Tricounty News

Salzl Welding celebrates 50 years

When Leander Salzl opened up his welding and fabricating shop in Watkins 50 years ago, he had no idea he’d still be in business today.

But the good Lord willing, Salzl may have many years ahead of him. At age 77, he doesn’t see retirement in his future.

“I’ve done this all my life,” said Salzl, who purchased Ben Krippner’s Blacksmith Shop when he was just 27.

Business in those early years was “really good,” Salzl said, and he worked alone for the first five years until he hired his first two employees.

Today, he’s down to one employee, his son, David.

Salzl Welding does all types of welding and fabricating jobs for other small businesses, including many local farmers.

But the absence of small farms has hurt Salzl in one respect – his ability to find good employees.

“It’s really hard to get good
people,” he said. “When I first started, you could take a kid off the farm and train them. They just are not out there anymore. Kids go to school so long that they don’t have the practical experience that you need in this job. You need a lot of common sense.

Salzl isn’t sure if his son will some day take over the business, so “until the Lord says I gotta quit,” he’ll keep on working.

Doug Wilhelm: the last postmaster of South Haven

There were more than the normal amount of people entering the South Haven Post Office during the last week of Doug W-Doug-WilhelmWilhelm’s reign as postmaster.

And instead of coming in with their letters or packages to mail, they came to see the man they became friends with during his years in charge of the post office.

Wilhelm, who took over as postmaster in South Haven in the fall of 2007, may not have served the tiny Wright County community for decades, but there’s no doubt he left his mark on many people.

Wilhelm, who graduated from Delano High School in 1977, joined the Marines soon after, and served a six-year stint. It was in the Marines where Wilhelm learned a lot of what it takes to run a well-oiled operation.

Interviewing Wilhelm is a little like attending a motivational seminar. He’s not “timid, shy or reserved,” three attributes he joked that he was.


Hilltop has 5-star rating

Hilltop Health Care Center has three years in a row of no citations from the MDHw-HHCC-Staff-002-RGB

Congratulations to Watkins Hilltop Health Care Center Staff for their recent Minnesota Department of Health Annual Compliance Survey. They had zero citations for the third year in a row. The average number of Health Department Citations for the state is 10 to 25.


64th Annual Cokato Corn Carnival

The 64th Annual Cokato Corn Carnival will be Monday through Wednesday, Aug. 12-14. A number of activities are planned to provide enjoyment and entertainment for the entire family in the heart of downtown Cokato, at Peterson Park.

Events begin on Sunday, Aug. 11, with a community-wide ecumenical worship service at 7 p.m. on the main stage in Peterson Park.

Monday, Aug. 12, brings the parades and stage entertainment. The Kiddie parade begins at 6 p.m. In a change from previous years for the Kiddie parade, there are no formal categories, entrants are encouraged to be as creative as they want. Please be mindful that no motorized vehicles – including riding lawn mowers – are permitted. All Kiddie Parade participants will receive participation prizes, including complimentary ride tickets for the Midway. The main parade will follow immediately after the conclusion of the Kiddie parade.

Following the conclusion of the parades will be entertainment by Dassel-Cokato H.S. graduate, Rachel Kurtz, on the main stage, sponsored by the Cokato Ministerial Association.  The food stands and midway rides in the park will also be open Monday evening. Please note that there will be no free corn-on-the-cob served Monday evening.


One step closer to homeownership

First-time homebuyer education

If you are looking to purchase your first home, now is the time to participate in Home Stretch! Home Stretch is a first-time homebuyer workshop that takes participants through the entire home buying process. In one day, you will learn about credit, qualifying for a mortgage, shopping for a home, the closing process, basic home maintenance, and affordable mortgage products that may be available to first-time homebuyers. Some affordable mortgage products, government loans, and down payment and closing cost assistance programs may require a buyer to receive a Home Stretch certificate.

Homebuyer education is also offered as an online course. Framework is a new online tool to prepare you for successful homeownership. Framework will provide you with the facts you need to become a knowledgeable buyer. Many lenders have approved Framework to meet homebuyer education requirements. The registration link can be found at

Central Minnesota Housing Partnership, a non-profit organization providing affordable housing services to the central region of Minnesota, coordinates the Home Stretch workshop. The next workshop will be offered in St. Cloud on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Liberty Savings Bank in St. Cloud. Registration is required, and participants will receive a completion certificate at the end of the workshop. To register for the online Framework course or the Home Stretch workshop, please contact Trista at (320) 258-0681, and visit our website, for more information.

Pre-purchase counseling is also available by appointment and is strongly recommended prior to taking Home Stretch. This is a free service to anyone who wants to speak with a certified homeownership counselor about their financial situation prior to buying a home.