News

Fri
31
Jul

School cited for state science test improvement

Maple Lake public schools made a 37 percent gain over last year on the science MCA-II state standardized tests, ranking them among the most improved in the state.

The Star Tribune listed Maple Lake number five on the list of Top Five Most Improved Districts in the metro area. Other districts on the list included Fridley, South St. Paul, Braham and Shakopee.

During the 2008-2009 school year, 52.38 percent of Maple Lake students were proficient on the science Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment tests, meaning they met or exceeded expectations on the exam.

In 2007-2008, 38.61 percent of Maple Lake students were proficient. The state average both years was 40.02 percent.

Maple Lake High School Principal Mary James said the increase in proficiency was expected. She said curriculum changes generally take several years to fit into the cycle.

Fri
31
Jul

A new look for downtown parking on Birch Avenue

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

The City of Maple Lake is trying out a second means of improving the traffic flow in the downtown area after reducing the angle of parking spaces earlier this year had little impact. The width of Birch was reduced last year as a part of the street reconstruction project.

Last week, the east side of Birch was striped for parallel parking, allowing more room for traffic to move safely. The new parking arrangement was approved on a trial basis, with a final decision to be made at a future city council meeting.

Fri
31
Jul

Aquatennial is a once-in-a-lifetime experience

Lindsey Becker, Miss Maple Lake 2008-2009, spent a week celebrating the 'Ten Best Days of Summer' and experiencing many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities at the Minneapolis Aquatennial.

Becker said during her week in Minneapolis she had the chance to do things she otherwise never would. It all started by meeting 45 other community representatives from around the state who were vying for the Queen of the Lakes crown.

"Being with 45 of the most amazing girls is really inspirational," Becker said.

The candidates learned about each other and their communities through volunteer work, public appearances and special luncheons.

Early in the week, the candidates visited a veteran's home in Minneapolis where they listened to stories told by the residents and shared their own stories about being royalty.

Fri
31
Jul

National recording artist to present Maple Lake concert

John McAndrew, a self-described pop/blues artist, will perform in Maple Lake on August 7. McAndrew is a singer, songwriter, pianist and artist. He has produced several recordings and performed at venues big and small.

"This is what he likes," said Darrell Gilbertson, of Maple Lake. "His song, 'This Little Town,' talks about small towns all over the world and the idea of what little towns used to be and how they can be. That's exactly what this is."

McAndrew has performed at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, schools in St. Charles, Fairmont, and Sherburn, Minnesota, and at the Minnesota State Fair.

He also has performed with Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Kathy Mattea and Jon Vesner at the Country Music Hall of Fame Benefit for Community High School in Nashville, TN. Most recently, he performed his music for the NATO heads of state at the home of former vice president Al Gore in Washington, D.C.

Fri
24
Jul

Fishing Tourney is TV bound

The Fifth Annual Christopher Schneider Bass Tournament might be over, but television reports about Saturday's event on Maple Lake are yet to come.

Segments of the event, from its 7 a.m. start with 15 boats taking off in search of big bass to the 3 p.m. conclusion when just one ounce separated the first and second place finishers, were taped for future viewing on two outdoor programs: "Minnesota Bound" on KARE-11 TV and "Due North Outdoors" on the Fox Sports Network. The story on the annual Maple Lake tourney is expected to be aired this fall.

Fri
24
Jul

Andy Hudek dies at the age of 57

It isn't necessary to be in the spotlight to make good things happen and nobody knew that better than Andy Hudek.

Hudek, a life-long Maple Lake resident, volunteer and civic leader, died last week of pancreatic cancer at the age of 57.

Hudek was a member of the Maple Lake Community Theatre, the Hasty-Silver Creek Sportsman's Club, the Maple Lake VFW Men's Auxiliary Post 7664 and the Wright County Car Club. In each organization, he was an indispensable volunteer and became known as the guy who got things done.

"Andy was involved in so many things in the community, it was unbelieveable the number of things he did," said VFW Men's Auxiliary President Dan Albrecht. "You couldn't find a nicer man than Andy. I don't think he ever said 'no' to anything. He was one of these people, when he took on a project, he'd see it through."

Fri
24
Jul

New bank president is back in the family business

In taking on the position as market president of First National Bank-Maple Lake, Tom Pogatchnik has returned to his roots.

Pogatchnik came from a banking family and when he succeeds Doyle Van Dyne, who is retiring on July 31, he will be back in the family line of business.

Born in Watertown, SD, Pogatchnik moved with his family to Hibbing, St. Cloud and Hallock as his dad climbed the banking ladder.

"I'd go down with him on Saturday mornings and open the mail at the bank in St. Cloud," Pogatchnik said. "You don't see many banks like that any more, with the old granite floors, but it was a neat experience for a kid."

Fri
17
Jul

Sunday crash shuts down I-94 for nine hours

Interstate 94, a busy thoroughfare for weekend travelers, was shut down between Monticello and Albertville for nearly the entire day on Sunday.

About 11 a.m. a car and semi truck collided, causing a fuel spill and significant detours and delays for motorists.

James L. Schwab, 87, of Clayton, Missouri, was driving a 1995 Buick stationwagon eastbound on I-94 before attempting to make a U-turn in a prohibited cross-over near Albertville. Daniel E. May, 40, of Long Prairie, driving a 2009 Peterbuilt Semi fuel tanker truck, collided with Schwab and rolled.

I-94 was shut down while crews cleared the accident. The interstate reopened at about 8 p.m. on Sunday.

During the closure, eastbound traffic was diverted north on Hwy. 25 in Monticello to Big Lake, south on Hwy. 10 and west on Hwy. 101 to reconnect with I-94 in Rogers. Westbound traffic used the same route in the opposite direction.

Fri
17
Jul

Water pipes help put out house fire

A fire-related fluke aided Maple Lake firefighters at the fire at the home of Curt and Danielle Stuhr and their children, Brandon, 13; Emmalyn, 2: and Annabelle, 1.

The house fire at 191 3rd St. was called in shortly before noon on July 8, and firefighters were on the scene within minutes.

"The fire started in the basement laundry room," said Maple Lake Fire Chief Todd Borell. "It got so hot down there that the sweat joints on the water pipes let go. The water from the pipes acted like a sprinkler and really slowed the fire down. By the time we got there we only used about five gallons of water to put the fire out."

Fri
17
Jul

Deb's Divias to host 'Swing for the Cure'

Each year in August the Twin Cities hosts the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk. The 60-mile walk is for women and men who want to make a personal difference in the fight against breast cancer. Participants travel an average of 20 miles a day, raising awareness for breast cancer programs and health messages along the way.

This year, Debb's Divas, an eight-woman Maple Lake area team, will make their second appearance at the event.

Debb Johnson, an Eagan woman battling breast cancer, is the namesake and inspiration for the group led by her sister, Pat Dearing, and niece, Tracy Dearing Jude.

"Debbie has always had a totally positive attitude," said Dearing. "We are so extremely proud of her-she actually spends her time consoling us."

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