The year 2012 saw many changes in the Big Lake area as redistricting and elections brought some new politicians to the fore. With half of Big Lake Township in District 30 and half in District 15 with Orrock Township, there was plenty of election news to report as Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer steps up to the role of State Senator in January with Nick Zerwas in as State Representative for District 30. In District 15, State Sen. David Brown was re-elected and Jim Newberger (R), from Bec ker was elected as State Representative. Township elections in March saw almost a complete change on the Supervisor Board of Orrock Township as Mike Wocken and Micheal Christensen stepped down and Michael Eisinger, Corrie Silverberg, and Mike Meier beat the incumbent stepped up. Brenda Kimberly-Maas also defeated Greg Westgaard in her bid for Township clerk. Lively discussion over snow plowing continues but JME is clearing the snow and the township’s old plow trucks have been sold. In Big Lake Township, things have been quiet this year except for the passing of Supervisor Mike Hayes earlier this year and the departure of Supervisor Jim Stahlmann in August. Bruce Aubol and Steve Pfleghaar were appointed to their unexpired positions on the board. The Big Lake School District allowed students to have cell phones in school and updated their technology to include WiFi in all their buildings. The biggest changes have been in the music departments this year with the departure of choir teacher James Fiskum from the high school and Peggy Renner from the middle school. High School band teacher Richard Fillafer also retired this year and has been replaced by former middle school band teacher Heidi R. Olson. The Big Lake Hornets gymnastics team lost their longtime Coach Joan “Zimm” Rosengren to retirement mid-season but went on to take third place in the Minnesota State High State High School League state championships, coached by Nikki Dilbert. The City of Big Lake saw some new construction this year as CherryWood senior living facility and the Duffy Townhome project opened their doors. KleinBank broke ground on a new bank building at the junction of Hwy. 10 and Co. Rd. 43. The building was expected to be completed by April but is well ahead of schedule, thanks to a mild fall. The old Holiday gas station at the intersection of Lake Street North was torn down and replaced with a new store, which includes a car wash. The Big Lake Police Dept. moved across the street form their old building behind Holiday to City Hall. The move is expected to result in cost savings for the city due to increased efficiencies in utilities and internet service, heat and telephone communications. Across the river, after a year of feuding with the Monticello Clinic physicians, New River Medical Center was projecting losses so large they determined their only solution was to seek affiliation with a larger health service provider. After considering their options, the board elected to go with CentraCare, a healthcare service provider from St. Cloud.