YIR Part 2: 2017 filled with growth, changes for St. Joseph

Janelle Von PinnonFeatured News, St. Joseph0 Comments

by Vicki Ikeogu


It’s been a year of transitions for both the people and the city of St. Joseph. The following are just some of the highlights of the year as culled from the 50 issues of the St. Joseph Newsleader during the past year.

(The Year in Review: Part 1 covering January-June was featured in the Jan. 5 edition of the Newsleader and may be read in its entirety by visiting thenewsleaders.com.)


Cider lovers rejoice as Cold Spring-based Milk and Honey Ciders prepares to open a cider house on CR 51 in St. Joseph. Owners Peter Gillitzer, Aaron Klocker and Adam Theis said the expansion into St. Joseph would allow them to increase their orchard’s production capability and offer a fun atmosphere for cider drinkers to gather.

Thousands descended on the city to celebrate Independence Day with the two-day Joetown Rocks festivities. July 3 had featured a night full of music including a tribute to the late Bobby Vee. The Fourth of July featured a 103-unit parade full of vehicles, floats and trucks.

The St. Joseph Joes are having a great season so far, taking first place in the Sauk Valley League. The team is off to a 7-4 start, but all of the losses were in non-league play so technically those losses don’t count.

Bikers along the Lake Wobegon Trail might have noticed a new addition. The Lake Wobegon Trails Association along with the local Lions clubs and private donors have installed Fixit bike repair stations along the trail, including one in St. Joseph. Each bike repair station costs about $1,100. Others have been installed in Avon, Albany, Freeport, Melrose, Sauk Centre and Holdingford.

A new housing manager was named at Arlington Place Assisted Living in St. Joseph. Morgan Waytashek has recently joined the team after working in a variety of health-care positions. “Through community involvement and a team approach, I am committed to leading Arlington Place toward maximum quality of life for our residents,” Waytashek told the Newsleader.

Local disc golfers have the option of purchasing their equipment locally. Hyzer Zone Disc Golf Outfitter has opened inside of “Sliced” restaurant on College Avenue. Owner Adam Gorres said his new business will fill a void for people who have had to travel at least 10 miles or more to find disc-golf equipment. “It’s a great location close to Millstream – one of the area’s favorite disc-golf courses,” Gorres told the Newsleader.

The St. Joseph City Council approved spending $355,000 in rehabilitation funds for water-treatment plant number one. WTP#1 was constructed in the 1970s. The city currently operates two plants. Funds were designated to be used to replace the 1996 steel gravity filter and other treatment equipment.

Thousands of mink were released from a farm in Eden Valley. Stearns County deputies reported the incident during the late night or early morning hours of July 16 or 17. An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 mink were set free. The Minnesota Duty Officer and state and federal law enforcement partners were brought in to investigate.

Serenity Place on Seventh has opened. The new 55+, 47-unit facility provides independent and assisted-living options for the area’s seniors. The units range in price from $1,250 to $2,500 a month which include all the utilities. As of its opening, only a few units were still available for rent.

Fire Fest attendees had the chance to see one of St. Joseph’s own on stage. St. Joseph native Angela Beutz took the stage as keyboard back-up for country music solo artist Chris Hawkey. Beutz, the daughter of St. Joseph Mayor Rick Schultz and his wife Tammy, is a special-education middle-school teacher in Becker.

Four local businesses were honored with historical plaques by members of the St. Joseph Area Historical Society. The Drug Store (now The Local Blend), First State Bank of St. Joseph (now Rockhouse Productions), Loso’s Store (now Minnesota Street Market) and the St. Joseph Meat Market were presented the markers by Ellie and Cathy Studer. Plans for additional plaques to mark other historical sites in the city are in the works.


The St. Joseph Police Department along with the police departments from Sartell, St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids and Waite Park are seeking out applicants interested in participation in the Metro Citizens Police Academy. The eight-week course provides citizens hands-on lessons on what it takes to be a police officer.

The St. Joseph Joes continue to show their dominance on the field with a 6-3 win over the Clear Lake Lakers and a 13-3 win over the Foley Lumberjacks. With these two wins the Joes will travel to the region’s baseball playoffs on Aug. 5 in Hinckley.

Harley Davidson motorcycle enthusiasts can be found all over Central Minnesota, including St. Joseph. Jerry and Mary Jane Rudy along with Dotti and Rod Karls and their friends Brian and Pennie Albers of St. Cloud; Keith and Mary Jane Nelson of St. Cloud; and Bill and Shari Grabinski formerly of Sauk Rapids, hit the road on their way to Sturgis, S.D. for the annual motorcycle rally. “What I love best about our trips is just our friendships. We have a tight-knit bonding after all these years. Our friendships just keep growing stronger and stronger every year. We feel really blessed,” Mary Jane Rudy told the Newsleader.

LowCarbon Crossing makes a stop at Minnesota Street Market. The bicycle group held a discussion from 7-9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13 to talk about climate change. St. Joseph will be the group’s first stop on its eight-day, 350-mile trip through Central Minnesota.

Jim Read announces his run for Minnesota House of Representatives District 13A via Facebook. The district includes St. Joseph, Collegeville, Avon, Cold Spring, Richmond, Paynesville, Rockville, Roscoe, Kimball and Eden Valley. “I am running because we face a number of critical decisions at a time of deepening political division,” Read said. “I believe the best way to bridge these divisions is through individual face-to-face conversations.”

The St. Joseph Newsleader, along with its sister paper the Sartell-St. Stephen Newsleader, participated in the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s “Whiteout Campaign.” The front page of the Aug. 18 edition was blank in order to remind readers what it would look like if there were no hometown newspapers. About 200 of Minnesota’s 350 newspapers participated in the movement.

More than 100 children from the St. Joseph area participated in a week of Vocation Bible School at Resurrection Lutheran Church. Kids ages 4 through sixth grade learned about faith through the theme of “Hero Central – Discover your strength in God.” In addition to learning about their faith, the kids also participated in service projects, including donating items to first responders and law enforcement.

Minnesota Street Market was among six food cooperatives to receive funding from the National Joint Powers Alliance of Staples. The cooperatives will use the grant money – totaling $49,600 – to work together to educate the public on the importance of food cooperatives in central Minnesota.

An 8-year-old St. Cloud girl has a special place in her heart for local law enforcement. Sophina Lindquist spends quite a bit of her time baking cookies for local firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, flight medical crews and dispatch operators. The 8-year-old girl also has a lengthy list of about 700 names of emergency responders whom she prays for every night.

Chuck and Lucy Rieland and their family have organized the 12th annual Lake Wobegon Regional Trail Ride to help benefit Day Services at Catholic Charities’ St. Cloud Children’s Home. The couple, now in their 70s, hopes to push their donation total over the $1 million mark this year.

After making their way to the state finals, the St. Joseph Joes were shut out 2-0 by the Maple Lake Lakers in Hamburg.

(To read any of the above stories in their entirety, visit thenewsleaders.com and search for your favorite stories.)

photo by Dennis Dalman
The Rifle Guard of the American Legion of St. Joseph proudly leads the St. Joseph Fourth of July Parade as huge crowds all along the parade route applaud loudly. The parade attracted many thousands of people to St. Joseph, with crowds lining the route in some places seven and eight rows wide and spilling into side streets for lack of room.

photo by Dave DeMars
You can’t see his number but that was Peter Nelson who ate some dirt as he slid into third base under the tag of the Eagan Bandits’ third baseman during the June 18 game.

Author: Janelle Von Pinnon

Von Pinnon has been publishing the St. Joseph Newsleader since 1989, the Sartell-St. Stephen Newsleader since 1995 and the Sauk Rapids-Rice Newsleader since 2015. She graduated from Minnesota State University-Moorhead with degrees in mass communications (with an emphasis on print journalism) and biology. She lives in southeast St. Cloud with her husband and two children.

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