2021 Year in Review

From Staff Reports

From new businesses opening, to retirements, to the return of events after a year of COVID-19 shut-downs, here is a look at the headlines that dominated the front page of the Advocate Tribune in 2021.


-The YES House worked on improvements, purchasing new windows to install replicating the historic upper-level windows.

-The Upper Sioux Community completed a large Minnesota River Stream Bank Conservation Project to help keep the changing Minnesota Riverbank in check.

-Lynette Bakker retired as the Granite Falls Liquor Store Manager after 30 years.


-The Granite Falls baseball association opened its newly constructed fieldhouse baseball training facility.

-Clarkfield native Bruce Koepp published his second novel, Pitfall.

The Granite Falls Energy Ethanol Plant


-A Taste in Time opened in downtown Granite Falls.

-Prentice Street Barbers opened in downtown Granite Falls.

-The YME Silhouettes made their 25th State appearance.

-The 2nd annual Flannel Pub Crawl was held in Granite Falls with visitors stopping at Granite Bowl, Bluenose Gopher Public House and the Granite Falls Legion.

-The Fagen Fighters WWII Museum finished restoration work on a F6F-5 Hellcat Death N' Destruction plan that was put on display in the museum.


-The Granite Falls Bank, F&M Bank, Minnesota and Security State Bank of Fergus Falls announced a merger to become one organization.

-The Yellowstone Trail Alliance of Western Minnesota elected Becky Heerdt as its new President. 

-The Streblow family was awarded their first dollar from the Granite Falls Chamber board after taking over ownership of Carl's Bakery.

Dave Beasley's shop cat "Lil Foot" is a regular business day fixture.


-Dr. Darrell Carter of Avera Medical Group, Granite Falls, announced his retirement.

-The City of Granite Falls was awarded a SMAC Arts Legacy project grant in the amount of $18,600 to stimulate and encourage the creation, performance, and appreciation of the arts through large-scale projects that will leave an arts legacy in Southwest Minnesota.

Smiles and art sales filled the streets of Granite Falls during the August 5 Makers Market.


-Jeanie Anderson retired after 38 years in the Clarkfield Care service.

-The first “Minnesota Makers Market” was held with 26 vendors in downtown Granite Falls.

-The annual Western Fest Celebration saw record numbers with 5,200 attending the rodeo.

Lauren Fagen flies the American flag for PRCA rodeo.


-Memorial Park added a Camper Cabin rental through a partnership with the Granite Falls Economic Development Authority. 

-The Granite Falls Historical Society opened a room of the Andrew Volstead House Museum for a new feature - an escape room.

-Bluenose Gopher Public House held its first annual 50 Mile Bike Race.

-Scott Dubbeldee, general manager of Farmers Cooperative Elevator announced his retirement after 28 years on the job at the Elevator’s annual meeting.


-A convoy of historic military vehicles made its way through Granite Falls touring the Yellowstone Trail in an event hosted by the Yellowstone Trail Alliance.

-Almich’s Market celebrated 60 years in business.

-Dave’s Electric celebrated 40 years in business.

-Collision Pros and Glass of Clarkfield celebrated 25 years in business.

-A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Montevideo Veteran’s Home project. 

Bicyclists gather behind BlueNose Gopher Pub, near Sorlien Park early Saturday morning as Luwaina al Otaibi shares details about the inaugural Bluenose Gopher 50 Mile Gravel Bicycle Race.


-Art benches were installed in downtown Granite Falls. The benches were in partnership with local artists who submitted artwork, Granite Area Arts Council, Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, Granite Falls Woodworks, Pro Color Graphics, and the City of Granite Falls.

-Summit Carbon Solutions announced to the Yellow Medicine County Board that a $4.5 billion investment, the Midwest Carbon Express project, would develop a carbon capture and storage project in Minnesota as well as four other midwest states. Ethanol plants in the midwest joining the project included Granite Falls Energy.

-YME started School with a new Middle/High school Principal, Brennan Kent.


-It was announced that Keith Helgeson was chosen to be the new 8th Judicial District Judge in Yellow Medicine County.

-A large group of community members from Montevideo and Granite Falls gathered to hold a meeting about the Trails Initiative hoping to connect existing trails in Montevideo and Granite Falls together.

-Plans were announced by the Minnesota Department of Transportation to reroute Hwy. 67 that has suffered a slope failure near the Upper Sioux Agency State Park visitors center.

-Spikes in COVID cases caused a virtual learning day to be held at the start of the MEA break at the YME school

-Mark Gruenes took the role of Yellow Medicine County Attorney.


-Fagen Fighters WWII Museum received the  Gold Lindy Award. The award is named after  Charles Lindbergh, and acknowledges the resolve and effort needed to create an aircraft.

-For the first time in YME history, the high school football team was awarded Academic All-State gold Status. The achievement was earned by all team members maintaining an average GPA above 3.32, the 3rd best GPA in Class A Football across the state.

-Stakeholders of the Yellowstone Trail met in Granite Falls to kick-off the development of a Yellowstone Trail Cultural Heritage Tourism Master Plan. The plan has been in the making since 2018.


-It was announced that the Granite Falls Advocate Tribune was sold to CherryRoad Media with the take-over beginning in January of 2022. 

-Bert Raney Elementary School received a donation of bicycles from the Granite Falls Area Community Foundation.