Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Weather nixes multiple activities

A real quick update.

The B-B-E track and field meet that was supposed to be held today and hosted with the gracious help of the Belgrade Lions has been postponed to Friday, May 3. It will now include the following teams along with B-B-E: Browerville, Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball and Upsala/Swanville Area. It will start at 4 p.m. (races) with field events beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Both doubleheaders in Pierz for our baseball and fastpitch teams were postponed.

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Monday, April 29, 2019

Catching my breath

This week I catch my breath.

The month of April 2019 has been a month unlike anything I've ever lived through professionally. It's been day after day and week after week of crazy. And it's just the beginning.

We're bruised and scuffed up, but we're still here. That's worth celebrating.

I'll continue my call that we "be good to each other" and take a breath or two whenever things get really worked up. It can never hurt.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Town team begins

In their season debut, the Elrosa Saints amateur baseball team won 16-2 in seven innings today at Greenwald. Cody Eichers drilled a three-run home run in his first plate appearance, and James Kuefler also belted out a three-run homer to help power the offense.

Next in league action for the Saints is another Stearns County League North border battle with a trip to Spring Hill next Sunday. The Chargers were also victorious in their season opener today. They traveled to New Munich and came home with a 6-1 win.

At Lake Henry, Meire Grove squeezed out a 3-2 win.

  • For B-B-E Jaguar varsity sports, the next home event is the Belgrade Lions track and field meet on Tuesday, April 30 (4 p.m.). Teams included are ACGC, Browerville, Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball, Maple Lake, Minnewaska Area, Paynesville Area and St. John's Prep.

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Real estate open house

Integrity Home Investments of Brooten is hosting a real estate open house TODAY...Sunday, April 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. in rural Brooten. The details are below:
Very well-kept rambler with recent addition sitting on 5.3 acres of land, perfect as a Hobby Farm! Room to expand in the lower level, which already has egress windows for a possible additional bedroom. Open concept living/dining area with vaulted ceilings $199,900. **Address: 33004 105th Avenue, Brooten MN 56312.

This is advertised on page 10 of the April 25 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper. You can see the listing on the Integrity website by clicking on the hot link above (their business name).

Click here (short link) to view a video/photo iMovie production by the Bonanza Valley Voice from the grass fire east of Terrace last Saturday (April 20)...more on this was published on page one of the April 25 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voicehttps://bit.ly/2Wdwets.

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Friday, April 26, 2019

(VIDEO) Handel's 'Hallelujah Choir'

As promised in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice, here's the video from Easter Sunday sunrise service at East Norway Lake Lutheran church (short link): https://bit.ly/2DBWOW1.

*If you are wondering about the fire north of Brooten seen to the north, it is a prescribed burn. It is located northwest of Grove Lake, and it involves hundreds of acres.

I personally looked, and yes...they do have it under control.

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Doubleheader sweep

It was a doubleheader sweep for the B-B-E Jaguars baseball team tonight! The Jaguars took two games from visiting Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted in the debut event for Saints Field in Elrosa.

Game one had a final score of 9-5, while game two brought a 12-10 outcome to lift the Jaguars to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the CMC.

Earlier this week, the baseball team lost 7-1 to Holdingford in their CMC opener.

In two games at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted high school tonight, the B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team lost two games to the Lakers. They lost 18-3 in five innings in game one, and in game two they fell by a 6-4 score.

*Posted on Friday morning...
Repeating this from earlier...don't forget that Arco/RJs mini-mart in Brooten is holding an open house celebration with the new owners on Friday, May 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. They'll have prizes, food and more! You'll be able to read more about the new owners in the May 2 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

The upcoming week is jam packed with church and community events. It is an exhaustive list that Brady and I talked about on the Smooth Magic 107 FM radio show this morning. Everything is advertised and promoted in this week's April 25 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice. We are extremely fortunate and blessed to have such strong support from the local Bonanza Valley area business community.

That's all for current updates. Time for a break! Our backyard garden is calling.

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Thursday sports

The B-B-E Jaguars baseball team hosts Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted today in a Central Minnesota Conference doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. The Elrosa Saints diamond will host the games, marking the first events held in 2019 at their marvelous stadium.

At Sauk Centre, the B-B-E Jaguars track and field teams compete in a seven-team meet that also begins at 4 p.m.

At Howard Lake, the B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team competes against the HL-W-W Lakers in a CMC doubleheader.

The ARCO/RJs convenience store open house will be from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Friday, May 3 in Brooten. They'll have food, door prizes and games for the public to enjoy. The Bonanza Valley Voice will publish more about the family who has taken over RJs as of January 1 this year.

Here's more information for an event(s) coming in May:

On Saturday, May 18, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Community Ed and the city of Belgrade invites everyone to the indoor garage sale and city-wide garage sales. Around Belgrade, many local homes will host city-wide garage sales that day. Businesses in town will have specials going all day during their business hours. The B-B-E Community Ed will have an indoor garage sale at the high school from 8 p.m. to noon. Also, a craft and vendor show will take place at the Belgrade Municipal Hall in downtown Belgrade from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Real estate open house

After a one-day hiatus, we're back in the saddle to promote, promote, promote!

Integrity Home Investments of Brooten is hosting a real estate open house this Sunday, April 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. in rural Brooten. The details are below:
Very well-kept rambler with recent addition sitting on 5.3 acres of land, perfect as a Hobby Farm! Room to expand in the lower level, which already has egress windows for a possible additional bedroom. Open concept living/dining area with vaulted ceilings $199,900. **Address: 33004 105th Avenue, Brooten MN 56312.

This is advertised on page 10 of this week's issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper. You can see the listing on the Integrity website by clicking on the hot link above (their business name).

This will be re-posted again, but I want to share information on the Arco/RJs convenience store open house celebration in Brooten on Friday, May 3. More information to follow.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Game updates

The B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team trailed 8-0 to visiting Hancock in the third inning today.

Fast-forward to the sixth inning, and the Jaguars now have a 13-8 lead!

*Final score: B-B-E 16, Hancock 9.

That's it for now, more updates to come on Tuesday. I have a mountain of stories to write tonight.


Farm accident

A 42-year old Belgrade man was killed in a farm equipment-related accident in Lake Henry Township on Friday, April 19. The man was identified as James Logan.

The 911 call took place around 3:30 p.m.

More will be published in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

Radio broadcast

We have a gloomy, rainy day in the Bonanza Valley area.

Nothing has been announced for schedule changes, and if we don't get more rain, events should still be "on".

Today the B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team hosts Hancock at 4:30 p.m., and Smooth Magic 107 FM will broadcast the game.

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday

Later this evening I'll have video posted from Easter Sunday worship.

...and here is one clip! I decided to use the best one from East Norway Lake Lutheran's Easter sunrise service...it includes the ENL choir singing George Frideric Handel's "Messiah" 

The song begins at about the five-minute mark here:

As they do year after year, they were MAGNIFICENT!

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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Grass fire

Every day is "interesting" around here these days. Today has been no exception to that trend.

Brooten had a magnificent Easter Egg hunt! I didn't track turnout and didn't even try. There had to be well over 100 kids at the many stations put up for the hunt.

Brooten's finest attacked a large grass fire at approximately 15:00 this afternoon. It was a big one! By the time I got out there, many rigs were on the scene. Glenwood's fire department was there too. Read more at the Bonanza Valley Voice website (shortened link): https://bit.ly/2IwN1EQ.

I have video to post later.

*Update: one short video clip is posted at the Voice website's article mentioned above.


Friday, April 19, 2019

Missing dogs, Good Friday worship and more

In Brooten...two missing dogs since this morning:
 One Golden Retriever (Roscoe) and one English Springer Spaniel (Chip).

If you've seen them, please send an e-mail to: lifeinbonanzavalley@gmail.com.

Time to head to Good Friday worship! Where will you be worshipping this weekend?

This is 12 days old by now...but here's video of the sermon and more at West Lake Johanna Lutheran church...Sunday worship on April 7.

*Update late on Friday night:
Below you can watch a large portion of worship service at East Norway Lake Lutheran church tonight...click on the link (short link) here < https://bit.ly/2UIS9Mx > to watch at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper's website.

And here's a shortened link to the Bonanza Valley Voice website to read about tomorrow's Easter Egg hunt in Brooten: https://bit.ly/2UJG4GR.

Before I forget to have this posted...Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood will broadcast next Monday's home game for our B-B-E Jaguar fastpitch team against Hancock. The game starts at 4:30 p.m., and pre-game coverage will start at approximately 4:15 p.m.

Take note: the REAL Super Bowl Sunday is coming! Just two days...Easter Sunday!

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One bad inning

A rough first inning for the B-B-E Jaguars baseball team was a big factor in a 5-2 loss to Hancock in a non-conference game played in Belgrade last night.

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Fastpitch wins

The B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team defeated Swanville tonight by a 7-2 score. They improve to 2-3 overall.

The sun is trying!

The sun is trying to poke its way out of the cloud cover we had earlier today.

On the docket for varsity sports:
The B-B-E Jaguars baseball team hosts Hancock in a non-conference game at 5 p.m. The varsity game will be played at the Regal Eagles ball diamond, aptly dubbed Buddy Beier Field! As usual, the JV squad will play at the high school's main baseball diamond.

For the B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team, they head to Swanville for a non-conference and sub-section game (4:30 p.m.).

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019


A quick update to bring some of you up to speed on where we're at.

Because of the fast-moving pace of the local news cycle, I've had to "shutter" (close) the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper's sports department at random times during the week. Sometimes this can last for a two-day period.

It's very rare in my 13-year tenure of operating this unique and one-of-a-kind Jaguars Sports blog that I would go two straight days (or more) without giving one single thought to the Jaguars sports program. However, that's exactly what has happened lately. I don't want anyone to take that personally or take this in the wrong way. It's just fallen a few rungs on the ladder.

That's where things stand as of Wednesday night.

...on an immensely brighter note: the forecast for Saturday includes 70 degrees and sunshine!!!!! Wowza!!! That is awesome!

*Written Thursday morning.
I'd like to repeat a call I gave about a week ago...that we continue to be good to one another. It is our duty. We can continue to want to learn what has happened and what is going on, all while at the same time as we are being good to one another even with our differences of views, opinions and outlooks.

A great deal of economic uncertainty exists across the countryside. Our local dairy farmers are in their fourth-or-more year of horrific financial situations. The outlook remains bleak in that industry. In rural Minnesota, we have many bright spots - but on the flip side, many of us are out here clipping gas and grocery coupons and pinching pennies just to "get by".


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Sports update

Today's only varsity-related action has the B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team competing at Paynesville Area later today.

Later in the evening, I don't have a result, and I don't have time to track down more information.


Monday, April 15, 2019

Tuesday track meet

The B-B-E Jaguars track and field team could get a home meet in on Tuesday this week. We won't know what the school decides until later in the day today. Once I hear that, I will get the information posted. The meet would begin at 4 p.m.

*Update on Monday night: the April 16 home meet has been cancelled. I do not see it being re-scheduled.

Another scheduling update: it appears that the baseball team's Central Minnesota Conference game at Paynesville has been postponed to May 7, when it will be a doubleheader.

On another note...
Every time I write about a senior for the Bonanza Valley Voice, I am amazed and truly taken aback on how the world has changed in the last 50 to 100 years. I can't even put my finger on what I think about those changes. For the most part, it's both sad and scary.

In one story I've had, two children were punished because they took two eggs out of the chicken coop and used in their ingredients for "mud pies" - needless to say, the dad was not happy about that. Two eggs were very valuable to the family. Eggs were used in town for bartering for basic staples such as sugar or flour.

Today, I'm afraid we are losing touch with the value of money. We don't see it as a sign of hard work like we used to in America.

Wrap all that around your head...

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Palm Sunday and sunshine

What a glorious day for our Palm Sunday! The sun couldn't shine brighter.

There's a busy day ahead and many options for your eating enjoyment. If you are wondering about the hours of the new Saucedos Mexican Restaurant, today they are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; their regular hours are Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in downtown Belgrade. You can see photos from the new restaurant featuring many of their staff on pages 1 and 7 of the April 11 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

Other options for today that I'm aware of: the pancake and sausage supper at the St. Francis de Sales Catholic church parish center in Belgrade (2 to 7 p.m.), as well as the 2 p.m. Meat Raffle in Sedan, sponsored by the Elrosa Fire Department.

I have terrific video from Palm Sunday worship at Trinity Lutheran church in Brooten this morning. I hope to get to uploading and posting some of that late tonight if not sooner.

Get out and enjoy that sunshine!

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Saturday, April 13, 2019


I want to share how much I appreciate when I get reminders on any number of things! Whether it's an ad sent in, or an event...this afternoon I got a reminder about the Brut Worm Farm open house in Brooten! I almost missed it!

The event ends at 3 p.m., and it was advertised on page four with a reminder on page one of the April 11 Bonanza Valley Voice.

On another note:
Have you made it to the new restaurant in Belgrade yet? The Saucedos Mexican Restaurant is open until 9:30 p.m tonight. Stop by and enjoy what they offer! The food is nothing short of incredible, and their prices are very reasonable.

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Two hours late

B-B-E schools will be two hours late on Friday, April 12.

Today, Thursday, April 11, B-B-E schools put an "E-Learning" plan into effect during our snow day.

I really enjoyed it. I thought the activities that I was involved in for my family were productive and meaningful. That's what school is about! And having fun too is never a bad thing. So in a nut shell: bravo, B-B-E teachers! (and any other staff who had a hand in it)

*Below, here's video from the tail end of the first game of Tuesday's home doubleheader...the B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team defeated Eden Valley-Watkins by a 6-5 score in the eighth inning. Ally Gruber scored the game-winning run from second base on a nice crack of the bat by Cassandra Tensen.

I was surprised by the lack of "hooping and hollering" by the Jaguars in reaction to the win. Then I realized they had to save their energy for the second game of the doubleheader!

Anyway - that's it for now. It's been a long day.


Storm has calmed down

By early evening hours on Thursday, the snow storm has momentarily subsided. Right now there's a great deal of ice and snow on the roads, even state highways.

I haven't peeked at the forecast to see what's coming next..

On another note!
You can see that I woke up this morning in a bad mood. Now that I've calmed down and caught my breath, I want to make a call to everyone that we "be good to each other" in the coming days and weeks. It's pretty good advice to live by all the time, in good times and bad. We all need to be afforded the freedom of assembly and the freedom to go about our business and live our daily lives. Also, we are all due and all deserve due process! Media players also need free reign to do our jobs as long as we "stay in our own lanes"

I encounter so many people across any given part of a year - honest, hard-working people mostly living paycheck to paycheck - who are sick of the ruling class looking down at them. We're sick of shady characters. We're sick of a lot of things - much of which is out of our hands. When things come up that look and smell rotten, we definitely stand up and let it be known that the hair on the back of our necks is standing up.

But let's set that aside and catch our breath and at least do our best to be good to each other. This isn't a third-world country, and by and large we all have it pretty good!!



Do not threaten me or my family. I am very good at operating with eyes in the back of my head. You could say it's one of my special skills.

I'll see you coming from a mile away.

Did some of you forget about the deranged Internet stalker I stared down in the winter of 2014-2015? Do you remember how hard he came after the police chief we had at the time, Derrick Bjork?

I wasn't scared of that stalker, and I'm certainly not scared of veiled threats delivered to me in public telling me to be careful what I say.

On a different topic...
The roads are pretty bad out there! I hope it doesn't take reading this sports blog to learn that. Multiple transportation jurisdictions in Minnesota have given "no travel" advisories.

Please be careful out there! And pray for the safety of anyone who has to drive, especially truckers.

Also, the Belgrade Public Library is closed today. They asked media for help on getting that word out. Honestly, so many businesses are closed today or closing early that I don't have a ghost of a chance of keeping up and listing them all.

And late in the day...
I'll be posting again tonight on a new blog post.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

School closed for Thursday

B-B-E schools will be closed on Thursday, April 11. Both school campus buildings will be closed, with the Jaguar Kids Connection also being closed at the elementary.

Just shy of 21:00 tonight, I'd say we've gotten about three inches of snow to this point. The forecast says we should get anywhere between 12 and 20 inches or more of snow over the next 48 hours.


A typo or some other type of mistake

Curses! Gnashing of the teeth here!

I wrote a column with multiple revisions for this week's Bonanza Valley Voice. The column, which ends on page 10, ends with a whopper of a mistake that will just leave you confused.

The last part of the final sentence says "Christmas 2019" when it should say "Christmas 2018" - some days it is exasperating how I let a mistake like that out the door without catching it. It literally takes the air out of my lungs!!

GRRR. Newspapering!!! It is not all it's cracked up to be.

ALSO - God Squad at Trinity Lutheran church in Brooten for tonight has been cancelled due to the oncoming weather. I haven't gotten a handle on what's coming other than it will be very, very bad!!!


Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Extra inning win

The B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team earned a 6-5, extra-inning wins after battling Eden Valley-Watkins for a win in the eighth inning tonight. The game was played on the home field in the first match up between the Eagles and Jaguars in a Central Minnesota Conference doubleheader.

*Update: the Jaguars had a 7-1 lead in game two but ended up losing 8-7 in regular innings to fall to 1-2 on the season.

Now we gear up for a huge snow storm that's coming our way this week!


Home opener

The B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team opens the home portion of their 2019 season with a doubleheader at 4 p.m. today at the elementary varsity diamond. The JV team will play south of the school at the city park diamond.

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Saturday, April 06, 2019

(VIDEO) Power lines down by elementary

Not much time to write or post photos, but here's video of what was going on by the elementary school last night (short link) at the Bonanza Valley Voice website: https://bit.ly/2I4X43u.

*Update on Sunday night:
Been a hectic weekend. The Brooten American Legion pancake breakfast was terrific! They had a wonderful turnout.

The sunshine across the Bonanza Valley area this afternoon and evening has also been tremendous to take in. I hope you've enjoyed your weekend.

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Friday, April 05, 2019

Busy Friday night

...well, all of Friday has been busy! But the evening was pretty intense from the perspective of small town journalism!

Upon rolling back into town from the track and field meet at Minnewaska Area, I saw numerous Brooten Fire Department trucks with their lights on blocking off an intersection near the elementary school. My heart sank: all I could think of was that a kid was hit by a vehicle......then thank goodness it turned out to be much less serious. Two power pole lines were taken out by a semi (appears to be a pure accident) and caused havoc with the power in that part of Brooten and a part of Bangor township.

I'll post more on Saturday. I didn't get any results from the track and field meet. (yet)

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Track and field opener, golf course, fish fry!

Today, the B-B-E Jaguars track and field teams will open their outdoor schedule for the 2019 season. They travel west to Minnewaska Area's high school athletic complex for a 4 p.m. meet.

Also, this is neat! The Prairie View Golf Course in Brooten is open now for walking only. They hope on Monday to have more of the course open for more activity.

To cap off the better news, the last local fish fry of the Linton season is tonight in Brooten at the KaDe Shack. As they have for two other evenings this spring season, the B-B-E Knights of Columbus will host the event from 5 to 9 p.m. tonight. I hope to see many of you there.

In other news, the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper has been inundated with questions in recent weeks about the Brooten Commercial Club's status. I just posted the latest update late last night at the Voice website...you can read that here (short link): https://bit.ly/2VpX0i2. The developments in this are far-reaching, and I'll do my best to public information public as it becomes available within my constraints of press deadlines and the weekly newspaper printing.

When you work in journalism, you don't have the luxury of always reporting positive news. You can only hope that the good outweighs the bad. Thankfully, that has been the case for me, and I hope that continues.

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Thursday, April 04, 2019

Season opener success

The B-B-E Jaguars baseball team had a successful outing at Regal's Buddy Beier field today. They hosted Parkers Prairie for the season opener and picked up a 3-0 win.

The three-time defending Section 6A champion Panthers took third place at the state tournament in 2018. They were state champions in 2017 and took second place in 2016.

B-B-E senior Payton VanBeck got the pitching win in five innings; he gave up just one hit, one walk and fired five strikeouts. Jackson Peter, a junior, closed out the game pitching the last two innings. He also gave up just one hit to go with two walks and three strikeouts.

Next for the Jaguars is another home game. They host Kimball next Thursday, April 11 back in Regal.

No word yet on how the fastpitch team did at Upsala.

**Update: the B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team suffered an 11-1, five-inning loss at Upsala tonight for their season opener. Next for the fastpitch team is a home doubleheader on Thursday, April 11 against Eden Valley-Watkins. The first game is at 4 p.m.

Area fastpitch scores on April 4:
Royalton 1, Kimball Area 0
Upsala 6, West Central Area 2 (Yes, Upsala played two home games today)

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Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Schedule change...and a new restaurant!

The track and field meet at Minnewaska has been postponed to Friday this week. It was scheduled for Thursday.

Also! This was just added to the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website tonight...breaking news that brings a great deal of excitement! Downtown Belgrade is the home of a new restaurant. Read more about it here (short link): https://bit.ly/2WGTT5q.

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Happy Wednesday

Happy Lenten season Wednesday!

I feel blessed that two church meals are coming my way today.

I hope you can get out and enjoy the sunshine!

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Season opener

And just like that! We have a season-opening game today on the home field for the B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team.

They host Swanville today at 4:30 p.m. for a non-conference game.

*Update: the game was cancelled/postponed. Earlier this afternoon, the snow was coming down like crazy!

In other news...
I want to share an "apartments for rent" advertisement...and help the property owner spread the word of openings. This property has seen extensive renovations of the building rental units and public spaces. They've evicted a number of troublesome tenants and currently have four openings available. Give them a call!

FOR RENT: Two-bedroom and one-bedroom apartments in Brooten.  Heat, Sewer, water, and garbage included. On-site laundry. No smoking and no pets. Seniors welcome. Background checks, credit checks and references required. Available immediately, $595.00. One-bedroom $475.00. Photos available.  Call 651-503-2729.

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