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    Heritage Preservation Commission to Meet

    The agenda for the Tuesday meeting of the Heritage Preservation Commission meeting to take place in the Volunteer Room at Hastings City Hall at 7pm, reflects just two items to consider, A Public Hearing notice previously posted for consideration of a partial demolition and additions to 209 7th street West was scheduled to be heard at this meeting, however, at the request of the applicant, that public hearing will be rescheduled to allow additional time for making changes to the proposal. Other reports that will be heard is a proposal for a new roof on the garage located at 615 3rd Street West and New Windows for a residence at 700 6th Street West. This is a public meeting. The next will be held on July 17th.

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    Hastings Council Consent Agenda June 18

    Items listed within the consent agenda for the Monday, June 18th Hastings City council includes changes in personnel serving on city commissions. Approval is sought to accept the resignation of Ian Martin from the Heritage Preservation Commission and also to appoint him and Emily Best to the Planning Commission.   Several donations will also be approved and recognized including those from the Janssen Family for a Memorial bench, promotional banners to the Parks Department for Make Music Day, and also for the donation of two planters from the Hastings STAARS program that were gifted to the Fire Department.

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    The Hastings City Council will meet on Monday, June 18th at 7 pm. Included in the consent agenda, are items that will be passed all together, unless a council member or member of the public asks for more discussion or information and has it removed to be included in the administration portion of the meeting. Resolutions will be approved for 2018-2019 Renewal of Liquor and Tobacco Licenses within the city. Approvals are also sought to designate special event status for the Hastings Area Rotary Concert that includes a Gambling Permit for their September 7th event. DuGarel's requests approval for their Rivertown Days Outdoor Music Tent and liquor license amendment for Friday and Saturday night , July 20th and 21st.

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    Hwy 50 At Cnty 81 Detour

    MnDOT has announced that a long term road project will take place beginning on Monday, June 18th in Farmington. Hwy 50 at County Road 81 will close through Wednesday, June 27th. Information on the 6 million dollar project and suggested detours can be found at www.dot.state.mn.us/ The purpose for the project includes addition of right turn lanes, Modification of Intersections at County Roads 80 and 81, renew signage, resurface Hwy 50 between Hwy 3 in Farmington and Hwy 52 in Hampton and ugrade ADA crossings in Hampton at County Road 47 and also at Water Street. The project is anticipated to be completed in August. In other area construction, in Denmark Township, Hwy 95 is closed in both directions from Bailey Rd. to 70th St. through Fri, Sept. 7. Detours for that project is 70th Street to Cty road 19 to Bailey Road.

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    Holes For Hope Helps Veterans

    The Minnesota PGA and its charitable arm, PGA REACH Minnesota, and Treasure Island Resort & Casino are hosting the inaugural 100 Holes for HOPE on Thursday, June 21st, at Mount Frontenac Golf Course. A small group of PGA professionals and veterans will be playing all 100 holes in support of our nations heroes. Two of these veterans, Jeremy Wolfsteller and Martin Caraway, have unique stories and will show what the game of golf has meant to their recovery process while raising funds for other veterans in need. Wolfsteller, who had lifesaving surgery after being injured in combat operations in Iraq in 2005 and was told he may never walk again, said, "After a year at Walter Reed, I continued my physical therapy at Fort Carson. There was a nice golf course on base and golf became my new therapy, both physically and mentally".

    Thanks to his motivation and drive to prove others wrong, he is not only walking, but also playing golf regularly. Wolfstellers playing partner Caraway, who enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1999 and served six years with two deployments in Iraq, has dedicated his professional life to serving veterans, their families and caregivers. Like Wolfsteller, he is also an avid golfer who has reaped the benefits the game offers, saying golf has been instrumental in his transition and recovery. For more information on how to participate or get involved, please visit 100HolesforHOPE.com.

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    DakotaCoReceivesAutismGrant

    Dakota County Commissioner Joe Atkins recently reported that the County was selected for a two-year, $1.2 million grant from the State of Minnesota to assist families with autistic children. According to a press release by Atkins, over 2000 community members were trained and 10 organizations were supported, which, in turn, helped hundreds of people and families. Grant money was used by the County libraries and parks department to form book clubs and Sensory-Friendly Saturdays, and Outdoor Education programming, for individuals with autism and other disabilities. The grant was awarded to Dakota and Ramsey Counties.

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    Prescott Thefts From Vehicles

    Acccording to posts placed on social media Wednesday, June 13th, by the Prescott Police department reports of several car burglaries on Tuesday night. They are attempting to reach anyone who may have witnessed these acts or has information on the suspects who opened unlocked vehicle doors and taking anything they can grab quickly. They're asking anyone who may have seen suspicious activity to report it to the Prescott Police department.   

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    Prepared To Respond

    KDWA recently reported on an annual preparedness drill involving Washington County and the Prairie Island Nuclear Plant. We spoke with Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt to find out what role the Hastings Fire and EMS Department plays on the response team.

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    Newest UWH Board Members

    The United Way of Hastings welcomes Matt Schacht, Melissa Stevens, and Tim Tabery to the Board of Directors. Mari E. Mellick, CAE, Executive Director notes that each new board member brings a set of skills that will complement the Board's work in raising the visibility of the UWH who appreciates the benefit their leadership will add in helping the UWH as it works through Vision Planning in 2018. Matt grew up in Ramsey, MN, graduating from Anoka High School and Anoka-Ramsey Community College. In early 2018, Matt moved to the Hastings area as the new Store Manager at Coborn's Hastings. Melissa moved to Hastings in 2016 and spends her time helping others and connecting with people through her work as Community Outreach Director at Wise Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services. She also provides consultant services to small businesses and entrepreneurs through the business she established, Above the Fray, LLC. Tim has lived in the Hastings area for over 10 years and works for the US Army Corps of Engineers as the Lockmaster at Lock & Dam #3 in Welch, MN. Tim's work also involves being the District Dive Coordinator for the Corps of Engineers. Prior to working as Lockmaster, Tim worked as a child counselor and a juvenile probation officer and would like to help build webs of support for kids in the Hastings area by working with UWH's Helping Kids Succeed initiative. The United Way of Hastings is located in the Heart of Downtown Hastings at 117 East 2nd Street.

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    St Paul Park Well Advisory Response

    The Mayor of St Paul Park, Sandi Dingle, and her municipal team welcomed residents and members of the business community to an open house held Wednesday night, designed to disseminate additional information about a recent announcement concerning the town's wells. A quarterly report recently revealed that levels of PFOA or PFOS chemicals, generate over the years from the 3M manufacturing facility, had reached a number exceeding the health-based guidance values for these substances, at 35 parts per trillion, according to the Department of Health. Members of that Department , the Minnesota Pollution control Agency and the Minnestoa DNR in addition to the city administrator Kevin Walsh and Public works director Jeff Dionisopolous, prepared a 45 minute combined presentation.

    Questions from the public centered on what effect might be expected due to the removal of one more of the city's wells from general use while filtration mitigation is prepared. Those with private wells, also asked about testing inside and outside the areas identified as non-conforming water supplies.

    Residents were informed that Chlorine may be added to water sources but drinking water will be produced at a safe level rate due to blending of 2 well sources. Another question addressed watering for which there are new restrictions, with no lawn watering allowed between the hours of 7am and 8pm. Residents, may , however, water flower beds,gardens, wash vehicles and use children's water toys. Conservation practices in other areas are also encouraged, but , as yet, are not mandated.

    Residents we spoke with following the presentation voiced their concern about impact on property values and health as well as the cost to install whole house filtration systems for additional mitigation. The city administrator told us that plans are already underway for a temporary filtration system they believe would be paid for from the 3M Settlement. A work group that will include citizens and businesses, civic and state representatives, has formed to follow the process of projects that will address the issue of securing confidence in the water supply into the future. Walsh did not know, however, when another public meeting would be held on the subject. Information about the meeting can be found on the city's website, social media and in handouts available at City Hall. Walsh can be reached by calling 651-459-9785.

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    Repairs Set For Hastings City Hall

    The City of Hasting will seek bids from qualified firms to provide repair and reconstruction of the exterior of Hastings City Hall. The project will involve masonry walls, limestone steps, and brickwork currently in need of repair and restoration as well as the installation of heat tape in the gutters and downspouts to prevent damaging ice dams along the roofs. Excavation will also be needed along the foundation which could see the installation of a waterproof foundation process to minimize water seepage into the lower levels of the building. The capital improvement funding requested at the State level was not granted and work must take place to preserve the historic structure that has several issues to address. A pre-bid meeting for all interested parties will take place on June 20th at 2 PM meeting at the south door of City Hall for the exterior overview. Bids for the work, which is detailed on the Quest Construction Data Network Website are due to Justin Fortney at the Hastings City Hall no later than 2 pm on June 28th. The project is #5811126.

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    Council Denies Sidewalk Extension

    During the Prescott City Council meeting on Monday a discussion occurred regarding bars on Broad Street using the sidewalks in front of the establishments for a popular beanbag tossing game. City Administrator Jayne Brand gave a brief overview of the issue and the Citys position on the matter.

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    Brand went on to state that other concerns include pedestrians not being able to use the sidewalks where the games might be ongoing.

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    Coborns Pharmacy Earns Honor

    The Pharmacy Department of Coborns Grocery in Hastings has been named the Coborns Pharmacy of the Year. Pharmacy Manager Troy Anderson credits providing health and other relevant information to the community over the past two years as being an important focus for the pharmacy, and was a factor in winning the award. He also said that using available media outlets to communicate with the public is an important aspect of the Pharmacys community outreach efforts.

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    Hastings Police Log June 12

    Hastings Police report that an accident recently brought officers to the 1300 block of South Frontage Road. According to the Hastings Police Weekly Incidents Report, investigating officers indicated that each of the drivers blamed the other for intentionally causing the collision. Further investigation revealed the drivers, 37-year-old Jesse Mimbach, of Hastings, and 27-year-old John Moeller, of Lake St. Croix, were arguing over a woman at the time of the incident. Both drivers were issued citations for disorderly conduct.

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    From the Dakota County Jail booking report, Dakota County deputies arrested 32-year-old St. Paul resident Andrew Patrick Olson in Hastings on June 11th. Olson faces felony charges of theft and receiving stolen property, and misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana and providing false identification. The report also lists Olson as a fugitive from justice in WI. He is being held without bail as the charges are processed.

    A traffic stop by Rosemount Police resulted in the arrest of 28-year-old Litchfield resident Katie Lynn Virkus on charges of felony 5th degree possession of marijuana, and misdemeanor 5th degree possession of marijuana, and driving on a suspended license. Virkus was booked and released pending the investigation. And, Apple Valley officers arrested 33-year-old South St Paul resident Eric Allen Watt on a felony charge of fraudulent use of a financial transaction card. Watt was also booked and released as the charges are investigated.

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    Pierce Co Accident Injures One

    On Saturday June 9th, at approximately 7AM the Pierce County Sheriffs Office responded to the area of County Trunk F and 742nd Ave in Clifton Township for a single vehicle crash. According to a press release issued by the Shriffs Office, scene investigation determined a 2016 Chevrolet Impala, operated by Makiah Hanson, 21 of Prescott, was traveling southbound on F near 742nd Ave. The vehicle failed to negotiate a left hand curve and entered the ditch causing the vehicle to overturn. Hanson was transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul with undeterminded injuries. The Pierce County Sheriffs Office was assisted on scene by Prescott Police Department, River Falls Fire and River Falls EMS. The crash remains under investigation.

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    Workforce Excellence Nominations

    The Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board (WDB) invites employers to participate in the 3rd Annual 2018 Employers of Excellence Awards program in an effort to recognize the employers in the two-county area that are best at finding and retaining employees, both challenges employers must contend with at this time of low unemployment. The program also provides an overview of employment data, and trends and practices on what employers are doing to maintain an engaged workforce.    The data is compiled into a 20-page report on employment trends and practices in Dakota and Scott counties. Using the data received, the Workforce Development Board will recognize the businesses experiencing the best results in employee retention efforts and providing the best work environments in the area. Additionally, participating employers will receive a confidential report including their individual metrics.

    Mark Lofthus, chair of the Workforce Development Boards Business Services Committee note that the surveys provide valuable benchmark data for them.   A total of 37 different measurements are analyzed with each participating company to receive a personalized report detailing how they compared with other companies in the area and suggestions for improving their work environment. All survey costs are sponsored and winners will be announced Sept. 27 at the 2018 Employers of Excellence Awards Banquet in Burnsville.   Contact Workforce Development Board Director Mark Jacobs at 651-554-5622 for more information or go to http://www.personneldynamics.net/survey.asp, which includes a link to the survey. The program is available this year at no cost to employers. The deadline to apply is July 31. Pictured is the award presented in 2017 to Dakota County for their Workplace Excellence

       

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    Police Chief Pay Hike Approved

    Near the end of the June 11th Prescott City Council meeting, a brief report from the personnel department sought the approval by the council for the pay scale to be increased for the position of Police Chief. The current salary, is $78,000, a figure approved in August of 2017 when Robert Funk was assigned the position of Interim Chief. In the months that followed, the job of Police chief was posted with that figure represented as monies offered, plus benefits. Over the past 4 months, a reported 11 candidates expressed interest in the position and were vetted by the Police Commission.

    Conversation during Monday night's council meeting implied that the job is now scheduled to be reposted with an increase of $7,000 requested to increase a possible offer up to $85,000 for that position in addition to benefits. The council voted to approve that increase. The Police Commission last week announced that a meeting would take place that evening before the council meeting, but it was later removed from the city calendar. The council was also asked to approve the recommendation for a new Police Commissioner, Mark Pierce. That request was approved.

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    Workforce Board Seeks Nominations

    The Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board (WDB) invites employers to participate in the 3rd Annual 2018 Employers of Excellence Awards program in an effort to recognize the employers in the two-county area that are best at finding and retaining employees, both challenges employers must contend with at this time of low unemployment. The program also provides an overview of employment data, and trends and practices on what employers are doing to maintain an engaged workforce.    The data is compiled into a 20-page report on employment trends and practices in Dakota and Scott counties. Using the data received, the Workforce Development Board will recognize the businesses experiencing the best results in employee retention efforts and providing the best work environments in the area. Additionally, participating employers will receive a confidential report including their individual metrics.

    Mark Lofthus, chair of the Workforce Development Boards Business Services Committee note that the surveys provide valuable benchmark data for them.   A total of 37 different measurements are analyzed with each participating company to receive a personalized report detailing how they compared with other companies in the area and suggestions for improving their work environment.

    All survey costs are sponsored and winners will be announced Sept. 27 at the 2018 Employers of Excellence Awards Banquet in Burnsville.   Contact Workforce Development Board Director Mark Jacobs at 651-554-5622 for more information or go to http://www.personneldynamics.net/survey.asp, which includes a link to the survey. The program is available this year at no cost to employers. The deadline to apply is July 31. Pictured is the award presented in 2017 to Dakota County for their Workplace Excellence

       

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    Arrest Made In Biz Break In

    A community contributor reported that a weekend break-in took place at a business in south Hastings over the weekend where an unnamed male, alledgedly forcefully entered a shop in the 3500 block of Cannon Street just after 2:30 am and found an employee at work inside. According to the witness, the employee was able to subdue the male until police arrived on the scene where an arrest was made. Hastings police had no further statement on the incident.

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    Ideas For Growing A Community Garden

    A Prescott native, Ashley Paine, is seeking suggestions, resources and volunteer time to form a new project that hopes to serve the community. Paine, a Winona College student, was a recent guest on In Depth, where we learned about her goal to provide a community garden to several families beginning next spring. The idea, she said, came from her work at the Prescott Food Pantry, noticing how many clients looked forward to adding fresh produce to their food choices. She approached Pantry director Pete French and he was enthusiastic about the prospect. Next came an appearance before the board at Joy Lutheran Church, asking for some vacant land to be utilized for a community garden. A space, approximately 50x50 will be sprayed for weeks this summer, then allowed to sit until next spring before it will be tilled. She had some suggestions on how the community might get involved.

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    Anyone with help to share is invited to call her at the Prescott Food Pantry, 715-262-4143. The Pantry hopes to connect families and individuals that would like to grow their own fresh produce to sign up to be a shareholder next spring. Paine notes that there is no cost involved with hosting a plot and that more details on a timeline will be available soon.

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    Prescott Police Log June 11

    From the Prescott Police Blotter, a call for suspicious activity brought officers to Magee Park on June 4th at 1 in the morning. Officers located 18-year-old Samantha Grace Byrd of Prescott, and 18-year-old Maxwell Edward Winge, of Eagan, who were both in the park after hours. Both individuals were cited for park hour violations. On June 7th officers on patrol located a group of people in Freedom Park after hours. While officers were investigating the group, it was determined that one of the people, 25-year-old River Falls resident Daniel Thomas Petherbridge, was wanted on an active warrant. The officers took Petherbridge into custody. Officers were called to the 400 block of Monroe Street to investigate suspicious activity. The officers made contact with 21-year-old Prescott resident Ryan Troy Knight, and discovered that he was in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Officers arrested Knight and seized the contraband.

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    Dak Co Libraries Receive Donations

    The Dakota County Library system recently announced the acceptance of three monetary donations to libraries in the county. According to a published release, the Wescott Library received a donation of $7,056 from the Friends of the Wescott Library, with $3,100 of that donation earmarked for STEM and Homeschool Science programs through the library. The Friends of the Inver Glen Library made a donation of $4,000 to purchase new book bins for that library, and the Wentworth Library received $1,500 towards the purchase of memory kits.

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    Prescott Police Log June 9

    From the Prescott Police blotter, officers conducted a traffic stop on June 9th near the intersection of Jefferson and Monroe Streets. Officers cited the driver, 46-year-old Minneapolis resident Merritt Aminta Allen for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and driving on an invalid license. Another traffic stop in the 500 block of Monroe Street resulted in a citation issued to 55-year-old Prescott resident Michelle Marie O'Brien for driving on a revoked license. Officers were called to the 600 block of Hilton Street when a new resident in an apartment complex located and old, broken meth pipe. Officers documented the paraphernalia and removed it from the residence. And, a vandalism call brought officers to the 300 block of Lake Street. The investigation revealed that a vehicle was spray-painted. There is no suspect info available and the case remains under investigation.

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    Prescott City Council Preview June 11

    The Prescott City Council meets for regular business on Monday, June 11th at 6:30 PM at Prescott City Hall. After the Consent Agenda items are considered, the Council will hear reports from the various council committees. The Finance Committee will present a resolution for the issuance of general obligation street improvement bonds in the amount of $1.385 million. The Public Works committee will report on the awarding of contracts for the Albert and College Street improvement project, and the License Committee will present a number of recommendations for various license applications. The Council will discuss the salary for the Chief of Police, and the nomination of Mark Pierce to the Police Commission will be considered. The final item on the agenda will be the Court of Appeals decision regarding the lawsuit filed against the City of Prescott by John and Helen Shiely. Once the agenda items are completed the meeting will adjourn.

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    Baseball Field Lease Proposed

    The License Committee of the Prescott City Council met for business on June 4th. One topic of discussion was the leasing of Firehall Field during the summer for Crazy About Baseball events. Event representatives Dallas Eggers and Brady Randolph presented information regarding a survey sent to residents near the field to gauge reaction to the proposal. Event organizers plan to use LED lighting and off-street parking near center field to help alleviate concerns neighbors may have regarding lighting and street access issues. The Committee determined that no games would start after 9:45 PM, Sunday through Thursday, or after 10:45 PM, on Friday and Saturday. Event organizers expressed a desire to sell beer, but only during Pirate games, and only members of Crazy About Baseball would be licensed to handle beer sales. The License Committee recommended that the issue be moved forward to the City Council.

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    Hastings 8th Graders Move Up

    A grand total of 347 8th graders were honored in the gym of the Hastings Middle School early Thursday morning. A video created by Mark Cernohous and Cheryl Fitzgeral-McNelis began the program and showcased a variety of memorable moments that occured during the year to the audience of family, friends and faculty. Principal Mark Zuzek then gave his last welcome and introduction as Hastings Principal, soon to be experiencing his own transition to Superintendent of District 917 beginning in the fall.

    The Student Address was given by student council President Henry Ascheman who used his gift for prose to highlight the accomplishments of a class that has undergone a significant change in the four years at HMS. The Commencement address speaker, chosen by the students, was Kathy Warren who reminded the graduates that freedom is balanced by responsibility and that each possesses the ability to accomplish great things on their next stage, which will be as Freshmen at Hastings High School.

    The top 25 students of the class were then introduced by onetime HMS student , now assistant principal ,Joe Haas. Presenters of the Class, reading each name in alphabetical order were Megan Latch, Ellen Rademacher and Charlie Black who had this to say about the progress made by this class

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    He also addressed the influence of the Positive Behavior Initiative System that has clear, predicatable expectations and sets high standards that students have continued to meet.

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    Summer Construction Updates

    A Weekly assessment continues to be made by the Hastings Public Works Director, Nick Egger on the project that will complete a much needed conversion located in the alley behind the 100 Block of 2nd Avenue East. According to CenterPoint Energy contractors, they have completed the gas main line relocation work on the eastern end of the alley with the new pressure regulation station equipment and structure scheduled to be built later on in the project timeline. Trenching work will extend underground conduits for utility services at the American Legion building and a start of storm sewer reconfiguration work on the eastern end of the alley is underway. Concrete curb and gutter placement will commence on the western half of the alley with Concrete surfacing on infill spots along the rear walls of several buildings. Concrete surfacing will also take place for the area of the electrical transformer and related equipment on the western end of the project.

    Another phase of local construction set to begin Monday, June 11th with the mill and overlay project involving Ramsey St from 3 rd St to 10 th St, Tyler St from 3 rd St to 10th St, Sibley St from 10th St to 14th St, 10th St from Ashland St to Hwy 61, 5th St from Spring St to Hwy 61, and Eddy St from 5th St to the alley south of 5th St .According to the public works department, this project will take approximately 3-4 weeks to complete. Things to look for will be signage and pink paint that will identify where curb and sidewalk will be removed and replaced.

    During this first week of the project, crews will:   Remove dilapidated concrete curb and gutter, and re- pour them, and remove and the concrete pedestrian ramps on the sidewalks. Pedestrians and motorists should take care around these areas keeping an eye out for construction workers and exercise caution by driving slowly for the safety of all. Over on the Western side of Vermillion Street, The contractor has switched most of the properties on 8th Street west of Ashland as well as Walnut Street to the temporary water main in preparation for replacement of the existing water main in 8th Street. Replacement of the sewer main on 8th Street between Forest and Ashland has also been accomplished.

    City personnel have switched all the properties on 8th Street between Ashland and Spring over to the new water main and the water mains on 8 th Street between Forest and Ashland and on Forest Street between 7th and 8th have also been replaced in addition to the fire hydrant at 8th and Forest. Replacement of the water and sewer services on 8th Street between Forest and Ashland is also underway. More information on both areas of construction can be found on the City Website.

       

    Dakota County Arrests June 7

    From the Dakota County Jail booking report, Dakota County deputies arrested 60-year-old Hastings resident Jack Cameron Copeland on June 6th on a felony charge of a predatory offender violating registration requirements. Copeland is being held without bail as the charge is processed. Hastings Police were called to a domestic disturbance on the 7th and arrested 38-year-old Ian Matthew Diegre. Diegre faces one felony and two misdemeanor counts of assault. The charges are still being investigated. Dakota County deputies investigating a report of criminal sexual conduct arrested 19-year-old Thomas Laurie, of Mazeppa. Laurie faces a felony 3rd degree sexual conduct charge, and four felony counts related to possessing pornography on computers. Laurie remains in custody as the charges are processed. And, Hastings Police arrested 24-year-old Jacob Patrick Lundstrom on a misdemeanor count of assault. Lundstrom was booked and released, pending the charge.

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    Wisconsin ATV Rollover claims One

    On Wednesday June 6th, at approximately 6:00 PM, the Pierce County Sheriffs Office was notified of a four-wheeler accident at a rural residence in Pierce County. It was determined that a 68 year old woman was operating a four-wheeled ATV with a chemical sprayer attached to the back rack while spraying weeds on a hillside within a cow pasture. According to a press release by the Sheriffs Office, the ATV lost its footing and rolled down the hillside, coming to rest on top of the woman. She was found by family members. The Pierce County Medical Examiners Office responded to the scene where they pronounced the woman deceased. The Pierce County Sheriffs Office was assisted on scene by the Ellsworth Area Ambulance Service, Ellsworth Medic, the Pierce County Medical Examiner and the WI DNR. The crash is still under investigation by the WI DNR. Names and addresses are being withheld at this time until all family members can be notified.

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    STAARS STudents Shine

    A group of nervous students, proud parents and plenty of supportive educators gathered inside the Tilden Community Center Gymnasium for the Graduation program of STAARS. Students of Transition Age Aquiring Relavent Skills are young adults aged 18-21 who participate in the District extension of cirriculum that focuses on independent living skills, occupational exploration and educational support after grade 12. The Commencement Ceremony included the traditional Pomp and Circumstance music march, the blue and gold tassel move from one side of the motorboard cap to the other and the laughter and more than a few tears that are part of the tradition of transition for Hastings graduates.

    Six of those students- Bobbie Green, Kaleb Schuberg, Leandra Riley, David Rondeau, Stephanie Gritz and Michael Froehling have reached the goals and celebrated the milestone by presenting speaches, honoring classmates, teachers, parents and other family members for the part they played in making the day possible. Teacher Cami Williams gave the Commencement Speech that thanked each student individually for their unique contribution to memories she will cherish always. Teacher Eva Johnson, and PSA's Claudia Balk, Sarah Gronquist and Sandy Strandberg also received thanks for the support they provide for these students that has made this accomplishment possible. DAPE instructor, Shari Mattson received a special tribute in honor of her retirement this year, with many of the students thanking her for motivating them to try new physical activites, such as sports and learning to stay active for a healty life.

    Hastings Superintendent Tim Collins and Director of Special Education Dave haveman took part in the presentation of the diplomas. Haveman spoke to the importance of the STAARS Program

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    Hastings 8th grade Middle School Students will graduate Thursday Morning and the Seniors on Friday evening.

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    Association Agrees on Truck Purchase

    A recent report that followed the Clifton Township Board of Supervisors Meeting this week, indicates approval has been secured to contribute a substantial amount of the cost requested by the Prescott Fire and EMS Association for purchase of one heavy resuce vehicle that will replace one currently in service. The move comes after several weeks of planning by the City of Prescott, which had hoped to replace 2 vehicles. The third community served by the association is Oak Grove who previously approved their percentage of the one truck purchase. Clifton Township is the smallest in population at 2,040, with Oak Grove reporting 2,183 residents who will contribute to the bill to upgrade at least part of the outdated equipment.

    One issue revealed during a recent council meeting is that the older vehicles have a manual transmission which is challenging to learn and not typically a skill incoming fire fighters possess. Functions of the vehicles have been improved as well, with advancement in the design of the trucks offering increased value. A motion made by Clifton supervisors have approved up to $90,000 to be provided to the association for the purchase of the smaller vehicle. The age and condition of the remaining vehicle continues to be a concern but will have to suffice until funding can be found to cover it. Prescott's share of the heavy rescue truck , 56%, comes to $371,887 which the council had previously approved $634,000 more to also purchase their share of the larger truck.

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    Tobacco Issue Tabled

    During the Hastings City Council meeting on June 4th, a resolution to approve a tobacco license for Rudys at the Pines came up before the Council. The resolution sparked a discussion among council members regarding the legal age to purchase and use tobacco. Council member Joe Balsanek brought up the idea of raising the age limit from18 to 21 at the City level.

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    Discussion of the issue revolved around whether or not the issue was a city level or State level issue, and that other communities are moving forward with such ordinances. The issue of raising the age limit was tabled until the next City Council meeting, and the resolution for the tobacco license passed unanimously.

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    Dakota Co Jail Bookings June 5

    From the Dakota County Jail booking report, Hastings Police conducted a traffic stop on the 6th of June that resulted in the arrest of 31-year-old Jerod Joseph Blatz. Blatz faces charges of felony 5th degree possession of marijuana, and misdemeanor counts of driving with a suspended license and not carrying proof of insurance. The charges are still being processed. Hastings officers detained 37-year-old Newport resident Jolene Mae Oldenburg on the 5th on a misdemeanor charge of theft. Oldenburg also faces a felony marijuana possession charge in Hennepin County, and she remains in custody as the charges are processed. And, Dakota County deputies arrested 23-year-old Hastings resident Cody Robert Payette-Teats on the 5th on felony counts of 4th degree possession of drugs, and felony possession of a firearm. Payette-Teats is being held without bail as the charges are investigated.

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    Local Candidates Prepare for Campaign

    The deadline for filing in elections throughout the state came at 5 PM on Tuesday. According to the official tabulation of registered candidates three will participate in race for 2 open seats for Hastings city council. They are Incumbents Lori Braucks and Mark Vaughan with resident Tom Cherney also filing for the position. In the Mayors race, Danna Elling Schultz and Mary Fasbender each filed on the first possible date with Hastings business owner and resident Cody D Jones filling out his registration on June 4th. We spoke with Jones by telephone on Tuesday to find out more about this first time candidate.

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    The primary will take place on August 14th. We will speak to each local candidate to find out their priorities and plans for public service in upcoming In Depth programs.

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    Council Adopts Advance Notice Policy

    At the Hastings City Council on June 4th, an item originally placed on the consent agenda was requested to be pulled by Councilmember Vaughan and discussed at length under the administration portion of the meeting. The Advance Resignation Notice Program, promoted by staff to provide better management of positions that may suffer a protracted gap in replacement of an employee when they leave. The program was formulated to provide a financial incentive, dependent upon the length of advance notice for a departing employee to train incoming staff and provide a more efficient transition.Councilmember Vaughan stated his view that the program was not necessary

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    Discussion continued, that also questioned why staff would have the ability to approve or disapprove the incentive if the opportunity was voluntary and available to all but seasonal and temporary workers and paid on call personnel.A vote was then called with all in favor except Vaughan.

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    Dakota County Calendar Artists

    Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom recently announced the 2018 Anti-Drug/Violence Poster Contest winners. The contest, open to 5th or 6th grade students attending public and private schools throughout Dakota County, allowed students to make their own positive statement in opposition to drug abuse, alcohol and tobacco use and violence. This years contest winners will have their posters depicted in the 30th Anniversary 2019 Dakota County Attorney Anti-Drug/Violence Calendar available mid-September of this year. Winners included students Jon Simon and Erin Nybakke from Randolph Elementary School. Michael Dohmen, McKenna Gergen, and Jonathon Opelt from Randolph Elementary and Keifer Campbell from Kennedy Elementary were among students who earned honorable mentions in the contest. The winners and honorable mention recipients were recognized for their outstanding work at the annual Anti-Drug/Violence Poster Contest Awards Ceremony held May 23, 2018. This was the 30th year that the Dakota County Attorney has sponsored the Anti-Drug/Violence Poster Contest.

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    (Photo Courtesy Dakota County Attorneys Office)

    Wise Expansion Approved

    During the Hastings City Council Meeting on Monday evening, a resolution was requested in regards to a change in the site plan for new construction at Wise Funeral Home, 400 Spring Street. John Hinzman informed the council that the planning commission has approved the change which increases the size of the crematory addition that will be made to the north side of the current building on the 4th Street side. Wise plans to add garage access to that building with plans now to add a 28x33 foot building to that side of the site. The parking lot, planned for the south side was previously approved and is already underway. The resolution was approved. A ground breaking is set for 11 am on Tuesday morning with work to begin immediately. No completion date was provided at this time.

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    City Sets Fee Tiers for Public Use.

    The Hastings City Council met on Monday, June 4th. The first topic listed in the administration portion of the meeting addressed the newly created special events policy. The policy uses a four tiered system to access fees to those seeking to use public property for events. The Administrative committee with Chair Braucks and councilmembers Lund and Folch met several times with staff to weigh the number of requests against the costs to the city for police, public works, overtime, reservists and other resources that are necessary for safety, traffic control, parking and other needs for such events. According to Julie Flaten who presented the recommendation of the committee, there were 15 events of various sizes and scope that took place in Hastings in 2017, each using some city services depending on size of gathering, facilities used, staff needed for access and other criteria. Councilmember Mark Vaughan brought his concern to the discussion

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    He also voiced the concern that the fees are incurred in any case and asked who would decide how some events would have no cost for fees while others would be charged a percentage or full cost. More discussion took place with the policy approved with no additional stipulations or amendments attached.

    Dakota County Jail Report Jun4

    From the Dakota County Jail booking report, a traffic accident in Hastings on June 2nd resulted in the arrest of 20-year-old Apple Valley resident Joseph Frederick Schmidt. Schmidt faces a charge of not notifying police of an accident with an unattended vehicle, 2 charges of driving after suspension, and a charge not carrying proof of insurance. The charges are still being processed. Hastings officers arrested 32-year-old Hastings resident Marlon Keith Tucker on June 3rd on 2 misdemeanor charges of theft. Tucker made his initial appearance for one of the charges, and is being processed for the second charge, which is in Olmstead County. And, South St. Paul Police arrested 31-year-old St. Paul resident Dominique Marie Wegleitner on three felony counts of check forgery and finance card fraud, 2 misdemeanor counts of providing false ID to officers and a felony probation violation. The charges are based on warrants in Scott, Washington, Goodhue, Anoka, Ramsey And Hennepin Counties.

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    New Fire Station Draws Crowd

    On Saturday, Cottage Grove dignitaries gathered at the new Central Fire Station on 80th Street to hold a grand opening ceremony. Mayor Myron Bailey delivered the keynote address, which was followed by a ceremonial hose uncoupling to officially open the station. The new station was open for public tours from 10 AM to noon, with the event well attended. The station was under construction for the last year, and built on the site of the old Station 2 on 80th Street, across from St. Ritas Catholic Church. The cost of the new station was estimated at just under $9 million.

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    (Image Courtesy Cottage Grove Fire and EMS Department)

    Refinery Protocol Questions

    On Thursday, May 31st, State Representative Rick Hansen and Congresswoman Betty McCollum met with officials from the Andeavor refinery in St. Paul Park to discuss ongoing concerns about the use of hydrogen fluoride in refining processes at the facility. According to a newsletter issued by Representative Hansen, he and McCollum reiterated requests that Andeavor use other means to refine oil. According to Hansen, the use of hydrogen fluoride in refineries poses serious risks to refinery workers, their families, and the residents near these refineries. In an interview with MPR, Andeavor stated that "if there's an accident at the plant, staff are trained to secure the hydrogen fluoride and the refinery has emergency plans in place that are updated annually, and staff hold regular drills with first responders from surrounding communities." Hansen stated that he asked for updates and resources from Andeavor to share with his constituents, and his office would share such information as it becomes available.

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    Make Music Musicians Prepare

    Make Music Day in Hastings comes on June 21st. Drummer for Cosmic Fuse, Tim Ellis, urges everyone to come out.

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    Cosmic Fuse is scheduled to perform from 8:30 to 9:30 PM.

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    For more info on Make Music Day, go to hastingsmn.org and search keywords Make Music Day.

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    Bonding To Build Crime Task Force

    In our recent conversation with Senator Karla Bigham, we received her review of some of the funding that was approved in the 2018 bonding bill, begining with her support of the Dakota County Electronics Crimes task force and its eventual move to the newly funded SMART Center, that will be built in Inver Grove Heights.

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    The task force has plenty of momentum and Bigham believes that funding can use the model to have other communities take

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    Police Chase Ends With Capture

    The public safety director reported Friday that Cottage Grove Police received a call of a theft in progress at the Cottage Grove Target, as the suspect pushed a cart full of merchandise out to a waiting vehicle. Just as police arrived,the suspect drove off as the officer attempted to stop the vehicle. A pursiut followed during which a passerby attempted to help and veered towards the suspect vehicle but missed and instead, struck the police squad. Another responding officer engaged the suspect vehicle causing it to spin out with the suspect continuing through several yards and fences in their attempt to escape.

    In the 8600 block of Grenadier Ave, the suspect placed the vehicle in reverse and rammed another squad car, then exited and fled on foot where witnesses were able to provide officers information on the fleeing suspect who entered an unlocked garage where officers of the Washington County SWAT team found him hiding in the trunk of a vehicle located inside the garage.

    After the apprehension, the suspect, who has not yet been identified, was transported to Regions Hospital.Two Cottage Grove police officers were transported to Regions Hospital to be evaluated. Both officers were released later on Friday. The incident is still under investigation and charges are pending. The MN State Patrol is investigating the crash involving the passerby pickup truck that resulted in moderate damage to the rear quarter panel of the Cottage Grove Squad car. There were no other reported injuries and the amount of property damage has not yet been fully accounted.   

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    Senator Assesses Session Results

    A session wrap up interview with Senator Karla Bigham brings her views on the recent acceptance by Governor Dayton on several funding decisions that will have an impact on local workers, local projects and infrastructure. The Senator provided her view on a combined bill structure.

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    Senator Bigham also pointed out a major funding omission in this year's legislation.

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    Hear our entire session wrap up with Senator Karla Bigham coming up on Wednesday. Only on KDWA radio

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    City Meetings and Event Notices

    A rundown of dates on the Hastings city and community meeting calendar include the summer kick off celebration at Levee Park on Tuesday starting at 5:30pm. Also on Tuesday, the Planning Commission Interviews begin at City Hall At 6 PM. On Thursday, 5 pm is the deadline for candidates for city offices to withdraw their names from the primary and regular election ballots. This takes place at City Hall. On Monday, June 11th, the Planning Commision will meet beginning at 7 pm, also at 7 is the city council workshop on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. On Tuesday, June 12th, the Parks and Recreation Commission will meet at City Hall at 6 PM with the HEDRA workshop set to meet at 6:30pm, also at City Hall. HEDRA will hold their regular meeting on Thursday, June 14th at 6:30pm. For a complete list of city commissions and other meetings, see the city website. www.hastingsmn.gov

    The City Council will hold a workshop on Monday, June 18th prior to the City Council meeting to begin work on the 2019 Budget. Members of the finance committee, chaired by Mark Vaughn with Joe Balsanek, and Lori Braucks, the administrative team and staff will begin the process of setting the financial wheels in motion for next year's budget.

       

    Alley Construction Makes Progress

    Public Works Director Nick Egger provided an overview of the last week on the project in the alley behind 2nd street downtown. Centerpoint Energy crews removed the old gas pressure station after it's decommissioning .A new pressure station will be installed and a replacement structure built around it later in the project. Old steel main lines were removed and preparations were made for replacement lines to be installed. The crew worked part of Saturday and continues this week to complete this portion of the work. Several underground conduits items were placed in the large hole excavated on the west end of the project preparing it for the eventual installation of an electrical transformer and electrical metering hub. The western half of the alley has now been backfilled and the Citys contractor (Global Specialty Contractors) put down gravel base material to begin to get it ready for concrete pavement placement that will take place later in the month. Foundations were also installed for two of three new light poles that will be put up along the alley.

    CenterPoint Energy expects their contractor to wrap up underground gas line work before the end of the week. Once this work has been completed, the Citys contractor will resume work on storm sewer piping to help improve drainage of the alley on the eastern end prior to final Concrete installation. A continued reminder is that the alley is still off limits to pedestrian and vehicle traffic until the concrete has been replaced and the surface is once again consistant. Entrance to businesses and residential property must be attained by the 2nd street side of the buildings.

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    Hastings Police Reports

    From the Hastings Police blotter, officers were recently called to the 800 block of Bahls Drive to investigate a report of an erratic vehicle. The officers located the vehicle parked in a parking lot and attempted a field sobriety test on the driver, 62-year-old Hastings resident David John Wigness. Wigness reportedly refused to be tested and was arrested for 2nd degree DWI and 2nd degree refusal to submit to testing. A report of a vehicle off the roadway brought officers to the 1200 block of 8th Street, where an investigation of the incident led to a citation issued to 69-year-old Hastings resident Thomas Norman Bates for no insurance. Officers also noted that an electrical transformer was damaged in the incident. And, officers were called to the 4000 block of Martin Lane for a report of an assault in progress. The suspect reportedly fled the scene before officers arrived and they were able to determine that an assault had occurred. Officers were unable to locate the suspect. This incident remains under investigation.

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    Further incidents include a traffic stop near the intersection of Ravenna Trail and Glendale Road. As a result of the stop, the driver of the vehicle, 38-year-old Hastings resident Amie J. Peterson was cited for driving with a suspended license. Officers conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of 3rd and Vermillion Streets. The encounter resulted in the arrest of Florease Davis, 49, of St. Paul, on an outstanding warrant in Washington County. And, an after-the-fact report of a burglary brought officers to the 1300 block of Sun Valley Drive. The investigation determined that approximately $8,500 worth of jewelry had been stolen from the residence while the owner was not home. There is no suspect information available, and the case remains under investigation.

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    Special Event Policy Formula

    With increasing interest in hosting events in Hastings, City staff were directed to formulate a policy designed to define what and how much the City will contribute in resources to each event organizer who requests to hold a special event on public property. A resolution to adopt a standard special events policy was placed on the Consent Agenda for the June 4th meeting of the Hastings City Council. The policy is framed with four levels of events, from Tier One to Tier Four.

    Tier One events are categorized as events organized by a local group, association, or non-profit organization where attendance is open to all members of the public, admission is free for all or a majority of the event, and an established event of 10 years or more with demonstrated ongoing community value. The levels of events then scale to Tier Four, which are events organized by private businesses or for-profit organizations, where attendance may or may not be open to the public and an admission or participation fee may be charged, and proceeds are intended for the organizing entity or cause.

    Tier Four events generally will have lower impact on public facilities and resources. Defining the level of City support will assist staff in determining when and what to charge for services provided by City staff in association with a special event. The City is aware of balancing the public purpose to support individual event needs with overall resources dedicated to privately run events.

    This policy affords for most Special Event organizers to be charged a discounted amount for City services. Events that have previously been hosted in Hastings will be supported at the level that they have received in past years as long as the request does not increase the amount of City services that need to be provided to ensure a safe event.

    The policy will become effective if it is approved with the consent agenda. Council members and the public have an opportunity to remove it from the consent agenda for further discussion prior to it's acceptance.

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    State Bonding Helps District 200

    Fridays edition of the Tim Collins Show included a recap of bonding the District received for much needed facilities maintenance in the district. Superintendent Collins commented on where the money will be used.

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    According to Collins, in addition to building maintenance, the bond money will be used to replace equipment, such as mowers, janitorial appliances, and other needed items like textbooks. Hear the rebroadcast of the Tim Collins show on Mondays.

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    Hastings Police Call Update

    From the Hastings Police blotter, officers were recently called to the 800 block of Bahls Drive to investigate a report of an erratic vehicle. The officers located the vehicle parked in a parking lot and attempted a field sobriety test on the driver, 62-year-old Hastings resident David John Wigness. Wigness reportedly refused to be tested and was arrested for 2nd degree DWI and 2nd degree refusal to submit to testing.

    A report of a vehicle off the roadway brought officers to the 1200 block of 8th Street, where an investigation of the incident led to a citation issued to 69-year-old Hastings resident Thomas Norman Bates for no insurance. Officers also noted that an electrical transformer was damaged in the incident. And, officers were called to the 4000 block of Martin Lane for a report of an assault in progress. The suspect reportedly fled the scene before officers arrived and they were able to determine that an assault had occurred. Officers were unable to locate the suspect. This incident remains under investigation.

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    Preview Of Hastings Council Agenda June 4

    The Hastings City Council will meet Monday evening at 7 PM. Here is Mayor Paul Hicks with a preview of the agenda   

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    Prescott Plans Community Garden

    The Prescott Food Pantry has partnered with Joy Lutheran Church in Prescott to develop a community garden in town. The garden will be intended primarily for those who are eligible for SNAP benefits, but will also be open to those who do not feel they have adequate access to fresh vegetables or land to do their own gardening. Garden Project Leader Ashley Payne seeks volunteers to help tend the garden, and asks anyone with an interest to contact her at 715-441-6909, or the Prescott Food Pantry. Planting for the garden will begin next Spring.

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    District 200 Construction Begins

    District 200 will complete the school year and soon begin the long list of projects that will take place in several locations this summer and continue through next year. From parking lot resurfacing at the High School and at McAuliffe Elementary to the Chiller replacement for the High school and at Pinecrest to a districtwide security camera installation and improvement to exterior lighting, some adjustments to parking and building usage will take place this summer. The resurfacing of the High School track will also take place before school starts again in the fall. Signs will be posted when areas are under construction and KDWA will have more information on how that may impact programs or access as the work continues

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    Hwy 95 Closure Starts Monday

    According to MnDOT, a a full road closure is scheduled on Hwy 95 between Bailey Rd. and 70th St. in Washington County beginning at 6 a.m., Mon, June 4. The road will close, so crews can continue construction activities as part of the Hwy 95 safety improvement project.To bypass the closed segment of Hwy 95, follow the posted detour of 70th St., Woodbury Dr. to Bailey Rd. Local property access will be maintained during the closure. Crews expect to re-open this section of Hwy 95 by Sept. 7, weather permitting.

    This work is part of a larger safety improvement project on Hwy 95 from Valley Creek Rd. to Hwy 61. Work this year will include road resurfacing, widening shoulders, updating highway drainage system, installing mumble strips, constructing turn lanes and improving sight distance at specific locations. The improvements will enhance safety, provide a smoother road surface and improve traffic flow in the corridor.The next stage of construction on Hwy 95 will occur in 2019-2020 between 70th St. and Hwy 61.

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    History Highlight In Afton

    Some history unveiled Thursday evening at the Afton Historical Museum as a 170 year old original plat of Afton Village was introduced to the public following the discovery of this piece of Washington county history. The plat, which is made of silk and was initialed by the 5 founders of Afton will be placed on display at the museum which houses a number of early village treasures. Stan Ross is the coordinator and encourages residents of the area to be on the lookout for Afton related articles which can add color and details to the story of the area.

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    (Photo provided by Senator Karla Bigham)

       

    Dog Impound Changes

    One item contained on the consent agenda for Monday night's city council meeting is to approve a first reading and order a public hearing for June 18th to consider an ordinance amendment regarding the fee schedule for Dog pick up and impounding of dogs that are found as stray or are deemed dangerous. For several years, Shamrock Animal Hospital in Rosemount was the site to which dogs picked up by Hastings Police would be taken. Any dog found running at large or without a license would be taken to impound for a period of up to 10 days. Shamrock notified the city they have discontinued their impound services and an agreement is proposed to take them to the Goodhue County Humane Society in Red Wing. Terms will also be changed from 10 days to just 5 days of holding before they become property of the impound. The new location will also mean an increase of pick up fees from 60 to 70 dollars with a 20 dollar per day fee charged upon pickup by the owner.

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    HEDRA Seeks Financial Consult

    The City of Hastings is requesting Statements of Proposal for independent financial advisory services for the City and the Housing and Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority for a five-year period beginning September 1st of 2018. Although the City uses financial consulting services to provide expertise in particular areas in support of economic development and finance, this request is mainly for HEDRA to assist with its redevelopment objectives. The request published by the City does state that the financial advisory services for the City Council would generally be minimal and limited to specific bond sales and annual reporting requirements. Proposals will be accepted until 4 PM on Friday, June 22nd.

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    Bonding Bill Local Success

    News affecting the state this week as details emerge from the approval by Governor Mark Dayton of nearly all aspects of the final bonding bill presented to him nearly 2 weeks ago. Representative Tony Jurgens provided his view of the results beginning with the HERO Center.

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    A second law enforcement training facility the SMART center also advanced with funding.

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    Not all local requests, however, made it into this year's bonding bill. We'll hear how other proposals went unfunded by this year's bonding bill in our next newscast.

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    Prescott Fire Truck Update

    At their May 29th meeting, the Prescott City Council discussed the purchase of a new fire truck for the Prescott Area Fire Association, which is the towns of Prescott, Clifton and Oak Grove. The Council learned that Clifton might not be on board with the purchase. Prescott City Administrator Jayne Brand.

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    Not having total support of all three communities is a new situation for the Association.

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    The Association hopes to purchase a single heavy rescue truck in the next year. The cost of that truck is $634,000 with the City of Prescott responsible for $371,887 with them planning to place $100,000 down and finance the remainder with 10 year GO Bonds.

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    Dakota Co Lawyer Charged

    The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced that the Dakota County Attorney's Office recently charged attorney Marcus Anton Jarvis, of Apple Valley, with four tax-related felonies. According to a criminal complaint, Mr. Jarvis, who has operated a law firm in Brooklyn Park since 2005, failed to file Minnesota corporate income tax returns or pay state corporate income taxes on his business for tax years 2012 through 2014, and also allegedly failed to file Minnesota individual income tax returns and failed to pay state individual income taxes for those same years.

    In an interview with department investigators, Mr. Jarvis admitted to not filing Minnesota returns for 2011 through 2014, even though he did file federal individual and corporate returns for those same years, claiming that he forgot to file state returns. After his interview with the department, according to the complaint, Mr. Jarvis filed his state corporate income tax returns for 2011 through 2014, but still has not filed his individual income tax returns and his tax debt remains outstanding. The department estimates that Mr. Jarvis owes over $49,000 in corporate income tax and over $37,000 in individual income tax for 2011 through 2015. If convicted, each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

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