There was no stopping a big crowd from braving sub-zero temperatures on Saturday to try their luck at getting the big one during the 30th Annual Ice Fishing Contest on Maple Lake.
An estimated 450 to 500 anglers brought in some of the biggest contest entries in years, with the 6 lb., 13 oz. northern caught by Ryan Meintsma of Annandale taking the top spot in the game fish category. Meintsma was followed by Jim Achman of Annandale with a 6 lb. northern and Jesse McCalister of Annandale with a 4 lb.10 oz. bass. For their efforts, Meintsma won a portable fish house, Achman selected a power auger and McCalister took home a fish/depth finder. Harry Weyer of Annandale hauled in a 13.5 oz. crappie to take the pan fish prize of a $50 Wal-Mart gift certificate and a new fishing rod.
Winners of the cash-prize drawing were all from Maple Lake: Joe Linder, $300; Dennis Klug, $200; and Richard and Lori Thomas, $100.
The Wright County Planning Commission provided the cities of Annandale and Maple Lake with the Conditional Use Permit they sought for their proposed joint wastewater treatment plant last week. But the price for the permit is one that the cities do not want to pay.
At its January 29 meeting, the Planning Commission, on a 4-3 vote, approved the CUP with the stipulation that the cities construct a pipeline to carry treatment plant discharge to the Crow River. Costs for such a pipeline have been estimated to be about $2 million.Two previous Planning Commission meetings in October and November failed to approve the CUP when four commission members voting against granting the permit cited concerns about the effects of discharge from the plant on surrounding properties.
Special awards were presented to Maple Lake’s retired fireman John Anderson; and to Firefighter of the Year, Jeff Lorentz, at Saturday night’s annual banquet of the Maple Lake Fire Department.
Anderson was presented with a special fire chief’s helmet, acknowledging his 11 consecutive years as chief of the volunteer Maple Lake Fire Dept., and for his 42 years with the department. He graciously accepted the fire chief’s helmet and wished the department continued success.
Anderson joined the department in 1951 when the late Al Dircks was fire chief and the department’s fire fighting equipment consisted of a 1956 International Pumper and a tanker of the same vintage. Maple Lake also had a 1959 Chev. station wagon, which served as an ambulance. The 1937 International pumper served the community as a back-up unit at the time.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is hosting a public meeting to discuss the permitting process for the proposed Maple Lake/Annandale wastewater treatment facility. The meeting is scheduled on Feb. 12, 7-9 p.m., at Maple Lake High School.
The proposed facility would treat wastewater for both cities, which have treatment plants that are reaching current design capacity, a combined 747,000 gallons per day. The proposed facility would treat more than 1 million gallons of wastewater daily.
The Maple Lake Fire Department put its new fire engine into service last week, replacing the 1970 vehicle that was donated to the Lake Wilson Fire Department.
The new Freightliner/Crimson Fire Class A pumper features a 1250-gallon per minute Waterous Pump, 750- gallon poly tank, and 20 gallons of Class A firefighting foam.
The truck, built by Crimson Fire of Brandon, SD, also has a top-mount deck gun, 5-inch diameter hose, and will seat five firefighters. Cost of the new truck was $230,500, which was paid through the city’s Fire Fund.
The new purchase brings the fleet up to two fire engines, three tankers, two rescue vehicles, two grass-fire rigs, and a Basic Life Support ambulance.
The Maple Lake Fire Department is made up of 32 volunteers, 18 of whom are EMTs, with six more in training.
There are few in the history of Maple Lake who could measure up to the record of civic and government service set by Paul McAlpine, who died on Monday at the age of 79.
McAlpine was born and raised in Maple Lake, graduated from Maple Lake High School in 1942, and married Shirley Dearing of Annandale in 1945. As they farmed and raised their family, Paul began his public life by becoming involved in farm-related activities, serving on the creamery boards of Maple Lake and Buffalo, as well as serving on the Land O’ Lakes and American Dairy Association Boards.
He was elected to the Maple Lake City Council in 1970, served as city clerk from 1970 to 1973, and was appointed to a vacancy on the Wright County Board of Commissioners in 1973. He eventually became the county board chairman and retired from the board in 1988 after 15 years of service, only to run and win a seat on the Maple Lake City Council.
"Piece by Piece" is the name of one of the full-cast songs in this year's Maple Lake Community Theatre musical, "Wherever You Go." According to Steve King, the author and director of the original production, "piece by piece" also summarizes his experience this last summer and fall, putting the script together on the page.
"The idea for writing a musical for our local community theater was something that I've had for some time. I'm glad to have had the opportunity," he said. "It was a lot of work, but in some ways, I'm surprised at how easily things came together."
Irish, Cardinal and Lightning wrestling, coaching and cheerleading alumni gathered at Annandale High School last Friday to share memories about some very good old days and watch this year’s version of the Annandale-Maple Lake Lightning roll over Glencoe-Silver Lake for an impressive 53-16 victory.
The wrestling alumni also enjoyed an exhibit of news clippings and photos about wrestling teams of the past, received a program that highlighted Annandale-Maple Lake wrestling history and were eligible for 65 door prizes.
The Annandale squad was formed in 1958, the Maple Lake squad in 1964, and the combined Lightning team in 1995.