One of the best nighttime light shows ever

Local photographer Shelley Paulson said, "I have been photographing the Aurora/Northern Lights for over ten years, and I have never seen a show like the one I witnessed last night (Monday, June 22).  At times, I just had to stop taking photos and take in the magnificence of it all.  Beams of light were pulsating through the sky!  They were so strong at times, they were shooting right overhead."  She was taking pictures in her yard in Buffalo and thankfully decided to share some of them with our readers.  We liked this one best.  Because of long exposures, the camera can capture color and detail the naked eye cannot see, Paulson explained.  "However, last night at times you could see the different colors and vivid detail."  She further explained that the photos were edited and enhanced to bring out the beauty of the lights.  "I will never forget this event!" she concluded.  Thanks very much, Shelley.



Fourth of July festivities scheduled

Fourth of July traditions continue.  Long established Fourth of July festivities are planned in Annandale, Buffalo and Delano.

Here's a look at what is scheduled:



The celebration in Annandale includes the community's 126th annual parade through the downtown area.  The parade begins Saturday, July 4 at 10 a.m.  The parade lineup will be at Annandale High School, beginning at 9 a.m.

A People's Choice Float Contest is planned.  Simply text your favorite unit to 762-238-6443 at the end of the parade.  Only one vote per phone will be counted.

A carnival in Annandale will offer rides, games and food vendors.  The carnival location is on Oak St., just north of the downtown area.

A Music in the Park schedule includes: July 2, KRWC Traveling Road Show 7-8:30 p.m., and Route 55 Jazz Band 7-9 p.m.; July 3, High School Jazz Band 5:30 p.m., and Community Band 7-8 p.m.; July 4, The Fabulous Armadillos 7-10 p.m.

A boat parade at the city park on Pleasant Lake is tentatively planned on July 3 at 7 p.m.

The Annandale Coronation is planned on July 4 at 6-7 p.m. in the city park, with fireworks at dusk.



The Fourth of July Lake Pulaski Boat and Ski Parade event, a longtime tradition in the Buffalo community, will start at the Murphy house, 1529 Pulaski Rd.

The water ski parade begins at noon, and the boat and pontoon parade is starting at 1 p.m.

Parade participants are asked to return to the Murphy's place to claim their prizes.



Four days of Fourth of July fun are scheduled in Delano, from the Delano Ambassador Coronation on Wednesday, July 1 to a big parade and fireworks on Saturday, July 4.

The coronation begins at 7 p.m. in the city's main grandstand.  A carnival will be underway.  A craft beer showcase is planned Wednesday evening (Tickets are $15 in advance at Delano Wine & Spirits or $20 at the gate.)  Shane Martin is performing during a free dance Wednesday evening.

A David Farr Magician Show on a Family Stage is scheduled from 6-7 p.m. Thursday, July 2.  The Rowdy Cowboy Show that evening follows Farr and a prize giveaway with morning DJ Chris Carr of K102.

A kiddie parade begins at 4 p.m. Friday, July 3, followed by a kiddie tractor pull.  After a comedian juggler show and a firemen's waterball event that evening, The Fabulous Armadillos perform music at 8 p.m.

Congressman Tom Emmer of Delano is the grand marshal of the parade, which begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 4.  Music that evening is being provided by Alaytra and Rock Godz.  Fireworks will be launched at 10:30 p.m.

See the entire schedule at



BHS performers 'Outstanding' at SpotLight event

Buffalo High School's Spring Musical "Children of Eden" earned Outstanding Overall Performance at the 10th Annual SpotLight Musical Theatre Program sponsored by Hennepin Theatre Trusts on Sunday, June 14 at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis. Emma Maxson (center), earned Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role for her part as Mama Noah and The Wasteland solo. See the story in School News this week on Page 4C. (Submitted photo)



Pursuit ends with arrest in Buffalo

A pursuit involving high speeds and stolen vehicles ended with the arrest of a 27-year-old man from St. Joseph last Thursday, June 25 in Buffalo.

The Wright County Sheriff's Office reports that around 2 a.m. a Wright County sheriff's deputy was on routine patrol in the area of Highway 25 and 14th St. NE in Buffalo when he observed a vehicle approach him from behind at a high rate of speed.  The deputy saw a 2001 white Chevy Impala pass his squad car on the right shoulder at a high rate of speed and continue south on Highway 25.  Activating his emergency lights and siren, the deputy attempted to stop the Impala.  However, the deputy lost site of the vehicle in the area of 8th St. NE.

A few minutes later, the Wright County Communications Center received a call from Brent Morris, 31, of Silver Lake, stating that his vehicle had just been stolen as he stopped to assist a motorist who had gone into the ditch.  Morris advised that the motorist was driving a white Chevy Impala and had gone into the ditch in the area of Highway 55 and CSAH 35.  As Morris approached the driver of the Impala, the suspect assaulted him and fled in Morris' 2010 Ford pickup truck.

Wright County sheriff's deputies located Morris' stolen pickup as it was traveling at a high rate of speed in the area of Highway 55 and 1st St. NE in Buffalo.  Deputies pursued the vehicle for a short distance until the driver lost control and struck a power pole at 1st St. NE and Calder Ave. NE.  The driver fled on foot.

Wright County sheriff's deputies, along with a K-9, were able to locate the driver, Jeremy Sterzinger, 27, of St. Joseph, near 1156 Calder Ave. NE in Buffalo.  Sterzinger was arrested for fleeing, robbery, theft of motor vehicle, and driving after revocation.  He was transported to the Buffalo Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash and was booked into the Wright County Jail upon his release from the hospital.



Ridin' high at 61st Buffalo Rodeo

Weston Pierschbacher and of Kellerton, Iowa rides his horse "Chain of Command" during the Saddle Bronc Riding event on Friday, June 26 at the 61st annual Buffalo PRCA Championship Rodeo. Pierschbacher finished second in his event with a score of 80.0. See the rodeo story in Sports this week on Page 1C. (Photo by Rob LaPlante)



Albertville woman sentenced in death of young runner

An Albertville woman was sentenced on Wednesday, June 24 in the death of 19-year-old cross country runner Phillip LaVallee of Otsego.

Linda Gullickson, 68, of Albertville was sentenced for criminal vehicular homicide while operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner.  She was sentenced to 365 days in jail and a $3,000 fine, with 305 days and $2,000 stayed for a period of four years on conditions of probation.  She is serving 60 days in jail and must pay a $1,000 fine, plus surcharges, attend a driver improvement clinic, provide a DNA sample, write a letter of apology, serve 30 hours of community service per year, serve 30 days on electronic home monitoring, and have no same or similar violations.

She was sentenced by Judge Stephen Halsey of Wright County.

LaVallee was killed on Aug. 8, 2013 when struck while running along the side of CSAH 19 in Otsego.



Supreme Court rules against former Delano priest

The Minnesota Supreme Court has reinstated the sexual misconduct conviction of a former Delano priest.

The State Court of Appeals overturned the conviction last year, but the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday, June 24 that Rev. Christopher Wenthe, now 50, was a spiritual adviser to a 21-year-old woman in St. Paul when they engaged in sex.  The woman sought counseling in 2003, according to Twin Cities news reports.

Minnesota Public Radio reported state law makes it a felony for clergy to have sex with those being spiritually advised.

Rev. Wenthe was serving in Delano when he was arrested in 2011, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  He has reportedly already served his one-year prison sentence and is required to register as a predatory offender.


Open Streets event July 11 in downtown Buffalo

The 2015 Open Streets event is taking place on Saturday, July 11 in downtown Buffalo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Organized by BHM (Buffalo Hanover Montrose) Community Education, City of Buffalo Parks and Recreation, Buffalo Hospital-Allina Health, and Live Wright, the Open Streets event includes activities such as: a bike rodeo, street tennis, yoga classes, and walking.  You could find event day specials at many downtown restaurants, and you could receive a free bike helmet.  Live music is being provided, as well.

Along 1st Ave. from Division to the Downtown Commons area, vehicle traffic is being temporarily eliminated to allow Open Streets participants to walk, socialize, shop, and have fun in a safe, car-free environment.

The event, which is part of an Open Streets initiative across the state, is aimed at visibly demonstrating how important it is to make active modes of transportation easy to choose and readily accessible to all.  The mission of Open Streets Buffalo is to foster individual and community health through creative use of public space.

"Our goal is to promote active and sustainable lifestyles," said Mark Preissing of BHM Community Education.  "We're providing community members a fun opportunity to recreate actively on the streets of Buffalo in a way that's normally off-limits to them.  The road will temporarily be set aside just for people.  Bring your friends and family.  It's going to be a blast!"

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feature photos

More birthdays for mom of four

With the 2015 Relay For Life coming up, local area cancer survivor tells how the event helped her

By Ed DuBois

A mother of four, Cassie Kisner has a greater appreciation for life and her family since being treated for cancer, and she now expresses much gratitude toward the annual Relay For Life event.

Providing her cancer survival story, organizers of the local fundraiser for the American Cancer Society said, "Without the wonderful event of Relay For Life, Cassie Kisner might not have been able to be here today."

Cassie, a 1998 Buffalo High School graduate, and her husband, Jason, and their children, Hunter, 16, Hannah, 14, Austin, 8, and Avery, 4, live in Monticello, which is the host community for the 2015 Relay For Life of Northern Wright County.  The 19th annual event is taking place on Friday, July 17 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following morning at the track outside the Monticello Middle School.


Story told

Telling her story, Cassie recently wrote about her experiences.  She said the cancer research supported by the American Cancer Society helped her survive.

"Ten years ago, my treatment plan did not exist.  But thanks to the American Cancer Society and many medical trials, I am here today," Cassie said.  "Cancer does not discriminate and can attack any one of us when we least expect it."

She began her journey in February 2011.

"I was living the dream, happily married with three wonderful children and was pregnant with our fourth child.  Days after giving birth to my beautiful daughter, Avery, I started feeling ill," she wrote.

She was "crazy tired, with fevers and chills."


'You have cancer'

"Two weeks after my daughter was born, we were told those words none of us want to here, 'You have cancer.'  I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.  Our world turned upside down, and what I hadn't realized until it affected my own family, when one goes through cancer, the whole family goes through cancer," Cassie wrote.

"I was fortunate enough to be sent to the Monticello Cancer Center, minutes from my house," she continued.  "I was treated like family there.

"My prognosis originally was very promising, six months of chemo and a bit of radiation and you'll have this thing kicked.

"Unfortunately, my story didn't go that way.  After four months of chemotherapy, my PET scans revealed that my chemo had stopped working.

"I thought that my darkest day had past when I was told I had cancer, but this day was actually worse.  My only option for a cure now was going to be with a bone marrow transplant.

"All I kept thinking was how can this be?  I was so healthy; I was running five miles a day, never drank, never smoked, ate well, had absolutely no family history of cancer - how can this be happening to me?"


Unfair for her children

Concern about her health combined with concern for her children.

"I struggled more with how unfair this was to my children," Cassie wrote.  "Having to be in the hospital for a week or months at a time, there were lots of things I missed out on.  No child should have to watch their Mommy's hair fall out or see tubes coming out of her chest.

"I must say, I have some amazing children.  My oldest son is a teenager who I asked if he would be embarrassed if I didn't wear my wig.  He responded, 'I would go anywhere with you.'

"My ten-year-old daughter, on her own, cut her long, beautiful hair and donated it to Locks of Love.

"My tough little (then) four-year-old boy, who every night at bedtime would rub my bald head, asked, 'Is the cancer bugs gone yet?' and kiss my head."


Amazingly blessed

"Cancer, as awful as it is has been, showed me how amazingly blessed I am with wonderful family, friends and a wonderful community," Cassie wrote.

"We ventured five more months of chemo before I was ready for my transplant, and two days after my 32nd birthday, I had a bone marrow transplant at the University of Minnesota.

"In Minnesota, we are very fortunate to have some of the best doctors in the country supporting our cancer fighters.  I am incredibly blessed and forever grateful to have top-notch Dr. Greg Vercellotti as my trailblazer.  He simply goes above and beyond the call of duty."


New outlook

Cassie told about some of the positive aspects of cancer.

"Cancer has changed me.  It made me look within and rearrange some of my priorities," she said.  "I have learned to not sweat the small stuff.

"At the end of the day, I am tired, but when my son wants to read that story one more time, I read it anyways.  I am truly thankful for each and every day I am here.

"Any advice I could give any of you is to not wait for a diagnosis to change the way you live.  Love stronger, forgive quickly and don't sweat the small stuff."


Thanks community

She treasurers the support provided by others.

"I have the opportunity to make a difference, and I thank God for that every day.  The care and support that I received in our own community helped my family and I deal with our situation so much, we wanted to find a way to pay back our community for all they did for us," Cassie wrote.


Giving back

"My husband and a few other wonderful people in our lives that have been touched by this awful disease wanted to help others in our community," Cassie said.  "We started a foundation called Party For A Purpose.  This September will be our fourth annual 5K run/walk family event to raise money to support cancer patients and their families.  All of the proceeds from the event stay right here locally to help our community patients who are fighting this horrible disease.  To date we have helped over 60 families with financial grants!"


More birthdays

"More birthdays" is a Relay For Life theme, which Cassie mentioned as she concluded.

"Relay For Life is an amazing event.  It is changing the future of cancer patients everywhere so we can celebrate more birthdays.  I am honored to be a part of it; every step is making a difference!"