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A near-tragedy last year on Little Rock Lake near Rice brought the victim, Josh Johnson of Sartell (center), and his two rescuers together after Johnson was released from the hospital. On Nov. 15, Johnson came very close to death when the ice on the lake gave way under his feet. Two long-time buddies from Rice – Shane Sabraski (left) and Neil Maidl (right) – saw the accident and hurried to the rescue.

Man’s rescue from lake forges bonds with life savers

by Dennis Dalman When Josh Johnson of Sartell fell through the ice, he struggled and screamed for help for 25 minutes until his strength gave out, and he sank under the icy water of Little Rock Lake near Rice. He remembers, before he passed out, seeing the sandy bottom and thinking, “This is it; […]

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Baby Neely Erickson nestles snugly in the arms of her mother, safe and sound in the St. Cloud Hospital after coming into the world in her father's Dodge Ram truck during an 11-below morning in St. Joseph. St. Joseph Police Officer Matt Johnson (left) and Police Chief Joel Klein assisted with the surprise birth. The Ericksons said they want to thank all of the St. Joseph agencies who arrived at the birth scene for their kindness, expertise and professionalism.

New baby barges into 11-below morning

by Dennis Dalman What kind of baby would want to be born in a Dodge Ram truck in 11-below-zero weather? Well, tiny Neely Erickson didn’t seem to mind. Not at all. She was ready to barge into the world and so she did, thank you – in the parking lot in front of CentraCare […]

photo by Dennis Dalman
Joe Perske is flanked by his family as he formally kicks off his campaign Feb. 1 for the Sixth U.S. Congressional seat. His daughters (left to right) are Greta, Jenna and Michaela. His wife, Janet, is at right.

Perske begins the ‘toughest’ marathon

by Dennis Dalman Sartell Mayor Joe Perske, a long-time marathon runner, estimates he’s run close to 90,000 miles so far in his life, but recently he just started a marathon he says will be the toughest one – running for the Sixth U.S. Congressional seat. A campaign kick-off took place with Perske, family, friends […]

photo by Dennis Dalman
Officials gathered Feb. 3 in Waite Park to discuss security issues concerning priests who have records of sexually abusing minors. From left to right are Mike Bryant, Waite Park-based attorney; Jeff Anderson, Twin Cities attorney; Peggy LaDue, executive director of the Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center; and Bob Ethan, a victim of sexual abuse when he was a child.

Panel demands stringent safety against clergy abuse

by Dennis Dalman There are 14 priests or monks living at the St. John’s Abbey who may still pose a danger to children, according to two attorneys, a former monk and two grown men who say they were abused by priests when they were children. A press conference Feb. 4 at the Bradshaw and […]

photo by Cori Hilsgen
Ken Hiemenz has been involved with the St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club for 52 years and has served on its board for 40 years, many of those years as the club president.

Hiemenz has served rod, gun club for 40 years

by Cori Hilsgen news@thenewsleaders St. Joseph resident Ken Hiemenz is a man who has served on several organizations for long periods of time. One of those organizations is the St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club. Hiemenz, 79, has been with the club since 1961 and has spent 40 of those years serving as president and […]

Superintendent finalists interviewed

by Dennis Dalman The choice for a new superintendent in Sartell was expected to be announced as early as Friday, Feb. 7. As of Newsleader press time Wednesday morning, only one of the three finalists has been interviewed – Paul Neubauer, director of curriculum and instruction in St. Francis, which is in Anoka County […]


‘Crazy-but-smarter’ Munden to take icy plunge again

by Dennis Dalman MaryBeth Munden admits she’s crazy. Every winter she willingly plunges into ice-cold water. “Yes, I’m crazy,” she said, laughing. “But I’m getting smarter. This year I won’t be taking the plunge until March.” On March 8, Munden will take a deep breath and then jump into a lake at Eden Prairie, […]

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Doug Wood, an author who lives in Sartell, will be one of the featured guests at "Are You Thirsty? A Celebration of Water for All Ages." The educational fun event, which will feature watercolor painting, will take place from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 at First United Methodist Church in Sartell. The program is open to everyone.

Water celebration set at United Methodist

“Water” will be the topic of much fun and education when First United Methodist Church in Sartell presents “Are You Thirsty? A Celebration of Water for all Ages.” The program, to which all people of all ages are invited, will take place from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 at the church, which is located at […]