All eyes are on China this year as it prepares to host the 2008 Olympics Games from August 8 to 24.
And there is one Maple Lake native who knows more than most about China and its people.
Elizabeth Loch, daughter of Mark and Amy Loch of Maple Lake, graduated in May from St. Cloud State with a special education major and a plan to teach the learning disabled. But she spent her last semester student teaching in China.
"My advisor said 'If you're going to student teach, it's better to do it outside of Minnesota,'" Loch laughed. "So I said 'Okay, I might as well leave the country.'"
Loch said she took advantage of a new program offered at St. Cloud State.
"I heard a speaker talk about the program to student teach in China," Loch said. "But no one had ever applied. So I said 'You know what, this sounds like a great opportunity. I'll do it.'"
The Maple Lake Legion baseball squad hosted Rogers in a double-header on Monday, July 7th, in their first game back after the Fourth of July holiday.
Maple Lake vs. Rogers
After their long holiday break that lasted over a week, Maple Lake or Rogers couldn't manage to put a run on the board until the final inning.
Cameron Knudsen took the mound for Maple Lake to start the game, and with the help of his defense they shut Rogers down one, two, three. Then in the bottom of the first, Maple Lake jumped out right away with some big hits and Riley Decker, Jordan Kelm, and Nick Hudek loaded the bases with three straight singles. Unfortunately, two straight strikeouts would leave the bases juiced for Maple Lake.
July 10: Maple Lake Lions meeting, 7 p.m., Maple Lake American Legion Club.
July 10: Ala-Teen meeting for ages 10-18 affected by someone else's drinking, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Buffalo Evangelical Free Church, 2051 50th St. NE, County Rds. 25 & 113. Call 952-955-2819 for more information.
July 13: Chatham Climbers 4-H Club, 6:15 p.m., Dave and Julie Pribyl home. New members always welcome. For more information on meeting time and location, call 320-963-3812 or 320-963-2100.
July 14: Maple Lake School Board, 7 p.m., board room.
July 15: Maple Lake City Council, 7 p.m., city hall.
July 15: Annandale Lakers AA & Al-Anon, 8 p.m., United Methodist Church of Annandale, 250 Oak Ave. N. For more information call 320-274-3380.
July 15: Gamblers Anonymous, 7:30 p.m., Buffalo Evangelical Free Church, 2051 50th St. NE, County Rds. 25 & 113.
It's not very often that a Major League Baseball player can take time off during their busy schedules of playing almost every day, but Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Jesse Crain, his wife, Becky, and their son took the time on June 30th, to visit campers at Camp Courage, even though Crane had a game that night against the Detroit Tigers.
The family visited with the Young Adult Augmentative and Alternative Commmunication camp for adult campers, age 18 and up. Campers had the opportunity to use their communication skills learned at camp to ask Crain various questions about his life and what it is like to play in the major league.
In addition to communicating with the campers, Crain, along with his son, handed out the Camp Courage Camper Awards that were given to the camper that best fit the award category.
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.