Print this Page

Local News

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

    Community Honors Chief

    A great many community resources were thoughtfully coordinated on Wednesday as Prescott gathered to say farewell to their Chief of Police, Gary Krutke. Officers and collegues from departments throughout the Midwest arrived to show their respect. Vehicles with emblems representing St. Cloud, Chippewa Falls, Cottage Grove, EauClaire and several others as well as Wisconsin State Patrol, County Sheriff's Departments and National Guard made a solumn procession as they filed out of the memorial service and slowly wound their way down the hill, through downtown and past the Fire Hall. A group of children from a local day care waited quietly along the boulevard for the procession to pass, showing their support, boy scouts lined the route with hundreds of small flags,and a group of a dozen motorcyclists, parked their bikes and stood in remembrance for one of their own. A K-9 officer stood at attention at the blocked highway intersection , his German Shepherd partner sharing his sorrowfilled howl as the hearse and family cars passed by.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Minnesota Men Charged in Robbery

    The Pierce County District Attorney has announced that three men from Minnesota have been charged with burglary and robbery that took place earlier this summer. Two St. Paul Park residents, Joshawa R. Sweeney, age 27, and Dustin R. Bestler, age 33, were with a Hastings man, Michael K. Janke, 32, when the events took place just after 2 am in the morning on May 6th. Each has been charged with one count each of felony robbery with use of force, felony victim intimidation and misdemeanor criminal trespassing. The altercation between the men and a couple who live in downtown Prescott involved a physical scuffle which resulted in a door being kicked in and a phone being taken from the couple. The men had earlier been asked to leave at least 2 bars in the area, citing troublesome actions and problems at Scab's Bar and at Broad Street Bar. Eyewitnesses at the Bar were able to identify the men through photos already on record in Washington county. The men then were connected with an arrest made in Hastings following a fatal motorcycle and vehicle crash in the northbound lane of Highway 61. Officers on the scene of that accident, which closed the Hastings Bridge for 5 hours, observed one of the men, leaving the King's cove Marina with a broken jaw. Dustin Bestler was arrested for causing the injury to Sweeney. According to the statements given by 2 of the men, they traveled from Prescott by boat to the marina following the incident in downtown. All three men will be in the Pierce County Court in Ellsworth on September 25th for their first court appearances.

    Click here for audio

       

    Pierce County Accident Injures Hastings Woman

    The Pierce County Sheriff's office reported an accident that injured a Hastings woman on Friday, August 11th. Just after 1 pm a crash that took place at the intersection of Highway 10 and 570th Ave, just east of Prescott, involved three vehicles. The incident occurred with a River Falls woman, 19 year old Kellie R. Maier, slowed to make a left turn onto 570th Avenue when that vehicle was rear-ended by a pickup driven by a Plum City man, 37 year old Jay Oberg. the impact from that collision sent Maier's car into the path of a car driven by 37 year old Trevor G. Johnson of Hastings. The Johnson vehicle also contained passenger 32 year old Christina L. Johnson and an unnamed child. The child and female passenger Johnson, were then taken by private vehicle to Regina Hospital in Hastings with reports of minor injuries.

    Click here for audio

       

    Trail Break Causes Concern

    Caution is advised in the use of the intercounty trail which lies between Highway 61 on the west and travels to Prescott via the recently blacktop surfaced path. Although much of the components are nearing completion, with black chain link borders now installed along the edges of slopes, there are safety concerns that come with the public utilizing the trail to connect with the trail system to the south. A bridge that will take riders safely over the double track of trains between Kings Cove and the north end of the County Trail, will not be constructed until sometime this winter, creating a break in the link between that trail and the Green Way trail that connects into Hastings and beyond. Current conditions have bikers traveling against highway speed traffic flow for nearly a quarter mile before the path is again isolated with a barrier between vehicles and bikes. A narrow shoulder allows just a few feet between the oppposing traffic and the State Patrol warns that safety is their priority as they have observed bikers uncomfortably close to oncoming 60 mile per hour traffic.

    Click here for audio

         

    Rosemount City Council Agenda

    The August 15th Rosemount City Council meeting will take place at 7 PM at City Hall. Following presentation of a commendation for the State Track and Field Champion, public comments will be received. On the consent agenda are recommendations to approve donations received by the Parks and Recreation Departmen, the planning of a Halloween event, a change order for the Greystone Park project, a joint powers agreement, and to ratify a bid for the 132nd Street West improvements. On the agenda under new business is the text change in the zoning ordinance that modifys existing language allowing existing agricultural property to be utilized for commerical event centers with amendment of definitions of such uses.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Step Up to Better Slide Ride

    The Hastings parks department is making improvements that should add to the enjoyment of playing at the Roadside Park playground. Construction began this week on a set of wooden steps that will allow easier access to the giant red,curvy,slide which is a favorite for visitors of all ages. According to workers on Monday, the steps will be constructed on the west side of the slide, made of 8"x8" landscape timber treads that will make it easier to get back up the hill and take another thrilling ride. It was noted that the east side of the slide will continue to be the rugged assent for those who enjoy the challenge, but the installation of the steps should ease the severe errosion that sends soil spilling to the bottom of the slide, covering up the woodchips placed to soften the landing.The project should be completed by Wednesday. A photo of the work can be found on the KDWA. com website.

    Click here for audio

       

    Dakota County Jail Briefing

    From the Dakota County Jail booking report, Hastings Police arrested Essence Love Allen, 38, of St. Paul, on August 14th on charges of felony possession of marijuana. Love also faces charges of theft, failure to appear, and providing false identification to an officer of the peace. The charges against Love are still pending. A traffic stop by Rosemount Police conducted on August 14th resulted in charges being filed against 36-year-old Minneapolis resident Nahom Tesfalidet. The charges include driving with a revoked license, operation of an unauthorized vehicle type, and driving without proof of insurance. Charges against Tesfalidet are still under investigation.

    Click here for audio

    Area Fire Dept Sets Sights on Washer

    The Randolph-Hampton Fire Department is seeking donations to purchase an extractor-style washing machine. The specialized $20,000 machine will be used to clean firefighters gear of the tar and residue of fires. The tar and residue are believed to be cancer-causing agents. The cost of the machine is prohibitive for many smaller fire departments and the Randolph-Hampton Fire Department has set up a Go Fund Me campaign to raise the needed funds for the machine. Donations can be made by logging onto gofundme.com and searching Randolph Hampton Fire Department.

    Click here for audio

       

    Cottage Grove Defines 2018 Budget

    The City of Cottage Grove is moving forward with its 2018 budget process. The City Council has set a 3 percent levy for the budget, and budget item requests made by various City departments during workshops held on July 26th and August 2nd are likely to be funded for 2018. Items of note include a request for a new ambulance and powered chair lift for the Public Safety Department at an estimated cost of $186,000 combined, and the Community Development Department requested to make the Citys Building Inspector position a full time job. Community Development also requested a 2.5 percent increase in inspection fees to help cover the cost of the inspectors salary and benefit package. The City Council will have a preliminary levy passed in September and a finalized budget in December.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    SWC Schools Power Up

    As so many school districts understand, the costs involved in maintaining the infrastructure of several school buildings, athletic facilities and related structures can overwhelm a budget. Add in the ever-rising cost of energy necessary to heat and cool enormous buildings, and boards soon realize any step to conserve those resources is paramount. In South Washington County School District 833 a renewed effort is underway to convert facility consumption to renewable energy. This fall, the program will embark in earnest when three buildings have announced they will be completely powered by renewable energy, with the remainder of the district expected to draw up

    to 60% from renewable sources, up from just 10% thus far. The ability to adapt is due to XCel Energy's program that enlists wind and solar energy connections set to flip the switch to come online at the beginning of the school year. Superintendent Keith Jacobus looks forward to the benefits both financially and environmentally, noting the move is one the will benefit everyone by lessing the carbon footprint for the district. An evaluation of the performance for the new system will be ongoing, according to Jacobus.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    MEALS Program Continues

    Hastings Family Services Summer Lunch Schedule is still running. HFS Food Shelf Director Mary Kocak provided KDWA News with the details.

    Click here for audio

       

    For assistance or questions, contact Hastings Family Service at 651-437-7134.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Nursing Program Moves Closer

    Thanks to a new partnership that was signed between Minnesota State College Southeast, located in Red Wing, and Winona State University, a Bachelor of Science in their Nursing program will offer courses that much closer to the Twin Cities with the addition of classes to be available at the Red Wing College as soon as January 2018. According to representatives from both institutions a strong market for all levels of nurses have resulted in providing new outlets for training including the new opportunities that will begin with online courses this fall and increase to classroom instruction by next year. Red Wing President Dorothy Duran points to cost-effective options that will offer courses to associate degree students wishing to attain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing without requiring the drive to the Winona campus. WSU will hold local information sessions about the program later this month and during the fall semester. For more information, visit www.winona.edu/undergrad-nursing

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Lightning Strike Close Call

    The Farmington Fire Department has an inportant reminder for residents and business owners that thunderstorms can cause unseen dangers as they found had happened in just such an incident taking place in the middle of the night on July 10th. A call came in to respond to a home after a lightning strike and although no flames were visible ,the homeowner reported smelling what seemed to be something burning. When Firefighters mounted the roof, it was discovered that lightening had, indeed, struck causing some damage to shingles and blowing the roof vent cover off . Another engine company then entered the attic, where they found cable and other electrical wiring had traveled down the roof line and burned down to the ceiling. Insulation was smoldering from the heat and could have done so for hours without any visible flames or other warning. Firefighters knew what they were looking for and were able to remove the insulation that had the potential of igniting a fire that could have caused much more damage. The department advises anyone who believes a structure may have been hit by lightening, should call 9-1-1 to have trained professionals check out the incident and keep residents and property safe.

    Click here for audio

       

    Public Meeting for ReZoning

    The Hastings Planning Commission will meet on Monday, August 14th at Hastings city hall. On the agenda is a public hearing to consider a re-zoning request for property now known as the KC Hall which was purchased by Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home. The request is to re-zone the entire property to allow construction of a funeral home and crematory at the site which is designated as C2 Highway Auto and change it to C4 which is described as Regional Shopping Center. The meeting begins at 7 PM

    Click here for audio

       

    Win Win For HFS

    Hastings Family Service announces pair of wins!

    To paraphrase a quote from the classic movie Norma Rae, they liked us, they really really liked us. The Us referrence is Hastings Family Service and thanks to more than 1300 Likes on social media, the hometown food shelf was the top vote getter for the recently completed Merchants Bank Help Swipe out Hunger challenge. The weeklong mission was to vote by liking your favorite foodshelf, with the winner receiving 1372 votes. The second closest finisher was Hunger Task Force of La Crosse Wisconsin with 741 votes and the Cottage Grove based Friends in Need Food Shelf received 482 likes. All that love meant a cash reward of $2,500 dollars will help fund stocking of the resource that provided more than 105 thousand pounds of food to 494 families and individuals who visited the market since the beginning of 2017. This is the second time in as many years that Hastings Family Service has finished in the top spot of the Merchants Bank campaign which was held in August this year, as opposed to last year's December schedule.

    Click here for audio

       

    Coming right on the heels of the big win from the social media Help Swipe Out Hunger campaign, in which Hastings Family Service garnered the top spot in votes for the week receiving an award of $2,500, another big announcement was made Tuesday that an amazing $37,723 dollars was raised during July as part of the Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless Challenge grant. A proportionate match made dollars donated add up twice as fast and the grateful team at Hastings Family Service thanks the Hastings community who came together to make it possible for them to continue meeting the needs of families and individuals with compassion and care.

    Click here for audio

       

    Miss Hastings Program Begins Search

    The kickoff for a Miss Hastings 2018 scholarship program began after several years in hiatus. Potential candidates met at the Hastings Arts Center this weekend , affording them an opportunity to speak with the current Miss Minnesota, Brianna Drevlow. She provided us with a few comments prior to her presentation and shared her view of what it means to represent your city in this way.

    Click here for audio

    Co-Directors Wendy Latuff and Janelle Behny were in charge of the event, that will offer a Hastings representative a chance to enrich their experiences through service and skills that broaden their outlook. Miss Minnesota shared her excitement that a Miss Hastings opportunity will once again be offered to local candidates.

    Click here for audio

    Click here for audio

       

    ArtTober Fest Planned

    A local organization, HPAAC, announced this week that they will be involved in bringing the focus of a national celebration to a local level. Cities around the country will come together to celebrate and promote the arts and humanities in their communities during October in an effort called ARTober- an opportunity to showcase the beauty and the economic importance of having a thriving art scene.This year, the Hastings Prescott Area Arts Council (HPAAC) is launching its own ARTober celebration with plans to highlight multiple events and experiences throughout the month by partnering with local artists and venues to host art exhibits, live music events, talks with authors and painters, and even an illusionist! The list of events is in the development stages and members of HPAAC will be involved in upcoming In Depth programs that will illustrate the scope of the first ARTober in Hastings. One of the events already scheduled is the En Plein Aire Invitational which will begin on September 30th with several artists capturing images and landmarks of Hastings and of Prescott. More details will be released soon.

    Click here for audio

       

    Running Moms Welcome New Owner

    Moms on the Run, a franchise whose mission is to inspire and transform women thru a healthuy lifestyle of fitness, fun and friendship, has announced a new owner for the Hastings based group. Tracy Yoder, in charge of the local group for several years, will be taking a new direction and Christine Hitchcock will step into those shoes as of September 1st. The group is a motivating program for all women, not just those with children. Their fall season begins September 12th and provides opportunites in endurance and cardio training with a choice of participating one to three days per week. Connect with the group at www.momsontherun.com/hastings.

    Click here for audio

       

    Pierce County Accidents Claim Prescott Man

    Two vehicle accidents were reported by the Pierce County Sheriff's Office including an accident on Sunday, morning when the Pierce County Sheriffs Office was notified of a single motorcycle crash in the area of N3880 County Road O in Diamond Bluff Township. A motorcycle operated by Jon Theodore Fila, 41 from Stillwater, MN was traveling southbound on County Road O when he left the roadway, entered the ditch, overturned . Fila was ejected from the bike and transported to Red Wing Mayo with undetermined injuries. Then just after 1 pm on August 6th, a car driven by Michael J. Simones, 60, of Prescott, lost control of his vehicle along an Oak Grove Township road, entered the ditch, struck a tree and overturned, trapping him inside. He was extricated by first responders from River Falls and Prescott Fire departments then transported by Life Link Helicopter to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Information received by KDWA on Monday afternoon stated that Simones died July 7th from his injuries.

    Click here for audio

       

    Prescott Police Chief Krutke Passes

    KDWA News received word from the City of Prescott that Chief of Police Gary Krutke passed away Saturday following a lengthy illness. Chief Krutke was named Chief of the City of Prescott in 2014 succeeding Mike R. Bondarenko, who retired after seven years serving that department. We spoke with Prescott Mayor Dave Hovel on Sunday who expressed his sympathy to family and friends, noting that Chief Krutke had battled health issues while serving at the top of that department. Notice of the Prescott Police commission was called late last week for a Monday, August 7th meeting to name an acting Chief. With Chief Krutke's passing, according to Mayor Hovel, there is no offically chosen acting chief. The officer in charge is listed as Sergeant Robert Funk, a 25- year law enforcement officer, 14 of which were within the Prescott Department. A decision on the direction of the Prescott Police department, stated Hovel, is expected to begin with Monday night's meeting. Services for Chief Krutke are pending.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    HMS Orientation Dates

    Back to school plans include the orientation of incoming Hastings Middle School students that will take place on August 22nd, 23rd and 28th. Fifth graders and new sixth-thru eighth graders will have orientation on Tuesday, August 22nd from 11 am until 5 pm. A presentation will be given in the auditorium at 1 PM. Returning sixth to eighth graders will have orientation on Wednesday, August 23rd from 11 am until 5 pm. A make up date has been scheduled for Monday, August 28th for any grade student unable to make the appointed schedule. Students must be accompanied by a parent in order to receive their schedules. Payments for yearbooks, athletic and class participation fees and supplies will be accepted in the cafeteria. If paying by check, a separate check is necessary for each payment. School pictures will also be taken in the media center. The school nurse will be available for questions concerning medications and immunizations. Lunch money will also be accepted to be deposited into a child's lunch account and students will be able to find their locker location in preparation for getting back to the books.

    Click here for audio

       

    Cemetery Defaced In Castle Rock

    A scene of vandalism and destruction was discovered at a Muslim cemetery located in Castle Rock Township in Southwestern Dakota County near Farmington on Tuesday morning. According to reports from the Al Maghfirah cemetery association spokesperson, a large amount of damage was done in a building on the property in addition to profanities and threatening messages spraypainted on interior and exterior walls. Last year the courts forced the county to allow a conditional use permit to be issued for the land in the township. Protesters of the decision in 2015 to grant the use of the 73 acre property were overruled when a district court deemed the opposition arbitrary. The planning commission of the township made the stipulation that the entire property be contained by a fence, a departure from requirements made to similar requests. Members of the association are asking that the incident be investigated as a hate crime, which involves harsher penalties for those convicted of such actions. The Dakota County Sheriff's department continue the investigation.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Prescott Chooses Probst

    A new Assistant Principal has been selected in the Prescott School District. Trent Probst will start the new school year in that position for Malone Elementary. A graduate of UW-Whitewater (2011) and Cardinal Stritch (2016), Mr. Probst has been in education for six years. For the past two years, Mr. Probst worked in the Somerset School District as a Physical Education teacher and TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment), which included Assistant Principal duties. He was also the assistant football coach, and assistant baseball coach. He also taught for four years in the Johnson Creek School District as a Physical Education Teacher, Athletic Director, assistant football coach, and assistant baseball coach. Greg Lenn , who held the dean position last year, has returned to his passion as classroom teacher and received support from Superintendent Spicuzza on that choice.The 2017-2018 school year begins on September 5 for the Prescott School District. For more details about the district, please visit www.prescott.k12.wi.us.

    Click here for audio

    New Shoes for Moms on Run

    Moms on the Run, a franchise whose mission is to inspire and transform women thru a healthuy lifestyle of fitness, fun and friendship, has announced a new owner for the Hastings based group. Tracy Yoder, in charge of the local group for several years, will be taking a new direction and Christine Hitchcock will step into those shoes as of September 1st. The group is a motivating program for all women, not just those with children. Their fall season begins September 12th and provides opportunites in endurance and cardio training with a choice of participating one to three days per week. Connect with the group at www.momsontherun.com/hastings.

    Click here for audio

       

    Author Page At BreakAway

    A local author will be featured at an event at the BreakAway Cafe on Friday, August 18th beginning with a presentation during a social hour at 6PM. Dave Page has written an homage of the life and times of famed author F.Scott Fitzgerald and his ties to Minnesota. His 35 year fascination and study of the Minnesota born writer has resulted in 3 books, the latest one called F.Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota the Writer and His Friends at Home. A book signing and sale will also happen that evening. An exhibit of the photographer who collaborated with Page, will be featured at BreakAway thru the 27th of August. Jeff Krueger captured the St. Paul residences, landmarks and iconic spots frequented by Fitzgerald in the 1930's and 40's. BreakAway cafe is located at 111 East 3rd Street .

    Click here for audio

       

    Preview Hastings City Council

    The Hastings City Council will meet for regular business tonight. Mayor Paul Hicks provided KDWA News with a preview of tonights meeting.

    Click here for audio

       

    Swap Spot In Cottage Grove

    If you have ever searched for a public place to make a transaction for an online site such as Craigslist or a private party unknown to you, or wished there was a neutral location to complete a child custody exchange, then The City Hall of Cottage Grove has some news. The front parking lot located at 12800 Ravine Parkway S has been identified as a Swap Spot, just one of many such public places where residents can meet to complete legal transactions or exchanges. While they are quick to point out there is no guarantee that such a spot will provide a greater level of safety, the Swap Spots are an additional option when people want to schedule a transaction in a public place. Public Safety personnel also remind those involved in such a transaction to always trust your instincts and take additional safety precautions as necessary.

    https://www.cottage-grove.org/pol/public-services/swap-spot

    Click here for audio

    State Capitol Celebration Aug 11-13

    The grand opening of the Minnesota State Capitol will be held on August 11th, 12th and 13th completing years of construction and updating done on the 120 year old building first completed in 1905 and most recently the subject of a multi-million dollar rehabbing that was completed earlier this spring. Events taking place during the celebration weekend include a ribbon cutting, tours, hotdish panels, live performances, a kid zone, fireworks, an ice cream social, a craft beer garden, and much more. Full information on the schedule, ticketed events, transportation and Capitol renovations can be found at mn.gov/admin/capitol-grand-opening. District 54B House Representative Tony Jurgens will be attending numerous events as well as holding office hours during all three days of the celebration for any residents who are visiting and would like to speak with their state representative while in St. Paul. Jurgens will be in his office in the State Office Building - located just across the street from the Capitol building - in Room 523 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Jurgens will be our guest on an upcoming In Depth program discussing topics such as National Night Out , health care reforms , the Governor/Legislature lawsuit, and the recent announcement of a pay raise for Legislators.

    Click here for audio

       

    Dak Co Regional Chamber Stute Resigns

    Following four years at the helm of the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vicki Stute, president, announced her resignation. Under Stutes leadership, Dakota County Regional Chamber implemented its first-ever strategic plan and has grown by more than 20% in membership and 50% in total revenue. Stutes final day at the DCR Chamber will be September 30 and a Search Committee, led by Cindy Haas, Gateway Bank and Past Chair, has been established anticipating the involvement of a professional search firm in the week to come. Stute accepted the position as Vice President, Programs and Business Services at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. Her responsibilities will include leadership of the Chambers current business services including Grow Minnesota!, Waste Wise & Energy Smart, Everything HR, and MCBS, along with the creation of new programs and services. She will also serve as a member of the Chambers senior management team.

    Click here for audio

       

    YMCA Offers Swim Lesson Bonus

    The YMCA provided an update to a program they hoped to offer this summer. Due to low pre-registered numbers for the Safety Around Water class they are not able to run the program. The YMCA in Hastings would however like to offer SPARK participants to get signed up for our regular swimming lesson sessions, free of charge for the rest of 2017. Go to www.ymcamn.org/freelessons to get on the discount list and then register online for the swimming lessons of your choice. Registration for our fall session opens Friday August 11th. Please direct any questions to Dawn Foss, dawn.foss@ymcamn.org or 651-319-8016.

    Click here for audio

       

    HFS Needs Likes To Win

    A push to prepare for the last month of summer is underway with a unique contest that will benefit Hastings Family Service. Amy Sutton, Associate Director, provides some details.

    Click here for audio

    The deadline for voting is August 8th.

    Click here for audio

       

    Cannon Falls Council Plans Budget

    The City Council of Cannon Falls met for a regular meeting on August 1st. The Council addressed a wide range of topics and held public hearings to address a wellhead protection plan update and a resolution to certify that unpaid water and sanitary sewer bills shall be collected through taxes. This resolution would affect 59 properties with a combined total of $19,103 in unpaid bills. On the Consent Agenda was an item to approve a temporary on-sale liquor license for the Cannon Falls Lions Club for the Lions Mane Music Festival on August 5th, and setting a workshop meeting time to begin setting the next City budget.

    Click here for audio

       

    The Council also heard a report on the situation of erosion near the parking lot at the First English Church. According to the information the erosion began after a storm in September of 2016 damaged the swale that carries drainage down the slope towards the Cannon River. The City Council was presented a request to authorize bidding for the project to repair the area, which is estimated to cost $42,000. The report also indicated that due to the nature of the damage, the City would work to secure funding for the project from FEMA.

    Click here for audio

       

    Nguyen Captured Jailed in Dakota Co

    The Dakota County Sheriffs Office has announced the capture of the suspect in the murder of Beverly Cory, the woman killed in Mendota Heights the morning of Saturday, July 29th. Lucifer Vincent Nguyen was arrested at approximately 1130 PM on Monday evening in the North Metro. Nguyen will be held at the Dakota County Jail while the investigation is completed. Sheriff Leslie expressed his thanks to the public and the entire law enforcement community for their assistance in the search for the suspect. According to the Dakota County Attorneys office, Nguyen, age 44, of New Hope, made his first court appearance at 11:00 AM, on August 1st at the Dakota County Judicial Center, in Hastings. Nguyen faces a felony charge of non-premeditated 2nd degree murder, 2 counts of felony robbery, a felony burglary charge and felony kidnapping. Bail was set at $1.5 million.

    Click here for audio

       

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Washington County Tests Septic System Compliance

    A $100,000 grant from the Clean Water Fund is being used by Washington County to gather data on residential septic systems in an effort to identify areas where these systems may pose a risk to surface and groundwater. According to the countys Groundwater Plan, approximately 80 percent of the geographical area of Washington County is served by septic systems. They can be an efficient way to treat wastewater in rural areas, but failing or poorly maintained systems have the potential to contaminate ground and surface water. In 2016, the county created an online database to track locations of septic systems, but the database is incomplete, with much of the information stored with individual cities, and not the county. Once the data is centralized, county staff will work with local partners and technical experts to develop and conduct the analysis. Details are available on the county website at co.washington.mn.us.

    Click here for audio

    HFD Called To New Downtown Biz

    In Downtown Hastings at 10:30 am Wednesday, August 2nd, an emergency call was placed to the Hastings Fire Department. Chief Mike Schutt provides a review of the incident

    Click here for audio

        

    The Chief noted that the situation could have had a different conclusion if not for the sprinkler system.

    Click here for audio

    As Chief Schutt noted, no disruption to the business is expected.

    Photos on the scene were provided by KDWA Sports Director Nick Tuckner

    Click here for audio

       

    Lions Park Night Out Party Success

    The neighborhood get together held at Hastings Lions Park drew nearly 300 attendees for the evening of shiny firetrucks, fun and games and a picnic served up by the Public Safety Commission. One of the members, Jesse Starkson shared his focus for the event as they prepared to greet their guests

    Click here for audio

    The commission has communication and community goals in mind.

    Click here for audio

       

    Just as the event got underway, a familiar sound in the air drew a rush of onlookers to the edge of the grassy field. A Minnesota State Patrol Helicopter made a grand entrance Chief Schafer revealed just whose idea it was to get the party started in such a grand fashion.

    Click here for audio

    He viewed the event as a positive step to making connections between neighbors and also between residents and those who answer their calls when help is needed. You can view the arrival of that Trooper helicopter on the KDWA Facebook page.

    Click here for audio

       

    The first National Night Out event involving the neighbors near Hastings Lions Park was a big success. Organizers were pleased with the turnout of this first attempt to reach neighbors in nearby apartments. Chief Schafer had this to say.

    Click here for audio

    We'll have more reactions from National Night Out events on upcoming newscasts

    Click here for audio

       

    Hastings Police Log

    From the Hastings Police blotter, Krissana Marie Wing, 28,of Hastings, was recently cited for theft after officers were called to the 1700 block of North Frontage Road. The charge is a misdemeanor. A traffic stop in the 800 block of General Sieben Drive resulted in a citation issued to 29-year-old Rosemount resident Angela Rose Winchell for driving with a canceled license and no proof of insurance. And a report of theft brought officers to the 300 block of 2nd Street East, where a person was seen to have grabbed two unattended backpacks and fled eastward. This case is pending.

    Click here for audio

       

    A report of a loud party recently brought officers to the 800 block of South Park Drive. Investigating officers issued a citation to a juvenile at the party for underage consumption of alcohol. Officers were called to a local restaurant to investigate a possible counterfeit bill being passed. The suspect departed before the officers arrived and it was determined that the restaurant suffered no financial loss. And, from the Dakota County Jail booking report, the MN Department of Natural Resources conducted a stop while on boat patrol recently that resulted in a boating while intoxicated charge for 27-year-old Hastings resident Reilly Degnan Dougherty. Dougherty was cited for 4th degree driving while impaired and misdemeanor boating under the influence. He was booked and released pending charges.

    Click here for audio

        

    Birth To Eight Program Honored

    A Dakota County initiative that helps assure children reach key developmental milestones was honored with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties. The Birth to Age Eight Collaborative Initiative was recognized as the top program in the children and youth category and also named part of the National Association of Counties 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work for innovation excellence. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more. The Birth to Age Eight initiative brings essential public and non-profit community service providers in Dakota County together to assure children reach key developmental milestones from birth to age eight. The members of the initiative include school districts, nonprofits, and Dakota County Community Services, Public Health, and Social Services staff. The initiative aims to identify more at-risk children and families early, with the vision that 100 percent of identified children meet the state proficiency reading target by the spring of third grade. Bonnie Brueshoff is the Dakota County Public health director, and she conveyed her shared pride in the partnerships that have led to the success by Dakota County Children.

    Click here for audio

       

    Click here for audio

       

    Washington County Assessments

    Washington County is conducting a transit needs assessment to determine how best to accommodate people in the county without access to personal transportation. In the 2016 Resident Survey Washington County residents cited the ease of travel by public transportation as the greatest problem facing the County. For those most dependent on public transit, the lack of transportation options in Washington County is a significant issue. The aim of the assessment is to describe existing conditions, identify available services, and develop options for new, improved, or better coordinated services. The study will list options for the county to consider to continue to support residents and businesses with transportation solutions. Washington County resident are encouraged to contact Hally Turner at 651-430-4307 to learn more about this project.

    Click here for audio

    A $100,000 grant from the Clean Water Fund is being used by Washington County to gather data on residential septic systems in an effort to identify areas where these systems may pose a risk to surface and groundwater. According to the countys Groundwater Plan, approximately 80 percent of the geographical area of Washington County is served by septic systems. They can be an efficient way to treat wastewater in rural areas, but failing or poorly maintained systems have the potential to contaminate ground and surface water. In 2016, the county created an online database to track locations of septic systems, but the database is incomplete, with much of the information stored with individual cities, and not the county. Once the data is centralized, county staff will work with local partners and technical experts to develop and conduct the analysis. Details are available on the county website at co.washington.mn.us.

    Click here for audio

        

       

    TRIAD Training For Seniors

    Members of the Dakota County Sheriff's Department held another of their TRIAD programs in Hastings which are designed to help senior citizens protect themselves, their homes and their financial security with information that exposes fraud, schemes and scams that prey on older adults. Warnings about common telephone scams, fraudulent vendor practices and unscrupulous online offers are provided in the workshops that allow participants to prepare themselves in the event they are targeted. Commander John Grant, Detective Tom Hooper and the TRIAD team hold these workshops throughout the County. Contact the Dakota County Sheriff's Department to find out when the next opportunity will be offered.

    Picture provided by the Dakota County Sheriff's Department.

    Russell Crissman -Financial Empowerment Program Specialist for Dakota County

    Anna Judge- Director of Property Management for Dakota County Community Development Agency

    Jennifer Fox - Director of Consumer Outreach and Community Relations for the MN Department of Commerce

    Susan Schroeder -Financial Empowerment Program Developer for Dakota County

    Katey Gans - Student worker for the MN Department of Commerce

    Mike Marben -Director of the Fraud Bureau for the MN Department of Commerce

    Detective Tom Hooper

    Commander John Grant

    Click here for audio

       

    Disctrict Special Services InDepth

    Tuesday on Community In Depth,The Dakota County Fleet Operations Manager Kevin Schlangen joins County Commissioner Mike Slavik for a two segment program that includes the announcement of progress and efficiency of the 13 member fleet service department has won a pair on National Awards. They are responsible for caring for more than $25 Million Dollars worth of equipment used by every department in the county And Dave Haveman, is our guest as school gets under way soon. The Director of Special Services for District 200, discusses the efforts directed at students who will benefit from special education staff, behavioral and therapy support, and language professionals to provide access to regular and special classroom experiences. Families are an important part of the educational team. Hear how the balance can be found to assure that these students receive what they need to succeed. Those topics can be heard Tuesday,only on In Depth.

       

    TRIAD Training For Seniors

    Members of the Dakota County Sheriff's Department held another of their TRIAD programs in Hastings which are designed to help senior citizens protect themselves, their homes and their financial security with information that exposes fraud, schemes and scams that prey on older adults. Warnings about common telephone scams, fraudulent vendor practices and unscrupulous online offers are provided in the workshops that allow participants to prepare themselves in the event they are targeted. Commander John Grant, Detective Tom Hooper and the TRIAD team hold these workshops throughout the County. Contact the Dakota County Sheriff's Department to find out when the next opportunity will be offered.

    Picture provided by the Dakota County Sheriff's Department.

    Russell Crissman -Financial Empowerment Program Specialist for Dakota County

    Anna Judge- Director of Property Management for Dakota County Community Development Agency

    Jennifer Fox - Director of Consumer Outreach and Community Relations for the MN Department of Commerce

    Susan Schroeder -Financial Empowerment Program Developer for Dakota County

    Katey Gans - Student worker for the MN Department of Commerce

    Mike Marben -Director of the Fraud Bureau for the MN Department of Commerce

    Detective Tom Hooper

    Commander John Grant

    Click here for audio

    Prescott Special School Board Mtg

    A special school board meeting will be held by the Prescott Board Of Education on Thursday, August 3rd at 7 PM in the Library of Malone Intermediate School. An executive session starting at 6 pm will precede the public meeting. Business on the agenda includes consideration of new hires and resignations as well as discussion of the HVAC replacement for Malone Intermediate building with the facilities and grounds supervisor and potential vendor of such equipment. A Public hearing will be held on Wednesday August 16th at 6:30 at Malone Intermediate followed by a regular school board meeting. The meeting is open to the public.

       

    Prescott Planning Includes TIF

    Prescott is planning for the future by adressing increased parking needs in downtown, riverfront access and amenities and business impact on limited real estate in that river town. City Administrator Jayne Brand explains recent action taken by the City Council to enact 3 TIF Districts that would provide the means.

    Click here for audio

    This rivertown will have to balance needs with the funding required, but Brand states that economic growth is a give and take proposition that takes time and patience to impliment.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Dakota County Fleet Facts

    The coordination necessary to keep equipement ready for county departments is the job of the Dakota County Fleet management team. On an upcoming edition of In Depth, Fleet Manager Kevin Schlangen explains what his team of 13 does to keep Dakota County Working.

    Click here for audio

       

    One of the tools is technology, Schlangen talks about the efficiency of Telematics.

    Click here for audio

       

    Hear more about the Dakota County Fleet Management team on In Depth, next week.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Submerged Car Update

    An update to a story we brought you first on the KDWA.com website late Wednesday, Members of the Dakota County Sheriff Department, Underwater Dive Team and Hastings Police gathered near the Hastings Boat Launch in Jaycee Park that afternoon to remove a rusted shell of a four door car from the Mississippi River. A crowd quickly gathered near the activity that involved hauling the vehicle out of approximately 25 feet of water about 40 yards from the concrete boat launch decline. Those in the crowd offered their possible scenarios on how the vehicle came to rest along the south bank of the river. One bystander surmised that it had fallen off a scrap barge, just one of the many commercial uses of the area, while others speculated that it was rolled into the river intentionally. Captain Jim Rogers, a spokesperson from the Dakota County Sheriff's Office reported that the car had been found by a private citizen using sonar while fishing in the area and had alerted law enforcement. He had this to say about how long the vehicle may have been in the water.

    Click here for audio

       

    It was also not necessary for the public safety team to shield onlookers with tarps as is commonly seen when recovery of human remains are involved. Rogers reported there was no immediate sign of any occupants. A winch from a tow company slowly extricated the vehicle out of the river and placed it on a flatbed to tow it from the scene. Captain Rogers also stated the Vehicle Identification Number was retrieved and the last registration was listed in Wisconsin.

    Click here for audio

       

    Hampton Woods Wildlife Area

    A portion of one of the last and largest wooded areas in Dakota County will now be permanently protected as a state wildlife management area through the collaborative efforts of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Dakota County and the nonprofit conservation group Friends of the Mississippi River. The new Hampton Woods Wildlife Management Area consists of 191 acres of oak forest that will be managed by the DNR for wildlife habitat and public hunting. The land is located about four miles east of Farmington off state Hwy. 50. The only forest for miles around in a largely agricultural landscape,the area is home to a number of rare species such as the red-shouldered hawk, deer, turkeys and squirrels. A few years ago, Friends of the Mississippi River helped several landowners contact the county to discuss the potential sale of their land. Those acres were purchased by the county which has now transferred ownership to the DNR.

    According to a spokesperson for the DNR, this new WMA is especially important because it not only protects an important and relatively rare forest area, it also provides close-to-home public hunting opportunities in the metro region.

    The acquisition was paid for with $540,800 from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature, and $197,700 in Dakota County funds. The Outdoor Heritage Fund was created in 2008 when Minnesota voters passed a constitutional amendment dedicating a portion of sales taxes to restore, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat.

    Friends of the Mississippi River secured a $133,000 grant to conduct management activities in the WMA, such as removal of non-native invasive species like buckthorn. An aerial photo of the Hampton Woods Wildlife Management Area can be found on the KDWA.com newspage.

       

    Public Safety Recaps RTD

    KDWA News spoke with Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt about the departments involvement with Rivertown Days.

    Click here for audio

       

    Deputy Police Chief Dave Wilske also commented on the weekend.

    Click here for audio

       

    Click here for audio

       

    Church Seeks Missing Relic

    The staff at St. Elizabeth Anne Seaton Catholic church have reported that the Relic of St. Elizabeth Anne Seaton has gone missing. SEAS staff member Faith Siebenaler explains what a relic is.

    Click here for audio

    According to the report, parish staff noticed the relic missing from it's case.

    Click here for audio

    Several other relics on display have been secured until a locked display case can be installed. Seibenaler hopes that someone will come forward.

    Click here for audio

       

    Anyone who may have information regarding the missing relic is asked to contact St. Elizabeth Anne Seaton Church at 651-437-4254.

    Click here for audio

       

    Igou New Prescott MS Principal

    Following the retirement last spring of longtime Prescott High School principal Dave Vortherms, the Prescott School District conducted interviews for his replacement, deciding that Josh Fiege would move into that position this fall. According to Superintendent Dr. Rick Spicuzza, another position has now been filled as well, this time at the Prescott Middle School for the position vacated by Jim Dalluhn.

    Click here for audio

       

    With this decision made, Dr. Spicuzza looks forward to the new chapter in Prescott Education, which will now involve the hiring of a new activities director as well as an assistant principal. Spicuzza continues with his reaction to the choice.

    Click here for audio

       

    All three will be our guest in August on Community In Depth to talk about their goals for the year and how the district is evolving under the new leadership.   

    Click here for audio

       

    Rivertown Days Machinery Hill A Hit

    Another of the great attractions at last weekend's Rivertown Days, brought out the big rigs and cool tools used by the Hastings Public works department. Director Nick Egger told me what were some of the most popular pieces.

    Click here for audio

    It takes alot of coordination to get the display put together, success he credits to those in the department.

    Click here for audio

    I wondered if some of these kids might be future employees.

    Click here for audio

    We'll have more highlights from Rivertown Days 2017, in our upcoming newscasts.

    Click here for audio

       

    Pierce County Talent Show Info

    The talent show coordinators for the Pierce County Fair have announced contact information for those hoping to compete in the annual show. The fair's website lists connections in Spring Valley, Elmwood or Plum Creek, River Falls or St. Croix , Prescott or Ellsworth or surrounding townships. Contacts will inform candidates of time and details on auditions which may vary for each location. If you have further questions, contact the Pierce County Fair Office.

    From SV, Elmwood, or PC to: Duane Kuesel 715-772-4275

    From River Falls or St. Croix Co. to: Peggy Krasin 715-425-2670

    From Prescott to: Courtney Lamb 651-324-4041

    From Ellsworth, MR, BC or HC to: Amy Pieper 715-273-5203

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Prescott Chamber Stroll Success

    The Prescott Chamber Poker stroll had a grand time as 117 signed up to visit businesses in the town starting out at Broad Street Bar & Grill this year. Participants then made their way to the No Name Saloon, Scabs Place, Muddy Waters, Brickyard Pub & Eatery, Philanders ending up with a short ride up the hill to The Old Ptaceks Banquet Center.

    Members then had their poker hands dealt and were served a great meal by Ptaceks. Door prizes were a big draw to the event with Deb Kittleson taking home the top money prize of 200 dollars with an Ace high Flush hand. Leanna Mann took 2nd place, receiving 100 dollars for a 5 high straight and 3rd place was won by Matt Feurhel garnering 50 dollars for his 3 ace hand. The Chamber is also in the middle of calendar sales and will also be working on Prescott Daze which comes up the weekend after Labor Day.

    Click here for audio

       

    Hastings City Council Agenda Preview

    The City Council of Hastings will gather tonight for a regular meeting. Hastings Mayor Paul Hicks provides a preview of the meeting.

    Click here for audio

       

    Click here for audio

    An order to conduct a public hearing in the process of declaring the NW corner of the intersection of Pleasant Street and Highway 55 as excess property was placed on the consent agenda for the Hastings City Council meeting of July 24th. The City acquired the property in 1973 as part of the Whispering Oaks 1st Addition. An interested party has enquired about the purchase and development of the property. The City Charter directs that the property would need to be declared as excess in order to move forward with the sale.

    Click here for audio

        

    Three pay estimates for various improvement projects in town were placed on the consent agenda for the Hastings City Council meeting of July 24th. $100,244 is due to Danner for work on the 2017 Neighborhood Infrastructure Improvement Project, $217,132 is due to Valley Paving in the 2017 Mill and Overlay Project, and Fitzgerald Excavating is due $59,303 for work on the Vermillion River Greenway Trail.

    Click here for audio

       

    Four resolutions in support and recognition of various community events were placed on the consent agenda for the Hastings City Council meeting of July 24th. Hastings Parks and Recreation will receive a donation from the Lions Club for volunteers and food for a July 27th celebration at Levee Park. Special Event declarations and one-day liquor licenses have been requested by The American Cancer Society Relay for Life event on August 4th, Animal Ark and the Hastings Area Rotary Club for separate events on August 19th.

    Click here for audio

       

    Prescott City Council Agenda

    The City Council of Prescott will gather tonight for a regular meeting. Business before the Council includes the Consent Agenda for approval of prior meeting minutes of the City Council and various committees, reports from the various Commissions and Committees, and a public comment period. The Council will vote on awarding bids for various improvement projects and amendments to project plans in tax incremental districts 3, 4, and 5. New business items include discussion of National Night Out at Prescott Intermediate School. The next scheduled meeting for the Prescott City Council is Monday, August 14th.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Art Truck Adds Color to Festival

    With the 39th annual Rivertown Days events now completed let's look back at some of the highlights of the very busy weekend. From music to entertainment and from craft shows to craft beers, there seemed to have been something planned for everyone. One of the new events was made possible by the Art Truck, parked under the bridge in downtown, and offering hundreds of colors of chalk to draw on sidewalks and pavers. Betsy Carrol explained the activity.

    Click here for audio

       

    It was a popular place in the cool shade of the bridge for all ages to create.

    Click here for audio

       

    The Art truck has appeared at the SPARKS in the Park this summer and they hope to expand it next summer, depending on funding.

    Click here for audio

       

    Rivertown Days Just Ducky

    Sunday was the final day of a very successful Rivertown Days. Chamber President Kristy Barse looks back.

    Click here for audio

    She also provided the results of the YMCA Duck race, one that she expected to repeat as winner this year. The race involves giant inflatable duck rafts that the contestants paddle with their legs down the Vermillion River to the finish line about 200 yards downstream. First, the list of competitors.

    Click here for audio

    And then the results.

    Click here for audio

    I asked what the win will mean to the new champ.

    Click here for audio

       

    Not only does Mike win, but so will those who voted for him with donations placed in his bucket at the Y

    Click here for audio

    Photo provided by the Hastings YMCA

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Sunday Hastings Road Closure

    SPECIAL ROAD CLOSURE NOTICE- East Bound 10th Street from Vermillion Street is closed from 10AM until 2 PM Sunday, July 23 for staging and lineup of the Rivertown Days Parade. Do NOT drive around barricades. Casino Traffic should follow Hwy 316 South of the city.

       

    Edina Realty Medallion Found Friday

    Dateline, Friday Afternoon, July 21-The search is over for those who spent this week searching for the Edina Realty Medallion. Many of our listeners followed the clues put out each day and Eva Haakenson, office assistant for the Hastings business announced that a winner came forward to claim her prize. We spoke to them this afternoon.

    Click here for audio

    The prize was sizeable, 500 dollars as the treasure seeker had the required 2017 Rivertown Days button on when she turned in the medallion.

    We next gave a call to the winner, and she was more than happy to give us a rundown of just how she located the medallion., what she would use if for and who she would share it with.

    Click here for audio

       

    As you can hear, this lucky gal is thrilled to have found this year's prize and Edina Realty wanted to thank everyone who came in for clues. They look forward to doing it all again next summer. This has been KDWA's special report on the finding of the Rivertown Days Medallion. Have a great weekend here in Hastings.

    Click here for audio

       

    Charges In Cycle Crash Death

    A fatal motorcycle accident on WI County Road F in Troy Township in June of 2016 has resulted in charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle for 35-year old Hastings resident Josh Sykora. Sykora was charged on July 3rd in St.Croix County Court in Hudson. According to reports, Sykora was driving his motorcycle with 28-year-old Prescott resident Brooke Ptacek-Baker as a passenger when he lost control of the bike and it crashed into a ditch. Authorities arriving on the scene found Sykora lying on the road and later found Ptacek-Baker in the ditch with the motorcycle. Neither Sykora nor Ptacek-Baker was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Ptacek-Baker was declared dead at the scene. Sykora will make his initial court appearance on August 17th.

    Click here for audio

         

     

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