Celebration shines despite dampness

Shortly after being crowned last Sunday, June 15, the new Buffalo royalty posed in the Performing Arts Center at Buffalo High School.  The trio includes (from left) Princess Cami Daniels, Miss Buffalo Justine Green and Princess Marah Moy.  (Photo by Ed DuBois)


            The weather was a challenge this year, but a little wind and rain can't stop the Buffalo Days tradition.  Activities were well attended, and about 80 percent of the parade came through town before rain sent people scrambling.

            Sally Custer of the Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce reported a good turnout for the movie in the park last Thursday evening, June 12.  The screen was sheltered in the Bandshell, and families braved a chilly wind by snuggling in blankets.  Custer is hoping to bring more bands to perform that evening next year.

            Beer sales before the Friday night fireworks were not as high as expected, but the orange fence from previous years was gone this year, which created more openness, Custer said.  The fireworks, as usual, were spectacular, and a huge crowd enjoyed the show while also checking out an expanded food court in the Downtown Commons.

            The Saturday evening Buffalo Days Parade started out well, despite the threat of rain.  The parade route was lined with plenty of spectators.

            After about 80 units came through, the rain poured down and people wasted no time getting to the shelter of their cars.  Some of the parade barricades were moved during the rush, and some traffic congestion followed, but eventually everyone was able to move out and get home.

            Custer lamented that no one was able to see the Wells Fargo Stagecoach in the parade because it was at the end of the parade lineup.

            A few of the high school bands did not march in the rain, but several others performed before the heavier showers came down.

            Volunteers preparing hotdogs, candy and bottles of water for the bands were able to pack everything in coolers and deliver it all to the bands gathering at the middle school.

            Custer mentioned she hopes more volunteers step forward next year.  The parade is a handful for organizers, and besides that, volunteer help is much better financially than paying staff to help with the event.

            In today's very busy world, it has been increasingly difficult to find volunteers, Custer said.



            She reported the marching band competition results.  The Grand Champion was the Waconia H.S. Marching Band.  First Place is Class A went to the Saints Marching Band of St. Peter H.S.  First Place in Class AA was awarded to the Alexandria Marching Band.

            Second Place in Class A was won by the Dassel-Cokato H.S. Marching Chargers.  The Saint Francis H.S. Marching Saints claimed Second Place in Class AA.  Due to the rain, the Hibbing H.S. Marching Bluejackets, the 728 Cadets and the Maple Grove High School Marching Crimson did not get to perform.



            Some of the Saturday in the Park attractions canceled, but a rainy start was followed by improved weather and more people showing up.

            Jim Wedell of the Fishing Klinic for Kids said about 50-60 kids lined up for registration in the rain.  After the weather improved, a total of 700 backpacks were given away.  Wedell estimated a couple thousand people filled the park later in the day.

            "The dock was full of people, and many of them were catching fish!" he exclaimed.

            He thanks all of those who participated, as well as all of those who provided activities and volunteered to help.



            The KRWC Buffalo Days Medallion Hunt was underway all week, and by early Saturday morning, the clues were leading searchers to this year's hiding place.  Chelsea Hayes of Buffalo found the Medallion behind a Rotary Club bench near the corner of Highway 25 and Montrose Blvd.  She won just over $1,500 in prizes and gift certificates.



            The Buffalo Days celebration always concludes on Father's Day with the Sunday evening Royalty Coronation.

            The new Miss Buffalo is Justine Green, daughter of Nate and Amy Green.  She was a Buffalo High School senior this year, and her sponsor was Advanced Disposal.  Activities have included three years as a personal care assistant for her sister, who is challenged by disabilities.  Justine's hobbies include: singing, writing, playing piano, reading, composing, drawing, painting, scrapbooking, laughing, dancing, yoga, sign language, and crocheting.  She was a football team manager, took part in many other high school activities and has had poetry published.

            She plans to study elementary education at Bemidji State University.

            The new princesses are Cami Daniels and Marah Moy.

            Daniels, daughter of Tony and Lyne Daniels, grew up in Buffalo and has worked at her sponsor, Pike's convenience store.  She earned honorable mention in soccer at Buffalo High.  Other activities include: basketball, water skiing, fishing, singing, and acting.

            She plans to study psychology at UW-Stout and hopes to be a youth counselor.

            Moy, the daughter of Lance and Brenda Moy, was a state finalist in Business Professionals of America.  Sponsored by KleinBank, Moy has worked at Sterling Drug.  Hobbies include: movies with friends, volleyball, writing, reading, and baking.  Activities at Buffalo High included music and Class Cabinet.

            She is deciding between pre-pharmacy and business at Concordia College in Moorhead.

            Daniels was voted Miss Congeniality by fellow royalty candidates.  Morgan Pfleghaar was the Buffalo Days button sales leader with 224 buttons sold.  She was also presented the Community Service Award.

            Representatives of the Minneapolis Aquatennial attended the Buffalo Days Coronation and welcomed Maddi Yates, Miss Buffalo 2013-14, to the Queen of the Lakes event this summer.

            They also announced an Honorary Commodore Award for Mark Largent of Culver's restaurant in Buffalo for 15 years of helping out with the annual royalty ice cream social, as well as providing treats for many other community events and organizations.

            (See more Buffalo Days coverage in Sports this week.)    



Suzanne O'Dell honored with the Kurt Weiche Award

The 2014 Kurt Weiche Award is presented to Suzanne O'Dell (left) by Mitch Weinzetl (right).


            Buffalo's honored citizen this year is Suzanne O'Dell, whose voluntary community service has involved numerous organizations.

            Police Chief Mitch Weinzetl used the word "omnipresent" to describe the wide range of O'Dell's involvement with the community.  In a relatively short time as a Buffalo resident, she has made a difference throughout the city.

            The nomination of O'Dell for the Weiche Award describes her as an organizational genius.  Her services include: six years as president of the Crossroads Animal Shelter, long-term involvement with the MEADA (Methamphetamine Education and Drug Awareness) Coalition, mentoring middle school girls through PIF Academy, Rotary Club secretary, president of the Wright County Family Services Collaborative, and United for Youth coordinator.  She has also been much involved with Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and Let's Go Fishing with Seniors, and she has served as a Drive Wright instructor for Safe Communities of Wright County.  She has served on the Wright County Mental Health Committee, as well.  Other descriptions of O'Dell and her busy life include: "photography, public relations, girls' talk at BHS, fundraising, cat lover, passion for the welfare of all creatures, member of New Hope Church, gives from the heart, selfless, and newsletter publishing."

            Weinzetl commented that on a rare occasion she did not make it to a Safe Community meeting, her absence was very noticeable.

            Originally from the Moorhead area, where she studied at Concordia College, she came to Buffalo with her husband, James, in about 2001.  James has a job in IT (informational technology) with a company in the area.  Suzanne has three cats at home, she mentioned.

            She said her first thought upon being surprised with the Weiche Award at a recent Rotary Club meeting was, "Now I have to be in the Buffalo Days Parade!"  She wondered how she would volunteer at the parade and ride in it at the same time.

            On a more serious note, she added another thought, "All to the glory of God."

            Receiving the award was an emotional moment for her, and she was touched by the appreciation for her volunteerism.

            Just before the award presentation, she was rallying the Rotarians for more parade volunteers.

            Thinking about past recipients of the Weiche Award, she commented that most have been longstanding, well-established community service volunteers, and many of them have been business people.

            "Receiving the award really surprised me," she said.

            Her selection this year did not seem to surprise anyone else, however.

            Did you see her in the Buffalo Days Parade?



BHS shooters win inaugural state clay target championship

            The first-year Buffalo High School Trapshooting Team won the inaugural Minnesota State High School League Clay Target state championship last Friday, June 14 at Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake.  The Clay Target 2014 state championship team includes: (front row, left-right) Mike Miller, Kurt Potter, Brandie Evens, Mac Riley, Zach Berg, Tyler Veches, Brady Ebnet, Sean Delorenzo, Hannah Johnston, Kaylee Reineccius, Andrew Grunwald; (second row) Dylan Weber, Patrick Macnab, Max Hartman, Spencer Wilson, Weston Siverhus, Cody Weber, Ben Rodelius, Megan Radtke, Corey Zumach, Cam Potter, Joe McGinty Jr; (back row) Warren Hartman, Clint Potter, Mike Wingert, Sammy Berg, Cori Potter, Tami Berg, Mark Stevens, and Sally Stevens. (Submitted photo)



See Buffalo Rodeo action this Friday and Saturday

Top pro rodeo action can be seen at the Buffalo Rodeo this Friday and Saturday, June 20 and 21.  This photo is from last year's rodeo.

            The "Grandaddy" of Minnesota rodeos, the Buffalo Championship PRCA Rodeo, is celebrating 60 years of annual performances.  The 2014 Buffalo Rodeo is taking place from Thursday, June 19 to Saturday, June 21.

            Two nights of bulls, broncs, barrels, and more are planned this Friday and Saturday.

            The Rodeo is proud to feature the outstanding rodeo stock of Barnes and MJM PRCA Rodeo Companies.

            Also featured this year is 12-time "Specialty Act of the Year," The One Arm Bandit.

            "Rodeo Fun Night," Thursday, June 19 at 7 p.m., offers fun for the whole family.  The night will include Mutton Bustin' action and a Calf Scramble.  Vendor stands will be open.  (This is not a regular rodeo performance, and admission is free.)

            The opening performance of the 60th Annual Buffalo Championship PRCA Rodeo begins at 7 p.m. Friday, June 20.  It will be Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night, so dress in pink and enter the Best Dressed in Pink Contest.  Don't miss the Smokn Guns Band under the stars after the rodeo performance.

            The second rodeo performance takes place Saturday, June 21 at 7 p.m.  Stick around afterwards to hear the band, Rusted Revolver.

            A Cowboy Church Service is open to everyone at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 22.

            Everyone is welcome to the Buffalo Championship Rodeo.  Tickets are selling fast, so order your tickets at



Lakeside Oasis construction project nearing completion

            Lakeside Oasis is a unique end-of-life care wing being built on the Lake Ridge Care Center campus in Buffalo.  This home-like setting will care for people in the final stage of their life on earth.

            Specially trained staff, volunteers, music therapists, massage therapists, and chaplains are just part of the team of care-givers who will be involved. It will truly be a one-of-a-kind, special place to offer and receive care during difficult days, said a spokesperson with the Community Health Foundation (CHF).

            The overwhelming support from the residents of Wright County has made construction of this project possible. The Community Health Foundation, in partnership with Elim Care, has been blessed by the commitment of many donors from all of Wright County, such as service clubs like the Lions Club and Rotary, and numerous individuals, many of whom will be recognized on a beautiful butterfly wall and brick patio. Many special individuals and businesses gave so generously, they have been able to name a room or area within Lakeside Oasis.

            A special thank you goes to the Buffalo Clinic and doctors who gave the lead gift of $200,000. Without this gift, the dream of offering this important service to the residents of Wright County may never have come to fruition. Their generosity was not only the catalyst to reaching the goals of the capital campaign, it was also an amazing display of their commitment and support to this effort, the CHF says.

            As part of their pledge, the Buffalo Clinic and doctors were given the privilege of naming the future wing.  As a result of a naming contest at the clinic, Lakeside Oasis will be known as the place where one receives comfort and care at the end of their life.

            The public is invited and encouraged to attend an open house on Tuesday, July 8 from 3-6 p.m.  Parking and shuttle service will be available in Sturgis Park.  A dedication service and butterfly release will be at 5 p.m.  Thank you to everyone in Wright County who has supported this project.

            For more information, you can call Lake Ridge at 763-682-1434.



Hayes Public House Brewery serving on Sundays

By Rob LaPlante

            The Buffalo City Council approved a written motion made by Andy Hayes, tap brewer of Hayes Public House Brewery and Taproom in Buffalo, to allow his establishment licensed liquor sales to be served on Sundays.

            Liquor sales will be allowed on Sundays, except for the hours of 2-8 a.m., and under the agreement, Hayes Public House will not sell growlers on Sunday.

            Minnesota state law prohibits any liquor sales (excluding 3.2-beer) on Sundays, with the exception of food-licensed restaurants.  Hayes Public House is an establishment that doesn't sell food but does allow customers to bring in their own food while dining with one of their fresh home microbrews. It also allows the purchase of beer in new and refillable growlers. (A growler is a 64-ounce glass jug that is filled straight from the tap.)

            Buffalo Mayor Brad Nauman explained the city council will carry the motion under one condition, "Andy's is a blend of on-off sales."  "How do we legislate?  Applebee's and Rancho Grande sell liquor on Sundays, but they don't sell six-packs out the door, either. I think if growlers aren't part of the deal, I don't see a problem with it, as long as they are smart over there."

            Staying on the topic of alcohol, Buffalo Police Chief Mitch Weinzetl reported their annual compliance check of various area alcohol establishments resulted in all but one that failed to pass.  The Police Department's recommendation to the council that the Buffalo American Legion be fined a civil fee of $200 was approved.  Weinzetl said the Legion failed to pass a compliance check two years ago, but the civil fee was waved in lieu of the business get training.  The fine is being imposed due to a more recent compliance check failure.  Training can include the proper ways of reading different types of licenses, warning signs of intoxication, overselling, and other details pertaining to serving alcohol.



            City Council members wanted to thank everyone involved in their part for putting on another successful Buffalo Days week of events.

            "Buffalo Days went really well until the rain hit at the end of the week," said council member Teri Lachermeier. "The Chamber did a really nice job."

            Even the thunderstorms couldn't prevent people from coming out to Saturday's Fishing Klinic for Kids and the Buffalo Days Parade, along with Sunday's Buffalo Run 5K/Kids Fun Run.

            The 60th Annual Buffalo Rodeo is hitting town this weekend, starting Thursday, June 19, and with two days of pro rodeo action landing on June 20-21.

            Mayor Nauman reminded the public about the 2014 Concerts in the Park opener on Thursday, June 26 at Sturges Park.  At 7 p.m., enjoy the country music of The Killer Hayseeds.

            Nauman opened the meeting by stating Monday, June 23 will be "Olympics Day" in the City of Buffalo. Olympic Day is celebrated all around the world.  People participate in activities such as runs, exhibitions, music, and educational seminars. Kevin Lewis, manager at Gym-Nation Gymnastics in Buffalo, thanked the council members for recognizing this event.


2013 AUDIT

            CliftonLarsonAllen auditor Sarah Utsch presented to the council the 2013 audit report.  In the past six years, Buffalo's expenditures have far exceeded its revenues.  But Utsch explained that in the past year, things have begun to equal out.

            Utsch said the city makes most of its revenue through their electric and liquor funds. The Electric Fund Operation has seen a $660,000 increase in revenue since 2013. The water and sewer funds have also exceeded expenses by $325,366.

            "The city did pretty well on most of its funds," Utsch said. "We're seeing a bounce back, mainly because we're collecting more levy dollars."



            CenterPoint Energy Supervisor of Service Technicians Mike Fadden was on hand to present a check donation of $2,300 to buy a new hydraulic cutter for the city of Buffalo. Buffalo Fire Chief John Harnois was on hand to accept the donation.

            The Dollar Store in Buffalo will pay a termination fee of $45,000, which equals about a year's rent beginning Aug 1. City Administrator Merton Auger's recommendation that the city move forward by finding the right tenant that is in compliment with the city was approved.

            The council approved the right to sell used and buy new equipment needed at Wild Marsh Golf Course. A wide range of equipment is being sold through the MCGSA website, Craigslist, or the county auction.

            There was no environmental moment with council member Paul Olson absent from Monday's meeting.



Eagle Scout Award earned by John Officer

John Officer


            John R. Officer has earned the highest honor offered by the Boy Scouts of America, the Eagle Scout Award.

            He completed his Eagle project in the summer of 2013.  His project involved removing old plantings and overgrowth at his school, St. John's Preparatory School in Collegeville, Minn., and then redesigning and planting a rain garden.  He will be a senior this fall.

            John, whose family at home in Buffalo includes his mother, Sarah Officer, and grandparents, Bob and Debbie Officer, met with landscape designers, nursery owners, teachers, and committees.  He researched for environmentally appropriate plantings and ground cover for soil retention.  John spent 70 hours on the project, which also involved 160 man-hours to complete.

            Even though the project was finished in the summer of 2013, John's Eagle Scout Court of Honor waited until this summer because he was a foreign exchange student in Austria.  He spent his entire junior year at the Stift Abbey in Melk, Austria, where he was immersed in the German language and the Austrian culture.  He also attended Boy Scout meetings.  He traveled widely in Europe.  Places he visited included: Salzburg, Vienna, Munich, Paris, Prague, and Budapest.

            A member of Troop 358 in Buffalo, John served as the troop guide.  He earned 21 merit badges and attended Grey Wolf, a nationally recognized leadership training program and camp operated by the Boy Scouts of America.

            At St. John's Prep, he is a lead violinist in the school orchestra and a member of the German Club.

            His Eagle Scout ceremony is taking place on Sunday, June 29, 1:30 p.m., at the Wright County Heritage Center, 2001 Highway 25 N.  Friends and family are invited; please RSVP by calling 763-684-1850.

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Buffalo Days 2014

A little rain doesn't stop the annual community celebration