Year in Review: 2013 brings changes, continued growth for St. Joseph

by Cori Hilsgen

2013 brought much expansion and change to St. Joseph.  The completion of projects such as Mill Stream Village, a housing development for seniors; the Church of St. Joseph parish center; continued construction for a new Army Reserve center and storage building; a new police chief; a new bishop and pope; a new principal at Kennedy Community School; a new superintendent for the St. Cloud School District 742; a new headmaster at St. John’s Prep School; a new president for All Saints Academy; a new football coach at St. John’s University; the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant and a new boutique store; and the adoption of a social-host ordinance are just some examples of some of the expansions and changes that occurred last year. All of those expansions and changes illustrate how St. Joseph is a thriving city. Here is a look back at what else happened:


The beginning of the year brought fundraisers – including a three-band concert at Rocori High School and several at local salons – for slain police officer Thomas Decker, who was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 29, 2012.

Gary Fasching was hired to fill St. John’s University’s football coach position when John Gagliardi retired after spending 60 years at SJU. Prior to Gagliardi’s retirement, Fasching had been his defensive assistant for 17 seasons.

Jerry Lahr received Cathedral High School’s highest honor, the Golden Crusader award, for his many years of coaching and supporting the school.

Joseph and Valerie Silva opened a McDonald’s restaurant in St. Joseph and planned a grand-opening fundraiser for the Brian Klinefelter Foundation. The couple moved from Chicago to central Minnesota before opening the restaurant.

The Amber Wiese family thanked the Giving Tree project for their generosity. They were one of five families who benefited from the program.

The St. Joseph Park Board sought volunteers to assist with Cloverdale Park improvements. The board had budgeted $25,000 for improvements.

Eight Animal-Assisted Therapy program therapy dogs visited College of St. Benedict first-year students to help calm them before testing.

Kennedy fifth- and sixth-grade students participated in the Science Rocks! educational event at St. Cloud State University.  The event included more than 30 different science sessions.

Kennedy principal Diane Moeller was named the 2013 science, math Principal of the Year. Third-grade teacher Jodie Kragness nominated her for the award.

CSB students shared their views on a Freedom Wall in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the school dedicated a week to honoring his memory on campus.

Dr. Erika Vora, a St. Cloud woman, shared her story about her family’s journey from Poland as the Soviet Army moved westward toward Germany after World War II in her book “The Will to Live: A German Family’s Flight from Soviet Rule.”

St. Joseph Police Chief Pete Jansky announced his plans to retire in August after 34 years.

St. Joseph City Council members adopted a social-host ordinance. This law holds people criminally responsible for hosting events or gatherings where people under the age of 21 possess or consume alcohol regardless of whether the event’s host supplied the alcohol.

The 21st annual St. Cloud Ice Bowl disc golf tournament was held at Millstream Park. This tournament is part of a national fundraising effort to support local charities. More than 100 participants raised more than $10,000.

President Obama was expected to name St. John’s University graduate Denis McDonough as his chief of staff. McDonough was a key advisor to Obama during the 2008 campaign and after the election was named to the new administration’s National Security Council as head of Strategic Communication.


Governor Mark Dayton appointed resident William Rudolph to the statewide Independent Living Council. Rudolph was one of 10 people appointed to the statewide council.

Janna LaFountaine received the College of St. Benedict’s Breaking Barriers Award.

Area students competed in the annual Knights of Columbus basketball free-throw championship.

About 50 people packed into the lobby of the new McDonald’s restaurant to celebrate the opening of the business and to remember Brian Klinefelter. It marked the 17th year since Klinefelter was shot and killed in the line of duty.

Seven-year-old Evie Wing, a member of Girl Scout Troop 996, sold 50 boxes of Girl Scout cookies at the St. joseph Rod and Gun Club’s 20th annual fishing contest.

MaryBeth Munden took the Special Olympics “Polar Plunge” at Maple Grove and raised almost $1,700. Munden works for the St. Joseph Police Department.

Jodi Rajkowski reacted to the sentencing of the man who caused the death of her husband, Ron. Ron Rajkowski was killed when a car veered into a construction site along a road in Burnsville.

Minnesota Intelligent Transportation Systems renamed an annual award the “Carlson-Rajkowski Award” in memory of Ron Rajkowski and Craig Carlson, who were killed while working at a roadside construction project.

St. John’s Prep High School competed in the “Class A” Knowledge Bowl season after having won three times in the past seven years.

The St. Joseph City Council decided the hiring process for replacing Police Chief Pete Jansky.  It decided to post the job both internally and externally.

The St. Joseph City Council implemented a street-light utility fee and ended the Thursday Tri-County Action Program busing service.

St. Joseph received more than eight inches of snow and broke past snowfall records for the month of February .

Local residents presented at the “Living in the Avon Hills” conference held at St. John’s University.

Ron Stewart taught drivers 55 and older new driving skills.  Participants who complete the course and take refresher courses are eligible for discounted car-insurance rates.

The St. Joseph Park Board hosted a Joetown Snowtown event. Those who attended the event enjoyed the outdoor activities. Organizers had hoped for a larger turnout of people.

Mitchell and Haley Schleper were two of the first patients to benefit from the CentraCare Cleft Palate Team.

St. Cloud Area School District 742 School Board conducted community at-large meetings with three prospective superintendent candidates.


Residents reflected on the history of the All Saints Academy school building as construction for a new parish center continued.

Kennedy students learned the value of service at the KidStop program by making and donating fleece blankets to the Children’s Hospital.

The St. Joseph City Council approved a housing law change allowing non-owner-occupied rental licenses for property owners who had tried to sell their homes without any success.

Willie Jett was chosen as the new superintendent for the St. Cloud Area School District 742. Jett was an assistant high school superintendent for St. Paul Public Schools before coming to St. Cloud.

The St. Joseph amateur baseball team held its annual fish fry and silent auction for the start of the baseball season.

Sartell resident Lydia Anderson won first place in the national “Image Maker Photo Contest” sponsored by the local Boys and Girls Club.

Construction for the new Church of St. Joseph parish center continued on schedule despite the snowy February.

Casey’s General Store in St. Joseph sold T-shirts and pins in memory of Cold Spring police officer Tom Decker who was killed in the line of duty.

Daryl and Cindy Lindbloom create serenity babies at Loving Hearts Nursery so others can experience the comfort and healing from holding a baby.

St. Joseph City Council held an informal meeting to discuss the future of a new government/community center.

Flower baskets returned to downtown St. Joseph.  Fifty baskets were available for purchase by businesses, local service organizations and individuals.

With the addition of a media center that includes a 60-inch television and DVD player, the American Legion of St. Joseph presented films, lectures and discussions on topics of interest to residents.

The new WACOSA Thriftworks store opened in Waite Park and sought donations.

Sartell resident Bill Riner was recognized as a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program as a Big Brother to St. Joseph resident Skyler Figallo. The BBBS program of Central Minnesota had 190 children who were waiting for mentors.

Local leaders were pleased with the 266th pope chosen to lead the Roman Catholic Church. Jorge Mario Bergoglio chose Francis as his pontical name.

Despite a Minnesota State Boys High School Hockey Tournament  loss, the Apollo High School hockey season was a winner.

St. John’s Prep High School presented the “Wizard of Oz” at the Paramount Theatre in St. Cloud.

St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club hosted the 20th annual birdhouse-building night in St. Joseph.

Resurrection Lutheran Church quilters made and donated quilts to various causes statewide and beyond. They have donated 175 quilts in the past seven years.

Visitors got a sweet treat at the Maple Syrup Festival at the St. John’s Arboretum.  More than 150 volunteers helped tap 1,200 of the seasons taps on a previous weekend before the festival.

Sartell residents Jakin and Nicole Koll shared their stories about Lyme disease, which is caused by a bite from an infected deer tick.


Seventh-and eighth-grade students at Kennedy Community School collaborated to create a mural for the school.

Tom Dullinger shared his business story and experiences with owning his “Reliable Rolloff” business.

Distinguished guests and members of St. Joseph put on hard hats, vests and picked up gold-plated shovels for the ground-breaking ceremony of a new Army Reserve center and storage building.

Mayor Rick Schultz testified at a legislative hearing for a bill that would provide $1.5 million in state bonding funds to help build a community center near the Lake Wobegon Trail Head.  According to city documents, the estimated cost to construct the community center is $2.5 million, with a portion of that being covered by local half-cent sales tax, local fundraising and city financing. The cost included land acquisition.

The St. Joseph City Council approved the purchase of iPads as a way to save paper and money. They also continued to explore options for compost space.

Emergency-response women held a fashion show at the CSB Gorecki Center to offer information about careers involving emergency response and emergency management.

A national American Legion task force requested comments from women veterans about medical services they have received.

The Granite City Gearheads for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology won first place at a regional competition and headed to St. Louis for national competition.

Officer Joel Klein was offered the position of St. Joseph police chief to replace retiring Police Chief Pete Jansky in August.  He discussed his career path as a police officer and his plans as he moved toward his new role as the St. Joseph police chief.

The St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce hosted its first annual community showcase at Kennedy Community School.  Between 400-500 people attended the event designed to introduce new and existing businesses in the city to area residents.

Larry Hosch returned home safely after completing the Boston Marathon during the explosions that occurred at the marathon.

Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen visited ASA students as they celebrated National Poetry month.

The Koltes family farm was designated a century farm because of family ownership of the farm for the past 100 years.

The St. Joseph Farmers’ Market expanded its offerings to enhance the market experience.

Plans for a community garden were put on hold until the city could find a partnership to assist with the cost of maintaining it.

Cone Castle in St. Joseph planned a grand opening the first weekend in May that included Party Time Inflatables.

Sartell resident Erin Lemke supported those who died or were wounded in the Boston Marathon bombing attack by selling T-shirts.

Local residents Maria and Mark Reber and other family members participated in the GREAT Theatre production of “The King and I.”


The Kennedy Colts Honor Choir participated in the Great River Chorale presentation of “The Great American Sing” concert.

Twenty-five area students were chosen to receive scholarships from the 19th year of St. Joseph Area Dollars for Scholars program.

The St. Cloud Area School District 742 approved a three-year contract for incoming superintendent Willie Jet with a unanimous vote.

The St. Joseph Knights of Columbus named Tom and Meg Klecker as the Family of the Year and Lloyd Bruemmer as the Knight of the Year.

Fr. Jonathan Licari, OSB, was chosen as the next headmaster for St. John’s Prep school.

The St. Joseph Catholic Church quilters created an 18-hole golf-course quilt to be auctioned at the July 4th parish festival. They made a total of 19 queen-sized quilts and 17 baby quilts.

Dr. Michael Contardo beat the odds after facing oral cancer. He has been cancer-free for 14 years.

The College of St. Benedict kicked off its centennial year of celebrations with various festivities scheduled to continue throughout the year until May 17, 2014.

Archery Country hosted a grand opening at the city’s archery range. The city had partnered with Archery Country to bring the amenity back. This is the second time St. Joseph has had an archery range.

The city relocated its compost site and entered a three-year contract with C and L Excavating in St. Joseph.

Barry Hudock discussed his new book “Faith Meets World: The Gift and Challenge of Catholic Social Teaching,” at the Catholic Worker House.

Joe Town Pizza and Grill in St. Joseph welcomed new owners Matt and Kami Roquette. The new owners employ 10 people at their business.

The Local Blend celebrated its fifth year in St. Joseph as a coffee shop and wine bar.

The outdoor St. Joseph Farmers’ Market opened for the season.

Camp Invention invited students to experience hands-on learning at their upcoming July camp.

CSB sophomore student Emily Boettcher was featured in the student spotlight.

St. Joseph resident Martha Kitzerek celebrated her 90th birthday at Arlington Place in St. Joseph.

Pam Ertl opened her Key to Wellness business at the Natural Source Holistic Health and Training Center in St. Joseph

The Lake Wobegon Marathon ended in St. Joseph and the fifth annual We Walk! Marathon, half marathon and 50K began and ended in St. Joseph.

The Church of St. Joseph catholic church gave members a tour of the new parish center.

Residents of St. Joseph held a communitywide garage sale.

An artists’ reception was held for several local artists at the Minnesota Street Market.

Members of the American Legion and others gathered at the old cemetery in St. Joseph for the Memorial Day ceremony.

Police Chief Pete Jansky reminded residents his department would begin enforcing the new parking-pad ordinances on June 1.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities students Mike Schmit and Chelsey Hinnenkamp were featured in the student spotlight.

Kennedy Community School students experienced a double blackout day when Stearns Electrical Co. had a power outage on the day they had chosen to participate in an energy-saving day.

The Satellite Gallery at the Millstream Shops opened as a space for local and international artist exhibitions.

Several All Saints Academy students presented their work as part of a “Preschool Picassos” exhibit at the Satellite Gallery.

The Bradshaw and Bryant Law Office donated 100 helmets to the Kidstop program at Kennedy Community School.


Kennedy Community School students celebrated with a fun fest for their efforts and funds raised for their annual walkathon.

Apollo sophomore Josie Thelen was featured in the student spotlight.

“Elvis” entertainer Jim Schmidt entertained residents and guests at the annual summer picnic at Arlington Place assisted-living community. Much participation by audience members was involved.

Volunteers were requested for a nationwide American Cancer Society cancer study.

The St. Joseph Y2K Lions members raised money for “Wings of Mercy,” a group of volunteers who donate time, planes and skills to provide free medical air transportation for people with limited financial funds.

The 14th annual “Caramel Roll Ride” and the “Lady Slipper Ride” were held on the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail.

North Dakota State University graduate student Briana Goebel was featured in the student spotlight.

St. John’s Prep graduated their first class of  the International Baccalaureate Diploma program.

All Saints Academy graduated the first kindergarten class under its new name.

Former Newsleader reporter TaLeiza Calloway married Richmond Appleton at the St. Cloud Country Club.

Chris Schellinger was named as the new All Saints Academy president. Schellinger is a St. John’s University graduate with an extensive business background.

Kennedy Community School co-workers, friends and other supporters held a benefit for teacher Pat Forte who battled thymic carcinoid cancer for the past seven years.

St. Joseph resident Ed Brophy was inducted into the Minnesota Trapshooting Association Hall of Fame.

The St. Joseph City Council discussed replacing the present government center with a new one.  The facilities committee planned to have options and cost estimates within a month.

Local realtor Cory Ehlert sought support to secure state funding for restoring rental houses in the city.

St. Joseph residents experienced some stormy weather which knocked down trees and left others without power.

Police Chief Pete Jansky was named as the grand marshal of the July 4 parade sponsored by the St. Joseph Lions Club.

The first all-school College of St. Benedict reunion was held as part of the centennial celebration.

Principal Diane Moeller said “goodbye” and “thank you” to Kennedy school students and the city of St. Joseph as she accepted a new position as assistant superintendent for the district.


An estimated 35,000 people attended two days of festivities for the Church of St. Joseph’s annual July 4 celebration.

Sartell high school senior Gaby Ruegemer was featured in the student spotlight.

The St. Joseph Fire Department conducted a controlled burn of an abandoned building. Hundreds of onlookers gathered to watch what was happening.

Old-timers participated in a baseball reunion of former St. Joseph players.  Many stories were recalled and shared among the players.

ASA teacher Susan Huls shared her story of fighting Stage II breast cancer and all the support she has received from family, co-workers, students and others.

Barb Kettler of St. Joseph displayed her designs at the “BRAasterpiece” show at the River’s Edge Convention Center to raise awareness about breast cancer.

A carnival benefit was held for 2-year-old Riley Petron, who was diagnosed with a very rare form of neuroblastoma. He is one of 80 cases known worldwide.

St. John’s Prep 1983 graduate Patrick Marker was asked to leave a reunion at SJP. In 1991, he claimed Fr. Dunstan Moorse had abused him when he was a student at the school.

“Summer Arts on the Farm” was held at Rocky Acres north of St. Joseph, with several artists displaying their crafts.

The St. Joseph Joes baseball team advanced to the second round of playoffs.

Albie and Kathy Kraemer hosted the second annual “Fishing Without Boundaries” event at their home on Big Fish Lake. Twenty-eight anglers and 50 volunteers participated.

SJP school expanded its art and music programs. This included adding  a course in music theory and analysis, high-level visual-art classes, reintroducing theater classes and other things.

Pitchers from the St. Cloud Rox baseball team visited Arlington Place Assisted Living to play bingo with the residents and passed out ice cream cones afterward.


The St. Joseph Park and Ride moved to a new location about one-third mile east of the old location on the south side of Minnesota Street.

Professor Annette Atkins wrote a book about some of the history of the past 100 years of CSB. The book  “Challenging Women Since 1913: The College of St. Benedict” discusses the changing needs of women.

The Tri-County Humane Society turned to Facebook to help boost their cat and kitten adoptions.

Homeschooled senior Rose Berg-Arnold was featured in the student spotlight.

Chuck Czech and Mary Christen Czech, husband and wife, were awarded a bronze “Telly” award for a documentary called “Arrival: Women’s Visions for a New Home.” The film features four local women who immigrated to Central Minnesota.

More than 200 bow hunters applied for a chance to hunt at the St. John’s campus land. This was the 12th controlled deer hunt held since 1933.

Vacation Bible School celebrated its 30th year at Resurrection Lutheran Church with 93 participants.

Stanley Idzerda, the CSB’s eighth president, died. He was the first male and first lay president at the college.

SJP prepared for a new school year with IPads for students in grades 6-12.

The St. Joseph Fire Department hosted a controlled burn at the Idzerda House located on the south end of the CSB campus.

St. Joseph Coborn’s hosted a “Fuel up to play 60” children’s event to encourage children to be active for 60 minutes a day. More than 30 children attended the event.

SJP sophomore Justin Terhaar was featured in the student spotlight.

Dr. Judy Nagel was chosen as the interim principal to replace Diane Moeller at Kennedy Community School.

St. Joseph Police Chief Pete Jansky said goodbye as officer Joel Klein took over as the new police chief.

The church of St. Joseph dedicated its new parish center. The Rev. Jerome Tupa, OSB; Abbot John Klassen, OSB; and Joseph Feders, OSB, were present for the dedication.

Five new potential volunteers attended a training session to work with the Project Adapted Specialized Therapeutic Riding Involving Disabled Equestrians program at Avon Hills Paints and Quarter Horses.

Local lawmakers attended a ceremony for the USS Minnesota. It was the first time since 1907 that an advanced naval warship was named after the State of Minnesota.

SJP started using a flipped classroom model for the 2013-14 school year.


Tom and Vickie Wicks of Collegeville township won the “Best Edible Garden” in the “Country Gardens Annual Garden Awards.” Their garden was pictured on the cover of the magazine.

Breanna Osendorf competed and won the local 24th “Best Bagger” contest held at the Sauk Rapids Coborn’s Superstore and went on to compete at the state level.

The 25th annual “Woofstock Companion 5k Walk,” an annual fundraiser for the Tri-County Humane Society, took place at Wilson Park in St. Cloud.

Dave Carlson shared his business experience with starting and running “Food Dudes Delivery” services.

More than 130 people biked in the eighth annual “Lake Wobegon Regional Trail Ride” to raise funds for the Catholic Charities St. Cloud Children’s Home, a residential treatment home for youth at risk.

Many people volunteered for the “United Way of Central Minnesota Day of Caring” to help do community projects throughout the area.

A new boutique store “Retail Therapy” opened for business. The store is the result of Kayla Welz-Schulzetenberg’s dream of owning her own business.

The 14th annual Harvest Festival was held on the grounds of the Resurrection Lutheran Church, offering more than 30 booths with a variety of produce, meats, dairy products, pottery and other things.

The fourth annual “Twenty-six in the Sticks” roller-blading marathon raised funds for Lindsey Johnson, 22, diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma.

College of St. Scholastica graduate Sam Bechtold was featured in the student spotlight.

The American Legion Club in St. Joseph hosted learning sessions on the U.S. Constitution.

Joel Cherrico shared his journey to becoming a full-time potter.

The country prepared for a major health-care reform program called the federal Affordable Care Act.

Blake Thoennes shared his journey as a computer nerd to owning a successful business called “Computer Repair Unlimited.”

Holdingford High School senior Ashley Jonas was featured in the student spotlight.


Local artist and potter James Loso was honored at a special exhibit called “The Loso Legacy Exhibit” at the Satellite Gallery. This coincided with the annual Millstream Arts Festival.

The visions of 395 artists were displayed in a vast mural called the “Minnesota Disability Mural Project”  at the Gallery St. Germain in downtown St. Cloud.

The 12th firing of the Johanna Kiln in its 18-year history took place at SJU.

Carol Spychala and Carole Euerle taught a painting class to more than 10 young artists at the St. Stephen City Hall. The artists created “grape abstract” watercolor masterpieces.

Construction of the Xcel Energy CAPX2020 power-transmission system continued in the St. Joseph area while helicopters hovered near tall towers south of the city.

Kennedy fourth-grade student Allison Moon was featured in the student spotlight.

Almost 100 St. Cloud School District community members gathered to share ideas, explore opportunities and identify challenges at a “World Cafe” event at Whitney Center in St. Cloud.  The event was one of two events held as part of a comprehensive strategic visioning process to shape the future of the district.

Mike Lyon shared his thoughts after retiring from the St. Joseph Volunteer Fire Department. Lyon was a member for 20 years.

ASA students worked hard to raise funds at the 30th annual Workathon. If students met the goal, Administrator Karl Terhaar offered to dye his beard pink.

Hundreds of people walked the woods of SJU and its arboretum to view the array of fall colors. Many came to attend the 11th annual Collegeville Colors event hosted by SJP and the Arboretum.

Kennedy seventh-grade student Amber Moon was featured in the student spotlight.

Brandon Le and Hoang Huynh shared how they want customers to enjoy their experience at Solar Nails, a new salon that opened for business in April. Le immigrated to the United States from Vietnam when he was 10 years old.

MaryAnn Baenninger, 14th president of CSB, informed the Board of Trustees that she would step down from the presidency on June 30, 2014.

The Collegeville Community Credit Union president and members shared the 75-year history of the credit union.

More than 40 Kennedy students attended “We Day” at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.  The event was organized with “Free the Children” and the “We Act Program” to help young people get involved in social change through volunteering and fundraising.


The third annual citywide food drive was held. Many local area organizations were involved with the drive.

SJP and CSB graduate and author Heather Slee wrote a book entitled “Seven Chances,” which is about the vicious world of bullying. The book is a novel for young people.

CSB joined with hundreds of other college campuses to celebrate Food Day. More than 4,500 events in all 50 states were planned for the day.

Marcia Allard taught “Yoga Calm” relaxation and self-control techniques to ASA students. Several school districts in Minnesota are incorporating “Yoga Calm” into their curriculum.

Fifth- and sixth-grade students at ASA prepared for and attended “BizTown” in Maplewood to apply the facts and information they had learned about running their own businesses.

Drake Dierkhising learned he had been an honorary member of the CSB class of 1942 and shared how proud he was to have been the home-management department’s practice baby for college seniors who took the class.

Jeff and Sandy Eiynck shared their collection of Plains Native American artifacts with area students for a field trip experience. The Eiyncks have been collecting artifacts for more than 30 years.

The Lake Wobegon trail started to show some wear and tear, including cracks from tree roots and other usage.  Stearns County has identified places where the surface needs to be repaired.

Attorney Ralonda Mason gave a presentation on the new MNsure Health Insurance Exchange. Mason is a supervising attorney at the St. Cloud Office of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid.

Bishop Donald Kettler, 68, was installed as the bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud. He is the ninth bishop to oversee the 131 Catholic parishes in the diocese. Twin sisters Amber and Allie Hilsgen were chosen to be door greeters at the solemn vespers service for the installation of the bishop.

Longtime St. Joseph residents Darol and Ellie Studer hosted some members of the American Legion of St. Joseph as they gathered to set up flags in honor of the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps and Veterans’ Day.

Mike Stringer and others joined together to form the St. Cloud Family Support Group for family members, friends and caregivers who live or deal with people who have mental-health issues.

Mill Stream Village opened for both working and retired adults. Shared-care cottages are available for an assisted-living experience or private homes can also be built in the Village.

CSB and SJU students presented “The Good Woman of Setzuan” play by German playwright Bertolt Brecht.

Larry Tillemans was the subject of a documentary by Chuck Czech and David Klassen. Tillemans is one of the only known living survivors of the Nazi war-crimes trial in Nuremberg Germany and has given more than 450 talks about remembering the Holocaust.

Residents used the Church of St. Joseph Heritage Hall to stay physically fit by participating in “Forever Fit” classes instructed by Paula Woischke.

Marcella Cheeley, 90, of Cold Spring was killed in a car crash at the bypass near Interstate-94. The bypass was completed about a year ago to route truck traffic away from downtown St. Joseph.

St. Cloud Federal Credit Union and its two branches launched a program called “Financial Fitness” to help all of their customers better manage money to bring their lives into balance financially.


Eight 12-foot-by-12-foot sections of the 54-ton AIDS Memorial Quilt were displayed at the Minnesota Street Market in recognition of the 25th year of celebrating World AIDS day on Dec. 1 to increase awareness and understanding  of the disease.

The “Be a Santa to a Senior” program brought holiday cheer to senior citizens.  The program has 60,000 volunteers nationwide who give 1.2 million gifts to more than 700,000 seniors.

The City of St. Joseph’s planning commission reviewed current regulations, market needs and changing technology as it related to digital or electric lighting signs.

Cathedral High School senior Logan Mehr was featured in the student spotlight.

The Sisters from the Order of St. Benedict celebrated its 150th anniversary of moving from St. Cloud to St. Joseph by hosting parishioners to cinnamon rolls and coffee at a post-Mass reception in the Church of St. Joseph Heritage Hall.

A list of 18 St. John’s Abbey priests or monks, living and deceased, was released by the Abbey. Men on the list are those who had been “credibly” accused of sexual misconduct.

A Grinch or grinches of Christmas took and then returned several figurines from the traditional nativity scene in front of the St. Joseph Catholic church.

Local authors Duane Kuss and Don Calhoun wrote a self-discovery book called “Dance with the Elephant: Life’s Cosmic Equation.”

ASA students presented the “Legend of the Christmas King” performance at the CSB Escher Auditorium.

Stearns County Highway Department reviewed the CR 2 bypass road because of crashes and a fatal accident that killed a Cold Spring woman. A traffic signal will be installed where CR 2 meets CR 75 and larger stop signs, intersection lights and 45-mph speed-advisory signs were added to slow down traffic where CR 2 meets Minnesota Street.

The seventh annual “Christmas in the Barn,” was held in a very old dairy barn at the Chad and Amy Leither farm just north of St. Joseph.  The event usually attracts around 250 to 300 people.

The St. Joseph City Council voted in favor of having consultants prepare documents for bids for a new government center/police station project. City staff hoped to have the request for bids out in early spring.

The Salvation Army red-kettle donations were down for December. Many volunteer bell-ringers worked hours to encourage donations that are used throughout the year.

[/media-credit] Firefighters take a breather after they battled a controlled burn June 29.

[/media-credit] Students Haden Jansen (left) and Dallas Berg-Kalsheuer shave Mike Stuber’s hair. Stuber OK’d the students to also shave his beard.


Cori Hilsgen

Cori Hilsgen

Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.
Cori Hilsgen
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