Waseca County Pioneer
103 S. State Street
Waseca, MN

(507) 837-6767


STAFF- Most of the Pioneer staff is pictured above. From left, Jonah Stafford, Amelia Roessler, Deb Bently, Jim Lutgens, Eli Lutgens, Logan Piltingsrud, whose photos have been featured in the Star Eagle, held by Melanie Piltingsrud, Michael Roy, Chris Schlaak, and Reed Waller. Pioneer photo by Pam Goehrig

“We plan to find at least one story for every edition that makes the whole year’s subscription worthwhile. We know we won’t have everything for everybody in every edition, but we will definitely have something for everyone.” –Eli Lutgens, publisher This issue of the Waseca County Pioneer is the...

Waseca new middle school Miranda Merrill

Reminiscing, Waseca’s new middle school band director Miranda Merrill remembers how school has always been a positive environment for her. She loved the structure of school and never had a bad teacher. But Merrill’s passion to inspire showed in her love of music and band. When fourth grade...

The night before Arron Bartelt’s funeral, Lyndon Gerdts harvested a few rows of corn to make room for 27 combines to line up for the funeral held on Saturday in Waldorf.

The world became a lesser place when Arron Bartelt, 48, died on September 24. He, his wife Cassie Birr, and three of their children lived in the Waldorf area. Arron’s business, A&B Custom Equipment, served area farmers. Arron was well known for his creative but effective way of repairing...

Waseca SMART bus drivers (from left) Vern Fette, Al Kingsley and John Simonette all say they find their job as public transportation drivers fulfilling and rewarding.           Pioneer photo by Deb Bently

“We want people to know SMART is there for everybody,” says Shelly Rockman, operations manager for the Steele and Waseca county branches of the Southern Minnesota Area Rural Transit service. “If their car is in the shop, if for some reason they just don’t feel like driving, they can get a ride...

Community leaders gathered to celebrate the start of TEAM Academy’s 20th school year on September 5.

September 5, 2023 began the twentieth school year since the founding of Waseca Charter School, TEAM Academy. The event was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, during which the Chamber of Commerce presented the school with the Milestone Award. “I was thinking about how we made it twenty years...

Retail supervisor Emily Nelson and FM BANK President Jon Butler 
Pioneer photo by Eli Lutgens
After nearly half a year of construction, renovation and upgrades, Waseca’s FM BANK is ready to open September 26.  “Warming, comfortable and inviting,” is how local bank president Jon Butler describes the remodel of the former Wells Fargo building at 220 East Elm Avenue.  “We didn’t want to...

Waseca County District 3 commissioner candidates, from left, Ann Fitch, Larry Johnson, and Brad Milbrath.            Pioneer photo by Eli Lutgens

Three candidates vying for Waseca County Commissioner in District 3 took to the stage Wednesday afternoon, October 25, at Waseca Junior Senior High School (WJHS). The primary election for the open commissioner seat will be November 7. The top two vote-getters will move on to the February...

Brad Milbrath

Throwing his hat in the ring for Waseca County Commissioner is Brad Milbrath, 57, former sheriff of Waseca County for 12 years. Milbrath grew up in Waseca County, having graduated from Mapleton High School in 1984 before going on to obtain a degree in criminal justice from Minnesota West...

Larry Johnson

Larry Johnson, 49, is one of three candidates running to fill the Waseca County Commissioner seat for District 3 left vacant by the passing of former commissioner Blair Nelson. Johnson has lived in Waseca for over 30 years, having returned after living in San Diego for 10 years. He graduated from...

Ann Fitch

Ann Fitch is one of three candidates vying for the District 3 seat on the Waseca County board of commissioners this year. Fitch, 43, is a native of Waseca, having graduated from Waseca High School in 1998. She is employed as the Executive Director of the Waseca Area Chamber of Commerce, a...



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