor.

“It was a very close meet, coming down to the last events of the night,” Johnson said. “Caledonia pulled out a win for varsity and because of changing the girls around, it left JV short for floor. The girls did a great job working as a team. I am so proud of them; even when we move things around, they manage to stick together and support one another. We had a great turnout for Parents Night and it was great to bring home a varsity win.”

 

Hailey Snow.

Hailey Snow.

Stats

On bars, Caledonia took second, third and fourth places with Kaylee Cavanaugh scoring an 8.2, Sierra Hunter an 8.075 and Abby Hoskins a 7.6. Knutson scored a 5.675 and Hailey Snow, a 5.225.

On beam, Cavanaugh took first with an 8.1, Hunter was third with  7.75 and Hoskins was fifth with 6.9. Kerrigan Scanlan scored a 6.3 and Snow a 5.950.

On floor, Cavanaugh was second with an 8.875, Hunter third with 8.175, Abby Lampert fifth with 8.025 and Hailey Snow sixth with 7.650. Courtney Olson scored a 7.025 and Kerrigan Scanlan a 6.8.

On vault, Hoskins was first with 8.650, Cavanaugh third with 8.150 and Snow and Hunter tied for fourth with 7.950. Knutson scored a 7.550.

In the all-around, La Crescent’s Lexi McNally took first with a personal total of 33.650; Cavanaugh was second with a total of 33.325 and Hunter was third with 31.950.

Junior Varsity stats

On bars, Caledonia’s Erin Schultz was third with a 6.250. Kerrigan Scanlan was sixth with 5.550 and Alissa Peterson seventh with 5.150. Maria Miller scored a 4.450 and Kourtney Olson 4.350.

On beam, Peterson was second with a 6.500 and Schultz third with 6.100. Olson scored a 5.100, Rebecca Meyer 5.100, Kiley Meyer 4.100 and Emily DeMorett 4.0.

On floor, Schultz was fifth with 6.900 and Peterson sixth with 6.800. Alissa Johnson scored a 3.3.

On vault, Scanlan was first with 7.900, Schultz second with 7.800 and Olson fifth with 7.100. Alexis Simpson scored a 6.6.

In the over-all, Erin Schultz of Caledonia was first with a personal total of 27.050.

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Warriors go 2-1 on the week http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/warriors-go-2-1-on-the-week/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/warriors-go-2-1-on-the-week/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:43:10 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36791 Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  Freshman guard Owen King led the Warriors with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from long range against a scrappy St. Paul Academy team.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Freshman guard Owen King led the Warriors with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from long range against a scrappy St. Paul Academy team.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

In front of a standing room only crowd evenly represented on both sides, the Rushford-Peterson boys basketball team came into Caledonia and upset the home town team, 65-60.

The Warriors jumped out to a 13-7 lead, but the Trojans rode a 16-2 run that the Warriors couldn’t overcome.

The Warriors trailed by nine points, 34-25 at half time.

Colton Lampert put the team on his back in the second half to try and mount a comeback but foul trouble, and the fact that the Trojans made their free throws down the stretch sealed the loss for the Warriors.

Lampert scored 12 of his team high 20 points in the second half, driving hard to the hoop, and raining threes when open.

The loss dropped the Class AA #1 ranked Warriors to 13-3 overall, and 9-1 in the Three Rivers Conference.

The Trojans, ranked #3 in Class A, improved to 17-1 on the year, 12-0 in conference.

Stats

Owen King 8 points

Colton Lampert 20 points

Gavin Schroeder 6 points

Kyle Sorenson 14 points

Justin Burg 2 points

Austin Bauer 10 points

Defeat St. Paul Academy

On a neutral court, the Caledonia Warriors held off a hard charging St. Paul Academy team bent on avenging a loss last year at state.

The Warriors, however, fought off the charge, in part, behind a solid shooting night from long range by Owen King.

King shot 6-of-9 from three-point range and led the team with 20 points.

After trailing mid-way through the second half, the Warriors stormed back to a seven point 58-51 win.

Coming up big in the closing minutes were Colton Lampert who made his free throws late in the game.

Lampert finished with 10 points. Also making a basket when it mattered most was Gavin Schroeder who scored his only points of the night hitting both free throws to ice the game.

Schroeder played big minutes late defensively for the Warriors as did Seth Twite when our senior back court of Kyle Sorenson and Justin Burg were fouled out of the game.

The victory came on Monday, January 19 at the Martin Luther King Classic held at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis.

Stats

Owen King 20 points

Kyle Sorenson 10 points

Colton Lampert 10 points

Justin Burg 8 points

Austin Bauer 6 points

Seth Twite 2 points

Gavin Schroeder 2 points

Vs. Wabasha-Kellogg 91-45

The Warriors ran Wabasha-Kellogg out of their gym on Friday night with a 91-45 victory.

Up by 31 at the break, the Warriors deep bench got into the action  with 14 players contributing to the score.

Stats

Tanner Gran 3 points

Seth Twite 8 points

Carson Coffield 2 points

Owen King 12 points

Colton Lampert 12 points

Ethan DuCharme 3 points

Gavin Schroeder 9 points

Kyle Sorenson 12 points

Justin Burg 6 points

Austin Bauer 9 points

Sean McGonigle 5 points

Andrew Goergan 2 points

Jordan Burg 2 points

Thomas Jergenson 6 points

The week ahead

Please note: The Warrior boys basketball game which had been scheduled for Friday, January 30 has been changed to Thursday, January 29. This game is against Cotter and will be held in Caledonia.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus  Justin Burg, middle, and Owen King, left put the clamps defensively on a Rushford-Peterson player.

Ryan Pitts/The Caledonia Argus
Justin Burg, middle, and Owen King, left put the clamps defensively on a Rushford-Peterson player.

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Letter writer: Slow down on city streets http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/letter-writer-slow-down-on-city-streets/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/letter-writer-slow-down-on-city-streets/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:39:43 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36789 To the Editor:

There were two great letters in the Argus the week of January 14 about banning frac sand mining in Houston County, one from Michael Fields and one from Kent Holen. I am in total agreement, there seems no good reason to let this destructive practice get a foothold in Houston County.

Please ban frac sand mining here. The threat of a lawsuit seems to hold little sway in the balance: depletion of our precious resources, and the destruction of our roads.

While talking about our roads, I would like to say, people of Houston County, please try to obey the fundamentals of driving: respect pedestrians, stop at stop signs, and slow down a bit, especially on our city streets. Quite a few of our older customers here at Helen’s on South Kingston Street have nearly been struck by vehicles turning left (north) onto S. Kingston as they enter Kingston from Washington street. For some reason, this corner has a three-way stop.

Adding a stop sign here would probably save a life, especially if the speeding through this intersection continues.

Last week I was pulling away from the curb when a city truck (flatbed) full of workers sped around the Washington-Kingston corner. Well, I guess my slowness in entering the street perturbed them. The city truck got on my bumper, tailgated, as if this would push me along faster. I could not believe what I was seeing. Is this what I get for my thousands of dollars in taxes? I’ve always thought city workers were overpaid and over benefitted, this only confirmed it.

People at stop signs barely touch their brakes anymore, let alone stop and wait for traffic to clear. The stop sign seems to mean “dash through before the oncoming vehicle can get close.” When a coach loses control of his team, he goes back to basics. People of Caledonia, let us do the same with the fundamentals of driving: respect pedestrians, stop at stop signs and slow down a bit, especially on our city streets. And city workers do not have a ‘free pass’ on our streets.

Lonnie Kimler

Caledonia, Minnesota

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Warrior pride on full display in the construction of a milk jug igloo http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/warrior-pride-on-full-display-in-the-construction-of-a-milk-jug-igloo/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/warrior-pride-on-full-display-in-the-construction-of-a-milk-jug-igloo/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:38:48 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36787 Daniel McGonigle

General Manager/Manging Editor

I know this reporter’s kindergarteners were extremely excited to see the fruits of their labor come together in the form of a new igloo to play in.

Of course, there was actually more labor being done by the seniors as it was they who constructed the structure.

But almost every other day we had a new milk jug to contribute to the cause and as twins Hannah and Evan faithfully carried said jugs to class each morning, conversations in the car were often about igloos.

“Is it cold living in an igloo?” Evan would ask me on his way to school.

“Can you start fires in the igloos,” Hannah would inquire.

“Hey, they don’t make igloos out of milk jugs, they make them out of snow!” Evan would exclaim one day.

As their kindergarten classmates brought more and more milk jugs to class each day, and as the pile grew, it was time for the high school students to do their thing.

Mrs. Wild’s high school advisory class contributed their knowledge and skill to help reach back and build the structure for the benefit of their young Warrior brethren.

While the kindergarten classes went about their days learning about the letter D, enjoying milk break and reading books about llamas in pajamas, the senior students reminisced prior to building the igloo.

“I remember these,” smiled Austin Bauer as a toy from his days in kindergarten remained all too familiar, still in use by today’s students.

Bauer and the other students who worked on the project, Devin Heaney, Zarif Rahman, Kyle Sorenson, Emily Haggerott, Brenna Werner, Emily Ranzenberger, Lindsey Handkins, Amanda Forrester, Samantha Colleran, Nolan Rohrer, Tressa King and Liam Sullivan, seemed proud of the way they were giving back to the school and their community.

“I’m proud of the job they’re doing here,” elementary principal Gina Meinertz noted. “I’m excited to see the finished product, as are the kindergartners.”

Meant to be a space of learning, where students can enter and read and utilize the space at play time and recess, the high school seniors worked for over 10 hours in total designing and setting up the igloo.

When done, Colleran, Haggerott and King cleaned up the glue that had fallen onto the floor leaving the area safe and clean for the young learners.

They smiled and reveled in the job they had done.

The eager kindergartners were filled with glee to try the new structure out.

From the senior class of 2015, to the future Warrior graduates of 2027, I was impressed by the young men and women’s willingness to give back to the school that made them.

The statements of “Warrior pride” that don the walls of both the elementary and high school was on full display in the students who worked to give something to the future of Caledonia schools.

As a father of two of those students, I say thank you to Mrs. Wild and her students.”

Editor’s Note: To read an article and see photos of the igloo and the construction process turn to page 12.

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Families wisely listening to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/families-wisely-listening-to-dr-martin-luther-king-jr/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/families-wisely-listening-to-dr-martin-luther-king-jr/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:37:46 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36785 Joe Nathan

Center for School Change

Many things impressed me as I marched with thousands of others in St. Paul on Jan 19, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but what pleased me most were the hundreds of participating families. Parents from cities and suburbs brought their youngsters – some appearing as young as 6 or 7. The parents were there, modeling one of the many wise and wonderful things that King said: “The time is always right to do what is right.”

For thousands of people, the “right thing” on Jan. 19 was to march. I think the youngsters may have learned a lot. They may have learned that a lot of people care about having a better country. They may have learned something about nonviolence. From the first two minutes of the demonstration, the organizers stressed that this was intended to be nonviolent.

Youngsters may have been surprised that all the St. Paul police officers and Minnesota State Patrol officers that we saw were so calm. This was in dramatic contrast to how Alabama police responded to demonstrations, as depicted in the recent and strongly recommended movie “Selma.”

The officers present were not dressed in riot gear. That’s unlike the recent Black Lives Matter demonstration at the Mall of America, where newspaper and television pictures showed a number of police dressed in riot gear.

Another thing youngsters might have noticed was the composition of the police. Every one of the 40-50 officers that I saw from both St. Paul and the State Highway Patrol departments were white. I wondered about that. Perhaps some youngsters did, too.

I held a sign that said “Black lives matter; all lives matter.” As I was standing on a corner waiting for the march to begin, a young African-American man came up to me, thanked and then hugged me. Other youngsters of various races walked by. Some smiled and said “nice sign.” I hope some youngsters felt affirmed.

Perhaps some parents talked about the difference between this demonstration and what happened recently at the Black Lives Matter demonstration at the Mall of America. As my friend Tom Marver and I marched together, we discussed the difference. He was at the mall and pointed out that the MOA has hosted many demonstrations.

“Wouldn’t you think the mall would welcome a demonstration affirming the value of life?” he asked. Apparently not.

I’m not saying every family should take youngsters to a civil rights demonstration. Some wisely took their children to one of many breakfasts held to celebrate King’s life. Some families spent part of the holiday volunteering with various organizations for a few hours.

Over the years, our family has tried to model the value of service. For example, as part of our temple’s day of service, we’ve gone to Afton, Minnesota, to help sandbag when there was a flood that threatened the town. We have helped distribute literature and made phone calls in political campaigns.

Other families find different ways to model the importance of active, constructive citizenship. The movie “Selma” gives families a chance to help youngsters see the holiday honoring King’s birthday in a broader, more personal perspective.

I asked one 7-year-old, whose parents did not want his name used, what he was feeling as he marched. “I think Dr. King would agree with what we’re doing.” Very wise youngster. Very wise parents.

Joe Nathan, a former public school teacher and school administrator, directs the Center for School Change at Macalester College.  He welcomes reactions, jnathan@macalester.edu

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