baseball background

Muskies baseball to host first tourney at Champion

by Dennis Dalman

editor@thenewsleaders.com

Champion Field in Sartell will be one of the “star” attractions during five days in August when the Sartell Muskies baseball team and the Sartell Stone Poneys co-host the Omann Insurance Invitational Tournament, the first time that particular eight-team event has ever happened at the Sartell venue.

What made the tourney possible, more than anything, were the major improvements to Champion Field achieved in recent years, thanks to thousands of hours of volunteer work and many thousands of dollars of contributions by so many organizations, businesses and the City of Sartell.

The tournament games are slated for Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6-7; and will continue Friday-Sunday, Aug. 12-14. There will be four games played on each of those days, most starting at 11 a.m. and the last game of each day starting at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students ages 12-18 and $1 for anybody under 11.

“We now have a bull pen, a concession stand and in-field improvements that make the field really look nice,” said Randy Beckstrom, manager of the Muskies team and coordinator of the upcoming tournament. “We have a great sound system, bathrooms and a press box.”

Beckstrom joined the Muskies in 1989. In 2013, the team won the Class C state championship.

“The Muskies have been in existence since 1979, but it took all those years to finally make Champion Field what it is today,” Beckstrom said. “People don’t realize how much work and time went into that field – a lot of it by team members – and how much work it is to maintain. The original founding members of the Muskies went through so much work just to get the field started so many years ago.”

Beckstrom noted the 21-member Muskies themselves earned a berth in the tournament at Champion Field after defeating Clear Lake July 23 by 7-3 in a Region 1C Amateur Baseball game. The Muskies play in the 15-team Lakewood League. The other teams likely to be in the tournament are St. Joseph, Clear Lake and Foley, Beckstrom noted. Teams from the Eastern Mini-League that might be in the tournament, depending on upcoming games, are among the following: the Sartell Stone Poneys, Braham, Chisago Lakes, Hinckley, Mora, Nowthen, Quamba and Rum River.

Beckstrom and others are now putting together a printed booklet for the tournament and are looking for sponsors to be named in the booklet. Anyone interested should call Beckstrom at 320-250-7775.

contributed photo Sartell Muskies' Andrew Deters singles in a recent 8-0 win over the Foley Lumberjacks.

contributed photo
Sartell Muskies’ Andrew Deters singles in a recent 8-0 win over the Foley Lumberjacks.

contributed photo Randy Beckstrom

contributed photo
Randy Beckstrom

 

 

 

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take a day off background

‘Take a Day Off’ set for July 30

by Dennis Dalman

editor@thenewsleaders.com

An annual family-fun event, dubbed “Take a Day Off at the Mississippi River,” will again take place Saturday, July 30, at Stearns County Mississippi River Park.

The free event is set for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. rain or shine. The park is located seven miles north of Sartell along the River Road (CR 1).

There are many activities scheduled, including canoeing, a kids’ 1k trail run/walk, paddlesports, birdhouse-building, fishing, face-painting, archery and many educational booths where participants can learn about animals, insects and other critters, shoreline buffers, groundwater, invasive species and more.

A bus will be provided for anyone who wants or needs a ride to Stearns County Mississippi River Park. The bus will depart from the YMCA parking lot at 10:30 a.m. and return to the Y at 2:30 p.m. The bus is limited to 50 people, so call the Y at 320-253-2664 to reserve your spot.

Food will be available on-site to buy from the Axle Grill, but we encourage you to pack a healthy lunch.

For more information about the event, visit www.stearnscountyswcd.net/pages/TakeaDayOFF/.

contributed photo A canoe loaded with children approaches the landing at Mississippi River Park north of Sartell during a previous “Take a Day Off on the Mississippi” family-fun day. The next “Day Off” is set for Saturday, July 30 at the same park.

contributed photo
A canoe loaded with children approaches the landing at Mississippi River Park north of Sartell during a previous “Take a Day Off on the Mississippi” family-fun day. The next “Day Off” is set for Saturday, July 30 at the same park.

 

we day background

Sophomore Atkinson thrilled about skills from Leadership Camp

by Dennis Dalman

editor@thenewsleaders.com

When Avery Atkinson received an email in one of her classes she had been chosen as one of 20 Americans to attend a We Day Leadership Camp in Arizona, she burst into tears.

The daughter of Deana and Glenn Atkinson of Sartell, Avery will be a sophomore at Sartell High School when school starts in September.

The honor was so unexpected, with so much competition, she never seriously thought she’d be selected for a Bright Future Award and the leadership camp participation. But she was, and the shock of it stunned her into an emotional meltdown, a “puddle of tears,” as she put it. But they were most definitely happy tears.

Three other young Minnesota students were also chosen for the camp among the 20 Americans, in addition to seven Canadians – a camp membership total of 27. Their ages ranged from 7 to 17.

Recently, Atkinson returned from the six-day We Day Leadership Camp in Arizona, a camp located between Patagonia and Nogales, which is next to the Mexican border. The mission of We Day is to help young people make a difference locally and globally by nurturing compassion in youth and giving them the tools to create transformative social changes. We Day is a branch of the larger organization known as Free the Children.

One of those skills is leadership, and that’s what the We Day Leadership Camp was all about.

“They (the counselors who taught the camp programs) showed us the many different ways to become a leader, how to step up to become one,” Atkinson said.

One of the skills they were taught was to be confident in public speaking, and Atkinson is glad they did because she has always been “terrified” of speaking in public, she noted. Now, that fear factor that hounded her has been lowered, and she believes she will be able to give a public speech without quaking.

Atkinson’s topic of passion is the horrors of child abuse, and she is determined to be a leader with others in an effort to stop the abuse.

“I want to raise awareness about it and find connection with others who are trying to end it,” she said.

The camp in Arizona was extremely hot, as hot as 120 degrees, and that kind of heat was almost unbearable, Atkinson noted, but it was worth enduring because what she learned was so valuable.

“To me, being a leader means someone who is not afraid to do things other people are afraid to do,” she said. “A good leader must be brave, connect with people and show goodness through example.”

At the camp, the participants learned about sustainability and how much society wastes, such as purifying water that is used in flushing toilets. One of their hands-on projects was to build a rock dam, one that can slow the flow of water so the water can be effectively used rather than draining away into the ground.

“We waste so much, and all of us have to learn to do things differently,” Atkinson said. “I also learned at camp how we often don’t notice or appreciate the things around us and the things people do for us. There were two cooks at the camp who did all the cooking for the 27 of us. Those two ladies did an amazing job.”

Atkinson’s favorite subjects in school are social studies and the sciences. She also enjoys photography, volleyball and track. She has two siblings, an older brother named Harper and a younger one named Foster.

Her dream career, she said, would be to become a profiler for the FBI or some job in the field of radiology or ultrasound.

Atkinson gives high marks to teacher Karrie Fredrickson, who teaches a leadership unit. It was Fredrickson who posted the Leadership Camp opportunity on a class website, which piqued Atkinson’s interest and caused her to apply for the chance. It was a chance, she soon learned, that paid off and turned into a puddle of tears – happy tears.

contributed photo In southern Arizona. We Day Leadership Camp participants relax after building a rock dam. Avery Atkinson of Sartell is third from left in front.

contributed photo
In southern Arizona, We Day Leadership Camp participants relax after building a rock dam. Avery Atkinson of Sartell is third from left in front.

 

 

football background

Renegades win final game of regular season, head for playoffs Aug. 6

by Cori Hilsgen

news@thenewsleaders.com

The Granite City Renegades semi-pro football team defeated the Twin Cities Sabercats on July 23 in the final game of the regular season. They won 40-18 at the game played at St. John’s University in Collegeville.

Head coach Brett Weaver said team quarterback Ryan Fay and running back Michael Iverson led a powerful offense with Fay going nine of 13 in the air for 193 yards and four touchdowns. Iverson caught one of those touchdowns and also ran one in. Renegade player Sean Hayden led the ground game with 85 yards rushing.

Their defense had a solid lead with Kyle Crozon’s five solo tackles – two for losses and two sacks, and Houston Spooner and Pat Lopez capturing two fumbles. Weaver said defensive coordinator Jake Hutt has done an outstanding job this season running one of the best defenses the Renegades have ever had.

The Northern States Football League playoffs begin Aug. 6, and the Renegades are the No. 3 seed. The team, which includes members from Sartell, Rice and St. Joseph, for example, will travel to Minneapolis to play the South Metro Patriots.

contributed photo Granite City Renegades players compete in a game against the Twin City Sabercats. They will play them in their final home game on Saturday, July 23.

contributed photo
The Granite City Renegades semi-pro football team handily defeated the Twin City Sabercats, 40-18, during the final regular-season game held July 23 at St. John’s University, Collegeville. They are now ranked No. 3 in the Northern States Football League, which will start playoffs Aug. 6.

photo by Mindy Peterson
Perry Rollings of Sartell, a member of Unity Spiritual Center of Sartell, holds on tight to the leashes of Kaiser the German Shepherd and Polly the pug/terrier who sit patiently on the lawn during the blessing of the animals or pets July 24 during the service.

Pet blessing draws hounds galore

photo by Mindy Peterson Members from the Central Minnesota Therapy Animal Association stay cool in the shade alongside the Unity Spiritual Center in Sartell while waiting for the third annual blessing of the animals or pets to begin on July 24.

photo by Mindy Peterson
Members from the Central Minnesota Therapy Animal Association stay cool in the shade alongside the Unity Spiritual Center in Sartell while waiting for the third annual blessing of the animals and pets to begin on July 24.

photo by Mindy Peterson Perry Rollings of Sartell, a member of Unity Spiritual Center of Sartell, holds on tight to the leashes of Kaiser the German Shepherd and Polly the pug/terrier who sit patiently on the lawn during the blessing of the animals or pets during the service on July 24.

photo by Mindy Peterson
Perry Rollings of Sartell, a member of Unity Spiritual Center of Sartell, holds on tight to the leashes of Kaiser the German Shepherd and Polly the pug/terrier who sit patiently on the lawn during the blessing of the animals and pets during the service on July 24.

photo by Mindy Peterson Hashbrown, a Lab-pitbull mix, sticks a tongue out and grins widely as the dog's owners Heather Crosthwaite and her husband J.J. of Avon pet the dog on the yard of Unity Spiritual Center in Sartell on July 24 before the blessing of the animals or pets, who the pastor credited as great and loving companions.

photo by Mindy Peterson
Hashbrown, a Lab-pitbull mix, sticks a tongue out and grins widely as the dog’s owners Heather Crosthwaite and her husband J.J. of Avon pet the dog on the grounds of Unity Spiritual Center in Sartell July 24 before the blessing of the animals and pets, which the pastor credited as great and loving companions.

photo by Mindy Peterson Lady looks around at the other animals present at the blessing of the animals at Unity Spiritual Center in Sartell on July 24 as her owner Klae Borstrom, who belongs to the church, leans against a tree with his other hand in his pocket.

photo by Mindy Peterson
Lady looks around at the other animals present at the blessing of the animals at Unity Spiritual Center in Sartell on July 24 as her owner Klae Borstrom, who belongs to the church, leans against a tree with his other hand in his pocket.

photo by Mindy Peterson Unity Spiritual Center member Stephen Murphy of St. Cloud scratches the neck of Kalli the Golden Retriever during their attendance of the blessing of the animals or pets at the Sartell church on July 24, which was inspired by a reverence of all forms of life.

photo by Mindy Peterson
Unity Spiritual Center member Stephen Murphy of St. Cloud scratches the neck of Kalli the Golden Retriever July 24 during their attendance of the blessing of the animals and pets, which was inspired by a reverence of all forms of life.

photo by Mindy Peterson Central Minnesota Therapy Animal Association member Joyce Selzer of Cold Spring cradles Ike the Yorkshire in her left hand while petting Nahlah the Great Dane with her right hand during the blessing of the animals or pets at Unity Spiritual Center in Sartell on July 24. In past pet-blessing celebrations, participating pets have included dogs, cats, reptiles and even a horse.

photo by Mindy Peterson
Central Minnesota Therapy Animal Association member Joyce Salzer of Cold Spring cradles Ike the Yorkshire in her left hand while petting Nahlah the Great Dane with her right hand during the blessing of the animals and pets July 24 at Unity Spiritual Center in Sartell. In past pet-blessing celebrations, participating pets have included dogs, cats, reptiles and even a horse.

photo by Mindy Peterson Members of Unity Spiritual Center hold hands in a circle while surrounded by their pets during the blessing of the animals or pets at the Sartell church on July 24.

photo by Mindy Peterson
Members of Unity Spiritual Center hold hands in a circle while surrounded by their pets during the blessing of the animals or pets  July 24 at the Sartell church.

photo by Carolyn Bertsch 
As his father Dan Eichers looks on, little baseball enthusiast David Eichers, 6, of Sauk Rapids gets his ball autographed by Luke Ringhofer, a catcher for the St. Cloud Rox. Rox players were available to chat with shoppers and sign memorabilia July 23 during the Sauk Rapids Farmers Market.

Sauk Rapids Farmers Market provides food, laughs and entertainment

photo by Carolyn Bertsch  Dan and Deb Deering of Sauk Rapids share some laughs as they purchase mint and spring lettuce mix from Sartell resident Alex Bertsch of Epic by Nature Farm at the Sauk Rapids Farmers Market on July 23.

photo by Carolyn Bertsch
Dan and Deb Deering of Sauk Rapids share some laughs as they purchase mint and a spring lettuce mix July 23 from Sartell resident Alex Bertsch of Epic by Nature Farm at the Sauk Rapids Farmers Market.

photo by Carolyn Bertsch  The Sauk Rapids Farmers Market brings not only fresh fruit, vegetables and homemade baked goods to the parking lot behind Jimmy's Pour House on Saturdays. There is also a variety of entertainment for shoppers to enjoy. Pictured from left to right are Sartell High School seniors Matt Schnettler, Logan Payne, Kyle Cielinski, and Dan Erickson. They comprise the band, "Side Project" which performed during the market on July 2nd.

photo by Carolyn Bertsch
The Sauk Rapids Farmers Market brings not only fresh fruit, vegetables and homemade baked goods to the parking lot behind Jimmy’s Pour House on Saturdays. There is also a variety of entertainment for shoppers to enjoy. Pictured (from left to right) are Sartell High School seniors Matt Schnettler, Logan Payne, Kyle Cielinski and Dan Erickson. They comprise the band, “Side Project,” which performed July 23 during the market.

photo by Carolyn Bertsch  As his father Dan Eichers looks on, little baseball enthusiast David Eichers, 6, of Sauk Rapids gets his ball autographed by Luke Ringhofer, a catcher for the St. Cloud Rox. Rox players were available to chat with shoppers and sign memorabilia during the Sauk Rapids Farmers Market on July 23.

photo by Carolyn Bertsch
As his father Dan Eichers looks on, little baseball enthusiast David Eichers, 6, of Sauk Rapids gets his ball autographed by Luke Ringhofer, a catcher for the St. Cloud Rox. Rox players were available to chat with shoppers and sign memorabilia July 23 during the Sauk Rapids Farmers Market.

photo by Carolyn Bertsch  Laurie Hogenson, 8, daughter of Cynthia Hogenson of Sauk Rapids, waits to pour lemonade for her next customer. The Hogenson family was selling lemonade at the Sauk Rapids Farmers Market on July 23 in an effort to raise money for Make-A-Wish-MN. Their family was a recipient of the organization when their son, Blake, 5, received a trip to Disneyworld in May of 2015.

photo by Carolyn Bertsch
Laurie Hogenson, 8, daughter of Cynthia Hogenson of Sauk Rapids, waits to pour lemonade for her next customer. The Hogenson family was selling lemonade at the Sauk Rapids Farmers Market July 23 in an effort to raise money for Make-A-Wish-Minnesota. Their family was a recipient of the organization when their son and Laurie’s brother, Blake, 5, received a trip to Disneyworld in May of 2015.

photo by Carolyn Bertsch
Heavy rainfall delayed some events for the second annual Tom Bearson Foundation Golf Outing at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course in Sartell on July 23, but the sun later came out and found these five golfers in good spirits! They are from left to right, Todd Hubbard of St. Cloud, Rod VanSurksum, Gordy Meyer, Amy VanSurksum, and Michelle Meyer, all of Sartell. The event was a fundraiser for projects initiated by the Foundation done in the memory of Bearson, an 18-year-old Sartell resident and high school basketball player who was murdered in the Fargo-Moorhead area in 2014. The killing of the North Dakota State University student has not yet been solved.

Tom Bearson Foundation fundraiser a success

photo by Carolyn Bertsch Heavy rainfall delayed some events for the second annual Tom Bearson Foundation Golf Outing at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course in Sartell on July 23, but the sun later came out and found these five golfers in good spirits! They are from left to right, Todd Hubbard of St. Cloud, Rod VanSurksum, Gordy Meyer, Amy VanSurksum, and Michelle Meyer, all of Sartell. The event was a fundraiser for projects initiated by the Foundation done in the memory of Bearson, an 18-year-old Sartell resident and high school basketball player who was murdered in the Fargo-Moorhead area in 2014. The killing of the North Dakota State University student has not yet been solved.

photo by Carolyn Bertsch
Heavy rainfall delayed some events for the second annual Tom Bearson Foundation Golf Outing held July 23 at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course in Sartell, but the sun later came out and found these five golfers in good spirits. They are (from left to right): Todd Hubbard of St. Cloud, and Rod VanSurksum, Gordy Meyer, Amy VanSurksum, and Michelle Meyer, all of Sartell. The event was a fundraiser for projects initiated by the foundation done in the memory of Bearson, an 18-year-old Sartell resident and high school basketball player who was murdered in the Fargo-Moorhead area in 2014. The killing of the North Dakota State University student has not yet been solved.

photo by Carolyn Bertsch  Bean bag tournaments were one of the activities taking place during the second annual Tom Bearson Foundation event at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course in Sartell on July 23. As her opponent, Craig Trettin of Plymouth, looks on, Erica Traut readies to toss a bean bag. Traut was Bearson's girlfriend. The event was a fundraiser for projects initiated by the Foundation done in the memory of Bearson, an 18-year-old Sartell resident and high school basketball player who was murdered in the Fargo-Moorhead area in 2014. The killing of the North Dakota State University student has not yet been solved.

photo by Carolyn Bertsch
Bean-bag tournaments were one of the activities taking place July 23 during the second annual Tom Bearson Foundation event at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course in Sartell. As her opponent, Craig Trettin of Plymouth, looks on, Erica Traut readies to toss a bean bag. Traut was Bearson’s girlfriend. The event was a fundraiser for projects initiated by the foundation done in the memory of Bearson, an 18-year-old Sartell resident and high school basketball player who was murdered in the Fargo-Moorhead area in 2014. The killing of the North Dakota State University student has not yet been solved.

contributed graphic
In this cutaway view of a rain garden, a profusion of native is clustered in plantings in a depression area of a yard. Water from gutters and down spouts from the home rush down to the rain garden where they gather as in a pond and are then slowly absorbed by the deep roots of the plants while other excess water slowly filters deeper into the ground. The native plants also attract birds, bees and butterflies.

Register now for rain garden workshop, tour

by Dennis Dalman

editor@thenewsleaders.com

Sartell residents who would like to learn about rain gardens at an Aug. 4 workshop and tour should register by Aug. 1 by calling Sartell Community Development Technician Nate Keller at 320-258-7316 or by emailing him at Nate.Keller@sartellmn.com.

There is an enrollment limit of 25 people for the rain-garden presentation, made possible by the Sauk River Watershed District and the City of Sartell.

The workshop-tour will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. at Sartell City Hall. After participants receive rain-garden information, a tour will be given of some of the outstanding rain gardens in the city.

Participants will receive books on native plants, informational folders and seed packets to start their own rain gardens. Several gift certificates will be given from area nurseries.

At the workshop, participants will learn how to identify native plants, how to distinguish between native plants and weeds, how best to maintain rain gardens and the options for cost-sharing programs.

A rain garden is a planted depression or hole that allows rainwater runoff from impervious areas (roofs, driveways, walkways and parking lots) to collect in the lower rain-garden area to be slowly absorbed. That way, runoff storm water can be absorbed into the ground rather than running into storm drains, and the river or other waterways.

Rain gardens can help reduce erosion, flooding and keep polluted water out of storm drains, streams and rivers. Rain gardens can reduce the amount of pollution getting into storm drains by 30 percent.

Besides their environmental functionality, rain gardens are aesthetically pleasing as a native-plant flower and grass-plant bed at the edge of a yard. About 10 years ago, the rain-garden concept was introduced to Sartell at city council meetings, and now there are scores of rain gardens all throughout the city, brightening up residential and commercial property while helping prevent erosion and pollution.

Usually, native plants are planted in rain gardens because they are hardy perennials with deep roots that efficiently absorb water and nutrients while being drought-tolerant. Such plants can include shrubs, ferns, wildflowers, tall grasses and other vegetation that comes up every spring. Some rain-garden owners also like to put some annuals in the gardens (often in pots) for variety and for splashes of color.

Rain gardens act as temporary ponds under which runoff water can be slowly absorbed into the ground where it most belongs.

contributed graphic In this cutaway view of a rain garden, a profusion of native is clustered in plantings in a depression area of a yard. Water from gutters and down spouts from the home rush down to the rain garden where they gather as in a pond and are then slowly absorbed by the deep roots of the plants while other excess water slowly filters deeper into the ground. The native plants also attract birds, bees and butterflies.

contributed graphic
In this cutaway view of a rain garden, a profusion of native vegetation is clustered in plantings in a depression area of a yard. Water from gutters and down spouts from the home rush down to the rain garden where they gather in a pond and are then slowly absorbed by the deep roots of the plants while other excess water slowly filters deeper into the ground. The native plants also attract birds, bees and butterflies.

 

 

 

 

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