United Methodist’s ‘Garden Sanctuary’ nears completion

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by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com An ambitious project dubbed Garden Sanctuary is expected to be completed this summer on the grounds of United Methodist Church of the St. Cloud Region, in Sartell at 1107 Pinecone Road S. The church, which was for years on Fifth Avenue South in St. Cloud, just a few blocks from downtown, was rebuilt in Sartell about

Police will soon have new tool to catch red-light runners

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by Stephanie Dickrell news@thenewsleaders.com Local law enforcement will soon have some help cracking down on drivers who run red lights. Stearns County received federal funding to install traffic-confirmation lights on several county-owned traffic signals, including some in St. Joseph, said Randy Sabart, the city’s engineer. A light is installed on the back of a traffic signal. It turns blue when

WWII vet, Wahlstrom wanted to be part of the action

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The American Legion is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2019. In addition to national and statewide activities commemorating this milestone, American Post 328 of St. Joseph is planning a number of festive and patriotic activities for the community.   One of those special events will be profiles of St. Joseph-area veterans published in each Newsleader during 2019. The Newsleader is joining

Legion plans Memorial Day events

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St. Joseph American Legion members will honor veterans with a series of events on Memorial Day, May 27. At 8:45 a.m., Legionnaires, members of Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion will march to the 9 a.m. Service at St.  Joseph Catholic Church. After the service, Legion members families and guests will move to the St. Joseph Cemetery

As session deadline nears, budget deal pushes aside policy goals

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The end is near. Legislators are heading toward a deadline of midnight Monday, May 20, to finish their work. Despite the best intentions at the start of the session to look for early compromises and stick to a deadline to wrap up committee work, the big decisions will happen at the last minute. Last year, the Republican-controlled Legislature and DFL

May 13-19 proclaimed ‘Police Week’ in Sartell

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by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com The week of May 13-19 has been proclaimed Police Week in Sartell by the city’s mayor, Ryan Fitzthum. Fitzthum read the proclamation at the May 13 City Council meeting directly after the swearing in of the new deputy police chief, Wayne Schreiner. In his proclamation, the mayor noted some grim data. Last year, there were 60,211

Passion for sports led women’s quest for equality

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The short history of equality for female athletes was showcased recently at Stearns History Museum’s History Maker Gala. The event honored local women who pioneered equality and athletic opportunity for girls and women. For today’s female high school and college athletes, it must be hard to imagine a world where their “athletic” opportunities were limited intramural teams, powder-puff football and

Mary Lou, now 90, is unforgettable

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Happy Belated Birthday, Mary Lou Westra! Of the many, many thousands of people I’ve interviewed and written about in my four decades of reporting, there are several standouts. Though there have been so many favorites, three of them often spring to mind. One was singer Tammy Wynette, whom I interviewed sometime in the mid-1980s in her luxury RV between her