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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COLFAX TOWNSHIP -- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Jim Steffen is looking for the person who shot and killed a trumpeter swan in the northern part of Kandiyohi County. The carcass of the protected species was found along a secluded gravel road near a large slough. Steffen said today that he estimates the bird was killed about 10 days ago. The trumpeter was hunted to extinction in Minnesota for its feathers and meat.
WILLMAR, Minn. The Ridgewater College women's volleyball team (28-3) will play in the NJCAA DIII National Tournament a seventh straight year. The 2006 and 2010 national champions claimed the Region 13A title on Saturday afternoon on their home court. The Lady Warriors outhit the Rochester Yellowjackets 25-12, 23-25, 25-9 and 25-18. The No. rated Lady Warriors play for the national title Nov. 11-12 at Rochester, Minn.
Karen Corneil's road back from a brain aneurysm on Aug. 24 has been described as a marathon, not a sprint. Whichever, her pace is steady and sure. Her husband, Tom, told me this week, "We've had so much support and prayers, it's sustained both Karen and myself. We're so thankful for her recovery." She is at home. A caregiver shares her day when Tom is at the office (Corneil-Elkjer Agency). Her speech has returned.
NORTH MANKATO -- Like the name implies, a shootout is dramatic, swift and cruel. One of Willmar soccer's most successful seasons, ever, ended in a Shootout Thursday, the sun setting on the western horizon and the Cardinals' season simultaneously at the Dakota Meadows pitch. After 100 minutes of riveting, crisply-played soccer, Mankato West beat Willmar in the best-of-5 Shootout 4-2. That translates into a 1-0 victory and the Section 2A championship and a visit to the Class A quarterfinal round. "That was a game neither team deserved to lose," said Willmar head coach Jeff Winter. Neither t
This week, Notebook visits with Lindsay Freeland. She's a new mother (baby Clara is going on 8 months) and works for Touching Hearts at Home in hiring and training caregivers.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals have a score to settle within their species. A year ago this week, the underdog Fairmont Cardinals winged up to Kandiyohi County, beat the favored home-town Cardinals in their own nest 3-2 and then soared home. This time the Willmar birds are the lower seed (No. 5) and will migrate south to Martin County to play the No. 1 Fairmont birds in the Section 2A boys soccer semifinal round. Fairmont is 16-1 and is rates first in the 15-team pod according to the Minnesota-Scores.net's cold-blooded QRF rankings.
Rochester College tackle Kevin Jones drops Ridgewater running back Tyrell Martin for a 1-yard loss in the second quarter at Hodapp Field in Willmar, Minn. on Saturday on the way to the undefeated Yellow Jackets' eighth win by a 27-7 score. The Warriors (5-3) can still qualify for the MCAC playoffs by winning at Brainerd against Central Lakes College on Saturday. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton
Ridgewater College football coach Rob Baumgarn drove to New Hope early in 2010 pursuing a 270-pound tackle. The big lineman ended up elsewhere on scholarship, but the Warriors coach didn't return home empty handed. So far, he's reaped six players from that visit. Four will start on Saturday against undefeated Rochester, a 1:30 game at Hodapp Field. The Hawks coach, John Biezuns, now at Southwest, suggested Baumgarn meet with several players who might be interested in a two-year college. Some didn't have the grades to get into a four-year school.
If you haven't caught a Lady Warriors match at the college, there's another chance at 1 p.m. Saturday when they host Rochester, the second-place team in the division. After winning at St. Cloud Tech College on Monday, the Lady Warriors are 9-0 in the MCAC South and 19-2 overall. Last night they were at Anoka-Ramsey in Coon Rapids. The team played 20 matches in 34 days through the end of September. "My concern going into (the season) was that we wouldn't have enough practice time to get back in the gym to work on areas we need to improve upon," said head coach Joe Sussenguth.
First, that name. How do you pronounce Xiaodan Yu, the senior who plays No. 1 singles for the Cardinals? I asked her. I believe this is close: try Shaow-DAN You. She's 17-years old. She was born in Hangzhou, China, a large city on the East China Sea not far from Shanghai. She has lived in the U.S. since age 3½. She speaks flawless English with no accent.