The buildup of U.S. armed forces in the Persian Gulf is being felt throughout the country.Even in Maple Lake.
Kurt Onstad, a major with the First Battalion, 340th Regiment, based in Arden Hills, was called up last week for up to a year of active duty. And Vicki Klemz, a Senior Airman in the U.S. Air Force, is serving as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Pakistan.
Onstad was one of 70 Army Reservists in the First Battalion, 340th Regiment activated to serve as trainers at regional bases such as Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. The trainers will help prepare troops for overseas deployment.
Onstad’s wife, Sylvia, said not only was her husband called to active duty, but also Tim Kishel of Eveleth, husband of the Onstad’s daughter, Kelly.
They may have saved one of the best for last as the Wright County Athletes of the Year were honored at the 35th Wright County All-Sports Banquet on Saturday at the Montrose VFW.
Todd Fuller of Maple Lake, a three-time NCAA II wrestling champ and one of the most accomplished amateur athletes the county has ever produced, was recognized at what was billed as the last All-Sports Banquet. Fuller and Sara Wolf of Delano were the center of attention as the county’s top male and female athletes for 2002.
Banquet coordinator Eddie Carver began the festivities by noting the names of banquet speakers over the years that included John Mariucci, Bill Brown, Gary Gaietti, Tony Oliva, Paul Giel, and Carl Eller.
November, December and January came and went with barely enough snow to leave tracks on the ground. But February arrived looking more like a typical Minnesota winter.
Snow that started on Sunday afternoon left from eight to ten inches on the ground in and around Maple Lake by Monday morning. Maple Lake Schools were closed for the day on Monday after initially announcing a two hour late start.
Karen Milner of M&M Bus said a decision was made for the two hour school delay at 5:30 a.m. after consultations with school officials. “By 7 a.m., it became clear there were ice packs under the snow and there would have been multiple problems for the buses,” she said.
It was a night to honor the best of the best as the Maple Lake Fire Department hosted its annual banquet at the Maple Lake American Legion on January 25.
The top honors for the evening went to Tom Neu as Maple Lake’s Firefighter of the Year and Harold Brutlag, who retired after 35 years of service to the local fire department.
In announcing the selection of Neu as Firefighter of the Year, Maple Lake Fire Chief Todd Borell applauded Neu’s six years of service as the fire department’s treasurer and the countless hours of assistance he provided during the construction of the addition at the fire hall. “He is very valuable to us,” Borell said.
The “Reach Out For Ryan” Benefit will be held on February 2, 2003, from noon to 7 p.m. at the Champlin American Legion on Hwy. 169 & Hayden Lake Road.In November, Ryan Holt, three-year-old son of Cari (Williams) Holt and Jeff Holt, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Cari, a 1988 graduate of Maple Lake High School, her husband Jeff, and children Taylor, Lauren, Ryan and Brandon, live in Buffalo. Tickets for the benefit may be purchased at the door for $10 or from Chico Williams at 963-3387 or Dana Luc at 763-682-1440, anytime before the event.
There were so many people packed into the VFW at times on Sunday that it was tough to even turn around. The result of all that togetherness was a boost to the spirits of Joshua Guimond’s family and thousands of dollars to continue the search for the missing St. John’s college student, who disappeared without a trace on November 9.
The event featured a pork chop dinner, silent auction music, meat raffles and an opportunity for area residents to show their support for Joshua’s parents, Brian Guimond and Lisa Cheney, both of Maple Lake.
In addition, visitors to the VFW on Sunday included Patty Wetterling, whose son, Jacob, was abducted 13 years ago. Later in the afternoon Hoover, the bloodhound used to track Joshua on the St. John’s campus, made an appearance courtesy of his owner and handler, Penny Bell. And a television crew from KMSP-TV captured some of the action for its Sunday newscast.
The old-timers were left out in the cold on Sunday as a trio of youthful fishermen swept the top prizes at the annual Ice Fishing Tourney sponsored by Maple Lake Public Schools on Maple Lake.
Jason Heberling of Maple Lake hauled in the biggest fish of the day with a 3 lb. 14 oz. northern, followed by Andrew Dupont of Montrose with a 3 lb. 11 oz. northern and Jordan Lauer of Maple Lake with a 2 lb. 15 oz. northern.
But fish weren’t the only attraction at the contest, which drew a big crowd despite cold winds. A long list of door prizes was given away throughout the two-hour tournament, and a cash drawing awarded $300 to Kurt Segner of Annandale, $200 to Dominic Lauer of Maple Lake and $100 to Ken Dalbec of Maple Lake.
Despite cold winds and treacherous footing at a lake on the St. John’s campus, Hoover was back on the job at St. John’s on Saturday.
Accompanied by Todd Borell and Bart Lauer of the Maple Lake Fire Department, Hoover’s owner, Penny Bell, continued the tracking effort to locate Joshua Guimond that brought her to the St. John’s campus for the third time in a month.
Two weeks ago, Hoover led searchers to an area of Sagatagan Lake located behind the St. John’s abbey. Starting out on Saturday morning from the spot close to shore where that effort left off, the search party, which also included Bell’s two assistants and Joshua’s father, Brian, followed Hoover on a path that led further out into the lake.