HEADLINES FOR OCTOBER 11, 2013
The Wright County Sheriff's Office and the Annandale Police Department are attempting to locate Preston Saengchanthalath for second-degree murder and armed robbery in relation to a homicide that took place on Sept. 28 in Annandale.
There is a warrant out for the arrest of Saengchanthalath from Wright County. He may be in the St. Cloud, Minn. area and should be considered armed and dangerous.Any information regarding Saengchanthalath's whereabouts should be referred to the Wright County Sheriff's Office at 763-682-7733.
At approximately 7:59 a.m. on Sept. 28, the Annandale Police Department was dispatched to a residence on Poplar Ave. N. in Annandale, where 42-year-old Kyle Greene was found deceased in the residence. The case is being investigated by the Annandale Police Department, Wright County Sheriff's Office and the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office. On Sept. 29, the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office ruled the death of Kyle Greene as a homicide.Two suspects were arrested on Sept. 29 in connection with the death of Greene. Tyler James Fisher, 19, of Annandale was arrested for second-degree murder, and Samara Leigh Juhl, 19, of Otsego was arrested for aggravated robbery.
A third and a fourth suspect were arrested for second-degree murder on Wednesday, Oct. 2. They are Gray David Soltis, 22, and Osayme Emanuel Igho-Osagie, 21, of St Cloud.A fifth suspect, Thomas Kevin Saengchanthalath, 19 of Albertville was arrested for aid/abet aggravated robbery in connection with the death of Greene.
A shotgun is believed to be the weapon used in the murder. Suspects' statements to the authorities indicate the crime was drug related.The incident remains under investigation and anyone with information about the death is asked to call the Annandale Police Department or the Wright County Sheriff at 763-682-1162.
King Sam, Queen Hayley crowned
Longtime business owner Bob Boyd, 90, passes away
Funeral services were held for Bob Boyd on Wednesday, Oct. 9 in Clearwater.
For many years, Bob and his wife, Celeste, owned and operated Boyd's Department Store located at the corner of Division St. and Highway 25.Downtown Buffalo was a thriving business community during those decades, and Boyd's store was a busy shopping destination for residents of all ages.
Small town shopping had a personal touch, and Bob always had a very congenial way and a broad smile for his customers, young and old.Boyd's store has long since left the business scene in Buffalo, but his classic brick building remains, and present owners, Gentz Financial Services, have chosen to keep the name, "Boyd Building," on the downtown landmark.
His obituary from the Peterson Chapel in Buffalo follows:Robert M. "Bob" Boyd, 90, of Clearwater, formerly a longtime Buffalo businessman, passed away on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
The building that served as Boyd's Department Store at Division and Central in downtown Buffalo still has the Boyd name on it.He was born on Aug. 5, 1923 in Langdon, N.D., the son of John and Charlotte (Conroy) Boyd.
On Sept. 29, 1956 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Little Falls, Minn., Robert M. "Bob" Boyd and Celestine Rausch were joined in holy marriage. God blessed their marriage with seven daughters.Bob and Celeste were self-employed at Boyd's Department Store in Buffalo from 1955-1985.
He was formerly a member of St. Francis Catholic Church in Buffalo and currently a member of St. Luke's Catholic Church in Clearwater. Bob belonged to the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, Buffalo Flying Club and played and managed baseball.Survived by: loving wife, Celeste; daughters, Marie (Bruce) Boyd, Shawn (Paul) Boyd, Kris Holthaus, Kerry Johnson (Martin), Erin (Perry) Willis, Ellen (Jason) Halvorson, and Shannon Boyd; nine grandsons and two granddaughters; a sister, Patricia Boyd; and nieces, nephews, many other relatives, and friends.
Preceded in death by: his parents, John and Charlotte Boyd; three brothers; and four sisters.A Mass of Christian Burial for Robert "Bob" Boyd took place Wednesday, Oct. 9 at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Clearwater. Father Steven Hoffman was the Celebrant. A time of gathering was held on Wednesday at the church an hour prior to Mass. Inurnment followed at St. Luke's Cemetery in Clearwater.
The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo served the family.
County Board votes 3-2 to approve e-cigarette ordinance amendment By a 3-2 vote, the Wright County Board approved an e-cigarette amendment to the tobacco ordinance last Tuesday, Oct. 8.
Board Chair Pat Sawatzke and Commissioner Charlie Borrell wanted to wait and see if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completes a study on e-cigarettes. Sawatzke said, on one hand, e-cigarettes might be helping people quit smoking, but on the other hand, e-cigarettes might be leading young people toward smoking. Borrell said it might be too early to pass an amendment.Joel Torkelson of Wright County Public Health said research has been underway, and he offered to provide information on e-cigarettes and young people.
Sawatzke suggested that most people might agree that e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes because of no second-hand smoke."They (e-cigarettes) might be a good thing," he said as a reason to hold off on the amendment.
Asked about nicotine in e-cigarettes, Torkelson said they are unregulated, so no one knows the levels of nicotine in a particular device. He added they are becoming popular because they do not cost as much as cigarettes.The amendment passed by the Board basically repeats state law. A license is required to sell e-cigarettes, and they cannot be sold to people under the age of 18.
Borrell wondered why the county should pass an ordinance amendment if state law already addresses e-cigarettes. Brian Asleson, chief deputy county attorney, said the counties are responsible for enforcement of the law.Commissioner Mark Daleiden said his biggest concern is kids and the prospect of e-cigarettes leading to smoking.
Asleson was asked what happens if the FDA gives e-cigarettes a stamp of approval. He said the ordinance amendment includes an exemption for devices approved by the FDA.With passage of the ordinance amendment, work will begin on establishing a policy regarding the use of e-cigarettes in county buildings. Smoking is not allowed, but does that include e-cigarettes?
In other business:DITCH 10
Three bids were opened for a large Ditch 10 project in the area south of Howard Lake. The Board was hoping for more bids, but the size, scope and requirements of the project may have been more than some contractors wanted to accept.This was the second time the Board sought bids for the project. The three bids received this week ranged from $148,483 to $317,210. The engineer's estimate for the project was $115,000.
The Board could act on the bids at a future meeting.TAX COURT
The Board approved a request from County Assessor Greg Kramber to hire an expert, Clay M. Dodd, for appraisal work in regard to a tax court petition filed by J & B RE Inc. of St. Michael. Tax years under appeal are 2011 and 2012.Kramber was asked how far apart the county is from J & B. He said the county's figure is about $13 million, and J & B is saying it should be around half that amount.
Phase one fees for Dodd's services are estimated at $8,000 to $10,000. If phase two services are required for a trial, the total cost would be approximately $18,500.PARK FEES
Some park fee increases are being proposed, and planning is underway for a public hearing. An increase from $22 to $25 is proposed for a camping site with electricity. An increase from $3 to $5 is proposed for camping reservations, and an increase from $3.50 to $4 is proposed for firewood. All other fees would stay the same.PLAT BOOK AND PRIZE WINNER
County Surveyor Steve Jobe provided an update on new plat book sales, and he announced the winner of a drawing for a premium wall map, Kristi Kritzeck of Victor Township.The new plat books sell for $30, and 200 were printed. So far, 125 have been sold. The books are available at the Surveyor's Office in the County Public Works Building, and a few are available in the Auditor-Treasurer's Office at the County Government Center.
Hunters like to buy plat books, and Jobe said people have been coming in for the books at a steady, constant rate during the hunting season.MISC.
In other actions, the Board:* approved a property tax abatement for a Southside Township property owner in regard to a clerical error involving classification for taxes payable 2013;
* approved filling an assistant county attorney position and filling a financial worker position in adult financial services at Human Services;* approved a clarification of instructions for ditch viewers regarding Ditch 38 on the western side of Montrose;
* approved switching credit card merchant services to Diversified Check Solutions;* authorized the transfer of $1 million from the general fund to the capitol projects technology fund;
* authorized attendance at the 120th Annual Minnesota Transportation Alliance Member Meeting on Nov. 7;* approved a resolution of support for a Stockholm Township grant application regarding the improvement of Rhodes Ave., which is the road to Collinwood Park; and
* approved claims amounting to $1.37 million and involving 224 transactions with 153 vendors.
Pink Party atmosphere conquers weather
The 2013 Pink Street Party closed with a spectacular fireworks display in downtown Buffalo. The event raised close to $40,000 to support local cancer care. (Photo by Ed DuBois)
The 2013 Pink Street Party closed with a spectacular fireworks display in downtown Buffalo. The event raised close to $40,000 to support local cancer care. (Photo by Ed DuBois)
Despite the threat of rain, the turnout was impressive at the 2013 Pink Street Party in downtown Buffalo, and attendees enjoyed pink costumes, music, dancing, food trucks, fireworks, and more.
The event raised close to $40,000 for supporting local cancer care.Karla Heeter of the Buffalo Hospital Foundation said local businesses and residents rally around the cause every year and have made the event a huge success.
A party atmosphere was enjoyed up and down 1st Ave. Pink marshmallows were roasted in the new Downtown Commons. Food trucks were much appreciated. "People just love 'em," Heeter said.The fireworks followed an always touching ceremony during which strings of pink lights are turned on all over the downtown area.
A local business, Meshed Designs, was the repeat winner of a best pink window display contest. Geri Veches-Bruchmann, who is battling cancer herself this year, was the repeat winner of the Pinkest on the Block contest. The Pinkest on the Street honor went to Karen Kocer of Buffalo.The winner of the Sedona, Ariz. Trip Raffle was Kathy Peterson of Buffalo.
'Cheaper by the Dozen' performers study up
Buffalo Community Theater's production of "Cheaper by the Dozen" has actors studying up on the story. The play, about a family with 12 children who are guinea pigs in their parents' experiments in efficiency, is based on a book by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and his sister Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.Forty-three-year-old John Hage of Buffalo plays the father, Frank Gilbreth, in the BCT play. Hage said reading the book, along with doing more research, has been educational.
"You Tube provided a wealth of information, including some of Frank Gilbreth's professional film footage and personal footage," Hage said. "Frank Gilbreth was a very modern man; he was cutting-edge in the scientific exploration of 'Motion Study.'"How does this apply to large-family life?
"Many of Gilbreth's contemporaries focused on telling factory owners how to make a process more efficient, but Gilbreth also took time to understand what made the worker more efficient," Hage explained. "He was a pioneer in understanding how strain and fatigue affected process and realized the human element in a process."Staging a play is also a very human process, and Hage says the evolution from page to stage is the most rewarding part.
"What I love most about the rehearsal process is seeing characters come to life," he said. "Early on, everyone is focused on learning where to stand and what to say. Once that is out of the way, real connections begin to take place. It's amazing to see a bunch of people who are nearly strangers become a family."One thing audiences should know is that this is not the story from the 2003 Steve Martin movie by the same name.
"It's a unique coming-of-age story that is set within a large family, with a father who is driven to make everyone as efficient as possible," Hage outlined. "While the circumstances may not be familiar to many, I think almost anyone can relate to the themes and characters in the play."The production opens Friday, Oct. 18 at Discovery Center Auditorium in Buffalo. BCT's "Cheaper by the Dozen" runs October 18-20 and 25-27. To purchase advance tickets online, which is recommended, go to www.bctmn.org and click on "Box Office."
This organization is made possible, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Monticello armed robbery under investigation
An armed robbery in Monticello is being investigated by the Wright County Sheriff's Office.On Saturday, Oct. 5 at 9:59 p.m., the Sheriff's Office responded to the Monticello Game Stop at 9241 Cedar on a report of an armed robbery that occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. Employees reported they were approached by a man while closing the store. The man had a handgun and was wearing blue jeans, dark colored tennis shoes, a gray zip up jacket, and a black ski mask. He ordered them back into the store.
The suspect subsequently left the store after taking an undetermined amount of cash and property.The area was searched for the suspect with negative results. The incident remains under investigation.
Employment suit involves business in Buffalo
A federal lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) involves a business in Buffalo and an issue regarding a production manager who reportedly lost her job for defending her recommendation to hire a black worker permanently.According to a Sept. 21 report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the suit alleges the business owner used racist language. The suit against Izza Bending Tube & Wire was filed on behalf of former manager Myrna Peltonen, 42, of Buffalo. She told the Star Tribune the worker, Randall L. Smith, deserved a full-time position.
A separate suit for Smith was settled out of court. The result is confidential, his attorney David Schlesinger of Minneapolis told the Journal-Press.Smith was reportedly grateful to Peltonen for taking a stand for him.
The owner of Izza Bending Tube & Wire, Scott Landgraf, and his attorney did not respond to requests from the Star Tribune for a statement. We spoke to a person at the company who said she would get a message to Landgraf telling him the Journal-Press asked for his side of the story, but he did not call us.Smith was a temporary employee, and Landgraf reportedly directed Peltonen not to hire Smith, and then he reportedly told her to let him go. When she refused, she was allegedly demoted. After she filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC, she was reportedly fired in January 2012. The Star Tribune said she had been with the company 14 months.
Jean Kamp, an attorney with the EEOC, told the Star Tribune that Landgraf has denied using racist language regarding Smith. He reportedly also said he had doubts about the quality of Smith's work.Goals of the EEOC's suit are to win back pay for Peltonen and get Izza Bending Tube & Wire to put an anti-retaliation policy in place that complies with federal law, the Star Tribune reported.
Peltonen has reportedly found a new job. She gave a deposition in Smith's suit.We tried contacting the EEOC, but no one was available due to the federal government shutdown.
City electric needs addressed; county asked for road policy fairness Buffalo is moving ahead on the purchase and installation of a new electric transformer that is designed to make sure electric service in the city can meet the demands of the future. On Monday night, the Buffalo City Council called for bids on a transformer that is equal in size to the largest transformer now in use by the city.
Currently, the Buffalo substation has two transformers to handle the city's electric needs. One is rated at 37 MVA and the other at 28 MVA. An MVA is a measurement similar to mega-watts, said Sheldon Sorenson, an engineer with Barr Engineering.Currently, at summer peak demand, the city is approaching the full use of the 28 MVA transformer. If the larger of the two transformers is out of service, the smaller transformer may not be able to handle all of the electric needs of the city during peak demand.
The council is calling for bids for a new 37 MVA transformer. The bids will be in two parts. The first will be for the transformer itself estimated to cost $880,000, and the second will be for the installation, estimated at $470,000. Sorenson told the council that the manufacturing companies do not usually do the installation, requiring the need for separate bids.Part of the bidding process includes the possible selling of the 28 MVA transformer. If the city can get a good price, the old transformer will be sold. If not, the city could put the old transformer in storage for use at a future second substation.
The project, expected to be completed by next June, is being funded by bonds which have already been sold. The bonds will be paid from the electric department revenues. There was no levy or taxes for the project.
HIGHWAY COST SHARING
The council agreed to the position of the Wright County Mayors' Association that Wright County currently administers its highway cost sharing program inequitably. In the past, county roads in rural areas have received more money than county roads that are within city limits.The board's action is asking the County Board to change its policy and make it more fair.
Councilmember Steve Downer opposed the proposal because it suggests that a wheelage tax would be a way to achieve the fairness."This is really two separate issues," said Downer. "It's a distribution issue, and a budget issue. The distribution of highway funds should not be picking winners and losers."
Although he supported the council action, Mayor Brad Nauman said that he also did not like suggesting raising taxes "to get our fair share."The resolution specifically calls for a formula change in allocating costs between the county and cities, equal treatment in the installation of stoplights, larger county support for bridges that intersect with county roads, and project criteria that includes municipal impact and not just traffic counts.
NEW SKATEBOARD LAWS
To address complaints about skateboarders, roller bladders, and roller skiers, the council amended the city ordinances on recreational devices to include skateboards, roller skates, roller blades, and roller skis.Current city ordinances address use issues only with bicycles. Now all such recreational devices will be subject to the ordinances that control the use on city sidewalks, public parking areas, and alleyways.
Also, anyone using skateboards or roller blades on city streets, roadways, or highways, must follow the same rules of the road as required of bicycles.According to Police Chief Mitch Weinzetl, there have been complaints of high speeds by skateboarders on the hills near Discovery Elementary School.
The city's phone system will now be upgraded with the awarding of the low bid of $20,599 to KaiserComm. The upgrades will include new switches, upgraded software, new voicemail system, and the future addition of internet phones.
In other action, the council- will hold a hearing on October 21 at 7:00 p.m. to certify delinquent accounts.
- enacted the hazardous building act against a property at 907 3rd Avenue NE. The property, owned by a bank in South Carolina, is in extreme disrepair. The bank will be ordered to either repair the house or tear it down.- accepted a donation of $650 from the Mills family in memory of Richard Mills for use at Bentfield-Mils Park.
- accepted a donation of $300 from Michelle and Marty Eggersgluss for a park bench in Sturges Park in memory of Phil Brown.- approved the refinancing of revenue bonds by Wright County for Park Terrace Assisted Living, Inc. The city is not involved in the bond sale, but must approve the sale since the project is within the city limits.
- gave final approval to a grant agreement for the purchase of two land parcels at the Buffalo Municipal Airport. The federal government is paying $451,120, 90 percent of the cost. The city's share is $50,125.- learned about the work of LOVE, INC in the Buffalo area from Executive Director Tom Kunz.
- learned that the Pink Street Party was a success with perfect weather.- recognized the Buffalo Police Department for their Tip-a-Cop work at Applebee's to raise money for Special Olympics.
The Buffalo Fire Department open house will be October 12 from 8:00 to noon. The activities include a pancake breakfast to support the fire department.LOVE, INC will be hosting its gala at St. Francis School on October 20. Tickets are available at local churches or by calling 763-682-6820.
A fall Coats for Kids campaign has begun by LOVE, INC. New and gently-used coats can be dropped off at Cub, Walmart, DoJo Karate, the Buffalo Community Center, and area churches.Residents are reminded to clear fall fertilizers from hard surfaces. Any fertilizer on hard surfaces will run off with rain into the city's lakes.
click to see
Fifty-six years underwater
Motorcycle recovered from Big Swan Lake can now be seen at Dassel History Center's Ergot Museum
By Ed DuBois
A large space on the main floor in the Ergot Museum at the Dassel History Center is devoted to a very old motorcycle with holes in the metal and a general appearance that suggests it has been through some tough times. Visitors may wonder why the motorcycle is on display, and why it is surrounded by a fishing net and has fishing lures dangling from it in various places.
Newspaper stories exhibited near the motorcycle explain its prominence and importance. This is the famous motorcycle that had sat on the bottom of nearby Big Swan Lake for over 50 years and was finally recovered last November. Many news reports have told its story, and since last August, the long lost motorcycle has been shown at the museum.
Carolyn Holje, the director of the museum, invited the former owner of the motorcycle, Dean Ailie of Dassel, to the museum last week to take part in an interview for this story, but he was not well and could not be there that day.
Now in his early 70s, he was a teenager when he was riding across Big Swan Lake on the ice. His dad had bought the motorcycle for him. Built in about 1938, the 1938 NSU 251-OSL motorcycle was made by a German company, NSU.
Dean's wife, Betty, told the Litchfield Independent Review the look on Dean's face upon seeing the motorcycle last November was like that of a kid with a brand new BB gun.
Back when the motorcycle broke through the ice, Dean's leather jacket trapped enough air to act like a life preserver. He was able to get out of the frigid water, but the bike sunk out of sight.
Efforts were made to find the bike later in the summertime, but dragging the bottom and a search by scuba divers produced no results.
Caught by a net
The bike stayed underwater 56 years, and then a commercial fisherman, Jeff Riedemann, snagged the bike while seining for carp. Riedemann and his partner, Ken Seemann, put the motorcycle by a tree. Later, Seemann asked around town about who might be the owner of the motorcycle. Someone at a local cafˇ put him in touch with Dean's sister, the Independent Review reported.
Considering how long the motorcycle was in the lake, it was in better shape than Dean expected. The seat and the carburetor were gone and the chain was rusted, but the tires still had air in them. The battery was cracked, but the cylinder was dry.
A story on display
Dean gave the motorcycle to Ron Miller of New Ulm, who has experience fixing and showing motorcycles. Holje said Dean and Betty felt comfortable that the bike was in good hands.
Miller does business with Riedemann and Seemann, trucking carp to the Asian markets in New York City.
Holje said Miller decided to clean up the motorcycle rather than try to restore it. He displays the motorcycle in its cleaned up state at various shows. The story about being recovered from a lake after 56 years is more interesting than the bike itself.
Miller talked to Holje about displaying the motorcycle in the Ergot Museum when he is not taking it to shows, Holje said.
"The motorcycle has been a great attraction. Everyone around here knows Dean. Many family members and friends have been very interested and have come to see the motorcycle. I think many come because of the story about the motorcycle, and others come because they just like motorcycles," Holje commented.
She mentioned the Labor Day weekend was very busy. Hundreds of people came to the museum.
Former plant site
Holje was in newspaper publishing about 30 years for the Dassel and Cokato communities. She was a museum volunteer about 20 years and now stays busy as the museum director. The Ergot Museum opened in 1992. The museum site was once an ergot processing plant. Ergot is a natural fungus from small grains. Separated from the grain, ergot was sold to pharmaceutical companies.
Last winter, the Herald Journal organization (which includes the Dassel-Cokato Enterprise and Dispatch) published a story about the motorcycle. After seeing the recovered motorcycle, Dean told the reporter, "I didn't think I would ever see it again."
According to a story last winter in the Mankato Free Press, Riedemann said Dean was so happy he had tears in his eyes when he saw the motorcycle.
Come and see
The Dassel History Center's publication reported that Miller has had the motorcycle at a show in the Minneapolis Convention Center, plus an event at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
"It had a great show at the Minneapolis Convention Center," Miller told Holje. "The setting was with 60-70 other cycles. Crowds gathered and it drew great interest."
You can see the motorcycle at the Ergot Museum, located on the north side of Dassel. From Highway 12, follow the signs to 901 First St. N. You can call ahead at 320-275-3077. On the Internet, see www.dasselhistorycenter.org.