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Northridge Apartment Specs, OHS Homecoming & the 2019 Art’s Meander

It was a busy week for all ages in the Ortonville area!

Many of you have noticed the activity at the Northridge building (I know this because of the number of texts I’ve received!)  Yes, the work has begun – and I can share the Phase I and Phase II apartment layout with you!  Phase I is the complete northern hall/end with Phase II being the apartments along the hallway that runs north and south.   LINK:  Apartment Layout — The contractors have an estimated 60 working days to complete Phase I with Phase II to follow early next summer.  Phase I includes Six 2-bedrooms, two 1-bedrooms and an efficiency apartment.

More details to follow!   — If you are interested in renting and would like more information once the project is complete (or nearing completion) of the first phase, please fill in the no-obligation form.  LINK to FORM

I’m excited to see this project get started – the property will provide some lovely rental options with mature trees, great landscaping and private sheltered picnic area in the back portion – and great location next to parks, swimming pool, and golf course – while maintaining a quiet space.

Homecoming week started with Volleyball on September 30th, Coronation at the School on Tuesday evening with more Volleyball, Cross Country and the Football game after the Friday afternoon parade.  WITH the Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl starting on October 4th and ending Sunday the 6th.  So, downtown Friday afternoon was busy with activities going strong – Parade & Meandering!  Below you’ll find a few highlights from the activities that I attended throughout the week.

Highlights from Homecoming Week

A couple of amazing songs performed during Coronation

My Ortonville & RedBarn Meander Weekend stops +
MNbump Connector Mary Hillman covered Odessa and Connector Janine Teske covered Clinton

And if you missed the article… check out MNbump’s article on US Senator Tina Smith’s visit to Ortonville area health services:  LINK:

Lingonberry’s Lodge Photos, Idle Spurs Inn Update, New Dentist sets date to open & More!

View from Main Street

Oh so beautifully done!  I took a tour of the new Lingonberry’s Lodge on Main Street yesterday afternoon – wow!  I had a real urge to relax in a comfortable chair and look out the nicely tinted windows overlooking Main Street… and just stay awhile.

Khadija will be listing all of the local businesses that contributed to this project soon in the Ortonville Independent – it is quite a list of local talent.

You can see from the photos below, you can step out the front door for your breakfast (or lunch if you get up a little later!) at Lingonberry’s Pastry & Coffeeshop or the back door to step onto the Coffeeshop’s patio and enter from there. (breakfast or lunch will be included for each room)

Lingonberry’s Lodge opens to its first guests today!  What a wonderful addition to Ortonville.

And speaking of awesome new lodging in Ortonville, Idle Spurs Inn is coming along wonderfully too!  They do still have four rooms to complete – but the rooms that are ready are full for this weekend!  Check out the room photo below for a sampling of what you’d find – and check out their Facebook Page for more photos!

I know you’ve been following along on the new dental office – and the open date has been set!  They will be seeing their first patients on September 23rd!

Helping Hands Therapeutic Massage & Body Work – Kelly Lang – has her new website up and running!  She said she has a few tweaks left but it is ready for viewing!  Make sure to check out her services — and her blog which includes an interesting read on her health story.   LINK to Website

… and a quick update – if you’re in town for Cornfest this weekend – Ortonville Mystery Games (escape rooms) does now have two rooms up and working.  From the reports that I’ve seen, a few have been able to escape without running out of time – but it is not a cakewalk!  🙂  For hours and more information, LINK:  Check out their Facebook Page

It is Cornfest weekend!  Plan your weekend around the festivities –

cornfest poster 2019 Updated

Updates coming to the Info Kiosk Area

The Ortonville EDA took action to move forward with the first phase of the info Kiosk area on Second Street (main street – oh, how we confuse people on this one!) just north of the Holiday Gas Station.

The photo below was taken last year when the City Crew demolished and removed the corner structure.  (also, thanks to the City Crew for removing some trees earlier in the year and making this area more visible!)  I’ve imposed the new sign in the area to reflect the 24′ x 8′ graphic.  I know – my skills leave a bit for the imagination – but hopefully, this gives you a good idea!

Dan Kafka (of Pro Image Partners) shared a great idea to continue the sign’s theme across the rest of the retaining wall.  Paint the background a blue similar to that in the sign and add clouds periodically across – he thought maybe the EDA should talk to the Arts Council about some help with that – GREAT IDEA! (heads up Big Stone Arts Council!) — we can then utilize 5 to 6 of the 4’x4′ panelboards in various locations along the retaining wall with information call-outs — that can easily be replaced for special events/occasions and returned to the original once they were over.

As for the flower areas and some sprucing of the area… we have Wanda Berry!  Wanda has been one of our awesome volunteers who has tended so many of the various flower garden areas around Ortonville – whenever she sees one that could use a little help.  The EDA has approved funds for the purchase of the plants and Wanda has agreed to draw up a plan for the lot and then she and a few of her volunteer friends will plant and complete the new facelift to this corner.  I’ll certainly update the blog with volunteer photos as this phase moves forward!   Also, the Big Stone Lake Area Chamber has agreed to set a couple of their new white benches in this kiosk area when they are not in use for Chamber events.  (The Chamber had their benches made and purchased from Main Street Industries in Clinton.)

The EDA is excited to incorporate the new “Water Tower Logo” in this corner as the entrance to downtown Ortonville!  The Chamber will also be utilizing this graphic on their billboard as you come into Ortonville from Big Stone City.  You can currently pick up T-Shirts with this graphic from Pro Image Partners and at the Clubhouse Pro Shop area of Off the Green Resturant!

And… a big shout out to the two people who created this new graphic for Ortonville — David Rausch for the graphic design and Aaryn Schaub (Hoye) for the tagline!  This all started with the Mayor, Gene Hausauer, suggesting if there was to be work/upgrades to the water tower we should look at something other than all-caps block letters of “ORTONVILLE”.   Read a bit about the project and the two winners of the contest – LINK HERE.


New Dental Office, Northridge Building, Idle Spurs Inn, Pickleball and more!

A few quick community updates.

Northridge Building.  The new owners, Roop Brar & Swachetan Bajwa, have requested quotes for the apartment project materials.  Once the quotes have been reviewed and materials ordered, their contractor will begin work.  They are currently looking to start the rehab project in September.  They will be providing highlights on the progress of their construction – so we will keep you posted!  In the meantime, if you think that you may be interested in renting and would like to be kept on a notification list, you can complete a short form – CLICK HERE FOR FORM

The new dental facility is coming along nicely!

No updates on the date they plan to open… just a quick picture to see the work that continues!

Idle Spurs Inn – updates coming along beautifully!

Idle Spurs Inn… if you have not checked out their Facebook Page to see this amazing transformation, please do now!  Brandy has awesome taste in decorating.  The updates are thorough and expansive.  Link to Idle Spurs Inn Facebook Page

O.M.G. Ortonville Mercantile and Gallery

And, you’ve likely checked out our new awesome retail store – O.M.G. – but they have now purchased the old Independent Building, connected the buildings and soon we will have O.M.G. – Ortonville Mystery Games (escape rooms).  Greg Lockwood has been very busy preparing the new building – well, I’m sure Sue has been doing a few things too I just have not seen her over there working.  🙂  I’m pretty excited about their new expansion – hoping they have one room done before the Bike MS 2-day stopover in July.  A fun addition to Ortonville’s Main Street!

Coming soon an upgraded & expanded Pickleball court!

Don Sherman attended the last Ortonville EDA meeting and presented plans for what he hoped to be the future of the Pickleball Courts.  They currently play in a portion of the school’s Athletic Field.  This is quite the growing sport – for all ages – and the space they are using is in great need of upgrading with no alternative places for them to play.  The Ortonville EDA did approve $7,000 for Phase I of the project – which will provide many of the updates need and expanding the court to 4 courts.  However, Don and Becky Parker (President of the Ortonville EDA) will be attending a School Board meeting to discuss details and approvals for the upgrades and continued use of the space.  Work in progress!

We will be using as the landing page on the City website for those traveling to Ortonville on the Bike MS trip.

Bike MS will be in coming through Ortonville and staying for two days!  July 23rd and July 24th.  We will have about 450 people in town for the Bike MS ride.  The Chamber has asked the Ortonville EDA to be in charge of the Information Booth (of course I immediately reached out to a great partner – Ginger Athey!)  The City of Ortonville Website will now have a landing page for Bike MS and as we go into the future will be the landing page for other events and groups that will be coming through town.  We thought would make a great Welcome page for such activities.  We can provide information and links that pertain to the event in particular and share some points of interest and new “check it out” places.  You can check out the page – it is currently a work in progress but hope to have complete early next week so that we can start sharing the link to the riders so they can plan the places they want to check out while they are in town! 

As locals, I hope you’ll check out the link now and as we have new events and change the page – share it with friends and family (well, don’t start sharing it until next week – I’m not quite ready for everyone to see it yet!) and PLEASE, if you have a suggestion for this “Community event welcome page” let me know! or 320-839-6155.  We want to look our best!  🙂

As some of you know, we’ve been having a Social Media Lunch once a month for a few months now.  A casual lunch to share tips and discuss social media – well, I want to give a quick shout out to Jill Dale of Cenbank for her input and discussion on this month’s topic.  I will be implementing some things that will help with online connections with our local businesses – details will be coming soon.  In the meantime… check out this video from Cenbank – fun!  🙂

I’m sure you still have time to sign-up for the Jay Stock Memorial Golf Tournament – details are in the video below…

AND… it has been busy!  Check out the videos below on the three events that we’ve had in town so far this month… Lake Days was just last weekend, the Regional Art Crawl (unfortunately I was not feeling the best and did not make it to all of the artist locations – so much more to see – and so many people in town enjoying the day!),  and the Old Fashioned Picnic!   The videos are only a couple of minutes long and give some highlights from the event.  #LoveWhereYouLive

Oh… and just in case you missed it the Ortonville Kindergarten Graduation.  It’s not just handing out diplomas anymore – it is quite a program!  (I was out of town for this event – and thank my sister Heidi Karels for taking the video)

Northridge Building Rental Interest Form

If you are interested in renting and would like more information once the project is complete (or nearing completion) of the first phase, please fill in the no-obligation form below.  Thanks! — and watch our blog for project updates.  We’ll have more details once construction gets started!


June Social Media Lunch

The first Wednesday of the month is here again!
Mark your calendars… every first Monday of the Month
EXCEPT for July – our summer break month.  🙂

Wednesday, June 5, 2019Time:  Noon
Location:   442nd Street NW, Ortonville
(Lower Level of the Community Center)

Connect & Promote – tying in with Local Events Posts
Discussion on last month’s Google My Business topic (see link & info below)

Reminder:  These are informal lunch meetings where everyone brings their own lunch and drink – and joins in conversation after the initial agenda.  Of course, there will be discussions throughout the hour!

Thank you to Patrick Buttke & Chance Haugen of “Famous in a Small Town” for providing an overview, some tips, and stressing the importance – of “Google My Business”.  I’ve provided a video of the meeting below… this is not a formal presentation video – just the raw discussion of our informal Social Media Lunch meetings!  I knew a couple of regulars were unable to make this meeting so I videotaped the meeting on this very important topic!  We will discuss a few of the highlights at this month’s meeting and see who has updated their Google listing – and who might be looking for a little help yet to get updated.

During the May presentation, Patrick mentioned one of their clients – DNA Guide Service (with permission of course!)  I also would like to take a moment to also use them as an example.

Website Link for DNA Guide Service
Facebook Page Link DNA Guide Service

When you can type in “minnesota duck hunting” into the Google search – and DNA Guide Service comes up on the first page in the search – and comes up #1 in Google’s business map visual – that is good for DNA Guide Service AND good for Ortonville/Big Stone Lake/MNbump!  As you can see, we’re on the map… and they have quite a marketing reach on Google for duck hunters to find this business.  DNR Guide service further follows up their marketing reach with a beautiful website – great photos & videos to keep website visitor’s attention – AND, shows off our beautiful landscape to entice a visit.

Your Google Business Listing is a very important tool for your business and for the marketing of our area as a great place to visit & live.

Video from May’s Social Media Lunch:

Memorial Day Program in Ortonville 2019

Another amazing Memorial Day Program sponsored by the Big Stone Lake VFW Post 3964 and the VFW Auxiliary Post 3964 which was held at the Ortonville School Gymnasium.

This was the first year in a very long time that I’ve been out of town for the Program – thank you to my sister, Heidi Weeding Karels, for videotaping the Program for me!  It was her first time – so through a couple of technical adjustments and seating positioning, the video does not include the complete program.  After editing and uploading the video, I sat and watched the complete video.  I had tears streaming down my face during the Memorial Day Address by Pastor Ailsa Harl (who has accepted a Chaplain appointment and I’m sure will be missed greatly by Ortonville’s Zion Lutheran Church!!)  I hope you take a few minutes to watch the complete video.  It truly provided an emotional and vivid picture of the cost that has been paid and will continue to be paid for our freedoms, here in the United States of America.

The Agenda for the Program is found below the video.


Thank you again, Heidi!  I am so thankful that I was able to watch this program.


It really is fun to see so much happening here in Ortonville – I was going to (and will later today) write a post to update the latest… just hoping for a “go ahead” on a downtown project that I’ve been held to secrecy on for so long that it is starting to almost burst anyway…  AND, I was already thinking how awesome our business folks are here in Ortonville and throughout Big Stone County – when Kandi at the Ortonville Flower Shop stopped by with a beautiful bouquet of my FAVORITE flowers  (Gerbs! – another great thing about living in this community… the Flower Shop knowing what it is that you enjoy – like when I’m in a family group sending flowers for a funeral or such, I’ll always notice that there is a Gerber Daisy within the bouquet when she knows I was part of the order… that is the warmth I so enjoy living here!)

So… here are the flowers I received this morning from our new developers in town  – sitting right next to a beautiful plant that I received for my new office from a couple of other business people in town a couple of weeks ago – and last night I was enjoying a cup of coffee in my “Chicken Whisperer” mug that I received from another couple who have two different businesses in town (she finds it hilarious that I love chickens and offer to take care of the chickens for a couple when they head out of town for a couple of days.)  Yes, in a smaller community we just know things about each other – and I love that!

I certainly did not expect (or deserve) these wonderful gifts – as I sit here at a beautiful desk that was donated by Frandsen Bank & Trust in Clintondonated just because they knew we needed one for the new office location and thought the Ortonville EDA was a “worthy cause”  – I write this this morning to help paint the picture of living rural.  A place of warmth and connection.  (Of course, we do have our moments when we are passionate about a cause(s)… but in the end, we are friends and family)  #LoveWhereYouLive #MNbumpOrtonville

May 2019 Social Media Networking Lunch

The first Monday of the month is here again!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Time:  Noon
Location:   442nd Street NW, Ortonville
(Lower Level of the Community Center)

This is a meeting you’ll want to attend for the full benefit on the topic!  Patrick Buttke will be providing the training for this meeting.

Google Listing (It is important to have one!)
How to get your Google Business listing to rank higher on the search results

Reminder:  These are informal lunch meetings where everyone brings their own lunch and drink – and joins in conversation after the initial agenda.  Of course, there will be discussions throughout the hour!

If you plan to attend the meeting, please fill out the form below – so that I gauge if we have enough seating.  However, if you do not RSVP and at the last minute decide to come – please do!