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Two housing developments on Tuesday, Oct. 16, council agenda

DELANO, MN – A total of 352 residential lots could be developed in Delano if two proposals going before Delano City Council at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, come to fruition.

The council will first consider a planned unit development from Hartman Communities LLC to develop 208 acres known as McKinley Residential PUD at the corner of Davidson Avenue and Wright County Road 30.

The McKinley Residential PUD and preliminary plat was first approved in 2005, but the final plat was never developed.

Now, Hartman Communities is seeking guidance on site design and land-use configuration for the property to proceed to future PUD development stage and final stage.

Secondly, the council will consider a concept plan review for 68.11 acres located along County Road 16, immediately east of the Fox Meadows subdivision.

The council first approved an annexation request for the land, known as the Gerard farm, in January.

Now, the city has received an amended single-family concept plan for the site which attempts to address the issues that were raised in the initial concept plan review.

The council and City Planner Alan Brixius will review the plans for the property called Laketown Homes.

Wright County in flood watch through Wednesday, Oct. 10

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WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for several counties, including Wright.

According to the alert, “A stalled frontal boundary that extended from the Plains to the Upper Midwest will focus a corridor of nearly continuous rainfall, occasionally heavy, across the region from later this afternoon through early Wednesday. As the potential of thunderstorms develop later today, and into tonight, rainfall rates will increase, leading to runoff and possible flooding.”

Widespread rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches are expected, with a swath of 5 to 6 inches possible from south central and east central Minnesota to west central Wisconsin.

Prolonged moderate to heavy rainfall early this week will lead to rising river and stream levels, and could result in lowland flooding through the week.

Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

Reinhardt to receive lifetime achievement award

DELANO, MN – Jo Reinhardt, president and CEO of Delano-based Industrial Louvers Inc., is set to be the recipient of the lifetime achievement award from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Jo Rienhardt

Jo Reinhardt

According to NAWBO, “The award goes to a NAWBO member who owns a million-dollar business that has experienced significant long-term growth and success for 20 years or more. The award recognizes an individual who has received numerous awards and recognition for her many achievements growing her business. This individual’s influence and leadership have made a lasting impact. She is considered instrumental to propelling her industry forward and creating opportunities for other women.”

Reinhardt, who also serves as CEO and president of the architectural metal coatings company Verta, is one of a handful of female CEOs in her industries.

She is actively involved in industry associations, including the Air Movement and Control Association, an international nonprofit organization with a global reach. She served eight years on the board of the organization, including as president and chairman in 2006-7. She remains the only woman to have done so in the organization’s 100-year history.

In 2014, Reinhardt received the Gold Eclipse Award from the National Women Business Owners Corporation for outstanding company culture in the manufacturing category. Minnesota Business presented Reinhardt with the bronze award for Manufacturing Executive of the Year in the same year. Her company has been included on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s top 25 Women Owned Business List for four consecutive years.

Reinhardt led ILI to becoming the first U.S. manufacturer to be awarded the International Living Future Institute’s Just Label, a social equity certification label.

Reinhardt serves on the Board of Directors for Precision Air Products Company, and is the chief managing partner for three business partnerships.

She and her husband of 43 years, Keith, have two children and six grandchildren and one grand dog. Her interests include playing golf, tennis, running, biking and travel.

Reinhardt will receive the award Tuesday, Oct. 23, just two days before the 30th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan signing into law legislation known as HR 5050, or Women’s Business Ownership Act.

School website targeted by anti-Israel hacker

DELANO, MN — Visitors to the Delano Public Schools website Sunday morning discovered that it had been hacked.

Instead of the homepage, there was an expletive directed at President Donald Trump accompanied by the message “Jerusalem Belong to Palestine.” Hacker Giant’s-PS (AG7) took credit for the hacking and message.

According to a message the district sent to parents, “Delano Public Schools was notified this morning that the home page of its website had been hacked. The district worked with its website provider to correct the problem as quickly as possible, and the home page was restored in roughly an hour’s time.”

The message went on to say, “No personal information on Skyward Family Access or Skyward Employee Access, which is maintained on a separate website, was compromised. The district is continuing to monitor the situation along with its website provider.”

TOOL TIME: Taking over as Delano activities director brings Tool full circle

Ryan Tool is a Delano Tiger, again. The 1993 Delano High School graduate returned to the school in July to serve as the activities director at Delano, where he once starred for the Tigers in football, basketball, and baseball.

Ryan Tool is a Delano Tiger, again. The 1993 Delano High School graduate returned to the school in July to serve as the activities director at Delano, where he once starred for the Tigers in football, basketball, and baseball.

DELANO, MN — Welcome home.

It’s been 25 years, but Ryan Tool is finally back at the place he first made his name known on the athletic fields.

Tool stepped in as Delano’s new activities director July 1, and, in doing so, completed a circle of his journey in education, as Delano is where he excelled as an athlete through his graduation year of 1993.

“It’s good to be back home,” Tool said from his office, which comes with a view of the high school’s main entrance. “I’m excited. It’s great to be a Tiger, again. I can’t wait to see games, and to see the kids perform.

“You spend a lot of time organizing things from behind the scenes and make sure things are in place, now we want to see those kids out oN the field.”

Those games already began on Tool’s watch, as the tennis, soccer and volleyball teams have already participated in their first competitions.

Tool comes to Delano after working as a councilor and basketball coach at Dassel-Cokato for the past eight years.

Between his graduation from Delano and his stint at Dassel-Cokato, Tool received his undergraduate degree in education — with a coaching emphasis and a psychology minor — from University of Minnesota-Morris; worked his first teaching job as a fourth-grade teacher and coach at Tracy; got married; attended graduate school at South Dakota State, where his wife, Anna, was a graduate assistant for the volleyball team; and followed Anna’s collegiate coaching career to North Carolina State, Virginia Wesleyan and Northwest Missouri State, working as a councilor at area schools during each stopover.

“A lot of moving around,” he said.

That moving around ultimately led him back to Minnesota.

“She got out of coaching and we thought, ‘let’s get back to Minnesota,’” Tool explained. “There was a position open at DC, and it was close to home, so we came back here, and that’s where I was for the last eight years.”

Finally finding his way back to Delano, where the family just purchased a home this summer, was a piece of the puzzle that sort of fell into place. Tool didn’t know his return would be in the activities office.

“I guess I wouldn’t have said 10 years ago that this is what I would be doing, but, when I came back to Minnesota, I said I would get my licensure, so, when I did that, this opportunity came up at Delano,” he explained. “I’ve always coached and my family has always been very involved in activities, so I thought this is something I would enjoy doing.”

Ryan and Anna Tool have three children, two of school-age.

This fall, son Carter is a sophomore wide receiver on the football teams, and daughter Taylor will play on the seventh-grade volleyball team. The youngest of the Tool kids, Samantha, is 2 years old.

As for Tool being back home with his family, some things have remained the same and others have changed drastically.

“The town feels very familiar and I have a lot of connections here, but the school feels very new,” Tool said. “Things have changed a lot, and the staff has changed a lot. It’s exciting.”

Getting to know his new coworkers, as well as everything else that comes with the activities director job has taken up a large portion of Tool’s first two months on the job.

“I tried to put in a bunch of time in July just to get up to speed on how everything works. Right now, everything is 100 miles-per-hour, and I am trying to keep up,” he said. “Getting to know people, trying to build relationships, and just figuring out who takes care of what. There is still a lot of things with schedules and what teams need, and we are still trying to finish construction projects. Different courts and different locker rooms.”

The job demands time.

“Obviously, there are a lot of demands,” he said. “You have to put in a lot of time — a lot of nights and weekends and all that kind of stuff — but those are the things I want to be a part of anyway.”

Making Tool’s transition easier, yet challenging at the same time, is the healthy conditions left by his predecessor, Mike Lindquist.

“Big shoes to fill. He had a tremendous work ethic. He was here early and stayed late. He put in a lot of time, and was involved with many different things, above and beyond what a typical AD would do — with the construction and parking and everything else happening,” Tool said of Lindquist, who served as the school’s AD for the last eight years. “It is a challenge to keep everything at that standard, and to make sure everyone is taken care of. Still, I want to make it my own and look for ways to improve it.”

Return to good health

In returning to Delano as an administrator, Tool is following the path to Delano his father, Jim Tool, laid for his family back in 1982. That’s when the Tool family moved to Delano, where Jim would serve as the district’s superintendent until the year 2000.

“I got involved in a lot of different things. I grew up playing baseball and basketball and football,” Tool said. “It was a good experience.”

An experience made better by his three varsity coaches.

“When I was here, Merrill Pavlovich, Jerry Litfin, and Dick Traen were the coaches I had. They are all Minnesota hall-of-fame coaches, and I feel fortunate for that, of having some really solid people who knew their sports well,” Tool said.

Seen here in a basketball team photo from the 1992-93 season, Ryan Tool was a key contributor in helping this team become the first in Delano history to play in the state tournament. Tool inherits an activities program that just saw the boys basketball team win the state title.

Seen here in a basketball team photo from the 1992-93 season, Ryan Tool was a key contributor in helping this team become the first in Delano history to play in the state tournament. Tool inherits an activities program that just saw the boys basketball team win the state title.

Tool was a first baseman and a pitcher for Traen on the baseball diamond, a post player for Litfin on the basketball court, and a tight end and linebacker for Pavlovich, who will coach Tool’s son this fall on the football field. With Tool, who was an all-conference performer in all three sports, on the rosters, all three teams were successful. The 1990 football team made it to the state semifinals, and the 1992-93 basketball team made it to the state tournament for the first time in the program’s history.

“Ryan is a great kid, and a very hard-worker. He was always coachable and respectful to both his teammates and coaches,” said Litfin. “He is not a very big guy, but always drew the opposing team’s post player, and we knew he would do a great job. Regardless of the sports — I had him in baseball, too — you always knew he would give everything he had to get the job done.”

Litfin commends Tool for maturity, while performing at a high level.

“It’s not always easy to be the son or daughter of a coach or school administrator, and Ryan handles it with the usual poise and maturity we all had grown to expect,” the coach said. “Delano is getting the same person — a hardworking, respectful, striving-for-excellence AD that we knew and enjoyed as a student athlete.”

Tool inherits an activities program that has experienced great success, as well, with the boys basketball team coming off a state championship, and several other teams coming off highly-successful campaigns during the 2017-18 school year.

“We’ve always had kids who are successful in school, and that’s part of it, because they are involved in activities and they are committed to everything,” said Tool.

Tool is heading a department that includes 30 activities listed on the school’s Minnesota State High School Association web page and several more that are not listed. The activities department at Delano is healthy, he notes.

“Delano has grown tremendously in the last few years. We are adding facilities, but we have also added programs — tennis and lacrosse and trapshooting. A lot of things are becoming available, which is great, because we want kids to be involved. We want them to have opportunities to explore different things,” he said. “I was just looking at something that said about 85 percent of the kids in Delano are in a school activity.

“I have a good respect for Delano and all the opportunities it provides, and that kids are able to do many different things.”

Deringer, Kaczmarek to vie for sheriff in November

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – In a five-candidate race to determine whose names will be on the Nov. 6 ballot for Wright County sheriff, Sean Deringer and Mike Kaczmarek emerged from the crowd.

Of the 17,385 votes cast, Deringer received 5,543 (31.88 percent), while Kaczmarek received 5,032 (28.94 percent), followed by Drew Scherber with 3,155 votes (18.15 percent), Stacy Braun with 2,471 votes (14.21 percent), and Chad Torkelson with 1,184 votes (6.81 percent).

Deringer was the top vote getter in 19 of 43 precincts, garnering 858 votes in Buffalo, 372 in Monticello, and 272 in Maple Lake, where he resides.

Kaczmarek was the favorite in local precincts, receiving 423 votes in Delano, 271 votes in Franklin Township, 187 votes in Rockford Township, 174 votes in Marysville Township, 171 votes in Montrose, and 143 votes in Woodland Township.

Scherber, of St. Michael, was the top vote getter there, with 823 votes, and also carried Albertville with 224 votes.

Braun was also popular on his home turf, receiving 465 votes in Otsego.

In the US House District 6 race, Delano’s Tom Emmer, a Republican, received 34,251 votes (76.58 percent) to AJ Kern’s 7,897 votes (17.66 percent) and Patrick Munro’s 2,575 votes (5.76 percent). Emmer won all local precincts and will face Democrat Ian Todd.

Voters in Delano, Franklin Township, Marysville Township, and Rockford Township followed statewide trends in selecting Jim Newberger and Karin Housley as Republican US Senate candidates, incumbents Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith as Democratic-Farmer-Labor US Senate candidates, Jeff Johnson and Donna Bergstrom as Republican governor and lieutenant governor candidates, Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan as DFL governor and lieutenant governor candidates, Doug Wardlow as the Republican attorney general candidate, and Keith Ellison as the DFL attorney general candidate.

Voters in Montrose and Woodland Township followed suit except that Lori Swanson and Rick Nolan received more votes for DFL governor and lieutenant governor in Montrose, and tied Walz and Flanagan in Woodland Township.