Sunday, May 31, 2015

(Videos) Concert and Memorial Day

So in the vice grip that was the past two weeks...I forgot to post the video from the high school Spring below is video from last Monday's Memorial Day program at the high school and then from the spring concert:

And a photo gallery from the Memorial Day programs in Brooten and at the high school:

And a photo gallery from Benson during the Section 5A golf meet on Wednesday:

Today is the big day at B-B-E! Graduation of the Class of 2015. They are the 26th graduating class of our school. The first was in 1990.

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Saints update

Tonight's amateur baseball game in Elrosa is rained out.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Desk clearing

Here's a list of random notes.

On the "help wanted" front:

HELP WANTED: IN-HOME, NON-MEDICAL CAREGIVER. Touching Hearts at Home is now hiring a caregiver for a home near Grove Lake to provide visits 3 days/week. Services will include meal preparation, homemaking, transportation, shower assistance, medication reminders, pet care and more. A very rewarding job! Call 320-354-4663 with questions. Apply online at

In amateur baseball news:
The Elrosa Saints amateur baseball team hosts a game on Friday night.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Working it at sections

Kinlee Swanson is headed to the Class 1A state track and field meet! She jumped a career-best this morning at the Section 5A meet in Collegeville. Her best jump was 17 feet and one-half inch. No other member of the B-B-E Jaguars track and field teams made it through to state.

A golf report from Benson is coming soon.

**Video from the awards ceremony:

**Update: awesome news! Three members of the B-B-E Jaguars girls' golf team punched tickets to the Class 1A state meet today. Peyton Miller, Alyssa Dalen and Jaden Gossen are moving on. The team, unfortunately, lost to BOLD 357 to 345 but will come home with a Section 5A runner-up trophy for their efforts. Dalen shot an 86, Miller shot an 87 and Gossen fired a 91 before winning a playoff hole against a Canby player.

Sending three girls to the state golf meet is a first for the program.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Amateur baseball: two more wins for Elrosa

Under the lights on Saturday night, the Elrosa Saints amateur baseball team picked up an exciting 5-4 win in their home opener over Richmond. The following afternoon at Farming, the Saints won a high-scoring game by a 15-11 score.

Now 4-0 in the Stearns County League North standings, the Saints are at Meire Grove on June 7 for a league game.

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(Video) Games Lake Park church service

Video from Sunday's worship at the park, featuring special music with the song 'Battle Hymn of the Republic'

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Remembering those who served with great honor

And in case you missed it, Memorial Day program information is on page four of the May 21 Bonanza Valley Voice.


A special accomplishment

Logan Schwinghammer, a first-year member of the B-B-E Jaguars track and field team, ran a flawless race on Tuesday at New London-Spicer high school on his way to earning the Sub-Section 5A-20 championship in the 3200 run.

Here's video of the final seconds of his race plus reaction to his first-place finish:

He and five other teammates compete at the Section 5A meet on Wednesday at St. John's University.

Speaking of the Jaguars, here's the link you should bookmark to see the Bonanza Valley Voice spring sports photo galleries. It currently has 10 albums:

Speaking of photo galleries, did you miss the Sunburg Syttende Mai parade? Here's that photo gallery:

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Baseball playoffs update

It was quite a night for the Central Minnesota Conference on Friday.

In the Sub-Section 5A-West quarterfinal round, the last part of single-elimination in the bracket, sixth-seeded Kimball Area roughed up third-seeded Pillager in a 13-2, five-inning win. Ninth-seeded Eden Valley-Watkins also won big, beating up top-seeded Browerville in a 12-2 win.

Fourth-seeded Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg beat fifth-seeded St. John's Prep 4-3. The only higher-seeded team that won was Upsala/Swanville Area. The second-seeded Patriots beat seventh-seeded Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 12-6.

Here's the teams advancing into the double-elimination portion of the tournament: USA, Kimball Area, EVW and KMS.

It was tough to see these scores. If the Jaguars had beaten EVW, a lot of hopeful baseball fans believed we had a shot at beating Browerville. That would've set up the very short trip to Sunburg this Tuesday, May 26 for the sub-section semifinals against KMS. I see no reason why Jacob Weller, our starter in Thursday's playoff opener, couldn't have started that night. Weller one-hit the Fighting Saints in a complete game on May 8 in a 7-0 shut out win. Following that out, the Jaguars would've landed a spot in the sub-section finals, a game they have played in just one time in school history (1995, a loss to Dassel-Cokato in the two-class system).

If they made it all the way to the sub-section finals, they would've played either USA or Kimball, teams they've beaten this season.

*Don't forget about the upcoming Memorial Day programs in Jaguar Country. See all the details on page four of this week's Bonanza Valley Voice.


Friday, May 22, 2015

(Video) Sub-Section track and field

Finally got some video uploaded from Tuesday's track and field meet. And what a meet it was!

Here's reaction after Jen Boyle took second in the 800 run:

Here's video from the long jump field event with junior Taylor Knight:

And below is the Bonanza Valley Voice photo gallery with 80+ photos from Tuesday night:

I hope for the same level of sunshine and beautiful conditions at next Wednesday's Section 5A track and field meet at St. John's University.

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Setting a bad example

To Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner: please instruct your deputies to drive the correct way when they're on the property of our B-B-E elementary school. Shown in the photo above is the exit to this side street. I know it's not marked, as I believe the "exit only" sign was taken down during repaving in 2014. I'll cut your deputies some slack up to this point.

Every other adult or teenage driver who visits our school manages to drive correctly and - especially during school hours or when buses are in their loading zone - know that this is a one-way street. Law enforcement should know that too. Often children are seen biking on this side street; sometimes it's baby strollers, or else it's simply parents dropping kids off and heading on their way to work. A driver going the wrong way on this street creates a dangerous situation.

And another thing, tell your deputies how to park their cars. They set a bad example when they park their squad cars nose to nose along a sidewalk. It just looks bad, especially when other children can see that taking place. What are your deputies trying to do? I fully believe that members in law enforcement should set a good example, especially to children.

I have personally seen a deputy squad car driving the wrong way down this side street during "dusk" hours. I am NOT impressed.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Conference champions!

That will be a great-looking trophy in the high school case!!!!

Here's the big news I've been hoping for all evening! The seventh Central Minnesota Conference meet was won by our B-B-E Jaguars girls' golf team at ShadowBrooke golf course. They beat Osakis by a 186 to 181 margin. The result: B-B-E is the 2015 girls' golf champions! It's our first girls' CMC title since the volleyball team won it in 2012.

More awesome news: senior Peyton Miller was the individual Central Minnesota Conference medalist of this final meet. She shot a career-best 37! Way to go!! B-B-E scoring at the HL-W-W meet: Peyton Miller 37, Alyssa Dalen 45, Jaden Gossen 47, Maddie Baker 52, Emily Wosmek 53, Jacqueline Gossen 54.

Also, It's just the second time our girls' golf team has won a conference title. The 2007 team won the CMC before placing third out of 26 teams in Section 5A. The Jaguars have been runners-up in the CMC a handful of times.

Next for the girls' golf team (and two B-B-E boys' golfers): the Section 5A state-qualifying meet next Wednesday, May 27 at the Benson Golf Course. B-B-E's main competitors for a state berth is BOLD and Ortonville.

At Elrosa in the Sub-Section 5A-West play-in round, the B-B-E Jaguars baseball team had a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning but ended up losing 6-4 to Eden Valley-Watkins.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Subsection golf

Sub-section champions!
The B-B-E Jaguars girls' golf team earned the Sub-Section 5A-North championship today! They shot a 355 to beat Ortonville's 368. Next for the team is the Section 5A meet in Benson on May 27. This is just the second sub-section championship for the B-B-E girls' golf program. The first was earned in 2013. They've been runners-up in the sub-section at least three times (2008, 2012, 2014).

A reminder: Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in Elrosa is where and when the Sub-Section 5A-West playoffs begin for the B-B-E Jaguars baseball team.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Subsection track and field

Six headed to sections! A terrific group of student-athletes! ##JaguarStrong

At least three individual competitors for the B-B-E Jaguars are advancing to the Section 5A meet after shining in today's Sub-Section 5A-20 meet at NL-S.

First is Kinlee Swanson who advances in the 100 dash and long jump. Weston Gregory advances in the long and triple jump events. Courtney Brandt is going in the 300 hurdles. Logan Schwinghammer is going in the 3200 run. Sidney Shacter is going in the Discus Throw, and Jen Boyle will run at sections in the 800 open. These six Jaguars will represent B-B-E at the Section 5A track and field championships at St. John's University on Wednesday, May 27. The action begins at Clemens Stadium at 10:30 a.m.

More awesome news! At Upsala/Swanville, the B-B-E Jaguars baseball team won 8-5 over the USA Patriots. USA is the second-seeded team in Sub-Section 5A-West. The Jaguars (7-13) open the sub-section playoffs this week Thursday in Elrosa when they host Eden Valley-Watkins at 4:30 p.m.

Another update: at the last CMC meet of the season, two members of the B-B-E Jaguars boys' golf team earned All-Conference honors: Jayden Miller and Austin Trustheim.

See complete coverage in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice. It prints in less than 10 hours! Video from the sub-section track and field meet will be posted here on Wednesday.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Band / Choir concert

It's tonight! If you didn't have all the information about the concert, it was printed on page four of the May 14 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice. Yes, it pays to subscribe and be informed!

Those without a subscription can refer to this to order it up:

Here's a help wanted ad that will begin running in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice:
HELP WANTED: IN-HOME, NON-MEDICAL CAREGIVER. Touching Hearts at Home is now hiring a caregiver for a home near Grove Lake to provide visits 3 days/week. Services will include meal preparation, homemaking, transportation, shower assistance, medication reminders, pet care and more. A very rewarding job! Call 320-354-4663 with questions. Apply online at     

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Sunday, May 17, 2015


Here's the Bonanza Valley Voice photo gallery from the grand parade today in Sunburg:

Unfortunately, I was unable to get out to Terrace for the Chippewa Falls Lutheran Church Norwegian smorgasbord. The morning was jam-packed with church activities, and then I had a photography commitment at the elementary school before preparing for the big afternoon / evening in Sunburg!

They lucked out big time in terms of the weather. It was fairly windy, but other than that the sun was shining and the crowd was great.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tornado clouds

Here's a picture taken at 19:41 tonight looking north from Sedan...

It's a jungle out there!

And here's another photo from Sedan:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Girls' golf rocks home course

The B-B-E girls' golf team shot a season-best 175 today in the sixth Central Minnesota Conference meet of the season at Prairie View Golf Course. It pulled them into a tie with Osakis for first place with one meet left. The big showdown is next Thursday at ShadowBrooke Golf Course in rural Lester Prairie starting at 4:15 p.m. to determine who gets the conference trophy.

Here's video from the end of the meet:

In two CMC meets on Friday, the B-B-E Jaguars boys' golf team placed third at home and second at Osakis.

In a CMC doubleheader at Elrosa, the B-B-E Jaguars baseball team lost to Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 4-2 in eight innings and then 7-6 in the nightcap to fall to 6-13 overall heading into the last game of the regular season. They travel to Upsala/Swanville Area next Tuesday.

**Update on word yet on if the St. Martin vs. Elrosa amateur baseball game is still "on" or not. It's been raining pretty much all day. Also, late tonight I'll get photos and video posted from the B-B-E theater's "Improv" show at Terrace on Friday night. Their advertisement was on page four of this week's Bonanza Valley Voice.

This Jaguar sports update is sponsored by Hofmann Transmission of Brooten:  320-346-2251

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Weather update on the schedule

For the most part, the spring of 2015 has gone rather well in terms of getting scheduled athletic events in on schedule. Lately we've had a few shots of needed rainfall, and that's the case today as well.

Here's an update from the B-B-E school athletic department:
JH Baseball is postponed until next Thursday the 21st.
Varsity and JV Baseball will be moved to tomorrow.
JH Track meet is postponed until Monday the 18th, Start time is 3:00
JV Softball is CANCELLED

Above is a photo from a fifth grade parent taken at Target Field today. The B-B-E fifth graders are on a class trip to the Twin Cities. I'm sure in spite of the rain that they're having a blast. Please say a prayer that they return home safely!!


Girls' golf second at Benson

A tie for first place by Peyton Miller (87) helped the B-B-E Jaguars girls' golf team take second place out of nine teams at the Benson Invitational on Wednesday. Earning a tie for third place was Alyssa Dalen (89). Team scores were: (1) Ortonville 361 (2) B-B-E 380 (3) Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 413 (4) LQPV 415 (5) Benson 424 (6) Dawson-Boyd 434 (7) Yellow Medicine East 444 (8) Benson JV, MACCRAY incomplete.

In news out of the Stearns County League: Roscoe has been selected as the host of the 2015 Region 15C amateur baseball tournament. The tournament dates are August 7th - 9th and 14th - 15th. I am guessing St. Martin will be the evening game site. Also, Paynesville was selected as host of the 2016 region tournament.

One game to note on your calendar: this Saturday, May 16, Elrosa hosts New Munich in what will be a very entertaining SCL-North matchup. First pitch at Saints Field is at 7:30 p.m.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I saw this on the Facebook group "Proactive Coaching" and thought it was definitely worth sharing!

Athletes…You are a billboard for your school, your team, your family, your parents and everyone who has worn the uniform – stand out – be so different it is noticeable and appealing. Be the team that other people wish they were on.  

This applies to coaches and parents as well.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Girls' golf second at Kimball

The Osakis Silverstreaks squeaked by the B-B-E Jaguars girls' golf team at a Central Minnesota Conference meet in Kimball on a rainy, wet Monday. Read more details in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice.

  • Here's a notice on news from the Grove Lake area:

"Hooked on Fishing"
The Grove Lake Lakeshore Association will host a Fishing Camp, “Hooked on Fishing,” on Saturday June 13, 2015, at the Grove Lake Township Park Beach. Registration will start at 9:30 am and the camp will conclude with a hot dog lunch at noon. Camp activities will include fish and bait identification, the use of fishing equipment, and boat/water safety. A craft project and minnow races are also planned. The DNR MinnAqua Program and the Glenwood Area Fisheries will assist with activities. Children of all ages are welcome and should be accompanied by a responsible adult. Plan to attend, and help a young person develop a love for fishing in Minnesota!

Check out the latest news from Prairie View Golf Course in Brooten...they have an event coming this week Thursday night to help jumpstart their summer men's league:

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Home baseball game

Today's game against Holdingford has been postponed to tomorrow, Tuesday, May 12. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m. in Elrosa.

I've heard reports that we've received close to two inches of much-needed rain in the Bonanza Valley area in the past couple of days.


Join Cub Scouts!

Join Cub Scout Pack 667
All area boys in grades kindergarten through fourth grade are invited to join Cub Scouts, one of the best youth organizations out there that helps build strong minds and bodies. The local "Join Cub Scouts" event is this Saturday, May 16 at the Belgrade city park from 11 a.m. to noon. Interested youths can join Cub Scouts for a trial period of only $20, which includes a t-shirt, book and registration for six months. This also entitles them and their family to enjoy all the summer events in 2015, such as summer camps, family camp and the Dorothy A. Olson Water Park in Willmar. If you can't make it to this meeting, or if you just want more information, please call Sharon Struthers at 320-254-3457 or Eric Johnson at 320-346-2674.

On an unrelated's a couple farm items for sale in this area. The listing will appear in the May 14 and May 21 issues of the Bonanza Valley Voice. FOR SALE: IH W-9 gas tractor, hydraulics, runs good, $1600. Five-inch irrigation tow line, 600 feet, good for nursery or truck garden, $1500. Call 952-797-4473.

In other news...check out the details of the Belgrade / Brooten community meetings about natural gas on May 20 (Brooten) and May 27 (Belgrade). See the details in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice on the back page (page 10).

Looking for work? This Saturday! Check out the details below. Also, this week's Bonanza Valley Voice has a tremendous number of help wanted shortage of jobs in this area.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Extra-inning loss

In the last game of the B-B-E Invitational, the B-B-E Jaguars baseball team duked it out with the top team in Sub-Section 5A-West, Browerville/Eagle Valley, but came up short in a 3-2 loss in eight innings.

After falling behind 2-0 in the second inning, the Jaguars went into the seventh inning down 2-1. Ryan Olmscheid scored a game-tying run in the top of the seventh and held the Tiger-Rebels in the bottom of the frame to force an eighth inning. B/EV then ended the game with run scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the eighth to improve to 9-3 on the season.

In the earlier game held on Saturday in Elrosa, Minnewaska Area beat Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 6-5 after they trailed 5-0 in the third inning.

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Friday, May 08, 2015

Shut out

It was quite a night in Elrosa, where the B-B-E Jaguars baseball team blanked Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg in a 7-0 shut out win. The Fighting Saints (8-7, 6-3 Camden Conference) were limited to just one hit in the loss by starter Jacob Weller, who pitched all seven innings and had 12 strikeouts. The Jaguars had six hits against two K-M-S pitchers and no errors and scored five times in the third inning to break the game open. K-M-S was ranked fourth in the Sub-Section 5A-West standings, so it was indeed a quality win for B-B-E. Coming in, the Jaguars were ranked seventh in the standings.

On Saturday the Jaguars (5-10) host another sub-section rival, Browerville/Eagle Valley, in a 7 p.m. night contest under the lights of Saints Field. The Tiger Rebels were 8-2 overall and the top-ranked team in the sub-section as of Friday before losing 10-3 to Minnewaska Area (10-2) in the other game played in Elrosa tonight.

On Thursday night in a Central Minnesota Conference doubleheader, the Jaguars dropped two games to Rockford Area in Elrosa. The Rockets stayed in the CMC race with 7-1 and 13-3 (six innings) wins to improve to 8-3 in the standings. Pierz remains in front at 10-1 overall, while Maple Lake is in second at 7-1.

At the Little Crow Invitational on Friday, the B-B-E Jaguars boys' golf team shot a 375 to take eighth place out of 15 teams.

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Lakes Area Tae Kwon Do

Click on the graphic for optimal viewing.

Here's my newest advertiser in the Bonanza Valley Voice. Check it out! What a great way to keep you or your children active. After all, half the battle is keeping them off of the couch, right?

...and below is an advertisement from Jana Mae's in Brooten that can give you some great Mothers Day gift ideas!


Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Spring concert

And a band photo:

The B-B-E elementary school's fifth and sixth grade classes performed a Spring Concert today featuring both band and choir songs.

Here's video from the last two songs:

They did a fantastic job! And hats off to B-B-E music teachers, Ms. Sailor and Mr. Nelson!

Here's the Bonanza Valley Voice photo gallery with 60+ photos from the concert:

Thank you Redhead Creamery for sponsoring this news!

And finally getting some promoting done on this upcoming event in Sunburg...mark your calendars! It looks like a good time on June 6...see all the details below:
Add caption

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Tuesday, May 05, 2015


After one inning Litchfield had an 8-1 lead. But the Jaguars scored eight runs in the fourth inning to take the lead! Read all the details of the game in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice.

Lots to report on from the school board meeting. Check it out in the newspaper! It prints in just eight hours!


(Video) Speech showcase

Here's senior Katie Hieserich's speech last Monday, April 27:

This B-B-E speech showcase video is brought to you by the support of the Glenwood Retirement Village.

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Monday, May 04, 2015

School board meeting

A special B-B-E school board meeting is at 7 o'clock on Tuesday May 5 at the high school. The major topic will be discussion of the school's attendance policy. This will result in what I believe will be a very "interesting" story in the May 7 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice. I also expect the topic of the four-day week to be mentioned at this school board meeting.

Last week the Minnesota Department of Education gave approval to the school districts of Blackduck, Lake Superior, Ogilvie, MACCRAY and Pelican Rapids to continue on a four-day school week for the 2015-2016 school year. Citing the potential for the Minnesota Legislature to remove their authority on the flexible calendar structure, MDE officials stated their desire to let the political process to play out on its own terms.

B-B-E has approved a modified five-day week schedule for 2015-16 that includes approximately nine Mondays off to devote to staff in-service days. Currently the four-day week calendar has about 27 Mondays off. 

The district was waiting for the Legislature to act before reconsidering the move back to a five-day schedule. 

Back to sports...the B-B-E Jaguars baseball team beat Eden Valley-Watkins 4-0 tonight in Elrosa for their second win in a row. Jacob Weller pitched a complete game. Now 4-7 overall, the Jaguars travel to Litchfield on Tuesday for a non-conference game.

As always, read more in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice. If you haven't subscribed yet or do not pick up a copy of it at newsstands, you're missing out and robbing yourself of valuable local news! The Bonanza Valley Voice can be found on newsstands at L & L Family Foods in Belgrade, Mike's Market / Roosters in Brooten and at RJ's Mini-Mart in Brooten. The newsstand copies are refreshed every Wednesday afternoon.

To subscribe with an online payment through PayPal, visit this link:

The cost is $18 for anyone living in Stearns, Pope, Swift or Kandiyohi counties. For anyone else in any other part of Minnesota or the U.S., the annual cost is just $20.


Job opening + property for sale

FOR SALE: Need storage for your equipment or a large shop for your business?  Huge 200x50 pole shed built in the mid-1990’s, featuring a new roof and electrical as of 2012 on almost three acres near Sedan. Asking $94,900. Please call or text Amber Bohmer, Broker of Integrity Home Investments for more information or private showing at 320-267-1775 or

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Elrosa Saints clothing store

***Special announcement:

The Elrosa Saints Clothing Program is open once again!
Players and fans alike can go to and enter the Store Code: "Elrosa"
The Deadline is May 6th at midnight of this Wednesday!
All items will be delivered to the Elrosa Ball Park!

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House GOP spotlight on rural MN has faded

My opinion: this is all true. And the way the Republicans in St. Paul are short-changing rural Minnesota is especially bad. Then add the fact that they campaigned on "helping rural Minnesota" in 2014 only to see them trample the interests of rural Minnesota makes them hypocrites of the WORST nature.

House GOP spotlight on rural MN has faded
By Nancy Larson, Congressional District Seven DFL Party Chair

Republicans swept into the majority last year by picking up 10 House seats in Greater Minnesota, convincing voters that they would shine the spotlight on rural areas of the state that they claimed had been ignored by the Democrats. That spotlight shone brightly on rural Minnesota at the start of this legislative session, but it faded quickly once the House Republican majority started passing their major bills last week.

Where once there had been talk of a major investment in workforce housing for rural cities, there is now no money to be seen despite the fact that the lack of affordable housing is hampering job growth for many rural industries and hindering business and community expansion plans.

The funding needed to bring high speed Internet up-to-par in rural areas declined from the $20 million invested in the program by Democrats in 2014 to just $8 million in the House bill. That means 40 percent of the people living in rural areas will continue to be denied Internet speeds that match the state’s goals, while in the metro, only 6.7 percent of the populace lack adequate broadband access.

Last year, rural homeowners received substantial reductions in property taxes from the Democrats, but this year they were overlooked entirely in the House GOP bill. Small rural businesses also received significant tax cuts last year thanks to the DFL, but this year it looks like bigger is better.  The biggest tax cut proposed by the GOP does away with the state-wide commercial/industrial property tax, and while small businesses would see their taxes go down if this provision were passed, the metro area will be the big winner under this proposal. That is quite the opposite of the promises made by Republicans who accused the DFL of catering to the metro area.  

In all, the House bill cuts taxes by $2 billion, gobbling up the state’s current budget surplus plus more. The “more” will be paid for in large part by cuts in Health and Human Services, and that will hurt – instead of help – rural Minnesota. A big part of the proposed Republican HHS cuts would be obtained by taking MinnesotaCare away from working-poor Minnesotans.  You read that right—the Republican House wants to eliminate the health insurance subsidy for lower income workers, many of whom live and work in rural areas. But that thinking is wrong for all of Minnesota. And the facts are: the 25 counties with the highest number of people enrolled in the program are all located in Greater Minnesota.

We are fortunate to have the DFL Senate to protect Greater Minnesota by forging final compromise bills that will offer more positives and fewer negatives for those of us living, working and running businesses in rural Minnesota. That does not mean you should forget these earlier bills passed by the GOP majority in the House. Ask your legislators now how they voted on the above issues. Ask them what happened to the Republican promises to rural Minnesota.  Those promises are fading as fast as the light from a fading flashlight.

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Sunday, May 03, 2015

Elrosa improves to 3-0

The Elrosa Saints amateur baseball team invaded Spring Hill today and put together a terrific performance through nine innings in a 5-1 Stearns County League North win. Now 2-0 in the SCL, the Saints travel to St. Martin for another afternoon game next Sunday, May 10 with a 1:30 p.m. start time.

Here's video from near the end of today's game:

After two scoreless innings, Elrosa took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. They padded the lead with two more runs plated in the top of the fourth inning on three hits. Starter Ethan Vogt pitched a great first six innigns with a solid defense backing him up. Aaron Vogt took over in the seventh inning and gave up just one run. In the bottom of the eighth, Aaron Vogt got  a strikeout, a ground out and a fly out. The Saints picked up another run in the top of the ninth inning when A.J. Hadley hit a two-out RBI-single to left field to score pinch runner Brandon Roelike from second base. Aaron Vogt shut the door with two strikeouts and a ground out in the bottom of the ninth to return the Keg back to Elrosa.

Special announcement:

Elrosa Saints Clothing Program is open once again!!
Players and fans alike can go to and enter the Store Code: "Elrosa"
The Deadline is Wednesday, May 6th at midnight!
All items will be delivered to the Elrosa Ball Park!

Other SCL scores today:
Richmond 3, Farming 2
New Munich 1, Meire Grove 0 (Ty Reller was the winning pitcher with 11 strikeouts)
Lake Henry 15, Greenwald 10
St. Martin 6, Roscoe 2

Cornbelt League scores:
Atwater 5, New London-Spicer 0
Norway Lake-Sunburg 4, Paynesville 3
Regal 13, Starbuck 2 (7 innings, Eagles are 6-0)

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Saints update

Elrosa is ahead by one run in the third inning today at Spring Hill. The lead was 4-1 after seven complete innings.


Saturday, May 02, 2015

Baseball picks up win

The B-B-E Jaguars baseball team got back in the win column after beating Hancock 10-0 in six innings on Friday night in Elrosa. Tommy Cebulla started and got the win in two innings of pitching; Ryan Illies pitched the last four innings. The Owls were held to no hits by both pitchers. Now 3-7 overall, the Jaguars host Eden Valley-Watkins on Monday in Elrosa with a 4:30 p.m. start time.

At Minnewaska, the B-B-E Jaguars girls' golf team took fourth place with a season-best 372 (18 holes) on Friday afternoon. The conditions were "absolutely perfect" for golf...or just being outside doing anything you wished to do. Peyton Miller led the Jaguars with a score of 88. As a team, the Jaguars beat sub-section rival Ortonville by eight strokes. The Trojans beat out the Jaguars for last year's sub-section title, and I expect this year's sub-section meet to go down to the wire to see who takes first place on May 20. The next action for the girls' golf team is at Greystone Golf Club in rural Sauk Centre on Wednesday.

I chatted with the Jaguars JV fastpitch coach Karl Williams on Friday afternoon and was pleased to hear how well the JH/JV fastpitch seasons are going. Coach Williams reported that the junior high Jaguars are 5-1 overall! Their lone loss was by one run in extra innings to Eden Valley-Watkins. The JV Jaguars are 4-2 overall and have a home game with Paynesville Area on Monday at 4:30 p.m.

In other news: this past week the school districts of Blackduck, Lake Superior, Ogilvie, MACCRAY and Pelican Rapids were all given a "go-ahead" by the Minnesota Department of Education to continue on a four-day school week schedule. I am finding out asap on whether or not B-B-E applied to continue the four-day school week, which we've been utilizing since the 2011-2012.

I have to say the MDE is one of the strangest bodies of work I've had any experience with in my life. They spout on and on about "four-day week not boosting learning" - okay, MDE bureaucrats, do you have any clue what you're talking about? Were you dropped on your heads as young children? Do you know that schools on five-day weeks aren't "boosting learning" either? How incompetent are you? Are you suggesting that any innovation that a school tries that doesn't magically increase test scores should be automatically dropped?

I've said it over and over again and I'll say it another time: the four-day week isn't glamourous. It's not wonderful. It's not a perfect solution. It's not all peaches. It's also not terrible. It doesn't shorten the amount of education during the school year. (In fact, it increases the actual time students are in the desks in the classrooms between September 1 and June 1.) It's a tool that schools like B-B-E have used to innovate. Has it helped the budget? Sure it has. That's just one component of why it's been in place these past few years. If the school board at B-B-E heard from students / parents / teachers when we re-applied in 2014 that we should end the four-day week, they would've dropped it like a hot potato.

The four-day week is like one of a farm's bigger tractors. It's a tool used to get the work done. It's not a tractor that you would say is flashy or the best-tractor-ever. You could trade that tractor in for a different model, but you'd need a really good reason to do that. A farmer doesn't just trade tractors on a whim. He or she needs a long list of reasons why it should happen, or one or two big reasons it should happen (mechanical problems, etc.) A school district shouldn't have to jump because MDE says they should jump. That's foolish at best.

The fact is that test scores are going to either go up or down because of a laundry list of reasons that have nothing to do with the five-day or four-day school week structure. The fact that students at five-day schools all over Minnesota are seeing test scores drop does not lead me to say "Whoah!! They need to get rid of their five-day week! Their test scores are not improving! Their five-day week must go!!" What an outlandish statement. How about we let school boards decide what to do!! You know, the local people who actually have to stand for election in front of taxpayers / voters of a school district!!! Hey, MDE, you really think that you know more about rural school districts than their elected school boards? How arrogant are you?

The MDE should rename themselves to the "anti-innovation education department" who specializes in hammering rural school districts. The fact that you've sent the four-day schools into limbo since last May 12, 2014 was an unforgivable act. Now that you see the Legislature acting to remove your authority and send it to local school boards, now you decided to act? FAIL! You don't deserve your jobs, especially Governor Dayton and MDE Commissioner Casselius. All you do is lie and twist your precious data in ways that suits your political agenda. Chewing up rural schools and the students they serve only to coddle your political self-esteem is a shameful, callous act.

End rant.

In other news: the B-B-E FFA Garden Center opens for business on Wednesday, May 6. The FFA Garden Center will be open weekdays from 12:00 to 6:00 and Saturdays from 9:00 to 3:00. Come support your local FFA Chapter!

In other news: the B-B-E 5-6th grade students will be putting on "Gotta Be Jazz" on Wednesday, May 6 at 2:30 p.m. It is a set of songs that incorporates choreography and singing. It has comical speaking parts about jazz history and how it connects to our current music! The sixth grade band will also be playing a couple of fun tunes, including a trombone feature and many section solos! Please come and support B-B-E Music!

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Friday, May 01, 2015

Deadline today for Co-Ed Volleyball

Thank you to the B-B-E Jaycees for sponsoring and organizing this volleyball league!