The Princeton Union-Eagle Community newspaper of Princeton, Minn. Tue, 25 Nov 2014 23:14:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Dennis W. Spars Tue, 25 Nov 2014 23:14:39 +0000 Dennis   W.   Spars

Dennis William Spars of Princeton, MN, was born on March 11, 1940 in Vinton, IA, and passed away on November 23, 2014 at the age of 74.
Preceded in death by his wife, Nellie Tickal; parents, Lyle and Ulah (Denny).
He will be dearly missed by his children, Terri (Mueller) of Albertville, MN, Pam (Don) Ivers of Princeton, MN, Joe of Princeton, MN, Rod (Sandi) of Brooklyn Park; their mother, Bonnie Karls; step-sons, Jim, John, Jeff and Joe Tickal of Mpls., MN; brothers, Mike (DeeDee) Spars, Kevin (Mary) and David Lawrence; sister, Luann Poco Lawrence Stupak (Stan); 14 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.
Celebration of Life 2-4 p.m. Saturday, November 29, 2014 at Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, 205 S. Rum River Dr., Princeton, MN. (763) 389-1131.

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Tiger Girls beat Brainerd in OT Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:23:57 +0000 SPORTS ROUND-UP:   Princeton girls hockey improved its early record to 5-1 with a 4-3 overtime victory over visiting Brainerd Nov. 21. Erica Schramel skated to the high slot, picked up a pass from down low, and one-timed the game-winner home just 26 seconds into OT.

Goals by Raegan Anderson and Maddy Peterson had the Tigers out to a 2-0 lead by the end of the second period. Maggie Peterson’s goal moved Princeton ahead 3-1 in the third, but the Warriors worked back, getting the tying goal with 47 seconds left in regulation. Kara Schramel stood tall on 18 saves for the win.

“Brainerd is a very tough Class AA hockey club. They have a new coaching staff and were a very solid challenge for us,” said Tiger Coach Paul McElhone.

The night before, his girls blanked Northern Lakes 6-0 as K. Schramel made 28 saves for the first shutout of the season. Bridget Walter had two goals and an assist in the win, and both E. Schramel and Maggie Peterson collected a pair of assists. Scoring solo goals were Larkin Walter, Kenzie Skuza, Jordan Blomquist and Alanna Mattson.

The Tigers earned their first Mississippi 8 win of the season with a 4-1 effort over Rogers Nov. 18. Goals by B. Walter, E. Schramel and Skuza had the team up 3-0 10:25 into action, with Eden Betzler adding an insurance goal in the second.

Storm tops Tiger boys hoops

Princeton boys basketball opened the season with a 76-61 loss to visiting Sauk Rapids Nov. 21. TIGER SCORING VS. STORM: Brady Peterson 29, Aaron Embertson 10, Tanner Kinney 9, Ben Jungroth 6, Eric Norman 3, Marqus Flicek 3, Eli Schimming 1

Princeton: 12/26 free throws, 7 for 25 from three, 21 for 61 from the field.
Brady Peterson added 8 rebounds and 4 steals.
Eric Norman added 5 rebounds and 3 steals.
Aaron Embertson added 3 steals and 4 assists
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Senior Jenna Doyle signs on with Jamestown hoops Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:21:07 +0000 Princeton senior Jenna Doyle will send her multi-sport athleticism to the University of Jamestown (N.D.) after she signed an agreement to join the college’s women’s basketball team next season.

Doyle with her tall frame is a four-year starter for the Tiger girls varsity squad. Last season, she averaged 9.1 points/game and grabbed 179 rebounds for Princeton. She also swatted 52 shots and made 24 steals from her post position. Jenna is also coming off a fantastic tennis season for the State-entrant Tigers.

Princeton senior Jenna Doyle signs to attend and play basketball for the University of Jamestown next school year. Next to her at the Nov. 12 ceremony were parents Denise and Mike Doyle.

Princeton senior Jenna Doyle signs to attend and play basketball for the University of Jamestown next school year. Next to her at the Nov. 12 ceremony were parents Denise and Mike Doyle.

“I really love the smaller schools and how personal they were up there. I talked with the coach (Greg Ulland) a few times, and I really like him. He’s really awesome. I went to the campus and I love how the campus felt. And it felt like the right choice, ” said Doyle. “Princeton grad Kadie Savage is up there playing for the Jimmies, and so is last year’s graduate Jack Sinkel.”

Savage is a senior for the Jimmies this winter who has 311 points and 137 rebounds over her career at Jamestown. McKenzie Bebo of St. Michael-Albertville is also on the women’s hoops roster at Jamestown which has a 4-3 start of this season after going 27-4 in the 2013-2014 campaign.

“Coach Ulland kind of mentioned that I could play either center or forward at the college level, so I could be both in the lane or outside. That would mix it up a little bit, so it should be good,” said Doyle. As for what parts of the game she wants to specifically work on this winter, she described, “I would say being aggressive when attacking the basket– leaning in instead of fading back. Always need to improve my ball-handling, too.”

Doyle and the Tigers are in their second week of practice and have a nice stack of scrimmages over the early going to further challenge them. Coach Andrew Fenske has  the team opening with a weekend up north when they take on Duluth East Friday, Dec. 5 (7 p.m.), do a little team bonding with a hotel stay, then play at Hermantown for a 1:30 p.m. matinee match on Saturday, Dec. 6.

“We have everyone returning on varsity, and we worked a lot in the off-season. So I’m super-excited for this season. Practices have been going well so far, and we have a lot of energy. Yeah– it should be a really good season,” Doyle projected.

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Whitcomb father, daughter lead Legion, auxiliary units Tue, 25 Nov 2014 18:18:34 +0000 Janell Whitcomb and her father Jerry Whitcomb, who is holding the plaque for the Volunteer of the Year honor he received this year from the Minnesota Department of the American Legion.

Janell Whitcomb and her father Jerry Whitcomb, who is holding the plaque for the Volunteer of the Year honor he received this year from the Minnesota Department of the American Legion.

A father-daughter team leads the American Legion post and the Legion Auxiliary in Princeton.

Jerry Whitcomb, 71, is commander of the local Woodcock-Herbst American Legion Post 216 and his daughter Janell Whitcomb, 33, is president of the local Legion Auxiliary. The two were installed in their jobs last June for a one-year term.

The two said they took the jobs because no one else wanted to at election time.

Jerry Whitcomb was once before part of a family leadership team in the early 2000s, when he was the Legion post commander for two of the three years that his wife, Rose Whitcomb, was the Legion Auxiliary president. Rose died of cancer in August 2005.

Janell Whitcomb has been a member of the local Legion Auxiliary for 21 years, during which time she was on the 10th District executive board for two years. During that time she was KIM County membership co-captain, KIM standing for Kanabec, Isanti and Mille Lacs counties. She also spent time leading a local Legion junior Auxiliary unit.

She noted that she had originally planned early this year to not accept a Legion Auxiliary officer position for a while, explaining that “life got busy,” with having three children to raise. But when no one showed interest in taking the Auxiliary president job, “I kind of figured why not,” she said.

That was in early May and within a few weeks she was elected to the job, while her father was re-elected Legion post commander, making this the 11th time he has had the job. Janell Whitcomb said she is excited about her father and her heading the local Legion post and its Auxiliary and Jerry Whitcomb expressed pride in the situation.

Whitcomb family’s involvement in the veterans groups goes even deeper. Janell Whitcomb’s daughter Izzy was once the 10th District honorary Junior Legion Auxiliary president, and her son Charlie was once 10th District vice commander for the Sons of American Legion.

People will talk about what is the Legion family and “we have it,” Jerry Whitcomb said.

Al Zdon, editor of The Minnesota Legionnaire, which covers news the state’s American Legion and Legion Auxiliary news and activities, said that cases of a husband-wife leadership at local Legion post and Auxiliary units will happens now and then.

But the father-daughter duo isn’t common, said Zdon, who couldn’t recall seeing that in his 18 years as The Minnesota Legionnaire editor.


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School board briefs: Nov. 18 meeting Tue, 25 Nov 2014 18:17:07 +0000 The Princeton School Board conducted the following business at its Nov. 18  regular board meeting. Written by Joel Stottrup.

School project update

Sara Guyette with Wold Architects and Engineers gave an update on Wold’s work on designing the district’s K-2 school that is to be constructed starting next spring adjacent to the north end of North Elementary. Occupancy is expected in the summer of 2016.

It was a follow up to the project update given by Wold’s Vaughn Dierks at the Nov. 4 board meeting. The artist renditions Guyette presented had more details. Guyette noted that precast concrete will be used in much of the building, and brick will be used for the classroom sections. Kindergarten classrooms will be on the south end on floor level, while first grade will be floor level on the north end, with second grade classrooms on the second level above the first-grade sections. Guyette also pointed out a “unique outdoor classroom” space that is to be situated just outside the building and pointed out color schemes to help guide students and tie various sections together visually.

Review of proposed new policy documents

Superintendent Julia Espe briefly reviewed the drafts of eight policies that the board will likely pass at its Dec. 16 meeting. The policies are Criminal Background Checks, Early Entrance Policy and Forms, Mandated Reporting of Child Neglect or Sexual Abuse, Activities Program, Bullying Prohibition, Student Disability Non-Discrimination, Student Medication, and Field Trips.

The draft of the proposed updated Student Medication policy stated that the district may obtain and possess epinephrine auto-injectors to be maintained and administered by school personnel to a student or other individual if, in good faith, it is determined a person is experiencing anaphylaxis regardless if there is a prescription.

The school district already has an anti-bullying policy but the many proposed amendments reflect changes mandated by a new state law, Espe said.

On the early-entrance policy, the draft reads that the student must meet criteria to enter kindergarten early. They include having a birthday prior to Oct. 15 of the year the student seeks early entrance, certain competency demonstrated on the school readiness assessment, demonstrated success in a preschool program with letter of recommendation from the preschool, demonstration of social and emotional maturity, be free of serious adjustment issues as documented by professionally trained staff, a minimum full scale I.Q. score of 130, using an individually administered technically adequate instrument, and must participate in a Slide into Kindergarten program the final week of July or first week of August.

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Holiday season comes to life this Saturday Tue, 25 Nov 2014 18:09:02 +0000 Princeton will have a parade, photos with Santa, train show, winter village display, and more 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29.

Jeffrey Hage / Union-Eagle Santa Claus gives a big Princeton wave as he makes his way down First Street on the Mini-Dazzle Parade route on Saturday evening, November 30, 2013. Santa will appear in the Mini-Dazzle Parade again this Saturday.

Jeffrey Hage / Union-Eagle
Santa Claus gives a big Princeton wave as he
makes his way down First Street on the Mini-Dazzle Parade route on Saturday evening, November 30, 2013. Santa will appear in the Mini-Dazzle Parade again this Saturday.

It’s part of the annual Small Business Saturday movement of running holiday activities and small-business specials on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The activity locations will include the Mille Lacs County Historical Society’s depot museum and the downtown area.

The depot will have a model train show that will begin Friday, Nov. 28, and run through Saturday, Nov. 29. Hours of operation are 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. both days. A donation of $3 is suggested (free for 12 and under). A miniature village display will be set up inside the depot center to look at, and the Polar Express movie will be shown at 1 p.m. The Princeton Ambassadors will have photos with Santa inside the pioneer  school house on the depot grounds from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Christmas story time will be run before the movie.

Horse-drawn carriage rides ($1 per ride) will go back and forth between the depot and Bremer Bank, located in downtown Princeton.

Other activities on Saturday include a Mini Dazzle Parade starting at 6 p.m. It is scheduled to run from the depot center at 10th Street and Rum River Drive to the Bremer Bank/Berry Law Offices area. Photos with Santa will be available at the little white house next to the Berry Law Offices after the parade. A bonfire and the serving of s’mores will take place in that area as well following the parade.

Many downtown Princeton businesses plan to have specials on Small Business Saturday, and a number of vendors will be set up in the hallways of the south mall that day.

Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce President Bob Michael said that a number of groups along with the chamber are putting on the events.


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Whitcomb named state American Legion volunteer of the year Tue, 25 Nov 2014 18:07:37 +0000 Jerry Whitcomb, commander of Woodcock-Herbst American Legion Post 216, Princeton, has been named Legion volunteer of the year for Minnesota.

The state has 10 American Legion Districts, and each gets to nominate one person for a state Legion committee to review to select one as the state volunteer of the year. The selection should have been announced at the midsummer state Legion convention, but Whitcomb’s nomination didn’t get to the correct committee by convention time, according to Tess Davis, of Princeton, who nominated him.

Jerry Whitcomb

Jerry Whitcomb

Davis, adjunct for the Princeton Legion post, said that after her nomination went to the right committee, it chose Whitcomb in time to announce it at the fall Legion educational conference in Mahnomen, Minnesota.

It was kept secret from Whitcomb until the Princeton Legion post had its annual membership dinner on Nov. 1 in Princeton and then Davis announced it.

“I was very proud to get it,” Whitcomb said.

Whitcomb, 71, who was a Morse code radio operator in the U.S. Navy in 1961-65, has been commander of the local Legion post for 11 years, of which the last nine were consecutive.

Whitcomb has “volunteered all over the place,” Davis said. She noted his work during the annual Veterans Day ceremony for years at North Elementary, his work with the Knights of Columbus, the Junior American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion organization.

Davis forgot to mention all the volunteer cooking Whitcomb has been doing. For 16 years, he has cooked the Princeton VFW’s Thanksgiving Day turkey dinner for people who otherwise might not have that dinner, and he has cooked for 12 years the VFW’s steak fries.

Whitcomb, who calls the Legion his life, was also the Legion District 10 vice commander for four years.

“He deserved it,” Davis said of the volunteer of the year honor.

Whitcomb was asked if cooking is a favorite thing of his since he has been doing so much of it and he said he wanted to be a cook in the Navy. But instead the Navy sent him to radio operators school at Norfolk, Virginia, after he finished basic training at the Great Lakes naval training center.

One of this achievements as a radioman was when he took a test to earn a “speed key,” a device for speedy sending of Morse code messages. After radioman school, he was stationed aboard the USS Mississinewa, AO-144, an oiler used to fuel ships. He was on the ship for a little over two years and based at Naples, Italy. His last 14 months in the Navy  was at the naval air station at Grand Prairie, Texas.

Whitcomb says he enjoys helping people and plans to continue volunteering.

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Wilkinson, Orth join chamber board Tue, 25 Nov 2014 18:05:14 +0000 mug, orth collin

Collin Orth

mug Wilkinson, Amber

Amber Wilkinson

Amber Wilkinson and Collin Orth have been elected by the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce board to serve three-year terms, and Tim Siercks has been re-elected.

The election was during the chamber’s annual business meeting Nov. 18 at Steven’s Restaurant. The current terms of Siercks, Bob Michael (who has been the board president) and Marni Gustafson expire the end of this year. Gustafson and Michael did not run for re-election to the board.

Siercks, who owns and operates the Minuteman Press printing and sign-making business in downtown Princeton, said he felt it was important that he stay on the board because so many of the board members are relatively new to it.


Orth, a Princeton High School graduate, is general manager for the auto glass part of ABRA Auto Body & Glass’ northwest division. The division’s territory roughly goes from Elk River on north in Minnesota.

Orth said he is excited to be elected to the chamber board because of having grown up in Princeton. Orth, married with four children, said he is looking forward to helping the community grow by “bringing a family-based perspective to the chamber.” Orth, employed with ABRA 14 years, added, “I have enjoyed working in Princeton where I have the opportunity to form relationships with other businesses and people in the community I live in.”


Amber Wilkinson grew up in Elk River but has adopted Princeton as her home. She explained that Elk River became too metro and that she likes the small-town feel of Princeton. Wilkinson is assistant vice president and office manager at Peoples Bank of Commerce in Princeton. She has been with the company 10 years — the last three in Princeton. She and her husband and their three children moved to Princeton 13 years ago.

“I joined the chamber to become more involved in the community and to help promote all the wonderful things going on in Princeton,” she said. “My focus is to recruit more youth, families and others in my peer group to become involved and attend community events and encourage them to support our local businesses.”

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Sherburne Sheriff’s REport: Week of Nov. 25 Tue, 25 Nov 2014 18:00:30 +0000 The following individuals in the Princeton and Zimmerman area have been booked into the Sherburne County Jail for the alleged offenses:

Nicholas Byron Roundtree, 18, of Zimmerman, for obstructing legal process and minor consumption.

Nicholas Carl Usselman, 27, of Zimmerman, for domestic assault, disorderly conduct and DWI.

Loriann Mary Ekberg, 48, of Zimmerman, for a Sherburne County warrant.

Deborah Anne Pinke, 65, of Zimmerman, for a Sherburne County warrant.

Incident reports:

Nov. 5: Denise Hannay reported a theft from her storage unit located on 253rd Avenue in Livonia Township.  Among the items taken were a jewelry box containing miscellaneous pieces of jewelry, clothing and two HP printers. The estimated value of these items is $1,725.

Nov. 7: A property management company reported the theft of a central air conditioner valued at $2,995 and a range valued at $750 from a residence located on 313th Avenue NW in Baldwin Township.

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Police Report: Nov. 17-23 Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:59:30 +0000 The Princeton Police Department received the following reports Nov. 17-23. The listed times are for when reports were received and not necessarily when incidents occurred. Compiled by Joel Stottrup.

Monday, Nov. 17

11:04 a.m. Juvenile complaint at North Elementary.

4 p.m. Plastic bag containing what appeared to be drug paraphernalia found in area of Fifth Avenue N. and Eleventh St. Police destroyed contents.

4:37 p.m. Teen transported from Teen Center to home.

5:03 p.m. Police assisted Mille Lacs County with arrest in rural Princeton.

Tuesday, Nov. 18

8:44 a.m. Issued car-kill deer permit.

12:23 p.m. Transported six boxes of used prescription drugs weighing total of 120 pounds to facility in Alexandria for disposal.

1:08 p.m. Money reported stolen from locker at high school. Video showed female entering the locker. School to handle consequences.

1:13 p.m. Male observed entering vehicle at high school. Factory stereo and miscellaneous papers taken from vehicle. Subject identified.

1:27 p.m. Animal complaint at Highway 95 and Rum River Drive.

5:50 p.m. Juvenile arrested for theft of iPhone case.

Wednesday, Nov. 19

5:51 p.m. Arson fire at high school that melted carpet and set fire to pile of tissue under a chair. Police said fire was started by students.

Thursday, Nov. 20

9:18 p.m. Arrested male on felony drug warrant. Male taken to jail.

9:51 p.m. Two shoplifters who ran from Walmart after a theft of close to $1,725, were apprehended and taken to jail for theft, and obstructing and fleeing a police officer. K-9 unit brought in to assist in apprehension. One of the females was found hiding under a SUV and a trooper was able to tackle a female who ran from him.

Friday, Nov. 21

12:39 a.m. Disturbance involving report of out-of-control intoxicated person, who was observed being calm on police arrival. Police mediated situation.

6:27 a.m. Subject had laceration to chin after striking guide wire while driving across Crystal Cabinet Works property on way to work.

11:21 a.m. Mother reported theft of 55 capsules of juvenile son’s medication.

12:49 p.m. Complaint of loose cats roaming into garage.

8:32 p.m. Deer remains found in garbage receptacle at the south Casey’s General Store.

Saturday, Nov. 22

1:23 a.m. Assisted in responding to fight in progress at Finish Line Cafe. Officers mediated situation.

1:24 a.m. Report of vehicle crossing over center line several times. Driver eating potato chips. Warned about driving conduct.

3:46 a.m. Noise complaint. Had individuals keep noise down.

Sunday, Nov. 23

10:47 p.m. Stopped vehicle for loud muffler. Cited driver for possession of drug paraphernalia.

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