Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children.
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WILLMAR -- Former touring pro Aaron Barber brought out the best in most everyone at the 80th Lakeland -- including himself. The New London native fired a nine-under 207 for 54 holes to win by two strokes on Sunday at Eagle Creek. Three-time champion Andy Jacobson, Chase Thonvold and Rick Frieburg all finished at 209. Barber, 37, stood three-under and tied for fifth after 27 holes on Saturday.
WILLMAR -- Carl Gladitsch repeated and Katie Eggers moved up from third a year ago as each claimed a victory at the 16th annual Foot Lake 4 on Saturday morning. Each won a check for $100. Last year Gladitsch received a carved Canadian goose, a special prize discontinued and replaced with cash. "Yeah, that's got a place on the mantel," said the 23-year-old Bloomer, Wis., native, said of the artwork by Phil Scheevel. The men's race was a triumph for the Bethel University Royals. Gladitsch, a 2009 graduate, led former cross-country and track teammate Austin Hinrich, 21, of Clara City and Br
WILLMAR -- So, you want to race without draining the bank account? Think Hornets. The front-wheel drive racers can be snagged for as little as a couple hundred bucks. After that, buy a racing helmet, install a roll bar and hit the track. The newest class at KRA Speedway has been a hit. Numbers are growing. Thursday night there were 16 entries for the feature (no heats yet in this division). Mike Lungstrom and his son Sam, 15, went on Craigslist and found a bright-red Dodge Neon for $240.
One of Bryan Thiery's last chores as an activities director at the YMCA was to supervise the Law Day/Memorial 5k at Robbins Island. "I'm going to miss the people the most," he said this week. "It's not too often you have a job where you get to work and feel like it's home." After seven years with the local YMCA, Thiery, 35, has moved to St. Michael and bought a house. "I wanted to be closer to my girlfriend (Angie Behrens)," he explained.
WILLMAR -- Like many men in the stock car pits, cars are both a vocation and an avocation. Don Barber buys wrecked cars by day and tries not to wreck at night. He's a regular at the KRA Speedway where he and Ryan Buer of Atwater were tied for first in Street Stock points going into Thursday's round of races. Don and his son, Nate, a Midwest Modified racer, are pitted on either side of Modified giant Craig "Christy" Christiansen. They're all part of the New London "Racing Mafia," competitors and friends, most making a living related to the piston engine. Don owns Don's Auto on State Highwa
Jason Mayer, the new leader of the girls hockey program at Willmar High School, knows well the players he's inherited. The Wadena native has coached in the hockey association's girls youth program for eight years. He has been hired to coach the girls varsity program that was under Chad Akerson and then interim coach Lee Wierschem in 2009-10. He's a non-school employee who came to Willmar in 1998 and has worked at Rice Hospital for 11 years. The past 2½ years he has been director of Laboratory Services at Rice. "I'm very excited," he said.