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    United Way of Hastings Holiday Help

    On a recent InDepth program, Mari Mellick, Executive Director of United Way of Hastings explains a new program that can get rid of that old car, truck, boat or snowmoblie you may want to part with, and how a partnership with a new business in town will make it easy too.

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    The first step is to contact the United Way of Hastings to arrange for an intake appointment. Call 651-438-3337. Vehicle donations through the Donation Zone are tax-deductible.

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    United Way of Hastings Executive Director Mari Mellick looks at December as a month of possibilities. She explains why.

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    She reminds donors that local dollars serve local families.

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    Spot Vision Screener Received

    Hastings Public Schools Early Childhood Family Education received a $7,795 grant from the Hastings Public Schools Foundation to assist in obtaining a Spot Vision Screener. The Spot Vision Screener is an advanced tool for screening the vision of young children. The screening process takes mere seconds to complete and can provide a printed report of results. The screener can identify up to six potential eye conditions and vision issues. District Health Services Coordinator, Mary Ellen Fox, says the district wants to identify and correct these issues as soon as possible. Poor vision early in life can delay developmental milestones and undermine a childs progress. The screener has been in use at the District since the beginning of 2017 and plans are under way to obtain a second unit with another grant from the HPSF.

       

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    SumMEr WEdge Program Honored

    A special announcement was made at the District 200 School Board meeting on Wednesday night, with a presentation made by Annie Platek, representing the Minnesota Community Education Association.

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    She then went on to describe the criteria that qualified them for the honor.

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    The presentation was made this fall at the State Convention and the formal acknowledgement was received at the Wednesday meeting by Sara Lawrence on behalf of the SumMEr Wedge program

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    Regina President Thompson Health Issue

    NEWS UPDATE:A statement provided on Thursday morning from Communications Director Terry Dresen of Allina Health, confirmed that President of Regina Hospital, Thomas Thompson, suffered a heart attack recently and is now on medical leave. The official statement relayed that Thompson is doing well and all schedules and events including the lighting of the Regina Foundation Tree of Lights will continue as planned,with senior staff stepping in to fulfill the needs until his return. Photo supplied by Allina Health.

       

    Hastings Fire Department Responds To Oxley Ave

    The Hastings Fire Department responded to a fire Thursday morning on Oxley Avenue near State Road 316, south of Hastings. The incident involved fire fighters from Hastings and Miesville, according to eyewitness reports. KDWA spoke with Hastings Fire Marshall John Townsend for a recap of the event.

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       Damages have not been estimated at this time.

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    McAuliffe School Lock Down Wednesday Morning

    Early Wednesday morning McAuliffe Elementary School was locked down due to a police matter occurring at a neighboring residence. KDWA spoke with ISD 200 Program Coordinator, Deana Werner, regarding the lockdown.

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    As Werner stated, there was no direct threat to any students or staff at the school. Classes resumed as normal once the police matter was concluded.

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    HASTINGS ELEMENTRY SCHOOL IN LOCK-DOWN THIS MORNING:

    Christa Mcauliff Elementry School was in a "lock down" this morning. Deanna Werner with School District 200 has the details:

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    Results From Prescott City Council Meeting

    The Prescott City Council held a regular meeting on Monday, November 28th. Prescott City Administrator Jayne Brand gives us a brief recap of that meeting.

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       The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 12th.

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    Recent Arrests by Hastings Police

    From the Hastings City Police blotter, officers were called to the 1700 block of North Frontage Road on November 14th for a shoplifting call. As a result of the investigation, 19-year-old Jeremy Todd Rauschnot, of Newport, was cited for shoplifting. On November 16th, police responded to the 2100 block of Vermillion Street to investigate a call regarding damage to a vehicle. Officers on the scene took a report of damage to a van by a rock thrown through a window. Items taken from the van totaled approximately $600 in value. Also on the 16th, officers responded to an accident near the intersection of Vermillion and 10th Streets, involving a vehicle and a juvenile on a scooter. When officers arrived the juvenile had already left the scene of the accident after telling occupants of the vehicle that he was not injured.

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    On November 17th officers were called to the 1000 block of Baily Street on a missing persons call. Investigating officers were able to locate the missing juvenile at a neighboring residence. Also on the 17th Hastings Police conducted a warrant service call in the 100 block of 23rd Street. Officers arrested Steven Thomas Miller, 22, of Hastings on one felony and 2 misdemeanor warrants. On November 18th Hastings Police located a person listed as missing from Becker County during a warrant service call in the 1600 block of Vermillion Street.

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    Also on the 17th of November, officers received a report of an injured deer in the 800 block of Vermillion St. Officers on the scene put down the deer, which had been struck by a vehicle. Officers conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of 23rd and Vermillion Streets on the 18th of November. As a result of the stop, 29-year-old Lor Her, of St. Paul was arrested for an active warrant, violating an order for protection and driving after revocation. A traffic stop conducted near the intersection of Vermillion and 3rd Streets on the 18th resulted in a citation issued to 19-year-old Dorren Will Sheegog, of S. St. Paul for driving without a license. On the 20th of November Hastings police conducted a traffic stop in the 300 block of Spring Street. As a result of the stop, 28-year-old Rachel Jo Kerstetter was arrested for driving while intoxicated. A traffic stop near the intersection of Vermillion and 5th Street resulted in the arrest of Andrew Jacob Standal for driving while intoxicated and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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    Gobble Gait Thanks and Recaps

    The 19th annual Gobble Gait is now in the history books. One of the event's organizers, Mary Fasbender, offered some recapping of the event, beginning with the record number of participants who lined up for the annual ocassion.

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    She also shared the grand total, with a large thanks to the generous sponsors who step up every year.

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    Last year the local fundraiser topped it's accumulative 1 million dollar mark, but as Fasbender has said, the need never ends and they are glad to provide a way for this giving to be part of ThanksGiving every year.

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    More stories and recap details from the 19th Annual Gobble Gait Event are listed below

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    Second Trial For Bailey Murder

    The second trial of Rose Marie Kuehni will begin on December 6th in Pierce County. Kuehni's first trial, which ended in August, acquitted her of first-degree homicide, in the killing of Douglas Bailey in November of 2015. The hung jury, struggled with a 2nd degree charge and in the end, they returned just one verdict, that of hiding a corpse. Attorneys will present the case again in front of a new jury, but the same Judge, James Duvall. Kuehni admitted to killing Bailey, but proclaimed self-defense due to a long history of reported abuse. Her attorney Mark Gherty, intends to provide an expert witnesses, who also testified at the first trial, one who will explain the reactions often displayed by those who experience domestic abuse. The threshold of proof requires what would a reasonable person do when presented the same situation. The coroner who performed the autopsy on Bailey, will also testify again, with questions remaining on the part of the defense, on whether it can be proven conclusively that he was shot in the back as presented by the prosecution. Attorney for the prosecution, Bill Thorie acknowledged that testimony provided in the first trial that listed a history of abuse would color how the jury perceives the actions of Kuehni, who recorded a verbal altercation in which Bailey made several aggressive statements Gherty paints as causing Kuehni to fear for her life. The prosecution counters that the audio should be inadmissible as hearsay. Another issue is the judge will not allow testimony to reveal the fact that the first trial ended in a hung jury. Judge Duvall has instructed both sides to construct their cases carefully relying on facts and not suppositions.

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    Frandsen Bank Now in Hastings

    Frandsen Bank & Trust, formerly known as Provincial Bank, came under new ownership last month. Frandsen Financial Corporation acquired Provincial Bank, which included locations in Lakeville, Apple Valley and Hastings. Troy Weathers, marketing president of Frandsen Bank & Trust in Hastings said Were very excited about this change and very excited about the opportunity that Frandsen brings to us, Mike Watters, owner of Provincial Bank, decided to sell his business as he was looking to retire, Dennis Frandsen, the CEO of Frandsen Corporation, came to Hastings personally to introduce himself. Frandsen Bank & Trust brings new resources to Hastings, such as mobile and online banking services. Someone can take a picture with their phone and deposit their check directly from the phone. Thats an option for both personal and business banking. Frandsen Bank & Trust in Hastings still has a community first philosophy. Weathers said the bank still puts the needs of the customer first and they will continue to support community initiatives they have supported in the past. The bank contributed to the Hastings Rotary Pavilion and is supportive of community events, including Gobble Gait.

       

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    Prescott Prepares for Winter

    KDWA spoke with Prescott Chief of Police, Gary Krutke, who reminds Prescott listeners of the winter parking ordinances now in effect.

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       Prescotts Winter Parking Rules remain in effect until March 31st.

       

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    Cottage Grove Hail To The Bird Recap

    Several area fundraisers with a Thanksgiving theme raised thousands for local food shelves. The Turkey Trot in Ellsworth, Gobble Gait in Hastings and the seventh annual Hail to the Bird run in Cottage Grove gave a boost to the start of the holiday season. Brothers Adam and Matt Elling , along with friend Tim Mauer, organized the event which raised nearly 5,000 dollars for the Friends in Need foodshelf. Friends in Need serve the communities of Cottage Grove , St. Paul Park, New port and Grey Cloud Island families. More than 500 participants made the 5K event part of their holiday tradition, and voiced a hearty Hail Yah to begin the trek in the misty grey morning. The Elling brothers were grateful for the community support which was held in scenic Hamlet Park and noted many friends and neighbors who have joined them each of the seven years.

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    Rosemount Family Receives Judgment for Daughter

    A decision has been handed down in a case presented 3 years ago for a then 4 year old Rosemount girl, Emma Heidish, who contracted e-Coli following a visit to a Dayton farm. The girls family went to Dehns Pumpkin Farm in October of 2013 where a petting zoo was part of the activities. Shortly after the visit, the girl suffered kidney disease and required several weeks in the hospital. Several others were also reported ill from their visit and the farm was charged with negligence in providing a safe atmosphere for the public. The judgment of 7.5 million dollars was awarded, however, the farms insurance was much less than that total. Several fundraisers were conducted following the incident and the family states Emma will need continuing medical treatment due to the incident.

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    HFS Thanks Gobble Gait Goodness

    Executive Director of Hastings Family Sevice, Chris Koop,recapped Thanksgiving's Gobble Gait.

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       Gobble Gait occurs every Thanksgiving in Hastings, raising funds for Hastings Family Service

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    Gobble Gait 19 Big Success

    The 19th annual Gobble Gait is now in the history books. One of the event's organizers, Mary Fasbender, offered some recapping of the event, beginning with the record number of participants who lined up for the annual ocassion.

    Click here for audio

    She also shared the grand total, with a large thanks to the generous sponsors who step up every year.

    Click here for audio

       

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    Last year the local fundraiser topped it's accumulative 1 million dollar mark, but as Fasbender has said, the need never ends and they are glad to provide a way for this giving to be part of ThanksGiving every year. We'll have more from our Gobble Gait review on our next newscast.

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    Sieben Finds Hoopla Medallion

    The Holiday Hoopla Medallion was found Friday morning by Kerry Sieben. She located the medallion along the Hastings Riverwalk. Clues 4 and 5 were released and many were searching along the river for the prize which garnered the winner 125 dollars in cash and another 125 in downtown cash certificates. We are hoping to connect with Sieben about her find and hear her take on the luck of the Siebens. Terry Sieben was the finder of this year's Rivertown Days medallion. No word yet on whether or not there is a Sieben Good Luck charm. More from the winner on our next newscast.

    Hastings FD Joins Hazardous Cleanups

    Update:In a late Wednesday followup from Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt, nearly 25 different agencies including fire and rescue, hazmat, and special equipment operators were called to a pair of early morning incidents involving large scale hazardous material handling. The first incident was a semi tank truck, northbound on Highway 52 near 210th Street East. The driver lost control and crashed into the center median, rolling the trailer onto the semi-tractor and blocking most of northbound Highway 52. The tank, which was loaded with 8,000 gallons of highly flammable ethanol, ruptured in two separate places, leaking approximately 6,000 gallons of ethanol into the median and underground storm sewer pipe. Highway 52 was closed in both directions from 2:30 until approximately noon, when one lane in each direction was opened for traffic.

    Then in a similar incident, just 2 miles from the first, a semi truck carrying 7,500 gallons of gasoline rolled into a County Road 47ditch at 210th Street East causing gasoline to leak out. Crews were able to contain this leak to a couple hundred gallons of gasoline. This road was also closed to traffic. Chief Schutt stated that both sites were extremely volatile with mitigation is also very time consuming, as each step has a methodical process to advert further disruption or danger. Contractors were called in to unload and transfer the products to waiting trucks. Due to the position of the trailer on County Road 47,crews had to drill holes into each of the bulk tanks to create access for suction pipes to be inserted. Once the product has been removed, two cranes are brought in to lift and upright the trucks and trailers onto waiting semi-trucks to be towed away. County Road 47 reopened early Wednesday afternoon. He also noted,there were no injuries to any parties involved, including responders. Environmental crews remained onsite at both locations removing all contaminated soil and performing cleanup. The Minnesota State Patrol will be reconstructing both accidents to determine the cause.

    Photo Provided by the Minnesota State Patrol.

    Holiday Hoopla Medallion Hunt Clues

    Hastings Holiday Hoopla Medallion Hunt- IS OVER

    THE MEDALLION WAS FOUND FRIDAY MORNING BY KERRY SIEBEN

    Clue #1- Downtown Hastings is the Place to be, storefronts are decorated for you to see. The new Pavilion, the RiverWalk, and fabulous sales galore. Start looking for the Medallion close to any store.

    Clue #2- Shopping in Downtown Hastings is a Holiday Thrill. Stop into the Depot, Busted Nut or the Onion Grille. Looking East and looking West, finding the Medallion will be the Best!

    Clue #3- The Gobblegait walk is enjoyed by all, it takes you along a river view. The Medallion is somewhere on the Turkey Trot, it could be found by YOU!

    Clue #4 From the steps of the Levee, many have left this shore, but walk along 2nd Street and visit each store. Sibley is the place you want to be, to find the Medallion and make history.

    Clue #5 The Holiday Hoopla is coming fast, a day full of memories that's sure to last. On the streets of downtown is the place to be, along the RiverWalk, the prize you will see.

    The person finding the Medallion will receive $125 in cash and $125 in Downtown Dollars Gift Certificate. Bring it to Berens Jewelry to claim your prize. New clues will be posted until found. Tune in to the KDWA Shopping Show for the latest updates.

       

    Pawn Shop Faces Council Action

    In the Hastings City Council Meeting on Monday, only one item was presented on the administrative agenda. That issue was the consideration of action to be taken against Old Mill Pawnbroker owner Robert Bohn, who attended the meeting and spoke on his own behalf. City Attorney Dan Fleugel explained the reason for the action.

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    Fleugel explained that Bohn had the right to a hearing to dispute the charges, which he waived. The next step was then to ask for explanation of the delinquincy for 2 months worth of what is owed the city, namely a percentage of pawn fees which is invoiced from sales the month before and owed when billed. Bohn did not deny the payments were late but cited damage due to a break in in October to his store that prohibited him from paying them in October. Receipt was received, however, on Monday night for the 2 months of scheduled payments owed, but the remaining fines continued to be disputed by the owner.

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    Acting Mayor Nelson then discussed with Councilmember Alongi how the council arrived at the total owed citing city policy on licensure.

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    Discussion on a resolution of this topic continued among the council.

    During the discussion of penalties levied against Old Mill Pawn Shop owner Robert Bohn at Monday Night's city Council meeting, the terms outlined in state and city code on the operation of this type of business, called for hefty fines, 250 dollars for delinquent sales fees that are billed each month by the city and the increase to 500 dollars if that bill is not yet paid after 30 additional days. The city noted several notices that received no reply and Mayor Hicks, seated in councilmember Nelson's place reitterated the expectations.

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    Acting Mayor Nelson, then asked if anyone had further comment. Councilperson Brauchs sought an amendment to that motion.

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    Considered a friendly amendment, the vote was taken and passed to allow Bohn to have until the end of December to return to current paid up status. There was no time stipulation or discussion of further penalty or action if that was not done.

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    Reed Receives Award

    The Dakota Electric Association recently awarded the Outstanding Leader of the Year award to Jeff Reed of Hampton. Each year, Dakota Electric seeks to recognize outstanding leadership with the award. Dakota Electric Director Judy Kimmes attended a recent Dakota County Township Officers Association meeting to present the award to Reed. Reed said he was pretty surprised and honored to receive the award. He has been a Douglas Township Supervisor for six years and has been serving as chair for the past four years. He has supported the local community in many ways, including serving on and chairing the planning commission, getting the Douglas Township solar ordinance passed, and serving on the Dakota Township Officers Board. Reed was awarded $250 to donate to the charity of his choice, which he designated to the Dakota 4-H. As a member-owned cooperative, Dakota Electric is pleased to help recognize people like Jeff who do outstanding work.

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    Hunter Rescued From River

    Cottage Grove Public Safety Director and Fire Chief Rick Redenius confirmed on Monday that a rescue took place on Saturday evening. The man, who authorities did not name, apparently slipped while out hunting in his boat and ended up in the water, then made his way to shore near Grey Cloud Island where he awaited help in the sub freezing air temperatures. He managed to call his son, and an airboat was dispatched along with a boat owned by the St. Paul Park Fire Department. Chief Redenius stated that the man was not injured but did travel to the hospital in St. Paul as a precaution due to the exposure. The report stated the man was alone and was very fortunate that he was able to contact someone to alert them to his situation. The Chief also confirmed that the man was wearing a harness type of PFD, which inflates when coming into contact with water, allowing the man to get to land where he awaited his rescue.

       

    Citizen Academy Graduates

    Seven community members participated in the most recent 6 week session of the Hastings Public Safety Citizens Academy. The course gave participants a chance to really explore the skillsets of police officers, learn what they face in the performance of their job and gave them a chance to tour the Dakota Communications Center which is the City's centralized public safety dispatch center. Officers involved congratulated Abigail Angerman, Brenda Jo Bader, Melissa Blackstad, Karen Douglas, Molly Peters, Heidi Peterson, and Russ Rohloff for devoting their time to learning about these important city services. In a related news story,former Hastings Police Reservist Chris Flack graduated from the Minneapolis Police Academy this past week. Chris was Hastings' most notable and recognized reserve officer in 2015.

       

    Tax Levies Proposed For State

    Information on the projected property tax levies at the city, township, school and special taxing district levels have been provided by the State. After input from citizens, local governments must set their final 2017 property tax levies by December 28, 2016. The final levies can be set lower, but not higher, than preliminary levies. The department will release final property tax levy information in February.   

    For 2017, preliminary property taxes statewide will total $344.3 million, a 3.8% increase. Last year, preliminary statewide property taxes totaled $433.1 million, a 5.0% increase, and last years final levy increase was 4.5% ($397 million).    

    Cities - The 2017 preliminary property tax levies for cities will total approximately $2.261 billion compared with $2.129 billion in 2016, a 6.2% increase.     

    Counties - The 2017 preliminary property tax levies for counties will total approximately $3.03 billion compared with $2.906 billion in 2016, a 4.2% increase.     

    Townships - The 2017 preliminary property tax levies for townships will total approximately $248 million compared with $243 million in 2016, a 2% increase.    

    Schools - The 2017 preliminary property tax levies for schools will total approximately $2.716 billion compared with $2.643 billion in 2016, a 2.8% increase.     

    Special Taxing Districts - The 2017 preliminary property tax levies for special taxing districts will total approximately $364 million compared with $352 million in 2016, a 3.6% increase.

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    Preparing For Tow Storm

    On an upcoming In Depth Program, Hastings Police Chief Bryan Schafer prepares us for the winter, introducing us to convenient ways to keep your car off the tow hook.

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    Ramirez Receives Sentence

    Washington County Attorney Pete Orput announced that Angel Daniel Ramirez, 21, of St. Paul was sentenced for the March 15, 2014, death of his infant daughter. Washington County District Judge John McBride sentenced Ramirez to 432 months (36 years) in prison. According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, Cottage Grove police and paramedics were summoned to an 84th Street address in Cottage Grove on the mothers report of her 1 year old daughter not moving or breathing with bloodshot eyes and bruising around her left eye. The child was transported to Regions Hospital and there pronounced dead. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on the child. He found multiple bruises of varying age all over the childs head and face, and internal bleeding. He concluded that the cause of death was of multiple blunt force injuries. Subsequent investigation revealed that Ramirez had physically abused his daughter over a substantial period of time. Ramirez ultimately admitted to having done so, including punching the child in her stomach on the day of her death. Orput stated, This poor baby girl was given no chance to live her life, by her own father, nonetheless. Acts like this tear at the very core of all of us. Our children are this countrys most valuable resource. To see an act like this shocks the entirety of the population.

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    Eagles Deserve A Brake

    Our national symbol, the bald eagle, needs some awareness to keep them from becoming a roadside victim. During the fall, when deer are often found along the roadsides, a variety of benefactors from crows to eagles are often found eating the carion. Many calls are also noted of injured or dead eagles due to two important factors. First, when eagles eat, they are often too heavy to fly right away and they can't evade a speeding car in time. Secondly, they can suffer lead poisoning when exposed to the metal while injesting the carcass. They may become disoriented and confused about the danger of the approaching car. Members of the DNR and raptor resources across the state ask those who encounter a dead eagle, to contact the DNR and ask for assistance. Citizens are not allowed to keep a dead eagle, however the law allows for transport to a state or federal wildlife agency office. Persons who find an injured eagle, should contact a raptor rehabilitation location such as the University of Minnesotas Raptor Center, which rehabilitates more than 800 sick and injured hawks, eagles, falcons and owls a year. Individual citizens may not rehabilitate wildlife without a permit.

       

    Dakota County Jail Records

    From the Dakota County Jail Booking Report, Benjamin Jacob Hunt, 26,of Stillwater, was arrested by Lakeville Police on 2 felony charges of check forgery, felony mail theft and a felony charge of selling financial transaction cards. Hunt is still in custody. On November 16th, Burnsville Police detained Carmen Denise Pierce, 54 of Chicago, on 2 felony counts of fraudulent use of a financial transaction card. Pierce remains in custody while the charges are investigated. And, Inver Grove Heights Police arrested Laquan Antonio Lashley, 27, of Chicago, IL, for a felony charge of using a forged financial transaction card. Lashley remains in custody.

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    From the Dakota County Jail Booking Report, 26-year-old Bernard DeShawn Collins, of Inver Grove Heights, was arrested on the 16th of November, on felony charges of theft, 1st degree burglary, and assault. He is also being investigated for charges of disorderly conduct and 3rd degree damage to property. Collins remains in custody as the investigation of the charges continues. West St. Paul Police detained 35-year-old Sean Anthony Trudo, of St. Paul on a felony weapons possession charge, and felony charge of 1st degree drug possession. Trudo remains in custody as the charges are investigated. Hastings Police arrested 35-year-old Alisa Marie Price, of River Falls, WI, for a felony probation violation charge. Price is being held in the Dakota County Jail.

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    New Auditorium Concerts

    The new Prescott Auditorium will be a busy place, at last, following the first performance held on Veterans Day. Through the month of December several school concerts will be held in this giant step forward for the district that was relegated to hosting band and choir concerts and plays in the boomy gymnasium at the Middle School. The month will begin with two performances of the time honored Christmas Carol play on Saturday the 3rd and Sunday the 4th. Tickets are 8 dollars if purchased in advance and will be available at the Twisted Oak Coffee House or Brickyard Pub. On Tuesday the 6th, students in grades Kindergarten and 1st grade will give their holiday concert at 5 pm. On Thursday, the 8th, students in grades 2 and 3 will perform also at 5 PM. At 7 Pm that evening, the 4th and 5th graders will sing. On the following Monday, December 12th, the Prescott High School Band Concert for grades 9-12 will play at 7 PM. On Tuesday, December 13th, at 7 PM, the Middle School Band Concert, grades 6-8 will hold their concert. And on Monday, the 19th, the concert for choirs in grades 6 through 12 will be held beginning at 7 PM. The Prescott School District is proud to present these holiday concerts in this wonderful new facility, located at1220 St. Croix Street, in Prescott.

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    Downtown Work Wraps Up

    Work continues in the overnight hours on the lining done for Downtown sanitary sewer upgrades. The procedure takes advantage of a no trench procedure with crews installing the lining to existing sewer pipes, extending their effectiveness without the cost of total replacement.

    Public Works Director Nick Egger provides more details.

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    The public works department has been grateful for the extended good weather allowing the project to continue work. The replacement is expected to wrap up at the end of the week.

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    Watch Out For Wide Loads

    With wintry weather predicted for the latter part of the week, farmers are finishing up the last of their fieldwork, resulting in some sharing of the roadways with oversized machinery, even thru the center of the city. A massive combine made its way south on Highway 61 Monday afternoon, carefully navigating the lanes where vehicles 20 percent of its size moved to the side. Public safety officials and the Minnesota State patrol remind motorists to stay clear and slow down when approaching such equipment. A few extra minutes and extra patience will keep everyone safe. See an photo of the encounter on the KDWA.com webpage.

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    Balsanek Looks Ahead

    Ward 2 City Council member, Joe Balsanek, recently penned a message to voters on his return to service following the recent election. Balsanek expressed his gratitude at being allowed to continue representing constituents citing his faith that the business climate is moving in the right direction as is the city tax rate, poised to drop 3.8 percent next year. Confident in the restructuring of the fire and police departments as well as the success of the newly renovated riverside, Balsanek projected his confidence in several projects such as Art Space and The Great River Landing advancing the work already completed and bringing more residents and businesses to expand the options that will benefit the community as a whole. He also addressed the outcome of the council race, which have welcomed 3 new faces to represent their respective wards, saying he looks forward to their energies and dedication to join him in advancing the progress that make Hastings a great community in which to live and work.

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    Hastings Police Log Review

    Recent News compiled From the Hastings Police Blotter, on November 2nd Hastings Police were called to the 300 block of 2nd street on a report of a fight. Investigation into the incident resulted in a citation issued to Nicholas Jay Benike, 36, of Hastings, for 5th degree assault and possession of marijuana. Also on November 2nd, Officers were called to the 100 block of Vermillion Street for a domestic disturbance. As a result of the call, officers arrested Cole James Rhoads, 20, of Hastings on charges of assault. On November 3rd, Hastings Police arrested Anthony Michael Karaschin, of Michigan. Karaschin was reported in the area of the 500 block of 3rd Street West, banging on doors and windows. Karaschin had an outstanding warrant in Dakota County. On November 4th, officers responded to a suspicious person call in the 500 block of 12th Street. The investigation resulted in the arrest of 44-year-old Hastings resident James Scott Moe on a charge of assault. Moe is also being investigated for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. On November 7th, officers conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of Ashland and 3rd Street. 19-year-old Will Everett Thomas was cited for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and expired tabs.

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    Hastings Police received a trespassing call in the 1700 block of North Frontage Road on November 5th. Responding officers cited 33-year-old Christopher Carl Remley, of Hastings for trespassing. Officer returned to the area later in the day for a shoplifter in custody call. Officers on the scene released two juveniles and cited 18-year-old Alesha Marie Baird for misdemeanor shoplifting. On November 6th officers were called to the 2300 block of Oak Street to investigate a possible burglary in progress. The investigating officers cited 23-year-old Brandon James Blyele and 29-year-old David Alvin Thomas, both of Hastings, for disorderly conduct.

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    Officers were called to the 800 block of General Sieben Drive in response to a disturbance involving an uncooperative customer. Investigation of the incident result in a citation issued to William Louis Miller, 37, of Hastings, for misdemeanor theft. The items in question were photographed and returned to the store. On November 6th Officers responded to Madison Court for a medical emergency dealing with a possible drug overdose. Officers arrived and assisted emergency medical personnel to transport a 23-year-old male for treatment. The name of the male has not been released at this time. There was a reported disturbance on November 6th in the 100 block of 2nd Street E. Responding officers investigated the call and arrested 53-year-old Dwayne Eddy Gunderson, of Hastings, on a charge of assault. Hastings Police conducted a warrant service call in the 900 block of 2nd Street west. Officers arrested 42-year-old Jeffery Paul, McNamara, of Hastings on a warrant issued in Scott County.

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    LOOP Bus Group Takes A Hike

    The Tuesday Loop Bus made a special stop this week with nearly a dozen riders joining local HCTVs Take A Hike Mike, who picked up his bindle stick and led the way to Wyatts Twisted Americanna Restaurant. Courtney Whited, director of Transportation arranged the special event, and provided some insight on the potential for this new weekly transportation resource.

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    The bus has 15 major stops, but travel can be customized just by letting the driver know a rider wants to go to a location that is along the route. Whited explains.

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    The Loop Circulator Bus will start its circle again next Tuesday. Pick up a schedule at KDWA Radio.

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    Prescott City Council Review

    The Prescott City Council held a regular meeting on November 14th. City Administrator Jayne Brand recapped the meeting for KDWA News.

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    The next City Council Meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 28th, at 6:30 PM.

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    Solar Farming In Marshan Township

    Greg Miller, CEO of Dakota Electric has announced this week that they will partner with Great River Energy Cooperative to install a 3,600 panel solar farm just south of Hastings in Marshan Township. The farm, once completed and hooked into the Great River's grid, will supply one-megawatt to benefit the members of the CoOp. The project, to be installed by SoCore, will possibly expand to twice that size if land can be purchased to increase the footprint from 5 acres to 10. Miller said the construction and installation will begin now with connections to the power grid sometime next spring. Some cities and townships have turned such farms away, citing the effects on aesthetics and property values, while other individual land owners are choosing to allow placement of solar gathering panels on their land, usually at a higher return than the cost of the land used for agricultural purposes. Some cities have tightened ordinance language to control boundaries for such farms, including Cottage Grove which continues to re-examine the pros and cons of this growing and glowing trend.

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    Newport Development Will Proceed

    The Newport City Council has approved an arrangement that will partner with Washington County in forming a TIF district between I 494 and Maxwell Avenue along Highway 61 for a redevelopment project that hoped to spur growth, not animosity. The sticking point in the 3-2 decision was 2 major opponents, creating a major source of contention for the county-led TIF -tax increment financing district- in a 3-2 vote.

    Dan Lund and Bill Sumner remain vehemently opposed to the plan which will have the Washington county CDA in charge of managing the TIF, as the development seeks to place the first phase,42-unit Red Rock Square Apartment complex into the district which is located by the nearly unused Park and Ride that opened 2 years ago to great fanfare but is generally vacant instead of serving bus riders taking bus transport into St. Paul as originally intended. The initial plan calls for new apartments and townhomes, new retail space and a potential business and office park. Area 2 could include 200 apartment units, 62 senior living units and 10,000 square feet of retail space. A 3rd and 4th phase adds to the landscape currently languishing amid industrial sites and undeveloped property.The progress and management steering will now be in the control of Washington County, who already has over 600,000 dollars in demolition and site preparation into the project. The move comes just ahead of Friday's announcement by builder J.R. Horton, who seeks to place a 45 lot single housing development project on the east side of Jamaica Avenue in Cottage Grove. That proposal will come before the planning commission later in November and the Cottage Grove City Council in December.

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    Election Brings City Changes

    The November elections swept through the Hastings City Council much like a rake, gathering 3 of four positions and whisking in new energies to join the experience still present and move forward. Mayor Paul Hicks, who will complete his next term in 2 years, spoke with KDWA on Friday, after those leaves had settled somewhat and shared his view on what three new members will bring to the council.

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    The Mayor also mentioned the value and expertise those not returning provided to the job.

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    Our next newscast will continue the converstation about changes to come, especially in commissions and committees necessary to continue the good work of the city.

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    Prescott Food Pantry Still Looking

    The Director of the Prescott Food Pantry, Pete French, announced at a recent civic meeting, that the decision to move the current site is still a priority, but pursuing the location at Wacota and Jefferson which created a neighborhood backlash, has the group considering another path. The main issue is the plan to support the ongoing costs by adding a thrift shop. That plan when presented at a recent council meeting was met with concern from homeowners in that neighborhood on how a store would increase traffic in their residential neighborhood with narrow streets. The functions, storage ability and increasing need for the services provided by the Pantry have outgrown their space in the POWR building at Canton and St.Croix Streets, and French stated there are possible alternatives, although the lot at Wacota and Jefferson would have been affordable to the group, while other locales would undoubtedly come with a much higher cost. No word on when a decision needs to be made, but French has voiced his unwavering dedication to the organization which serves families and individuals in need in the Prescott School District. He states the need continues to climb and his organization will do whatever it can to serve them.

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    Voice Of Democracy Patriot Pen Winners

    A large group of students from Hastings High School participated in the 2016 Voice of Democracy Program. The Hastings VFW Post 1210 sponsors the opportunity for a student to receive advancement to the District level of this National competition whose topic this year was

    My Responsibility to America. The Voice of Democracy scholarship competition is a three-to five minute audio essay competition open to students in grades 9-12. The national winner will receive a scholarship valued up $30,000 as part of the T.C. Selman Memorial Scholarship Award which will be paid directly to the recipients university, college or vocational/technical school in addition to receiving a trip to Washington, D.C. The community winners are Freshman Rebecca N. Schill; Carli R. Bernard; Keean R. LaFerriere, Amy H. Roach and Claire E. Ketcham. Rebecca will advance to the VFW Minnesota Second District Competition.

    In the recently completed Patriots Pen essay, students in grades 6-8 were invited to write a 300 - 400-word essay reflecting on the statement, The American I Believe In. The national contest awards 54 prizes that range from $500 to $5,000. Several schools took part in the local contest where several awards were presented. Hastings Middle School winners included eighth graders Cheridan J. Welch, Anna R. McCabe & Grace E. McGinnis. A winner in seventh grade was Emma K. McNamara and the Sixth Grade winner was Nicholas M. Wenisch . At Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School winners were Nolan J. Myers, Ryan M. Sellars, Lauren M. Dohmen and Jerilyn M Stark and Evelyn R. Sellars.

    Winners from St John the Baptist Catholic School-Vermillion included Sixth Graders Billy Wilson and Abby E. Strommen. Krehbiel Family Academy Seventh Grader Samuel E. Krehbiel will advance to the VFW Minnesota Second District Competition

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    Dr Plunkett Receives Honor

    A Doctor previously associated with Regina Hospital Hastings, Dr. John Plunkett, has received the Innocence Networks Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Plunkett is a general and forensic pathologist. Prior to his retirement from Regina Hospital in 2004, he served as the laboratory director and the director of medial education. He has also served as a coroner in an office serving seven counties in Minnesota. Dr. Plunkett is currently on the Regina Foundation Board. Dr. Plunketts professional interests lie in the evaluation of injuries in infants and children. His publications include a study of short distance falls in children and articles regarding the biomechanics of head injuries and resuscitation injuries. Dr. Plunkett was presented with the Innocence Network Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year. The Innocence Network is a world wide organization dedicated providing pro bono legal and investigative services to those seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted and working to redress the causes of wrongful conviction. Congratulations to Dr. Plunkett on this achievement.

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    Preview of Prescott City Council Meeting

    Tonight's Meeting of the Prescott City Council will begin a little sooner than its usual time, City Administrator Jayne Brand explains.

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    The Prescott City council meets at 801 Borner St. in Prescott.

    After Dakota County Delay Results Are In

    The Results at last- An early morning update on local election results: just after 3 am on the day after the nation elected Donald J. Trump to the highest office in the country. Voters looking for results in Minnesota however, would wait nearly 2 hours beyond that announcement due to delays in learning the tabulations in Dakota County. The unofficial talley reported by the Dakota County Website begins with city races in Hastings with 4 wards choosing city council members. In Ward 1, a seat vacated by Tony Alongi will go to Tina Folch, elected over challenger Bryan Alpaugh with a total of 1569 votes to 910 votes cast for Alpaugh. In Ward 2, Incumbant Joe Balsanek will retain his council seat with 1386 votes cast in his win over challenger Adam Estenson who received 1098 votes. Moving to Ward 3, incumbent Tony Nelson was defeated by a 1601 to 1263 margin by candidate Lisa Leifeld. And in Ward 4 Incumbent Danna Elling Schultz received 1170 votes versus challenger Trevor Lund who received 1582 votes to unseat Schultz for that race.

    Continuing on for the results of the hotly contested Congressional Seat for the 2nd District. Former Talk Radio personality Jason Lewis brought in 99,115 votes, not quite enough for a win over Democratic challenger businesswoman Angie Craig who ended the race with 103,000 votes while Independence Candidate Paula Overby netted 16,000 votes. The Senate Race for District 54 was won by Democrat endorsed Dan Schoen with 8,075 votes against first time candidate Leilani Homestadt who received just 7228 of the votes cast in the bid for the seat previously held by Katie Sieben. The contest for the House seat, held for more than 14 years by Denny McNamara will go to Tony Jurgens who recieved 6717 votes versus his opponent Don Slaten who received 5304. These numbers were provided by the Dakota County election site and will not be official until canvassed on Thursday. Stay tuned to KDWA for our local reaction from the candidates and local residents on the choices made in this historic election.

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    Consent Agenda Items From City Council Meeting

    Hastings City Council Consent Agenda Item Details:

    The Hastings City Council had numerous items on the Consent Agenda for the November 7th meeting. The Council designated November 26th as a Special Event for the Holiday Hoopla in Downtown Hastings. There are numerous attractions planned, such as a reindeer sleigh ride and a torchlight parade. The Council also approved a Temporary Liquor License for Regina Hospital. The license will be valid on January 30th, 2017.

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    The agenda for the November 7th Hastings City Council meeting had several consent agenda items involving donations to the City. The Parks and Recreation Department received $200 from Fluegel's Lawn Garden and Pet Center for the Paws in the Park Program, $50 from Catholic United Financial for Arbor Day, and $800 from Debra Kelly for a Memorial Bench. Parks and Recreation also received a joint donation of $75 from Pioneer Photography and Services and $50 from Stan Thieling. The combined donation was given in memory of Pioneer Room Volunteer Ethel Thieling.

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    The November 7th meeting of the Hastings City council included the Council accepting donations totaling $2,450 in cash and prizes from numerous local businesses. The donations were credited towards the Community Halloween Party, which was held on October 28th. The City Council also graciously accepted a $500 from the Treasure Island Indian Community. The donation was made as a gesture of appreciation for assistance provided by the Hastings Police Reserves at a recent outdoor event. The Council also accepted a donation of $200 from the Rivertown Lions Club to the Police Department for Bicycle Safety Initiatives, including the purchase of youth bike helmets. The donation will be used to assist the Police Department in their participation in youth outreach events in the coming year, including collaborations with the Parks and Recreation Department.

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    On the Consent Agenda for the November 7th meeting of the Hastings City Council was a request to approve a change order for the Vermillion River Greenway Trail Project. The change comes as a result of modifications needed to the center pier of the pedestrian bridge. The pier needs to be placed deeper than originally anticipated. To offset the increased cost of modifying the pier, the plans to plant 20 trees were removed from the final design, resulting in a net savings of $1,203.92 for the project.

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    The Consent Agenda for the November 7th meeting of the Hastings City Council included a request for approval for the Hastings Fire Department to participate in a federally funded Regional Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The grant program assists local firefighting units in obtaining new gear. For the Hastings Fire Department, the grant would be used to replace the departments Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, which is scheduled to be obsolete by OSHA regulations in 2018. If awarded, the grant would supply approximately $400,000 in federal funds and an additional 10% match of local funds. Also on the consent Agenda was a request to authorize the submittal of an environmental cleanup grant to the Met Councils Tax Based Revitalization Account to assist with lead based paint removal at the former Hudson Manufacturing Building. The City purchased the building in 2010 and executed a Purchase and development Agreement for sale and development of Great River Landing, a mixed-use facility of 65 apartments and 20,000 square feet of commercial space.

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    City Seeks 400K For GRL CleanUp

    Continuing our look at items on the consent agenda for Monday night's meeting include a request made by the community development director, John Hinzman, who seeks a resolution by the council to approve sumittal of an environmental cleanup grant for a MET Council Tax BAsed Revitalization Account funding for the former Hudson manufacturing building, known as The Great River Landing Project. The request notes that Hastings is part of the Livable Communities Act addressing Local Housing Incentives making this project eligible for the funds. This building was purchased by the City of Hastings six years ago with plans currently to have Great River Landing eventually become a mixed use rehab of the existing building that would include 65 apartments and 20,000 square feet of commercial space. Hastings has been named a participantThis multi year project, according to Hinzman , has realized many such grants and awards, by his count slightly less than 20, to secure, develop and prepare for revitalization of the former industrial building on the west end of downtown. This latest request would seek 400 thousand dollars to assist with lead based paint removal and states that if this funding is not secured, private or other public investment will not occur in the resonably forseeable future. There has been efforts, according to Hinzman to find other revenue sources for this cleanup.

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    Parks Closed For Deer Hunt

    Several Dakota County parks will be closed periodically during select dates in November and December due to controlled deer hunts. Hunts are scheduled at Lebanon Hills Regional Park, Miesville Ravine Park Reserve, and Spring Lake Park Reserve. To ensure the safety of residents, the parks will be closed off to the public during the hunts. Participants for the 2016 hunts were drawn via lottery and are eligible to participate if they attend a mandatory orientation and meet other hunting requirements. Archery hunts will take place at Lebanon Hills Regional Park and Spring Lake Park Reserve. Miesville Ravine Park Reserve will host shotgun and muzzleloader hunts. Controlling the deer population encourages a healthy forest and reduces damage to gardens and landscaping. Lower deer populations improve natural resources by slowing the spread of invasive species and reducing browsing on understory plants. Reducing deer-car collisions and possible spread of deer-borne diseases are other reasons for controlling deer numbers. For more information about the hunts and to view boundary maps, please visit www.co.dakota.mn.us/parks and search deer hunting.

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    Training For Careers at HHS

    Job opportunities are something every high school graduate must think about as he or she chooses a field of study .With several options for technical training offered at Hastings High School Principal Mike Johnson, made some connections between open jobs and why everyone's home prices can be affected by a shortage of qualified construction workers.

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    Johnson notes that these types of jobs can be a good entry into a workforce which can offer higher pay rates than even some jobs that require a 2 or 4 year college degree.

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    City News From Prescott

    City News from Prescott- According to Prescott City Administrator Jayne Brand, announcements coming in the next 2 weeks will provide some answers to questions about a newcomer to the Prescott business community, reported to be a Minnesota Company,

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    and before that, an important November 7th Planning Commission meeting will be held Monday to receive an update on issues such as the Vista Croix development, which is reportedly still in a holding pattern awaiting full DNR accommodations before it can break ground on that 13 million dollar project.

    Brand also took a look at some end of the season items including some minor maintence on the lift bridge grates that had traffic limited to one lane on Thursday morning while a crew checked each metal prong before the winter months set in. It's critical to make sure there are no places where the metal might be warped or bent to create a road hazard or prevent the mechanism from operating properly during the harsh winter season. Brand also provided some information on the downtown sidewalk project that took place in October.

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    Brand noted the contractor will be using a second coat of sealer, which should properly darken the area to match the other segments better. The last item is timely, although the warm autumn weather is providing relief from the long heating season. The project that will replace and update the heating and cooling system in city buildings aren't quite ready to begin.

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    That project will ultimately save dollars as the current system is very inefficient and notoriously unreliable. Plans call for at least 5 city buildings, including City Hall , to be updated as soon as possible.

       

    Minnesota Music Celebration

    The 28th annual Minnesota Music Hall of Fame Induction Weekend will take place in New Ulm on November 4th and 5th with KDWA on hand to provide a recap of the great event once again. Some of those slated to receive acknowledgement for their contribution to Minnesota Music include super producers and musicians Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the kid popular Teddy Bear Band, A Cappella Group Tonic Sol Fa , old time music performer and director Jerry Kahle, choral director Rick Kvam and storyteller and radio personality Garrison Keillor. Six members are inducted each year and the ballroom of Turner Halle is filled with a who's who of music personalities who turn out to applaud the work of fellow artists. Tune in next week for our series of highlights from the 28th annual Minnesota Music Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.

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    Prescott Public Safety Log

    Recent reports from the Prescott Police department note that several citiations were issued due to non-payment at the boat launch, operated by the city. Prepayment is required before heading out on the water. Cernohouse Cheverolet of Prescott also documented the theft of four rims and tires off a new Chevy Suburban which was parked on their lot. The report stated that the vehicle was left on construction blocks supporting the axles. Officers ask for anyone with information on the theft, to please contact the Prescott Police. In other items from the Prescott Police log, several complaints were made of after hours trespass on public property including the grounds of Freedom Park after the official closing time. Each complaint was a case of the individual playing Pokeman. Those gamers are asked to stay to public right of ways in the pursuit of the popular characters in the game.

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    Chamber Seeks Nominations

    The Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau is now accepting nominations for Business of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and Educator of the Year awards to be presented at their Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner in January.Nominees for Business of the Year must be a member of the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce and cannot be owned by a current Board Member, consideration will be given to community support and employee growth. Educator of the Year nominees must educate within School District 200 in either a public or private school. The individual must possess a current teaching certificate but does not need to be a classroom teacher.For Volunteer of the Year the nominee does not need to live in Hastings, but the service must benefit the Hastings area, the individual should have a history of work with multiple groups with dedication over a period of years. The nominee cannot be a current member of the Board of Directors of the Hastings Chamber. All individuals are encouraged to nominate a business or individual for any of these awards. You DO NOT have to be a member of the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce to submit a nomination. Please take a moment to nominate a business or individual you feel is deserving of one of these awards. Nominations are due in the Chamber office by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 2. Forms can be found on the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce website, www.hastingsmn.org.

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    National Honor Society Breaks Record

    Halloween night might be a night for youngsters to receive a treat, but the National Honor Society from Hastings High School, made the holiday a time to help others. One of the adult advisors, teacher Laura Zabel, explains what the 85 creatively costumed members were able to do.

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    Zabel shared that the delivery of the collected donations to the food shelf gives another lesson

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    This year the total was the biggest yet.

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    Zabel and fellow advisor Cindy Oppold set guidelines for the students then allow them to develop a plan, goals and the energy to complete the task. They have their sights set on 7,000 pounds for next year. And with that kind of track record, I bet they will do just that.

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    HolidayHelpingAtHFS

    Hastings Family Service's Project Share is coming up. Executive Director of Hastings Family Service, Chris Koop provided some details.

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    Hastings Family Service's Adoptive Family Program is also looking for donors. Koop explains how you can help.   

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    For more information contact Hastings Family Service at 651-437-7134 or log onto hastingsfamilyservice.org

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    Facility Study Gathers Data

    According to a report provided by District 200 Superintendent Tim Collins, the district will soon implement a formalized facility study to determine the scope of needed repairs and replacement for parts of the many buildings, fields and properties that includes the 17 year old Senior High School. With a downward to stagnant trend in enrollment, projected costs that will be incurred in the next few years to keep those facilities running will be dependent on raising the monies with a .18 percent tax levy. This funding will preserve the sizable investment already made throughout the many locations from elementary to upper level schools. He provided a small sample of costs that will need to be paid including 4.24 million for a roof, 1 and a half million for a temperature control system, an equal amount for a parking lot resurfacing and many thousands in smaller articles that will allow the infrastructure of the district to continue serving the students and the public,with well maintained facilities. Collins can be heard on KDWA each Friday Morning of the school year with replays each Monday.

       

    Freedom Park Student Presentation

    Coming up in November is an event that will complete an experience involving several Prescott High Schoolers earlier this Fall. Jessica Bierbrauer, Director of the Great River Road Event and Learning Center

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    Bierbrauer provides some idea of how the event will be presented.

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    She also looks forward to the event coming up with Darren Thompson, a musican that will appear in Prescott.

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    Constitutional Amendment on MN Ballot

    Minnesota voters will have a chance to vote on an Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution on November 8th. The proposed amendment seeks to remove the Legislatures power to increase its own pay. The amendment would create a 16 person citizens-only council to prescribe salaries of state lawmakers. The Council would be appointed by the Governor and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, each appointing 8 members. Members of the Legislature are voicing opinions on both sides of the issue. Senator Ken Ekan feels the amendment would solve the conflict of interest problem inherent in compensation issues. He said, We shouldnt be spending our time here debating what our pay should be. Senator Torrey Westrom sees the issue differently. Senator Westrom said, I think the concern is that voters will see it as a way to say no to pay raises or what they might perceive as pay raises for legislators. But if they vote for the amendment, they will actually be voting to put this in a third-party's hands, making it probably easier for pay raises to go through." In a released statement, Senatorial Candidate Leilani Holmstadt has indicated the amendment would have the opposite effect of the stated intention. KDWA will hear from Ms. Holmstadt during an edition of Community InDepth during the first week in November.

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    Dakota County Jail Suicide

    The Dakota County Sheriffs Office is investigating the apparent suicide by hanging of an inmate that occurred at the Dakota County Jail. The inmate has been identified as Cameron Brian Leftwich, age 37, of Eagan. Leftwich was arrested by the Eagan Police for Felony Domestic Assault that occurred in their city on October 27, 2016.

    Sheriff Leslie reported that Leftwich was discovered hanging in his cell by a correctional deputy during routine rounds in the housing unit just prior to midnight on October 28th. Lifesaving efforts were begun by jail staff, later assisted by deputies and medics, but these efforts were unsuccessful.

    Initial information indicates that all jail procedures and protocol were followed by staff. An investigation is underway by the Sheriffs Office, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, and the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

       

    Break Away Cafe Grand Opening

    After two years in development the final piece of the BreakAway Arts Building has been placed and a full house of well wishers arrived on Sunday Afternoon dressed in their Holiday Best.That holiday, being Halloween of course. The costume party drew many who had taken great time and care to craft artistic costumes ranging from Marie Antoinette to a Rowdy Cowgirl, a tough motorcycle dude and a pair of court jesters. I first asked the photgrapher at the door her favorites

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    Others in the crowd had a similar response of glowing praise for the new cafe.

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    Owner Mecca Page was indeed onhand to receive all these winsome comments and provided a few of her own

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    Stranger Danger No Riders Please

    A message from the Dakota County Sheriff in regards to suspects that have been picked up after or even during criminal activities. In the most recent case, deputies were dispatched to a burglary, but only found the suspect's car stuck in a field. What had happened was that during the event, the suspect had approached a motorist, explained he had vehicle problems and needed a ride, taking him from the area of the search. The suspect was eventually found due to investigative work that led to the place where the unsuspecting driver had taken the person he had transported. Deputies were able to recover the suspect, but time and resources were spent to do so and they ask those facing a similar situation being asked to give a ride to someone you don't know, to please contact 911 instead and allow public safety to help them as needed.

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