Past Feature Pics

Groth-Miller Service Community Tribute

Steve Groth received the 2016 Ben & Adith Miller Community Service Tribute at a dinner held in his honor on Wednesday, April 19. The Community Service Tribute is awarded to a person or group whose generosity has led to the betterment of the Winona area. In her nomination of Groth, Jodi Dansingburg, principal of the Ridgeway Community School, wrote “if you were to ask anyone who lives in or near the village of Ridgeway Minnesota who is the top volunteer in their community there is little doubt in my mind that they would respond, “Well that’s easy, Steve “Pug” Groth”.  A native of Ridgeway, Minnesota Steve has contributed to all aspects of the community for his entire adult life including public safety responsibilities such as the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department (32 years) and First Responders (15 years).  As the volunteer coordinator for all four of Ridgeway Community School’s major renovation projects, Dansingburg wrote that Groth put in ‘hundreds and hundreds of hours of volunteer time’ working on demolition and construction projects in addition to providing volunteer maintenance services at the school. A member of the Ridgeway Community Association Board member since 2007, Steve has also served as president and member of the Ridgeway Athletic Committee (25 years), a volunteer umpire for little league baseball Umpire (16 years), and coordinated and facilitated numerous community fundraising or health and wellness events. Accepting the award, Groth said he was ‘surprised and humbled’ to receive such an honor and said that his community service is a ‘group effort’.
Hugh and Vera Miller and RTP Company generously gave $25,000 to the Winona Health Foundation’s Ben & Adith Miller Patient Care Fund in Groth’s honor. This is the 29th consecutive year that the Miller family has sponsored the Ben & Adith Miller Community Service Tribute to benefit the Patient Care Fund.

Photo: recipient of the Ben & Adith Miller Community Service Tribute, with Hugh Miller. 

Winona County ASAP Workshop

Winona Health-Health Talk

Dermatologist and Mohs surgeon Kevin Christensen, MD, will share tips for skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment options including Mohs surgery at a free Health Talk: Seeing Spots, Thursday, May 11, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the B. A. Miller Auditorium at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Avenue in Winona.  The number of moles you have can change throughout your life. New moles can develop and some may disappear as you age. But what exactly are moles, and where do they come from? Though most moles are harmless, it is important to keep an eye on them. Dr. Christensen will discuss clues that could tell you whether that spot is just a spot or something that needs to be put under the microscope.


The program is free. RSVP is requested by Tuesday, May 9. To RSVP, visit online: or call 507.457.4161.


Pepin County 4-H-Ritscher

Marie Ritscher, Pepin County 4-H Youth Development Agent, and Annie Lisowski, Buffalo County 4-H Youth Development Educator, both Co-Coordinators of the Buffalo / Pepin County Teen Court, received the Excellence in Teen Programming Team Award from the Wisconsin Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (WAE4-HYDP) at their annual conference on Tuesday, April 25th in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  This state award recognizes excellence in programming with youth in decision-making and leadership roles conducted by UW-Extension with other agencies. The team of educators received the award for the development, implementation, evaluation and collaboration with schools for Teen Court Mock Trials with Mondovi, Alma, Pepin and Cochrane-Fountain City School middle school students. This award application was forwarded to the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA) for regional award consideration.

Buffalo County 4-H Scholarships

Abigail George, Collin Weltzien, Katelyn Abts (pictured), Deanna Wiersgalla, Briar Putz and Lavander Plank are the 2017 Buffalo County 4-H scholarship recipients.  The $500 and $250 scholarships will be presented at each graduation ceremony or scholarship banquet on behalf of the Buffalo County 4-H Leaders’ Association. The scholarships are set aside for a select number of graduating Buffalo County 4-H members who excel in citizenship, leadership and community service. George, Weltzien, Abts, Wiersgalla, Putz and Plank also completed a resume and interview process to earn a scholarship.

Bluff Country Co-op Groundbreaking

The Bluff Country Co-op in downtown Winona held a special groundbreaking last week to celebrate the expansion of its retail store into the full footprint of its building at 2nd and Johnson streets. Market manager, Melissa Gordon, says the project, which is scheduled to be completed this fall, will nearly double the store's space, allowing the Co-op to create new jobs. The project will be completed in phases so the store will remain open during regular hours throughout the project Bluff Country Co-op is Winona's community-owned, cooperatively run grocery store and deli. It is celebrating its 45th anniversary.

Wine & Gyn

Winona Health’s Physical Therapists focused on women’s health are hosting Wine & Gyn, a special event for women, Tuesday, May 9 from 7 to 8 p.m. at Blooming Grounds, 50 E. 3rd Street in Winona. Invite your girlfriends to a fun and informative evening out. Join Winona Health Physical Therapists who have special expertise in preventive and treatment options for women before, during, and after pregnancy. Learn about the "crabby bladder" and how you can live free again— bring your questions. You'll also learn from the frequently asked questions our experts hear from women. This is a fun, informative, relaxed event. Attendees may even learn something new from each other! Presenters are Kristi Raadt, DPT (left), and Cindy Teske, PT (right). Raadt has a doctoral degree in physical therapy and is a certified clinical instructor. She has a special interest in orthopedics, women’s health, and pediatrics. Teske, a physical therapist and certified clinical instructor, is certified in manual lymphatic therapy, strain and counter strain, and functional dry needling. She has a special interest in chronic pain and women’s health. Enjoy free appetizers. Wine available for purchase from Blooming Grounds. Admission to this special event is free, but seating is limited, so RSVP is required by Friday, May 5. To RSVP for this event, visit or call 507.457.4161.  This event is part of Winona Health’s Spirit of Women programming. Spirit membership is free and there are several benefits. 

Spring has Sprung-W-K

Spring is here and baby chicks are hatching at W-K Elementary! W-K kindergarten teachers Mrs. Kulzer and Mrs. Allington have fostered a love for learning through play this year in the kindergarten playroom. This room has a changing dramatic play theme each month and April’s theme is farming. Winona State University Physics department along with student teachers, Abigial Grenon and Ashley Sim provided the playroom with an incubator, 41 chicken eggs, instructions and emotional support for how to hatch the eggs. The students incorporated math skills of counting back from 20 as the eggs are incubated for 20 days. This week they focused all about eggs and what hatches from them. They received a big surprise at 10:15 a.m. on April 12, as Baby Herky had hatched! W-K students K-4 have been eagerly anticipating the hatching and are EGG-CITED to watch Baby Herky and wait for the others to hatch. Once all baby chicks are hatched, they will be re-homed to the Moore Family Farm.


The AVID program is getting ready to kick off beginning with the 2017-2018 school year at Winona Senior High School. AVID - Advancement Via Individual Determination - is a nationally-recognized college readiness program that focuses on students in the academic middle who have the will to succeed, but not necessarily all of the tools.  The flagship group at the high school includes about 20 incoming ninth-grade students who were selected for the program through an application and interview process. Many of these participants will be first-generation college students. While not all students will be direct members of the AVID program, the intention is that all students will benefit from AVID strategies and techniques. At this time there are seven WSHS teachers directly trained in the AVID program, representing math, science, social studies, language arts, and world language.  There are five key areas of focus in the AVID program: Writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading. The development of these critical skill areas is the heart of the AVID philosophy, and is intended to help students learn at increasingly complex levels both in the classroom and beyond.  AVID, which was founded in 1980, is currently used in 6000 schools in 16 countries, and is considered one of the premiere college-readiness programs. It was implemented in the Winona Middle School in the 2016-2017 school year.

Fine Arts Commission

A wonderful cross section of poetry fans, students and members of the Fine Arts
Commission ushered in the returning Poet Laureate and the new Associate Poet Laureate recently at a reception and poetry reading generously sponsored by the Blue Heron Coffeehouse. Lee Gundersheimer, Arts and Culture Coordinator for the City, and Crystal Hegge, chair of The Fine Arts Commission welcomed Ken McCullough who is returning to the position of Poet Laureate. After reading a work of his on the subject of fear, Ken spoke of how the Associate position was created to further the educational mission of the Winona Poet Laureate by allowing for early career poets to have a chance to fearlessly work alongside and glean experience from more established artists. McCullough then announced the City and the Fine Arts Commission where excited to proclaim former St. Mary’s student Nicholle Ramsey Winona’s first Associate Poet Laureate. Nicholle then read two of her poems and spoke of being thrilled to help bring new voices to the burgeoning poetry scene in Winona.

(Left to Right) Lee Gundersheimer, Arts and Culture Coordinator; Nicholle Ramsey, Associate Poet Laureate; Crystal Hegge, Fine Arts Commission Chair; Ken McCullough, Poet Laureate

County Teen Court

On April 5, the Buffalo/Pepin County Teen Court held a panelist training at the Buffalo County Courthouse in Alma. Panelists serve as peer ‘judges’ who hold juvenile first-time offenders accountable for their actions by issuing fair and innovative sanctions. The following individuals attended the training and were welcomed as new panelists: Alex McMahon (Durand), Danielle Klein (Alma), Abby Gaulke (Mondovi), Emma Brecka (Alma), Maya Jungwirth (Durand), Gabby Redfern (Gilmanton), Trista Lay (Gilmanton), Alyssa Kosidowski (Alma), Bella Schmidtknecht (C-FC) and Emily Strom (C-FC). The training focused on a brief overview of Teen Court, restorative justice, and effective questioning. Current panelists Madison Tennant (C-FC), Deanna Wiersgalla (C-FC), Haleigh Klopp (Gilmanton), Kenzie Lieffering (Durand), Bryttany Wener (Pepin), Christopher Bocksell (Pepin) also attended the training to conduct mock trials and coach incoming panelists. The training was coordinated by UW-Extension Youth Development Educators, Annie Lisowski and Marie Ritscher.

Photo Caption: 
Buffalo/Pepin County Circuit Court Judge Jamie Duvall meets with ten new Teen Court panelists trained on April 5, 2017. New members include: Alex McMahon, Danielle Klein, Abby Gaulke, Emma Brecka, Maya Jungwirth, Gabby Redfern, Trista Lay, Alyssa Kosidowski, Bella Schmidtknecht and Emily Strom

HyVee & Leighton Broadcasting Donation

Thank you, Winona! You made it possible for HyVee and Leighton
Broadcasting to give a check to the Winona Fire Department for
$8,132 from last week's fundraising with rib sales and Gabe
Glidden from KG 95.3 up in a scissors lift for 52 hours!
Plus -- The Sons of The American Legion donated $1,000 today
or a grand total of $9,132!! Thank you to everyone who worked
or donated to help save lives here in Winona!