Wanamingo-Kenyon

Wed
25
Feb
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Wanamingo Girl Scouts raise money for ball field bench


Wanamingo Girl Scouts, from left to right, Esmee Solberg, Rachel Nesseth, troop leader Laura Nesseth, Edyn Hudson, and Sophia Culuris present a check to Wanamingo ball field project organizer Kirby VanDeWalker. The funds will be used to purchase a dugout bench for the new junior varsity softball field.

By Alicia Hunt-Welch

WANAMINGO – The Wanamingo Girl Scout troop recently set a big goal, and are proud to have accomplished it. Sophia Culuris, Edyn Hudson, Rachel Nesseth and Esmee Solberg were looking for a project that would benefit the community. The girls decided to set a goal of raising enough funds to purchase a dugout bench, costing $581, for the new Wanamingo ball field project. Hudson said, “We wished to be a part of a big project. It felt awesome to achieve such a big goal.” 

The troop organized and held a chili supper on January 3. Over $400 was raised at the event, even though the weather was horrible that night and turnout was much less than expected. Culuris said, “It felt good to raise that much money.” Culuris also enjoyed working together on the chili feed event. 

Wed
18
Feb
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"Zombie Night!" to open at KW High School


The Kenyon-Wanamingo High School cast of “Zombie Night!”, from left to right, sitting: Isabelle Finholm, Makayla Sokoloski, Emily Pliscott, Katie Rechtzigel, Ashlee Blastervold, Rosie Briemhurst, Amos Avery, and Evelyn Humphrey; standing: Stephanie Ford, Ella Lee, Allison Timbeross, Kadey Seeger, Ebelin Morales, Cass Kern, Haha Shepard, Corissa Kern, Sydney Warner, Eli Bushman, Hunter Stanke, Noah Stevenson, Amanda Horn, Sophie Kyllo, Kalley Seeger, Kurt Briemhurst, and Mitchell Ades. Not pictured: Ryan Pelkey, Brittney Jarvis, Sam Briemhurst, John Nelson, Caleb Greseth, and Katie Doehling. “Zombie Night!” is a two-act play with campy, doo-wop songs mixed into the story featuring a crazy farmer, a mad doctor, a mean nurse, ghosts, tough juveniles, a bridesmaid, hikers, and costumed party animals. The director is Randy Hockinson and senior Rosie Briemhurst is the musical director and accompanist. Aerin Avery is doing the costumes and John Nelson is building the set.

By Alicia Hunt-Welch

KENYON – The Kenyon-Wanamingo High School drama department will present “Zombie Night!” next weekend. Performances will be Saturday, February 28, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 1, at 2 p.m. in the high school auditorium in Kenyon. The play by Tim Kelly will be directed by Randy Hockinson.

Hockinson described “Zombie Night!” as a comedy with some musical numbers mixed in. “The story is about some high school students going to an abandoned farm house for a fright night get-together, but they run into real zombies,” he said. The show is more funny than scary, Hockinson said, but some characters might be too intense for young children.

Wed
18
Feb
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Bond refunding saves Wanamingo thousands

By Alicia Hunt-Welch

WANAMINGO – Results of a bond sale were presented to the Wanamingo City Council on February 9. Upon approval by the council, the bonds would officially be sold February 10. A total of $2,020,000 in general obligation crossover refunding bonds was approved after a motion by Jamie Majerus, seconded by Todd Kyllo. City Administrator Michael Boulton said the total savings from refunding to a lower interest rate will eliminate two years off bond payments. The net bond savings was $264,246.88 or 7.28%. Majerus said, “Great news. We are saving some money.” 

Wed
11
Feb
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The Copper Street Brass Quintet to perform at KW School

By Alicia Hunt-Welch

KENYON – A group of professional musicians, The Copper Street Brass Quintet, will work with Kenyon-Wanamingo band students on February 12. Through engaging classroom programs, original and unique musical arrangements, and innovative concerts, The quintet is dedicated to music education and inspiring young musicians. A grant through the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council is making this educational residency program possible. 

KW Band Director Claire Larson also arranged for The Copper Street Brass Quintet to work with KW students back in 2013. Since then she has also heard them perform in other concert events. She said, “These guys are incredible!”

Wed
11
Feb
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Wanamingo and Kenyon scouts attend winter camp


Scouts from Troop 76 of Wanamingo and Troop 232 of Kenyon participated in a weekend outdoor winter camping event at Phillippo Scout Reservation near Cannon Falls in January. Sitting with the traveling trophy is Sam Lee; middle row, from left to right: Mike McGuire, Jonathan Dierks, Colin McGuire, Dante Ugalde, Brandon Dierks, Rex Welch; back row: John Lee, Alec Nesseth, Mike Farrell and Chris Farrell.

By Alicia Hunt-Welch

CANNON FALLS – Troop 232 of Kenyon and Troop 76 of Wanamingo joined together to attend the annual Gamehaven Council Wakpaota Winter Camporee January 23-25. This year’s winter camping event was held at Phillippo Scout Reservation on Lake Byllesby west of Cannon Falls.

Attending from Kenyon Troop 232 were scouts Sam Lee and Dante Ugalde and adult leaders John Lee and Rex Welch. Wanamingo Troop 76 included scouts Jonathan Dierks, Chris Farrell, Colin McGuire, Alec Nesseth and adult leaders Mike Farrell and Mike McGuire. Jonathan Dierks served as senior patrol leader for the group. 

Wed
04
Feb
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$15,000 from Ohnstad among many donations made to KW School

By Alicia Hunt-Welch

WANAMINGO – Mildred Ohnstad was a teacher with the Kenyon-Wanamingo School District many years ago. She recently presented the district with a $15,000 donation to be used toward educational materials for students.

Principal Matt Ryan said he had the pleasure of spending some time with Ohnstad and discovered that they both taught in the same classroom in Wanamingo. Ryan said the elementary building would use a portion of the funds to purchase a technology cart with more devices for students to use. 

Other donations

Also in January, Arlyn and Mardelle Johnson donated $1,500 for a scholarship fund in memory of Donald and Laurie Johnson. The KW Education Foundation donated $120.90 in books for students. 

Wed
04
Feb
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KW team takes first at Knowledge Bowl Regionals


The Kenyon-Wanamingo Red team finished in first place in Tier AA at the Junior High Knowledge Bowl Regional Competition on January 22. With their trophy and medals are, from left to right: Coach Darin Walling, Alec Nesseth, Amber Olson, Celia Woock, Daniel Benrud, Kurt Breimhurst, and Sierra Belcher.

By Alicia Hunt-Welch and Audra DePestel

ROCHESTER – Of the fifty-two teams competing in the 2014-15 southeast division of the Junior High Knowledge Bowl, the Kenyon-Wanamingo Red team finished the season in first place in Tier AA. The team led the way with 109.5 points at Regionals January 21-22 at the South Central Cooperative in Rochester. Kasson-Mantorville 1 finished in second with 101.0 points and Chatfield 1 in third with 100.5. First through third place in Tier A were, respectively, Houston 1, Kingsland 1, Rushford-Peterson 1. Regionals are the last event of the JHKB season.

The KW Black team finished in fifth place with 92.5 points. Both KW teams are coached by Darin Walling. A Pine Island team, coached by gifted and talented coordinator Rosario Mollo, finished in ninth in Tier AA.

Wed
28
Jan
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Jennifer Smith and Jeremy Lerfald begin terms on KW School Board

By Alicia Hunt-Welch

WANAMINGO – Newly elected Jennifer Smith, Jeremy Lerfald, and Marilyn Syverson were sworn in at the January 5 Kenyon-Wanamingo Board of Education organizational meeting. The board then reviewed two applications submitted by Jill Dornbach and Debb Paquin for the vacant position. Paquin, whose term ended in December, was unanimously appointed to fill the position for a two-year term.

The floor was open to the nomination of officers. Greg Dotson nominated Karla Bauer for chairperson. Paquin nominated Kyllo for chair. Voting in favor of Bauer were Dotson, Syverson, and Bauer. Voting for Kyllo were Lerfald, Paquin, Smith, and Kyllo.  Doug Kyllo was elected chairperson, 4-3. This is the fourth year he has been elected to chair the school board. 

Wed
28
Jan
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Jeff Pesta hired as interim KW principal


Jeff Pesta

By Alicia Hunt-Welch

KENYON – Jeff Pesta has been hired as a Kenyon-Wanamingo School interim principal for grades 7-12. His official start date was January 5. Pesta is originally from New Prague. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and business administration from Minnesota State University – Mankato and a master’s degree in science education from the University of Minnesota.

Pesta was most recently the principal at Northfield Middle School. He said, “I requested a one year leave of absence from my position as principal of Northfield Middle School this year to complete the writing of my doctoral dissertation. I successfully defended the dissertation to a faculty committee on December 18.” In earning his doctorate degree in leadership from the University of St. Thomas, Pesta is licensed in Minnesota as a science teacher, principal, and superintendent. 

Wed
21
Jan
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Wanamingo City Council sets yearly appointments


Wanamingo City Council members for 2015 are, from left to right, Larry VanDeWalker, Jamie Majerus, Mayor Ryan Holmes, Jennifer Berquam, and Todd Kyllo. Veteran councilors VanDeWalker, Majerus, and Holmes began their new terms on January 1. This was Kyllo’s first meeting as a council member.

By Alicia Hunt-Welch

WANAMINGO – To open the January 12 Wanamingo City Council meeting, Mayor Ryan Holmes and councilors Jamie Majerus, Larry VanDeWalker, and Todd Kyllo took the oath of office.   

Legal designations and appointments for 2015 were the first order of business. They are as follows.

Acting Mayor: VanDeWalker

Authorized check signers: City Administrator Michael Boulton, Holmes, VanDeWalker and Kyllo.

Official depository: Security State Band of Wanamingo; Stifel, Nicolaus, & Company

Official newspaper: News-Record

Audit Committee: Boulton, Jennifer Berquam, and Majerus. 

Financial consultants: Northland Securities – George Eilertson; Stifel Nicolaus - Rahn Lund

Bond Council: Kennedy & Graven – Julie Eddington.

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