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Mother Nature wins this year


Staff Writer

For the first time in memory, local sportsmen’s groups have had to call off their annual fishing contests. It was deemed the ice on both Beaver and St. Olaf Lakes is not consistent enough to host the fishing derbies.

“You can have 12 or 14 inches in one place,” said a local angler. “You go 10 or 20 feet away and only have six to eight inches. It’s just one of those years.”

Ellendale-Geneva Sportsmen’s Club representative Cindi Bartness decided to cancel their contest which was slated to start at noon Sunday. The ice golf and polar plunges are going on as planned.

“The access to the lake isn’t in very good shape,” said Bartness. “We still want people to come out and either participate or watch the polar plunge. It will be situated so folks can remain on shore to watch and cheer on the plungers.”

The warm nights and warmer-than-average days have resulted in less-than-perfect ice conditions on many Minnesota lakes. Various county sheriff water rescue units have kept busy pulling people and/or vehicles out of the water.

In Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources issues permits for fishing contests. If they say the ice isn’t safe or adequate, you don’t have a contest. Likewise, sheriffs in their respective counties can also put the kibosh on a fishing contest by denying access to the lake. This year Waseca County Sheriff Brad Milbrath has put up signs on Waseca’s Clear Lake warning anglers of thin ice.

The New Richland Area Sportsmen followed the lead of their Ellendale-Geneva counterparts and also decided not to have their fishing contest.

“This is the first time in a long time where we have not been able to have our contest,” said Lee Mendenhall of the New Richland Sportsmen. “Several years ago, we had a big rain and we had the event at the American Legion. There was so much water on the ice, we couldn’t have the contest. Basically, we just drew the names for the merchandise prizes.”

As of this writing, it is unknown as to what the clubs will do about the tickets for the events which have been sold.

The public is still invited to come out to Beaver Lake at 2 p.m. on Sunday to watch the Polar Plunge sponsored by the Ellendale-Geneva Sportsmen. Proceeds will go towards cancer research. 

The New Richland Sportsmen will be having a fish fry on Friday, February 24 at the New Richland City Hall.

New Richland Care Center has received a high ranking of five stars overall in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Nursing Homes, released Monday. U.S. News’s Best Nursing Homes recognizes top-rated homes in all 50 states and offers important guidance to families and healthcare providers caring for people in need of a nursing home.

“More than 3 million Americans will spend part of 2012 in a nursing home, and trying to decide under pressure which one is best isn’t easy,” says Avery Comarow, Health Rankings Editor. “Top-rated nursing homes are worth considering and deserve special recognition.”

U.S. News’s evaluation of nursing homes is based on data from Nursing Home Compare, a consumer website run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The government agency sets and enforces standards for nursing homes (defined as facilities or portions of facilities enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid that provide 24-hour nursing care and other medical services). Homes earn an overall rating of one to five stars, as well as up to five stars in each of three underlying categories: health inspections, nurse staffing, and quality of care. U.S. News updates each nursing home’s ratings data quarterly. 

Of more than 15,500 homes rated and profiled on the U.S. News website, New Richland Care Center, was among the fewer than 1 in 8 that received a five-star overall rating in all four quarters of 2011. 

“I am just so proud of my team!,” said NRCC Administrator Mikenzi Hebel. “They are amazing people. We will never stop working our hardest to provide our residents with the best quality of life possible. Our team is really like a family unit,” said NRCC Administrator Mikenzi Hebel. “We have honesty, trust, and accountability with each other. I feel so blessed to be a part of this team as well as a part of a community that has such a wonderful support system of our Care Center. Thank you for the recognition! Our residents mean the world to us and their quality of care is our number one priority.”

Using the search tools available at, consumers can identify homes in their state, city or zip code, tailor their search to see only non-profit homes or those that accept Medicaid insurance, or in other ways find the best fit. 

To learn more about New Richland Care Center you can find them on line at or can stop in at: 12 1st St NE, New Richland.

The hunt is over for the 2012 Waseca County Sleigh and Cutter medallion.

The medallion was found in a hollowed out crook in a tree at Clear Lake Park in Waseca by Katie Shifflett and her daughter, Michaela on the evening of Wednesday, February 1.

The prize will be awarded on Fri., Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. at the VFW in Waseca.

As the Sleigh and Cutter festival draws near, you could win some cold, hard cash.

Up to $1,250 is waiting to be won. Someone in Waseca County has been chosen to be “Frosty,” an ambassador for the festival. All you need to do is follow the clues and try to guess who Frosty is. Even if you don’t know everyone, by following the clues you may gather enough information to win some big money. Possible tools that may help you cash in are the internet, Google, dictionaries and the love of puzzles.

Culligan Water Conditioning of Waseca has been a long-time supporter of the Frosty contest. Additional sponsors are Latham Place of Waseca, iWealth, Domino’s Pizza and Mediacom. The grand prize is $250 in cash, to the person who can identify Frosty and is determined to be the Grand Prize winner by the judges. If you are determined the winner and are present during the unmasking of Frosty at 9:30 p.m. during the Sleigh and Cutter Dance at the VFW in Waseca, you will get a $50 cash bonus from Culligan of Waseca. That is a total of $300.

Again this year: $100 to the first person from Janesville, the first person from New Richland and the first person from Waseca who correctly guesses Frosty and submits their entry in their respective towns. (See where to drop off your entries under Rule No. 9) Judges decision is final.

Here’s how the contest works:

1) Through February 8, a new clue will be published in the Waseca County News each Wednesday as well as in the NRHEG Star Eagle. Clues will also be available at the Waseca Area Chamber of Commerce and at and on the Waseca County News Facebook page. KOWZ/KRUE Radio will also broadcast the clues.

2) Each contestant is allowed only one guess per week.

3) Contestant must be 18 years of age.

4) Contestant must live in Waseca County.

5) If more than one entrant guesses Frosty’s identity, a drawing from all of the correct entries will be held during the unveiling of Frosty on February 10. Four names will be drawn for $50 each and the winner must be present during the unmasking to win. Four more names will be drawn for $50 each and the winners need not be present to win these. This is a total of eight $50 winners.

6) If there are no correct entries, a drawing will be held from all entries received.

7) Entries must be received by 3 p.m. on Friday, Februrary 10.

8) The decision of the judges will be final.

9) To enter your guess, if you live in Waseca: mail it to the Golden Touch Salon, 110 South State St., or drop it off in person during business hours. If you live in Janesville: mail it to the Golden Touch Salon or drop it off in person during business hours and mark the ballot, “Janesville.” If you live in New Richland, your entry can be dropped off at the office of the Star Eagle during business hours.

The first clue:

The time has come to seek me out, the hints I’ll give should help you out.

Three more clues will come your way, so waste no time and start today.

I was born and raised in Waseca town, but I have lived all around.

A few small towns have been my home, but across the border I also roamed.

I’ve done some coaching in my years, basketball, track and softball, lots of cheers.

One more clue, my age you ask, I was born before 1960 had passed.

The second clue:

I come from a larger family as you will soon see, where there is a mom a dad, five siblings and and me.

There were more girls than boys in our family nest, now put on your thinking caps and figure the rest.

You may be wondering if I am a boy or a girl, just start your guessing and give it a whirl.

While attending college I met the perfect catch, a friend introduced us and thought we were a good match.

Now more than 30 years later and kids of my own, I'm busy as ever, this is well known.

The third clue:

Now if you're still wondering who I could be, maybe you’ll get it with clue number 3.

A Scarlet, a Bluejay, a Maverick and more, the places I've been have opened the door.

Two boys have left and one is at home, the halls of Waseca is where I now Roam.

The fourth clue:

Well here it is...your final clue, this should be easy for you to guess who.

Education is important-and not by chance, if you keep studying your're bound to advance.

By now you should know me so get your guess in, the faster the better are your chances to win.

The principal reason behind this silly game, is for all of you to guess my name.

NRHEG cheer team crowned academic state champion


SUCCESS AT STATE — The NRHEG High School competition cheer team finished third on the floor and were crowned academic state champions in Saturday’s state competition at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul. Front from left: Brenna Hagen, Kiley Beenken, Lexi Wayne, Tiara Robran, Brina Bergland, Miss Minnesota and Michaela Hansen. Back: Jadyn Nelson- Spies,  Hannah Lewison, Tara Simon, Emmy Hobbs, Hailey Johnson, Stormi Hagen, Harlee Voukon, Dana Jensen, Maddy Schierjohann and Presley Johnson. Missing is Hannah Light. (Submitted photo)



After countless hours of practice, practice, practice, it all came down to one routine for the NRHEG High School competition cheer team.

They nailed it.

But, more importantly, they aced it where it counts most: the classroom.

Their routine was good for third place for the defending champions, who competed against much larger schools in Saturday’s State Cheerleading competition at Roy Wilkins Arena in St. Paul.

But that was just the start.

The Panthers were recognized as not only the regional academic champions, but posted the highest grade point average of any cheer team in the state.

“It was better than any first-place trophy,” said coach Kari Buendorf. “This is quite exciting as it shows that not only on the sidelines and on the competition floor do these girls have determination, but also in the classroom.”