There were signs that the Great River Regional Library was preparing to turn down Maple Lake's request for a library branch before the library board's Nov. 21 meeting. GRRL administrators provided a gloomy outlook for the library budget at a Nov. 2 meeting if Maple Lake was accepted into the library system.
Despite a list of nearly 500 supporters and Maple Lake efforts that collected pledges of over $30,000 in a two-week fund-raising drive to show GRRL that Maple Lake would support a library branch, only Wright County Commissioner Pat Sawatzke, who sits on the 15-member library board, could be heard voting for a Maple Lake branch.
Friends and family of Joshua Guimond gathered at Holy Cross Lutheran Church on November 10 to remember the St. John's college student who disappeared without a trace four years ago from the St. John's campus.
Joshua, the only son of Brian Guimond and Lisa Cheney of Maple Lake, was a 2000 graduate of Maple Lake High School where he was a top student and a class leader. At the memorial service on Nov. 10 a video was shown of Joshua delivering the student address at the 2000 commencement at Irish Country Stadium. In his speech, Joshua praised Maple Lake's teachers and the support of parents for a competitive class that he said fed off each other's accomplishments. "No matter the adversity, our class has always come out on top," he said.
Jody Sherwood of Maple Lake was recognized by Sports Illustrated in its November 13 issue as one of six athletes in its "Faces in the Crowd" column.
Sherwood, 36, an executive assistant for a land development company, was cited by the magazine for leading the U.S. Senior team to the gold medal at the 2006 Barefoot Water Ski Championships at Lake Silverado in Adna, Washington. She won a tournament-record six gold medals and was named USA Water Ski's Female Athlete of the Month.
A story on Sherwood was featured in the October 4 issue of the Messenger. The edition of Sports Illustrated recognizing Sherwood is on newsstands this week.
Next year is going to be one to remember for Security State Bank.
Not only will 2007 mark the 100th birthday of the local bank, it will also include the sale of the bank to a new and enthusiastic owner.
First National Financial Services of Elk River, a family-owned financial holding company, has been operating in the Elk River Area since 1902 and has signed a purchase agreement as the first step in an effort to acquire Security State Bank.
"First National has been in my family since the beginning," said Chairman John K. Houlton. "We really understand community banks and the place they hold in a community."
But Security State Bank will not be a branch of First National. Both banks will operate under their separate charters, with Security State Bank keeping its name and its staff.
Voters in Maple Lake School District 881 gave their approval to one of the three referendums on the November 7 ballot, with a school expansion plan failing by 16 votes.
Passed was the first ballot question, a request for an operating levy of an additional $59 per pupil over each of the next ten years. The tabulation of ballots cast early on Wednesday showed 1,164 in support of the levy and 918 against.
Question 2 was a request for a building bond in the amount of $8,660,000 with payment to be spread over 20 years for additional classroom space, special education space, elementary cafeteria space, storage space and to address maintenance and safety issues. There were 1,030 votes cast in favor of the school expansion plan and 1,046 votes against.
It was a cold afternoon for Trick-or-Treating as the Maple Lake Chamber of Commerce hosted its third annual Halloween event on Tuesday, but that didn't stop costumed kids and their families from visiting local businesses for treats. Several hundred kids made the rounds of Chamber of Commerce members providing prizes and treats. In the photo, seven-year-old Michael Ness just happened to be a hunter following a little chicken, Matthew Lindenfelser (18 months), down Division Street in downtown Maple Lake.
Another big Halloween event was the annual Halloween Carnival on Oct. 28 in the Maple Lake Elementary gym and cafeteria.
To see more Halloween photos check out the November 1 issue of the Messenger.
Maybe it's small towns in general, or maybe it's just Maple Lake, but this community has been blessed with men and women who give freely and with great generosity of their lives and their time to make this a wonderful place to live and raise a family.
Not the least of these is Coach Gary Porter.
"When Gary Porter's name is mentioned in Maple Lake and throughout Central Minnesota, people think of one thing - baseball,"said Maple Lake High School Activities Director and long-time friend Dave Schroeder. "Gary is considered Mr. Baseball."
Maple Lake Mayor Mike Messina and City Council candidates Shar Dircks (incumbent) and Deb Geyen are running unopposed. Geyen is running for the council seat of Steve Mooney, who did not run for re-election.
I have lived in Maple Lake for the past 23 years with my wife, Mary. We have three sons: Michael is a 2006 graduate of Maple Lake High School; Tonio and Dominic are both high school seniors this year.
My background is in accounting and most all office procedures. My husband, Al, and I started the first flower shop in Maple Lake. My son, Bill Howe, graduated from Maple Lake in 1981 and now lives in Cleveland, Ohio. I am currently a member of the City Council and have served on Planning and Zoning. I am also the vice president of the Maple Lake Chamber of Commerce.