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New Ulm opened 2021 with 2,030 COVID cases

JANUARY

3–Brown County COVID-19 cases exceeded 2,030 with 32 deaths since the start of the pandemic. This percentage is in line with other counties in the surrounding area.

4–New Ulm Elementary schools went back to in-person learning with the Middle School and High School returning to hybrid learning. The school year began with all in-person learning but switched to distance learning on Nov. 30 due to limited staffing.

5–New Ulm City Council President Andrea Boettger, Ward 1 councilor David Christian and Ward 3 Councilor Les Schultz took the oath of office during the first council meeting of 2021 and the start of their new terms. Boettger was elected to the council in Nov. 2020.

4–Mia Theres Kimec was born a 3 a.m. Monday, Jan. 4 making her the New Year’s baby for the region. Mia’s parents John and Lindsay Kimec had planned to have Mia at NUMC but their girl came earlier than expected.

5–The 12th Annual ArtScape Juried Art Show and announced a winner of this year’s People’s Choice Awards. In the adult category “Amber Sunset” by Rebecca Alexander was selected. “Bloom” by Libby Tonn won the student award.

6–Changes in COVID regulations were announced that would open bars and restaurants at 50% capacity with a maximum of 150 people, with parties of no more than six people remaining six feet apart from other parties. The new rules take effect on Jan. 11.

8–District 16B Rep. Paul Torkelson said 2020 Census delays due to COVID will delay redistricting efforts for the year.

13–Schell’s Starkeller taproom opened its new golf simulator room. The projection screen simulates over 100 U.S. and international golf courses.

13–Sleepy Eye Superintendent John Cselovszki recommended the school continue in-person learning for elementary students and hybrid learning for high school.

13–Martin Luther College announced the new athletic center is fully funded through two donors. The groundbreaking of the Betty Kohn Fieldhouse is set for April.

14–Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) expands COVID vaccine eligibility. Brown County was still working to vaccinate frontline health care workers.

14–Minnesota Department of Transportation announced a $409,950 grant will help lay for Highway 14 four-lane expansion project interchanges at County Roady 27 and County Road 12/24.

15–The Lyric 3 opens back up for business and is screening three new films. The Lyric 3 was forced to close in November due to Governor Tim Walz’s executive order.

19–New Ulm City Council was split 3-2 on whether to repair or demolish the building at 307 N. Minnesota Street. Ultimately the vote went toward demolition. The council is unsure if the building has a common wall with The Journal building. If it does, the city would need to cover the cost of stabilizing the common wall during demolition.

22–August SchellBrewery Vice President of Operations Kyle Marti met with several state lawmakers and alliance of Minnesota Craft Breweries members to discuss the growler cap and why it should be removed.

25–State Street Theater Company is completing the first phase of its new Glotzbach Gallery, depicting the history of the theater site.

28–The New Ulm School Board approved an emergency policy to give staff additional paid sick leave if they become infected with COVID.

29–BoCo Real Estat and Oak Hills named 2020 Businesses of the Year by the New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce.

FEBRUARY

2–The City of New Ulm moving forward with a fixed route bus service for Brown County.

2–The New Ulm City Council approved a $109,700 bid for the New Ulm Recreation Center re-roofing project.

3–The Taco John’s sign fell due to a combination of rust and wind. Owner Andrew Lilleodden said the bottom of the pylon rusted out from road salt and the wind did the rest. Fortunately, the sign fell in the direction where it did the least damage.

3–Brown County Public Health reported vaccinating 390 school staff and daycare providers in the New Ulm High School and Sleepy Eye Elementary School gyms.

4–Allina starts vaccinating anyone 75 years or older. New Ulm Medical Center received the first doses of Pfizer vaccine in December and began vaccinating administration and staff, but is now starting to vaccinate senior citizens.

5–Former New Ulm Economic Development Corporation coordinator Brian Tohal died after a brief illness. He served in the role of NUEDC coordinator for over 20 years.

7–New Ulm Narren hung festive rags on street poles for the annual Fasching celebration in New Ulm.

8–Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop (GFW) School Board unanimously approved discharging of a tenured teacher facing allegations. Due to data privacy laws, the teacher was not named.

9–Brown County Commissioners unanimously approved local road improvement programs in Stark and Stately Townships Tuesday. The project realigns 220th Street away from the eroding Cottonwood River banks.

9–Five were wounded in an attack on a Buffalo, MN hospital by a 67-year-old gunman. Lindsay Overbay, 37, was killed in the shooting. She was a New Ulm native and the daughter of Larry and Mary Wilfahrt.

9–Springfield School District voters narrowly approved a two-question bond referendum. The second question on the referendum passed by a single vote 458 to 457. The referendum approves $17.66 million in bonds to improve school sites and facilities. The second question issues up to $2.1 million in bonds to build new locker rooms and renovate and repurpose existing locker rooms for cafeteria improvements.

10–Fasching is celebrated in New Ulm with COVID restrictions. The Narren visited the Mayor but kept their distance.

13–Gov. Tim Walz pulls back the COVID-19 restriction. The cap on bars and restaurants will be moved up to 250 people inside and 250 outside with an occupancy of no more than 50%.

14–Temperatures were -6 degrees Fahrenheit with temperatures forecasted to hit -24 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of the coldest Valentine’s Day in New Ulm history.

16–The New Ulm City Council debated hiring an engineering service to design new poles to hang Christmas garlands, ultimately choosing to move forward with the study by a 4-1 vote with Councilor David Christan voting against.

16–The New Ulm Public Utilities (NUPU) warned residents about high gas bills due to the cold temperatures, but also the polar vortex impacted Texas, further impacting the natural gas supply.

17–Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife managers began lowering Swan Lake water levels to improve wildlife habitat and water quality.

18–The NASA Perseverance rover safely landed on Mars. Inside the rover were parts originally manufactured by Windings in New Ulm. Components for the rover’s robotic arm and coring turrent drill were made Winding’s New Ulm facility.

23–New Ulm Public Utilities (NUPU) held a special work session to warn residents the polar vortex could triple February gas bills. NUPU’s goal was to get the word out so customers conserve gas as much as possible.

23–A special drive-thru career fair was held on Center Street near the Chamber of Commerce. Hosted by the New Ulm Career Force Center, the drive-thru career fair was an alternative for the COVID era.

23–By a 4-1 vote, Brown County Commissioners approved certification of a tract of land for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, with a dissenting vote from Commissioner Dean Simonsen.

24–New Ulm Public School announced the donation of the property at 208 N. Valley Street to District 88 as a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center. The property was donated by Carol and Roger Ryberg and their daughter Susan. The CTE Center will provide high school students with exposure and access to many careers available to the region.

24–New Ulm Planning Commission selected Upper Cottonwood, Pollinator Park, Maplewood and Lakeside Village as the top location to develop neighborhood parks.

MARCH

1–Brown County received more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine than ever before. A total of 1,475 doses were received. Nearly half of all Brown County residents 65 and older have received the vaccine.

1–New Ulm native Natalie Sperl appeared in the film “Mank” as actress Greta Garbo. The film won six Golden Globes Awards.

2–New Ulm City Council approved an amendment to the City Attorney Service agreement allowing Blethen Berens to serve as the city’s legal representation along with attorney Roger Hippert.

3–Temperatures rose well above freezing, reaching a high of 52 degrees.

4–Sleepy Eye Knights of Columbus host Teddy Bear Drive to benefit two-year-old Lennon Ludewig for leukemia treatments.

5–” Intentionally Accidental,” a mixed media art exhibit opened a the Grand Center of Arts and Culture. The exhibit featured the works of Caitlin Lang and Sam Matter.

6–A Brown County COVID Food Assistance Program free food distribution was held behind Jefferson and St. Paul’s Lutheran Elementary Schools. Each family received fresh produce, mixed dairy and protein items. The event was sponsored by Second Harvest Heartland, the United Way of the Brown County area, and Open Door Health Center, Mankato.

6–The Edina School Board renamed the Valley View Middle School south gym after Mary Manderfedl, a 1977 Cathedral High School graduate.

8–Jensen Motors acquired Maday Motors. Maday started in New Ulm in 1946, making it the oldest car dealership in New Ulm.

8–Lakeside Village and Upper Cottonwood park areas scored the highest on the New Ulm Park and Recreation Commission’s neighborhood park matrix. The two parks were recommended as the top priority location for neighborhood park development.

10–Brown County reached 2,500 COVID cases, meaning approximately 10% or one-in-ten residents have contracted the virus since the start of the pandemic. The county hit 2,500 cases on the first anniversary of most of the country entering quarantine. In the first year of the pandemic, 38 Brown County residents died.

11–The 128th birthday of author and artist, Wanda Gag was celebrated in New Ulm. A virtual celebration was held by the New Ulm Library.

11–The District 88 School Board took a tour of the former Windings building and future site of the District 88 Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center.

12–Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Marc Chadderdon asked legislators to pass a law addressing catalytic converter thefts. Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise. Chadderdon wants a law making it more difficult to possess and sell converters.

13–The New Ulm Events Center hosted the New Ulm Trade Fair and Living History event. It was the 40th Annual New Ulm Trade Fair and the second trade fair held with COVID-19 casting a shadow over the event.

16–New Ulm High School and Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School advanced one team each to the State Knowledge Bowl Tournament; NUHS Purple Team and MVL Black Team.

16–Caribou Coffee opens store in New Ulm. Located at 707 N. Minnesota St. the store is a new concept design for coffee.

17–St. Patrick’s Day tradition continues in New Ulm. The city held a St. Patrick’s Day parade every year for 56 years. This is the longest continuous St. Patrick’s parade in Minnesota.

19–The flags at Schonlau Park near the Glockenspiel were removed ins response to a wave of flag thefts. The city reported the theft of three flags from the park; the flags of Ulm, Germany, Neu Ulm, Germany and the German national flag were taken some time in the last two weeks.

22–GFW school board approved a resolution cutting $290,000 in programs and positions by a 5-1 vote, Dan Merkel casting the dissenting vote.

22–New Ulm Medical Center was recognized as a 20221 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital for the 10th consecutive year.

23–Brad, Brady and Cory Ranweiler’s of Show Cars Automotive Inc. in New Ulm have reached the final five of the 2021 Barret-Jackson cup custom car and truck competition with their 1963 Chevrolet Bel Air station wagon.

25–Candi J. Lemarr of Sleepy Eye was charged with seven counts of felony perjury and 20 misdemeanor count of animal mistreatment. Two cases alleged she deprived 10 horses of food, water, or shelter.

27–Sleepy Eye Event Center hosted a vaccination clinic organized by Sleepy Eye Medical Center. A total of 387 patients attended the clinic. Most were from Brown County, but others came from further away.

APRIL

1–Nicollet County Commissioners unanimously accepted a separation agreement with County Administrator Ryan Krosch and the resignation of Human resources director Jamie Haefner.

1–A bench dedicated outside the New Ulm Civic Center was designated to 16-year-old New Ulm High School student Jackson Beiraugel who died in a vehicle crash in 2019.

2–As temperatures neared 70 degrees, many worshippers prayed the stations of the cross at the Way of the Cross in New Ulm on Good Friday.

6–Brown County Commissioners discussed George’s Ballroom. The building was acquired by the county through tax forfeiture, later sold at auction then forfeited to the state. Drone video of the former ballroom show trees and bushes growing on the roof. Commissioners began discussing plans to demo the building.

7–Mayor Robert Beussman announced his resignation as mayor after 11 years in the position. Beussman’s resignation came after receiving a letter signed by the city council requesting he resign. The council believes the Mayor’s ability to perform his duties was compromised.

9–Minnesota Valley Lutheran (MVL) finished second in the State Knowledge Bowl competition out of 24 teams.

12–Park and Recreation Commission approved and recommended the city sign a lease agreement with Turner Gymnastic Academy for use of the new gymnastic center.

14–Oak Hills Living Center resident. Erna Zahn turned 113-year-old. She is believed to be the oldest person in Minnesota.

15–The majority of Brown County residents are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but local sign-up is slow. Appointments are averrable for anyone 18 and over through Public Health and 16 and over through all other vaccination sites county. New Ulm Medical Center recently noted the sign-ups for vaccine appointments are diminishing.

16–Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) recognized New Ulm, Comfrey, Lafayette and Nicollet wastewater treatment plants for excellence in permit compliance.

19–The Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) recommended the demolition of George’s Ballroom. The commission received a report calling for the demolition.

20–The New Ulm City Council formally accepted the resignation of Mayor Robert Beussman and began the process of appointing a person to fill the vacant position.

24–MVL senior Emma Niebuhr won first place in the MN State Speech Competition in Extemporaneous Reading.

27–A lightning strike occurred on S. Washington Street. Kayleigh Maurer, who lived at the home near the strike. Her kids witnessed the strike, saying they saw a flash of purple. Maurer was in the other room and remembers seeing flashes of red and white followed by an explosion. The lightning hit a tree creating a long streak in wood. The strike even damaged the side of Mauer’s home.

28–Anne Makepeace is retiring as the Grand’s executive director, 21 years after renovating the former hotel into the Grand Center for Arts and Culture.

29–The New Ulm Park and Recreation Commission recommended allowing motorized electric scooters on the recreational trail 4-1 with Commissioner Bev Luneburg voting against.

MAY

1–Brown County Public Health reported 39 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, bringing the number of total county cases to 3,015. Nicollet County reported 43 new cases, Redwood County 36, Renville County 36, Sibley County 10 and Watonwan County nine new cases. A dedication ceremony at Jefferson Elementary honored former teacher Beth Norman Sletta and Jefferson students for helping establish the Jefferson Outdoor Learning Space.

4–New Ulm Taco John’s owners Andy and Nancy Lilleodden were joined by their children and the New Ulm Willkommen Committee for a ribbon cutting celebrating the reopening of the restaurant after interior remodeling.

5–Thanks to funding from the New Ulm Medical Center Foundation, a new state-of-the-art Stryker Prime X Zoom Stretcher trauma cart was delivered to the medical center. The facility is recognized as a Level 4 trauma center.

6–After being closed for 14 months, the Brown County Museum reopened May 11, 2021. All visitors were required to wear masks and follow social distancing.

12–The New Ulm League of Women Voters honored retiring Brown County Auditor-Treasurer Jean Prochniak with flowers for her 40 years of service at the organization’s annual meeting at Turner Hall.

13–New Ulm Police Sgt. Charles “Chip” Rasche rescued a couple ducklings from a storm sewer at 4th North and German Streets. Rasche handed the ducklings to Cal Gassler, who was walking her dogs when she noticed the mother duck pretending to be injured. Taking her dogs home, Gassler returned and found the ducklings in the sewer and called 911. Gassler kept the ducklings during the day and left them with a friend’s mother who has experience raising fowl. A video of the rescue was posted on Facebook and got tens of thousands of views.

15–A hillside road and reinforced soil slope project on Nicollet CR 14 north of the Beussman Bridge, just north of New Ulm opened months of ahead of schedule.

17–Martin Luther College graduated 170 students on campus, in-person. MLC President Rich Gurgel warned graduates that “few things are worse for Christ’s Church than when public ministers think of themselves as God’s gift to the ministry.”

19–New Ulm Middle School students competed in the second annual Battle of the Books to find out who has the most book knowledge. Winners were Sophie Berger and Bronwyn Schlagel.

The New Ulm City Council will interview all eight New Ulm mayoral candidates. They are Michelle Markgraf, Justin Mattson, Sam Poquette, Jeremy Reed, Charalee Reinhart-Kalk, Micah Roux, Richard Seeboth, and Terry Sveine.

New Ulm Medical Center was named a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital for the 10th time. Compiled by The Chartis Center for Rural Health, the program honors outstanding performance among the nation’s rural hospitals based on the results of the Hospital Strength INDEX.

20–The Riverbend District hosted a hybrid, in-person graduation on the school’s north lawn.

21–Ground was broken for a new Minnesota National Guard Field Maintenance Shop (FMS) and Readiness Center on the west edge of New Ulm, just south of U.S. Highway 14. The new $11 million FMS

22–The New Ulm High School Class of 2021 graduated 132 students in the 135th annual commencement ceremony in the school gym and theater. “One thing we got out of it was learning to persevere. In the end, we all came to comfort one another,” said graduated senior Abby Hietala. “It still amazes me how this class pulled through this stupid pandemic, breaking records. We worked for this and we earned this.”

24–Valedictorian Grace Gleisner and Salutatorian and Lumen Christi Award winner Sarah Mohr spoke at Cathedral High School’s 99th commencement ceremony.

27–The Minnesota Dept. of Public Health reported 98% of Brown County’s 65 and older population received their first COVID-19 vaccine, according to May 23, 2021 data. That figure is tops in the region.

28–The New Ulm Planning Commission approved four new apartment units, a restaurant and wedding events venue at 126 N. Minnesota St. Eric Bode applied for the permit on behalf of Zen Franklib, LLC.

31–Fifty-four members of the Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School Class of 2021 graduated in the high school gym. Speakers urged students to trust the Lord’s plan.

JUNE

2–An explosion at the Farmers Cooperative of Hanska (FCH) elevator at 200 N. Water Street shook downtown New Ulm at about 6:30 p.m. June 1. The blast destroyed half of the Welcome to New Ulm sign atop the elevator and twisted metal walkways and gantries along the structure. Debris fell to the ground and a small fire formed near the base of the elevator.

One man had burn injuries and was transported to New Ulm Medical Center by ambulance. Paramedics and the New Ulm Fire Department quickly arrived.

The fire was extinguished within an hour.

What made the day even more unusual was a similar explosion at the Christensen Family Farms elevator a couple miles east of Sleepy Eye at about 4:45 a.m. An explosion in the southeast elevator blew the roof off. A fire in the bottom of the silo didn’t burn very long. Parts of nearby grain silos were also damaged.

The New Ulm City Council unanimously selected Terry Sveine to fill out the remainder of Robert Beussman’s mayoral term that ends Dec. 31, 2022.

5–After an extended closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame Museum reopened with the sound of musicians Adam Munstermann of St. James, Dain Moldan, Sleepy Eye; Peter Wendinger and Gary Schroeder, both of New Ulm.

7–New Ulm City Manager Chris Dalton thanked donors who helped make the new German Park Amphitheater possible at a ribbon cutting ceremony before the first regular Concert in the Park Series of 2021.

10–Due to a number of issues, Flandrau State Park Manager Gary Teipel said the park’s sand-bottom swimming pool will remain closed for the year. The pond was also closed in 2020 after it was learned that it’s three main circulating pumps had to be replaced. Other issues were the COVID-19 pandemic, a state hiring freeze and other pond maintenance.

10–Schell’s Brewery opened its new visitor center taproom addition with a special media event. Located in the former gift shop, the taproom includes a deck patio in the back of the building. The taproom includes 20 types of craft beers, sours, domestics, seltzers and 1919 Root Beer. LoCal Twist was the most popular beer in the taproom. Brewery tours also restarted on Fridays and Saturdays.

14–New Ulm Medical Center announced it had conducted 10,000 virtual visits with patients since the COVID-19 pandemic began. People became accustom

14–The New Ulm Park and Recreation Dept. recommended accepting a donation for a proposed Vietnam Veterans memorial monument and installation in German Park.

15–The New Ulm Park and Recreation Department received an Award for Excellence from the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association in the Park and Facility category for the Reinvest in New Ulm (RENU) Johnson Park Improvement Project.

17–The City of New Ulm held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the upgraded BMX bicycle track. Improvements included paving banked turns for more stability.

18–Student truancy numbers that more than tripled in the past two years prompted the Brown County Probation Dept. to request adding a part-time probation case aid position in 2022.

19–New Ulm Marine and World War II Veteran Paul Wojahn celebrated his 100th birthday at Finstad’s Oak Haven Campground. He served in the Pacific, making a combat beach landing on New Guinea and was involved in battles of Peleliu and Okinawa.

26–St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Pastor Don Sutton retired after 23 years of serving the church in New Ulm. Prior to coming to New Ulm, he served churches in Michigan and Wisconsin.

30–After 40 years of public service, Brown County Auditor-Treasurer Jean Prochniak was all smiles at a retirement reception for her in the Brown County Law Enforcement Center Training Room. A parade of well-wishers shook her hand and hugged her. Prochniak said it was a team effort including county commissioners, election judges, city and township officers, landowners and voters, to navigate through challenges.

JULY

1–Seventeen members of the Brown-Lyon-Redwood-Renville County Emergency Response Unit (ERU) did their monthly training in the former Alliance Bank building, 322 N. Minnesota St.

6–The New Ulm Figure Skating Club (NUFSC) Production Team will compete in the 2021 World Recreational Team Championships in Blaine, July 28-31.

8–After decades of being apart, Vietnamese Americans Richard and Soloman Huynk of California visited Judy and Marlyn Sellner of New Ulm. Richard and Soloman came from an 11-member Vietnamese family who emigrated from a Malaysian refugee camp to New Ulm in 1977.

14–After about 90 minutes of final interviews, Brown County commissioners unanimously approved offering the county auditor-treasurer job to assistant auditor-treasurer Kelly Hotovec. August Schell Brewing Co. Controller Liza Kukla was the other auditor-treasurer finalist.

15–After two years of not taking place at the Brown County Fairgrounds, Bavarian Blast began its weekend run with the Sleepy Eye band Heidi and the Good Ol’ Boys. Tom Petty and Eagles tribute bands followed.

18–Bavarian Blast attendance on Friday was estimated at 2,300; and 3,000 on Saturday, record-breaking numbers, according to Bavarian Blast Treasurer Dodie Wendinger. The weather helped. There was no rain and temperatures were relatively cool.

21–The first new cement mixer truck rolled out of the New Ulm SpecSys manufacturing and engineering plant. New Ulm plant president Tallen Wald said the company has cement mixer orders well into 2022.

22–The New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for MRCI’s new Community-Based Day Service program for individuals with disabilities at home, at work, and in the community.

23–Hundreds of antique vehicle owners from across the country participated in the 2021 AACA Grand Nationals Zenith Award competition at the Brown County Fairgrounds.

AUGUST

2–Dave Brand of New Ulm talked about how he stays fit volunteering including using a Cape Cod Weeder to remove weeds from headstones at the Catholic Cemetery of New Ulm.

2–After months of construction, a fitness center at the New Ulm Park and Recreation Center reopened to the public at 5 a.m. The newly remodeled structure was found to be brighter, more open and welcoming, New Ulm Assistant Park and Recreation Director Cheryl Kiesling said.

3–Four-year-old Luke Dummer of New Ulm won a pedal pull division at Minnesota Farmfest at Gilfillan Estate northwest of Morgan in Redwood County.

3–The New Ulm City Council unanimously accepted a Vietnam memorial donation and renaming a section of German Park that will contain the memorial as Veterans Square.

5–Dan and Lynn Hacker of Brown County and Hacker’s Tree Farm nursery and greenhouse were named Brown County Farm Family of the Year. Several dozen Hackers were on hand at the Minnesota Farmfest.

9–Former New Ulm Mayor Carl “Red” Wyczawski, 95, died at Oak Hills Living Center in New Ulm. “Red” was a prolific mayor and resource for New Ulm baseball in particular. He was New Ulm mayor from 1971 to 1994 and League of Minnesota Cities president from 1974 to 1975.

9–After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brown County Fair returned to the fairgrounds in New Ulm.

12–Gerald Woodley and Elroy Ubl were recognized as Brown County’s Outstanding Senior Citizens at the Brown County Fair.

17–Seventeen Kids-X-Cel Center pre-school graduates sang in the early evening sunshine in the new German Park Amphitheater.

19–New Ulm centenarian Michael Fruhwirth said hard work helped reach 100 years of age. He farmed and did carpentry work much of his life.

28–A powerful storm including a dark, green sky with rolling black clouds and a tornado warning with sirens rang across the City of New Ulm. In Sleepy Eye, the storm broke a large tree trunk and blew a large branch into a closet in a home in the east side of town. The damage caused Zinniel Tree Service to make a night call to go to work at night, repairing damage caused by big wind-blown tree branches.

SEPTEMBER

1–Brown County COVID cases saw a dramatic spike in the last month, after relatively low case numbers during the early summer.

2–Rachel James of St. Peter takes part in the Grand’s resident artist program, working on a relief print in the art center’s cellar press.

3–New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) and the entire Allina Health System are seeing an uptick in COVID hospitalizations, hurting the treatment of all patients. NUMC is seeing delays in -patient transfers as Abbot Northwestern and the Mayo Clinic are reaching capacity.

6–Godahl Day celebrated its 66th year. The annual celebration honored Arlene Hagen and Mae Brekken who helped create the celebration.

7–A 1,530 square foot sign variance was approved for Martin Luther College’s new fieldhouse at 1800 Boettger Road.

7–New Ulm City Council approved a severance package for the city’s Economic Development Director/Assistant City Manager Audra Shaneman. City staff recommended cutting the position from the city budget, resulting in Shaneman offering to resign early in exchange for a severance package.

7–Brown County Commissioners approved a cooperative agreement with Nicollet County for an Adult Treatment Court grant. The grant will provide a year for adult treatment court programs.

10–New Ulm becomes a two Kwik Trip town after the Kwik Trip on 16th North and Broadway formally opens.

11–The Drew’s Crew 5K Colorfest was held in person at Harman Park. The annual run is a benefit for Drew Aufderheide who was diagnosed with leukemia seven years ago.

11–Hermannfest made a return to Hermann Heights Park after missing last year due to the COVID pandemic.

13–Brown County COVID cases during the first two weeks of September exceed the numbers reported in August. The County is seeing 13 new cases a day on average.

14–The New Ulm Economic Development Authority is seeking methods to ease childcare shortages in the community.

15–The Willkommen sign of Highway 14 on Highway 37/20th South Street was moved to a new location adjacent to the former Putting Green site.

16–The aquatic center slides at the New Ulm Recreation Center were enclosed as the construction project nears completion.

17–The large silver maple tree at 400 S. Minnesota Street was blown down during a powerful thunderstorm. The tree was estimated to be 110 years old.

17–The ISD 88 Foundation and its Alumni Committee announced the 2021 ISD 88 Hall of Fame inductees, including Charlotte Anderson, Alie Bernard-Sprenger, Darla Gebhard, Robert Niemann, Brian Raabe and Richard Schugel.

18–Anne Howard was crowned 2021 Miss New Ulm with Amber Sullivan and Madison Miller serving as second and first princess.

19–Children and the New Ulm Municipal band debuted the newly-commissioned New Ulm anthem called “New Ulm, New Ulm” during a concert in German Park.

21–New Ulm City Council set the preliminary tax levy for 2022 at 5.86%.

21–The new aquatic center at the New Ulm Recreation Center officially opens.

23–New Ulm Public School’s school board meeting was filled beyond capacity with dozens of people wishing to speak on subjects that were not part of the agenda: Critical Race Theory (CRT) and face mask policy. Since neither issue was on the agenda, public comments were not taken.

25–A candlelight vigil was held on the 1st North Block of Broadway to honor the 33 people in Brown County who have died of COVID-19. A luminary for each of the 44 people lost to COVID.

25–A group of people protesting vaccine mandates formed on 5th North and Garden near the New Ulm Medical Center. The group’s stated purpose was to support health and medical freedom.

27–Brown County COVID cases reached a monthly high for 2021 in September with 379 positive tests.

28–Brown County Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the appointment of Sheriff’s Investigator Jeremy Reed to chief deputy. Commissioner Dave Borchert cast a dissenting vote saying the salary was too high.

28–A grand opening ribbon cutting was held for the new Kwik Trip store on 16th North. The event was attended by Miss Minnesota Gabrielle “Elle” Mark.

28–Gov. Tim Walz appointed Deputy Brown County Attorney Andrea Liesner to fill a newly-created district court judgeship in Blue Earth County.

OCTOBER

1–After a scaled-down event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oktoberfest roared to life again at the Best Western Plus in New Ulm. Best Western Plus General Manager Erin Lafferty said guests came from North and South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and other states. New Ulm native Peggy

11–South Central College Farm Business Management instructor Wayne Schoper of New Ulm said area corn yields were 200 bushels or more per acre this fall. Schoper said bean yields were 50 bushels or better in areas that got enough rain and have soil supporting it.

14–The pizzazz and passion of the late George Glotzbach and his father Linus could be felt as the Glotzbach Gallery opened at the State Street Theater (SST). George’s wife Sharon was choked with emotion as she and SST President Mikhail Rostislavovich unveiled portrait photographs and a candid photo of George and his father playing shuffleboard..

15–The Independent School District 88 Career Technical Education (CTE) Center hosted an open house for New Ulm officials in the former Windings Inc. plant on Valley Street North. The 30,000 square foot building was donated to the school district by Carol and Roger Ryberg and their daughter Susan.

19–Students from New Ulm, Cathedral and Minnesota Valley Lutheran High Schools plus River Bend Area Learning Center took part in the New Ulm Rotary Club’s Ethics Workshop at the New Ulm Country Club. Coordinator Harold Remme said in terms of ethics, students learn a little bit about everything.

22–The New Ulm Junior Pioneers plan a new park shelter and other park improvements at the south end of Washington Street. Details were revealed at the organization’s annual meeting at Turner Hall.

28–A number of people opposed to the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) voiced their concerns to the New Ulm Public School Board. The board allowed a 30-minute public comment period at the end of the meeting.

NOVEMBER

2–District 88 voters turned down two questions in a special referendum. The first question would have replaced two special levies that are about to expire and replaced them with one that would collect the same amount, about $1.8 million a year, for ten years. The second would have levied an additional $200 per student a year to support the District’s CTE program.

The first question failed with 1,143 yes votes and 1,231 no votes, a difference of 88 votes.

The second question failed by a wider margin with 1,069 yes votes and ‘1,309’ no votes,a difference of 240 votes.

5–A New Ulm High School phy ed teacher Eric Kauffmann was charged with a gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor charges for an Oct. 14 incident.Kauffmann was barred from campus after the incident and placed on paid administrative leave pending investigation.

8–Demand for COVID vaccinations grew in Brown County after the FDA authorized the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children 5 to 11 years of age. Brown County Public Health vaccinated 37 children in their first vaccination clinic for kids, and planned extra clinics in the weeks ahead.

9–The New Ulm Economic Development Authority voted to support the hiring of an executive director for the New Ulm Economic Development Corporation (NUEDC). 9

11–The New Ulm Medical Center held a reception honoring Drs. Joan Krikava and Mario DeSouza, who retired this fall after over 30 years each in practice in New Ulm.

13–Turner Hall held its 165th Stiftungsfest, or anniversary of its founding. It honored Jeanne Kretsch and Carol Steinhaus for their more than 80 years combined service to Turner Hall.

16–The trial of a New Ulm woman accused of mistreating horses on her farm opened in Brown County District Court. Candi J. Lemarr was charged after the Brown County Sheriff’s Office seized seven horses and three donkeys in November 2020 after they were reported to be malnourished.

18–Morgan Harpenau was named executive director of the United Way of the Brown County Area.

18–The District 88 School Board agreed to a separation deal with former phy-ed teacher Eric Kauffmann, who had been accused of mistreating and manhandling students during a class on Oct. 14.

20–The Concord Singers, New Ulm’s Ambassadors of Good Will, celebrated their 90th anniversary with a concert at the State Street Theater.

22–Sarah Warmka was announced as the new president and CEO of the New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce, replacing Michael Looft, who took the position of Winthrop city manager. Warmka had previously s

22–The trial of Candi J. Lamarr was ended in Brown County District Court when a jury member tested positive for COVID-19. Judge Robert Docherty halted the trial, discharged the jury and said the trial would be rescheduled and start over at a later date.

23–The New Ulm Public Utilities Commission approved a plan for a new lighting pattern on Center Street. The city is preparing to replace the lights since the concrete light standards on Broadway are starting to deteriorate.

26–The New Ulm holiday season got off to a sparkling start with the return of the Holiday Parade of Lights. Warm weather helped swell the crowds, who had missed the parade the year before when it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

DECEMBER

1– Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School seniors Josh Giefer and Donovan Witte have both been named as commended scholars by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

3–Tim and Mary Waibel were announced as the recipients of the Service to Agriculture award by the New Ulm Farm City Hub Club.

4–New Ulm kids got to Shop with a Hero at the Runnings Store in New Ulm.

7–Brown County COVID cases swelled in November and early December, reaching 4,812 with 62 deaths as of Dec. 7.

9–The New Ulm Area Foundation presented a $20,000 grant to the ISD-88 Foundation/CTE (Career & Technical Education) Center Campaign for the purchase and installation of welding stations at the new District CTE Center.

10–The Springfield Nativity Pageant was performed, complete with live camels and donkeys to tell the Christmas story.

11–Between 8 and 12 inches of snow fell on southern Minnesota in the first major winter storm of the season.

13–It was announced that New Ulm Park and Rec Director Tom Schmitz would be the recipient of the Clifton E. French Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota Association of Recreation and Parks.

14–City Manager Chris Dalton informed the city’s Economic Development Authority that the city was close to closing the sale of the Marktplatz Mall property to a developer, EMBD, LLC. The city had been working with Brown County to consolidate the various pieces of the property under one title to allow the developer to buy the property and go ahead with development.

16–A New Ulm couple, Michael and Mary Thom, spoke out at the District 88 school board meeting, criticizing the district’s community survey and empathy interviews as having a hidden intent to introduce ideas about Critical Race Theory and LGBTQ into the district’s curriculum.

17–Dr. Joan Krikava was honored with the New Ulm Medical Center Legends of Medicine award for her 30 years of service and leadership with NUMC.

18–The Brown County Fairgrounds hosted its 2nd annual Drive-Through Santa experience. Spectators got to see Santa Claus and the Grinch as they drove through a festively lit winter wonderland.

21–The New Ulm City Council approved its 2022 city budget of $22.98 million, which included a property tax levy of $8.75 million, and increase of 5.86%.

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