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    Preparing For Snow Skills

    On a recent In Depth program, Hastings Police Chief Bryan Schaffer, offered some suggestions on avoiding costly tickets during this winter's snow emergencies, which go into effect whenever 2 inches or more of snow has fallen in the city.

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    Chief Schaffer also addressed the ordinance that allows the use of snowmobiles in city limits, within guidelines, says Schaffer.

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    More information on specific ordinances can be found on the city website. www.hastingsmn.gov.

       

    Thanksgiving Services Welcomes All

    Hope Lutheran Church invites you to a Thanksgiving Eve service and Pie Social on Wednesday, November 22nd, at 7 PM. Come and spend an evening of worship and fellowship over delicious pies, and coffee. All are welcome to attend. Hope Lutheran Church is located at 16898 Michael Ave, in Hastings. For questions, contact Hope Lutheran Church at 651- 480-2273.

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    Remembrance Service For Holidays

    Kok Funeral Home will conduct a Holiday Service of Remembrance on Sunday, November 19th, at 2 PM. Featured speaker Paul Johnson will provide helpful tips for dealing with the holiday season and the memories of loved ones. Tree ornaments to commemorate loved ones will be available for purchase and refreshments will be served following the program. For questions contact Kok Funeral Home at 651-459-2483. Kok Funeral Home is located at 7676 80th Street South, in Cottage Grove.

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    Wisconsin Deer Season Opens

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff is expecting to see excellent deer numbers during the 2017 nine day firearms deer season that opens on Saturday, November 18th. According to Wisconsin DNR big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang, the county Deer Advisory Councils and the public are recognizing an increase in deer numbers, as evidenced by increased antlerless tag availability, especially in some of the northern counties. The Wisconsin DNR is expecting an overall increase in deer registration. Wallenfang also noted that hunters need to become familiar with new deer tagging requirements, baiting restrictions, tree stand rules and a reduction in the number of buck-only units. Hunters are encouraged to log on to dnr.wi.gov to review hunting regulations and learn about electronic deer registration, available through GameReg.

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    Vehicles Versus Deer Stats

    The Minnesota State Patrol reports several injury accidents have been recorded on Minnesota roadways during the past few weeks that involved the unexpected appearance of an animal, typically a deer, in the traffic lane. The DMV-Department of Motor Vehicles notes that a collision with some form of wildlife occurs, on average, every 39 minutes with 1 out of every 17 car collisions involving wandering wildlife. Nearly 90% of all wildlife collisions occur on roads with 2 lanes and with the majority of wildlife collisions occuring in good weather on dry roads. Nationally, approximately 200 motorist die each year from car versus wildlife collisions. They also note tha the average repair cost of a car-deer collision is $2,800. Good practices for driving during this peak time of concern are to slow down, especially after nightfall, watch the roadsides for reflective eyes and use your horn liberally if an animal is nearing a traffic lane. They also answer the swerve-or-not-to-swerve dilemma with experts advise not swerving. According to their advice, motorists should lock the brakes, honk the horn and if time allows, try to duk low behind the dashboard for extra protection if the animal is forced thru the windsheild. Any accident, regardless of the amount of damage, should immediately be reported to the police or highway patrol.

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    Assessment Abatement Tops 26K

    The final totals for assessment abatement fees incurred by the city for the first phase of the 2017 Neighborhood Infrastrutre Improvement project were released as part of the consent agenda for the City Council meeting to be be held on November 20th. The Dakota County Community Development Agency processed applications that would have the assessments for the street repair and upgrade, removed from the responsibility of the homeowner due to low-income threshhold criteria. In all, 5 properties qualified to have 100% of the assessment costs for the project paid by the Community Development Block Grant. A total of $134,111 dollars was set aside for this purpose, but the total for the 5 properties was just 26,472, averaging 5,100 dollars per property paid by the grant. This leaves a balance of 107 thousand that the city may use for future assessment abatement or other needs that qualify under terms of the grant. The work involved curb, gutter, sewer and water main replacement or relining. Not yet known,is exactly how many properties were affected in this first stage of the 2 part project nor the percentage that the five subsidized properties represents overall. Phase 2 will likely take place in 2018, impacting a similarly sized area from West 6th Street to 9th Street and from Vermillion Street to Pine.

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    Trail Connection Update

    The work has slowed but does continue along the eastern lane of northbound highway 61. Significant progress has been made in the connection from the end of the pavement on the north side of the bridge to the western entrance of the trail connecting bikers and pedestrians, at long last to Prescott in Pierce County Wisconsin. The final link will not be completed until the spring, with a bridge yet to be constructed over rail lines. Concrete barriers continue to isolate the work from the traffic lane and equipment is expected to remain at least until winter really settles in. A recent conversation with Hastings Police Chief Bryan Schaffer addressed the use of motorized vehicles including snowmobiles and ATV's within the city. These are not permitted on the trail system. Schaffer defines who is eligible for such transportation.

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    More of our conversation will be featured next week on In Depth.

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    Preparing for Winter Safety

    On a recent In Depth program, Hastings Police Chief Bryan Schaffer, offered some suggestions on avoiding costly tickets during this winter's snow emergencies, which go into effect whenever 2 inches or more of snow has fallen in the city.

    Click here for audio

    Chief Schaffer also addressed the ordinance that allows the use of snowmobiles in city limits, within guidelines, says Schaffer.

    Click here for audio

    More information on specific ordinances can be found on the city website. www.hastingsmn.gov.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    In Depth Topics This Week

    Thursday Today on In Depth programs learn how to enjoy the holiday season while keeping exercise and healthy eating part of the plan. Anytime Fitness of Hastings trainer TONY ROJAS and manager KATE TORBORG provide some helpful perspective to be successful. Then

    The holiday season can be stressful for everyone, but especially for those that are grieving. Tune in to Part 1 of the November edition of "Grief Chat" with your host MITCH CARMODY for information on how to navigate this tough time. Mitch is joined this month by his wife BARB CARMODY and CATHY SEEHUETTER of the Compassionate Friends organization. And We've heard a lot lately about the term "sexual assault" and the "#metoomovement", our interview with 360 Community representatives JESS TERESI and STEPHANIE BOEHMER explain how you can help advocate for someone you might know. These topics today on In Depth.

    Friday on In Depth programs The holiday season can be stressful for everyone, but especially for those that are grieving. Tune in to Part 2 of the November edition of "Grief Chat" with your host MITCH CARMODY for information on how to navigate this tough time. Mitch is joined this month by his wife BARB CARMODY and CATHY SEEHUETTER of the Compassionate Friends organization.

    And we learn more about a common injury that you certainly want to avoid this winter- shoulder and rotator cuff injuries. AARON WICKBOLDT from Courage Kenny Rehabilitation/Allina Health also explains why this injury has one of the longest recovery periods.

    Find out more with In Depth .

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    St Johns Students Study Saints

    Washington County Transit Talk

    A conversation with 4th District Washington County Commissioner Karla Bingham highlighted continuing shortfalls in transit connections that continue to stifle economic progress in a rapidly developing county.

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    Bingham points to local employers offering jobs left unfilled when potential workers have door to door transit needs.

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    Loans For Well Upgrades

    Low interest loans are possible for Dakota County homeowners that wish to address water quality for health concerns related to additives found in wells and drinking water. Nitrates, coliform bacteria, arsenic, lead and other ingredients can have a negative health effect according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Some studies suggest that recurrent respiratory infections, thyroid dysfunction, negative reproductive outcomes and possibly stomach or bladder cancer may be attributed to elevated levels of nitrates found in drinking water. Earlier this year, the results of a 2 year private well study determined that many townships in the county have wells that tested above the threshhold Health Risk level of 10 milligrams per liter or 10 PPM for parts per million. It is recommended that wells should be tested at least once per year. The loans can be used to repair or replace non-compliant wells, install water treatment or filtration equipment and to exchange use of a non-compliant well with a connetion to a central or municipal water system, if available. The maximum interest is 3% plus lender fees and has a 10 year maximum term for repayment. A website link has been placed on our website to apply. www.mda.state.mn.us/agbmploans

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    Counterfeit Money Making In CG

    Two people from Albertville have been arrested in Cottage Grove on charges of counterfeiting money. According to reports, Travis John Theisen, 23, and Natalie Michelle Ramey, 35, were arrested at the Country Inn and Suites, 8350 East Point Douglas Road, after police received information that they were counterfeiting in their room. Thiesen was charged with two counts of attempting to produce counterfeit money, aiding and abetting of counterfeit, a gross misdemeanor for giving false information and two other outstanding warrants.

    Ramey was charged with two counts of counterfeiting as well as aiding and abetting counterfeit. Police found $150 in counterfeit bills in the car, as well as two printers and computers. Police also found two pages of uncut counterfeit $50 bills, uncut $20 bills, and a garbage bag filled with cut $10 bills and ripped up $10, $20 and $50 bills.

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    DCTC Spirit Of Giving

    The spirit of the holidays is very evident thanks to a Toy Drive that was organized at Dakota County Technical College last week. The campus collected 59 items and 9 gift cards totaling $175 for toys that will be distributed to children whose parents are in the Military. The effort is another part of a community connection effort that supports several needs of the diverse student population. Today from 1 to 2 pm, The Beta Theta Tau chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at DCTC will host a Distracted Driving Seminar presented by Minnesota State Trooper Michael Eck. The seminar will take place in the Dakota Room on the colleges main campus in Rosemount.

    Dakota County Technical College provides instruction in a wide variety of vocational and occupational training for a growing student population of all ages and backgrounds. A full list of course offerings can be found at www.dctc.edu

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    Prescott Police Commission Meeting Preview

    The Prescott Police Commission will meet on Monday, November 20th at 6:30 pm in Council Chambers at the Municipal building. On the agenda are 2 closed door discussions, meaning that the public is not allowed to be present during the discussions. The first item on the agenda is listed as having impact on a member or members of the police department in relation to investigation of charges brought against them. The second item listed is the negotiation or consideration of employment of police officers. Testing of applicants for open police officer positions occurred on November 4th. Members of the commission will decide if employment will be offered to one or more of those applicants. Following the closed door portion of the meeting, the public may re-enter as the action decided on each topic is formally announced.

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    Dakota County Well Testing Results

    The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has provided homeowners in Dakota County an overview of recently concluded testing of Nitrate Levels in private wells using a study that was done from 2013 to 2015 on a total of 1184 private wells. Nitrates are a byproduct of chemicals used in agricultural production, most often from fertilizers with high nitrogen content. Consumption of water with elevated nitrate levels has been determined to be a contributor to negative health risks. Bottle fed babies under 6 months, pregnant women and those with compromised heath conditions are most at risk. Ground water transfers the chemicals to the aquifers, which then enter the wells to be used.

    The number of townships with 10% of wells over the Health Risk Level was 8. Those included Castle Rock, Douglas, Eureka, Hampton, Marshan, Nininger, Ravenna and Vermillion, with the city of Coates also included in list due to its relative size and location. The Health Risk level is measured as 10 miligrams per liter of nitrate-nitrogen. This is also reported as 10 parts per million. This data then impacts additional action, as described in the Minnesota Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan.

    The townships with the greatest number of tested wells over the Health Risk level were Marshan with 43%, Vermillion at 38% and Ravenna with 31.7%. Conversely, the cities of Farmington showed zero percent over the HRL with Rosemount listing 3.2% over. The city of Coates tested highest of any subset, but also tested just 5 private wells in the study. 3 of those 5 wells were over the limit. A second stage to the testing was to detect pesticides in private drinking water wells. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture plan to offer nitrate testing to more than 70,000 private well owners in more than 300 townships by the end of 2019.

    Negative effects on health attributed to the presence of nitrates or pesticide components are listed in a link you'll find on the kdwa.com webpage under News. You can also contact the Dakota County Well Management program at 952-891-7000.

    www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/water/contaminants/nitrate.html

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    Schnell Chosen As IGH Chief

    The Inver Grove Heights City Council voted on Thursday, Nov. 9th, at a special meeting, to extend an offer to Paul Schnell for the position of Inver Grove Heights Chief of Police. According to the announcement,Schnell started his career in law enforcement as a sheriffs deputy in Carver County in 1992 followed by many years of service in the St. Paul police department. He was the Chief at the Hastings Police Department for several years and most recently served as Maplewoods chief from July of 2013 through May of this year.

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    Eighth Graders To Eagle Bluff

    Eighth graders from Hastings Middle School will participate this week in the annual trip to Eagles Bluff near Lanesboro. Thanks to continued support from area businesses and fund raising efforts, the student body is divided into two groups, one attended during the first part of the week and the other, at the end of the week. Students will learn team building, explore outdoor and orienteering activites and the highlight, literally, being the High ropes course, stretching the limitations and comfort levels of students on the adventurous series of tasks located high above the heads of the next group waiting for their turn. Principal Mark Zuzek has participated in the highly anticipated trip, calling it a great opportunity for these students to experience a new environment and learn to work together to achieve something great.

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    Prescott Police Incidents

    Incidents from the Prescott Police Log- November

    Officers were called to the 1000 block of Borner Street on a welfare check. A resident was observed by neighbors as suffering paranoia and delusions with comments made that seemed to indicate halucinations. The resident also baricaded himself iside an apartment. He was later taken into protective custody. Also reported on the 6th, a suspicious car was seen in the parking lot of the Prescott Laundromat. When officers approached the driver, it was determined the person was just catching up on their emails. A call was received on November 7th for a juvenile complaint at the Prescott High School on the report of suspected child pornography. That investigation is ongoing.   

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    From the Prescott Police Log, dated November 8th, a vehicle was observed passing a Prescott School bus at 10:24 am at the intersection of Canton Street and Orin Road. The bus had it's stop sign extended and the warning lights were flashing . A witness statement was taken by phone and a report was filed by the bus driver. The driver was cited. A Prescott resident, Charles Lamb, age 24, was arrested just before 11 pm on November 8th, following the report of a driving complaint of a vehicle coming into the city from across the bridge. Two Prescott police officers were involved when the vehicle operated by Lamb, stopped at the BP gas station. The driver was found to be in posession of a nitrous Oxide container, a violation of state law.

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    According to incidents taking place in the Prescott Police service area, citiation continue to be issued for non-payment for boat launching in the municipal lot. Citiations also issued for failure to display a launch permit. Ramp fees continue thru the season prior to ice in. Boaters are advised to deposit ramp fees for use until that time.

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    Prescott City Council Meeting Preview

    The Prescott City Council met on Monday, November 13th.On the consent agenda were minutes from the October 23rd city council meeting, finance committee, Police commission and Planning commission meetings as well as a review of receivables and accounts payable including payroll. Next will be reports of standing committees including Public Works, which will address special assessments for Henry, Hampshire and James street as requested from a member of the public. The License committee will introduce a request for an operator's license, the planning commission will present, as well as the Parks and public propert committee who will explain closing procedure planning for property at 237 Dakota Street South. The finance committee will detail the Trane Company bill, involving the energy savings performance contract. A report is expected from the personnel committee and the ordinance committee. The health and safety committee will also make a presentation. Following the opportunity for public comments and any other business, the meeting will adjourn. the next meeting of the Prescott City Council will take place on November 27th, beginning at 6:30pm.

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    Pierce Co Accident Injures One

    On November 9 at 6:52 PM, the Pierce County Sheriffs office was notified of a two-vehicle crash on Highway 29 near County Trunk FF in River Falls Township. Deputies arrived on scene and determined that a 1999 Toyota Camry, operated by Kathryn A Dopkins, 63, of Ellsworth, was west bound on Highway 29, slowed to perform a U-turn and collided with a 2010 Honda Civic operated by Sarah M. ODonnell, 27, of Cottage Grove, MN. Dopkins was transported by River Falls EMS to the River Falls area hospital with undetermined injuries. ODonnell was evaluated on scene and released with minor injuries. The Pierce County Sheriffs Office was assisted on scene by River Falls EMS and River Falls Fire. The accident remains under investigation.

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    Sting Nets Suspect

    An undercover sting operation conducted using backpage.com has resulted in charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution against 24-year-old Hastings resident Samuel Jordan Banitt. As part of the investigation operation, an ad for prostitution was placed on the site on August 8th with a phone number. The criminal complaint states that Banitt contacted the number, and set up a meeting a Lakeville hotel, expecting to meet up with a 15-year-old for sex. When Banitt arrived at the hotel room, he was arrested by undercover officers.

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    Patriotic Essay Winners

    The Hastings Lyle Russell Post 1210 VFW announces the winners of this years Voice of Democracy Scholarship and the Patriots Pen essay competitions. The Voice of Democracy scholarship competition is a three-to five minute audio essay competition open to students in grades 9-12. This years theme asked students to explain, My Responsibility to America. The community winners are Freshman Rebecca Schill, Carli Bernard, Keean LaFerriere, Amy Roach, and Claire Ketcham. Rebecca Schill will advance to the VFW Minnesota Second District Competition. The Patriots Pen competition is open to students in grades 6 to 8, and this years entrants wrote a 300 to 400-word essay reflecting on the statement, The America I Believe In. Winners for 8th grade were Cheridan Welch; Anna McCabe and Grace McGinnis. The winner for grade 7 was Emma McNamara. and the Grade 6 winner was Nicholas Wenisch. Winners named from Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School included Eighth Graders Nolan Myers, Ryan Sellars, Lauren M. Dohmen from the 7th grade and Sixth Graders Jerilyn Stark and Eleyn Sellars. Winners from St John the Baptist Catholic School in Vermillion are Sixth Graders Billy Wilson and Abby Strommen. Seventh Grader Samuel Krehbiel will advance to the VFW Minnesota Second District Competition and speak at the Community's Memorial Day observance on 29 May, 2018. Sam attends school at the Krehbiel Family Academy. This is the 3rd consecutive year he has been chosen for writing the top essay.

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    Prescott Planning Commission Setbacks

    The Prescott Planning Commission meeting was held on Monday , November 6 at the Municipal building. Mayor Hovel called the meeting to order. Commissioners present were Steve Eggers , Kyle Warp , Connie Wenzel , Todd Dolan, Dan Finley, Lother Nawrocki a nd Jack Hoschette with Public Works Director Hank Zwart and City Administrator Jayne Brand representing staff. Following the approval of the previous meeting's minutes, the Commission reviewed a request to change the ordinances to allow for accessory structure other than just a garage to be allowed in a side setback. An informal information gathering was conducted to find what nearby towns and cities allow found that most do allow for accessory structures in the side setback as long as they are not in the front setback. The Commission questioned what would be the difference if it were a garage or a shed. The recommendation would be that no more than 30% of the side and rear yard be filled with structures. They would have to meet the firewall set back which is 10 feet or the shed would need to be sheet rocked. The 5 foot side setback would also need to maintained. Finley /Nawrocki motion to recommend to ordinance committee to change the ordinance to allow for accessory structures in the side setback which passed unanimously.

    Other items on the agenda can be found printed in the full story on the news page at KDWA.com.

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    Veterans Day Remembrance

    On Saturday, November 11th, The 99th Veterans Day observance took place at the Green Mill Event Center on Saturday. A combined effort of the Lyle Russell Post 1210 Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Nelson-Lucking Post 47 American Legion and their Auxiliary units, the event was attended by several comrades in arms, representing those who have fought and sacrificed for our country. Master of Ceremonies Richard Hullander noted the decline in the number of attendees, but also praised those who continue to promote and inform the public of the continued need to remember those who gave when duty called. Speaker Vicki Young Albu, a historian and genealogist, delivered a very localized view of the young men who went off from Dakota County to the War to End all Wars, WWI . Part of 2 waves of the draft which called 18-45 year olds into the last years of the war begun in 1914 and ending with Armistice Day on November 11th, 1918. Legion Commander Paul Fletcher, VFW Commander Lou Plevell and Cheryl Fox-Murdahl of the Auxiliary, joined in silent contemplation as Post Chaplain Kevin Kehn delivered a somber rendition of the poem In Flanders Fields.

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    Food 4 Kids Shopping At Coborns

    Today and tomorrow, November 10th and 11th, Coborns of Hastings and the United Way of Hastings will partner to provide support for students that experience food insecurity on the weekends, which has turned into a major program providing Food 4 Kids bags that are placed in backpacks on Friday afternoons during the school year.

    Mari Mellick, Executive Director of the United Way shares the effort that will take place at Coborns.

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    Store manager is glad to help.

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    The Shopping can be done anytime , however, volunteers from United Way of Hastings will be on hand from 3-6pm both days to explain the program and hand our shopping lists. The event is part of the Acts of Kindness week declared by Governor Dayton that will provide a statewide focus on engaging Minnesotans to further kindness in their lives for the benefit of all.

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    City Inches Closer To Hudson Transfer

    More clarification on what remains to be done in order to transfer the ownership and the accompanying costs of maintaining the former Hudson Sprayer Building. Community Development Director John Hinzman explains how much more will need to be done before the Great River Landing development team takes over.

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    Millions of dollars in grants have already been secured throughout the process, many for such mitigation of contaminated soil left behind by the years of manufacturing done on the site. Hinzman speculates on the timing of the final transfer to Great River Landing representatives.

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    Senator Schoen On Paid Leave At Work

    Thursday,3PM Update-Recriminations continue for the DFL Senator in District 54 following allegations were brought to light from several women who say they were each targets of unwanted sexual comments or actions by Dan Schoen. The MinnPost publication on Wednesday night quoted at least 3 females who allege innapropriate and harassing experiences with Senator Schoen that took place in the course of legislative business. Just after the public was made aware of the accusations, multiple voices on both sides of the political aisle, including Minority chair Tom Bakk, DFL Candidate Angie Craig, and even Governor Dayton himself, called for Shoen's resignation. The Senator continues to disavow the interpretation by his accusers, and states he will not resign. His position outside of the capitol is as a Cottage Grove Policeman, but word was received Thursday morning, that he has been placed on administrative leave. There have been no updated statements from the Senator since Wednesday evening.

       

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    Veterans Day Observances Fri And Sat

    Observances for Veterans Day taking place in our listening area include the following events and activities honoring American Veterans and their families.

    Friday-Park High School in Cottage Grove- Ceremony by Air Force Junior Offier Training Corps- 11 AM

                 Prescott High School- Veterans Day Assembly- in Auditorium- 8:30-9:30 AM

    Saturday- Inver Grove Heights- Keynote address by Douglas Bradley and Craig Werner. Veterans Memorial Community Center. Free breakfast from 8:30- 9:30 AM with program to follow at 10 AM.

    Hastings Veterans Home Ceremony- 2-3PM. Speaker Denise MIlton, past commander of the American Legion. Music by the Hastings Veterans Choir

                Hastings Veterans Dinner- Held at Green Mill Event Center begining at 5:30. Tickets at the door

    Woodbury-Woodbury Lions Veterans Memorial, east of Woodbury City Hall- 11 AM

    All Day Saturday- Applebees including sites in Apple Valley, Burnsville,Cottage Grove, Eagan, Hastings,West St. Paul, and Woodbury will offer free meals to veterans and active-duty Military

       

    Schoen Will Not Resign

    In a late breaking story first published in an article on Wednesday, November 9th in MinnPost, Senator Dan Schoen has been implicated by multiple females for alleged inappropriate behavior and sexual harrassment. The article, written by journalist, Briana Bierschbach, quotes 2 of the women who provided specific details of being touched or spoken to in an overtly sexual manner, each reporting the incident to Representative Erin Murphy, who also informed others following a 2015 and 2016 report by women in the political arena.

    Murphy provided comments to MinnPost for the article. In reaction to the statements the women said were made by Schoen, he categorically denies the reports and suggests his comments or actions have been misconstrued or taken out of context and that he apologizes if they embarassed anyone or caused them to feel uncomfortable.

    Schoen is also a Police Officer for the City of Cottage Grove and served in St. Paul for two terms as a state representative before becoming a Senator. He is divorced and has children. DFL Minority Leader Tom Bakk was quoted in the article as calling for Schoen's resignation from his position. Schoen has responded that he does not plan to resign. KDWA requested a comment from Senator Schoen that had not been returned by our broadcast deadline. We will feature his statement as soon as it is received.

       

    City Statement On Target Decision

    More local responses regarding the closing of the Target Store in Hastings came Tuesday from the City Communications coordinator, Lee Stoffel,who said that the City of Hastings has placed economic development as a top priority in the past several years. News of the local Target location closing is disappointing, but will not deter the city from moving forward with continued focus and increased efforts to support the local business environment.

    She pointed to recent economic development investments including creating a new Economic Development Coordinator position, reviewal and improving upon our economic development tools, and collaborating both within the community and at the regional and state levels to support business and create awareness of the opportunities available in Hastings.

    As far as filling the vacancy Targets departure will create, the city will continue to communicate with Target to learn about the opportunities and challenges of the property. The Target property is not owned or controlled by the city however they are committed to working with the property owners and local developers to market this property, along with other existing opportunities in the community.

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    Dakota County Jail ICE Free

    In continuing coverage of Federal ICE authorities temporarily housing detainees in local facilities, KDWA reported that Washington County saw less than 5% of its 227 available beds in the jails were used for ICE detainees over the past two months. Posing that question to Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie , the answer was very different.

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    Sheriff Leslie adds that no change in future arrangements for such accommodations is planned for the Dakota County. Concern has been voiced by groups, including the ACLU as well as other law enforcement officials who have challenged the federal use of local resources and question the future of such arrangement based on political shifts. It is estimated that in Minnesota, only 1 in 5 of those detained can expect to find or be able to afford lawyers to refute their position.

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    Hastings Chamber Looks To Future

    As previously reported on KDWA News, the Target store in Hastings has announced plans to close in February. KDWA contacted Chamber President Kristy Barse for the Chambers reaction to the news.

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    Althought the closing has no direct impact on the Chamber of Commerce. Barse is looking for opportunities to mitigate the impact on the community.

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    The closing of the store may be a challenge to the chamber, and the City in general.

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    Target plans to close the store on February 3rd.

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    Vehicles Collide In Pierce County

    On November 5, 2017 at 10:15PM the Pierce County Sheriffs office was notified of a two-vehicle crash on Highway 29 and 690th St in Martell Township. Deputies arrived on scene and determined that a 2009 Ford Escape operated by Hannah Torkelson, 24 of Beldenville, with passengers Sarah Torkelson, 28, Julie Alma Knutson, 23, and Christopher Ross Knutson, 27, also from Beldenville, were traveling east bound on Hwy 29 at the intersection of 690th St when a 2008 Dodge Charger operated by Tyler D. Christensen, 21 of New Richmond, was southbound on 690th St., and failed to stop for a stop sign, causing his vehicle to collide with the Ford.

    Sarah Torkelson, and Julie and Christopher Knutson were transported to the River Falls area hospital with undetermined injuries. Christiansen was arrested for suspicion of Operating While Intoxicated. Ellsworth EMS, Ellsworth Fire, and River Falls EMS assisted the Pierce County Sheriffs Office on the scene. The accident remains under investigation.

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    Preliminary Results In For School Elections

    Preliminary results from District 200 voters have been released by District 200, listed as unofficial until certification is received at the county level. Those results currently list new school board members Dave Pemble, Kelsey Waits and Scott Gergen as receiving the most votes for election to the school board. A total of 11,773 votes were cast for all candidates.

    For the 2 year vacancy left to be served for one school board seat, Candidate Peter Blissenbach received 2553 votes. In the remaining 3 positions all with 4 year terms, candidate and incumbunt,Scott Gergen received the most with 2414, the next highest total, 2081 was garnered by Dave Pemble and the third highest 1907 was received by Kelsey Waits. Candidates Kim Christensen received 1802 with Stacy Ruud-Wilson receiving 807.

    Also of primary concern to voters and to school officials are the results of the bond and levy questions put to voters in a request to approve 49.6 million in critical funding for a district in need of facility upgrades, maintenance and funding to counter declining enrollment effects on a stretched budget. Preliminary numbers show a total of 2904 in votes approving the bond question against 1464 opposed.

    The levy was also approved with a preliminary total of 2695 voting yes and 1661 no votes. We will have comments from the new school board members in upcoming newscasts and also reflections from Superintendent Tim Collins on how priorities will determine the timeline for facility improvement and repair to begin.

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    Jurgens Pledges Vote Integrity

    State Representative Tony Jurgens is learning more about cyber-security and elections in the State of Minnesota. He recently attended a meeting with Secretary of State Steve Simon, and was part of the discussion in how the office attempts to maintain voter integrity in the State of Minnesota.

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    Change For Ward 4 Voters

    With elections on Tuesday, the City Council of Hastings will formally approve polling locations at the City Council meeting tonight. The issue arises due to the Knights of Columbus Hall historically being the polling place for Ward 2 Precinct 4. Because the property was sold to Caturia-Smidt, and the facility is no longer available for polling due to scheduled demolition, the City Council is expected to adopt a resolution to move the polling place to Crossroads Church, 225 33rd Street W. The resolution comes after extensive review by City staff, and is included on the Consent Agenda. There are no anticipated changes of other polling locations.

       

    Preview For Nov 6 Council Meeting

    The Hastings City Council meets tonight for regular business Hastings Mayor Paul Hicks provided a preview of the meeting.

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    Wisconsin Legislature Moves Ahead

    In continuing Wisconsin State action, Senators released recent vote results on several issues including naming Fentanyl as a controlled substance, making it possible for prosecutors to charge drug manufacturers several senators decided to name fentanyl analogs as a controlled substance, which makes it easier for prosecutors to charge those making the drugs with liability in overdoses which have climbed in recent years. The action requires the lower house will need to vote on changes. Wisconsin senators also approved a year-round hunting season for woodchucks, viewed by some to cause significant damage to agricultural and livestock enterprises. For small, family owned business, the issue of requiring state work permits for minors was struck down, allowing youth to age 17, the ability to perform duties in family businesses without additional state intervention.

       

    Beyond Backgrounds In Dakota County

    Dakota County landlords will have an opportunity to learn more about a new mitigation program that encourages them to look Beyond Backgrounds and consider renting to homeless individuals and families with rental barriers.This is a new multi-county program in Dakota, Scott, Carver, Anoka and Washington Counties funded through a grant from Minnesota Housing. HousingLink is contracted to conduct training and administer the landlord risk fund in partnership with the participating counties. Training events will be held Nov. 7th or 8th, which will teach the basics of the program and how to apply for the program. There is also on-line training available if landlords are unable to attend in person. All case managers that submit applications for their clients must have attended a training either in person or online. Applications for the program will begin to be accepted on Nov. 13th.      

    To find out about the training sites, email Housing Link at beyondbackgrounds@housinglink.org.   

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    A list of department expense projections for the City of Hastings Capital Improvement plan was released on November 1st. Among the administrative needs for the next 5 years are 25,000 dollars for an upgrade to the city website, 24,000 to purchase ePollbooks used for local elections, and a 4,500 dollar budget for purchase and data cost incurred by providing tablets to council members during the five year period extending to 2022. The Accounting and finance segments will also need upgrades to replace outdated software totaling 309 thousand over the next 3 years. Other large purchases anticipated for the city in that time is 550 thousand for a fire engine set to be replaced in 2019, 160 thousand each to replace an ambulance truck in 2018 and another in 2020, and also to purchase 2 staff vehicles for Fire Department personnel totaling 84,000 over the next 3 years. Budget expenditures have also been set for all other city departments.

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    The finance committee released a preliminary view of the City of Hastings Capital Improvement plan that will come before the city council and also a mandated public meeting before final approval is granted. As we continue highlighting the department expenditures requested, the facilities department requests 250,000 in 2018 to replace the boilers in city hall with another 30,000 for HVAC work there as well. In the Police department, a staggered replacement schedule has been implemented to fund 90,000 each year for the next 3 years to replace squads and other service vehicles. That number swells to 135,000 in 2020 with the need to replace 3 vehicles that year. A similar cycle of vehicle replacement will be requested in the Stormwater department, with 210,000 requested to replace a sweet sweeper in 2018 and 225,000 for one in 2022. In the Wastewater department, just over 400,000 will be necessary in 2022 to purchase a Vactor Truck with vehicles factored as the lions share of the budget in the street department as well. The complete pdf copy of the proposed capital improvement plan for 2018-2022 can be found on the link at www.kdwa.com

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    Download the PDF

    Capital Improvement Plan Forms

    The Hastings City finance committee has spent a significant amount of time to determine the costs that will be incurred in providing the tools considered necessary to keep this city of just over 22,600 in operation. According to figures released by the committee in their draft version of 15 department requests, vehicles comprise a large percentage of the 8,600,000 total requested through 2022. The budget draft for 2018 sits at 1.463 million and just over 2 million for budget year 2019. The meter changeout that will take place over the next 6 years will cost 391,000 in 2018, 406,000 in 2019 and average 450,000 for each of the following 3 years. Revenues from new home and business construction will provide some balance to that number as will revenues found in other fee based departments and recouped in city tax levies. The complete draft version can be found under news at KDWA.com

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    A list of department expense projections for the City of Hastings Capital Improvement plan was released on November 1st. Among the administrative needs for the next 5 years are 25,000 dollars for an upgrade to the city website, 24,000 to purchase ePollbooks used for local elections, and a 4,500 dollar budget for purchase and data cost incurred by providing tablets to council members during the five year period extending to 2022. The Accounting and finance segments will also need upgrades to replace outdated software totaling 309 thousand over the next 3 years. Other large purchases anticipated for the city in that time is 550 thousand for a fire engine set to be replaced in 2019, 160 thousand each to replace an ambulance truck in 2018 and another in 2020, and also to purchase 2 staff vehicles for Fire Department personnel totaling 84,000 over the next 3 years. Budget expenditures have also been set for all other city departments. We will feature more in our next newscast.

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    The finance committee released a preliminary view of the City of Hastings Capital Improvement plan that will come before the city council and also a mandated public meeting before final approval is granted. As we continue highlighting the department expenditures requested, the facilities department requests 250,000 in 2018 to replace the boilers in city hall with another 30,000 for HVAC work there as well. In the Police department, a staggered replacement schedule has been implemented to fund 90,000 each year for the next 3 years to replace squads and other service vehicles. That number swells to 135,000 in 2020 with the need to replace 3 vehicles that year. A similar cycle of vehicle replacement will be requested in the Stormwater department, with 210,000 requested to replace a sweet sweeper in 2018 and 225,000 for one in 2022. In the Wastewater department, just over 400,000 will be necessary in 2022 to purchase a Vactor Truck with vehicles factored as the lions share of the budget in the street department as well. The complete pdf copy of the proposed capital improvement plan for 2018-2022 can be found on KDWA.com.

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    Select to view Hastings Capital Improvement Plan 2018 draft version

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    Hastings Veterans Day Dinner

    This year's Community Veterans Day dinner and program sponsored by Hastings Lyle Russell VFW Post 1210 and Nelson-Lucking American Legion Post 47 will honor the service and sacrifices of local area WW I Veterans in commemoration Veterans Day and the 100th Anniversary of U.S. Involvement in WW I.The dinner and program will be held on Saturday, November 11 at the Green Mill Event Center at 101 10th St, MN 55033. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a chicken buffet dinner at 6:15 and presentation immediately following. Tickets are $10 and are available until Wednesday November 8th at Green Mill, and the American Legion Post 47, and Wednesday and Saturdays, from11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the VFW Post 1210. This event is open to the public. The Guest speaker will be Vicki Young Albu a historian and genealogist who specializes in immigration history and the settlement of Dakota County.

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    KindnessWeekBenefitsStudents

    The United Way of Hastings will be involved in Minnesota Acts of Kindness week, which takes place Monday November 6 th thru the 10th. They will be collecting and packing donated food items that they use for the Food 4 Kids program providing a gallon sized zip bag of food to be sent home with kids for weekend meals. They want to add to their weekend meal pack inventory. Local churches and other organizations will help by collecting individual sized non-perishable food items, and local businesses and community groups pack them into bags for distribution at local schools. Executive Director Mari Mellick notes that last year 50 students received these bags and this year, nearly 100 go home with District 200 students each Friday. They realize that hungry students can't learn, and some families just need a little help over the weekend. The goal is to have all kids to come to school Monday morning, ready to learn. Food4Kids program helps ease that need for kids in our community. Groups that wish to help pack bags can arrange a time by calling United Way of Hastings at 651-438-3337.

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    Prescott Bonds Make Upgrades Possible

    The Prescott School Board recently approved methods by which to increase the energy efficiency in building within the district. Funding provided by Act 32 empowerment will mean 3.785 million dollars of Energy Efficiency bonds will be sold to upgrade heating and air conditioning systems in the Malone Intermediate School that is expected to be completed during the summer break in 2018. At Malone Elementary, all classroom ventilators in the portion of the building that was added in 1988 will be replaced to keep the environment stable in regards to humidity and overall air circuation standards. An expected payback term of 12 years should be attainable and the improvements will increase the work and learning environment as well.

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    DNA Collection Case Settled

    The Minnesota ACLU announced last week that they consider themselves vindicated in their effort to prevent DNA samples from being taken from those charged but not yet convicted of a variety of violent crimes. In 2006, the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned a Minnesota statute requiring law enforcement to collect the samples, asserting the practice violates the fourth amendment of the US Constitution and Article 1 of the Minnesota Constitution. Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie and Dakota County District Attorney James Backstrom argued that a precedent was set in a Maryland case using probable cause and reinstated the practice in 2015. According to the statement made by the ACLU, a recent ruling disagrees. In a statement by the Dakota County Sheriff on Monday, his view is that the settlement in the case was based more on his call for this statewide issue to be shouldered financially by more than just Dakota County which extended significant resources to continue the litigation, but ultimately agreed to enter into the settlement and will discontinue taking DNA under the law. Leslie shared that if Minnesota Legislature wishes to have the constitutionality of this state law defended, it should pass laws providing for reimbursement or provide the Minnesota Attorney General with the resources needed to defend the validity of the law.

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    Railroad Bridge Hit By Barge

    UPDATE 10/31-A railroad bridge over the Mississippi River near Kaposia Landing in South St. Paul was reportedly struck by a barge on Saturday. According to information provided to KDWA by a listener, the trestle bridge has been pushed off its foundation and is completely closed to rail traffic. UPDATE:Information was received on Tuesday from BNSF and also from Canadian Pacific Railways who both say the bridge and lines are not ones used by their companies. KDWA has made inquiries into other rail companies, but as of 10/31, no ownership or leasing of this stretch of line can be determined. No updates yet on exact cause of the crash and how long repairs may take. Stay tuned to KDWA News for updates as they become available.

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    Improving Local Forest Habitat Begins

    The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in the St. Paul District, has begun an effort that will create a high-quality wildlife habitat within the forest area of Lake Rebecca Park over the next several years. Through sustainable forest management practices, the Corp of Engineers will work to diversify tree species, rid the forest of invasive plants such as purple loosestrife and non-native common buckthorn, and replace invasive species with native forbs and shrubs. The affected project area includes 133 acres of forest. Two acres within the forest stand will be used as a research plot by the University of Minnesota to test alternative approaches for controlling buckthorn re-establishment. Initial work to control invasive species (common buckthorn, bush honeysuckles, Japanese barberry, and oriental bittersweet) will include mechanical and/or chemical controls, and will apply to the entire forest area. Hastings residents and visitors frequenting the trails in and around Lake Rebecca Park, Jaycee Park, and the Lock and Dam #2 areas may see trucks, large and small equipment, Corps of Engineers, and University of Minnesota staff and contractors entering and exiting the Lake Rebecca forest area in the multiple year effort. Lake Rebecca Park is located immediately south of the Lock and Dam #2 in the City of Hastings and is managed under a recreational lease to the City.

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    Raiders Band Celebrates Season

    The end of the season banquet for the State Champion Hastings Raider Marching band took place on Sunday Night, October 29th at the Little Log House event center. Joined by parents and students, directors and support staff, the celebration of a very successful year included the monster's cabinet and a scale model of the labratory field props made by a band parent. Outstanding Marcher Awards were announced in all categories with Frontline percussionist Miranda Hanson receiving top honors in her section, Dani Clifford received the top brass award, Eric Bacon top drumline, Maria Kummer for the winds section and colorguard and also the show's monster, Zack Anderson, received best in his section. The group also recognized the many hours spent by parents and other volunteers who aided the band in the heat of the summer practices and parades, chaparoned bus trips to competitions and cheered in the stands at every event. Directors also gave their heartfelt thanks to all the seniors who will take their experience into the next chapter of their lives.

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    Prescott Police Log Oct 30

    From the Prescott Police blotter report, a check the welfare call was received for a home in the 1700 block of Jewell Street, on October 23rd. Officers investigating the call learned that a child was playing in a vehicle and activated the OnStar Emergency Call system. Officers made no arrests as a result of this call. Officers did, however arrest 49-year-old Prescott resident Charles Olin Kester, after a traffic stop near the intersection of Kinnikinnick and Locust Streets, on October 24th revealed that Kester was in possession of methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia. And, on October 26th, officers conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of Dakota and Oak Streets that resulted in the arrest of 48-year-old Prescott resident Thomas William Fasbender on a count of operating while intoxicated, 3rd offense. The charges against Fasbender are still being processed.

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    Schnell Considered For IGH Chief

    Former Chief of Police for Hastings, Paul Schnell, has been announced as a front-running candidate for the position of Chief of Police with Inver Grove Heights. Schnell was Chief of Police in Hastings from 2010 until accepting the police chief position in Maplewood in July of 2013. According to a report from February of this year Chief Schnell announced that he intended to retire from the Maplewood Police Force by the end of the year. At the time, he did not indicate any plans after leaving Maplewood. KDWA will provide updates to this story as they become available.

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    Monday Accident Injures 1

    Hastings Police and Fire responded to an early morning automobile crash on Monday, October 30th. Hastings Deputy Chief of Police David Wilske provided the details of the accident.    

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    The names of the people involved in the accident have not been released, and the injuries sustained are considered to be serious but non life threatening. According to police records, 9 accidents occurred in 2017 at the intersection of Pleasant and 160th. Six of those were property damage only and three involved injuries. KDWA acknowledges a tip from one of our listeners regarding this story. If you see news happening, contact KDWA Radio at 651-437-1460.   

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    Sheriff Reports Phone Scam

    Reports from the Dakota County Sheriff's Department on Saturday involve a Fraud Alert. Several citizens called the Dakota County Jail on Saturday with reports they had received a call from a person stating that a warrant has been issued for their arrest and money needs to be sent to the caller to prevent it. Unfortunately, this type of scam is somewhat common although The Dakota County Sheriff's Office assures the public that they never uses this practice and would never call you over the phone requesting that you send any form of payment to take care of a warrant. If you receive this type of call please call 911 to report it.

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    In Depth Programs For 1031

    Tuesday on In Depth, The 6th Annual HPAAC Gala is Friday, November 3rd. Board members DICK GRAHAM, MARGARET GODERSTAD and DEBBIE SAUNDERS have all the details. Then Dakota County Commissioner Mike Slavik has a recap of mosquito control efforts this summer, communication evolution and city and county partnerships that will be cultivated during the next budget year. He also shares the preparation for budget workshops taking place at the county this week and has a surprising development for the future of the Cochran House. Tune in On Tuesday for Community In Depth.

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    Dakota County Examines Budget

    The Dakota County Board of Commissioners will meet in the Boardroom of the Administration Center at the Dakota County Government Center on Tuesday, October 31st beginning at 9 AM. Included in the 222 pages of agenda items and supporting documents are public hearings to receive comments on the proposed name change of Hornbean Lake located in Northern Dakota County in the town of Sunfish Lake, and also one on the adoption of the fee schedules for 2018 in Dakota County. Other items included in the consent agenda include approval to allow youth members on the Public Art and Library Advisory committee, the request for the county borad to review and provide direction on the proposed layout options for the Pleasant Hill Library and the acceptance of Met Council grants that would be applied to the Lebanon Hills Regional Park master plan improvements and also for Whitetail Woods Regional park. Also on the agenda is Authorization to execute a joint powers agreement that would create a Daktoa Broadband Board Joint Powers Organization. Following that meeting, the Commissioners will begin a four day budget workshop that will address all proposed department budgets used to create the 2018 county budget which will be approved in December.The complete agenda can be found at the Dakota county website. You'll find the link on the KDWA.com website under news.

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    Hastings City Budget In Progress

    Hastings Budget Committee Reviews 2018 Department Numbers

    More information from the October 2nd meeting of the Finance Committee of the Hastings City Council. The committee showed concern that the LOOP Bus service seems to have a high cost in relation to the benefit provided. The committee suggested looking into a partnership with an existing program to provide the same service at a better cost, such as Smartride. The committee also raised the question of Tuesday being the best day for the service. City Staff has a meeting scheduled with the LOOP Advisory Committee and will share the feedback with DARTS. Other items discussed included the replacement plan for light poles in town. The committee agrees with the current replacement plan, and expressed a desire to ensure that all poles are operating properly, as some fixtures not scheduled for replacement seem to need general maintenance. Downtown planters came up for discussion, and the general consensus seems to be that the City needs to take a broader look at weed control and parkland maintenance instead of expenditures for watering the planters in the downtown area. And the committee is interested in hearing more about a debt study regarding debt anticipated for 2018. The committee will schedule a meeting to discuss the debt study and future policy decisions on debt.

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    The October 2nd meeting of the Hastings City Finance Committee continued to fine tune the department allocations for the 2018 final budget which will be approved in December. The proposed total levy is currently at $13,473,307 a reduction of approximately $112,000 through readjustments in a 0% raise in health insurance allotments and review of the projected 2018 debt levy needs. In other departments, a decision was made to request a 1:1 ratio for providing tasers to officers on the Hastings Police force. According to the rationale, the assignment of a unit to each officer versus sharing them in a bank style arrangement, will make it transparent as to who has control of the equipment, who is assigned to care for it and who will report the use, if any, as required in reports. Tasers would be provided to each sworn officer. Also in the technology field, the budget reflects the proposal to spend $7,200 to provide iPad tablets to each councilmember for use in receiving city emails and correspondence from the city, including e-files of a significant number of pages, often more than 200- contained in the bi-weekly packet itemizing items on the consent agenda and those awaiting action by the council. According to the presentation at the meeting, the move would reportedly save nearly $4,000 dollars in printing and ground transportation costs spent in providing printed copies to the Mayor and councilmembers in advance of council meetings. The printed packets are currently delivered by Hastings police officers before each Monday council meeting. City staff converts all documents to digital files and the public may access the packets online by selecting the agenda tab on the city's website. It is not known how many council members already choose to access the information on personal data devices including cell phones or personal computers or tablets.A public meeting takes place tonight at city hall beginning at 6:30 PM.

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    Drone Legislation Pending

    A statement issued on Wednesday, October 25th, by 2nd District Congressman Jason Lewis supports President Trump's approach in the drafting of a pilot program with the Department of Transportation for the integration of drones, also known collectively as UAS- Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Lewis said that as the technology continues to grow, incorporation of drone use needs to be tempered by the specific needs of each local community. He cites legislation he has introduced called the Drone Innovation Act with key components being the rights to privacy and property. He applauded the beneficial uses of drones but also believs there must be limitations on public use. Lewis's statement also quotes Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie who has expressed support for Lewis bill, saying: We in law enforcement are uniquely interested in drone technology, and we already use it in emergency management and operations to help save lives. But we can do more. Drone operations can be expanded while still ensuring that public use of drones works well within our communities. I'll keep working with Rep. Lewis towards that goal. The proposed pilot program will call on the FAA to form test zones that may allow government and industry to utillize drone flight operations that go beyond visual line of sight, currently required. The information also cited collection by the FAA of community participation and UAS management to be considered for future decisions.

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    Pechous Receives Torch Award

    At a ceremony held at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 25th, the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota announced the 2017 Torch Awards for Ethics winners. BBB Torch Awards for Ethics recognize leading area businesses that uphold the highest standards and display an outstanding level of ethics and integrity in every aspect of their day-to-day operations. In addition, six Student of Integrity scholarships were awarded to area students who began their senior year of high school this fall. Torch Award winners included Renewal by Anderson in Cottage Grove, and Hastings student Josie Pechous was awarded a $5,000 BBB Student of Integrity scholarship. More than 300 business owners and community leaders attended the ceremony. Local television anchor Angela Davis emceed the event, and Maureen Bausch, CEO of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, served as keynote speaker.

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    Ready Set Snow

    With Friday's weather forcast, at least one area community is getting the word out now that winter parking ordinances are in effect in Newport .That city code prohibits parking, for any length of time on any street between the hours of 2 and 6 am. The ban continues thru April 30th. Tickets may be issued for non-compliance. In other cities, the 2 inch rule is generally in effect and Hastings Nixle system is an easy way to be notified day or night of impending snow emergency status. Text 55033 to 888777 to set up a variety of notices that can be sent to your phone keeping you ahead of the plow.

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    1st Judicial District Community Feedback

    The First Judicial District has 36 judges and more than 250 staff that handle over 120,000 cases annually in the counties of Carver, Dakota, Goodhue, Le Sueur, McLeod, Scott, and Sibley. In April 50 people attended a community listening session in Apple Valley intended to give area residents the opportunity to share ideas relating to Minnesota's court system. On Wednesday, October 25th, a follow-up session will take place from 6:30-7:30 pm in the Atrium of the Dakota county Western Service Center located in Apple Valley.

    The April discussions covered a range of topics relating to criminal court, family court, juvenile court and self-represented litigants. A report generated after the session noted five major themes that emerged during the discussions: Concern voiced for procedural fairness for families and children navigating the family and juvenile court system; Indian Child Welfare Act issues arising in juvenile court, Assistance for those choosing to represent themselves during a court case, Chemical dependency issues in criminal cases; and the need for continued and ongoing diversity-related training for judges and court personnel. Wednesday's session is an attempt to answer some of the concerns and advise the public of responses that may be taken as a result of the interactions at the session. The session is free and open to the public.

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