In mid-August, Jeani Donnay, took her cats, Tom and Jerry to the St. Joseph Vet Clinic for routine shots and a checkup. She had them in a crate (much to their displeasure) in the car with her granddaughters, Addie and Emmie. In the transfer out of the car and into the clinic, Jerry escaped. Addie, who thought she was helping, had opened the crate door to remove Jerry and carry him inside. He took off like a shot and was soon out of sight. Donnay ran after him but alas, Jerry was just too fast. The family was overjoyed when Jerry mysteriously returned.
This winter, nobody in St. Joseph should mope and play shut-in just because the weather is a bit nippy. There will be plenty of fun outdoor activities, thanks to planning by the city’s new parks and recreation director, Rhonda Juell.
Tanner’s Team Foundation, a local charity, presented a free virtual Christmas concert Dec. 15. The pre-recorded performances included local and national acts.
According to SmartAsset, an online source for consumer-focused financial information, St. Joseph falls within the top 10 cities of the most tax-friendly cities to retire in. The study ranks cities across the country on a Retirement Tax Friendliness Index, which measures property, income, fuel, sales and Social Security tax data for each region.
On Jan.11, Gov. Tim Walz ordered the flags in Minnesota to be flown at half staff in honor of local St. Joseph resident Andy Loso. Firefighter captain Andy Loso, 42, passed away in November 2021, due to complications with COVID-19. Loso was a prominent member of the St. Joseph community, and residents will miss his presence greatly.
American Legion Post 328 of St. Joseph is a charter post. This means Post 328 was organized and recognized in the first year the National American Legion was chartered by Congress. The American Legion supports many national and community-based organizations, including supporting the Boy Scouts and maintaining a relationship with the National Educators Association. Earlier this month, Post 328 showed support for St. Joseph’s Catholic School.
On the day Betty Lansing turned 85 years old, she was working as a “foster grandmother” with her beloved kindergartners at Kennedy Elementary School in St. Joseph. On that day, the school’s intercom system announced “Today is Betty Lansing’s 85th birthday.” The students in a sixth-grade class leaped up and loudly clapped and cheered: “Happy Birthday, Grandma Betty!”
Across the nation we are seeing a shortage of educators; teachers, paraprofessionals, nurses, teacher’s aides, social workers, counselors, food staff, bus drivers and more. When school started in September of 2021, there was a major district in Minnesota that started the year with more than 100 openings. The number of openings in districts across the state has continued to fluctuate.
Great River Energy, a wholesale electric supplier to Stearns Electric Association, is proposing to rebuild an existing 3.2-mile, 69-kV transmission line to 115-kV in the St. Joseph area. Great River Energy will host an upcoming public information open house to share details about the project.
On July 1, Shawn Colberg will begin his new position as the dean of the St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary. Colberg will replace Fr. Dale Launderville, OSB, who has served in the position since 2015.
Colberg is currently the associate professor of theology at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University and associate dean in the St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary.
A silver lining of the pandemic is how it has encouraged so many of us to evaluate how we want to spend our time and what we want to put into the world. For Grace Oey of Puff da Pastry the pandemic became a time of reflection.
Jolie Olie’s Sweet Shoppe is coming to St. Joseph. Soon, the vacancy left behind by Sliced on College Avenue will have a new look. Jo Wood, otherwise known as Jolie, is owner and founder of Jolie Olie’s.
On Jan. 29, officers from several agencies including the Sheriff’s Office, along with family and friends of police officer Brian Klinefelter, who was killed in the line of duty, remembered his sacrifice by having the honor guard conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of his murder.
The St. Joseph Catholic School has been offered the chance to earn a large grant. From now until March 30, if the school can raise $25,000 through unique donations that are over and above their standard annual donations, the Schulze Family Foundation has agreed to double that amount.
New maps published Feb. 15 show St. Joseph will be part of two legislative districts as a part of the once-a-decade rebalancing of political boundaries to reflect the latest population count. About half of St. Joseph will move to District 14 and the rest of the city will remain in District 13. St. Joseph residents south of CR 75 and east of College Avenue will now be part of District 14, which includes St. Cloud, St. Augusta and Waite Park.
The owners of KPower Yoga of Sartell plan to open their second studio in early May in a refurbished house at 109 W. Ash St., St. Joseph, just east of the post office. Reconstruction began in November on the 60-year-old rambler that will also house Elevated Eating, a clinic that promotes health through nutrition. Both businesses will have separate retail spaces, which will include a boutique for KPower.
Nicole Borg of Sartell carries within her many places – her early years in North Dakota, the high-plains country of south central Colorado, her time in California and the four-season places of central Minnesota.
Her keen awareness of those places, those landscapes she interiorized all of her life inform her passion as a teacher. As of Feb. 12, Borg began teaching writing at the Minnesota Street Market in downtown St. Joseph (27 Minnesota St. E.) Any adult, no matter their writing-skills level, can join the group. The free ongoing work- shop will meet from 10-11:30 a.m. every third Saturday of each month through July.
The Newsleaders newspapers were honored recently with two awards from the Minnesota Newspaper As- sociation – one for their editorial/opinion pages and an individual award for photographer Carolyn Bertsch.
A Newsleader graphic designer, Marg Crumley, also won an award in another contest. The awards were presented by the MNA’s annual “Better Newspaper Contest.”
Plans are underway for a new electrical transmission line in St. Joseph that could boost by almost one-third the power available to the area. If approved, the line construction would be done in the summer of 2024.
In the heart of St. Joseph lies a piece of nostalgic history with a touch of the modern. But that’s not all the Estates Bed & Breakfast has to offer. Owner Tammy Cowan, originally from south Minneapolis, exemplifies that small-town feel from the moment you pull up to the moment you leave. Built in 1909, the bed and breakfast’s primary use had been as a rental home for the local college students of St. John’s and St. Ben’s. It’s had some updates throughout the year’s and today stands as St. Joseph’s only B & B, a place Cowan is proud to call her own.
Bad Habit Brewing Co. is expanding its current location on College Avenue by increasing production and warehouse capacity, and adding an event space. Construction began Dec. 3, and is expected to be completed in July, said co-owner Aaron Rieland.
Imagine what it’s like to move to a new place – find a house, new doctors, new hair stylist, new grocery stores, new church, new school, get a driver’s license, register to vote and make new friends – when you speak the language. Now imagine what it’s like for Somali refugees who moved into St. Joseph, who had to do all those things not knowing the language.
Some might say Ted Bechtold of St. Joseph was in the right place at the wrong time – teaching in Ukraine when the Russian invasion began in February. Others, however, might say he was in the right place at the right time because it gave him a chance to help so many fleeing refugees.
Starting March 25 at the Paramount Center for the Arts, Roald Dahl’s famous story, “James and the Giant Peach” is being brought to the stage by students and staff of St. John’s Preparatory School.
The St. Cloud area has long been identified as a “training hub” for the horrendous criminal sex-trafficking that is increasing constantly in Minnesota and throughout the world. Local people are outraged about it and want to bring awareness to those heinous crimes in order to put an end to the abuse and violence. Many of those local people have organized a fundraising event called “Walk Together: Uniting Against Sexual Violence.” All of the proceeds will go to the St. Cloud-based Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center. Last year, the same kind of walk raised almost $31,000 for the CMSAC.
Get ready, get set, play ball! St. Joseph is gearing up this spring for a summer season of softball, baseball and soccer leagues for young children, as well as other fun activities.
When family dog Trixie gave birth to eight puppies last March, it was important to 14-year-old Saima Velline that the puppies went to good homes. After all, not only was she there for the birth of all eight puppies, but her mom Cindy said she spent the three nights prior to the birth sleeping on the floor next to Trixie, just in case.
Bringing young people into the northern wilds for four summer weeks to endure exhausting physical and mental ordeals sounds cruel. However, from those extreme exertions and challenges Les Voyageurs helps gradually develop, as if by magic, a whole range of qualities: psychological and physical strengths, confidence, healthy interpersonal relationships, vital teamwork skills and an inner faith in what is important and what is not.
Jerome Supan, a U.S. Army veteran, was recently honored by the St. Stephen Post 221 American Legion at a Legion meeting April 5. Supan, now in his 80s, is the first recipient of a monthly honors meeting for veterans. The tributes will take place at the The Rusty Nail bar-and-restaurant in St. Stephen. That is the place where the American Legion meets because it does not have a building of its own.
It isn’t the first time Mary Bruno, owner of Bruno Press in St. Joseph, has given back. In fact, being able to help those in need is one of the things she loves best about being the owner of a small business. Many people are hurt and upset by what is happening in Ukraine right now and there are a lot of people who want to help. The question is, how? When Aric Katterhagen, a long-time friend of Bruno’s and originally from Rice, called Bruno up and asked her if she wanted to do a project for Ukraine, it was a no-brainer.
With a bit of luck (fingers crossed), St. Joseph will soon be able to start developing a 95-acre swath of land known as East Park. With recent city-council approval, St. Joseph Community Development Director Nate Keller submitted a grant application to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Outdoor Recreation Program. It would be a matching grant with $250,000 from the state, matched by $250,000 from the city.
Although a warm spring has been slow in coming, it will soon be time to clean up yards and get ready for summer. The St. Joseph Compost Site opens May 2, but those who want to bring debris to it must first obtain a permit.
Twin brothers Brad and Chad Phillipp of St. Joseph, both of them veterans, are strong believers in firearms safety, and that is why they decided to teach youth gun-safety training and practice.
The last piece in the redistricting puzzle is now in place as the Stearns County board approved a new commissioner district map and decided terms for the five districts.
On May 2, many community members and businesses showed immense support to longtime St. Joseph resident Alicia Peters at the Parkinson’s Moving Day Fundraiser at Bad Habit Brewing. With the help of more than 15 volunteers, attendance of many community members and donated items, money and time, $4,150 was raised. All proceeds will go to the Parkinson’s foundation which helps to support those with Parkinson’s, educate about the disease and fund research.
Now in its sixth summer-fall season, the Rolling Ridge Wood-Fired Wednesday concert series, which opened May 18, has become an entertainment staple in St. Joseph. Rolling Ridge Wedding and Event Center is the site for the Wednesday musical evenings. It is located at 31101 CR 133, past the Coborn’s store.
Local artist, Kelly Meyer, received a Minnesota State Art Boards grant. With this grant she plans to offer free art classes to individuals with moderate to severe physical and/or intellectual disabilities. As well as an art lover, Meyer is a deaf/blind intervener for the St. Cloud school district and has had more than 20 years of experience working with people with disabilities.
Delrose Fischer and Betty Schloemer worked hard May 18 hanging up dazzling handmade quilts in the vast lobby of Heritage Hall by the St. Joseph Catholic Church. Schloemer and Fischer are two of the current 14 members of the St. Joseph Parish Quilt Group. Since 1986, when it started, the group’s members past and present have made more than 1,000 quilts. The stunning works are auctioned off every summer at the St. Joseph Parish Fourth of July Festival, and the proceeds are used to help the parish.
A “Wear Orange” rally to raise awareness about gun violence took place in St. Joseph June 5. Just before noon, 35 participants, many of them wearing orange clothing, gathered on the grassy lot on the south side of the Catholic Church Rectory building. There were songs, prayers, poetry and impassioned testimony from participants about the horror, pain and heartbreak caused by gun-wielding killers.
Geri Bechtold, a St. Joseph resident and vice president of operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota was recently honored with the 2022 ATHENA Award. Bechtold was nominated for this award because of her dedication to mentoring women and girls professionally as well as through personal mentorships and community partnerships.
A home-décor store named WR Home Co. recently opened in St. Joseph in the repurposed building that used to house the city’s fire and police departments at 25 First Ave. NW. WR Home offers home furnishings, and its co-owners will provide for customers design consultations and total-room redesigning projects.
The annual “Joetown Rocks” concert featuring the The Killer Vees and other performers will kick off the annual two-day Fourth of July celebration in downtown St. Joseph.
Joyce Brenny, the founder and chief executive officer of Brenny Transportation in St. Joseph, has been chosen to serve as the grand marshal in the Fourth of July parade in downtown St. Joseph.
On June 16, Trobec’s Bus Service Inc., based out of St. Stephen, broke ground at their soon to be new permanent facility in St. Joseph.
On Nov. 9, 2002, 20-year-old St. John’s University student Joshua Guimond left an on-campus party, stepped into the cold night and was never seen or heard from again. Now, almost 20 years later, renewed efforts have begun to generate tips and clues that just might lead to the cause of Guimond’s dreadful disappearance.
Daryl Schaefer loves to see familiar faces in his newly opened ice-cream shop, The Wandering Cow, in downtown St. Joseph. “This shop is only 500 square feet,” he said. “I call it a small and cozy shop. Our family has lived in St. Joseph for 13 years so we know a lot of local people, and it’s always good to see them when they come in.”
Jeff Schreiner and his band, Sweet Siren, returned recently from Europe where they performed eight shows for troops at seven military bases in four countries. Schreiner, 51, grew up in St. Joseph and attended St. Joseph Lab School.
An alumna of the College of St. Benedict has been chosen to become the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons for the U.S. Department of Justice, starting Aug. 1, according to a story on the CSB/SJU website.
A loving husband and father, a dedicated firefighter, a Model-T hobbyist, a passionate city and church volunteer, a deadpan humorist. Those are just some of the phrases used to describe the late Andy Loso of St. Joseph, to whom the St. Joseph Fourth of July Festival was dedicated. Praises for Loso were given from the stage of the Joetown Rocks concert the evening of July 3.
The St. Joseph City Council at its July 18 meeting passed a year-long moratorium on any sales of THC edibles so the city can work out an ordinance pertaining to such sales. Sartell passed a five-month moratorium at its July 25 city council meeting as well.
Bob Pederson of St. Joseph, who is battling cancer, will be the recipient of funds raised by the Joe Boys Poker Run after its Aug. 13 fundraising event.
The search for the cause of Joshua Guimond’s baffling disappearance nearly 20 years ago continues via a podcast series of investigations that have revealed accounts of alleged abduction attempts during that same time frame. Guimond, a 20-year-old student and political-science major who hailed from Maple Lake, “vanished” on the night of Nov. 9, 2002 after leaving a card party at a dorm on the campus of St. John’s University. A few months ago, a Minneapolis civil-rights attorney, Josh Newville, initiated a series of podcasts called simplyvanished.com. For years, Newville has researched other missing-person cases. He is convinced searchers/investigators at the time had missed or completely overlooked clues largely because so many were convinced Guimond had drowned in a lake or swampy area on campus. That certainty caused a kind of tunnel vision. A massive search of the entire area, including the lake, revealed nothing. After several podcasts, a nagging question is beginning to emerge: Did Guimond leave the party that night to meet up with a person or people he might have met via Internet chat-room connections or was he abducted by one or more people in a car while walking back to his dorm?
Music was the “best medicine” for famed rock ‘n’ roller Bobby Vee and his family when he was struggling with the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease before he died at 73 in 2016, just months after his wife, Karen, died of kidney failure. Less than a year later, a widow in Avon, Irene Linn, also died of Alzheimer’s at age 65. The mother of five boys, she was diagnosed with the disease in 2009. The happy but often heartbreaking memories of Vee and Linn motivated their survivors, their loved ones, to start the annual “Rock 4 Alzheimer’s” in St. Joseph seven years ago. The next event will take place Sept. 11 at Bad Habit Brewing Co. in downtown St. Joseph.
In the Nov. 8 general election, St. Joseph voters will have a slate of choices, some of whom were determined in the Aug. 9 primary. Those include six candidates for three seats open on the St. Cloud school board. Primary voters chose the following: incumbents Zachary Dorholt and Natalie Ringsmuth Copeland, Mike Bueckers, Nicole Rierson, Theresa Carlstedt and Heather Weems.
It was a such a shocking, sudden tragedy that devastated so many people – the death of Josh Fiedler of rural St. Joseph. On Dec. 9, 2020, Fiedler, 39, was exercising during lunch break on his at-home treadmill when he collapsed from heart failure. He left a wife, Liz, and a 3-year-old daughter, Vidalia. The day after Fiedler’s funeral, Liz discovered she was one month pregnant. Seven months later, she gave birth to their second daughter, Davie. One year and six months after Fiedler’s passing, his family and friends still miss him terribly.
Liz wrote a children’s book, “When Flowers Bloom,” in honor of her husband and daughter Vidalia, to whom he loved to read storybooks. More recently, Liz and others are raising money for an endowment fund for the St. John’s University Josh Fiedler Memorial Scholarship. It is a fitting memorial and legacy because Fiedler thrived during his four years at SJU. He graduated in 2003 with a degree in political science.
Back in its full glory after two phantom years, the juried Millstream Arts Festival Aug. 28 was a rousing success in downtown St. Joseph. After about 40 years, the Millstream Arts Festival had to be cancelled or drastically curtailed in the past two years because of the pandemic. The festival started in the early 1980s on the campus of the College of St. Benedict. Later, it was moved every fall to Riverside Park, then to Minnesota Street and this time to North College Avenue.
On a sunny afternoon Aug. 26, the St. Joseph Farmers’ Market attracted more than 600 people who strolled the grounds, purchased food items and socialized pleasantly.
The road to recovery from substance abuse does not stop right after completing a treatment program; in fact, that is where the road to genuine recovery begins, according to John G. Donovan, co-founder and director of Recovery Community Network. Donovan, who is also an author and public speaker, finds himself especially busy this month, September, which is “National Recovery Month.”
Just because summer is winding down doesn’t mean the fun, too, is about to stop – at least not in St. Joseph.
That’s the upbeat attitude of St. Joseph Recreation Director Rhonda Juell. In an interview with the Newsleaders, she talked about the variety of activities for people of all ages that will be available this fall and winter.
Two will vie for St. Joseph mayoral position in the Nov 8 general election: incumbent Rick Schultz and current city council member Kelly Beniek.
An evening of discussion centered around the experience of rural entrepreneurship and moderated by none other than MPR’s Kerri Miller revealed an array of small business experiences Sept. 20 in St. Joseph.
Three will vie in race for St. Joseph city council: incumbents Jonathan Hazen and Kevin Kluesner and newcomer Adam Scepaniak.
St. Joseph City Administrator Therese Haffner resigned.
Aric Putnam and Tama Theis will – for the third time – compete against each other in the November general election. This time around, incumbent state Sen. Putnam (Democratic-Farmer-Labor party member) will be challenged by incumbent House Rep. Tama Theis (a Republican who for the past decade has represented the greater St. Cloud area – District 14A).
Together Dani Lindner, Kelly Beniek and Jonathan Hazen resurrected Central Minnesota’s Take Back the Night march and rally set Oct. 13.
The St. Joseph Area Historical Society is like a homeless orphan, still looking longingly for a place to call home. Its artifacts have been patiently and lovingly collected for many years, but now all of them are in storage here, there and elsewhere. As a result, members of the public and diehard history buffs cannot go to one particular place, to view and ponder the artifacts that bring the city’s history vividly to life.
Survivors of sexual violence and their allies rallied in response to this ongoing crisis on a cold autumn night Oct. 13 at an event titled “Central MN Take Back the Night” on the campus of the College of St. Benedict.
Participants networked, listened to speakers and marched directly down the middle of Minnesota Street. Today, the movement against sexual violence is about changing the way sexual violence is thought of. Instead of focusing on telling women and girls to protect themselves, the emphasis is on teaching all people about consent, supporting survivors and providing resources.
After nearly seven years of zealously managing the Minnesota Street Market, Pia Lopez retired Oct. 23. Dozens of board members, friends, volunteers and co-op employees gathered for her retirement party.
“If it weren’t for Pia, I don’t think the co-op would be around today,” said Jim Degiovanni, co-op board member and volunteer. The crowd applauded in agreement.
In the race for Minnesota Senate District 13, the incumbent Jeff Howe is being challenged by newcomer Alissa Brickman in the Nov. 8 general election.
Four local poets are scheduled to read at a poetry event “Hit the Nail Home” Nov. 17 at the Minnesota Street Market, Food and Art Co-Op.
St. Joseph voters re-elected Rick Schultz to a seventh two-year term as mayor. Kevin Kluesner and Adam Scepaniak won four-year terms to the St. Joseph City Council.
For many families, affording laundry can be difficult. As of Oct. 18, “Laundry Love” can help. On the first and third Tuesdays of each month, from 5 to 8 p.m., people in St. Joseph can do their laundry for free at the Coin Laundromat. Laundry Love is a national initiative which began in 2003 with the idea to ensure everyone is able to have clean laundry by distributing free quarters and detergent.
The Penny Press Project, as part of a Minnesota Public Arts Project, arrives Nov. 6 at Milk & Honey. People can feed a penny press to make “itty-bitty pieces of collectible art.” Mary Bruno, a St. Joseph printer-artist, contributed to the project.
A network of watchers will keep a close eye on winter weather for the sake of the safety of school students by implementing emergency school closings when weather turns nasty. The network includes the public schools of St. Cloud, Sartell-St. Stephen and Sauk Rapids-Rice. School officials will work closely with city and county officials to obtain up-to-the-minute, local weather data and determine, as a group, when schools will close for weather-related emergencies.
All around St. Joseph, people are preparing for the annual Shop Small Crawl event Nov. 26. Orchestrated by Mary Bruno of Bruno Press, this event will feature 13 local businesses and a shuttle to transport people from the different shops.
The Charlie Ward family of Collegeville Township has plans to build a multi-purpose center to host many events on its 153-acre farmland. The center would be a venue for barn weddings, birthday parties and other events. Many residents in that area objected to the plan because of potentially increased traffic, noise and other concerns. The proposal was presented at a public meeting at a township meeting, with speakers approving or opposing the project. The township board tabled the request for future consideration.
The White Peony Boutique, owned by Lindsay Salzbrun, opened in downtown St. Joseph. It sells jewelry, sweaters, wedding gifts and more. Salzbrun has two goals: “To equip the modern woman with quality stylish clothing and to create a place for busy moms and working women to find each other.”