Local News

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

    Principal Johnson Announces Retirement

    Hastings High School Principal Mike Johnson has announced his retirement from ISD 200 after 18 years in leadership at ISD 200. Johnson began his career in education in 1988 as a teacher and coach in Chisago Lakes, moving to South St. Paul, to teach Chemistry and Physics. While at South St. Paul, Johnson became Dean of Students. Johnson's career also includes one year as assistant principal in the Elk River School District. Johnson came to Hastings in 1996, and replaced retiring Principal Rich Clymer in 2004. Johnson's last day as Principal will be February 24th.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    ISD 200 Updates Mask Mandate

    Hastings Public Schools will be updating its COVID-19 operational plans to align with updated guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the isolation and quarantine guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Effective Tuesday, January 18, students who test positive will be required to isolate for a reduced period of five (5) days. Isolation may end after five full days if a student is fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their other symptoms have improved. Students returning to school must wear a face covering for the next five days regardless of the masking status of the building. Students with a masking exemption or inability to wear a face-covering will need to isolate for the entire ten days. Students participating in Minnesota State High School League-sanctioned athletics and activities should continue to follow guidance from the athletic department as the MSHSL establishes protocols. Learn more on the District Website.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Pandemic May Affect School Bus Routes

    ISD 200 reports that the Hastings Bus Company has done an unbelievable job keeping bus routes running for students throughout the Pandemic, however, the spread of COVID may threaten staffing levels to the point that the District may not be able to run all scheduled routes. If a driver is not available to drive your childs bus route, notifications will be directed to affected families via phone call, and when possible, the night before. If the cancellation is due to an absence reported in the morning, notifications will be sent between 5 and 6AM, on Facebook and the District website. Please create a backup plan to provide transportation for your child to get to and from school, should your route be canceled if there are no drivers available. Learn more and sign up for notifications on the ISD 200 website.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    316 Project Still Accepting Feedback

    During the planning process of the recent Highway 316 road improvement project, the Hastings Chamber of Commerce worked with the City of Hastings Public Works Department to connect Hastings industrial park businesses to the MNDOT project team for insight into the plans. The Chamber thanks all the businesses that participated and provided feedback during the process. Since Highway 316 has re-opened, the Chamber continues to work with businesses on feedback for adjustments that would provide easier access to the industrial park, particularly for semi tractor trailers. The team at Solid Staging spearheads this effort and works with the Chamber to provide videos for the MNDOT project team. The Chamber will provide an update on any changes planned for spring. Businesses in Hastings Industrial Park who would like to learn more on this process or provide feedback, please reach out to Chamber President Kristy Barse by email at Kristy@HastingsMN.org.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    HPD Weekly Blotter Review

    The Hastings Police Department logged 41 entries to the Police blotter for the week ending January 10th. Included among the calls was a report of counterfeit currency passed at a business in the 1600 block of Vermillion Street on the 3rd. Investigators were able to identify a suspect, and the case remains under investigation. On January 4th, officers again responded to the 1600 block of Vermillion Street for a suspicious person. Investigation of the call resulted in the arrest of Apple Valley resident Johnathan Ridge on an unrelated charge. Inspection of Ridge's vehicle located suspected narcotics. And a report of a vehicle off the road near the intersection of 160th Street and Pleasant Drive on the 9th resulted in the arrest of 36-year-old Daniel Forrey on a charge of 3rd degree Driving While Intoxicated. All persons listed on the blotter report are presumed innocent until proven guilty by due process of law.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    PPD Weekly Blotter Review

    The Prescott Police Department logged 77 entries to the Police blotter for the week ending January 26th. Included among the calls was an animal welfare report on the 11th for a goose apparently frozen in ice on the river in the area of Front Street. Officers were able to free the goose from the ice with no injury to the goose, who was then reported to be "swimming freely with all the other geese". The remainder of the calls were for routine items, such as speeding and parking violations, routine patrols, and a couple of 9-1-1 misdials.

    Click here for audio

       

    Cannon Falls Council Meeting Preview

    The Cannon Falls City Council meets for business at 6:30 PM, on Tuesday, January 18th. Agenda items include a presentation from the Cannon Falls Senior Center by Bill Hoyt, and deliberation of Final Plan Approval for the Keller-Baartman Apartment Complex on Hickory Drive. There will also be reports from various Council Committees and local non-profit organizations.

    Click here for audio

       

    Rosemount Council Meeting Previews

    The Rosemount City Council has called a special meeting following its regular meeting on Tuesday, January 18th. The Special meeting will be held after the regular meeting to deliberate goal setting preparations for the Council in 2022. The regular meeting, scheduled to start at 7 PM, will receive an annual evaluation of the City Administrator's performance, and review the Capital Improvement Plan. Both meetings are open to the public.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    City Council Meeting Preview

    The Hastings City Council meets Tuesday evening. Mayor Mary Fasbender provides a preview of the agenda.

    Click here for audio

       

    Click here for audio

       

       

    HFD To Receive Equipment Donation

    The Hastings Council is asked to accept a donation from the Hastings Fire Department Relief Association for vehicle highway stabilization kits used for stabilizing vehicles involved in motor vehicle crashes. The value of this equipment donation is $16,423. According to information provided to the Council, the Hastings Fire Department Relief Association is donating this purchased equipment. The equipment consists of kits and struts used for stabilizing vehicles. This new equipment replaces old technology struts currently in use, and places this capability on first-out rescue, and second-out back-up rescue vehicles. A resolution to accept the donation with gratitude was placed on the Consent Agenda for the January 18th meeting of the Hastings City Council.

    Click here for audio

        

    HFD Requests To Apply For Staffing Grant

    The City of Hastings reports that FEMA has announced a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant opportunity. This grant provides funding for hiring new firefighter positions for a period of 36 months. At the end of the grant funding period for these positions, the City assumes full financial responsibility. The Fire Department requests funding for six additional full-time firefighters. Six additional full-time firefighters would increase staffing on each of 24-hour shifts from five to seven, and the increase in full-time staff would allow the department to staff more appropriately for increasing call volume and decreasing paid-on-call staff. This increase in staff will also help decrease overtime to full-time staff. A request to apply for the grant was placed on the Consent Agenda for the January 18th meeting of the Hastings City Council.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Prescott Chamber Dinner Wednesday

    The Prescott Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner will be held on Wednesday evening at Old Ptacek's Event Center, and Chamber Coordinator Casey Johnson commented that it is time for businesses to get back together again.

    Click here for audio

       

    For more information or to reserve a spot, contact the chamber at 715-629-0047.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Heritage Preservation Meeting Preview

    The Hastings Heritage Preservation Commission meets for regular business at 7 PM, on Tuesday, January 18th in the Community Room on the 2nd floor of City Hall. Agenda items include swearing in of new commissioners Krista Peterson, Emily Chouman, and Connie Blasing, electing the Commission Chair and Vice Chair, a Certificate of Approval Review for a structure in the 100 block of 2nd Street East for a New Sign and Awning, and other routine items such as a year-end review, a Newspaper Digitization Project update, and a discussion of Recent Public Outreach and 2022 Communication Goals. The meeting is open to the public.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Prescott Parks Meeting Preview

    The Prescott Parks and Public Property Committee meets for regular business at 5 PM on Monday, January 17th in the Municipal Building, 800 Borner Street. Agenda items include a discussion of the bidding timeline for Phase One of the Riverfront Project, discussion of the boat launch and fishing pier in Phase Two of the Riverfront Project, and a presentation from Graphic House for updated signs for parks in Prescott. The Committee will also discuss boundaries of Magee Park. The meeting is open to the public.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Schaar's Bluff Work to Start Soon

    Dakota County reports that natural area restoration work is set to begin at Spring Lake Park Reserve soon. Almost 60 acres will be restored to prairie, savanna and woodland. Restoration work will include removing invasive species, thinning tree canopies, conducting prescribed burns and planting native grasses and wildflowers. Work will be around the bison range on the west end of the park and around Schaar's Bluff Trailhead on the east end of the park. County staff encourage those traveling to the park to check the Trail Conditions webpage for any trail closures. Thanks for your patience as they work to improve these areas.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Suspect Arrested

    An arrest has been made after the Speedway in Newport was held up on Thursday morning. The suspect in this incident was also thought to be responsible for two additional Speedway robberies in the city of Woodbury over the past week. In two of the three cases a handgun was displayed, and in one it was implied. Deputies and detectives from the Washington County Sheriff's Office and Woodbury Police Fire and EMS worked quickly and diligently, canvassing the area, reviewing surveillance footage, and following up on crime tips from the community. Their hard work paid off, and in less than 24 hours the suspect was located, arrested and brought to the Washington County Jail. Charges against the unnamed suspect are being prepared.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Quality One Fire Update

    Updating a report of the fire earlier in the week at Quality One Woodworking in Hastings, Hastings Fire Chief John Townsend commented on the Department response to the fire.

    Click here for audio

       

    He also indicated that the investigation into the cause has been concluded.

    Click here for audio

       

    According to sources, Quality One suspended operations during repairs to the dust collectors.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Tribute Given For Koop

    With Hastings Family Service Executive Director Chris Koop's retirement quickly approaching, tributes have begun to come in for her service to the Community. David Wilske, Deputy Chief of Hastings Police, and Board member of Hastings Family Service appreciates her directorship.

    Click here for audio

       

    Anyone wishing to leave a note for Koop can send it via the Hastings Family Service website.

    Click here for audio

        

    3 HPD Officers Celebrate Anniversaries

    The Hastings Police Department recently recognized three officers for anniversaries with the Department. Sgt. Sam Beuch, who celebrates his 4-year anniversary, joined the Hastings Police Department in 2018 after serving five years as a police officer in Huron, SD. He has a bachelor's degree in political science from Mankato State University and supervises a night watch patrol team. Sam also supervises the K9 Unit and serves as a firearms instructor. Officer Ryan Haedt is a 2-year veteran, and a Savage, MN native. He graduated from Prior Lake-Savage High School in 2015 and completed his bachelor's degree in law enforcement at the University of Minnesota Mankato in 2019. Haedt worked as a community service officer in Mankato and detention deputy in Blue Earth County prior to coming to Hastings. Ryan currently works the night watch. And Officer Zachary Knochenmus is a Lakeville native celebrating 2 years on the HPD Force. He completed his bachelor's degree at Mankato State and skills at Hibbing in 2019. Knochenmus worked as a campus security officer at MSU and filled in as a community service officer prior to joining HPD. Zach currently works the night watch and serves on the South Metro SWAT.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    (Sgt. Beuch, and Officers Haedt and Knochenmus)

    Coach Offered To Ordination

    On Dec. 10, 2021, Pope Francis named Father Joseph Williams, a priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, as Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-elect Joseph A. Williams will take place Tuesday, January 25, and to allow people from the Tri Parish Community greater ease in experiencing this unique liturgy, there will be a motor coach available to take people to and from the ordination. The motor coach will load at St. Mathias in Hampton at 11 am, leave at 11:15 AM, and arrive at the Cathedral in St. Paul by noon to allow people to find an early seat in what promises to be a full house. The ordination is expected to be from 1 to 3 PM, then a reception to greet the new bishop. The motor coach will then load again at 4:15, leave the Cathedral at 4:30, to arrive back at St. Mathias by 5. If you are interested in attending and want to avoid driving and parking by riding in the motor coach, please contact Katie in the parish office at 651-437-9030 to reserve your seat. The deadline for reservations is Thursday, January 20th. There is no cost for riding the motor coach to the ordination, however, a free will donation is suggested.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Recycling Old Tech

    Did you get a new TV or upgrade your game system? Dakota County reminds residents to use The Recycling Zone drive-thru to drop-off the old technology. Drop off computers, game systems, batteries and more. You don't even need to get out of your car, they'll unload the items for you. Check out hours and accepted items online.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Randolph NHS Makes Donation

    Students of the National Honor Society in Randolph recently presented a donation of over $4,500 to Feed My Starving Children, after a mitten drive at the Randolph Elementary School. The drive was held over a two-week period, and mittens were hung in the hallway, with each mitten representing a $1 donation to the drive.

    Click here for audio

       

    Landscaping For Clean Water Program Returns

    The Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), a local government unit, and a resource for those interested in improving habitat, soil health and water quality, announces a new round of the Landscaping for Clean Water program, which includes free educational classes, a garden design course, garden maintenance workshops, and grants for homeowners that install a raingarden, native garden, or native shoreline planting. The goal of the Landscaping for Clean Water program is to teach residents how to beautify their yard while also protecting local water quality and providing habitat for pollinators. The Landscaping for Clean Water program moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2022 the program will continue to be provided virtually. For Design Course participants, access to online project design tools and one-on-one Zoom appointments with SWCD staff will be provided to assist with project planning. Registration is now open for the 2022 Landscaping for Clean Water program with classes beginning the week of March 7th. The public can learn more and register online at the Dakota SWCD website.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    PFAS Concerns Continue In Woodbury

    On Wednesday, January 12, the Minnesota Department of Health issued a health advisory for levels of PFAS in a Woodbury municipal water production well. The city officially removed the impacted well from service upon receipt of the health advisory from the MDH. Woodbury's drinking water continues to meet state and federal standards and guidelines for PFAS. Of Woodbury's 19 municipal wells, based on the most current data, water from eight wells now have detectable levels of PFAS that on repeatable occasions exceed one or more thresholds established by the MDH. Four wells were returned to service in June 2020 with treatment at the temporary water treatment plant in order to maintain supply levels. Learn more on the City website.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Speedway Robberies Reported In Woodbury, Newport

    Detectives in Woodbury are investigating several recent robberies at local Speedway stores in the area. According to authorities, a Speedway on Lake Road Terrace was robbed twice, once on January 4th, and again on January 9th, and investigators also say the same person likely held up the Speedway store in Newport on Thursday. All three incidents occurred between midnight at 4 AM. A gun was displayed in two of the robberies and implied in the third. Anyone who with information is asked to call Woodbury Police at 651-714-3600, the Washington County Sheriff's Office at 651-430-7850, or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

    Click here for audio

    Walgreens Update

    Updating a story that broke late last week, Deputy Chief David Wilske of the Hastings Police Department commented on Wednesday that there has not been a break in the case of the robbery at Walgreens.

    Click here for audio

       

    In other Department news, Wilske also commented that converter thefts have slowed because of the weather.

    Click here for audio

       

    Suspicious activity should be reported to 9-1-1.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    UWH Grant Applications

    United Way of Hastings has announced that grant requests for general funding in 2022 are being accepted through February 11. Online applications are now being accepted from organizations as part of the UWH's annual grant process. All application materials can be submitted electronically. Jane Neumiller-Bustad, with UWH, recently commented on the process.

    Click here for audio

       

    Organizations requesting a grant must meet the grant guidelines. Details about the grant guidelines, grant process, and grant applications are available at UnitedWayOfHastings.org. For additional information, contact Executive Director Mari Mellick at Mari@UnitedWayOfHastings.org or call (651) 438-3337.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Grube To Present At HAC

    MN artist Sheri Grube will present her collection of works in a solo exhibit at the Hastings Art Center in Hastings from February 1 through March 31. Art is Grube's passion, and it provides an unexpected benefit. The act of painting often reduces the tremors and muscle spasms she experiences due to dystonia, a neurological disorder. Since 2005 Grube has worked as a part-time visual artist and "full-time dystonia awareness advocate". She is partnering with the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) to support research toward a dystonia cure through sales of her work. The Hastings Art Center is located at 216 Fourth Street East, Hastings, MN 55033. Gallery hours: Closed Sunday, Mon-Thurs 3pm-6pm, Fri-Sat closed (opened during events) phone:651-437-4320.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Prescott Chamber Award Winners Named

    Ahead of the Prescott Chamber Annual Dinner scheduled for January 19th, the Chamber of Commerce has named the award winners for the 2021 Chamber Dinner. Congrats to Prescott Elementary teacher Emily Calabrese as the Prescott Educator of the Year and Lisa Nelson Johnson as the Community Member of the Year. Chamber Coordinator Casey Johnson thanked everyone for their nominations, and looks forward to celebrating these two and others at the dinner. Tickets are on sale to attend the dinner and celebration!

    Click here for audio

       

       

    PPD Yearly Review

    The Prescott Police Department reports that it responded to 5,797 calls for service for 2021, which, according to Chief Eric Michaels, is up from 2020 and the highest since 2018. Chief Michaels indicated in a report to the City Council that the calls were fielded during a staff shortage for a portion of the year.

    Click here for audio

       

    Chief Michaels also updated the Council on the K9 Officer program.

    Click here for audio

       

    A community group, the Prescott K9 Project has raised $70,000 towards the hiring and training of a K9 team for the Department.

       

    Prescott Council Approves Event Bonfires

    On Monday evening, the Prescott City Council deliberated a request from Coulee River Trails two have two bonfires during the "Coulee By Candlelight" event, scheduled for Sunday, January 16th. City Administrator Matt Wolf introduced the measure.

    Click here for audio

       

    The motion passed unanimously.

    Click here for audio

       

    Learning Buddies Celebrates 25

    On Wednesday, Dakota County nonprofit DARTS announced the 25th anniversary of its Learning Buddies program, which connects older adult volunteers, many of whom are retired, with students in kindergarten through 8th grade on a weekly basis. The Learning Buddies program is active in nine school districts in Dakota, Scott and Ramsey counties. Facilitated by DARTS and supported primarily by Flint Hills Resources, 130 Learning Buddies volunteers currently serve 200 Minnesota classrooms. Learning Buddies provides an intergenerational approach to learning, with volunteers supporting and enhancing students in the areas of reading, spelling, vocabulary, science and math, along with providing critical social-emotional connections. Founded in 1997, Learning Buddies has grown from an effort at Glacier Hills Elementary School in Eagan to 47 school partnerships. Since it began, this intergenerational program has served more than 75,000 students and logged more than 113,000 volunteer hours. Learn more about the program on the DARTS website.

    Click here for audio

       

    Take A Kid Ice Fishing This Weekend

    Minnesotans can fish without a license this weekend if they take a young angler with them. It's "Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend", January 15th through the 17th. Residents can go ice fishing for free if they are fishing with a child 15 years old or younger. Minnesotans 15 years old or younger don't need fishing licenses any time of the year. It's a great way to spend time together and get kids outdoors, according to DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen.

    Click here for audio

       

    Strommen also reminds Minnesotans that ice conditions can vary widely, and that ice is never 100 percent safe, although four inches of new, clear ice is generally considered OK to walk on. Always check local ice conditions before heading out to a lake or river.

    Click here for audio

       

    HFS Receives Gobble Gait Donation

    On Monday, organizers of Hastings' Gobble Gait race presented Hastings Family Service with a check from funds raised in this year's race. Executive Director of Hastings Family Service, Chris Koop, delivers the news.

    Click here for audio

       

    She also commented that the donation marks her transition out of the Directorship in early February.

    Click here for audio

       

    Learn more about Hastings Family Service on their website.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    (L to R: Brian Radke, Mary Fasbender, Jay Kochendorfer, Amy Sutton and Chris Koop. Submitted photo)

    Overnight Fire Reported at Quality One

    Early Wednesday morning, the Hastings Fire Department was called to a fire at Quality One Woodworking in the Hastings Industrial Park. Initial reports indicate a dust collector caught fire, and semi trailers full of sawdust were also burned. PD on scene reported smoke and flames visible on the north side of the building. Fire crews reported light smoke inside the building and inside a semi trailer connected to the dust collector. Mutual aid was called in from Miesville, Prescott, Cottage Grove and Rosemount. A Miesville Firefighter with experience with semis reportedly pulled the trailers away from the building so crews had more room to work. There were no injuries or fatalities reported, and damage estimates are at $20,000. Crews were on the scene until just after 4 AM.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Hastings Reads 2022 Kicks Off

    Hastings Community Education announces that Hastings Reads, a community reading program that encourages the reading & discussion of books to help us understand the lives & experiences of ourselves & others is up and running for 2022, and this year's theme is "Native American Voices: Celebration and Resilience". Titles included in the program are "Fry Bread: A Native American Story", by Kevin Noble Maillard for elementary grades, "Indian No More", by Charlena Willing McManis with Traci Sorell for middle schoolers, and "FireKeeper's Daughter", by Angeline Bouley, for high schoolers and adults. All three books are available for purchase at $15 each at the Tilden Community Center, 310 River Street, or the Hastings YMCA on Progress Drive. Learn more on the Hastings Reads website.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    PSD Antigen Testing Suspended

    The Prescott School District reports that due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, antigen test kits that are supplied to Accelerated Clinical Labs are delayed until further notice from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Starting Tues, January 11th, all on-site testing, and schools self-collecting have moved to PCR testing only. The District will provide an update when the supply is available again. For questions, contact the district at 715-262-5782.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Accident Leads To Arrest

    On Sunday, January 2nd at approximately 1:15 AM, Hastings Police Officers were dispatched to 1000 block of 14th Street West in Hastings on a report of a single vehicle accident. Investigating officers determined that a vehicle driven by 44-year-old Hastings resident Victor Manuel Garcia Silva left the roadway and struck a tree. As a result of the investigation, Silva Garcia was arrested for 3rd degree driving while intoxicated, and driving without a license.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Freedom Park Update

    The Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center at Freedom Park in Prescott ended the year with $11,605 in donations. Center staff say that it's a cold January right now, but those that have donated have warmed their hearts. In other news from Freedom Park, the visitor center now features high quality sound throughout the building and zone-based microphones that will enhance public gatherings. This is a first feature in a multi-year plan to refresh the building in order to make it friendlier to visitors and more accessible to the community. The sound system was donated in memory of Gary L. Dunn, former mayor of Prescott. Freedom Park staff are grateful for his family and especially his wife Sheila Dunn for their generosity in supporting Freedom Park.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    School Bus Routes Suspended In Cottage Grove

    Three bus routes for Cottage Grove Middle School are listed among a total of 19 school bus routes canceled for the rest of this week by the South Washington County School District. Routes "39 Lighthouse", "45 Ant", and "60 Cow" were canceled due to a shortage of healthy drivers. District officials are now urging parents to create a backup plan to get their students to or from school if there are bus-route cancellations. Parents should also make sure their children are dressed warmly for the winter weather in case bus routes are delayed. Families will be notified of delays and cancellations by phone or text. Parents can call 855-502-7867 to sign up for notification calls from the district or send "START 833TXT" to 23177 to receive text message alerts.   

    Click here for audio

    Farmington Schools Revert To Flexible Learning

    The Farmington school district has announced the District is switching to "flexible learning" for the rest of the week of January 10th, due to significant staff and student absences for COVID. With flexible learning, students do not report to school in person and do their assignments online. Grades 6-12 start flexible learning on Wednesday, January 12th, while all grades will be in flexible learning on Thursday and Friday. The district does not have school on Monday, Jan. 17 or Tuesday, Jan. 18, and expect to return to in person learning on Wednesday, Jan. 19. More information is available on the District website.

    Click here for audio

       

    Rise Up Recovery MN Prepares To Open

    Rise Up Recovery MN, in their new office at 507 Vermillion Street, is putting final touches on the space they will use as a place for advocacy and assistance for those in recovery from addictions. Tiffany Neuharth, who, with her husband Chad, oversees the operation, provides an update on the progress.

    Click here for audio

       

    The will also host an open house before opening.

    Click here for audio

       

    Learn more at RiseUpRecoveryMN.com.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Two Celebrate City Anniversaries

    The City of Hastings recently recognized two city staff members for 15 years of service to the City. Kathy Belisle began full-time employment with the City of Hastings in January 2007. Her many duties include, but are not limited to, backup to office manager and receptionist, processing police reports, maintaining case files, disseminating cases and case related evidence to court, city attorney and county attorney for charging, processing gun permit applications, city license background checks, and a never-ending stream of data requests. Connie Lang is an accountant in the Finance department. Connie handles the important task of paying bills as the Accounts Payable accountant. In addition to processing payments and setting up vendors in AP, Connie does numerous reconciliations, including various insurance policies and cash receipting.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    2022 Infrastructure Project Info To Be Published

    The Engineering Department of the City of Hastings is making final preparations to begin the public outreach and input process for the 2022 Neighborhood Infrastructure Improvements, during the week of January 10th. Due to COVID-19 precautions, this process will be primarily conducted virtually through a series of zoom meetings, online resources and neighborhood mailings. Soon, residents will receive a mailing directing them to a video presentation which will provide a general overview of the project along with additional resources posted to the City of Hastings 2022 Infrastructure Project Webpage. Following the viewing of this presentation, residents will be encouraged to schedule a 1-on-1 meeting with engineering staff in the coming weeks to walk through any remaining comments or questions. Learn more about the 2022 Project on the City website.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    HPD Welcomes 3 New Members

    The Hastings Police Department (HPD) is pleased to announce that Stephanie Taylor, Georgeann Freeman and Matthew Green have accepted formal job offers with the Police Department. Taylor was selected from over 160 applicants to serve as police receptionist. Taylor resides in Eagan with her two sons. She was formerly a 911 operator for the U of M. Freeman has been hired as a police officer. She is a Hastings resident and currently works as a crime prevention specialist with the Savage Police Department. She was also a former HPD police reservist. And Green has been hired as a police officer. He currently works as a public safety officer/interim Sgt. for the University of St. Thomas. In 2020 he completed his law enforcement certificate from Century College and finished his skills at Hennepin Technical College in 2021. All three started their positions on Monday, January 10th.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    2022 State Of City Address To Be Virtual

    The City of Hastings has announced that due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, the 2022 State of the City Address will be pre-recorded by Hastings Community Television (HCTV), rather than held in person, as was previously announced. The 2022 State of the City address is currently scheduled to be posted for viewing on HCTV's YouTube Channel on Wednesday, February 2. Watch the City website and social media for details. The address will feature an overview of the past year from Mayor Mary Fasbender, as well as updates and plans for 2022 from the Citys management team.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    HFS Expansion Begins

    Hastings Family Service has chosen Stotko Speedling Construction to renovate the retail space adjacent to their current location as plans to expand HFS continue. According to a recent report, the Board of HFS reviewed several bids for the work, and the project is scheduled to begin immediately. There is not a projected completion date at this time, but HFS will provide updates to the project.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    PPD Weekly Blotter Report

    The Prescott Police Department logged 53 entries to the police blotter for the week ending January 9th, including a reported crash on the Highway 10 Bridge at 9:45 AM, on January 2nd. According to the report, there were no injuries or citations issued. The Department received a report of railroad crossing arms at Kinnickinnic and N Front Streets were inoperative on January 3rd. The Department forwarded the information to Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad for inspection and repair. The remainder of the calls were of routine nature for parking violations, minor speeding tickets and 9-1-1 misdials, among other calls.

    Click here for audio

       

    Jones Named Prescott Kiwanis Student of the Week

    The Prescott High School Counseling Office reports that the Prescott Kiwanis Student of the Week is Sophomore Nina Jones. According to the nomination submitted by Math teacher Kathy Kinneman, Nina was an exemplary student in Kinneman's Algebra 2 class during the first trimester. She always came to class prepared and with a smile on her face. She was willing to participate in class and ask higher order thinking questions that enabled her to dig deeper into the content. Nina was also willing to help other students that were struggling and share her knowledge with them. Nina was a joy to have in class and has a very bright future in whatever she might choose to pursue.

    Click here for audio

       

    2021 Lock #2 Usage Report Issued

    The St. Paul District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its 2021 navigation statistics for the Upper Mississippi River on Jan. 10. During the 2021 season, Corps staff supported 1,359 commercial navigation lockages at Lock and Dam 2, which was below the 10-year average of 1,421 lockages. The 2021 lockages supported over 7,000,000 tons, or approximately 4,500 barges, of commodities shipped by the navigation industry. In addition to the commercial lockages, Corps staff locked 2,622 recreation vessels during 1,330 lockages. To minimize lockages, the Corps prefers to include multiple recreation vessels during a single lockage. There were an additional 10 lockages from various government agencies including the Corps. The 2021 navigation season unofficially ended Nov. 28, after the Motor Vessel Jonathon Erickson departed St. Paul. The 2021 navigation season started March 19, when the Motor Vessel R. Clayton McWhorter locked through Lock and Dam 2, en route to St. Paul. Navigation statistics fluctuate from year to year, depending on the weather, river flows and the length of the navigation season.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Buford Sentenced

    Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena announced that Steven David Buford, age 22 of West St. Paul, was sentenced on January 7th by Judge Michael Mayer to 380 months in prison in connection with a shooting incident that occurred on September 4, 2020, in West St. Paul. This incident resulted in the death of Lauren Summer Koffi-n'guessan, age 22 of West St. Paul. Buford pled guilty November 9, 2021, to one count each of Murder in the Second Degree (With Intent) and Attempted Aggravated Robbery in the First Degree. Buford will also serve 54 months concurrently for the Robbery. Keena thanked Criminal Division Head Cheri Townsend and Assistant County Attorney Caitlyn Prokopowicz for their efforts in prosecuting the case. Keena praised the West St. Paul Police Department for their investigation into this tragic death, as well as the Inver Grove Heights Police Department, Mendota Heights Police Department, the South St. Paul Police Department, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension who assisted in this case.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    K9 Scout Joins CGPD

    The Cottage Grove Police Department recently reported that Scout, a 15-month-old Belgian Malinois dog, from Poland, has joined the Department as the newest K-9. Officer Brandyn Graff is Scouts handler, and Officer Graff and Scout have begun their initial bonding period and will be attending the St Paul Police K-9 Academy from February through May. Once Scout finishes school, he will specialize in tracking/apprehension and narcotics sniffing. The cost to bring Scout on board was absorbed through donations and grants. Sources include AKC Reunite and United States Police Canine Association grants totaling $7,500, a Cottage Grove Public Safety Board donation of $13,900, and ongoing yearly donations for the K-9 program from Panamint, formerly "Cottage Grove Cogeneration". Scout joins K-9 Gunnar on the force, who will likely retire in the next few years.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Prescott City Council Meeting Preview

    The Prescott City Council meets Monday evening. City Administrator Matt Wolf provides a preview of the agenda.

    Click here for audio

       

    Click here for audio

       

       

    HHS Show Choir Preview

    The Hastings High School Show Choir Preview Night is scheduled for 7 PM on Tuesday, January 11th at the HHS Auditorium and will feature the first look at the two competition show choirs, Riverside Company and Dynamic Edition. Tickets can be purchased at the front desk of the High School on Monday and Tuesday from 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door for purchase.

    Click here for audio

       

       

    Open House for New Water Treatment Plant Held

    As previously reported by KDWA Radio, plans are being developed to relocate the Hastings Waste Water Treatment plant away from its current location in downtown Hastings. Metropolitan Council member Wendy Wulff recently commented on the plans at a virtual open house.

    Click here for audio

       

    Prior to construction of the new plant in 2024 through 2026, a modest renewal of the existing plant, to cost an estimated $2.5 million, will be completed under a separate project to provide for continued reliable service until the new plant can be fully commissioned. Total cost for the project is estimated at $165,607,000 and is anticipated to be completed by 2027.

    Click here for audio

       

    Prescott Budget Focuses on Several Areas

    The City of Prescott reports that the City continues to work towards providing quality service to residents, commercial and industrial properties. In 2021 the City has seen the largest new home growth in the community since 2003-2004. With over 40 new home permits through the development of the Palmetto and Great Rivers subdivisions more people are calling Prescott home. With that rise is the need for increased services to continue to make the City of Prescott a great place to visit and call home. The new 2022 budget focuses on adding more money to park improvements, a new K9 Officer, led by the community effort of the Prescott K9 Foundation fundraising, a new Planner to help keep up with the growth in the community and a Library Programmer to continue to improve the great services to the children in the community. There is a lot happening around Prescott and staff continue to put emphasis on making Prescott a great place to live. The full breakdown of the 2022 City Budget can be found on the City website.

    Click here for audio

       

    DARTS Needs "Snow Angels"

    DARTS, a nonprofit serving seniors and their families in and around Dakota County, is looking for volunteers this winter for its annual Snow Angels program to help shovel driveways and walkways for seniors in Dakota County. Snow Angel volunteers shovel for a senior every snowfall of 2 inches or more, helping seniors stay safe for the winter and helping them stay in the home of their choice for longer. To sign up or learn more about becoming a Snow Angel volunteer, contact DARTS at Volunteer@Darts1.org, or call 651-455-1560 and ask for Angela.

    Click here for audio

       

    Orput Announces Retirement

    After 40 years in public service, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput has announced that he will not be seeking re-election when his term expires at the end of 2022. Orput was first elected as Washington County Attorney in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 and 2018. Prior to becoming county attorney, he served as an assistant Hennepin County attorney in the violent crimes division of the office. He has also served as general counsel to the Minnesota Department of Corrections and as Deputy Attorney General in charge of the public protection section of the Minnesota Attorney General's Office. In 2016, he was appointed by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to serve on the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission where he served through 2020. He's also vice president of the National District Attorneys Association and serves as legal counsel to the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association. Orput commented that he will leave office with a deep gratitude for the opportunity to serve, the trust the public has placed in him, and the people who have helped him along the way. Orput said he's proud of the outstanding team of prosecutors in the county attorney's office, adding that the office will remain in "exceptionally capable hands". His last day as county attorney will be December 31.

    Click here for audio

       

    Archdiocese Receives Grant To Assist Aging

    A new round of state grants will support older Minnesotans to maintain their health, independence and community involvement while living in their own homes. The Minnesota Department of Human Services will distribute almost $4 million in Live Well at Home grants in 2022. Funding will go to 42 organizations across the state, including Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, which will receive $324,081 to help homeless, isolated, low-income older adults move into stable housing. Through intensive case management, the "Homeless Elders" Program offers access to supportive services and resources to enhance quality of life and preserve dignity and autonomy. Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead stated that the goal of the grant program is to empower aging Minnesotans to stay in their homes longer, adding that being able to live well at home for as long as possible leads to better outcomes for both older Minnesotans and their communities.

    Click here for audio

       

    Robbery Update

    The reported burglary at the Walgreens in Hastings on Wednesday evening is still under investigation. Deputy Chief of Hastings Police David Wilske provided an update.

    Click here for audio

       

    The phone number for the Police Department is 651-480-2300.

    Click here for audio

       

       

     

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