Archive for News

Bush questions teaching of technology at HLWW

HOWARD LAKE, WAVERLY, WINSTED, MN – A request for $15,000 worth of Chromebooks for the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Middle School dissolved into a discussion about the use of technology in the classroom during the April 24 school board meeting.

Board Member Charles Bush commented that he had read an article recently about technology impeding creativity and innovation.

“Conversation seems to be going by the wayside with this,” he said.

Middle School Principal Jim Schimelpfenig asked, “What are you basing this on? Is it what you see in the classroom, or what you see kids doing in their own time?”

Board Member Paul Bravinder said he’s been with HLWW students at lunchtime, and there is so much conversation that the area is noisy and it’s hard to hear.

“I understand your concerns,” Bravinder told Bush, “but it’s not up to us to retard them from getting the technology they need.”

Bush brought up the recent power outage in San Francisco, and said he’s afraid of people being too reliant on technology.

“I truly do have a horrible concern that – not just here but everywhere you look – are we too much into it?” he asked.

Schimelpfenig said that in the case of the Chromebooks, there are advantages over paper textbooks. Students are able to access information more easily, and the online textbooks can be updated, instead of having to buy new.

Check out the full story, and other school board coverage, in the Monday, May 1 edition of the Herald Journal. For subscription information, click here.

HL woman charged with lottery fraud

HOWARD LAKE, MN – Susan Lynn Spar, 52, of Howard Lake was arrested in Middleville Township April 22 on a Wright County warrant for a felony state lottery fraud charge after failing to appear at a summons, according to a formal complaint released from the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.

About 4:25 p.m. May 9, 2016, the sheriff’s office responded to a theft reported by Larry Miller, owner of Red’s Cafe in Montrose.

Miller stated that 19 Crossword Deluxe lottery tickets, numbered 004 through 023 and priced at $20 a piece, were missing. The cards were stored behind the counter in a locked drawer, and are estimated to have been taken between 11:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. three days earlier.

In realizing the tickets’ absence, Miller contacted the Minnesota State Lottery Office, and discovered that two winning tickets had already been redeemed.

A sheriff’s deputy viewed video surveillance of the theft May 11, which revealed employee Spar – identified by Miller and employee Jody Arnold – taking the lottery tickets out of the locked drawer.

Miller informed the deputy that employees are expected to complete an inventory check of the higher-priced lottery tickets at the end of their shifts.

Arnold stated that all tickets were accounted for at the end of her shift around 1:20 p.m. May 6.

The video then revealed that later that day, between 2:05 and 2:15 p.m., Spar was at and around the counter where the lottery tickets are stored and sold. The case was then assigned to a detective for further investigation.

Arnold informed the detective May 12 that Spar had not been to work the past two days, claiming to have a sick child at home.

After viewing the afore-mentioned surveillance video, the detective noted the following: around 2:11 p.m., Spar placed a trash liner inside a garbage container beneath the counter. At 2:12 p.m. Spar helped her daughter in purchasing a lottery ticket and removed an unknown number of tickets from the drawer. She then placed something into a bag hanging beneath the register.

At 2:13 p.m., Spar removed another unknown amount of lottery tickets from the drawer and placed them in the bus pan beneath the trash bag she had just placed earlier.

Spar then carried the bus pan away from the counter, where a document was clearly visible underneath the trash bag in the bus pan.

The detective later learned on May 16 that five of the 20 missing lottery tickets had been redeemed at several locations  between May 7 and May 10.

A surveillance video from Casey’s General Store in Montrose showed two females cashing in a lottery ticket around 10:19 p.m. May 7. Spar appeared to be one of the women.

Another video, taken from Holiday in Maple Plain, showed an unidentified white male cashing in a lottery ticket in question.

Requested video of the other cash outs were unsuccessful due to the length of time since their occurrence.

The detective visited Spar at her residence May 19 in an unsuccessful attempt to speak with her about the incident.

Further attempts were made by phone and visitation May 23. Spar later contacted the  detective May 26, stating she would call him back to schedule a time to meet him. After numerous failed additional attempts, however, Spar had not contacted the detective since July 19, 2016.

If found guilty, the maximum sentence for the lottery fraud charge is 10 years in prison, a fine of $50,000, or both.

Susan Lynn Spar

Susan Lynn Spar

Deadline May 11 for Winsted citywide garage sale ads

Citywide garage sale day for Winsted is Saturday, May 20. A listing of participating locations will be featured in the Herald Journal Monday, May 15. Deadline for ads is Thursday, May 11.
Submit online at, e-mail to, or drop off at our Winsted office. Ads are free to subscribers, or $20 to non-subscribers.

Black bear spotted near Waverly

WAVERLY, MN – Rachael Hardie captured this photo of a black bear crossing Wright County Road 9 just north of Waverly at the junction of Wright County Road 107 about 7 a.m. Sunday, April 23. Photo submitted by her husband, Chris Hardie.


New Germany council hears from Carver County Sheriff

Carver County Sheriff’s Deputy Gary Stahlke asked New Germany City Council members to encourage residents to call for help immediately when they need a law enforcement presence.
He asked that residents not wait until city hall is open, and then complain about an incident.
Stahlke also educated the council about how traffic stops are recorded. He said while a stop may have started in the city, the officer may actually stop a vehicle in the township. When a vehicle is stopped in the township, it is recorded in the township.
To read the full article, please see the April 24 edition of the Herald Journal.,

Howard Lake’s Grandpa Ittel’s Meats under new ownership

“Grandpa Ittel’s Meats is going to be old-style, but more artisan,” new owner Kyle Kovack said. “We’re bringing back custom process, and we’re aging meat the way it’s supposed to be done.”
Kyle said his shop offers full-service wild game processing year-round.
Some of the shop’s savory selections include all-beef summer sausage, Italian and Polish sausage, porketta, beef jerky, home-cured hams, cottage and Canadian-style bacon, and Swedish potato sausage.
See the April 24 edition of the Herald Journal for the complete story.