Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Letter to the editor: John Talcott


I do not oppose the reuse of Kasson’s old school. What I oppose are the actions of our Zoning Administrator. He told us that by law we have to allow this property to be used as apartments. But then, by his actions, we find out that the same law we must follow, the developer can ignore. We have to follow the law but the developer does not. He can be granted a variance to fit his needs. Why does he need a variance? So he can cram more apartments into that block. There is no hardship or practical difficulty facing the developer that warrants a variance. The only reason he wants the rule waived is the more people he can squeeze into those buildings the more money he makes. I am upset that the developer lied when he stated that his plan met the code. It does not meet the city code unless Kasson ignores the zoning rule that the rest of us must follow. I am not a critic of the project, just the procedure.

John Talcott

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Missi Roland... "These dogs are my family and they fit my personality"

Missi Roland of rural Mantorville has raised dogs as far back as her memory can reach. At age nine she won her first competitive obedience event and at 18 she was  showing dogs when friends were out partying.

"These dogs are my family and they fit my personality. I have trained and bred them all,"  said Missi. Her family consists of four male border collies, Tripp and Repo are 13, Glitch is 18 months and Syphon is six months. Glitch and Syphon are the nephews of the older two dogs.
Repo is probably the most well known because Missi brings him to the Kasson Public Library each Monday evening for "Read With Repo". Children will take turns reading as Repo calmly sits and listens and gives each reader his complete attention. "He loves kids and likes to greet everyone who comes into the library," said Missi.

The four collies make the perfect therapy dogs. Missi has taken them to several public places, from visiting care centers to performing tricks for elementary school children. As Missi has the dogs demonstrate tricks  each is eager to take a turn. Turn left, turn right, shake. When Missi calls out "police dog" one of the dogs clamps down lightly on her wrist.

Border Collies are best known for herding and given the opportunity they will herd the sheep and cattle on the farm. "They have tried to herd the horses, but they aren't very cooperative," said Missi.
What Missi loves about her dogs is that they are so non-judgmental. They are also a very good judge of character. "People could learn a good lesson from these dogs," added Missi.

Training and working with the dogs is ongoing. Because they are so intelligent Missi insists it does not take them long to catch on. Missi quickly admits she is competitive by nature and likes to win. Repo has amassed many awards and titles over the last 10 years. He is an AKC Utility Dog Excellent, he was an Obedience Trial Champion and has won numerous High In Trial awards. Arthritis is slowing Repo and is slowly losing his hearing so Missi has been working with him on sign language.
A favorite for the dogs is a sport called barn hunting. Live rats are placed in PVC pipe containers with holes so the dogs can't grab the rats.  The containers are hidden in the barn in a bale of straw or bedding.

The dog is on the clock and when it finds the container with the rat the handler hollers "Rat!". The dog will initially circle the container or will paw at it.

As the dogs improve in  barn hunting skills they advance to higher skill levels of hunting.  Missi said the dogs get very excited. The rats are unharmed and they are raised in cages with food and water.

Missi insists that barn hunting can bring out the competitive spirit of her Border Collies. "I'm always teaching them new things and they are eager to learn,"said Missi. Missi treats them like family and knows they thrive on physical and mental challenges.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Grand opening of Shopko Hometown store in Kasson November 14

Shopko has announced that the construction of a brand new 36,000-square foot Shopko Hometown store located at 301 South Mantorville Avenue in Kasson is complete and  opened to the public on November 10.  A grand opening and ribbon cutting event will take place Friday, November 14 at 8:45 a.m., and the entire community is invited to join the Shopko team and community leaders for the event.
The grand opening event will be highlighted by a $2,500 check presentation to Kasson-Mantorville Schools followed by a $1,000 check presentation to Semcac Community Action Agency from the Shopko Hometown Foundation prior to the ribbon cutting.

“At Shopko Hometown, we want to make each of our store communities a better place to live by supporting schools and 501c3 organizations,” said Peter McMahon, Shopko CEO.  “It is crucial that organizations receive assistance to support the well-being of its Shopko community.”
In addition, the first 100 customers in line will receive a free $10 Shopko gift card.  A number of prizes will also be given out through “register to win” events.  Customers will also be encouraged to sign up for Shopko’s My Extra Savings rewards program to receive exclusive savings each week, 10% off on their birthday and special email announcements and offers.  Every customer who uses their My Extra Savings card on the day of the grand opening will be entered into a drawing for a $1,000 shopping spree. Refreshments will be served inside the store.

“There has been a great deal of excitement in the community about this store opening, so we’re excited to finally be bringing the Shopko Hometown experience to Kasson,” said Peter McMahon, Shopko CEO.  “I’m confident that the community will love what they see and appreciate the great merchandise selection, brands, value and service.  We look forward to being part of the local community for years to come.”

Shopko Hometown combines Shopko’s strong reputation for health services and customer service with a broad and dynamic offering of strong national brands and high-value private label brands of apparel, home furnishings, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items and lawn and garden products – all in attractive, well laid out, easy-to-shop store format.

“Our pharmacy team is dedicated to meeting the healthcare needs of customers with prompt, friendly, professional service,” said Michelle Malone, R.Ph.  “We are also committed to seeking out innovative ways to serve our customers and make their pharmacy experience as convenient as possible such as our free mobile pharmacy app which customers can use to manage and refill prescriptions anytime from their mobile devices.  The pharmacy also features drive-through service for added convenience for customers.”

The store will be open Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.  Pharmacy hours are Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and closed on Sunday.
Shopko is owned by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a leading private investment firm focused on leverage buyouts, equity, debt, and other investments in market-leading companies.
About Shopko: Founded in 1962 and headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Shopko Stores Operating Co., LLC is a $3 billion retailer that operates 320 stores in 21 states throughout the Midwest, Mountain, North Central and Pacific Northwest regions. Retail formats include 133 Shopko stores, providing quality name-brand merchandise, great values, pharmacy and optical services in small to mid-sized cities; 5 Shopko Express Rx stores, a convenient neighborhood drugstore concept; 5 Shopko Pharmacy locations; and 178 Shopko Hometown stores, a smaller concept store developed to meet the needs of smaller communities. For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Letter to the editor: Nathan Nord

Letter To the Editor:
Sheriff’s Election:
Back in January, I was invited out to Scott Rose’s home to allow him and two other deputies a chance at telling me why I should not support Jim Jensen for Sheriff again. I really didn’t want to get involved this time around simply because I am expecting to become a father this fall. A lot of preparation is needed for that. And campaigning is very time consuming and mentally draining. But the more I heard some, not all, of Scott’s campaigners going around telling lies after lies, I knew I had to say something. I saw the article in the Post-Bulletin a couple weeks ago talking about, what we know now is not a lie, the article in Outer Boundary Mag. Scott has continually used the line in the media and on his Facebook page, “ I don’t use smear tactics and I’m about the issues”. But the problem is he will never say what the issues are? The reason being is because NONE of them are valid reasons to get rid of a sheriff who has been serving Dodge County with good standing for 35 years. I heard a lot of reasons that night and I will share just a few of the minor reasons.

One complaint was that “The sheriff is always around! He shows up at car accidents on the weekends.”  Then I was given an example. Another was that he showed up at a underage drinking party at 2:00 AM. Another one was that he’s micro managing. Or another was, “He wants to run it like Vanderhyde and Weber. The one that stood out to me was, “He wants to know what we’re doing all the time.”

First of all, if the highest paid law enforcement guy in the county is working all the time, why should I be upset with that? They told me it stresses the officers out having the boss around all the time. Well big deal, I say. We all have bosses to answer to in every career field. I work around my boss all the time. If they are not doing anything wrong, they have nothing to worry about! As far as micro managing, they haven’t known what it’s like to have a sheriff who was actually tending to business for a long time. As far as Vanderhyde and Weber, that was the good ole days when Dodge County spoke highly of our sheriffs and really trusted them. And lastly, I don’t care who you are, your boss usually,( always) knows what you are doing. And after the huge lawsuits DC suffered, our sheriff SHOULD know what they are doing on a daily basis. At least they should check in and update him.
Those are petty reasons as you see. But the two main reasons they want to get rid of Jensen are strictly personal reasons. The first is that the Sheriff fired his Chief Deputy. First of all, 99% of sheriffs always pick their own C.D. when they’re elected. And considering the drama that was taking place in the dept., Jim should have. But he wanted to give Mike L. a chance. A new sheriff means a new way of doing things. So it was Mike’s job to try and follow the new policies. If they were bad ones, the sheriff would answer to the citizens. Obviously Jensen grew tired of the struggle and let him go. I must point out, the county board has been blocking Jim from hiring a new one since January, so what did the CD actually do if the place can be run without him? That’s a pretty high paying position.
The second personal reason is the toughest to talk about but none the less the most troubling reason. Scott has decided, along with several deputies, to literally blame the Sheriff for the tragic death of the late Captain Guenther, who passed away of a heart attack at the age of 43. I and several other people around the community have heard it come right out of his own mouth, that Jim caused the stress that killed him. I think just about everybody can agree this is just not right to blame anybody for something like that. It’s tragic enough already.

See, Scott can go around and tell everyone on social media and in the newspapers that he is about the issues and doesn’t use smear tactics. But we are a small community and people do talk. And going around bad mouthing the sheriff in general conversations, conspiring with some commissioners to undermine the sheriff, and letting some of his dirty players spread terrible rumors about a 35 year police officer and public servant is definitely qualified as smear tactics. Sorry Scott, but you can’t play it both ways. I don’t want a sheriff with two sides. The one thing everyone should take note of s w in this whole mess, Sheriff Jensen hasn’t hardly said a word. When I asked him why he doesn’t strike back he says, “You don’t have to defend yourself from blatant lies”.  And just smiles.

Nathan Nord


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Exciting news about Mantorville Stagecoach Days

In their continuing efforts to entice everyone to join them on June 28 & 29, the Mantorville Stagecoach Days committee presents its second installment of news about this re-invigorated event.

In addition to the Sunday tractor pull and the living history demonstrations that started this festival years ago, Carla Webster will be holding class in the one room school at the Dodge County Historical Society.  On Saturday from 9-11 a.m. and again on Sunday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., she will give youngsters a taste of schooling before white boards, Power Point and hot lunch programs. Come on up and see how the community’s  grandparents and great-grandparents learned the Three  R’s.

Present day grandparents also may have taken part in Maypole Dances.  These dances have been part of May Day celebrations for centuries and through the 1950’s were part of physical education classes.  Avin Honecker Sherman will teach  the techniques for winding ribbons around the maypole and for weaving web like designs with the ribbons.  The trick is then to retrace the steps and unwrap the ribbons.  You will find her at the Restoration House on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 1 p.m.  

While a bicycle may not have been much fun (or much use) while crossing the prairie, the family trail ride set up by the Dodge County Trails Association will be great.  Registration begins at 10 a.m. on 6th Street East below the courthouse.  Collect “stamps” at stations along the Sunset and Sunrise Trails while you enjoy the scenery.  Learn how these trails will someday connect with Mantorville’s Stagecoach Trail from Rochester to Owatonna.  Stick around for a bike rodeo in the afternoon. 

A quick course in stagecoach lingo: your driver (Brother Whip, Whip or Charlie) rode on the box (driver’s seat).  He drove his team of four to six horses using the reins (ribbons).  While fast, wild rides in a stagecoach are seen only in movies and television, the driver was sometimes called a Jehu after a biblical character who liked to drive chariots fast and furiously.  The conductor was the man who collected fares, took care of passengers and was responsible for the mail.  He rode next to the driver (shotgun!).  Hangers-on also rode on top of the coach. China seats were on top and faced backwards, named after the Chinese migrant workers who often chose the least expensive tickets for their travels.  Luggage was stowed in a covered compartment at the back of the coach (boot).  Rest stops were principally for the horses and called stations. A tired team could be replaced by a fresh team in about two minutes by hostlers at the station.

Next week, readers will be amazed with a quick view of the entire weekend and some rules for stagecoach travelers as put forth by early stage companies.  Meanwhile for more information about Mantorville Stagecoach Days, go to www.mantorvilletourism.com. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

City of Kasson says "no thanks" to ice arena offer, partnership to continue

By Randy Carlsen

Dodge County Board of Commissioners met in closed session Tuesday and agreed to offer the Dodge County Ice Arena to the city of Kasson. Following the regular Kasson City Council meeting Wednesday evening they too went into closed session and determined they wanted to continue the joint venture operation of the arena with Dodge County.

City administrator Randy Lenth issued a statement saying, "The City of Kasson believes the current management agreement with Dodge County benefits the entire area and recognizes the hard work and dedication of the many individuals and businesses that constructed the facility. We look forward to a continued partnership with Dodge County to promote and enhance the Dodge County Ice Arena."
Lenth said the arena is as close to breaking even as they have ever been. In 2013 the arena lost only $3,000.  However, the facility is in need of a new roof and new cooling system. Due to the ban on Freon R-22, ice arenas statewide will  have to replace/update the flooring cooling system by 2020.

Tim Tjosaas served as mayor and now sits on the other side of the fence as county commissioner. He said there were general discussions of how best to move forward when the ice arena committee of two commissioners and two council members met. He said the issue has always been brought up by the county.

In exchange for turning over the arena to the city the council was asking for free utilities (water, sewer and electricity) for the next 10 years at the fairgrounds. This would include all buildings on the grounds owned by the county.

The original partners of the arena were Kasson, Mantorville, Dodge Center and Dodge County. The school districts were also partners, but did not have a financial stake in the arena. Dodge Center and Mantorville dropped out and January 1, 2010 Kasson and Dodge County became co-owners of the arena. What triggered construction of the arena was a $600,000 Mighty Ducks grant the Dodge County Youth Hockey Association was awarded.
In other matters:

• The city granted a conditional use permit for Oppidan to install a digital sign near Mantorville Avenue for the Shopko Home Store and for the drive-up window for the pharmacy. A timer will be installed so the lighted sign goes off between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. The sign will be lighted on both sides.
• The council had a brief discussion on water bills and how to deal with those residents who have excessive water bills as the result of broken pipes. "There are a few who have legitimate concerns and we are working with them," said the city administrator. Lines running through driveways have been more of a problem than those across lawns. One unoccupied property where a broken water main was discovered had a monthly water bill in excess of $4,000.
• The city was seeking proposals for qualified firms interested in delivering a two megawatt solar photovoltaic generating system on approximately 20 acres of land owned by the city north of the wastewater treatment plant.
The city administrator said the future is with solar since Kasson continues to deal with peak loads in June, July and August. There are also tax credit incentives.

The city has received eight proposals. The electric committee and electric department supervisor Todd Kispert will take the month of April to look over the proposals. Randy Lenth said there was a wide range of responses.

Dodge County and the City of Kasson will continue to operate the Dodge County Ice Arena as co-owners. When the arena was constructed Dodge County, Kasson, Mantorville and Dodge Center partners. January 1, 2010 the city of Kassona nd Dodge County took over ownership. Photo by Randy Carlsen.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mantorville council discusses new hire, sheriff candidate pays a visit

By Gretta Becay

At their meeting March 10, 2014, Mantorville City council members scheduled three meetings for 6:30 p.m. March 18, 19, and 20 at city hall to interview separately the three candidates selected as finalists for assistant city clerk.

Mayor Chuck Bradford and City Clerk/Finance Director Cami Reber said all the candidates had appropriate computer skills and all had worked with the public.

Dodge County Sheriff’s Investigator Scott Rose visited the council and talked about his background and his decision to run for sheriff in this year’s election. Rose said he has been in law enforcement since 1996. During this time he served in the Kasson Police Depart-ment and in the sheriff’s department as a dispatcher, a patrol officer and now as an investigator. Rose said running for sheriff is a goal he’s had since he started his law enforcement career.  He said one of the projects he is most proud of was the installation of computers in the patrol cars about 10 years ago.

Council member Barbara Ballard asked Rose if using a computer while driving was safer than texting. Rose said sometimes officers need information about the call they are responding to that would affect their safety so they need a way to communicate with dispatch that is more secure than the radio.

Swenke Ims Contracting, LLC will be placing riprap below the dam as soon as possible. The weather has prohibited the work up until now.

Council members also discussed briefly:
• What civic group should pay for tourism advertising?
• Location options for the Kasson-Mantorville sports-team congratulatory sign.
• The new 8-foot tall fence at Dennison Field.
• Needed repairs for the south shelter in the park.
• Can the city really afford a new grader and the Seventh Street project this year?
The next regular meeting for the council is 6:30 p.m. March 24 at city hall.