Saturday, July 20, marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. On that day, in 1969, the Lunar Module Eagle, which carried Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, made contact with the surface of the moon while Michael Collins piloted the command module, Columbia, in lunar orbit. As Ar…
Local News Sections
LINO LAKES — The City Council unanimously voted to deny two variances in the St. Clair Estates neighborhood at its July 8 meeting.
HUGO — Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes) joined members of the White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce on Monday, July 1, at Hugo City Hall for a question-and-answer session on legislative priorities.
BLAINE — After an extensive search, the Blaine City Council has selected Michelle Wolfe as the next city manager. Wolfe brings more than 26 years of local government experience and currently serves as deputy city manager for the city of Aurora, Colorado. She previously served as city adminis…
LINO LAKES — The city is one step closer to creating a substantial development on the “gateway corner” of Hodgson Road and County Road J.
After their baby has arrived, many new parents bring their bundle of joy out of the hospital to their vehicle and struggle with attaching their car seat securely.
LINO LAKES — For over 20 years, Love to Grow On has lacked a space it could call its own. After leasing space in various locations over the years, the board of directors and staff are celebrating the completion of the facility’s nearly $4 million building.
A collaborative group including Anoka County, Washington County, Connexus Energy and other regional partners has launched the Minnesota Technology Corridor, an initiative to attract companies to the north metro. The initiative targets companies that can use the high energy capacity, high ban…
Among the many new additions to Centerville's 29th annual Fete des Lacs Festival is a booth to help bring an increase in bike safety and awareness of helmet use.
Jamie Sobolik’s ambition, early in his teaching/coaching career, was to be a head coach. Then he became a dad, and that goal wasn’t so important any more.
Lino Lakes Legion baseball has a 13-6 record after starting the season 8-0. That includes 9-2 in conference play with a chance to finish first depending on how the fare against Elk River and Coon Rapids this week. Playoffs start next Tuesday.
The Lino Lakes Legion has a 12-4 record after cruising against Tri-City Blue 12-0 on Thursday evening, as Michael Schneider pitched four shutout innings and Casey Trapp’s two-run triple was the offensive highlight.
Three members of the Johnson family, including a cross country captain, were among the Quad News area runners at Grandma’s Marathon on June 22.
Pat Mahr was supervising Little League baseball playoff games last Saturday — just as he’s done for three decades — at Carl Eck Park in Circle Pines.
“Little League is still the largest kids sports organization in the world,” he mused, “which is kind of surprising considering how much soccer is played in all the other countries.”
Mahr, currently in his 30th year as president of Centennial Lakes Little League/Silver Bullets Fast Pitch, takes pride in that, along with the baseball/softball program remaining the No. 1 participation sport for kids locally, too.
“We’ve got about 800 kids, including 300 girls,” he said, adding that “those numbers have been holding pretty steady” even with several other sports going strong in the Centennial district.
Mahr, whose occupation is running a warehouse, has been in charge of the youth leagues since 1989. He coached for a few years, starting when his daughters Jessica and Shelby played.
“I enjoy giving kids better opportunities to play and and better facilities than when I was a kid,” said Mahr. “I enjoy the interaction, too. I coached their mothers, and now I get to watch their kids in the program.”
There was no Little League available when he grew up in Chisago City. As an adult, he played town-team baseball and slow pitch softball for a while.
The organization has 66 teams, with boys age 4-12 playing Little League baseball and girls age 4-18 playing Silver Bullets fast-pitch softball. The boys move on to VFW and Legion ball in their teens.
Each new season actually starts Oct. 1, the fiscal new year, he said, when the board, usually nine or 10 people, starts planning the budget, dates for tryouts, league schedules, and concessions, and other details.
The group generates, and spends, about $200,000 per year, he said, which comes mostly from concessions, along with registration fees, donations and hosting tournaments. Families pay about $220 per kid at the top level; that includes uniforms which they keep.
Mahr said he wishes the city would help out more, but funding from tax dollars is less than it once was for youth sports, as it is for a lot of things. Some assistance came from the Minnesota Twins, whose $10,000 grant in 2011 helped with a $100,000 renovation of the facilities which includes two nice Little League parks.
Jon Tennessen, a Lino Lakes resident who assisted Mahr from 1988 to 2000, when his daughters played softball, offered a tribute to Mahr a letter to Quad News.
“Pat continues to organize and lead the league (as he’s done) for the last 30 some years.Today my grandsons play in the league, and the players are still made to feel that they are the attraction and they are treated as such.”
Mahr was presiding over playoffs for boys 10, 11 and 12 on Saturday and Sunday with all-star teams from Centennial, Shoreview, and St. Paul Parkway competing.
The winners advance to the state tournament, which will be hosted by Centennial from July 24-28. That’s the end for the 10- and 11-year-olds, but the 12-year-old champions advance to a multi-state regional with the ultimate goal of reaching the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.
Two Centennial teams have advanced within one win of going to Williamsport, Mahr said — in 2001 and 2005. “Both those teams missed by one run,” he said.
Mahr had a chance to visit the LLWS facilities once, by accident.
“My wife and I were vacationing out there, going to Niagara Falls, and we happened to drive through Williamsport, so we stopped in, introduced ourselves, and got the tour.”
Whether Centennial ever gets a team there, it’s guys like Mahr, and organizations like Centennial Lakes Little League, that make it all possible.
Three Centennial baseball players were named to all-conference and three got honorable mention after a 13-10 season including 7-6 in conference.
The Centennial Legion baseball team had not yet tasted defeat three weeks into the season, as of Tuesday. Representing Post 566, they have an 8-0 record.
The Centennial girls lacrosse team had four all-conference picks after a 12-3 season overall and 10-2 in the Northwest Suburban Conference.
Five Centennial boys lacrosse players were named all-conference after a 15-3 season that included a 15-game win streak, a share of the conference title, the section championship, and state tourney appearance where they were 0-2.
As Brian Hegseth enters his final week as activities director at Centennial, he anticipates a pleasant sensation a couple months from now.