The Morrison County Record Covering community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for the Morrison County, Minnesota. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:57:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Operation Christmas Child collection week Nov. 17 – 24 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:57:26 +0000 By Jennie Zeitler, Correspondent

Operation Christmas Child coordinator at Faith Lutheran is Kim Mielke. Shoeboxes are filled with gifts and distributed to children around the world. For more information, call Faith at (320) 616-1008.

Operation Christmas Child coordinator at Faith Lutheran is Kim Mielke. Shoeboxes are filled with gifts and distributed to children around the world. For more information, call Faith at (320) 616-1008.

In the years since its inception in 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered 113 million shoeboxes full of toys, personal care items, love and prayer to children all around the globe. This year, the collection point for shoeboxes in Little Falls is Faith Lutheran Church.

Operation Christmas Child is a part of Samaritan’s Purse, a ministry established by Franklin Graham. Shoeboxes of all kinds are filled by volunteers with gifts for children. The boxes are collected at thousand of locations, packed in larger shipping boxes and are then taken to processing points. Shoeboxes processed in Minneapolis this year will end up in one of five countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago, India or Belize.

The volunteer coordinator for Operation Christmas Child in Little Falls is Kim Mielke. When Faith Lutheran received information about the ministry, it was referred to the Mission and Outreach Ministry Team and ended up in Mielke’s hands. The team approved the project and Mielke volunteered.

“I filled out an application first,” she said. “Then there was an hour-long phone interview to make sure I was a good fit for doing this. They called my three references and then let me know I was accepted.”

Faith is a mission-oriented congregation, with 10 percent of all funds received going to mission projects of the church’s choosing.

Operation Christmas Child provides shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts for children in countries all over the world. The collection point in Little Falls is Faith Lutheran.

Operation Christmas Child provides shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts for children in countries all over the world. The collection point in Little Falls is Faith Lutheran.

“This a good project for people of all ages,” Mielke said.

Boxes are designated to be given to children in six different groups: girls ages 2-4, girls ages 5-9, girls ages 10-14, boys ages 2-4, boys ages 5-9 and boys ages 10-14. Operation Christmas Child has found that the need is highest for boys ages 10-14 and boys ages 5-9.

Instructions are available letting people know what to do with their box(es). A list of suggested items to pack in the boxes is included along with a shorter list of some things that should not be included. It is also suggested that a letter to the child be included in the box.

It is requested that only regular-size shoeboxes be used. The boxes can be made of cardboard or plastic. They are often gift-wrapped, but must be able to be opened, as the contents are checked and approved at the processing location.

During collection week, the drop-off hours will be Nov. 17-18 from 9 a.m. – noon; Nov. 19-20 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Nov. 21 from 9 a.m. – noon; Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. – noon and Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. – noon.

During her trainings, Mielke heard of many stories about children receiving just exactly the gifts that the child had hoped for. One of those stories told of a young boy holding his unopened box and crying. Volunteers there encouraged him to open his box, but he just sobbed that he didn’t want a box – he wanted parents.

“They were finally able to get him to open the box,” Mielke said. “Inside was a letter from the couple who had filled the box, saying that whoever opened the box – they wanted to adopt him. He was adopted and came to the United States.”

Followers of Operation Christmas Child on Facebook can read of similar stories and will find creative ideas for filling the boxes.

“We pray that these boxes bring joy and hope to all these children – that they would know that people who don’t even know them are thinking of them,” said Mielke.

Those interested in learning more about filling shoeboxes can visit the Operation Christmas Child website at or can call Faith Lutheran at (320) 616-1008.


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Harding native severely injured after being hit by drunk driver Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:49:57 +0000 A Harding native was airlifted to North Memorial Hospital, where he is being treated for severe injuries, after he was hit by a drunk driver Saturday night, Oct. 25.

Darin Hayes, 42, who lives in Clearwater, left work in Monticello and headed to pick up his son from work, said Darin’s mother, Jean. Darin is married to Sara, a Gustafson from Little Falls. The two have three children, ages 8 – 16.

Jean said Darin had so many fractures “they couldn’t count them all.” Darin faces months of recovery and rehabilitation before he can get back to work at Aroplax Corp. in Monticello.

Residents who know the families can keep up with Darin’s condition on his Caring Bridge website, Jean said. The address is Jean said any donations for the family can be sent to Annandale State Bank, Clearwater Branch, 700 State Highway 24 North, Clearwater, MN 55320. The name of the fund is the Darin and Sara Hayes fund.

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Bzdok partners with Great River Arts to bring awareness to ‘Resilient Uganda Project’ Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:22:05 +0000 Bonnie Bzdok pictured in a Ugandan village, singing with children.

Bonnie Bzdok pictured in a Ugandan village, singing with children.

Great River Arts Live will present two opportunities to engage with the Resilient Uganda Project, which was founded by Little Falls native Bonnie Bzdok. The two free events: Afternoon of Africa Saturday, Nov. 8, from 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. and Evening of Africa Tuesday, Nov. 11, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.,  will highlight Bzdok’s experiences living and working in Uganda.

Afternoon of Africa will be a family-friendly, educational session geared toward kids that are in third grade and older. The event will open with a paper bead making class where students will learn the same process used by the Ugandan women who are employed through the craft co-op.

After learning about how the women create the stylish jewelry that helps them to sustain their families, Bzdok will speak about her time in Africa, her experiences and the impact Resilient Uganda is making on the lives of Ugandan families.

Cookies and juice will be available at the end of the session. Families are encouraged to learn together about making a difference and improving lives.

Evening of Africa will be an informative, happy-hour presentation for adults and it will educate folks on the Resilient Uganda project. This is also a free event held Tuesday, Nov. 11, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Bzdok is looking forward to sharing her photo journal, telling of her experiences in Uganda, the goals of the organization and how people can help. The evening will include a cash bar and light refreshments and will close with an opportunity to ask questions.

The unique paper bead jewelry created by the Ugandan women will be available for purchase, with all proceeds going back to the Resilient Uganda project.

Resilient Uganda has been helping Ugandans establish self-sufficiency through a combination of humanitarian aid and education since 2013, when Bzdok founded the organization. Since its creation, Resilient Uganda has been able to provide water tanks, create jobs for women through crafting co-ops and improve the lives of countless Ugandans. For more information on Resilient Uganda, visit

The Great River Arts Center is located at 122 SE First St. in downtown Little Falls. It is open Wednesday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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The demise of bees could mean the demise of food as we know it Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:20:56 +0000 By Tina SnellStaff Writer

While there is no disputing that bees are decreasing in number, there is an argument about the reason. But, it’s not just bee numbers that are being reduced, it’s also moths, butterflies and other insects.

“Have you noticed your windshield needs cleaning less and less in the summer?” asked beekeeper Amy Kowalzek of Pierz.

Kowalzek said that bees, along with other insects, are pollinators. A large percentage of food comes from the pollination by insects.

According to Greenpeace, 80 percent of all pollination worldwide comes from bees. A single bee colony is able to pollinate 300 million flowers each day and fruits, nuts and vegetables, some of the healthiest foods, are pollinated by bees.

Amy Kowalzek

Amy Kowalzek

“Bees are dying at an alarming rate,” said Marla Spivak, professor of entomology a the University of Minnesota. “Since 2007, an average of 30 percent of all bee colonies have died every winter in the U.S.”

Spivak said that of the 100 crops which provide 90 percent of the global food supply, 71 are bee-pollinated. The value in the U.S. alone is estimated at $16 billion.

With fewer bees, food prices will increase due to less availability. That includes feed for dairy cows and cattle.

With more and more pesticides and herbicides used to increase production of corn and other foods and fuels in industrial agriculture, bees are dying faster and faster.

“Bees collect the pollen which is full of chemicals, the most common being neonicotinoid pesticides which coat seeds before they are planted, other pesticides, herbicides and lawn fertilizers,” said Kowalzek. “These mess with the neurosystems of the bees, making them act drunk. Queen bees can lay 2,000 eggs a day, but if eating contaminated pollen, less eggs are laid and the hive weakens.”

Kowalzek said that Europe (European Environment Agency) has banned three neonicotinoid insecticides because of the harm done to honeybees.

“If no one buys these chemicals, safe alternatives will be created,” said Kowalzek. “When buying seed, look for heirloom, organic or non-genetically modified seeds.”

As a beekeeper, Kowalzek said 2014 was the poorest year for honey production ever within the North Central Beekeeping Association. She cited both the weather and food sources for her bees as the reason.

Bee colony collapse is becoming a serious problem, yet the reason behind it has companies, farmers and beekeepers pointing fingers. But no one can dispute that without bees and other insects, the natural pollination of food will cease to be.

Bee colony collapse is becoming a serious problem, yet the reason behind it has companies, farmers and beekeepers pointing fingers. But no one can dispute that without bees and other insects, the natural pollination of food will cease to be.

Kowalzek is also worried about cities spraying for mosquitoes. Many are starting, yet some are quitting. Shorewood, the first in Minnesota to do so, has discontinued the practice

“As bees decline, there will be fewer songbirds, bats and other beneficial animals,” said Kowalzek.

She said that other beekeepers who transport their bees during the winter to pollinate almond trees, citrus trees and other warmer weather foods in southern climates  say Minnesota is becoming barren because the food for the bees has no nutritional value.

“Without bees and pollination, foods will decline. Many foods won’t grow without pollination, at least in the quantity needed and in the way we are used to,” she said, saying manual pollination would become the norm. “Prices will increase and food will become unaffordable. There will be so little food, foods such as nuts and citrus won’t be shipped at all.”

Kowalzek asked the question, “If it cannot support bees, how can it support us?”

She lamented the loss of milkweed, a food source for pollinators, growing on the edge of fields, gone because of herbicides.

Kowalzek said that when planning a garden for 2015, include borage, also known as the starflower (an annual herb), buckwheat, clovers, prairie grasses, asters, goldenrod, herbs and pussy willows. All, she said, are bee-friendly and will help deter the extinction of pollinators.

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Forty-year-old train wreck remembered Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:07:48 +0000 By Tina SnellStaff Writer

Forty years ago in May, a freight train traveling east across the Mississippi River on the trestle bridge collapsed, dropping several cars into the water.

It was about 7:10 p.m., May 10, 1974, a Friday night, when the trestle collapsed. According to the Little Falls Daily Transcript, the east half of the bridge and two freight cars were seen in the Mississippi River. A third car could be seen hanging over the east end of the trestle.

Also in peril were a derailed propane tanker and another freight car, with a third partially derailed.

The article in the Transcript said two flatcars were under water.

This incident caused traffic on Highway 371, which ran through town at that time, to be blocked for about two hours until the tracks could be cleared. Traffic was eventually rerouted through Little Falls.

Police Captain Al Toenies was called twice before he went to investigate the incident. Before he left, he called Fire Chief Steve LaFond to stand by his radio.

As Toenies neared the site of the collapse, the Daily Transcript said he saw half the trestle and bridge collapsed with the cars in the river. He called for a fire truck because he was worried about the propane car, not knowing if it contained gas or not.

All available police were called in.

Pictured looking south is the bridge crossing the Mississippi River as it was seen May 10, 1974, when the east trestle collapsed possibly due to materials on a flat car shifting and hitting the bridge. The photo is courtesy of Jeff Gallagher of Little Falls.

Pictured looking south is the bridge crossing the Mississippi River as it was seen May 10, 1974, when the east trestle collapsed possibly due to materials on a flat car shifting and hitting the bridge. The photo is courtesy of Jeff Gallagher of Little Falls.

Rich LeMieur of L and K Redi-Mix brought in equipment to move some of the freight cars and cranes were expected to be used to extract other cars from the Mississippi River.

The article said that it was unknown what happened to cause the bridge to collapse. It did give several possible options for the cause: it could have been the age of the structure or that the 1972 flood waters undermined the bridge. The cars could have derailed before getting to the bridge or materials shifted on the flat cars, causing the load to hit the bridge.

The Daily Transcript’s article did not say if a reason was ever determined for the accident, but it was later thought that it was due to shifting cargo.

The Transcript’s article said that two flatcars were not accounted for and that the damage was in the millions of dollars.

The accident was called the “worst city train wreck sine 1937.”

The bridge was part of a railroad line that ran between Little Falls and Brainerd. The portion of the bridge north of Camp Ripley no long exists and what remains serves the military base transporting equipment.

The first bridge on that location was erected in 1870. It was replaced by the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1891. The new bridge featured two Pratt-style through truss spans.

After the accident in 1974, the east span of the bridge was beyond repair, so  the current owner, Burlington Northern Railroad, brought in a 1900-era Warren-style through truss that once crossed the Columbia River in Washington.

That is why there are two different styles and sized spans today.

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Cart paths at Pierz Golf Course to be paved Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:05:13 +0000 By Terry Lehrke, News Editor

Golf cart paths will be paved on three holes at the Pierz Golf Course this fall.

The City Council approved Tri-City Paving’s bid of $7,200 to pave cart paths on holes 8, 3 and 4.

It was noted the work needed to be done this fall and before the installation of a covered bridge in honor of the late William Stoll on hole 4, which will most likely take place in early spring.

The funds will come from the city’s Golf Course Fund.

City Administrator Scott Saehr said residents were confused as to where “Golf Course Funds” came from.

The city sets aside 20 percent of golf course profits to be used for improvements at the course. Saehr said he wanted to make it clear no taxpayer dollars were being used for the paving.

The remaining 80 percent of the golf course profits are put into a money market account that Mayor Toby Egan said hadn’t been touched since the finances at the golf course had turned around and the course started to make a profit.

Pierz City Council Briefs

In other business, the Pierz City Council:

•Learned the city’s pool study review was completed and that a public hearing should be held. The Pool Study Committee will meet to review the study, will bring it before the Council and then determine when to hold a public hearing, probably in late November or December;

•Accepted a land donation from LeRoy Kahlhammer. When the city’s Safe Routes to School project was completed, sidewalk was installed over several inches of Kahlhammer’s property on Edward Street South and First Avenue Southeast. Kahlhammer had the area surveyed at his own cost and donated any land found under the sidewalk — which runs from 8 inches on one side to 32 inches on the other side of his lot;

•Gave the nod for the removal of a portion of sidewalk on Vincent Street North, as long as the two property owners adjacent had no issue with it. Public Works Director Bob Otremba said the sidewalk was not connected to the existing sidewalk system and had tree roots pushing it up causing a liability. The cost to remove the sidewalk was quoted by Saehr Backhoe at $450. If the city were to repair or replace the sidewalk, property owners would be assessed for half the cost. Otremba plans to plant seed in its place;

•Agreed the city should sign the paperwork from the Initiative Foundation to become eligible for any grant funds the Foundation is applying for through USDA Rural Development. If the city did not sign the form, it would not be eligible for any of the funds for local projects. City Administrator Scott Saehr said the funding would be used under the same concept as the Economic Development Authority in providing gap financing;

•Set Monday, Nov. 10, at 6:30 p.m. as the time to canvass election results; and

•Were reminded Tuesday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day and City Hall would be closed;

The next Pierz City Council meeting is Monday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

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Lloyd J. Gross Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:13:42 +0000 Lloyd J.   Gross

Lloyd J. Gross, 95- year-old resident of St. Cloud, formerly of Lastrup, passed away Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, at the Veterans Administration Home in St. Cloud. He died as he lived, with courage and surrounded with love from family and friends.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at St. Josephs Catholic Church in Pierz, with Father Al Stangl officiating and Father Kenneth Popp concelebrating. Burial will be at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery north of Little Falls. Visitation will be from 1:30 to 2:00 pm on Saturday at the church.
Lloyd John Gross was born, Sept. 30, 1919, in Lastrup, to the late Stephen and Anna (Virnig) Gross. Lloyd married Laura Pacholl in El Paso, Texas, July 7, 1945, while he was stationed in El Paso recuperating from wounds received during WWII. Lloyd was awarded the Purple Heart. His military experience taught him to look at issues from a global perspective and he was a firm believer in the power of effective communication to engender peace. He loved to hunt and fish in his younger years and especially enjoyed the “mens club” at Grandview Estates in Sartell in his twilight years. Lloyd stayed active in the community and his church. His
favorite statement, “a person who isnt a friend is someone you havent met yet” was a testament to his outgoing personality.
Lloyd was a member of the Pierz American Legion #341 and the Little Falls V.F.W. #1112 and the D.A.V.
The family would like to thank all the people who enriched his life. A special thanks goes to the Veterans home who made his life so comfortable in his last years and Grandview Estates for their generous sharing of their facilities for Lloyd and his family.
Lloyd is survived by his five children: Gordon (Lilliana), Floyd “Buzz” (Susan Lamberty), Kathleen (Randy Haugen), Sandra (Reuben Kelzenberg)and Harvey (Jane Marshik), 12 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; and his sister, Rosemary.
He was preceded in death by his parents and wife Laura.

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Joseph Poeppel Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:13:36 +0000 Joseph   Poeppel

Joseph Poeppel, 85- year-old resident of Little Falls, passed away Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 Friday, Oct. 31, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Belle Prairie with Father Joe Herzing Officiating and Father Tim Wenzel con-celebrating. Burial will take place in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery north of Little Falls. A visitation will take place from 4-8 P.M. on Thursday at the Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls, MN and from 10-11 A.M. on Friday at Holy Family Catholic Church in Belle Prairie. A parish prayer service will be held at 5:00 P.M. and St. Annes Society rosary will be at 6:30 P.M. on Thursday at the Funeral Home.
Joseph was born March 20, 1929, in Marshfield, Wis. to the late Joseph and Catherine (Redding) Poeppel. He attended elementary school in Hewitt, Wis. and graduated from Marshfield High School in Marshfield. Upon graduation Joe enlisted in the U.S. Army and served state side as a MP (Military Police) during the Korean War. Joe was united in marriage to Gladys Manning, Sept. 5, 1951, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Frazee. The couple lived in Minneapolis, before relocating to Little Falls in 1953. Joe was employed by Toledo Scales as a service technician for many years retiring in 1984. After retiring from Toledo Scales he started Joe Poeppels Scale Service and made his last service call in 2014 when he finally retired after servicing scales for 60 years. Joes greatest passion in life was airplanes, he owned and flew a Luscombe for many years and after he sold his plane he still had a love for planes. He also enjoyed taking fishing trips to Canada, camping, and was a very talented jack of all trades. Joe could fix or build about anything but his wood working skills were his greatest gift. He was a very sociable man that loved to visit with friends around a cup of coffee and he had a special gift of remembering everyones name. Joe was a lifetime member of the Little Falls American Legion Post #46, Little Falls Lions Club and was an active member of Holy Family Catholic Church where he ushered for many years.
Joe is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Gladys Poeppel of Little Falls; children, Gloria (Timothy) Lyons of Fresno, Calif., Cyndi (Mike) Josephson of Fort Worth, Texas, Mary Allord and significant other Mark Sjoberg of Royalton and Kathy (Brendon) van der Hagen of Cold Spring; brother, Ray Poeppel of Marshfield, WI; sisters, Pat (Jim) Reckner of Spencer, Wis. and Roberta VanderMay of Sioux Falls, S.D.; grandchildren, Sean Josephson, Melissa Abts, Shane Josephson, Jason Allord, Jessica Anderson, John Allord, Brendan Lyons, Michael Lyons, Timothy Lyons, Mikaela van der Hagen, and McKenzie van der Hagen; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Joe was preceded in death by parents, Joseph and Catherine Poeppel; brother, Herman Poeppel; and sisters, Marianne Markee and Agnes Schultz.

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Lincoln Evangelical Free Church welcomes Pastor Dan Crocker Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:02:35 +0000 By Tina Snell,  Staff Writer

Pastor Dan Crocker has joined the Lincoln Evangelical Free Church, beginning his duties Oct. 24. He said he and his wife, Michelle, are excited to be living in the Lincoln Lakes Area.

Crocker was born and raised in the Verndale area, as was Michelle. They were high school sweethearts.

It wasn’t until 1999 that he made the decision to change careers from the construction field in the Albertville and Becker area to  become a pastor.

“It was miserable in my job as general manager of a construction company,” said Crocker. “I felt I was being stuffed into a mold of someone else’s making.”

Crocker said while he sensed he had slipped into a mild depression, he needed God to reveal something about what he was really supposed to do.

“It was then I got a call from Crown College, a Bible College, for its adult program,” said Crocker. “I don’t remember why they called me, but I took that leap and started classes in February 2001.”

Crocker continued and received his associate’s degree in general education, his bachelor’s degree in Christian ministry and in 2008, his master of arts degree in ministry leadership.

“I started all this when my four children were also in college,” he said. “It really didn’t make sense if it wasn’t a leap of faith.”

But, he left college with seven years of schooling and no debt just before he turned 50 years old.

“I had tons of support from my family,” said Crocker. “Michelle stuck with me even though she was a widow for my seven years of schooling.”

Dan Crocker has begun his duties as pastor of the Free Evangelical Church in Lincoln. He comes from Crosslake where he was the associate pastor for five years.

Dan Crocker has begun his duties as pastor of the  Evangelical Free Church in Lincoln. He comes from Crosslake where he was the associate pastor for five years.

And, even though he left college with life experiences and degrees, he was unemployed for 22 months.

Crocker applied at the Riverside Church in Monticello, where he and his family had been members.

“But God had other plans,” he said.

A friend then told Crocker about a job in Crosslake. Even though the church was looking for an associate pastor with experience and a seminary degree, which Crocker had neither, he sent his resume anyway and was hired in July 2009.

While he was happy at the Cross Lake Evangelical Free Church, he still had that sense his calling was as a lead pastor.

Crocker put his resume online in about December 2013. He received a request to become a candidate at the Lincoln Free Church and he took it to prayer through February.

“I contacted them In March, thinking that if it wasn’t the right move, God would redirect me,” he said. “Trust in God with all your heart.”

Crocker went through a series of interviews in March and was a candidate  for five days in June.

“On the Sunday I preached, I thought I did rather poorly,” he said. “But I was still invited by a congregational vote, to become the pastor of the Lincoln Church.”

Crocker said the Crosslake congregation gave him huge encouragement and blessings. And, at the Lincoln Church, the interim minister was a huge help and mentor.

The Crockers have four grown children who live around the country and in Canada. They also have six grandchildren.

“My first order of business with the Lincoln Church is to assimilate myself with the congregation. And while I do have a sense of belonging here, I have relationship building to do,” he said.

“I want a culture of strong relationships with trust and honor,” he said. “I want us to grow as a family. As we build levels, then maybe changes will come with the congregation’s blessing.”

While Crocker and Michelle love to go boating, canoeing and he’s a hunter, right now they are working diligently on redoing the home they purchased in Scandia Valley Township.

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Layla Best Winscher Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:13:59 +0000

Birth-Best-formattedLayla Jan Best was born to Kirsten Winscher and Nate Best of Woodbury, Oct. 15, 2014, at 9:03 a.m. at St. Cloud Hospital. She weighed 5 pounds 3 ounces and was 18 1/2 inches long.
Grandparents are Randy and Nancy Winscher of Royalton and Tom and Beth Best of Osseo. Great-grandparents are Joseph Zimmerman and Annette Zimmerman of Little Falls, and Betty Winscher of Royalton.

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Hillman man barricades himself in building; apprehended with no shots fired Wed, 29 Oct 2014 20:19:52 +0000 A Hillman man barricaded himself in an outbuilding about 10 a.m. Wednesday, when Morrison County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to serve a felony arrest warrant.

Randy Donald Deed, 55, had been convicted of felony arson, failed to report to jail and the warrant was issued.

Officers found a loaded firearm in the vehicle in the yard, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Deputies obtained a search warrant when they believed Reed had barricaded himself in an outbuilding on his property in Leigh Township. The Morrison County Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) was activated as well.

About 2:30 p.m., law enforcement officers made entry into the building and located and arrested Reed. A stun gun Taser was used on Reed, but no shots were fired. Officers located a firearm inside the building.

The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Little Falls Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Pierz Fire Department and Gold Cross Ambulance.

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Cali Miller-Lee Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:58:30 +0000 Cali Jo Miller-Lee was born to Michelle Miller and Benjamin Lee of Randall, Oct. 22, 2014, at 8:53 a.m. at CentraCare Health – Long Prairie. She weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces.
Grandparents are Brian Lee, Lori Lee, Susan Miller and the late Gary Miller.

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Michael J. Dolney Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:58:21 +0000 Michael J.   Dolney

Michael J. Dolney, Jr., 45-year-old resident of Randall, passed away Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, as a result of a motorcycle accident.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Living Hope Assembly of God Church in Little Falls, with Pastor Keith Thompson officiating. Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery in Little Falls. Visitation will be from 4-8 P.M. on Wednesday at the Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls and 10:00 11:00 A.M. on Thursday at the church.
Michael was born Oct. 8, 1969, in Little Falls, to Michael Sr. and Bernadette (Harris) Dolney. He attended school in Little Falls where he participated in football and band and graduated from Little Falls High School with the Class of 1988. After graduation he attended the University of Minnesota Duluth for one year. Michael was employed at Coborns Bakery throughout his high school and college years. He also worked at Champion Paper Mill in Sartell, Maplewood Group Home as a caregiver, and served as the union President for the AFSCME Union. Michael was united in marriage to Sheila Petrich and they later divorced. His greatest passion in life was his love for muzzleloading guns. He owned and operated Free Trappers Muzzleloading in Foley and hand built muzzleloaders. Michael organized the Muzzleloader Appreciation Day and attended many Bluegrass and Mountain Men Rendezvous. He was also a big fan of the Star Wars movies and collected quite a bit of its memorabilia. Michael was an avid Harley Davidson rider, and enjoyed custom building motorcycles as well. Michael enjoyed spending time with his family (especially his young nieces and cousins) and friends, and will be dearly missed by all.
Michael is survived by his father, Michael Sr. and his wife Karen Dolney of Little Falls; mother, Bernadette Dolney of Sheboygan, Wis.; grandmother, Cecelia Dolney of Little Falls; siblings, Eric (Xia) Dolney of Sheboygan, Wis., Christopher Dolney of St. Cloud, Ashley (Matthew) Sherry of Sartell and Aaron Dolney of Madison, Wis.; three nieces, Paige, Lillian and Rosalia; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and many good friends.
He was preceded in death by grandparents, Phillip Dolney; and Wallace and Dorothy Harris.
Pallbearers will be Brenda Cash, Jamie Boser, Jeff Boser, Will Minion, Adam Dolney, Patrick Harris, Daniel Harris, and Sean Harris.

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Reinhard Breth Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:58:13 +0000 Reinhard   Breth

May 16, 1927 – October 26, 2014

A Mass of Christian Burial celebrating the life of Reinhard R. Breth, 87, of Upsala, will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, at St. Marys Catholic Church in Upsala. Reinhard passed away in his home Sunday evening. Father John Odero will officiate and burial will take place in the parish cemetery with military honors. There will be visitations at the church from 4 p.m.- 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29 and again after 10 a.m. Thursday. Parish prayers will be at 5:30 p.m. and the Knights of Columbus will pray the rosary at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening.
Reinhard was born May 16, 1927, to Stephen and Catherine (Gerads) Breth Sr. in St. Anthony. He grew up in Central Minnesota alongside six siblings. After school, Reinhard started crop farming in Bisbee, N.D. before being drafted into the U.S. Army. He served his country from 1951-1953 and served during the Korean Conflict. Reinhard married Ione Mary Braegelmann, May 31, 1955 in Richmond and together they raised 10 children on farms in St. Anthony and near St. Francis. Farming was his passion, but he also enjoyed gardening with his wife and one of his greatest hobbies was cutting wood. Reinhard liked to play cards, especially 500 and Cribbage. He enjoyed taking long drives on back roads to look at the countryside and helping Ione make handmade rugs. Reinhard volunteered for Meals on Wheels, was a member of the Upsala American Legion, the Holdingford VFW, and Knights of Columbus. He was an active member of St. Marys Church in Upsala.
Reinhard is survived by his children, Mary Breth, Melrose; Sharon (Chuck) Weber, Blaine; Marvin (Bree) Breth, Albany; Vernon (Jan) Breth, Holdingford; Val Gill, St. Joseph; Joyce (Ken) Hellermann, Sauk Centre; Lois (Rick) Fischbach, Avon; Denise (Ray) Sieben, Royalton; Dale (Stacy) Breth, Burtrum; Kathy (John) Schleper, St. Joseph; his siblings Irene Pierskalla, St. Wendel and Stephen Butch Breth, Jr., St. Anthony; 27 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren; as well as many other family and friends.
He  was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years Ione; his parents, Stephen and Catherine; his siblings, Werner Breth, Dorain Layton, Herbert Herb Breth and Martin Breth.

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Flyers season ends at hands of Dutchmen Wed, 29 Oct 2014 04:39:42 +0000 The Melrose Dutchmen ended the Little Falls volleyball season tonight in a 3-0 sweep.

Little Falls fell by scores of 25-12, 25-19 and 25-15.

Senior Kendra Pohlman led the Flyers with five kills and four assists unofficially.

The Flyers’ final record after the playoff loss to top-seeded Melrose is 11-19.


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Larry Wolf Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:14:05 +0000 July 1, 1940 – October 23, 2014

Larry died peacefully in his home after a courageous battle with cancer.
A celebration of life will be held at his home, 2113 County Rd. 47, NE, Longville, MN, Nov. 15, at 5 p.m.

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Lynette Rae Brink Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:13:49 +0000 Lynette   Rae  Brink

Lynette Lenny Rae Brink, 56, of Sturgis, SD, died at Sturgis Regional Hospital, October 25, 2014.
Lynette Rae Hawk was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on March 11, 1958, to Wilfred and Bernadine (Wisnieski) Hawk. Lenny worked as a waitress for many years in both Little Falls and Sturgis. She treated her customers like family and gave joyous hospitality to those she served. Her long braided hair, sparkling hazel eyes and contagious smile will be missed. Her passions included her beloved pets and neighborhood cats that she took excellent care of, spending time outdoors tending to her flowers, baking, cooking and talking. She loved to wear decorative brooches, listen to music, watch movies and take rides in the hills with Daryl.
She is survived by her loving husband, Daryl; step-children, Larry (Darlene) Brink, Daryla Sandy, Claireen (Chuck) Spring, DeWayne (Roxie) Brink; 12 step-grandchildren; 24 step great-grandchildren; parents, Todd and Bernie Hawk, Little Falls; sister, Debbie Guertin, St. Cloud; brothers, Kevin of Little Falls and Jamey of Paynesville; nieces, Michelle Lunceford, Cassie Herbst and Laura Guertin, St. Cloud; Savannah Hawk and Jessica Hawk, Little Fall; nephew, Andrew Hawk, St. Cloud; three great-nephews and a great-niece.
The funeral service will be held Wednesday, October 29, 2014, at 2 p.m. at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis, with Pastor Harold Delbridge officiating. A memorial has been established to the Sturgis Animal Shelter.
Condolences may be sent to the family at

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Barbara Jean Okroi Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:13:40 +0000

Obit-Okroi-formattedBarbara Jean Okroi, 58-year-old resident of Pierz, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 15, at St. Cloud Hospital. A Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, Oct. 20, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Pierz with Father David Maciej officiating. Burial was at St. Josephs Cemetery in Pierz.
Barbara Jean Seelen was born, Feb. 15, 1956, in Little Falls, to the late Francis Shorty and Florence Helen (Kay) Seelen. She grew up and attended school in the Little Falls area. Barb was united in marriage to Gary Okroi, July 29, 1973, in Little Falls. The couple made their home in Pierz. Barb worked at Walmart for 13 years. She also worked at the Pierz Villa as a nurse’s aide and ran a daycare at her home, where she enjoyed spending time with her young charges. Barb enjoyed going to garage sales, tending to her gardens and spending time with her family and friends.
Barb is survived by her husband, Gary; siblings, Caroline Miller of Pierz, Nancy Beto of Swanville, Donald (Joan) Seelen of St. Clair, David Arnold Sr. of Little Falls, Beverly (Gary) Beto of Royalton, Shirley (Tim) Bird of Little Falls, Roger Seelen of Little Falls and Connie Seelen of Little Falls; many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and nephews, and two great-grand nieces.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Francis and Florence Seelen; brothers, Kenneth and Thomas Seelen; niece, Nicole Seelen; and an infant son.
Casketbearers were Joshua Seelen, Ronnie Popp, Jr., Bradley Seelen, Nathan Seelen, Donald Beto and Jason Bird.

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Freya Meyer Tue, 28 Oct 2014 17:59:11 +0000 Meyer

Freya Marie Meyer was born to Audrey and Ben Meyer of Portland, OR at 1:15 a.m. on June 27, 2014 at Kaiser Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro, OR. She weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces and was 20-3/4 inches long.
Grandparents are Ann and Noel Guerard of Royalton, Patricia Meyer of Little Falls and James Meyer of Pierz. Great-grandparents are Marian and Warren Dennis of Grand Island, NE, Mildred Guerard of Newport, WA and Elaine Cluka of Little Falls.

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Lou M. Haehn Tue, 28 Oct 2014 17:58:07 +0000 Lou M.    Haehn

Lou M. Haehn, 77, formerly of Little Falls and Las Vegas, passed away Oct. 25, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Lou was born Aug. 19, 1937, to Christ and Anna (Geiss Schuartz in Glen Ulbin, N.D. She graduated from the Glen Ulbin HIgh School in 1955 and moved to Little Falls and worked at the Little Falls Dental Clinic. She married Jerry Haehn Sept. 4, 1956. She will be remembered as a kind and loving person and a dear mother and wife. She loved music. She played the piano and accordian and she liked flowers.
She is survived by her children, John (Julie) of Hurrican, Utah, Cindy of Fargo, N.D. and Becky of Montana; her sisters, Kathy Kopp of Bismarck, N.D., Dee Knopik of Little Falls and half-sister, Margie Jaeger of Bismarkc; six grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents and husband Jerry (May 16, 2012.)

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