Thirty Years Ago: Officer Michael Busch of the Scott County Sheriff’s Department teaches the DARE

Officer Michael Busch of the Scott County Sheriff’s Department teaches the DARE program to Mary Moriarty’s fifth grade class. He is in Belle Plaine schools once a week for 17 weeks, helping children learn how to say no to cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana. 

From Our Files - 10 Years Ago

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Thirty Years Ago (1990)

The metro phone bill, which gave toll free telephone service to Belle Plaine, New Prague, Waconia, and Watertown, passed unanimously in the MN Senate on Thursday, March 22. It was expected to be discussed on the floor of the MN House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 28.

About 765 community surveys, which questioned the school’s program, community, and labor information, had been turned in to the Civic Center by area residents. Three people who filled out and returned the community survey were eligible to win a drawing for $100 in Belle Plaine bucks.

The Belle Plaine Chamber of Commerce and Development Corporation teamed up for a gala fundraising banquet at the Riverview Schalet on Saturday, March 31. Over $6,000 in gifts, ranging in value from $10 to $300, had been donated for door prizes assuring everyone who attended the big social fling at least one prize.

Plans were being made to partially integrate computers in Belle Plaine Elementary School classrooms by the beginning of the 1992-93 school year. Since 1983, when 25 computers had been installed in the school’s computer lab, they were being used for drill and practice 95 percent of the time. Phyllis Briles, who was hired in January 1989 as a full-time computer specialist, maintained that using the computer solely as an electronic workbook needed to change. Briles believed the computer needed to be seen as a tool in education and not as a separate area of the curriculum.

The Belle Plaine Dairy Queen reopened on Wednesday, March 28, with new owners Sherry and Larry Winter of Princeton, new managers Ron and Louise Fry, a totally new dining room, and all kinds of new equipment.

Crews from Wentzlaff and Laabs Construction of Arlington were working diligently on the new grandstand, and the baseball field was expected to be ready to be played on by April 6.

Scott County Sheriff’s Department Officer Michael Busch spent an hour each week for 17 weeks with each fifth-grade class in all three elementary schools in Belle Plaine, public and parochial, teaching a preventive program called DARE or Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Busch said that students, who were often tempted with smoking, drinking, and doing drugs by seventh grade, would receive a variety of information relating to peer pressure, self-esteem and other life skills to educate them not to start using.

Jamie Baumann, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Baumann of Belle Plaine represented Trinity Lutheran School at the state level of the National Geography Bee on March 30. Baumann scored among the top 100 students in the state to qualify for the Minnesota Geography Bee at the Landmark Center in St. Paul.

Robert and Sallie Raleigh of rural Belle Plaine were among 56 Farm Bureau members from Minnesota who traveled to Washington D.C. to discuss several agricultural issues with Minnesota’s Congressmen and Senators.

The Minnesota River Conference named Erik Einertson and Brad Muehlenhardt to the All-Conference Boys’ Basketball Team for the 1989-90 season. Einertson, son of Dave and Phoebe Einertson, averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds per game. Muehlenhardt, son of Lyle and Barb Muehlenhardt, had an exceptional year in his first season of full-time varsity action. Both were juniors and also shared the most valuable player award. Honorable mention went to Jeff Trost, grade 11.

A record of 16-5 was the best record the Belle Plaine Boys’ Basketball Team had in 20 years. The team finished 10-4 in the conference for third place behind Mankato Loyola and Jordan. The Tigers averaged 65 points per game and held their opponents to an average of 59 points. Their average field goal percentage was 44 percent and their average free-throw percentage was 60 percent. They consistently outrebounded their opponents, with a total of 812 compared to their opponents’ 621.       


60 Years Ago (1960)

Mrs. Kathryn Doyle was honored by the Belle Plaine Chapter of the Order of the Easter Star, as an active member of the organization for 50 years.

It was a musical bonanza that struck Belle Plaine on March 28 when the eleven bands of District 13 arrived to play in a concert. The high school was host to 520 band members and their directors as they performed their musical selections.

The consolidation plans being considered and discussed by the Belle Plaine and Blakeley creameries were dropped, as stockholders were unfavorable to the merger at the time.

Mrs. Mary Ann Bigaouette celebrated her 89th birthday, as one of the few great-grandmothers in the area. She boasted 108 direct descendents.

Stan Dahlke, proprietor of Stan’s Standard Station in St. Lawrence Township, reported the theft of an electric shaver to the Scott County Sheriff’s Office. That report and a description of the suspect car and driver led to the arrest of an admitted shoplifter with an estimated $1,500 worth of stolen merchandise in the trunk of his car.

Mrs. Alvin Stier and Mrs. Marion Jackelen were named to take the 1960 federal census in Belle Plaine borough. For Belle Plaine and Blakeley townships, the enumerator was Mrs. Martha Tiegs.

Scott County was recorded as the fifth highest county in the state in the sale of Christmas seals. The county had sales totaling $3,080.77.

Fred Revier, a resident of Belle Plaine for nearly 50 years, died March 28 at the Vallleyview Hospital near Jordan. He was well known for representing the Cashman Nursery of Owatonna.

After 20 years of operating the Blakeley Grain and Feed, Joseph Ciminski sold the business to the Feehan Grain Company of Gaylord. The new owners were to take over in June as a branch of the Gaylord operation.

A two-car collision caused minor injuries and about $800 worth of property damage. A 1952 DeSoto driven by a New Prague man collided with a 1958 Ford driven by a man from Mankato at the intersection of Highway 169 and Ash Street. This was the fourth straight accident within a two-mile radius of Belle Plaine, which involved a New Prague driver.

Local winners of the vocal solo and ensemble contest at the high school were Carol Bergs, Sharon Murphy, Helen Stier, Rachel Stradcutter, Lorayne Stier, Bill Johnson, Mark Albrecht, and Otto Schultz.

The Progressive Homemakers Club met and had a lesson on how to choose and cook beef. The officers were Mrs. John Koenig as president and Mrs. Ed Leonard as secretary-treasurer.

The Belle Plaine Fire Department was called to the William E. Weldon farm home in Blakeley Township to extinguish a chimney fire, which had damaged the roof.

Norb Meyer, proprietor of the Manor Restaurant in Blakeley Township at the junction of Highways 169 and 19, died at the age of 45 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Mankato.

A class of 40 was initiated into the Knights of Columbus in Columbus Hall. The first and second degrees were exemplified by the degree team of Belle Plaine and the third degree was put on a by team from Minneapolis.

Mr. and Mrs. William Siemon returned home from a trip to Florida, which took five weeks and covered approximately 5,000 miles.

Loretta Dienst, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Dienst, and Melvin Karnitz, son of Mr. and Mrs. Emil Karnitz of Belle Plaine, were married March 12 in Mankato.

Evelyn Ruth Pautsch, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand Pautsch, and Harlan Armin Lucht, were married March 28 at Trinity Lutheran’s parsonage.

The VFW Auxiliary elected the following officers: president, Margaret Meger; senior vice president, Regina Witt; junior vice president, Alice Barlage; treasurer, Lillian Fairweather; chaplain, Alvina Johnson; conductress, Arlina Bauman, guard, Helen Heitkamp, and trustee, Rita Tritz.

90 Years Ago (1930)

The local baseball association had a balance in their treasury of $12.41 from 1929 to start the 1930 season.

There was too much chicken stealing. Belle Plaine Town Board offered a reward of $50 for the apprehension of each chicken thief.

Mr. and Mrs. Alvin H. Pearson departed for their new home in Joliet, Illinois, where they lived before coming to the Belle Plaine area.

Raymond Sullivan returned home with the completion of his three-year course of study at the state school of agriculture, where he had been given a gold medal on which his name was engraved as first in proficiency in judging sheep.

Brought to Belle Plaine were the remains of Mrs. Carrie Lundberg, widow of the late John A. Lundberg, for burial in the family lot in Oakwood Cemetery. She died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Myron Skiff, in St. Paul.

Farmers from Le Sueur County reported there had been more than less spring seeding done in their area during the warm period of mid-March.

Mrs. R.P. Lynch died at the hospital in St. Paul at the age of 59, and her funeral was held from Sacred Heart Church.

The Sellnow relationship in large numbers gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. August Sellnow in Staples to help that couple celebrate their golden wedding.

James Mullen, a resident of Washington Lake Township since 1856, died and his funeral from Assumption Church was one of the largest held in that parish.

The well drilling operations in Meeker County continued with one outfit down 1,100 feet. Despite the claim of experts that there was no oil in the region, the oil enthusiasts continued their efforts.

Theodor Blixt, proprietor of a Shakopee café, was killed near Spring Lake when his car upset and he was pinned beneath it.

120 Years Ago (1900)

Bailey’s Store was offering potatoes at 15 cents to 25 cents a bushel.

N.P. Lindberg, who had made his home in Belle Plaine for many years, departed with his family for Leeds, N.D., where he intended to continue in the cigar manufacturing business.

Thos. Meade sold his 40 acres in Belle Plaine Township to John Pint for $4,650.

Belle Plaine was progressing. The windmill on the public “waterworks” was taken down and the pumping was to be done by a gasoline engine.

At the borough election, Peter Hahn was elected mayor and Martin Kelleher and Frank Werrick became councilmen.

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