April 21

Ten St. John’s Prep students were among more than 1,700 local area seventh- to 12th-grade students from across Minnesota who participated in St. Cloud State University’s 50th annual Mathematics Contest, a one-day statewide competition held April 6 on the SCSU campus.The second-place team was the junior team made up of Tony Zhou, Zander Haws and Toto Chen; and third-place teams were the senior team made up of Jim Song, Hobart Chen, Leo Fang and Risa Fines and the sophomore team made up of Steve Wang, Christine Xu and Tina Chen.


Second Harvest Heartland recognizes CentraCare Health as 2017 Hunger Hero

CentraCare Health is a 2017 recipient of Second Harvest Heartland’s annual Hunger Hero awards for making a compassionate and transformational impact on ending hunger.

CentraCare Health received the “Innovation” Hunger Hero Award for a new program that addresses both hunger and health-care needs. The CentraCare Family Health Center partnered with Second Harvest Heartland to pilot a new and innovative program called FOODRx, which tests the health and financial impacts of providing tailored food prescriptions to low-income patients with diabetes.

FOODRx provides food boxes that support healthy eating and the treatment to patients dealing with diabetes or heart disease. The boxes contain nutrient-rich foods that can be quickly prepared for delicious and healthy meals.

One participant, a 53-year-old woman, started using FOODRx in September with a blood glucose level of 11.4. She expresses appreciation for being part of the program and that she uses everything in the box. Since starting the FOODRx program, her blood glucose level has dropped by 2.4 points. Another participant, a 64-year-old man, saw a great improvement in his blood glucose level since starting the FOODRx program, dropping from 10.4 to 6.3.

“It’s exciting to be a part of this program and to see the progress of some of the enrolled patients,” said Paul Schoenberg, director of the CentraCare Family Health Center. “As a registered nurse, I am aware of the importance of good nutrition. Even so, I was surprised by some of the positive results.”

CentraCare Health is one of six award-winning organizations that each represent a critical component to Second Harvest Heartland’s mission of ending hunger through community partnerships: financial, innovation, retail-food rescue, volunteering, awareness and food distribution. Other 2017 winners include Bank of America, Coborn’s Inc., General Mills, Walmart and Taste of the NFL.

To read more about the Second Harvest Heartland Hunger Heroes Awards, visit http://www.2harvest.org/hungerheroes.


Two local landscape companies merge

Randy Schmitz, owner and founder of Scenic Specialties Landscape Co., and Ben Stockinger, owner and founder of Stockinger LawnScape Solutions, recently merged operations creating “Scenic Specialties Landscape Professionals.”

Scenic Specialties Landscape Professionals will be a unique landscaping experience offering year-round services. Clients will be able to contract services ranging from design, installation, lawn and landscape maintenance to snow removal.

Scenic Specialties has been in business for more than 20 years and is a leading force in the landscape industry, offering award-winning landscape installations across central Minnesota.

Stockinger LawnScape Solutions has been in business for more than 10 years with expertise focused on lawn-care services, snow removal and hardscape installation or, as Stockinger likes to put it, “all things block and paver.”

“I was looking to expand my business by offering more services and better processes and this business merger happened to be the perfect complement to that,” Stockinger said.

With Stockinger as owner of the freshly named Scenic Specialties Landscape Professionals, the company will continue to focus on great customer service, creative designs and upholding the high integrity both companies have built their successes on

“I loved building Scenic Specialties from the ground up, but as the company grew, my time became more and more divided. I want to get back to what I love best: creating, designing and helping clients solve their landscaping needs. This merger will allow the opportunity to bring more services and resources to all of our clients,” Schmitz said.

New and loyal customers to both businesses can find Scenic Specialties Landscape Professionals headquarters at the original 14-acre showplace, located at 31101 CR 133, St. Joseph.


District 742 Local Education and Activities Foundation recently announced the awarding of $37,470 during its spring Academic and Activities Funds grant cycle. Each year, LEAF awards supplemental funding to academic, activities, arts and athletic programming. Teachers, coaches and advisers submit grant applications for special projects twice during the academic year. In addition, LEAF makes ticket sales grants to programs from the Night of the Stars Variety Show each spring.

This year’s local grants include the following: Activities Fund Grants: $1,000 Apollo/Tech/Cathedral Robotics Competition and Registration, $1,000 Apollo High School Boys Soccer Uniform and $500 Apollo Trap-Shooting Team Range Fees; Academic Fund Grants: $264 Kennedy Band Trip to MMEA Middle Level Festival and $3,662 Elementary/Middle School second and sixth graders to SJU Outdoor Field Trips; Night of the Stars Ticket Sales Grants: $1,530 Apollo High School and $666 Kennedy; and 2016-17 Grants of 4-1-2017: Apollo Activities Golf Tourney Returns to Programs.

About LEAF

The District 742 Local Education and Activities Foundation was founded in 1993 as a fully independent, non-profit organization for the purpose of promoting and enhancing school-based, extra-curricular activities and academic opportunities in District 742 Public Schools. LEAF’s endowment fund provides supplemental funding for academic, activities, arts and athletic programming in the district’s schools. Since 1996 LEAF has been able to contribute more than $1.4 million to projects in District 742. Check out the LEAF Grant History at www.leaf742.org.

Janelle Von Pinnon

Janelle Von Pinnon

Publisher/CEO at Newsleaders
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.
Janelle Von Pinnon
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