January

Runners Honored their Ancestors

Douglas Fairbanks, founding member of the Dakota 38 Memorial Run, ran through BP early Wednesday morning, Dec. 26, carrying a ceremonial baton that was passed to subsequent runners on the 71-mile stretch from Fort Snelling to Mankato. The annual run, which began in 1986, honors the 38 Dakota men hanged following the Dakota Uprising of 1862.

Symbols of Suicide Prevention

In response to the BP teen who took his own life on Christmas Eve, community members gathered at the Vets’ Club on Saturday, Dec. 29, to create hundreds of purple and blue ribbons to tie around the trees on their property in an effort to raise awareness for mental health resources.

Improving Scenic Byway 6

Sibley County and state representatives were in the process of trying to secure funding for an $18.6 million road improvement project to address the flooding issue on Scenic Byway 6 into Henderson.

Minimum Wage Hike

As of Jan. 1, Minnesota adopted a minimum wage hike to $9.86 an hour for businesses who take in $500,000 or more in gross annual revenues and $8.04 an hour for businesses earning less than a half million. The totals are increases from the rates of $9.65 an hour and $7.87 an hour respectively.

Rumble on the Red

Out of 55 teams at the Rumble on the Red Wrestling Tournament at the FargoDome during the last weekend of December, the Scott West Wrestling Team took fourth place by earning a total of 133.5 team points.

Third Places at Holiday Tournament

BPHS’s girls basketball team placed third in the Glencoe-Silver Lake Holiday Tournament, after falling to GSL, 46-67, in the first round and then coming back to handily defeat Detroit Lakes, 83-67.  BPHS’s boys basketball team also placed third in the Glencoe-Silver Lake Holiday Tournament, after losing a tough matchup, 42-78, to 4th-ranked Holy Family and then going shot for shot with Lester Prairie, which ended in a 62-58 win for the Tigers.  

City Officials Sworn In

At the BP City Council meeting on Monday night, Jan.7, the reelected mayor Chris Meyer was sworn in, as well as reelected councilman Paul Chard and newly-elected councilwoman Renee LeMieux.

Water and Ice

Public Works Superintendent Al Fahey gave a bleak outlook for the future of the ice rinks because of the unseasonably warm January temperatures. However, the new community pool project was well underway and crews were working to finalize the placement of footings. The BP City Council also approved the hiring of Isabella Schulte as the pool’s seasonal manager.

Sidewalk Cafes

After Colt Oldenburg, the owner of a future brewpub on Main Street, asked the city council to explore the possibility of allowing sidewalk cafes, extensions of seating areas from restaurants and bars that could be either enclosed or left free-flowing.

Rose Bowl Parade

Erik Einertson, son of David and Phoebe Einertson of BP, invited his parents to join him and his wife, Kerri, at the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, CA, for the 13th consecutive New Year’s Day. Even though Erik, who had moved to Pasadena for work 13 years ago, no longer resides there, he and Kerri continue to volunteer with the Tournament of Roses.

Mental Health Resources

At their meeting on Monday night, Jan. 7, the BP School Board discussed at length how best to address students’ mental health at all ages and grade levels, following the suicide of two BP students in the last six months. In addition to the special app which students who need help can access on their iPads, the board members discussed the need for a licensed mental health professional on site every day and the possibility of working with other schools in the area, specifically Trinity and OLP.

BP School Board

The BP School Board reorganized for 2019 by reelecting Terry Kahle as chairperson, Tracy O’Brien as vice chair, Amanda Gregory as clerk, and Karl Keup as treasurer. Among other items of business, the board discussed upgrading school facilities and building a new auditorium.

New BP Cops

Since May of 2017, the BP Police Department brought on four new part-time and full-time officers, bringing their ranks up to nine full-time and six part-time officers. The four new officers include Nik Friedges, Sterling Cayer, Sasha Urban, and Kelli Crandall.

Library Renovations

In a letter dated Dec. 28, 2018, the Minnesota Department of Education informed the BP City Council that their request for a grant to renovate and expand the BP Public Library was denied.

Change in Scott County Administrator

Upon the retirement of Gary Shelton on Jan. 1, former deputy administrator Lezlie Vermillion became the Scott County Administrator. Shelton had worked with the county in some capacity for about 40 years; Vermillion began her career with Scott County in 2002.

$1000 Reward for Phil & Felony

Two dogs - Phil, a three-year-old American Bully male, and Felony an eight-month-old German Shepard female - were missing since Dec. 15, 2018, from Doppy Lane and Deer Run Trail in LeSueur. A $1000 cash reward was offered for any information that would lead to their return.

Forever Stamps Increased from 50 to 55 Cents

The U.S. Postal Service announced that the cost of mailing a first-class, one-ounce letter would increase five cents, from 50 to 55 cents, on Jan. 27. The ten per cent rate hike was the biggest price hike for postage since 1991 and the largest by total cents in the history of the post office.

Frontier Communications Reprimanded

According to an investigation by the Minnesota Commerce Dept., Frontier Communications failed to provide adequate, reliable phone and internet service to its Minnesota customers. The investigative report, which was filed on Friday, Jan. 4, with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, recommended that Frontier be required to refund or credit customers for service outages and unauthorized charges, add staffing to improve customer service, and increase investments in infrastructure and equipment.

Wrestlers Rang in the New Year with a Win

The Scott West Wrestling Team had not competed at the Farmington Duals since 2007, but Team Panther made their return a good one as they rang in the new year with their fourth Farmington Duals Team Championship title with wins over St. Francis (50-14), Farmington (56-13), and Coon Rapids (45-15).

Girls Basketball Team Ranked Third in MRC

As a result of an awesome team effort with defensive intensity and a balanced offensive attack, the BP girls basketball team defeated Southwest Christian 58-50, moving to a 5-5 season record and third place in the Minnesota River Conference standings.

First Babies of 2019

• Laurel Claire Salaba, daughter of Erin and Brandon Salaba of Shakopee, was born at St. Francis Family Birth Place on Jan. 2.

• Cale Matthew Graf, son of Jeana and Mat Graf of New Prague, was born at Queen of Peace Hospital on Jan. 2.

• Dawson Anderson, son of Jessica and Nate Anderson of Excelsior, was born at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia on Jan. 2.

• Harper Ann Janike, daughter of Stephanie and Jake Janike of St. Clair, was born at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato on Jan. 1.

Vets Honored Vets

On Friday, Jan. 11, a group of nine veterans, representing the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 10 traveled from Mankato to BP to honor the residents of the Lutheran Home who are veterans by delivering 32 pillowcases customized to match the branch of service in which the recipients served.

Dos and Don’ts

About 50 members of the community gathered at Trinity Lutheran Church in BP on Sunday, Jan. 13, to hear a presentation on the warning signs of suicide and steps for preventing it by Dr. Jennifer K. Londgren, a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Water and Sewer Rates Increase

Based on the recommendations in the 2017 Sewer and Water Study authorized by the BP City Council, there was a two percent increase in the sewer and water base rate and a four percent increase in usage rates.

Fundraiser for Pastor

As a result of Rev.Diane Goulson, the pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church near BP, being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, there was a fundraiser on Friday, Jan. 25, at the Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan, to raise money for costs that aren’t covered by insurance and to show her that the community was supporting her on her journey.

SnoFest Royalty at BPHS

The following students were members of the SnoFest Royalty at BPHS during the week of Jan. 14-18: Tatum Ackerman, Neil Bigaouette, Hunter Schmidt, Collin Schultz, Mikkel Schmidt, Paige Narveson, Claire Miner, Siri Kuhn, and Elyse Hayes.  

New TLHA Chaplain

On Jan. 2, Rev. Patrick Feldhus joined the Lutheran Home Association’s Hope Residence as its newest chaplain to focus on the needs of those with special needs. Feldhus’s wife, Debra, also works at the TLHA as a care provider.

Send a Comforter

During the week of Jan. 7-11, the ladies of the Hutterite Brethren at the Altona Colony, just outside Henderson, created 200 quilts for the Christian Aid Ministries, which collects donated quilts from across the world for distribution as part of their “Send a Comforter” program.

New Baseball Manager

Matt Ruehling, a five-year veteran player on the BP Baseball Team, was named the team’s field manager on Jan. 9 by the BP Baseball Association, replacing Mike Schultz who had served as field manager for six years.

Soft Lockdown

On the morning of Jan. 9, Oak Crest Elementary School went into a soft lockdown for about an hour, in response to a juvenile student who had become aggressive. The BP Police Dept. was called onto the scene as per the school’s protocol and de-escalated the situation through conversation. There was minor property damage, but no one was hurt.

High Kick and Jazz

The BPHS Dance Team hosted a high-flying, explosive competition featuring ten area teams on Saturday, Jan. 12. The varsity squad earned third place in high kick and fourth place in jazz.

Trifecta for Girls Basketball Team

The BPHS Girls Basketball Team earned three victories by double digits in a week of play, by defeating Lester Prairie, 68-34, on Jan. 7 and Sibley East, 70-50, on Jan. 10 and Bethlehem Academy, 73-30, on Jan. 14.

Mixed Results for Boys Basketball Team

The BPHS Boys Basketball Team took turns winning and losing to start the new year, by losing to Mayer Lutheran, 68-64, on Jan. 8; defeating Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop, 71-54, on Jan. 10; falling to Southwest Christian, 63-54, on Jan. 11.

Panther Payback

The Scott West Wrestling Team rallied to earn a dramatic 34-32 win against St. Michael-Albertville High School on Jan. 10. On their weekend road trip to River Valley, Wisconsin, the Panthers won the first annual Rick Lawinger Invitational by advancing nine wrestlers into the championship round. Also, Coach Jerold Stauffacher was formally introduced into the River Valley Athletic Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Super Blood Wolf Moon

Bill Diers, former BP resident, won the contest sponsored by the BP Herald for the best photo of the total lunar eclipse on Sunday evening, Jan. 20. There were seven other entries.

All-Conference/Sub-Section Thespians

BPHS’s One-Act Play had a strong showing at the MRC One-Act Festival on Saturday, Jan. 19, at Mayer Lutheran High School. The ensemble earned “exemplary” and “very good” ratings. Five cast members were named MRC All-Conference: seniors Griffin Ruud, Hunter Schmidt and Collin Schultz, junior Kylee Santovi, and sophomore Kadence Bran de Leon. Ruud also earned the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Mortimer Mortimer in “Failure: A Love Story”.  At their sub-section tournament on Saturday, Jan. 26, the BPHS thespians were named the champions among eight competing teams.

Winter Conditions Caused Car Crashes

A 52-year-old Le Sueur man, Steven Valenzuela, suffered life-threatening injuries when he rear-ended a plow truck, driven by Paul Traxler of BP, just outside of Jordan on Friday afternoon, Jan. 18.  Multiple vehicles were involved in a pile-up on Hwy. 169 south of BP near German Road on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

Dollars for Scholars’ Phone-A-Thon

BP’s Dollars for Scholars conducted its 28th annual phone-a-thon during the last weekend of January. Dozens of students called potential donors in the school district, asking for pledges to be added to scholarships for this year’s BPHS graduates. The phone-a-thon raised over $15,000.  

Red Hot Hockey at Ice Cold Tourney

Six teams squared off for the BP Hockey Association’s annual pond hockey tournament on Saturday, Jan. 19. The Bulldogs, made up of players from the Minnesota River Bulldogs high school hockey team, were the champions of the tournament.

Inductee into State Hall of Fame

During the Minnesota State Auctioneers Association’s 70th annual Conference and Show in Moorhead Jan. 17-19, Sara Fahey of BP was inducted into the state Auxiliary Hall of Fame. As the wife of auctioneer Chris Fahey, Sara has been an active member of the MSAA Auxiliary since 2003, as well as actively involved in community, church, charitable, and volunteer organizations.

New Homes in BP

BP residents built 21 new homes in 2018. With a total value of around $4.4 million, the homes averaged roughly $209,500 each, according to a report from BP Community Development.

Banner Caused Controversy in Jordan

Fans of the Jordan Hubmen basketball team found themselves in a media swarm following a Facebook post from the head coach of their opponent, Minneapolis Roosevelt High School, on Tuesday night, Jan. 15, in which he questioned why they held a sign that read “Trump 2020 - Keep America Great” at a high school basketball game with a predominantly black inner city high school team. The backlash from the event caused Jordan to pull out from an invitational basketball event scheduled for MLK Day on Monday, Jan. 21, hosted by Minneapolis Roosevelt.

Scott West Continued Winning

The Scott West Panthers rallied again on Thursday, Jan. 17, to defeat the AAA #11-rated Northfield Raiders by just two points, 30-28. On Saturday, Jan. 19, AA #4-rated Team Panther won their third straight and fourth overall Eastview Lightning Invitational Team Championship in Apple Valley, with 191.5 team points, which was 45 points better than the runner-up, Coon Rapids.

Jazz and High Kick Champs

The BPHS Dance Team became the champions of the Minnesota River Conference in both jazz and high kick at the dance competition on Thursday, Jan. 17. In addition to the team’s clean sweep, five dancers earned All-Conference honors, including Kara Reitz, Kaitlun Hombeck, Claire Miner, Jaelyn Borrensen, and Faith Miner; Crystall Keo earned MRC honorable mention.

Narveson Scored 1,000 Points

BPHS senior Paige Narveson was honored at the girls basketball game on Friday, Jan. 18, for scoring her 1,000th career point during the game on Thursday, Jan. 10, against Lester Prairie.

Pinewood Derby

BP’s Boy Scout Troop 324 had their annual Pinewood Derby contest on Saturday, Jan. 19, on a 45-foot aluminum track set out at Matt Saxe Chevrolet. Jayden Koonst prevailed as the champion with a time near three seconds and a top speed of 10.88 mph.

Fatal Car Crash

Two vehicles collided in a head-on crash Saturday morning, Jan. 26, on Cty. Rd. 7 (Union Hill Blvd.) near the intersection with Cty. Rd. 59 (Delaware Ave.) in BP Township. A 2010 Chevrolet Silverado drive by Travis Roach, age 24 of Waterville, who was traveling westbound on Cty. Rd. 7, crossed over the center line and struck an eastbound 2005 Volkswagen Passat driven by Anthony Hetzel, age 56 of BP, who passed away from his injuries on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 27, at Hennepin County Medical Center.

House Fire on Main St.

A fire tore through the home at 301 East Main Street in BP on Monday night, Jan. 28, resulting in its total loss. A family of four and two of their three rabbits escaped without injury. Below zero temperatures made fighting the blaze particularly difficult for approx. 50 firefighters  from BP, Jordan, New Prague, Cologne, Henderson, Carver, and Victoria.

Epic Polar Vortex Caused Closures

BP Schools were closed Mon., Jan. 28, due to winter snow conditions and then again on Tue., Wed., and Thur. (Jan. 29-31) because of excessively cold temperatures (17-34 degrees below zero) and dangerous wind chills (45-65 degrees below zero). Even the electronic learning day on Wed., Jan. 30, planned in lieu of attendance at school, was canceled due to a lack of internet service via Mediacom, and Wednesday’s mail delivery by the U.S. Post Office was canceled state-wide. Even though there were no classes, after-school activities were held as usual on Thur., Jan. 31, since weather condition started to improve. With the temp. above zero for the first time in almost four days, everything returned to normal on Friday, Feb. 1.

School Board Planned for Changes

• At their meeting on Monday night, Jan. 28, the BP School Board discussed the possibility of adding Gaga ball arenas (for a game similar to dodge ball) to the Oak Crest Elementary School’s  playground, at the recommendation of BPHS junior Vivian Hermann, who’s a Girl Scout attempting to earn her Gold Award.   

• The school board explored in detail the idea of constructing some sort of activities complex that would facilitate career and technical education as well as possibly provide a performing arts center and an athletic field house.

• The school board voted 5-1 to purchase a van for the sole purpose of providing special education transportation for a total of $30,963.96.

City Council Planned for Changes

• The BP City Council approved the concept plan from Jane Properties, the owners of the 32-acre section of land on the north side of Main Street and east of Hwy. 169, which was annexed to the city from BP Township in 2018 to serve as commercial, non-residential property.  

• Following a public hearing that drew no opposition, the city council voted unanimously to amend its building ordinance which would allow for solar panels to be placed on flat roofs extending six feet above building height ordinances.

• The cost of the pool project increased from $5,007,393 to $5,156,263 due to the fact that the initial project was bid as tax-exempt.

• The council also updated the city’s nuisance policy with a list of possible infractions that’s more descriptive and easier to follow and understand.

Spelling Bee at Oak Crest

At the spelling bee on Thursday, Jan. 24, Nicky Peters became the champion and Ali Sellnow was the competition’s runner-up.

Mattress Fundraiser

At the second annual mattress fundraiser orchestrated by Custom Fundraising Solutions from New Brighton, MN and staffed by members of the BPHS Band, more than thirty mattresses were sold on Sunday, Jan. 27. Proceeds benefited the band program.

Speed Limits Increased

Based on the recommendations of a five-year study, the MN Dept. of Transportation increased speeds on 5,240 miles of state highways from 55 mph to 60 mph. Of the 7,000 miles studied, speed limits were increased on 77 percent of rural, two-lane state highways, including 13 miles of Hwy. 25 from BP to Green Isle.

Scott West Named MRC Champs

At the MRC Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Sibley East High School in Arlington, the Scott West Wrestling Team won their sixth straight MRC Team Championship by scoring 232 team points. These five Panthers became all-conference wrestlers by earning first place: Tyler Shackle at 138 (also selected MRC’s Outstanding Wrestler for ‘18-’19), Luke Fogarty at 145, Jace Demmers at 160, Jeffery Kasper at 170, and Calvin Menke at Hwt. Another five Panthers finished as MRC runners-up and earned all-conference honorable mention: Zach Tracy at 106,Tory Pumper at 113, Justin Stauffacher at 126, Jon Huss at 182, and Hunter Struffert at 220.


February

Failure: A Love Story was a Winner!

BPHS’s one-act play was named the Section 2A champion in St. Peter on Saturday, Feb. 2, and earned a trip to the MSHSL One-Act Play Festival at The O’Shaughnessy at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul on Thursday, Feb. 7. At their 15th appearance at the state festival since 1993, more often than any other Minnesota Class A school, the theatrical production of “Failure: A Love Story” was awarded one of five star ratings, along with Nova High School, East Central, Bertha-Hewitt, and Byron.

A Life Remembered

Dick Ames, the founder of Ames Construction and generous benefactor for numerous projects in the Jordan School District and Scott County Fair, passed away Wednesday, Jan.30, in Scottsdale, Arizona. His visitation and funeral took place on Feb. 7 and 8 at Mt. Olivet Church in Minneapolis.

BPHS Agriculture Program

The Minnesota Association of Agriculture Educators selected the BPHS Agricultural Education Program as the 2019 Region VII Outstanding Middle/Secondary Program.

Belle’s Event Center

On Saturday evening, Feb. 2, Belle’s Event Center greeted visitors to the newly-remodeled space during a two-hour open house. Formerly known as Emma Krumbee’s General Store, it is a large venue for weddings and other special occasions.

GBB Senior Night

Senior basketball players Lily Vinkemeier, Paige Narveson and Sidney Schafer were honored at their team’s home game with Mayer Lutheran on Friday, Feb. 1. The Tigers defeated ML 75-63.

Over 70 Years of Valentine Days

Eldrid and Wilmay Karnitz of Belle Plaine were featured for Valentine’s Day in recognition of almost 72 years of marriage.

Cause of House Fire

Robert and Kateryana McCloskey and their sons, Daniel and Benjamin, found out that their house at 301 East Main Street had burned down on Monday, Jan. 28, due to an electrical failure within the walls of their kitchen. In the aftermath of the fire, they were overwhelmed with the community’s generous support and thrilled that their third rabbit did, in fact, survive.

President Klobuchar???

On Sunday afternoon, Feb. 10, amid a snowstorm in Minneapolis at Boom Island Park, Senator Amy Klobuchar announced her bid for the Democratic nomination for U.S. President in 2020.

Future Farmers of America

Two students from BPHS’s FFA chapter, David Steinhagen and H. James Mathiwoetz, attended the Ag Policy Experience Conference in St. Paul on Jan. 27-28, along with 38 other elite student chapter leaders from around the state who met with elected officials, took part in a legislative reception, and developed their own policy agendas.

Honor Rolls

According to BPHS’s first semester honor rolls, a total of 63 seventh graders, 70 eighth graders, 63 freshmen, 78 sophomores, 51 juniors, and 59 seniors were honored for their academic achievement. Of those totals, 209 students earned a spot on the “A” honor roll and 175 students were on the “B” honor roll.

Watchdogs at Oak Crest

Oak Crest adopted a nationwide program, called Watch DOGS (Dad of Great Students), which brings fathers and father figures of students into the school for additional security and to provide positive male role models to students.

National FFA Week

During the National FFA Week from Feb. 16 to Feb. 23, BPHS’s chapter hosted a variety of activities to raise awareness about the role FFA plays in the development of agriculture’s future leaders and the importance of agricultural education.

EDA Gala

Representatives from the BP Chamber of Commerce and BP Economic Development Authority gathered for their annual gala at the BP State Bank to commemorate what they believed to be a prosperous 2018. Rick Krant was re-elected as president of the EDA.

Autumn to Kenya in Autumn

The five tracks of religious hymns originally recorded by Autumn Santovi as a gift were used to help raise funds to pay for her and her husband, Peter’s, musical mission trip in October 2019 to the rural areas surrounding Nairobi, Kenya in Africa.

School Board Planned for Future

At their work session Monday night, Feb. 18, the BP School Board considered future endeavors, including the construction of space for a theater, a sports facility, and career and technical education. Also, as an extension of their newfound focus on attracting outside students to the district, the board discussed the future for career-track coursework in its secondary programming. Finally, the board considered the possible adoption of a mental health program, called “Move This World,” which would expose students of all ages to social, emotional learning via videos.

To Close or Not to Close?

The choice to start school later, release early, or close school completely for the day is the superintendent’s decision, but there are many conversations that take place before doing so. Superintendents in BP and LeSueur-Henderson use information from the National Weather Service and check with neighboring districts when making their decision to close or not to close. Minnesota New County School follows the lead of surrounding cities from which its students travel. The ultimate goal is to keep students and staff safe.

Speaking of Superintendents  

BP Schools Superintendent Ryan Laager was among the three finalist candidates for the superintendency in the Osseo Area Schools District. His second interview was Feb. 20.

Season Ended for the Wrestling Team

The Scott West Wrestling Team traveled to Delano High School on Saturday, Feb. 16, for a one day tournament format. After a 66-9 win over Waseca in the quarterfinals and a 42-25 win over Hutchinson in the semifinals, Scott West advanced to the Section 2AA Team Championship match against the Waconia Wildcats, who defeated the Panthers 26-25 and advanced to the state tournament.

Spelling Champion from LS-H

Le Sueur-Henderson eighth-grader Alayna Vogel earned first place at the South Central Service Cooperative Regional Spelling Bee in Mankato on Tuesday, Feb.19, and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the Scripps National Spelling Bee May 26-31.

Move This World

At the meeting on Monday, Feb. 25, the BP School Board adopted a new social-emotional learning program called “Move This World”, approved a memorandum of understanding outlining the pay educators could expect for driving students using district vehicles, and received an update about the use of technology at Oak Crest Elementary.

ExCEL and AAA Winners

BPHS juniors Kimberly Teal and Zach Olson were named winners of the Minnesota State High School League’s ExCEL (Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership) Award. BPHS seniors Elyse Hayes and Griffin were honored for their excellence in athletics, academics and the arts by winning the MSHSL’s AAA Award. All four were honored during halftime at the girls’ home basketball game on Thursday night, Feb. 21.

City Council’s Resolutions

At the meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 19, the BP City Council voted to support the following resolutions: allowing the impact study of the Dan Patch Commuter Rail Line, approving the changes needed for the new aquatic center project, pursuing funds for the construction of a roundabout at Enterprise Dr. and Meridian St., and purchasing a safer drug testing device called TruNarc for the police dept.

All-Time Feb. Snowfall Record?

Although the Twin Cities surpassed their all-time Feb. snowfall record set in 1962 at 26.5 inches to 39 inches in 2019, the record for snowfall in the BP area wasn’t broken. According to the meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s bureau nearest to BP, this area was still almost five inches below the Feb. record of 34 inches also set in 1962.

Regular Basketball Seasons End with Victories

Both BPHS basketball teams ended their regular seasons with a win. The girls’ team earned fourth place in the Minnesota River Conference with an 8-6 record. The boys’ team earned fifth place in the MRC with a 6-8 record.

Bleed for the Throne

Due to a severe shortage of type O blood and to celebrate the final season of Game of Thrones, HBO and the American Red Cross partnered together and asked fans/donors to give blood from March 7th to the 12th and receive merchandise as well as qualify for a trip to the season 8 world premiere.  


March

Bus Driver Appreciation Day

More than thirty drivers at Stier Transportation, BP Schools’ bus transportation provider, celebrated the third annual Bus Driver Appreciation Day on Wednesday, Feb. 27, with thank you cards from their passengers and a complimentary lunch from the Stiers.

Snowmobile Tragedy

Jeremy Pumper, age 42 of Le Sueur, and his passenger, Crystal Olson, age 33 also of Le Sueur, were killed when their black Ski-Doo snowmobile, traveling eastbound on a marked trail in the north right-of-way on 280th St. W. near Lehnert Lane in Blakeley Township, struck a power pole Sunday afternoon, March 3.

Shackle Named State Wrestling Champion

Senior Panther Tyler Shackle became the 20th State Individual Champion in Scott West wrestling history by defeating Simley’s Cael Berg, 5-4, in their 138-lb.match, on Saturday, March 2. Earning third place in the state tournament were Justin Stauffacher, a senior at 126 lbs., Jace Demmers, a junior at 160 lbs., and Calvin Menke, a senior hwt. Rounding out the representatives from Scott West was Jon Huss, who earned sixth place at 195 lbs.

Readmobile’s First Visit to BP

Scott County Library’s year-old Readmobile made its first of six visits to BP on Monday afternoon, March 4, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., at Fountain Park at 801 West Forest St. Preschoolers and a parent or caregiver could climb aboard anytime during a Readmobile visit and stay for as long as they’d like. Readmobile activities and materials encourage the early literacy skills of  reading, writing, talking, singing, and playing.

Good and Bad News for Both Basketball Teams

Both of BPHS’s basketball teams won their first sub-section playoff game but lost their second. The girls team achieved an upset victory, 64-59. over Glencoe-Silver Lake on Tue., Feb. 26, but succumbed to the #1 seeded Norwood-Young America 67-48 on Fri., March 1. The boys team kept the ball rolling with a 67-51 victory over Sibley East on Mon., March 4, but fell to #2 seeded Glencoe-Silver Lake 87-65 on Thur., March 7.    

Minnesota River Bulldogs Advanced to State

For the first time in its history, the Minnesota River Bulldogs boys hockey team qualified for the state tournament. The Bulldogs defeated Albert Lea 6-2 on Tue., Feb. 26, to advance to the section’s final game on Thur., Feb. 28, against Rochester Lourdes whom they defeated 5-3. At the MSHL Hockey Tournament at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul, the Bulldogs lost both games by the same score, 5-2. They played East Grand Forks on Wed., March 6, and North Branch on Thur., March 7, ending their season with a 20-6 record.

Minneflowta = Hockey Hair

John King and Game On! Minnesota released the tenth and last All Hockey Hair Team and two Bulldogs made the Top Ten. Coming in at No. 7 on the list, BP’s Matt Fink was dubbed “The Lightning” to Brock Olson’s “Thunder.” Le Sueur’s Tristen O’Brien earned honorable mention for his hockey hair, dubbed “Flow of Seagulls.”

Early Mornings + Long Days = Speech Team Competitions

The BPHS Speech Team competed in their largest speech meet of the year on Saturday, March 2, at Shakopee High School, with more than 500 other speakers from around the state. Four of the 29 competitors from BPHS qualified for final rounds. The duo interpretative pair, Kadence Bran de Leon and Griffin Ruud, earned second place overall; Jamie Rand placed fifth in humorous  interpretation, and Paul Hillstrom placed sixth in dramatic interpretation.  

Tenth Anniversary

Matt Saxe, owner Matt Saxe Chevrolet-Buick in BP, decided that for the tenth year of the annual Dollars for Scholars’ car raffle, it was fitting to give away a brand new vehicle, a tan 2019 Chevy Spark, instead of the lightly used cars his company had donated in the past. Raffle tickets for $30 each were on sale from March 18 through April 18; the drawing took place May 4 after the BPHS prom’s grand march.

Snowbirds’ Tradition

Almost fifty BP snowbirds gathered to visit, reminisce and enjoy lunch at the Viewpoint Golf Resort in Mesa, Arizona, on Thursday, March 7. Mike Fogarty entertained the group by recounting stories of BP history.

Local Teen Makes her Mark

On Sunday, March 10, BP teenager Aria Johnson set the new state record for the 1500-meter race walk in the girls 15-16 division at the USA Track and Field Minnesota State Indoor Championship at the University of MN, by obliterating the long-standing record by nearly half a minute.

Trinity School’s 75th Anniversary

Trinity Lutheran School hosted the first Alumni Basketball Fame in honor of the school’s 75th anniversary. Former students and cheerleaders of all ages came back to Trinity’s gym on Saturday, March 2.

Happenings Supplement

A special 32-page supplement, called “Spring / Summer Happenings,” was included with all issues of the Belle Plaine Herald and the Henderson Independent on March 13.

St. Patrick’s Day Details

• On Tuesday, March 12, the Schultz/Johnson cousins found the Shamrock medallion in the parking lot of Oak Crest Elementary School, after the third clue had been published.

• Grand marshals Dick and Jeannie Hayden lead the parade on Saturday, March 16; their daughter and son-in-law, Amy and Justin Johnston, emceed the post-parade program.

• The Fogarty clan won $100 for the most creative Irish music during the parade. Lucy Buesgens, Trish O’Brien, Claire Shaefer, and Khya Malz won the coloring contest in their respective age categories.

• Katie Piampiano was crowned as the new Miss Shamrock and received a $500 heritage award. Princesses were Courtney Meger and Allison Dvorak, who each received a $100 heritage award. Isabella England and Lexi Nelsen were additional candidates. The Irish Lads were Dillon Siegle, Derek Siegle, Connor Mulroy, and Aiden Fogarty.

Spring Flooding

Using information from the National Weather Service, BP was facing a fifty percent probability of experiencing major flooding, like the historic flood of 1965. In response to this threat, BP Public Works cleared out the waste water facility at 22360 Union Trail in preparation to potentially clear flood the building.

School Board Agenda

• At their meeting on Monday night, March 18, the BP School Board approved a motion to pay its education support professionals for canceled days due to weather and offer them make-up time for e-learning days.

• Superintendent Ryan Laager informed the board that he was not concerned about having to add days back into the schedule due to snow days.

• At the request of BPHS Choir Director Bri Bergstrom, the school board gave approval for participation in a fundraiser with Driven Coffee, a MN-based coffee company. Students who chose to sell coffee earned forty percent of their sales for buying props, makeup, and hair needs for the junior high spring play.

• Finally, the board recognized three student athletic and activity groups, including Scott West senior wrestlers Tyler Shackle and Justin Stauffacher who placed first and third, respectively, in their weight categories at the state wrestling tournament, BP senior Matt Fink who was a member of the Minnesota Bulldogs boys hockey team that made history by winning the section championship and earning its first trip to the state hockey tournament, and BPHS’s One-Act Play cast who returned to state competition for the tenth time in 16 years and earned a Star performance.

City Council Agenda

• At their meeting on Monday night, March 18, the BP City Council denied the variance request of John Schutte, owner of North American Safety at 325 Ash Street S., who had completed work on the business’s parking lot between 2016 and 2018 outside of city code.

• The council also voted to rezone multiple pieces of property at the southeast quadrant of Meridian and Court streets from a central business district to a mixed housing property, at the request of Scott Schmidt, the owner, allowing for the construction of two-family dwellings.

• In a joint work session between the council and economic development authority that followed the meeting, the consensus was that the city should encourage high development of R-7 housing and discussed the merits of using tax increment financing.

• The council passed a resolution allowing for sidewalk cafes, outdoor seating and service areas in parts of downtown BP.

Oak Crest Principal Accepted New Position

Dr. Liann Hanson, principal of Oak Cred Elementary School, accepted a position at Centennial Elementary School in Fargo, North Dakota. A native of West Fargo, Hanson completed her seventh year in BP.

Foreign Exchange Student

Benedetta Roffia, an Italian exchange student in BP, celebrated her 18th birthday on March 12, and her mother, Federica, traveled to BP from Casalmaggiore, Italy, to celebrate it with her since the 18th birthday is a milestone in Italian culture. Federica brought her daughter a special gift of authentic Italian ingredients for making pizza, so they could prepare Benny’s favorite food together.

All-Conference Cagers

Sarah Lenz and Lauren Johnson, sophomores on the BPHS girls basketball team, and Josh Gregory and Dylan Kahle, juniors on the BPHS boys basketball team, were named to the Minnesota River Conference All-Conference Basketball Teams. Elliott Rudd, a senior, received honorable mention.

FFA Pancake Breakfast

The FFA Pancake Breakfast. which had been postponed on Feb. 24 because of severe weather,

occurred Sunday, March 17, and attracted 545 people, raising $3000 for its beneficiary, Camp Courage. As a result of its success, the pancake breakfast may be scheduled for St. Patrick’s Day weekend in the future, rather than at the end of a traditionally hectic FFA Week in February.

All-Conference Speakers

BPHS’s representatives on the All-Conference Speech Team included Kadence Bran de Leon, Griffin Ruud, Isaiah Trimbo, and Paul Hillstrom. Receiving honorable mention in the MRC were Siri Kuhn and Tristan Cruz.

Cyber Tigers

BPHS’s robotics team, known as the Cyber Tigers, competed in the First Robotics North Star regional competition at the 3M Arena at Maruicci on the campus of the University of MN on March 27-30, which centered around the theme “Destination: Deep Space.” Out of sixty teams from around the world competing at the regional competition, the Cyber Tigers earned ninth place, which was their highest finish since their inaugural appearance in 2013.

What Makes Your Family Special?

Essays from the following students won the BP Rotary’s 21st annual essay contest: Jack Hamen, Kiera Weiers, Dylan Jeurissen, Hazel Bower, Peyton Scheichtenberg, Noelle Huff, Morgan Schmidt, Cadence Steinborn, and Addie Rickee Young.

N.P.’s Mail in B.P.’s P.O.

The New Prague Post Office’s operations were temporarily moved to Belle Plaine after environmental safety concerns closed the NP office from March 23 through March 27.

Water, Water Everywhere

Flood waters encroaching on Blakeley Township prompted the closure of area roadways, which included Scott County Road 6 and Sibley County Roads 1, 5 and 6. BP Public Works crews removed a generator from the water treatment facility at 22360 Union Trail on Thursday, March 21, in anticipation of potential flooding. Also, crews from the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation mounted a temporary stoplight in BP at the intersection of Main and Walnut streets, which extends into Hwy. 25.

Power Outages

Over 1700 homes and businesses serviced by Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative lost power Thursday afternoon, March 21, after an ‘H’ power line structure on the Minnesota River near BP collapsed, affecting the Assumption substation located in Green Isle and the St. Lawrence substation. Power was restored to members in less than an hour by bypassing the downed ‘H’ sturcture.

Maple Syrup Time

For the last eight years, Don Koepp and his friends-turned-volunteers have collected sap from nearby maple trees during the last two weeks of March and boiled it down (35 parts sap to 1 part syrup) in a wood-powered evaporator, before filtering and bottling it in one-pint containers. In 2018 they produced about 50 gallons of syrup.

Winner, Winner

Jim and Megan Gerres were selected as this year’s Dollars for Scholars’ phone-a-thon winners of a $500 gift certificate at Berger Interiors.


April

Baling Out Fellow Farmers

Local BP farmers - Lee Muehlenhardt, Troy Galles, and Glenn Schmidt - donated a dozen large bales to a hay drive for Nebraska farmers who were dealing with the detrimental effects of extensive flooding.

Clean Financial Review

The BP City Council heard the annual financial audit at their meeting Monday night, April 1, and found out the city earned a ‘clean’ opinion of their financial dealings. In other business, the city planned to begin advertising for bids to complete the 2019 seal coating project for about $80,000 and to repair the pump in Well No. 3 for about $65,000.

Gas Leak

Workers from Centerpoint Energy deactivated a leaking gas line under Main Street West on Tuesday, March 27. The unmarked line was struck when workers from Morty Construction bored a hole for Mediacom.

Beneficiary Beating the Odds

At the 12th annual Roman Barten Memorial Breakast at the KC Hall in New Prague on Sunday, March 31, hundreds of people turned out to support Abby Joy Nelson, a two-year-old girl who has defied the odds daily in spite of being born with an extra chromosome 18 causing developmental delays and requiring 24-hour care. Abby is the daughter of Laurie and Andrew Nelson and sister of Elijah and Isaiah from New Prague.

First Ever Flood Fest

Even though (or maybe because) three out of four entrances remained closed due to flooding, Henderson celebrated the resiliency of the community and brought awareness to flood mitigation at its first ever Flood Fest on Friday, April 5. The free, family-friendly event with live music, food, drinks, dancing, and activities for kids of all ages took place on Main St. (Hwy. 19) from 5 to 9 p.m.

BPHS’s Spring Sports Preview

The golfers were focusing on building their confidence by spending a lot of time inside ten feet working on putting before hitting the driving range.

The trap shooters consisted of 43 new and returning members with their sights set on remaining competitive as they entered the 2019 season.

The girls track and field team planned to take home their 15th consecutive Minnesota River Conference title by the end of this season.

The boys track and field team demonstrated their ilk by taking home a first place finish at their MRC indoor meet at MSU on Thursday, March 28.

The softball players were focusing on improving their base play as well as developing the ability to effectively cut off throwing.

The baseball team began the season with 38 boys from ninth through 12th grade on the roster which included 14 juniors and seniors.

State Handwriting Champion

Alycin Glowicki, an 8th grader at Trinity Lutheran School, was named a state grade-level winner in the 28th annual Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest. Glowicki was one of 280,000 students nationwide who submitted a sample of their cursive handwriting.

Hole in Hardware Hank

Eldrid Karnitz, age 94 of BP, drove his Chevrolet Equinox about 20 feet into the Hardware Hank Store (located at Ag Partners) on Friday afternoon, April 5; no one was injured.

State of Emergency

The Scott County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday, April 2, to declare a state of emergency amid damages resulting from spring flooding, allowing the county to begin the process of possibly receiving state aid for up to 50 percent of funds which the county paid toward emergency response.

New Sibley Co. Administrator

John Glisczinski, a 1979 BPHS graduate who was employed as Sibley County’s Public Health and Human Services Director, accepted the position as county administrator at the end of March.

State Speech Tournament

Five members of the BPHS Speech Team qualified for the State Speech Tournament by excelling at the Section 4A Tournament at Mounds Park Academy on Friday, April 5, as follows: Hanna Tharaldson earned first place in drama, Griffin Ruud and Kadence Bran De Leon placed second in duo interpretation, as did Paul Hillstrom in drama and Isaiah Trimbo in discussion. At the state competition on Friday, April 12, at Wayzata High School, Trimbo earned second place in discussion.

Dick Ames Memorialized

Portions of Minnesota state highways were named after area benefactor and late construction magnate, Dick Ames, when both the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives passed bills designating a route running between Jordan and U.S. Hwy. 61 near Miesville the “Richard J. Ames Memorial Highway.”

American Legion

At the American Legion meetings on Thursday, April 11, at the BP Vets’ Club, a guest speaker from Believet explained their program for training service dogs for veterans. April was designated as the Month of the Military Child; to show support for military youth and thank them for their strength and sacrifice, April 26th was “Purple Up Day.”

Spring Sports Began Competition

The baseball team opened their season swinging against Sibley East and notched a conference win over the Wolverines, 4-2.

The softball team started their season with a 4-2 win over the Maple River Eagles on April 2 but lost two games on their home diamond, 8-2 against St. Peter on April 5 and 14-3 with Le Sueur-Henderson on April 8.

At the BP Invitational Track Meet, the girls ran away with the team victory by earning 230.5 team points and nine first place finishes. The boys team took fourth place.

Happenings Supplement

A special 24-page supplement, called “Home and Garden Guide,” was included with all issues of the Belle Plaine Herald and the Henderson Independent on April 17.

New Cleaning Service in BP

Diane and Steve Rohde opened the third office of their family-owned and operated cleaning business called “Dynamic Duo Cleaning” in January at 215 North Meridian Street in BP. With 12 employees, including three of their four children, the service focuses on both commercial and residential cleaning.

New Lyft and Uber Driver in BP

BP resident Martin Carlson has been driving his Buick for Lyft and Uber ride share service since the summer of 2018. As the owner of M & M Driving Experience Business, Carlson said business from Mankato to the Twin Cities has been booming for him and his wife, Mary.

New Dollar General and Casey’s General Store

At their meeting Monday, April 15, the BP City Council voted unanimously to approve the developer’s agreement and final plat for the Jane Properties subdivision on the northeast edge of BP between Hwy. 169 and Cty. Rd. 64 which is the future site for Casey’s General Store and Dollar General.

Truck with Turkeys Overturned

A semi carrying 78,000 lbs. of live turkeys went into the ditch and rolled over near the intersection of Hwy. 25 and Sibley Cty. Rd. 60, after the driver swerved to avoid a vehicle that had entered his lane amid blizzard conditions on Wednesday, April 10. Both drivers were uninjured, but quite a few turkeys perished in the mishap.

Winter Storm Wesley

After more than a foot of snow fell in the area Wednesday, April 10, approximately 100,000 customers of Xcel Energy, including those in Henderson, were without electricity. The damage from the storm was so extensive that it was necessary for Xcel Energy to rebuild portions of its power grid knocked down by the prolonged storm, but within 72 hours, 98 percent of power had been restored.

Hands-Free Bill

Minnesota Gov.Tim Walz signed into law Friday, April 12, a bill that required Minnesota drivers to use hands-free devices while on the road, which became effective August 1. A driver’s first violation carried a $50 fine; subsequent violations cost $275.

Bowling Hall of Fame

Among the 17 people inducted into Minnesota Valley Bowling Association’s Small Town Bowling Hall of Fame for 2019 on Sunday, April 14, were Judy Otto and Pat Koepp of BP. No one had been added to the hall of fame for 16 years, and this was the first year that women were inducted.

Hello to New Principal, Goodbye to Another

Ben Tressel from the Prior Lake School District was hired as the new principal at Oak Crest Elementary School. The BPHS principal Dave Kreft for seven years accepted the principal position for grades 9-12 in the Becker School District.

Missing BP Teen Found

Andrew Cunat, age 15 of BP, who went missing Tuesday, April 16, was found safe in a different community and returned to his family the next night.

BPHS Choirs on The Jason Show

Kendall Mark, who works for The Jason Show, a variety show on Fox 9, visited the BPHS Choirs on Thursday, April 18. Choir Director Bri Bergstrom had invited Mark to experience what it was like to direct high school choir students filled with adolescent energy. The segment was expected to be aired sometime during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-10.

Kayaker on MN River Rescued

The BP Fire Dept. rescued a Prior Lake man from the Minnesota River who was on top of his kayak which had capsized and was drifting downstream toward Jordan on Saturday, April 20.

Easter Egg Hunt

The BP Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary organized an Easter egg hunt at Heritage Square on Saturday morning, April 20, for BP children who searched for hundreds of hidden eggs and also had the opportunity to meet the fire dog

Honor Students Recognized

BPHS students Katelyn Bauer and Cole Haller were recognized as Senior Honor Students on KNUJ AM 860 on Monday afternoon, April 22.

Free Nitrate Testing in Well Water

Those who get their drinking water from a private well were encouraged to get it tested for nitrates by bringing in samples to the free walk-in clinic on Friday, April 26, at the Scott County Fairgrounds near Jordan. The event was sponsored by the MN Dept. of Agriculture and the Scott Soil and Water Conservation District, in conjunction with the tree pickup and seedling sale.

May

Satanic Temple Sued City of BP

The controversy over the constitutional right to free speech and religion continued after more than two years with the Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple suing the city of Belle Plaine and its individual city council members for withdrawing permission for a satanic-themed monument in Veterans’ Park.

BPHS Visual Arts Team

At the 19th annual Minnesota State High School League’s 2A Visual Arts Festival at Sibley East High School on Wednesday, April 24, the BPHS Visual Arts Team walked away with numerous awards. Zach Olson, a junior, and sophomore Hanna Tharaldson in drawing and sophomore Faith Miner in painting earned perfect scores. Six works of art were selected for the State Exhibit on Saturday, May 11, at the Perpich Center for Arts Education, which included Hunter Schmidt’s photo-silk screened print, Anneka Sterk’s mono print, and Hanna Tharaldson’s computer-based art, besides the three perfect scores.

Controversy over Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Individuals

In a letter addressed to members of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Scott County Sheriff Luke Hennen expressed his support of House File 1500, a bill introduced by Rep. Brad Tabke, D-Shakopee, allowing those in the state of Minnesota illegally to obtain a version of a driver’s license. Hennen stated that his endorsement came strictly from the lens of a public safety officer. On the other hand, Rep. Bob Vogel, R-Elko New Market, who voted against the bill, believed it could limit the police officers’ ability to uphold the law by restricting the questions they can ask undocumented individuals.

75th Anniversary

Trinity Lutheran School celebrated its 75th anniversary with a special church service on Sunday afternoon, May 5, followed by a potluck dinner. Pastor Michael Muehlenhardt, a Trinity graduate, delivered the sermon. A display showed the pictures and names of all Trinity graduates since 1944 and the 57 teachers who taught hundreds of preschoolers through eighth graders over the years.

Wizardz Swim Team

The Wizardz Special Olympics Swim Team won five blue ribbons at the Special Olympics Aquatics Team Meet for Areas 8 and 9, at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, on Saturday, April 27. The Wizardz competing were Christina Kassulke, Heather Tracy and Tiffany Kasper.

Town Team Baseball

The BP Tigers opened the 2019 season at home on Friday, May 3, by facing the Carver Black Sox, a former Carver Central League foe. On Sunday, May 5, the Tigers played against the Le Sueur Braves in the season’s first River Valley League affair.

AOH Founders’ Day

Members of the Shamrock Division I of the Ancient Order of Hibernians celebrated Founders’ Day with a Mass at the Oratory of St. Thomas the Apostle in Jessenland on Saturday, April 27.  New inductees included Tim Madden, John Engler, Jordan Bartholomew, Mark Conner, Ryan McGillen, and Jeff McCabe. Recipients of AOH scholarships were Cormac Gannon, Kiersten Skelley, Tyler Bahr, Riley Gannon, Delaney Devins, and Dominic Fogarty.

New (or Same?) Name

Since buying Chard Tiling and Excavating from Leroy and Connie Chard in 2017, CRH shut down the construction side of the business, so Dan Chard and Tom Chard, the two sons of the original owner, reopened the business as Chard Grading and Excavation to take care of projects locally.

Sergeant in BPPD

Brian Vycital, who has served with the BP Police Dept. for over 13 years, was promoted to the rank of sergeant with the BPPD at the BP City Council on Monday night, May 6. His father, Ron Vycital, who was a sergeant in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, presented the patch he wore on his uniform to Brian who will now wear it as the official signal of his rank.

Stamp of Approval

At their special joint session, the BP City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the site plans of Casey’s General Store and Dollar General, who are planning to construct their businesses on the east side of Hwy. 169 and north of Main Street East.

Softball Complex

The grand opening of the new BP Softball Complex, complete with four pristine fields, a concession stand with a 360-degree viewing booth, running water, bathrooms and a new scoreboard, was celebrated on Monday, May 6, coinciding with the 100-Inning Marathon. The complex was designed almost a decade ago by Steve Eischens, who also coordinated efforts by both contractors and volunteers, many of whom donated their time and resources to complete the project.

BPHS Prom

Following the grand march at the high school, students filled Belle’s Event Center, a new venue which was formerly Emma Krumbee’s General Store, on Saturday, May 4, for the annual prom celebration.

Road Finally Reopened

After having been closed since Tuesday, March 19 because of flooding, MnDOT reopened Hwy. 19 going into Henderson on Tuesday, May 7.

New Policy for Political Letters to the Editor

The BP Herald announced a new policy for endorsement letters or election-related letters that advocate for or against a candidate, ballot measure or political party. Beginning in May, these letters were subject to a charge of $9 per column inch and limited to 400 words.

Local Author

Omni Kiecker, local lawyer and author, published her first book, “Financially Caring for your Disabled Child,” which focuses on the Minnesota Supplemental Needs Trust, a financial mechanism which those financially planning for loved ones can employ to better guarantee care for them in the event of caretakers’ deaths.

School Board Discussed CTE

The BP School Board considered the paths many other school districts are taking to facilitate effective career-track learning that gives students the chance to experiment with electives tied to potential career interests, as well as expressed support for constructing career and technical education spaces to both retain and attract students to the district.

Kerby’s Killer Confessed

A person came forward and identified himself as the person who shot the nine-year-old white male German Shepherd, named Kerby and owned by Mike Fontaine. The dog was shot in a ditch near his home on the 27000 block of Church Avenue in Belle Plaine on Monday, May 6. The Scott County Attorney’s Office decided not to press charges because the man who had turned himself in discovered the dog dying in a ditch suffering from wounds that it had received when it was accidentally hit by a vehicle, so he thought he was doing the right thing.

Oak Crest in the News

• Fifth graders at Oak Crest Elementary School graduated from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program on May 8.

• On May 13, five fifth graders from the BP Girl Scouts troop presented a carpet ball table, which they had built as their bronze project, to Oak Crest in response to a need for more indoor recess activities.

• On May 22 and 23, fifth and sixth grade students at Oak Crest presented their annual Talent Show, a major fundraiser for students’ annual trip to Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center.

Contentious Public Hearing

About 100 BP residents attended the BP City Council’s and Planning and Zoning Commission’s joint public hearing to oppose construction of the proposed 72-unit apartment complex for low-income housing at 561 Elk Street South. Speakers expressed concern over the increased traffic in the area, perceived risk to pedestrians, increased crime, decreased property values, and increased stress on the school district, among others.

End of Spring Sports Teams’ Seasons

• The BPHS Softball Team ended their regular season with a 4-14 overall record and a 3-11 conference record, putting them in seventh place out of eight teams in the MRC. In their first-round game on May 22 in the Section 2AA playoffs as the 11th seed, the Tigers defeated sixth-seeded Maple River, 9-1. On May 23, the Tigers lost to Tri-City United, 7-0; on May 25, they also lost to Jordan, 7-0, which ended their season.

• The BPHS Baseball Team ended their regular season with at 8-9 overall and 7-7 in the MRC. In Section 2AA playoffs, the Tigers defeated Medford, 9-5, on May 23, and Le Sueur-Henderson, 2-1. The baseball team lost on May 30 to Blue Earth Area, 4-3, but continued winning on June 1 against Waterville-Elysian-Waterville, 5-3, before being eliminated by Le Sueur-Henderson, losing 3-1 in a rain-delayed game.  

• BPHS’s boys golf team ended their season in third place in the Minnesota River Conference standings, behind Jordan and Tri-City United in first and second  place, respectively.

• BPHS’s girls golf team ended their season tied for last place with Tri-City United and Mayer Lutheran; Jordan finished as the team champion, followed by Le Sueur-Henderson and Sibley East in second place and Southwest Christian in third place.

• On May 16, BPHS’s girls track team took home the MRC title in no uncertain terms by winning 12 first-place finishes in 18 events. A week later at the subsection meet hosted by BP, the Tigers won first place by earning 207 points and qualifying for 16 out of 18 events at the Section 2A Meet, where they emerged as the victors yet again on June 1. Five athletes qualified for six events at the state meet.

• The BPHS boys track team fought for second place in the MRC by finishing with 124.5 points, behind Jordan who had 194 team points. Drew Hastings took home the conference title in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter races. At the subsection meet, the boys’ track team took second place with a total score of 144 points and sent athletes to compete in 13 out of 18 events at the Section 2A Meet, where the Tigers took home eighth place and Drew Hastings qualified for state.

Winner, Winner

Jim Koonst bought the winning ticket in the Dollars for Scholars’ car raffle, but because the person he listed on the ticket was under 18, DFS could not award the prize vehicle or draw another winner. As a result, Matt Saxe worked directly with Jim and Mary Ann Koonst to issue an alternative option.

Memorial Day

Because of rain, the Memorial Day  program originally slated for Veterans’ Park was moved to the Vets’ Club. In her speech, Molly Moonen described the cocktail of emotions associated with being the mother of a deployed soldier in the U.S. military.

Challenging Spring for Farmers

Following record snowfall last winter and a very cool, rainy spring, farmers across southern Minnesota were working to make up for lost time as they attempted to plant their crops and prepare for the summer season.

All-Conference Athletes

Track: Drew Hastings, McKenna Ziemke, Sarah Lenz, Malina Koepp, Madison McGrane, Savanna DeYoung, Lizzy Schmidt, Josh Hennes, Sydney Meyer, Rylee Bell, Jaylen Struck-Schmitz, Cassie Stolt, McKenna Herrmann, Jordyn Williams, Belle Haefer, Elissa Moonen

Golf:  Cole Haller and Justin Stauffacher / Alex Meger and Daisy Vinkemeier earned honorable mention.

Baseball:  Luke Luskey and Dylan Kahle / Joey Burgemeister earned honorable mention.

Softball: Jessica Brueggemeier / Lauren Johnson earned honorable mention.   

Trap Shooting: Top female shooter was Makayla Seifert and  top male shooter was Cole Corbitt.

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