Election, parade highlight 2016

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Skies brightened up for the parade during the 155th Stiftungsfest on an afternoon on Sunday, Aug. 28. (Adam Gruenewald/The Times)

by Adam Gruenewald
[email protected]

This was quite the year for NYA, Cologne and Hamburg area with many fun and memorable moments.
Read on to see the top stories, week by week, covered by the Norwood Young America Times in 2016.

January
Jan. 7: In their last meeting of the year of 2015, NYA City Council members made some key decisions to set themselves up for 2016. Of particular note, council members adopted several amendments to the 2015 budget which included several expenditure and revenue adjustments on Monday, Dec. 28.
Jan. 14: Cologne Lions held their Celebrate Cologne Gala on Saturday with about 175 guests.
In their first meeting of 2016 on Monday, Jan. 4, Cologne Council members heard from Engineer Jake Saulsbury of Bolton and Menk on two costly projects, a Benton Creek drainage project and a water treatment plant.
Rocky the Raider debuted at the girls’ basketball game on Friday, cheering for the Raiders, reacting to every shot, interacting with students and Central band members and high fiving and hugging fans.
Jan. 21: The Flower Mill in NYA is now closed after a decision by owner Karen Hallquist and her family because of family and health reasons.
Carver County experienced a spike in requests for gun permits between Jan. 3 and Jan. 5, with a total of 70 applications being processed by the sheriff’s office in that period. Those figures include requests for permits to purchase – 42 – and permits to carry – 28.
NYA Council held its first meeting of 2016, making several decisions related to organization and process during a 90-minute meeting where they discussed multiple, but relatively straightforward issues.
Jan. 28: Cologne City Council members took a key step in improving the water quality of its residents on Tuesday, Jan. 19, moving forward with a water treatment plant.
Dozens of dogs are in need of homes following the eviction of a renter from a property in rural Carver County.
Former Waconia High School student and veteran Sean White announced his candidacy for the 2016 Minnesota House elections for District 47A representative.
Complete with an original horror play, “Lucidity,” the Central Fine Arts Showcase was set to feature a variety of artistic endeavors, all in one night.
In sports, Mayer Lutheran girls basketball came out on top in an intense rivalry game to put themselves atop the Minnesota River Conference after a win over Central in NYA, 53-41.

February
Feb. 4: An article highlighted the efforts and dedication of Jessi and Jada Rondeau. Jessi Rondeau recently signed her letter of intent for Division I gymnastics at Utah State University with younger sister Jada Rondeau signing later in the year.
The new Cologne Academy gym space provided the perfect venue for the school’s annual science fair and Extraordinary Expo last week.
During their first regular meeting of 2016 in Cologne on Jan. 25, Central School Board members organized for 2016 including new member Sara Eischens who was elected in November.
In sports, Central boys’ basketball established themselves in the Minnesota River Conference race with wins over rival Mayer Lutheran on the road, 87-59.
Feb. 11: Cologne Council members continued to weigh their options for the hiring of a Public Works employee on Monday, Feb. 1.
In an effort to build relationships and spur cultural and historical discussion and appreciation on Jan. 20, Dirk Weissleder of Laatzen, Germany, as well as Kent Cutkomp and Wade Olsen of nonprofit Germany and the Minnesota Germanic Genealogy Society (GGSMN) visited Gotha, Hamburg, Norwood Young America and Cologne on their way to New Ulm as part of a Weissleder’s visit to Minnesota.
Leading up to the Valentine’s Day holiday, preschool storytime at the NYA Library Tuesday featured books about love, parachute fun with paper hearts and drawing activities focused on love.
In sports, Kellen Erpenbach hit a late contested 3-pointer to send a game into overtime, leading to Central defeating Sibley East at home, 78-75.
Feb. 18: Central Elementary kindergartners Mason Miller, Owen Miller and Ezra Swanson work on display of 100 rocks for a gallery walk on the 100th day of school.
The City of Hamburg will likely see a new duplex in town in a vacant lot on Brad Street during the Feb. 9 meeting, which will be a boost for the city.
In sports, Kali Grimm surpassed 1,000 career points in a win over Eden Valley Watkins.
Feb. 25: Making use of their new stage, Cologne Academy theater hoped to bring a big show production with their upcoming play, “Bye Bye Birdie.”
Central School District 108 Board Members held a brief meeting on Monday, Feb. 22, highlighted by ongoing discussions related to parking.
In sports, Central won their fourth straight Minnesota River Conference title with a strong week this past week, going 3-0 to end the regular season.
Also, Wallace Michels at 138, Caleb Wickenhauser at 182 and Nick Forner at heavyweight all advanced as section champs, the first time in the time of head coach Darrin Fox.

March
March 3: While funding is certainly a work in progress, NYA council members heard about plan for devising strategies and planning on Highway 212 expansion on Monday, Feb. 29.
Stacey Horton of Plato recently opened The Quilting Grounds in NYA.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar visited Carver County last Friday when she toured the recently upgraded wastewater treatment plant in Norwood Young America, which was the site of significant flood damage after storms in 2014.
In sports, Central boys’ basketball ended their season with a 56-52 loss to Belle Plaine in the 2AA subsection final at Taylor Center in Mankato. Notably, senior Brice Panning scored his 1,000th career point on the first score of the game for Central.
March 10: With recent openings of the Quilting Grounds and the re-opening of Family Dollar, two-year EDC chair and four-year member Kyle Strickfaden expressed the positive time for businesses in NYA.
The Central High School robotics team is ready to make a return trip to state in their second season.
Norman and Ann Hoffman appeared before the Carver County Commissioners on March 1 to donate $900,000 toward the cleanup of Coney Island.
March 17: Central Elementary kindergartners put on “Three Piggy Opera,” giving a musical rendition of the class “Three Little Pigs.”
Hamburg council members heard from Tom Diethelm Builders on more detailed plans for a duplex on 470 Brad Street as well as purchasing interest in the adjacent property at 480 Brad Street for another duplex.
Del Beneke received his 19-gallon pin last Monday at American Red Cross Blood Drive in NYA at Willkommen Park Pavilion after his estimated 152nd time donating blood.
In sports, Central girls basketball added to school history again, returning to the state basketball tournament for the second year in a row. Central advanced to state with a 67-56 Section 2AA final win over New Richland HEG, in the teams’ second section final matchup in three years.
March 24: The NYA City Council voted to limit parking on Morse Street in front of Central High School for one hour from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. during school hours.
Hikers and nature enthusiasts took advantage of a variety of activities at the annual maple syrup open house at Baylor Park on Saturday.
With spring break just around the corner, Central School Board members met and discussed a variety of issues, the most important of which was the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments that students will begin upon their return from spring break in the first full week of April.
The Carver County Water Management Organization received a glowing review at the March 15 county board meeting, as the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) found the organization has made progress on many projects and has reached several high performance standards.
In sports, sophomore Kali Grimm, who surpassed the 1,000 point career scoring mark, was named the MRC Most Valuable Player and was joined by sophomore Bren Fox, junior Shyann Wickenhauser and freshman Abby Mackenthun on the team with senior Morgan Karnes earning an honorable mention. Central head coach Gary Lembcke was named the MRC girls basketball Coach of the Year for the fourth consecutive year.
March 31: After several meetings of deliberation, the Cologne city council has resolved staffing concerns in hiring Brian Vos of Cologne as the Public Utilities and Maintenance Supervisor position.
NYA and area residents took enjoyed spring weather over the Easter weekend, delighting in dining at local fish frys, picnics, walks, family games and other activities.
Carver County Commissioner and current Chair Jim Ische of NYA has announced his reelection campaign for the Carver County Board.

April
April 7: The NYA City Council approved a 28,812-square-foot expansion for Vickerman Company during their regular meeting.
Longtime Central girls’ basketball coach Gary Lembcke will be inducted in the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaching Association Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Northfield.
Emanuel Lutheran students were set to present“Three say no way,” co-written by director Terri Bentz and Concordia St. Paul campus pastor Rev. Tom Gundermann.
April 14: The heartwarming and true story of Helen Keller’s breakthrough with teacher Anne Sullivan will be performed at Mayer Lutheran High School when the drama department performs “The Miracle Worker.”
Cologne council members started discussions on a memorial for former Public Works Director Jeff Wildung, who passed away on Nov. 21, 2015.
As part of the 64th annual Dairy Day Dinner at the Cologne Community Center, Laura Grimm of Waconia, Madison Schochenmaier of Waconia and Carley Buetow of Cologne  won the chance to compete in Mankato for a chance at the Princess Kay of the Milky Way title.
April 21: NYA council members heard from Jaguar Communication representatives about their ongoing project and expressed interest in a television franchise agreement with the company.
Andrea Krause of NYA, who served in the Minnesota Air National Guard from 1994 to 2004, shared her story as she was ready to be the featured speaker at the Poppy Day Luncheon.
April 28: During their regular meeting on April 12, Hamburg council members reviewed a draft of the city’s financial audit presented by Abdo, Eick and Myers.
Well over 100 Peace Village residents, community members and project supporters overflowed the Haven community room for a grand opening of The Haven, fittingly with the rainy weather lightened up during the ceremony.

May
May 5: Given low numbers, leaders of the Norwood baseball team have decided they will not field a team this year for the first time since the team started in the early 1900s.
Testing and Central schools is continuing to go on schedule according to principals at Central Elementary, Central High School and Central Middle School.
Stiftungsfest Ambassadors held their second annual Princess for a Day event at All Saints Church on Saturday morning.
The City of NYA remains in solid financial shape and the council members remain on track to manage their outstanding debt.
May 12: Organizers have decided to end the NYA Relay for Life benefitting the American Cancer Society. Held annually in the summer and fall, the NYA Relay for Life has raised nearly $975,000 for the past 11 years according to tri-chairs Pat Zellmann, Dar Mondor and Kim Tellers.
Cologne baseball will be getting an upgrade in facilities thanks to the Minnesota Twins Community Fund and Twins Fields for Kids program.
May 19: Recognizing and thanking all service members for their efforts for the country is certainly highlighted in May, but should extend throughout the year. That message was highlighting during the seventh annual NYA Beyond the Yellow Ribbon (BTYR) banquet.
Zion Lutheran School students performed their annual spring musical, “It’s Saturday.”
Following up on a special meeting, NYA council members approved putting money down on May 9 for the purchase of a 2012 mini pumper truck for the NYA Fire Department.
May 26: At least for one summer, a special barbecue event will replace the two-day festival of Zummerfest this summer in Hamburg. During their regular meeting on May 10, Hamburg council members approved the on-sale liquor license for Parkside Tavern for June 25, paving the way for a barbecue contest, craft sale and live music event.
Cologne Academy held their annual spring fling event on Saturday at Lions Park that included multiple carnival games and food for kids.
In sports, Judy Larson won the 1600 in 5 minutes and 37.40 seconds for MRC honors and finished fourth in the 3200 (12:42.33).

June
June 2: NYA community marked Memorial Day, highlighting the efforts of fallen soldiers during their annual ceremony on Monday.
Under the guidance of Baylor Park staff, Central Elementary second-graders planted two maple trees and cleaned up Baylor Park as part of community service efforts.
Faced with ongoing debt, NYA council members took several key steps to help lessen that debt in the future during their regular meeting on Monday, May 23. Presented by financial consultant Nick Anhut of Ehlers Financial, NYA plans to refinance three existing general obligation bonds to take advantage of financing rates.
June 9: Former Cologne Hollanders outfielder and current Cologne resident Dick Arnst will be the honoree at the annual Fill the Hill celebration.
A total of 89 Central High School students took the momentous step and received their diplomas in a packed gymnasium.
As Cologne staff and council members look on, kids enjoy the first few moments in the Cologne splash pad that opened.
In sports, Central baseball found themselves at a crucial moment in the Section 5AA playoffs, after winning the west subsection title over Annandale, 6-4.
June 16: Spring weather contributed to solid attendance at Cologne Hollanders annual Fill the Hill celebration. Attendance was boosted by the splash pad, between inning activities, kids games and of course the baseball game, which Young America won 14-6.
While small in number, the retiring teachers and staff at Central certainly have a wealth of experience. Retiring staff include school counselor Irene Yaeck, school social worker Nancy Swiggum, social studies teacher Rick Willhite, social studies and math teacher Tom Doyscher and administrative assistant Bonie Schrupp.
Carver County commissioners passed a measure that will allow a 5-megawatt community solar garden to be built and operated on a property located on County Road 10, just north of Swede Lake.
In sports, despite being ahead 2-0 heading to the bottom of the seventh, Central baseball ended their season with a 3-2 9-inning Section 5AA playoff loss to Maple Lake last Tuesday in Maple Lake.
June 23: During their regular meeting on June 14, Hamburg City Council members tackled several issues of importance ranging from water meters, water towers and smaller city projects.
Katana Goldberg is the pool manager for the West Carver Community Pool in NYA this season.
More like a family than a congregation, members of St. John’s United Church of Christ in Bongards was set to celebrate the 150th anniversary of their rural church with a special polka service.
NYA council members cautiously moved forward on a bathroom project for Willkommen Park. Facing both a tight deadline because of Stiftungsfest in late August and a surprisingly high price tag, council members approved advertising for bids for the project while expressing optimism the price could go down.
June 30: For the first time in six years, the community theater troupe in Mayer will take back the stage. Mayer CAST, which stands for Community Arts & Summer Theatre, will stage a production of “Fiddler on the Roof” at Mayer Lutheran High School in July.
The goose population at Eagle Lake in Baylor Regional Park will be reduced this summer, through trapping and removal by the Carver County Parks Department.
Almost like a summer cleaning list, Cologne council members tackled a variety of issues during their regular meeting on June 20 ranging from streets to setting the stage for larger projects in the future. While no action was taken, the council did receive bids for both the wastewater treatment plant and a well that is part of the project as well.

July
July 7: Despite the high interest in having a restroom project ready for the annual Stiftungsfest celebration, a single bid resulted in delays in the project. During their regular meeting on June 27, NYA council members decided to reject the bid and delay the project with the intention of rebidding the project for later in the year. With three anticipated bids originally expected to come in upwards of $142,325, the lone bid came in at $165,700, according to Justin Black of Hutchinson-based Short Elliot Hendrickson Engineering.
Phyllis Hummel, co-sponsored by Church of Peace, delighted crowds at Music in the Park on Thursday to help kick of the Fourth of July weekend.
After owning Lano Lanes for more than 30 years, co-owner Curt Wilson and Paul Lano have sold the business.
July 14: Cruising by Old Schoolhouse Park on Saturday, the eye was drawn to a sea of gleaming antique cars and tractors, just beyond Bluejay Drive. The Mayer Rising Festival returned to the park grounds in great numbers.
While humble about her significant efforts, Elaine Pijahn, 89, certainly made an impact during WWII and has been recognized with her receiving the Congressional Gold Medal for her involvement with the Civil Air Patrol.
Carver County is becoming more diverse, albeit more slowly than its metro neighbors, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
July 21: The NYA Council adopted several projects for the wastewater treatment facility during a relatively short regular meeting on Monday, July 11.
The University of Minnesota Extension office named the Stuewe family of Cologne as the 2016 Carver County Farm Family of the Year.
The new owners of the bowling alley in NYA are looking to make changes while retaining the feel of the longtime business. With minor renovations already underway, Jonathan and Tammy Lueck of Victoria have big plans for the business that started in 1977, seeking to bring in more customers to Lazy Loon Lanes, previously Lano Lanes.
July 28: Cologne Council heard the early plans for the longterm local housing development during their regular meeting on Monday, July 18.
Area firefighters respond to a scene at 11045 Polk Avenue in Cologne. The fire resulted in the total loss of two outdoor sheds and involved about 80 firefighters from nine departments in the intense heat of both the fire and the hot July weather.
Centre Stage Theater is experiencing quite a few shifts this season and is inviting the public to their showing of Plaza Suite. A shift from recent expansive productions like “Oliver” and “Annie,” the smaller “Plaza Suite” is a shift for new director Bryn Tanner and a relatively small cast.

August
August 4: Current Norwood Young America Mayor announced her campaign for election to the Carver County Board of Commissioners, challenging incumbent Jim Ische.
While there remain some key concerns in town, Carver County Sheriff Deputy Jeff Stratton said the City of NYA remains a safe community during the recent NYA City Council meeting on Monday, July 25.
In sports, Young America is among the teams advancing in the Crow River Valley League playoffs after week one. The Cardinals defeated Hamburg 4-0 last Tuesday and won 5-1 on Thursday to eliminate the Hawks.
Aug. 11: Centre Stage Theater put on “Plaza Suite” at Central High School.
While making no major formal decisions, Cologne council members considered various options for the wastewater treatment plant during their regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 1.
About 40 family, friends and co-workers attended a tree dedication ceremony in honor of Cologne Public Works Director Jeff Wildung on Monday, Aug. 1.
Aug. 18: Area residents enjoyed the Carver County Fair last week with plenty of activities to enjoy from Aug. 10 to 14.
A lengthy two-year flood recovery process is now complete as NYA has been reimbursed for repairs to the city’s wastewater treatment plant as a result of flooding on June 19, 2014. In all, the total cost of repairs was $809,990.28.
Aug. 25: Cologne council members took significant steps for the wastewater treatment plant during their regular meeting last Monday, Aug. 15. Council members approved a water rate plan as well as a low bid of $5.93 million for the wastewater treatment plant from Di-Mar Construction of Hopkins.
The Minnesota Minn-e-rods held a tractor pull on Saturday near the Pavilion on Main Street in NYA. The event was sponsored by Thirsty’s Bar and Pro Auto NYA as well as other sponsors.

September
Sept. 1: Skies brightened up for the parade during the 155th Stiftungsfest that packed in attendees over the three days of festivities that also featured a visit by the Diedesfeld band from Germany. Ambassadors Chandra Wigfield (also Miss Congeniality), Emily Lano and Anna Herzog received their crowns.
NYA City Council members are looking to shed some light on a proposed ordinance for solar energy systems in sending it back to the Planning Commission.
Cologne Academy teachers and students started the new school year on a bright Monday morning.
Sept. 9: Among the staff and students starting school at Central this year are new counselors Maddy Magner and Caitlin Featherman. Both school social worker Nancy Swiggum and school counselor Irene Yaeck retired at the end of the school year last year, leaving a key gap in the mental and social health of Central students.
Amidst rainy skies, Central Elementary teachers and students started the new school year.
Emanuel Lutheran Hamburg’s float in the recent Stiftungsfest parade revived a 30-year-old model, that is now on display in the church narthex.
Sept. 15: Cologne council members took significant steps on several issues during their most recent meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 6, moving forward on a water well, fire department pension discussions and design work for Conrad Street.
What started as the continuation of a school assignment has developed into a much larger family genealogy effort and celebration. Held Aug. 15 at Baylor Park, the Plackner family reunion marked the reuniting of family and friends as well as the history of Carver County.
After substantial fundraising efforts last school year, Cologne Academy Spanish teacher Jayme Enamorado and students were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor in Costa Rica over the summer.
Sept. 22: Following their customary habit, Staff Sgt. Josh Tverberg and his family, friends and military community stepped up quickly to provide assistance to those recovering from an earthquake in central Italy in late August.
Sept. 29: With preliminary budget discussions ongoing, Hamburg council members have tackled a few smaller issues at recent meetings in August and September. Among other items in September, council members heard a presentation from the Hamburg Fire Department on the addition of a utility firefighter position that would have reduced training from 160 hours to 80 to serve on the department.
Cologne Academy Theater Club is hoping to bring some comedy and intrigue to their upcoming play, “Mystery at Rundown Abbey.”
NYA firefighters recently installed 61 stovetop extinguishers in all the apartments in Peace Village using funds raised from the fire prevention calendar.

October
Oct. 6: NYA council members were faced with a difficult decision regarding supporting a business owner and maintaining code standards during their regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 26, In the end, council members considered a change in the requirement for security fencing for outdoor storage for Pioneer Storage and Rental, deciding to extend the deadline of fence installation for one year with a future resolution.
The 2016 Central High School Homecoming Court includes: attendants sophomore Leah Crown, sophomore Carter Milbrett and freshman McKenna Schlueter as well as seniors Luke Peterson, Shyann Wickenhauser, Carter Clemensen, Jada Rondeau, Eli Pulkrabek, Grace Wickenhauser, Chad Zellmann, Hanna Kroells, Zach Stockman, Amanda Geis, Kellen Erpenbach and attendants junior Alyssa Mueller and sophomore Logan Corlett. Not pictured: Chrstina Barstad and freshman attendant Hayden Molva.
In sports, Mayer Lutheran football scored 17 unanswered points in their 17-12 homecoming win over Central.
Oct. 13: Cologne Council members heard the alarm and approved a defined benefit plan for the Cologne Fire Department during their most recent meeting on Monday, Oct. 3.  Council members made the unanimous 4-0 decision, with council member Jeff McInnis absent, after initially hearing the request from firefighters over a year ago regarding the longtime lack of pension support.
Even more Central students are continuing to reap the benefits of stability balls as the district increased their use this year with local business support. Stability balls were previously purchased for several classrooms at Central Elementary in the past and this year, three sets of stability balls were purchased for the entire Central Middle School and High School health classes.
Eli Pulkrabek and Hanna Kroells were crowned homecoming king and queen for Central High School during coronation.
Oct. 20: In an effort to serve an aging population, NYA council members considered a partnership agreement that would provide additional transportation for seniors in the area.
Central football players and others enjoyed the annual homecoming parade in the early afternoon in advance of their 12-6 win over Lester Prairie on Friday. The win concluded a successful homecoming week that included a couple of volleyball wins as well as cross country racing well at Jordan.
Renewing an annual tradition after missing out in 2014, the community is invited back to the annual St. John’s School Harvest party for the second year in a row set for Saturday, Oct. 29.
Oct. 27: Central theater participants are hoping to bring some romance and comedy to the stage in their upcoming play, “You Can’t Take It With You.”
Carver County Water Management Organization was set to host Science Museum of Minnesota’s traveling show Water! on Nov. 5.
During a relatively brief meeting on Oct. 17, Cologne council members discussed but made no final decisions on the compensation plan as well as proposed changes to the Cologne Fire Department bylaws.
In sports, with a 34-20 win over Waterville-Elysian-Morristown on Oct. 19, Mayer Lutheran football clinched the South Central District Blue Championship, their first title in the new format that is in its second year.

November
Nov. 3: While construction and the laying of foundation won’t likely begin this fall, a groundbreaking was held for the Carver County Veteran’s Memorial on Tuesday. Organized by a 15-member committee the memorial is located next to the Dakota Rail Trail head on the intersection of Highway 25 and County Road 30 in Mayer.
The Haven is certainly making an impact on The Harbor as the senior community grows, as explained by Harbor Housing Manager Laurie Hilgers to the NYA Council on Monday, Oct. 24.
Nov. 10: Children and their families attend a traveling exhibit on water by the Science Museum of Minnesota at the Willkommen Pavilion in Norwood Young America on Saturday.
In sports, Central football battled to the end and came out victorious in a 3-0 win over Maple Lake in the Section 4AA final in Husky Stadium at St. Cloud  State on Saturday.
Nov. 17: As real estate mogul and former reality TV star Donald J. Trump blazed a path to the White House on Election Day, Carver County voters were part of the red wave of support for Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. On Election Day, Minnesota led the nation in voter turnout — around 74 percent of eligible voters hit the polls. Carver County voters helped claim that title, the county led the state in voter turnout with 83.6 percent turnout, up from 79 percent in 2012.
Incumbent District 5 County Commissioner James Ische survived a challenge from NYA Mayor Tina Diedrick, retaining his seat. Ische won 4,590 votes or 50.71 percent, while Diedrick secured 4,450  votes or 49.17 percent.
NYA, Hamburg and Cologne mayoral candidates Carol Lagergren, Chris Lund and Matt Lein all secured victories with a few new faces elected to area councils as well. In NYA, council member Carol Lagergren secured the mayor seat, winning 1,337 votes or 76.88 percent, over Francis Green, who won 329 votes or 18.92 percent. Also, incumbent council members Dick Stolz, with 1,133 votes or 46.99 percent, and Mike McPadden, with 1,253  votes or 51.97 percent, secured 4-year terms on the council with Craig Heher securing 1,486 votes or 98.15 percent to win the remainder of his 4-year term.
In Hamburg, Chris Lund, who was unopposed, secured the 2-year mayor seat vacated by Richard Malz with 239 votes, or 87.55 percent. Also, Jason Buckentin and Tim Tracy emerged from eight candidates to secure seats on the Hamburg City Council.
In Cologne, Matt Lein will once again serve as Cologne’s mayor after defeating incumbent Scott Williams, 495 votes to 360. Lein had lost the mayor seat in 2014 by a 6-vote margin to Williams. Also, Sarah Bruss, winning 478 votes or 36.57 percent, and incumbent Don Meyer, winning 439 votes or  33.59 percent, secured at large council member positions.
About 40 kids attended this year’s Pancakes, Pajamas, Princesses and Princes event on Saturday with the 2016 Stiftungsfest Ambassadors.
NYA and area community members gathered at Central High School to mark Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11, highlighting the sacrifices and efforts of veterans during their annual ceremony. Guest speaker was District 3 Carver County Commissioner Randy Maluchnik.
Nov. 24: The NYA Council took a couple of cost-saving measures during their most recent meeting on Monday, Nov. 14. Primary among the two was the acquisition of property through a revised agreement with Carver County Community Development Agency as it relates to the Oak Grove Building that includes NYA City Offices.
About 25 volunteers put forth the extra effort at St. John’s Church in NYA on Friday to create and package shoe boxes during a recent preparation time for Operation Christmas Child.
In a culmination of her hard work and effort, Central senior Jada Rondeau took the next step in her gymnastics, signing a national letter of intent for Division I gymnastics. Like her older sister Jessi is doing at Utah State, Jada will pursue college gymnastics at the higher level at Easter Michigan.

December
Dec. 1: With ongoing budget discussions, Central School Board members got a clear picture of the district’s finances during an audit presentation on Monday, Nov. 28. In the review of the fiscal year 2016 audit, Matt Moline of Eide Bailly shared that Central School District is in healthy financial shape.
NYA community members enjoyed the second annual Holiday Extravaganza that included a tree lighting.
Authorities spent much of the holiday weekend and the following days scouring Lake Waconia after a paddleboarder, Andrew Stifter, was reported missing on Saturday afternoon.
Dec. 8: An intergenerational-project was certainly a success for Central seventh-graders, the community and their teachers. Started in October, collages from the multi-faceted project which involved interviews, will be on display during the Central High School winter music concert on Dec. 12.
In sports, Central boys basketball turned a 28-point deficit with 14 minutes left into a comfortable 64-57 road win in their season opener.
Dec. 15: Amidst falling snow, children and their families greet Santa Claus upon his arrival to Cologne Christmas.
Expanding on a pair existing child care centers in Carver County, Children of Tomorrow owner Aleta Mechtel will open a third location in NYA.
Dec. 22: In their last meeting of the year, NYA City Council kept an eye on the future and took some significant steps for 2017 and beyond, approving the 2017 budget as well as a Willkommen Park bathrooms project and reviewed a five-year financial plan. On Monday, Dec. 12, council members approved the 2017 budget with a 8 percent, or $159,276, property tax increase.
Keeping in mind several necessary projects, Hamburg council members approved their 2017 budget and property tax levy on Dec. 13. The levy was set at $463,197, incorporating a 5 percent increase.
Delphine Rolf was a 4-H adult project leader and certainly a friend and mentor to all who were involved in 4-H. In recognition of her years of service to 4-H, the Benton Hilltoppers 4-H Club recently acquired a plaque and installed in the flower garden at the Carver County that is dedicated to her daughter Kathy.
Dec. 29: With thoughts of a new year and new beginnings on the minds of the community, Kurious Kids preschool is certainly setting kids up for a bright future in NYA.
The body of a paddleboarder missing since just after Thanksgiving has been found in Lake Waconia, according to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office. CCSO reports that an ice fisherman on the lake came across the body of Andrew Stifter in about 12 feet of water on Tuesday, Dec. 20.