Jayme Closs escapes
After being kidnapped in October of 2018 by Jake Patterson, Jayme Closs of Barron escaped her captor and was found January 10. Patterson has since been sentenced to life imprisonment after murdering Closs’ parents and keeping her hostage for three months.
Also in January
• ATV routes OK’d for downtown Osceola by Village Board
• Osceola Firefighters Ball sixth year
Frigid Polar Vortex
30-below-zero temperatures ripped through Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois cancelling school days, closing businesses and even suspending The United States Postal Service. The Red Cross was in need of blood after 370 blood drives were cancelled due to the frigid temps.
Also in February
• Osceola Snow sculpting team wins St. Paul Winter Carnival contest
• Polk County Rescinds proposed trail plans for Stower Seven Lakes and Cattail trails
Cedar Bend Church comes to Osceola
After two decades, Cedar Bend Church officially announced its plans to start in Osceola. The church was named after the St. Croix River’s Cedar Bend – a significant landmark since the European settlement. The church held it’s first service September 15.
Also in March
• High water conditions led to flooding problems in the Town of Osceola
• Polk County Administrator Jeffrey Fuge was given a fond farewell and returned to private law practice.
Jeromy Buberl set for Village President
Village of Osceola accepted incoming president Jeromy Buberl beginning in April 16. Buberl received 487 votes and went unchallenged after outgoing president Gary Beckmann did not seek candidacy in 2019.
Also in April
• Osceola Intermediate School’s Destination Imagination team wins State competition.
• Osceola residents shoot down school district’s levy request.
Bridge replacement planned for 2025
Departments of Transportation in Minnesota and Wisconsin set their sights on replacing the Osceola bridge in 2025. At that time, the bridge will be 70 years old and is currently showing signs of deterioration that cannot be repaired on the surface level.
Also in May
• Discovery Center named Best New Building at Wisconsin Main Street Awards
• Bending Branches awarded Manufacturer of the year
The Osceola Outlaw
Then 14-year-old Gavin Olson of Osceola aspires to be a racecar driver in NASCAR. In June he had just graduated to his first full-size race car and received official racing licenses from NASCAR and WISSOTA already competing against adults at the Cedar Lake Speedway under the name, “The Osceola Outlaw.”
Also in June
• Village of Osceola welcomes Shelby Friendshuh as Library Director
• Crystal Ball Farms starts to regroup after devastating fire
Village of Osceola chooses new administrator
The Village of Osceola reviewed interviews from four candidates before choosing Benjamin Krumenauer as their new village administrator. He was officially appointed July 9. Village President Jeromy Buberl said, “We had multiple good candidates, but I think he’s a really good fit for Osceola.”
Also in July
• Frac sand mining at the limestone quarry and gravel pit in Farmington caused division among residents at the July 1 town meeting.
• New library name Willberg Memorial Library honors the Willberg family in Osceola.
‘Somebody out there knows something’
The Polk County Sherriff’ Office revisited the case of Rose Marie Bly of St. Croix Falls at an August 23 press conference. Bly disappeared in August of 2009 marking 10 years since her disappearance. Sheriff Brent Waak said, “I don’t really like the name cold case as I think it implies we have pushed it off to the side and as law enforcement, we never give up, we never quit searching for answers.”
Also in August
• Osceola Police department request village leaders to create ordinance banning vaping devices for those under 18 years of age.
• Willberg Memorial Library launches Discovery Center Gaming Project and Tech Help programs.
Murals in Osceola
Osceola High School Graduates Skye Federation and Justin Vorndran initiated a project to bring four locally themed murals to the Village of Osceola. The four murals painted were of Cascade Falls, airplanes from Wheels & Wings, The Osceola bridge, and the Osceola Depot and can be seen on the side of Adoray’s Treasures from the heart.
Also in September
• Osceola Fair celebrates 95 years
Farmington puts a freeze on frac sand mines
Plans to redesign Osceola landing announced
Julie Galonska, Superintendent of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, brought plans to the Village of Osceola board for an overhaul of Osceola Landing October 8. This plan would help to reduce flooding issues, address the large volume of traffic from paddlers, boaters and recreationalists and make the landing safer for all use.
Also in October
• Secretary of Tourism, Sara Meaney, took a tour of Osceola during her visit to Polk County
• Town of Osceola votes to move to five-member board in 2021
Stafsholt announces Candidacy
Rep. Rob Stafsholt visited Core Products in Osceola to announce his senate candidacy in Wisconsin’s 10th district November 20. His announcement makes him the second Republican to announce a senate campaign following Cheri Link who announced her running in August.
Also in November
The St. Croix River was added to a list of impaired waterways by the Pollution Control Agency’s Minnesota Against Pollution Control.
Village of Osceola hears more about the incoming Kwik Trip.
Military moms send the holidays to troops
Military moms, Debra Minnick and Jill Steel, both have sons in the local Bravo Company 1-128 IN BN soldiers who were deployed to Afghanistan until summer of 2020. Working together with their community and had 60 donors supply enough materials for holiday care packages for all of Bravo Company.
Also in December
• Village of Osceola welcomes new clerk, Fran Duncanson
• Light Up Osceola