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News From Hastings Fire Department

The Hastings Fire Department will undergo some major communication changes beginning on June 1st. To be more efficient and effective, the dispatching duties once required by the Hastings Department will now be handled by the Dakota Commuications Center.Captain Tom Murray a 27 year veteran of the Department, first gave us some background in the current system

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With the change that comes in June Murray explains the benefits

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The Hastings Fire Department will be turning over dispatch responsiblity to the Dakota County Communication Center, Captain Tom Murray explains more on how personnel will be impacted by the change

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In More HFD News, on an upcoming Indepth program Captain Tom Murray of the Hastings Fire Department , shares a lesser known danger involving carbon monoxide buildup. Not only is this a danger during the winter months but also as we move into summer. Captain Murray explains.

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You can hear more from our Indepth conversation next week, only on KDWA.


Explorers Represent Dakota County

The Dakota County Sheriff's Department participated in the 41st Annual Minnesota Law Enforcement Explorer Association State Conference. Twenty members of the local squad were divided into six teams for the competitions in Academic, Skills Based, and Tactical categories. Men and women on the team took part in several types of testing including Bomb Teams, Burglary and Crime Scene aptitude, Traffic Crash processing, Rapid fire shooting, crime prevention and Search and Rescue exercises. Nearly 500 Explorers from all over the State were divided into teams and several first place awards were given to the Dakota County Explorers. Those competing, assisting and attending are listed below:

Individual Awards:

Nichole Gaphart- 2016 Officer Scott Patrick Memorial Scholarship

Jordan Moses- 2nd Place, Rapid Fire Shoot Competition

Harmony Zweber-Langer- 2nd Place, Job Interview (out of 86)

Harmony Zweber-Langer- 1st place, 5K (women), 5th overall

Academic Competition:

Team Event- 1st Place, Media Violence: Lessons from Littleton

Skills Based Team Events:

1st Place in Bomb (Team A), Burglary (Team A), Crime Scene (Team B), Traffic Crash (Team A)

3rd Place in Burglary (Team E), Crime Prevention (Team B), Crime Scene (Team A)

4th Place in Search & Arrest (Team C)

A Team: Gage Litzner, Jordan Moses, Lenny Gerten, Nick Cross

B Team: Kelly Huntington, Harmony Zweber-Langer, Joseph Penny, Jonah Koeppen

C Team: Erick Barrita, Dominc Scudera, Nicholas Stivers

D Team: Jarrett Ebert, Zach Knuntson, Gavin Wenzel

E Team: Mark Keeler, Elijah Long-Mcgie, James Trowbridge

F Team: Nichole Gephart, Sofia Lozada, Trinity Meyers

Advisors who teach, mentor and contribute plenty of time toward the program:

Captain Dawanna Witt, Deputies Ryan Googins, Jon Grimes, Jordan Klug and Leondo Henry and Correctional Deputies Kent Themmes and Theresa Lambert.

(Photo by Dakota County Sheriff Department)


Prescott City Council Meeting Review

The Prescott City Council held its regular meeting on the evening of April 25. Prescott City Administrator Jayne Brand gives a recap of the meeting.

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In Prescott School news, at the Prescott City Council meeting on Monday night, the Prescott School Board informed the council of its intention to hold another referendum in hopes that residents will vote to approve a levy to override the cap set by the State of Wisconsin on operating expense increases for the next four years. Prescott City Administrator Jayne Brand says the board talked about some of the cuts that will have to be made if the referendum fails.

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   While the City Council can take no action on the issue, Brand says the referendum's outcome will impact the city.

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Flushable Wipes Big Cleanup Cost

Public Works Director Nick Egger shared some warnings on the use of a product that is causing a big problem with proper sewer operation. The sales of flushable wipes create issues for his department and some homeowners. Egger gives us more information.

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Egger continues with the effects such products have on our sewer system.

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A growing concern may even lead to legislation in the Minnesota House where Egger testified on the impact felt be cities due to the product use.(Photo provided by MPCA)


Prescott Boaters Await Launch

The Public boat launch in Prescott should be open for use this week. Prescott City Administrator Jayne Brand says delays caused it to be open a little later than usual.

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Brand says installation was further complicated by overeager boaters using the launch when it was closed.

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News From Hastings Fire Department

The Hastings Fire Department is saying farewell to a pair of longtime paid-on-call firefighters. Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt says both men were assets to the department.

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In other news ,April showers could be bringing more than May flowers. Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt says the recent rainfall has probably brought enough moisture to allow the lifting of burning restrictions.

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Chamber Compares City Water Fees

The Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce released news on Tuesday of work they have done to further understand issues that impact economic growth in the city and what action should be to attract more business. A current topic of consideration is the assessment of SAC and WAC fees both by the Met Council and also by the City.

Following a recent meeting of the Business Advocacy committee with members of the City and HEDRA, concerns that rates charged by the city were considerably more than in several surrounding communities. Some of the cities in the comparison include Cottage Grove, Woodbury, Rosemount, Apple Valley and Prescott, Wisconsin.

Chamber President Kristy Barse explained the reason for the comparison

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In two sample projects, one a 60 room hotel and the other, a major business, such as the Hastings CoOp Creamery, the fees were compared using a baseline the Met Council fees, which remain the same and the City Fees which varied widely. Barse expressed concerns that the increased fees have a negative effect when businesses are looking to expand or locate new business in Hastings. The results of the City survey will not be known until the end of the summer. President Barse is looking for feedback from the community and ask for input on a survey of their own that hopes to add to the discussion of how to create an attractive business climate for future growth. We have provided a link to the survey at the website.


Hastings Man Wins Prince Guitar

The success of the seventh annual Hootenany had many moving parts, from the generosity of the venues to the hard work of the organizers and of course the musicians who donated their time and the audiences which filled every nook and cranny for most of the evening. Another of the special facets to the event was the raffle of a special guitar that was procured by Joe Pettit. He told me that night,how it came to fill a fitting place in the fundraising

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The next part of the story comes Monday when I bumped into the lucky winner of that guitar who told me he received a very loud telephone call late Saturday night which woke him out of a sound sleep. He couldn't hear anything except loud voices and louder music. Thinking it was a prank, he hung up and went back to sleep. The next morning he received another call wanting to know when his prize could be dropped off. Putting the pieces together, he remembered the phone call and discovered that his name had been pulled and the Hootenany committee had called to inform him. Tom Walt shared his proud photo of the guitar which he says will be much appreciated in his musical family.


Weekend Crashes In Hastings Claim One Life

Several crashes took place over the past weekend. Fire Chief Mike Schutt and Hastings Police Chief gave us the details in these vehicle crashes.

A Hastings man was killed Saturday in a crash on Highway 61 south of Hastings. The call came just before one oclock early Saturday morning. Hastings Fire Department and the Dakota County Sheriff's Office responded. In a statement provided by the Minnesota State Patrol, Anthony J. Bruner, 35, of Hastings, was riding his motorcycle south on Highway 61 when he left the roadway. Bruner was thrown from the motorcycle. According to the State Patrol report, alcohol was detected at the scene and the victim was not wearing a helmet. Funeral services are pending with Caturia Smidt funeral home of Hastings.

And the Hastings Fire Department responded to a pair of similar car crashes over the weekend that occurred in quick succession in different parts of town. Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt says there was a common denominator in both accidents.

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Hastings Receives Bird City Designation

Audubon Minnesota recognized the City of Hastings as the states first Bird City at the Earth Day Birding Festival on Saturday at the Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center. Bird City is a unique pilot program to encourage urban bird conservation. The city is being saluted for their long-term commitment to creating bird habitat, reducing threats to birds, and engaging citizens in birding, bird conservation, and outdoor recreation. Bird City Minnesota is coordinated by Audubon Minnesota and modeled after successful programs in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Bird City Minnesota fosters civic engagement and locally led partnerships to create healthy communities for birds and people. Program requirements focus on habitat protection, improvement and creation, public engagement, and threat reduction. Communities that meet a specific number of best practices are eligible to become a Bird City. They can renew annually for as long as they continue their conservation work. Hastings is being recognized for increasing awareness of birds and special birding resources through the creation of the Hastings Birding Guide and checklist and for their promotion of local Important Bird Areas. The City is also being recognized for encouraging the use of native plants to create bird habitat in place of manicured lawn. To address risks to birds, the city prioritized bird-safety in the design of the new Highway 61 Bridge which uses a programmable low lighting scheme. Hastings has made changes to pesticide use policies and has made efforts to reduce climate impacts by reducing energy use and carbon emissions. Over the next six months, Audubon Minnesota will work with the pilot cities and other partners to assess the results of the initial pilot program.


Prescott Pair Arrested

Two Prescott men are in jail after being served a warrant to search their residence on Friday. 32-year-old Tony C. Sanders and 30-year-old Robert R. Gross both of Prescott were arrested when Prescott Police were issued a warrant to search their apartment in the 300 block of Dakota St. and found methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and a large quantity of stolen items. The search warrant was the result of an investigation involving illegal drugs and stolen property from a business in Prescott as well as a business in the city of Inver Grove Heights.


News From District 200

News from the Hastings School District:

The Hastings School Board continues to make adjustments to work with the district's shrinking enrollment and budget. At its meeting last week, ISD 200 Superintendent Tim Collins says the board did announce some position cuts.

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   Collins says just because they've announced a position cut now, doesn't necessarily mean the teacher won't be back in the fall.

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With many neighboring communities presenting bond referendums to their residents for upkeep on school facilities, the Hastings School District is also looking at maintenance issues. ISD 200 Superintendent Tim Collins says the district will need to address similar needs in the near future.

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   Collins says in a district the size of Hastings, Facilities maintenance is a continuous cycle.

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Cars And Construction

Car enthusiasts are certainly marking their calendars for this summer's car shows, which are held in downtown Hastings. Parking is alway at a premium, so we asked Public Works Director , Nick Egger how the construction work will be structured when thousands of people will gather for the every other Saturday event. The Cruise Ins begin in June and Egger assures business owners and visitors the disruption will be carefully mitigated by scheduling and lots of advance planning.

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Supporting First Responders

House Representative and current Cottage Grove Police Officer Dan Schoen,has introduced a bill that would expand the list of occupational diseases to include PTSD. Representative Schoen wants legislation to reflect that the condition should be recognized as one experienced by first responders as a presumptive injury caused by traumatic events that public safety officials experience in the course of their work. Shoen states that In my career I have met too many public safety officials who have had to hide their need for help because they fear the inability to feed their families if they cant work, Schoen said. They are expected to deal with some of the worst situations in our communities every day, and this takes its toll. Far too often, administrators have treated them as problem employees rather than taking the time to find out what was wrong. We now know better. Some of the occupations listed in the bill include firefighters, paramedics, EMTs , members of law enforcement, correctional officers and others. A current environment filled with roadblocks and redtape prevent these responders from receiving proper care after a PTSD diagnosis. Schoen did praise the efforts of several organizations such as Blue Watch, a group formed by Minnesota Police officers and their families to support those in their ranks suffering with the effects of trauma related to their work. The bill, submitted with bipartisan co-authorship, was referred to the House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee where it awaits a hearing. It has a companion bill in the Senate, sponsored by Red Wing Senator Matt Schmit.


Tootsie Roll Weekend

The Knights of Columbus are looking for folks with a sweet tooth as they Rolllll out their annual fundraiser this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Knights will have members at several Hastings locations- namely Coborns grocery in South Hastings, Walmart and also at Emilys bakery as they seek donations in exchange for a chocolaty Tootsie Roll. The Knights will also post Tootsie Roll distributors at the entrance to SEAS Church on Saturday Night at 4:30, and again on Sunday for the 8,and 10am and 6 PM Mass schedule. All proceeds from the annual project will be donated to local organizations that provide funding for developmentally challenged individuals including Special Olympics, the Hastings Sharks, Hastings High School Special Education, Lifeworks and Pro-Act. The Knights look forward to seeing everyone come out for this annual fundraiser and thank those who generously donate every year. If you have questions about the project, contact Keith Slavik or Greg Brady.


Bailey Murder Trial Updates

There will be at least one more preliminary motion hearing made in the murder case of Doug Bailey. Rose Marie Kuehni, has entered a plea of not-guilty in the murder which took place in November of 2015. The jury trial has been set for August 8th thru the 17th but the defendants attorney, Mark Gherty, recently filed a motion for a ruling on admitting character testimony on Baileys violent history and also a motion to compel discovery. In other updates, the 61 year old acquaintance of the defendant, Clarence Hicks, was charged with hiding a corpse. Disclosed information suggests that Kuehni and Hicks were romantically linked prior to the murder and that several actions and data from cell phones point to the discussion of killing Bailey. Another piece of information came from the Kentucky coroners report stating that Bailey was shot first in the back, then again at point blank range. Kuehnis statement of self defense contradicts that finding. Testing of materials involved in the shooting, a box of shotgun shells, revealed that male DNA were on some of the shells. Hicks told investigators that Kuehni had asked him to get rid of two boxes, but he denies the knowledge of what was inside. He did dispose of the boxes, which contained Baileys body and other possessions along a steep ravine in a remote Kentucky location. The trial will be held at the Pierce County Courthouse despite speculation that the defense might ask for a change of venue. A final pre-trial hearing will take place on July 17th.


Hastings Police Incidents

From the Hastings Police Report: On April 7 in the course of investigating a burglary in the City of Hastings, officers learned that a stolen credit card had been used fraudulently in the City of Woodbury and in the City of St. Paul. Initial information was gathered about the fraudulent transactions from March 19 and provided to the Woodbury police department for their investigation. Also on April 7 at 4 p.m., Hastings police were called to the 900 block of 4th St. to investigate an assault. At the scene 31-year-old Adam Kelly of Hastings was arrested for domestic assault. on April 8 at approximately 11:15 p.m., officers responded to a domestic situation in the 100 block of 6th St E. after investigation 33-year-old Averill Allyn Powell of Hastings was arrested for gross misdemeanor domestic assault. On April 9 just before 3 a.m., officers initiated a traffic stop near the intersection of 10th Street East and Bailey Street. Upon investigation, 28-year-old Joseph Richard Biagini Jr. of Maplewood, was arrested for 4th degree DWI. Also on Saturday April 9th at 3:30 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of 26th St. East in response to a domestic situation. Upon further investigation, the suspect, 18-year-old Parker William Johnson of Hastings, was arrested for domestic assault and booked at Dakota County jail.


Construction Begins Downtown Apr 25

As the third installment of the Riverfront Renaissance prepares to adress the business side of the the downtown, Public Works Director Nick Egger announced a proposed timetable and impact statement for the completion of several projects along 2nd Street. All business and property owners will experience a staggered construction schedule beginning as early as Tuesday, April 26th. The first segment will be the intersection of Sibley Street and 2nd where storm sewer replacement, sidewalk bumpouts, new streetscaping and street lighting will be addressed as traffic will be re-routed and parking moved to a single side access during the anticipated 6 week period. Egger stated that detour information will be posted for vehicle traffic and a series of mapping stations will inform pedestrians of potential changes as the construction progresses. Segment two will take place after the Sibley/Second Street intersection is completed and that will focus on the Ramsey Street intersection with the same type of changes and improvements to be addressed. Business owners should request that employees use the parking lots further out from the downtown, generally just a block or two from 2nd so that customers will find spaces. Downtown tenants are asked to observe posted notices and to sign up for one of the notifications systems such as Nixle text messages or E-notifications to have updates sent to your phone or computer as warrented. Construction agreements will stipulate that no more than one side of on-street parking stalls will be closed within a given block to minimize the inconvenience to downtown visitors. He also suggests that businesses with large delivery trucks required them to travel from west to east thru the alley exiting on Tyler Street to allow for limited access at the intersections. Egger said that Pember Construction is responsible for the work and the City will coordinate timing and scope of the project thru Brad Fisher, who can be contacted in case of questions and concerns. The City website will also post updates under the Residents tab on the home page.


SAC WAC Waive Decision

We continue with our look at the City's decision to approve additional waivers in the expansion of the YMCA, which will rescind the charges for WAC and SAC, Water and Sewer Availability Charges, totaling just over 52 thousand dollars. In further discussion, Finance committee chair Danna Elling Schultz provided some basis to her connection with this community resource beginning with her first campaign for city office.

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Schultz also talked about the initial request from the Capital Campaign which will raise 3.5 million to fund the expansion slated to break ground this summer.

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The funding request for the expansion however, asked for a sizable sum

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Instead, Schultz noted several further conversations resulted in a different type of support, that of the removal of the city's portion of the WAC and SAC charges. She explains how that decision was made.

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Despite the city waiver, WAC and SAC fees will be charged by the Metropolitian Council. Fees are charged per unit at 2,500 for Water and just over 4,000 dollars for Sewer. The expansion was assigned 10 units with approximately 65,000 charged in total.


Grant for Parking Ramp

The Hastings City Council has authorized the signature of a grant between the city of Hastings and the Metropolitan Council. The City has been awarded a little over $1.4 million in Livable Communities Demonstration Account funding to assist in construction of a parking structure for the Great River Landing redevelopment of Hudson Manufacturing. The Met Council authorized the award in December of 2015 and funding will be used to construct a 155 space parking structure containing 99 public and 56 private spaces. The grant will offset the estimated $2.5 million cost of providing structured parking and will allow for further site intensification. No local match is required for the grant.


Water Quality Questioned

An investigative report released last week by the Izaak Walton League of America suggested that Minnesota residents have much to be concerned about when it comes to pollution in their local streams and rivers. The information released by the League estimated that Only 3% of Minnesota streams and rivers are tested for water quality. The group gave the state an overall grade of C-minus for its water quality monitoring efforts declaring that Minnesota does not test enough local river and stream sites to make reliable claims about the safety of these waterways statewide. World Water Week is being observed and KDWA contacted the Minnesota Pollution Control agency for their response to the claims made by the League. Watershed Division Director Glen Skuta expressed disappointment in the timing and scope of the missive, responding to some of the claims made by the organization.

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A lengthy rebuttal to the findings was made by the PCA including clarification of the testing procedures currently in place.

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Council To Hold Public Hearing

The Hastings City Council will meet in a public hearing at 7:00 pm on Monday, May 2 in the City Council Chambers located in Hastings City Hall to consider an amendment to Hastings City Code Chapter pertaining to Property Maintenance and Storage of Vehicles. The amendment will provide parking regulations for the R-1L and R-6 Zoning Districts. No changes to the limit of stored vehicles is proposed. The council will also hold a public hearing to consider changes to Chapter 34, relating to city fees for the Rotary Pavilion damage deposit. A copy of the proposed changes are available at city hall and on the city's website. Please contact the City of Hastings with any questions. All persons are welcome to attend and comment.


Food Drive Shatters Goal

The Minnesota Foodshare month was cause to celebrate generousity in many communities including neighbors South St. Paul. Members of the Youth Task force, Kaposia Center, Lincoln Center , SSP secondary school and many businesses made a huge contribution to the Neighbors, Incorporated food shelf and shattered previous records in their bid to gather donations that would match the number of pounds raised to their zipcode, which is 55075. Last year the city topped that number by a hundred pounds but City Liasion Deb Griffith announced a surprising number to the South St. Paul City council Monday night

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The monthlong project had a train theme and Griffith thanked the Mayors Youth Task force for their help, but she reminded everyone of the team effort required to accomplish the amazing final result.

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City Council Approves YMCA Waiver

The Hastings City Council met Monday night to discuss a handful of items, with the bulk of time spent on the decision whether or not to approve a waiver requested by the Hastings Family YMCA to dismiss just over 52,200 dollars in SAC(Sewer Availability Charge) and WAC(Water Availability Charge) fees that are slated to be charged as part of the 3.5 million dollar expansion to their existing building. When the non-profit entity approached the city in 2004, incentive funding was provided by the city to encourage the construction of the building located at 85 Pleasant Avenue, at the West end of the Regina Healthcare Property. Capital Campaign Chair Todd Siewert and Executive Director Derrick Jaeger attended the meeting in which council members asked for confirmation of facts prior to making their decision. Councilmember Vaughan expressed his position.

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Council member Nelson then asked if any other businesses had received such a waiver The answer was provided by City Administrator Melanie Mesko Lee

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Lee also informed the council on the effect the loss of those fees would have on the city budget.

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Finance Committee Chair Schultz stated that several meetings had taken place with representatives of the YMCA, and she was satisfied the incentive was warranted.

Councilmember Laurie Braucks voiced her position on the request

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Her comments were followed by Councilman Balsanek

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Council member Alongi then gave his support to the proposal specifically addressing the term presedent and why others may not qualify in the same way.

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Public Works Director Nick Eggers was also consulted and asked how the city used SAC and WAC fees

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Mayor Paul Hicks reiterated his support and asked the roll call be taken for a vote on approval of the full waiver.

Although voicing prior dissent, councilmembers Balsanek and Vaughan joined Alongi and Schultz in voting their approval to the motion with Nelson and Braucks voting no. The motion to approve the 52,250 dollar waiver was passed by a majority. YMCA representatives expressed their thanks for the vote and are expected to move ahead with construction this summer following the completion of their capital fundraising campaign.


Farmington 6 Alarm Fire

Farmington Fire Chief James Larsen credits the quick response from 6 area Fire Departments for limiting a fast spreading fire on Friday. The blaze was caused by a landowner ignoring a burn ban and the debris ignited surrounding grass to engulf nearly 20 acres before it could be extinquished. The fire threatened homes and other buildings and was located not far from a major refinery. Fire crews from Apple Valley, Hastings, Lakeville, Randolph-Hampton, and Rosemount responded to the call and several crews from the Minnesota DNR and Conservation Police aided in knocking down the flames which spread fast in the windy conditions. Chief Larsen thanked all who helped bring the fire under control with no injuries reported during the 3 and a half hour emergency. The DNR anticipates that the burn ban will continue several weeks until a full green up or significant moisture takes place in the area. All counties of the Metro Area are listed in Very Dry or Extremely Dry condition on the DNR.State.MN.US website.

The warm, dry weather we are now experiencing increases the chance of brush fires occurring. Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt says his department helped with this large blaze over the weekend.

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   Chief Schutt offers a warning about how easily brush fires start.

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River City Prepares For Emergencies

A river town experiences a fair number of water related emergencies, and the cities who count rivers and lakes in their service area need specialized equipment and training to respond. Prescott Fire and Emergency Medical Staff recently approved funding of the Dive Team, with wording to coordinate the unique dual state jurisdiction of the St. Croix and Confluence. Prescott will also construct a structure that will house necessary equipment close to the water, to provide the quickest response to a river rescue. From pleasure craft that moor in the Point Douglas Park bay to the hundreds of boats that pass under the lift bridge, crews need to be ready to help with diverse situations including collisions, swimming accidents, and medical issues that may require help on the water. Prescott Fire Chief Tom Lytle (little) stressed that several items came before his department at the annual meeting including collaboration with the River Falls EMS department. The River Falls department has agreed to increase regular communication that will include the Prescott Police Department in making efficient use of the shared resources and strengths of each department for the continued protection of the public they serve.


Gherity Sues Dakota County

A former defense attorney, now residing in Hastings, has filed a federal lawsuit against the Dakota County Attorneys Office and the Burnsville police department for violating his constitutional rights. 62-year-old David J. Gherity filed the suit in federal court in St. Paul last week alleging unlawful arrest and confinement and violation of the protected liberty interest in his good name. The suit also states the two agencies hid evidence, manipulated witness statements and kept Gherity in jail even though they knew he was innocent. The allegations stem from a February 2014 incident in which firefighters were called to the Burnsville condominium where Gherity lived with his then-girlfriend, Joan Isabella.

Firefighters found Isabella sitting at a table with burns on her head, face, neck and legs. Gherity was arrested and charged in April of 2014 in Dakota County District Court with first-degree assault and two counts of first-degree arson. He was held in jail from April 2 until May 30 of that year. The charges against Gherity were dropped on June 13. According to the suit, an intoxicated and medicated Isabella accidentally started the fire when she fell asleep while smoking. On the day he was jailed, Gherity told police there was video evidence of him working the day of the fire at a St. Paul landscaping company. And though police were in possession of the time-stamped tape on April 7, the analysis for authentication by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was not completed until June 12, the day before charges were dropped. Joseph E. Flynn, an attorney representing the city of Burnsville, says, We find the claims to be completely unfounded, and we will be addressing the specific claims with the actual facts in court. The suit seeks in excess of $75,000 in damages, plus court costs. (submitted photo)


Captain Murray Praises Part Timers

Firefighters in full gear can often be seen training outside the Hastings Firehouse. Captain for the Hastings Fire Department Tom Murray says they must practice almost continually to be prepared for whatever emergencies arise.

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While the Hastings Fire Department has full and part-time employees, both are integral to the public safety effort. Hastings Fire Captain Tom Murray talks about how all firefighters coordinate their actions.

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Distracted Driving No Joke

A focus on distracted driving for the state of Minnesota has local law enforcement on the lookout for behaviors that are against current Minnesota law. Statistics showing direct evidence of distracted driving for the last 5 years reported that 328 people died with 1,138 more suffering serious injury. A similar effort last April charged more than 900 drivers with texting and driving violations. Lt. Tiffany Nielsen Schweigart, communications spokesperson for the Minnesota State Patrol, listed several key regulations that may result in a texting while driving charge. Hands free, voice operated systems for making or receiving a phone call is the safest method, however you won't be charged with dialing your phone or for holding it up to your ear. Some states, such as Illinois, do have a zero contact law on their books. Using your vehicle or phone GPS in Minnesota is currently legal as long as you access it verbally. You may be ticketed for entering information in a GPS unit while driving. The same goes for entering text or checking emails while stopped at a red light. If you are behind the wheel in traffic, even if temporarily stopped, you may be ticketed for inattentive operation of a motor vehicle. Distracted driving includes anything that takes your full attention from the business at hand, the safe operation of your vehicle.


Wild Turkey Spring Season Starts Apr 13

The spring turkey season opens on Wednesday and with it, the Minnesota DNR projects an estimated 42, 000 hunters may take to fields and forests in their attempt to take a wild turkey. The season lasts from April 13th thru the last day in May. New regulation have extended the season and the bag limit remains at one bearded turkey., and not all included weekends. The bag limit remains one bearded turkey. Archers will be able to hunt the entire season and in any zone from when the first time period begins on April 13, through the end of the last one on May 31. Hunters must choose between a firearms or archery turkey hunting license. Hunters who dont bag a turkey during their first time period will be able to hunt the last time period using their original license. Hunters who hunt a second time during the last time period will need to hunt in the same zone that they hunted in during their first hunt period. Hunters are reminded that turkeys may not be taken with the aid of an electronic device, including the use of any remote-controlled decoy. However, an electronic hearing aid or other device designed to enhance hearing, electronic sights that self-illuminate but that do not cast rays of light, and rangefinders may be used. They are also cautioned to use care in areas where pets or other animals may be present, to obtain permission from private landowners and the inform them when you plan to hunt on their property.


Severe Weather Awareness Sirens

A weather related story will give residents throughout the state an opportunity to practice their response to a tornado. Severe Weather Awareness week takes place this week and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety announces that two statewide tornado drills will happen on Thursday, April 14 at 1:45 p.m. and again at 6:55 p.m. These outdoor warning sirens are meant to be heard outside. For more information visit the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website.


Minnesota Bill Creating Fireworks

Monday afternoon, the MN House voted 73-56 in favor of HF1089 - a bill that would no longer make certain fireworks illegal in Minnesota.

State Representative Jason Rarick is chief author of the bill. He is from Pine City, and represents district 11B (most of Pine County and a portion of Kanabec County).

This bill expands the list of legal consumer fireworks to include aerial and audible devices; changes the license fee process for consumer fireworks, limits regulations imposed on the sale of sparkling devices and novelties and permits local units of government to prevent the sale and use of aerial and audible devices.

Rep. Rarick says many Minnesotans cross over in to neighboring states to purchase fireworks and by making fireworks legal, Minnesota could possibly gain 5 million dollars annually in sales taxes. The KDWA listening area covers Minnesota and Wisconsin, the latter allowing sales of all types of fireworks just over the river. We will ask local law enforcement what they think of the possible change in an upcoming InDepth program.


Prescott Begins Meter Switch

The City of Prescott announces the beginning of the water meter change out project that will replace the current meters with up to date equipment for water customers. The city has contracted with Hydro Corp, Incorporated to complete the work and it is expected that an accelerated time frame will accomplish the change out in approximately 6 months or less. With cooperation and communication by everyone, Hydro Corp will be able to keep the process flowing smoothly, while keeping Prescott in compliance with Wisconsin DNR regulations. Residents are asked to be aware the first group of notification letters will go out the week of April 14th to schedule an appointment with Hydro Corp to change out your meter. All appointments are handled with Hydro Corp, and they can be contacted online as well at , or by calling Toll Free 1-800-315-4305.

The City notes that not all notifications will be sent at the same time. They ask that residents who receive the letter, read the instructions provided. They also suggest that the earlier you schedule, the more times there will be to choose from.


Historic Novel Author Visits Hastings

A Minnesota born author will be presenting a series of appearances next week including the first to be held on Thursday, April 21st at the Bierstube Restaurant in Hastings. Mary Sharratt, who now lives in England, will read from her new novel The Dark Ladys Mask, which explores the life of the first professional woman poet in Renaissance England. Sharratt has four appearances in our area beginning on April 21st and concluding with an extended date on the 25th in Red Wing in which the Toastmasters club will provide a Digging Deeper writing workshop at Pier 55. Listen for our InDepth conversation with this artist who makes her appearances unique by dressing in Elizabethan attire during the event. The authors website is


Carbon Monoxide Nixes Garage Grilling

The warmer weather has brought more chefs outdoors and the Hastings Fire Department has a reminder about caution in the use of grills and cookers that have been sitting idle. The first is to thoroughly check for any damage to hoses or connections in the use of gas grills. Rodents and bugs can cause damage to gas lines and build nests of leaves and other materials in grills stored outdoors. Leaks in these hoses can create a danger and fire hazarad. Never place grills on unsteady surfaces, locate any cooking source away from flamable materials and don't permit children to be unsupervised in their use. The fire department had two carbon monoxide calls in recent weeks, one was a malfunctioning furnace, and the other was a resident who had placed their grill to use inside their garage. A high level of carbon monoxide cause the home alarm to register a warning and besides the buildup of toxic gas, a warning was given about a fire danger as well.


Washington County Victim Support

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput has issued a reminder that every April, his office celebrates National Crime Victim Rights week as an observance of those who advocate on behalf of those affected by crime. This year the theme, Serving Victims, Building Trust, Restoring Hope highlights the importance of providing needed services at the earliest state of victimization. His office worked with over 1400 victims of crime committed in Washington County last year and April 10-16 is a time to recognize the value of early intervention to address the cycle of violence experienced by too many each year. The Victims of Crime Act passed by Congress in 1984 creates a national fund that is financed by fines and penalties paid by offenders to support services for victims of all types of crime. This fund can also help victims with expenses such as counseling, funeral expenses and lost wages. The office is proud to be an advocate and wants victims to know that they do not have to face the aftermath of a crime alone. (Photo credit:South Washington Co Bulletin)


Dakota County Sheriff Dept Update

The Dakota County Sheriffs Office has announced that the County's Revenue Recapture Program recovered $225,000 in 2015. First established in 2008, the program seeks to recapture revenue from inmates whose incarceration costs have been incurred by Dakota County tax payers. One inmate recently sentenced to prison made his first payment towards his outstanding balance of over $10,000. In its first year, the Dakota County Sheriffs Office recovered approximately $79,000 as a result of the program. To date, the program has collected nearly $1 million of recaptured inmate fees, and is used to keep the expense of running a county jail as low as possible. Congratulations are in order for Dakota County Sheriff's Detectives Blake Pederson and Thomas Jacobson on their promotion to Sergeant. Sergeant Pederson will be assigned to Court Security in June and oversee operations at the three Dakota County Court houses. Sergeant Jacobson will be assigned to the Patrol Division.


Prescott Cracks Down on Drug Dealing

The Prescott Police Department continues its efforts to keep meth dealers out of the city. While the source of the drugs remains elusive and may very well be out of the area, Prescott Police Chief Gary Krutke says they have had some success against the distributors.

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Local Candidates Selected

The Democratic convention , held on April 2nd in South St. Paul decided who would receive the party endorsement for the House seat in 54A and B and also in the Senate in the same district. Cottage Grove City council member Jen Peterson received the endorsement over South St. Paul resident Warren Claflin who said he will support Peterson in her bid for the House Seat. She faces GOP endorsed sitting St. Paul Park Mayor Keith Franke.Don Slaten also received the endorsement and will run against 8 term incumbent GOP Denny McNamara. Dan Schoen , also of Cottage Grove hopes to win the Senate seat however a GOP candidate has not yet been named. An endorsement convention will be held on April 21st at the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Cottage Grove. The district's GOP head, Faye Hatch, stated last week that several potential candidates are in the process of filing and that there will be an endorsement.


City Of Hastings Action This Week

Several topics were acted on by the City of Hastings last week-

The City of Hastings is soliciting bids for remedial soil removal from the interior of the former Hudson Manufacturing Building. A mandatory pre-bid meeting will be held at 10:00am on April 14th to review existing conditions and access at the site located at 200 West 2nd Street in Hastings. Bids are due by 4:00pm on April 25, 2016 and should be submitted to

The Hastings City Council has approved the city's entry into an easement agreement with the state of Minnesota for the city to retain perpetual access rights on the Mn Veterans Home property to place and maintain a recreational trail to be constructed with the Vermillion River Greenway Trail Project. The majority of the trail easement necessary on the MN Veterans Home property was already obtained in conjunction with the Mn Veterans Home Sanitary Sewer Reconstruction project. The new agreement secures the additional easement necessary to complete a portion of the trail that is not integral with the sanitary sewer.

The Hastings City Council has accepted two quotes and granted city staff authority to initiate the 2016 Mowing Services contract with Rubin's Lawncare of Hastings. The contract covers the mowing of large swaths of right-of-way areas that have no directly adjacent property owner assigned this duty, particularly those areas the city is responsible to maintain along state highways. The city has typically needed these services about 10 - 12 times per year. The 2016 city budget includes $10,500 to have this work done. Rubin's Lawncare submitted a quote of $900 per visit.


Prescott DUI Dragnet

With the tourist season right around the corner, the Prescott Police Department is preparing to focus its efforts on DUI enforcement. While alcohol is a big contributor to DUI violations, Prescott Police Chief Gary Krutke says his officers will also be watching closely for other types of driving impairment.

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Nicholson Receives Exceptional Award

KDWA News received the list of 16 members of Dakota County Public Safety departments that received merit awards in their dedication to the work they do. An Exceptional Public Safety member award was given to Kelly Nicholson whose work often provides advocacy for the families who find themselves impacted by crisis or tragedy as the victim of a crime. Nicholson worked with the Mendota Heights Police Department as well as the family of Officer Patrick Scott in the State vs. Brian Fitch murder trial. A traumatic time for all involved was mitigated and helped immensely by Nicholson as she addressed the day to day needs of all involved in the tragic situation. From networking professional services for the family to providing updates and communication with the numerous law enforcement agencies involved, Kelly has also secured grants to help fund the victim Services Programs in the Dakota County Attorney's Office. A member of the Child Protection team, Nicholson has improved public awareness of crime victim's rights and her role as a presenter at training programs helps others become better advocates for themselves. Kelly Nicholson was nominated for the award by Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.


Hastings Grad Dies In St Paul Shooting

A 2011 Hastings High School graduate, 23 year old Chase Passauer, was killed Thursday by a man who reportedly shot him as he worked in the North Star Criminal Defense law office in the Dacotah Building on Selby Avenue in St. Paul . Passauer was employed as a law clerk and graduated from the U of M in 2014. An attorney for the firm, Daniel Adkins,had recently begun representing the suspected gunman, 37 year old Ryan David Petersen,on a charge of an assault of a Woodbury police officer during a traffic stop for DWI. Peterson was said to have fled the area, however, Ramsey County Police were alerted to his whereabouts about 9 pm on Thursday night. Officials then attempted to stop the vehicle that he was driving in Washington County north of Stillwater on Highway 95. An 11 mile chase that ended near Stillwater resulted in officers from the Minnesota State Police , Washington County Sheriff Department and Stillwater Police finally halting the vehicle and taking Petersen into custody just after midnight. No details have yet been released on funeral services for Passauer, whose family still resides in Hastings.


Legacy Awards At Regina

Regina Hospital has recognized three exceptional employees for their service with their annual Legacy Awards. Every year, Regina Hospital and Regina Senior Living invite nominations for the most prestigious employee awards, which are named in honor of three founding members of the Hastings medical campus; Fr. Dunne, Dr. Just and Sr. Tabitha. This years awards were presented in a celebration March 31. Dr. Melody McKenzie, family medicine doctor with a special interest in OB/GYN at Allina Health Hastings First Street Clinic received the Dr. Just provider award; Michelle Radtke, patient care manager at Regina Hospital was given the Sr. Tabitha leadership award; and Maria Reis, development officer for Regina Foundation was presented with the Fr. Dunne healing presence award. There were 19 nominees for the 2016 awards, highlighting employees from across the Regina campus. Some employees received multiple nominations for the awards, which are considered the highest honor that can be achieved by a Regina member of staff. (submitted photo)


Prescott Police Blotter

In news from the Prescott Police Department:

Prescott police have once again arrested methamphetamine dealers operating out of the same former school bus garage where they arrested two men with large amounts of the drug and stolen property last month. Prescott Police Chief Gary Krutke says he was a little surprised the criminals would underestimate his department and return to the same location.

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With drug-related crimes on the rise, The Prescott Police Department has been stretched thin also trying to deal with other types of crime. Prescott Police Chief Gary Krutke says he'll be assigning some officers to specialize in certain crimes.

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   Chief Krutke says drug dealing often spawns other types of crime.

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ArtSpace Resolutions

The Hastings City Council has approved a series of resolutions to advance construction on the ArtSpace Lofts development. Hastings Community Development Director John Hinzman presented the resolutions to the council.

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Hootenany 7 Ready to Fly

The Hastings musicians that started it all have announced that the Hootenany 7 schedule is now complete and the four venues that will host a half dozen hours of great local music welcomes everyone to come to Hastings!.HOOTENANY VII - featuring 35+ acts with more than 90 musicians will take place from 6PM until Midnight on April 23rd. The goal is to raise funds for Hastings Middle School Music programs. Locations for the night of music are The Busted Nut - Onion Grille - 2nd Street Depot and Hastings Arts Center. Although the event is FREE to attend, the event coordinators would appreciate donations at the door for each venue. Additions to the event this year include a snack bar, Tshirt Hub and Merch tables, a raffle and the All Age Open Mic at the Hastings Arts Center from 7 to 11 PM. Music at the other venues vary from a start time between 7 and 8 pm. The event venues welcome Ages 21 and above after 11PM.


Dakota County Sheriff Announces Awards

Two members of the Dakota County Sheriffs department were recognized for their service from the Dakota County Police Chief Association .The group held its annual event on April 7th to recognize the work done in the line of duty by several public safety employees who have done extraordinary work. KDWA will feature the stories behind these awards beginning with Captain Rick Schroeder. A member of the Dakota County Sheriffs department, Captain Schroeder received the Meritorious Service Award for his pivotal role while assisting with the Anarae Schunk Homicide Investigation. He was nominated for playing a pivotal role in the investigation of the murder of the Burnsville woman in 2013. Schroeder volunteered countless hours in that case, including conducting interviews and viewing surveillance videos which resulted in the conviction of Shavelle Chavez-Nelson and Ashley Conrade. The accommodation was given due to excellent work by Captain Schroeder and others on that team. KDWA will feature several of the stories behind the Associations awards coming up on future broadcasts.

We continue with the results of the Dakota County Police Chief Association Awards held on April 7th with Deputy Matt Schepers, a member of the Dakota County Sheriff department. Schepers received the Exceptional Officer Award for his tenacity and diligence in the area of fugitive apprehension. In 2015, Matt arrested 33 dangerous and wanted persons as well as 2 fugitives from the Dakota County "Top Ten Most Wanted" list. Additionally, Matt solely developed leads that led to the arrest of 6 fugitives wanted by the Federal Marshals Fugitive Task Force. His skills of observation and investigation has resulted in an assignment to train other officers in the field which gives invaluable experience to those who are honing their skills in a variety of departments throughout the county. (photo courtesy of the Dakota County Sheriff Department)


Dakota County Soil And Water Conservation Filing

Individuals that have an interest in natural resources may consider filing to be considered as a candidate to serve on the Dakota County Soil and Water conservation district board. Each of the 5 divided segments of the county has a supervisor who is elected to a 4 year term. Hastings is included in District 1 along with nearby townships such as Vermillion, Hampton as well as the cities of Miesville, Roseville and New Trier. Each of the other 4 districts will also have a vacancy in their board that will be decided with the November 8th election. There are 90 districts in the state with a varied concentration of priorities dependent upon local needs. A supervisor is compensated for time spent at the monthly meeting which is devoted to discussion of projects, grants and coordination with state and federal agencies. Anyone 21 or older who would like to be considered for one of 5 open positions, should view the online information at, the website, or contact the SWCD office 651-480-7777. There is a 20 dollar filing fee and the filing period begins May 17th and concludes May 31st.


Hastings Police Report

Reports from the Hastings Police Blotter: On March 22nd at around 4:15 p.m., police responded to the 200 block of General Sieben Dr. on a marijuana complaint. After investigating, 58-year-old Thomas John Fuchs of Hastings was cited for possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

On March 23 at approximately 12:40 a.m., officers were called to the 100 block of Duckwood Dr. regarding a domestic dispute. At the scene police were able to mediate the domestic situation. 19-year-old Colt Wilson Flacksbarth of Robbinsdale was cited for consumption of alcohol as a minor. Also on March 23 at 1:45 p.m., Hastings police responded to the 1700 block of S. Frontage Rd. regarding a potential theft. After investigating, 38-year-old Darnell Dion Hamilton was arrested for an active Ramsey County warrant and incurred the new charges of intent to escape registration tax, driving after revocation, expired registration and unauthorized use of a parking certificate for the physically handicapped.

On March 26 at 2:20 p.m., officers responded to the 1700 N. Frontage Rd. on the report of a shoplifter. The male suspect fled in car. Police pursued the car and stopped it a few miles away. The suspect abandoned his car and ran into a field where he was apprehended by police officers. 41-year-old Bradley Gerald Rietmann was arrested for theft and fleeing police.


Prescott Election Results

While most local candidates ran unopposed, there were still long lines at polling places on Tuesday as over a thousand Prescott residents turned out to vote in Wisconsin's spring election. Prescott City Administrator Jayne Brand has the city's vote totals.

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Dakota County Health Achievement Awards

The Dakota County Board of Commissioners presented Public Health Achievement Awards to three recipients at its Board meeting on Tuesday as part of National Public Health Week. This years recipients are Trudy Matthys, a Farmington resident who volunteers at Prince of Peace Church in Burnsville; Nickie Carrigan who leads Fitness: The Warehouse, runs a studio that reaches out to Rosemount residents; and in the youth division, the youth of Dakota County 4-H Youth Teaching Youth Mentoring Program were honored for their work with students in the Farmington schools. The Dakota County 4-H Youth Teaching Youth Mentoring Program was recognized for their work with students in five elementary and two middle schools in Farmington. The program trains high school students to provide academic and social support to younger students. The Dakota County Board established the Public Health Achievement Awards in 2000 to recognize and honor the contributions of Dakota County residents who devote their time, energy and talents to creating a healthy future for their fellow county residents.


RFR Phase 3 Procedes at Higher Cost

The Hastings City Council has passed a resolution awarding the construction contract for Riverfront Renaissance Phase 3 improvements. Hastings Public Works Director Nick Egger presented the winning bid to the council.

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Egger responded to council member Tony Alongi who played devil's advocate by asking why the city couldn't wait for a lower bid.

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City Hall Seeks Historic Assessment

The City of Hastings has requested proposals to have an Evaluation done of the Historic Hastings City Hall and the attached Annex building. The work to be done will involve a structural analysis, exterior envelope assessment and testing for historical correctness. The original building was designed in 1871 by A.M.Radcliff and last renovated in 1992.

As the second oldest surviving courthouse in the state of Minnesota, the City is sensitive to the buildings historic significance. The cost for this assessment will be paid from budgeted funding. The next opportunity for prospective bidders to view the site will be Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. Please contact Kurt Stoudt, Facilities Manager, to schedule a building tour. 651-755-6046 or . All submissions must be delivered in a sealed envelope to Hastings City Hall by May 31, 2016 at 4:30pm.


United Way of Hastings Announce Grants

The United Way of Hastings held a meeting on Friday, April 1st to recognize the organizations that received the 2016 financial grants. Representatives from the 19 selected by the UWH were asked to describe just how the funding will be used to provide opportunities in a wide variety of programs and projects.

Executive Director, Mari Mellick states that the United Way of Hastings continues to be at the table identifying the needs in the community and can bring groups together to maximize their impact. The collaboration element is a strength the UWH is proud to foster, especially when donation levels used to fund these grants were down in 2015.

impact in the community. The event announced the distribution of the grants to the Funded Partner Agencies and a total of 95,000 allowed the 19 groups selected to continue their important work.

Mellick also thanks the many community minded contributors and the business and youth community that made it a priority to help with the 2015 campaign because the support they give is a principal reason for the success of this small but mighty local community chest. The recipients of the grants are listed below:

360 Communities: Lewis House ;360 Communities: Partners for Success Program ;Black Dirt Theater: Push Play Summer Childrens Program ;Boy Scouts, Northern Star Council ;Community Education: Disability Program ;Community Education: Early Childhood Scholarships ;DARTS: Senior Citizen Transportation, Home Services, School Buddy Program ;Friends of the Mississippi River: Stewardship in Hastings ;Hastings Family Service: Social Work and Crisis Center ;Hastings High School: Field Biology Hastings High School and Hastings Middle School: Special Friends Vocational Training; Hastings Middle School: Opportunities After School Improving Success (OASIS) Hastings Middle School: Positive Behavior ;Hastings Middle School: Summer Wedge ;Hastings Prescott Area Arts Council: Youth Scholarships ;Hastings Senior Center: Senior Citizen Transportation ;Hastings YMCA: Youth Outreach ;Legal Assistance of Dakota County: Family Law Legal Help ;ProAct: Employment Opportunities for Those with Disabilities.


Night At The Jazz Club

The Hastings High School announces a special event, A Night at the Jazz Club, which will take place at the Hastings Arts Center, this Saturday evening, April 9th. A pair of shows will feature the 11 voice Vocal Jazz directed by Kathleen Hanson and the Hastings HS Jazz instrumental group led by Jim Jacobsen. Tickets are now available for the shows with the first at 6PM and the second at 8:30. Coffee and dessert are included in this celebration of National Jazz Month.

   (photo by Mary Kelly Studios)

Afton Mayor Looks to Future

The city of Afton is looking towards a very busy spring with several changes coming to infrastructure that will improve and update services for the community of just under 3,000. The City Council has approved an Internet expansion that will connect most residents with fiber to wire junction boxes set to be installed beginning in June. High Speed Internet has been debated in the area for several years, and the availability of a federal program called the Connect America Fund, provides a significant financial boost to the project with the remaining funding split between the city and CenturyLink. The project should last the summer, with completion slated for September. Mayor Richard Bend expressed his enthusiasm at the progress that is on the horizon for the city.

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The dig is in the area of the new Afton Waste water facility. We asked what will happen should artifacts or human remains be discovered

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The city has called upon the resources of Native Tribes to decide on how to proceed should that be the case.

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(Afton Mayor Richard Bend, pictured)


Riedell Skates Story On InDepth

On one of KDWA's Community InDepth programs, I had a chance to get to know the story behind a RedWing company that is responsible for a well known brand of handcrafted footwear. Four generations of our guest's family have made Riedell Roller and Ice Skates a worldwide name. The International Representative Clint Riegelman was my guest for an impromtu interview about this well known company and I found out why this Minnesota brand is branching out!


HFD Offers Ride Alongs

The Hastings Fire Department does its part to help train the next generation of public safety workers. Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt says they are available to give students some first hand experience in emergency response.

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Wisconsin Votes Tuesday

Wisconsin Elections Today-After several weeks of state primaries, straw polls, debates and town gatherings, it will be Wisconsin's turn to select from a long list of candidates at the national, state and local level. Polls will open at 7 am and close at 8pm. Voters must provide identification to receive a ballot. For those who have not registered, you must also produce proof of residence. A state issued drivers license, utility bill or pay stub qualify for this requirment. From the National race where the winner takes the majority share of delegates to the national convention in August to state contests in which the next Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice will be chosen from a field of two, Incumbent Bradley and challenger Kloppenburg. A circuit judge will also be chosen, although Joseph Boles has no challenger in that race, similar to the District 3 Court of Appeals Judge race where Thomas Hruz is uncontested. Locally there is but one challenged race as two candidates will be chosen from a filed of three for the Oak Grove Township board. The Prescott School Board has a total of three who will vie for as many open seats. Two serving members of the Prescott City council and Mayor David Hovel also face no opposition in their bid to continue in their roles. We will feature the results of these races in our continuing coverage later this week.



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