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Ortonville, Minnesota
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December 27, 2011     The Ortonville Independent
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December 27, 2011
 

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Area news digest Inspiring self investment,, DANUBE- Sharon Lothert, a former Danube City Council member, was sen- tenced Dec. 2 for felony theft and gross misdemeanor misconduct as a public of- ricer in the misappropriation of Danube EDA funds for her personal use. Lothert who was also president of the city economic development agency, deposited renl checks written to the city into her personal account. City officials estimate aboul $20,000 was taken from August 2009 to December 2010. During the time wher money was being stolen, Lothert was calling for the resignation of the Danub~ police chief for alleged wrongdoing. Lothert is forced to pay restitution in th~ amount of $22,055, which includes $20,430 to the EDA and $1,625 in investi. gation costs. Lothert also received a stay of imposition of sentence to prison ol 12 months and one day, which she will have to serve if she falls to meet all con. ditions of her probation. MADISON-Madison City Council took the initial step to obtain financing fo] the water and wastewater treatment facilities in Madison, retaining the service,, of Bolton & Menk to complete a preliminary engineering report proposal. Cit) Engineer Dean Helstrom met with the council Dec. 12 and presented a propos~ to complete the plan. The city wastewater treatment plant is over 20 years old An evaluation will be made on maintenance, discharge limits and treatment mod- ifications, with evaluations and estimated costs, along with financing options made available. What this will do for Madison is create an eligibility for fi- nancing programs. The report is submitted to Rural Development and the Min- nesota Pollution Control Agency. The city water treatment facility is 15 year,, old. A major problem has been groundwater characteristics, with the need to in- crease filtration capacity. Once again, the report is a requirement to ;be placec on a list for obtaining financing. Helstrom said cost for each of the repOrts woulc be $6,000, or $12,000 total, i GIBBON- At around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16 at the home of Sam and Dais) Homan (730 1st Ave. in Gibbon) the couple returned to find their home smol- dering in an upstairs bedroom. "It was close to being a big one," said Gibbor Fire Chief Steve Klukas. When the couple arrived at the home the entire house was what Klukas described as "smokey." The couple opened several window.~ and contacted the fire department immediately. "They have the old knob and tube wiring," said Klukas. "It was beginning to bum under the floor in anup- stairs closet." Several members of the fire department entered the room and the fire was fought with a heavy dose of water. "There is some damage in the bed- room where the fire was mainly located," said Klukas. "There is some wate] damage." The Winthrop Fire Department assisted in fighting the blaze. It is toc early to conclude an accurate damage assessment and estimated replacemenl cost. By John Van Hecke, Minnesota 2020 Executive Director Along Second Street, sits a treasure to Ortonville's early investment in it- self: the Carnegie Library building, one of Minnesota's 66 Carnegie- funded libraries. They're a testament to industrialist Andrew Carnegie's philanthropic vi- sion but those 66 libraries speak vol- umes about Minnesota's faith in itself. Recently, I swung in to my neigh- borhood Carnegie library in St. Paul. Browsing the new books shelf, I spot- ted "Carnegie Libraries of Minnesota," a newly-published book by Kevin Clemens. He traveled Minnesota, pho- tographing the state's Carnegie li- braries and updating their stories. Of the original 66, 48 buildings still stand; 22 are working libraries, includ- ing Ortonville's. Carnegie's $10,000 grant built the library in 1915. WHEATON-The police department is closer to solving a burglary at the Wheaton Drug Store earlier this fall. Police Chief Michael Johannsen said two persons of interest have been identified in conjunction with the burglary and theft of prescription medications which took place on Oct. 17. The individuals were identified by federal drug enforcement authorities and agents from North Dakota. The suspects are not local to the Wheaton community. "This is still a very open and active investigation and more information as to the suspect names. official charges, and court information will be released." when the investigation is complete," Johannsen said. Ortonville News great-grandson Mark Verheul's birth- day. Monday, Dec. 19 Jeanette Bohlman met two of her friends in Graceville and they had lunch. They had an enjoyable time. Urban and Ludie Stolpman and David went to visit Bert and Amy I_oehrer of Milbank for a celebration of Bert and Amy's son's second birthday on Saturday, Dec. 17. Urban and Ludie Stolpman enjoyed an annual Christmas lunch at Edward Jones in Milbank on Monday, Dec. 19. John and Anna Rothi were Dec. 16 weekend guests of Harold and Wesley Rothi of Elk River. Saturday evening John, Anna, Harold, and Wesley went to Jessica Rothi's choral concert at her high school in St. Francis. After the concert, they all had dinner at Kurt and Linda Rothi's house of Anoka. Saturday, Dec. 17 Jason Bergstrand and his two sons Jonah ~md Jacob all from Fergus Falls came to visit Jason's aunt Eleanora Quast. They all went up to Northridge to visit with Richard Quast. Jason's cousin Kathy Korth of Big Stone joined them and they all went out for supper. They returned home on the same day. Carrie Von Eschen, Arvilla Bergseth, and Judy Roberts drove to Sioux Falls Sunday afternoon, Dec. 18 to go to Arvilla's great-grandchildren and Carrie and Judy's grandchildren's Christmas Sunday School program. Phyllis Schluter and Arvilla Bergseth went to the Legion Auxiliary Christmas party on Tuesday night, Dec. 13 held at the Legion in Big Stone. After 35 years in the trade of a steamfitter Tom Nelson has retired. He and his wife Ann hope to have a nice re- tirement. Tom has already been enjoy- ing ice fishing with a little bit of luck. On Saturday, Dec. 17 Brent and Brenda Zahrbock visited Benjamin and Kerri Zahrbock in Lisbon, ND. Scott and Laurie Maas went up to Fargo on Friday, Dec', 16 to attend their son-in-law's graduation from NDSU. Kathy Gilsdorf attended Bowl of Love at St. John's on Thursday, Dec. 15. The ladies had a Christmas party and played Bunco. They sent out cards, had Mass, and a potluck. Kathy Gilsdorf went to her brother Tony's in Detroit Lakes on Dec. 19. Kathy's nephew Jason Gilsdorf flew in from Alaska. They had a good visit. Kathy returned on Tuesday the 20th. On Saturday, Dec. 17 was the Gen Adelman family Christmas gathering at her son Dean's lake cabin near Alexan- dria. Forty-four attended. On Tuesday, Dec. 20 Gen Adelman attended her brother Robert Kallhoffs funeral in Gary, SD. Also attending were Gen's daughters Rosalie Gray of Oak Grove, Mary Plathe of Belling- ham, Marge Knudson of Monty, and sons Dennis, Dean, Doug, and Don Adelman. By Gail Maxwell 839-2207 Phyllis Schluter enjoyed a delicious pancake breakfast at her sister Jerri Van Hoot's on Sunday morning, Dec. 18. Jim Schluter from Rosemount and Bob Schluter from Bloomington visited their mother Phyllis Schluter and brother Richard on the weekend. Jim's dog Dusty came too and they enjoyed hunting. Christmas supper guests of Jim and Darlene Loeschke the weekend of Dec. 17-18 were Greg Loeschke and family of St. Louis Park, Deb Zachmann and family of Fergus Falls, Loft Gustafson and family of Big Stone, John and Emily Loeschke of lsanti, Jeff Loeschke, and Harian Loeschke of Mil- bank. Harvey and Jo Kelzer had a pre- Christmas get-together with friends Mary Jane and Harold Ingalls of Clear Lake, SD on Sunday, December 18 at the Millstone in Milbank. Mary Jane and Jo were classmates and have been friends since childhood. Harvey and Jo Kelzer visited Mary DeVaal of Milbank on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Shirley and Delores Karels visited with Sister Jone at St. Williams on Sun- day, Dec. 18 and enjoyed playing cards. Todd and Sara Verheul and their lit- tle boys and Don and Carolyn Verheul came to visit Vi Hansen in honor of Vi's Andrew Carnegie was one of the 19th century's great American capital- ists. He built several fortunes but is in- separably identified with the steel industry. A growing interest in philan- thropy, guided by his poor boy's roots in Scotland and informed by a lifelong love of reading and learning, mani- fested in funding over 2,500 public li- braries. In his final 20 years, he gave away most of his accumulated wealth. What remained was charitably distributed at his death. It's easy to stop here. Carnegie's story was, in many respects, an ex- pression Of America's promise. A poor, hardworking boy immigrates to the U.S. Through industry, charm, frugality and sober habits, he succeeds. Carnegie's story is much more com- plex-he was an outlier, giving away his fortune--but the story's real power doesn't lie with Carnegie's gifts; it's found in the commUnities eager to in- vest in themselves, who believed in the transformative power of learning. Carnegie's seed capital helped cities realize a public policy goal: People wanted and supported open, free public libraries. It's important to distinguish what Carnegie's grants did and did not do. They paid for the construction of li- braries. But, Carnegie only granted funds after the city provided a building site, committed to an on-going, yearly operating budget of at least ten percent of the capital grant, demonstrated the community's need for a library, and guaranteed free public access. This last point merits closer exami- nation. Subscription-based lending libraries were common during the 19th century; free public libraries were not. Lending libraries were in effect, private book clubs, available only to subscribers. As literacy rates rose, public pressure to create publicly funded free libraries mounted. Advocates frequently linked free libraries to America's democratic tradition, citing education and learning as critical elements among a free peo- ple. We still believe that today and, given conservative assaults on com- munity services funding, public access is more important than ever. Library budgets have been repeat- edly slashed. Operational hours are shrinking. Libraries spend less on serv- ices, acquisitions and subscriptions while they struggle to stay abreast of new media and technological innova- tions. In retrospect, the Carnegie li- brary grant was the easy part; delivering on democracy's promise is the eternal challenge. As unemployment increases, people turn to libraries for job hunting assis- tance and information access. Libraries work in partnerstiip with schools, fa- cilitating homework and research proj- ects. Libraries are community gather and meeting sites. They're true infor- mation portals and are much more than a collection of books. But, if you're reading this column, you know this. You most likely value public libraries. And, you value access to information as democracy's comer- stone. Conservative public policy advo- cacy hinges on selling Minnesotans something quite different from what they'll receive. Conservative fiscal pol- icy seeks to lower tax rates on Min- nesota's highest income earners while directing public investment's rewards away from lower and middle income earners and toward the wealthy. With- out public access to revenue and budget information, it's hard to know what's going on and to act accordingly. Public libraries counter wealth's con- centrated power. Andrew Carnegie established grant criteria for library capital requests. He didn't ask for a list of proposed books or advocate banning subjects. He funded libraries because of his faith in people's capacity to learn and grow. Power Plant (continued from page one) Wednesday and rules for smog-related pollutants that cross state lines that take effect Jan. 1. Other coming rules could affect cooling water, coal ash and CO2 emissions. Utilities and regulators will face tougher choices with mid-sized coal power plants, including the Hoot Lake units. The Minnesota Commerce De- partment, which analyzes utility rates, has questioned whether upgrading some of these plants is worth the ex- pense. Otter Tail Power, which owns 54 percent of the Big Stone plant, is a pub- licly traded utility that brought in $1.1 billion in revenue last year. It serves 129,000 customers in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Two other utilities own parts of Big Stone. Environmental groups led by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy in St. Paul had argued that Otter Tail Power should invest in other energy sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. JACOB HAMANN'S "GUMDROP POND" Gingerbread House took sec- ond place in the Food For Today's 13th Annual Open House at the Or- tonville School last Tuesday, Dec. 20. Mrs. Peggy Duffield's Family and Consumer Sciences classes made gingerbread houses that were on d=splay and voted on at the Open House. There was a huge turnout for the event. (Submitted photo.) Hands Across the Lake Quilt Guild to meet The Hands Across the Lake Quilt Guild will meet on Jan. 2, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the United Methodist Church basement in Big Stone City. We will have demonstrations, show and tell and lunch will be served. Everyone is welcome. Welcome Callie Mae Proud parents, Scott and Sheila Myrum, are pleased to announce the Services to be held Dec. 23 for Garry Steffen The Zahrbock funeral home of Madison announces the death of 62- year-old Garry Steffen of rural Odessa who passed away on Friday, Dec. 23 at his farm home. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 11:42 a.m. in Zion Methodist Church in Bellingham. Rev. Barbara McKewin will offici- ate. Burial will take place in Salem Methodist Cemetery near Rosen. Vis- itation will be tonight, Tuesday after- noon and evening with a public prayer service at 7 p.m. in the Chapel of the Zahrbock Funeral Home in Madison. Visitation will continue before services on Wednesday in the Church. Garry Steffen is survived by his wife Rosie of rural Odessa; four sis- ters; Phyllis Stephens of Tavares, FL; Judy Redepenning of St. Paul; Darlene Rebehn of rural Louisburg and JoAnn Maynard of Mt. Plymouth, FL. He is also survived by many nieces and arrival of their beautiful daughter, Cal- nephews. lie Mae, born Nov. 9, 2011at 9:25 p.m. Be careful of ice She weighed five pounds, 15 ounces and was 20.75 inches long. on area lakes Proud grandparents are Richard and Jeanne Krueger of Clinton and Mike and Donna Myrum of Browns Valley. Proud great-grandmother is Shirley Skoog of Ortonville. fOR A'B'C, Y REA C'ASH Even though many are venturing out to area lakes to ice fish or other recreation, the DNR is warning to be careful on the ice. Ice safety guidelines also recom- mend a minimum of rive inches of new, clear ice for snowmobiles and A.TVs, and eight to 12 inches for auto- mobiles. The DNR,recommends contacting a local bait shop or resort at the desti- nation lake to fmd out if ice is safe for the planned activities. Winter sports enthusiasts can obtain a free packet of ice safety information by calling DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 in the Twin Cities area, toll-free 888-646-6367 . or email boatandwater.dnr@state.mn.us. Mary Anne Bauer, Samantha Staehling and Naomi Sherod of the Big Stone City School third grade class. Big Stone City, SD Phone 605-862-7676 Fax 605-862-7677 www.firststatebanksd.com FI sta Member FDIC T ank Open Monday through Friday until 4:00 PM and Thursday nights until 6:00 PM Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011 INDEPENDENT Page 3