Star News The Star News covers community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for Elk River, Otsego, Rogers and Zimmerman, Minnesota and their surrounding areas. Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:50:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cross country: Spectrum girls 5th, boys 12th in 24-team section Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:50:49 +0000 The Spectrum cross country teams “showed great effort,” said coach Rick Peterson, at the Section 5A meet as the girls finished fifth and the boys 12th among 24 teams at Stone’s Throw Golf Club in Milaca.

Annandale was girls champion and Mora was boys champion.

Leading the Sting girls was freshman Elizabeth Hackbarth in 16th place with 16:16 followed by junior Noelle Diekman (20th, 16:24), senior Brittney Waterhouse (23rd, 16:33), junior Marissa Kuik (41st, 17:20), and sophomore Brenna Waterhouse (46th, 17:24).

The top boy runner for Spectrum was freshman Zack Anderson in 24th in 17:41 followed by freshman Nevin Sagstetter (44th, 18:28), freshman Ben Harvey (62nd, 19:04), eighth-grader Camden Sharp (71st, 19:19), and sophomore Joel Zimmerman (83rd, 19:45).

“Both our girls and boys gave it their best and a coach could not ask for more”, said Peterson. “Each of our runners improved since the Milaca Mega Meet that was held on the same course.  Our girls team remains among the top teams in the section and our boys are young with tremendous potential to become a top section team.  It was our strongest effort of the season as a team.”

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Trendy & Thrifty Halloween Costumes Start at Goodwill Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:30:46 +0000 Download coupon for 50% off one item
– then head to your favorite Goodwill store and brew up an awesome costume for less.


By Sarah Carlson
Editor, Real Housewives of Minnesota

Every year, I tell myself that I’m going to top last year’s Halloween costumes. I aim to be craftier, trendier – and most importantly, thriftier. For all the above, the easy solution is Goodwill. I find some awesome costumes there year after year, without breaking the bank. But what kinds of things will I be on the lookout for this year? I did a little research and then headed to my local Goodwill to work my magic. Here’s what you need to know.


More Halloween Parties This Year

Halloween is on Friday this year. So, you can definitely expect to be invited to more Halloween parties, which also means you’ll be costume hunting for adults! It’s best to think ahead about costume ideas, because you don’t want to wait until the last minute and end up dressing as a zombie bride, again…

Costume and Party Trends

What’s is on trend this year? Glad you asked! Experts say this is the year for masquerades, which you can easily prepare for with masks, beautiful gowns, and stunning updos. Also expect to see lots of characters from Frozen, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Game of Thrones and other popular movies and TV shows. Don’t forget superheroes: Captain America, Iron Man, Superman, Spiderman, Batman – the list goes on and on. Clever, timely costumes like Grumpy Cat and Ice Bucket Challenge are always fresh, too.

When in doubt, a trendy celebrity is always fun and easy to mimic. Just flip through your latest copy of People magazine for some clever ideas, and then go on a thrift hunt for pieces that tie it all together!

Walking through Goodwill, I found several great ideas. We’re talking masks, wigs, face paint, and accessories along with versatile basics like suits, dresses, flannel shirts and solid color separates that work in countless costumes.

I decided on Theresa Caputo from the popular TV show, Long Island Medium. It was easy – I just had to thrift for high heels, tight dress and some long fake fingernails. From there the rest was easy; high hair and a fake tan! Spirits are telling me it’s going to be a hit this Halloween!

Tutorials, Lists & Sweepstakes – Oh My!

If you’re ever short on ideas, or if you need a little extra help, the Goodwill website is a great resource. It has dozens of costume images with shopping lists; makeup tutorials for witch, zombie and vampire faces; and even some fun nail art ideas for fans of the Goodwill  Halloween TV commercial. You can even enter to win a $500 VISA cash card in the annual Goodwill Halloween sweepstakes.

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Cross country: Trapp, Elks ramble to section crowns, head for state Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:52:58 +0000 And they're off! The Elk boys, on the far end of the mass of 16 teams, sprint from the starting line, on the way to first place, at Princeton Golf Club. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

And they’re off! The Elk boys, positioned on the end of the mass of 16 teams, sprinted from the starting line at Princeton Golf Club. They would finish first, with Lucas Trapp (far right) nabbing the individual medal. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Elk River’s bounce-back season in boys cross country has taken them all the way to the state meet, with section team and individual championships on their ledger.

Lucas Trapp won a sprint to the finish line for the gold medal and led the Elk team to the top in Section 7AA on Thursday at Princeton Golf Club. That’s a huge jump from their eighth-place finish last year, which followed a second-place finish and state trip in 2012.

Lucas Trapp pulls ahead of Big Lake's Nathaniel Souther in the final stretch run. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Lucas Trapp pulls ahead of Big Lake’s Nathaniel Souther in the final stretch run. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

“I ran on his tail, that was my plan. The last 800 meters is my strength,” said Trapp, about his duel with Big Lake’s Nathaniel Souther, a few minutes after the finish. “I knew if I kept close I would get him at the end.”

The Elks, with five of the top 25 runners, including Zach Glasgow in eighth place, won with 68 points, while Andover had 91 for the other state team berth Nov. 1 at St. Olaf.

“Our team was pretty set on winning. We didn’t see any reason to think we shouldn’t win,” said Glasgow, the lone senior in the top five. They were encouraged by a fourth-place finish among 14 in a strong conference meet two weeks earlier.

Christian Leonard sprints home with a 16th-place finish, third on the team.

Christian Leonard sprints home with a 16th-place finish, third on the team.

The Elks also had sophomore Christian Leonard in 16th place, junior Bradley Beaver in 18th and junior Tyler Hudson in 25th.

Glasgow, one of two returning regulars (along with Trapp), cited the marked improvement of several younger runners this season for getting the team back to state.

“If you had told me a year ago we’d be where we are today, I would never have believed you.”

Trapp, a returning all-stater (he took 20th at state last year), was determined to earn his first section gold after placing eighth last year and fifth as a freshman. He knew Souther, an acquaintance of his, would be the prime competition.

“I played spring basketball with him, and I’ve run against him the last two sectionals,” said Trapp. “He got me last year and I beat him the year before.”

Trapp hit the chute in 16:21.8 and Souther in 16:22.2. They were going full-throttle through the final stretch. Asked if he used up everything he had, Trapp smiled, “I’ve got a little left for state.”

Glasgow, who felt ill (“probably just allergies”) had to battle for an eighth-place finish in 16:55.

“I felt I did the best I possibly could have,” he said.

Zach Glasgow, not in best health, placed 8th.

Zach Glasgow, not in best health, placed 8th for the Elks. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

The Elks won despite one of their usual top five, Cory Warner, being hampered by back pain and finishing 59th.

Leonard, whose main sport is competitive alpine (downhill) skiing along with his older brother, took up cross country only last fall, and ran half a season on JV before an injury sidelined him. As of this summer, he was undecided whether to return.

But he went on a run with Gabi Jung, a senior on the girls team, in late July, and “she talked me into coming out.” Once he made that decision, Leonard gave it his best effort, chopping two minutes off his personal best and emerging as the team’s No. 3 runner late in the season.

“I like cross country a lot better now,” he smiled.

Zimmerman’s Gagne hobbled

Zimmerman's Connor Gagne ran in visible pain and didn't re-qualify for state.

Zimmerman’s Connor Gagne ran in visible pain and didn’t re-qualify for state.

Connor Gagne, Zimmerman junior who qualified for state last year, finished 50th. Gagne’s knee has been troubling him for several weeks, said coach Mike Back. Gritting his teeth, Gagne stayed in contention for a state trip until the last mile and a half, when his knee started hurting more and he fell back. The Thunder placed 15th among 16 teams.



Team scoring

(1) Elk River 68
(2) Andover 91
(3) Duluth East 96
(4) Chisago Lakes 122
(5) Cloquet 132
(6) ForestLake 139
(7) Cambridge-Isanti 148
(8) Big Lake 178
(9) Hibbing 235
(10) Hermantown 287
(11) Duluth Denfeld 317
(12) St. Francis 338
(13) Grand Rapids 364
(14) North Branch 382
(15) Zimmerman 401
(16) Princeton 453

Top five individuals

(1) Lucas Trapp, Elk River, 16:21.8
(2) Nathaniel Souther, Big Lake, 16:22.2
(3) Isaac Boedigheimer, Cloquet, 16:25.9
(4) Nathan Engstrom, Andover, 16:38.0
(5) Henry Boettcher, Cambridge-Isanti, 16:51.2

Elk River top five

(1) Trapp
(8) Zach Glasgow 16:55.0
(16) Christian Leonard 17:26.9
(18) Bradley Beaver 17:28.6
(25) Tyler Hudson 17:41.4

Zimmerman top five

(50) Connor Gagne 18:27.3
(70) Derek Williams 19:01.9
(82) Jacob Gagne 19:35.8
(89) Aaron Coons 19:55.5
(110) Alex Carnes 23:06.2

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Cross country: Thunder’s Bouley, Elks’ Carr qualify for state; Elk girls 4th at section Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:22:25 +0000 The Elk River girls embarked on the 4,000-meter run at Princeton. They would finish fourth among 15 teams. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

The Elk River girls embarked on the 4,000-meter run at Princeton. They would finish fourth among 15 teams. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Eighth-graders Cheresa Bouley of Zimmerman and Annika Carr of Elk River are headed to the state cross country meet.

Bouley churned to a ninth-place finish (15:31.5) and Carr was right behind in 11th place (15:32.7) in the Section 7AA meet Thursday at Princeton Golf Club.

Carr led the Elks to fourth place among 15 teams, while Bouley led the Thunder to eighth place.

Cheresa Bouley (right) sprints toward the chute. The Thunder 8th-grader placed ninth. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Cheresa Bouley (right) sprints toward the chute. The Thunder 8th-grader placed ninth. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Forest Lake won by a wide margin and had the individual champion in junior Emna Benner, who left the field far behind. Duluth East took second for the other state team berth.

While Bouley advanced, her senior teammate Nikki Jurik, a state qualifier last year, ran hard but fell short.

Elk River's Annika Carr, a step ahead of two Andover runners here, took 11th and qualified for state.

Elk River’s Annika Carr, a step ahead of two Andover runners here, took 11th and qualified for state.

“Cheresa was ready. I’m not surprised by this,” said Thunder coach Mike Back. “She is a very determined girl.”

Jurik finished 20th, and the top 17 advanced, nine from Forest Lake and Duluth East, and the top eight from other teams.

Back said Bouley and Jurik both ran the first half-mile “responsibly,” careful not to start too fast amid the excitement of this race, then continued to run with cool heads and give themselves a chance at the end.

“Nikki was in good position with 800 to go, but just ran out of gas,” said Back.

Carr said she hung back at the start, saving strength for the latter part of the race when she passed a few runners and earned her state trip.

“I didn’t know if I could do it or not, but I made it,” she said.

The Elks also had junior Gracie Scheid in 35th placed, sophomore Maria Brown in 39th, senior Ali Manthey in 40th and seventh-grader Lydia Haack in 43rd.


Thunder standout Nikki Jurik got hugs from teammates after placing 20th in her last prep cross country race.

Thunder standout Nikki Jurik got hugs from teammates after placing 20th in her last prep cross country race.


Team scoring

(1) Forest Lake 31
(2) Duluth East 72
(3) Andover 93
(4) Elk River 165
(5) Grand Rapids 210
(6) Chisago Lakes 218
(7) North Branch 223
(8) Zimmerman 251

Forest Lake's Emma xxx and North Branch's xxxx start to separate from the crowd right away.

Forest Lake’s Emma  Benner and North Branch’s Rhianna Rinke, who finished 1-2, start to separate from the crowd right away.

(9) Cloquet 255
(10) Princeton 258
(11) Hibbing 266
(12) Big Lake 270
(13) St. Francis 311
(14) Cambridge-Isanti 323
(15) Hermantown 376

Top five individuals

(1) Emma Benner, Forest Lake, 14:29.5
(2) Rhianna Rinke, North Branch, 14:52.3
(3) Anja Maijala, Cloquet, 15:21.6
(4) Caroline Schoessow, Forest Lake, 15:25.6
(5) Regan Duffy, Forest Lake, 15:27.1

Elk River top five

(11) Annika Carr 15:32.7
(35) Gracie Scheid 16:41.0
(39) Maria Brown 16:45.4
(40) Ali Manthey 16:46.8
(43) Lydia Haack 16:52.2

Kelsey Forster, Thunder soph, runs the course with ponytail flying.

Kelsey Forster, Thunder soph, runs the course with ponytail flying.

Zimmerman top five

(9) Cheresa Bouley 15:31.5
(20) Nikki Jurik 16:07.8
(57) Summer Peoples 17:22.7
(79) Kelsie Tufto 18:27.9
(92) Kelsey Forster 19:03.1

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Volleyball: Zimmerman ends Spectrum’s best season 3-0 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:10:59 +0000 Dueling at the net were Spectrum's McKayla Hoffarth (19) and Zimmerman's Ilea May (1) and Janessa Ortberg (4) with Kayla Christopherson (7) following the play. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Dueling at the net were Spectrum’s McKayla Hoffarth (19) and Zimmerman’s Ilea May (1) and Janessa Ortberg (4) with Kayla Christopherson (7) following the play. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

A playoff opener between two volleyball teams unlikely to advance past the second round nonetheless had some intrigue on Monday evening.

It was a Spectrum team with an 18-7 record, but mostly against tiny schools, against a Zimmerman team that sputtered to a 5-21 mark, against a much stronger schedule.

Another sub-plot: Spectrum’s three-year history with solo sports programs had not yet produced a playoff win in any sport. This seemed a good chance for Spectrum to get that first playoff win. It marked the first time any Spectrum team had entered a playoff game as a higher seed than its opponent (four vs. five in their half of Section 5AA).

Zimmerman' Amira Samaha (7) got this spike past Meghan Hays for a kill. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Zimmerman’ Amira Samaha (7) got this spike past Meghan Hays for a kill. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

No dice. Zimmerman swept the Thunder 25-18, 25-23, 25-23 at Spectrum’s gym in Elk River. The Spectrum student gallery and parents gave their squad a nice standing ovation at the end, appreciative of an uplifting season.

“This is the best our team has ever done, and it was exciting to be part of it, in my last year,” said Molly Mitchell, a co-captain and one of four seniors along with Ali Henkemeyer, Rachel Neiss and Meghan Hays.

Mitchell said it was tough to lose but was proud of the season because “we improved so much every week.”

Reminded that the Sting had come from far behind to close the gap in the last two games, she reflected, “I’m glad we fought hard to the end.”

Anissa Rosario (13) of the Thunder spike's against Spectrum's Molly Mitchell (18). (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Anissa Rosario (13) of the Thunder spike’s against Spectrum’s Molly Mitchell (18). (Photo by Bruce Strand)

The highlight for the Sting was a stirring rally keyed by Hays’ serving in game two. With her team down 21-11 when she went to the stripe, Hays’ crisp, compact overhead swing led to nine straight points, including one ace, while the Thunder made a string of errors. The Sting pulled within 21-20 before the Thunder finally dropped in a tip to end Hays’ streak. They still caught up at 22 and 23 before serving and hitting errors gave Zimmerman the last two points.

These schools from next-door towns met in last year’s section first round also, with Zimmerman (13-15) winning as expected 3-0 over the Sting (8-12).

This year the Thunder have dealt with key injuries and fielded a young lineup. They went 0-9 in their conference, so this was a win they could savor before taking on top-seeded Park Center (6-14) there Tuesday.

The Thunder attack was spread around, with Ashley Pool notching seven kills, Amira Samaha six, and Kayla Christopherson and Ilea May with five each. Samaha also served 22-for-23 with two aces and Christopherson made 17assists. Carlie Lage led with 21 digs.

Meghan Hays served for 9 straight points in game two. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Meghan Hays served for 9 straight points in game two. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

For the Sting, Henkemeyer had six kills, Mitchell four kills and 3.5 blocks, Ellie Rogers 11 assists and nine digs, and Constanza Dalla Valentia nine digs. Hays made two ace blocks.

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Cross country: Rogers’ Bethke, Burke reach state; team places 4th at section Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:02:33 +0000 Tyler Bethke (middle) of Rogers took 7th in the section at Anoka. (Photo by Jason Olson)

Tyler Bethke (middle) of Rogers took 7th in the section at Anoka. (Photo by Jason Olson)


Rogers will have two boys in the state cross country meet after seniors Tyler Bethke and Caleb Burke earned their way through Section 5AA on Thursday.

Bethke placed seventh in 16:26.3 and Burke was eighth in 16:33.1, both qualifying for state for the first time, at Anoka High School.

The Royals placed fourth among 16 teams. Karl Gorecki placed 29th, Ben Sylvester 37th and Carl Parent 39th. All are seniors.

Caleb Burke placed 8th at the section meet. (Photo by Jason Olson)

Caleb Burke placed 8th at the section meet. (Photo by Jason Olson)

St. Michael-Albertville swept team and individual titles in both the boys and girls races. The Knight individual champions were Chase Cayo (15:45.4) and Rachel King (14:13.2).

The Rogers girls finished 13th among 15 schools, with Hannah Teasdale placing 51st, Whitney Meyer 52nd, Jenna Karls 72nd, Madison Mikolich 79th and Ellie Cargill 84th.

The state meet will be held Nov. 1 at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

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Norma Lillian Lemke Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:19:33 +0000 Norma   Lillian  Lemke

Beloved Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother

Norma Lillian Lemke, 85, of Big Lake formally of Elk River passed away peacefully surrounded by her daughters on October 21, 2014.
Norma was born in Minneapolis, MN on May 2, 1929. Norma married James Lemke on August 23, 1947. They were lifelong companions and shared the love of polka dance festivals and their lake cabin. Norma treasured spending time with her family. She also enjoyed cross-country skiing, competing in the Mora Vasaloppet ski races, biking, casino trips, vacationing and had a love for flowers.
Survived by sister Dolores of East Bethel; daughters Shirley (James) Kalway of Monticello, Carlotta (Richard) Nyberg of Elk River, Beverly (James) Given of Princeton and Juanita (Gregory) Hendrickson of Richfield; ten grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband James Lemke; granddaughter Michelle; two brothers and two sisters.
Visitation is Monday, October 27 from 5-8 p.m. at Dares Funeral Home in Elk River. Funeral services held Tuesday, October 28 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Monticello with visitation one hour prior. Interment at Fort Snelling.

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Downsizing has an upside, speaker says Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:24:51 +0000 by Joni Astrup

Associate Editor

Lucy Boeshans knows what it is like to downsize.

Lucy Boeshans

Lucy Boeshans

She and her husband went through the process about three years ago, moving from a four-bedroom rambler on 3 acres in Zimmerman to a townhouse in Elk River.

She said it was a very good move for them, saying that they “absolutely love” their townhome and lifestyle.

“Your life is less complicated, it’s a whole lot easier and we don’t miss most of the stuff that we got rid of,” she said.

Boeshans, a real estate agent with Re/Max Results in Elk River, shared some of her downsizing tips Tuesday at the Elk River Activity Center in a presentation titled, “The Upside of Downsizing.”

The first step in the whole process is sorting, she said. Go through the entire house and garage — each room, cupboard, closet and drawer. She sorted items into categories, including “donate,” “keep,” “sell,” “give to the kids” and “maybe.”

“It’s a hard process, and it takes some time,” she said.

Boeshans put all the items she thought her kids might want in one room, then invited them over to take what they wanted.

For items people want to sell, Boeshans said options include having a garage sale, using a consignment store or having an estate sale. Listing items on Craigslist is another possibility, but she advised people to exercise caution if strangers are coming to your home.

Donating items is another alternative. Boeshans said Faith in Action is a trusted local charity that accepts furniture and household items and sells them at their shop in downtown Elk River. Thrift stores, Goodwill and the Salvation Army also accept donations of used items.

Boeshans said they put some unwanted items at the end of the driveway for people to take and were surprised at how much disappeared.

Photos, meanwhile, present their own set of challenges. Boeshans said family photos can be offered to immediate and extended family members. Older photos could be scanned into a computer. Then they could be shared with others or put in electronic frames that automatically display the photos.

Staging a home

Ideally, a home should be cleared of items the homeowner no longer wants before “staging” the home and listing it for sale.

Staging is presenting a home in a way that is most appealing to a buyer. Boeshans said some real estate agents, like herself, do staging of the homes they list. Or, she said sellers could consider having a friend or neighbor take a look at the space. Hiring a stager is another option but can be expensive, she said.

Staging includes identifying and making repairs that may have been put off such as plumbing leaks, furnace cleaning or electrical repairs.

The interior color scheme is another aspect of staging.

Neutral paint colors are best if a home is going on the market, she said. She also recommends taking down all wallpaper, even borders.

“It (wallpaper) might appeal to the older buyer, but not necessarily the younger buyer,” she said.

Older carpet is also a turnoff for buyers, she said. In general, carpet of any sort doesn’t appeal to many younger buyers except in bedrooms.

Replacing worn carpet or adding laminate or wood flooring can really add appeal, she said. Or, a flooring allowance could be included so the buyer could choose the new flooring.

More extensive upgrades like a kitchen or bath remodel can add value but will only give homeowners a return of approximately 72 percent of the cost of the remodel, she said.

Decluttering and paring down the items on display are other staging tips.

Specifically, Boeshans recommends putting away family photographs, souvenirs, knickknacks and personal items. Clear off counter tops, take magnets off the refrigerator, remove anything stored on top of the refrigerator, store extra furniture and clear out closets and other storage areas.

“Less is more when you are selling your house,” she said.

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Elk River sign design sent back to the drawing board Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:09:32 +0000 by Joni Astrup

Associate Editor

It’s back to the drawing board for the consultant working on sign designs for the city of Elk River.

Option 1 for a horizontal  gateway monument sign which would be located at one of the city's entrances.

Option 1 for a gateway monument sign which would be located at the city’s entrances.

Option 2 for a  gateway monument sign which would be located at one of the city's entrances.

Option 2 for a gateway monument sign which would be located at the city’s entrances.

A majority of City Council members weren’t wild about either of the two options presented and decided Monday to meet with the consultant, Visual Communications, to come up with a third design option.

As Council Member Paul Motin said of either of the first two options, “It doesn’t knock my socks off.”

The council also wants an estimated cost of the full signage plan. The plan will run the gamut from four large monument signs at the city’s entrances to park monument signs to signs directing people to points of interest to the smallest signs in the city.

Some of the Option 1 sign designs.

Some of the Option 1 sign designs.

A ballpark estimate of the cost of gateway monument signs is $42,000 to $65,000 each under Option 1 and $64,000 to $90,000 each under Option 2. Estimated costs of the other signs have not yet been determined.

The signs are all part of a new “wayfinding signage program” designed to create a uniform look to city signs and make it easier for people to locate parks, downtown and other amenities.

Some of the Option 2 sign designs.

Some of the Option 2 sign designs.

It’s anticipated the signs would be installed over time, as the budget allows, and last for decades to come.

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Trick or treat in downtown Elk River Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:04:25 +0000 Trick or treat in downtown Elk River from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31. There also will be a pumpkin roll at 5 p.m. that day.

Both events are sponsored by the Downtown River’s Edge Business Association.

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