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Local News

Ben Parks – News Director

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Autumn Beauty Showcased This Week

The Fall Colors have peaked here in the Tri-County Area, and the landscape has flashed its beauty. You don't have to travel far, either, as right across the new Highway 61 Bridge, KDWA's Nick Tuckner took this photo on Tuesday afternoon. The bluff heading up the hill is one of the most colorful spots in the Hastings-Prescott area.

    

Leaf For Lupus

On Saturday, October 25th, at Hidden Greens Golf Course from 10am - 4pm, the 6th annual Leaf for Lupus event will be taking place.   This is a fundraiser for the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota who helps fund local research to help find a cure and create better medications to aid people with this condition. Lupus is an auto-immune disease that causes the body to attack itself and cause inflamation anywhere. Kristie Bauer, who has Lupus and organized this event, has the details.

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Reminder: Second Half of Property Taxes Due Oct 15

A reminder that the second half of your property taxes are due this Wednesday, Oct. 15. According to state law, the County will assess a penalty for late payments. The penalty depends on the tax amount, property classification and when the payment is made. Penalties are listed on the back of property tax statements that were sent to residents earlier this year. Property taxes can be paid online, by phone or by mail. Mailed payments must be postmarked by midnight Oct. 15 to be considered timely. For more information, call the Dakota County Property Information line at 651-438-4576 or visit www.dakotacounty.us and search pay property taxes.

   

Jason Reuter Benefit

On Saturday, October 11th, there will be a remembrance benefit for Jason Reuter. Jason was murdered on June 22nd of this year and the event will take place at the Colliseum Bar in Hastings starting at noon. All of the proceeds from this event will go to Jason's two sons, Kalob and Shane Reuter. Mike Reuter, Jason's father, goes over the details.

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Hastings City Council Looks at Pay Increases

During the Hastings City Council meeting on Monday, October 6th, two of the consent agenda items approved were the 2014-2016 labor agreement with the Law Enforcement Labor Services and financial compensation for the Mayor and City Council memebers for the 2015 budget.   Starting in 2015 the Law Enforcement Labor Services will receive a 2% pay increase plus 35-cents for that year and the next. Effective January 5th, 2015, as part of the 2015 budget, the Mayor will recieve an 11% compensation increase, and the Council Members will receive a 17% compensation increase. The last time the Compenstation rates were adjusted for the Mayor and Council Members was in 2000. There will be a Public Hearing on Monday, October 20th, concerning the increase of the Mayor's and Council Member's salaries.

   

Hastings Police Department Reservist Passed Away

On Saturday, October 4th, the Hastings Police Department lost one of their long time Reservists, Andrew Pollard who passed away at United Hospital in St. Paul. Visitation will be held at Our Saviours Ev. Lutheran Church in Hastings, on Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 PM and for one hour prior to services on Friday morning. The funeral service will be held on Friday, October 10, at 11:00 AM at Our Saviours Ev. Lutheran Church. Hastings Police Chief Bryan Schafer talks about the loss of Andrew Pollard.

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3M Donated Roughly $20,000 to United Way of Hastings

Last week the 3M Foundation donated nearly $20,000 to the United Way of Hastings. Donations from corporate partners such as 3M, help fund UWH programs such as Give Kids a Smile, Hastings Reads, Imagination Library, Helping Kids Succeed and services provided by UWH partnering agencies. United Way of Hastings Executive Director, Mari Mellick, talks about the donation.

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(Photo Courtesy of UWH - Left to Right- Norm Rogers, 3M and UWH Board; Mari Mellick, UWH Executive Director; Mike Bahma, 3M; and Henry Kretman, 3M)

   

Jeremy Reuter Confronts a Man for His Brother's Murder

On Saturday, September 27th, Jeremy Reuter had a confrontation with an individual he believed to be involved in the murder of his brother, Jason Reuter. Jeremy was arrested on October 3rd and Hastings Police Chief Bryan Schafer tells us more about the incident.

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Goats at Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend Refinery

In early September, sixty goats were delivered to the Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend refinery in Rosemount where they will help control shrubs and reduce overgrowth for the next several weeks as part of an innovative new approach for maintaining and restoring natural habitats. The goats will roam several acres inside a fenced-in section of the company's property along the Mississippi River in an area known as the Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area. Karen Schik, Senior Ecologist for Friends of the Mississippi River, explains why they use goats.

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Short Story Contest

The Pleasant Hill Library and other Dakota County Libraries will be having a short story contest, for teens, in celebration of Teen Read Week which is October 12 though the 18th. Teens have until the end of October to submit their stories and Gladys Kim, Pleasant Hill Librarian, has the details.

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Armorer's Training

Prescott Police Chief Gary Krutke attended a two-day course on advanced armorer's instruction on Wednesday, October 1st, and Thrusday, October 2nd. Krutke worked specifically on glocks and glock-related weapons. Krutke tells us more about the course and how it will help the Prescott Police Department.

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Hastings Fire Department Annual Open House

The Hastings Fire Department will be having their annual Open House on Tuesday, October 7th, at 7pm in their building. There will be many activities for children and adults to learn about fire safety. Hastings Fire Cheif, Mike Schutt, has the details.

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Casino Night in Prescott

The 3rd annual Casino Night fundraiser for Prescott Schools will be taking place this weekend. This event is put on by the Malone Parent Committee to help raise funds for Prescott Middle and Elementary schools. Co Chair Joan Korfhage gives us the details.

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Philander Prescott: Frontiersman of the Old Northwest

On Saturday, October 4th, from 10am - 11:30am, Spencer Johnson will be hosting a program at the Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center called "Philander Prescott: Frontiersman of the Old Northwest". This program will go over the history of the man the City of Prescott was named after. Freedom Park Executive Director, Jessica Bierbrauer, with the details.

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Oak Ridge Manor's 25th Anniversary

On Tuesday, September 30th, Oak Ridge Manor in Hastings, celebrated their 25th Anniversary of their building. The original building was destroyed in a fire on June 12th, 1988. During the celebration, Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt, spoke in front of the audience about his first hand recount of the fire.

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Police Chase Ends In Front of Hastings City Hall

On Monday, September 29th, Joseph Michael Hernandez, age 33, was fleeing from Dakota County Sheriffs. Hernandez had 3 felony warrants out for his arrest. The warrants were for theft of a motor vehicle out of Goodhue, and Ramsey Counties, plus one for a burglary out of Dakota County. The chase resulted in his arrest right in front of Hastings City Hall. Tim Leslie, Chief Depty for Dakota County Sheriff's Office, with the details.

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Hastings Police Department Weekend Incidents

On Friday September 26th, a rollover accident invoving a local firefighter was one of the few incidents the Hastings Police Department responded to during an otherwise quiet weekend. Hastings Police Chief Bryan Schafer gives the details of the weekend incidents.

(Photo Courtesy of Hastings Police Department)

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Refinancing Could Save Taxpayers $1.8 Million

The School Board for Independent School District 200 met on Wednesday, September 24th for a regular scheduled meeting. During the night's meeting, initial steps were made towards refinancing the Hastings High School Bond that could save the tax payers of the district over 1.8 million dollars. District 200 Superintendent, Tim Collins, with the details:

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AAUW Raised Money for Hastings High School Scholarship

The Hastings Branch American Association of University Women had their Annual Grand Garage Sale on Saturday, September 20, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Hastings. This sale supports the local AAUW scholarship program, which awards a scholarship to one of the top ranking women of Hastings High Schools current graduating class and Nancy Techam, AAUW Treasurer, goes over the event.

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Dakota County Board Of Commissioners Meeting

The Dakota County Board of Commissioners met on Tuesday, September 23rd, in Hastings for their regular scheduled meeting. District 1 County Commissioner, Mike Slavik, goes over the meeting.

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Run for the Roses

For roughly the past 15 years the Prescott Kiwanis Club has been having their Annual Run for the Roses Fundraiser to help support their scholarship for Prescott seniors. The event is taking place on Saturday, Septembe 27th, from 9am - noon, or untill they're sold out of roses, at Ptacek's IGA. Event Coordinator, Pauline Barnes, explains the fundraiser.

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Raptor Center's 40th Anniversary

The Raptor Center at Carpenter Nature Center will be celebrating their 40th anniversary on Saturday, September 27th from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Carpenter Nature Center is going to host their fall raptor release which is presented by the 3M Foundation in partnership with The Raptor Center of the University of Minnesota and CNC. Clare Neenan, Development Coordinator at Carpenter Nature Center has the details of the event.

(photo credit: Carpenter Nature Center)

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Two Hastings Residents Win First Place at Toastmasters Competition

Two Hastings residents competed at the Toastmasters area 83 fall speech competition on Friday, September 12th. Both won 1st place in their respective categories with Don Scott winning in the Humorous style speech category, and Jewel Pickert in the Table Topics. Jewel Pickert, President of the Hastings Storyweavers Toastmasters Club, had to talk about what her favorite place was that she visited and why.

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Pickert goes over how Don Scott won the Humorous category.

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Freedom Park 3rd Sunday Community Potluck and Monarch Program

On Sunday September 21st, Friends of Freedom Park had their 3rd Sunday Community Potluck. There were over 50 people who attended this event, and afterwards, there was a program called Saving the Monarch Butterfly with Amy Miller. Jessica Bierbrauer, Freedom Park Executive Director, talks about the Saving the Monarch Program.

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Whitetail Woods Regional Park Grand Opening

Among thousands of acres of a natural area in Dakota County you'll find Whitetail Woods Regional Park. This park in Farmington,will potentially be one of the last regional parks that will ever be introduced in the Twin Cities metro. You can explore the park during their grand opening celebration from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27. There will be lots going on at the the opening and Park Operations Coordinator for Dakota County, Katie Pata, has some of the details.

(picture courtesy of www.co.dakota.mn.us)

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