Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Lester “Tom” Waling


Lester “Tom” Waling, of rural Grygla, MN, passed away under the care of Hospice at Minnesota Greenleaf Assisted Living in Thief River Falls, MN, on Monday, February 8th, 2016, at the age of 84.

 Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, February 11th, 2016 at Grace Lutheran Church in Grygla, MN, with Rev. Vicki Saude-Worthington officiating. Interment will follow at Valle Cemetery, Benville Township, Beltrami County, MN.

 Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 PM with a prayer service at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, MN, and also one hour prior to the funeral service at church on Thursday.

 Lester “Tom” Waling was born on July 2, 1931 in Kent, Indiana, the son of Lester and Vera (Standish) Waling.  Tom’s childhood was spent in Indiana, Minnesota, and Illinois where he met Evelyn Uhlig. 

 Tom and Evelyn were united in marriage in October of 1949.  The couple raised their six children in Illinois and Minnesota.  They settled in the Fourtown area in 1961where they started farming.  In 1965 the family moved to the Grygla area where they dairy farmed until 1985.  Tom and Evelyn then moved to Alden, Illinois where he worked as the Township Commissioner until 1993.  Upon retirement he moved back to Grygla.  Tom had many other occupations through the years and did volunteer work including the Foster Grandparent Program at the Grygla School and driving for Marshall County Social Services.

 Tom’s interests and hobbies included fishing, hunting, watching the Vikings and the Timberwolves, watching the grandchildren’s sporting events, and attending senior meals and morning coffee at the café in Grygla.  Tom had a heart for helping those recovering from addictions.  He spoke once a month at Glenmore Recovery Centers, attended AA meetings faithfully, helped other addicts by driving them to meetings, and started an AA group in Grygla for a while.

 Tom “Grandpa Tom” will be missed by all of his family and friends.

 Tom is survived by his special friend, Myrna Lane of Thief River Falls, MN; children, Patty (Wayne) Cox of Badger, MN, Dan (Renee) Waling of Pinewood, MN, Ron (Evie) Waling of Grygla, MN, Tina (Jim) Watterson of Cambridge City, IN, Sally (Bill) Helland of Ferndale, WA, Marcy (Ted) Mears of St. Cloud, MN; 15 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; sisters, Arlene “Susie” Wiersma and Marilyn “Happy” Blank, both of Harvard, IL; brother-in-law, Harold Myers of Roscoe, IL; many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

 He is preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn; infant grandsons; brothers, John and Pete; sisters, Elizabeth Ihrke and June Myers.

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Administrator Candidates to be Considered Saturday


17 applications will be before the Thief River Falls City Council when they meet Saturday to consider candidates for the job of City Administrator.

The Council began advertising shortly after the departure of Larry Kruse in December, deciding to take on the task without the help of a head hunter or search firm. The deadline for applications closed Friday.

Human Resource Specialist, LeAnn Engelstad will sit down with the council, along with City Attorney DelRay Sparby, to guide the process which will include a full review of each application and the potential selection of finalists based on minimum qualifications and job description.

By law, applicant information is confidential until finalists are named. Final candidates will be made public, with interviews scheduled. In earlier discussion, Aldermen and Mayor Brian Holmer indicated the interview process would also include time with city staff as well as community leaders.

Saturday’s Council Session is an open meeting, beginning at 10am at City Hall, the Historic Soo Line Depot.

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Evidence Ruled Not Admissible in Homicide Case


Not admissible in court.

That was the ruling late last week that led to an amended complaint Monday, in the case of a Thief River Falls man, accused of killing his friend and room-mate, allegedly the result of a deadly game of “chicken.”

Scott Srnsky, 41, this week pleaded not guilty to an amended charge of Criminal Vehicular Homicide, after District Judge Kurt Marbin ruled blood samples taken without a warrant were ordered without probable cause and will not be admissible as evidence as the case goes forward to trial.

According to investigators, those blood samples showed Srnsky was high on illicit methamphetamine when he crossed the center line, allegedly deliberately crashing his vehicle into an on-coming pick-up driven by Jacob Kasprowicz, 29, of Warren.  Kasprowicz died at the scene of the fiery crash, Srnsky was seriously injured, the blood sample taken at Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls in the moments before Srnsky was transferred for treatment. Also suppressed, Srnsky’s medical records, which investigators gained with a signed search warrant. Judge Marben ruled those records are, by law, private and unavailable without Srnsky’s consent.

Judge Marben will allow into evidence body camera video recordings, taken by Grand Forks Police as Srnsky was pulled over in the weeks that followed the accident. On the recording officers ask Srnsky why he is driving in a cast, and Srnsky reply’s he was “playing chicken with a friend, and the friend died.”

A contested omnibus hearing, to consider evidence in light of amended charges, has been scheduled early next month. Srnsky remains in custody pending $100,000 bond.

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TRF Superintendent Considered for Brainerd Schools


Thief River Falls Superintendent of Schools, Laine Larson, is one of six candidates named as finalists for Superintendent of Schools in Brainerd.

The list was released Monday night with interviews planned this Thursday and Friday. Also on the short list, East Grand Forks Superintendent David Pace, Gibbon/Fairfax/Winthrop Superintendent Tami Martin, Deborah Olson, Superintendent in Clinton, Iowa, Pine Island Superintendent Tamara Berg-Beniak and Tim Mitchell, Superintendent of Schools in Rapid City, South Dakota.

The 6 were chosen from 23 applications received by the Brainerd School District. Larson will be part of a series of one hour interviews this week with up to three finalists expected to be named Friday.

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Water Officials to City Council – We’re no Flint, Michigan


We’re no Flint, Michigan…

The comment from Thief River Falls Water Superintendent, Wayne Johnson, who assured the Thief River Falls City Council this month residents can have confidence in the source and safety of their city drinking water.

Children in the city of Flint, Michigan, have tested positive for lead poisoning, after the city switched to river water as a source of supply last year. Johnson says the problem is not the water, but lead lining in underground water pipes that corroded and contaminated Flint drinking water.

Although Johnson says he can guarantee the safety of the City Water system, he says it would not hurt for families with a pre-1980′s home to take precautions.

The concern includes lead solder in copper systems. Johnson says running water flushes any contamination, refreshing the plumbing with safe water direct from the city water treatment plant.

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Local Sports Podcast, Tuesday, February 9, 2016


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Local News Podcast, Tuesday, February 9, 2016


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