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    Upcoming In Depth Thursday

    Two friends from Augustana Health Care Campus in Hastings sat down with KDWA to talk about 44 years of service invested by longtime Director of Nurses, Audrey Roach . Gordon Gathright, Chaplain for the facility had informed us that Audrey would be retiring soon and she shares her perspective about the opportunity to experience many changes in caring through the years. Tund in Thursday to hear their grateful conversation.

       

    In Depth Previews

    Today on In Depth, Hastings School District #200 will hold an election on Tuesday, November 7th to elect new school board members and also to ask voter approval for a district referendum. Tune in for our interview with Coordinator of District Services and district election clerk DEANNA WERNER to hear the details. Then , what is abuse and violence in relationships and what resources are there to help victims caught in this situation? Advocate STEPHANIE BOEHMER of 360 Communities organization tells us how this company is working to help. And our introduction to the new Administrator of Hastings Augustana Health Care Center, Paul Luitjens and Chaplain Gorden Gathright who bring us up to date on the transition and tradition of this local health care center. That's Tuesday only on In Depth.

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    Wednesday on Community In Depth, Members of the leadership team for the new Crossroads Church campus in Hastings stopped by to update listeners on their progress moving towards their December 3rd opening celebration. Crossroads will be located in the County Crossroads Mall in south Hastings. Campus pastor TIM STANLEY, worship leader JESSE ITALIANO, youth pastor CALEB WIRE, intern JOEY KING and administrative assistant ROBIN BUROW share their new mission. Then everyone is invited to the 3rd Annual Mitchel Martin Lucas Legacy weekend that will be held on Saturday, Sept 30th at the Orlando Game Farm. Money raised at the event funds scholarships for Hastings High School students. Organizer JEFF LUCAS will provide all the details. And on Wednesday's In the Garden with Char Schaar, topics include making beautiful decorations from items found in your fall garden, how to prepare perennials, and a short list of tasks that will make your garden ready for the long winter. Wednesday on In Depth.

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    Prescott Police Activity

    From the Prescott Police blotter, Prescott Police recently responded to a single vehicle accident on the Highway 10 lift bridge. Investigating officers determined that a vehicle driven by one Robert Porter struck the traffic arm on the west-bound lane of the bridge. The report indicates that Mr. Porter says he did not see that the arm was in the down position. The report does not indicate if any citations were issued. A suspicious person call brought officers to the 200 block of Broad Street. Investigating officers arrested 32-year-old Plymouth, MN resident Daniel Arthur Ziemer. Ziemer faces charges of possession of methamphetamines with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, and carrying a concealed weapon. The charges against Ziemer are still being processed. And, a traffic stop near the intersection of Campbell and Walnut Streets resulted in citations issued to 30-year-old Jerdale Lewis Grace and 30-year-old Ashley Anne Boyer, both of Prescott, for failing to stop for a stop sign and open container.

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    Prescott officers on routine patrol conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of Highway 10 and Cherry Street. As a result of the stop, 20-year-old Rosemount resident Samantha Rae Neuens was ticketed for traveling 49 MPH in a 30 MPH speed zone. 38-year-old Anne Patricia Wiltscheck was stopped by officers near the intersection of highway 10 and Oak Street when she was clocked doing 45 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. Due to the smell of intoxicants Ms. Wiltscheck was subjected to a roadside sobriety check, which she completed successfully. She was ticketed for speeding.

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    Cannon Falls Council Preview

    The Cannon Falls city council will meet on Tuesday, September 19th. Mayor Robby Robinson and the council will address several topics following the consent agenda approval which includes the hire of part time employees for the Ambulance Department, approval of a joint powers agreement for emergency warning siren, a variance for Ironbridge Lodging, a sidewalk inspection policy and the first reading to amend the city code relating to zoning for a specific property. The council administrative business includes the purchase of a fire department rescue Truck and a resolution to adopt the preliminary tax levy and budget for 2018 and setting a public meeting date. Staff and mayoral reports will aslo be given. The Cannon Falls City Council meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. Upcoming meetings include the Planning Commission meeting on October 9th at 6:30 pm and the Economic Development Meeting on Wednesday, October 11th at 7 am. Both meetings are open to the public.

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    Updated Road Construction Review

    An update from the city on progress being made on the Neighborhood Improvement project include a wrap up of last week's tasks. Preliminary grading of the boulevards took place on 6th Street, Forest Street and Ashland Street between 6th and 7th with black dirt placed on the stretches of those streets that do not have sidewalk. Preliminary grading of Ashland Street also began between 8th & 10th, along with placement of the gravel base. Initial grading of the alley between Spring & Eddy and between 6 th & 7th, included placement of the gravel base and the final water and sewer service on Ashland Street was replaced. This marks the completion of all utility work on the project. Also completed was work on manholes and gate valves in the areas that have been paved were exposed and raised to the final street elevation.

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    Scheduled for this week is installation of the new concrete sidewalks and driveway aprons on the areas that have been paved that should continue through mid-week. Work will also begin on sidewalk and driveway removal and preliminary grading of the boulevards on Ashland Street between 7th & 10 th with contractor tentatively scheduled to begin installation of the new curb and gutter on Ashland Street between 7th & 10th, as well as the alley between Spring & Eddy on Thursday . Any affected residents will receive additional information via door-to-door fliers. A complete look at the updates thus far can be found at the City Website hastingsmn.gov.

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    Local TV Team Big Winners

    Some late Thursday night good news from the HCTV crew currently in Seattle Washington for the annual NATOA awards, which are given for excellence in community and government cable programming. HCTV's Tom Wright and Mike Bremer represented the station which was notified of several nominations this year in a variety of programming categories. In posting to their social media following the gala, announcements called for a celebration for not one but two first place awards for the Hastings based station. Take A Hike Mike Bremer received the best use of Humor award among all those submitted from stations throughout the nation. In the category of Arts and Entertainment, Mike Kampa was named the winner for his music themed production Local Chords. And the wildly popular Dakota County Sheriff's Lip Sync Challenge, submitted in the City or County profile category garnered a 2nd place prize. More details on the lofty accomplishments for the Hastings communications team when they return. Photo supplied by HCTV.

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    Traffic Stop Takes Off

    Hastings Police released more information on an arrest that occured in the afternoon on Labor Day, September 4th at the intersection of Hwy 55 and Hwy 61 in Hastings. Acccording to the report a traffic stop was initiated after an officer observed left turn was made from a right hand lane by 33 year old Michael Allen Krause. When the officer approached the stopped vehicle, Krause allegedly sped off then abandoned the vehicle near 14th and Eddy. Items were found outside the drivers door which included a bag containing a white crystal substance. A wallet was also found on the driver's seat containing a driver's license belonging to Krause. The suspect was later found in Washington county and arrested.

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    Crash Injures Hastings Couple

    A Hastings couple, David and Paula(Bishop) Trejo were injured on Labor Day weekend near Pollock, North Dakota. The two were passengers on a motorcycle and were taken to a Linton, North Dakota hospital. According to social media posts by family, the couple will have a long road of recovery ahead of them. David's brother Ronnie Trejo, who credits David with starting the Minnesota Amber Alert Fundraiser, thanks everyone for calls, texts and visits to the hospital. He mentioned that prayers for the couple are appreciated and several months of recovery are likely to be in their future.   

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    Major Crimes Unit Sex Sting

    The Washington County Attorney announced Thursday that the task force created to combat sexual exploitation and abuse netted five more suspects in an undercover operation that took place in Woodbury on Wednesday, September 13th. Police from Cottage Grove and the Washington County Sheriff's office joined several other departments to document the activity of adult men who searched for sex with children. The arrests were made, thanks to actions by the Major Crimes Unit, which was formed two years ago, and operates to combat the growing prevalance of solicitation through electronic media. The men ranged in age from 34 to 48 and responded to solicitations specifically portraying the subjects as minors. All face separate charges. The Major Crimes Unit has been responsible for several similar arrests targeting those who seek out connections online or in published magazines and newspapers.

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    Wilson Park Gets Makeover

    Significant progress noted Wednesday as the removal and replacement of playground equipment in Wilson Park is updating the structure placed there more than 20 years ago. The park, located near the Hastings Fire Department on Eddy Street and 4th, contains a basketball court, baseball diamond and additional green space which is well utilized. More work is necessary to complete the structures with sand, soil and a play surface yet to be completed. Installers ask that the public stay away from the project until the equipment is fully ready to use for the safety of eveyone.

       

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    LeDuc Looks To Fall Schedule

    Coming on the heels of the highly successful Civil War Weekend, LeDuc Manager Amy Deaver provided KDWA News with a brief preview of upcoming events at the LeDuc Historic Estate.

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    For complete details, contact the LeDuc at 651-438-8480.

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    Planning Commission Examines Ordinances

    A recap of the recent Hastings Planning Commission meeting included three public hearings, for which no comments were offered.

    The first was an ordinance amendment regarding dowtntown parking requirements for Taverns and bars. Questions were taken from

    commissioners regarding capacity to handle the additional parking impact. A first reading is scheduled for September 18th with final

    action likely on October 2nd. The next public hearing addressed Spiral Brewery, set to open soon at 111 2nd Street east. A staff

    report was given by Justin Fortney. Questions also centered on the impacts of operation. That was also approved. with City Council

    to hear it on September 18th The final action taken was a staff report on the Comp Plan amendment and rezoning for the Hastings

    business and Industrial Park. Commissioners questioned impact and the necessity of the proposed change. It was approved with

    the vote 5-1 with commissioner Johnson dissenting. Next will be a first reading at the city council meeting on September 18th with

    final action likely on October 2nd

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    Prescott Pot Eradication

    The growing season for summer crop came to an end this Monday in the city of Prescott. Local law enforcement conducted a marijuana eradication operation on nearly 100 pounds of plants found growing outside several locations on public property in that city. According to the police report, the material was cut and transported to an authorized incinerator where it was disposed of. The department encourages tips on illegal drug activity be made by calling or emailing the Prescott Police department.

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    Standoff Suspect Named

    Now, an update on a story that we brought you on Saturday. Hastings Police have released the name of a person sought for questioning in an incident between 57 year old Warren Kocurek and an adult, unnamed female. Police were told that a weapon had been used to threaten the female, causing officers to set up a perimeter near the apartment building, blocking traffic and access to the neighborhoods surrounding the intersection of Pine street and Hwy 46. It was also learned that the man possibly left the building just prior to the arrival of police who reported nearly 5 hours of attempts to establish communication with someone inside the apartment, that ended with the discovery of Kocurek, instead,near Tyler and 6th street just before 5 pm. Drone photo provided by Bruce Karnick. Used with permission.

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    Mother Reports Missing Boy

    A press release received Monday, September 11th from the Prescott Police department states that a possible parental abduction was reported just before noon on Tuesday, August 29th. According to the report, the mother of an 8 year old child received a text that the boy's father had taken the boy from the residence. The mother confirmed that the boy was missing and notified police. The man, identified as 37 year old North Dakota resident, Michael Roger Parmeter, was suspected of flying into the Minneapolis/St. Paul International airport and had possibly rented a car to reach Prescott. Prescott police contacted the Pierce County District Attorney's office, then several other law enforcement agencies and the MSP Airport police. Police at the airport did locate the suspect and the boy. Parmeter was taken into custody and charged in Pierce County with Interference with child custody. He will appear in Pierce County Circuit Court on September 20th for a preliminary hearing.

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    Vermillion Street Eyesores Examined

    The Hastings City Council meeting of September 5th included a discussion of the appearance of Highway 61 as it goes through town. Council member Tina Folch expressed concerns about the appearance of the thoroughfare.

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    Discussion of the appearance touched on causes, solutions, and community involvement in maintaining the appearance of the roadway, where feasible. It was determined that general maintenance of the road is the responsibility of MNDOT, and the appearance issue will be discussed when the City meets with MNDOT in an upcoming meeting.

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    SWC Schools Change Boundaries

    The South Washington County District 833 announced that their School Board has approved new middle school attendance boundaries. The decision, finalized and approved at its Sept. 7 meeting conclude months of weighing the impact of changes on the district and receiving input from the community. According to the report, the board decided to approve Plan C as noted on the district's website with the boundary changes taking effect in the Fall of 2018. According to a statement made on the first week of the 2017 school year, the board considered information gathered by the Steering Committee, the Middle School Attendance Boundary Task Force and the community before making the decision. Priorities involved rebalancing of enrollment numbers for all four district middle schools, ensuring a safe and efficient transportation system and creating boundaries that would allow for future growth. The decisions were made with much public input, as many families affected by the decisions opposed the changes routing their students out of local neighborhoods, affecting bus ridership length and impacting personal transportation arrangements. Details on the implementation of the boundary changes will be discussed and announced over the upcoming months.

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    Police Action Saturday

    A call early Saturday Afternoon from Hastings Police Chief Bryan Schafer, requested that KDWA inform listeners of a situation requiring street closure and some tense hours for neighbors at the intersection of Hwy 46 and Pine Street. KDWA then went on the air live to tell travelers, neighbors and visitors arriving for the Cruise In, that a safety concern was taking place, nessessitating the call for SWAT personnel, emergency reserves and even a drone. From just before noon, until nearly 5PM, several blocks near an apartment complex in the 2300 block of Pine Street was closed off awaiting contact with a person, who an eyewitness confirmed was locked in one of the apartments. Later in the afternoon, a neighbor confirmed to KDWA that an adult female exited the building and left the scene. Law enforcement continued to wait on the exterior, at times using a bullhorn to ask that the subject come out. At approximately 4:50 pm, an adult male exited the building and was taken into custod by the Hastings Police Department. Shortly, thereafter, blocades were removed from the streets allowing access to homes in a 4 block area once again. The name of the male was not released by the police and there is no indication whether or not charges will be filed.

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    Raiders Band Marches 2 Top

    Good news for the young season of the Hastings Raiders Marching Band. The group performed at a pair of competitions on Saturday, September 9th with seven bands in their AA division. The first at Eden Prairie High school and then later that afternoon, at Eastview High School in Apple Valley. According to percusssion director Josh Wahlstrom, the band that debuted their new Frankenstein show on Todd Field just 3 days prior, finished first at Eden Prairie also taking the outstanding percussion award , outstanding winds and outstanding Drum Major award. At Eastview, the awards repeated in the top band, top drumline and top Drum Major, Micah Walt. The dual competition is the first weekend of their season.

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    Part Time Prescott Police Probe

    Questions concerning the hiring protocol have been asked of the city of Prescott regarding the Police department as part time officers are expected to be hired for the short term to fill out the scheduled shifts, including those of two full time officers fired last month. Interim Chief Robert Funk was provided power to hire and fire part time officers as needed without benefit of reconvening the police commission, due to the decision made on August 7th of this year by the Prescott Police Commission. The commission chair, William Pryor, spoke with KDWA on Thursday, providing the process used by the city to qualify candidates seeking full time employment and relaying how that selection is done.

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    And According to Pryor, that eligibility list may, or may not, be used to select part-time employees as well . KDWA radio has discovered information detailing the criminal charges of one new hire Jason S. Hickok, a former Barron county Wisconsin, sheriff's deputy who was arrested in a domestic dispute in 2014 in that county involving 2015 charges of battery, false imprisonment, criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct. According to EauClaire TV News, WQOW, Hickok resigned from the sheriff's office shortly after the charges were filed. Commissioner Pryor noted that the eligibility list of potential hires, may be added to and subtracted from, but that thorough and updated background checks prior to hiring should discover prohibitive charges or convictions made after being placed on a potential hire list. .KDWA also asked for a comment on the hiring procedures and vetting process currently employed by the city and late on Thursday, we heard from city administrator Jayne Brand who disputed information relating to the ongoing line of reports by KDWA Radio. She anticipated more comments on behalf of the city will be released in the days to come.

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    Art Task Force Decides

    The Hastings City Council heard a report from Art Task Force member Bea Westerberg during its meeting on September 5th. Westerberg briefly discussed the history of the Task Force and brought a recommendation to announce a call for artists to renovate the Ice Rink Warming House that is used at Levee Park during skating season as the 2nd piece of public art commissioned by the Task Force. Council member Mark Vaughan commented on the scope of the project.

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    The recommendation to refurbish the warming house passed by unanimous voice vote.

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    Water Testing Results

    The City of Afton reports that 39 households participated in a voluntary nitrate testing of water in June. Results of the testing showed that all but three samples were within recommended limits of nitrate levels in the water. The three samples that exceeded the 10-milligram per liter guideline were submitted by residences near farming operations, and the higher levels are not uncommon from such samples. According to a press release by the City, higher levels of nitrates in water are a concern mostly for pregnant women and infants younger than 6 months. Another round of testing is scheduled for the fall and the City of Afton encourages as much participation as possible. Enrollment details are on the city website at ci.afton.mn.us

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    Citizens Lifesaver Award

    Jerry Harrington, Melanie Olson, and Tammy Peine were recognized at the City Council meeting on September 5th for their actions in a situation involving Angela Tukuafu in distress on June 30th. Hastings Deputy Police Chief Eric Wilske summarized the event for the Council.

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    Clock Tower Celebration

    Prescott Mayor Dave Hovel will conduct a re-dedication of the Prescott Clock Tower on Friday, September 8th, at 5PM to open Prescott Daze for 2017. The re-dedication includes a new declaration from the Mayor and music from the Prescott High School Band, followed by a reception at the Welcome and Heritage Center. Everyone is invited to stop by and celebrate this symbol of Prescott.

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    Raiders Preview Monsterous Success

    The Hastings Raiders marching band provided a sample of their months of rehearsals to an eager and appreciative crowd on Todd Field Wednesday night. They debuted this year's competitive program following a warm up concert assembled for family and friends. the new program is a tribute to the electrifying theme Frankenstein, complete with giant labratory aparatus, lights and gears and even a monster sized tank for a surprizing reveal by white coated Doctors. A crackling presentation was met with great applause for the ensemble of horns, drums, battery and pit crew who will begin their schedule of contests lasting until October. The show will be featured at Halftime on Homecoming night, October 6th. The band is led by by Emily Chandler, Thomas Wentzler and Percussion director Josh Wahlstrom. Drum Major for this season in Micah Walt.

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    Capital Bonding Pitch Visit

    On Tuesday morning, September 6th, a coach bus filled with members of the State's capital bonding committee disembarked at the Hastings City Hall to hear and , more importantly, see the needs of the 146 year old city hall and the nearby 60- year- old Police Station, the latter which served as the Dakota County Jail until 1989. City officials and staff prepared the event to show nearly 25 members of the committee, chaired by Representative Dean Urdahl, the significant needs of the campus on a 45 minute tour. The members trooped first over to the Police station basement, where low hanging utilities combined with spalling concrete foundations to provide a substandard environment in which to store important documents and evidence. Comments were made on whether monies should be considered for the younger of the buildings, when the historical City Hall refurbishment could total 6 million. Experts have been consulted to provide estimates on the repairs, with brick and limestone masonry compromised by water one of the top priorities. The iconic dome as well as steel roofing materials replacement are also on top of the list that would upgrade HVAC systems in both buildings, controling the interior environment and reducing the humidity and temperature fluxuations which currently permeate the space. According to City Administrator, Melanie Mesko Lee, a Minnesota Historical Society Grant has been applied for, seeking $225,000 for restoration. The success of that application will not be known for several months. The State Capital request looks for 1.5 million to be matched by the city resources with possible funding to be included in the 2018 State Capital request. We spoke with several visitors as well as city staff including Capital Bonding Committee Chair Urdahl, Hastings Mayor Paul Hicks, communications coordinator Lee Stoffel,City Planner Justin Fortney and administrator Mesko Lee, who provide their perspectives on the presentation in upcoming newscasts.

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    Seeds Of Change Exhibit

    The Minnesota Museum of American Art will parnter with Hastings Prescott Area Arts Council (HPAAC), to bring to the Hastings Arts Center Mike Hazards multimedia exhibit Seeds of Change: A Portrait of the Hmong American Farmers Association. The exhibition opens Friday, October 6th and runs through October 31st. The HAC is hosting an opening reception on Friday, October 6th from 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. that is free and open to the public. Hazards 36 photographs, video, and artist book tell the story of a year in the life of the Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) farm. Located in Vermillion Township, the farm is attracting national attention as a model for sustainable stewardship. The artist wants people to see the beauty of this farm and its farmers. Hazard says, It is a farm where many changes are in play-the way the land is owned by a group makes it a farm of families; the way many, many different plants (not just one or two) are grown by each family; and the way the produce is marketed cooperatively. In addition, this farm has changed my experience of plants. When I know the farmer who harvested the vegetables on my plate, it tastes different. This farm of families is planting seeds of change. A digital storyteller, Hazard has spent the last four years documenting HAFA and sharing the growing story. Seeds of Change was first exhibited at the Minnesota Museum of American Art and, later, was on view at the Minnesota State Capitol.

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    Swipe Out Hunger Thanks Merchants

    A check presentation was made to Executive Director Chris Koop, representing the $10,000 dollars raised for Hastings Family Service thru Merchant Bank's Swipe out Hunger project this summer. Thanks to customers using their bank check or credit card thru the project, funding will support many of the great programs provided by this local agency. Hastings Family Service has resources that include a food market, emergency clothing and household items, connections to county services and a support system to help families and individuals in our community. But they can't do it alone, and this project proves that communities care! Photo provided by Merchants Bank.

    Mayor Previews Council Agenda

    The 1st meeting of the Hastings City Council for the month of September is moved to Tuesday, September 5th, due to the Labor Day holiday. Mayor Paul Hicks provided KDWA with a preview of the meeting and a personal holiday greeting.

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    LeDuc Prepares for History

    The Historic LeDuc Estate will host the popular Civil War weekend on Saturday, September 9th and 10th. This year the focus is on the scholary look at the encampment; the soldier's psyche and physique; how soldiers filled their days, what they ate, how they trained and who they were. The cannons will fire once again during this unique perspective of Civil War life at the Historic LeDuc. Hours are 10am until 5 pm both days. Entertainment includes a musical group,Century Brass, who will offer their program on Saturday , September 9th, The group includes brass band music from the Civil War era, performed by the five piece ensemble. A small fee of 8 to 10 dollars is charged for access to the grounds, located at 1629 Vermillion Street Saturday & Sunday, September 9th and 10th from 10am to 5pm each day, Civil War reenactors will roam the property as soldiers, civilians, fine ladies and servants. There will be speakers and musicians both morning and afternoon, as well as a variety of demonstrations throughout the site. Visit Professor Longleys Cabinet of Curiosities and a one-room schoolroom for the children to explore. A working outdoor site kitchen provides authentic fare for the volunteers and is staffed by Civil War costumed characters.Short tours of the house are also included in the cost of the event. More information can be found at www.leduchistoricestate.org and watch for social media posts that will be featured all weekend.

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    Dakota County Charges Shooters

    Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that five individuals have now been charged* in connection with a drive-by shooting in South St. Paul on the evening of Monday, August 28, 2017. All five individuals, residents of Big Lake, Burnsville, Inver Grove heights and West St. Paul,have been charged with one count each of Drive-by Shooting (Toward Person or Occupied Motor Vehicle or Building) and Assault in the 2nd Degree (Dangerous Weapon). The Defendants are: Tyrone Lamar Farrow, age 37 of Big Lake, MN; Erik Dontez Poe, age 18 of Burnsville; Cheridan Bree Redmond, age 19 of Inver Grove Heights; Juan Carlos Rojas, age 19 of Inver Grove Heights; and Sopearvy Ogbondah Michelle Sam-Farrow, age 18 of West St. Paul. The allegations include statements made from a female shooting victim who lived in the South St.Paul home visited by the suspects on two separate occasions on the same evening, and the implication of the use of a 9mm handgun in multiple shots fired from the car of at least one of the suspects. An adult male was also hit by gunfire and it was revealed that the incident happened in direct view of a South St. Paul officer, who was standing near the entrance of the home when shots were fired. Dakota County Attorney Backstrom responded to the charges made against the 5 ranging in age from 18 to 37 that this was a violent crime which easily could have taken a life. His office is thankful that no deaths occurred and that no other individuals were injured in this incident.

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    Solar Garden Growing

    An official opening of the recently completed clean energy project was held on August 31st. Representatives from The Dakota Electric Association, Great River Energy and SoCore Energy gathered with board members and local officials that heard how this 5 acre solar garden would take a small parcel of land and convert the sun's energy to power for local homes. Dakota Electric Association CEO Greg Miller outlined how the project took shape.

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    SoCore Solar representative Andy Seward made the connections in his explanation of how power collected is dispersed.

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    The array field base is located just south of the Hastings Sand Coulee, and is adjacent to land farmed by Bailey Nurseries on Highway 316. According to Miller, Dakota Electric Association and project partners used time to ensure the best outcome.

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    Collins Appreciates Levy Supporters

    With recommendations made by a 20 person volunteer facilities committee, school district #200 has determined that nearly 50 million dollars will be necessary for operating expenses and infrastructure maintence and upgrading . Superintendent Tim Collins told listeners on his weekly Friday morning radio show that Hastings has a history of support of education the levy and bonding requests are not made lightly.

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    An operating levy and bonding request will be made on the November 7th ballot.

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    Solar Question Continued

    A 25-year subscription in a solar garden was placed on the Consent Agenda for the Hastings City Council meeting of August 21st. Because of the details involved in the deal, City Council member Tina Folch moved to have the item taken off the Consent Agenda for further review.

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    Council member Mark Vaughan voiced concern over the length of the subscription.

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    The subscription agreement was referred to the Utility Committee for further action.

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    Pengelly Honored At Fair

    A special ceremony took place on the grounds of the Minnesota State Fair Wednesday. Former co-workers, family and friends gathered outside the Department of Natural Resources building to remember a 25 year employee, Scott Pengelly. An avid outdoorsman and longtime journalist, Pengelly was also a Hastings resident and former editor of the local paper. He passed away on December 29th of last year, and since then, those closest to him have searched for a fitting tribute to someone who always had a great love for the outdoors. KDWA radio spoke with his wife, Kath, just before the ceremony that dedicated a wrought-iron bench to her late husband. I first asked about his dedication to journalism.

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    Many we talked with gave varying descriptions of who Scott was to them, but I asked Kath for her view of just who Scott Pengelly was.

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    She also conveyed what she hoped his legacy would be

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    We'll air a special on location In Depth program next week, talking with those who knew Scott best and honoring him with the lasting State Fair Tribute.

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    Crime Spree Stopped

    Some attention to detail and a concerned citizen helped Cottage Grove Police apprehend 2 suspects found tampering with vehicles in the early morning hours in a Hornell Avenue neighborhood. A caller got the license plate of the car driven by the suspect, which turned out to belong to a stolen car. Officers found the car at Walgreens, and both suspects were also observed committing theft at that business. The suspects are 16 and 17 year old males from St. Paul. Additional charges may face the pair as more victims in that area reported items missing from vehicles. The stolen vehicle was also used in a burglary in Columbia Heights. Squads from the Woodbury Police Department and Washington County Sheriff's department also helped in the recovery.

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    Christensen School Board Run

    In our ongoing series of conversations with Hastings ISD 200 School Board Candidates, KDWA News spoke with candidate Kim Christensen. She explained why she is running for the School Board.

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    Stay tuned to KDWA News for more with the candidates.

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    Fire Station Sensitivity

    To some children, the sound of the siren and the blinking red and blue lights of a fire engine or police car is exciting and cool. But to other children, those who have sensory issues such as autism, the noise and lights are unwelcome and even terrifying. To help these kids get a closer look at the equipment that may someday help them or their family, a special event will take place with the Cottage Grove Fire Department. The sensory-friendly event will take place on Saturday morning October 7th starting at 10 am. Held at Woodridge Park, 9000 90th Street S. the plan is to create a safe, quiet environment that will give children an opportunity to explore fire trucks with no lights, strobes or sirens. Extra staff wil be on hand to ensure everyone enjoys viewing the fire trucks safely and assistance will be available for those wishing to climb inside trucks. Quiet space will be provided inside the park building. There will also be no giant fuzzy character mascots at this event as well. Families are welcome to play on the equipment at the new Inclusive Playground ,too.

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    Dakota County Budget View

    On this week's in depth programs, A two part series with County Commissioner for the 1st District, Mike Slavik. Preparing for next year's budget, he explains how the process starts.

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    With other counties facing hikes in their property taxes as much as 5-6 percent, Slavik notes a surplus must be maintained to keep programs funded.

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    Pemble Seeks School Board Seat

    The District 200 school board will hold elections this fall. We spoke to one of the candidates to find out why he should be considered for the position. Dave Pemble sees the possibility for a big change due to four positions up for election.

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    He also commented on the strengths he feels are a solid part of the current board.

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    He also discussed his reasons for choosing to run for school board.   

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    Prescott City Council Agenda

    The regular meeting of the Prescott city council will take place on Monday, August 28th beginning at 6:30 pm at the Prescott Municipal Building , 800 Borner Street. Included on the consent agenda are meeting minutes for the last council meeting and the minutes from the health and safety committee meeting, both for August 14th. Reports of standing committees include the 2018 budget guidance from the finance committee, licenses to be granted for Prescott Daze events, a report from the planning commission. A request from the parks and public property committee on an October 7th event by the St. Croix Sailing Club, a meeting date to be set for the Public Works committee, a report from the personnel, ordinance , health and safety committees. Under communications and new business public comments and other business as well as an open book set for September 6th from 1-7 pm. That will conclude the meeting. The next scheduled meeting for the Prescott city council will be Monday, September 11th.

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    School District Looks Ahead

    District 200 Superintendent Tim Collins continues to explain the reasons behind the proposed operating levy and bonding bill that will be placed before voters this November. A 49 Million dollar referrendum is necessary to protect and preserve infrastructure throughout the district. Collins addressed the state funding question he often receives.

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    On Friday, another year began for the District 200 Superintendent Tim Collins Show. Now in it's 14th year, every Friday morning, Collins provides details on current topics in the district. His main focus this week is describing the process involved in asking voters to support an operating levy as well as a bonding bill. Collins addresses the issue that faces taxpayers, on average, every 10 years.

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    He also revealed the thinking behind asking for both in the same year.

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    More on this topic will be featured in our newscasts this week. You can hear the entire Tim Collins Show by selecting the In Depth audio file on the homepage of the KDWA.com web site. More answers from Superintendent Collins all this week on KDWA Radio News.

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    Hotel Robbery Suspects

    Photos are now available of 2 men who may be implicated in at least 5 attempted robberies that have taken place in the past few weeks. According to the Woodbury Police, surveillance cameras were able to record the latest incident that took place at 4 am at the Hampton Inn in that city. Two male suspects entered the hotel and indicated he had a gun. They forced their way behind the counter and left with an undisclosed amount of money. The pair are considered similar to two men who entered the Nichols Inn just before Midnight on July 29th, also suggesting they had a weapon. It was not known if there was anything taken at that location. Photos show the first suspect, described as a black man in his early- to mid-20s, with dreadlocks,between 5-foot-10 to 6-foot in height with a medium build, last seen wearing a black sweatshirt and black pants. The second suspect is described a black man, between 20 to 30 years old, 5-foot-7, and last seen wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and red sweatpants. These photos are posted on the KDWA.com website. Anyone with information is asked to call Woodbury Public Safety at 651-714-3600 or 9-1-1.

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    Rosemount Celebrates 100

    The 100th Year community celebration will be held on September 22nd and 23rd in Rosemount. They welcome alumni, students, current and retired staff, and current and former parents of Rosemount High school as they step back in time with building tours and memorabilia, enjoy band and choir performances, and cheer on the Irish athletics, with the varsity football game as the grand finale. Classmates are encouraged to spread the word. A pancake breakfast will take place on Saturday morning from 8-11 am. Cost is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Tickets will be sold the week before in the main office and the day of the event. A social media invite is listed on Facebook to find out how many might attend. Plans also include an alumni dance held at the Rosemount Armory on Friday night from 7-11pm. The varsity football game has been scheduled for Saturday night so that more can attend. More details can be found on the district 196 website. www.district196.org

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    Car Cycle Crash

    The Pierce county Sheriff Department reports that a two vehicle crash took place on Sunday evening around 8 pm near the area of Hwy 35 and 1240th Street in Oak Grove Township, just east of Prescott. A 57 year old man from St. Paul was operating a 1987 Harley Davidson Motorcycle Northbound on Hwy 35 near 1220th Street, when he failed to navigate a curve and entered the south bound lane striking a 2013 GMC Acadia being driven by Erin Kochendorfer, 37 of Bloomington, MN. She and her passenger Daniel Truttman, 45 of Hager City were uninjured in the crash, however, the motorcycle driver was transported from the scene with undetermined injuries.

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    Business Top Priority

    The Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce is looking closer at what businesses want or what they need to be a successful part of the community . Chamber President Kristy Barse shares the perspective of what a new business may consider in a move to this city.

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    There's an additional service provided by the Chamber to help businesses develop.

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    Gergen Eyes School Board Run

    We continue sharing some of the reasons that six candidates will run for school board this fall. Scott Gergen will run for another term as he values the process of providing the best for area students. He tells us what he believes to be strengths worth preserving.

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    Gergen also allows that challenges face all districts.

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    We have extended the opportunity to each candidate to share their views with our listeners. We will feature more of those responses next week.

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    Hastings Council Consent Agenda

    Hastings City Council consent agenda items for August 21, 2017-

    A first reading and an order for a public hearing to rezone the Knights of Columbus property at 3075 Vermillion Street was included on the Consent Agenda for the Hastings City Council meeting of August 21st. The rezoning is requested for the construction of the new Caturia-Smidt funeral home and crematorium. Upon approval of the City Council, the public meeting, 2nd reading and final action on the request would be set for the City Council meeting of September 5th, 2017.

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    Several pay estimates have been included on the Consent Agenda for the Hastings City Council meeting of August 21st. Valley Paving is scheduled to receive $23,013 for work accomplished in the 2017 Mill and Overlay Program. Danner, Inc. is due $203,067 for work on the 2017 Neighborhood Infrastructure Improvement Program, and Insituform Technologies will receive a payment of $6,021 for work completed in the 2016 Sewer Lining Program.

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    In response to a request for bids sent out by Hastings on June 1 of this year, a request to accept a formal bid for subscription to the ReneSola Power Holdings Solar Garden has been included on the Consent Agenda of the Hastings City Council meeting of August 21st. The subscription will allow for a higher potential of cost savings for power usage by the City. The potential savings in energy costs over a 25-year subscription is estimated to be just over $5 million . The Citys usage of the subscription would be implemented in three phases by the end of 2019.

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    Hastings Area Arrest Log

    From Hastings Police blotter, a vehicle struck a building in the 1300 block of S Frontage Road on August 6th. Officers responding to the scene arrested 28-year-old Hastings resident Adam John Peterson. Peterson is charged with 3rd degree DUI. A domestic disturbance brought officers to the 1900 block of Oak Street. Investigating officers cited and detained 63-year-old Peter William Karpen, and 33-year-old Melissa Ann Karpen, both of Hastings. Both face charges of 5th degree assault. And, a traffic stop conducted near the intersection of Ravenna Trail and Glendale Road resulted in citations issued to 21-year-old St. Paul resident Ro Tor for speeding and violating his instructional permit, and the arrest of his passenger, 26-year-old Minneapolis resident Sabrina Ann Ribas for 2 outstanding warrants.

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    In reports from the Dakota County Sheriff's department on Saturday evening, 32 year old Brandon Mathew Dieser of Hastings was arrested on four charges by Inver Grove Heights Police including disorderly conduct, domestic assault, and intentional damage to property. Also on Saturday evening, just before midnight, Dakota County Sheriff's deputies arrested 41 year old Paul Alan Fischer charging his with a felony level of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle as well as refusing to submit to a Breathalizer test and DUI second degree driving while impaired. And a traffic stop at 2 am Sunday morning resulted in an arrest of 27 year old Genny Patricia Johnson by the Hastings Police on charges of receiving stolen property. Each will address the charges in the Dakota County court system.

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    Chamber Examines Business Climate

    Recent conversations with the City of Hastings on Economic Development have been featured in this week's In Depth programs. In addition to city staff, the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce is tasked with collaborating information relayed from current and prospective businesses. President Kristy Barse explains.

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    There are a number of challenges facing new businesses in the community, Barse continues.

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    We'll be featuring more in this series on our next newscasts.

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    School District Bonding Levy Survey

    KDWA continues the look at this summer's School District 200 telephone survey which recorded the response from 400 telephone interviews of registered voters within the district. An operating levy and a bonding levy question will both be placed in front of voters this fall. The bonding levy, needed to fund renovations and upgrades of the Districts schools will address major maintenance needs, roof replacement, heating, ventilating and energy savings projects, and modernization of classrooms. Respondants were asked their level of support before any additional information was given. The base level of support on the bonding levy was 60 percent in favor, 30 percent opposed and 10 percent unsure. A total of eight elements that the district is considering to fund include asbestos removal, replacement of a 50 year old HVAC system at the Middle School, repair or replacement of roofs, upgrading of energy efficient windows, upgrading computers and other technology, repairing and refinishing parking lots and sidewalks, remodeling to reflect flexible learning spaces, and upgrading and refurbishment of Todd Field. Although the questions were asked in random order the percentage of support varied from the highest support of the asbestos removal , over 80%, to the lowest priority of support of improvements to Todd Field at just 30 %. Following this segment of the survey, the change in overall support after information on what would be funded, increased from 60 to 65%. The Operating levy survey reflected an increase nearly identical, between 59 and 65 percent support level following detailed information. Also noted was the overall support level jumped to 74.5 % if there would be no additional tax burden associated with the plans. We will address the results of both levy questions presented to the voters in tomorrow's newcasts. You can read all three stories in the series on the KDWA.com website. We will hear more from this summer's District 200 community survey in our exclusive conversation with Superintendent Tim Collins beginning this Friday morning at 9:10 am during the Tim Collins Show.

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    Community Honors Chief

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

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    Minnesota Men Charged in Robbery

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

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    Pierce County Accident Injures Hastings Woman

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

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    Trail Break Causes Concern

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

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    Rosemount City Council Agenda

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

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    Step Up to Better Slide Ride

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

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    Dakota County Jail Briefing

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

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    Area Fire Dept Sets Sights on Washer

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

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    Cottage Grove Defines 2018 Budget

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

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