Archive for Hot Topics

HLWW FFA earns national award and state championships

HOWARD LAKE, WAVERLY, WINSTED, MN – The hard work of Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School FFA paid off big at this year’s state convention, with several number-one finishes.

“I lost my voice from all the screaming, because we won so many things,” commented Gabriell (Bella) Bayerl.

The chapter as a whole won first place for “land of service” and “agricultural literacy,” and was also honored with the National Chapter Award.

Three teams were state champions, including:

• best informed greenhand team 1 – Cody Dickhausen, Anthony Lueck, Rebecca Uecker, Macenzie Ramola, and Bethany Groos;

• nursery/landscape – Kylee Sherod, Bella Bayerl, Savanna Weber, and Jenna Benson; and

• agricultural issues – Maddie Weninger, Bella Bayerl, Keith Lent, Lauren Painschab, Naomi Hinojis, and Kylee Sherod.

Senior Maddie Weninger, daughter of Jim “Winnie” and Lisa Weninger, was elected as the 2017-18 Minnesota FFA sentinel.

In addition to Weninger, newly-elected state FFA team members include Spencer Flood of Dassel-Cokato, Kylee Kohls of Litchfield, Katie Benson of Staples-Motley, Emily Pliscott of Kenyon-Wanamingo, and Eleora DeMuth of Grand Rapids.

“It’s the first year in Minnesota FFA history that an all-girls team has been elected,” Weninger commented.

Look for the full story with other award winners in the Monday, May 1 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here for information about how to subscribe.

HLWW FFA won big this year at the state convention.

HLWW FFA won big this year at the state convention.

Mayer approves interim city administrator

MAYER, MN – Mayer City Council appointed Rick Almich as interim city administrator during its April 24 meeting. He will start Thursday, May 4. Read more in the May 1 issue of Herald Journal.

Mayer to appoint interim city administrator

MAYER, MN – Mayer City Council is expected to appoint an interim city administrator during its meeting tonight, Monday, April 24.

The council is also expected to act on a counter-offer from a new public works employee during the meeting.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.

McLeod County vitality meeting tonight, Thursday, April 20

McLEOD COUNTY, MN – The public is welcome to join elected officials from townships, school districts, cities, and the county in discussing the connections between three types of businesses: farms, manufacturers and Main Street retailers Thursday, April 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  The meeting will take place in the library of Glencoe Silver Lake High School, 1825 16th St East in Glencoe
University of Minnesota Extension economists Brigid Tuck and Liz Templin will share information about McLeod County’s job trends, drivers of past economic changes, and the ripple effects of job changes in the county. Local businesses will also share their challenges in today’s labor market.
“This is a great opportunity for local government officials from throughout the county to hear about the economic connections between businesses, including agriculture, in our county.  It will also give us insights into how a growth or decline in employment in one area affects other businesses” said Joe Nagel, chair of the McLeod County Board of Commissioners.
The program is sponsored by the McLeod County Board of Commissioners.

Several departments respond to grass fire

Smoke billows from a Tuesday evening swamp fire behind the residence at 1495 110th St. SE between Watertown and Delano.

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, MN – A discarded cigarette led to a large grass fire in a swamp between Watertown and Delano Tuesday, according to Watertown Fire Chief Wade Stock.

His department was called to the fire at 1495 110th St. SE in Franklin Township around 4:25 p.m.

Fire departments from Delano, Montrose, Mayer, St. Bonifacius, and Victoria provided mutual aid, as did the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources helicopter.

Smoke from the fire was reportedly visible from as far west as Hutchinson and as far north as Maple Lake, just one indicator of the size of the blaze.

“It was 60.5 acres,” Stock said. “I only know that because the helicopter took GPS footage. It’s hard to tell when you’re standing on the ground. We had the DNR helicopter out there, so it was taking GPS of the whole burn area. They did water drops with it. That’s what put out the majority of it.”

Nearly 70 firefighters responded to the scene, with some going on foot or by ATV to attack the fire with blowers and water, while others parked fire engines on neighboring properties and stood by to protect them.

No injuries, property damage, or property loss was reported.

Stock said the scene was cleared at 7:41 p.m.

He used the incident to remind residents of the current fire risk.

“Everybody just needs to be cautious with the dry conditions out there,” Stock said. “It will be a busy spring until we get rain and things green up. We encourage no burning whatsoever. It wouldn’t take much to get away from you.”

He believes official burn restrictions will be in place soon, noting that the DNR helicopter, based in Princeton, responded to five fire calls Tuesday alone.

Carver County police chase ends in lake

CARVER COUNTY, MN – A sheriff’s deputy observed an occupied, idling vehicle parked outside a business in Norwood Young America (NYA) March 26 at about 11:30 p.m., according to Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson. The deputy ran the vehicle’s registration and other records checks, and learned the driver’s license was revoked. The suspect vehicle left the business’ parking lot. The deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the suspect driver fled through NYA before turning eastbound onto MN 5, then north onto Rome Ave. in Waconia Township. The suspect drove through a yard of a Rome Ave. address and crashed at the shoreline of Hydes Lake. The vehicle was partially submerged. The driver’s window was broken out and the suspect was not in the vehicle. Sheriff’s deputies set up a perimeter and began a search using a K-9, a boat, and MN State Patrol helicopter. They were unable to locate the suspect. The suspect has been identified and is known to the deputies. The police reports have been submitted to the Carver County Attorney for formal complaint charging consideration. Anyone who needs immediate assistance from police, fire or medical personnel is advised to call 9-1-1. Anyone with information related to this incident or any crime is asked to contact the Carver County Sheriff’s Office at (952) 361-1231or use the tip line (952) 361-1224. The sheriff’s office tip form is available at