Archive for Hot Topics

Fire extinguished at Watertown-Mayer Elementary playground

The Carver County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information about a fire at the Watertown-Mayer Elementary School playground Sunday night.  Local firefighters responded to the playground at approximately 10 p.m. and extinguished the blaze.  Anyone who has information about the fire is encouraged to contact the Carver County Sheriff’s Office at 952-361-1231.

Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days canceled

HOWARD LAKE – The Good Neighbor Days Committee has announced the 2020 celebration has been canceled.


McLeod County Board requests end to stay-at-home order

MCLEOD COUNTY – The McLeod County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution requesting Minnesota Governor Tim Walz officially end the state’s stay-at-home order at its meeting Tuesday.

The resolution reads, in part, “The County of McLeod Board of Commissioners requests the Governor of Minnesota, Timothy Walz, end the Stay-at-Home order for Minnesota on May 4, 2020 in an effort to resume activities and operations that contribute to the economic recovery of McLeod County, Minnesota, and the United States of America.”

Commissioners expressed gratitude for the time given to prepare the medical industry for the impact of COVID-19, and for educating citizens to slow the infection rate through social distancing.They also indicated a need to proceed with caution.  “I would caution the public to remember that should we have another recurrence of this pandemic, an emergency break out, we need to be smart about handling this,” Board Member Rich Pohlmeier said. “It will take time to figure all this out.”


Winstock 2020 Postponed to June 18-19, 2021

Following much thought, discussion, and prayer, the Winstock Country Music Festival Committee is saddened to announce the Winstock Country Music Festival, scheduled for Friday-Saturday, June 12-13, 2020, in Winsted, MN, is being postponed until Friday-Saturday, June 18-19, 2021.

“We held out on making this decision as long as we could, but we realize people need to adjust their plans accordingly,” Winstock Country Music Festival Committee Chairman Dave Danielson said. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, there are just too many unknowns with what the world will look like by June. As much as it hurts us to postpone Winstock, we think it is the right thing to do.”

Going into its 27th year, Winstock Country Music Festival is an annual fundraising event for Holy Trinity Catholic Schools in Winsted.

“This is a tough one,” Danielson continued. “Without Winstock in June, it is going to be very hard financially on Holy Trinity Schools.”


All ticket and camping orders placed at last year’s event or through Winstock’s online/phone ordering system for Winstock this year will be valid for the rescheduled dates in June 2021. Fans who have placed orders with Winstock will receive correspondence via US Mail within the next 7-10 days with additional information on their tickets/camping. As organizers work through additional details, the Winstock website will also be updated accordingly. Please watch for this mailing and an opportunity to contribute to Holy Trinity Catholic Schools.

“This is something we’ve never had to deal with,” Danielson said. “We are asking for everyone’s patience and support as we work through this to make sure we take care of our fans in the best manner possible. While we understand times are tough for a lot of folks, we are also hopeful some of them will consider giving a contribution to the school if they are able.”

The Winstock phone information line and e-mail system is manned by volunteers. To avoid it being overwhelmed, please refrain from calling or e-mailing at this time, and watch for communication via US Mail. If you do need to reach out with specific questions, organizers ask you be patient for a response.

The Winstock Committee is working with artist management in Nashville in an attempt to keep the artist lineup as in tact as possible for the event in 2021. Some artists may not be able to perform on the rescheduled dates, and updates to the lineup will be shared once known. The dates in 2021 are one week later than the normal weekend of Winstock due to a scheduling conflict with a large event in Nashville, but organizers feel moving it a week later provides the best opportunity to secure talent.

“Our fans can be rest assured we will work hard to provide the best lineup possible,” Danielson said. “As we’ve said before, the health and safety of our volunteers, fans, the artists and their crews, as well as our community of Winsted, is our top priority. We are hopeful to work through this together with our fans and that they will join us in 2021 for the best Winstock yet.”

Howard Lake’s Karin Schaefer named MFBF executive director

HOWARD LAKE – Karin Schaefer of rural Howard Lake has been named Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s (MFBF) executive director and will manage and coordinate all activities of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation and Affiliated Companies effective June 1.

For the past eight years, Karin has served as the executive director of the Minnesota Beef Council.

Prior to that, Karin worked for six years for the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation as the Public Relations associate director and working with the Young Farmers & Ranchers and Promotion & Education Committees.

Karin and her husband Matt are active members in the Wright County Farm Bureau.

Karin and her family farm near Howard Lake in Wright County raising beef cattle and growing crops.

Karin and Matt also own and operate an agricultural and commercial fencing company, Grassland Solutions.

What are you doing to pass the time? Share your photos with us!

These are interesting times.  Herald Journal, Enterprise Dispatch, and Delano Herald Journal want to know how you and yours have been spending your time.

Is your family distance-learning?  Have you kicked off a new hobby?  How are you getting fresh air every day? How are you celebrating birthdays, graduations, and other events? What are you doing differently now than you were pre-COVID-19?

Please share photos with our staff.  Clear, high-resolution photos work the best for publication.

Please fully identify each person in the photos you send – first and last names –  and give us a short description of what is taking place in the photo.  Please also tell us what town, township, or part of the world in which the photo was taken.

Staff will review submissions, and use some in print and in blogs.

Submissions may be emailed to Nancy Dashwood at

Thank you in advance for sharing.  We will get through this together!