After a string of burglaries over the past two months in Maple Lake and a chase of a suspect through the downtown area, Saturday, Jan. 27, marked the day when a thief was not going to get away.
According to Lt. Dan Anselment of the Wright County Sheriff's Department, an alarm at 10:20 p.m. on the evening of Jan. 27 alerted their department to a possible break-in at Maple Lake High School.
On a walk-through of the property soon after the alarm sounded, a sheriff's deputy, along with a key-holder for the school, Activities Director Dave Schroeder, said everything appeared to be fine and a false alarm was suspected. Entering the commons area of the school an individual wearing a sweatshirt with the hood up was spotted and advised to stop. The individual apprehended was Andrew Randall Sears, age 18, and a senior at Maple Lake High School. He was taken into custody for burglary.
Frank Mazzuca, principal at St. Timothy's school, insists that he's not Maple Lake's biggest Chicago Bears fan. Mazzuca, a Minnesotan since 1995, says "he's not a football fan, just a Chicago Bears fan that likes to watch football." But with Super Bowl XLI less than a week away, he's proud to show the colors of his hometown team.
A first generation Italian-American, Mazzuca comes to Maple Lake via Chicago's southside.
"We had two teams back then, the Chicago Cardinals and the White Sox at Kaminsky Park, and the Bears and the Cubs at Wrigley Field," said Mazzuca. "We were for the Bears and the White Sox. I couldn't even begin to figure out how we picked those two teams, but we stuck with them."
It's no wonder, then, that a favorite childhood memory involves taking a turn on the field at Wrigley.
Brad Hennen has followed in the footsteps of his father, Daryl, and grandfather, Ken, as the Maple Lake Fire Department's Firefighter of the Year.
The award was presented to Brad Hennen by Maple Lake Fire Chief Todd Borell on Saturday, Jan. 27, at the department's annual banquet at the American Legion Hall.
Each of the Hennens has been named Firefighter of the Year during their active duty with Maple Lake's Volunteer Fire Dept. and of the three generations, both Brad and Daryl remain active as fire-fighters and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) with the ambulance. Kenneth retired in 1998.
More information appears in this week's edition of the Messenger.
A group of 66 excited students at Maple Lake Elementary enjoyed a reward last week for the top sellers in the recent Club Choice fund-raiser. A 40-foot stretch Humvee limousine provided by Club Choice took three groups of about 22 kids each on a ride to town before bowling at Maple Lake Bowl.
The fund-raiser, sponsored by Partners In Education, will help provide school lyceums, books, teacher supplies and volleyball, basketball and soccer courts.
Pictured with the limousine and its driver were John Reilley, Kayonna Carlson, Victoria Rollings, Nicholas Paul, Zachary Parker, Cody Stueven, Ross Hickey, Noah Saylor, Nicholas Preisinger, Michael Ness, teacher Linda Weber, Sadie Pingel, Amelia Blanut, Macy Wurm, Tanner Schmidt, Ashley Brings, Hope Kramer, Marisa Henrikson, Tatum Polman, and Erik Raymond.
For decades, high schools around the country have invited students from foreign countries to join their classrooms to experience a new walk of life. In the past, Maple Lake High School has been grateful to host one, two, and sometimes even three or four of these students annually. But this year, Maple Lake opened their doors to six foreign exchange students.
"We have never had the opportunity to host six foreign exchange students in the same year," said high school Principal Mary James.
Coming from all corners of the world, Miriam Sem hails from Norway, Parnkaew Rujivanarom from Thailand, Gabriela Castro from Venezuela, Andre Apollaro from Brazil, Luis Blanco from Mexico, and Yannick Schwarzer from Germany.
A dream to write a children's book has also become a means to ease anxiety for youngsters over trips to the dentist.
Kay Hickey of Maple Lake has created a set of four books that explain dental care for kids through the experiences of Conroy the Crocodile.
Hickey, who grew up in Clearwater and moved to Maple Lake six years ago with her husband, Pat, and son, Ross, is a dental assistant in the Wayzata office of Dr. Bruce Martinson. When she was pregnant with Ross, now eight, she started writing her first children's book.
"Becoming a mom inspired me," she said. "It was a dental health book also because that's what I know, but I didn't end up using it."
When Ross was three, the inspiration to write came back.
Five Maple Lake girls play hockey for the East Wright County Lightning Hockey Association on the 10UB2 team. They are Jill Boros and Paige Blizil, 5th grade students at Maple Lake Elementary; Hailey Sisell, 5th grade student at St. Timothy's School; Cassidy Jones and Hayley Zappa, 4th grade students at Maple Lake Elementary.
Coach Mark Miller said the group of Maple Lake girls has made an impact on his team.
In an effort calculated to keep the dream of a Maple Lake branch of the Great River Regional Library alive, the Wright County Board of Commissioners unanimously selected Mayor Mike Messina as the county's newest appointee to the GRRL board.
Last fall, a proposal to bring a branch library to Maple Lake was brought before the GRRL board. After two hearings on the issue, the board denied Maple Lake's request, with only Wright County Commissioner Pat Sawatzke, a GRRL board member, voting for the proposal.
Wright County Commissioner Dick Mattson, who spearheaded the effort to find a replacement for the departing Wright County GRRL board member Wayne Rebischke, was pleased with Messina's appointment.
Read more of Messina's recent appointment in the January 17 issue of the Messenger.
In 1998, the Maple Lake Community Theater tackled its first full-blown Broadway musical, "Anything Goes."
This February, the local theater group will present its 10th consecutive major musical production with "Crazy for You."
And all those involved in those 10 big productions will tell you that time flies when you're having fun.
The roots of musicals in Maple Lake can be found back in the late '60s when the Maple Lake High School band director at that time, Joe Thomas, with his wife, Nancy, produced two years of musical variety shows called "The Village Players." Crowds flocked to the shows for an exhibition of local talent that raised funds for the completion of the MLHS auditorium.