News

Wed
29
Mar

Cokato opts out of joining wastewater commission

In December, the Annandale-Maple Lake-Howard Lake Wastewater Commission was considering adding Cokato to its ranks, now it looks like that proposal is off the table.
Cokato is instead preoccupied with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s announcement to impose stricter limits on phosphorous discharges, and is considering pursuing legal action over those limits, Commission Secretary Kelly Hinnenkamp said.
Three months ago, Cokato’s City Council revealed that it was looking to upgrade the city’s wastewater system, and requested the commission conduct a study on what it would take to add them to the regional facility.

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Wed
29
Mar

Local home values are on the rise

At their most recent meeting, Tuesday, March 21, members of the Maple Lake City Council received an update by Wright County Assessor Ken Yager on housing sales and prices in the local area.
Yager told the council that 82 permits had been issued in 2016, in addition to seven callbacks from 2015, for a total of 89. By comparison, 85 permits were issued in 2015 along with 17 callbacks from 2014, for a total of 102. Six new homes were assessed last year, and eight callbacks for unfinished properties remain to be assessed for 2018. In the previous year, nine new homes were assessed and seven callbacks had been slated for 2017.

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Wed
29
Mar

County approves proceeding with jail bond refunding

As Wright County prepares to bond for up to $40 million for its new courts building, it is also considering refinancing the $39 million remaining on existing bonds used to construct the county jail a decade before.
At the March 21 meeting of the Wright County Board of Commissioners, the board discussed the options, which were presented to the commissioners at March 14 committee of the whole meeting.

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Wed
29
Mar

Wright-Hennepin members donate more than $58,000 to help local organizations

Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association (WH) members who participate in Operation Round Up (ORU) donated grants totaling $58,100 in February.
ORU participants allow their electric bills to be rounded up to the nearest dollar. The rounded amount is then used for donations to fund local programs. More than 80 percent of WH’s members participate in the ORU program. ORU’s board manages the generated money, which is held in a trust fund. Through a selection process and review of guidelines, the board evaluates funding requests on a bimonthly basis.
The ORU trust board approved the following donations on behalf of WH members for February:
• $2,000, Alzheimer Association, MN, funds to support Alzheimer Association programs
• $1,000, Boy Scout Troop #358, funds to update patrol boxes
• $200, Buffalo Grad Party, funds to support a drug-free, all-night party

Wed
22
Mar

Early storms open door to severe weather education


When the sky looks ominous, the best thing to do is head indoors and seek out more information through T.V., radio, smart phone apps or a NOAA Weather Radio, Steve Berg of Wright County Emergency Management says. (photo by Bob Zimmerman)

Severe weather is often a rite of spring, but this year it came a little early.
On March 6, the earliest tornados in the history of Minnesota touched down, including one in Zimmerman, and were part of the same system that passed through Maple Lake, setting off sirens and sending residents scurrying for cover.

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Wed
22
Mar

Student art improves library exterior


The artwork of these three Maple Lake High School artists were chosen to adorn the outside of the Maple Lake Library. They are, from left, Darby Vassar, Nikki Wilson and Emma Hagen. (photo by Brenda Erdahl)

The Maple Lake Library has changed its look a bit with the addition of three vibrant, new outdoor posters created by local high school students.
The library has always displayed local art work, two along the front and one on the southern wall of its main street location where movie posters were hung back when the building was a theatre.

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Wed
22
Mar

City library turns eight years old


Kathy Parkin chooses a book from the new arrivals section at the Maple Lake Library. Volunteers strive to keep the library’s inventory current and up-to-date with all the most popular reads, in addition to the old classics. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

One fateful day, 11 years ago, Helen Mooney walked into the Maple Lake Messenger and said to then publisher Theresa Andrus, “I think we should have a library. Everybody else has one.”
“Theresa grabbed hold and carried it forward. That is just the kind of person she is,” Terry Mooney, a member of the library board said.

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Wed
22
Mar

Action for Children Zambia opens new house, struggles with storm damage


Students stand in front of a three-bedroom home Action For Children Zambia has rented to provide housing as well as supervision and structure for its secondary students. (photo submitted)

Action for Children Zambia celebrated successes and coped with losses this month as the annual spring fundraiser in Maple Lake approaches.
The fundraiser, set for Sunday, April 30, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Maple Lake Legion Club, comes at an opportune time for the organization founded and directed by Maple Lake native Carol McBrady to help less affluent children in Zambia, Africa.

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Wed
22
Mar

Programs, positions to be reduced or discontinued

At their most recent meeting, Monday, March 13, members of the Maple Lake School Board adopted a resolution to discontinue and reduce educational programs and positions.
Superintendent Mark Redemske said that administration and the Finance and Programs Committee have been working on the district’s 2017-2018 budget, which he characterized as a puzzle with many pieces.

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Wed
22
Mar

County looks to go back to private audit

For the last two years, due to a lawsuit brought against the state by Minnesota Auditor Rebecca Otto that inexplicably included Wright County, the county has been forced to have its audit done by the state, at a significant increase.
At the March 14 meeting of the Wright County Board, the commissioners approved a four-year contract with a private auditing services for not only less than they were paying the state for auditing service, but less than the last year of their existing deal.

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