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    MnDot Presenta 316 Possibilities

    The public meeting held this evening, Tuesday, August 21st from 5-7 pm at the Crossroads Church building will address the improvement project proposed for Highway 316. Mayor Hicks, in a statement at Monday night's Hastings City Council meeting, urges residents to attend the presentation which should begin around 5:30pm.

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    A resident asked the council how much influence they had in the decisions made by MnDOT

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    He also noted that an option will be made for those who cannot attend tonight's presentation.

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    Crossroads Church is located next to Coborn's Grocery off of Highway 316 at 33 rd Street.

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    Regional Trail Bridge Dedication

    The Point Douglas Regional Trail was celebrated by multiple agencies and dignitaries on Monday morning, August 20th. As cars whizzed by on busy Highway 61, members of the many teams responsible for the project waited for the arrival of some on bike who had started near Prescott. The trail, opened in July was formally dedicated with a ribbon cutting over the railroad tracks that were the reason for the bridge project to connect the trail at last from well beyond Hastings into Washington County, concluding at Point Douglas Park. Those assembled included Park Directors Sandy Breuer and Steve Sullivan, Washington County Commissioner Jack Lavold, Dakota County Commissioner Mike Slavik, State Senator and former Washington County Commissioner Karla Bigham, Representative Tony Jurgens and Hastings Mayor Paul Hicks.

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    A Group representing the Great River Confluence included Prescott Artist Charlotte Vick who had this to say about the connection.

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    Randy Thorsen, a representative from the Rivers and Trails division of the National Park department pointed to the historic nature of the event.

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    Photos from the event can be found at KDWA.com

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    Pierce County Accidents Injure Three

    On Thursday, August 16th, at approximately 5:08 PM the Pierce County Sheriffs Office responded to the area of Highway 29 and 640th Ave in Clifton Township for a two vehicle crash with injury. According to a Sherrif Department press release, scene investigation determined that a 1999 Buick Le Sabre, operated by Mark D. Kulvich, 49 of Prescott, was northbound on Highway 29 slowing to turn westbound onto 640th Ave. when a 1997 Ford F-150 operated by Dalton S. Boesel, 24 of River Falls, also northbound on Highway 29, failed to yield and struck the rear of the Buick, which came to rest off the roadway. Mr. Kulvich was trasported to Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury with undetermined injuries. The Prescott Police and Fire Departments, and the Prescott Station of River Falls EMS assisted the Pierce County Sheriff's Department at the scene. The crash remains under investigation.

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    And on Sunday, August 19th, at approximately 1:57 PM, deputies with the Pierce County Sheriff's Office responded to the area of County Highway A near 370th Ave. in Salem Township for a report of a crash involving multiple motorcycles. According to a press release issued by the Sheriff's Office, scene investigation determined that 48-year-old Moises C. Mendoza, of Brooklyn Center, was operating a Honda CBR south bound on County Highway A when he failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, lost control, entered the east ditch and was ejected from his motorcycle. A second motorcycle operated by Damian Jesus Palacios Pereira, 27 of Eden Prairie, was also south bound on County A when he attempted to avoid collision with Mendoza, lost control, entered the east ditch and was also ejected from his motorcycle. Mr. Pereira was treated at the scene and released. Mr. Mendoza was transported by ambulance with undetermined injuries. The WI State Patrol, Ellsworth Fire and EMS, and Plum City EMS assisted the Pierce County Sheriffs Office on scene.

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    Farmington Police Chief Removed

    Update to this story Monday, 9PM- The Farmington City council voted 3-2 to remove Chief Brian Lindquist from the job he has held for 12 years. Nearly 300 residents and supporters packed the council chambers and into the hallway in a meeting that failed to change the initial announcement that Lindquist would be replaced. Council members, Craig, Bernhjelm and Bartholomay voted for replacement with Mayor Larson and Terry Donnelly voting against the request. The vote, technically, was to ask the chief to step aside from the position he has held for 12 years, with service to that department since 1988. The separation agreement will mean a payment, in installments of just over 125,000 will be received by Lindquist and the search for a new chief will get underway immediately.

    Monday- 9AM- A vote will take place at the Farmington City Council Monday, August 20th. According to an interview with a reporter from the Pioneer Press , Chief Farmington Police Chief Brian Lindquist stated that a call he recieved in May from David McKnight, who is the City Administrator, was unexpected and left him confused as to why the move was being taken. A personality conflict was offered as a possible reason for the decision, but the chief noted he had support from Mayor Todd Larson and one other councilperson. Three others, Robyn Craig, Katie Bernhjelm and Jason Bartholomay request that the chief be replaced. As of August 19th, more than 2,000 residents had signed an online petition to keep the chief, who is the head of a department with 27 officers. A call made to the chief's office today was not immediately returned. The council meets Monday Night at City hall, 430 3rd Street in Farmington. According to online postings early Monday, more than 200 people have indicated they will turn out in support of the chief. The call for the resolution may include opportunity for the public to make relevant comments, however, the council may proceed with their decision to remove him anyway.

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    Aug 20 Council Agenda Preview

    The Hastings City Council has a regular meeting on Monday. Mayor Paul Hicks provides a preview of the agenda.

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    Prescott Gathering Place to Return

    School will be back in session soon, and with students back to class, also comes Seniors back to the Gathering Center, located in the lower level of Prescott's Malone Intermediate School. Construction work done this summer prevented the seniors from accessing their relatively new space, but soon regular programs and events will be able to take place in their usual location after the September 4th start. Book clubs, walking groups, potluck lunches and card playing will be on the list for those 55 and better. Organizers note that there are no membership fees, but nominal charges are incurred with some special events. Donations from the community or other supportive groups are always welcome.

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    Dakota County Sues Drug Makers

    The process initiated earlier this year with an announcement by Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom that the Dakota County Board of Commissioners had authorized him to file a lawsuit that would hold pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and market opioid painkillers responsible for what the suit alleges is deceptive marketing practices. Opioids are prescription pain medications such as oxycodone, fentanyl and morphine also known under brand names such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin. The 95-page lawsuit was filed in Dakota County District Court and seeks recovery of costs incurred by Dakota County and its taxpayers to respond to the opioid drug crisis created in large part by the conduct of these companies.

    The suit continues that this drug abuse and overdose epidemic started with a decision by Purdue Pharma L.P. and its related corporate entities to promote opioids deceptively and illegally to significantly increase sales and generate billions of dollars in revenue for Purdues private owners, the Sackler family. Additional drug manufacturers, then followed Purdues lead and collectively they engaged in actions that are violations of Minnesotas False Claims Act, Prevention of Consumer Fraud Act, False Statement in Advertising Law, Unlawful Trade Practices Act, Deceptive Trade Practices Act, as well as creating a public nuisance, fraudulent and intentional misrepresentations, negligence and unjust enrichment. The Motley Rice Law Firm of Washington, D.C. and the Minneapolis law firm of Briol and Benson will assist the Dakota County Attorneys Office in representing Dakota County in this lawsuit.

    Backstrom and the Board of Commissioners have stated their dedication in raising awareness of the issues of substance abuse faced in Dakota County with resources already dedicated to cultivating evidence-based programs to both help addicts rehabilitate and prevent others from becoming addicted.

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    HFS Readies Students

    HFS is looking forward to the School Year with a School Supplies Student distribution. Director Chris Koop explains.

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    Comp Time Test Approved

    Each department in the city of Prescott was offered the opportunity to inform the Council of current projects, plans or upcoming meetings at the most recent Council meeting on August 13th. The request by employees in the public works department for compensatory time to be offered was discussed before the general council. City Adminstrator Jayne Brand explained how the system would work.

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    with Alderperson Otwell questioning a request that would benefit a small percent of the city's workforce.

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    The other department likely to utilize comp time would be the police department, but that option would need to be negotiated through their union contract.

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    Dak Co Jail Arrest Reports

    From the Dakota County Jail booking report, the following arrests were made by the Hastings Police Department. 38-year-old Hastings resident Leroy Edward Allen faces a misdemeanor charge of 5th degree assault. Allen was booked and released as the charge is processed. 55-year-old Christopher Paul Berner was arrested after a traffic stop. Berner faces felony counts of driving under the influence and 1st degree DWI, misdemeanor counts of driving without a valid license, improper registration and display of plates, and no proof of insurance. Berner remains in custody as the charges are investigated. 41-year-old Cottage Grove resident John Robert Galvin faces a felony charge of financial transaction card fraud. Galvin is being held on $10,000 bail pending the investigation. And, 32-year-old South St. Paul resident Marlon Keith Tucker is charged with misdemeanor theft. Tucker posted bail pending an initial appearance in court. All persons listed on the blotter report are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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    MnDOT Open House On 316

    Join MnDOT for the second public open house for the Hwy 316 Improvement Project on Tuesday, August 21st, from 5 to 7 PM at Crossroads Church in Hastings. Attendees will hear a project update and have the opportunity to view and provide input on potential design concepts for Hwy 316 from the north junction of Hwy 61 to just south of Tuttle Dr. in Hastings. Representatives of MnDOT and the City of Hastings will be available to answer questions. Refreshments will be available, along with a play area for children. A virtual open house is also available online on the Highway 316 Project Page at MnDOT.gov.

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    Lillie Honored For Leadership

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters in Washington, D.C., recently selected Hastings resident and St. Paul District employee Pete Lillie as recipient of the Financial Manager of the Year District Level Award. Lillie received this award for his outstanding leadership as district financial manager developing and implementing cost-efficient fiscal policy. Lillie was also recognized for his voluntary deployment as a member of the St. Paul District Housing Planning and Response Team to California in response to the 2017 wildfires.

    Lillie directly aided more than 230 families in establishing clean and safe housing and indirectly helped more than 5,000 families find shelter as he played a critical role in one of FEMAs largest temporary housing missions in U.S. history. Lillie is the St. Paul District's chief financial officer and has been with the Corps since 2012. His role with the Corps involves ensuring proper stewardship of public funds in compliance with federal law and assisting with the maintenance of balance, economy and efficiency in accomplishment of the St. Paul District mission.

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    (Photo Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

    Boater Dies in Wash Co

    On August 15th, at 3:05 PM, the Washington County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to Wildwood Park in Mahtomedi to investigate a small boat partially submerged and property on the beach with no one around. According to a press release by the Sheriffs Office, a deputy arriving on the scene located a person in the water. The individual was pulled from the water by the responding deputy, and CPR was administered. Mahtomedi Ambulance responded and the individual was pronounced dead at scene. The individual is a 67-year-old male from Mahtomedi. This incident is currently under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff's Office and Ramsey County Medical Examiners. The victim's name is being withheld pending notification of family members.    

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    TIF Taxing Change Impacts Budget

    The Prescott City Council began deliberations regarding the 2019 City Budget at their meeting on August 13th. City Finance Director Vanessa Norby advised the Council that due to the State removing personal property taxes for equipment used in the manufacturing process, the City may see a negative impact in the tax incremental financing districts in town, especially district #5. Seth Hudson with Cedar Corporation explained how the exemption benefited businesses in the TIF.

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    Hudson also talked about how the exemption applied.

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    The news raised questions from the Council, especially regarding their plans for purchasing land in the future. The City Finance Department is waiting to obtain more information on the property tax legislation from the State before finalizing budget information ahead of Council budget meetings in October.

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    Hastings Vets Home Reaches 40

    The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs has recognized the Veteran's Home in Hastings for its 40th Anniversary. According to a write-up on the Departments website "the Hastings Home has stayed committed to providing a wide range of high-quality care and services. Sobriety maintenance, vocational rehabilitation and educational services are just a few of the specialty programs offered on site. The Hastings Home emphasizes rehabilitation and community involvement, as well as supportive care for the residents' lives." Simone Hogan, Senior Director of Veterans Health Care at the Department said in a statement, " We are thrilled to welcome new leadership to the Veterans Home Domiciliary Program. A new Director of Nursing joined the team in the summer of 2017, and soon a new Administrator. Leadership has a clear vision for the upcoming year, which is to provide a more modernized care delivery system with support to enhance clinical care and more attention to collaboration with the community" The home provides a safe environment for approximately 130 veterans of varying ages and medical conditions.

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    (Graphic Source: MNDVA)

    Prescott Council Approves New Pool Rules

    At the August 13th Prescott City Council Meeting, the ordinance committee brought an amended set of criteria and their intention to repeal the current swimming pool ordinance to the full council. The new ordinance language addresses several issues related to all types of private swimming pools placed on property in that city. Some key changes is the 10 foot set back required from all property lines and buildings, a four foot fencing requirement for pools deeper than 15 inches and adequate plumbing and electricity standards as well as approved drainage options that don't involve use of the city's sanitary sewer. Approved filter systems are also required to assure health standards are met.

    The committee of Alderpersons Dar Hintz,Bailey Ruona and Gene Seipel, recommend that pool owners become familiar with the new rules addressing fencing containment with self-closing and self-latching gates to be lockable when not in actual use. The city code enforcement officer will contact owners with pools currently outside of the new perameters to provide full compliance as soon as possible. It was not disclosed how long current pool owners will be given to correct non-compliance or what penalties may be incurred for failing to do so.

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    City Pays Off Solar Contract Fee

    During the Prescott City Council meeting held on August 13th, a resolution to a dispute about monies owed to the Trane Heating and Cooling company regarding a contract signed by the city that bound them to paying for solar based equipment and installation, which was later changed as the decision was rescinded. According to city administrator, Jayne Brand, cost of the proposal for solar comparisons and future installations was $25,500 which Trane said the contract entitled them to regardless of whether or not the installation ever took place. As the current traditional heating and cooling contract for maintenence and warranteed repair is also handled through Trane, a reduction was negotiated to remove $5,500 from that total if the city would approve service agreements that would continue for the next 3 years on that equipment. The council agreed to the reduced total. Alderperson Otwell voiced her concern that because of the incident, the city will not be receptive to solar decisions in the future, to which Gergen replied once the cost to savings ratio produced more savings, it could be reviewed. Otwell had another question for Brand.

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    Treasurer Norby, however, did state that some light retrofitting done at city hall was cost saving on a small scale.   

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    Dakota Sheriff Log Aug 15

    Items summarized from the Dakota County Jail booking report include the arrest of 34-year-old Rosemount resident Craig Allen Tarvis by Burnsville authorities. Tarvis faces felony charges of 5th degree possession of marijuana and violation of an order for no contact, and a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana. Tarvis is being held without bail pending an initial appearance in court, set for the 15th. Officers in Hastings arrested 21-year-old Hastings resident Emily Ann Trapp on a misdemeanor charge of harassment by violation of a restraining order. Trapp remains in custody as the charge is processed.

    And, Dakota County deputies arrested 44-year-old Northfield resident Shawn Michael Wierson on felony counts of 1st degree sale of over 25 kilograms of marijuana, 2nd degree possession of marijuana, and misdemeanor counts of 5th degree possession of marijuana in Goodhue County, and failure to provide information after an injury accident in Scott County. Wierson remains in custody as the charges are investigated. All persons listed on the blotter report are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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    Diver Death In Washington County

    On August 14th, at 7:39 PM, the Washington County Sheriff's Office responded to the call of a scuba diver having difficulty in the water on Square Lake in May Township. Rescue dive team members responding to the call located a 51-year-old male under the water. The man was moved to shore where first responders attempted resuscitation, however, these attempts were unsuccessful and the diver was pronounced dead at the scene. This incident is currently under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Ramsey County Medical Examiner. The Sheriff's Office was assisted by units from Stillwater Fire, Lakeview Ambulance, and members of the County Fire Dive team. No further information is available at this time.

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    Mayor Candidates Look Ahead

    When the polls closed at 8 pm on Tuesday night, it would take another 2 hours to determine who would continue on to the general election for the office of Mayor in the fall. Tallies for each of the eight precincts were posted and the turnout totaled just 28 percent. Candidates Mary Fasbender and Danna Elling Schultz gatheredjust over 91 percent of the votes, with Cody Jones receiving the remainder of the support. We asked them both for a brief statement on their reaction to the results beginning with Schultz who commented on the turnout.

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    Fasbender agreed.

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    I asked each what the next step would be, starting with Schultz

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    Fasbender has a similar plan

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    When asked, each were open to continued public conversation including a debate, which is likely to be a part of their journey

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    Computer Scam Making Rounds

    Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is warning consumers about a newer scam that seems to have moved into this area. The scam is a fake pop-up alert which tells computer users that adult content has been detected on their computers. People are then urged to call an 877 number before closing the page or their "computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network" The alert also says financial data, Facebook Logins and credit card details are being stolen. However, these alerts are not legitimate and unknown entities behind them are fraudulent. Though these alerts look scary, they only become dangerous when people call the phone numbers that accompany these messages.

    The Better Business Bureau urges people to simply close the page or their browser and the suspect alerts should go away. If youre concerned about an alert youve received on your computer, contact Better Business Bureau to report your experience and get expert advice. Don't call the phone numbers that appear within these alerts, as they're part of the scheme. When in doubt, exit out of the page youre on, close your browser or simply shut down your computer. If the alerts won't go away, you may need to contact a technical expert.

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    Wise Property Update

    The Hastings Planning Commission heard an update from Community Development Director John Hinzman regarding renovation and addition work that was approved for Wise Funeral Home earlier this year.

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    The update came during the regular meeting of the Commission held on August 13th.

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    New Year New Prescott Principal

    Malone Intermediate School in Prescott is getting ready to welcome students back from Summer Vacation. Donita Stepan, the newly appointed principal, recently commented on how she is adapting to the position at the school.

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    Superintendent Dr. Rick Spicuzza commented on renovation at the school.

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    Hear the complete interview on Community In Depth.

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    Dakota County Arrests August 12

    From the Dakota County Jail booking report, officers in Hastings arrested 36-year-old Otsego resident Maegen Catherine Fortin on a felony charge of financial transaction card fraud. Fortin was booked and released, pending the investigation. Rosemount Police arrested 20-year-old Eagan resident Alexandria Marie Laws-Rother on a felony charge of 5th degree possession of marijuana. Her initial appearance in court for the charge was scheduled for the 14th. 27-year-old Hastings resident Danica Jean Otto was arrested on misdemeanor charges of theft and 5th degree possession of marijuana. Otto remains in custody as the charges are processed.

    And deputies with Dakota County detained 37-year-old Welch resident Daniel James Schoen on felony counts of 3rd degree burglary and 5th degree possession of marijuana, and misdemeanor counts of assault, interfering with a call to 911, and fleeing police. The charges are still under investigation. All persons listed on the blotter report are presumed innocent until proven guilty in as court of law.

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    Primary Results For Mayors Race

    August 16th was primary voting day in the city of Hastings, with just one local race, that for the office of Mayor. With the potential for 13,283 Dakota County registered voters to declare their choice, only 28 percent of that , 3725 actually cast a ballot for their candidate. Mary Fasbender was determined to be the top vote getter, receiving nearly 57% of the votes with a total of 2108 to candidate Dana Elling Schultz who garnered just 35% with 1340. A third candidate, Cody Jones, received 8,91%and 287 votes. In our next newscast we'll talk to Fasbender and Schultz about the primary process and their plan for the next leg of their campaign trail, leading to the general election on November 6th. The totals will be officially canvassed on Thursday, August 16th by the current Mayor and council.

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    KDWA Owner Announces Purchase

    In addition to August 14th being Primary Voting Day, the day also meant a special milestone also marked by an announcement from a longtime Hastings Business. Owner of KDWA radio, Dan Massman told me about some very big news.

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    More information is coming, says Massman, and his family and staff is looking forward to bringing the KDWA standard of community involvement to the new station which is anticipated to begin later this fall.

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    DCTC Welcomes Returning Students

    Dakota County Technical College will host their Ready, Set Go back to class event onThursday, August 23rd from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.with a daylong event to help students prepare for fall semester 2018. Students will be able to locate their classrooms,take a campus tour,purchase your textbooks and learn about life as a DCTC student from current students and alumni. Plenty of staff and instructors will be on hand to answer any last-minute questions students may have prior to starting classes. DCTC is also glad to announce the addition of multiple Minnesota Transit Valley Authority bus stops per day via Route 420. This route connects directly to Rosemount and the Apple Valley Transit Station, offering several MVTA and Metro Transit connection points. More information can be found at www.dctc.edu

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    Prescott Prepares 2019 Budget

    As a presentation to the Prescott City Council on August 13th, Treasurer Vanessa Norby provided an overview of projections for the 2019 budget offering some information on the Levy proposed at 1.2%. The bond approved this year, said Norby, will not cause an increase in the levy. One of the biggest influences, however, is recent State legislation that allows businesses to be tax exempt for personal property used to conduct business, as an incentive to continue to do business in that state. One side effect, that will impact the city, is the loss of revenue within TIF District 5, which includes UNFI. Norby allowed that there is some state aid expected, perhaps by the end of this week, that can lessen the blow of that dollar loss, but the amount of that aid, is not yet known. The projection is that TIF 5 will generate half the amount due to that change, greatly reducing support to the tax roles. TIF 3 and 4 are not impacted as heavilly, but final numbers won't be known , again until state aid is figured in. More work on the 2019 budget is expected to take place in another marathon session, as was conducted by the finance committee last year. Each department head will have about 15 minutes to present their needs and proposed department budget. That meeting is scheduled to begin at 4 PM on September 15th.

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    Sex Trade Spans Streets

    The Sexual Assault Center of Family Services based in Green Bay Wisconsin, has posted a graphic description of possible routes frequented in the trafficking of those exploited in the sex trade industry, which extends from the Twin Cities in Minnesota done common highway corridors, closely associated with truck and commerce delivery routes. According to the Center, Sex trafficking has been reported in all 72 counties in Wisconsin. .They encourage those living or working near these corridors which include Interstate 94 and Higways 43,41,29, and 39, to watch for warning signs such as young girls, especially in the company of much older companions, tatoos that appear to be gang related or significant changes in demeanor or actions that indicate the person is afraid of the person they are with.

    Hotels and tourist hot spots are also provided with the warning sign list to intercept trafficking that can happen in any community. They advise people who suspect a person is being trafficked, to Go with your gut instincts--if you see something, say something. You could be wrong, but you could also save a life A toll free number is provided as well as a text contact for anonymous reporting of suspected trafficking activity. Call: 1-888-373-7888 to report a tip. OR text Help to 233733.

       

    Prescott Students Get Connected

    As the weeks dwindle down to a precious few,the Prescott School District asks that parents get their accounts set up for Infinite Campus, the electronic connection required for parents and caregivers to stay in touch with school announcements, schedules, bus route information and class assignments for your students. As of August 13th, just 44% of parents have initiated their accounts. If you are not one of them, locate the letter sent earlier in August and set up your account. An individual code is enclosed in the mailed letter sent to all parents of Prescott students. Follow that link to the district portal. For more information, visit our website at www.prescott.k12.wi.us. If you have any specific questions about Infinite Campus, please contact: district@prescott.k12.wi.us so they may respond accordingly

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    Impaired Drivers Target For Patrols

    Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove has issued an informational press release for citizens ahead of a two-week sober driving campaign in Pierce County. The press release states that the campaign, set for August 17th through September 3rd, aims to combat impaired driving during the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Nearly 3,800 officers in Wisconsin have been trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement, with 25 multi-jurisdictional, high-visibility task forces operating throughout the state. Rather than risk an accident, or arrest for Operating While Intoxicated, officials recommend using a sober driver, the "find a ride" feature of the Wisconsin Drive Sober mobile app, or logging on to tlw.org, a service provided by taverns and restaurants to help patrons get a safe ride home.

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    Prescott City Council Preview Aug13

    The Prescott City Council meets for regular business on Monday, August 13th. After the Consent Agenda, the Council will hear reports from the Finance Committee regarding the budget for 2019, to include setting up meeting dates to put the budget together. Public Works will present reports on a pay request for the new cold storage building, a payment under a solar agreement with Trane, and the final assessment report for the Lake Street Assessor Plat. Under the heading of licensing, several permit requests will be presented in association with Prescott Daze, and a request from St. Joseph Catholic church for a temporary beer license for their Fall Festival in September. Ordinances under consideration before the Council include the Conditional Use Ordinance, the Special Use Ordinance, and an ordinance regarding swimming pools.

    Parks and Public Property will present a request to buy three benches for the river walk on front of Eagle Point Condos and a request for consideration of a professional services contract for the Downtown Riverfront Unified Vision Plan. The Personnel Department will present information on a reimbursement plan for City Management personnel to be authorized reimbursement for using personal cell phones for official city business, and a compensatory time policy. The final item on the Agenda is the presentation of a Proclamation from the City to the American Legion Legacy Run. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 27th.

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    Standoff Suspect Jailed

    The August 9th standoff that brought more than a dozen law enforcement vehicles to a farmhouse in Denmark Township, resulted in the arrest of one man, who was convinced to exit the building with the help of battering ram attached to a MAAG unit. The Washington County Sheriff's Office said Friday that Berkeley Read Lewis the fifth was booked into the Washington county jail on suspicion of second-degree assault charges involving a dangerous weapon, as well as felony domestic assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Formal charges are expected to be made today in the case that could mean the 31 year old would serve additional time in jail. According to court records, Lewis was incarcerated for domestic assault in 2016. The six hour standoff required several rural roads to be block off to local traffic until the suspect could be apprehended.

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    Local Police Report Aug 9

    The Hastings Police Department made the following arrests that were recorded into the Dakota County Jail booking report. 45-year-old Woodbury resident Daniel Stephen LaCroix faces misdemeanor charges of driving with a revoked license and not having valid insurance. LaCroix was booked and released as the charges are processed. 51-year-old Hastings resident John Paul Rueter was detained on a misdemeanor count of harassment. Reuter made his first appearance in court on the 9th and the charge is being processed. And, Mark Anthony Siebenaler, 41, of Hastings, faces a misdemeanor charge of assault. Siebenaler was booked and released as the charge is investigated. All persons listed on the blotter report are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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    Candidate Advocates Voting

    With the Primary election just days away, KDWA spoke with candidate for Hastings City Council at-large Tom Cherney, who emphasized the importance of voter involvement in the election cycle.

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    The primary is this Tuesday, with the General Election on Tuesday, November 6th.

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    Chief Updates August 7 Lockdown

    An official followup from Chief Schaffer of the Hastings Police Department regarding the incident that took place on Tuesday, August 7th indicated that the high profile event involved a felony domestic disturbance during which the female victim escaped from a residence in the 1800 block of 13th Street West. According to preliminary information, officers had reason to believe that the suspected was barricaded inside the dwelling. The response of several agencies, included the Dakota County SWAT team, with a command post established in the former Target Store parking lot, resulting in calls from several residents asking for information about the reason for the action which included several intersections in the area being blocked by patrol vehicles. Schaffer continued that communication with the subject was initiated without success and the SWAT team entered the home with the use of electronic robots, cameras and the Hastings K-9. It was determined that the suspect was not within the dwelling. The incident lasted just over 4 hours and the case remains under investigation.

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    Accident Update in Goodhue County Collision

    A vehicle versus motocycle crash Wednesday night that claimed the life of a Randolph woman also severly injured her husband, the driver of the car that collided with their motorcycle and a passenger in that car. According to the most recent update, the driver of the motorcycle, Thomas Otte of Randolph, remains in life critical condition in a Rochester hospital. His wife, Patrica, was killed in the crash which happened near the intersection of Hwy61 and 316 near Welch in Goodhue County. Heather Marie Miller-Nellermoe, 44 of Hastings,was critically injured and was identified as the driver of the passenger vehicle which hit the motorcycyle. A passenger in her vehicle, Aaron Schultz, of Hastings was also injured as were a couple from Arizona whose car collided with the Nellermoe car following the initial crash. The investigation continues into the crash, which involved members of agencies from Hastings, Dakota County, Goodhue county emergency reponse units

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    Fatal Cycle Crash In Welch

    Thursday PM Update- Emergency Services responded to a fatal three-vehicle crash involving a motorcycle at the intersection of Highway 316 and Highway 61 in Welch Township on Wednesday night. According to the MN State Patrol, a Chrysler travelling southbound on Highway 316 crossed Highway 61 and struck a Harley Davidson motorcycle traveling northbound on Highway 61 around 8:23 p.m. The driver, 63 year old Thomas Lynn Otte, of Randolph, MN was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester with life threatening injuries. His passenger 74 year old Patrica Ann Otte, also of Randolph did not survive the crash. The Chrysler was then struck by a Cadillac in the southbound lanes of Highway 61. The driver of the Chrysler, Heather Marie Miller-Nellermoe, 44, of Hastings, was taken to North Memorial Hospital with injuries that are said to be life-threatening . A passenger in the Chrysler, Aaron John Schultz, 45, of Hastings, sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The occupants of the Cadillac, Terry Lloyd Twedt and Barbara Pearl Twedt, both from Arizona, were not injured. Stay tuned to KDWA for updates on this story.

        

    Summer Refurbish at District Facilities

    A full summer of renovations have taken place in District 200 with several facility parking areas receiving major overhauls including McAuliffe Elementary and the Hastings High School. Crews at McAuliffe have completed striping the parking stalls with some directional markings and lighting replacement remaining to complete the refurbishment before buses return to their routes. At the High School, work done on the massive parking lot required some creative juggling of schedules including those for the marching band and the summer musical. Work on the roof, involving the HVAC system and structure continues as replacement of the nearly 20 year old material returns confidence that the elements won't invade the building. Crosswalks are also getting some brightening with motorists urged to watch for the painting crews as they return the visibility to each intersection in time to guide pedestrians across traffic.

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    Prescott Chamber Mtg Review

    The Prescott Area Chamber of Commerce met on August 8th in the First National Bank Community Room. President Lisa Johnson chaired the meeting, asking for approval of the June Meeting minutes and having the treasurer read that report. Events coming up include a ribbon cutting on August 15th for the OConnell Benedict Funeral Home with one scheduled soon for the new business, My Happy Place. Chamber Ambassadors will be meeting during the week of August 13th at Muddy Waters. Items covered under old business include the ground breaking on the Bike Trail Project with more progress to report at the next meeting. One item of note is the decision by the Chamber to step away from hosting the Memorial Day Chicken Feed based on the lack of volunteers needed to conduct the event. They will turn it over to another group. The annual Golf Tournament went well and it will continue next year. The Poker Stroll, was also a good event with 145 individuals taking part in July.

    The Calendar Raffle is a major fundraiser, but many tickets remain to be sold. Johnson asks that members take an active part in the raffle as tickets will begin drawing on September 1st. The next big event is Prescott Daze on the 8th and 9th of September. Members are asked to please sign up to help with the parade soon.

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    In new business, Abbie Flynn notes that the new Prescott Guide Books are out and she can supply chamber businesses with extra copies to have on hand. Advertising options for Prescott Daze were presented with Abbie the contact for those.

    The New Teacher Luncheon with the Kiwanis Club will be held on August 30th . The cost is $7 per person and anyone who would like to help with collecting items for the 22 goody bags are asked to contact the Chamber as soon as possible. The Speaker was Julie Fox from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism spoke to members who shared information on what is happening around the state and right here in Pierce county.

    Their next meeting will be on September 5th at noon and they are looking for someone to act as host, providing dessert and taking a few minutes to promote their business. The Speaker for that meeting will be announced soon.

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    Aug 7 Dakota County Jail

    From the Dakota County Jail booking report, Apple Valley officers arrested 24-year-old Rosemount resident Marco Antonio Fonseca, Jr. on a misdemeanor charge of theft. Fonseca posted bail and was released as the charge is processed. Dakota County deputies detained 29-year-old Gilbert, Iowa resident Tyler Joseph Roche on a felony count of fleeing police and misdemeanor counts of failure to stop for a stop sign, reckless driving and 3rd degree damage to property. An initial appearance in court is set for the 9th. And, South St. Paul police arrested 39-year-old South St. Paul resident Jacob James Sieber on misdemeanor charges of DUI and refusing to submit to chemical testing. Bail has been set at $12,000 pending an initial appearance set for the 10th. All persons listed on the blotter report are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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    National Nite Out Fire Fighter Recap

    The Hastings Fire and EMS Department made a number of stops at various gatherings for Tuesday's Night to Unite. Assistant Director John Townsend provided some details.

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    The event was the 35th Annual National Night Out.    

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    Primaries Near Cities Ready

    The primary, held on Tuesday, August 14th, will take place in four wards which are divided into 9 precincts for the city of Hastings. All polls will be open from 7am until 8 pm and if you are in line at 8 pm, you will be allowed to cast your vote. Voters in Ward One are divided into 3 precincts. Precinct 1 is for those living in Washington County and they will be cast by mail-in ballot, Precinct 2, at Hastings City Hall and precinct 3 at Hope Lutheran Church. Ward 2 Voters cast their Precinct 1 ballots at St. John's Lutheran Church with Precinct 2 held at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church. In Ward 3, Precinct 1 polling is conducted at Calvary Christian Church and Precinct 2 at Resurrection United Methodist Church. The voters in Ward 4 will vote in Precinct 1 at St. Phillip's Lutheran Church with Precinct 2 at Crossroads Church.

    Polls will open in Wisconsin on Tuesday, August 14th with several offices awaiting the public's decision on which two candidates to send to the November general elections. Polling places in Pierce County include The City Municipal Building in Prescott, Town Hall in Clifton Township, the Town Hall in Oak Grove Township and the Town Hall in Diamond Bluff. All primaries will be for Republican and Democratic candidates. At the State level, State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, hopes to receive enough votes to be the top choice for Governor of that state, one of 10 listed on the Democratic Party ballot. Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove is the incumbent. She and Clerk of Court candidate Megan Erwin are running unapposed in the Democratic Primary.

    With absentee balloting open until Primary Day on Tuesday, KDWA offers a reminder to listeners to exercise their political voice and vote. Absentee ballots must be received at local election offices, not polling places, by 3 PM on Primary Election Day, and the polls for the primary election will be open from 7 AM until 8 PM. KDWA will have live results as soon as they are confirmed with Dakota County.

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    National Night Out In Hastings

    This year, even more reasons to celebrate community as the Hastings National Night Out get together held at Lion's Park did double duty. With members of the Public Safety committee manning the grill and children of all ages enjoying the activities, the grand re-opening of the newly refurbished Lion's Park playground provided an excellent backdrop for nearly 400 people of all ages. Parks and Recreation Director Chris Jenkins notes that this playground is something special.

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    The newly installed swing zip line, the 3 tiered super slide and an assortment of swings and attractions included something else.

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    One neighbor, 10 year old Marco, voiced his approval.

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    Nearly 2 dozen neighborhoods turned out to spend sometime with their neighbors. Police and Fire Department vehicles crisscrossed the city, doing their best to attend as many of the gatherings as possible. Several of the parties have a long history, with others organizing their first National Night Out event. At Lion's Park, a community wide event welcomed nearly 400 to eat, play and watch the Minnesota State Trooper helicopter hover over the trees and carefully land in the freshly mown field near by. Before the rededication for the newly renovated playground took place, I found Senator Karla Bigham who had this to say about the event.

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    Council member Tina Folch was admiring the difference made in the park and shared her value of such a venue

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    Then it was time for Mayor Hicks to praise those involved in making the park possible.

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    National Night out 2019 will be held August 6th.

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    Council Approves Additional 10K

    The Consent Agenda of the August 6th Hastings City Council meeting included a request for a change order for the 2018 Neighborhood Infrastructure Improvement Program. The change order is needed to realign an 8-inch water main at 7th and Main Streets. The realignment is required due to conflicts with existing utility components already in place, requiring the installation of a vertical offset beneath storm and sanitary sewer pipes. The cost of the change order is $9,390, or one half of one percent of the total cost of the project. The change was approved by the Council.   

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    Tuesday Police Incident Resolves

    The story that developed on Tuesday, took some twists and turns, due, in part to speculation offered by onlookers to a large law enforcement presence that began at midday near the intersection of South Frontage Road and General Sieben Drive. First reports, that were received just after 1 PM, came as calls to the KDWA newsroom. The public observed many law enforcement vehicles from several area agencies including Hastings and Dakota County, in addition to MAAG trucks from Lakeville and Burnsville, that assembled in the parking lot of the former Target Store.

    Throughout the afternoon, requests for an update from local law enforcement did not result in any warnings or advisements but those living in the area continued to see roads blocked with limited access into the neighborhoods in the 17 and 1800 blocks near 13th Street West. One officer at the scene relayed limited information about a continuing situation that hoped to be resolved soon. Just over 4 hours into the event, came word from neighbors in the area, that officers were no longer blocking local streets and responder vehicles were removed.

    At the Community National Night out event, I asked Hastings Deputy Chief David Wilske about the reason for the action and he confirmed it was a search for one individual who was not believed to be dangerous or armed. Wilske also confirmed, however, that the subject of the search had not yet been located, and that the investigation would continue. One unrelated incident that took place at the same time in the area, was the collision of two vehicles, resulting in significant damage to one, which was towed from the scene. There was no report of injuries with that incident.

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    Parking Ramp Site Plan Approved

    The August 6th Hastings Council meeting placed the resolution request for the site plan for the Confluence Development Parking Ramp which is located at the corner of Eddy and 2nd Street which is also designated as a collector street, under the jurisdiction of Dakota County as an extension of CSAH 42. Due to the shared controls between the city and the county, approval will be necessary, and is expected, to implement a cross walk that will lead to the north side development, which is scheduled to be completed next year. The developers received 1.5 million from the MET Council and a representative , Michael Madingly, spoke of the projecte timeline for the construction.

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    The concept plans show a long, low structure with entrances on Eddy for the first level and an alley entrance, now facing south, for the upper level. Precast concrete panels will be used for the design with a limestone facade to match the stonework of the bridge abuttments. Greg Stotko, part of the development team, addressed questions from councilmember Folch about charging stations for electric vehicles. Stotko confirmed that there will be 2 such stations. Another question posed to the developers involved the allowance of overnight parking within the ramp.

    As a future use for some of the 128 parking spaces will be guests of the hotel planned for the site, City Administrator acknowledged that overnight parking would indeed be allowed. The height of the ramp, according to Community Development Director John Hinzman should be similar to the current building, however, depending on the developer's plans, The Parking ramp was ultimately approved

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    Legion Legacy Motorcycle Run

    The 13th annual American Legion Legacy Run will take place this summer with approximately 500 Motorcycles scheduled to be passing through Prescott on their way to complete a 1,100 mile, five-state journey to raise funds and awareness for the American Legion Legacy. Riders are expected to pass through Prescott between 10:30 am and noon on Thursday, August 23rd. The American Legion Post 61 in Prescott encourages the entire community to line the streets, wave flags and show their support as the cycles pass by as a thank you to the veterans for the work they continue to do for the American Legion.

    The Scholarship program, funded in part, by the run, has raised more than 13 million dollars since 2002 with eligibility open to children of servicemembers who died while on active duty following 9/11, 2001 as well as children of post 9/11 veterans who have been assigned a disability rating of 50% or greater by the VA. Local law enforcement will aid in traffic control while the group passes through and some temporary closures affecting Broad Street to Hwy 35 are to be expected during that time.

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    Emergency Incident Involves Multiple Units

    Updated at 5PM- According to several phone calls received by KDWA and a late afternoon social media post on an account reported to belong to Hastings City Council person Lisa Leifeld, the afternoon spent searching for a person of interest near the 1700 block of South Frontage Road, behind Cub Foods, has come to a conclusion. The Council person, who is a resident of the general area, spoke with law enforcement who told her there is no reason to believe the person of interest is dangerous to the general public, nor was that person armed. KDWA is awaiting the followup to our questions from the Hastings Police Department and the Dakota County Sheriff's Office on the incident.

    A large confingent of law enforcement equipment was assembled in the former Hastings Target store lot near midday on Tuesday. uniformed officers from several area departments were seen blocking off the streets between the access road behind Cub Foods extending South to the housing development at 13th Street West. Several Dakota County Sheriff's vehicles, joined by Hastings Police cordoned off all inlet roads, leaving neighbors wondering. Units were observed in staging position nearby but no movement could be confirmed as of 3PM.Our questions about the incident directed to the Dakota County Sheriff's Department have not yet been returned.

    Stay tuned to KDWA for further updates as we receive them.

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    Westview Power Outage

    KDWA listeners have reported that there is a power outage currently affecting the Westview Mall in Hastings. KDWA has learned that Pizza Hut, Marcus Theater, and Anytime Fitness are among the affected businesses. No further details are available at this time. Stay tuned to KDWA for updates as they become available.

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    Police Citizen Academy Opportunity

    The Farmington Police Department is accepting applications for the 2018 Citizens Police Academy which will be held every Tuesday from Sept. 11 through Oct. 23. It will start at 6 p.m. at the Farmington Police Department, 19500 Municipal Drive. The Citizens Police Academy is a way for the police department to engage our community members by giving them a glimpse into different areas of our day-to-day operations. In return, the department gets valuable feedback from our participants and open up dialogue weekly through various presentations, speakers, and demonstrations. The program is available to residents 18 years and older. Interested applicants should apply no later than Aug. 28. Contact Officer Cassie Redmond at 651-280-6720 or by email at CRedmond@FarmingtonMN.gov. All applicants will be subject to a criminal background check.

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    Highway Construction Detours 494

    Travelers in the Southeast Metro are advised that the 494 bridge over Concord Boulevard is scheduled to close for maintenance starting at 7 PM on Tuesday, August 7th. The closure will mean that detours will be in place to get around the construction zone. The westbound 494 access from Maxwell Avenue will be closed., with a detour that takes Bailey Road, eastbound 494 and Lake Road to access WB 494. Also, westbound 494 to and from Concord Street will be closed, with a planned detour on Hardman Avenue. Work planned for the project includes replacing the 494 bridge deck over Concord Street, with widening and resurfacing the roadway, replacing bridge joints, the construction of an auxiliary lane on westbound 494 between Hardman Avenue to west of 7th Ave, repavement of 494 between Hardman and 5th Avenues, improvement of drainage and constructing retaining ponds, and the construction of noise and retaining walls. The project is scheduled to be completed later this fall.

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    Prescott Police Log Aug 6

    From the Prescott Police blotter, officers were called to the 100 block of Eagle Ridge Drive to assist the Fire Department with the cleanup of approximately 60 gallons of fuel spilled from a tractor trailer. The report does indicate if any citations were issued in the event. A traffic stop for a partially spray painted license plate near the intersection of Cherry Street and highway 10 resulted in the arrest of 40-year-old South St. Paul resident Harvey Patrick Zaccardi on an outstanding warrant from Pierce County, and the arrest of 37-year-old South St. Paul resident Kate Irene Oney on several charges, including possession of methamphetamines and other Schedule I narcotics, and drug paraphernalia, possession of an electric weapon, and driving without a valid license. And, a traffic stop near the intersection of Hilton Street and Highway 10 resulted in the arrest of 25-year-old St. Paul resident Fabrice Lugali on charges of possession of THC and drug paraphernalia, speeding, operating without a valid license, non registration of a vehicle, and resisting arrest. All persons listed on the blotter report are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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    HFD To Vermillion Business

    Update-Tuesday Noon- Following a call to the Hastings Fire Department, Fire Investigator Al Storlie told KDWA more about their response and investigation.

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    Measures are underway to return to full operation. Stay tuned for a further update.

    Monday evening- A Hastings restaurant was the site of emergency responders on Monday night as crews from the Hastings Fire Department left the station at approximately 9PM arriving to find what witnesses at the scene described as an emergency on the roof at the west side of the Las Margaritas Restaurant, which is located at 2100 Vermillion Street. According to bystanders several ladders and the ladder truck from HFD were on scene until just after 10PM, with crews assessing the situation on several sides of the building. No confirmation as of this report on the cause of the incident or the possible impact it will have to the business.

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    Council Meeting August 6

    The Hastings City Council met on Monday, July 6th with everyone except council members Balsanek and Braucks in attendance. First on the agenda was the acceptance without amendment of the consent agenda. Following that was the resolution to approve design standards review of a home at 614 West 5th Street which proposed to add a garage and addition to the second story. That request was granted. Next on the agenda was the issue fo the Wallin 18th Addition located at the south end of General Sieben Drive for a cluster development comprised of 22 villa style homes. The request was made by the developer to table the action so that they could digest the information provided by a recommendation from the planning commission to deny the development and amend their plan to better suit the neighborhood. It was noted that opposition from neighbors within the required 350 foot notification requirement, was evident. The motion was approved to table the action and send the request back through the Planning Commission to consider an amended proposal from the developer.   

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    911 Mystery Fail Answered

    Members of the Dakota Communications Commission received information on Monday, that the preliminary report on the 911 outage on August 1st shows that it was the result of human error by a third party vendor working for CenturyLink. The outage lasted for just over an hour and it was reported that the DCC had seventy seven 911 calls that did not make it through, however, several of those were from internal staff at the DCC as attempts continued to determine which cell providers/landlines were affected. Dakota County was not aware of any significant events where the public could not ultimately get through using the administrative phone lines during that time.

    The Emergency Communication Networks Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety says they will continue to follow up with CenturyLink to prevent a reoccurrence and to insure reliable 911 service.

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    New Rank In DCSO

    Three members of the Dakota County Sheriff's Department were promoted on August 3rd in a ceremony held at the Dakota County Government Center. Jim Gabriel was promoted by Sheriff Tim Leslie to the rank of Captain. The officer has been a member of the Dakota County Sheriff's office since 2000, serving in several different positions most recently within the Investigation Division. He is also a past member of the Dakota County MAAG Team and was a use of force trainer for the office for many years.

    Dawanna Witt was also promoted to the rank of Captain. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Safety and Administration, and another in Management at one time serving the office as Explorer advisor, crisis negotiator, patrol sergeant, liaison to the inclusion diversity leadership, recruitment lead, and internship coordinator.

    Sergeant Matt Regis began his career as a correctional deputy in the jail and was later promoted to the rank of deputy sheriff. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Police Science from St. Mary's University and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the same institution. Sheriff Leslie noted that these three deputies have combined experience of nearly 50 years. They are hard-working and dedicated, and he is looking forward to their contributions to the offices senior command staff.

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    Naming Surprise For Dakota Fair Director

    A surprise several months in the making was finally revealed at a ceremony held at the Dakota County Fairgrounds in Farmington on Sunday evening, just hours before the opening of this year's weeklong fair. The fair board had carefully diverting the attention of a steadfast contributor of an amazing 71 years to the Fair Board until they could arrange the unveiling of a token of their esteem. Fair president Jeff Wright, welcomed almost 80 members of the Fox Family to the north entrance of the Cattle Arena to wait for the timed arrival of Henry Fox, delivered right on time dressed in his denim colored Director's shirt, more than just a little curious why everyone was gathered on the gravel instead of putting the final touches on preparations. Wright delivered the reason.

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    Fox appeared genuinely touched by the sentiment, speaking softly about his start at 21, fresh out of his involvement in 4-H then posed with family and Fair Directors beneath the giant sign. The Dakota County Fair was first organized in 1858 and operates as a working fair with hundreds of hours needed all year round to preserve the tradition.

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    Honors Escort For Towers Tribute

    On Sunday, August 5th, a one of a kind event drew the attention of hundreds in a carefully planned route from Hastings to Farmington. The goal was to accompany a mobile tribute to those who lost their lives in the Twin Towers attack in New York City in 2001. Fourteen different agencies were represented with more than 70 firefighters, police, and sheriff personnel from cities in Dakota County and beyond falling into line behind the motorcycle Honor Guard for an escort of artifacts and tributes contained in the Stephen Siller semi-trailer on it's way for a 3 day stop at the Dakota County Fair. Bill Puckett, a retired fireman from Plano, Texas spoke with us after the display was in place and shared some of the reason he volunteers to represent those who can't speak about this turning point in our nation's history.

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    Puckett noted that their involvement isn't always easy, but he has spent 10 months of the past year, making sure that we never forget.

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    Photos and a video of the arrival at the Dakota County fairground can be found on the KDWA Facebook Page. Our complete In Depth interview with Mr. Puckett will be featured later this week.

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    Plum City Grant Tops Half Million

    On Friday, August 3rd, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker awarded almost $15 million to 33 Wisconsin municipalities for local infrastructure and community projects through the Community Development Block Grant Public Facility and Planning Funds. In Pierce County, the Village of Plum City will receive $500,000 for improvements to the sanitary sewer system in town. The public facility grants will help Wisconsin communities improve streets, water systems, and construct new community buildings. Grants for planning will help rebuild and revitalize communities in Wisconsin through planned public infrastructure projects. The funding for these awards comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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