After years of waiting and seeking state grant funding for the reconstruction of Birch Avenue, the current downturn in the construction industry may have presented the City of Maple Lake with its best opportunity to proceed with the project.
At its meeting on July 1, the Maple Lake City Council heard that bids for the proposed project came in lower than anticipated. City Engineer Jeremy Mathiasen told the council that eight companies provided bids on the project, with Kuechle underground entering the lowest bid of of $894,944.78 and Geislinger and Sons of Watkins with the highest bid of of $1,186,274.25. The project was bid with an alternate that would reconstruction Birch from Second Street to Fourth Street at either a 44-foot width or 56 feet. Kuechle was the low bid at 44-feet for the south end of Birch, but Annandale Contracting had the low bid of $922,148.52 if the city stays with the current width for south Birch at 56 feet.
Deacon Mike Medley took a long and winding road to become the next principal of St. Timothy's School, but he views it as a challenge well worth the journey.
Medley was selected from among seven candidates by a committee that included St. Timothy's Pastor Father Michael Izen, a parent, two teachers, a trustee of the church and the president of the school board. Medley assumed the position on July 1 after the retirement of Principal Frank Mazzuca and his 11 years at the helm of the school.
St. Timothy's Pastor, Father Michael Izen, said that Medley's background in education and the way he presented himself during the interview process made him the man for the job.
"We had some good candidates," Izen said. "But Deacon Mike rose to the top.
"When I announced to the parish that he was our choice, I told them that Deacon Mike has a ove and a hunger for the faith that he is eager to share at St. Timothy's."
Eric Markham, 42, of Maple Lake, led Wright County deputies on a day-long vehicle and foot chase Sunday before being subdued by Buck, a Wright County K9 officer in the wooded area near the 13,300 block of Clementa Ave.
According to the Wright County Sheriff's Office, the first call to deputies came at 10:40 a.m., Sunday, June 29, when a resident in the 1300 block of Cty. Rd. 8 in Silver Creek Township called to report a suspicious male who came to her door asking to use the phone because his vehicle broke down in the field next to her house.
Deputies responded, found the vehicle and ran the plates, discovering that the vehicle, a Toyota pickup, was reported stolen from a Buffalo resident a couple days before.
Julie Ann Steiskal. A fun-loving young woman. A photographer with an eye for beauty. A woman of faith and conviction. A hero.
These all described the pretty, blond-haired 29-year-old with the incredible blue eyes who died last week in an effort to save a life.
On Wednesday, June 25, Steiskal, a camp counselor with a youth group from Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove, was with a group that left their camp and spent the day hiking and climbing at the Carlton Peak/Temperance River area.
According to law enforcement and other news sources, the eight hikers (three adults and five kids) were hot and sweaty after tramping around in the wilderness area. Steiskal and 17-year-old Andrea Evans decided to wade in the water to cool off and clean off. They went into chest-deep water to wash their hair and that is when Evans slipped on a rock and the current caught her.
A bike/car accident in Maple Lake underscores the need for traffic safety awareness over the summer months.
Twenty-seven-year-old Erin Bodin of Minneapolis was out for an early morning ride on Friday before beginning her day as a counselor at Camp Courage when an automobile struck her bicycle from behind just north of Maple Lake.
Luther Priebe, 71, of Maple Lake, driving a 2008 Chevy Impala, was traveling west on Cty. Rd. 39, just east of Ingram Ave., and attempted to pass Bodin when the right side of his vehicle struck her.
"We got the call at 7:37 a.m. on June 27," said Lt. Dan Anselment of the Wright County Sheriff's Department. "There was a vehicle approaching in the oncoming lane when Mr. Priebe attempted to overtake the bicyclist. He was coming up behind her and we believe his mirror struck her on the back, causing the fall."
Officers at the scene cited Priebe for inattentive driving.
Dale Decker may be the rookie manager of the Maple Lake Lakers, but it was his long history as a player with the team that earned him entrance in the North Star League Hall of Fame.
Prior to Sunday's game at Irish Stadium, Decker was honored as the 95th member of the North Star Hall of Fame.
The North Star League created its Hall of Fame in 1992. Other players inducted this year were Scott Soltau of Monticello, Bob Kinsel of Kingston and Tom Ditty of Delano.
Brian Larson, executive secretary for the league, began the program by noting Decker would be the fifth member of the Lakers to gain entrance into the Hall of Fame, after Leo Dircks, Al Dircks, Ray Winter and Daryl Hennen.
Honored as the 31st Grand Marshal of Maple Lake's St. Patrick's Day Parade in March, Mary has now been selected as Wright County's Outstanding Senior Woman.
Wright County's Outstanding Senior Citizen Selection Committee, in cooperation with the Minnesota Board on Aging, the Minnesota State Fair Board and the Wright County Fair Board, announced last week that this year's honorees are Mary McBrady and Jerome "Jerry" Specht of Buffalo.
"I was shocked," Mary said. "I feel very ordinary. All I've done is teach school and raise my family."
Mary taught kindergarten students in Maple Lake for 29 years and reigns over the McBrady Clan in Maple Lake's St. Patrick's Day parades. Her big family is also involved in a variety of volunteer efforts that Mary said is a family tradition.
"Our family has a philosophy if you see something that needs doing, you just do it and you keep your mouth shut," she laughed. "That's just the way we are."
An awards program at the Maple Lake Fire Hall on Monday night took on a special meaning as emergency personnel were honored for helping a local woman survive a heart attack. And she was presented with an award as well for becoming the latest Heart Safe survivor.
Heart Safe Communities is a program established by Dr. Charles Lick, the Buffalo Hospital Foundation and the Community Health Foundation in 1999 that aims to improve survival from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), one of the nation's leading killers, by speeding time to defibrillation. To help the nearly 1,000 people struck by SCA everyday in this country, the foundation raised funds and placed over 160 Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) in gathering places and schools in 19 communities throughout the area.
When somebody thinks of being in jail, it typically is in terms of someone "paying a debt to society." But what happens when that same individual runs up debt while in jail? At the June 10 meeting of the Wright County Board, the commissioners discussed an ongoing medical situation with one of its prisoners and the numbers are staggering.
One prisoner alone resulted in $46,110 in medical costs to the county, a claim that was paid as part of the June 10 agenda. Commissioner Jack Russek spoke up about the expense, saying that the cost gets thrown back to the taxpayers on top of the cost incurred with housing the prisoners. Wright County Sheriff Gary Miller, who said Wright County will get two or three such cases a year, ranging from prisoners with heart conditions to those that need kidney dialysis, are part of doing business.
Flossie Menth and Helen Doherty of Maple Lake were two of the women who served during WWII honored at the WWII Women Veteran's Appreciation Luncheon in May at the 834th Airlift Wing Officer's Club in St. Paul.
Menth and Doherty served as nurses during the war and Doherty currently serves as Commander of the Maple Lake VFW.
The event in St. Paul was intended by organizers to "thank Minnesota's WWII women veterans who sacrificed so much to preserve and advance freedom."
More information appears in this weeks issue of the Messenger.