A malfunctioning plane has made it possible for Airman First Class David Northenscold to come home from Afghanistan.
Northenscold, a 2006 graduate of Maple Lake High School, arrived in Afghanistan on Sept. 15 for what was supposed to be an 8-month tour of duty. But he and other members of his unit were sent back home on January 22 when the F-15 jets they resupply with munitions were grounded.
"They grounded the entire fleet world-wide," Northenscold said. "And there's no point in staying over there when our jets are grounded."
What was a bad event for the Air Force was a good one for families. David, the son of Brad Northenscold and Marlys Northenscold, has been home with his family and will return to his base in North Carolina on April 6. To celebrate his unexpected return, Northenscold will be the guest of honor at an open house set from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 3, at the Maple Lake American Legion.
A fire north of Maple Lake last week sent a mother and two young children fleeing from their Silver Creek Township home.
On March 26 at about 11:30 a.m., the Wright County Sheriff's Department received a 911 call of a fire in the basement of a home at 9267 County Road 8 NW. Upon arrival, emergency personnel found Amy DesMarais and her two young children huddled together outside of the family home, with smoke rolling out of the windows.
Amy said she was home sick that day and had just finished lunch with sons, Gavin, 7, and Ethan, 4.
"I put the kids on the bed in our downstairs bedroom while I was doing laundry," she said. "I was on the phone with my mom when the kids went upstairs and all of a sudden, the smoke alarm went off. I assumed that something must have happened upstairs so I went toward the steps and met the kids on the stairway coming down."
William 'Bill' Bruns, a 1983 MLHS graduate, passed away Friday after a decade-long battle with illness.
Diagnosed with cancer in 1998, Bruns lost kidney function as a result of treatment and had been living with dialysis ever since.
"It's been a long struggle for him," said Mary Bruns, his wife of 19 years. "In the end it was his heart that gave out."
Unable to work, Bruns could often be found visiting Mary at Roger's Amoco, her place of employment.
"We saw him around quite a bit," said Irene Hudek, owner of Roger's Amoco. "He'd stop to visit Mary, and would occasionally help her stock if we got busy. He was great on computers, he fixed mine once and he and Mary made the best candy. They'd even personalize it for weddings or match themes for anniversaries and birthdays. I was shocked to hear of his passing, I thought he'd been doing all right lately. It will be strange not to see him around here anymore."
A St. Patrick's Day Operation NightCAP (nighttime concentrated alcohol patrol) DWI crackdown in the state's 15 deadliest counties for impaired driving resulted in 89 impaired driving arrests - 51 DWIs were in the Twin Cities. Officers from 46 agencies participated in the efforts conducted on the evenings of March 14 through 17. Officers stopped more than 1,720 vehicles and cited 557 drivers for traffic- and equipment-related violations.
The St. Patrick's Day weekend enforcement targeted the counties of Anoka, Beltrami, Blue Earth, Cass, Crow Wing, Dakota, Hennepin, Olmsted, Ramsey, Rice, St. Louis, Sherburne, Stearns, Washington and Wright.
Over the last three years on St. Patrick's Day in Minnesota, alcohol-related crashes accounted for four of 11 traffic deaths and nine of 25 serious injuries. There were 1,263 impaired drivers arrested for DWI statewide on St. Patrick's Day 2005-2007.
A former Maple Lake High School track star has captured national college honors.
Ashley Spolarich Roemer, a 2004 graduate of MLHS, was one of two Minnesota State Moorhead All-Americans crowned at the March 14-15 2008 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships at Mankato.
The MSUM team placed 13th in women's competition. Roemer placed second in the high jump at 5-7, and sixth in the 800 meters at 2:13.78. Roemer's teammate, Jennifer Hensel, earned All-American honors and tied for third in the women's pole vault at 12-9.
Roemer, who a senior majoring in Elementary Education and Special Education, said this is her second opportunity to compete at a national level. When she was a freshman in outdoor track competition at Bemidji State, she qualified for nationals with the best high jump mark of her career at 5' 8.5." But the nationals that year were to be held in Texas on the day before her wedding in Maple Lake.
The post season got underway this past week and the Irish moved closer to achieving their dream. In a busy week the boys beat number eight-seed St. Cloud Cathedral by eight on Tuesday night. Thursday night in Dassel-Cokato, Maple Lake won in a dominating fashion defeating Eden Valley-Watkins 60-37. Saturday night, on the evening of Maple Lake's St. Patrick's Day Festival, the team took on Howard Lake in the Sub-Section finals and won again, 61-45, to advance to the Section finals and one game away from the State Tournament.
Irish vs. St. Cloud Cathedral
Just a week earlier these two teams played and the Irish came out with a 15-point victory. This time it was a much different game. Jerid Aulwes got the Irish off to a hot start as he scored eight quick points and Maple Lake jumped out to a 14-6 lead.
More information appears in this weeks issue of the Messenger.
Maple Lake High School senior Lindsey Becker, daughter of Troy and Barb Becker, was crowned on Saturday evening as the 2008-2009 Miss Maple Lake. Joining her on the new royal court was Princess Shanna Weber, Princess Brittany Wurm, and Miss Congeniality Molly Schaufler.
More photos appear in this weeks issue of the Messenger.
It wasn't the best weather in the 31-year history of Maple's St. Patrick's Day Festival, but with the potential in March for something much worse than Saturday's clouds and 30-degree temperatures, it was still a grand day for the Irish.
A record 109 units filed down the streets of Maple Lake for the 31st Grande Day Parade, led by Grand Marshal Mary McBrady and the McBrady Clan. The cold weather didn't hamper the parade, but did cut down on the size of the crowd, estimated at between 3,000 to 4,000, well below the 6,000 in attendance last year.
The top parade award went to the Irish Washerwomen, with the First National Bank float taking second and the Maple Lake Cub Scouts float in third. The Fitzpatrick Clan stopped the McBrady's streak of five consecutive wins by taking the Clan Trophy.
As another St. Patrick's Day draws near, Miss Maple Lake, Sarah Latour, and her court, Princesses Shelly Neidenfeur and Kaylie Hudek, and Miss Congeniality, Elizabeth Yager, prepare to pass on the honor, the responsibilities and the fun to the next lucky young women who will spend a year wearing the crowns and representing Maple Lake.
On March 15, as Maple Lake celebrates St. Patrick's Day, the quartet will spend their last 'royal' day together, leading events, waving from their float in the parade, and finally, saying good-bye and handing over their crowns at the 4:30 p.m. coronation.
"I can't believe this is it," said Sarah. "It's been so great, I've met so many people, made so many new friends. Right now I feel like I'll never forget a minute of it."
In a year where each day attempted to top the next, one day in particular has stayed in Sarah's heart-the day they stood (and walked) together with so many others for the Relay for Life.