Looking glass closed

Sign on The Looking Glass in downtown Osceola, which closed until further notice in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

January 

Students and staff discuss the creation of the Osceola High School Mock Trial team. The team consists of 14 students currently and is coached by Becky Styles and John Gearin. “It’s been a very fun and exciting experience for me to work with these students and help them learn the law,” said Gearin. “They’ve been working so hard.” 

Also in January 

The Dresser Public Library was renamed the Geraldine E. Anderson Village Library in honor of Anderson, who died in January 2019. 

Osceola Village residents were in for a shock when upon opening their 2019 tax statements they saw a double-digit increase. Village Administrator Benjamin Krumenauer said a big reason for the increase was due to payment for the Discovery Center. 

 

February 

Cale Kirby, a 2000 Osceola High School graduate, was part of the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, as he is in his sixth year as assistant equipment manager. 

Also in February 

The Osceola School District held its first community information meeting regarding the April 7 referendum. One of the questions dealt with projects at the intermediate, high school and middle school buildings. 

Pennies for Patients celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Osceola Elementary School with a performance by the High School band, and presentations to show children the value of helping cancer survivors with their pennies. 

 

March

Local business along with the Osceola Medical Center brace for the impact of COVID-19. 

Also in March  

Sean Rogers was awarded a Herb Kohl Excellence Scholarship. He was one of 193 seniors chosen. Tyler Dye received the Herb Kohl Initiative Scholarship, which is given to 100 seniors throughout the state. 

The Osceola School District prepared for the statewide shutdown of schools due to COVID-19. One of the first area cases occurred in Osceola when an individual tested positive at the Destination Imagination event March 7. 

 

April 

Kevin Carlson reflects on a 35-year teaching career of drama and English at Osceola High School. Carlson graduated from Osceola High School in 1977. “Part of the reason I wanted to be a teacher was I had a really excellent experience at Osceola,” he said. “The faculty in the 1970s were extremely supportive and I wanted to duplicate that for students.”

Also in April 

Pastor Peter Rimmereid talks about offering drive-in services at Bethesda Lutheran Church. “I knew a lot of our folks are older,” he said. “I just knew (streaming) would be a struggle.”

The community organization, “Covered with Care,” has started making masks for health care workers and other essential employees in late March and has now donated over 5,000 masks to those who need them most. 

May 

Osceola High School held a senior parade to celebrate what would have been the class of 2020s graduation weekend. The ceremony was put on hold due to COVID-19. The class of 2020 drove through downtown Osceola as onlookers cheered the soon-to-be graduates. 

 Also in May 

Osceola High School seniors Paige Dvorak, Connor Eid and Makalya Quigley reflect on a senior year like no other. “It has been hard,” Eid said. “I’ve been making lots of art at home because that’s what I like to do. But, after a certain point, I need to see somebody and have that interpersonal connn

Downtown Osceola businesses have chosen to remain closed despite criticism of Gov. Tony Evers’ safer-at-home order by county officials. 

 

June 

Bill Patten reflects on his time as a World War II Air Corps veteran. He turned 102 years old recently. He flew 34 combat missions into Italy and Germany in 1944-45. 

Also in June 

Uncertainty reigns among the Osceola Braves board members about whether or not a season will be held due to COVID-19. 

The Osceola Farmers Market will open June 12 and be held in the parking lot of the Osceola United Methodist Church. Changes are taking place to make sure customers are kept safe while shopping during COVID-19. 

 

July 

The Osceola High School Class of 2020 finally got its commencement program July 16 at Robert Vesperman Field in front of staff and family members. 

Also in July 

A head-on collision on Highway 35, north of 90th Avenue, in the town of Osceola claimed the lives of Scott L. Brust, 58 and Lisa M. Swanson, 53; both of Cushing. 

The Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway announced it’s canceling operations for the remainder of 2020 due to COVID-19. 

 

August

The Osceola Trap team had a great run at the National Scholastic Clay Target Championships held last month. Nick Nissen finished fourth in singles for junior varsity, while Lance Wallis finished ninth for Wisconsin shooters in singles. 

Also in August

Osceola Fire and Rescue were proud to show off their new fire truck, which replaced an older engine built in 1972. 

North40 Mine Owner Pete Olson described why they pursued expansion. He said within five years, the original mine would have been mined over, so they told Farmington and Osceola boards, they wanted to expand. 

 

September

Four Osceola firefighters made the same climb first responders made Sept. 11, 2001, as a way to remember those who gave their lives. Jared Cutts, Jeff Stanton, Tanner Olchefske and Joey Cutts climbed the 110 flights of stairs. 

Also in September 

Osceola’s Allison Fogelberg was announced as a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. 

The Osceola School Board approved keeping the Chieftain nickname and logo for the foreseeable future after considerable debate and discussion. “I’m proud of the logo,” said member Pete Kammerud.

 

October

Polk County Sheriff’s Department announced Andrew Endres, 32, Randolph, Minn., was charged with two counts of hit and run involving death, which took the lives of Ben Juarez and Rick Cobenais back in January 2014. 

Also in October

Eight were arrested and charged in a drug bust in Osceola. The individuals ranged in age from 25 to 46. Officers with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, Osceola Police Department and the St. Croix Valley Drug Task Force arrested them. 

The Village of Osceola submitted and received a 2020 COPS federal grant, which will go toward funding for a new police officer, which has been on the wish list for village officials for a long time. 

 

November 

In lieu of the traditional Veterans’ Day ceremony, staff and students at Osceola Elementary came up with a different way of saying thanks to area veterans. Teeshan Harrington and Michael Graff, husbands of elementary staff members, received cards of thanks, crafts and movies from students. 

Also in November 

Rep. Rob Stafsholt defeated incumbent Patty Schachtner for the District 10 State Senate seat. Other local incumbents – Gae Magnafici and Tom Tiffany – were easily reelected. 

After starting the year in-person, the Osceola School Board announced they had to go remote learning for grades 5-12 for two weeks. Superintendent Mark Luebker announced the tipping point came when the District received new of two more cases at the high school and intermediate school on top of the seven throughout the District since Oct. 31. 

 

December

Jim Kirvida told the story of receiving the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. The award honors those who have exhibited 50 years of professionalism, skill and aviation expertise. 

Also in December 

The Osceola Village Board approved the sale of the old library building to Cedar Bend Church. Cedar Bend Church then agreed to sell the green space to Hauge Dental, who plan to expand its building into that space. 

Osceola High School junior Emma Fehlen won a $1,000 scholarship from the American Quarter Horse Association as she placed fourth out of 44 nationally in the Young Horse Development program. 

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