Print this Page

Local News

Email us your news tip or pictures at: news@kdwa.com

    Special Meeting On LeDuc Changes

    Prior to the Hastings City Council meeting on October 16th, members from the Dakota County Historical Society, council and city staff, Friends of the LeDuc Historic Estate and additional citizens gathered to hear from an agenda brought by council member Tina Folch. At issue was the concern of the recent resignation of site manager Amy Deaver, who had been in that position for 4 years. Representing the Historical Society was Matt Carter, who is responsible for the oversight of the LeDuc Estate event planning, marketing, scheduling and site operations in general. The estate was afforded a trust of which funding is provided to the city to cover maintence and upkeep and also to the Historical Society who manages the costs of promotion and employment of the site manager. Despite the landmark being a locally well known facility,and that between 70 and 80 thousand was listed as income for the year, it was reported that such income including fees from special events such as the Civil War Weekend, weddings and other rentals fell 18,000 dollars short this year of a break even status necessary for its operation . Dakota County Historical Society represented that they would ultimately be responsible for that shortfall. Deaver reported, however, that 22 thousand in special event income was a 3 fold increase over the previous year. A new roof, slated for next year, will be the responsibilty of the city who has been part of the co-ownership of the property since the gifting by owner Carroll Simmons to the Minnesota Historical Society, Dakota County and the city of Hastings. A total of 700 hours per year are required for the site to be available to the public,with many more hours reportedly provided by Deaver and others for special events that contributed to the value of the property,absent a tangible return. Folch suggested that the administration duties be returned to the city but Mayor Paul Hicks made it clear that the city is not interested in shouldering that responsibilty. Folch also questioned the low salary rate for the site manager position but was a known factor in the structure of the Historical society budget . Dakota County notes that they will post the position for a new hire soon. The meeting may have continued had it not been for approaching the 7 o clock time for the televised City Council meeting to get underway. The LeDuc Agreement meeting in August suggested that the site become more closely tied to recent tourism efforts currently underway and that programming and event process collaboration can benefit the property for all involved.

    Click here for audio

       

    SEAS Students Reach Goal

    Last week's report of the marathon completed by the Principal of St. John the Baptist School is joined by the success of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School's Marathon for Non-Public Schools held on October 13th. The students had 5 weeks to raise money with the goal being 44,000. Incentive prizes were announced for the students to work towards as the students voted on a super-hero costume they would like to see on principal, Mr. Sullivan if the goal was attained. The students overwhelmingly picked Captain Underpants. According to the update, this marathon well exceeded the goal with a total of 49,490 raised to complete their challenge. In addition to the costume worn by Principal Sullivan, Father Michael Barsness dressed like Captain America and SEAS Preschool Director Shauna Thilmany dressed like Wonder Woman. The report notes that monird raised will be used exclusively at SEAS School. They Thank everyone who donated to their successful fundraiser.

    Click here for audio

       

        

    Dakota City Fall Festival

    An old fashioned good time will take place this Friday and Saturday, October 20th and 21st at the Dakota Village, located at the Dakota County Fairgrounds in Farmington. Gates open from noon to 6pm each day to invite visitors into an autumn circa 1900. Build a scarecrow shell corn, grind corn into flour, use an old fashioned hand pump, play games and even enter the pumpkin carving contest with a pumpkin you carve at home and bring to Dakota City for judging. The popular Dakota City Medallion Hunt will be held with the grand prize of 100 dollars awarded to the finder. Admission is $7.00 for those 13 and up with Children 3 to 12 years 4 dollars and children under 3, FREE.

    Click here for audio

       

    Balsanek Commends Community

    The 2017 Neighborhood Infrastructure Improvement Program is nearing its completion. During the City Council meeting of October 16th, Council Member Joe Balsanek commented on his appreciation for the whole project and the way residents dealt with it.

    Click here for audio

        

    Balsanek did indicate the Operations Committee will be looking at further enhancements in the same area for next year.

    Click here for audio

       

    Shaky Ground Exhibit

    The Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center at Freedom Park in Prescott is hosting an exhibition of On Shaky Ground, a display of artwork by members of a group of artists who participated in a seminar series organized by The Phipps Center for the Arts, in Hudson. The exhibit features works that present the need for economic, social, and environmental balance, in essence a three-legged stool, to create sustainable and thriving communities. The artists hope to engage the audience to consider ways to move toward the goal with grace and inclusion. On Shaky Ground will be on display from October 20th through November 26th. The Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center is located at 200 Monroe Street, in Prescott. For questions, contact the Center at 715-262-0106.

    Click here for audio

       

    Prescott Police Arrests

    From the Prescott Police blotter, officers were called to the 1000 block of Orrin Road to investigate a report of theft. As a result of the call, 36-year-old Monticello, MN resident John Henry Halliday was arrested and charged with 2 counts of retail theft, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges are still being processed. A traffic stop near the intersection of Jefferson and Wacota Streets resulted in a citation issued to 47-year-old S. St. Paul resident Laurie Lynn Kabes. Kabes was clocked traveling 54 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone. And, another traffic stop near the intersection of Jefferson and Monroe Streets resulted in the arrest of 30-year-old Prescott resident McCoulter Forryst Eaton. Eaton was observed to have run a stop sign, and the initial investigation determined that he was operating while intoxicated. Eaton was arrested and the charges are still under investigation.

    Click here for audio

       

    Upcoming In Depth Programs

    On Thursdays In Depth program selection, Augustana Health Care Hastings is excited to share their good news after passing a major federal inspection with flying colors. Administrator Paul Luitjens and Chaplain Gordon Gathright provide all the details.Then if you ask Sandy Becker if retirement is all its cracked up to be, you'll get her resounding answer. Where are they now features this former Edina Realty employee and we discover her new found freedom and giddy up and hear more about can do cowgirls. MICHELLE MICHAUD and PAM MALDONADO of Cornerstone on the Vermillion horse boarding talk about inspiration and a can do attitude. Listen on Thursday to In Depth.

    Click here for audio

       

    Council To Approve Hoopla Plans

    A resolution to declare November 25th as a special event for the Downtown Business Associations annual Holiday Hoopla was included on the Consent Agenda for the Hastings City Council meeting of October 16th. The festivities are scheduled to include a lighted evening parade which would require the closure of Second Street from Tyler Street to Eddy Street, the intersections of Ramsey Street and 2nd Street, and Sibley and 2nd Street, and the ramp on the west side of the Hastings Bridge, starting at 5 PM, until the parade is completed. City staff has recommended accepting the resolution.

    Click here for audio

    Principal Fulfills Promise

    Students, faculty, and staff at St. John the Baptist Catholic School-Vermillion were rewarded on Friday after they raised an amazing total of $27,011 for their annual all-school marathon, coming in ahead of the goal set at $24,000! A promise was made by Principal Strommen that if the goal was met, he would complete a 28-mile run around and through many of the towns where our students live. A cool clear day was a perfect environment for the route that wound through Vermillion, Miesville, New Trier, and Hampton. Many parents and even some students ran with him for part of the course, which traversed over gravel roads along fields and rolling country roads. The students were also given updates from several social media posts that kept them engaged in the run and many stayed to welcome him back with a gauntlet of support at around 3 pm. The school thanks everyone for their contributions and their support of this special rural faith based community. Photo provided by St.Johns School.

    Click here for audio

       

    Confluence Meeting Set

    On Wednesday, November 8th, the Great Rivers Confluence Collaboration Meeting will take place between 10am and Noon with the public welcome to the general meeting of the Great Rivers Confluence partners and interested community members. The Great Rivers Confluence communities of Afton, Hastings, Prescott and River Falls have a LOT in the works right now and many passionate people are striving to make our communities better, safer, stronger and healthier for people, wildlife and our magnificent rivers. Whether you are a farmer, bird-watcher, business owner, river enthusiast, civil servant, non-profit employee, artist, nature lover, educator or just want to know what's happening - please join them and help keep the Great Rivers Confluence great! Meeting will be held at the Hastings Artspace River Lofts: E. Second Street, Hastings, MN 55033

    Click here for audio

       

    Band State Champs Again

    The Hastings Raiders Marching band finished out their 2017 season in grand style with their appearance on Saturday at US Bank Stadium. The Youth in Music State Championship was a daylong celebration of the months of work for the 80 member Hastings ensemble. Their preliminary performance that morning garnered them a first place finish in Class A, in a field of 10 bands, the 4th such award in the past 6 years with top caption honors presented to the woodwinds, Colorgard and percussion for their exemplary work. The placement also meant that they would be the sole representatives for the evening Grand Championships with bands from 2, 3 and 4 A classes as well as some collage ensembles. Some larger classes place more than 200 participants on the field for their 15 minute show. Directors Emily Chandler, Thomas Wentzler and Josh Wahlstrom were aided by a large team including Lindsey Wetterhahn, Eddie Starr, Deryck Lawson, Jacob Daniel, Jake Bohlken , parent volunteers, chaparones and many others who made the success of this season possible. More photos and In Depth interviews will be available soon on KDWA and KDWA.com.

    Click here for audio

       

    Deferment Considered For New Biz

    In an item on Monday night's Hastings City Council Agenda, council action is requested to defer payment of the City's portion of water access and sewer access charges (SAC/WAC) over a ten year period. Lighbourn Properties, LLC purchased a property with plans to construct a service/ warehouse facility at 2950 Lightbourn Court but SAC and WAC fees, totaling 12,060 places an undue burden on the owners who seek the deferment. The city has established a police for such action that could defer the payments out 10 years with monthly utility billing to reflect the deferred amount. It was noted that Lightbourn Properties has a lso entered into the Metropolitan Councils SAC Deferral Program which requires a 20 percent down payment which would total $1988 and be due at time of building permit issuance. The City would not receive full payment of the $12,060 charge for up to ten years and repayment would include an interest charge of 2.35% annually on the unpaid balanceand a $50 administrative fee.The deferment would allow Lightbourn Properties, LLCto begin construction in order to add further value to their property and increase the tax base.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Work Force Nominations End 1031

    The Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board is accepting nominations to recognize individuals, programs, companies and organizations doing great things to improve workplaces in Dakota and Scott counties. Awards will be presented at the Boards annual Legislative and Employer Awards luncheon on Dec. 1, 2017. The categories include: the Mark McAfee Friend of Workforce Award, given to an individual who has championed workforce issues at the local, state or federal levels; the Business Champion Award recognizing an outstanding company that also uses Workforce Centers services; the Bob Killeen Award which recognizes companies for their implementation of quality practices; the Willis E. Branning Excellence in Youth Employment Services Award recognizing an organization or program, an employer, or an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to and effectiveness in preparing young people ages 14-24 for the workforce: the Bob Klas Sr. Entrepreneur Award presented to a local entrepreneur success story through business growth, the leadership, or the mentorship they provide to other entrepreneurs; and the Employer of the Year for People with Disabilities given to an employer who has improved the lives of people with disabilities though employment.The deadline for nominations is Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. For more information or to submit a nomination, contact the Board at 651-554-5633 or email mark.jacobs@co.dakota.mn.us.

       

    City Explores Grants

    Resolutions to authorize submissions of grant applications to the Met Council Tax Base Revitalization Account and the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development are included on the Consent Agenda for the Hastings City Council meeting of October 16th. The grants would be used in environmental clean up efforts at the Hudson Sprayer facility before final transfer of the property to Confluence Development. According to submitted paperwork, the grant from DEED would require a 13% match from the City, which Community Development Director John Hinzman indicated would come from HEDRA. The grant from the Tax Base Revitalization Account does not carry a fund-matching stipulation.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Glen Road ReHab

    The Glen Road spur, from Hasting Avenue to Glen Road in Newport is up for some surface maintenance, starting tomorrow. Becky Haydon from the Washington County Public Works Department explains.

    Click here for audio

       

    The project is expected to take two or three days to complete.

    Click here for audio

       

    Mayor Previews Oct16 Council Agenda

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

    Click here for audio

       

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Bands Prepare for Connections Concert

    Thanks to some generous sponsorship the upcoming Connections Concert taking place at the Hastings High School on Tuesday, October 24th will be provided free to the community. The concert, now an annual tradition, will feature more than 200 musicians from three ensembles that will perform on the stage at the Hastings High School beginning at 7 pm. Scheduled to perform are the Sheldon Theater Brass Band under the direction of of Jim Kurschner, the River Valley Community Band, Directed by Rufino Ochoada and hosted by the Hastings High School Wind Ensemble under the baton of Jim Jacobsen. The hour-long concert will feature between 3-5 sections from each group. The community is welcome and encouraged to support this first concert of the season.

    Click here for audio

       

    For Lions Seeing Is Believing

    On Thursday, I met two members of the Hastings Rivertown Lions Club spent time in the parking lot of the Tilden Community Center during their first Year city wide drive to recycle used eyeglasses and Hearing aids. Gary Gronquist and President JoLynn welcomed several cars who deliverd 56 eyeglasses and 8 hearing aids. Thursday was World sight Day and Sunday is World White Cane day. According to their post event report, the items collected topped the spring drive where just 3o eyeglasses and 3 hearing aids were recycled. During the past 9 months, the Rivertown Lions Club has collected 850 usuable eyeglasses and 19 hearing aids.

    Another Lions Club in town usually collects about 1,000 eyeglasses each year as well. The used Eyeglasses are cleaned, repaired, and classified by prescription before being made available for medical mission work in developing countries. The Minnesota Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center in Sauk Rapids, Minn., collects more that 700,000 pair of used eyeglasses each year. Used hearing aids are sold to hearing manufactures who use them for their repair service. Those funds are used to purchase hearing aids at greatly reduced prices. Funds are used for the MN Lions Hearing Foundation Affordable Hearing Aide Project to help individuals who have a hearing loss and limited financial resources. If you missed Thursday's collection, sites can be found at the Hastings Senior Center, Hastings Family service, Eyenique, Caturia Smidt Funeral Home and in the office at REZ united methodist church all year long.

    Click here for audio

    Augustana Receives Five Stars

    In our recent conversation with the Administrator of Augustana Health Care in Hastings Paul Luitjens, he shared the results of a rigorous examination just completed that assessed quality standards for the local facility that had them seeing stars.

    Click here for audio

    Luitjens also noted a new method to compare and contrast care facilities that can be found online.

    Click here for audio

       

    Our In Depth conversation with the team from Augustana Health Care will air on October 19th.

    Click here for audio

       

    Pierce County School Bus Accident

    The Pierce County Sheriff's Department reported a collision took place before 7 am on Wednesday October 11, when an accident involving a school bus and a semi-truck took place on State Trunk highwah 35 at 150th Ave near Bay City, WI. According to the report,the School District of Ellsworth school bus was being driven by Darrell Schuster, 74 years of age who was south bound on 35 and had stopped as he waited for traffic to pass when he was struck from behind by a semi-truck driven by a Daniel Neussendorfer, 50 years of age from Sauk Rapids, MN. The school bus had 13 students on-board at time of accident, none of which were transported to the hospital by EMS. The driver of the semi was transported from the scene by Red Wing EMS to Mayo Red Wing Hospital with undetermined injuries. No other injuries were reported although the Pierce County Sheriff continues to investigate the incident.

    Click here for audio

       

    Giving Practices Questioned

    An issue has been brought to KDWA on behalf of some parishoners of St Elizabeth Anne Seton Church of Hastings. According to the churchmembers , the issue involves dispersal of monies that were collected for a relief mission that was brought to that congregation nearly 7 years ago. The village of Kitui, which is located 112 miles west of Nairobi in Kenya, was deemed a sister church for SEAS and with that relationship spiritual, financial and even personal connections were made over the years. Visits between the dioceses of these parishes have been documented including at least one from the former pastor of the Hastings congregation , Father Jim Pirkl. Possessing a gift for art, Father Pirkl also created icons representing sacred images that were sold to raise funds to help the African parish. The connection began in 2004 and continued until Father Pirkl left SEAS in early 2014. At least one campaign financial donations involved SEAS parishoners that was represented to have been sent to the village for faith formation and other needs. Following the departure of Father Pirkl, questions were asked of current administration, including Father David Hennen and the financial administration team about monies that appear on the balance sheet as recently as April, 2017. The parishoners relayed that a balance of nearly 14,000 still remains in what is termed a restricted account, defined as collected for use on one singular purpose as compared to part of a general fund. During the fundraising, it has been estimated that as many as 100 individuals made contributions that were to have been sent to the village. To that end, KDWA contacted Parish Administrator Jeff Hunter who explained the current status of the funding arrangement. Part of the confusion, he believes, involves more than one fund designated to help Kitui, with very different stipulations on their management. He also conveyed that the creation of the separate "Contemplation in Action" account was done to assure the continuing creation of devotional art on both sides of the Partnership. When this account was set up, the original goal was to preserve the principal, to assure the continuation of this initiative. He provided a statement on October 12th, however, that the change in pastors more than three years ago resulted in the cultural exchange agreement to cease. Hunter also allowed that an unnamed parishioner liasion is currently in place who knows the needs of the congregation in Kitui and will be deciding how and when to disperse the balance. The timeline for that dispersal is not yet known.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Hastings Police Activity Log

    From the Hastings Police blotter, a report of a disturbance in the 1400 block of Westview Drive brought officers to investigate. At the conclusion of the investigation, officers arrested 18-year-old Hastings resident Ryan Michael Lundsted on a felony charge of assault. A traffic stop for a vehicle equipment violation in the 200 block of 18th Street resulted in a citation issued to 20-year-old Hastings resident Kristian Wayne White for driving with a suspended license. Officers were called to the 1600 block of Vermillion Street to investigate a suspicious person call. The investigation resulted in the arrest of Tara Kathleen McNiff, 27, of Prescott on a charge of providing false identification and multiple warrants. And, officers at the Police Department were approached by a person reporting an assault. Officers went to the 100 block of 5th Street to investigate. They arrested 29-year-old Hastings resident Donald Allen Sherry on a felony charge of assault and several felony warrants from Dakota County.

    Click here for audio

       

    Prescott Defends Police Protocol

    More information was released from the Prescott Police Department this week, included in a story printed in the Prescott Journal. Reporter Sean Scallon was told by Interim Chief Rob Funk and City Administrator Jayne Brand that the information regarding timing of the release of confidential personnel records for 2 officers fired in August was an obligation to respond to a request made by the media and not as a retalitory move. Brand also told the local publication that there was an explanation for doctored timesheets that KDWA news revealed to the public on their website. Those timesheets, submitted in June for Investigator Jesse Neeley, were requested by KDWA in early August. They were received and reviewed for content. A meeting requested by KDWA with members of the city including Mayor Dave Hovel, City Administrator Jayne Brand and City Attorney Phil Helgeson took place on September 27th, at which time documents were produced that suggest time was placed on time sheets that represented hours worked by Investigator Neeley, when in fact he was hundreds of miles away on a hunting trip vacation and not in Prescott on duty . Two days after those records were shown to the city, revised versions of at least 4 specific timesheets were then sent with what were termed corrected hours. Hours listed on the corrected timesheet cited flex time amounting to 34.5 hours left over from work done during the previous pay period. According to terms of the contract signed by all city employees, falsification of timesheets is one action that may be used for discipline that may also include dismissal. In the Journal story, Funk is quoted as saying it is his duty as a chief to look at employee time cards, confirm their accuracy, and then sign them as valid.The last authorization on timecards made by Chief Krutke was May 1st with questioned timesheets falling only after Interim Chief Funk was placed in charge of those responsibilities. The original timesheets were submitted with Rob Funk's signature, his confirmation of their accuracy. The timesheets provided after that September 27th meeting, do not contain the current chief's signature. With caseloads handled daily by the officers dependant upon credibility and transparency, it is not yet known how the anticipated hiring of 2 new officers, will influence public confidence .

    Click here for audio

       

    Thursday Oct 12 In Depth Previews

    Thursday on In Depth, Jessica Schmitt explains how the public can help area veterans just by attending the Victory and Valor spaghetti dinner then it's two thumbs up for Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center naturalist JESSIE ECKROAD who shared her knowledge of arachnids just in time for Halloween and Mari Mellick from the United Way of hastings explains why workplace giving can make a difference in someone's world. Don't miss these great guests today on In Depth.

    Click here for audio

       

    Middle School Band Chosen

    District 200 congratulates Kathy Warren, Band Director at Hastings Middle School on the announcement involving a special honor bestowed upon the HMS 8th Grade Band. The group has been selected to perform at the Minnesota Music Educators Conference in February. They will be performing on Friday, Feb. 23 at 10:30 a.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Audio samples of their playing were submitted to the committee and their received word recently that they had been chosen to perform.    

    Click here for audio

    Sound Off Forum Debuts

    KDWA Radio announces a new opportunity to express opinions, concerns and viewpoints with the debut of the Sound Off page that is now a part of the KDWA.com website. Hastings resident Bruce Reuter recently took advantage of the new service, and here is a short clip.

    Click here for audio

       

    Each Sound Off will require a contact name and place of residence, which will be listed below the audio file or text. Submissions must not contain profanity and are subject to edit due to length or content by KDWA Radio Staff. Any questions, contact the newsroom during regular business hours.

    Click here for audio

    Pavilion Success Survey

    The City of Hastings is looking for feedback on the 2nd year of programming at the Rotary Pavilion in Levee Park. Paige Marschall Bigler, from Hastings Parks and recreation announces a survey available to get feedback from residents, past visitors and those willing to share their comments, concerns and even their wishlists of what next year's schedule should look like. The survey will continue collecting input through October 22nd. Take five minutes and invest in valuable information sharing that will make year three even better. Find the survey link on KDWA. com. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TTSS73C

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Neighborhood Streets Nearly Complete

    Work is nearing completion in the summer-long Neighborhood Improvement project which replaced utilities and upgraded century old infrastructure just west of Vermillion streets in the neighborhoods from Ashland to Pine Streets including 5th through 10th streets. Sewer, water service, fiber optics and electrical upgrading and lining kept Public works crews busy for weeks, moving from one area to the next while still providing access to residents in the impact zone. The project should be fully completed in the next few weeks with phase two set to be part of the construction season of 2018.

    Click here for audio

    Update From Candidate Alongi

    A message has been received from Tony Alongi, who updated supporters of his campaign for President . According to the post, he has decided to convert his campaign into an effort that will support other good people's campaigns in upcoming elections. He stressed many topics of support that he would like to get behind on local, state and national topics and encourages others to get involved in similar efforts. He also thanked those who leant their support to his campaign and looks forward to sharing his viewpoints that will improve the nation and rediscover a shared humanity.

    Click here for audio

       

    CG Chamber Awards Continued

    The 2017 Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet took place at the John P Furber Farm in Old Cottage Grove. Several top awards were handed out to deserving members including Jeannie Kilgore from Cottage Grove Middle School who was awarded Educator of the Year! Jeannie has been the Reading Specialist at CGMS for 17 years. She is actively involved with AVID team and AVID night, the Ride/Walk to School Day, the Lion's Club and Standing Strong 5K. Additionally, she chaperones for after-school and evening events, and consistently helps and recognizes others around the community. The selection of Business Person of the Year was revealed as Arlene Myers of Thrivent Financial - East Metro Financial Team received that presentation. Arlene provides free workshops on wills and retirement planning and has also worked to raise money for the Inclusive Playground, WAGS Dog Park and Christina Cupboard.

    Click here for audio

       

    Hastings Police October Log

    From the Hastings Police blotter, a report of a theft brought officers to the 1900 block of Walnut Street. According to the blotter report an unknown suspect stole approximately $2,500 worth of property from the location. The investigation is ongoing. A drug complaint call brought officers to the 300 of 6th Street. Investigating officers arrested 21-year-old Cole LeMay on charges of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and illegally transporting an unloaded firearm in a vehicle. Officers made contact with a motorist who had expired tabs displayed on a vehicle. Investigation revealed that the tabs were stolen plates from another vehicle. The case remains under investigation. An apparent abandoned vehicle was tagged by officers and towed from near the intersection of 4th Street and Pleasant Drive. The vehicle was unoccupied with the hazard flashers on. The vehicle was partially blocking the street.

    Click here for audio

       

    HPC Approval For Apartments

    The October 9th meeting of the Hastings Planning Commission discussed just one item listed , that of the request presented by Voyageur Estates, LLC of Final Plat and Site Plan. The project to be located in the Glendale Heights 5th Addition, consists of a one lot subdivision containing an 89 unit apartment building. A staff report was presented by John Hinzman. Commissioners discussed traffic, current road connections, storm water impact and first floor garages. The final vote was approved 6-0 as presented.

    Click here for audio

       

    Choirs Prepare For Fall Concert

    The first choral concert of the new school year will be held on Monday, October 16th at the Hastings High School Auditorium. The concert features all curricular choirs for grades 9-12 and will be the debut for new director Luke Warren who will join Kathleen Hanson and Tatum Mahlen for this Autumn concert that will begin at 7 PM. Tickets are available at the door. Seating begins at 6:30pm.

    Click here for audio

       

    Property Taxes Due Soon

    Property taxes on Dakota County real estate for the second half of 2017 are due Monday, October 16. 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 October 16 to be considered timely. Payments can also be made in person at the following times and locations: 8 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday at the Dakota County Administration Center, 1590 Highway 55, Hastings, 8 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 8 AM to 6 PM Tuesday and Thursday at the Dakota County Western Service Center service desk, 14955 Galaxie Ave., Apple Valley, and 8 AM to 4:30 PM Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and 8 AM to 6 PM Wednesday at the Dakota County Northern Service Center service desk, 1 Mendota Road W., West St. Paul. For more information, call the Dakota County Property Information line at 651-438-4576 or visit dakotacounty.us and search -pay property taxes.

    Click here for audio

       

    CG Chamber Awards

    The 2017 Cottage Grove area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet took place on September 28th with several awards announced at the well attended event. The event was held in Old Cottage Grove at a rustic event space called the John P Furber Farm. The Chamber presented the Business of the Year award to the owners, Wayne and Angi Butt for their continued support and gracious practice of donating their space to various organizations, including the Chamber banquet. In addition, they are diligent in referring and sponsoring new businesses to the Chamber. Vickie Snyder of Stone Soup was awarded Volunteer of the Year, working very hard to help Stone Soup run more like a business. She oversees many of the day-to-day operations and is always willing to help when needed. She also helped plan and implement Stone Soup-er Bowl, Burgers and Brews and the Fall Treasures Fashion Show. This year Vickie was also awarded the Spirit of AAMI for her volunteer efforts!

    Click here for audio

       

    Homecoming Todd Field Drone Footage

    A view of the awesome job done by Raider Boosters and parents the night before the Homecoming Game. Thanks for sharing this great reminder of Raider Pride and Todd Field

    Solar Subscription Debate

    During the Hastings City Council meeting on October 2nd, councilmember Tina Folch requested that a topic, the rejection of the proposal to enter into a subscription arrangement with RenaSola Power Holdings, be taken out of the consent agenda and placed, for discussion, in the administration portion of the meeting. Folch had initially submitted the proposal, which would be a 25 year buy in from that company to lessen the cost of energy to the city by using clean resources provided thru RenaSola. The Utilities commission had cancelled a presentation that was to be made by RenaSola, as a majority of the committe felt the opportunity did not provide enough benefit and required too long of a committment on the part of the city. They proposed a 25 year arrangement. Folch stated her support.

    Click here for audio

       

    Councilmember Lund stressed other options should be explored.

    Click here for audio

    Click here for audio

       

       

    CTIB Changes Direction

    Dakota County Commissioner Mike Slavik recently discussed how sales taxes that were earmarked for the now-defunct Counties Transit Improvement Board will be used in Dakota County.

    Click here for audio

       

    The income is generated from a quarter-percent sales tax and $20 excise tax on new vehicle sales. Slavik estimates the income to be approximately $16.6 million per year for Dakota County transit projects.

    Click here for audio

       

    Vehicle Pedestrian Accident

    An accident at approximately 6 PM onOctober 4th at the intersection of Hwy 47 and Pleasant Drive resulted in injuries to a juvenile pedestrian. According to an anonymous tip provided to KDWA News, the juvenile was crossing the street when struck by a vehicle. The pedestrian was thrown approximately 15 feet through the air. Hastings Fire Marshal John Townsend could only confirm that the Fire Department did respond to the incident, and that he had no further information available.

    Click here for audio

    GO Bonds Approved

    The City Council of Hastings adopted Resolution 10-04-17 to approve the sale of $1,075,000 in General Obligation Improvement Bonds during the City Council meeting of October 2nd. Paul Steinman, from Springfield Financial Advisors, reported to the Council that there were five bidders for the bonds, and the winning bid came in at a true interest rate of 1.84 percent. The bond was actually reduced to $1,015,000 to reflect a premium. The City Council thanked City Staff for continued work to maintain the Citys credit rating at AA Stable.

    Click here for audio

       

    More Waiting for Hudson Transfer

    Transfer of the Hudson Sprayer Building to a private developer was discussed again at the most recent HEDRA meeting. Community Development Director John Hinzman surmised earlier this summer that the process would be completed by the fall. Hinzman did have an update to that timeline.

    Click here for audio

       

    With the city still listed as the property's owener, they are then responsible for upkeep, security and other costs and time is money. Hinzman noted several necessary approvals remain including completion of soil remediation on the interior of the structure which must stablize and remove contaminates to satisfy the EPA among other issues.

    Click here for audio

    Click here for audio

         

    Hastings Mayoral Race Begins

    Hastings businesses woman Mary Fasbender sat down with Dan Massman, owner of KDWA radio to formally announce the start of her campaign for mayor. Wednesday's news was heard live on this station during Community In Depth where Massman first asked for the official statement.

    Click here for audio

        

    Fasbender was accompanied in the studio by campaign manager Tom Bullington who plans to coordinate the effort to organize the campaign, begin fundraising and set up speaking engagements to get the candidate in front of the public. She also introduced her qualifications to the listeners.

    Click here for audio

       

    In next week's interview with current Mayor Paul Hicks, he was also asked about a possible bid for re-election to which he replied that a likely timeframe for his announcement would come in April of 2018.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Police Probe Questions Dates

    KDWA continues our coverage in the search for relevant information involving the unanswered questions that have been asked in Prescott this summer. On Wednesday, KDWA was sent three additional documents by City Administrator Jayne Brand that had been requested earlier in the hiring of a part time officer Jason Hickok. In an interview published September 14th in the Prescott Journal, Interim Police Chief Rob Funk stated that Hickok had been pre-approved by late Chief Krutke and was hired on July 5th. This, despite knowing the officer had been charged in 2014 with false imprisonment and battery in a domestic incident while employed with Dunn County Wisconsin as a sheriff's deputy. The charges remained on his record, although they were bargained down to misdemeanors from a felony. According to Funk, he deemed the officer acceptable for hiring. A document sent to KDWA on September 19th shows a payroll sheet with the officer's name and July 5th written on it. There were no hours represented, however. On October 4th, we received additional timesheets, beginning with the date of August 25th. According to the latest documents, 90 hours have now been completed by Officer Hickok. Brand stated that there are just 3 documents involved with tracking the hours of Hickok. KDWA continues to ask for transparency in the decisions that will be made by the Interim Chief and the Police commission in the hiring process which is currently underway.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Grant Helps Dakota Co Safe Program

    Sheriff Tim Leslie has announced that Dakota County has been awarded a grant from the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. This grant is a three-year project, which will enhance the efforts of the Dakota County Electronic Crime Task Force solely for the protection of women from crimes of violence and to investigate and prosecute offenders. The grant award is for $150,000 per year, totaling $450,000 during the three-year grant period. According to Leslie, monies received under grant funding will be spent to gather evidence of domestic and sexual violence, as well as stalking-related electronic crimes. One full-time examiner who is schooled in computer forensic examinations will be funded by the grant, as well as a part-time coordinator who will work to improve the judicial process from a cases inception through prosecution for the victims. A previous grant provided funding for the Electronic Crime Task Force to work with victims to successfully and safely recover evidence and prosecute offenders. During that time, the task force also partnered with both 360 Communities and the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women (MCBW). This cooperative effort provided for a victim-centered approach during the judicial process. The Sheriff notes that the task force is grateful that due to the new grant funding received, an investigator can continue to be assigned to investigate these offenses as his/her primary duty.

    Click here for audio

       

    AdministratorFocusOfCitizensIre

    In a call for concerns or comments that followed administrative business for the October 2nd Hastings City Council, a Hastings resident, Darin Berg attempted to voice his views on a conflict he wanted to bring to the attention of the council and the public at large. In an abbreviated soundbyte from that appearance Berg began with his prepared comments which were directed to the council . They questioned the professional conduct and management of City Administrator Melanie Mesko Lee. Berg prepared to deliver a two paragraph statement at the podium. He began the statement and was halted by Mayor Hicks.

    Click here for audio

    KDWA did place a call to City Administrator Mesko Lee but received no comment.

    Berg followed up with a call to KDWA to explain why his message needed to be delivered.

    Click here for audio

    Click here for audio

       

    SalonReceivesHEDRAHelp

    We continue with a story previously covered by KDWA on the discussion and recent vote by HEDRA commissioners to vacate a $94,000 loan for the Elm Salon. The issue was presented to the commission for the first time on September 14th, by Commissioner Scott Sinclair with requester Beth Warner from Black River Properties asking for the help due to a disparity in the amount they have invested in the property versus the current taxable value. Dakota Countys estimated market value of the property is $195,400 with the appraised valuation listed at $280,000. In a follow up conversation on October 3rd with Community Development Director John Hinzman, he states it is his belief that the purpose of the request was not to reduce the debt to sell the Elm Salon building, but to use the $94,000 to supplement additional monies that would purchase a second property in downtown Hastings. A call to the requester has not yet confirmed that is the case. In a clarification, KDWA did report that the initial vote was conducted by HEDRA President Dennis Peine. It was later brought to our attention that he and Vice President Pam Denning were indeed absent from that meeting, KDWA regrets that reporting error. We also understand that Peine and Denning were made aware that the issue would be on the agenda for that meeting. Following nearly an hour of discussion,the vote was called by Treasurer Sinclair resulting in a 3 to 2 outcome approving the loan forgiveness. Those voting Nay were Ron Toppin and Mark Vaughan. Concern was also raised by Council member Joe Balsanek for a possible precedent for other businesses who would request such funding. Attempts for further comment following the approval from him have not yet been received. KDWA news welcomes contributions from the public on issues such as this to allow us further examination of actions taken by committees and commissions that impact taxpayers.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Homecoming Week Packs Schedule

    Despite the postponement of the annual Powder Puff girls football game, with the move from Monday to Wednesday night, the schedule for Hastings Homecoming involves dress up days, the Tuesday Dig Pink volleyball game, a student council support night at Chipolte, also on Tuesday, Online royalty voting thru Thursday, football, soccer and volley ball games and the big raider nation photo taken on Friday morning. The Pep fest will take place at 1:30 on Friday in the High School Field house and Saturday in the semi-formal Homecoming dance in the auditorium lobby. More details can be found with a schedule at www.hastings.k12.mn.us( Photo is Junior Royalty on the field for last year's festivities.)

       

    Click here for audio

       

    Hastings Grad To Receive Alumni Award

    One of the directors of the award winning Hastings Raiders Marching Band has acknowledged he will be receiving an individual award to commemorate his dedication and contribution to the Hastings Community. Percussion director Josh Wahlstrom has been notified that the 2017 Hastings High School Alumni Award will be presented to him at their banquet on Saturday. A 2003 graduate of Hastings High School, Walstrom will be on the road for the last regular season performance with the band and has asked his parents, sister and grandmother to attend the banquet and accept the prestigeous award in his stead. Wahlstrom noted his gratitude for the honor and was humbled to be considered worthy to join past recipients of the award. He cites the district's wonderful and supportive music program and is proud to give back to something that had such a strong impact on his life.

    Click here for audio

          

    En Plein Aire Success

    On September 30th the kickoff to the monthlong HPAAC celebration of creativity known as ARTober got underway with the first event, EnPlein Air which welcomed 20 artists to the Hastings and Prescott area to paint a find and paint a scene in just a matter of hours, bring it back to the Evenson Gallerys in the new ArtSpace Hastings river lofts where it would be framed and then presented in grand fashion at a reception held later that evening. Organizer Artist Andy Evenson explains more about the event.

    Click here for audio

       

    Be sure to tune in later this week for our on-location In Depth where we spoke one on one with 4 of the talented artists involved and also heard more about the future of this unique event.

       

    Click here for audio

       

    Firearm Surplus Factored In Firing

    In another segment from our new exclusive interview that features the voices and viewpoints of the two former Prescott Police officers, fired August 8th of this year, following the death of Chief Gary Krutke, we hear about a program described by former Prescott Police Officers Ryan Most and Bryan Massman who revealed that infractions noted in the officer's file related to weaponry that was part of a program , called 1033, which enabled local law enforcement departments to request surplus equipment that military sources were no longer in need of. Such equiptment, according to the officers, were varied and could include vehicles, such as ATVs, and even firearms. A number of guns had been requested by the Prescott Department, but in my exchange with officer Most, he explained how they were distributed to individual officers.

    Click here for audio

    Officer Massman reported that the storage of these weapons were noted as an infraction in his file, he explains.

    Click here for audio

       

    Both officers noted that none of the guns were utilized nor did they leave the department. Our complete conversation, totaling more than 60 minutes, will be posted soon on the KDWA.com webpage for public examination.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    CTIB Funds Build Local

    KDWA recently spoke with Dakota County Commissioner Mike Slavik regarding the Countys exit from the Counties Transit Improvement Board. Commissioner Slavik explained what will now happen with the taxes collected in Dakota County that used to funnel to the Board.

    Click here for audio

       

    Slavik said the County is already making plans for the money.

    Click here for audio

       

    Well have more of Commissioner Slaviks comments in upcoming news broadcasts.

    Click here for audio

       

    Tourism Study Results Ready

    The Hastings City Council will hear a report during its October 2nd meeting on developing tourism in Hastings. The report is a cooperative effort between the City and the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. The study itself was conducted by the University of Minnesota in partnership with Explore Minnesota. The year-long study identified the most pressing need as the creation of a compelling shared vision for tourism that is supported by the communitys organizations, government and residents. Chamber of Commerce President Kristy Barse is scheduled to make the presentation.

    Click here for audio

       

    Pig Power Progress

    As United Way of Hastings annual giving campaign continues throughout the fall, the Power of the Pig campaign for financial empowerment will be continuing its Pigs on Parade from the picturesque Hastings Riverfront to special locations in downtown Hastings. The Power of the Pig campaign is a light-hearted effort to remind people of the serious issues related to saving and financial empowerment. United Way of Hastings, in partnership with local volunteers and organizations and Dakota Countys Financial Empowerment Services, is supporting free financial counseling, personal finance advice, help for youth in need of college placement and loan assistance, resources to help families dealing with crises, such as serious illness or loss of employment, and more. Mari Mellick, Executive Director of UWH, encourages people to visit the riverfront soon, as the pigs will be moving to special locations throughout downtown Hastings. The life-size pigs have been decorated by local artists and sponsored by local companies. A complete listing of UWH Campaign Sponsors can be found at unitedwayofhastings.org.

    Click here for audio

    School Board Candidate Forum

    More responses from the AAUW School Board Candidate forum that was held at St. Philips church on Monday, September 25th, include the viewpoints from 3 more of the candidates on the topic of offering a two track educational system in District 200 Schools. Each were asked the same question by moderator Jan Hertel. Five of the six candidates participated in the forum with Peter Blissenbach and Scott Gergen hesitant to support such an option, citing Hastings Schools variety of course selection for college and vocational preparation. However, candidates Kelsey Waits favors a two pronged approach, noting that a more defined vocational instruction path may increase enrollment and give students an early start on developing a trade or vocational career. Candidate Kim Christiansen also voiced her approval for a 2 track system, citing internships and mentorships an excellent method of exploring the real-life experiences involved in trade training. Candidate Dave Pemble supports dual track education, favoring technical training as a way for some students to advance while in high school, and have employment opportunities sooner than those involved in such courses only after graduation. The positions will be filled with the election taking place on November 7th.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Fire Safety Week Approaching

    At a Safety Awareness gathering recently held at the CityFire Hall. Acting Chief John Townsend briefly discussed the familiar procedure of Stop, Drop, and Roll.

    Click here for audio

       

    The Hastings Fire Department encourages everyone to be alert and aware anytime around a fire. For more information log on to the Hastings Fire Department web page at hastingsmn.gov and search under fire department.

    Click here for audio

       

    Minnesota Sings 2017 Results

    The fourth annual Minnesota Sings Competition was held on Sunday, September 24th in St. Paul. 56 Young amateur singers from all over the state traveled to represent their cities- including singers from Warroad, from Cottage Grove, from musically named Harmony and of course,from Hastings. The singers qualified this summer in events that were held to determine who would be Singing for their city at the state event. Lucia Bourbeau and Matthew Leifeld represented Hastings, each singing for the judges in hopes of scoring among the top 16 that would return for the Grand Finale held that evening. The Senior Management Complex Director for Platinum Sponsor RBC Wealth Management ,Rob Andringa personally helped MC Jon Benson hand out the prize winnings. The fifth, sixth and seventh place winners each received professional music gear including Audio Technia Microphones, and the top four contestants received cash prizes beginning with 500 dollars that went to Paul Cushman from Wabasha, third place was Aliya Mukamuri from Mankato, second place was also from Mankato, Lauren Senden and the top singer this year was 21 year old Moriah Huerta from Burnsville. KDWA spoke to Moriah just after her win.

    Click here for audio

       

    In addition to her 3,000 dollar cash prize, Moriah also receives a 1,500 dollar check for her favorite charity.

    Click here for audio

    On an In depth program airing next week, we'll have more from the event along with a sample of the vocal excellence of this Dakota County winner, Moriah Huerta.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Prescott City Business Updates

    The Prescott City Council will consider bids to update security and access control for the Prescott Police Headquarters during its meeting on September 25th. The bids, submitted by Security Control Systems, estimated costs for different types of access control systems. The estimates ranged in price from approximately $1,200 for rekeying current locks to $7,540 for a keycard system with computer monitoring. The City Council meets at 6:30PM.

    Click here for audio

    On the agenda for the Prescott Public works meeting held on September 13th, discussion was held regarding the public works building. According to the documents submitted for proposed costs, all exceeded the proposed and approved budget. The projet will not be completed before the end of the year, so discussion approved requesting an additional $75,000 to be included in the 2018 budget proposal. Public works employees will be able to do the site work with hopes it can be completed before winter.

    Click here for audio

    One of the topics on the September meeting of the Prescott Public Works committee was the selection next summer's street project. Albert Street from Pearl to College street and College Street from Albert to Pine was chosen with a total cost of just over 1.65 million dollars. Also discussed was addition of a parking lot bordering Dakota Street to next summer's street project list.

    Click here for audio

       

    Voter Registration Focus

    Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day, and MN Secretary of State Steve Simon has encouraged all eligible Minnesotans who are not yet registered to vote to visit mnvotes.org and register. Minnesotans who are already registered to vote should confirm that their voter registration information is up to date, and encourage their friends, family and co-workers to do the same. According to a press release from the Secretary, 3,270,734 Minnesotans registered to vote before Election Day in 2016. Minnesotans can register to vote from the comfort of their own home by going online to mnvotes.org. They can register at the polls on Election Day or when applying for or renewing their driver's license. Voter registration applications are also available at every state agency, and all 87 county offices throughout the state. On November 7, 145 local jurisdictions will have an election, including 30 municipalities and 115 school districts, including Hastings.

    Click here for audio

       

    Hastings Police Call Activity

    A rash of break-ins was reported to the Hastings Police on the 10th of September. Starting at about 8:25 in the morning, vehicle break-ins were reported on Tiffany Drive, Bohlken Drive, Highview Knoll. A garage was reportedly broken into on Sherman Way later that morning. Hastings Police have not indicated they have any suspects in the break-ins, and all are still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hastings Police Department at 651-480-2300, or by calling 911.

    Click here for audio

    A report of a stolen computer brought officers to the 1700 block of N. Frontage Road. The investigation resulted in a citation issued to Shane Michael Wright, 24, of Janesville, MN for theft. A traffic stop conducted near the intersection of 10th Street and Progress Drive resulted in citations issued to 27-year-old Hastings resident Daniel Phillip Tarver for driving with a suspended license and expired tabs. And, a report of a domestic situation in the 1000 block of 5th St. W. brought officers on the scene to investigate the report. As a result of the investigation, 22-year-old Hastings resident Shaavon Nethellen Orzell Hall was arrested for an active warrant and providing false identification to officers.

    Click here for audio

       

     

    Permanent link to this article: http://kdwa.com/news/