Star Tribune
09/20/2014

Made in Minnesota, with a sense of community
SmalI-town manufacturers in the state's west-central region are helping fuel low unemployment.

By GREGG AAMOT' MinnPost

LOWRY, MINN. - On a mild August morning in this town of 300 people in west-central Minnesota, workers at Lowry Manufacturing Co. prepared two gray receiving bins for shipment - one to Iowa, the other to Illinois.

The bins stood on a public street between two of the company's buildings - an arrangement with the city that underscores the importance of large employers in small towns.

"The community has been really good to us," said Nicole Klimek, owner of the 30-employee company which makes products to load and mix grain, feed and other agricultural products.

Klimek, an accountant who grew up on a farm near Evansville 20 miles northwest of Lowry, spent a year talking with the former owner of Lowry Manufacturing Co., which was founded in1973, before agreeing to buy the plant - deciding that her business future was here, in a hamlet off the beaten path along state Hwy.55.

As Minnesota continues to climb out of the recession, manufacturers in this region have been good to their communities, too. They're doing their part to help fuel low unemployment and economic growth that has outpaced many other parts of the state.

In a report issued last fall, the Federal Reserve concluded that job growth in a nine-county region in this part of the state had gone "above and beyond the recession's downturn." Nicole Klimek, owner of Lowry Manufacturing Co., in the town of Lowry. "The community has been really good to us," she said. More broadly, over two decades starting in 1990, the manufacturing base in those counties - Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin - increased 53 percent compared with a national decline of 33 percent, according to the report.

About 30 manufacturers in this region have at least 100 employees, according to one survey, while several others have smaller work forces. Some of the largest, such as 3M, are located in larger cities like Alexandria and Fergus Falls. Many others, however, operate in towns of 500 people or fewer.

For instance, Carlos, a Douglas County village of 200 people just north of Alexandria is home to Brenton, a maker of packaging lines, and Contech Engineered Solutions, which builds bridges, retaining walls and other structures related to water management. Miltona, a town of 400 people a few miles north of Carlos, has Enzymolory Research Center Inc., which makes dietary supplements.

Some of the companies are tied to agriculture, while others were started by entrepreneurs hoping to capitalize on the local culture, making them good fits for the area. (Brenton was founded, initially, to build cable cars that could carry cabin owners up and down steep lakeshore banks.)

Affinity for the region has also played a role in their staying power, said Greg Wagner, an economic developer for West Central Initiative, a community foundation in Fergus Falls. 'That sense of community plays a big role."

Mark Suchy the vice president for sales at Massmann Automation Designs, a packaging line company in Villard, agrees, saying the company has no plans to move despite its size: It employs nearly 150 in a town of 250.

"It's not even in the cards," he said. "There have been times when buildings in Alexandria have become available, but it would just involve too much disruption. And thinking about a move to the (Twin Cities): Your cost of manufacturing goes up, property goes up, you lose 75 percent of your workforce."

 

Gregg Aamot is a former Associated Press reporter and author of "The New Minnesotans: Stories of lmmigrants and Refugees." He is a journalism and English instructor at Ridgewater College and Normandale Community College.

 


Pope County Tribune
September 15, 2014


Photo by Deb Mercier
Hatchery Bar & Grill named
Chamber Member of the Month

The Glenwood Lakes Area Chamber recently honored the Hatchery Bar & Grill in
Lowry as the Chamber Member of the Month. Left to right are Kay Blauert, cham-
ber assistant director; Dean Peterson, chamber board member; Stacy Gerdes,
Hatchery owner; Pam Langseth, chamber board member; and Lloyd Campbell,
chamber first vice president


Pope County Tribune
09/01/2014

Presses being installed at Quinco Press in Lowry

Quinco Press, Inc., an offset printing operation in Lowry, is in the finishing stages of an expansion project and is now installing a Goss press, featuring four-high tower units that will improve efficiency and color capacity for the many publications printed at the facility. Quinco constructed a new building this spring to house the Goss press configuration, which is much taller than the Harris press currently used at Quinco. The press installation will take a few more weeks and will be operational in October. Quinco was established in 1969 by five area newspaper publishers. It remains a privately-owned company and now prints 31 weekly newspapers and a number of other publications. The Pope County Tribune, Starbuck Times and its special sections and supplements are printed at Quinco’s Lowry facility.

Above, Quinco pressman (from left) Matt Chan, Nathan Schultz and Bram Burginger in front of two, four-high press units recently installed in the new building.
Photo by Tim Douglass


Pope County Tribune
08/25/2014

 

HRA/EDA sets preliminary levy at maximum amount
By Zach Anderson
Starbuck Times

The Pope County Housing and Redevelopment Authority with Economic Development powers (HRA/EDA) chose to set a preliminary budget levy of .085 percent of the total assessed property value within the county. The specific dollar amount is unknown until the HRA/EDA receives a report of current assessed value, but .085 percent of that number is the maximum amount the HRA/EDA can levy, it was stated.

"That will reserve us some flexibility," HRA/EDA Executive Director Dick Dreher said.

The fnal budget has to be approved by the Pope County Board of Commissioners in December. The HRA/EDA board can choose to lower the levy, but it cannot go higher than the preliminary levy.

In 2014, the preliminary HRA/EDA levy was set at the maximum amount, $300,000, and was scaled back to $275,000 for the final budget levy.

Habitat for Humanity makes request
Dreher said he had been approached by Habitat for Humanity about possibly chipping in some money to help complete a garage on the Habitat house being built in Lowry. Dreher told the board that they had budgeted $45,000 for the Lowry Habitat house. To contribute toward the garage, the HRA/EDA would have to pay an additional $2,500 which would put the budget for the Lowry house at $47,500.

Habitat did raise some funds in Lowry to help with the cost, Dreher said.

HRA/EDA Board Chair Cody Rogahn asked Dreher what the payback period is for the loans.

"They are 30-year mortgages," Dreher said. "Every Habitat house in Pope County has been keeping current on their payments."

The board voted unanimously to pay for part of the garage cost.

Lowry townhomes discussed
At a past meeting the idea was brought up to explore building workforce housing units in Lowry. The Lowry EDA has been exploring uses for two acres of land it owns.

Dreher passed out some floor plans to the board for two-bedroom, one-bath units that could be built on the two acres of land the Lowry EDA has available.

"I have to put in soft costs to see where we are in terms of rent," Dreher said. "The idea is not to be age limited, and we need to be in the $800 rent area. I am going to take the floor plan to Dave Lorence at Lowry State Bank."

Board member Allan Rutter said, "If this is the way it is going to go, it is a good opportunity to educate on what the HRA can do. Maybe Lowry can’t get a bond, but with the HRA and county backing they can."

"The key to me is what are the rents going to be?" board member Dorothy Gaffaney said.

"Not only that, but who is the target tenant, and how much can they afford?" Dreher said. "In reality the cost of construction materials is going up."

"The people with the EDA in Lowry know what people are paying in Lowry," board member Larry Kittelson said.

Dreher said before they meet with the Lowry EDA and Lowry City Council that he will have to put the numbers together.


HRA/EDA continues Lowry workforce housing discussion
By Zach Anderson
News Editor
Starbuck News
07/28/2014

The Pope County Housing and Redevelopment Authority with Economic Development power (HRA/EDA) learned more about the potential building of workforce housing in Lowry.

The board discussed two acres of land in Lowry where the Lowry EDA has interest of building workforce housing. The site is west of Highway 114 contiguous to the ball field and the city park.

Executive Director Dick Dreher said rent for the new housing units would have to stay near $800 per month to be feasible. The eight units owned by the Lowry EDA are currently rented for $600 per month, said Dreher, and have long waiting lists. However, Dreher said, "There is no way we can hit that [$600] mark with new construction costs."

Board Member Allan Rutter said in Cyrus they are facing a similar financial situation with a water project in town. "Our engineers put out bids and they came back really high," Rutter said. "A lot of the contractors around here have gone to North Dakota to work because it is so lucrative for them. The ones down here are charging us North Dakota prices."

Dreher stated that Stephanie Howe of studio e architects is working on a workforce housing project in Elbow Lake. He said he will take notes about what it cost to build there, because it will be similar to what would be built in Lowry. The HRA/EDA can then use those financial figures to make a determination if it is feasible to build. Dreher suggested having a joint meeting with the Lowry EDA to define what roles each group wants to play in the possible project.

It was stated that the units would not be age restricted and that right now it is looking like two-bedroom units would be built.

"There appears to be a need for more workforce housing," Dreher said.

Board chair Cody Rogahn asked how many employees were currently at Lowry Manufacturing.Dreher said he guessed about 40 people. Rutter said, "Most employees there are probably pretty established; it’s the future ones you have to look at."

 


Lowry housing project under consideration by county HRA/EDA
By Zach Anderson
Starbuck Times
07/21/2014

The Pope County Housing and Redevelopment Authority with Economic Development Authority powers (HRA/EDA) board learned that Executive Director Dick Dreher has been approached by the Lowry EDA to explore options for adding workforce housing in the town of Lowry.

At the July 2 HRA/EDA board meeting, Dreher said he had been in contact with Dave Lorence of Lowry State Bank and the Lowry EDA. He said that currently the Lowry EDA owns eight housing units, which are reserved for people age 65 and older. Those units also have a large waiting list, it was stated.

Representatives from the Lowry EDA spoke to Dreher about possible workforce housing being built by the water tower on two acres owned by the Lowry EDA. Dreher said currently the Lowry EDA board members are exploring the possibilities of owning the new workforce housing and bonding for it, or having the Pope County HRA/EDA bond for and own the development.

Dreher said the rental rates for the current Lowry EDA-owned eight units is approximately $600 per month. He said if new workforce housing was built, the rental rates would likely be in the $800-$850 per month range. A budget will need to be made, said Dreher, to see if it is possible to build workforce housing and stay at that target rental rate.

Stephanie Howe of Studio E Architects is working on a workforce housing project in Elbow Lake, Dreher told the board, so it’s possible the HRA/EDA could use that project as a guide. He said the Lowry EDA hasn’t done a project like this so they are looking for guidance.

He also stated that the Lowry EDA would be willing to pay to extend existing electrical lines to the site.

-------------------------------------

07/21/2014

New Alexandria Area High School!  -- This is not like the schools we attended.

Cut and paste the below link into your web browser -- Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Opera -- in the address or search links.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL9Nnz0NX2Q


Pope County Tribune
6/30/14


Photo by Zach Anderson

Lowry PD hosts bike safety rodeo

The Lowry Police Department put on a bike safety rodeo on June 21 in Lowry as part of Lowry Days. The Lowry PD and many sponsors of the rodeo gave away eight bikes in a drawing. Winners were (left to right): Hailey Wesen, Axel Anderson, Tenley Erickson, Emma Koehntop, Connor Erickson, Kendall Erickson, Anna Uecker and Sidney Trousil. Other prizes were also given away.

--------------------------------

Park Region Echo
06/30/2014

Alexandria ranks in 'Top 10 Best Small Towns in America'
By Amy Chaffins on Jun 30, 2014 at 12:33 p.m.

 

We knew it, now it's out for everyone else to discover - Alexandria is a great place to live.

Alexandria is ranked seventh on the list of "America's Top Small Towns."

Livability.com, a website that ranks quality of life and travel amenities of America's small and mid-sized cities, revealed the list on July 2.

Sarah Stadtherr, executive director of Alexandria Hotel and Hospitality, said, "I think people are proud to live in Alexandria. I feel like we 'hit the goldmine' for where to live in the world."

Stadtherr helped coordinate the application for the best small towns list.

Editors at Livability.com narrowed their search for the top 10 towns by:

Steering clear of big-city suburbs and communities considered part of a larger metropolitan area.

Considering population and economic growth rates, comparing employment trends, cost of living and other economic factors.

Looking at a town's quality of life and amenities that attract relocating businesses and residents: community spirit, a less hurried atmosphere, good schools, an emphasis on family values and historic preservation.

Livability.com noted, "The community's active lifestyle, cultural offerings and beautiful scenery continue to attract new residents. A collection of lakes surround the town, creating an island-like atmosphere."

UNIQUENESS AND BALANCE

"I think our uniqueness is that we have multiple things for people to do, not only as a visitor, but as a resident too. We have a lot of things going on," Stadtherr said.

That's in addition to Alexandria's strong manufacturing, health care, agricultural and tourism base.

"I would call it the fabric of our community," Stadtherr said. "We've got theaters and the Central Lakes Trail. We've got the scenic byway that runs right through downtown and of course, our downtown is beautiful. I stressed all of those things in the application. Our fabric isn't just a surface-level look. We have all the things that make it a nice, strong fabric.

"We live in a modest community. But we really do rock. We're really incredible," she said.

Jason Murray, executive director of the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission (AAEDC), said Alexandria making the Top 10 Small Towns list is a great accolade and speaks well to the breadth of this community as a regional center.

"It speaks to the collaboration of our community, the work that both our government and non-profit sector do," Murray said. "To me, it's the value that our non-profit and governmental sectors work together. There's a strong partnership to really look at the community growth and the economic vitality."

He added, "We enjoy a balance most communities don't; a balance between our retail and manufacturing, health care, tourism and recreation. Sometimes we take that for granted, but it's such a well maintained balance and a nice amenity to have. I think that speaks to any ranking when you look at your community."

The AAEDC provided application information regarding Alexandria's demographics, population, employer growth and trends in the community.

Growth of the community is one point that made Alexandria a finalist. From 2010 to 2012, Alexandria's population grew by 4.3 percent.

"For us, we're an importer of laborers. We have more jobs in this community than we have people. Not all the other communities have that," Murray said.

IMPACT OF RANKING

"I think we could see an influx of visitors and hopefully will have a big economic impact in the short term, but the long term as well," Stadtherr said.

Murray said some local companies are already using the "Alexandria named a Top 10 Small Town" as an employee recruitment draw.

"It always backs up the conversation about the lakes and trails and recreation amenities our community has," he said. "If that helps them, that's great."

Stadtherr said, "Every opportunity starts with a visit to our community. So, if people come for a visit, they might come back for a visit. If they come back for a visit, they might decide to buy a cabin here. Or they might decide to relocate here or start a business here. It always starts with a visit."

Top 10 Small Towns in America 2013:

1. Dickinson, ND

2. Oxford, MS

3. Rock Springs, WY

4. Oak Harbor, WA

5. Brookings, SD

6. Los Alamos, NM

7. Alexandria, MN

8. Traverse City, MI

9. West Plains, MO

10. Cambridge, MD

Source: Livability.com, a website that ranks quality of life and travel amenities of America's small and mid-sized cities.


05/26/2014

Lowry Farmers’ Market
to open June 3

The Lowry Farmers’ Market will open June 3 along Highway 55 in Lowry. Vendors will have fresh garden produce, farm fresh eggs, baked goods, jams, jellies and more. It will be open 4-6 p.m. every Tuesday through October. Watch for signs along Highway 55

----------------------------------------------------------
5/19/14

Lowry American Legion
Memorial Day observance

The Lowry American Legion Post will be observing Memorial Day on Monday,May 26 at the Community Center building in Lowry. The program will start at 10:30 a.m. Dave Johnson, Commander of the Lowry Legion Post #253, will be the speaker. Following the program, dinner will be served by the Legion Auxiliary at the Legion Club Rooms.

-------------------------------------
05/19/2014

Lowry City Council Meetingl

Lowry residents to receive credit on May water bill

At the May 6 city council meeting, the Lowry City Council voted to credit residents who ran their water over the winter to prevent frozen pipes as the city requested, up to 5,000 gallons.

The council said the city’s water system over-estimated water usage over the winter months, so many individuals who ran their water as requested by the city have not received any credit on their water bill. In February, a notice was sent out to all residents of Lowry asking them to monitor their water temperatures and to run their water if the temperature was between 34 °F and 35°F. The city could have been affected if the water usage in town wasn’t adequate and the sewer system froze, so the additional gallons run by citizens were expected to reduce the likelihood of the sewer system freezing up, it was stated.

Visitor’s comments

Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree reported by email that he is still waiting on a response from the state regarding the test well progress.

Lowry resident John Vosberg has an upcoming wedding for which he would like to use the community center chairs. The chairs will be on a hard surface, he stated. The event is in August of this year. Seeing no concerns with allowing the request, Iris Scott made a motion that Vosberg be allowed to use the community center chairs for the event as long as they are placed on a solid surface. The council approved the motion.

New business

The handheld computer used for reading meters is no longer working. The unit the city uses has not been serviced for four years; the city got a quote from Fargo Water Equipment for a new handheld computer. The bid received was $4,375. The council decided to table to decision until further information is available. Mayor Dan Sutton said he plans to research if he can find a new battery for the current unit, as that seems to be the problem.

Another issue discussed was that the council received a complaint of dogs running at large, which is an ongoing issue. It was stated that the Lowry Police are handling the complaint.

The next regular Lowry City Council meeting will be Tuesday, June 3 at the community center at 7 p.m


Pope County Tribune
5/12/14

Local woman brings strength,
optimism to Boston Marathon

By Deb Mercier
News Editor

Flashing a smile and a peace sign, Rachel Hedlin of Lowry passed the 17-mile mark in the 2014 Boston Marathon held April 21.

Flashing a smile and a peace sign, Rachel Hedlin of Lowry passed the 17-mile mark in the 2014 Boston Marathon held April 21

On April 21, 2014, shoes that recently pounded the pavement of Pope County hit the ground running at the 118th Boston Marathon. Those shoes belonged to Rachel Hedlin of Lowry—one of 36,000 pairs from around the world running in America’s oldest and most famous footrace.

Hedlin grew up in Pope County on her parents’ dairy farm near Farwell. Now, she lives outside Lowry and works as a veterinarian at Lake Region Small Animal Clinic in Elbow Lake.

This was Rachel’s sixth marathon. In 2011 alone, she ran Grandma’s in Duluth, the Long Beach Marathon, and the Marine Corp Marathon. She ran the Boston Marathon in 2012.

Then, in 2013, two pressure cooker bombs exploded about two hours after the winner crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and seriously injuring an estimated 264 others. The bombs exploded about 12 seconds and 210 yards apart, near the finish line on Boylston Street. There were still more than 5,700 runners on the course.

Hedlin said the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing actually made her determined to go back. Her decision stemmed from part anger, part defiance. "I didn’t want to be afraid to do something I loved," she explained.

She qualified to run the 2014 Boston Marathon by running marathon number five, coming in under 3 hours, 35 minutes in the 2013 Grandma’s Marathon.

Her love of running began in high school, Hedlin said, when she literally followed in the footsteps of her sister, Sylvia, and took up running as a way to keep in shape for high school sports. Hedlin said her passion for running strengthened when she served in the Army from 2005-2008. Running truly became "her time," providing a haven of stress relief away from work and away from her cell phone.

Running is one thing, but training for a marathon is no small feat.

Hedlin said everyone trains differently, but it takes her at least four months to build up distance. In Minnesota, training is a challenge because of winter weather, she said, especially this past winter with its record-breaking stretches of below zero temperatures. Most of Hedlin’s training took place on a treadmill, and she didn’t get many long, outside runs in before putting her shoes to pavement in Boston. Hedlin said she was able to ditch the treadmill for one 16-mile run, one 15-mile run and about three to four 10 or 11-mile runs before Marathon Monday.

Heading into the day of the race, Hedlin said a few people asked if she was concerned about security. "It didn’t even cross my mind," she said. She did notice more security than she’d seen in 2012, from K-9 units and police to national guardsmen stationed along the route; Hedlin said she felt safe.

"It was inspiring to be a part of it. The enthusiasm and support in the city was just amazing," said Hedlin. "‘Boston Strong’ was everywhere." There were close to a million spectators —supporters— lined up along the route. Hedlin said there were times she couldn’t even hear the music in her headphones because the cheers from the crowd were so loud.

That inspiration carried her to mile 16—the point in any marathon when Hedlin said mental roadblocks start cropping up for her and must be hurdled to finish the race. "As long as I get through mile 16, I’m good," she said. It helped that her boyfriend was at mile marker 17, cheering her on from the sidelines.

"This isn’t something I could do alone," said Hedlin. "I have great support from home, coworkers and family. For me it’s definitely a team effort."

Mile 21 presented another challenge, what Boston Marathon runners have dubbed "Heartbreak Hill." But in true Minnesota lingo, Hedlin said she did "pretty good" with it. "Around here there are some good hills," she said, so Heartbreak Hill didn’t seem so intimidating when she got to it. She crossed the finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon in 3 hours, 44 minutes, 34 seconds.

Twenty-six miles and still smiling: Rachel Hedlin earned her medal for completing the 118th Boston Marathon.

Rachel Hedlin earned her medal for completing the Boston Marathon.

Hedlin offers a spirit of persistence and optimism to others thinking of taking on their first marathon. "Go for it!" she said. "Have good shoes and support around you, and you can definitely do it.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Rachel's grandparents are Walter and Mildred Hedlin, her parents are Vernon and Dorothy (Moe) Hedlin. Grandparents on Mom's side, Dorothy and Gordon Moe

 


Lowry News
02/17/14
Used car business may
be located in Lowry


The Lowry City Council approved a motion at its regular meeting Feb. 4 to allow Nicholas Bullick to pursue operating a used car lot business on the corner of Elm St. and Cherry St. in Lowry.

Council member Virgil Coziahr asked about the setback required by the state because that location is on a state highway. Bullick said he would check on those requirements and get back to the council. He added that he wanted to get approval from the city as a first step in getting the business started.

Snow removal from city streets was also a topic of discussion at the meeting. The council reviewed ordinances searching for a directive for on-street parking during snow removal. It was stated that some residents leave their vehicles on city streets which makes it difficult to remove all the snow from curb to curb and at times creates an area where snow drifts accumulate. While no directive was found, the council did indicate the city would add language to a current ordinance addressing that concern.

The council also agreed a garage sale ordinance is needed, and they planned to do research and create one by this summer.

 The council spent some time viewing the preliminary website that has been started for the City of Lowry. They discussed what color they thought the site should be as well as adding links on the site for first responders and meeting times for the fire department and first responders and other important meeting dates. They also agreed it would be nice to link the site to the Lowry Economic Development Authority (EDA), which also serves as the city’s planning commission. The next regular meeting will be conducted at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4 at the Community Center.

 


Ad in the Pope County Tribune
02/03/2014


Lowry American Legion
Post 253

The Lowry American Legion Bar is
located on main street in downtown Lowry.
We are a small hometown Bar open 3pm to
1am 7 days a week.

We offer the best in service, a menu of
good food with each night offering a different
item as a special. There are happy hours
daily from 3PM to 5PM and 9PM to 10PM. On
occasions there is entertainment like a band
or a karaoke night. On Friday nights there is
the always popular meat raffle starting at 6:30
pm and goes till all the meat has been won.
On saturday night there is Texas Holdem.
Pull-tabs are always available at the bar with
ALL profits going back to local needs and
charities.

There is a meeting room that can
be rented for parties, meetings and special
occasions.

New to the Legion is a internet dart
game that can be played On Line anywhere
in the world that has the internet set-up.
Every one is invited to make-up a team
and set up a secluded to play. See our bar
manager (Bubba) to get more information
on the dart gaming.

If you have never been to our Legion
Bar give us a try, you may be surprised what
you have been missing.
LOWRY AMERICAN LEGION
POST 253
We Remember


1/2/2014

01/27/2014
Starbuck Tribune

Lundebrek receives heifer through MYBEP
By Zach Anderson
News Editor

 


Nelsen Lundebrek of Lowry (pictured directly right of the newly received heifer) was selected as a
Minnesota Youth Beef Experience Program (MYBEP) heifer recipient.


Nelsen Lundebrek of Lowry was selected as a MinnesotaYouth Beef Experience Program (MYBEP) heifer recipient.

Lundebrek received an Angus Heifer sponsored by Mitteness Family Angus–Randy, Karen, Ryan and Mark Mitteness of Benson–of the Minnesota Angus Association.

“It felt good. I was proud to be selected as one out of the 75 applicants,” Lundebrek said.

MYBEP is a program designed to inspire youth interested in entering the beef cattle industry. Through the generous donations of successful cattlemen industry professionals, qualified youth (number of heifers awarded varies from year to year) will be awarded a beef heifer to raise and care for, during the year.

Lundebrek’s responsibilities over the next year will be to:
• Raise, feed, house, breed and show the heifer for a year under the guidance of the donor of the heifer.
• Maintain complete records on the animal’s care.
• Communicate with the heifer donor and MYBEP leaders through monthly progress reports.
• Return to Minnesota Beef Expo at the conclusion of the year to share the experience and compete for the MYBEP Achievement Award.

Goals of the program are to:
• Develop the passion, knowledge and experience necessary for youth with potential to become an integral part of the cattle industry.
• Offer heifer recipients the opportunity to make valuable connections with other cattle people.
• Build commitment, self confidence and leadership skills within recipients.

What’s next?
Lundebrek will be competing with eight other MYBEP winners for the MYBEP Achievement Award.

The MYBEP Achievement Award winner will be announced at the annual Minnesota Beef Expo in October. A Minnesota Youth Beef Experience Achievement Award Winner is chosen from the pool of MYBEP heifer recipients from the past year.

To select the Achievement Award winner, judges evaluate each MYBEP heifer recipient in the following four categories. The recipient with the highest overall score earns this prestigious award.

Showmanship: Heifer recipients will be judged on how well they show their heifers using the skills developed during the MYBEP year.

Progress Reporting:Quarterly progress reports completed by the heifer recipients during the course of the year will be evaluated, including financial information, veterinary work, feed documentation and handling updates.

Scrapbook: Data and artifacts collected during the year’s MYBEP journey must be compiled in a scrapbook to be displayed during the Beef Expo.

Interview: During the showmanship competition, three judges will interview heifer recipients individually and evaluate their answers to questions about the experience of caring for and working with the heifer throughout the past year.

“I would like to thank the donors, Randy and Karen Mitteness and family. I would also like to thank the program (MYBEP) for making it possible,” Lundebrek said.

The MYBEP Achievement Award winner takes home (subject to change):
• A plaque donated by the Minnesota Beef Cattle Improvement Association.
• A $750 scholarship from the Minnesota Farmers Union and Minnesota Farmers Union Agency.
• An embroidered piece from Sanctified Designs owned by Kathy Heise.

 


01/20/2014
Starbuck News

Lowry okays official business for new year
By Zach Anderson
News Editor


The Lowry City Council approved official business for 2014 at the meeting on Tuesday, January 7.

Council member Virgil Coziahr was selected as acting Mayor in the absence of Mayor Dan Sutton. Lowry State Bank was selected as the official bank. Pope County Tribune as the official newspaper. Official insurance agency is Lowry Insurance. Jan Nordmeyer was selected as the city attorney. The mileage rate was set at 56 cents per mile for 2014.

An issue about the community center gym being open after school for kids to use was brought up as a continuation of the discussion at the December meeting and the council said the gym can be used as long as there is a responsible adult there to supervise and has signed a responsibility form and the gym isn’t already reserved for an event.

The council approved a compliance agreement from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for the test well project the city is working on.

In other action, the council:
• Approved minutes of Dec. 3 meeting.
• Approved paying half of the Minnesota Chief of Police Association fees totaling $82.50 out of the total of $165.
•Approved hiring Corbin Corson to create a website for the City of Lowry.


December 23, 2013

Old timers will not believe this one

This showed up in the Christmas letter from Myra and Gurvin Femrite.

"Lake Malmedal continued to be a popular fishing area for most of the summer. Gurvin enjoyed fishing from shore on many occasions...  Of course that came to a halt with this cold weather and so far one neighbor  has put his fish house on the lake. We wonder how many fish houses will appear there.  Malmedal was considered to be a  "fishless" lake for years."

Editor's Note:  Boy,  this is good news. I only remember carp being the primary fish with several snapping turtles in the mix and I can't remember ever seen a fish house on that lake.

Happy fishing.

 


HfN seeks partner family for house project in Lowry


Habitat for Humanity of Prairie Lakes is seeking a family to purchase a house to be built in Lowry this coming summer.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit ecumenical Christian Housing Ministry that aims to eliminate poverty, poor housing and homelessness by making decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.

Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds or renovates simple, decent houses with the help of homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable, no-interest loans. One of the organizations slogans reads, “Habitat is not a hand out, but a hand up.”

Partner families are selected if they presently live in inadequate housing; can afford a no-interest mortgage loan; and are willing to partner with Habitat and put “sweat equity hours” into the construction of the house.

Families may qualify if their incomes are between 30 percent and 60 percent of the median income in Pope County:

Family #             30%             60%
    1                $13,000        $26,000
    2                $15,000        $30,000
    3                $16,850        $33,700
    4                $18,700        $37,400
    5                $20,200        $40,400
    6                $21,700        $43,400
    7                $23,200        $46,400
    8                $24,700        $49,400

Families interested in the upcoming Lowry build should call the Habitat for Humanity of Prairie Lakes offi ce at 320-634-0355 to request a pre-application form. Informational meetings are also scheduled at the Glenwood Public Library on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. and Jan.11 at 10 a.m

 


December  9, 2013

Lowry to work with parents to keep gym open
By Zach Anderson
Starbuck Times

Some concerned parents were at the Dec. 3 Lowry City Council meeting asking the council about the decision lock the gym at the community center.

At a past meeting, the city council decided to have the gym locked after school hours because people weren’t leaving the gym in the condition they found it in. Councilmembers said they would have no problem having the gym open if there was an adult there to supervise rather than just leaving it open, allowing kids to run in and out.

Mayor Dan Sutton said that in the past the gym was left a mess.

Deb Piekarski suggested that Lowry do like the open gym at the high school and have children and their parents sign a waiver to reduce city liability.

Clerk Lisa Anderson said she will check with the city attorney about liability issues and see if the gym can be open.

The idea was suggested that maybe a certain night or nights could be set up for the children to play basketball in the gym.

Piekarski said she would be willing to be responsible for the kids. If kids wanted to play basketball, she would open the gym for them.

The council was agreeable and will work with Piekarski once the liability issues are determined.

An update was given that the city has reached an agreement with a landowner for digging a test well and will begin the digging process to find acceptable water.

In other action, the council:

•Approved a Christmas lighting contest with judging dates being Dec. 20 and 21. Winners will receive $50 in Lowry Bucks for first place, $35 in Lowry Bucks for second place and $25 in Lowry Bucks for third place.

• Approved liquor license renewals for American Legion and The Hatchery.

• Approved resolution number 165 to participate in Pope County’s All Hazard Mitigation Plan.

• Approved two percent increase in fire contracts for this year


DNR: Ice not safe yet
November 25, 2013
Pope County Tribune


The Department of Natural Resources said the thin  layers of ice that are forming on Minnesota waters right now are not safe. This reminder comes after a DNR conservation officer helped rescue a man Nov. 15 who was fishing and fell through the ice on Little Rock Lake in Benton County.

“The bottom line is it’s crucial that people do not let their guard down,” said Kara Owens, DNR boat and water safety specialist, “because ice is never 100 percent safe. A few days of cold temperatures don’t create ice strong enough to hold a person.”

According to Owens, six people died last winter after falling through the ice.

The DNR recommends anyone heading out on the ice should: carry a set of ice picks, check with a local bait shop or resort— ask about ice conditions— and measure the ice.

DNR clear ice thickness recommendations are:
• 4 inches for walking.
• 5 inches for a snowmobile or ATV.
• 8-12 inches for a car.
• 12-15 inches for a medium-sized truck


November 18, 2013

 

Corn harvest piles up at Lowry


Photo by John R. Stone

A mountain of corn grew over the past few weeks as area farmers
brought harvested crops to the Prairie Lakes Cooperative elevator
at Lowry. Here, steam from the dryers form a background to the
growing, golden corn mountain caught in the early morning light.
Most area farmers have fi nished the soybean harvest, and much of
the corn crop was harvested over the past few weeks, despite per-
sistent winter weather last spring that pushed planting a few weeks
later than usual.


October 7, 2013

Lowry closer to finding test well site


By Zach Anderson
Starbuck Times

The Lowry City Council on Oct. 1 heard from Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree Engineering about a test well the city is planning to install.

Anderson said he had finished creating the letter of intent to purchase the property for the well if a quality water supply is found.

Anderson said it would take about 180 days to determine if the well is suitable. The current well house will be kept as a backup. Anderson said once he gets thoughts from engineers at Bolton and Menk Engineering, Inc. and the city council, he will contact Lowry Clerk Lisa Anderson and set up a meeting with the property owners of the potential test well locations.

Lowry Police Chief Mitch Johnsrud gave a report telling the council that the state is moving to e-filing, and Lowry doesn’t have that type of technology. Johnsrud said he has talked to Cyrus Police Chief Bob Tirevold and the two of them would like to work together to pursue grants to be able to purchase the technology to e-fi le.

Another option Johnsurd said he is pursuing is getting on board with the county to share with that system.

If working with the county or partnering with Cyrus doesn’t work out, Johnsrud said the city likely would not participate  in the program, because it isn’t financially possible.

In other action, the council:
• Agreed to participate in an energy-saving program during the summer months by Xcel Energy. Once in the program, central air shuts off at peak times in the summer, to save on electricity and cost.
•Agreed to find someone to do maintenance work on the community center roof.
•Approved street repair work from Bryan Coons, if it is determined fnancially feasible.
•Approved contacting Lundblad to let them know the city would like them to do snow plowing this winter.


September 23, 2013

St. Paul’s welcomes new pastor

Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lowry welcomes a new pastor to their church and community. Joining them is Pastor Joe Skogmo. He graduated from Detroit Lakes High School, Augsburg College, and recently from Luther Seminary in St. Paul. He will be ordained on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Augustana Lutheran Church in rural Detroit Lakes and installed at St. P ul’s Lutheran on Sunday, Sept. 29 at a special 10:30 a.m. service. All are welcome to join in worship every Sunday at 8:45 a.m. with Sunday school at 10 a.m. For further information go to www.stpaulslowry.org.
 


August 19, 2013

Lowry Fire Department
annual dinner set Sept. 4

 

The Lowry Fire Department will be holding its 39th annual dinner from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Lowry Fire Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Tickets will be available at the door. The Lowry Fire Department will be serving ham, roast beef, pork, potato salad, coleslaw and root beer fl oats.

This is the fi re department’s only fundraiser during the year and all proceeds go to support the Lowry

 

Farmers’ Markets

Pope County Farmers’ Market is open through October. Local vendors provide Minnesota Grown, spring vegetables, plants, baked goods and more. Open at the Pope County Fairgrounds in Glenwood on Saturdays 9 a.m. - noon and Tuesdays 3-6 p.m.

Lowry Farmers’ Market features fresh garden produce, farm fresh eggs, baked goods, jams, jellies and more. It is open 4-6 p.m. every Tuesday through September. Watch for signs along Hwy 55.


August 12, 2013

Lutefish Capital of the world: Glenwood or Madison.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8GVmTrQuvc

 

Pope County Tribune
August 12, 2013

Lowry council renews commitment to WCI

The Lowry City Council heard from Tom McSparron, Donor Services  Officer with West Central Initiative (WCI) at its regular meeting on August 6. The council approved a commitment of $300 each year for two years to WCI.

McSparron said in the past that Lowry has donated $300 per year for two years at a time to WCI. The money is used in grant applications from WCI to help where funds are needed most in West Central MN.

Just in Pope County, over the past 27 years, WCI has made investments of 94 grants totaling $912,415 and 62 loans totaling $2,269,385

Area organizations using component funds in cooperation with WCI are EkstrandFamily Donor- Advised Fund, Glacial Hills Elementary School Fund, Glenwood Development Community Fund,Glacial Lakes Environmental Trust and the Starbuck Community Fund. The component funds have generated $1,372,000 in assets and extended loans and grants inexcess of $305,690.

Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree informedthe council that the time has come to find a suitable place for a test well. If the test well shows an adequate aquifer then a permanent well will be constructed where the test well was. A few council members said they would talk to a few landowners to see if they are agreeable to letting the city put a test well on their property and if successful purchase that property.

The council will conduct a budget meeting on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Lowry Community Center. The next regular meeting will be Sept. 2 at the Community Center.



July 15, 2013

 

Pope County Tribune

July 15, 2013

Lowry Manufacturing celebrates 40 years
Company still thriving, adding to area economy

Photo by Marta Johnson

 

Since March of 1973, Lowry Manufacturing has been a fixture in the Lowry community, manufacturing portable, stationary, and overhead load-out equipment. Forty years later, the business is still thriving and adding to the area’s economy.

Here’s a bit of history: In 1972 Wally Dahlseng worked at the Lowry Iron Works building, which is still situated on Lowry’s Main Street in the corner of the Chan’s Auto facility. In the fall John Dahlseng started working with his uncle, building round welded hopper bins. These were used as a wet grain holding bin with the grain dryers that were being installed on farm sites throughout the area. The bin assemblies were rather large, and the construction took place out the front door of the building mostly on Main Street.

With the help of the Lowry State Bank, Wesley Brosh’s masonry business, Don Cooley’s building construction crew and Glenn Hoplin’s electrical and plumbing business, a 40-foot by 100-foot building was put up and ready to use in March of 1973. Completion of the building was aided by many hours of volunteer help from family and friends.

Lowry Manufacturing’s layout and technology have changed with the needs of the company, according to Dahlseng.

As the company got into building hopper bins, the design was changed from the round hopper concept to the square portable bin. The orange Lowry portable bin could be recognized in many locations from North Dakota through Iowa and northern Illinois.

The farm economy was perking along well during most of the 1970s and the concept of drying the corn and storing it on the farm created a strong demand for the portable bin because the system could be set up quite quickly. The economic farm crisis of ’80s changed that demand considerably and while trying to figure out how to survive as a business, an opportunity to expand the product line with the purchase of the DumPit presented itself.

Eventually the farm economy improved and the company continued to develop and adapt its product lines to help accomplish the functions of quickly unloading and loading trucks that haul grain and feed, along with manufacturing square bin groups used in feed and other bulk product manufacturing.

In the winter of 2007-2008 a renovation and expansion of the facility helped provide needed capacity as the demand for Lowry’s products continued to grow. Today Lowry Manufacturing, along with its dealers, is involved in projects from Pennsylvania to Kansas, and even as far away as Canada, Ukraine and Africa.

"We are grateful to our employees, businesses and individuals we have been associated with for an enjoyable 40 years," said Dahlseng.

--------------------------

Published July 12, 2013,
By: Amy Chaffins, Alexandria Echo Press

 

Alexandria ranks in 'Top 10 Best Small Towns in America'

We knew it, now it’s out for everyone else to discover – Alexandria is a great place to live.

Alexandria is ranked seventh on the list of "America’s Top Small Towns."

Livability.com, a website that ranks quality of life and travel amenities of America’s small and mid-sized cities, revealed the list on July 2.

Sarah Stadtherr, executive director of Alexandria Hotel and Hospitality, said, "I think people are proud to live in Alexandria. I feel like we ‘hit the goldmine’ for where to live in the world."

Stadtherr helped coordinate the application for the best small towns list.

Editors at Livability.com narrowed their search for the top 10 towns by:

Steering clear of big-city suburbs and communities considered part of a larger metropolitan area.

Considering population and economic growth rates, comparing employment trends, cost of living and other economic factors.

Looking at a town’s quality of life and amenities that attract relocating businesses and residents: community spirit, a less hurried atmosphere, good schools, an emphasis on family values and historic preservation.

Livability.com noted, "The community’s active lifestyle, cultural offerings and beautiful scenery continue to attract new residents. A collection of lakes surround the town, creating an island-like atmosphere."

UNIQUENESS AND BALANCE

"I think our uniqueness is that we have multiple things for people to do, not only as a visitor, but as a resident too. We have a lot of things going on," Stadtherr said.

That’s in addition to Alexandria’s strong manufacturing, health care, agricultural and tourism base.

"I would call it the fabric of our community," Stadtherr said. "We’ve got theaters and the Central Lakes Trail. We’ve got the scenic byway that runs right through downtown and of course, our downtown is beautiful. I stressed all of those things in the application. Our fabric isn’t just a surface-level look. We have all the things that make it a nice, strong fabric.

"We live in a modest community. But we really do rock. We’re really incredible," she said.

Jason Murray, executive director of the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission (AAEDC), said Alexandria making the Top 10 Small Towns list is a great accolade and speaks well to the breadth of this community as a regional center.

"It speaks to the collaboration of our community, the work that both our government and non-profit sector do," Murray said. "To me, it’s the value that our non-profit and governmental sectors work together. There’s a strong partnership to really look at the community growth and the economic vitality."

He added, "We enjoy a balance most communities don’t; a balance between our retail and manufacturing, health care, tourism and recreation. Sometimes we take that for granted, but it’s such a well maintained balance and a nice amenity to have. I think that speaks to any ranking when you look at your community."

The AAEDC provided application information regarding Alexandria’s demographics, population, employer growth and trends in the community.

Growth of the community is one point that made Alexandria a finalist. From 2010 to 2012, Alexandria’s population grew by 4.3 percent.

"For us, we’re an importer of laborers. We have more jobs in this community than we have people. Not all the other communities have that," Murray said.

IMPACT OF RANKING

"I think we could see an influx of visitors and hopefully will have a big economic impact in the short term, but the long term as well," Stadtherr said.

Murray said some local companies are already using the "Alexandria named a Top 10 Small Town" as an employee recruitment draw.

"It always backs up the conversation about the lakes and trails and recreation amenities our community has," he said. "If that helps them, that’s great."

Stadtherr said, "Every opportunity starts with a visit to our community. So, if people come for a visit, they might come back for a visit. If they come back for a visit, they might decide to buy a cabin here. Or they might decide to relocate here or start a business here. It always starts with a visit."

Top 10 Small Towns in America 2013:

1. Dickinson, ND

2. Oxford, MS

3. Rock Springs, WY

4. Oak Harbor, WA

5. Brookings, SD

6. Los Alamos, NM

7. Alexandria, MN

8. Traverse City, MI


June 25, 2013

Lowry Days Photos 2013
Though the area was pounded with storms last Thursday and Friday, and many
area residents were still waiting for power, Lowry Days carried on in true hometown festival tradition over the weekend. Saturday’s events included a bike rodeo, softball tournaments at the Lions Park, a tractor show, a tractor pedal pull contest, a kids’ carnival, fireman’s water wars

.    

         

.Photos by Marta Johnson


June 25, 2013

Lowry collects shoes for Soles4Souls
By Zach Anderson

Starbuck Times

 

For the first time in Lowry, a "Soles4Souls" shoe collection project was completed on June 12, with about 48 people gathering to package1,088 pairs of donated shoes. The initial idea for the project started in the 4th-6th grade Sunday school class at St. Paul’s Lutheran church, and became a reality when they learned that the Lowry Lions would help support their efforts in any manner that would be helpful.

Three students – Ali Femrite, Nelsen Femrite and Cade Fish –volunteered to develop a plan and create graphics used in publicity posters. Shoes were collected at Lowry State Bank, the Hatchery, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and Glenwood Lutheran Church, where there is a connection with the Lions.

The local group wanted to say "thanks" to all who helped facilitate the collecting of the shoes and all who donated shoes. The Sunday school well exceeded their estimate of collecting 525 pairs.

Based in Nashville, Tenn., Soles-4Souls is a global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty. The organization advances its anti-poverty mission by collecting new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith-based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributing those shoes and clothes via direct donations to people in need and by provisioning qualified micro-enterprise programs designed to create jobs in disadvantaged communities.

Soles4Souls, Inc. was founded by Wayne Elsey as a project to raise shoes for the Asian tsunami disaster in December 2004 and then for Hurricane Katrina victims in August 2005.

The shoes collected in Lowry will be delivered to a facility in Sheldon, Iowa, that will grade the shoes into four categories. The new or like-new shoes will be used for disaster relief and other circumstances of need in the United States and around the world. The used shoes with remaining life in them become an affordable source of product for micro-businesses that recondition and market them in their communities. The small cost that these shoes are sold for allows the small business owners to make a living, while providing a beneficial service to their local communities, it was stated.


Photo by Zach Anderson
Lowry community members got together on June 12 at St. Paul’s Lutheran
Church in Lowry to box up shoes to be sorted and given to people in eed.
The group packaged 1,088 pairs of donated shoes.


June 18, 2013

Lowry receives $2,500 grant
from CenterPoint Energy

By Zach Anderson
Starbuck Times

The Lowry City Council watched as Craig Zens of CenterPoint Energy presented  a $2,500 grant to the city for the Police Department and Fire Department at their regular meeting on June 4. Police Officer Mitch Johnsrud was on hand to receive the award.

The grant will be used to purchase a digital mobile radio for the police department and two hose reels and hoses for the fi re department rescue truck, it was stated.

Tim Hagemeier from MN Rural Water looked into what the city pontoon would be worth and wondered what the council wanted to get for it. The city approved offering the pontoon to the city of Miltona for $8,000, and if they decide not to take it to advertise it for sale at $9,000.

The council approved hiring law enforcement from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m. for  Lowry Days to have coverage during the street dance on June 22.

In other action the council:

• Approved a building permit to Mark Schuett for a 1,600-square-foot single-dwelling unit.

• Approved a building permit to Bruce Anderson for a 42x60 building.

Photo by Zach Anderson 
At the last Lowry City Council meeting, offi cer Mitch Johnsrud (left) accepted a grant for $2,500 from Craig Zens, representing CenterPoint Energy. The grant will be used to purchase new equipment for the police department.


June 10, 2013

7th Annual 2013 Lowry Days

Friday, June 21st

5pm - 8pm City Wide Garage Sales

5pm - 8pm Steak Fry at the Legion

6:30pm Meat Raffle at the Legion

7 pm Old Fashioned Sing-A-Long at Lowry Community Covenant Church

8 pm Rock-n-Roll Wrestling at the Legion

9 pm Karaoke Contest at the Hatchery

Saturday, June 22nd

7:30am Sprint Into Summer – Fun Run Registration
     ** Ages 3-11 invited & starts at Discovery Days

8am - Sprint Into Summer Fun Run (Discovery Days)

8am - 2pm City Wide Garage Sales

8am - 11am Lions Pancake Breakfast at the Community Center

8:30am - Bike Rodeo Registration (Pre-K thru 6th Grade)

9am - 10:30am - Bike Rodeo
     **Bring your bike & helmet if available

9 am - Softball Tournaments at Lions Park

10am – Noon - Farmers Market

10am - 4pm - Tractor Show

10:30am - Pedal Pull Registration (Ages 4-11)

11am - 1pm - Kids Tractor Pedal Pull

11am - 3pm - Discovery Days Food Booth

11am - Kitchen Fire Demo (Lowry Fire Department)

11am – 2pm - Celebrating 40 Years at Lowry Manufacturing (Open House)

12pm - 3pm - FREE Kids Carnival (For ALL Ages)

1:30 pm - Kitchen Fire Demo (Lowry Fire Department)

2pm - Fireman’s Water Fights (Local Fire Dept’s & Amateur Teams**)
     **Sign up your team at the Legion or Hatchery**

3pm – 4pm - 4-H Ribbon Cutting at NEW Picnic Shelter by Playground
     ** FREE Ice Cream Social to follow!**

4pm - Chicken Pooping Contest (Hatchery)

4:30pm - 7pm - Chicken & Sweet Corn Feed (Hatchery) & Pie Social (Oscar Lake Church)

8pm - 12am - Street Dance featuring the Honey Badgers

10pm - 12am - Lowry Days Food Stand


June 3, 2013

Lowry Legion donates
to Hospice Ride

Commander Dave Johnson of the Lowry American Legion Post 253, presented Gary Wold a $500 donationfor the Glacial Ridge Hospice Motorcycle Ride.


May 27, 2013

Lowry City Council

awarded grant from PLC

The Lowry City Council was awarded a returning value grant from Prairie Lakes Coop as part of the company’s Community Grant Program.

Prairie Lakes Coop selected the Lowry City Council application to receive a $725 grant towards their objective of purchasing an 800 MHZ radio for the city police squad car.

Applying schools and local community organizations have to indicate their plans for the grant money, supply general information about the schools/organizations,project, and purpose of the request, along with specificfinancial needs and projected outcomes.

Prairie Lakes Coop awarded this grant on behalf of its local member owners. Prairie Lakes Coop. a CHS Service Center, provides products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets to meet the needs of its patrons Prairie Lakes Coop has locations in the communities of Cyrus, Hoffman, Elrosa, Lowry, Long Prairie, Park Rapids, Glenwood and Starbuck creating relationships with customers in agronomy inputs, propane, fuel, and grain marketing.

 

 


Pictured from left to right are Roger LaSota and Mike McHugh (construction); the Maijala family: Elijah, Emmagine, Andy, Ashley and Dominic; and Bob Mork (family advocate).

 

Habitat for Humanity breaks
ground on new house in Lowry

Habitat for Humanity of Prairie Lakes recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the organization’s ninth house to be built in Pope County. The Maijala family of Lowry, will be working with Habitat for Humanity on the construction of their new home.

Angie Schwardt of Habitat for Humanity of Prairies Lakes said that while

the groundbreaking ceremony is the "official" start to house construction, much work went on to get to that point. "The groundbreaking is a time to offer thanks to God and to set the tone for the build," said Schwardt. "This is our opportunity to proclaim that Habitat houses are built on the Foundation of God’s love."


05/20/2013

Lowry City Council approves permit for new county garage building

By Zach Anderson

Starbuck Times

At its May 7 meeting, the Lowry City Council approved a request for a building permit from Pope County Engineer Brian Noetzelman to build a 30-foot by 60-foot shop to house county equipment in Lowry. The shop is one of four the county plans to build to save on fuel costs of having to drive a road grader to each location. Noetzelman said he would bring in a $100 check for the permit.

Mike McHugh of Habitat for Humanity also asked the council for a building permit to build a 28-foot by 38-foot four bedroom home at 213 Poplar Ave. on Lot 10, block 1.

McHugh said Habitat has found a qualifying family and they have paid the down payment.

The council approved a $100 building permit for the building.

Shelley Svec was sworn in as city council member to fill the vacancy left by Teresa Sarff.

Brad MacDonald, of Lowry, asked the council ifhe could look into purchasing a new self-propelled push mower for the city. The city has used the current mower for the past nine or

10 years. MacDonald said he was only looking to spend somewhere around $350.

The council approved MacDonald’s request to look into and purchase a new push mower for the city.

In other actions the

council:

* Approved signing a five-year proposal from Johnson Jet Line to jet clean sanitary sewer pipes in the city, jetting certain sections of town each year.

* Approve contracting Morris Seal Coat as soon as possible to have the streets swept.

 


5//13/13

"Mark your calendars! Lowry Days will be Friday, June 21st and Saturday June 22nd

with Friday night Steak Fry and Old Fashioned Sing Along. Saturday will be filled with Fun Run, Pancake Breakfast, Bike Rodeo, Kids Tractor Pedal Pull, Free Kids Carnival, Fireman's and Amateur's Water Fights, Softball Tournament, Chicken and Sweet Corn Feed, Street Dance, and more. Come Join us for the fun!"


4/22/13

Photo by Zach Anderson

Harold and Muriel Fisher named Lowry Citizens of the Year

Harold and Muriel Fisher were named Lowry Citizens of the Year at a Lowry Lions
banquet on Friday, April 12. Harold said, “We thank you from the bottom of our
hearts. Thank you for this honor and I hope to serve this club for many years to
come.” The Fishers have lived in Lowry for 17 years and been very active in the
Lions Club with Harold having served as Lions Club President in the past. The
couple has been married for 67 years and are happy to call Lowry their home.

Above, Lions President Lucy Olson presented Harold and Muriel Fisher with a
plaque honoring them as Citizens of the Year.


4/15//13

Lowry police to get radio for squad car thanks to donations
By Zach Anderson

Starbuck Times

The Lowry City Council was informed at its regular meeting last Tuesday that six applications had been received after advertising for the summer mowing job.

The council agreed to meet after the meeting and narrow down the candidates and set an interview date for 6:30 p.m. on April 23.

During the March city council meeting, Lowry Police Chief Mitch Johnsrud requested the city purchase a radio for the city’s squad car. It was tabled to see if the Pope County Sheriff’s office would program it, since the county officers use the same Motorola radios.

Johnsrud said the Lowry American Legion and Fireman’s Relief Association each donated $1,300 for the radio.

The council approved a motion to match the $1,300 funds to help purchase the radios.

At a past meeting the council decided to sell the city pontoon equipment that was used to agitate the old sewage ponds.

Troy Drewes was in charge of selling the pontoon after starting the new system, but wanted to wait before selling it in case it was necessary to run the old system and needed the equipment.

The council approved a motion to get the pontoon cleaned up and decided to promote it to another city that may use the same system. If there is no interest, the city will seek bids from those interested in purchasing the equipment.

Other actions:

* Approving Merl Farber to do alley blading this spring

*Anderson as a legal signtory for the City of Lowry. The action also removed former city clerk Olson from the list.


Pope County Tribune
1/28/2013

Hatchery first in county to offer electronic pull tabs

The Hatchery in Lowry has officially gone high-tech, offering the first electronic pull tabs in Pope County. The pull tabs were installed last Wednesday morning. Hatchery owner Stacy Gerdes was quick to point out that Torgy’s in Glenwood was also getting electronic pull tabs on Wednesday—but in the afternoon, keeping the Hatchery’s claim to fame intact.

Nick Hollenbeck, gambling manager for the Lowry Fire Relief Association, was on hand for the game’s installation. He mentioned that the electronic pull tabs have an 85 percent payout; 85 percent of money taken in goes to players, and 15 percent is divided between the state, the bar, the manufacturer of the e-games and the Lowry Fire Relief Association.                                                                                                

                                            Photo by Deb Mercier
Nick Hollenbeck (left) and Stacy Gerdes demonstrated
the Hatchery’s new electronic pull tabs.
                                                                                                                   

The state portion of the electronic pull tab profits are set aside to help fulfill the state’s obligation toward building a new Vikings stadium. The local portion, managed by Lowry Fire Relief, goes toward local causes. "We keep donations local," said Hollenbeck, giving money to area charities, organizations and families in need, as well as helping out the fire department.

Gerdes said pull tab players shouldn’t be intimidated by going electronic. "It’s easy—very user-friendly," he said, describing the touch-screen game as a pull-tab box in video form.

"It’s new, it’s exciting—and we both love the Vikings…so we have to help out," said Gerdes with a laugh.

In about a month, Gerdes said they are looking forward to adding linked bingo to the Hatchery’s electronic games—meaning bingo players at the Hatchery could be playing the game with others from around the state.


Pope County Tribune
1/21/2013

Old Starbuck hospital demolished last week

The old Starbuck hospital building was demolished Jan. 17. The „± rst Starbuck Hospital was built in 1899 and at one time was the only hospital between Minneapolis and Fargo. The building has sat empty for years and would have cost the city $3,000 a year for insurance. The projected cost of restoring the building was approximately $500,000.


Pope County Tribune
12/31/2012

Views from the Cab
David Tollefson
Columnist


47 Years and counting at Lowry Grain Elevator

My guest columnist today is Dan Kvitek, longtime elevator employee and manager of the Lowry Elevator facility:

Dave Tollefson asked that I write down a few notes about my years and experiences with the grain elevator. I started my first job at Farmers Union GTA Elevator in Lowry, on Feb. 1, 1965. I’ve seen many, many changes since that day. Our primary business at that time was grinding feed with some grain handling. At that time we had two wood house facilities. The main house was built in the 1940s, and the grain annex was built in 1956 by McCabe Brothers who owned the elevator at that time.

In 1958 Farmers Union GTA bought out McCabe Brothers. At that time John Starr was the manager, and my co-workers were Ben Zavadil and Slim Henderson. In 1969 Slim Henderson became manager after John Starr retired. I became the manager in 1982.

My primary job was grinding feed and dumping loads of grain at harvest time. The feed grinding at that time was mostly for dairy, beef, chicken and hog feed, which most farmers had a little of each on their farms. We bagged 95 percent of the feed ground, and it was then put in burlap bags, tied and back into pickup trucks. I remember one Saturday grinding 29 ton of feed and 27 tons of that was bagged. We used 77 balls of binder twine one year to tie feed bags. Strings were cut in about a foot and a half lengths.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the main grain we purchased at the elevator was oats, wheat, flax and a little corn. Most of the corn raised was used for feed, which we ground as ear corn for cattle. We needed to go to Starbuck and Morris in the early years to buy shell corn for chicken feed and some hog feed as there was not enough shell corn grown in this area. We didn’t start handling soy beans until around 1972 and that is when we put in our first corn dryer. I remember horses pulling the steel-wheeled wagons with bemis bags loaded with grain lying across bolsters. My frrst boss told me to watch the horses so they did not step on the scale because he was not buying the horses.

In 1972 when we started drying corn almost all of the corn was dried and redelivered to the farms for use in feed. Farmers would bring the trailers and leave them lined up for blocks. We would unload them, reload them with dry corn and call the farmers so they could come and get them. They would then bring in their next load of wet corn for us to dry.

In my first years I remember my boss saying that we dumped 100 loads of grain. I asked him how many bushels and he told me it was 3,500 bushels of grain. That was about a hopper full on the old Case combines. All grain delivered to the grain elevator was by pick-up or flare box. No tandems or semis delivered grain in the past. Pick-ups and double boxes were hoisted up with a truck hoist, and grain was pushed out into the pit. We thought it was great when a few farmers starting hauling grain in with Dokken boxes because that held 150 bushels vs. the 37 bushels per load and we did not have to dump as many loads. Gravity boxes came next and we thought that was the thing as they held even more bushels and we did not have to push the grain out of the boxes. Compare that to today -- if we dump 100 loads it would be over 90,000 bushels. Quite a difference.

Farmers would bring their grain to get cleaned at the elevator, and we would rebag it for them to take home and plant. We cleaned wheat, flax, oats and beans on certain days of the week so things didn’t need to be cleaned out all of the time. With different varieties of oats or wheat we had to clean the legs and clean the mill before dumping a farmer’s different variety.

In the 1960s and early 1970s wheat had to be planted by a wheat allotment, and farmers were assigned a number before they could sell wheat. Grain shipped by rail was loaded in boxcars with wood grain doors partially covering the opening, and a flex spout was used to shoot the grain to the end of each side of the car. It was loaded in 10-bushel dumps at a time. Boxcars held approximately 2,000 bushels of wheat and 3,000 bushels of oats.

In the 1980s hopper rail cars started to be built and delivered to elevators for loading. These same size cars that we are loading today hold 3,300 bushels of wheat and 4,500 of oats. We would get one or maybe two cars at a time. Our biggest grain handle in the late 1970s was 800,000 bushels at the location in Lowry. These same hopper cars hold 3,733 bushels of beans and 4,000 bushels of corn.

In the early 1980s railroads started giving freight breaks to unitrains of 25 cars, later 50, and now to the present 100-plus cars. Grain bushels dumped increased steadily from the years 1980 up to 2003. The elevator at Lowry was handling 4.7 million bushels per year in 2003. In 1984 Lowry built two 30,000-bushel bins. In 1992 they added two bins, one 100,000 bushels and the other 60,000 bushels, plus a 500,000-bushel bunker.

Along with the larger number of bushels handled, farm sizes have grown immensely. When I started in 1965, most farms around Lowry were 120 to 160 acres, with very little rented land. Most farms had livestock. At present, farms are from 600 to 4,000 acreswith a lot of that rented land, and not much livestock. Rents have gone from $5 per acre then to an average $150 now. Yields per acre have also increased, with wheat double to triple what it used to be, corn doubled and beans doubled.

In 2003 Prairie Lakes Coop, with locations at Cyrus, Glenwood and Starbuck, regionalized with Lowry CHS. Hoffman Coop Oil joined Prairie Lakes Coop in 2004 and in 2005 CHS Elrosa merged with our present locations. We now have locations in Cyrus, Elrosa, Glenwood, Hoffman, Long Prairie, Lowry, Park Rapids and Starbuck. We are now Prairie Lakes Coop CHS Service Center.

After the merger things changed to loading 100 cars at single locations, which is now at our Glenwood facility. At the time of the merger we were handling 12 million bushels of grain. Currently we are handling 20 to 22 million bushels of grain , with most of the bushels coming from corn. One of the challenges we have presently is keeping all locations geared up to handle the larger yields and the farmers’ needs as the farmers’ equipment gets bigger and more advanced. We upgraded our location in Glenwood last year, at Long Prairie this year and will continue to up-grade facilities as best we can for our customers.

Throughout the years Farmers Union GTA changed their name to GTA, later Harvest States Cooperatives, Cenex Har-vest States, and lastly CHS Cooperatives.


12/19/12

From Myra and Gurvin Femrite's 2012 Christmas Letter

Lake Malmedal has become a "hot spot" for fishing these past months. As many of you know, this is the small lake between Lowry and Starbuck on highway #114. Gurvin recalls he and his neighbor, Chuck liked to fish there several times a week. He remembers the fishing being great and bringing home 3-6 pound northerns on a regular basis. For the past 50+ years this lake has appeared to be a "dead sea." While fishing with grandpa this summer, Ali caught a 3-4 pound bass on her second cast and Nelson caught several 3 pound northerns. There have been many people fishing in boats as well as from shore. We counted 12 vehicles parked near the wayside rest on several occasions. As of late, either the DNR or highway departments has posted "no parking" signs on the highway. They've also driven in posts making it difficult to launch a boat. No doubt it has become a traffic safety issue. We see there are several portable fish houses on the lake now.


12/10/12
Pope County Tribune

Three area residents arrested for crime spree near Lowry

Two adults and a juvenile were arrested last Thursday, Dec. 6, in connection with crimes this fall that included a cabin fire near Lowry, the theft of a fish house and other items from the cabin site, and vandalism at the Prairie Lakes Cooperative in Lowry.

The Pope County Sheriff’s Office recently identified the two adults arrested as Jeremy Adam Williams, 23, of Alexandria, and Kyle David Kloehn, 19, of Garfield. A 17-year-old juvenile from Alexandria was also arrested in connection with the crimes. All three are expected to be charged with arson, burglary, felony theft and criminal damage to property, according to information from Pope County Sheriff Tim Riley.

The fire was reported Oct. 16 and destroyed a cabin located on the west side of Lake Reno in Reno Township. The cabin and all its contents were a total loss in the fire. The Pope County Sheriff’s Office investigated the fire and quickly determined that arson was the cause. The Kirkwold family, the cabin’s owners, also reported the theft of a fish house and gas grill, it was reported at the time.

Deputies found tire tracks and other evidence left behind at the scene. Similar tire tracks were found at Prairie Lake Coop in Lowry, where a soybean bag cover had been cut open. Blood evidence also was found at that scene.

Following information received by the West Central Minnesota Narcotics Task Force, task force agents and Pope County sheriff’s deputies questioned the three suspects and ended up arresting Williams and Kloehn. Both are in custody at the Douglas County Jail. The 17-year-old, who is still a juvenile, was left in parental custody, according to the news release.

The Sheriff’s Office said the vehicle allegedly used in the crime has been recovered, as was the fish house and other items.

The Alexandria Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension assisted in the investigation, it was stated.

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12/10/12

Donations pay majority of cost for light replacement at Lowry Community Center
By Zach Anderson
Starbuck Times

The Lowry City Council met for about an hour on Dec. 4. City Clerk Lucy Olson told the council that the city will only pay about $2,008 toward replacing all the lights in the Lowry Community Center. She said that donations from local organizations totaled $3,000 and rebates from Xcel Energy helped to pay a large portion of the cost.

Other actions: • Approved Nov. 8 meeting minutes.

• Approved treasurer’s report.

• Adopted resolution #156 for canvassing the election results at the Nov. 13 board meeting.

• Approved 2013 liquor licenses for the Lowry Legion and Hatchery Bar and Grill.

• Approved payment of bills.

• Approved continuing Christmas decoration contest with winnings of $50, $35 and $25 in Lowry bucks. The board agreed it encourages people to take part in it.

• Approved next meeting date change to Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Community Center due to New Year’s Day being a federal holiday.

• Approved signing change order and pay estimate to Quam Construction.

• Approved paying for black dirt and seeding to the skate lot area in town as a possible place for moving Lowry Days activities closer to uptown Lowry.


Pope County Tribune
10/22/12

Lowry residents could see reduced hours at post office
About 25 area citizens attend public meeting

By John R. Stone
Reporter

 

Lowry area residents were told last week that as early as the end of November their post office could have its hours reduced to four hours per day, a reduction of 2.5 hours per day, although the action could take place in late January instead.

Phil Konkel, manager of mail processing for St. Cloud, explained the results of a recent survey taken of Lowry customers and the proposed changes dictated by the revenue and work-load at the Lowry Post Office to a group of about 25 citizens at the Lowry Community Center last Wednesday.

Konkel said that 235 of the 674 customers sent surveys returned them, and of those, 182 preferred a realignment of hours to curbside delivery, a village post office option, nearby post office option or no preference.

As a result, the recommendation being made is to have Lowry open four hours a day Monday through Friday and 45 minutes Saturday morning but have the lobby open more hours.

The four-hour recommendation comes from a formula used by the USPS that factors in mail volume, revenue and the hours needed to get the job done. While final hours have not been set, the survey form showed proposed hours of 7:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:15 to 9 a.m. Saturday.

Konkel said that the USPS was currently talking with contract mail truck drivers about having them open lobbies and close lobbies when they come through to drop off or pick up mail but has not reached an agreement on that issue. That would be one way to have lobby hours greater than normal offce hours, he said.

Lowry is one of just over 100 post offices in the 562, 563 and 564 ZIP codes that will be facing reduced hours as the USPS tries to deal with severe financial issues.

"This is an opportunity to keep post offices open in communities," Konkel said of the cost-saving effort.

Konkel said that many details need to be worked out. For example, many postal products require signing a receipt for a letter or package and the impact of reduced hours on these requirements are not clear.

Pam Jones asked Konkel what might be done to make the post office more accessible. The current location is not handicapped accessible.

Konkel replied that he wasn’t sure what might happen, but given the USPS’s financial condition, he wasn’t sure what was possible.

Since the retirement of Postmaster John Olson, Terry Walker, the Starbuck postmaster, now serves as postmaster for Lowry. She also serves as postmaster for Kensington and will do scheduling for all three facilities.

Olson said that one of the USPS’s major financial issues was a law passed in 2006 that requires the USPS pre-fund medical benefits for retirees for the next 75 years over a 10-year period at a cost of $5.2 billion a year. He said that the USPS would be breaking even if it were not for the pre-funding requirement.

Olson also said that the village post office option would probably not meet the needs of the community. In that option the USPS contracts to provide some mail services in order to get more hours."

A village post office can only sell Forever stamps and prepaid mail boxes," said Olson. "You probably wouldn’t want that."

Ed Bolas asked Konkel if the USPS was making a wise decision reducing hours in November, just before the busier Christmas mailing season. Konkel replied that the issue had been brought up at other community meetings and it could have an effect on the date selected by the USPS to implement reduced hours


Pope County Tribune
10/15/12

Ekstrand receives Augsburg College Distinguished Alumni Award

Rick Ekstrand, of Glenwood, was recently honored with the Augsburg College Distinguished Alumni Award. Ekstrand received the award as part of Augsburg’s Homecoming weekend celebration the beginning of October.

Augsburg College is a private Lutheran four-year and graduate college located in downtown Minneapolis. Ekstrand graduated in 1972.

An innovator in wireless communication, Ekstrand served as the president and CEO for Rural Cellular Corporation (RCC), a publicly traded wireless service provider which he founded in 1990. Headquartered in Aexandria, Minn., RCC provided cellular, paging, long distance and PCS (personal communication services) to nearly 700,000 telephone customers in rural markets in 14 states. It was acquired by Verizon Wireless in 2008.

A leader in the industry, Ekstrand was appointed in 2011 to the board of directors of American Solutions for Business. He has served as chairman of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) board of directors, a member of the executive board of the CTIA Pac subcommittee, and chairman of the board of directors of the CTIA Wireless Foundation, as well as president of the Minnesota Telephone Association, the Association of Minnesota Telephone Utilities, and the Minnesota Telecommunications Association.

He received the 1998 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Minnesota and the Dakotas in the Entertainment/Communications division, the 1998 CTIA President’s Award for leadership in promoting safe and responsible use of wireless phones, and the 1997 GRTE/TSI Celli Award for outstanding contributions to the wireless industry.

Ekstrand has also served on the Lowry Volunteer Fire Department, and in leadership posts at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, the Lowry Lions Club, and the Minnewaska Laker Foundation. He has been a strong supporter of Augsburg College over the years, serving as a member of the President’s Circle and A-Club.


Pope County Tribune
10/8/12

Lowry couple completes home’s solar project

By Deb Mercier

What if, for the cost of a mid-size car, you could permanently cut your monthly electric bill by 90 percent or more?

It’s possible—even attainable.

Just ask Ed and Mary Bolas. They’re nearing the point where they can flip the switch on a project that began last February to install pole-mounted solar panels that will power their home near Lowry. If they don’t use all the energy produced, Xcel Energy has contracted with them for 20 years to buy excess electricity. At a minimum, at the 90 percent usage rate, an average monthly bill that was $125 would be cut to $12.50—a significant cost reduction.

Ed is an accountant by trade and works at Dycast Specialties; when it comes to the solar project, he’s crunched every number possible.

Using the midsize car example, Ed said their investment in solar energy is comparable—the loan will be paid off in five years. But there’s a big difference. "With a car, you have constant depreciation," he said. But with their solar project, Bolas explained that the personal rate of return on their in-vestment is about 8 percent right off the bat. In 12 years, the return is 100 percent.

Those are numbers Ed gets pretty excited about. "Finally—we get to invest in something that gives back!" he said.

But numbers don’t tell the whole story.

When asked what got him and Mary thinking about solar energy, Ed laughed. "This is going to seem old fashioned to anyone under 40… but it was the first oil embargo—that would be 1973," he said.

In other words, the idea of reducing their use of fiinite resources, reducing their carbon footprint, has been with them for a long time.

It’s an idea that sounds great—one that a lot of us would like to put into action. But an idea needs concrete, affordable footholds in the real world in order to take shape.

That’s where Powerfully Green comes in. The company is based in Champlain, Minn. and has been installing solar in Minnesota and Wisconsin since 2007. Powerfully Green owners Rebecca Lundberg and Dan Williams are both NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) certified professional solar installers, and CEP certified in PV (photovoltaic) technical sales. NABCEP is the highest level of certification available in the solar industry.

When Ed and Mary made the decision to go solar, they began researching regional firms that could help them achieve their goals. Ed said they’d met Lundberg at the Minnesota State Fair’s Eco Experience building some years back, and had been impressed by her knowledge, passion and willingness to spend time answering questions.

"As far as qualifications go, they’ve got it in spades," he said. Lundberg is also a licensed Minnesota residential building contractor and international ground source heat pump certified. Williams has over 18 years of experience in the construction industry.

"Mary and I contacted Powerfully Green the last part of February, beginning of March and said, ‘we want to do this," said Ed. Lundberg and Williams made a trip up to the Bolas home to survey the site. "We told them where we wanted the panels, and that we didn’t want them mounted on the house or the studio," said Ed. A corral on the Bolas’ property was targeted as a good site for pole-mounted solar panels.

Powerfully Green presented Ed and Mary with seven solar project options.

"Four were Minnesota-made and three were from Samsung, which is headquartered in Korea and made in China. Right away, from the get-go, Korea wasn’t in the picture," said Ed. "I crunched the numbers on the four Minnesota-made projects and what was a surprise to Mary and I was that, yes, it’s the most up-front cost to us, but it was the cheapest to go with the 90 percent coverage of our average electric bill, taken from the previous 12 months of statements. It would have been less cost out of pocket to go with a smaller project, but you don’t get the rate of return."

In doing a larger project using Minnesota-made projects, Ed said he and Mary felt it was a win-win for everybody. They would see a good return on their investment, and they’d be supporting manufacturing in Minnesota.

They ended up choosing a project using Silicon Energy panels, which are manufactured at a new plant opened just last year on the Iron Range in Mountain Iron, Minn.

On site at the Bolas home last week, Lundberg unwrapped one of the panels to show Rep. Torrey Westrom, who had stopped by to learn about the Bolas’ solar project on Sept. 27. She described the panels to Westrom, saying the design is different from other solar panels, with two layers of tempered glass that are fused at the edges. She had nothing but praise for the Silicon Energy panels, which she said were the highest quality in the industry. "We’re so proud of it," she said. "It’s a beautiful product that will put Minnesota on the map. As a contractor, we can install any solar panel—but we love Silicon."

As a current member of the Finance Subcommittee for the Energy Finance and Policy Division, Westrom had a particular interest in the project, and talked energy policy with Lundberg as she, Williams and their locally subcontracted crew continued work on the Bolas installation.

Part of what made the project possible for Ed and Mary are the incentives in place through federal, state and Xcel Energy programs.

For example, solar equipment is exempt from sales tax in Minnesota, and Xcel Energy offers a Minnesota Made Bonus rebate of up to $2.75/watt ($2,750/kw) if customers choose a solar module that is made at a Minnesota manufacturing facility.

For Ed and Mary, choosing Minnesota-made Silicon panels and taking advantage of the available credits and bonuses added up.

As far as size, the panels are mounted on four, 20-foot poles, each pole holding four Silicon panels, making the panel surface area on each pole 12 feet wide by 16 feet tall. "It’s my understanding, from what Dan told me, that this is the largest installation they [Powerfully Green] have done with these Silicon panels," said Ed.

The panels will work in conjunction with a direct current (DC) converter to turn the solar energy gathered by the panels into AC power.

On Sept. 27, Ed said they’d be ready to fiip the switch Saturday—in two days’ time. Hearing that, Lundberg laughed. "He’s so enthusiastic!" she said. She explained that while the panels and converter would be ready to go, there were still some steps to be taken before the Bolas home would be officially powered up. She was serious when she said there were 37 steps of paperwork to get through, including passing a state inspection. She said Ed and Mary could expect to be up and running—independent and literally watching the meter— in two weeks.

Ed had two pieces of advice for those thinking about going solar—"Don’t wait" and "write a letter."

He said bonuses and incentives that are available now may not necessarily exist later on. He suggested that people who are interested in solar energy should write a letter to the Minnesota Department of Commerce stating their intention to look into or possibly install solar—whether the system is hot water or electricity. "If people don’t let their legislators know, or the Department of Commerce know, that they have the interest the funding will dry up—that’s my understanding," said Ed. "The Legislature is going to grease the squeaky wheel. This is one that should be squeaky."


9/17/12

Lowry Farmer's Market Summer 2012
Photos by Award Winning Photographer - Myra Femrite


910/12

Lowry tax levy to increase 1 percent,city to get ‘Habitat’ house built
By Zach Anderson
Starbuck Times

At the Lowry City Council meeting on Sept. 4 the council approved a $100,000 levy for the 2013 budget and tax levy which is just over a one percent increase from last year after looking at projects that will be coming up in 2013.

Clerk Lucy Olson told the council that Habitat for Humanity has approached her saying they haven’t found a family to fill the house that they plan to put in Lowry yet. At first Habitat was using a funding requirement through rural development that had a little tougher requirements. After the sale of a house in Glenwood that Habitat owned Habitat now has enough money to fund the house in Lowry and have the loan be through Habitat.

Habitat told Olson they hope to find a family and start construction by next spring.

At the August meeting John Dahlseng approached the council about possibly replacing the lights in the Lowry Community Center gym. During the September meeting the council revisited the look at the lights.

Clerk Lucy Olson said that right now a citizen said they would be willing to donate $1,000 to the project. Loen Electric said it would cost $3,994 to replace the gym lights and the rebate program would give $908 back. With the $1,000 donation and $908 rebate the remaining cost to the city would be $1,286.

The council agreed that if someone is willing to donate money to the cause and the rebate is there that they should go ahead with the project. The council is going to see if any businesses or people in town would be will to make a donation to the project and if they get enough money they may replace all the lights in the entire community center.

The council approved a motion to go ahead and accept the donation of $1,000 and go ahead with the gym lights for sure.

In other action the board:

• Approved the Aug. 7 meeting minutes.

• Approved payment of bills.

• Approved the Treasurers report with July activities

• Approved a building permit for John and Lucy Olson for a 12x20 storage building.

• Approved a building permit for Ken Elvehjem.

• Approved a building permit for Merle Farber.

• Approved having Design Tree start the bid process for the decommissioning of old ponds.


8/27/12

Chance to support Lowry Fire Department coming up soon.


.The 38th annual Lowry Fire Depart-ment dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Lowry Fire Hall. This is the fire department’s only fundraiser of the year. Because Lowry Fire Department is an all-volunteer organization, support from the community is greatly appreciated.

Tickets are available at the door and are $30 for two adults. Single tickets for $15 are also available. Dinner will include three different meats, salads, vegetables, milk, coffee and root beer „² oats.

For those not attending the dinner and still wishing to donate to Lowry Fire Department, checks can be sent to P.O. Box 131, Lowry, MN 56349.


8/20/12

Lowry residents to decide if clerk treasurer position will be appointed
By Zach Anderson Starbuck Times

The Lowry City Council met on Aug. 7 for their month-ly meeting. At the July meeting the council discussed possibly turning the clerk treasurer position into an appointed position rather than elected.

Clerk Lucy Olson said the city has received 73 signatures on the petition asking the city council to put the special question of “Shall the city of Lowry change to appointed clerk treasurer?” on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The council approved having the question added to the Nov. 6 ballot.

Olson said that the majority of the state has appointed clerk positions. She said if elected the person has to be from the community, and if the position is appointed, it allows the city to advertise and interview for the position.

The community will be able to determine if they want that position to remain elected or change it to an appointed position on Nov. 6.

Citizen John Dahlseng brought to the council’s attention that the lights in the main gym of the Lowry Commu-nity Center are aging and he thought it would be interesting to see what it would cost to change the lighting.

Dahlseng said he had someone come look at the lighting and to replace the lighting would cost $3,000 and that he thought they could get about $960 back from Xcel Energy’s rebate program.

Dahlseng aid he was just putting the issue into the hands of the council as something to think about.

Other actions:
• Approved meeting minutes from July 3 meeting.
• Approved treasurer’s report with July activities.
• Approved payment of bills.• Approved granting Legion Auxiliary with a bingo permit for Oct. 28 and Nov. 18. Still has to be approved by the state
.• Approved allowing Brad MacDonald to fill and seal the asphalt surface at the Lowry Community Center.
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Lowry Fire Department awarded grant from Prairie Lakes Coop


The Lowry Fire Department was awarded a returning value grant from Prairie Lakes Coop as part of the company’s Community Grant Program.

Prairie Lakes Coop selected the Lowry Fire Department application to receive a $1,325 grant to go towards the purchase of a new fire truck.

Applying schools and local community organizations have to indicate their plans for the grant money, supply general information about the schools/organizations, project, and purpose of the request, along with specific financial needs and projected outcomes. Applications can be found on-line at www.prairielakescoop.com.

Prairie Lakes Coop awarded this grant on behalf of its local member owners. Prairie Lakes Coop (prairielakescoop.com), a CHS Service Center, provides products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets to meet the needs of its patrons. Prairie Lakes Coop has locations in the communities of Cyrus, Hoffman, Elrosa, Lowry, Long Prairie, Park Rapids, Glenwood and Starbuck creating relationships with customers in agronomy inputs, propane, fuel and grain marketing. Grant appliations can be found on our website, prairielakescoop.com.

 


8/13/12

Outstanding senior volunteers honored at fair

Seven area seniors were recognized at the Pope County Fair on Aug. 2 as the 2012 Pope County Outstanding Senior Citizen Volunteers. Receiving honors were (left to right): Elaine Peterson, Hearts & Hands Food Shelf and Clothes Closet; Virgene Baumgardt, Hearts & Hands Food Shelf and Clothes Closet; Joan Kraemer, Hearts & Hands Food Shelf and Clothes Closet; Ralph Lang, Villard Seniors; Harlan Rajdl, Villard Seniors; Nellie Engebretson, Lowry Seniors; and Dee Weisel, Lowry Seniors.


7/16/12

Lowry Farmers’ Market to open July 24

Lowry Farmers’ Market will open July 24, along Highway 55 in Lowry. Vendors will have fresh garden produce, farm fresh eggs, baked goods, jellies, jams and more. It will be open from 4-6 p.m. every Tuesday through September. Watch for signs along Highway 55.

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City of Lowry repeals and replaces several ordinances

The City Council for the City of Lowry is repealing and replacing many ordinances in an effort to clean up our Ordinance Book. These Ordinances were adopted July 3, 2012. The purpose of this summary is to inform the public of the intent and effect of the ordinance and to publish only a summary of the ordinance with the full ordinance being on „± le in the City during regular office hours.

Ordinance #102 Municipal Sanitary Sewer System repeals Ordinance’s 57, 65, 74, 75, 86, 90, 93, 96, 97 and that part of 95 that refers to sanitary sewer.

1 Use of System
2 Building Sewers And Connections.
3 Use Of Public Services.
4 Rates, Fees And Charges.
5 Powers And Authority Of Inspectors.
6 Penalties, Liability For Expense And Loss Or Damage.

Ordinance #103 Licensing and Care of Dogs repeals Ordinance #91
1 License Requirements.
2. License Fees.
3 Dogs Under Restraint.
4 Obligation To Prevent Nuisances.
5 Impoundment
6 Permissible Return Of Unrestrained Dog.
7 Confinement Of Certain Dogs.
8 Owners Obligation For Proper Care.
9 Quarantine Of Certain Dogs.
10 Destruction Of Certain Dogs.
11 Summary Destruction Of Certain Dogs.
12 Appointment Of Officers.
13 Non-Residents.
14 Penalty.

Ordinance #104 Building Use Permits repeals Ordinance’s 13, 63, 92 and 95.

1 Permit Required
2 Application
3 Fees
4 After The Fact Permit Fee
5 Structure Dimensions
6 New Construction
7 Duration Of Permit
8 Restrictions
9 Adjustments
10 Enforcement

Ordinance #105 Possession, Sale & Consumption of Intoxicating & 3.2 Malt Liquor repeals Ordinance’s 23, 69, 70 and 88.

1 Adoption Of State Law By Reference
2 City May Be More Restrictive Than State Law
3 Nudity On The Premises Of Licensed Establishments Prohibited
4 Consumption In Public Places
5 Number Of Licenses Which May Be Issued
6 Term And Expiration Of Licenses
7 Kinds Of Liquor Licenses
8 License Fees; Pro Rata
9 Council Discretion To Grant Or Deny A License
10 Application For License
11 Applications For Renewal
12 Transfer Of License
13 Investigation
14 Hearing And Issuance
15 Restriction On Issuance
16 Conditions Of License
17 Hours And Days Of Sale
18 Minors On Premises
19 Restrictions On Purchase And Consumption
20 Suspension And Revocation
21 Penalties

Ordinance #106 Regulating Public Nuisances within the City of Lowry

1 Public Nuisance Prohibition
2 Public Nuisances Affecting Health
3 Public Nuisances Affecting Morals And Decency
4 Public Nuisances Affecting Peace And Safety
5 Noise Violations
6 Nuisance Parking And Storage
7 Inoperable Motor Vehicles
8 Duties Of City Officers
9 Abatement Procedure
10 Recovery Of Cost
11 Penalty
12 Severability

A violation of any city ordinance will be considered a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a  fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days, or both, plus the costs of prosecution in either case.

July 16, 23


6/18/2012

Lowry Days set for this weekend

Some summer fun starts with Lowry Days this Friday and Saturday, June 22-23. Festivities kick off Friday evening with a pork chop feed, meat raffle and wrestling at the Legion. There will also be an old fashioned sing-a-long at the Covenant Church and karaoke at the Hatchery.

Saturday promises to be fun for the whole family, starting with a pancake breakfast, followed by a bike rodeo for kids ages pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade at 10 a.m. Registration for the pedal tractor pull for kids ages 4-11 opens at 10:30 a.m. Also for the kids, the carnival this year features four large inflatables. Firemen will have a smoke trailer on hand as well as a water tank and will have water fights Saturday afternoon. Teams of three to five members, 18 years of age or older, are still being formed for the water fight fun. Space is limited; only 10 teams will be able to compete. Contact John Vosberg, Shanna at the bank or Lucy at the city office to sign up.

Lowry Days activities wind up with the chicken feed put on by the Hatchery and the Saturday evening street dance.

Annual Lowry Days
June 22 & 23

Friday, June 23

5 pm - 8 pm Pork Chop Feed at the Legion

6:30 pm Meat Raffle at the Legion

7 pm Old Fashioned Sing-A-Long at Ben Wade Church

8 pm Rock-N-Roll Wrestling at the Legion

9 pm Karaoke Contest at the Hatchery

Saturday, June 23

8 am - 11 am Lions Pancake Breakfast

9:30 am Bike Rodeo Registration (Pre-K thru 6th grade)

10 am - 12 pm Bike Rodeo (Bring your bike & helmet if available)

11 am - 4 pm Discovery Days Food Booth

11 am - 12 pm Tractor Pedal Pull Registration (ages 4-11)

11 am - 1:30 pm Smoke Trailer (Lowry Fire Dept.)

12 pm - 2 pm T&T Tractor Pedal Pull

12 pm - 3 pm Kids Carnival

12 pm - 4 pm Family Carnival (Activities for ALL ages)

2 pm Fireman’s Water Fights (Local Fire Dept’s & Volunteer Teams)

4 pm Chicken Pooping Contest (Hatchery)

4:30 pm - 7 pm Chicken Feed & Sweet Corn at Firehall & Pie Social at Oscar Lake Church

8 pm - 12 am Street Dance featuring Steel Blue

10 pm - 12 am Lowry Days Food Stand

Come out and have some fun!


Lowry City Council to use camera to get look at sewer system
6/11/12
By Zach Anderson
Starbuck Times

The Lowry City Council met on June 5. A storm drain in town seems to be leaking and has caused a sinkhole in a resident’s yard, it was discussed at the meeting.

City Clerk Lucy Olson said the city will use a camera on June 11 to figure out what the issue is and decide what to do that night. The council approved a motion to authorize the council members to make a decision that night after observing what the camera shows.

Engineer Jeremy Anderson told the council about the sewer project that he is currently working on. Anderson said he received the quotes on pond decommissioning. Anderson said since the ponds aren’t currently active that the pond sludge has to be taken out as a solid.

Anderson said he will have the information to Rural Development by next week and added that the project could potentially be done by this fall.

Will Haffner approached the council about getting a building permit for a 14-foot by 14-foot building he wants to build on his lot.

The council looked at the plans Haffner brought in and approved issuing Haffner a building permit once he submitted the $50 for the permit.

City Clerk Lucy Olson told the council she will be retiring on Dec. 31 after her term ends. She said the council should decide if they want the position to remain an elected position or change it to an appointed position. Olson did say if it is changed to an appointed position, the council would have to have another elected member and the ordinance would have to be repealed that says the clerk/treasurer position is a combined position. There was on action on that issue and it will be discussed further in the future.

In other other action the council:

• Approved the April 3 public hearing minutes.

• Approved the April 3 regular council meeting minutes.

• Accepted the treasurer’s report.

• Approved payment of bills.

• Approved paying election judges a rate of $10 per hour.

• Adopted a sanitary sewer maintenance policy for the city of Lowry.

The next regular meeting will be conducted at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3 in the Lowry Community Center.

 


June 4, 2012

Lowry Days set for June 22-23 Features two days of family activities

‘Tis the season—for community festivals, that is! One of the first, on the heels of Cyrus Days, is Lowry Days, held Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23.

Festivities kick off Friday evening with a pork chop feed, meat raffle and wrestling at the Legion. There will also be an old fashioned sing-a-long at the Covenant Church and karaoke at the Hatchery.

Saturday promises to be fun for the whole family, starting with a pancake breakfast, followed by a bike rodeo for kids ages pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade at 10 a.m. Registration for the pedal tractor pull for kids ages 4- 11 opens at 10:30 a.m. Also for the kids, the carnival this year features four large inflatables.

Firemen will have a smoke trailer on hand as well as a water tank, and will have water fights Saturday afternoon. Teams of 3-5 members, 18 years of age or older, are still being formed for the water fight fun. Space is limited; only 10 teams will be able to compete. Contact John Vosberg or Shanna at the bank or Lucy at the city offce to sign up.

Lowry Days activities wind up with the chicken feed put on by the Hatchery and the Saturday evening street dance.

 


Lowry City Council approves permit to allow ‘Habitat for Humanity’ house
May 14, 2012
By Zach Anderson Starbuck Times

The Lowry City Council, at its regular meeting May 1, approved a building permit to allow Habitat for Humanity of Prairie Lakes to build a home in Lowry this year. Mike McHugh of Habitat for Humanity said they will be building an energy star-rated house in Lowry and was hoping to start working on the project this month and finish by November. McHugh said there are four potential families that Habitat is looking at for the Lowry build. The council approved Habitat’s request for the building permit for the residential structure only. The permit will cost Habitat $110 at the $10 per 100-square-foot rate.

Lowry Police Chief Mitch Johnsrud told the council that the Fire Relief Association said they will buy a radio for the squad car. The council approved letting the Fire Relief Association purchase the radio.

Johnsrud also told the council that he found a $1,200 squad camera that can be purchased for $150 plus shipping and a mount for the camera is $50. Johnsrud said the person selling them got some upgrades so he was selling the old cameras at the lowered price. The city approved letting Johnsrud purchase the squad camera and mount for $215 after the freight charge.

Troy Drewes shared the Sanitary Survey completed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) with the council saying that MDH didn’t see any issues and reported no deficiencies.

Clerk Lucy Olson told the council that she had received a phone message from Myra Femrite saying the ditch was falling in by her property. The council discussed the issue and decided it doesn’t fall in the city’s jurisdiction and would inform Femrite.

City lawn mower Brad MacDonald asked Olson if the council wanted him to do anything else besides mow. He said if the city provided the paint he would paint the building at the ball field. MacDonald said he would also reshingle some buildings if the council wanted, including the Community Center. The council said that MacDonald could paint the building, and they were going to get some prices before deciding if they want him to shingle anything.

Citizen Chris Gallagher addressed the council about how fast cars drive by on Highway 114 and how they don’t slow down. Gallagher said cars don’t slow down to the 30 mph speed limit, and it is dangerous for his family and all the other people in town. Olson said she did check in to getting signs to help alleviate the speeding, but when she checked, it was between $300 and $400 per sign. Olson said she would talk to the Pope County Sheriff and see if anything can be done.

Gallagher also wondered about his water bill and told the council it goes up $10-$20 in the summer when his family doesn’t live in the house.

The council said they weren’t sure why it would do that if the water was shut off. Someone went to look at Gallagher’s water meter and determined there were no malfunctions.

It was suggested as a possibility that the water could be shut off at the curb when Gallagher leaves for the summer for a fee.

The council held a public hearing before the regular meeting to give the public a chance to comment. The subject of the hearing was that Lowry Manufacturing was the recipient of a Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development block grant.

Olson said the grant was awarded before but the state just recently reviewed their part so Lowry had to hold a public hearing. There were no public comments.

Other actions:

• Approved March 6 meeting minutes

• Approved treasurer’s report with March activities

• Approved payment of bills

• Decided to not waive the city liability insurance

• Approved a work session to review ordinances and make changes if necessary. The work session for the council will be Tuesday, May 29 at 7 p.m.

• Approved use of the Lowry Community Center for an art class for home schooled children for three mornings in October. Since it is a nonprofit group they have to pay the $25 cleaning deposit and if the building is clean after the group is done it will be refunded. The council suggested if the group wants to make a donation for the use of the facility it would be appreciated.


www.theforumplus.com

March 23, 2012

All hail the King of Kraut

Frazee man makes his cabbage speciality the old-fashioned way

 

FRAZEE. Minn.

Dallas Flynn shimmies up a chair to the 30-gallon Red Wing crock, lays what looks like the worlds first mandoline cutter across the top and begins sawing a half head of cabbage back and forth across the blades.

"If you have a big beIly it helps to keep it in place," he explains, showing how he uses his impressive girth to steady the vegetable cutter.

All hail the King of Kraut. Flynn is a retired business owner and renaissance man whose sauerkraut has sweetened the pantries of many Frazee-area homes.

The secret to his success: a recipe from his Bohemian mother and equipment that looks

like it belongs in a museum. combined with a microbiologist’eye for cleanliness.

"My sisters say its the best. but that’s because they just want me to make more," he says. It doesn’t have that real sour taste.

The result is a slightly crunchy dish with pleasantly mouth-puckering top notes.

Flynn grows about 100 heads of cabbage a year on a bucolic, tree-filled farmstead by Rice Lake, south of Frazee. Those heads can yield 40 pints of kraut, which Flynn likes to give away to others.

Flynn acknowledges he could probably sell his kraut but cringes at the notion of turning a beloved hobby into work. At 69, Flynn says he was happy to retire from his work running factories in the 1980s.

Now his sharp mind and considerable energy are funneled into a dozen different hobbies. He doesn't drink, but has a wine cellar filled with 800 bottles of vino he made.

He makes his own cheese and sausage, designed the 5,000 square foot home he shares with his wife, Dr. Mary Leone-Flynn and raises a handful of Scottish Highlander cattle.

He also cooks most of the couple's meals, bakes bread and cans the produce from his solar-powered high tunnel -- which he says is the first of its kind in North America.

"I've already written my epitaph," quips Flynn, displaying a wit as zingy as his kraut. "Here lies Dallas. He didn't do all he wanted to do. He ran out of time."

A Bohemian rhapsody

Flynn recalls coming home from school in Lowry, Minn, to snack on the dense, briny cabgage core that his mother fermented alongside her sauerkraut as a special treat.

In the Flynn home, sauerkraut played a supporting role in most family meals. His Irish dad grow the cabbage, his Bohemian mother turned it into kraut.

Like his mother, Flynn doesn't use a recipe. But he's got her process down pat. He swears by Stone Head cabbage, because it's a dense and small enough to fit perfectly into his mother's mandoline.The cutter may be from the old country, but it slices cabbage into perfect ribbons.

He stirs in a handful of sea salt -- he guesses about 3 1/2 tablespoons -- per 5 pounds of cabbage. Flynn won't use iodized sale, which can slow fermentation and discolor the kraut.

Flynn then uses a hand-carved, wooden "stomper" to tamp down the cabbage. This breaks up the cell walls of the vegetable so the cabbage produces liquid. The combination of cabbage juice and salt triggers the lactic-acid fermentation that preserves the kraut.

While the cabbage ferments, the crock is covered with a sheet of glass or plywood, weighted down with a brick.

The live mixture bubbles and fizzes in the cool of a pole barn. At 60 degrees, it takes about six weeks to became a credible kraut. That location not only keeps the probiotic stew cold enough. It also saves human nostrils from the pungent aroma of fermenting cabbage.

"I don't like to keep my sauerkraut in here," Flynn says from his home's basement canning kitchen. "It stinks, oh my god."

Old method, new spin

Flynn may make his kraut the old-fashioned way, but he's updated the process with modern hygiene practices.

He sanitizes the stomper, crock and all equipment with a solution containing 10 percent bleach.

His mother kept her sauerkraut all winter long in a crock in the root cellar. But Flynn uses a hot water bath or pressure cooker to can his kraut in sterilized pints or quarts.

He prefers his kraut right out of the jar, but he sometimes also cooks it long and slow to serve with pork or bratwursts. In those cases, he'll stir in some finely chopped Granny Smith apple or a little caraway seed, which adds a delicately anise flavor to the finished dish.

Some of his favorite recipes -- like a concoction of kraut, chicken, potatoes and sour cream -- come from a 2001 book, "A Passion for Sauerkraut," written by Samuel Hofer.

In the book, Hofer shares dozens of recipes, along with claims of the food's health benefits. Because kraut creates beneficial flora in the digestive system, Hofer says the vitamin C-rich food enhances nutrient absorption. In the process, he claims it will reduce arthritis symptoms, fight anemia and even suppress the appetite.

At nearly 300 pounds, Flynn quips he "probably should eat more kraut." But he also believes he's a walking, talking testament to the fermented food's healthful qualities.

"I'm never sick," he says. "Cold? What's a cold."

Even if sauerkraut wasn't touted as a health elixir, Flynn would still eat it. One day last week, he opened a pot of simmering sauerkraut and ribs to fork up but helpings for visitors.

As the kraut-y steam filled the kitchen, he took an appreciative whiff.

"It's just like roses," he says. "I have a lot of people wanting me to show them how to make it. I'm not bragging, but this sauerkraut is good."

 


LowryMN Web Page Status
March 19, 2012

For the past several weeks, the LowryMN web page has not been updated with weekly news. It was the fault of my old computer hard drive which decided to take a permanent vacation. I had a computer friend in another town look at the hard drive and another hard drive backup and he fixed them. In doing so, he had to reformat both drives in his computer which of course cleaned the drives, and he has to reinstall the ooperating system. . He then sent the drives down to me and I installed them but they would not work. Apparently, the drives should have been formatted attached to my machine with all the register information specific to my machine. Don't ask me any questions about the above information as I don't know squat about the goings on of these pesky machines.

In the mean time, I got a laptop that was working properly. However, I had to put all my old files and programs back on the "new to me" machine. This takes a lot of time as I've got a lot of stuff on the old machine -- fortunately I kept a backup but still had to install the programs and match them to the data files.

Then ... in order to keep up with the local news the Lowry Group subscribes to the electronic edition of the Pope County Tribune. Unfortunately, the Tribune's computer servers also took a vacation and all the passwords that we use to access the machine were no longer valid. At this moment, the Tribune is still not up to speed so we have to rely on the Tribune's web site.

So, keep on checking and we'll try to keep up with the technology and good will of other people.

Ellwood A. Johnson
Mesa, AZ
eajohnsonaz@gmail.com


Lowry City Council
12/20/2011

Lowry council discusses utility bills for future Habitat house

By Valerie Schmidt

As most council members expected, not a whole lot had been accomplished regarding the finishing touches with the waste water treatment system. Council members however, were not impressed with a letter from Quam Construction stating that they were not responsible for costs incurred by the city regarding improperly installed equipment.

At the regular meeting on Tuesday, December 6, council members took a decided decision to respond to Quam's letter indicating they had an emergency situation when the lift pump did not work in March of 2011. Quam had been called, but since it was a weekend, he did not want to respond to the emergency until Monday.

In other areas of contention Quam had been asked to grade alleys on numerous occasions and the response from Quam had been "It's too wet." Once the project had neared completion, Quam had been slow in responding to phone calls and letters from the Engineer Jeremy Anderson.

After further discussion the council authorized clerk Lucy Olson to write a letter to Quam Construction and that the amount in question will be withheld from the final payment.

Habitat for Humanity has recently acquired a property in Lowry to build a house. They have requested that the city waive utility bills accrued on the property until they are able to start construction on the property. Currently the property is nearly three months in arrears on the utility bills.

Several expressed concern that others have also requested the base rate on the utility bills be waived for various reasons. However, the loan payments are based on this rate, and without collecting these fees, the city will be short in paying the loans.

Council members did not want to discourage the construction of a new house in town noting the revenues from a new house will make up for the lost revenue now. After some further discussion it was suggested that Habitat for Humanity pay the previous three months of base fees and the council would waive the fees from January 1, 2012 for up to six months.

Police Chief Mitch Johnsrud presented the council with an activity report from August to November. He also presented a request for equipment which would connect him to the regional record system. He told the council that Starbuck, Glen-wood and the County have already signed on and have a contract to get the necessary equipment.

This new system allows him to have a mobile system and field reporting capabilities, and getting information quicker than the current system. Total cost for the system was $3,600 and then an annual maintenance fee of $612 a year.

When asked if there was a deadline in order to participate, Johnsrud responded he did not think so, but was uncertain since the system at the county level and for Glenwood and Starbuck could be up and running sometime in February or March.

Council members felt they wanted a little more information before giving Johnsrud either the go ahead or deny the request.

If you're wondering what happened to Lowry's Christmas lights, the problem isn't in getting them installed, the problem is that half of the lights have been refurbished, but the other half are still being refurbished. It is hoped the lights will be back in Lowry in time to put up before Christmas. However, if the lights come back just days before Christmas the council said the cost of putting up and taking down did not justify putting them up this year.

Residents are again urged to have their vehicles off the street during snow fall so that the streets can be plowed.

In other business:

•Authorized the refinancing of street bonds through Northland Security;

•Authorized Troy Drew-es as a project manager for the Well Head protection program, and Mayor Dan Sutton and Clerk Lucy Olson to be on the committee as well as assistance from local residents from time to time;

•Clerk Lucy Olson said residents did not respond to a letter from the city regarding their unpaid utility account. If she has not received a response by December 15, these accounts will be put on taxes; and

•Approved the applications for liquor licenses for The Hatchery and the American Legion.


Lowry City Council
12/12/2011

By Valerie Schmidt

As most council members expected, not a whole lot had been accomplished regarding the finishing touches with the waste water treatment system. Council members, were not impressed with a letter from Quam Construction stating that they were not responsible for costs incurred by the city regarding improperly installed equipment.

At the regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6, council members took a decided decision to respond to Quam’s letter indicating they had an emergency situation when the lift pump did not work in March of 2011. Quam had been called, but since it was a weekend, he did not want to respond to the emergency until Monday.

In other areas of contention Quam had been asked to grade alleys on numerous occasions and the response from Quam had been "It’s too wet." Once the project had neared completion, Quam had been slow in responding to phone calls and letters from Engineer Jeremy Anderson.

After further discussion the council authorized clerk Lucy Olson to write a letter to Quam Construction and the amount in question will be withheld from the final payment.

Habitat for Humanity has recently acquired a property in Lowry to build a house. They have requested that the city waive utility bills accrued on the property until they are able to start construction on the property. Currently the property is nearly three months in arrears on the utility bills.

Several members expressed concern that others have also requested the base rate on the utility bills be waived for various reasons. However, the loan payments are based on this rate, and without collecting these fees, the city will be short in paying the loans.

Council members did not want to discourage the construction of a new house in town, noting the revenues from a new house will make up for the lost revenue now. After some further discussion it was suggested that Habitat for Humanity pay the previous three months of base fees and the council would waive the fees from Jan. 1, 2012, for up to six months.

Police Chief Mitch Johnsrud presented the council with an activity report from August to November. He also presented a request for equipment which would connect him to the regional record system. He told the council that Starbuck, Glenwood and the county have already signed on and have a contract to get the necessary equipment.

This new system allows him to have a mobile system and field reporting capabilities and getting information quicker than the current system. Total cost for the system was $3,600 with an annual maintenance fee of $612 a year.

When asked if there was a deadline in order to participate, Johnsrud responded he did not think so but was uncertain since the system at the county level and for Glenwood and Starbuck could be up and running sometime in February or March.

Council members felt they wanted a little more information before giving Johnsrud either the go ahead or denying the request.

If you’re wondering what happened to Lowry’s Christmas lights, the problem isn’t in getting them installed, the problem is that half of the lights have been refurbished, but the other half are still being refurbished. It is hoped the lights will be back in Lowry in time to put up before Christmas. However, if the lights come back just days before Christmas the council said the cost of putting up and taking down the lights did not justify putting them up this year.

Residents are again urged to have their vehicles off the street during snowfall so that the streets can be plowed.

In other business the city council:

•Authorized the refinancing of street bonds through Northland Security;

•Authorized Troy Drewes as a project manager for the well head protection program, and Mayor Dan Sutton and Clerk Lucy Olson to be on the committee as well as assistance from local residents from time to time;

•Heard from Clerk Lucy Olson who said residents did not respond to a letter from the city regarding their unpaid utility account. If she has not received a response by Dec. 15, these accounts will be put on taxes; and

•Approved the applications for liquor licenses for The Hatcheryt and the American Legion.


Pope County Tribune
11/7/11

Conflagration at Lowry!
From the Glenwood Herald, November 10, 1911

The principal business block in Lowry was totally destroyed by fire last Sunday night. Four business houses, one dwelling house and two barns were totally destroyed by the flames.

The fire was discovered at about 11:30 Sunday evening. A lady leaving on the train saw the refection of the flames in a window. An investigation was made and it was found that there was a fire in the back room of the Mercantile Company’s building. The fire had already gained considerable headway and as the oil was stored in this room it was impossible to try to stop the spread of the fire.

A large oil tank soon exploded and the fire was spread in all directions. A living house nearby caught fire and burned down. The inhabitants of the house were away and all they possessed was destroyed. A family who lived over the building occupied by the Mercantile Company saved themselves by crawling out through the window to the roof of the implement house and came down by means of ladders.

The fire company was called out at once and did excellent work in keeping the fire from spreading. The buildings were built of hardwood so that the heat was intense. Nevertheless the Lowry fire boys took their hose to the street west of the burning buildings and set to work to save the buildings across the street. They used doors and wagons and other things for screens but these continually caught fire and burned up for them.

All the windows in the buildings across the streets were broken and fire started inside of the buildings. But the firemen were able to save them, although it was necessary also to watch the mill north of the burning buildings and also the buildings east of the fire zone.

The business houses destroyed were the implement house belonging to John Hagstrom, The Lowry Mercantile Co., The Lowry Drug Co., and the Smith & Velander harness shop. A very conservative estimate of the loss, exclusive of the damage done to the buildings on the west side of the street is $40,000. The insurance amounts to less than one half of this.

The Lowry Mercantile Co. suffered the biggest loss and had the largest insurance. Some stock carried in the harness shop was saved, but on this there was no insurance, which also was the case with Russell Benson who lived in the residence that was burned.

It is as yet not known whether these buildings will be rebuilt.

----------------------

Pope County Tribune
11/7/11

LOWRY CITY COUNCIL

By Valerie Schmidt

The first item on the agenda of the Tuesday November city Council meeting was to appoint a new council member due to the resignation of Merle Farber earlier this fall. Only one person expressed interest in the position and that was Sara Gulke. After taking the proper action Gulke took the oath of office as a council member.

In a letter sent to the council, Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree reported that the trees have been planted to replace trees destroyed by the sewer installation, and the generator has been checked but is yet to be delivered. Work still left includes some bituminous repair on Poplar, the need of spare parts and grading issues on a township road.

The council discussed the possibility of refinancing the street bonds in order to reduce interest on the current bonds. Clerk Lucy Olson had discussed this with Steve Lawrence at the Lowry State Bank, and he had told her that many cities were refinancing bonds for this very same reason.

Northland Securities said they could refinance these bonds at 2-1/2 percent for 10 years or 2 percent for 15 years. However, these rates could change depending on when the city chose to refinance.

One concern expressed at last month’s council meeting was if they were to refinance would they need to adjust or pay back the excess assessment to the property owners. However, Clerk Olson had learned if there was an excess those dollars could be dedicated to infrastructure projects.

It was noted during the discussion that it takes about on and a half months to get all the paperwork complete. One concern was would interest rates rise rapidly so that no savings would be gained by the refinancing. At this point it was felt the interest rate could rise slightly, but not significantly. The reason for the delay in taking action is that the council wants to be sure this is something they can legally do and are waiting from a response from their attorney.

Meter issues were the next issues discussed at the meeting. Olson said it appeared one water meter had been tampered with. Olson had sent a letter to them to give them an opportunity to fix the meter, or the city could call in a plumber to fix it.

When the meters were installed they were under the impression that the meters would be set up for billing 1,000 gallons. However the computer software was set up for 1,000 gallons while the meters were set for 100 gallons Because of this there is a discrepancy in the billing at the end of the year. Currently the city is billing $4.50 per 1,000 gallons but could bill 45¢ per 100 gallons which would eliminate the discrepancy.

Council members felt it would be best to bill how the meters were read and took action to change this at the beginning of the year.

Dean Peterson representing the Glacial Ridge Turkey Federation met with the council to request a gambling permit for the local chapter of the National Turkey Foundation. A gun was given to each of the 1,000 top chapters.

One-half of the money raised from the raffle will stay with the local chapter and will be given for youth scholarships, the other one-half will go to the state organization. They will use the money to purchase a trailer which will be equipped to educate youth about wildlife and hunting. This trailer will travel around the state.

Since the late Bob Chan had been a great supporter of the organization, it was felt the raffle should be held in Lowry. Peterson said he had talked with Stacy Gerdes at The Hatchery and had narrowed it down to Dec. 6, 7 or the 8 for the raffle.

The council approved the gambling permit to hold the raffle at The Hatchery at one of the dates discussed. There will be some other items also raffled during the gun raffle, Peterson said.

The city received a letter from the State Health Department of regarding a well-head protection plan. Olson said the first meeting had been held in October with the Department where a representative had explained the program and noted that this process takes two to three years to complete.

A committee to work on the plan must be appointed by the council. There will be a couple of public meetings held during the process. Most of the leg work will actually be done by the Minnesota Department of Health. The next meeting is set for Nov. 28 at 1:30 p.m. at the ALASD in Alexandria.

There was also some discussion regarding an addition to the Legion building. It appears it will be a go, but still until the Legion meets the following week, they would not be able to apply for the permit. It was felt that they should have the needed information within ten days or so, and asked if it would be possible for the city to call a special meeting to approve the permit. The urgency is that they are hoping to get started on the project yet this month if possible as they will be able to get some volunteer help through the winter months to work on the project. If they are forced to wait until the December meeting it will be too late for them to start work on the project.

Council members felt that they were willing this one time to make an exception to the rule and call a special meeting to approve the building permit but were quick to point out that most people are aware of what they plan to do in time to have the to the council take action at the regular meeting.

In other business:

•Learned the office expansion was complete except to install some shelves for storage. The painting has also been completed.

•Discussed correspondence with a resident who is unhappy with the quality of a tree that was planted on their property as a replacement of one destroyed during the sewer project. Both the city’s engineer and clerk looked at the tree and felt that it would develop into a nice tree if given a chance. They were unhappy with the decision that nothing would be done regarding this tree. The consensus of the council was to wait until spring and revisit the issue then.

•Discussed storm sewers and noted one on Highway 114 could be plugged.

•Authorized the streets to be swept as soon as soon as possible and to ask the street sweeper for a couple of days notice so that residents can have their vehicles off the streets when the street sweeper comes to town.

•Olson said she sent out five letters to residents with unpaid utility bills with the city. As the result of that one account had been paid in full. She would be closely watching this through November, and if these accounts are not paid in full, they will be assessed to the property.

•Authorized payment to Carr’s Tree Service for having a couple of trees trimmed after the Aug. 1 storm in the amount of $80.16.


Pope County Tribune
October 10, 2011

LOWRY CITY COUNCIL
By Valerie Schmidt

Final payment to Quam Construction has been delayed for yet another month. A number of items left to be completed on the project have not been completed. Although Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree indicated he had gotten several items completed that were on the punch list.

Anderson said he would be setting up a meeting with the township and would have Quam present at that meeting. Anderson said he would be in attendance at that meeting as well.

At this point in time Anderson told the council members at the Tuesday meeting that he did not expect that the old ponds would be decommissioned now until spring. The sludge needs to be pumped and land applied before any work can begin there, by pushing in the dikes and replacing black dirt on top. After that native grass or a CRP mixture will be needed over the top.

For those wondering when the trees would be replaced which were destroyed during the recent waste water treatment system installation, they should soon be planted. The contractor is waiting for the fruit trees to drop their leaves so they can transplant these trees to their new home.

Clerk Lucy Olson told council members that Northland Securities had contacted her regarding refnancing the bonds on Poplar Street and another project. They felt the city could save approximately $35,000 in interest. After some discussion it was felt a representative of Northland Securities should meet with the council at their next meeting in November to answer questions.

After that there would still be time to discuss the water with the city attorney and the bank. The council discussed a replacement for the vacancy on the council with the recent resignation of Merle Farber. One person present had expressed interest in the position and attended the meeting Tuesday night. It was decided the necessary paperwork would be completed at the November meeting and someone would be appointed to fill out Farber’s term which goes to December 31, 2012. The new person would then need to file for the position next year to be on the November ballot.

In other business the council:

•Took official action for the Legion Auxiliary to have a bingo permit;

•Approved a building permit for Musselman Accounting to move a building onto a property on Highway 55. They will be demolishing the existing building and placing a building they recently purchased for the business. Laurie Musselman said she would continue to operate her satellite business out of Kensington two days a week, but she hoped to be at her Lowry office the other days of the week;

•Authorized the purchase of $895 worth of colored and white LED lights for the Christmas decorations;

•Approved a Minnesota Joint Powers Agreement resolution so the city police officer can access records;

•Authorized the appointment of Bruce Gilbertson and Mark Hedner as administrative mediators in the event someone could contest a traffic ticket written by the city police officer in the city limits;

•And, authorized the purchase of administrative tickets for these traffic tickets in the amount of $498. It was noted these tickets can only be printed by a printer that has been state authorized, and there is but one company who can print these tickets.


Editor's Note: I have often thought about Wimpy's cafe in Glenwood and what happened to it -- still don't know. We frequently would go there as kids and often after going to the Glenwood Theatre and seeing the $0.12 movie. So, I was pleased to see the below notation in the Tribune this past issue.

Pope County Tribune
September 21, 1961 -

Erv and Doris Knoff were celebrating years in business in Glenwood. They first established Wimpy’s Cafe in September 1936 and had owned and operated it since. In 1952 they built the Knoff Arcade which housed Wimpy’s and other businesses. When the restaurant first opened, hamburgers and hotdogs were 5 cents each.


Pope County Tribune
8/26/2011

LOWRY CITY COUNCIL
By Valerie Schmidt

According to Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree there is still some unfinished business regarding the waste water treatment construction. As of September 6, Lowry City Council meeting a number of undone items were still a high priority on the punch list to be completed by Quam Construction. Among the items needing completion and or resolution was the township road, personal property damage done to a property in town, a garage door issue, curb repair work and additional spare parts. The old ponds also need to be decommissioned. It was noted during the discussion that the city will have a one year warranty on this project.

Council members met at a working session of August 23 to put together a budget and levy for the coming year. During this session, the city met with the fire department and first responders. After gathering the needed information, the council discussed and certified the tax levy for 2012 at the September meeting as follows:

General Fund . . . . . . . . . . .$68,250

Streets . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . 15,000

Fire Department . . . . . . . . 14,000

First Responders . . . . . . . . 1,500

Total Tax Levy . . . . . . . . . $98,750

There was also some discussion regarding storm damage from the August 1 storm. It was noted a power pole at the ball park had been snapped off.

XCel Energy removed the meter that was on the pole and now consider this an abandoned account. This supplied power to the shack at the ball park it was noted. However, the council felt there was insufficient use to warrant having the power restored to the shack. If electric service is needed there it can be restored at a later date.

In other storm damage information residents might be shocked to learn to date the city has spent approximately $22,000 for clean-up. That includes all removal of trees and related debris by residents. The city had been recently informed the county did not qualify for any FEMA assistance since the losses would have needed to be $6.8 million.

However, the city will contact the local state congressmen and see if there may be some state assistance available to recoup some for the costs the city spent in clean-up following the storm. Residents now will be responsible for removal of any trees on private property and the associatedcosts.

During the storm discussion it was noted some damage had occurred at the ball field and a claim had been submitted to the insurance company for the damage.

Council members also received and accepted the resignation of council Merle Farber. He has submitted his resignation due to health reasons. The council will be seeking replacement

for him on the council

In other business:

•Learned the concrete work for the 4-H Lions Club court shelter project has been placed on hold. The city has also placed the sidewalk replacement near the community center on hold as well until spring;

•Learned the expansion for the city office had also been pushed back by one week with work to be completed by September 23 or 24;

•Approved building permits for a resident to construct an enclosed breezeway, and also for another resident to rebuild a garage which had been destroyed in the August 1 storm. And another resident told the council he will be removing a storm damaged building on his property and replacing it with another small building on the same site.


Pope County Tribune

LOWRY CITY COUNCIL
By Valerie Schmidt
8/08/2011

While the Monday morning storm took up some discussion at the Lowry City Council meeting, other issues were addressed including the seventh payment installation to Quam Construction on the waste water project, police issues and other monthly business.

Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree told the council that a generator had been ordered for the waste water lift stations and the well. He said it had been ordered on Tuesday and he was waiting for a delivery date.

Anderson sent out four inquiries for bids for tree replacement relating to the waste water project. He said he had received one bid from Exterior Designs from Alexandria. The amount was for $14,530. This will be spent to replace trees on those properties where trees were destroyed

during the construction phase of the waste water system and for those property owners who requested tree replacement. Action was taken to accept the bid submitted by Exterior Design.

The next topic of discussion was that Anderson sent out the final punch list of work remaining to be completed by Quam before he will be paid his final payment. Along with this punch list a certifi cate of substantial completion was sent. This gives Quam 30 days to complete the work on the punch list. Anderson recommended that they make the seventh installment to Quam in the amount

of $93,086.23. According to Anderson there is a retainer left in the amount of $115,000 which will not be paid until work is completed.

In the motion to approve the seventh installment to Quam was also included an approved to a change order in the project which had been approved by Rural Development. The council voted to approve both. Earlier there had been some discussion regarding payment to Quam as council members wanted to be assured the work would be completed.

Anderson met with Troy Drewes waste water operator, and reviewed the computer equipment needed to operate the system for a computer. This was completed and sent to Rural Development for their approval of the purchase.

Police Officer Mitch Johnsrud was present to discuss the request for a digital camera and digital recording device that will be present in the squad car and on him when responding to calls. The estimated cost is $5,000. He said the council had the option to lease to own on either a 12-,24- or 36 - month lease.

"I don’t see how we can fit this into our budget right now," councilwoman Iris Scott responded to the request.

"I know it’s a spendy item," Johnsrud responded, "but it certainly reduced liability issues in the event I respond to an (ugly) situation. Right now all the county squads have them."

"Can we get one from a squad that is no longer in use somewhere?" Mayor Dan Sutton asked.

"I could look into it for one," Johnsrud responded.

"Are there any grants available that would help us purchase this equipment for you?" the mayor asked. Mitch shook his head, "Nothing right now. But I think Bremer may have something. I can certainly look around to see if there is."

"I think we should check out grant options first, even before we start looking for donations. We don’t want to be locked into something if we can’t come up with the money. We can discuss it at our August budget meeting."

The council did give Johnsrud the authority to purchase a digital camera for use until it can be decided how the funds can be arranged for the equipment he needs.

Several residents were present to ask why the siren did not blow on Monday morning. According to two firemen who were present, the siren is only blown in the event rotation is found in the clouds or that the Chanhassen weather center pages them to blow the siren.

Several weather spotters, along with police chief Johnsrud, were out spotting, but the rain was so heavy it was difficult for them to get to their usual watching areas outside of the city. By the time it was realized the storm was upon them, electricity had already gone off in Lowry. The next morning, Tuesday, when another storm threatened the city, police and fire department members were going up and down each street warning residents to take shelter immediately. That warning ended up being cancelled after 15 minutes.

At the end of the discussion Johnsrud said he felt the city should acknowledge and thank the Salvation Army for delivering meals to the senior citizens and the Pope County posse on Tuesday for their assistance in the storm. He felt the posse also deserved a thanks from the city along

with Pizza Ranch of Morris who also brought food for the workers. Stacy Gerdes at the Hatchery had also been busy in preparation of food for the Xcel Energy crew.

In other business:

*Approved the Center Point Franchise as presented and recommended by the city attorney;

*Adopted the resolution to allow administrative citations to be issued for certain traffic fines within the city limits.

*Approved a bid to Kirkwold Construction to renovate the city office so there is more room. Three bids were received, but this bid met all the requirements of the county at this time;

*Set the budget meeting for August 23 at 7:00 p.m. at the city office.


8/1/2011

Park Region Echo

No travel advised due to morning storm damage in Glenwood and Lowry areas of west central Minn.

 

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota State Patrol have closed Highway 55 on the east side of Lowry due to downed power lines caused by this morning’s severe weather.

Highway 55 will remain closed until further notice.

Downed trees and power lines are also causing traffic hazards on Highway 29 north of Glenwood.

Highway 28 in Glenwood near the Pope County Fairgrounds has water over the road. The area is signed.

Travel is not advised in the Lowry and Glenwood areas until conditions improve. Motorists are urged to avoid the area to allow MnDOT crews recover the roadways to a safe condition for travel.

 

Powerline was down across Hwy. 55 east of Lowry

This is a sight you don’t see very often. A large tower that carries the UPA-CPA Powerline looked more like a character made with an erector set than a powerline tower. The tower on the north side of Highway 55 just east of Lowry, was downed by the Monday morning storm. A cable from the powerline was down across Highway 55 and across the Canadian Pacifi c rail line that runs along the highway, so no trains or traffic were able to move through that area for most of the day on Monday.


7/18/2011

By Valerie Schmidt

On June 26, Ed and Mary Bolas drove to Ruttger’s Sugar Lake Lodge at Grand Rapids. There Mary attended and was a delegate from the area at the Rural Letter Carriers State Convention. The convention started with a picnic dinner that evening. The convention lasted until June 28. On June 29, Ed and Mary enjoyed a guide who took them fishing on Lake Winnebagus. Mary caught two 23 inch walleyes. They finished their day fishing with a shore lunch. The next day they enjoyed a tour of the Forest History Center, which is a living history on logging. They also enjoyed some shopping in Grand Rapids. On July 1, they toured the Blandin Paper Mill. July 2-4, they enjoyed kayaking and also fishing from their kayaks. During that time, they also enjoyed a bike ride on the Misabi Trail from Gilchrist to Eveleth, a distance of about 4 miles.

Mr. and Mrs. Bob Dingwall, of Spokane, Wash., were Wednesday evening visitors with Bud and R’Dell Molander.

Sunday afternoon, Valerie Schmidt drove to Sauk Centre where she met her cousin, "George" Paulette Eike, and friend, Dave, of Mantorville, for lunch and a visit.


Lowry receives grant from Center Point Energy

By Zach Anderson
7/12/2011

Starbuck Times

The Lowry City Council received a $2,500 grant award from CenterPoint Energy that will be used

to purchase a Lifeloc PBT (preliminary breath test) machine for field alcohol testing for the police department and fire hoses and nozzle for the fire department at the July 5 meeting.

Lowry Police Chief Mitch Johnsrud approached the council about adopting administrative citations.

These citations would allow for police officers to issue administrative citations to vehicle operators only for specified violations. The violations are:

• Speeding under 10 mph in excess of the lawful speed limit;

• Failing to obey a stop line; or

• Equipment-related violations.

The positives for the citations are that anyone receiving the citation has a right to contest the citation

before a neutral third party. The local unit of government may employ a person to hear and rule on challenges or may contract with another local unit of government or a private entity to do so.

An administrative violation fine is set in statute at $60. Two-thirds of this amount ($40) must be credited to the general revenue fund of the local unit of government, and one-third ($20) must be transferred to the commissioner of management and budget for deposit in the state general

fund. If the state patrol collects any of these fines, the state general fund is to receive $40.

An administrative traffic citation will not be recorded on the violator’s driving record and is not a basis for revocation or suspension of the person’s driver’s license. The council voted to have a resolution for traffic citation ready at the August meeting and will announce where fines can be paid.

Lowry citizen Ken Elvehjem told the council that some stress fractures came up in his garage, and

his door frame is pulling out on the rollers due to tension. Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree told Elvehjem that it’s possible while a sewer line was being dug by Elvehjem’s house that some of the big equipment that was used could have moved the ground causing the stress fractures in the

garage to begin moving up and down. Anderson said he would forward that information to Quam Construction. "That’s fine as long as we’re moving towards a solution," Elvehjem said.

Other actions:

• The council also approved to accept the low bid for a generator from Alexandria Electric.

• Tabled CenterPoint Energy’s franchise renewal. The current contract expires August 27. The council will wait to see if it hears back from Jan Nordmeyer, otherwise it will discuss at the August 2 meeting.

• Approved paying bills.

• Approved giving a building permit to resident Paul McIver to build a new house on his property.

• Approved for Troy Drewes, independent contractor, to work on selling the city pontoon. He will

get it checked out to make sure it runs right and then will sell it at an auction.

• Voted not to participate in the State Council on Local Results & Innovation program.

• Approved the June 7 meeting minutes and treasurer’s report with June activities.

-----------------------------

7/12/2011

Lowry City Council considers adding Administrative Citations

By Zach Anderson

News Editor

The Lowry City Council received a $2,500 grant award from CenterPoint Energy that will be used to purchase a Lifeloc PBT (preliminary breath test) machine for field alcohol testing for the police department, and fire hoses and nozzle for the fire department at the July 5 meeting.

Lowry Police Chief Mitch Johnsrud approached the council about adopting Administrative Citations. These citations would allow for police officers to issue administrative citations to vehicle operators only for specified violations. The violations are:

• Speeding under ten miles per hour in excess of the lawful speed limit;

• Failing to obey a stop line; or

• Equipment related violations.

The positives for the citations are that anyone receiving the citation has a right to contest the citation before a neutral third party. The local unit of government may employ a person to hear and rules on challenges, or may contract with another local unit of government or a private entity to do so.

An administrative violation fine is set in statute at $60. Two-thirds of this amount ($40) must be credited to the general revenue fund of the local unit of government, and one-third ($20) must be transferred to the Commissioner of Management and Budget for deposit in the state general fund. If the state patrol collects any of these fines, the state general fund is to receive $40.

An administrative traffic citation will not be recorded on the violator's driving record, and is not a basis for revocation or suspension of the person's drivers license.

The council voted to have a resolution for traffic citation ready at the August meeting and will announce where fines can be paid.

Lowry citizen Ken Elvehjem told the council that some stress fractures have came up in his garage and his door frame is pulling out on the rollers due to tension.

Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree told Elvehjem that its possible while a sewer line was being dug by Elvehjem's house that some of the big equipment that was used could have moved the ground causing the stress fractures in the garage to begin moving up and down. Anderson said he would forward that information to Quam Construction.

"That's fine as long as we're moving towards a solution," Elvehjem said.

Other actions:

• The council also approved to accept the low bid for a generator from Alexandria Electric.

• Tabled CenterPoint Energy Franchise Renewal. Current contract expires August 27. Will wait to see if hear back from Jan Nordmeyer otherwise will disuss at August 2 meeting.

• Motioned and carried to pay bills.

• Approved giving a building permit to resident Paul McIver to build a new house on his property.

• Approved for Troy Drewes, independent contractor to work on selling the city pontoon. Get checked out to make sure it runs right and then will sell at an auction.

• Voted not to participate in State Council on Local Results & Innovation program.

• Approved June 7th meeting minutes and Treasurer's report with June activities.

 

 



6/15/2011

Norunga will hold final church service June 19
By Zach Anderson
News Editor

Sometimes good things must come to an end, which is the case of Norunga Lutheran Church just west of Lowry. On June 19, after 140 years of existence, Norunga Lutheran Church will conduct its final service.

"I've been a member there all my life, which is 61 years," said Vernon Hedlin current congregation member. "My parents were members there, so it goes back a long time."

The membership has declined recently making the congregation unable to afford to hire a full-time pastor.

Once the church closes its doors, it will be up to each individual member of the congregation to choose where they will go.

It saddens Hedlin that the church is closing, "It's a rural congregation; you get to know everybody and you get to be a little bit like family."

The closing service will be at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 19 followed by a catered dinner (reservations only) at $10 per plate.

"It is a time for reminiscing and renewing old acquaintances," Hedlin said.

Norunga was started primarily by Swedish immigrants when the church was founded in 1871. "It was a circuit church," Hedlin said. "A bunch of churches around that shared a pastor."

With membership that ranged from around 120 people in its prime years that has dwindled to about 40 confirmed members with about 15 average at Sunday church services there wasn't a way to make it work financially.

"It just got to be a reality," Hedlin said. "There comes a point when you have to make a decision. We didn't see areas where the church could grow and found it difficult to gain new members."

They decided it was time to close the doors for good.


Pope County Tribune

Lowry Celebrates 125 years
6/20/11

By Zach Anderson

Starbuck Times

The townsite of Lowry was laid out in 1887 by the Soo Railway Company on land owned by Thomas Hume and HughBryce who had settled in that part of Ben Wade Township about the year 1869.

In 1896 Lowry was incorporated as a village when articles of incorporation and suitable ordinances were prepared and adopted.

Lowry was named in honor of Thomas Lowry, who was born in Logan County, Ill. In 1867, Thomas Lowry was admitted to the bar and came to Minnesota in the same year, settling in Minneapolis. He practiced law, dealt in real estate and was president and principal stockowner of Twin City Rapid Transit Company, operating the street railways of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The post office began as Ben Wade in 1884, with John L. Johnson, postmaster. When the Soo Line came in 1887, the name was changed to Lowry, and John E. Benson, who had a store in the township for many years, moved it to Lowry, becoming the first postmaster.

The 5th Annual Lowry Days, a tradition that was started in 2007, is kicking off this year on June 24-26. It will also be a celebration of Lowry’s 125 years of existence, which will be culminated by the planting of the Quasquicentennial Tree on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. along with a time capsule burial for which people are encouraged to write letters.

New this year will be a medallion hunt. Clues will be available on www.lowrystate.com on the Monday before Lowry Days. Clues will also be posted at the Lowry Fire Hall. Friday night there will also be an old fashioned sing-a-long at Ben Wade Church at 7 p.m. Other new events are the kids’ tractor pull in front of the Community Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and fireworks which will be at 10 p.m. on Saturday night.

Lowry sweatshirts, t-shirts and hats will be on sale during the event. Historical items will also be on display in the Lowry State Bank windows. All kinds of different activities are planned for this year including a Legion pork chop feed and raffl e, a grand parade and car show.

On Friday, Lowry will have the Legion pork chop feed from 5-8 p.m. and a 6:30 p.m. meat raffle. Rock N Roll Wrestling will be performed at the Legion at 8 p.m. Wrapping up the Friday activities, the Hatchery Bar & Grill will have a karaoke contest at 9 p.m.

Saturday will be filled with activities to keep people busy starting with an 8 a.m. softball tournament at the Legion Park. Starting at 9 a.m. there will be a craft and bake sale in the Community Center. An antique car and tractor show on Florence Ave. will start at 10 a.m. and go until 2 p.m.

The Fire Hall will be the spot at 11 a.m. for the Oscar Lake ice cream social. An hour later the kids carnival will start at the Community Center and go until 3 p.m.

The grand parade will start at 3:30 p.m. followed by a chicken and corn feed at the Fire Hall from 5-7 p.m. During that time bingo at the Legion Hall will start at 6 p.m.

From 8 p.m. until midnight there will be a street dance featuring Steel Blue. A food stand will be available during the street dance. Sunday will mark the final day of Lowry Days with the Lowry Lions pancake feed at the Community Center going from 8 a.m. until noon.

A community church service at Lions Park will begin at 11 a.m.

The final event of the weekend will take place at 12:30 p.m. when the medallion winner will be announced. A cannon shot will mark the end of the festivities.

6/1/11

5th Annual Lowry Days
June 24, 25, & 26, 2011

Friday, June  24th

5PM - 8PM    Pork Chop Feed at the Legion
6:30 PM        Meat Raffle at the Legion
7:00 PM        Old Fashion Sing-A-Long at Ben Wade Church
8:00 PM        Rock N Roll Wrestling at the Legion
9:00 PM        Karaoke Contest at the Hatchery

Saturday< June 25th

8:00 AM        Softball Tournament at the Legion Park
9AM -2PM    Craft & Bake Sale in the Community Center
10AM-2PM   Antique Car & Tractor Show on Florence Avenue
10AM-2PM   Discovery Days Food Stand
10AM-2PM   T&T Kids Tractor Pull in front of Community Center
11AM-Gone  Oscar Lake Ice Cream Social at the Fire Hall
12PM-3PM   Kids Carnival at the Community Center                                                125th ANNIVERSARY!
1PM-3PM     Fireman's Water Fight on Main Street Lowry
3:30PM        GRAND PARADE
5PM-7PM    Chicken & Corn Feed at the Fire Hall
6:00PM        Bingo at the Legion
7:00PM        "Look What's in the Attic" at Ben Wade Church
8PM-12AM  Street Dance featuring Steel Blue
10PM            FIREWORKS - Lit off at the Lions Park
10:30PM-?    Food Stand during Street Dance

Sunday, June 26

8AM-12PM    Lowry Lions Pancake Feed at the Community Center
11:00AM        Community Church Service at the Lions Park
12:30PM        Time Capsule Burial, Medallion Winner Announced, and Plant the Quasquicentenial Tree
                       Cannons Shot at end of festivities

 


Pope County Tribune
Lowry City Council
06/13/2011

Submitted by Valerie Schmidt

Members of Lowry’s City Council heard a complaint regarding the installation of the waste water treatment facility and also heard an update from Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree regarding the work towards completion of the waste water treatment system. They also dealt with other issues related to city business.

A resident complained regarding to damage in their basement due to a man hole not having a properly installed cover which allowed debris to come into their basement, mostly gravel, silt, leaves and small branches to a depth of about nine inches.

She said she lost all her Christmas decorations and other items which were stored in the basement. She said they spent many hours in cleaning up the mess and much of the items including laundry had to be thrown.

Another issue she had with the contractors were they were allowed an easement on the property, but they did not stay within the easement right-of-ways, they drove all over the yard, but did nothing to smooth out the lawn and reduce ruts that make the lawn all but impossible to more.

They had installed an undergrowned electric fence for their small dog, and this had been cut not in one place, but in six places. When they had talked to someone on construction, nothing was done due to a misunderstanding in communication. Shortly after this the dog got out of the house and was hit on Highway 114. She concluded she felt the contractors were very "unprofessional."

Jeremy Anderson told het to put together a list of the items lost during the back-up of the storm sewer and also for hours they spent cleaning up the basement. When this had been completed, she is to give the list to Anderson, who will set up a meeting between the resident, construction

owner and himself to discuss what needs to be done to put things right.

Last, Wednesday, Troy Drewes and Anderson had walked through the project/ From this walk through another list of 50 or 60 items was created which much be done before Quam can get their final payment. Anderson concluded he did not know their schedule far as getting these items completed, but noted they had been in Lowry for the last several days and were working on these issues. Most projects should be completed before Lowry Days, and the asphalt patching may not be completed until after Lowry Days.

In other business:

*Adopted the PERA resolution for new police officer Mitch Johnsrud;

* Discussed sidewalk repair next to Community Center and tennis court and noted that removal of the old sidewalk would be $2,400 and new cement was about $6,200; however a portion of the $6,200 will be picked up by the tennis court project;

* Learned they had received a $2,500 Community Partnership grant from Center-point Energy for the First Responders, Fire Department and Police department. Center-point will be present at the July 5 meeting to present the check.

* Disussed Center-point Franchise for provideing natural gas to the city and agreed to forward the franchise agreement to their attorney for review.

* Discussed administrative cititaions and authorized city clerk, Lucy Olson to contact other cities who have adopted administrative citations for violations issued by the city police:

* Authorized the purchase of a wheeled trimmer to be used to trim difficult areas as well along chain length fence and the pond site;

* Authorized Runestone Telecom to install fiber-optic

cable on the far most southern (abandon) street east to

along Highway 55;

* And, authorized Mitch Johnsrud to hire two assistants to help with the street dance during Lowry Days.


Pope County Tribune
5/31/11

Lowry postmaster honored
by Zach Anderson

Starbuck Times

Lowry Postmaster John Olson was honored by the Federal Executive Board (FEB) of Minnesota as a Civil Servant of the Year.

“It’s pretty awesome I think,” Olson said. “I really enjoy serving as Postmaster of Lowry, and I enjoy being part of this community.”

Each year, the FEB honors Minnesota’s federal employees at an awards luncheon. This year the luncheon was held on May 6 at the Crown Plaza hotel in St Paul. Of the more than 14,000 postal employees in Minnesota, Olson was one of five who were honored at the event.

“To be one of only five is really an honor,” Olson said. “I have to give credit to my employees here at the Post Office. Without them I wouldn’t be able to do some of the things I do in the community. They really know their jobs.”

Olson has been the postmaster in Lowry since 2008 and was honored for his leadership and community service. Olson currently serves on the board of directors for the local Lions Club and was a past treasurer. He is active on the planning committee for Lowry’s annual celebration, Lowry Days; 2011 will be the 125th anniversary. Olson designed the official celebration logo used on various items of clothing sold to raise funds for a fireworks display. During Lowry Days, Olson serves as coordinator for the “Grand Parade.” He is currently one of five national vice presidents of the National League of Postmasters, he has served as the president of the Minnesota Branch and is currently a branch vice president. In this capacity, Olson has given training to postmasters and mentors postmasters to become more proficient at their jobs and more involved in their future as postmasters. Olson serves on the District EAS Advisory, a group of postal leaders. As a committee member, he redesigned a presentation award given to workplace environment “Champion” offices.

The Federal Employees of the Year Awards Program honors outstanding Minnesota federal employees who have demonstrated exceptional performance and dedication as a public servant during fiscal year 2010. It also honors federalemployees who have rendered voluntary time and service to the community in which they live.


5/31/11

Lowry Legion donates to local nonprofit groups

Dave Johnson of the Lowry American Legion Post 253 gave Jan Arneson of Pope County Families in Need a donation of $500.

Commander Dale Anderson of the Lowry American Legion Post 253 gave Darlene Christman of the Pope County Food Shelf a donation of $500. Christman said 80 families were helped by the food shelf last month.


5/31/11

Memorial Day
By Steffanie Dahlseng

News Editor

Lowry

Lowry’s Memorial Day program will be held at the Lowry Community Center at 10:30 a.m.

The featured guest speaker will be Peter Engebretson. There will be readings and violin entertainment also. Lowry Legion is putting on the event.


5/2/11

Shermak named Lowry Lions Citizen of the Year

Bruce Larson, Lowry Lions Club President, handed the Lowry Citizen of the Year Award to Frank Shermak. Frank Shermak was born and raised on a farm north of Lowry. He is the youngest of seven children. Shermak had three brothers and three sisters.

Interestingly, the Shermak family name was originally Chermak, but was changed because Frank’s father, Joseph, had a neighbor named Joseph Chermak, and they would receive each other’s mail and phone calls.

Shermak served in the Korean War. While part of the U.S. Army, he achieved the rank of Sergeant First Class. After that, Shermak went to Minneapolis and Savage, where he worked as a grain inspector for the Department of Agriculture. He then returned to Lowry after 35 years, where Shermak and his brother Charlie lived on Poplar Avenue in Lowry. When Charlie had a stroke Shermak took care of him, which included cooking for Charlie, dressing him and taking Charlie to church.

Shermak is a very active member of the Lowry Legion where he has been bar manager for many years. He is also a member of the Starbuck VFW. Shermak regularly attends Reno Catholic Church, where he sits in the same pew every Sunday. His regularity can also be noted at Lowry senior meals as he claims the same table spot on a daily basis.


Population change from 2000-2010

Name            2000        2010        Percentage Change

Pope County      11,236         10,995                    -2.14%
Cyrus                      303             288                     -4.95%
Farwell                    57               51                      -10.53%
Glenwood           2,594          2,564                      -1.16%
Long Beach            271             335                      +23.62%
Lowry                    271             299                      +10.33%
Sedan                       65               45                       -30.77%
Starbuck              1,314          1,302                       -0.91%
Villard                   244             254                        -4.10%
Westport                  72               57                        -20.83%


Lowry City Council
By Valerie Schmidt
3/21/11

Members of the Lowry City Council faced a rather light agenda at their regular March meeting. Among the items on the agenda were to discuss a situation with the waste water treatment facility, the hiring of a police officer, and discuss the new water rate which goes into effect for the March billing.

According to Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree the air/vacuum release valve at a lift station in town would cost approximately $3,000. This has been submitted to Rural Development for approval. When Design Tree gets the paperwork from RD gets back to Quam Construction, they can then install the release valve.

It was also believed that any black dirt removed from the excavation of the new pond could be used for any disturbed areas during the construction of the sewer lines. However, at the closing of the purchase of the land it was agreed that all topsoil would remain with the seller. Because of this, Quam Construction was forced to purchase black dirt to be used in town. Quam agreed to remove the transportation and equipment costs and bill the city of Lowry for the cost of dirt which comes to $33,600. Following some discussion it was agreed to pay the bill.

In other business:

*Agreed to hire a part time policeman, and has started the process by placing an ad in the local newspaper for two weeks. However a job description is being worked out;

*Learned all residents had been notified in a newsletter of the increase in water rates from $15 to $17 a month. Residents will see this on their March billing;

*Approved gambling permits for the Sons of the Legion to conduct a raffle to benefit Discovery Days Pre-School and also approved the Legion Auxiliary to conduct Bingo;

Discussed summer hire and authorized an ad in the newspaper for this part time position;

*Learned that Commissioner Cody Rogahn has organized a monthly meeting of Pope County Mayors. Mayor Dan Sutton has attended the first meeting which was February 28;

*Learned during the summer that the city would be reviewing services from other vendors for garbage hauling since the contract ends on December 31, 2011;

*Accepted the quote from Green Lawns for fertilizer and weed control for the center and ball park;

*And agreed to send a letter to a resident regarding his dog since several complaints have been received by the city. Clerk Lucy Olson will also send him information regarding licensing requirements within the city.

 


Lowry City Council
01/17/2011

By Valerie Schmidt

Merl Farber made a motion to withhold the pay request from Quam Construction for work on the ponds of the waste water treatment center for one month contingent upon completion of some projects which can be done this time of the year. The motion was seconded and quickly passed. According to Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree, city engineer, the pay estimate was $135,071.23 and would be the last payment until spring when work at the ponds would be completed.

Actually, Quam Construction is being assessed damages for not having the work completed and going past the ending date of completion on the contract. Damages per day are $1,400 a day; however, Anderson told the council that Rural Development will only allow the city to charge the contractor actual damages which won’t be $1,400.

Anderson said that the final payment would reflect the damages for not having the project completed when stated. He indicated that most of the items could be completed now, with an exception of two that would need to be done in the spring.

The council took action at their January 4 meeting to approve a change order which was approved since the project is coming in under budget.

Clerk Lucy Olson reported that the closing on the loan was completed. Due to the form of financing the city is eligible for a tax break. However, the city must file paperwork every year to get this money back. Olson said a firm had offered to do the paperwork every year for $165 a year. Early figures indicate that during the loan duration the city would get back nearly $9,000.

There was some discussion regarding if the firm would do the forms every year for $165, or if this fee would vary from year to year. However, it was felt the loss of one payment for failure to do the paperwork would offset the money received.

Another item on the agenda was the discussion of water rates. Olson told the council that the water fund had $200 at the end of the year, and earlier $1,000 was transferred from the general fund in order to pay current bills.

Olson told the board they had some unexpected bills on the well and well house totalling about $5,000. She said none of this had been budgeted. She said the annual payment to Rural Development had been paid. However in 2011 the water tower is scheduled to be cleaned and

painted outside. That contract is $15,940.

Her question was can we do the inside cleaning and delay the painting for two years? She had also contacted the firm if they would be willing to split the contract and they had indicated they would consider it. She concluded by saying, "We have no cushion, there’s nothing there." "I think we do have to be really careful in raising rates," council woman Iris Scott said.

"I hate to say leave it," Clerk Olson said. "In theory we should have enough. We won’t have $11,000 in meter expenses as we won’t have to do that again. Maybe table this a month so I can put better figures together." However, after some discussion the council agreed to increase the water rate to $17 from $15 starting with the March 1, 2011 billing date.

In other business:

*Learned the doors are here for the Community Center but the contractor is waiting for better weather to install;

*That an electrician had checked out the light fixture and made some recommendations and will return to complete the work within the next week;

*Christmas light contest winners were Rick and Aja Mayer in first place, John and Lucy Olson in second place and third place went to Kerry and Lorrie Nelson;

*Learned that the arsenic level for the last quarter was 9.44 parts per billion and the year average was 9.8 parts per billion which is within the guidelines;

*Mayor Dan Sutton and council members Iris Scott and Virgil Coziahr took the oath of office at the beginning of the meeting;

*Did the reorganization of the council which included stating the Lowry State Bank as official depository, Starbuck Times as the official newspaper, Virgil Coziahr as acting mayor, adopted 51¢ as the official IRS reimbursement; set council meetings as the first Tuesday of the month, and appointed Jan Nordmeyer as city attorney;

*Approved a resolution delegating the mayor, clerk, and acting mayor to transfer funds and sign checks and pay city bills;

*And, accepted a check from the Fireman’s Relief Association from charitable gambling in the amount of $47,500 to be placed in the Fire Department Fund for equipment and or vehicles.


12/06/10

‘Unusual traffic’ at Lowry home
leads to arrests on drug charges

By Amy Chaffins
Starbuck Times

Two Lowry residents are due in Pope County District Court Tuesday morning after they were charged with drug possession and sale.

On November 26, acting on a search warrant, the Pope County Sheriff’s Department, along with the West Central Minnesota Narcotics Task Force and the Minnesota State Patrol, arrested Alicia Klinkhammer, 19, and Andrew Denny, 22, at their residence at 329 Aurora in Lowry.

Both were arrested on charges of controlled substance violations after methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were found at the residence, according to Pope County Sheriff Tom Larson.

According to court documents, back in September, the West Central Narcotics Task Force was advised of an unusual volume of traffic to and from the Lowry residence.

About the same time, according to a confidential informant, the task force was also told that a known meth dealer in Stevens County had "set up shop" in the Lowry home.

The alleged dealer, Anthony Patrick White, had been wanted on active arrest warrants and, according to authorities, he had been using wigs to disguise his identity.

Then, in November, during two traffic stops of vehicles previously parked at 329 Aurora, law enforcement found meth, a digital scale and hypodermic needles.

On November 22, law enforcement found four trash bags that had been dumped at an area church

- those bags contained mailings to Klinkhammer and Denny, as well as disposed needles, one of which tested positive for meth.

During the November 26 search of the house at 329 Aurora, officers found prescription pills, two scales, a safe, plastic bags and one bag filled with meth. A glass jar in the garage tested positive for meth residue.

Along with the items discovered was a notebook that reportedly logged pay/owe sheets identifying 12 others who purchased meth and owed Klinkhammer a reported $49,000.

The criminal complaint also indicates that in an upstairs bedroom believed to be used by the alleged meth dealer, White, officers found court documents addressed to White, as well as baggies containing meth and several wigs.

Both Klinkhammer and Denny were home when authorities searched the house and they were arrested, according to court documents.

Denny has been charged with fifth-degree possession of meth - a felony - which carries a penalty of five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Klinkhammer has been charged with first-degree controlled substance sales - a felony - and, if convicted, she faces up to 30 years in prison and up to a $1 million fine. Klinkhammer was also charged with fifth-degree possession of meth which carries a penalty of five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.


11/29/10

Search Warrant leads to arrests in Lowry

Acting on a search warrant, the Pope County Sheriff’s Department, along with the West Central Minnesota Narcotics Task Force and the Minnesota State Patrol, arrested two individuals at their residence at 329 Aurora in Lowry last Friday, Nov. 26.

Alicia Klinkhammer, 19, and Andrew Denny, 22, were arrested after the search warrant was executed at about 9 a.m. Both were arrested on charges of first-degree controlled substance violations and on conspiracy to commit sales of narcotics, according to Pope County Sheriff Tom Larson. Methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia were found at the residence, Larson said Monday.


Lowry City Council

Submitted by Valerie Schmidt

November 15, 2010

Work on the waste water treatment plant and collection lines is pretty well completed for this construction season. Most work remaining will be left until spring, with some basic cleanup taking place yet this fall.

The good news was that the secondary pond passed the balance test on November 4, and the temporary bypass would be removed the following week. According to Chad Goemeitz of Design Tree, some small areas would be seeded and larger areas would be left until spring. As of

November 4, most work left is clean up and the installation of a couple grinder stations.

When asked if the ponds would freeze this winter, Goemeitz responded the primary pond would not freeze but the secondary pond would likely freeze.

Another project left at the pond site is the capping of the two wells. Council member Virgil Coziahr asked if it would be possible to leave the one well as it could be of benefit to the fi re department. The best well pumped about 250-300 gallons a minute. The other well proved to be unproductive

and it was thought this well may already be partially capped. The firemen were to meet the following week and would get back to Design Tree regarding their decision on the well.

In other business:

•decided to replace the double doors at the Community Center with one door and a side light. Several quotes had been received and one more was expected. Council members authorized the firm with the lowest quote to do the work to be approved;

•discussed the storm drain situation. It has been recommended these lines be televised. Council members felt the work could not be done this fall and this would give them time to see what the problem is and to make a decision on how best to repair the situation come spring;

•clerk Lucy Olson reported she had sent out 13 letters reminding property owners of delinquent utility accounts. She noted seven had taken care of the matter prior to Thursday’s council meeting, but she had not heard from the remaining six. They had to be sent a letter indicating the matter will need to be taken care of prior to November 22;

•adopted the election resolution pertaining to board canvassing of the election results from Tuesday’s election;

•approved one building permit and approved an amendment to a second permit. The first permit is for Quinco Press and the amendment was to Jon Larson for a lean-to on a garage;

•learned work had been done to the city well and everything was now working properly.


Lowry News
October 26, 2010

By Valerie Schmidt

The good news received at the regular meeting of the Lowry City Council was that the waste water treatment project is coming very close to completion. According to Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree the primary pond passed the water balance test and is now ready to be used. His next step is to check to see if the system cannot be switched to using the new pond system before the secondary pond has been tested. The secondary pond is now completed but needs to go through the same testing procedure as the primary pond.

Most of the tidying up work will be completed in the spring. There is some sporadic patchwork, dirt and grass seeding, replacement trees and shrubs that will be done come spring. Also the asphalt wear course will go on Poplar Avenue, and Cherry Street will be done in the spring of 2011.

A representative of the West Central Initiative Fund, Tom McSparron, was present at the meeting to update their activities and goals of their organization. The city has contributed to the WCIF over the past years. That amount has varied and recently $300. Last month the WCIF requested this amount again and council members felt it might be good to discuss what this money was used for and if it benefited residents of the area before making the contribution. After listening to McSparron’s presentation council members were satisfied that the money was being well spent and voted to participate again with a contribution of $300.

The council also considered a request from the Turkey Federation and Bob Chan’s grandchildren to plant two trees at the Community Center in memory of Bob. While discussing the trees it was noted another tree needed to be replaced. Council members approved the planting of these two new trees and a replacement tree and noted these trees would be planted come spring. (Editor's Note:  Thank you. Bob did a lot for the community and deserved the recognition)

Council members feel something must be done with the front doors on the community center as there is a gap at the bottom of the doors as they have rusted out through the years allowing cold air to enter. The main concern with this, along with losing heat, is that the water pipes to the kitchen are in the floor in front of the doors.

One suggestion was they could reduce the front entrance from two doors to one door. While discussing the concept someone suggested the city should also consider adding an enclosure built out from the doors to protect the doorway and also provide an unlocked area for the children to wait for the bus in the morning. While they were discussing door replacement it was noted they needed to keep in mind it was a public building and therefore they needed to keep it handicapped accessible. Action was taken to explore options and costs for this project and make a decision in what direction they will go at that point.

Tammy McIver told the council that her sanitary service line has collapsed and needs to be replaced. She indicated she had talked to a workman when the installation of the new main line was being installed to see if a separate connection could be installed since her line went into a shared line with the Gospel Hall.

The complication to this was that her request was not relayed to the engineer or the construction supervisor during construction. Anderson explained that the plans had been drawn up following a televising of the old sewer lines and the contract called for hooking up only the existing lines. If there were to be any additions they would need to be approved by Rural Development. He said he would do the necessary checking of plans and see if an additional connection was added at the time of installing the new line.

Everyone in Lowry who operates a sump pump must remember that the water must be pumped outside and not directly into the sanitary sewer lines. Anderson reported that following the 4-1/2 inches of rain after Labor Day there were repeated alarms at the lift station. During that time over 200,000 gallons of water were going through the lift station, which is about three times more than normal. Residents also need to be reminded that in Minnesota it is against the law to have their sump pumps pump into the city system and the city also has an ordinance prohibiting this activity. With so much clean water going into the ponds it makes it extremely difficult to treat the waste water accordingly.

In other business:

•Approved pay estimate five to Quam Construction and approved change order four which extends the project deadline by two weeks because of the excessive rainfall. The council also approved change order five which deals with the sanitation of drain tile in the bottom of the secondary pond. This was necessary to get the pond dried and ready for testing the pond liner; •Noted they were still working to correct an illegal water connection;

•Authorized contacting Johnson Jet-Line to clean out a plugged storm drain on Highway 114. It was noted the drain is open on the Maple Street side, but plugged on the Aurora Avenue side;

•Reviewed a list of delinquent utility accounts and noted they would review the list again in November;

•Approved two building permits. One was requested by David and Carla Lundblad to add a 13’ x 16’3" season porch to the southwest side of their home. The second request was for 12’ x 20’ storage shelter on Ron Gorder’s property.

 

 


October 11, 2010

Benefit at Hatchery to help locals running in NYC marathon

   

         Stacy Hedner                                     Ryan Schleif

By Steffanie Dahlseng

Staff writer

The Hatchery Bar and Gill in Lowry will be hosting a rock concert benefit for soon-to-be New York City marathon runners Ryan Schleif formerly of Lowry and Stacy Hedner formerly of Starbuck on Saturday Oct. 16.

The benefit will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. and include music, dancing and libations. Silverado will be the band. There will be a $10 charge at the door and a raffl e and silent auction inside. One of the prizes is Vikings tickets.

Schlief and Hedner are running the New York City marathon to raise money for Witness, an international human rights organization, started by musician Peter Gabriel, that uses video to bring light to human rights violations. Witness empowers people to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change.

Schlief and Hedner grew up in Pope County. They have known each other since they were four years old. They both grew up attending the Church of the Sacred Heart in Glenwood. Schlief asked Hedner to do the marathon with him.

Hedner said she is using a run/walk method to prepare for the marathon. For example, for every nine minutes she runs, she will walk one minute. “We are eating like we are pregnant, and we are walking like we are going to deliver,” said Schlief.

Schleif works at Witness’s offices in Brooklyn, New York and often travels to countries like India, Cambodia and Indonesia. He is the son of Angie and Randy Schlief of Glenwood.

Hedner is the daughter of Mark and Rosie Hedner of Starbuck. She is currently a banking attorney in St. Paul “Everyone knows it is such a physical challenge, but I am really looking forward to the mental challenge of it,” said Hedner.

The New York City marathon is 26.2 miles or 461.45 football fields. It will take place on Nov 7.


September 13, 2010

Lowry City Council

Submitted by Valerie Schmidt

Lowry council members had few items on their regular monthly agenda on Tuesday night. Among the items were an update on the wastewater treatment facility, meter update and adopting a proposed levy and budget for 2011.

Riley Kephart, representing Design Tree, told the council that they were on schedule until the recent heavy rains. Currently they are pumping about four inches of water from the secondary pond into the primary pond. Once that has been filled, they will be able to test it to be sure the

liner is not leaking. At this point it will be at least another two weeks before the liner can be installed in the secondary pond.

Several other items regarding reseeding, and restoration were discussed, but it was noted even these activities cannot be addressed until the area dries off considerably.

According to city clerk Lucy Olson the water meters have been either re-installed or new meters installed or yard hydrants removed where they were not metered. At this point it appears there is only one account left to be addressed and that is being addressed at the current time and hopefully

will be completed before winter sets in.

After working on the budget, council members were satisfied they did not need to increase the levy for 2011, and it will remain the same as for 2010.

Council members adopted a proposed levy. This amount can be reduced at their meeting in December, but they cannot increaseit. the levy proposed is:

General Fund $65,000

Fire Dept. $14,000

First Responders $1,500

Streets $15,000

Total $95,000

In other business:

•Approved a resolution to accept the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Certification for funds for the waste water treatment facility;

•Authorized the fourth payment to Quam Construction in the amount of $346,077.46;

•Approved a change in language in the water ordinance. The major change deals with yard hydrants that must be metered through the house or the city has the right to have them removed or locked. This ordinance will replace the ordinance currently on the books and a summary will be

published for two weeks;

•Accepted a check from Runestone Telecom in the amount of $860 with the money to be used toward the completion of the tennis courts;

•Authorized clerk Olson to ask a representative of the West Central Minnesota Initiative Fund to come to the October council meeting to discuss their plans and programs that may be beneficial to Lowry.


7/26/10

Lowry City Council Meeting

Contributed by Valerie Schmidt

Most of the discussion at the regular meeting of the Lowry City Council was centered on the waste water treatment system which is under construction this summer. According to Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree Engineering, the project is about 50 percent completed. The week of July 6, contractors were expecting to finish work on Poplar Street. This leaves the three alley lines left to complete. Anderson is optimistic that if work continues as it has the project could be completed in town by the middle of August.

Work has also been going well at the pond site. The primary pond has been lined with sand and approximately one-third of the secondary pond has been completed. It was noted the fencing will need to be installed around the pond sites in order to insure deer cannot get into the area before any liner can be installed in the ponds.

There were some concerns expressed about the sand being used as bedding for the new pipe that has been installed. It was learned this has been trucked in separately from what has been stockpiled in town.

Before going further with the installation of pipe, the sewer lines are being air tested to insure no leaks or holes are in the lines before the final hook-ups are started and completed.

There has been some crop loss for the owner on the land south of Isabella Street. Anderson agreed to check with Rural Development to see about the reimbursement. He noted this should be an expense that should be reimbursed. Anderson also felt that there may need to be some tree replacements in a couple of areas.

During the excavation process a very large rock had been excavated at the ball park. Mayor Bruce Larson said that he had already found someone who wanted the rock and had given it to them. Quite a number of rocks were also excavated at the pond site. Some of these are very large granite rocks.

The city council has three positions on the ballot this fall. One for a two-year term as mayor and two council member positions for 4-year terms. Filing for council positions begins August 3 and ends on August 17. The August 10 council meeting will be delayed by one-half hour from 7:30 to 8 p.m. since it is the primary election and the council meeting cannot be held while the polls are open. Council members considered a request from a resident to grade gravel roads in order to fix the pot holes. That work will be done when weather cooperates. It was felt a little more rain would soften the gravel so it would grade better. It was agreed to check with Lundblad Brothers to see if there would be someone interested in purchasing these rocks and if they could give the city an estimate of what the rocks might be worth.

And then, there is the continuing saga of the water meters. There were some repairs done by the plumber during the last month. That leaves seven to be repaired in the city. Mayor Bruce Larson said he would talk to the one property owner who has one meter which is metering the commercial portion of water use, and a second meter needs to be installed to take care of the residential water use.

The good news is that the city is already seeing results as far as water use versus the actual water pumped by the city. This means that the water revenues have been increased due to these fixes.

In other business, the council:

• Received the financial report for year ending 2009 from the city auditor, Stuart Bonniwell;

• Approved pay estimate #2 for Quam Construction and also the second change order which dealt with the removal of unwanted material at the pond site;

• Learned the city had received a check from Minnesota Rural Water in the amount of $1,024.86. The interim financing for the construction work being done this summer was through Minnesota Rural Water and this reflects money earned on the unborrowed money of the loan;

• Noted that all residents received a letter asking for input on sounding the siren at 10 p.m. Only 18 responses were received at the city office, and of those, 13 responded they wanted the siren to sound year around at 10 p.m. This will be started soon;

• Heard Clerk Lucy Olson explain that 48 dogs have been licensed, either through renewal or new licensure. However, there are still eight dogs which have not been licensed and possibly another dog that has never been licensed in Lowry. She will send this dog owner a letter reminding them of the city ordinance. There was also some discussion about having the police department issue tickets to dog owners who do not get their dogs licensed;

• Heard that the primary election is set for August 10. Election judges have been scheduled for training for the primary and general election with the general election scheduled for November 2. This year the city has three vacancies: a 2-year term for mayor and two council members seats for 4 years.

• Set August 16th as a working meeting to work an ordinance language and also to work on the 2011 budget; and

• Discussed a garage behind the post office. According to council member Virgil Coziahr several are concerned the building is leaning and in danger of falling over. Clerk Olson responded that a representative from the Legion are planning to contact the owner of the property to see if the building could be removed.

 


7/19/10

Highway 55 open between Glenwood, Kensington

Motorists are now able to travel on Highway 55 between Kensington and Glenwood, which opened to traffic July 13, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reported last Thursday.

Highway 55 is still closed to traffic between Hoffman and Kensington. Motorists are being detoured on Douglas Highway27 and Douglas County Road 1. Highway 55 between Hoffman and Glenwood closed May 10 when a reconstruction, resurfacing, and bridge and culvert replacement project began.

Central Specialties Inc. is the prime contractor for the $8.1 million improvement project, which is on schedule to be completed by Sept. 3, weather permitting. Upon completion, the project will make Highway 55 safer and improve pavement quality.


starbuck times
6/22/2010

Lowry Days kicks off Friday

By Chad Koenen

It's a little earlier than usual, but Lowry will be taking center stage this weekend for the Fourth Annual Lowry Days.

While the lineup has been condensed a bit from years past there will be no shortage of activities and entertainment for people of all ages.

The festivities will kick off on Friday evening with a pork chop feed, meat raffle, wrestling at the American Legion and a karaoke contest at the Hatchery.

On Saturday, Lowry Days will boast an action-filled schedule of events from sun up to sun down. Beginning at 7 a.m., the Lowry Lions Pancake Feed and a bake sale will get underway. A softball tournament will start at 9 a.m. and an antique car, tractor and truck show will get underway on Main Street beginning at 10 a.m.

Beginning at 12 p.m., area children will be able to take advantage of a Kid's Carnival and later watch the Fireman's Water Wars on Main Street that will begin at 3 p.m.

Lowry Days will come to an eventful conclusion when the old Thyme Music band will be the first of two bands that will take center stage. They will be performing from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and will later give way to Silverado who will be playing from 8 p.m.-12 a.m.

Other events on Saturday include a chicken feed, bingo, and a chicken poopin' contest.

Next year, Lowry will celebrate its 125th anniversary and Lowry Days will expand to a full weekend of events-including the grand parade. The Fifth Annual Lowry Days is set for June 24-26, 2011.

Lowry Days 2010

Friday, June 25

• 5 p.m. Pork Chop Feed at Legion

• 6:30 p.m. Meat raffle at Legion

• 8 p.m. Wrestling at Legion

• 9 p.m. Karaoke contest at Hatchery

Saturday, June 26

• 7-10 a.m. Lowry Lions Pancake Feed at Community Center

• 7-10 a.m. Bake Sale at Ben Wade Covenant Church

• 9 a.m. Softball tournament

• 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Food stand-Discovery Days at Community Center

• 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Antique Car, Tractor, Truck Show Main Street

• 12-4 p.m. Kids’ Carnival

• 3 p.m. Fireman’s Water Wars

• 4 p.m. Chicken Poopin’

• 4:30-6:30 p.m. Band - Old Thyme Music

• 4:30-7 p.m. Chicken Feed

• 6-8 p.m. Bingo at American Legion

• 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Street Dance, Silverado

• 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Food stand


6/14/2010

Scott appointed to Lowry council
By Valerie Schmidt

The first item addressed by the Lowry City Council at their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 1, was the appointment of a council member to replace Brad Munson, who submitted his letter of resignation at the April council meeting. At that meeting one person had expressed interest in filling that position. The action was tabled at that meeting to appoint someone to fill the position as the council wanted to see if there were others who were interested.

However, no one else expressed serious interest in the position. One other person had indicated they would be willing to fill the position until the end of the year if no one else could be found, but it was not their intention to file for the coming election. Tuesday night council members made it official that Iris Scott will be the new council person. She took the oath of office and began her term Tuesday night.

Since she was appointed to the position by the council, she will fill out the remainder of Munson's term and then file for election this fall. Munson had also been appointed by the council to fill out an unexpired term of another individual.

Residents will be happy to learn that much of the wastewater treatment construction is well under way and is pretty much on schedule. According to Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree all the directional and jack borings have been completed. There are still some areas where pipe needs to be installed and the lift station also needs to be installed. After this has been completed, individual hook-ups to the system will begin. Anderson said Quam was about 30% done with the project as of June.

Beginning the first part of July he anticipated they would be getting the liner in place in the pond. Contruc-tion work at the pond site has also been going well.

Anderson reported there had been two change orders to date, and both had been approved by Rural Development. "I'm sure we'll run into a few of them as we go along," Anderson told the council. In any construction project, change orders are anticipated and expected and this is partially the reason a contingency is built into the project.

Someone had asked the council why the ten o'clock whistle was no longer blown. Last summer there had been several complaints from individuals who must get up early to go to work and therefore are in bed long before ten o'clock. These individuals complained they would get to sleep and the siren would then awaken them making it difficul to go back to sleep.

Since the new siren is much louder and can be heard at a further distance, council members decided to try not blowing it at 10 p.m. However, some individuals feel with school shortly out for the summer, this curfew reminder is now needed again.

One suggestion was to blow the siren at 10 p.m. only through the summer and return to the 6 and noon schedule when school had started. After some discussion, council members asked the city clerk to include this in the newsletter to residents to see what the preference was. Lucy Olson responded that not all residents read the newsletter and there were times she wondered if it was worth the effort to get together the newsletter, but indicated she would include this so that residents can express their opinions or ideas to the council members.

In other business:

*Learned that of the 16 targeted meters to be repaired or fixed, that so far nine had been completed;

*Also learned after reviewing the current water ordinance that some language needs to be updated, or revised. This will be done at another meeting;

*Learned their request for grant funds from Center-point Energy had been denied, with Centerpoint indicating the city had received a grant in 2009, and they were attempting to award grants to communities who had not recently received grant funding from them;

*Approved a building permit for a storage building on a vacant lot on Poplar Street;

*And, heard an update on the tennis court. Some of the chain link fence has been installed and it is anticipated that another one or two work evenings by the local 4-H club will see the work completed shortly. There had also been some complaints about the depth of the pea rock in the playground. This will be checked into and appropriate action taken.

 


06/14/2010

A tribute to Barbie dolls
Local residents displayed Barbie doll collections


Valerie Schmidt and Doris Wersinger put their large collection of Barbie dolls on display at the Lowry Community Center earlier this spring. The collectors have over 150 Barbie dolls.

By Chad Koenen
Starbuck Times

There are few feats that Barbie hasn’t conquered.

She has driven a race car, been a cheerleader for just about every college and professional sports team imaginable, competed in the Olympics, ran for President of the United States, and has even been married on a few occasions. With her feats and accomplishments limited only by the imagination of a preteenchild, Valerie Schmidt and Doris Wersinger are hoping to bring their more-than 150 doll collection of Barbie, Ken and the whole gang to neighborhoods throughout the area.

While she was never allowed to have a Barbie as a child, Schmidt is now making up for a lifetime of Barbie doll collecting by scouring through thrift stores, garage sales, and retail stores to search for dolls to add to her collection.

"My mother wouldn’t let me have a Barbie doll; she thought they looked ugly," she said.

While just a portion of her collection easily filled a large table in the Lowry Community Center hallway during a recent doll show, Schmidt won’t just buy any old Barbie doll—there must be a certain level of collectability or personal like for a doll before she purchases the doll. Just 15 years after starting her collection, some of Schmidt’s Barbies include a 42 inch walking Barbie doll, one of the first Barbie dolls and a later replica of the original doll, and a variety of hard-to-find and common Barbies.

Though she has always liked Barbies, Wersinger’s extensive collection has taken a different twist.

An experienced knitter, Wersinger has put her own historic touch on the Barbie dolls by creating one-of-akind outfi ts for her dolls. The clothing is meant to replicate the outfits worn by some of the world’s most historic figures.

Her first creation was the Gibson girl who is a 1900s golf girl, and since that time she has created

historical clothing for everyone from George and Martha Washington, Pocahontas, Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks. Everything she creates for the figures are authentic, straight down to the clothes, hairstyle and undergarments they wear. The outfits are truly one-of-a-kind and combine

Wersinger’s passion for dolls with her lifetime love of knitting.

After bringing joy to their lives for so many years, Schmidt and Wersinger are hoping to share their

love of Barbie dolls with others in the area. For the second time in just a few months, both Schmidt and Wersinger held a doll show in Pope County. The doll show was held at the Lowry Community Center on April 5 and follows a show that the two collectors held at the Minnewaska Lutheran Home late last year.

Wersinger said she got the idea to hold a doll show at the MLH Commons when she was a resident

at the home. The doll show brought out quite a crowd of both residents and people from the public who were eager to see the large collection of Barbie dolls and historical creations that Wersinger created. While they have yet to get paid monetarily for either of their two doll shows, Wersinger

said the sight and comments of some of the visitors at the MLH show, including three ladies who attended who typically didn’t venture much from their room meant more than any money that could have been collected.

"There were three ladies who seldom left their room and that was payment enough," she said.

Over the next few months Schmidt and Wersinger plan on holding other doll shows in the area. If the reception from their fi rst two shows are any indication, the large collection of Barbie dolls will bring a few more smiles, laughs and memories of little girls at heart across the region.


May 31, 2010
Lowry American Legion donates to “Riding for a Cause”

14th Annual Motorcycle Ride supporting Glacial Ridge Hospice set for June 19-20

Photo by Amy Chaffins
Last week, Lowry American Legion Adjutant Bob Chan presented a $500 donation to
Mike Tamte, Glacial Ridge Hospice “Riding For a Cause” motorcycle ride volunteer.

“Riding For a Cause,” the 14th Annual Motorcycle Ride Supporting Glacial Ridge Hospice, is scheduled for Saturday, June 19.

That day, in Glenwood’s City Park, lunch and registration will be held at 11 a.m.; the Hospice Ride is set to depart at 1 p.m., and the Night Ride around Lake Minnewaska will begin at 9 p.m.

On Sunday, June 20, a community breakfast, sponsored by Schwieters Chevrolet and served by Glenwood Rotary, runs from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. During that event, a community church service will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the park.

For more information, or to preregister, call 634-2221, e-mail terri.anderson@glacialridge.org (in the subject line, use the word “Ride”), or visit www.pcmotorcycleweekend.org for details.


5/17/10

Munson resigns position on Lowry City Council
By Valerie Schmidt

Besides water issues, the members of the Lowry City Council addressed the resignation of a council member and addressed the need to have gravel spread on a street to fill the potholes as well as addressing the appearance of a building and a vehicle parked on Main Street sitting on jacks.

Council member Brad Munson had submitted his letter of resignation to the council. His resignation is effective immediately. Munson said in his letter of resignation that traveling with his work made it impossible for him to be a responsible council member.

The council accepted his resignation and then took action to create a vacancy on the council. One person has already expressed interest in the opening, but Mayor Bruce Larson did not want to take action at Tuesday's meeting until more people were aware there was an opening and also because another council member was unable to attend due to illness. Mayor Larson said the vacancy would be filled at the June council meeting.

Munson was also an appointed individual to the council and his term would have expired at the end of the year. The person who will be appointed to continue out his term will also have the opportunity to run for the position in the election if they so desire.

Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree was present at the Tuesday evening council meeting to update the council on the progress of construction work on the waste water treatment facility. As of Tuesday, May 4, six crews were in Lowry working on the placement of sewer lines. Anderson felt that most of this construction would likely take a couple of months.

While there is work going on within the city limits of Lowry, work has also began at the pond site. Anderson estimated it would take them about three weeks to do the excavation portion of the ponds, and then they would line the ponds with sand and then the liner.

Once the directional boring has been completed in town, then Quam Construction will start connecting the system and connect each service. They will begin work on Poplar and Isabella streets next week.

So far the city is waiting to hear regarding the arsenic issue. The needed information had been submitted to the PPLS, and the Department of Health has the needed information. Anderson again estimated that since the problem is arsenic it should give the city an additional 30 points on the list as far as getting funded for a new well.

During the last of April city council members met for a working meeting to discuss the water meter situation in town. Design Tree had made a number of recommendations to correct the situation the city was dealing with. Last fall a contractor had been hired to check out all water meters in town for accuracy and to see if there were some areas where water was being used but not metered. Those issues along with some faulty installed meters had been identified is that inspection.

The city has now proceeded to hire a master plumber to begin correcting a couple of the issues identified in the report. It is their goal to get most of these issues taken care of by September. The report identified several outside hydrants that were not metered. In several instances, it is the recommendation that these hydrants be dug up.

Donna Vosberg brought pictures of a building that is directly behind the Legion that appears to be a hazard. The council informed her they had had this discussion at the April meeting, but after checking with the city's attorney it was felt the city would be involving itself in a very lengthy and costly adventure in attempting to condemn the building since it is on private property.

However, the council did agree to send a letter to the property owner requesting that he attend the June city council meeting, and also to send a letter to the tenant requesting that clean-up in and around the building should be started.

In regard to a vehicle parked on Main Street sitting on jacks, it was the recommendation of the council to notify the city police department and have them care of the situation.

In other news

• Authorized Lundblad Brothers to haul class 5 gravel to an area on North Cherry street that is plagued with potholes;

• Learned that the Board of Equalization will be meeting at the Pope County Courthouse on May 17 at 10 a.m.

• Approved a change in the bingo gambling license for the American Legion. That date had originally been set for September, but now will be held at the end of June.


Pope County Tribune

Lowry City Council
Contributed by Valerie Schmidt

Water issues topped the agenda of the Lowry City Council at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 6.

Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree updated the council on the pre-construction conference which was held on March 18. He said no big surprises had come from this which was good. Quam had given them the list of all sub contractors for the project. Anderson noted that most of the sub-contractors were local. Work is scheduled to begin the week of May 24, and they will start south of Isabella and work toward Drury then to Poplar and begin to work east.

At this time Anderson said he was waiting for a schedule of the pond construction but felt he would be getting a date fairly soon.

The city also needed to approve someone to test certain aspects of the construction of the pond site. According to Anderson this is a fairly new requirement of Rural Development. Since his firm does not have anyone on board to do this testing, they submitted this out to two firms. The lowest one bid the work at $31,600. Anderson assured the council that this is an expense that will be covered by the loans and grants, this was bid at an hourly rate, and Anderson was confident that the amount could be less than what Brawn Intertech bid. Council members authorized Anderson to proceed with this firm.

In other business for the wastewater treatment project council members authorized signing the agreement for the wastewater treatment grant in the amount of $2,665,000.

The next issue was arsenic in the water. John Grothe had been to Lowry recently and six wells outside of the city limits had been tested. Several of the wells tested were no better than what the city is currently dealing with. However, one well not far out of the city showed zero nitrates and zero arsenic.

Anderson said the next step is to get on the project priority list at the Department of Health. All the paperwork needed to be submitted to the Department of Health, Anderson said he and his firm could do. Once they have an opportunity to review the paperwork, the Department of Health would assign the project points.

Once Lowry is on the list, they can then look at further funding based on what will be determined as needs. Anderson said the city would not have long to wait as the official list is published in June. He told the city they used the same formula as Rural Development, so they would be eligible for loans and grants.

It now appears the city will need to drill a new well and construct a new well house at the site, then pipe the water to Lowry.

The water meter situation was the next item the council addressed. Design Tree submitted their report with recommendations on how to address the issues and concerns that were found during the water testing. While not all issues will be addressed immediately, council members feel that a number of the issues must be addressed. They set a work meeting for April 19  at 7:30 p.m. to start addressing the issues in the report.

In other business, the council:

• Took action to now waive the monetary limits on municipal liability as established in MN statute 466.04;

• Authorized clerk Lucy Olson to submit a grant application to Charter Point Energy on behalf of the police, first responders, and fire departments;

• Authorized the hiring of a temporary person to do yard waste pickup until the person hired can start on a regular basis. It was noted yard waste would not be picked up on a regular basis in the interim;

• Discussed condemnation of a building behind the post office and Legion, but decided not to pursue it at this time since the building is on private property and not city property;

• Authorized a building permit to Jon Larson to construct a lean-to on his two car garage with work beginning after the waste water treatment work has been completed;

• Heard a tennis court update from Mayor Bruce Larson. Larson stated that the corner and gate posts had been installed  Monday evening by members of the 4-H Club. He said two walk-in gates need to be purchased, and that on May 10 the 4-H would be planting flowers and they would later start installing the chain link fencing around the tennis court;

• Learned from clerk Olson the city of Lowry would lose $5,053 this year in local government aid; and

• Authorized the clerk to send letters to dog owners who have not had their dog licensed. Some owners will be assessed the cost of several years, for each year the dog has been unlicensed.

Pope County Tribune


   
Work to begin soon on Lowry wastewater project
By Valerie Schmidt
4/13/10

Water issues of some kind were the items topping the agenda of the Lowry City Council at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 6.

Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree updated the council on the pre-construction conference which was held on March 18. He said no big surprises had come from this which was good. Quam had given them the list of all sub contractors for the project. Anderson noted that most of the sub-contractors were local. Work is scheduled to begin the week of May 24 and they will start south of Isabella and work toward Drury then to Poplar and begin to work east.

At this time Anderson said he was waiting for a schedule of the pond construction but felt he would be getting a date fairly soon.

The city also needed to approve someone to test certain aspects of the construction of the pond site. According to Anderson this is a fairly new requirement of Rural Development. Since his firm does not have anyone on board to do this testing, they had submitted this out to two firms. The lowest one had bid the work at $31,600. Anderson assured the council that this is an expense that will be covered by the loans and grants.

This was bid at an hourly rate, and Anderson was confident that the amount could be less than what Brawn Intertech had bid. Council members authorized Anderson to proceed with this firm.

In other business for the wastewater treatment project council members authorized signing the agreement for the wastewater treatment grant in the amount of $2,665,000.

The next issue was the arsenic in the water. John Grothe had been to Lowry recently and six wells outside of the city limits had been tested. Several of the wells tested were no better than what the city is currently dealing with. However, one well not far out of the city showed zero nitrates and zero arsenic.

Anderson said the next step is to get on the project priority list at the Department of Health. All the paperwork needed to be submitted to the Department of Health, Anderson said he and his firm could do. Once they have an opportunity to review the paperwork, the Department of Health would assign the project points.

Once Lowry is on the list, they can then look at further funding based on what will be determined as needs. Anderson said the city would not have long to wait as the official list is published in June. He told the city they used the same formula as Rural Development, so they would be eligible for loans and grants.

It now appears the city will need to drill a new well, and construct a new well house at the site, then pipe the water to Lowry.

The water meter situation was the next item the council addressed. Design Tree has submitted their report with recommendations on how to address the issues and concerns that were found during the water testing. While not all issues will be addressed immediately, council members feel that a number of the issues must be addressed. They set a work meeting for April 19 at 7:30 p.m. to start addressing the issues in the report.

In other news

• Took action to now waive the monetary limits on municipal tort liability as established in MN statute 466.04.

• Authorized Clerk Lucy Olson to submit a grant application to Charter Point Energy on behalf of the police, First Responders, and fire departments.

• Authorized the hiring of a temporary person to do yard waste pickup until the person hired can start on a regular basis. It was noted yard waste would not be picked up on a regular basis on the interim.

• Discussed condemnation of a building behind he post office and Legion, but decided not to pursue it at this time since the building is on private property and not city property.

• Authorized a building permit to Jon Larson to construct a lean-to on his two car garage with work beginning after the waste water treatment work has been completed.

• Heard a tennis court update from Mayor Bruce Larson. Larson stated that the corner and gate posts had been installed Monday evening by members of the 4-H Club. He said two walk-in gates need to be purchased, and that on May 10 the 4-H would be planting flowers and they would later start installing the chain link fencing around the tennis court.

• Learned from Clerk Olson the city of Lowry would lose $5,053 this year in local government aid.

• Authorized the clerk to send letters to dog owners who have not had their dog licensed. Some owners will be assessed the cost of several years, for each year the dog has been unlicensed.

 


March 22, 2010

On behalf of Prairie Lakes Coop, Grain Division Manager Dan Kvitek (right) presented Lowry First Responders Virgil and June Coziahr and Shawn Stoen with a $1,000 grant for the organization.

Lowry First Responders receive grant from Prairie Lakes Co-op

Lowry First Responders recently received a $1,000 grant from Prairie Lakes Coop as part of the company’s Community Grant Program.

Prairie Lakes Coop selected Lowry First Responders to receive a $1,000 grant towards their objective of replacing pagers.

Applying schools and local community organizations have to indicate their plans for the grant money, supply general information about the schools/organizations, project, and purpose of the request, along with specific financial needs and projected outcomes.

Applications can be found online at www.prairielakescoop.com.

“Pagers are an essential tool to the Lowry First Responders. This is how they are notified of an emergency. We are proud to be able to provide funding directly to local organizations which enhance the quality of life for farmers and rural communities,” said Brad Manderschied, Prairie Lakes Coop General Manager.

Members of the Lowry First Responders are: Karin Anderson, June Coziahr, Virgil Caziahr, Ann Drewes, Brenda Hvezda, Dennis Jones, Lisa Olson, Bob Paulzine, Jake Paulzine, Mary Paulzine, Jeannie Person, Deb Peikarski, Kristie Reuss, Teresa Sarff, Jeanette Stoen, Shawn Stoen, Dan Sutton, Denny Tolifson, Greg Tolifson, Adam Zins and Elizabeth Zins.

Prairie Lakes Coop awarded this $1,000 grant to the Lowry First Responders on behalf of its local member owners. Prairie Lakes Coop (prairielakescoop.com), a CHS Service Center, provides products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets to meet the needs of its patrons. Prairie Lakes Coop has locations in the communities of Cyrus, Hoffman, Elrosa, Lowry, Long Prairie, Park Rapids, Glenwood and Starbuck creating relationships with customers in agronomy inputs, propane, fuel, and grain marketing.


Starbuck Times
March 15, 2010

Dingwall named as Citizen of the Year
By Chad Koenen

Photo by Chad Koenen
Jane Dingwall was honored as the 2010 Lowry Citizen of the Year on Thursday evening. Lowry Lions President Ken Weisel presented Dingwall with the award at a special banquet at the Lowry Community Center.


Jane Dingwall was the guest of honor at the annual Lowry Citizen of the Year banquet on Thursday evening-she just didn't know it.

With more-than 50 of her friends, former coworkers and associates in attendance, the long-time Lowry resident was honored at a special banquet at the Lowry Community Center.

Dingwall said she didn't think anything was out of the ordinary when she was invited to attend the annual banquet hosted by the Lowry Lions Club as her mother was a previous recipient of the Lowry Citizen of the Year and a portion of the banquet recognizes past recipients of the award.

However, shortly after the banquet began, a shocked Dingwall learned that she was being named as the 2010 Lowry Citizen of the Year. Following a dinner held in her honor, Dingwall said she was honored to receive the award and said she has enjoyed living in the Lowry area.

"It is great to be a part of the this community," she said after receiving her award.

After moving to Lowry as a child, Dingwall attended and eventually graduated high school from Glenwood. She eventually began working for Nelson, Kuhn, and Nordmeyer Law Firm for approximately 45 years, from which she retired in 2007. In addition to working at the law firm, Dingwall spent a lot of time volunteering at St. Paul's Lutheran Church. She was the church organist for 35 years and hosted the Tuesday night Stitchin Chicks group at her house for church crafts. Dingwall also spent a lot of time doing mission work, and has been a caretaker and youth mentor for a number of years.

But work and church weren't her only passions as Dingwall enjoys to travel and go camping with her family. During the banquet she was described as the best aunt in the world and remembers all her nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews birthdays and holidays.

 


There are hundreds of photos of Pope County veterans on the Veterans Wall at the Pope County Museum, but more are needed. Museum staff is encouraging the public to share military photos of a family member.

Calling all veterans! The museum needs your photo
Contributed by Pope County Museum staff

The Pope County Museum is expanding and updating its Veterans Wall. The wall currently displays photographs of veterans from all service branches, but museum staff is asking the public to help make the exhibit as complete as possible.

All veterans in Pope County are asked to submit a photograph of themselves in military  uniform to be included on the Veterans Wall.

The museum will use a wallet-size image in the display, but can accept any size photo and enlarge or reduce it on site.

“We would like all Pope County veterans to be represented and honored,” said Ann Grandy, Assistant Curator, “but we need help. I won’t break into anyone’s house and go through their photo albums, so we rely on families to bring the pictures to us.”

The museum is also seeking photos of men and women who are currently serving. “We don’t want to limit our exhibit to one certain time period; we are looking for images of Pope County residents who have served from the Civil War through today,” said Grandy. “So, whether you grew up in Pope County or came here later in life, we want to include you.”

Families can also bring in photos of their ancestors from Pope County who served.

Donors are also encouraged to include information on when and where the veteran served. “We have biographical questionnaires to get you started,” said Grandy. “But any information you would like to share about your time in the service, or your life since then would be a welcome addition to our archives.”

Photos can be mailed, e-mailed, or delivered in person. Anyone dropping off a veteran photo can tour the museum for free. Contact the museum at 634-3292 or pcmuseum@wisper-wireless.com for more information or to see if you are already represented on the wall.

The museum is planning a grand reopening of the exhibit close to the Fourth of July, so please get your photos in as soon as possible, no later than April 30.


Lowry City Council Meeting
By Valerie Schmidt

3/8/10

The Lowry City Council met Tuesday, March 2, and it was noted that most of the paperwork has been completed for the sewer project and five loads of pipe have already been unloaded for the project.

On March 18, a preconstruction meeting will be held and, according to Clerk Lucy Olson, the council members do not have to attend as long as she’s at the  meeting.

The council also signed the contracts with Quam’s Incorporated.

Currently, the city is awaiting answers from several residents outside the city limits for permission to test their water for arsenic. Once everyone has responded, a date and time will be set to have the water tested.

After reviewing the costs to blend the water from the back-up well with the main well, it was felt it would likely be cheaper to drill a new well at a site where there were lower levels of arsenic and pipe the water into town.

Clerk Olson warned the council that in getting the state budget balanced the governor may take away the Local Government Aid for this year and next year. She said that would be about $12,000 the City of Lowry would be losing and would need to find ways to make up.

In regard to summer hire, it was decided to contact the individual who did the work last summer to see if they would be interested. If not, then the council would need to advertise for the part-time position.


Lowry City Council
12/14/09

Contributed by Valerie Schmidt

Bids for the waste water treatment facility will be opened at the Lowry Community Center on December 16, at 4 p.m. According to
Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree Engineering, a pre-bid meeting is scheduled for December 2, where those contractors interested in the project will have an opportunity to view the site of construction and ask questions pertaining to the project.

Anderson told the council members at the December meeting on Tuesday night that currently there are fifty plan holders and he felt
this was a good sign. At thispoint he said there had been no unusual questions regarding the bid specs.

The next step after the bids have been received and opened will be to tabulate the bids and do the necessary required paperwork for
Rural Development before a bid can be awarded. But it is safe to say that come spring construction will actually begin on the project, possibly as soon as the frost is out of the ground.

Council members also learned the meter inspection is almost completed. Anderson said 121 meters have been inspected with 161
meters in the city. The last forty who have not responded to letters will receive a telephone call from the city clerk, notifying them of a
time when the meter will be inspected. Anderson is hoping this can be completed within three days next week.

After completing the inspections Anderson said he then would put together recommendations about what should be done, and what
could be fixed. At this time he said most of the meters have been installed correctly and they have found few problems. He said he felt the issue being addressed would end with a pretty simple fix. However, the second arsenic test was 7.9 parts per billion.That, however, is less than the 10.4 which is the maximum amount of arsenic allowed in water. The primary well also tested high for arsenic at 10.8 which means residents in the city will again be receiving a letter indicating the water does not meet state levels regarding arsenic.

At this point Anderson is recommending they blend the wells 50/50 which will bring them at 9 or 9.5 which is under the levels. By doing
this, the city will save some dollars. This is a temporary fix, as Anderson admitted that some time down the road the city would probably
have to look elsewhere for a water source for the city, but that this would solve the problem for now.

A resident asked the city if there were any ordinances regarding unlicensed cars and trailers that are not being used but are stored on various properties throughout our town. He was told they would check into the situation and write letters if needed to any violators.

In other business:

• Made a motion to reissue liquor licenses to The Hatchery and the Legion;

• Stated that the city and Ben Wade Township had signed the final documents for the annexation of property on the southwest side of town into Lowry city proper, and that these documents would now need to go to the state;

• Discussed cars parked on streets during snow removal. It was noted the city did not have an ordinance which addressed that issue specifically and because the city depends on a contracted individual to remove snow it is difficult to state snow emergency routes. However, residents are encouraged to have vehicles off the streets during a heavy snowfall; and

• Agreed to have a Christmas lighting contest in Lowry with first, second and third prizes to be paid in Lowry dollars. The judges will get a meal at the Hatchery.


12/08/09

Ice on M'waska
After a wintery October and an unusually warm November, cold weather finally hit the area last weekend leaving the area lakes and ponds ice covered.

Lake Minnewaska, the largest lake in Pope County and the 13th largest lake in Minnesota, officially was ice covered by Saturday morning, Dec. 5, 2009. Just a week before the big lake donned its winter ice covering, temperatures were in the high 40s. By early Saturday morning, however, temperatures dipped into the low teens with little or no wind, making it possible for the entire lake to be ice-covered by dawn on Saturday.

Area residents would have to go back to 2001 to find a date when the ice-on was later than this year. In 2001, Lake Minnewaska was officially ice-covered on December 20. In 2004, the lake froze over on Dec. 4. Otherwise, the majority of the ice-on dates are in November.


12/08/2009

Lowry water meter inspection nears completion
By Valerie Schmidt

Bids for the waste water treatment facility will be opened at the Lowry Community Center on December 16 at 4 p.m. According to Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree Engineering, a pre-bid meeting is scheduled for December 2, where those contractors interested in the project will have an opportunity to view the site of construction and ask questions pertaining to the project.

Anderson told the council members at the December meeting on Tuesday night that currently there are 50 plan holders and he felt this was a good sign. At this point he said there had been no unusual questions regarding the bid specs.

The next step after the bids have been received and opened will be to tabulate the bids and do the necessary required paperwork for Rural Development before a bid can be awarded. But it is safe to say that come spring construction will actually begin on the project, possibly as soon as the frost is out of the ground.

Council members also learned the meter inspection is almost completed. Anderson said 121 meters have been inspected with 161 meters in the city. The last forty who have not responded to letters will receive a telephone call from the city clerk, notifying them of a time when the meter will be inspected. Anderson is hoping this can be completed within three days next week.

After completing the inspections Anderson said he then would put together recommendations what should be done, and what could be fixed. At this point in time he said most of the meters have been installed correctly and they have found few problems. He said he felt the issue being addressed would end with a pretty simple fix.

However, the second arsenic test was 7.9 parts per billion on arsenic. That however, is less than the 10.4 which is the maximum amount of arsenic in water. The primary well also tested high for arsenic at the 10.8 which means residents in the city will again be receiving a letter indicating the water does not meet state levels regarding arsenic.

At this point Anderson is recommending they blend the wells 50/50 which will bring them at 9 or 9.5 which is under the levels. By doing this the city will save the city some dollars. Admittedly this is a temporary fix as Anderson admitted that down the road the city would probably have to look elsewhere for a water source for the city, but that this would solve the problem for now.

A resident asked the city if there were any ordinances regarding unlicensed cars and trailers that are not being used but are stored on various properties throughout our town. He was told they would check into the situation and write letters if needed to any violators.

In other business:

• Made a motion to reissue liquor licenses to The Hatchery and the Legion.

• Stated that the city and Ben Wade Township had signed the final documents for the annexation of property on the southwest side of town into Lowry city proper, and that these documents would now need to go to the State.

• Discussed cars parked on streets during snow removal. It was noted the city did not have an ordinance which addressed that issue specifically and because the city depends on a contracted individual to remove snow it is difficult to state snow emergency routes. However, residents are encouraged to have vehicles off the streets during a heavy snowfall.

• Agreed to have a Christmas lighting contest in Lowry with first, second and third prizes to be paid in Lowry dollars. The judges will get a meal at the Hatchery.
 


12/8/2009

RTA to purchase Lowry Telephone Company
Merger to be completed sometime in early 2010

By Chad Koenen

In less than a month, Lowry residents will likely be noticing a significant, yet not unexpected change in their telephone service provider. The change will occur when Runestone Telecom Association officially purchases the remaining shares of the Lowry Telephone Company sometime after the first of the year.

Runestone Telecom Association General Manager Lee Meier said the merger is part of a 10-year-old agreement which originally gave the Hoffman-based company an opportunity to purchase a minority part of Lowry Telephone Company. As part of the original agreement, "we had an option to buy the remaining 2/3 (of Lowry Telephone Company) in 2010 and we are exercising that option," said Meier.

Meier said the goal is to have the merger completed on January 5, 2010 at which time Runestone Telecom Association will assume full control of the long-time Lowry-based telephone company. While Meier said the merger will effectively dissolve Lowry Telephone Company, he said customers should not notice any changes in their service or rates as Runestone Telecom Association has been running much of the operations at Lowry Telephone Company since the original agreement went into affect 10-years-ago.

However, one significant change that will affect Lowry Telephone Company customers is the inclusion of Runestone Telecom Association's coop. As a member of the coop, customers will own a share of the overall company. Meier said "the profits will go back to them now" who said the coop will pay back capital credits to its customers. Meier stated that there will be an election for a voting member of the coop from the Lowry area in the near future, likely this summer.

For any questions about the merger, contact Runestone Telecom Association at (320) 986-2013.
 


Lowry City Council

Monday, November 16, 2009
Contributed by Valerie Schmidt

At the regular monthly meeting of the Lowry City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 3, council members learned that December 16 will be the bid opening date for the waste water treatment facility. A pre-bid meeting will be held on December 2. According to Jeremy Anderson of Design Tree, the ad has
been placed in the construction bulletin and will be advertised in the Starbuck Times. He said his office is already receiving phone calls regarding the project.

“Due to the size of the project,” Anderson told the council, “we are advertising for five weeks. It is advertised and we’re going forward.”

Checking all water meters in the city for accuracy is going slower than anticipated. According to Anderson, 83 meters have been checked with 78 meters left. He said they were planning on taking this week off from checking meters and starting again the week of November 9 and complete checking all meters the week of November 16. When they have 10 to 15 meters left to be checked, his office and the city clerk will call and set appointments to complete the project.

At this time they have found some places where a portion of a building is not metered and some hoses and hydrants that are not going through the installed meter. There have been a few meters
that are not accurate. Anderson said at some point they would need to consider what percentage would be acceptable in accuracy. He would suggest they not accept anything over 10 percent as being accurate.

How are these issues going to be corrected? At this point Anderson said they are not making any recommendations to the city, but felt that in some instances a second meter may need to be installed. Once all the data has been collected a recommendation can be made. At that time the city will need to determine what plan they are willing to work with and how it will be implemented.

Anderson sad he was not sure if the results from the second water testing of the back-up well had been received by the city. According to Clerk Lucy Olson, the representative from the Department of Public Health had felt the results were complete. He had indicated he would check to be sure the results had been sent to the water operator.

Clerk Olson said she had completed the paperwork for the annexation of the Lions Park and old bulk plant. She had made several attempts to contact the city’s attorney, but she had been out of the office.

The first step is to sign a petition of annexation and present to Ben Wade township. That petition was presented to the city council and has been signed by the council and the Lowry EDA. When approached with the annexation of this 10 acres more or less, Ben Wade township offi cers had
no objections. Dennis Jones representing the EDA was to meet with the Ben Wade township offi cers at their November meeting immediately after that city council meeting.

Once the township has agreed, Olson said it was her impression it would need to be advertised for 9-14 days before they could then proceed. There is also a small fee that must be paid to the State of Minnesota when the paperwork is submitted. Olson said that would range from $2 to $5 an acre.

In other business the council:

• Authorized the streets to be swept so that all leaves can be swept up without plugging the storm sewers;
• Authorized the spreading of class 5 gravel in the alley behind the post office; and
• Listened to an explanation from a property owner regarding a roof-line construction project. All
questions were answered to the satisfaction of the council. They were willing to wait until the project was completed, but indicated they would want to inspect it once the work was completed.


October 19, 2009

Lowry City Council
Contributed by Valerie Schmidt
 

Water issues and EDA annexation were the topics under discussion at the October council meeting for the City of Lowry.

According to Jeremy Anderson officials are currently making appointments with residents in the city to have water meters
inspected. Work will begin tentatively on Monday, October 12. As of the council meeting there were 25 appointments set.
He is urging all residents to call and make an appointment to get this done.

The next issue is the arsenic issue. The council had recently received the test results back from the well and found that it
is 4.7 parts per billion. That is good news. The bad news is that a building will need to be constructed at the site of the well which is near the old creamery so that the proper chemicals can be injected into the water.

However, before pursuing this at 100 percent, it will require several more tests before a final decision is made. It is not the
city’s desire to proceed hastily and than find this well may have a fi gure over the limit on arsenic. However, if the figure remains low, this is definitely cheaper than drilling a new well or bringing water in from a well outside of the city limits.

The public comment time on the sewer project ends on Friday, October 9. Anderson, of Design Tree, said he had checked
with them about a week ago and at that time no comments had been received. However, he said the environmentalist groups quite often do not submit their comments until just prior to the ending.

If everything works out, Anderson believes they could be writing up bids and advertising yet this month. He said they could wait until spring to bid, but his feeling was they were likely to get better pricing now than when a number of projects would be coming up to bid.

All the approvals from Rural Development need to be received by the city before they go to bid. Anderson is anticipating
these could be on the city’s desk in a short time.

There are several ways a city can annex neighboring property, but since this is not a large area, the city’s attorney recommended doing the annexation by ordinance. It was felt someone from the city should approach the members of the Ben
Wade Township Board and ask them about annexing out to the Lions Park. Council members feel if they have the township’s
cooperation the transition will occur more smoothly.

Someone on the township board will be contacted and given the information. They will also be asked if they wish to have someone from the city present at their meeting to answer questions and give the purpose for the annexation.

Once there is an agreement, the city can then pursue annexing the property.
 


Pope County Tribune10/5/09

New VA clinic now
open in Alexandria


The St. Cloud VA Medical Center will officially open its new Alexandria Community Based Outpatient
Clinic today at a ribbon- cutting ceremony at the Clinic.

The clinic, located at 515 22nd Avenue East in Alexandria, will offer primary health care and mental
health care to veterans in Central Minnesota, and specialty care referrals to the VA Medical Centers in
St. Cloud and Minneapolis. Other services to be provided include social work, clinical pharmacy, laboratory and nutrition services. Home-based primary care will also be available for eligible veterans who live within a 40-mile radius of the clinic and who have difficulty leaving their homes to receive their VA care.

VA will staff the clinic with 16.7 full-time equivalent staff members. Clinic hours will be Monday
through Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The clinic' phone number is 320-759-2640.

The clinic is located in a newly-constructed building owned by Moniclair Commons, developed by ORB
Management and leased to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Any eligible veteran who chooses may have his or her care transferred to the Alexandria Community
Based Outpatient Clinic by calling 320-255-6339.


Lowry receives grant
$600,000 DEED grant to help pay
for new wastewater project

By Chad Koenen
Starbuck Times
October 5, 2009


The City of Lowry was one of 12 communities in rural Minnesota that received nearly $5.1 million in Federal Stimulus Funds through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
The grants, which are funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are aimed at helping pay for improvements to housing, commercial property and infrastructure in Minnesota.

Under the program Lowry received $600,000 from DEED to help pay for a more-than $3 million wastewater treatment project scheduled to break ground next year.

Lowry City Clerk Lucy Olson said the city was notified last fall that it would be receiving DEED funding for the project, but had yet to actually receive the funding as the city waited for the paperwork to be completed.

When the project breaks ground next year, it will bring to a conclusion a nearly 5-year planning process. Olson said the first meetings held on the sewer project dates back to 2005. The wastewater project will replace many of the old sewer lines, some of which have broken and caved in; as well as relocated city ponds which are now located in various wetlands.

To be eligible for the DEED grant, cities and townships must have a population under 50,000 people and counties must have a population under 200,000. The project must also meet one of three federal objectives to be eligible for funding. The three objectives included: benefit low to moderate income people, eliminate slum and blight conditions, and eliminate an urgent threat to public safety.

Olson said Lowry qualified for the grant after a door to door survey found the city' median income was in the moderate to low range.

In addition to the DEED grant, the Lowry wastewater project received funding from Rural Development in the form of a loan and grant, and a Waste Water Infrastructure Fund Grant


3rd Annual Lowry Days
August 14, 15, & 16, 2009

 

Friday - August 14th

            5:00 PM                        Pork Chop Feed & Meat Raffle - American Legion

            7:30 PM                        Wrestling - American Legion

            9:00 PM                        Karaoke Contest - Hatchery Bar & Grill

Saturday - August 15th

            7:00 AM                        Registration for 5-K Run - Ball Park

            8:00 AM                        5-K Run

            8:00 AM                        Softball Tournament

            9:00 AM - 2:00 PM      Antique Car, Tractor, Truck Show - Downtown

            9:00 AM - 3:00 PM      Craft & Bake Sale - Community Center

            9:00 AM - 3:00 PM      Food Stand / Discovery Days - Community Center

            11:00 AM til gone        Home made pie & ice cream - Fire Hall
                                                 Sponsored by Oscar Lake Church

            12:00 PM - 3:00 PM    Kid Carnival - Community Center Playground

            3:30 PM                       GRAND PARADE

            4:30 PM                       Firemen Water Fights - North end of Florence Avenue     

            4:30 PM - 5:30 PM      Milan Community Band - Sponsored by Lowry State Bank

            5:00 PM - 7:00 PM      Chicken & Sweetcorn Feed - Across from Hatchery
                                                
After chicken feed, chicken pooping contest

            6:00 PM - 8:00 PM      BINGO - American Legion

            8:00 PM                Street Dance - Red Path

Sunday - August 16th

            8:00 AM - Noon          Lion's Pancake Breakfast - Community Center

            10:30 AM                    Community Church Service - Community Center

Come out and have some fun!


6/2/2009 Pope County Tribune

 

Downtown Lowry gets an extreme makeover
New project to feature a new color scheme on many of Lowry’s businesses

Chad Koenen

Todd Starns applies some paint to the outside of one Lowry business last week.

Change is on the way to downtown Lowry. After the Lowry EDA and downtown business owners recently agreed to a partnership to revitalize the downtown area, a new symmetrical color scheme will grace many of the storefronts.

The new color scheme will feature a mixture of beige, deep burgundy and hunter green on many of the businesses. The color schemes and patterns will be unique to each building, but incorporate each of the three colors.

While not every business will be completely repainted, many are having trim or other features touched up as part of the project.

City Clerk Lucy Olson said the cost of the project will be shared by the Lowry EDA and individual business owners. When informing business owners of the Lowry EDA idea, Olson said the owners were very receptive of the idea to spruce up the downtown area.

The painting actually began last week and is expected to wrap up sometime this week or early next week.

Olson explained the concept of repainting the downtown area was something the Lowry EDA had been talking about for a few months, and wanted to do before the busy summer season got into full swing.

By having the work done now, the city can feature the new look all summer long and for the popular Lowry Days weekend in August.
 

 


Pope County Tribune
1/17/2009

Thompsons named Lowry's Citizens of the Year


During a special recognition banquet at the Lowry Community Center on Thursday, Chuck and Pat Thompson were selected as the "Lowry Citizens of the Year." The event was hosted by the Lowry Lions.

Following a stint in the military, Chuck returned to Lowry in 1959 to begin a 41-year career at Lowry State Bank. He retired from the bank in 2000.

During his time in Lowry, Chuck was very active with the City of Lowry by serving as clerk for 30 years, a volunteer on the fire department for 25 years and was a charter member of the Lowry Lions Club.

Pat worked for the Minnewaska District Hospital and retired after 17-years as the personnel director. In the past, she was even named as Waterama Royalty, serving as a princess.

Since their retirement, both Chuck and Pat remain active helping out at Lakeside in Glenwood, volunteering for the high school sports events, and watching their grandkids.

Both were active for many years in their church, St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Lowry, with Pat serving as WELCA President.

Married for the past 46 years, Chuck and Pat have been blessed with two children: Jill (Dean) Solmonson and Grant (Carrie) Thompson, and four grandchildren: Lindsay and Michael Solmonson and Riley and Conner Thompson.

To celebrate the occasion, an open house will be held for Chuck and Pat Thompson in their honor on Saturday, March 21, from 1-3 p.m. at the Lowry Community Center. Everyone is invited to attend.


Pope County Tribune
3/11/2009

Lowry updated on progress of new waste water facility
By Valerie Schmidt

Members at the Lowry City Council meeting were updated on the progress of the waste water treatment facility at their last monthly meeting. According to Mayor Bruce Larson, the appraisal has been completed. Council member Merle Ferber had some questions regarding some aspects of the appraisal, and Jeremy Anderson from Design Tree indicated he would give the appraisal another review before meeting with officials of Rural Development.

Anderson said he had e-mailed the appraisal to the Rural Development, however, the individual who is in charge of the Lowry loans and grants for the waste water treatment facility is out of the office for most of the remainder of the week and Anderson had been unable to set a time to meet with them. It was Anderson's intention to deliver the appraisal to the Rural Development office on Monday.

Anderson said the soil borings had been completed at the pond site and they were currently waiting for the results, but most of the results received to date were about what they were expecting to find.

He also expects to deliver the preliminary design to Rural Development on Monday. If getting the nod to proceed Anderson said his engineering firm would have the final design completed and to RD in mid-April. If things go as planned, bids would be published for an opening the end of May or first part of June. Construction could then proceed the end of June. Anderson said he did not foresee any major construction going into 2010, most if not all could be completed before the fall of 2009.

The decommissioning of the old pond site will likely be the last thing completed. This is anticipated to go into 2010 as the sludge must be removed and spread before the pond can be filled in and abandoned.

It was voted during the discussion there will be ample time to work with residents who may need to provide the city with an easement for construction. At this time, Anderson said these individuals had not been identified, and he felt that most easements would be temporary construction type easements.

Pat Conroy of C & C Consultants also met with the council to update them on the Small Cities Grant. He told the council they did require an environmental review, and this document does need some time to complete and submit. Also there needs to be sufficient time in order to receive a reply of acceptance or denial. Conroy said he did not expect any problems in submitting the document, but noted he would need to coordinate some issues with Design Tree, so that ample time is allowed for the procedure to be completed.

Conroy also told them there were some expenses which would be incurred before the grants and loans from Rural Development are available to the town. He told the council these expenses would be covered and allowable once the loans and grants were fully in place.

He also asked the council to sign a contract with him in order to provide some of the administrative procedures for the project. At this point if the project is not funded by RD for some reason, Conroy said he would not receive payment for those services rendered. He also warned there may be a reduction in ad-min costs for the project by Rural Development and if this were the case he would need to renegotiate his contract to allow for the reduction.

Rental of the community center was also discussed. One request came from Experience Works, requesting use of the center for about four hours once a week for training for participants in the program and the other request was for a wedding reception. Clerk Lucy Olson said she had not wanted to make the decision regarding rental rates for either, and the wedding reception had other issues, with the possible use of alcohol on the premises.

It was suggested she attempt to find out what Experience Works would be willing to pay for rent on the facility for its use and to work with them in regard to use of the facility.

The other request was discussed at great length, but the overall question of the council was they were willing for a wedding party to serve their reception meal or lunch at the hall, but were unwilling to allow them to have alcohol on the premises. They felt if those wishing to rent the facility could work out an agreement with the Hatchery Bar and Grill regarding serving alcoholic beverages at their facility they would be willing to rent the facility for a reception.

There was also discussion with a resident who had experienced a frozen water meter three times. The resident indicated they were working on the matter, and were hoping to have the problem corrected within the next thirty days or less. More insulation has been installed and other work has been completed so the property owner felt quite confident the meter would not freeze again once installed.

It was also felt there may not be the need of hiring a full time summer employee this year. It was felt that yard waste could be picked up once a week instead of two times a week, and felt the other duties could be completed in a 16 hour week instead of full time. With a projected $7,000 reduction in local government aid, council members felt some reductions had to be made and this was one area they felt the reduction would be less painful to city residents than in others.


Pope County Tribune
1/14/2009  

Munson takes oath of office in first Lowry City Council meeting of 2009
By Valerie Schmidt

There were few items on the agenda for members of the Lowry City Council meeting at their regular meeting on January 6. The items discussed were the proposed wastewater treatment, as well as re-organization of the city council and official newspaper, bank and attorney.

Brad Munson took the oath of office prior to the meeting.  Council members then appointed Virgil Cozaihr as assistant mayor, appointed the official depository at the Lowry State Bank, and the attorney as Jan Nordmeyer of Glenwood. They also  accepted the official mileage rate for city business the same as the official IRS rate which can fluctuate during the year. Meetings will remain the first Tuesday of the month. The only change was the city's official newspaper will change from the Pope County Tribune to the Starbuck Times.

Winners in the city's holiday lighting contest were the Rick Meyers   first place, the Clayton Persons in second, and third place was the John Olsons. There were many beautiful lighting arrangements in the city making it difficult for the judges to make a determination.

Jeremy Anderson of  Design Tree was present at the meeting to update the council on what has transpired since the last meeting. At this point they have the entire pond and forcemain location surveyed. He admitted it had gone slower than anticipated due to the weather. They have about 2/3 of the surveying working completed in the city.

Anderson asked if he could have Lundblads move some snow to the pond site so they could begin doing soil borings. He was hoping to have another sub-contractor do this work towards the end of January. The council gave their nod of approval, and Anderson responded he would give Lundblads notice of approximate time they would be coming to the site to do the borings.

Another thing he wished the city to consider was finding an interim financing source once the city had the nod from Rural Development to proceed with the project. He said there were a number of agencies that would do the financing, it was up to the city to find the agency that best fit their needs as Rural Development does not provide funding immediately   when the project is under construction.

He said he council should also consider if they want to re-build Isabella Street  or if they should run the main on the south side of the street. Mayor Bruce Larson said if they did rebuild the street they would also include curb and gutter which means residents on that street would be assessed for the additional work since this is not work and cannot be included in the Rural Development Loan.

In other business:

• Learned that MNDot has plans to move the speed limit sign further west and the installation which will likely be done  in the spring will increase the distance to the west from Poplar Street.

• Learned that Holmes City is the only township which has paid it's fire contract for the year and indicated there were still two townships to make payments. It was also discussed that the Fire department determine rates for the townships.

• Accepted a donation of $18,000 from the Fireman's relief association and made a motion to use the money for the Fire department's   equipment fund.

• Reviewed the water ordinance and accepted the ordinance as presented.

• Set fees for various services the city provides. Only one change was made in the fee schedule. That change was for an individual who may request a special council meeting. Currently the fee is $150, but was increased to $175 a meeting. 

• Discussed that homeowners should be responsible for keeping snow away from fire hydrants. However, Lund-blads will be contracted to remove snow from several hydrants.


Pope County Tribune
11/18/2008 3:11:00 PM 

Lowry approved for $600,000 grant
City delays engineering firm decision

By Valerie Schmidt

"We received a letter last week from Small Cities," Mayor Bruce Larson told council members, "that our grant has been approved for $600,000 for 2009 pending HUD block grant financing to them. We do not have to fill out the full application. We do have to hold a public hearing in December, which we will hold in conjunction with the regular council meeting. It's looking more positive that we'll be funded by Rural Development, however, we have not heard from RD pending any funding from them at this time."

Larry Van Hout and several other employees of Widseth, Smith and Nolting met with the council to provide them with an updated quote for engineering costs for the proposed waste water treatment facility. Van Hout told council members there was little if anything they would be changing in the preliminary plans.

He also stated that any changes now could seriously jeopardize funding, especially as far as RD was concerned. He also noted that the original agreement had been signed in March of 2008 but RD had not approved it because the city didn't have funding at that time. RD was fine with the schedule and fees feeling they were reasonable for a project of that size. He stated if they cut too much from their fee schedule they would then be no longer able to provide adequate service.

There was one area in which Van Hout expressed concern for material testing which had been scheduled for $10,000. He felt this should be increased to $25,000, especially if they find the clay is not suitable for a liner. In order to do this, they must dig several pits at the site to make this determination. With this exclusion Widseth, Smith and Nolting were willing to take a 10 percent reduction in engineering costs from the original costs submitted to the project.

Another firm, Design Tree, represented by Jeremy Anderson also presented a presentation to do the engineering work on the project.

Anderson stressed that he was the individual who hd done the preliminary engineering and had designed the plans for the waste water treatment facility. He also had worked closely with RD to prepare the project for funding. He also was familiar with the city's expectations of what they wished to have done.

Another area he stressed was that he was the engineer of record and had signed all needed papers to get the project this far.

Their quote for the project was $290,000, approximately $50,000-$90,000 under Widseth, Smith and Nolting.

There has been some discussion with RD regarding a change of engineering firms for the project. According to Mayor Larson, RD felt they would work with either Widseth, Smith and Nolting or Design Tree, but discouraged the council from opening the project up to other engineering firms at this time. Especially since it was noted the project could be totally funded in March.

Even if the Public Facilities funding is not available, RD believes the project is still fundable.

Council member Merle Ferber said he was not in favor of switching firms at this time, mainly due to the experience of the team working on the project. Total experience of the Widseth, Smith and Nolting team was close to 100 years between the four.

When Design Tree was asked how this project would work into projects already under their consideration, they responded it would not be a problem because one of the projects may not be funded for this coming year's construction.

Both firms were willing to begin work the following week at their risk, meaning if the funding was not forth coming there would be no additional charges for the work done.

Mayor Larson admitted the council had been dragging their feet a bit about choosing an engineer for the project because they were not sure they would get the funding. He told both firms it would be the council's intention to make a decision on a firm at the December meeting and not later than the January council meeting.

When the mayor asked if any of the council members were willing to make a decision Thursday night, only one council person said his mind was made up.

City Clerk Lucy Olson and the waste water treatment operator indicated to the council they needed to consider tax dollars. Both felt Design Team would be more responsive to the needs of the city and were better "service" oriented.

In other business:

• Learned there may be a meter available to attach to an unmetered hydrant in town. This meter would need to be removed during the winter months; but it was felt the hydrant would not be used during the winter months.

• Adopted a canvassing resolution stating the results of the city's recent election for city officers.

• Learned that the limits of copper and lead did not exceed limits when city water was recently tested for these minerals.

• Discussed a request from Minnesota Department of Transportation regarding any city easements along Highway 55 and felt there would be at least two for water and sewer.

• Authorized the clerk and water operator to attend a water management seminar in St. Cloud during the month at a cost of $100 each.

• Set December 2 as the next regular city council meeting at 7 p.m.

 


Greetings from Pam Jones

Volunteers for the Lowry Days planning committee met this evening (6/19/08).

 

Tentative Schedule:
 
Friday, August 22nd
6:00 pm     Lowry Legion pork chop feed
7:00 pm     Lowry Legion meat raffle
9:00 pm     Hatchery Bar & Grill, Karaoke Contest
 

Saturday, August 23rd

8:00 am     Softball Tournament
                 5 K Run
                 Car-Motorcycle Show - Lions Park
9:00 am     Craft Show - Community Center
                 Flea Market - St. Paul's parking lot by Discovery Days Preschool
                 Food Booth Discovery Days Preschool
12:00 - 4:00 pm   Shaved Ice vendor
12:00 - 3:00 pm   Kids Carnival
                          Dave the Train
                          Petting Zoo (?not sure)
1:00 - 2:30 pm  Lowry Fire Department water fight
3:30 - 4:30 pm  Grand Parade
5:00 pm    Chicken Feed by Hatchery Bar & Grill
6:00 pm    Bingo by Lowry Legion
8:00 pm    Street Dance by Hatchery Bar & Grill
 
Sunday, August 24th
8:00 - 12:00  Lowry Lions Pancake Breakfast, Community Center
10:00 am      Lowry Community Church Service, Tennis Courts
 
Posters will be ready by next meeting
Lowry Planning Days meeting, Wednesday, July 16th, 6:00 pm Hatchery Bar & Grill

Lowry Days to be held on August 22, 24, & 24, 2008

A note from Pam Jones:

The planning committee for 2008 Lowry Days city celebrations met on April 23 to begin planning this years event. The dates for the celebration will be August 22, 23,& 24.

This years event, includes a parade planned for Saturday, the 23rd. Again we are looking at antique car and tractor show, possible tractor pull, softball tournament, craft show, kiddie carnival, parade and more. Friday night would be The Hatchery and Legions events. Saturday would contain the main events and Sunday morning Lions pancake feed and community church service.

Watch this space for more specific events as they evolve. Make sure you mark your calendar and plan to attend.


Helen Landa is Lowry's Citizen of the Year

By Chad Koenen
News Editor, Starbuck TImes
3/18/08



Helen Landa was born to John and Barbara Dynda on a family farm in Douglas County. She was the middle sister to Lillian Brezina and Mayme Engelbrecht. They all attended country school through the eighth grade.

Helen married Lawrence Landa in 1939 and they farmed on the Landa family farm in the Reno Township until they retired in 1980 and moved to Lowry. They had three children, Allen (Janis) Landa, Barbara (Kenny) Denhardt, and Judith (Denny) Sager. Grandshildren include: Todd (Jean) Landa, Wade, Bailey and Megan Landa; Stephanie (Mike) O'Keefe, Carrie (Ryan) Clark, and Jodi Sager. Great Grandchildren are Svea Landa; Taylor, Katie and Ashley Clark.

On the farm Helen always kept a large vegetable garden including strawberries and raspberries, along with an apple orchard. Helen also raised ducks and chickens, which she "dressed out" and sold. She always did a lot of baking, cooking and canned the produce from the gardens. When the children were in 4-H, Helen volunteered and helped with the 4-H group. She was also involved in the Lake Reno Catholic Church in the Ladies Guild, mission circles, choir, and a reader at Sunday mass.

After retirement from farming, Helen worked a tthe Glenwood Hospital as a cook. In Lowry she has been involved with the Lowry Homemakers, Lowry Misson Circle (she sewed many, many children's outfits each winter), senior citizens, craft ladies and in Glenwood as a reader in the senior group.

Landa will be honored with an open house at the Lowry Community Center on March 29 from 1-3 p.m.


'08 Downtown Lowry Reunion in Arizona great success

You probably saw it on CNN. The occasion was the annual Arizona Beautiful Downtown Lowry Reunion. It was held on Friday, February 22 2008 at the White Sands Mobile Home Park in Apache Junction, AZ. We  had about half the attendance as last year and that was due to Hurricanes, Tornados, Floods, and a world shortage of Lutefisk. Not really. It was just a combination of who was down here at the time and prior commitments. But a good time was had by all and all made a blood vow to attend next year.

Back Row: Larry Gardner, Dee Gardner, Charles Christenson, Chuck Thompson, Ellwood Johnson, Hub Nordgren
Front Row: Lloyd Olson, Bev Olson, Theresa Christenson, Patti Thompson, Sandy Johnsrud, Dorothy Nordgren

Photo by Bob Johnsrud


Pope County Tribune
2/6/08

A new face at the Lowry Post Office


                   John Olson

Wondering how small the world really can be, ask new Lowry Postmaster John Olson and his wife Lucy. Working as a Postmaster in Iowa, Olson was offered a job as postmaster in Morris, a job which would not only lead the Olson's to Lowry, but would also lead their eldest daughter Stacy to town as well.

While searching for a place to call home in Minnesota, the Olson's turned to a friend in Iowa who helped find the family a house in Lowry.

"We looked in Morris and didn't see anything we really wanted and a friend of ours in Iowa put us in touch with Mark Blair," said Olson.

Though living in Lowry meant Olson would need to commute some 50 miles round trip each day, any question of whether the family was making the right move was answered before they were even finished moving in.

"We weren't even moved in yet and already had neighbors coming up to us introducing themselves," he said. "Something like that doesn't happen everywhere."

While a friend got his family to move to Lowry, it was advice of another friend to get Olson into the post office field. Following a 21 year career in the United States Air Force, a friend suggested that Olson take the post office exam. He did, and eight months later he was hired as a letter carrier in West Fargo in 1988.

After spending the past 4 1/2 years as the postmaster in Morris, Olson was given an opportunity to take over as the Lowry Postmaster when Dennis Jones retired at the beginning of the year. His first day was Jan. 22 and Olson said he is excited to get an opportunity to handle the mail on a more regular basis and have a chance to interact with the town which he calls home.

"I'm looking forward to putting faces to the names of people," said Olson. "I lived here but wasn't here very much of the time."

A father of three, and married to his wife Lucy who is the City Clerk in Lowry, Olson is not only looking forward to interacting with the residents of Lowry, but being able to walk to work each day once the weather warms up.

"I'm definitely going to enjoy it here," he said. "I'm looking forward to being part of the community."


Pope County Tribune
1/29/08

Longtime Lowry banker retires
Hoping to catch on to a job for a year or two, Bob Mork began working for his father at Lowry State Bank about a year after graduating from Concordia College. After remodeling the bank, Clifford Mork decided he could afford to hire another person to add to the staff at the bank and hired Mork in December 1972.

While his starting salary of $450 a month doesn't seem like much these days, Mork made the most of his opportunity to move back home and begin work at the family's bank.

"I graduated in '71 and bounced around from job-to-job," said Mork. "I thought if I could just make it one year at a job that would be pretty good and I made it 35 years."

A quiet and reserved man, his father warned him early on that if he wanted to be successful in the banking business, he needed to learn to talk to the customers. He began to open up to not only the customers, but helped turn Lowry State Bank into a family-run success story.

His father, Clifford, who was working in Morris at the time, purchased what was a struggling bank in 1959. After spending some time rebuilding the trust and respect of the community members in the area, Clifford and the rest of the bank staff were able to create a sense of belonging to all of those who came within the bank's doors. The trust built up and the family atmosphere he helped create kept customers coming back and continuing to bank at Lowry State Bank long after leaving the Lowry Area.

"One thing Peter (Nelson) picked up on was the loyalty from our customers was unbelievable," said Mork.

"We treated them like family and that's what I hope continues."

In 1987 Clifford decided to retire from the bank and when he died just three years later, Mork's mother, Edna, kept the bank in the family selling it to the couple's three sons, Robert, David and Tom. The bank remained shared with the three sons until 2002 when Mork approached Peter and Kari Nelson and Dennis Martinson of Glenwood State Bank about possibly purchasing the bank. With an eye for the future and concern for not only for the community but for the employees of the bank, Mork finalized a deal to keep the bank not only locally owned, but family run in 2002. The new ownership group includes Peter and Kari Nelson, Eric and Kirsten Nelson and Paul Martinson.

Though Mork remained on as the President of the bank, the sale marked the beginning of a five year transition period, in which Mork helped the new ownership and customers get acquainted and build up relationship, between the two. His work tapered off a bit last year to working just in the mornings before he eventually retired on December 31.

"It went a long ways towards that transition because I wasn't there in the afternoon," said Mork.

Upon Mork's retirement, David Lorence, who has been with the bank since August 1, 2005, took over as President of the Lowry State Bank.

•••

After being such a big part of the Lowry community over the past 48 years, all of the customers, friends, and family members came to mark the end of the Mork era at the Lowry State Bank. While some came to the January 5 party to wish their banker goodbye, many more came out to give a friend a handshake, hug, and well wishes in the next venture of his life.

"That's what makes me feel so good, to know based on the cards I received on how they viewed me as a person, not just a banker," he said.

While he may be officially retired from the banking industry, Mork won't simply be sitting around all day. The retirement will give him a chance to focus on another love of his, the Minnewaska Laker Cross Country team. In his fifth season as the cross country coach he had two girls finish in the top 18 at the state cross country meet this past year.

"I got the time and that's what I enjoy," said Mork. "I just enjoy being around young people."
 


Pope County Tribune
1/23/08

Lowry Postmaster hangs up mailbag for the final time


After nearly 35 years of sifting through the Christmas letters, large packages from grandma and the never ending amount of credit card applications, Dennis Jones has decided to begin a new chapter in his life, retirement.

The retirement of Jones, who is in his second stint as Postmaster in Lowry, wasn't unexpected. Jones had qualified for retirement quite some time ago, and recently decided now would be a good time for a different adventure.

"I became eligible for retirement last spring and figured it would just be a good time for a change," he said.

Jones, along with his wife Pamela, came to the Lowry area in 1981 when he was named the Lowry Postmaster. After just one year he accepted a job as supervisor in Alexandria and eventually moved to the job of Postmaster in Hoffman. Though he changed jobs several times, he never left Lowry and when the chance to come back to his hometown presented itself more than three years ago, Jones jumped on the opportunity. For the past three years and three months, Jones was the face of the Lowry Post Office, giving him a chance to not only walk to work if he so decided, but work with the very people he had gotten to know in the community over the years.

When he first got into the post office business, the mail was sorted quite differently than it is today. In the beginning of his career, Jones said mail was sorted by hand and put into different piles, many different piles. Today mail is sorted through automation and makes sorting the mail for out of county, out of state and out of country a bit easier.

As the smiling face behind the counter at the Lowry Post Office and for that matter different post offices across the area, Jones has been able to interact with a wide variety of people all with different needs and different backgrounds, an interaction he said he will miss now that he is retired.

"I enjoy working with people," said Jones. "There's a lot of people I'm not going to get to see on a regular basis anymore."

After nearly 35 years of sifting through letters and giving people their entertainment through the mail, Jones said he was pleased with his career but is excited for the new adventures retirement will give him.

"It's been a good career, but it was just time to move on," said Jones.


Pope County Tribune
11/13/07

The faith and service of a country doctor
The following originally appeared in the November issue of the Senior Perspective and is reprinted here with permission of its publisher.

Contributed by Teri Blair, Minneapolis, Minn.

"It was a calling for him, like being a minister," Bert McIver, Jr. remembers. "He was a good listener, a good doctor, and people trusted him."

Dr. Bert McIver Family

Bert Jr.'s brother Dan adds, "When I was a boy I didn't know how much he meant to our community; I knew he had to leave the dinner table a lot when the phone calls came. I was just a kid who wanted his dad to have time to take him fishing. But after he died and throughout my entire life, people have told me stories of what happened when he went to someone's farmhouse at the end of a gravel road, or attended to someone desperately ill in the middle of the night."

Country doctors used to be the norm in small towns, physicians who worked with a black bag that carried medicine, stethoscope, and gauze. They made trips to homes, kept office hours, and treated the medical needs of their rural communities-from delivering a baby to a heart attack to a farm accident-all with limited supplies, limiting transportation, and little sleep.

Dr. Bert McIver was such a physician. Raised seven miles west of Lowry, his first love was farming and cattle. "My dad had every intention of becoming a farmer," Dan McIver said. "Throughout his entire life one of his greatest pleasures was to drive through the country to look at the farm sites and growing crops. Although he had to hire someone else to take care of his cattle once he became a doctor, he always kept a herd of registered Holsteins. It was his way of keeping his hand in the agricultural business."

When Bert was a teenager, his sister Margaret saw in him the potential to become a doctor. She encouraged him to attend medical school, and eventually helped to fund his tuition with wages she earned as a bank teller. "He was just a shy country boy from a country school when he went to Minneapolis," Dan said.

"He wasn't very committed to his studies and his grades weren't that high," he added with a smile. After two years of pre-med training at the University of Minnesota, he was drafted into WWI. The Army was desperate for medical personnel near the front lines, and that is exactly where Bert was sent. "Dad would often say that it was there in France where he received his real medical training," Dan said. On the battlefield he learned how to patch people up efficiently with little time and few supplies.

He became astute at sewing people up after they had been wounded. It turned out to be one of his trademarks as a doctor back in the Minnesota. His work didn't leave scars. When he returned to the University after doctoring injured soldiers, his motivation to study medicine had radically changed. His grades soared, and he graduated with honors.

His medical internship was in Duluth where he met his Iron Range bride, Gertrude, a registered nurse. When they moved from Duluth to Lowry, they intended to only stay for summer employment. Bert had been awarded a fellowship to study surgery at the University of Minnesota. So their plans were to make a brief stop in Lowry, and then continue on to Minneapolis. The local physician, Dr. Gibbon, had recently built the Lowry Clinic and could offer them summer work until the fall semester began. However, soon after Bert and Gertrude arrived in town, Dr. Gibbon unexpectedly died of a massive stroke. Lowry was suddenly left without a doctor, and the community was desperate for him to stay. "He never got to go to the University to become a surgeon," Bert, Jr. said. "He never talked about it, we never heard one complaint. But I'm sure he thought about it."

Dr. Bert and his wife Gertrude built a thriving practice in Lowry. In addition to a physician in the clinic, there was an eye doctor, a dentist, an X-ray machine, and a lab. Seeing 50 or 60 patients in one day was common, up to 100 on busy days. "The cars would be lined up and down the street in front of the clinic," Bert, Jr. remembers, "everyone wanted to see Dr. Bert." In the early days, Dr. McIver would make house calls by sleigh, and later he would hire drivers to take him to the country. The roads were rough (often only muddy trails), and having a driver conserved Dr. Bert's precious energy to be present and alert for his patients. His drivers earned a dollar per trip, good wages for Depression-era employment. "We boys sometimes got to ride along with Dad, and we loved it. He had us wait in the car while he went into the houses, but we didn't mind. We were so happy to be with him. When we got a little older, we sometimes got to drive him," Dan recalls fondly.

Dr. McIver was a forward-thinking physician, and used innovative, progressive techniques. He had tremendous success with his arthritic patients using low-voltage current through water to their hands and feet. People would drive from great distances for the relief he offered from joint pain. He was the first doctor in the area to locate and use sulfa, an antibiotic he had used on the battlefield. He was among the first doctors to prescribe penicillin.

Bert found the hardest things about being a doctor were when he had to tell someone they were dying of cancer, or if he had to go to an accident site. "He dreaded a car wreck more than anything else," Dan said. There were times, too, when patients were too ill for Dr. Bert to treat. Sometimes people had waited too long, or there simply were no treatments that could fix an ailment. "We were told by many people that he would pray with his patients. One family told us their mother had had a heart attack, and there appeared to be no hope. Dad stayed with the family in their home until midnight. He had done everything he could do, and told them they would have to leave it in God's hands. He gathered the family around in a circle and they prayed for her. She survived.

"It was also common practice," Dan continued, "for Dad to draw a cross in the corner of his prescription pad. When he would hand the paper to the person he would say, 'This is what you really need.' We never knew about these things until after he was gone. I can't tell you how many people have walked up to me in the hardware store to relay stories like that. Our Dad's faith was very important to him, though he was private about it." A member of the Plymouth Brethren church in Lowry, Dan recalls his father never spoke in the meeting. But he carried his Christian convictions quietly with him, most of all when he practiced medicine. There were times when he had to perform an emergency surgical procedure for which he had no training. "It was sort of like on-the-job training for Dad," Dan said. He told us he would pray the entire time he was operating on someone to be guided what to do step-by-step."

At the height his practice, Dr. Bert began to experience weakness in his legs. After several trips to Mayo, Abbott, and the University Hospital, he was diagnosed with A.L.S (Lou Gehrig's Disease). "During those first years of the illness Dad wore leg braces and continued working," Bert, Jr. recalls. "But eventually he had to stop working altogether." Dr. McIver succumbed to the illness in 1953, four years after he was diagnosed. After his passing the Lowry clinic closed, and the residents of the small town had to drive to nearby Starbuck or Glenwood for their medical needs.

The McIver name is still a common one in the Lowry area, descendents of Dr. Bert carrying on in their community. Many of Bert's grandchildren are in the medical field, no doubt influenced in some way by their grandfather.

The clinic where Dr. Bert practiced in Lowry still stands, long ago converted into a home. It is a sturdy building not unlike the man who spent so many years within its walls. A steady structure, solid and constant. A country doctor of faith and service.


Starbuck Times
5/15/07

Sheets are sewn and ready to fly to soldiers

By Shannon Andreasen
Reporter

Piles of sheets stacked all around the room on tables and chairs were a sign of the community's generosity at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Lowry.



Many volunteers from groups such as 4-H gathered on Tuesday, May 8 to sew sheets for soldiers at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lowry. Above, Rick Hanson shakes out a sheet to be laid on a table for pinning. Photo by Shannon Andreasen

On Tuesday evening, May 9, a large group of people gathered at the church to begin sewing sheets to send overseas to United States soldiers. Donated sheets are sewn to fit a sleeping bag and are then sent to soldiers to keep them in clean sheets while they are away from home.

The project, "Sheets for Soldiers," was brought to the local community by New Horizon's 4-H Club and Luke Musselman. The original idea came from Jane Hanson, of Alexandria, whose son is serving in Iraq.

Hanson is the mother of Spc. Derek R. Hanson, 194th Minnesota National Guard Unit, out of East St. Paul. Hanson said in August of 2006, the National Guard was looking for people to fill out the unit and Derek volunteered. He left for training at Fort Dix, New Jersey on September 11, 2006 and his unit arrived at Iraq on December 1, 2006.

"As a mother, you feel a bit helpless when your son is so far away," said Hanson. "An old high school friend had two sons deployed to Iraq. She mentioned she had taken full and queen sized flat sheets, folded them over and sewed up the bottom and part way up the side to make sheet liners for their sleeping bags. I thought what a great idea and I wondered if this was something I could do for more soldiers than just my son."

And there was more she could do. Hanson got on the phone and contacted the local Family Readiness Leader, Melody Thoennes, who was supportive of Hanson's idea to send sheet liners to soldiers overseas. Thoennes worked with staff at the Minnesota National Guard Armory set up the armory as the drop off location for sheets. "I went to the Alexandria media, including our AM radio station KXRA, television station KSAX and our newspaper The Echo Press," said Hanson. "They all did a wonderful job announcing the Sheets for Soldiers project." In addition, local businesses put up posters announcing the effort.

"Weekly pick-ups were made and the sheets started to rise up to the roof of my van," said Hanson. Thankfully, Tastefully Simple donated boxes to hold the sheets.

As the sheets piled up, the efforts continued to spread from Alexandria to Pope County. Hanson contacted 4-H and Girl Scout administrators to see if this project could be incorporated into their community activities. "I was blessed to have Laurie Musselman from the New Horizons 4-H club of Lowry agree to help me with this project. Her son, Luke, wrote to the local newspapers to collect additional sheets and prepared a letter to a local VFW club requesting assistance with the postage to mail the sheet liners," said Hanson.

On the evening of Tuesday, May 8, the Women of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, members of the New Horizon's 4-H Club, Julie Thorstad and Hanson's husband Rick helped prepare and sew sheets for over two hours.

"We ended up with 218 sheet liners ready to be sent to our soldiers," said Hanson. In addition, the 4-H club prepared cards and care packages to be sent with the sheets overseas.

After Tuesdays group sewing project, Hanson said she has approximately 70 sheets left to finish sewing with her friends. Now she is asking for money to cover the postage required to send the sheet liners to soldiers. "We plan to send them out shortly," she added.

Although there were a number of donated sheets that could not be used for this project, they will not go to waste. The Women of St. Paul's Lutheran Church meet on a regular basis to sew projects for charity and mission work so the material that could not be used for Sheets for Soldiers will be used to make quilts.

"I can not begin to express my appreciation to the community for its support on this project. What a wonderful message to send to our soldiers," Hanson said. "We received thank you notes with the sheets, money to be put towards postage and a small pocket New Testament bible which will be sent to the unit."

"I wish I could mention each and everyone's name that have helped with Sheets for Soldiers. Many, many thanks to you all and God Bless you," said Hanson.


Pope County Tribune
3/20/07

Erlandson tests her geography knowledge

Shannon Andreasen
Reporter

Jessica Erlandson of Lowry anticipates her participation in the 2007 Minnesota Geography Bee on March 30. Contributed photo

Her interest in history expanded to geography and now seventh grader, Jessica Erlandson of Lowry, is preparing to test her knowledge of the subject at the state competition of the National Geographic Bee.

In December, Minnewaska seventh and eighth grade students, 189 in total, answered standardized Geography Bee questions during their homeroom period. This was a written exam with a variety of questions. Erlandson's geography teacher at Minnewaska, Gloria Nichtern, said the questions ranged from easier questions about states and capitals to more difficult questions about cultural and physical geography. The school competition was coordinated by teachers Nichtern, Linda Hoffmann and Wes Tessman.

Following the main written test, the pool of competitors was narrowed down to ten students who participated in the final round of the Minnewaska School Geography Bee, which is an oral competition. Due to a tie at Minnewaska, there were 14 final participants. Through a process of elimination, Erlandson was named the school champion and given the chance to further test her knowledge and advance in the competition.

Erlandson took yet another 70 question test with questions like: Which Russian city is located on the Gulf of Finland? Vladivostok, Irkutsk, St. Petersburg, or Moscow; and Which city had a lighthouse that was known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? Carthage, Athens, Alexandria, or Naples.

In each of the 50 states, the National Geographic Society invites the students with the top 100 scores to compete at the state level. Erlandson got the good news recently that she had scored high enough to advance a step further in the competition. "It hasn't quite hit me yet," said Erlandson about attending state. "It's still sinking in."

Nichtern said, "We are so proud of her accomplishments. Jessica is a very deserving student with a wide range of knowledge." This is the second year in a row that Minnewaska's school champion has made it into the competition. Last year Micah Klemme went on to the state level.

On Friday, March 30, Erlandson will participate in the 2007 Minnesota Geographic Bee at Macalester College. The preliminary rounds begin at 9 a.m. and the final round begins at 11:30 a.m. Julie Nelson of KARE 11 will present the questions to the students.  The state winner will represent Minnesota in the national finals at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. on May 23 and 24. Top finishers at the national level will receive scholarships for $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000 respectively.

Erlandson said, "It would be really nice to go on to nationals," but said she is in it for the competition. She said her main interests lie in English history and the geography of Europe. Erlandson hopes to visit England and Scotland one day.

Erlandson is the daughter of Mark and Beth Erlandson.

Editor's Note: Jessica is George and Kathleen Erlandson's grand daughter, a great grand daughter of George and Minnie Erlandson Sr.  


Pope County Tribune
3/13/05

Lundblad honored as Lowry citizen

RoseAnn and Ray Lundblad recieve a plaque from Lowry Lions Club president, Harold Fisher. Photo by John R. Stone

Ray Lundblad, born near Lowry as one of 10 children, was honored last week as Lowry's Citizen of the Year.

Lundblad is perhaps best know for operating Lundblad and Sons excavating, a business he owned for 47 years before selling it to his two sons, Dennis and Kent, in 2005.

"Over the years he touched almost everyone in the community," said Harold Fisher, Lowry Lions Club president as he announced the winner at a dinner at the Lowry Community Center last Thursday.

Over the years he was also involved in Lowry Transfer with two of his brothers. He and brother Glenn developed Poplar Street in Lowry, a street on which they both still live and one now nearly filled with new homes.

Born in 1935, Lundblad has belonged to Ben Wade Covenant Church for most of his life.

He and his wife, RoseAnn, were married in 1960 and had three children, sons Dennis and Kent and daughter Patty, who is now Mrs. Randy Ihnen. They have seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

He served on the Lowry Fire Department for 20 years and was also involved in the Lowry Commercial Club. He joined the Lowry Lions Club two years ago.

Lundblad and his wife will be honored at an open house Saturday, March 17, from 1-3 p.m. at the Lowry Community Center.


Lowry Reunion held at Apache Junction, AZ
February 20, 2007

The annual downtown Lowry Reunion was held at the Community Center of the White Sands Mobile Home Park in Apache Junction, AZ. There were 25 people in attendance which was a record over the many years it has been held. It is always held the middle of Febuary -- so if you're from the Lowry area and planning on being an Arizona "snowbird" during the time of the event, let us know and you have an invite.

Here are the honored 2007 attendees:

Front row l-r: Myra Femrite, Larry Gardner, Dee Gardner, JoAnn Johnson Bursell, Bud Molander, R’Dell Molander, 
Dorothy Molander Nordgren, Audrey Larson 

Back row l-r: Gurvin Femrite, Roger Weisel, Betty Grimilus, Sandy Johnsrud, Bob Johnsrud, Theresa Christenson, 
Charles Christenson, Charles Thompson, Patti Thompson, Paul Weisel, Paul Engebretson, Dee Weisel, Ellwood Johnson, 
Hub Nordgren, Martha Engebretson Thompson, Wayne Thompson, Margaret Engebretson (Andy’s daughter)

See www.cybertrails.com/~eajohnson/lowryreunion07.htm

--------------------------------------------------


12/26/2006 11:57:00 AM 
New faces at Lowry State Bank: From left, Mike Mohr, Bob Mork, Dave Lorence and Angie Svec. Photo by John R. Stone
Pope County Tribune
12/26/2006 11:57:00 AM 

New faces mean new future for Lowry State Bank

John R. Stone
Reporter

New faces at Lowry State Bank mark the future path of the institution that has served the community for over 100 years.

New to the bank, which has been operated by the Mork family since 1959 when it was acquired by Clifford Mork, include Dave Lorence, executive vice-president with responsibilities in ag and commercial lending; Mike Mohr, consumer lender; and Angie Svec, who will work as a credit analyst and in operational support.

Bank president is Robert E. Mork, who has worked at the facility since 1972.

Transition for the bank began in 1990 when Clifford Mork died. Mork's widow, Edna, sold the bank to the couple's three sons, Robert, David and Tom. Later, in 2002, David and Tom decided to divest themselves of their share of the bank and that's when Bob approached Peter and Kari Nelson and Dennis Martinson of Glenwood State Bank. An agreement was finalized with the new ownership group of the bank becoming Peter and Kari Nelson, Eric and Kirsten Nelson and Paul Martinson. For Robert E. Mork the change marked a transition toward eventual retirement. While he has served as president the past four years, his involvement will taper off next year as he goes to half time.

A Concordia College graduate, Mork started at the bank in December of 1972. He started at the bank about the same time it was completing a major remodeling. Over the years he worked his way up to the presidency and the corner office at the facility once occupied by his father. He married and he and his wife, Lori, raised two children, Shiloh and Seth.

"It's time," he said of his changing involvement in the bank. He would like more time to spend in his hobby, coaching cross country at Minnewaska Area High School and other activities. "My job over the next year or so is to aid in the transition."

David Lorence started August 1, 2005 and will become the bank's president upon Mork's retirement. Lorence comes to Lowry after serving as president of First Minnesota Bank in Glencoe. A native of the Glencoe area, he sees the Lowry State Bank position as a challenge to grow in the banking business.

"When you think about changing employment you have to ask two questions, who are you going to work with and who are you going to work for," said Lorence. "When I met the people here and knew I was going to be working with Bob the first question was answered. In addition, when I met with Peter and Kari Nelson and Dennis Martinson, I developed a great respect for the people I was going to work for."

"Both the bank and the area are healthy," said Lorence.

Lorence is a graduate of St. John's University in Collegeville. He and his wife Sue, have a son, Mike, who lives and works in Minneapolis. Another son, Bob, is deceased.

"Sue and I were born to farm families," said Lorence. "My parents are retired and still live on their farm west of Glencoe. Sue's parents are retired and still live in Glencoe.

"The town of Lowry impressed us as being a clean, well-kept community and the area residents have proven to be extremely friendly and receptive to newcomers," said Lorence. "Through the work of its previous and current employees, the bank has done an extremely good job over the years of being community-minded and has very reliably served the needs of area residents in good and difficult times. It is apparent, as I have interacted with bank customers, that during their years of ownership the Mork family has earned the respect of area residents and is held in high regard.

"I am also extremely confident that going forward under the ownership of the Martinson family members, that the Lowry State Bank will without question maintain its independence and commitment to its customers and to the Lowry area," said Lorence.

"Another appealing aspect of Lowry to me has been finding out there are a number of Lowry area residents with Bohemian ancestry which I share with them (my dad is Bohemian and my mother is German). So whenever there is an opportunity to eat kolaches, I never pass!"

Mike Mohr joined the bank staff in February 2006 as a consumer lender. He previously worked for Citifinancial in Alexandria as assistant manager for two years. He is a graduate of North Dakota State University where he earned both his BA and MBA degrees. He and his wife, Chris, have been married for five years and have a son, Wyatt, who is 18-months old. Chris works at Glenwood State Bank in Glenwood as operations manager and personal banker after managing Bath and Body Works in Alexandria for four and half years.

Angie Svec is the most recent addition to the bank staff. She is employed as a credit analyst and splits her time between lending and operations. She and her husband, Lowry native Al Svec, have a daughter, Avery, who will be two years old in December. Angie is a graduate of Southwest State University.

The future of Lowry State Bank will be to continue to serve the community's banking needs.

"There are some new faces but the commitment to the community and area will remain the same," said Mork. "These are good people and I know they'll do what they promise."


Webmaster's Note: I was going thru some old papers and found the Lowry News. Note the temperature noted in the first paragraph.

Pope County Tribune
February 1, 1951

Forty degrees below zero this morning. Is it really cold and how!

Mrs. Ernest Larson and children from near Morris spent a few days of last week visiting at Mrs. Esther Dahlgren and Amy Loren.

Emil Pearson and Mrs.Merle Altron and Dale from Paton, Iowa visited a couple days at Glenn Hoplin's home, father and sister of Mrs. Glen Hoplin.

Mrs. Esther Dahlgren and Amy Loren entertained at their home in honor of Sherilyn Larson's first birthday Friday afternoon, also for her mother. A number of guests were present.

Victor Bjorklund spent the week end in Minneapolis and St. Louis Park.

Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Johnson and JoAnn left for Chicago, Ill. Monday to attend the graduation of their son, DeWayne who is graduating the 2nd of February from the Northern Ill. School of Optometry. They will be gone a week and will visit relatives and friends on their way home.

Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Hoplin and David went to Minneapolis for a couple days visit.

A number of ladies from town helped Mrs. C.R. Anderson celebrate her birthday Monday afternoon. She received gifts and a lunch was served by the ladies.

Miss Ruth Peterson of Chicago came up Saturday and visited at A.R. Anderson's and went to Alvin Ellingson to visit with her mother, Mrs. Anna Peterson who is ill.

Miss Jenkins and Murray Lynn of Windsor, Canada visited a week at the Georgie Erlandson Jr. home.

Bertrand McIver who attends Macalester College in St. Paul spent last weekend at his home.

Mrs. Donald Dingwall spent a week visiting her sister and family in Minneapolis last week.

Rev. and Mrs. Strand of Montevideo came up Saturday afternoon to Floyd Anderson's. Rev. Strand had services at the St. Pauli Lutheran Church Sunday afternoon.

Mrs. Ernest Larson and children, Mrs. Esther Dahlgren and Amy Loren visited at Harry Anderson's on Sunday.

Andrew Engebretson from Northfield spend the week end with his folks, H.F. Engebretson's.

A number of friends from the Norunga community had a birthday party for Mrs. C.R. Anderson Thursday afternoon.


Kensington Runestone looking more like a fake

Peg Meier, Star Tribune

April 8, 2004

Scholars who believe the Kensington Runestone is a 19th-century prank -- and not concrete evidence that Norsemen beat Columbus to America by 100-plus years -- say they have found the smoking gun to prove it.

The latest in the century-old Minnesota controversy came in documents written in 1885 by an 18-year-old Swedish tailor named Edward Larsson. He sometimes wrote in runes -- an ancient Scandinavian language that differs from the English alphabet. But Larsson's runes were not the usual runes used over the centuries.

The scholars contend that parts of his documents seem to be written in a secret runic alphabet used by tradesmen in Sweden in the late 1800s, rather like codes that tramps have used over time to leave secret messages for each other.

Swedish linguists happened upon Larsson's documents recently and found that his writing corresponds to pieces of the Kensington Runestone inscription. They say that the journeymen's code did not exist in medieval times, when the Kensington Runestone is purported to have been carved.

"My opinion is this once again nails down the case against the Kensington Runestone," said Michael Michlovic, professor of anthropology and chairman of the Department of Anthropology and Earth Science at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

"This new evidence is really devastating. It comes unexpectedly and from a collection of old letters that have nothing to do with the Kensington Runestone."

The Runestone's origin has been hotly debated in Minnesota and beyond since 1898. It was then that a Swedish-American farmer named Olof Ohman said he found a large stone tablet wrapped in the roots of a poplar tree. The tree was in his farm field at Kensington, near Alexandria, Minn. A runic inscription on the stone describes a massacre of 10 members of an exploration party of Swedes and Norwegians in central Minnesota in the year 1362.

For more than a century, nonbelievers in the inscription's authenticity have said Ohman or his friends carved it as a joke on scholars.

Meanwhile, advocates insist that the Runestone proves that Nordic explorers were in west-central Minnesota in 1362.

Believers in the stone's authenticity say the new evidence doesn't harm their case. Scott Wolter is a St. Paul geologist who has extensively studied the stone. The inscription has weathered for more than 200 years, his research shows, and therefore the stone could not have been carved by jokesters in the late 1800s. Wolter said the skeptics' reliance on the Larsson documents is "another example of people making snap decisions. They've made up their minds and went looking for evidence for it."

The missing link?

The Kensington Runestone was displayed at a museum in Stockholm, Sweden, last fall and examined there by scholars.

Meanwhile, Tryggve Skold of Finland, a retired professor of Scandinavian languages who had studied Larsson's papers, heard a radio interview about the Runestone. Intrigued, he compared Larsson's runes with those on the Kensington stone.

"The resemblance was striking," said Henrik Williams, a runic specialist in Sweden, in an e-mail making the rounds among Runestone skeptics.

Williams previously had been on the fence about whether the Runestone was really carved by Norsemen. The odd runes had puzzled him. In his assessment, he stated that earlier he repeatedly had ruled out the likelihood of finding a missing link to explain them. "Boy, was I wrong," he wrote, insisting the missing link surfaced in the Larsson papers.

Following the journeyman system of the time, Larsson had walked around Sweden to train with master tailors. He was a musician, and most of his papers were handwritten music scores, but he also left books, letters, farm documents and pictures. The runes are his copies of alphabets -- worksheets more than letters. His family donated the collection to a Swedish linguistics and folklore institute.

Quite a showpiece

To Williams, it is inconceivable that the runes on the rock in Minnesota could have survived in Sweden for 500 years with little variation; languages live and change over time. However, Williams said, it is very likely that some kind of secret runes were known in the late 1800s both to Larsson and to Ohman and other Swedish immigrants to Minnesota.

Williams wrote that he can't say for sure who carved the Kensington stone, but claimed it certainly wasn't created in the 1300s.

To Williams, Alexandria may no longer bill itself as "the birthplace of America," but the Runestone Museum in Alexandria "still possesses a remarkable showpiece. ... Although I personally have to admit a certain feeling of loss at the realization that the mystery of the Kensington Runestone is solved, I am also glad to have learned so much in the process and to have gotten to know so many nice people. I realize that not everyone will be convinced we have reached the solution, but in my mind this matter is resolved."

To Michael Michlovic at MSU Moorhead, the charm of the Runestone remains. He finds it incredible that Ohman, a largely self-taught immigrant, created a hoax that has lived for almost 106 years.

While he has no doubts the rock was carved in the 1800s, not the 1300s, Michlovic guesses that believers won't give up.

"Proof has been established before," he said. In 1977, it was revealed that a friend of Ohman's announced on his deathbed in the 1920s that the inscription was a hoax. "That didn't convince people," Michlovic said. And two years ago a book by the Smithsonian Institution forthrightly stated that the Runestone is "universally considered a hoax by scholars today."

Stay tuned, Michlovic said. There's bound to be more coming.


Lakeside Ballroom Fire
Minneapolis Tribune
06/10/2003

Much was lost in fire at Glenwood ballroom

Terry Collins, Star Tribune

Rocker Jerry Lee Lewis did a whole lot of shaking his pompadour in the ballroom. Lawrence Welk led his renowned dance band there.

Even Fats Domino sang that he found his thrill on Blueberry Hill, all of them energizing sellout crowds in the hoppin' joint by Lake Minnewaska.

But all that remained Monday of the Lakeside Pavilion Ballroom in Glenwood, Minn., were some charred walls. The state fire marshal's office is investigating a fire that destroyed the near-century-old structure Saturday afternoon.

"I couldn't watch it," said longtime resident Treva Benton, 62. "I just started to cry, because everything that was associated with my teenage years was up in flames."

The blaze was discovered by workers who smelled smoke near the attic while preparing for a wedding reception, city administrator David Iverson said. Although cooking was taking place inside, John Steinbach, a fire marshal for Pope County, has dismissed that as a probable cause.

Glenwood Mayor John Stone said the fire probably started from some electrical circuits near the ceiling.

Stone said that in his town of nearly 3,000 people there is a "huge amount of sadness" about the ballroom, which has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1998.

The 10,000-square-foot site had more than 30 weekend bookings scheduled for this year and nearly another 20 already planned for next year, Iverson said. Besides receptions and anniversaries, it also was the site of dances and holiday parties.

But the ballroom on Lake Minnewaska, about 130 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, is best remembered for its shows during the early days of rock 'n' roll and the dance bands of the 1950s and early '60s.

Benton recalls listening at night from her bedroom window to the sounds of orchestras such as Guy Lombardo's coming from the ballroom.

"The whole community would turn up. Some would pull their cars up, because the [ballroom's] windows were always open," Benton said. "Folks would have their boats scattered across the lake listening to the music."

She rattled off the popular dances with machine-gun precision: the schottische, the two-step, the waltz and the polka. And she recalled musical stars who shone there: Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, Conway Twitty, Sammy Kaye and Harry James.

"They were wonderful. The sound was wonderful, the dance floor was impeccable," she said. "The fans drove from all over -- long distances -- to see big names in our little town."

The fire brought back a flood of memories for Joanna Tangen, 73, who worked as a ballroom waitress off and on for about 25 years.

She remembered when a 50-cent ticket could get you in on both Saturday and Sunday nights. At 16, she met the man who would be her husband during a Saturday night dance.

"We had a lot of fun there . . . always a lot of people for those big-name bands," she said. "Friday nights was ballroom dancing; Saturday nights had the old-time dances. Then the teen hops were on Tuesday nights. I should know. My kids went there all the time."

Slower tempo, but still steady

While the city has always been the ballroom's sole owner, Stone said, it has been leased to different operators over the years. They include Tuddy Kaldahl and Harold Brundin, who booked the biggest names and ran the place jointly for more than 30 years.

Although the stars stopped coming, and the dance bands were fewer and more local, the ballroom never went dormant in recent years except when the city closed it for three months for renovation.

The future seemed bright. In the past three years, Stone said, the city spent about $300,000 for new wiring, bathrooms, floors and air conditioning. In March, the Minnesota Historical Society gave the ballroom a $21,000 grant to help pay for new windows. They were installed in April.

And last month, city officials signed a lease with two Anoka businessmen to manage the ballroom and operate a restaurant in July. They also had plans to start dinner cruises for up to 70 people on the lake.

Stone said some events planned for the ballroom during Glenwood's popular annual Waterama festival next month will take place outside.

Hopes for rebuilding

With no timetable, he said he hopes they can rebuild a new ballroom sooner rather than later.

Don Riggs of Roseville, a saxophonist and leader of the 10-piece Don Riggs Band, hopes so, too. His group played at the ballroom last weekend and were booked for October.

"They cheer and holler when you play a good tune," Riggs, 78, said of the crowds. "You don't [often] get that kind of response anymore."

Riggs also remembers when his trombone player went fishing in his black suit and tie last year during a break in one of their shows.

"We might be able to replace it," said Stone. "There's a huge community sentiment that feels we wouldn't have much of a town without it."

Benton agrees. She wants a place that resembles where she and her husband danced as youngsters.

"I would love to see a building back there," Benton said. "But I'm afraid it might not sound the same."


Pope County Tribune
Monday, June 09, 2003

Lakeside Ballroom burns to the ground
by John R. Stone
news@pctribune.com

It's gone.   The Lakeside Ballroom, a landmark in Glenwood and West Central Minnesota for nearly a century, burned to the ground Saturday afternoon.   The ballroom was just about to host another wedding reception when ballroom manager, Bob Mattson, smelled smoke.   Mattson quickly located the source of the smoke, sent the dozen or so people getting ready for the wedding reception from the building, and called the fire department of which is is a member.   "I could tell what it was, I could hear it," said Mattson of the fire which he thought started between the ceiling and the roof of the west part of the ballroom area.   Mattson said the first part of the bridal party which was to have its reception at the ballroom showed up about the same time as Glenwood firefighters.   "I told the groom's father I was sorry, but it didn't look like we could have the reception," said Mattson.   

Glenwood firefighters, who were the first on the scene, cut a hole in the roof to get water on the blaze since they couldn't get water on the flames from below.   But the fire could not be contained. Wood which had been curing for nearly 100 years burned quickly. Gradually it burned through the roof sending flames 50 to 75 feet above the building.   The flames moved toward both ends of the building. Forty five minutes after the fire started the roof caved in. Two hours later the last part of the building, the bar area, was fully engulfed in flames.   

Glenwood firefighters were assisted by firefighters from Starbuck, Villard, Lowry, Forada, Sedan, Brooten and even the Alexandria fire Department, which sent its snorkle truck. First Responders from Villard and Lowry were also present.   Firemen sprayed water on the blaze for hours, using water from nearby fire hydrants and Lake Minnewaska as well.    

"The building had a huge fire load," said fire chief, Jim Suckstorff. Suckstorff had been at the state track meet watching his son compete earlier in the afternoon. David Orlowksi, assistant chief, was in charge of coordinating the fire fighting effort most of the blaze.   Suckstorff said that because it was an older building and not airtight, the fire was able to get plenty of oxygen to feed the flames.   

While there were no injuries there was one close call when a portion of the facade of the building fell on firefighter Chris Hill. Hill was knocked to the ground and several other firefighters rushed forward to lift the piece off him. He was not injured and remained on duty to continue fighting the fire.   

Firefighters told the Tribune that since the fire was in the roof, a sprinkler system probably would not have saved the building.   

The city of Glenwood had spent nearly $300,000 over the past three years refurbishing the ballroom. The most recent improvement was new windows that were installed this winter in the ballroom area facing the lake and new flooring installed near the windows at a cost of over $45,000.   The city had signed a lease May 13 to rent the ballroom to two men who planned to improve the kitchen facilities and operate a restaurant in addition to normal dances and other activities.   

The Lakeside Ballroom has been a city fixture since 1909 when when J. H. "Mac" McCauley offered to build a dance pavilion on land owned by the city. He told the city that if he could operate the pavilion for 10 years he would turn it over to the city.   The building of the ballroom was intended to focus attention to the city as a place for tourism.   

The ballroom replaced a pervious pavilion which the city had built in 1885.   The original pavilion built by McCauley was 60 by 90 feet. It had a 10 foot by 18 foot stage extension that projected over the shore. There was also later a separate building which was known as a lounge and ice cream parlor. A bath house was also built for people to change clothing for swimming.   The pavilion was constructed with the lower four feet and the upper two feet enclosed by wood and the six foot opening in between covered with large screens and canvas. The 1909 building constructed by McCauley cost $3,000. A grand opening of the facility was held May 28, 1909.   

In addition to the pavilion, McCauley operated a large water slide at the site and maintained the public beach. The city beach remained at the ballroom site until 1947. He also had a boat rental and bait business.   

Oliver B. "Tuddy" Kaldahl started renting the ballroom from McCauley after starting working at the ballroom by helping McCauley clean the facility. By 1923 Kaldahl took over operation of the ballroom, beginning an association that ran for over 50 years.   Dancing and music grew more and more popular in the 1930s and as the ballroom became more successful, Kaldahl was able to attract bigger names.   Lawrence Welk performed at the Lakeside at least three times in 1936 and 1937 as well as groups like the Andrews Sisters.    

The roster of bands which appeared at the Lakeside over the years is like a "Who's Who" of musical entertainers of the time.   They included Louis Armstrong, the Andrews Sisters, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Tex Beneke, Jack Crawford, Guy DeLeo, Oscar Danielson, the Dorsey Brothers, the Dukes of Dixieland, the Everly Brothers, Sammy Kay, Stan Kenton, Guy Lomardo, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tiny Little, Al Menke, Red Nickles and the Five Pennies, Al Olson, Don Redman, Eli Rice, Don Strickland, Conway Twitty and Lawrence Welk.   

The Lakeside had no heating system and operated as a summer facility only until the late 1930s. By then the big band era was in full swing so the Kaldahls had wooden shutters installed to replace the canvas and heat was provided large wood stoves.   In 1940 Harold Brundin joined Kaldahl as a partner.   

Harry Given, longtime manager of the Prom Ballroom in St. Paul said that Kaldahl and Brundin were recognized nationally by their peers as running one of the finest rural ballrooms in the state.   "The ballroom was kept immaculate and the managers ran a first-rate operation," said Given in documentation used to qualify the ballroom for the National Registry of Historic Places in 1998.   

"It was often more important for a band to play a rural date than to play in the big cities," said Given. "For a one-nighter, the band would pick a rural ballroom like the Lakeside because people would drive 60 to 100 miles to attend. Playing the Lakeside was a very important part of their itinerary.   "For every two nights in a city, they'd play five or six nights in a rural location," said Given. "Some of the braver rural ballroom operators would take the big name bands as well as the local bands."   

Jules Herman, a trumpeter and band leader said, "Big name bands would play one-nighters as they traveled from coast to coast. They'd play a sequence like Iowa, then the Prom (in St. Paul) the next night and maybe the Lakeside the next night, and possible the Arkota in Sioux Falls the next night then jump to Lincoln, Neb. and play the the Pla Mor.   "It (the Lakeside) was a good spot for a one-nighter because you could pack the place," said Herman.   

In 1947 the the Lakeside Pavilion became the Lakeside Ballroom. Along with the name change came a new maple dance floor which cost $3,000.   Duane Peterson took over the Lakeside operation from Kaldahl and Brundin in the 1970s and Arne Moe took over after Peterson's death.   In 2001 the city took over operation of the ballroom as it made improvements to the facility. Bathrooms were replaced, air conditioning added to the lounge area, coolers were moved, water service improved, a storage area at the south end of the building was rebuilt, windows replaced in the lounge area and more.   A course of action for the city will probably start Tuesday when the city holds its regular commission meeting.