Among the new businesses to grace Stanley this year was Cantina Margaritas on North Broadway, shown here set up for Cinco de Mayo. Photo by Joseph Back.
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2021: A year to forget, or else to remember?

The year may not be over just yet—there’s still two days, after all-but in lieu of a definite end to the present solar cycle here's what happened by chronolgical order of time for the first half of 2021 A.D. —put in dashed summary fashion:

January 7

—Kicking off the first week of 2021 was a chronology for 2020. More to the point, it was disordered. With Times Square less populated than last year, the City of Stanley chose a new banker in Forward Financial, while the Oriole wrestling team had a 3-1 start on the season after facing off against the Phillips Loggers in a dual and pinning the rival team, at home.

January 14

Fresh off the wrestling victory against Phillips, candidates were announced for Stanley and Boyd. With two seats up for election and quorum hanging in the balance, candidates for Boyd can pick up and return their candidacy papers by January 5 at 5 p.m., at the Boyd Village Hall.

For Stanley candidates, that’s City Hall—same time, same date.

In the meantime, the vaccine rollout continued as of January 14, while the Stanley-Boyd English Department won $2,000 from Forward Bank for sharing school pride.

January 21

—The biggest news for the third week of January happened to be that Aspirus Health of Wausau had just bought the local hospital, along with six others from Ascension Wisconsin. The deal, which wouldn’t take final form until fall, sees Aspirus administering hospitals in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula. Mark Walters column debuted as well.

For residents of the Boyd, meanwhile, the news of note was in relation to the Village Board and its backing of Officer Tucker Tiege’s speeding crackdown. Tiege would later leave for full-time employment at Mondovi, being replaced by Kevin Hagmann, who left for Sawyer County.

January 28

—Starting the week of January 28 was the news that Deano’s Big Ten Pub was changing ownership after almost three decades. The new owners, Chad and Debbie Haas, changed the name to Debbie’s on Broadway, serving steak from Derks Farms Beef.

Also of note for the week of January 28 was the news that local alum Charlie McCrackin had made a Super Bowl commercial spot. McCrackin, who graduated in 1996, played the part of a sports announcer who flubs his lines, causing the soundbooth operator a headache, all in the name of good fun.

February 4

—Of note in hindsight for the week of February 4 is a feature on the old train depot. Taken with several inside pictures, the depot would later suffer a direct hit from the tornado of December 15, with its future dependent on insurance and a structural assessment to see if saving it is an option.

February 11

—In sports for the week of February 11 was the news that senior Blaine Brenner was on the road to a potential third state title, which he later won. Making it through the WIAA regionals ‘“without breaking a sweat,” Brenner now wrestles at the University of Minnesota.

Also of note February 11 was the news that K9 Officer Trey had sniffed out some mischief in the form of meth and marijuana, while Forward Bank made a donation to Stanley-Boyd Schools in the amount of $1,524.32 on behalf of those customers participating in its Charitable Money Market Account.

February 18

—Coming the night of February 13, a night fire destroyed the residence of Rubyann Birt on East Second Avenue, the glow visible into the night as temperatures dipped below zero. A fundraiser was set up for Birt by another resident.

Meanwhile the same day, Blaine Brenner won a third state wrestling title in Division 2 for Stanley-Boyd, down at the State meet at Adams-Friendship high school. Closing out the notable events from February 18 was a golden wedding anniversary, as well as the news that Boyd was cancelling assessments from 1978, or 42 years ago. Motion was made by Gwen Krizan and seconded by Bob Geist.

February 25

—For the week of February 25 Tucker Tiege made the front page with a major drug bust, while the summer Rodeo was declared a ‘go,’ pending developments. Grace Community Bible Church held its first service, while out on Chapman Lake a few sunfish and other aquatic residents including Northern Pike were likely wishing they hadn’t bit the hook, as the 15th Annual Sportsmans Club Ice Fishing Contest hauled them through the ice and into some very cold temperatures, enough to induce shock in the scaly denizens of the water world.

March 4 —With hard pack snow visible on Oriole Park field, the outdoor graduation date was set for Friday May 28 for the Stanley-Boyd Class of 2021, while senior Haley Adkins was awarded a Kohl Foundation Scholarship. The pre-fabricated concrete walls for the new Community Center were stood up in the parking lot at Chapman Park, while a reminder for the blood drive of March 8 also made the front page.

March 11

—Opening March 11 after months of renovation at the old Shopko was Courtesy Ford, as the old site was sold to Kwik Trip, soon to debut with its own opening this February. The old bridge came out on Eighth Avenue to make way for a replacement span over the Wolf River, while Officer Tiege of Boyd resigned to head to Mondovi and temporary road weight limits went into force with the Spring thaw.

March 18

—Starting out the week of March 18 was a proposal from Country Wireless to hook the school district up with Wi-Fi out to County Line, while a church soup supper make the news from Our Savior’s Lutheran. The Country Wireless proposal involved gaining access to the prison water tower and running wires up the inside to the top, while soup supper was held to fund Luther Bible Camp at Chetek. Four Orioles made All-Conference distinction as well, these being Carsen Hause, Lily Hoel, Teagen Becker, and Brady Potaczek.

March 25

—For the week of March 25, a drug-motivated home invasion in Sigel made the front page, while Ringelspiel at Boyd got the green light from County Health. A new zoning map was approved for the City of Stanley, while Faith Evangelical Free Church hired a new Student and Worship pastor named Matt Peters. The Erdman residence of 218 First Avenue was set to be put to the torch, and a long running inquiry at the Boyd Village Board made the rounds.

“How’s the park, Bob?” President Randy Setzer asked.

“Good,” Geist replied, with tree work on the schedule. Not too bad for its age meanwhile, was a picture of the old Sherman School at Edson, closed in 1952. Some buildings, age gracefully, it seems—at least viewed from the outside.

April 1

— The big news the first week of April was the controlled burn of the old Dr. Erdman residence, with Stanley Fire joined by a class from Chippewa Valley Technical College. With a crowd gathered across the street in the parking lot of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), the first sign that something wasn’t quite right from across the tracks came at 9:45 a.m., with a puff of white smoke appearing out the west attic window, followed with the roof cave-in three hours later of the very controlled blaze. Rubble by nightfall and snuffed out by 5 p.m. the next day, the site later saw its old home foundation torn out and the ground made level for a future residence, not yet built as of press time.

April 8

—Coming the week of April 8 was the news of a prime commercial site for sale in downtown Stanley. Once home to a building known as the Hotel Royal before that building was raised for safety issues, the site was later purchased but remains vacant as of the present. In other news for the second week of April, Stanley-Boyd voted to join the Wisconsin Rural School Alliance, while contestants were sought for Miss Stanley.

April 15

—Following the news of a prime commercial site on the market, April 15 saw the headline that Stanley-Boyd would stay the course on masks. With just weeks left in the school year, spring wasn’t the time to quit.

“I don’t think anyone likes wearing a mask, however, since we have been wearing them all school year, people are used to wearing them,” district superintendent Jeff Koenig was quoted as saying at the time as the pandemic continued to spawn variants and vaccination efforts were in their early stages.

April 22

—Shifting from masks to a Monday farewell, Randy Setzer and Tom McQuillan said goodbye to the Boyd Village Board as their terms ended. With Setzer endorsing Geist for president and Sarah McQuillan coming on board, an empty trustee seat developed as Trustee Geist became President Geist. That empty seat, still remains, with papers of candidacy due January 5.

Also making the upper front page for April 22 was another drug bust by K9 Officer Trey for methamphetamine. Meanwhile winter refused to concede the March 20 Spring Equinox as snow fell April 14, and Northwestern Bank made a donation to purchase CPR-training mannequins for Boyd-Edson-Delmar.

April 29

—The big news for the last week of April was the seeking of the Miss Stanley title by four local ladies. Jasmine Sanchez, Ali Starck, Hannah Hazard, and Alexis Cardwell would compete for the title, as things returned to semi-normal in the wake of COVID-restrictions. The School Board heard a need for space from CESA 10 , and the return to the charcoal chicken fundraiser by the Boyd-Edson-Delmar Fire department brought some smiles back. There were two prom courts (junior and senior).

May 6

—Demolished in 1987, built on in 2021. That was the story May 6 as word came that duplexes would follow on the former site of the Stanley High School and Gymnasium, long empty as the school was closed and education shifted elsewhere. Down at the high school library meanwhile, it was parents against and one student for face coverings, as the strike down of the Governor’s third was mandates saw local fallout.

May 13

—Announced the week of May 13 was the news that Regie Benson, Breielle Thompson, and Kwinn Seichter would compete for Miss Boyd, while the appearance of spring leaves masked ongoing fire danger, made known by a red flag at the Stanley Fire Department on First Avenue, below the Stars and Stripes. Fire Chief Korey Hagenson looked into a Smokey the Bear sign for the city, while the opening of the Eighth Avenue bridge finally saw one project out of the way, with more to come.

May 20

Yield signs placed east/west along Willow Road made the news for May 20, while a return to the fire of 1906 via a “Staff Report,” chronicled the library’s harrowing save from certain destruction, as a tornado would later visit the depot later in 2021.

May 27

—May 27 saw the announcement of the top ten from the Class of 2020. With Gracie McManus as Valedictorian and Mallory Gustafson as Salutatorian, included in the top ten were Marissa Gustafson, Jade Fredrickson, Monica Derks, Sam Denzine, Hannah Hause, McKenzie Derks, Kesley Kuehni, and Haley Adkins.

Additionally, a grant program was announced for small businesses hard hit by COVID-19, while over at Boyd the rides awaited, with Ringelspiel due to kick off that weekend.

June 3 —Along with Ringelspiel and crowds it was announced that Breielle Thompson had won Miss Boyd, with Kwinn Seichter and Regie Benson as courts princesses. The Stanley- Boyd Class of 2021 lined up at the 50-yard line at Oriole Park, while a Memorial Day service was held at Soo Line Park, Randy Van De Loo among the speakers.

June 10

—With a tortoise and a hare making the front page, from Taft (the tortoise inches from the finish), it was Time to get ready for Truck Pull the week of June 10, with Truck and Tractors moving in Thursday and Friday. The Stanley Chamber of Commerce held ribbon cuttings for Cantina Margaritas and Revive Massage, while Stanley Class of 1921 Salutatorian Edith Shideler made page 6, her speech being on “The Progress of the Rural School.”

June 17

—With June 17 came bad news, as it was revealed that the Emerald Ash Borer had moved in on First Avenue. With John Hoel reporting that the telltale D-shaped exit holes from ash borer larvae had been found in town, Joe Karlen was contracted to do the cleanup work, felling all trees on First Avenue with the larval pest while preparations were made for the Stanley Rodeo, due to open June 18. The Rod and Gun Club donated $20,000 to the Stanley Community Center, while the Stanley Area Chamber of Commerce continued its ribbon cuttings, for Firehouse Friends and Debbies on Broadway.

June 24

—Closing out the month of June, it was announced that Ali Starck was Miss Stanley 2021 while Chris Kroeze of “The Voice” made an appearance in private concert at Broadway Boutique. Boyd Legion Post 326 made a donation for a body cam to police chief Louis Eslinger, while the last of the Stanley Area Chamber ribbon cuttings were featured, for Courtesy Ford and Dollar General.

With two days still to go in the year, check back next week for the second half of 2021, as chronicled in your local newspaper.

December 29, 2021