Voters in Maple Lake School District 881 gave their approval to one of the three referendums on the November 7 ballot, with a school expansion plan failing by 16 votes.
Passed was the first ballot question, a request for an operating levy of an additional $59 per pupil over each of the next ten years. The tabulation of ballots cast early on Wednesday showed 1,164 in support of the levy and 918 against.
Question 2 was a request for a building bond in the amount of $8,660,000 with payment to be spread over 20 years for additional classroom space, special education space, elementary cafeteria space, storage space and to address maintenance and safety issues. There were 1,030 votes cast in favor of the school expansion plan and 1,046 votes against.
It was a cold afternoon for Trick-or-Treating as the Maple Lake Chamber of Commerce hosted its third annual Halloween event on Tuesday, but that didn't stop costumed kids and their families from visiting local businesses for treats. Several hundred kids made the rounds of Chamber of Commerce members providing prizes and treats. In the photo, seven-year-old Michael Ness just happened to be a hunter following a little chicken, Matthew Lindenfelser (18 months), down Division Street in downtown Maple Lake.
Another big Halloween event was the annual Halloween Carnival on Oct. 28 in the Maple Lake Elementary gym and cafeteria.
To see more Halloween photos check out the November 1 issue of the Messenger.
Maybe it's small towns in general, or maybe it's just Maple Lake, but this community has been blessed with men and women who give freely and with great generosity of their lives and their time to make this a wonderful place to live and raise a family.
Not the least of these is Coach Gary Porter.
"When Gary Porter's name is mentioned in Maple Lake and throughout Central Minnesota, people think of one thing - baseball,"said Maple Lake High School Activities Director and long-time friend Dave Schroeder. "Gary is considered Mr. Baseball."
Maple Lake Mayor Mike Messina and City Council candidates Shar Dircks (incumbent) and Deb Geyen are running unopposed. Geyen is running for the council seat of Steve Mooney, who did not run for re-election.
I have lived in Maple Lake for the past 23 years with my wife, Mary. We have three sons: Michael is a 2006 graduate of Maple Lake High School; Tonio and Dominic are both high school seniors this year.
My background is in accounting and most all office procedures. My husband, Al, and I started the first flower shop in Maple Lake. My son, Bill Howe, graduated from Maple Lake in 1981 and now lives in Cleveland, Ohio. I am currently a member of the City Council and have served on Planning and Zoning. I am also the vice president of the Maple Lake Chamber of Commerce.
This past week marked a significant point in the history of Maple Lake volleyball. With their victory over Rockford, the Irish volleyball team captured their third consecutive conference championship title. The title was again this year a result of the team's hard work and dedication.
The Irish took the success of Tuesday night into the Chaska Tournament on Saturday where the team ended with an exceptional 2-2 record considering the big-school competition they faced.
Irish vs. Rockford
Tuesday, October 17, the Maple Lake volleyball team made history with their win over the Rockford Rockets. Their 3-0 victory put them in the record books as only one of the three teams in Maple Lake history ever to receive conference championship titles three years in a row. The only other teams to receive this extraordinary honor were past wrestling and gymnastics teams.
For more information, check out the October 25 issue of the Messenger.
Maple Lake's newest commercial development, the Maple Lake Retail Center, was given a proper welcome on Oct. 16 with ground-breaking ceremonies at the project site on the corner of Maple Avenue and Highway 55.
The $1.3 million project will feature a brick-stucco exterior, parking for 70 vehicles, and tenants that include Subway and Snap Fitness.
Construction will be handled by Nelson Building and Development from Buffalo, which expects to begin getting the construction project underway this week.
For the family of Joe Schaufler, each new day has strengthened a family devastated when Joe took his own life at the age of 43 on November 18, 2005, and given them the courage to reach out to help others.
On October 8, 30 family members and friends who called themselves the Joe Schaufler Survivors walked in his memory during the first-ever "Out of the Darkness" walk in Minnesota to raise money for suicide prevention and survivor assistance.
The Schaufler group had a very big impact, making up more than a third of the total of 82 walkers participating in the 5K event at Bunker Hill Regional Park in Coon Rapids. Of the total of $10,649 raised, over $3,500 came from Joe's friends and family.
When a child loses a pet they love to old age or accident, we can offer condolences and help them move on, but what do you say to a young girl when a special animal is lost due to malice? That's the question facing Dan and Michelle Pawelk who have been searching for a way to explain to their 15-year-old daughter, Kelsi, why someone shot her horse, Rainbow.
Not long after Maple Lake's Homecoming game, in the very early morning hours of Saturday, October 7, a neighbor alerted the Pawelks that there was a horse in the pasture that didn't look right.
"At first we didn't see the bullet wound," said Pawelk. "When we weren't able to get the horse up we just called the vet right away, we suspected colic."
An autopsy revealed that the bullet passed through the horse's neck, causing substantial internal damage that ultimately led to the death of the animal.
Maple Lake is mourning the loss of one of its oldest and best- known citizens. John Fobbe, who celebrated his 100th birthday on July 29, died on Monday at his farm north of Maple Lake.
"He wasn't really ill," said his son, Paul, "he just ran out of steam."
On the occasion of Fobbe's 100th birthday this summer, his family hosted an open house at the Fobbe farm north of Maple Lake, drawing hundreds of family and friends from all over the country to congratulate him on reaching the century mark.