Sartell Sabres clobber Moorhead

The Sartell Sabre football team is now officially in competition for the state championship title.

On Nov. 2, the Sabres enjoyed a spectacular win over the Moorhead Spuds at Husky Stadium on the St. Cloud State University campus. That win, 24-16, made the Sabres the winners of the Section 8-5A title.

As of press time Wednesday, the Sabres, who have a seasonal 8-3 record, were slated to play St. Michael-Albertville Thursday, Nov. 7, also at Husky Stadium. The winner of that game will proceed to the semi-finals, which will take place in the Twin Cities Metrodome.

photo by Greg Kremer
William Kulus snaps the ball to Brandon Snoberger in the first quarter of the game with the Moorhead Spuds, a game the Sabres won 24-16 to advance to state competition.

photo by Greg Kremer
Nick Jenson gets introduced during the “tunnel” ritual at the sectional final game against Moorhead Nov. 2 at Husky Stadium on the campus of St. Cloud State University.

photo by Greg Kremer
Sartell Sabre Ben Rengel recovers a fumble in the first quarter of the game against the Moorhead Spuds.



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Sister Clarus Himsl and the Home Economic CSB students gather around Baby Drake.

Dierkhising learns he was 1942 CSB practice baby

by Cori Hilsgen

Imagine learning that you had gone to the College of St. Benedict when you were a mere infant.

Drake Dierkhising recently learned he had been an honorary member of the CSB class of 1942. He was the home-management department’s baby and served as a practice baby for the seniors who took the class.

Dierkhising, now 72, was a virtual guinea-pig baby in 1941-42.

As the home-management baby, he was the object of each senior’s undivided attention for one week at a time. That included feeding, dressing and changing him. Dierkhising spent his days in the home-management house and his nights in the infirmary.

The class of 1942 had 47 members, but only about 12-15 seniors took the home-management class. Each class lasted for several months.

The class including caring for baby Drake, cooking, cleaning, doing household laundry, managing household accounts and sewing to decorate the rooms of the house. The household family operated under set income levels each week, ranging from 25 to 40 cents each day.

Other babies also served as the “home-management” baby, including some from the St. Cloud Orphanage.

Dierkhising’s mother, Katherine Lodermeier Dierkhising, was not very happy about this arrangement. He was her first-born child and was not even a year old,  but Katherine’s mother, Sophie Lodermeier, couldn’t say “no” to the nuns. The family had many connections at CSB and St. John’s University.

Katherine was living with her parents at the time because Drake’s father O.C. (Dirk) Dierkhising was at sea with the Pacific Fleet in the United States Navy from 1941 to 1943.

Dierkhising  was born in June 1941 and by September his father was in the Pacific. Dirk was at sea when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred and then he immediately went to Australia. Dierkhising’s mother came back home to live with her parents, Mike and Sophie Lodermeier of St. Joseph. He is the oldest of eight children – five boys and three girls.

Dierkhising said he grew up as a U.S. Navy “brat.” After the war, his father was transferred to Great Lakes, Ill. From 1947-49, he attended Great Lakes School in north Chicago.

His father was then transferred to Egypt for three years while he worked in medical research. Derkhising was the only American student in a school by the airport.  He said he enjoyed going to school in Egypt.

“Most of my friends were pilots’ children,” Dierkhising said. “I never worried about anything. As kids, we rode the trolley about a mile to a sporting club.”

Dierkhising returned to Egypt in 1998. He was able to locate the school very easily, walking the five blocks right to it, but he was shocked to see the school complex had 10 foot walls around it.

After living in Egypt, Dierkhising’s family returned to Great Lakes and then his father retired from the U.S. Navy. His parents moved the family to St. Joseph where the Dierkhising family owned Kay’s Kitchen and LaPlayette Bar in St. Joseph.

All of Dierkhising’s family members went into the restaurant business, some of them becoming accomplished chefs and culinary experts.  He and all of his brothers and sisters started out in the food business in the “bottle chute” at LaPlayette. In the middle of the bar there was a hole in the floor (bottle chute) that his father had built, so they could drop the beer bottles down.

“It was like a wood(en) structure the bottles would roll down and the kids would have to put them in the boxes,” Dierkhising said. “That was everyone’s initiation in the food business and after that they became dishwashers, cooks and servers.”

Dierkhising attended SJU for high school and college. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1963 and spent three years at Norfolk, Va. on ships and then three years in the north of Spain in communications.

Dierkhising met his Navy roommate’s sister, Madeline, and married her. They have two sons, Adam and Justin.

After leaving the navy, he co-owned LaPlayette and the Silverado Restaurant and Tavern with other family members for short periods of time. He also worked at a winery.

“The LaPlayette was probably one of the 10 best restaurants in the state of Minnesota,” Dierkhising said. ” The Minnesota Symphony used to stop when they passed through. Everyone in the family basically started at the La. First it was just the bar, then we added the back room and then the other room was added and we started serving food in 1962.”

Dierkhising has lived in California since 1973. He and his wife own the Cafe Sarafornia in the Napa Valley.

“We’ve had the place since 1979,” Dierkhising said. “The space itself, I claim, is the oldest continuous restaurant in the Napa Valley. It’s been there at least since 1900. We’ve got pictures back from 1906 and we know there were two fires before that. It has been rebuilt.”

The Cafe serves breakfast and lunch. The Dierkhisings have 16 employees, including four waitresses who have been with the Cafe for 20 years.

Dierkhising likes to see people leave the Cafe happy so he offers discounts. He said they especially offer discounts to sailors, Johnnies and Bennies.

“You’d be surprised how many I have had to give,” Dierkhising said. “In fact I had a man from St. Joe, a Reber from St. Joe last week. When I asked him where he was from. He said I’m from Minneapolis. I said, well, I’m from St. Joe and he said I’m from St. Joe. He knew the family and I knew his family.”

Dierkhising said they have many people who return to visit for anniversaries, repeat vacations and other occasions. The Cafe is located in the spa town of Calistoga. Many women’s groups come for weekend spa treatments.

Dierkhising’s son, Adam, works in commercial real estate in San Francisco. Dierkhising doesn’t believe Adam will go into the food business. His youngest son, Justin, is currently in construction management. He has his own company, but Dierkhising said he will eventually take over the Cafe Sarafornia.

photo by Cori Hilsgen
Drake Dierkhising, 72, was the College of St. Benedict “Home Management baby” in 1942. He recently visited “Kay’s Kitchen” which was named after his mother.

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Drake Dierkhising was the “Home Management” baby at the College of St. Benedict in 1942.

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Mike Lodermeier holds his baby grandson, Drake, in 1941.

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Sister Clarus Himsl and the Home Management CSB students gather around Baby Drake.

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Amanda Rupar, owner/operator of Panda Playhouse daycare, gives a high-five to one of her daycare children, a budding fingerpaint artist.

Commissioner Jesson visits ‘Panda Playhouse’ daycare

by Dennis Dalman

As a daycare operator, Amanda Rupar of Sartell said she feels as if she has five or six arms and then, at the end of day, when she says goodbye to the last child, she reverts to being “a normal human with two arms,” as she described it.

As busy as she is, she loves her job, she loves the children.

“That’s my reward – the kisses, hugs and loves from the children,” she said. “When they do something new, something they’re proud of and I see that look on their faces, that’s all the reward I need.”

Rupar’s dedication to her daycare children was recognized Nov. 1 when a special guest visited. Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson spent some time at Rupar’s home to interact with the children, chatting with them and taking part in a fingerpainting session. Jesson visited Rupar because her daycare, “Panda’s Playhouse,” has a prestigious top four-star rating from “Parent Aware,” a statewide service that rates daycare businesses for their expertise in preparing pre-school children for kindergarten. Parents seeking quality daycare providers can go to the Parent Aware website to find out if there are Parent Aware-rated services in their areas.

Commissioner Jesson, during her visit to central Minnesota and other areas, was also promoting a $19.4-million investment by the state legislature and governor for increasing access to quality early education for children with high needs. Daycare providers who voluntarily join the Parent Aware-ratings program are an important part of the renewed state emphasis on pre-school readiness.

After interacting with the children, Jesson asked Rupar about why she chose to participate in Parent Aware and what benefits she has experienced.

Rupar told Jesson she had always wanted to have the very best daycare services for the children, including school readiness.

“I’ve always wanted to get them started on both feet in the right direction,” she said. “I want to make sure they are all ready so they don’t get behind in school. If they are the best they can be, they will always be ready no matter what comes in the schools.”

She told Jesson the benefits are many: seeing the children learning so much, watching their social skills develop and the hugs, warmth and affection they give back.

Jesson, said Rupar, was “fantastic” and a welcome guest.

“She sat right down with the children,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked for a nicer guest in my home. In fact, I would love to have her visit again.”

Rupar, who opened her daycare business seven years ago, heard about Parent Aware in October 2012 and decided to volunteer for it. To qualify, she met with a training coach periodically for a six-month period and filled out paperwork about her daycare activities, programs and ongoing training skills. She submitted all of that material last March to Parent Aware and was thrilled, weeks later, to learn she’d been given the highest rating, four stars.

As part of the Parent Aware program, Rupar starts working on pre-school skills when a child is six weeks old. Even at that age, she said, children can develop social skills. There are four categories of emphasis at Panda Playhouse: physical health and well-being, teaching and relationships, assessment of each child’s progress, and teacher-training and education.

Rupar plans her days around all kinds of interactions: between her and the children, between the children in a large group and in smaller groups, one on one with each other and solo activities. One of her – and the children’s – favorite activities is cooking and baking in which children can learn numbers, measurements, teamwork and the sheer fun of creating something tasty. Together, they’ve made cookies, pizza, apple sauce, cinnamon rolls and “Stone Soup” based on the storybook.

Rupar and the children also do a lot of art projects, such as fingerpainting the day of Jesson’s visit. Art, she said, teaches children motor skills and processed thinking, such as how to mix certain paint colors to make other colors. All activities promote social skills.

“Social skills are as important to children as learning numbers and letters,” she said. “Friendships, relationships, working as a team – all those social skills should be developed in children. Many kids nowadays seem to be lacking in social skills because of social media and all the time they spend on phones and computers. I believe there needs to be more face-to-face social interactions.”

Born in St. Cloud, Rupar was raised in Paynesville and graduated from Paynesville Area High School in 2000. In 2006, she was looking for a home in which to open a daycare business. She chose a home in Sartell and moved to the city that year. At first, she started her business with a woman whose name was Pam. They named their place “Panda’s Playhouse” by combining the names “Pam” and “Amanda.” The name stuck quickly with parents and even the children, who still like to play with the stuffed-toy mascot – a female panda with a red dress. Later, Rupar’s business partner resigned to pursue another line of work.

Rupar has no biological children.

“God has other plans for me,” she said, smiling. “And so, here I am, blessed every day with the love of these kids. I’ve never given birth to children and yet I’m a mother. And I’m still being blessed with children.”

Rupar is licensed for up to 12 children, although she tries to keep that number at 10 or under to make sure she can have more one-to-one interactions with each child.

Rupar is also a volunteer for the Lutheran Social Services’ Crisis Nursery, based in St. Cloud. One of her tasks is to serve when needed as a 72-hour foster mother for children who are in sudden-crisis situations.

Her philosophy of daycare also extends into her work for the Crisis Nursery.

“There are so many children in our communities who need a safe place so they can feel secure, warm and loved,” she said.

Her daycare children do, indeed, consider Rupar a special mom. Last Mother’s Day, she received a number of Mother’s Day cards from the children.

“I was so happy that my heart,” she said, “melted into a thousand pieces.”

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Amanda Rupar, owner/operator of Panda Playhouse daycare, gives a high-five to one of her daycare children, a budding fingerpaint artist.

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Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson has a ball visiting with daycare children Nov. 1 at Panda Playhouse daycare in Sartell. Jesson visited the business, owned by Amanda Rupar, because it has a four-star rating (the highest possible) from Parent Aware, a statewide service that rates daycares for the excellence of their activities and programs that prepare children for kindergarten and beyond.

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Jeff Eiynck (left) and Sandy Eiynck, husband and wife, sit inside their tepee which is located in their backyard. Jeff Eiynck tells All Saints Academy fifth-grade students about the tepee during a recent field trip.

Eiyncks share interest in Native American artifacts

by Cori Hilsgen

Jeff Eiynck has a photo of himself when he was almost 2 years old dressed in a Native American headdress. He and his wife, Sandy, think this is when his interest in the Native American heritage began.

Eiynck is also an avid hunter and trapper so he can relate to some of the Native American traditions.

He has been collecting and making Plains Native American artifacts for more than 30 years and has many of them. The inventory changes continuously.

Some of the items he owns are arrowheads, hammer stones, an elk-bone scraper, trade beads, beaver top hats, assorted beads and other things.

Some artifacts are extremely difficult to find and are not legal to possess, so Eiynck makes many of the items himself after viewing them at museums or in books. He tries to replicate them as closely as possible to the originals. He does a lot of research and views several photos before making anything.

Besides making their own items, the Eiyncks have also visited a few auctions that sell collections and have been able to pick up some artifacts.

“He’s lucky his wife also has an interest in history and enjoys and supports his interest in the culture,” wife Sandy said, tongue-in-cheek, winking. “I have been known to collect and make a few items myself.”

Sandy has also started to add to Jeff’s collection by collecting women’s articles, such as scissor cases, knife sheaves and awl cases. An awl is an instrument used by Native Americans to punch holes in leather to help them sew.

Depending on their schedules, the Eiyncks often invite school classes to participate in field trips of their many artifacts. Some years they have had as many as four classes visit.

All Saints Academy fifth-grade teacher Tess Koltes recently took her class on a field trip to view the artifacts. She said this experience ties in well with the Native American unit the students are studying.

“This is by far my all-time favorite field trip,” Koltes said. “Jeff and Sandy are very gracious hosts, who are willing to share their wealth of knowledge about the Plains Indians that they have learned over the years. Every time I visit with my fifth-grade class, Jeff tries to add some new piece of information I don’t already know about. Or,  he introduces a new addition to his collection that he has acquired over the years. All of the students love sitting inside the tepee. It’s an excellent educational opportunity. I feel very fortunate to be able to take my students to visit them year after year.”

Koltes said the students are always amazed by Eiynck’s wealth of knowledge.

Fifth-grade students Jimmy Young, Caleb Leinz and Eli Ebel commented on the field-trip experience.

“I thought Jeff’s collections and tepee were awesome,” Young said. “Going there helped me learn how hard a Native American’s job was. I now know how lucky we are to have technology and all the modern stuff.”

“I thought it was really cool people would give artifacts to Jeff because they know he was interested in learning more about Native Americans,” Leinz said.

“I thought it was fun because we got to feel the artifacts instead of just seeing a picture of one,” Ebel said. “We also got to go in a tepee and have a fire.”

The Eiyncks said they enjoy sharing their collection.

“I enjoy seeing the excitement of the children when they come to visit,” Jeff said. “They always have really good questions and they are always very respectful.”

The Eiyncks live near St. John’s University on Jeff’s family’s original home place where he has lived his entire life.

Jeff is a cook at SJU dining services, where he has worked for 28 years. For 25 years, Sandy has been the director of finance and operations for the SJU Liturgical Press. The Eiyncks have been married 24 years and have one son who is a senior at SJU. They also have a dog, Ellie.

Throughout the years, the Eiyncks have participated in rendezvous, which are re-enactments from the 1840 mountain era. They also participate in a trade show each year in New Ulm where Jeff sells, trades and barters items he has made.

“Not only are these events fun, but they are also very educational,” Jeff said. “The events are open to the public and take place throughout Minnesota, as well as nationwide.

The Eiyncks would like to visit many other museums and historical sites.

“You can never have too much information,” Jeff said.

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Jeff Eiynck (left) and Sandy Eiynck, husband and wife, sit inside their tepee which is located in their backyard. Jeff Eiynck tells All Saints Academy fifth-grade students about the tepee during a recent field trip.

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All Saints Academy fifth-grade students and parents (left to right) Jimmy Young, Nancy Ebel, Naveah Bonacci, Josie Meyer and Ellie Schleper listen to Jeff Eiynck talk about the tepee they are sitting in during a recent field trip to the Eiyncks.

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A Sioux woman’s household knife case and knife are part of the Eiynck collection. The case shows the detailed beadwork used by the Sioux culture.

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A Sioux scissor’s case and scissors are also a part of the collection. The beadwork used on the case is very detailed.

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A beaded awl case is also part of the Eiynck collection. An awl is an instrument which was used by Native Americans to punch holes in leather to help them sew.


People encouraged to attend veterans’ parade

A veterans’ parade will take place starting at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Veterans Administration Health System campus. National Veterans Day is Nov. 11. This event will be the seventh annual local veterans’ parade, which has been spearheaded each year by the St. Cloud Times. After a social gathering at the VA at 1 p.m., the parade of veterans, along with their loved ones and supporters, will wend its way to nearby Apollo High School. All people are encouraged to attend the event, which is a way to show support and thanks to all veterans who have served their country.

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Last weekend's sunny, 50-degree weather brought many visitors to the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail.  While on the 15-year-old trail, which is starting to show a lot of wear, many bicyclists, runners, walkers and others enjoyed scenic views such as this taken by Avon, Minn.

Lake Wobegon trail is seeing some wear and tear

by Cori Hilsgen

Some cracks have started to appear and tree roots are pushing up through the surface of the much-used Lake Wobegon Regional Trail. The trail, which opened 15 years ago, extends from St. Joseph to Osakis and has a branch that extends northeast of Albany to Morrison county.

Used by several hundred thousand walkers, in-line skaters, bicyclists and others yearly, the rough and uneven surfaces can be a problem for those on the trail.

Stearns County is working to repair spots and has identified places where the surface needs to be repaired. Some repairs have already been done. Others will be done next year, along with other construction projects to save on expenses.

The trail, which was once an abandoned railroad corridor from Avon to Sauk Centre, opened in September 1998. It has trailheads in St. Joseph and other places such as Avon, Albany, Bowlus, Freeport, Holdingford, Melrose, Osakis, Sauk Centre and West Union.


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Last weekend’s sunny, 50-degree weather brought many visitors to the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail. While on the 15-year-old trail, which is starting to show a lot of wear, many bicyclists, runners, walkers and others enjoyed scenic views such as this taken by Avon, Minn.







New Bishop Kettler installed

by Cori Hilsgen

Bishop Donald Kettler, 68, was installed as the bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud this week. He will be the ninth bishop to oversee the 131 Catholic parishes in the diocese.

Installation included solemn vespers, an evening prayer and an installation Mass, all held at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud. The Mass was by invitation only, but Kettler requested a lay representative from each parish attend.

Other invited guests included cardinals, archbishops and bishops in the United States, people from Fairbanks, Alaska and Sioux Falls, S.D. and other friends and family. Following the Mass, and the bishop’s blessing of the city and the diocese, an open-house reception with a receiving line to meet the new bishop was held.

The Diocesan Council of Catholic Women hosted an open house reception after vespers. Following the Mass, and the bishop’s blessing of the city and the diocese, an open-house reception was held at the Church of St. Paul in St. Cloud.

Kettler was born in Minneapolis, attended St. John’s Seminary and School of Theology in Collegeville and was a transitional deacon at St. Paul’s before being ordained a priest in 1970. He served parishes in Aberdeen, S.D. and Sioux Falls and was a bishop in Fairbanks.

Kettler replaces John Kinney, who has served as bishop for 18 years.

The new bishop’s mother, Marguerite Kettler,  recently died in October at the age of 100.

[/media-credit] Bishop Kettler

How would you rate Sartell city services?

The City of Sartell is inviting all residents to fill in the 2013 Citizen Feedback Survey as to how they are satisfied (or not satisfied) with key city services. The deadline to take the survey is Nov. 15. The results will be published on the city’s website shortly after that deadline date.

Responses will let city officials and staff know which services need improvement – and why.

Survey respondents remain anonymous. To take the survey, go to

There are 10 questions on the survey, asking respondents to rate the following: overall appearance of the city; overall feeling of safety in the city; overall quality of fire protection; overall condition of city streets; overall quality of snowplowing; overall dependability and overall quality of sanitary-sewer service; overall dependability and quality of the city’s water supply; overall quality of city recreational programs and facilities (e.g. parks, trails, park facilities and more); and overall quality of services provided by the city.

For each of those questions, respondents are asked to rate them as one of the following ratings: Don’t Know, Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent.