Remembrance Ceremony Held for VCSU Student - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Remembrance Ceremony Held for VCSU Student

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Wednesday night was full of crying, laughing, hugging, and praying. A dance was scheduled at the Valley City State Arena, but the school canceled it and everyone came together to make a memorial for Dan Buehner.

Students that spoke say this is the tightest they have been in years, and this is just the first step in healing process. Everyone agreed this is going to change their lives forever.

They say college is supposed to be a time to figured everything out, and he was taken too soon.

The coach read a letter from Dan's dad saying that Dan never quit in his life, and he expects students and the baseball team to do the same, and never give up.

Faculty tells us they are setting up a fund in Dan's honor, and they will pass along that information soon.


Valley City State University will host a Gathering for Remembrance to honor the life of the late Dan Buehner at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 23, in the W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse on the VCSU campus.

Buehner, a VCSU senior from Blaine, Minnesota, died Monday in a rafting accident on the Sheyenne River in Valley City. He was a business administration major and the starting catcher on the VCSU Viking baseball team.

The gathering Wednesday night will include remarks by VCSU President Steven W. Shirley, athletic director Jack Denholm and baseball coach Casey Olney. VCSU student leaders from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes will share remarks, as will the Rev. Emmy Swedlund of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Valley City.

A memorial video will be shown, and several of Buehner's friends and teammates will speak. There will also be a time for open sharing by those assembled.


 A sad day in Valley City as a university and baseball team mourn the loss of a student and teammate. After more than a day of searching, water rescue crews have recovered the body of a Valley City State University baseball player in the Sheyenne River.  

"It's one of those things that no one can predict," said fellow baseball player Kayl Hamre. "We don't know why it happens but we lost a great guy,  a great teammate and even a better friend."

Search crews found 23-year-old Dan Buehner about a quarter mile from where the rubber raft he was riding capsized. Authorities say his body was found near the 8th Avenue Bridge.  On Monday, the Baldhill Dam was closed down to lower river levels. That allowed for six to twelve people, depending on the width of the river, to walk shoulder-to-shoulder through the water. The police chief says that's how they found Buehner's body.

Dan Buehner was a senior at Valley City State University majoring in business administration. He also was the catcher for the school's baseball team. Teammates held an informal practice Tuesday afternoon where one player shared how this is going to affect their team.

"It's tough...college baseball is more than just playing baseball. It's a family," sad Kayl Hamre. "It's a brotherhood and we lost one of our brothers the other day... and it has hit us hard."

Teammates agree that Buehner was quiet, but had a great sense of humor. They say he was a team player and a great friend.  "Hardworking, extremely hard working, never took a day off," explains teammate Mike Gershman. "Being catcher he was beaten up for a couple years being back there, but he always showed up. He always give his heart... played like everything was on the line every day."

The incident is still under investigation. The Valley City Police Chief says Buehner's body has been transferred to the Grand Forks medical examiner's office for an autopsy. As far as the other two who were rescued and hospitalized, one was released from the hospital on Monday and the other was expected to be released Tuesday.

The Valley City Police department says all three men involved were Valley City State University students. The President of VCSU released the following statement on Tuesday afternoon.

  "It is with a heavy heart and great sadness to inform you that authorities this morning discovered the body of VCSU student Dan Buehner in the Sheyenne River. Dan was a senior majoring in business administration and played catcher on the VCSU baseball team. He was from Blaine, Minnesota and attended high school at Centennial High. I will pass along more information as we have it regarding pending arrangements. Please keep Dan's family in your thoughts and prayers in the days ahead during this incredibly difficult time." 

Steve Shirley
Valley City State University


Valley City Police and Fire departments are looking for a young man who went missing in the Sheyenne River.

Officers say around 1:00 Monday morning someone called 911 after hearing screams coming from the river. The caller said three people had gone into the river. The trio was in a raft floating down the Sheyenne when they hit a small dam causing the raft to tip over. 

First responders were able to rescue two people from the river but continue to look for the third person. Valley City Police and Valley City Fire Department are leading the search, the Cass County Dive Team also went to Valley City to assist. Emergency crews are using several techniques in an effort to find the young man.

 "We've taken the steps to have the water essentially turned off at the dam uphill at the Baldhill Dam, and when the water level gets low enough we're going to send sources into the water here...divers and sonar gear," explains Valley City Police Chief Fred Thompson

Thompson says the two men rescued from the water were hospitalized and treated for hypothermia, they are expected to be okay. The police chief wouldn't release details about the three victims' identities, but did say all three are young men.
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