News

Fri
12
Jun

Irish repeat as state softball runner-up

It was an exciting week for the Irish as the Maple Lake High School girls' softball team worked their way through their second consecutive state tournament.

And there was a sense of dejavu as the team returned home on Friday with another second- place trophy from the Class 1A State Softball Tournament, establishing this era of Irish softball as one of the best in any sport over the 100-year history of the school.

Maple Lake hoped to spring off an eight-game winning streak and bring more hardward back to the trophy cabinet. At the start of the state tournament, the Irish snagged wins from Wabasso and Sacred Heart of East Grand Forks. On the second day of tournament play, the Irish faced New Life Academy of Woodbury in a repeat of last year's state championship.

Fri
05
Jun

Hall of Fame welcomes Gary Porter

Prior to Sunday's Lakers game, Gary Porter was inducted into the North Star Hall of Fame. Brian Larson, executive secretary for the league, and league president and Loretto Manager, Herb Kock, presented Porter with the honor. Porter is the league's 99th member and the eighth Laker to be inducted. Porter joins the ranks of Andy Hamm, Bill Stuhr, Leo Dircks, Al Dircks, Ray Winter, Daryl Hennen and Dale Decker. He was inducted with three other baseball greats from the league, including Jerry Ruppelius of Loretto, Dave Burns of Dassel-Cokato, and Mike Mitchell of Howard Lake. Gary played and coached baseball for 37 years, spending his last 30 in Maple Lake. Read more about Porter's induction into the North Star League Hall of Fame in the June 3 issue of the Messenger.

Fri
05
Jun

100th class leaves them laughing at MLHS

At the end of a school year marked by construction, it was fitting that the ongoing school expansion project would move the Maple Lake High School Commencement program indoors on a nice spring night, one of many compromises made during this school year. But the 100th graduating class at MLHS went out in style during a ceremony filled with laughs, cheers and a standing ovation. Class President Dillon McBrady opened the program with the Welcome Address, putting on Irish shamrock glasses to begin his speech. McBrady called the Class of 2009 "the guinea pig class," noting that everything new was tried first on his class. He provided a glimpse of class highlights, which he said were many despite the fact that the Class of 2009, at 68 students, was one of the smallest in years. Pick up a copy of this week's Messenger to read more about the 2009 graduation ceremony and the special appearance by "2%".

Fri
05
Jun

They're back!

Just one season after the Irish softball team earned its first-ever State Tournament appearance and made it all the way to the championship game, Maple Lake is going back to Mankato. It was a bit of de ja vu for the Irish last week as they faced Barnum twice on the road to the state softball tournament. In 2008, a first-round win in the section playoffs gave Maple Lake a chance to advance to state. But the Irish had to duel Barnum a second time to move forward. Maple Lake downed the Bombers 15-1. Last week, the Irish went to Whitney field to take on Barnum in the first round of the section playoffs. After a win for the Irish, Barnum dropped to the bottom bracket and redeemed itself, beating Osakis 11-3 to advance to the championship round. "We didn't know what to expect," said Irish head coach Tim Knudsen.

Fri
29
May

Softball wins Sub-section championship

The Maple Lake High School softball team came home with the Sub-Section championship on May 21 when it defeated Osakis by a score of 10-4. A report on sub-section action appears on page 8.

The Irish began section play on Tuesday and the results of that game will appear in next week's Messenger.

Pictured with their sub-section hardware at left were (front) Ashley Kempenich, Nicole Blizil, Jessica Blade, Amanda Horst, (center) Megan Carriveau, Chelsey Wurm, Ashley Gries, Jamie Waste, Brooke Decker, Alyssa Redemske, (back) Coach Tim Knudsen, Coach Leah Davis, Coach Julie Rachel, Chelsea Rachel, Hilary Hogan, Ashlee Blizil and Brittany Negley.

Fri
29
May

First National gets behind Library effort

First National Bank of Maple Lake provided a big boost for Maple Lake Library operations by donating $1,000 per year for the next three years to the library effort. Above, Doyle Van Dyne and Becky Wiehoff of First National presented a check last week to Kath Heffron of the Friends of the Maple Lake Library.

The new Maple Lake Library opened during Maple Lake's St. Patrick's Day Festival in March and its operations are coordinated by the Friends of the Maple Lake Library. Hours for the new library are  Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Fri
29
May

Maple Lake remembers those who served on Memorial Day

Maple Lake's service men and women were honored on Monday during the annual Memorial Day program at the city park.

The program was preceded by a parade from the Legion Club to the park that included members of the Maple Lake Fire Department, American Legion and VFW and the Colors and Guards units, the Maple Lake High School marching band and area Girl and Boy Scouts.

American Legion Commander Gary Jude presided over the program, which included a moment of silence for those who gave their lives in the service of their country. MLHS students Gary Welch and Amber Davis respectively read "The Dash Between the Dates," and "Memorial Day."

State Senator Amy Koch delivered the Memorial Day address. She said that for more than 230 years, American's young men and women have stepped forward to defend their county and in that effort, have won for all Americans the privilege of gathering in a free and secure nation.

Fri
22
May

Students of Excellence honored

Ability + Hard Work + Discipline = Honor Students. Those were the adjectives Jeff Powers, superintendent from Dassel-Cokato, used to describe the 168 high school seniors honored at the 22nd Annual Students of Excellence Banquet and Awards Ceremony on April 29.

Students honored from Maple Lake were Tanner VanLith Elizabeth Simonette, Kathryn Metz and Jeana Renier.

An evening filled with accolades, best wishes and congratulations marked the banquet and recognition ceremony. Over 650 people attended the event. These 168 seniors will soon graduate from 42 high schools in the Central Minnesota region. Welcoming the guests was Dr. Rob Cavanna, executive director for Resource Training & Solutions. "We welcome everyone and wish you well," he said.

Fri
22
May

Maple Lake Cafe robbed in overnight break-in

Wright County Sheriff's Deputies were called to the Maple Lake Cafe just after five a.m. Tuesday morning after a call from Jo Gehrke, the cook who opened the cafe and found signs of a break-in. It was the second robbery at the cafe in less than 18 months.

"After I came in I noticed the basement light on, and just thought someone forgot to turn it off," said Gehrke. "But then I saw that the cash register was on and I knew I'd turned that off myself when we closed the day before. That's when I knew there was a problem."

According to the sheriff's report, the suspect or suspects gained entrance through the basement door on the east side of the building. They removed the door knob and reached in to push up a 2x4 that was blocking the door, cutting themselves and leaving blood near the hole where the door knob had been.

Fri
22
May

School bids farewell to two staff members

Judy Paumen and Diana Zander saw many changes over the course of 21 years at Maple Lake Schools, and they will make one final adjustment as they leave their positions for retirement at the end of the 2008-2009 school year.

Paumen is the high school principal's secretary and Zander is the cafeteria manager. Both started in 1988 and will complete their service at the school at the end of the school year. In addition, high school science teacher J McClelland will take a leave of absence during the 2009-2010 school year.

Throughout her 21 years of service to the school, Paumen has enjoyed building a relationship with the students, staff and community.

"I love kids and I've always worked with people," Paumen said.

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