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Big Stone County Cancer Support Group Makes Large Donation to NDSU for Cancer Research

The Big Stone County Cancer Support Group does it again!   For 2019, the Big Stone County group donated $14,365 to the research efforts at the NDSU Center for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Strategies for Pancreatic Cancer.

The picture attached shows Dr. Sanku Mallik, director of the Center for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Strategies in Pancreatic Cancer at North Dakota State University, accepting a generous donation to cancer research from Linda Krogsrud, treasurer of the Big Stone County Cancer Support Group at a check presentation on Friday, June 7 at NDSU.

Here is the Link to the story on the INFORUM Facebook page.

Dr. Yongki Choi, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at NDSU had originally planned to be in Graceville on April 11th to accept the check but due to the weather, that event was postponed and members of the group traveled to NDSU.  They were able to tour the facility and present the check in person.

Those with Facebook, can see more photos and more information on the Big Stone County Cancer Support Group Facebook Page by clicking this link.


Final Mass at Saint Mary’s in Beardsley on Saturday, June 15th

Saint Mary’s Catholic Parish in Beardsley will have its’ final mass on Saturday, June 15, beginning at 5:00 pm.  This mass will conclude over 135 years of ministry and sacraments.

The church building will be sold to the city of Beardsley, and will be used as a community center and city hall.  The public is invited to use the building for wedding receptions, graduation, birthday, and anniversary parties.  The kitchen will stay fully stocked with dishes, and cooking utensils.  The building will be sold as is, with all the current supplies and furnishes.  To reserve the building for an event, please contact the city council.

The stain glass windows will stay in the church.  At a later date, if the church is ever torn down, the windows will be removed, sold, and the profit from the windows will be given to Saint Mary’s cemetery Perpetual Care Fund account, for the upkeep of the cemetery.

The church bell will be removed and will be set in a steeple like structure in the cemetery later this summer.  The bell tower will be sealed to prevent damage from moisture and animals.

The community is invited to “A Celebration of Faith, celebrating 135 years of faith and sacraments” on June 15th, beginning with mass at 5:00 pm.  Following mass, the Beardsley Fire Department will be grilling hamburgers and hotdogs.  A festive meal with salads, desserts, and beverages will be served in the church basement until 7:00 pm.

Prairie Five Meals Hosting Upcoming Spring Lunch and Learn Events

Prairie Five Meals on the Go hosts a “Spring Lunch and Learn” at Lakeside Apartments on Tuesday, June 11th at 11:45am. Justin Peters, Kayla Findlay, Mel Martig, and Amy Hodenfield of Big Stone Therapies, will share exercises to help build bones and tips to stay safe at home. Prairie Five Meals will have lunch for a suggested donation rate of $4.50 for those 60 and over and an $8 cost for those under 60. Call 320-839-3304 by Monday, June 10th to reserve your meal and to RSVP for the class. Any questions? Call Linda at the Prairie Five outreach office: 320-839-2111.

Prairie Five Meals on the Go hosts a “Spring Lunch and Learn” at the Graceville Senior Center on Thursday, June 13th, at 12pm. Candice Conway, of Senior Linkage Line, will give a half hour presentation. Learn how to protect yourself and to detect and report Medicare and consumer fraud, waste and abuse. Prairie Five Meals will have lunch for a suggested donation rate of $4.50 for those 60 and over and an $8 cost for those under 60. Call 320-748-7270 by Wednesday, June 12th to reserve your meal and to RSVP for the class. Any questions? Call Linda at the Prairie Five outreach office: 320-839-2111.

Memorial Day in the #MNbump

Our local communities will be honoring the sacrifice and service of our local veterans on Monday, May 27, 2019.   The communities in the #MNbump have had a long history of programs and parades on Memorial Day each year.   Programs that we are aware of are listed below with their starting times.  

Ortonville – 9:00 AM – Program at Ortonville High School Gym
    Mound Cemetery Program and Wreath at Big Stone Lake Pier

Clinton – 9:45 AM – Program at CGB Elementary Gym in Clinton
    9:00 AM – Meet at Memorial Building
    9:15 AM – Flag Raising Ceremony at Village Square
    Cemetery Ceremony following program at school
    Community Pot Luck at Memorial Building following

Graceville – 11:00 AM – Program at CGB High School Gym
    Followed by Community Pot Luck at Community Building

Beardsley – 10:30 AM – Beardsley Auditorium
    Parade to City Park for Roll Call of Deceased following

Eidskog Cemetery – 10:30 AM Program
    Coffee and bars at 10:00 AM

Bellingham – 10:30 AM at Community Center

Big Stone City, SD – 10:00 AM St. Charles Cemetery
    Followed by Greenwood Cemetery and St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery

Chokio – 10:00 AM Program at School 




The Work of Mercy Center Opens in Graceville

Story courtesy of The Northern Star Newspaper, Clinton, MN

Work of Graceville Mercy Center  To Help Those in Need of Basics

The Work of Mercy Center has been established by a group of local volunteers to help individuals and families in need of basic household items. The Mercy Center is a ministry to serve Big Stone, Traverse, Lac qui Parle and Stevens counties, as well as the surrounding area. Father Brian Oestreich, Pastor of the local Catholic churches and church members developed the idea of The Work of Mercy Center. “Our mission is to have basic items available to individuals and families in need at no cost. Some of the items we try to have available include clothing, hygiene items, shoes, dishes, pots, pans, diapers, bedding and many others,” said Katie Jensen, church member. “Everyone is welcome at The Mercy Center”, Oestreich stated. “We offer special hospitality to our guests, to care for their basic human needs and to treat them as respected people of God”.

The Work of Mercy Center is located in the old school building of Holy Rosary Parish, 711 Studdart Ave, in Graceville.  Weekly hours are Tuesday nights from 6-8 p.m. and Thursday afternoons 1-3 p.m., or by private appointment. Please call Katie at 320-748-7259 to make an appointment. The location was chosen due to the availability of space needed to display all of the items donated by generous individuals.  This room and articles have no affiliation with any church or social service agencies and is open to anyone regardless of race or creed. It is a Christian based outlet serving anyone in need from the surrounding communities.

Information cards have been given and are displayed in area hospitals, clinics, law enforcement offices, businesses, and schools. When visiting The Mercy Center, you will find gently used and new clothing from infants to adults, dishes, pots and pans, bedding, bath towels, dish cloths, etc.  These items are all free for the taking (no hoops or hurdles.)  There is a simple registration to fill out but nothing else. If a larger piece of furniture is needed, the volunteers and Board of Directors will do their best to find the needed items. Donations of clean, usable, appropriate clothing and house hold items are always needed. Please call or deliver your donations during regular weekly hours. There is a need for personal hygiene items at this time.For more information about The Work of Mercy Center, please call Katie Jensen at 320-748-7259.

First Annual Ag Career Day in Big Stone County

A great first year-event, thanks to Suzanne Souza and Heidi Torgerson of Big Stone County 4-H and the Minnesota Farm Bureau (wish I would have taken a photo of Kari Casper and Kobie Morrill – great job!) along with all the support of this year’s Presenters (see logos below!) and assistance by the Big Stone Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and the Ortonville Economic Development Authority!

And, a huge thank to the CGB and Ortonville Schools for bringing 170 students to the event.

It was the hope that the students would hear about an ag-related career today that would give the students the opportunity to return to this area after college graduations.  The presenters provided information and answered questions at their perspective booths and then also took a few minutes at the front podium at the close of the day share with the students the particular job opportunities that were available within their company.  Brian McNeill, Extension Educator at the University of Minnesota, was the main speaker and provided great information for the students to think about!

…and of course, the food was awesome!  Thank you to Elmer & Sheila Thompson for going the extra to make the day complete with setup, tech assistance (!) and of course the food (and to Frandsen Bank and Trust in Clinton for financial support for the lunch!)

Heidi Torgerson, Suzanne Souza, and main Speaker, Brian McNeill, Extension Educator, University of Minnesota

What a great day!

Clinton Native Captain Royce Williams Recognized at California USS Midway Museum

Used with permission from The Northern Star Weekly Newspaper, 
Clinton, MN

Captain E. Royce Williams, USN, Retired, a native of Clinton, MN, was recently honored for his heroic actions during the Korean War.  A replica of the F9F Panther sits in a display at the USS Midway Museum and they dedicated the cockpit to: “CAPT Royce Williams, Korean War and 4 MiG kills” painted at the side.  Royce gave a private presentation to the Docents on the USS Midway and followed with a question and answer session.  They presented him with a certificate and a model airplane. Docent Council Vice Chair Sam Armsdoff, stated, “Trust me when I say that all of us on the USS Midway Museum are deeply appreciative of Royce’s distinguished Naval Service and were ecstatic to help publicize that to our guests!  Recognizing Royce’s accomplishments and organizing the tribute to him was a collaborative effort.” The docents are museum guides and volunteers.  

The USS Midway docent council vice chair, Sam Arnsdorff made the initial suggestion to have CAPT E. Royce Williams speak at the docents monthly training forum.  Docent John Frugoni became the conduit to reach out to CJ Machado, the Producer of the short film, “Forgotten Hero” and subsequently Royce.  Docent Bob Breglio, the training coordinator, was pivotal in setting up the training schedule to accommodate Royce and promoting it within the ship. The certificate was brought to the President and CEO of the USS Midway Museum Rear Admiral Mac McLaughlin, to get it blessed and signed.  

The certificate read: “CAPT E. Royce Williams, USN (Ret.)    In recognition and deep appreciation for your dedicated and faithful service to our country.  You displayed honor in remaining silent over your harrowing combat action over North Korea, courage in the face of overwhelming odds, and a lifelong commitment to the United States Naval Service.  These attributes epitomize the Navy credo and reflect on your distinguished service.  YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN”  “CAPT Royce Williams–Your honor and courage and commitment to the United States Navy will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN”            -CV-41 USS Midway Docents  

It was Admiral Mac’s idea to place the tribute to Royce on their display Panther on deck. C.J. Machado, a photo-journalist, who writes for the Homeland Magazine, continues her activities in support of Williams and all veterans and was involved in this recognition, as well.  The USS Midway was the carrier that the film “Forgotten Hero” was filmed.  Royce  served in Korea from 1952-53 (70 missions) and Vietnam from 1965-67 (110 missions).  His Korean missions were kept “classified” for nearly 50 years. 

In August of 2018, more than 350 people, including American Legion members, other veterans, Junior ROTC cadets and military supporters attended an event featuring Williams’ story at the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis. Greg Ballard, the mayor of Indianapolis and a Gulf War era Marine veteran, welcomed the crowd. “We’re in a building that was dedicated to the men who fought in the war to end all wars,” he said. “But tonight we honor a man who fought in the ‘Forgotten War.’ Heroes like Royce Williams must never be forgotten.” Filmmaker and photo journalist C.J. Machado presided over the 90-minute presentation, which included her 15-minute film, “Forgotten Hero.” (click the link to find the movie). “His story was secret for a long time,” Machado said. “It’s about time we honor our forgotten heroes. Not much is known about the ‘Forgotten War,’ the Korean War, so that’s why we decided to do the film.” Williams, 93, mingled with attendees, signed autographs and participated in a panel discussion. He recapped his experience, which also included landing his plane, minus its hydraulic system, on the carrier at roughly 200 mph – almost double the usual speed. Once aboard the ship, Williams was told not to share what happened with anyone. “There were NSA (National Security Agency) agents on board, and we didn’t want anyone to know,” he said, referring to the then-secret agency. “The information from radar and radio that they collected clearly showed those were Russian planes. Had this gotten out, it would have threatened World War III.” 

Former Navy pilot Peter-Rolf Ohnstad, who traveled to Indianapolis with Williams and Machado, was awed by the turnout for the event.  “To me, it’s huge,” Ohnstad. “As a kid growing up, all I ever heard about was World War II. I had an uncle who served in the Korean War and received a Bronze Star but no one ever talked about it. No one knew he received the Bronze Star until he passed away. It was just the way the Korean War was – no one talked about it. It was a forgotten war.” 

Ohnstad and Williams are members of American Legion Post 416 in Encinitas, Calif. Along with Machado, they take these infrequent but educational trips.  “In 2017 we  went to South Dakota and Minnesota, where he was honored in his hometown,” Ohnstad said. “Since no one knew about (the MiGs being shot down), we’re left to wonder: What would we have done if it had turned out otherwise, if we had lost four planes? What was our contingency plan? Nobody talks about that.” Gen. J. Stewart Goodwin, executive director of the Indiana War Memorial, noted the difference between homecomings for World War II and Korean War veterans. “When World War II folks came home, they were dancing in the streets, kissing the girls and there was a lot of celebration,” Goodwin said. “When our Korean War brothers and sisters came home, they saw no such celebrations.” 

Noting that the memorial, which includes a museum, serves as an educational tool, Goodwin closed by talking about the importance of sharing stories like that of Williams. “We need to tell our youth about people like Capt. Williams,” he said. “We need to tell people about those folks who put their lives on the line, leave their families and put themselves in harm’s way to ensure all of us are free. We don’t live in freedom today because it just happened. It happened because of people like him and everyone who wore the cloth of our nation.” 

Another event is being planned in May, “RUN FOR THE WALL taking the Forgotten Hero mission to DC in honor of CAPT E. Royce Williams, USN, Retired — 4 MiGs downed!!!! May 15-24, 2019” is being sponsored by American Legion Post 416.

Town Hall Meeting in Clinton

Thank you to State Senator Torrey Westrom and State Representative Jeff Backer for the legislative updates and an opportunity for residents to visit about topics that are important to Big Stone County! It was certainly not an ideal travel day for them to make the trip.

I’ve attached the two handouts that were distributed to everyone as they each gave a brief update on their work in St. Paul. Once they’d given their update, the residents kept them engaged past the 9:00 a.m. scheduled closing for the meeting.

Topics that were discussed: concerns regarding the low reimbursements that threaten the viability of small-town hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies; status of the licensing bureau, daycares (Kendra Moberg made some very good points on changes that could help rural daycare programs – and maybe a trip to St. Paul is in her future!); the guidance document that was recently put out by the DNR on County ditches; rural grocery stores & the Good Food Access; diversifying crops; rain tax; LGA; Border City Tax Credits/Enterprise Funds – and others. Watch the Northern Star and Ortonville Independent for a full story on the Town Hall meeting.

Thank you to Kathy Draeger-Jorgenson for organizing this opportunity to speak with our representatives! (This is her third year organizing!) – and to the Downtown Diner for hosting the event!

MNbump Alumni

The focus of the project that started the was to help small communities (Under 1,500 pop) across Minnesota discover opportunities to develop community assets for sustainable tourism. Through community input during this process, marketing our tourism opportunities via web was identified as a top priority. With further discussion, it was determined that the web marketing could also provide an opportunity for residents to communicate.

As the new MNbump Coordinator, I have been trying to come up with ideas to reach out and to see if there are things about life in the MNbump that people that grew up here or still live here would like to share with us and others. So I thought, why not start by reaching out the Alumni of our schools.

Are you an alumni from the Clinton Rockets, Graceville Shamrocks, Beardsley Mustangs, Odessa Monarchs, Ortonville Trojans, the Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley Wolverines? Where are you now, we want to hear from you.

I don’t know what the school mascot was for Barry, Johnson, or Correll were were back in the day, but would love for someone to share that info as well.

Let’s see what kind of response we get. Like our page, share and let us know what your favorite things are about life in the MNbump? Go!!

40th Annual Arctic Open in Clinton this Weekend!

By Dillon Dwyer, The Northern Star and Ortonville Independent

There is an uniquely Minnesotan  tradition that takes place every winter in Big Stone County. The Clinton Community Service Club (CCSC) and other  local businesses host the Arctic Open, a six-hole charity golf tournament on the frozen surface of Lake Eli. 

Ralph and Illa Strand  and Illa’s sister, Mrs. Manty Jallen came up with the original idea as a way to raise money for the Good Samaritan Center in Clinton. They pitched the event to Doug Anderson, Randy Stattelman, Curt Bystol and  Jerry Stattelman, who agreed with the idea and formed the original board of directors. 

The first annual Arctic Open was held on March 9 in 1979. It featured fair weather and approximately 75 golfers. Judy Drewicke and Randy Stattelman won the event, but no prizes were given out. All the earnings from the afternoon were donated to the Good Samaritan Center. 

“That first year was just so much fun for everybody,” Randy Stattelman said. “There were even a lot of people who weren’t golfers that participated.”

The Arctic Open grew bigger in its second year, but it wasn’t until the third incarnation that the button contest became a staple. The original prize for the drawing was half a hog donated by Brent Olson, but other prizes became featured throughout the years like shotguns donated by Randy Sigler and Dave Hauschild, or steak and shrimp dinners from Laguna Beach. 

“The event just continued to evolve,” Stattelman said. “Eventually, the buttons were designed by the sixth graders at the elementary school. The teachers would bring the designs back to us without any names on them and we would vote on the winners at our CCSC meeting. The top design would go on the button and the top three would get their picture in the paper.”

The Arctic Open became an event for the whole family to enjoy, as the CCSC added a junior and putt putt tournament for youngsters and began hosting a dance following the tournament. 

At the 2016 Arctic Open a wedding was even held on Lake  Eli on Arctic Open Saturday. Ron  Schlimme  of Clinton and Gail Ocshendorf of Dawson ‘tied  the knot’ at the 2016 Arctic Open. The couple was married by Pastor Richard Larson on the lake with family and friends in attendance.  The couple hosted  a reception at the Penguin Bar following their ceremony which was also very appropriate as that is where they first met. 

In recent years, the attendance of the Arctic Open has been effected by weekend basketball tournaments, but  over the past four decades, even with other events taking place that day, the event has endured through everything thrown its way. Not once has it been canceled due to weather or accident.  

“Conditions have ranged from  being too warm with puddles on the ice to having a -36 degree wind chill,” Stattelman said. “We have even had to adjust the rules to fit the weather over the years.”  

The closest thing to a major setback that the Arctic Open has faced happened during a warm year when a hole melted in the course. The tournament was still held on the 12 inches of ice surrounding the open spot, but one hole was completely lost due to the thawing. People have also slipped on the ice or fallen into shallows near the cattails during warmer years, but no one has ever been seriously injured or hurt. 

Over the course of 40 years, the Arctic Open has meant a lot to the people of Clinton. It has managed to raise approximately $2,000 to $3,000 each year and featured approximately 4,000 golfers and 2,400 holes of golf. The money raised has helped build a shelter at the Clinton Depot and the porch at the Clinton Care Center as well as support a scholarship fund for students at Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley High School. The event not only been a boon to the local economy, but also an excuse to get together with the family after a long winter inside. 

This year’s tournament will take place on Saturday, February 9. Buttons are $5 each and available at Jamer’s One Stop, Bonnie’s Hometown Grocery, Amanda’s Shear Impressions, Downtown Diner and the Northstar Saloon. A button is  required to participate in the golf tournament and bean bag tournament at the Clinton Memorial Building.  Cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 will be given away during the button drawing. The 2019 Men’s and Women’s winners will receive hand-crafted trophys and their names will be added to the Arctic Open Hall of Fame at The NorthStar Saloon. See the advertisement in the Northern Star for more information.