Maple Lake came as close as it will likely ever get to hosting a media circus when representatives from two Twin Cities television stations and the St. Cloud Times journeyed to town to cover a tribute organized by Maple Lake High School students for missing Maple Lake man Joshua Guimond.
Guimond, who has been missing since November 9, was a 2000 graduate of Maple Lake High School and a past vice president of the Student Council.
On the morning of December 19, current members of the Maple Lake High School Student Council tied yellow ribbons on every sign post, tree and fence within reach from the school through the downtown area as their way of honoring Joshua and bringing attention to a search that is still ongoing, even at Christmas.
Christmas is a time for families to gather and this holiday season makes the absence of one young Maple Lake man even more difficult to accept.
Joshua Guimond, a junior at St. John’s, disappeared without a trace on November 9 after leaving a party with friends on the St. John’s campus.As the days after Joshua’s disappearance stretched into weeks, searches were conducted, posters were distributed and funds were raised to continue the effort to find the only son of Brian Guimond and Lisa Cheney.
Joshua’s parents, who are divorced, both live in Maple Lake and have become nearly inseparable as they coordinate search efforts and struggle to keep media attention focused on their son’s disappearance.
“There is somebody, somewhere who knows something,” Brian said. “And if it’s kept out in front of them, maybe somebody will break.”
Wright County Sheriff Gary L. Miller reports that on December 11, 2002 at 5:49 a.m., the Wright County Sheriff’s Communications Center received a report of a two car accident on Co. Rd. 35 approximately 3/4 mile east of Co. Rd. 117 in Buffalo Township.
Sheriff’s Deputies found that one driver, David M. Pemble (age 35 of Buffalo), suffered fatal injuries, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Pemble was alone in his Chevrolet Cavalier, driving eastbound when he apparently lost control on the slippery pavement in the curve on Co. Rd. 35. His vehicle spun out of control and entered the westbound lane where it was struck by a Ford F-150 pickup driven by Edward J. Nelson (age 51 of Maple Lake).
A car/train collision on Dec. 6 had a better than expected outcome as the driver of the car escaped without injury.
According to Lt. Dan Anselment of the Wright County Sheriff’s Department, the accident occurred at about 9 a.m. on Friday when Bradley Ebeling of Maple Lake was proceeding south on Emerson and stopped at the railroad tracks at the intersection of Emerson and 45th Street, east of Maple Lake. He then proceeded through the railroad crossing without seeing the Canadian Pacific Railways train approaching.
The train hit Ebeling’s 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix, pushing it into the north ditch. A crossing sign and a stop sign in the path of the car were also leveled.
The train stopped after the crash and Canadian Pacific Railways employees came to Ebeling’s assistance, but he was uninjured. The car was a total loss.
Maple Lake’s Volunteer Fire Department water rescue unit was pressed into action Dec. 7 when the firemen used their sled and water rescue suits to bring a father-son fishing duo back to shore. The incident happened on Silver Lake, Silver Creek Twp., and involved three adults and a four-year-old in the late afternoon. The three adults apparently were getting a fish house set up on about five inches of ice when they missed the four-year-old who had fallen through the ice near open water. The father, David A. Hurd, 11263 Brant Ave., Becker, also broke through the ice when he went to rescue his son, Jacob. Both were able to get out of the water quickly and went back to the fish house, where they tried to dry off. The rescue unit used a sled and water rescue gear as they made their way to the fish house. They hauled both the father and son back to the ambulance in the sled without further incident.
Joshua Guimond’s friends at St. John’s are doing everything they can to keep hope alive for the missing political science major from Maple Lake who disappeared without a trace on November 9.
To raise additional funds for the continuing effort to find Joshua, his friends hosted the Keep Hope Alive Benefit Concert on Dec. 5 in the St. John’s student center. While rotating groups of students manned tables filled with “Find Joshua” buttons outside the door, three area bands–Another Day, 2nd Hand Halo and panormaicBlue–filled Brother Willie’s Pub with music geared toward raising both funds and the spirits of students still shocked and saddened by Joshua’s disappearance.
Greg Brandt of Burnsville, Greg Worden of Cokato, Adam Streater of North Branch and Katie Benson of Maple Lake worked for nearly three weeks on bringing the Keep Hope Alive Concert together.
The Emergency Medical Service operated by the Maple Lake Fire Department has become the first Basic Life Support ambulance service in the county to be granted a specific drug administration variance by the state Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board.
Maple Lake ambulance director Scott Carriveau said the EMS Regulatory Board is permitting the administration of specific medications in an effort to improve EMS services across the state.
“This is going to result in better patient outcomes,” Carriveau said. “It’s going to make a big difference.”
Providing warmth to people in need has been the goal of the Social Action Ministry (SAM) Quilters in Maple Lake and for their efforts, the organization recently received a Service/Recognition Award from the Minnesota Foster Care Association.
Over the past year, SAM quilters, a group of about 30 women who meet weekly in the St. Timothy Church basement, completed and distributed 400 quilts to needy people in Wright County and all over the U.S. The group totaled 3438 hours of quilt-making during the past years, which doesn’t count the unrecorded hours the quilters spend at home on their comforting creations.
There was no news to report this week in the ongoing search for Maple Lake college student Joshua Guimond, but that’s not stopping family and friends from continuing fund-raising efforts to keep the search going.
“Find Joshua” buttons have become a much-sought, but hard to find item in Maple Lake. Four hundred buttons donated by the Maple Lake Messenger to be produced and sold by Joshua’s friends were gone in one day. Kathy and Alfred Wurm donated materials for the next 500 buttons, which were produced by Rick and Sheila Benson. And with heavy demand for the buttons continuing, an additional 500 have been ordered by the Bensons.Also helping in the button drive is ProWorks of Litchfield, an employer for mentally challenged adults, which donated more buttons at the request of Barbara Gasta, sister of Joshua’s mother, Lisa Cheney.