The Princeton Union-Eagle Community newspaper of Princeton, Minn. Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:48:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Skyler makes strides thanks to staff of specialists (With video, From Fairview featuring local family) Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:48:23 +0000

In many ways, Skyler is an ordinary little boy – thanks to his extraordinary care team at Fairview.

Skyler likes to run on his grandparents’ farm, chase the family dog and feed the horses in the barn—all of which he can do after receiving physical and occupational therapy at Fairview Northland Medical Center, which helped him overcome many unique physical and developmental challenges.

Skyler was born with Klippel-Feil syndrome, a rare congenital defect that affects the development of cervical vertebrae and other areas of the muscular and skeletal structure. Since birth, Skyler has experienced decreased motion of his neck, arms and legs in addition to overall speech and cognitive delays. As an 18-month-old, “He could sit, but he could not stand, walk or crawl,” says Jay Gunderson, Skyler’s grandfather.

Skyler’s grandparents (with whom he lives) turned to a team of specialists at Fairview Pediatric Rehabilitation at Fairview Northland for support. “They really helped us know how to help him,” says Beth.

Skyler uses speech therapy services at the rehabilitation center, as well as physical and occupational therapy services to help develop eating and speaking skills. He is also receiving assistance to develop fine motor skills in his hands and locomotion skills, including crawling, standing and running.

Despite the challenges Klippel-Feil syndrome present to Skyler every day, he is a bundle of joy to everyone at the rehabilitation center.

“If you ever met Skyler, you will love him,” says Amanda Tschida-Schirmers, occupational therapist. “The second we come out to get him, he is leading the way to the treatment room—you can’t help but look forward to his visits. When he first came in, he could hardly ever pick up a snack because he could not use his thumbs, but his new thumb splints help him to wrap his thumbs around any object he holds onto.”

Several other specialists from Fairview Northland Medical Center enjoy working with Skyler, including his physical therapist, Kim De Mars. “I can’t tell you what it is (like) to be there for some of the first steps and some of the first words,” says Kim. “The look in their eye when you can see he gets it…”

Skyler’s family sees every day that he “gets it, too.” When his family came to Fairview Pediatric Rehabilitation services, they were not sure if Skyler would ever walk. Now, his grandparents have to tell him to slow down.

“We’ve got to chase him all over the farm—he’s chasing the dog, the cat. He loves to help out in the barn with the horses, which means feeding them and giving them nightly hugs,” says Jay. ”I want to say ‘thanks’ to Fairview for taking care of him and doing the work they’ve done for him. It is wonderful.”


In 2013, the specialists at Fairview Pediatric Rehabilitation helped more than 2,000 pediatric patients like Skyler live fuller, richer—and more active—lives. Gifts to Fairview Foundation make it possible for those families to receive exceptional, life-changing pediatric care.  Donations of all sizes to Fairview programs are greatly appreciated.  To learn more about how your giving counts, visit 

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Robert Bunger Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:00:03 +0000 Robert   Bunger

Funeral services for Robert “Bob” Bunger, age 54, of Milaca, will be held on Saturday, December 20, 2014 at Milaca United Methodist Church with Rev. Joyce Slostad officiating. Arr. Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home of Milaca
Bob Bunger passed away on Monday, December 15, 2014.
With deep regret, Bob leaves behind the joys of his life – wife, Marsha (Jacobsen); son, James; and daughter, Annie. He is immeasurably proud of what wonderful people his children have become. James is a graduate of the College of St. Scholastica and launching a successful business career, while Annie is a freshman at Hamline University with a world of adventure ahead for her. Bob is forever grateful for the love and support of Marsha over their 26-plus years of marriage.
Bob was born on March 26, 1960 to Rich and Bette (Odegard) Bunger in Princeton, MN. He graduated from Princeton High School in 1978 and went on to earn a bachelors degree from Macalester College and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. He is a member of the Milaca United Methodist Church.
His professional career included time with Bob Bunger’s Better Bunnies, political staff positions, the University of Minnesota Foundation, First National Bank of Milaca, Princeton Bank, independent consulting, and, finally, co-founder and principal of HBH Consultants for the past 17 years. He wishes to thank his past and present colleagues with HBH, including Dayton D. Hultgren, Dianne T. McCarthy, Katrina Pierson, and Amy Nord. He especially wants to extend his gratitude to the firm’s clients who in many cases have become dear friends over the years.
One of Bob’s favorite hobbies was taking photos of Milaca school activities – especially sporting events – and posting the images online for participants and their families to view and download.
In addition to his wife and children, Bob is survived by his parents of Princeton/Milaca; his brother, Bill, and wife Chris of Cloquet; mother-in-law, Pearl Jacobsen of Milaca; along with aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews.

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Rose Stob Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:58:00 +0000 Rose   Stob

Funeral services for Rose M. Stob, age 81, of Milaca, will be held Saturday, December 20, 2014 at Pease Christian Reformed Church with Rev. Michael Ten Haken officiating. Interment will follow at Borgholm Cemetery near Bock. Arr. Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home – Milaca,
Rose Marie Stob was born June 25, 1933 in Braham, Minnesota to Andrew and Florence (Beckman) Groff. She graduated from Braham High School in 1951. She was united in marriage to Albert Stob on August 23, 1952 in Braham. She worked in food service at the Milaca High School for 23 years. She retired in 1994. Rose loved her coffee gang at Hardee’s in Milaca, bird watching and doing crossword puzzles. She passed away Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at the Saint Benedict’s Senior Community in Saint Cloud.
She is survived by her children, Donald (Julie) Stob of Milaca, Laurie (Ron) Oppold of Sioux Falls, SD and Diane (David) Even of Sauk Rapids; grandchildren, Chad, Sarah, Samuel, Kaylena, Jayson, Kimberly and Christopher; great-grandchildren, Sean, Daniel, Phillip, Braden, Landon, Layla and Harlow.
Rose was preceded in death by her husband, Albert; parents; and brother, Allen.

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December 30 Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:56:56 +0000 GREEN LAKE IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
Open board meeting
Wyanett Town Hall
December 30, 2014
7:30 PM
Published in the
Princeton Union Eagle
December 18 and 25, 2014

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Lions Club keeps up long tradition of Christmas caroling (with video) Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:56:04 +0000

Tom Blomberg is candid about the overall singing quality of the Princeton Lions Club’s caroling group that he started and has been heading for two decades.

“Most of us couldn’t carry a tune in a bushel basket,” he said. “We pretty much all sing unison … and loud.”

The Lions Club has been caroling at Princeton Elim & Rehab for 20 years. It began when the facility was just known as Elim Home and then went through a major renovation and also had Caley House added on.

But the caroling has remained the same, with the Lions continuing to bring cheer.

Blomberg started the caroling group the year after the local chamber of commerce came out with the idea that there should be more caroling in the community. The chamber printed booklets with carols. Blomberg remembers carolers using the little song books to carol at Christmastime at the main downtown

Jeffrey Hage / Union-Eagle Members of the Princeton Lions Club sing Christmas carols to residents of the Princeton Elim Home on Monday night, Dec. 15. The sing-a-long is an annual Lions event.

Jeffrey Hage / Union-Eagle
Members of the Princeton Lions Club sing Christmas carols to residents of the Princeton Elim Home on Monday night, Dec. 15. The sing-a-long is an annual Lions event.

intersection of First Street and Rum River Drive.

Blomberg collected some of the song books after the caroling was done that year and has used them for the Lions caroling group, which usually has 30 participants.

“We sing at five stations (at Elim) and end up at Caley House,” Blomberg said.

During the earliest years of the caroling, the group was accompanied by Lions Club member Stan Hanson’s daughter Lori. Later, Tom Vrchota accompanied the group with his guitar. Vrchota passed away in September 2013 and so now Steve Saari does the accompaniment with guitar.

Blomberg says that when the group sings, the reactions vary among the residents. “Some sing, some clap, some smile, some have tears coming down,” he said.

“It’s a heartwarming program,” Blomberg said. “It makes us feel good.”

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Filing Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:51:40 +0000 BLUE HILL TOWNSHIP
Notice is hereby given to qualified voters of Blue Hill Township, State of Minnesota, Sherburne County, that the following town offices will be elected on Tuesday March 10, 2015.
One (1) Supervisor for the term of three years and to elect (1) Treasurer for the term of two years.
Affidavits of candidacy will be accepted from December 30, 2014 through January 13, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. The last day to withdraw from candidacy is January 15,2015 at 5:00 p.m. Affidavits of candidacy may be filed with the Township Clerk at her home: 32392 – 192nd Street, Princeton, MN 55371
Filing fee $2.00
Janice L. Anderson,
Clerk Blue Hill Township
Published in the
Princeton Union Eagle
December 18, 25, 2014

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Planning Commission Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:51:29 +0000 CITY OF PRINCETON
The City of Princeton has an opening on the Planning Commission beginning in January. The term is 3 years and the Commission meets on the 3rd Monday of each month at 7pm. Please contact Shawna at City Hall via email:, or by phone at 763-389-2040 for an application.
Published in the
Princeton Union Eagle
December 18, 2014

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City looks to sell fire station to county Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:50:47 +0000  

Mille Lacs County and the city of Princeton appear to be close to an agreement in which the county would acquire the city’s former fire station and the city would get the county’s maintenance garage site in the city.

The former fire station is a nearly 45-year-old, 5,120-square-foot masonry building located along Fourth Avenue South behind Bremer Bank. The maintenance garage the county owns in the city is at 706 Ninth St. and dates back many decades, according to the city.

Mille Lacs County houses two plows in the garage that are used mostly for plowing snow in Greenbush and Princeton townships, according to Mille Lacs County Public Works Director Bruce Cochran.

The city plows snow on the city’s two county roads – First Street and Rum River Drive – and receives an annual payment from the county to do that, according to Cochran.

The first public mention of the possible deal came during the Dec. 2 Mille Lacs County Board meeting, when Cochran asked the board to approve a bid to install garage door openers at the county garage in the city of Princeton. Mille Lacs County Commissioner Tim Wilhelm noted he had talked with real esate agent Joan Quickstrom with Quickstrom Realty about the idea of the county doing the mentioned property transaction.

As a result of Wilhelm’s comments, the board decided to table action on Cochran’s request for garage door openers and to continue looking into the possible property deal.

The Princeton City Council took up the subject at its Dec. 4 council study session. City Administrator Mark Karnowski told the council that the former fire station in the city was being listed for $250,000 and that the county is offering to give the public works land in Princeton to the city plus $175,000 to acquire the former fire station property. Karnowski noted that the county would agree to clear the public works building off the property.

Mayor Paul Whitcomb asked if the county would agree to conducting an environmental study to make sure there wasn’t any contamination in the soil on the site of the old county garage. Karnowski responded that county officials are not aware of any septic or petroleum facilities below the ground at the site.

Council Member Thom Walker and other council members reached a consensus that they would go for the deal if the county would warrant that there would not be a necessity for an environmental cleanup at the old garage property.

Right now both the old fire station and the public works garage properties in the city are tax exempt because of being government owned. With the property transaction taking place, the public works garage site could produce property taxes if the city sold it for housing lots.

Karnowski told the council he understood there could be three lots there, each measuring 66 feet by 150 feet or it could be set up as two larger lots.

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Council hears taxpayer frustration Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:50:07 +0000 More than one Princeton city taxpayer voiced frustration over rising taxes during the city’s Dec. 11 tax levy hearing, after which the City Council raised the city levy 2.03 percent for 2015.

The levy equates to $2.208 million.

City treasurer Steve Jackson explained that the estimated tax capacity rate is actually dropping by 4.85 percent in 2015 over this year. The larger the tax capacity rate, potentially, the more taxes a property owner pays.

But other factors are at work, such as if the county has raised the estimated market value on properties. It turns out the Mille Lacs County assessor’s office raised the estimated market value for residences in the cities of Princeton and Milaca and the township of Kathio by 25-27 percent for taxes payable 2015.

The estimated market valuation was raised by more than 26 percent on the residence of Jane and Gerald Schadeck, bringing their assessment to just over $125,000. Jane Schadeck was one of the residents at the council meeting asking why her property taxes were rising so much. The Schadeck couple’s statement on proposed property taxes for all jurisdictions in 2015 shows they will likely see a $520 increase.

Resident Gary Carlson told the council that he and his wife recently retired and that their overall property taxes are likely to rise 33 percent, calling it a “big chunk.”

City resident Ron Gensler, at the council meeting, said that he has heard from a couple of commercial property owners in the city saying their valuations went down.

When one class of property goes up in a jurisdiction while other classes of properties either stay the same or go down, it can mean a rise in property taxes for the class of properties whose valuations rose, one of the council members said.

Jane Schadeck said she knows of five people in the city of Princeton whose property taxes are expected to rise about $500.

Council Member Thom Walker responded that he suspects there are many more than five people experiencing that in the city.

While not all the jurisdictions who affect the Schadecks’ property taxes had formally approved their levies by press time it is likely that the ones left – school district and county– would be approving their proposed amounts.

The School Board planned to set their levy Tuesday, Dec. 16, and it had been proposing a levy increase of 33.87 percent. Mille Lacs County has been looking at raising their’s 3 percent and is scheduled to act Dec. 22. Sherburne County, which includes a small southern part of the city of Princeton, is proposing a 2.18 percent levy increase for 2015 and planned to act Dec. 16.

The Schadecks, who are retired, told the City Council that with being on a fixed income like they are, they can’t afford to pay more property taxes than they already are.

She said in an interview that the couple’s city portion of their property taxes will be nearly $740 in 2015, while their Mille Lacs County taxes were being proposed at $811, and their school district taxes to be nearly $523. Adding in a $2 tax for a special taxing district, the Schadecks are looking at $2,076 in property taxes in 2015. That would be a nearly 33 percent hike over their $1,556 in property taxes this year.

“There’s a lot to be looked at with our taxation,” Jane Schadeck said. “I’m only speaking for the community and people who really can’t afford them.”

When Jane Schadeck asked Jackson about why her property taxes are rising so much, he explained that the city was only one of the jurisdictions affecting her taxes.

Jackson also pointed out that the state sets rates for different property classifications, and how there is the estimated market value set by the county assessor’s office. Local government aid also has an effect on the levy, he explained.

Council Member Victoria Hallin encouraged city residents to ask their legislative representatives to keep the state aid high to the city of Princeton. The city’s portion of that aid will be $838,685 in 2015, compared to this year’s $813,075.

The city of Princeton’s tax levy in 2014 was a 1.46 percent decrease over 2013, while the 2013 levy was a 1.40 percent decrease over 2012 and the 2012 levy was a 2 percent increase over 2011, which had remained the same.

What the levy will fund

Princeton’s 2015 levy will be used as follows: approximately $2.08 million will go to the general fund, of which nearly $1.87 million will be for operating expenditures, $35,000 for tax abatement levy, and $175,600 for capital improvements. Bonded indebtedness will take up $112,500, and the city’s economic development authority board will receive $17,895.

Jackson said that ideally a person selling their residence will receive at least the amount that the county has assessed it at.

Schadeck told the council she knows of a number of vacant, foreclosed homes in Princeton as she posed questions about why the residential assessed valuations were rising so much in the city.

“One house next to us has been empty 10 years and another place has been empty four years,” she said.

“Who pays for them, the bank?”

The bank that owns a foreclosed property pays the taxes, and if no one continues to pay the property taxes, the property would eventually be sold as tax forfeit, Jackson answered.

Schadeck also asked if the city taxpayers were being charged for the new sidewalks built this year along Fifth Avenue North and 12th Street North.

City Administrator Mark Karnowski answered that government grant money was paying for them. (It’s a Safe Routes to School program in which federal money is distributed through the states).

Schadeck continued that she didn’t think anyone would want to buy residential properties like hers with the tax bill they have.

Jackson recommended that she attend the board of equalization meeting next spring when she can question the assessed value on her property. The meeting will be in City Hall and property owners will receive a mailed notice of the date in April.



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Recipe: Chocolate mint creams Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:48:33 +0000 Julie Hill works in the dairy department at Coborn’s in Princeton. She and her husband Jeff are natives of south Minneapolis and have been living in rural Dalbo for 15 years. He is a warehouse foreman in Minneapolis.

The couple has three grown children: Jason, Jenny and Jada. She enjoys reading, making scrapbooks, cleaning her house, cooking and baking. But her most favorite past time is being with her five grandchildren.

Jeff enjoys ice fishing and watching the Minnesota Gophers hockey team.

Julie’s recipe come from her Grandma Hill and is a favorite Christmas cookie of Jenny.


2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar

3/4 cup butter

2 T water

12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 eggs

1 1/2 lbs. pastel-colored mint kisses

In mixing bowl put the butter, brown sugar and water and heat in microwave oven until butter melts. Add the chocolate chips, heat some more and stir until chips are melted. Let stand 20-25 minutes. Beat the eggs into the chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour and soda until mixed. Cover and chill 1-2 hours. Shape into 1-inch balls and place two inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 7-8 minutes in 350-degree oven, remove and top each cookie with a mint and return to oven and bake an additional 2 minutes. Spread the melted mint with a butter knife. Makes about 75 cookies.

Note: The pastel mints may be difficult to find but they are sold in bulk at Cub Foods, Julie says.

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