Archive for West Carver

Reminder to turn back clocks Saturday night

A reminder to set your clocks back an hour before you go to bed Saturday night, because it may be the last time you ever have to do it.

In March 2022, the US Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act, which would end the process of turning clocks forward and back twice a year. Under the bill, when clocks are moved forward March 12, 2023, they will remain there without being turned back in the fall.

Almost immediately after the bill was passed by the Senate, critics pointed out that children would be heading to school in the dark for almost the entire winter. Under the proposed change, the first week of January, the sun wouldn’t rise until 8:51 a.m. and wouldn’t rise before 8 a.m. until the last week in February.

The bill needs to be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed by President Joe Biden before becoming law and, to date, the bill has stalled in the House. So, for now anyway, turn your clocks back at 2 a.m. Sunday. I may be the last time you have “fall back.”

Waverly residents’ research leads to return of Purple Heart

By Austen Neaton
Staff Writer

Longtime Waverly resident Jan Fitzpatrick recently came across a lost historical item that led her and some friends on a mission to return it to its rightful owner.
In late July, Fitzpatrick visited her friend, Cathy Maynard, who was holding a garage sale after cleaning out some old items in her house.

Fitzpatrick says that Maynard showed her a Purple Heart that had been in the bottom of a box of loose things for at least 20 years and that Maynard hoped that she might be able to help identify who it belonged to.
A Purple Heart medal is an honor awarded to military service members who have been wounded or were killed in action. Knowing that Jan and her husband, Tom, are active members of the Waverly American Legion and Auxiliary, Maynard asked the two to find out more about the medal’s rightful owner.

Jan said that finding the item’s owner as soon as possible became a priority, as she had a brother who was awarded a Purple Heart after losing his life while fighting in the Vietnam War.

“It just touched me because Cathy brought it to me, and I lost a brother in the Vietnam War. I know what my brother’s Purple Heart and all of his medals mean to me and the memory of my brother,” she explained. “So that’s where my heart is in so much of all this because I know that it belongs to a family.”
After taking the medal home, she and Tom, who served for two years in the US Navy from 1968-1969, began researching the name inscribed on the medal.

The two found that it was given to Cpl. Hugh Joseph Akins, and that he served in World War II. They also found that Akins was born and raised in Pennsylvania and died Oct. 4, 1944. He is currently buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten, The Netherlands.
At a standstill for more information, Jan and Tom reached out to their friend and fellow Waverly Legion member Dave Holmes.

Holmes served in the US Army Reserves from 1957-1965, and over the years, he has been involved in numerous projects to commemorate long-deceased veterans. In 2018, Holmes helped do research for a registry of any war veterans connected to Waverly that served in World War I. He is also currently working on the veteran directory for the Waverly Veterans Memorial Wall.

Holmes delved into the project and used sources such as, online obituaries, and other online military records to uncover the story of two brothers lost to World War II.

The corporal
Cpl. Hugh Akins was born May 21, 1923. Akins enlisted in the US Army in 1942, at the age of 19, as part of a military draft that randomly selected men ages 18-25 to enlist in the military.
Upon enrollment, he was assigned as a paratrooper to the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment as a part of the 82nd Airborne Division, an elite military division that can deploy with 18 hours’ notice.
Paratroopers are soldiers that are deployed out of a plane by parachute to land in denied areas behind enemy lines.

Though Holmes found that Akins was likely fighting in Holland before he died, he says it is unclear which battles he may have fought.

Among the notable battles, he may have fought in are Operation Market Garden and Operation D-Day.
Operation Market Garden was an airborne operation that took place in September 1944. It attempted to get American forces and their allies into Northern Germany to try and shorten the war. Though the operation ultimately failed, it became famous for the courage and determination shown by the soldiers during the effort.
The infamous Operation Overlord, known as “D-Day,” occurred on June 6, 1944, and took place on the shores of Normandy, France. The operation allowed Americans and their allies to retake a considerable portion of France after the enemy German army had taken control of the country. The operation was considered a key component in ending World War II.

It is unclear how many times Akins deployed from a plane during his military career. However, Holmes confirmed that his cause of death was shrapnel wounds from enemy artillery and that he died at the age of 21. “None of these guys were very old, and there weren’t very many old guys there,” Holmes said.
Holmes also says that while he found as much as he could about Akins, he may never know how the Purple Heart medal got to Minnesota. “That’s the one there that nobody can know. Nobody knows how it got here,” he said. “There are a lot of mysteries that you’ll never solve, and you can only go so far down the trail before you say, ‘Well, I just gotta give up on this one.”

The corporal’s brother
During Holmes’s research, he found that Akins had four other brothers who also served in the US Army or Army Air Corps at some point. One of his brothers, Francis, also fought and died in World War II.

Francis was a pilot for a heavy bomber squadron, which dropped large bombs from planes onto known enemy fronts. In addition, he piloted a B17 bomber, which at the time was the largest plane available to the US Military.
According to Holmes, only approximately 25% of those on bombing crews survived the war unscathed. Francis died in action just two weeks before Hugh was eventually lost to the war. He was 23 years old when he died.

Francis died during a mission to drop supplies to the Polish Underground Army in Warsaw, Poland, during the Warsaw Uprising. The Warsaw Uprising was an effort by the Polish resistance to take back the City of Warsaw from German enemy control.

His mission was to pilot a B17 containing bombshells loaded with supplies rather than explosives as his crew deployed the supplies to the Polish resistance below. On the day he died, he and his plane were part of a fleet of over 100 B17s dropping supplies to the area.
As a bomber pilot, Francis had to fly straight through war zones as his crew deployed bombs on their targets below. Due to the size of the plane and the process of dropping bombs, B17s could not perform any evasive maneuvers.

Because of this, Francis’s plane was shot down by ground artillery. It is believed that Francis was also hit with artillery shrapnel while piloting the plane.
Francis was also awarded a Purple Heart for his service.
According to Holmes, a memorial for the crew stands today in Lomianki, Poland, a city near Warsaw.

In his research, Holmes found a living relative of the Akins brothers, Francis’s daughter Marcia. She was two years old when her father passed away.

Marcia assisted Holmes in his research. Finally, Hugh’s Purple Heart was packaged and sent to her as its rightful owner.

Coincidentally, the medal arrived on October 14, the anniversary of Hugh Akins’s death.
Marcia said she was thankful to everyone who helped get the medal to her. “Thank you all who have helped share and care. There are no words that can express my gratitude for all the kind strangers that have come into my life through some connection to my dad and my uncle. I like to think of them as little hugs,” Marcia said. “I hope it reminds many of the freedoms that we have today.”

Jan says that anyone who finds important pieces of history should try to return them to their owners, particularly military awards. “What I would want people to take away from this is how important this can be to a family. To anybody else, if this ever happens to them, they know that there’s some family out there that it means a great deal to,” she said.

Tom said the medal was a reminder of the results of many peoples’ sacrifices for the country. “We probably live in the greatest country in the world. I mean, look at how bad it is in Russia, Ukraine, or Iran; we have it so much better. Certainly, we can complain about inflation and whatever else happens here in the US, but it doesn’t compare to what happens in other countries. We always have plenty to eat,” he said.

Jan agreed. “When Tom says probably, I say, ‘we do have the best. We live in a world where when I look at what is happening in Ukraine, I am not about to complain that I have gas in my car. I’m not going to complain that my turkey this year cost as much as it did because we have food. My dad used to say that ‘if we have food in the refrigerator, we are not poor,’ and so many don’t all over the world,” she said.

Connie Holmes, Dave’s wife and Mayor of Waverly, also reminded us to honor those who fought for our country’s freedoms.

“It was made possible by all the sacrifices that our fellow countrymen made in all of the wars, and it doesn’t matter which one; we wouldn’t have the freedoms we have if they hadn’t given their lives for our freedom.”

Dave Holmes and Cathy Maynard pose with the Purple Heart Medal found at the bottom of a box of loose things. Maynard had the box for approximately 20 years, but only recently discovered the historic item. Holmes helped identify the item’s rightful owner and returned it to the owner’s family.

Dave Holmes and Cathy Maynard pose with the Purple Heart Medal found at the bottom of a box of loose things. Maynard had the box for approximately 20 years, but only recently discovered the historic item. Holmes helped identify the item’s rightful owner and returned it to the owner’s family.


Fire crews respond to grass fire in Carver County

CARVER COUNTY, MN—At least nine agencies are responding to a grass fire on the south side of Eagle Lake near Norwood Young America.

Two firefighters were injured when a grass rig, a pick up truck used by firefighters, exploded on the scene.

Both crew members sustained minor injuries, which were treated at the scene.

The nine agencies which are responding to the fire include the Norwood Young America Fire Department.

“There was no way were going to gain control, our strategy was to go defense and run it out of fuel and keep it from jumping roads,” said Steven Zumberge, chief of the Norwood Young America Fire Department.

The chief, who estimated 60-acres were burned, said the fire may have started when a resident was trying to do fall cleaning.

“It’s pretty simple, put your matches away,” he said.

PREP FOOTBALL: Royals run past Holy Family to move to 6-1

VICTORIA – Coming off a tough and physical battle in their last game, the Watertown-Mayer football team wanted no part in a trap game against the Holy Family Fire. From the opening drive, the Royals had things firing on all cylinders as they cruised to a 49-12 win over the Fire Friday night.

“I told them all week that these are the kind of games where teams that are supposed to win go and win right away,” W-M coach Andrew Phillips said. “If we don’t go out there and take care of business, it could go a way we wouldn’t want it to go. Tonight, we finally came out and took care of business right away. We kept our foot on the gas pedal as long as we needed to tonight which was nice to see.”

W-M got the run game going early and often in the win. Senior Wyatt McCabe rushed for more than 100 yards and scored five touchdowns on the night as the Royals poured things on after taking an early lead.

“It’s huge for us,” Phillips said about getting the run game going. “It’s a big confidence builder. We didn’t have to worry about what we were going to run on third and long because of that. The ground game has been great for us. Our guys up front have been doing a great job all season long taking care of business and hopefully they can keep doing that going forward.”

Up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, W-M pulled away for good in the second quarter. The Royals scored 28 points in the span of three minutes of game time to put Holy Family in a deficit they were unable to come back from. Two of the four scores for the Royals came off just one play after creating a turnover deep in Holy Family territory.

With the win, W-M improved to 6-1 on the season with one final game left in the regular season. After taking a big step forward last year in which the Royals won seven games, that was enough to satisfy them. They’re looking for even more this year and are off to a great start in order to make that happen as they are ranked No. 8 in the latest Class AAA poll.

“We had a great year last season,” Phillips said. “These guys are hungry though. They came out all summer long doing the workouts and getting ready for this. They want to play as long as they can.”

W-M closes out the regular season Wednesday night when they host Glencoe-Silver Lake. The Royals will not only be looking to finish off the regular season on a high note but also get ready for what they hope will be a deep postseason run.

“The first thing we need to do is continue to get healthy,” Phillips said. “In AAA football, you don’t have a lot of guys. If a guy goes down, it can create a lot of havoc. That’s one of our biggest things is to get healthy. The other thing is to just continue doing what we’re doing. It’s been our philosophy all year. Just being really good at what we do and that’s what we’re trying to do.”



Complete Winstock ’23 Lineup Announced, Along With Festival’s ‘Best Deal Yet’


Reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year Miranda Lambert and one of the hottest artists to emerge in recent years, Cody Johnson, were announced as headliners for the 29th Winstock Country Music Festival, set for Friday-Saturday, June 16-17, 2023, at the festival grounds in Winsted, MN. Tickets and camping are now on sale.


Lambert’s eighth studio album, “Palomino,” was released in April as the highest-debuting country album of 2022. It marks the latest installment in a storied career that has spanned seven previous number-one solo albums, 10 number-one hits, and more than 70 awards.

Heralded by MusicRow as “the future of real country music,” Cody Johnson will make his debut on the Winstock stage following the massive success of his 18-track double album “Human.” His hit “‘Til You Can’t” has set streaming records and remains one of the most played songs of the genre.
“Any time you can pair a reigning entertainer of the year with someone currently breaking down doors like Cody Johnson, you’re guaranteed a great weekend of country music,” said Winstock Country Music Festival Committee Chairman Dave Danielson.
Joining Lambert and Johnson will be Gabby Barrett, Jordan Davis, Dylan Scott, Jo Dee Messina, Diamond Rio, BlackHawk, Nate Smith, Hailey Whitters, George Birge, Chris Kroeze, Jenn Bostic, Anderson Daniels, Chad Johnson and the MN-T’s, and The Shaw Band/The Shaw Brothers. The complete artist lineup may be found HERE. 
“Each year, we work to build a lineup that features something for everyone,” Danielson said. “We’re grateful to be able to announce the lineup in its entirety so fans can make their plans for next summer.”
Organizers are excited to have Minnesota music royalty kick things off in 2023 at the pre-show beer tent party Thursday night.
“There isn’t a name more synonymous with Minnesota music than Shaw,” Danielson said. “Having both the original Shaw Band and The Shaw Brothers is going to make for a memorable Thursday night and will be a great start to the weekend.”


Get ‘em ‘Til You Can’t’

In addition to announcing the complete lineup for Winstock 2023, organizers also unveiled the festival’s “best deal yet” for camping passes and general admission tickets.


With campsites in campgrounds A, B, C, and D already sold out, this is the best opportunity – and best price – to guarantee a spot and not have to worry about it closer to the event.
“For those who didn’t renew at this year’s event for next year, or for those who may be new to Winstock, this is the best way to seal the deal and be sure you’ll be at Winstock next June,” Danielson said. “This is a limited-time offer, and once these sites are gone, they’re gone – they will go fast.”
VIP tickets sold out at this year’s event for 2023. A very limited number of reserved seats are now on sale, as is the best selection of camping sites.
For additional announcements, ticket information, and everything Winstock, go to and sign up for Winstock Email news. Be sure to follow the festival on Twitter @WinstockMNFacebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.


Carver County public hearing: building code amendment

that the regularly scheduled Carver County Planning Commission meeting to be held on Tuesday, the 18th day of October 2022, as soon as possible after 7:00pm upstairs in the Human Services Building, in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the Carver County Government Center, Chaska, Minnesota, the Carver County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to consider adopting An Ordinance Amending the Carver County Building Regulations. PURPOSE: To allow the Planning Commission to hold a public hearing to consider various language and policy amendments to the Carver County Building Code Ordinance, Chapter 150. PROPOSED CHANGES: Ordinance #103-2022 would amend the County Code Chapter 150 and include, but may not be limited to: Code language changes to be consistent with Minnesota State Statutes, removing redundancies, adding or revising definitions. Copies of the proposed language may be obtained from Carver County Land Management by request at (952) 361-1820 or from the address listed below. Information may also be obtained by going to the Planning Commission home page at: All persons interested are invited to attend the hearing and be heard on this matter. Written comment or requests may be mailed to: Dept. Of Land Management Carver County Government Center 600 East 4th St Chaska, MN 55318-2102 (952) 361-1820 Carver County Planning Commission By: Jason Mielke Land Use Manager Date to Publish: October 6, 2022 Chaska Herald, Chanhassen Villager, Waconia Patriot, News & Times, Winsted Herald Journal To be billed to: Public Services Division, Land Management Department at the address above
Published in the Herald Journal, Oct. 7, 2022. |