Friday, April 30, 2021

(LIVE VIDEO) Mass of Christian Burial for Joe Feldman

Added on Saturday afternoon...

Here's the video recorded in medium-quality HD at Elrosa:

**Update at the funeral: it appears that viewers will experience buffering of the video.**

We ARE recording it. That's working.

At 11:35 we are experiencing buffering. Hoping it resolves itself.

***The recording will be uploaded within an hour or so of the conclusion of the funeral.

This blog post will receive updates later today, but I wanted to get this out right away now that it's finally set up.

Here's a live video player that will become active at approximately 10:50 a.m. tomorrow from Elrosa. We expect good audio, but the video will not have anything like high-def quality due to a reduced Internet speed available at the church.

You can share this blog posting so others can watch Joe's funeral tomorrow at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic church in Elrosa. If the feed "drops" just hit refresh a minute later and it should pick back up.

Please pray that our community can somehow find peace in this very, very difficult time that seems to only be filled with unending grief. Sometimes you get to the point where all you can do is pray. That's what we hang our hat on when life becomes confusing.

**Friday night update: in a test run earlier this evening at the church, the Internet connection held up, but the laptop did not. I am getting software on a new laptop and giving it another run before the night concludes. The computer used for live streaming the Josie and Remington funeral on February 5 has malfunctioned. I am confident my "Plan B" will work! However, there is a "Plan C" that hopefully won't have to be put into play.

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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Boys' golf moves into first place

At the third Central Minnesota Conference meet of the season, the B-B-E Jaguars boys' golf team took first place at Island Pine Golf Club in rural Atwater. The Jaguars shot a 177 to edge out runner-up Kimball/Eden Valley-Watkins, who shot a 185.

Leading the Jaguars were Gannon Walsh with a 42 and Brady Schwinghammer with a 43. Jack Paulson and Spencer Lundberg each carded a 46 to round out the top four scoring.

The B-B-E Jaguars baseball team went 1-1 against Holdingford tonight in St. Cloud. They won the first game 11-4 before falling 18-10 in game two. They are now 3-2 overall and 3-2 in the CMC.

In a home doubleheader, the B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team lost 14-6 and 5-0 against Holdingford. The Huskers improve to 5-1 with the sweep.

More to come later.

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13, 2, 0 are the new numbers

Here's the latest from the Minnesota Department of Health, per their weekly zip code COVID-19 case number changes. The B-B-E zip code area (population 4,285 across the three local zip codes) has a weekly COVID-19 number of 15 as outlined below.

Brooten 56316 - two new cases in the last week;
Belgrade 56312 - 13 new cases in the last week;
Elrosa 56325 - zero new cases in the last week;

Elrosa has not reported a new COVID-19 case since mid-December.

We are in the midst of an "ebb and flow" corresponding with other central Minnesota COVID-19 numbers. Two weeks ago, a dramatic surge was being experienced with the weekly number reported for April 15 being 25 new cases. Last week the new number then had a dramatic decline to 12 for the seven-day period of April 15-April 21. Now this week we have a number of 15.

The new case number for the week ending April 8 was 10. The number reported on April 1 was also 10. The number reported on March 25 was just two, and the number reported on March 18 was five. The numbers reported each week in February and early March were consistently in the single digits. For Brooten's zip code, the number zero was reported in four of six weeks across a period from late January to the beginning of March. These weekly numbers are outlined at a web article posted at the Bonanza Valley Voice website, which you can find by clicking on this short link: Other updates will be added there in terms of area zip code information. 

I only had time to glance briefly at the area zip code numbers. The only zip code area that really jumped out at me was Paynesville 56362...their new weekly number was 36 for a population of about 5,844.

On a completely different note, have you gotten an idea of what you'll plant in your family garden? We're getting to that point where vegetables can be planted. Our family garden has spinach and lettuce already sprouted (planted many weeks ago)...and yesterday we planted onion sets, carrots and more lettuce.

Have a good day out there.

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Thursday sports schedule

The B-B-E Jaguars boys' golf team competes in their third Central Minnesota Conference meet of the season today. They travel to Atwater for a meet hosted by conference newcomer Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City.

The B-B-E Jaguars baseball team travels to St. Cloud's Dick Putz Field for a CMC doubleheader against Holdingford. The first game starts at 4 p.m.

On their home diamond, the B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team hosts Holdingford for a CMC doubleheader, and the first game starts at 4 p.m.

Super busy day. I doubt I'll get back to blogging until tonight, after I post an update on the weekly COVID-19 numbers.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Special project: live streaming Joe's funeral

We're mustering all our resources here to get a live stream off the ground for Joe Feldman's Mass of Christian Burial this Saturday. Details to come.


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Vaccination clinic coming to B-B-E on May 4

 Here's an important message from the B-B-E administration:

B-B-E Community: 

We would like to share this opportunity for a family-style COVID vaccine clinic at B-B-E high school from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 4th. Stearns County Public Health will be administering the Pfizer vaccine to students 16 and over and interested family.  Please forward the attached link out to everyone you would like. They will monitor the number signed up for the clinic and staff appropriately.  Based on estimated need, they are starting with 60 appointments available for this clinic.

(Emails have been sent to families that included consent forms.)

The invite link will be available until Friday morning, April 30, at 8:00 a.m.  After that, we will not be able to guarantee appointments and need to make sure vaccine and staffing are accounted for.  Walk-ins will not be an option due to staffing and vaccine on site, so please make sure that any interested parties sign up via the link.  If anyone has technology issues or trouble signing up please let us know.  Their hotline number is 320-656-6625.

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Monday night results

The B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team earned their first win of the season in a high-scoring game by a 15-10 score at Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City on Monday night. Freshmen Faith Radermacher earned the win in the pitching circle with a complete game, eight strikeout effort.

B-B-E is 1-4, and their next action is at home on Thursday, April 29 with a doubleheader against Holdingford.

Yesterday's baseball game against A-C-GC was postponed to today. First pitch at Saints Field is at 4:30 p.m.

Today's track meet at B-B-E high school gets underway at 3:30 p.m.

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Monday, April 26, 2021

Today in sports

The B-B-E Jaguars baseball team has the only home action of today. They host Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in a Central Minnesota Conference game at 4:30 p.m. in Elrosa. The Jaguars are 2-0 overall and 2-0 in the CMC, while the Falcons are 3-1 in the CMC and 5-1 overall. A-C-GC currently has the most wins in the conference. In their most recent action, the Falcons went 1-1 in a home doubleheader with Royalton last Thursday. They won game one by a 10-0 score, but they lost game two by a 15-0 score.
*UPDATE: the baseball game has been moved to tomorrow due to sporadic but heavy rainfalls this afternoon.

The B-B-E Jaguars boys' golf team is at the Sauk Centre Invitational, hosted by the Lynx National golf course south of town.

The B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team is heading to A-C-GC high school for a CMC game with the Falcons.

Tomorrow's home Lions track and field invitational will include Paynesville Area, Royalton and Minnewaska Area.

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Joe's funeral

We have a heavy load to carry locally, even as life must continue to go on. Some days will be more difficult than others.

I've added Mass of Christian Burial information to my web article on Joe Feldman at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website. This is the link you can share to see that article =

Short link:

If you want to get dragged down, scroll through some of the recent obituaries at the Harvey Anderson and Johnson Funeral Home website. I don't say that to disparage the funeral home, as that is one of the very important jobs they have: to share information on those who have passed away. I don't say that to encourage you to "get dragged down" either. It's just a statement, because a couple other obituaries besides Joe's really stood out with a ton of grief. They are both for young women in our area who died at home recently. One was a 40-year old woman (Kathryn Nelson) who had a sudden and life-ending heart attack. The other was for a 31-year old young mother (Mariah Refsland) who leaves behind a young son who's around five or six years old. 

Refsland was the 2007 recipient of A-C-GC high school's John Phillip Sousa award, which goes to an outstanding member of the high school band. She once played in Europe with the state honors band, among many other accomplishments in her young life.

Nelson was also an artsy person with a creative mind and free spirit who once lived for a year in Taiwan. In her younger adult years, she taught English for six months in the Czech Republic.

All of this illustrates that death can strike any of us at any time. We are getting reminders of that at every turn it seems.

I don't know about you, but I am exhausted, and the work week is just beginning. I'll get sports schedule notes posted in a new blog post.


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Town team baseball is back!!!

Today in their 2021 season opener, the Elrosa Saints amateur baseball team won 6-4 at Greenwald. Payton VanBeck started on the mound for Elrosa, and Luke VanBeck was the closer and winning pitcher with six innings of work. They earned a combined 12 strikeouts against six hits. Kevin Kuefler went 3-for-4 with one RBI to lead Elrosa's nine-hit attack at the plate.

Next is a game on Saturday, May 1 at Spring Hill.

Today has been a very busy day with public events as well as a long, long list of activity behind the scenes. More and more fuel is being added to the fire that is the federal lawsuit against the Office of Governor Tim Walz and his minions who work under him at the Minnesota Department of Health. Just the tip of the iceberg was revealed on page seven of the April 22 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice. (There's more. MUCH more. There's always more.) The more you learn, the more you'll see what type of war was waged by Governor Walz and his staff on children and families of children who participate in youth sports. "We will never back down. We will never forgive. And we will never forget."

I've done a light amount of updating to the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website's B-B-E community can always visit that page and get a glimpse of what's happening in our local area...the short link is:

More to come in the morning.

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Saturday, April 24, 2021

(VIDEO) Prom Grand March is wonderful

We had a truly wonderful grand march for B-B-E's 2021 Prom this afternoon! I didn't count the couples, but the grand march lasted almost an hour, and it was great! It was a little on the cool side (high 40s), but we are Minnesotans, and the temperature wasn't an issue.

*Here's a video clip taken early in the grand march:

More to come. Please pray for good times as well as safety over all of our kids in Jaguar Country tonight!

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(VIDEO) Just over two weeks ago...Welcome Home Ceremony

Here's a video that I forgot to post last's the welcome home ceremony (beginning to end) for the state championship game runner-up B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team:

More to come later tonight. It's time to get my camera gear to the prom grand march. The event is not open to the public, but it will be live streamed on the school's YouTube page.

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Friday, April 23, 2021

We have had a tough day here: another tragic loss

I don't know what else to say here other than it has been a very, very difficult day. A day that I wish we were not experiencing.

We are learning awful, devastating news in Jaguar Country about the tragic accident that took the life of B-B-E Class of 2020 graduate Joe Feldman. You can read more about Feldman and the accident (with very light details at this point) at the Bonanza Valley Voice website (short link) =

It has taken the wind out of my sails. His mom, Carol, was a B-B-E graduate in the early era of Jaguar Country and a 1991 graduate. His dad, Tom, is a Renville-Sacred Heart graduate. His older sister, Amanda, was a 2018 graduate of B-B-E and a member of the Jaguar girls' tennis team among many other activities here. They are all the best people.

Another throwback: Feldman's uncle Greg Schmitz was a 1985 state wrestling champion at the 98 pound division as a member of the Brooten Buccaneers program. In his senior year in 1984-85, the Buccaneers defeated Paynesville 24-22 in the District 20 championship at Brooten elementary. He is one of Carol's older brothers.

I can't understand this.

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Thursday night sports

In game one of their home doubleheader that kicks off the 2021 season, the B-B-E Jaguars baseball team defeated Kimball 18 to 1 in five innings. They led 15-0 after three innings were complete.

More to come.

Here's action from game one in tonight's doubleheader with the Cubs:

Update: in game two, the Jaguars won 12 to 3! They take a 2-0 record into next Monday's action against Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City. B-B-E will play one game starting at 4:30 p.m. against the Falcons.

I have forgotten all week to post that the Elrosa Saints amateur baseball team will begin their 2021 season at Greenwald this Sunday. That is great news!!! First pitch is at 1:30 p.m. The second game of Elrosa's season will be on May 1 at Spring Hill in a Battle for the Keg. On May 2, the Saints will host their home opener with an exhibition game against Dassel-Cokato.

At 9:15 a.m. tomorrow (Friday), my radio show on Smooth Magic 107 FM will begin. You can tune in on your radio at 107.1 FM, or you can listen by visiting their website and clicking on the audio player link =

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Come out and watch some baseball! *and MDH's outdoor youth mask mandate has ended!

Come to Elrosa this evening and take in some live baseball! 

Yes, baseball is back! The B-B-E Jaguars baseball team hosts Kimball Area in a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. today at Saints Field. It will be a truly wonderful day for baseball. We are expected to see a high of at least 60 degrees. We have full sunshine, and there's not much wind to speak of.



The outdoor youth mask mandate in Minnesota has ended. The Minnesota Department of Health made that public today. It is sick, vile and twisted that they had this in place to begin with for spring outdoor sports, but nevertheless...the pressure brought by the public, plus a pending federal lawsuit against Governor Tim Walz, the MDH and all added up to this huge, huge victory.

Kids no longer have to wear a face mask while playing in the outfield at fastpitch or baseball, among many other asinine ideas that MDH cooked up.

Today is a great day to celebrate a WIN!

Make no mistake: sunshine and exercise are healthy, masking while exercising outdoors is NOT. Governor Walz and his minions have been actively discouraging being outside and doing activities that promote good health. They want to keep the wool over our eyes and keep us fooled into thinking they don't discourage outdoor activity, but the facts speak differently.

Worse, when asked where their "science" is behind their rules, they conveniently cannot provide data. They have a big problem, because more and more of the public is paying attention to this topic. The more we learn, the uglier Walz and his minions become.

I also have to report that MDH is continuing to insist that youth sports contribute to COVID-19 spread among long term care facilities. They said, officially, ON RECORD, "we absolutely think that" in a media call this morning. Yet ONCE AGAIN they failed to provide data to back it up. I was listening to the call, and MDH's Kris Ehresmann provided nothing but word salad in response to the question. This is pure insanity...over 86% of the vulnerable senior population is fully vaccinated!

I know that heaven and earth is being moved to get Walz into a federal court room to explain what he has done and explain his actions and the actions of those who work under him. Time will tell how it all plays out.

And just for fun, here's a throw back to almost two weeks seems like it was quite awhile ago, with so much happening this month!

More to come later.

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6 and 6

We've got a 6 and another 6 to represent the number of new COVID-19 cases reported by the Minnesota Department of Health today. The weekly zip code report was released at 11 a.m. today. That total of 12 is a "high" number on a population basis, but it is a dramatic improvement from last week when the total number was 25.

Once again, the trend of no COVID-19 cases in Elrosa continues. Their numbers has held at 17 as cumulative cases dating back to January of last year The last week that a COVID-19 case was reported in Elrosa was in the middle of December (week of December 10-16).

Altogether since January of 2020, the zip code area of Brooten (1,466 residents) has had 146 COVID-19 cases, which is almost exactly 10 percent of the population. In Belgrade's zip code, the population of 2,622 residents have had 288 cases, or almost exactly 11 percent of the population. 

The figure of 17 representing COVID-19 cases in Elrosa represents 8.63 percent of their population.

On the other end of the spectrum, the zip code population of Willmar (56201), which includes the city's population of about 19,000 people...they have reported a total of 3,917 COVID-19 cases since January of 2020. This represents almost exactly 17 percent of their population.

Area COVID-19 case increases over the past week:
Sauk Centre - 13
Melrose - 14
Glenwood - 16
Alexandria - 55
Paynesville - 26
Sunburg - 3
Murdock - 3
Kerkhoven - 9
Spicer - 17
New London - 3
Pennock - 4
Willmar - 53

*Update: at an 11 a.m. media call today, MDH officials continued their insistence that youth sports contribute to the spread of COVID-19 among long term care facilities. A reporter pressed the issue, although no data was provided by MDH to back up what they are trying to assert.

Over in South Dakota, their state reported one COVID-19 death last Saturday. They reported no COVID-19 deaths Sunday through Tuesday. They reported one COVID-19 death yesterday (Wednesday). Today, South Dakota reported two COVID-19 deaths. Throughout the month of April, South Dakota has reported very few COVID-19 deaths. I'm tallying them up. They have slowed dramatically over the last two weeks. 

For comparison: in Minnesota, the MDH has reported 28 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, Wednesday and today. During that same period in South Dakota, they reported three COVID-19 deaths in a state that is not dramatically applying restrictions on youth sports or on their K-12 education systems like we are in Minnesota.

Active COVID-19 cases in South Dakota have now dropped to where they were on March 1, which is just below 2,000, in a state with approximately 900,000 residents. For today, South Dakota is reporting 1,953 "active" cases of COVID-19 in their state.

In 2020, active COVID-19 cases in South Dakota surpassed the 2,000 figure on approximately September 1.

In terms of hospitalizations, today in Minnesota, the MDH reports 196 people are in ICU with COVID-19. Over in South Dakota, that number is just 22.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Story on Governor Walz this week

This week the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper goes into proverbial "war mode" with the office of Governor Tim Walz. And we're not the only media organization doing so. We will be using all the weight of our First Amendment rights to get his office and his state machinery to explain why they specifically targeted youth sports last fall with Executive order 20-99 (the fall sports shut down).

The article is on page 7 this week.


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

In remembrance

In this week's Bonanza Valley Voice, the families of Adam Hanson and Aaron Theis have added a tribute to their loved ones who passed away in a car accident 20 years ago this month. The accident took place on April 22, 2001.

They were both ridiculously talented, fun-loving and outgoing members of the Class of 2000. Their loss shattered everyone who knew them, most of all their families. Anyone who attended their double funeral the following week at B-B-E high school will never forget the sadness we all felt.

And we'll never know why their lives were cut short as they were entering the prime of their lives.

The best thing we can all do is work every day to live life to its fullest and make them proud of the world we create for ourselves and our families.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Lost dogs in rural Brooten

If you know anyone who's missing two dogs, click on this to read more at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website (short link) =

Fascinating food for thought: imagine if cell phone use right before bed time (staring at a touch screen) contributes to a poorer immune system. Think about's probably not "if" either. 

Ponder this: touch screen usage at bed time (likely) screws up your circadian rhythm. This is a hugely important part of your immune system response to pathogens. Your circadian rhythm during sleep drives outcomes of your body's health.

You can keep rolling the dice, too, if you want...and keep your nose in that touch screen at bed time. The choice is yours!

In sports events today or tomorrow according to the schedule. The cold weather has scrubbed competitions.

School board is tonight at 7:30 p.m.

That's all for today. Good night!

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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Advancing to state!

Girls' basketball and wrestling won't be the only representation for B-B-E at state tournaments this year. 

At today's Section 5A speech meet, B-B-E's Billy Tensen earned a trip to the Class 1A state meet with a first-place finish in the Informative category.

This is awesome news! The state meet is next Saturday. 

More to come.

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Friday, April 16, 2021

(VIDEO) Pandemonium at Target Center

It was one of those unforgettable moments that you'll never forget as long as you live...that moment when Josie Knutson cashed a three-pointer in the final minutes of the state championship game! Once it swished through the cylinder, just 70 seconds remained in the game. B-B-E trailed 43-41.

That was crazy! It's still nuts to watch that.

How I didn't have a heart attack in those final seconds of that game, I'll never know. 

I was incorrect on my guess work on who was in on the backcourt trap to start this video. (It was Abby Berge and Karsee Kampsen.) Hey, I at least got it right in my newspaper article this week!

*Update: in the home opener tonight, the B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team lost by an 11-8 score to Swanville.

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Home opener

A home opener is scheduled today at 4:30 p.m. for the B-B-E Jaguars fastpitch team against Swanville. 

I haven't gotten results yet from yesterday's fastpitch or track and field action. Now it's time to prepare for my radio show on Smooth Magic 107 FM in Glenwood. (9:15 a.m.)

I learned yesterday that the Minnesota State High School League formally asked the Minnesota Department of Health if kids can play outdoor sports without masks.

The fact that we're at the point where we have to ask the MDH permission to do something that makes perfect sense shows how far we've gone in the wrong direction. God Help Us. Un-masking outside encourages outdoor activity. For MDH to discourage outdoor activity shows how vile they are. Vile, depraved.

On a GOOD note, THANK YOU to the MSHSL for taking that extremely pro-active step! I have criticized the MSHSL in the past. Today I am singing their praises.


Thursday, April 15, 2021

25 is the new number

**HEAD'S UP: a one-way flow of traffic down Second Street (west-bound) in Brooten has been set up, and stop signs stopping traffic on Central Avenue (main street Brooten) have been established. Please spread the word that there are stop signs that are in places we are not accustomed to.** (LINK: I've watched at least six cars or trucks blow straight through the intersection without stopping. However, I am thrilled to report that the first person who I saw who made a complete stop was a member of the B-B-E Class of 2021. Bravo! Now we have to get everyone else to pay attention there!

At 11 a.m. today, the Minnesota Department of Health released their weekly COVID-19 report for zip code population increases of new cases. We have no additional detail on whether those with these "cases" are infected or show symptoms. To be fair to the MDH, that level of detail would be difficult to assemble in a short period of time each week.

Belgrade’s increase in their zip code area was from 266 to 282 cases (16 new) in a population of approximately 2,622 people. In Brooten, the zip code area increase was from 131 to 140 (9 new) in a population of approximately 1,466 people.

For the record, the most new cases reported in a one-week period for Brooten was 19 cases, which was in late November of 2020.

Once again, the increase for Elrosa was zero new cases, the trend that’s held since mid-December 2020.

For the zip code area of Alexandria, they have reported 66 new cases in the last week with a population of about 23,000. For the Willmar zip code area (similar population to Alexandria), they reported 37 new cases in the last week.

Other area zip code increases for the past week:
Sunburg - 1
Spicer - 10
Glenwood - 18
Pennock - 3
New London - 9
Murdock - 5
Kerkhoven - 5
Freeport - 3
Melrose - 7
Paynesville - 22
Sauk Centre - 16

I'm not sure what's going wrong in Hennepin and Anoka counties, but their day-over-day case numbers exploded in the last 24-hours. The new cases reported yesterday (April 14) were as follows: Hennepin County 280 new "cases" and Anoka county 99 new "cases" they have 413 new (97% increase) in Hennepin County and 196 new (98% increase) in Anoka County. In Hennepin County, they've had strict COVID-19 rules in place on their daily life, their business life and other aspects of life across their communities. Worse than all that, their schools have been heavily, heavily restricted, causing unfathomable harm on their school-age children and families of those children. You'd think by now that a county like Hennepin would have their act together when it comes to COVID-19? They know all the Walz-mandated rules, right? There is wall-to-wall media coverage plus endless hysterical messaging from the Minnesota Department of Health. 

It almost makes a person wonder whether or not any hot air that comes from the MDH does any good! "Almost makes a person wonder."

And don't get me started on CNN, where a technical director by the name of Charles Chester was recorded saying "Fear really drives numbers" while he was explaining how CNN provided its coverage of COVID-19 over the past 13+ months.

To be sure: CNN is a collection of the worst human beings on earth.

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Three sports...and this, that and the other thing (VIDEO)

**HEAD'S UP: a one-way flow of traffic down Second Street (west-bound) in Brooten has been set up, and stop signs stopping traffic on Central Avenue (main street Brooten) have been established. Please spread the word that there are stop signs that are in places we are not accustomed to.** (LINK:

Three varsity sports teams get rolling today. I'm gathering all the information now on their season openers. Track and field plus baseball are both at home, while the fastpitch team is at Eden Valley-Watkins.

*UPDATE: there is no word yet on where the varsity baseball team will play their game today. Coach Illies reported that they are hoping to play it at the high school JV diamond in Belgrade. *Update: the baseball action for today is canceled.

As for me, I'm still in REST and recovery mode from the past...five weeks or so of crazy exciting times. 

Do you want to hear a Captain Obvious statement? This was in an actual New York Times article (April 14) that said that if you live a sedentary lifestyle, you are more likely to have bad outcomes from COVID-19. 

If it takes a NYT article to point that out to you,  #*$*#(&*(@$*#!!!%*!%!  (fill in the blank)  You have not been paying attention to any of the last 13+ months.

Now run this through your head:
In the last 30 days, South Dakota "COVID" deaths are the equivalent of 245 in Minnesota. They've had 39 "COVID" deaths, and their state is 6.3 times less populous than Minnesota. I get to that figure with the following estimates of population of both states in 2020 = 899,000 in South Dakota compared to 5.68 million in Minnesota. What's Minnesota "COVID" death cumulative number over the last 30 days? That number is 260 through April 14 With all these extra powers given to our dictator-in-chief, Tim Walz, we are not faring better. COVID-19 related hospitalizations are declining in South Dakota, which is the opposite of what the MDH has been reporting for Minnesota in recent weeks.

And making it all much worse, our kids are really suffering under the insane and idiotic rules Walz and his Department of Health goons are shoving down on our schools.

End rant.

In other news...
Here's a link to a web article that highlights the upcoming Belgrade consignment auction with Ziemer Auction Services: Video added from the 2017 consignment auction in Belgrade! It was a wet, rainy day, but everyone had a great time.

*Here's video featuring worship service at West Lake Johanna Lutheran church of rural Brooten for Easter Sunday, April 4.

The video begins with Brooten Class of 1968 graduate Jerry Skarpness reading the lessons and reciting of the Psalm reading. Pastor Steve Bovendam then reads the Holy Gospel and his sermon.

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Monday, April 12, 2021

Home track meet moved by two days

A home track and field meet that was scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) has been moved back to Thursday, April 15. Teams included are Kimball/Eden Valley-Watkins and Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City. According to the forecast, the Bonanza Valley area could get about one inch of snow tomorrow with a high temperature of 34 degrees. The extended forecast says we will have freezing, near-freezing or even below-freezing temperatures every night from now through at least April 22. (YIKES!)  I see a low of 25 degrees for Monday, April 19.

I'll post more about spring sports as I update this blog post on Tuesday.

The biggest, most important and most time-consuming task at hand right now is getting my April 15 newspaper issue ready for press.


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Winter sports photo galleries, and some good news!

Here's a short link to the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper's winter sports photo galleries that have been uploaded to this point at the SmugMug gallery...(short link) It is current through the state send-off for the girls' basketball team on March 30.

Monday updates
And some good news! We are firing up the Jaguar Spotlight section again in the Bonanza Valley Voice. Now we have a marathon ahead of us in trying to feature members of the Class of 2021 who are in two or more sports/activities. We hope to do this weekly for the next two months. I haven't tallied up the list of who hasn't been featured yet but should be. 

Locally, we are seeing the Highway 55 project get rolling in Brooten and Belgrade.

Today they're saying a high of 42 degrees...we have frost in the forecast this week: a low of 26 degrees is in the forecast for tonight! With possible snow...yikes! The gardening will be put on the back shelf for now.

More to come. It's city council night in Brooten.

Update: I was reviewing game notes from the Minneota game...just how commanding were the defenses to start that game? Well, with one-sixth of the game in the book...just eight total points had been scored! That's right! Six minutes played...the score was tied at 4-4. If that's extrapolated out across a complete game, the total points scored would have been just 48.

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Boys' basketball finals

The Hancock Owls boys' basketball team finished as Class 1A state runners-up after falling 61-60 to Hayfield in today's state championship action at Target Center.

The Owls trailed 61-57 and got a three-pointer at the buzzer. They finished 19-6 overall and went 7-1 in the Pheasant Conference to tie West Central Area as co-champions.

In Class 3A, Alexandria was soundly defeated by Minnehaha Academy in an 80-29 loss. The Cardinals finished 22-2 overall; they were 15-1 and sole champions of the Central Lakes Conference.

Friday, April 09, 2021

(VIDEO) Welcome home Jaguars!

Now we can relax and catch our breath! I hope the players can do just that this weekend! 

I had to look back quick to refresh my memory from recent seasons. In the 2017-2018 season, the B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team played a tremendous game in the Section 5A championship at Fergus Falls high school. They had a 23-17 halftime lead against a powerhouse Menahga team that night on March 9, 2018. I remember those final minutes of the game very well, and the ending was an extremely difficult loss to swallow by a 56-52 score. They fell one game short of state for the third time in four seasons that night. It was a long drive home.

Fast forward a year later, and on March 8, 2019, the Jaguars once again went up against a powerhouse Menahga team in the Section 5A championship. It was an incredible game where the Jaguars had multiple chances, but they fell short once again by single digits in a 46-39 loss. That was very, very tough to swallow. Once again they were "one game short" of the big show. Seniors on this year's team who played on that team are Jackie Lindsay, Karsee Kampsen, Allisa Knight and Karissa Jones. Look how far the program has come in the past two years! They now have two state tournaments, one Central Minnesota Conference title plus a Class 1A state runner-up finish! MARVELOUS! That is awesome!

The Section 5A championship losses of 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 are now ancient history. Now we move on and continue building the program into one that will stay on the state tournament map for years to come!

Here's video taken right when the Jaguars returned to the high school tonight...

The team (coaches, players, student managers) were honored with a really special and memorable welcome-home ceremony in the high school gymnasium. More on that to come this weekend. If you missed it, don't worry. You'll be able to watch it from beginning to end. Stay tuned.

Time to set aside the electronics and computers and put my feet up! We are going to enjoy Bee Movie on Netflix. Have a good night. I've spent enough time behind my cameras and computer screens this week! It's been an incredible ride. We are so extremely blessed with good things happening in Jaguar Country!

THANK YOU to Bonanza Valley State Bank of Brooten for the extended playoff and state tournament sports advertising in the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper! We couldn't do this extra coverage without that needed support.

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Step VII: what an incredible game, and a very tough ending (video added)

**** Welcome home information for the team is posted below here. They have a slight time change. I'm updating the blog on the fly. The rain and traffic have made it hard to estimate their ETA. So be on your toes, as they don't want to keep the players on the bus any longer than they need to.
*** Please spread the word. Remember your mask and stay home if you are sick or feel sick. COVID has been spreading in our area.

The record-setting seventh playoff game for the B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team went the way of the top-ranked and undefeated Minneota Vikings. The final score was 48-45. It was a truly unbelievable game that had intensity and great plays from wire to wire. The Jaguars came OH SO CLOSE to overcoming a nearly insurmountable 40-24 deficit in the second half.

With 11:27 left in the game, senior guard Abby Rost scored on a fast-break layup to put Minneota ahead 40-24. They were held to just eight points for the rest of the game.

The really big difference in the game was Minneota (25-0) making good on 6 of 15 three-point shots...the Jaguars made 1 out of 12 for the game beyond the arc. A late three-pointer by Josie Knutson with just over a minute left kept the Jaguars' hopes alive, trailing 43-41 at that point. Their defense had held the Vikings to just two points in a 10-minute span of that second half.

For the game, the Jaguars shot 12-for-20 at the free throw line. Minneota made 8 of 13 free throw shots.

Josie Knutson and Allisa Knight led the Jaguars (23-2) with 11 points each. Karissa Jones had 8 points. B-B-E reached 23 wins, which is the second-most wins in school history. They went 24-6 two years ago to set the school record for wins.

The Jaguars played with heart, guts and determination from wire to wire. They never gave up while battling a team that has been dominant in Class 1A basketball for the past 10-plus years. Minneota has won state titles in 2013, 2019 and now 2021. They've played in nine state tournaments since 2011 and were state runners-up in 2014.


**Here's video taken early in the first half today. Jackie Lindsay tied the game up at 2-2:

**Here's a video featuring the player introductions before Tuesday's semifinal game against Sleepy Eye St. Mary's:

More to come. ** I will post welcome home information for tonight at the high school. Bring your masks!! That will be determined once the team departs from Target Center.

please spread the word that the welcome home is at **5:40 p.m. tonight at the high school. Don't forget your masks.

The team left Monticello at 4:25 p.m., so they will be back earlier than 6 p.m. Let's be ready!

And if you miss it, don't worry, I will record it.

FINAL update to this post: I am adding a short video taken at the high school tonight (outside)...but that is in a new blog post. That's it for this post. 

THANK YOU to Bonanza Valley State Bank of Brooten for the extended playoff and state tournament sports advertising in the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper! We couldn't do this extra coverage without that needed support.

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State Finals posters are up around the B-B-E local business community!

Video has been added to the second-to-most-recent blog post that features action from Minneota on February 20.

**This blog post will include game updates and hopefully more radio links...for today's state championship game! Tip-off is at 1 p.m.

Here's the website link to Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood: You have to click on the audio button at the top of the homepage and then click "play" on the new audio player website that opens up. You can watch it on Channel 45 on Satellite. Here's the link to The Train, 106.5 FM. Todd Bergeth is in the house! LINK:   

More to come. It's time to head to Target Center!

*AND the old van made it! I am in the Target Center. It's 12:49, and the pregame clock shows just under 13 minutes until it's GAME TIME!    

TIP-OFF IS COMING! Tip-off was at 13:06.

With 10:36 left, a TV timeout is called...Minneota is ahead 9 to 6. It is a very, VERY tense game! I am shaking. Someone pass me the valium!!!

With 8:20 left, Minneota has a 14-8 lead.

With 5:22 left, Minneota has built a 23-10 lead, and Coach Anderson has called a timeout.

HALFTIME: #1 Minneota 28, #4 B-B-E 18. Both teams have a pile of turnovers, but that category has hampered the Jaguars. At the break, Allisa Knight leads the Jaguars with 7 points and 5 rebounds. Josie Knutson has 4 points and 2 rebounds, and Jackie Lindsay and Karsee Kampsen each have two points.

Junior 5'10" forward Natalee Rolbiecki leads the Vikings with 10 points and 2 rebounds. Senior 5'8" guard Abby Rost has 8 points and 6 rebounds.

B-B-E has out-rebounded Minneota by a 17 to 15 margin. The shooting percentage favors Minneota: 43.5 (10-of-23) on field goals to 30.4 (7-of-23) for B-B-E from the floor. B-B-E is 4-of-7 at the line, while Minneota is 4-of-6. Hurting in the biggest way is Minneota going 4-of-9 on the arc, while B-B-E missed all five three-point shots in the first half. That's really the biggest difference in the game so far.

The second half is set to begin at approximately 13:51.

With 16:15 left in the game, Minneota is ahead 33-18.

With 11:27 left in the game, Minneota has a 40-24 lead. It's their biggest lead of the game. A media/TV timeout has been called. Minneota is now 6-of-12 on the three-point line for the game, while the Jaguars are 0-of-7.

With 82 seconds left in the game, the Vikings have a 43-38 lead. THIS HAS BECOME A VERY INTENSE GAME ONCE AGAIN!!!!!!!

Updates in a NEW blog post.

THANK YOU to Bonanza Valley State Bank of Brooten for the extended playoff and state tournament sports advertising in the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper! We couldn't do this extra coverage without that needed support.

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Departures for the STATE FINALS!

The players and coaches depart for Minneapolis at 9:15 a.m. this morning from the high school. The fan bus (or buses?) leave at 9:45 a.m. from Brooten and 10 a.m. from Belgrade. 

I'm in a mad rush to get my gear ready and get to the Target Center! The week has been a blur. And with perfect timing to blow up my day yesterday, a power steering line blew up on my van in the afternoon. There I sat at RJ's dumping all the rest of the fluid on the cement. I limped it to Chris Jensen Auto Repair, and we patched it back together last night before the subsection speech meet awards ceremony. THANK you to NAPA of Belgrade for getting us last-minute repair supplies.

Life is always an adventure and this week has been no exception.


Thursday, April 08, 2021

Speech! Speech! Subsections are underway

And we can't forget about B-B-E Speech! The speech team is competing in the Sub-Section 5A meet today. I will have more to post later tonight after awards. Additional speech coverage was published on page 5 of this week's Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

*Update: I am a lucky person able to take in the speech subsection awards ceremony. The meet has wrapped up as of 8 p.m., and coaches are tallying up the scores. B-B-E has 16 speech team students who competed today.

**Update! B-B-E earned third place out of 5 teams. This is great with a very young team!!

Winning individual sub-section titles were Lily Kallevig, Aidan Johnson and Amber Stephani. Great job!!!! Read more in the April 15 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.


Here comes Minneota! (VIDEO)

Here's video from the last 78 seconds or so of the February 20 game at Minneota:

Don't look now, here comes the top-ranked team in Minnesota, according to Minnesota Basketball News! The Minneota Vikings are 24-0 and are the last team standing in the way of a state championship for our B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team.

*Here's a video clip from about the five-minute mark of the first half of the state semifinal was a battle from wire to wire on Tuesday!

More to come.

Thank you Bonanza Valley State Bank for the extended sports coverage advertising!


Area numbers, this week's B-B-E number is 10 once again

Here's the area "new case" numbers for the weekly report given by the MDH today, covering the last seven days of COVID-19 test positive results. I really hate the lack of context that we are provided by these numbers. There's little information on testing, hospitalizations, etc. on our local front. We just get the case numbers, and often I believe they're used just as scare tactics. It's the equivalent of using an anvil to kill an ant.

In South Dakota, their hospitals have a total of 19 people with COVID-19 who are in the ICU. In Minnesota, that number as of today is 131 (according to the Star Tribune). Minnesota's population is about six times that of South Dakota. They've reported just one "COVID-related" death in the last week...again, just ONE, in South Dakota...compared to 14 in Minnesota just today.

In Minnesota, over 83 percent of our seniors have received at least one dose of a vaccination series.

Belgrade - 6

Brooten - 4

Elrosa - 0

Pennock - 2

New London - 11

Spicer - 6

Sunburg - 0

Kerkhoven - 3

Murdock - 3

Glenwood - 17

Sauk Centre - 17

Melrose - 15

Paynesville - 15

Willmar - 47

Alexandria - 64;

That's all for now. Time to get my butt up to Elrosa and get more posters hung up!


Fan bus

Parents and others! B-B-E is offering a fan bus to Target Center tomorrow. They need a few more sign-ups!! Please contact the school before 11 a.m. today to get your child on the bus. The cost is $10.

320-254-8211, Option No. 2 for Nancy.

This is far safer than your teenager driving there and back!

Here's what I know: the school has a "waiting list" of students who want to go to the game, but they don't have tickets. So that, of course, is a problem. If people have tickets and would consider selling them to one or more of those students, please contact Nancy at the high school! 320-254-8211.

The other thing that would be really fabulous: could a few families tell their teenage drivers that they should ride the fan bus? The school doesn't want to fill the bus, but they also don't want to send a bus with just 6 or 8 kids on it (for example).

In that case, please contact Nancy at the high school and they can get a formal fan bus list squared away!

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Reviewing the state semifinal game (VIDEO)

Here's a low-resolution JPEG of the State Finals posters that are going up at local businesses around the B-B-E community tonight and early tomorrow morning.

In this blog post I will post a few notes from yesterday's win over Sleepy Eye Saint Mary's at Target Center.

And looking ahead to Friday, I'm very excited for the opportunity for our Jaguars and our B-B-E community to market ourselves to the rest of the state! This is an extremely rare opportunity for all of us, and especially the school and the athletic program. Let's make the most of it!

*UPDATE: the Bonanza Valley Voice sports department (me) is working on a team poster! I think I can pull this off this afternoon. *And the posters have been sent to the printer!!! Stay tuned on what locations they will be posted at.

FUN FACT: in the state semifinal game, B-B-E's bench players outscored SESM's bench players by a whopping 17 to 3 margin. Wow!

B-B-E started out with early 6-2 and 8-4 leads, and their defense shined the entire first half. They limited the most potent offense in Class 1A to just 17 points through the game's first 16-and-a-half minutes! Imagine that for a moment...that's not far off from just one point per minute of game clock. If that goes for a full game, they're not far off of 36 points for a 36-minute long game. And 36 points is the defensive average the Jaguars held coming into this game.

With 1:28 left in the first half, SESM's Sydney Windschitl sank two free throws to close a six-point deficit to a 23-19 score. That was the first points scored by the Knights since the 3:45 mark, when Madison Mathiowetz scored in the paint to give her team a 17-16 lead.

Overall, the first half featured six lead changes. The first lead change took place when SESM took a 9-8 lead with 11:40 left on a three-pointer by Reagan Severson. B-B-E led for the first six minutes of the game.

From the 11:40 mark to the 6:00 mark of the first half, the Knights either held the lead, or the game was tied. Karsee Kampsen earned a steal on the press with 7:15 left and scored to tie it at 13-13. Allisa Knight then broke the tie and gave B-B-E a 14-13 lead with a free throw with six minutes to go.

Just shy of two minutes passed on the game clock after that free throw by Knight before either team scored. With 4:10 left, Sydney Windschitl scored on a 10-foot shot to put SESM up 15-14.

Over a three-minute stretch from 6:00 to 3:00 in the first half, the lead changed five times. B-B-E went back in front with three minutes left on a layup by Knight for an 18-17 lead. The field goal started a 7-0 run by the Jaguars that also included a three-pointer by Harley Roering and a turnaround shot by Knight. That field goal by Knight made it 23-17 in favor of B-B-E with 1:44 left. 

SESM's offense, held in check in tremendous fashion by B-B-E's defense up to that point, scored five points to one for B-B-E over the last 88 seconds of the first half. That made the halftime score 24-22.

What B-B-E fans did not realize at halftime was that their Jaguars were in the midst of being outscored by an 11-1 margin. It was a difficult stretch of the game lasting from the 1:28 mark of the first half through the 13:10 mark of the second half. If you add it up, that's over six minutes of the game! That's one-sixth of the game! B-B-E's lone scoring came on a bonus free throw by Abby Berge with 29 seconds left in the first half. That free throw made it 24-22.

To start the second half, the Knights and Jaguars traded defensive blows to one another for the first 100 seconds. The Knights had a fast break going almost to precision in that time, but Allisa Knight got a terrific block on the layup with 16:34 left in the game.

SESM then busted the scoring lid on the second half with 16:20 left when Mathiowetz scored to tie the game at 24-24. Over a minute went by with no scoring, and Mathiowetz then scored again on a slicing layup with 15 minutes left to put the Knights ahead 26-24. That was their first lead of the game since the 3:45 mark of the first half when they led 17-16. By my math, that's almost seven minutes of the game where they were playing either from behind or on a tie.

SESM wasn't done, however, as they stretched it to a 28-24 lead with 14:20 left when Mathiowetz scored on a fast break pull up shot. At that point, that was B-B-E's biggest deficit of the game, and Coach Anderson called a timeout. The 11-1 scoring run by SESM was a big, ugly reality weighing on B-B-E's chances of a state championship berth.

The defenses continued to dominate the flow of the game, and over a minute passed with no scoring by either team while SESM held a 28-24 lead. That was altered in a big way when Josie Knutson pulled up on the right wing for a three-point shot with 13:10 left in the game. The ball SWOOSHED through the net, and B-B-E fans were on their feet! The lengthy field goal drought was over! It was B-B-E's first made field goal since Knight scored with 1:44 left in the first half, making it a six-plus minute field goal drought. 

Knutson made it clear to the Knights that they had to watch her closely on the arc, as the senior calmly knocked down another three-pointer from the same location with 12:36 left. B-B-E was on a fast break, and Knight had the assist to Knutson from the top of the key. I'll never forget her pass. It was timed perfectly, as SESM's defense collapsed on Knight near the free throw line.

SESM regained the lead at 33-32 with 11:45 left on a three-pointer by Severson. Mathiowetz scored in the paint a minute later for a 35-32 lead.

Knutson then scored a field goal on the free throw line with 10:30 left. Knight then capped a 7-0 scoring run with 6:40 left with a shot in the lane for a 39-35 lead.

SESM had multiple rallies over the last six minutes of the game, but they were unable to tie it or regain the lead. The Knights had cut it to 48-47 with 26 seconds to go, but B-B-E made the necessary free throws to earn the historic 51-50 win.

Here's a short video clip taken early in the first half of yesterday's game:

Gotta keep the wheels turning...

And this blog post is a wrap! Tomorrow I'll write about my poster fiasco that played out in front of my sleep-deprived eyes tonight.


Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Celebrate, soak it up and prepare for Friday! (VIDEO)

B-B-E schools will be closed (K-12) on Friday...if you are in a position where you can help other families out, do what you can! Let's help each other and cheer on our Jaguars! This is a historic time for our school. The game will be televised on statewide TV just as today's game was (Channel 45)

More to come.

And that moment! I cried. It was surreal.

Historic! And my oldest is just starting out her basketball career in the program! (fourth grade) This is a terribly exciting time for everyone here in Jaguar Country!

This post is a wrap.

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STEP VI: ON TO THE 'SHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!! (VIDEO)

 HOLY COW! they won!!!!!!!!!


51 TO 50! IT IS final!!!!!!!!!!

B-B-E held the Knights to 29 percent field goal shooting. Sleepy Eye St. Mary's made eight of 10 free throw attempts in the game. The Jaguars made 16 out of 26 free throws.

The Jaguars (23-1) play again in the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP game on Friday this week! I believe the tip-off time is at 12 p.m. (CORRECTION) Tip-off for the state finals is 1 p.m. on Friday.

More to come. Pit stop now in St. Michael!

*Update: Mountain Iron-Buhl leads 29-26 at half-time over Minneota.

*Update: with 49 seconds left, the other semifinal game is tied at 53-all. MIB has possession. 

**Here's a brief interview with Abby Berge that was recorded yesterday just before the players loaded the school bus for Minneapolis!

More to come.

***Update: Minneota advances to face our Jaguars in the state finals! The Vikings won 54-53 to improve to 24-0 on the season.

Currently, B-B-E schools is working out the ticket situation for Friday, and they have to make a decision on whether or not school will be in session. Not an easy decision. It's a difficult position to be in when the community wants to do everything we can to support the team!

I vote that they close school for Friday, and if needed, try offering day care for young families. That's just my two cents. This is a very special time for B-B-E and Jaguar Country. This is the first-ever berth in a state championship game.

I don't know the logistics of closing just the high school...again, it's above my pay grade.

We want to make the most of it and do all we can to support the team and enjoy the ride!!!

Here's a link to a sky cam photo that's posted at a web article at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website:

THANK YOU Bonanza Valley State Bank for the advertising!!!!!!!


Game updates post: State FINAL FOUR! Here we go! UPDATES posted

Here's where I plan to post game updates for the B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team as they face Sleepy Eye St. Mary's in the Class 1A state semifinals at Target Center! The game starts at 10 a.m.

Here's the link for Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood:

Please pray for everyone's safety as we travel to and from Minneapolis today!

*Update: we are court side (as much as we can be) at Target Center! Tip off in 15 minutes.

12 minutes left in the first half...B-B-E has an 8-6 lead.

**With 11 minutes left, SESM is ahead 10 to 8 after Reagan Seversen made one of two free throws. Coach Anderson then called a timeout.

With 8:22 left...SESM holds an 11-10 lead.

With 7:40 left, SESM got a fast break layup from Sydney Windschitl to forge a 13-10 lead. 

HALFTIME: B-B-E 24, SESM 22....the Knights got a layup shot off near the buzzer, but it rolled off of the rim! This lead is tenuous, and everything is being challenged today! This is a fantastic game. Time to turn it up a notch!

B-B-E is 3-of-7 at the free throw line at halftime. Scoring at halftime for B-B-E (what I've got access to)...Allisa Knight 9, Harley Roering 3, Josie Knutson 2, Abby Berge 1. Berge has six rebounds, and Knight has five rebounds. SESM is not letting Berge see day light when she gets near the basket.

For SESM at halftime: Mathiowetz leads her team with 10 points, four rebounds and one assist. She has two personal fouls. Sydney Windschitl has five points.

It's 10:51 right now, and the Jaguars have stepped back onto the court after their halftime locker room break!


Update: with 14:10 left, Coach Anderson called a timeout, and the Knights have a 28-24 lead. They are on a 5-0 run to start this second half. SESM has outscored B-B-E by an 11-1 margin over the recent stretch going back to the first half.

UPDATE: with 11:10 left, a TV advertising timeout has been called, and SESM holds a 33-32 lead.

THIS IS CRAZY!!!!!!!!! I can barely write my notes on my notepad.


THANK YOU to Bonanza Valley State Bank for the extra sports sponsorship for our playoff coverage of the Jaguars at STATE!


Monday, April 05, 2021

And they're off to St. Paul! (VIDEO)

Crazy busy times right now. Just crazy busy. And all good. Our news and sports departments are being flooded with good news!

Here's video from their departure from town today. They left with as little fanfare as possible, outside of the police escort! Thanks, Chief Jansky!!

More to come. 

Tomorrow will be a fabulous day! Something's gotta give! Yes, that's right...figure this: Sleepy Eye St. Mary's averages 78 points a game to lead Class 1A, while B-B-E's defense gives up just 36 points a game - the best defense in Class 1A. Their combined record is 45-1. Something's gotta give tomorrow...we'll see how the offensive juggernaut stacks up against one of Minnesota's stingiest defenses!

Not much blogging time right now...I am putting together another very special Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper. Sometimes a person just can't put into words how special our B-B-E community is. We are extremely blessed with super hard-working, sincere and amazing kids up and down the ranks of the school system. They are backed by super amazing parents and grandparents!!!

Tuesday will be pure crazy!

Exciting times!

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Sunday, April 04, 2021

Sleepy Eye St. Mary's Knights (Local video added)

On this blog post on Monday, I'll post more information on the Sleepy Eye St. Mary's Knights girls' basketball team.

The scoring column looked as follows for the Knights in their state quarterfinal win over Mayer Lutheran: Madison Mathiowetz 44 points, Sydney Windschitl 19, Reagan Severson 7, Emma Currans 4, Katelyn Rutscher 2, Liz Schwint 2.

Mathiowetz, a junior, sank three of five three-point shots, 10 of 20 two-point field goals and made all 15 of her free throw attempts to get to 44 points. She also had 15 of her team's 38 rebounds.

Overall, SESM sank eight of 16 three-point shots. They were 24-of-30 at the free throw line.

More to come in the morning.

*Monday update: I have received "almost" final confirmation that both Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood (Brady) and 106.5 FM The Train (Todd Bergeth) will be covering Tuesday's state tournament game at Target Center. Please spread the word!!

Also, as of mid-morning on Monday, I still haven't received approval for my attendance at the game from the MSHSL. Fingers crossed!

And on an unrelated note, I learned that Ms. Vicky's Cafe in Sunburg will open an hour earlier than she has this winter. That's wonderful! She is now open at 7 a.m., earlier than 8 a.m. And that will go to 6 a.m. in May. More of the "snowbirds" are coming back to Minnesota! This is wonderful news.

UPDATE: Cheryl and I have both been approved for media coverage tomorrow. HALLELUJAH!!!

Here's video from the trip down main street Brooten as the team was on their way to Perham last Tuesday:

More to come.


(VIDEO) Easter Sunday worship

Here's video for Easter Sunday worship at the Brooten Community Church today:

Pastor Rick Krasky gave a terrific sermon!

Today we are reaching near 80 degrees for a high across the Bonanza Valley area.

Go outside! Get some sun on your face. You will feel better for it. (Notice I said "some" sun!)

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Saturday, April 03, 2021

Deep sorrow: Mr. Frazee has passed away

I learned of the passing of Mr. Terry Frazee on Friday afternoon (yesterday) was the equivalent of a kick in the stomach. It is deeply sad news. He passed away at his "snowbird" home in Dundee, Florida, on March 21.

In his retirement after his Brooten/B-B-E years, he and his amazing wife, Kathryn, lived on Green Lake in rural Spicer. He always kept in touch with the B-B-E community. He really cherished his years as the Brooten school district superintendent.

Since I heard the news, I've been "off" my game and burdened with great sorrow. I have had a handful of conversations with him in my time owning the newspaper, but I never took the time to get him on the phone and do a good, lengthy interview. I will always regret that. It was on my Summer 2021 bucket list...but it was not meant to be. His obituary will be in the April 8 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice. You can also bet your bottom dollar that I'll have a tribute story about him in a future issue.

Mr. Frazee was first a science teacher before moving into the administrative ranks of education in the 1970s. He was hired by the Brooten school board as superintendent in 1980. He was leader of the Brooten school district during what can certainly be considered "very hard times" as the farm recession ravaged rural America in the mid-1980s. Frazee loved the school and the community, and he especially loved Brooten's students and teachers. In August 1989, Frazee took the role of B-B-E senior high school principal in Brooten, leading grades 10-12 at the senior high building in Brooten. He held that position for five years, and he was the B-B-E grades 7-12 principal at the newly-remodeled high school in Belgrade in 1994-1995. That was my junior year at B-B-E, and he was an integral part of the rich, wonderful memories I have as a B-B-E student. He was one of countless staff members at B-B-E who consistently showed me over and over again that they deeply cared about me and my future.

I mentioned Mr. Frazee in a May 2008 blog post on this Jaguar can read it here, and he is included in the final paragraph (short link)

He will be greatly missed.

God bless his memory.

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Easter in Elrosa

Elrosa held a wonderful Easter Bunny drive-around event! The Elrosa Fire Department, with assistance from the Elrosa Commercial Club, drove the Easter Bunny all around town this morning.

Now it's time to get ready for the Brooten Easter Egg hunt at 1 p.m.!

*Update: Brooten had a magnificent Easter egg hunt event for over a hundred kids today at the city park! We even had an inflatable bouncy house for kids to enjoy!! We are very happy today in the Bonanza Valley.

I'm back in the garden this afternoon turning the spade and getting dirt under my fingernails.

Dirt gives life.


Friday, April 02, 2021

In the garden

I had meant to take yesterday "off" and instead spent today not doing anything newspaper-related in the afternoon. It's Good Friday. I hope to make it to worship service tonight at West Lake Johanna Lutheran church.

A great day to get in the garden! And that's what I am doing.

Tomorrow is going to be absolutely spectacular. One of the nicest spring days we've had in years!!!!!!

Remember: Easter Egg hunt at the Brooten city park at 1 p.m. sharp! Read more at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website (short link)

More to come.

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250 *TICKET LINK ADDED, all tickets are SOLD

TICKETS AVAILABLE at noon BUT THEY WILL GO FAST = click on this short link to open the program. B-B-E officials worked very quickly to get the player families taken care of, and a large batch of B-B-E students have also signed up for tickets. So that is great!!!!!!!

You will need to download software on your smartphone, and that will allow you to use a QR scanner to get scanned in. You cannot use a screen shot of a ticket for entry to Target Center.***

AS of 12:30 p.m., just 16 tickets are available from what I am seeing. 

*UPDATE: as of 12:35 p.m., just 10 tickets are available. (Told ya' they're going fast!)

I'm taking a break and going outside.

**UPDATE: as of 1 p.m. today, just four tickets are available...they are in Section 113. Tickets have to be purchased in groups of two. It is best that ticket holders be somewhat savvy on a SmartPhone.

*UPDATE at 13:30...they are sold out. That's it. Now we prepare for Tuesday!

Original post:
We get 250 fans....that's official. My sources yesterday were correct, and the gut punch has been delivered to our community by the MSHSL.

Tickets for the public will be few and far between. Presently this morning, the school is determining tickets needed for family of the B-B-E players. Students get next choice. 

By this afternoon, school officials will have more information to announce. 

*UPDATE: I've learned that "for the most part" the student and player family batches of tickets have been filled out. Just shy of noon today, a few public tickets are available for B-B-E fans.

This blog post is a wrap.