Local News

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    Aug. 2 HCC Meeting Preview

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

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    NNO At Lions Park

    National Night Out is Tuesday, and the City of Hastings invites everyone to Lions Park for a meet and greet. HPD Community Engagement Officer Whitney Rinowski has the details.

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    For more information, visit the City Website.

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    ISD 200 Candidate Filing Period Open

    The ISD 200 School Board Candidate Filing period for the 2021 election opened on July 27th. The general election will be held on Tuesday, November 2nd, and three members will be elected to the School Board for terms of four years each. Affidavits of Candidacy are available from the school district clerk, at 1000 11th Street W, in Hastings. The filing fee for this office is $2.00. Candidates for the School Board must be eligible voters, must be 21 years of age or more on assuming office, must have been a resident of the school district for thirty days before the election, and must have no other affidavit on file for any other office at the same primary or general election. Affidavits of Candidacy must be filed in the office of the school district clerk and the filing fee paid prior to 5 PM on August 10th of 2021.

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    PCSO Reports Uptick In Thefts

    Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove reports that there has been an increase of reported thefts in Pierce County. In a post on social media, the Sheriff stated that reported thefts include vehicles, UTVs and tools. Sheriff Hove urges county residents to be vigilant in locking up vehicles, homes and valuables. If you see anything suspicious or have any information related to these crimes please call the PCSO non-emergency number at 715-273-5051.

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    Connemara Trail Closure

    The City of Rosemount reports that a temporary road closure will take place on Connemara Trail, from Brockway Ave. to Biscayne Ave., beginning on August 2. During this time, no vehicles, including emergency vehicles will be allowed on the closed segment of Connemara Trail. Access to Brockway Avenue will be available from the west. The closure is estimated to last 11 days, weather permitting. Traffic will be detoured along Robert Trail, 145th Street West, and Biscayne Avenue. Please visit the project page on the Rosemount City Website for information.

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    Farmington FD Officers Certified

    As part of the ongoing efforts to increase knowledge, skills and abilities, the members of the Farmington Fire Department have committed to seek higher levels of education and certification. On Friday, the Farmington Fire Department recognized Lieutenant Scott Mattingly, Captain Brian Hanson, District Chief Adam Fischer, Deputy Chief Matthew Price, Assistant Chief Jim Schmitz and Fire Chief Justin Elvestad who have achieved certification as NFPA 1002 Fire Apparatus/Aerial Operator from the Minnesota Fire Service Certification Board. The certification allows holders to be able to operate an aerial apparatus during emergency situations, after training in apparatus operations, aerial positioning and stabilization, and aerial tactics.   

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    Woodbury FD Names New Chief

    The City of Woodbury has announced that Fire/EMS Commander Chris Klein has been named as the new Fire/EMS Chief, According to a post on social media, Klein, who was promoted from his commander post by the City Council July 28, will be responsible for directing basic and advanced life support emergency medical services, fire response, prevention and inspection, emergency preparedness and safety services, along with associated staff and programs. Klein joined the city as a paid-on-call firefighter and emergency medical technician in October 2001. He was promoted to full-time firefighter in 2004, earned his paramedic license in 2007 and was named Fire/EMS Commander in 2018. Klein replaces outgoing Chief John Wallgren, who has retired from the Department.

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    EF-1 Tornado Hits St. Croix County

    The St. Croix County Sheriff's Office in Wisconsin reports that National Weather Service officials confirmed a tornado touchdown in the County after heavy storms roared through St. Croix County on Wednesday evening. According to a post on social media, the NWS estimated the EF-1 twister's path from about 160th Street and County Road G in Erin Prairie to approximately 100th Avenue and 166th Street in Hammond. St. Croix County has issued a state of emergency in response to the storm's damage.

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    Bison Shelter Ground Breaking

    Spring Lake Park Reserve will be the new home for a herd of bison starting October 2022. On Thursday morning, dignitaries from the state, county, local and tribal governments joined together in celebration for a groundbreaking event and the instillation on the first fence post. Congressman Tony Jurgens and Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Thom Petersen speak to the process and anticipated benefits, while Prairie Island Tribal Council President Shelly Buck shares her experience with managing a bison herd.

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    Video of the First Shovel of Dirt for the Bison Enclosure:

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    Lock Closure Extended

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will have additional temporary closures at Lock and Dam 2 in Hastings on August 3rd and 5th to properly align and seal the lock chamber's new miter gates. The lock will be closed from 7 AM to 7 PM. Once the lock reopens, lock staff will communicate specific locking instructions via marine band VHF radio channel 14. Towboat operators are requested NOT to tie up on the guidewalls during this closure period. Please contact the lock at (651) 437-3150 or on channel 14 for assistance. Locks and Dam 2's miter gates are the original gates when the lock was constructed in the 1940s. Over time, the gates have been damaged and distressed, which has led to serviceability and safety issues. The new upstream gates are 27 feet tall and weigh 256,000 pounds, while the downstream gates are 30 feet tall and weigh 266,000 pounds. The new gates will increase navigational longevity and operational readiness in support of the economically significant navigation infrastructure.

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    FHR Nature Program Recognized

    Flint Hills Resources is celebrating 20 years of preserving habitat and increasing biodiversity with the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) through its Conservation Certification program, a voluntary sustainability standard for habitat and species management and conservation education on corporate land holdings. This certification recognizes conservation efforts at the Pine Bend Bluffs in Dakota County and 2021 marks 20 years since Flint Hills was first certified. Since 2000, Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend has partnered with Friends of the Mississippi River and Great River Greening to restore hundreds of acres of natural prairie and oak savanna in the bluffs with the goal of restoring the land to pre-settlement conditions.

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    (Volunteers at Pine Bend Bluffs. Photo courtesy Flint Hills Resources)

    434th Reaches Kuwait

    Local veteran advocate Dean Markuson reports that the 434th Chemical Company, based in Hastings and Red Wing, has arrived in Kuwait, on a mission to provide chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense, with soldiers trained to respond to multiple hazards, in the event or use of weapons of mass destruction, in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Markuson also reports that Coborn's Grocery in Hastings has been the first business to step forward in support of the deployment with a shipment of Gourmet Popcorn of several flavors. The length and particular support mission of the deployment have not been released.

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    Concert In The Orchard Is Back

    The Dakota County Historical Society will host their weekly August Concerts in the Orchard at the LeDuc Historic Estate, sponsored by Merchants Bank. The concerts will take place each Sunday during the month of August at 6:30 PM in the apple orchards at the LeDuc Estate. The concerts are free of charge, but donations are encouraged. Attendees will want to bring their own chair or blanket to sit on during the event. The LeDuc Historic Estate is located at 1629 Vermillion Street in Hastings. For more information you can contact the LeDuc Estate at 651-438-8480, or visit the Historical Society website. Listings are also available on the Community Events page of KDWA.com.

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    Spices Recalled

    On Tuesday, McCormick & Co. issued a voluntary recall of four spice products sold in local grocery stores, citing possible salmonella contamination. According to published information, the recalled spices include McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian Seasoning, both the 1.31 oz. and 2.25 oz. bottles, McCormick Culinary Italian Seasoning and Frank's RedHot Buffalo Ranch Seasoning. The affected products were shipped to 32 different states and sold in Walmart, Target and other stores, according to the FDA. McCormick & Co. states that no illnesses have been reported to date. Stores that sold the products have been alerted, according to the notice, and were instructed to remove the products from shelves. If you have one of these spices, you are urged to dispose of the product and its container. To request a replacement or full refund, call 800-635-2867.

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    Farmington Offers Water Rebates

    The City of Farmington is now accepting applications for the 2020-2022 Water Efficiency Rebate Program. To encourage water conservation, the program is funded, in part, by a grant from the Metropolitan Council to establish a program to reduce municipal water use in both residential and commercial properties within the city. The program offers rebates to water customers who replace old, inefficient toilets, washing machines and irrigation systems with WaterSense and Energy Star certified appliances and equipment to help conserve water and reduce utility bills. As a result of grant funding the City of Farmington is offering rebates to residents who replace existing devices with specified water efficient devices. Rebate funds are limited and will be issued to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until June 30, 2022 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Rebates will be in the form of a credit on the resident's utility bill. For complete details, visit the City of Farmington's website.

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    Washington County Park Photo Contest

    Members of the general public who have been snapping photos in Washington County Parks now have the opportunity to submit those photos with the possibility of one being used on the county's annual 2022/2023 parks pass. This year, Washington County will be highlighting St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park as it celebrates its 25th anniversary as a county regional park. If you have photos that you would like to submit of St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park, submit them to ParksPhotos@co.washington.mn.us. Submissions are limited to three per person, and photo submission via Google Docs will not be accepted. The deadline is Oct. 4.

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    Legion Chicken Dinners Return

    Prescott American Legion Post 61 is still in fundraising mode for repairs to the Post building, and will be offering its first post COVID Fried Chicken Feed on Saturday, August 7th from 5 PM to 7 PM. It will be a drive through at the Legion Hall, with no need to get out of your car. Take out dinners will include a 4-piece half chicken, dressing, gravy & mashed potatoes, baked beans, and roll, all for $12. According to information provided by Legion Post 61, by September they anticipate basement remodeling work will be completed and the Post will be offering in house Fried Chicken dinners. There will be takeout orders and will continue the tradition of "all you can eat" in house, from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM, and the price will remain $12. The Chicken Feeds will continue through out the year on the first Saturday of the month.

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    Prescott Council Approves Land Sale

    The Prescott City Council held a closed session on Monday evening to deliberate the sale of public land next to the Two Rivers Bar and Grill to the establishment. While the details of the closed session will not be made public, when the Council returned to open session, it approved the sale of the land to Two Rivers, for $7,500, plus the cost of surveying, by a unanimous voice vote.

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    PPD Receives Grant

    Prescott Chief of Police Eric Michaels presented information to the Prescott City Council during a meeting on Monday night regarding a National Criminal History Improvement Program Livescan Implementation grant which was recently awarded to the Prescott Police Department in the amount of $19,646. Chief Michaels explain what Livescan does.

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    According to the meeting minutes, the match for the Police Department is $2,183 for a total grant award of $21,829. The grant will carry over two budget cycles which means the funds could be spent in 2021. A motion to approve the grant award for the Prescott Police Department passed by unanimous vote.

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    Prescott Weekend Bar Hours Extended

    On Monday evening, the Prescott City Council deliberated a request to move the closing time for downtown establishments back to 2:30 AM. According to the meeting minutes, the Council moved to reset closing times for bars and restaurants to 2:30 AM on weekends, beginning July 29. The Council also expressed appreciation for establishment owners who have stepped up to help with downtown disturbance issues, and the Council hopes the decrease in incidents continues.   

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    HPD Makes Drug Bust

    Hastings Police reports the arrest of a man during a recent traffic stop, who was wanted in Scott County. Deputy Chief David Wilske has the details.

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    In all, HPD logged 50 entries to the police blotter for the week ending July 19th.

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    Stoffel Sentenced

    A Hastings woman was sentenced Tuesday to more than two years in federal prison and ordered to pay back more than $650,000 she admitted to stealing from Vermillion Township while serving as its elected clerk. 70-year-old Maryann Stoffel pled guilty in March to felony wire fraud in connection with a scheme that spanned nearly eight years. According to the AP, Stoffel had signature authority over the township's bank account, which required two people signing off on checks. Investigators said she either forged the signatures of the township's treasurer or board chair or collected their actual signatures on blank checks while claiming she was going to pay township bills. Instead Stoffel put the funds in her personal bank account and then left the payments to herself off the township's annual report. U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schultz sentenced Stoffel to 27 months in prison and ordered restitution of $652,674.

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    Prescott K9 Project Reaches Goal

    The Prescott Foundation has reported that the K9 Project has met the $70,000 goal in efforts to bring a K9 team to the Prescott Police Department. According to information published by the Foundation, the Prescott City Council approved moving forward with the Prescott K9 Project with the stipulation that a K9 team will be implemented according to Police Chief Eric Michaels' discretion and timeline. The Foundation still seeks donations to help pay for yearly upkeep and other necessary costs. Reaching the $70,000 goal took four years, according to the Foundation, and the entire effort seeks to honor the memory of late Police Chief Gary Krutke, who passed away in 2017.

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    Hastings PSAC Meeting Preview

    The Hastings Public Safety Advisory Commission meets for regular business on Thursday July 29th, at 6:30 PM in the Volunteer Room of Hastings City Hall. After introductions and greetings by Community Engagement Officer Rinowski, the Commission will hear departmental updates from Police Commander Schowalter and Fire Chief Townsend. The Commission will also deliberate and finalize 2021 National Night Out plans for the City, to include attendees, food and supplies, the layout and other details. The meeting is open to the public.

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    Dakota Electric Awards Scholarships

    One-hundred and one area high school students received scholarships this spring for their post-secondary education from Dakota Electric Association. Hastings students receiving scholarships are Mollie Begin, Kasilu Evans, Allyson Herzog, Isabella Holmes, Mackenzie Iliff, Caleb Long, Matthew Peine, Dylan Reinardy, Isabella Riches, and Hailey Weber. Others receiving part of the $160,000 unclaimed capital credits this year are students at Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College who will receive their scholarships in the fall. Dakota Electric has donated nearly $2 million since 1990 to help students reach their goals through post-secondary education. The money for the annual scholarships comes from unclaimed patronage capital, also known as capital credits.   

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    North Point Named As Developer of CG Project

    Cottage Grove Mayor Myron Bailey recently shared that North Point Developers is the company that hopes to break ground on a project to build 2.4 million square feet of office, warehouse, manufacturing and distribution space on 196 acres of land south and west of 100th Street and Ideal Avenue in Cottage Grove. According to a post by Bailey on social media, the proposal is for more than 1 building and North Point is proposing to complete the entire project within 4 years. Bailey stated that this will be the largest single industrial project in the Twin Cities and possibly the state. According to Bailey, North Point is a very reputable company building similar developments across the United States. The buildings will range in size from 200,000 to over 500,000 square feet. Bailey says that this project is a huge win for Cottage Grove, and has the potential to create good jobs, expand the tax base, add more opportunity for more retail and restaurant options. As North Point finalizes the plans, they anticipate presenting the information before the Cottage Grove Planning Commission in September or October. Construction is expected to begin in the Spring of 2022.

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    Woodbury Man Arrested On Charges

    A Woodbury resident is facing several charges related to child pornography. According to published reports, 34-year-old William Glenn Pinckney has been charged with eight counts of possessing child pornography following an investigation by the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. An investigation began in May when ICAC investigators received several tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that appeared to be associated with one person using a Google account to store images of child pornography. ICAC agents identified Pinckney as the account holder. Agents executed a search warrant last week and seized several electronic devices at Pinckney's residence that were found to have hundreds of files of child pornography. Each file seized by investigators depicts a different child victim, according to the criminal complaint. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 5 years of incarceration and fines up to $5,000, if convicted.

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    Gun Club To Hold Ladies Day

    The Dakota County Gun Club works to provide educational events for youth and woman to make better, safer marks-people. Especially for women, stigma can be a hurdle to gun literacy. Hear John Gamlin share about the upcoming Ladies Day event and their outreach programs.   

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    Freedom Park Holds Ribbon Cutting

    Freedom Park in Prescott hosted a ribbon cutting Tuesday morning to celebrate the Wisconsin Great River Road being named an All-American Road. The status change helps support long term economic growth for small communities and highlights the unique riches of the river valley for visitors from all over the globe. Andrew Nussbaum with Wisconsin Department of Tourism and Sherry Quamme with Wisconsin Mississippi River Parkway Commission share the process and the importance of this region to the world.

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    Combine Fire In Marshan Township

    On July 19th, the Hastings Fire and EMS Department responded to a reported fire in the 12700 block of 220th Street, in Marshan Township, where a farm combine had caught fire. According to the Fire Department report, crews were called at 3:27 PM, and arrived on the scene at 3:37, remaining on scene until 4:20. While no estimate of damages was reported, there were also no reports of any injuries or death in the fire. The fire is said to have been on the outside of the combine with no clear area of origin on the machine, but investigation reveals that vegetation may have been how the fire started.

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    RTD Successful for 2021

    The Hastings Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau reports that Rivertown Days made a wonderful comeback this year. Chamber President Kristy Barse was very happy with the event.

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    She also stated that new board members are needed.

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    Please email Kristy@HastingsMN.org with the subject Rivertown Days Committee 2022 if you would like to join the team. Learn more at RivertownDaysMN.com.

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    (Aerial Shot of RTD 2021. Photo source: Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce)

    Prescott Plan Commission Meeting Preview

    The Prescott Planning Commission will hold a public hearing as part of a regular meeting on August 2nd to gather public input on a plan to rezone recently acquired Sears Farm property to I-3, mixed Commercial and industrial use. Other agenda items include final plats for the Palmetto Subdivision Phase 2 and the Great River Addition, and a Concept Plan for a deck at the Two Rivers Bar and Grill. The meeting is set for 6 PM, at the Prescott Municipal Building, 800 Borner Street.

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    HFS Match Challenge Ending

    Hastings Family Service reports that this is the final week for the Open Your Heart Summer Challenge, which helps to provide summer meals for area families in need. According to a press release, every gift made through July 31 will be proportionately matched by Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless. HFS says that kids are out of school and tight budgets are stretched with additional daycare and food expenses. Your gift provides meals, nutrition, and a chance for kids to simply be kids this summer. Donations can be mailed to HFS at 301 2nd St. E, Hastings, MN 55033, dropped off to the Donation Center, or in their secure donation system, or securely online at HastingsFamilyService.org.

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    Minor Injuries In Accident

    The Hastings Police Department reports responding to three accidents in Hastings for the period of July 15 through July 26. The accidents occurred at the intersections of 4th and Pine Street, 33rd and Vermillion, and 15th Street and Westview Drive. The accident at Pine and 4th resulted in minor injuries to 72-year-old Hastings resident Rebecca Lee Peterson and 59-year-old Hastings resident Kimberly Ann Lewis. Lewis was also cited for speeding.

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    Kids N Kinship Gets Grants

    Kids 'n Kinship has announced that they have received two grants totaling over $62,000 from local philanthropic organizations. According to published reports, a $27,500 grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, and $35,000 from the Otto Bremer Trust will be used to fund youth mentoring programs in Dakota County. Kids 'N Kinship focuses on children age 5 to 16 in Dakota County that could benefit from spending time with an adult mentor each week. Kids 'N Kinship also seeks mentors for children and will have a number of volunteer orientation sessions in August and September. Interested persons can visit KidsNKinship.org for complete details and registration forms.

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    WI Hwy 29 Update

    A closure from US Highway 10 in Prescott to County F has been announced, and the closure expected to be in place for up to to two months. Wis DOT has issued a press release saying that the pavement replacement project from Prescott to River Falls in Pierce County will result in a two-month closure of WIS 29, anticipated to start Monday, Aug. 9. WIS 29, from County F to Cemetery Road, closed since work began May 10, will remain closed. All traffic is being detoured via US 10 and WIS 65. During the work in the segment from US 10 to County F, access will be maintained for properties as it has been on the other stretch of the project, but temporary driveway closures will be necessary during parts of the construction process. WisDOT will contact homeowners and businesses in advance before temporarily closing any driveway. Construction is scheduled for completion in October. The schedule is dependent on favorable weather conditions and construction progress. For more information regarding traffic impacts, transportation news and improvement project updates Visit the project's 511 website.

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    Investigations Continue

    The Hastings Police Department is still working the investigations into the recent deaths of Kyle Hamilton, who was found at Levee Park, and Kelly Kocurek, who passed away under suspicious circumstances at the Coratel in Hastings in May. Deputy Chief David Wilske provided a brief comment on the cases.

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    Stay tuned to KDWA for updates as they become available.

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    316 Project Moves To Phase 1B

    In Highway 316 News, MnDOT is nearing completion of Phase 1A of the project, having installed the compact roundabout at Tuttle Drive, and placing curbs and the first layer of pavement between Malcolm Avenue and Tuttle Drive. MnDOT expects to transition to Phase 1B (south of Tuttle Drive) at the end of July. To help get ahead on future phases of the project, the underground utility subcontractor has been working in select locations along the Highway north of Phase 1A, making reconfigurations to some of the City's water and sewer infrastructure at Tiffany Drive, 33rd Street, and along the boulevards in some spots. Beginning at 6 AM on July 27th, crews will shift the completely closed area of Hwy 316 to between Tuttle Dr. and Michael Ave. Hwy 316 is still closed to through traffic, requiring temporary detours during construction. For motorists using Tuttle Dr., use the new Tuttle Dr. intersection roundabout to and from the north junction of Hwy 61. For east side traffic, the temporary bypass for access to and from the south on Hwy 316 will be removed. Please visit MnDOT's Highway 316 project website for further information and to sign up for email updates.

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    (Photo Source: City of Hastings)

    HBC Project Moves Forward In Hastings

    Since May, Hiawatha Broadband Communications (HBC) has been installing new underground fiber optic service lines in the western portions of Hastings. The second phase of this year's work is just getting underway and includes the residential area north of 15th Street, west of Todd Way and south of Highway 55. In advance of any actual installation, existing underground utilities are being marked with lawn flags along the existing right of way. These flags will be utilized by the installers so that they can safely avoid the existing buried utilities. HBC has informed the City of Hastings that all impacted property owners in this work area will be receiving a notice in the mail this week. HBC plans to build out a fiber optic system throughout the City of Hastings over the next 4 to 5 years to offer fiber telecommunications services to residential and business customers. For more information on this construction project, please visit HBC's project webpage. Questions about the project can be directed to HBC at (651) 432-4357. Also, HBC has opened up a new retail location at 1775 Market St., Hastings.

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    Utility Late Fees Reinstated

    Hastings utility bill late fees will be reinstated with the August billing. According to information provided by the City, in March of 2020, the City Council approved suspending late fees to delinquent utility accounts to ease the financial burden on residents and business that were struggling economically during the COVID pandemic. In order to streamline the payment process, the city's utility billing vendor has added QR codes to the top of utility billing statements next to the City address block. When homeowners snap a picture of the QR code using a smart phone they will be taken to the online payments website to pay their bill.

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    Hastings Announces Personnel Changes

    The City of Hastings has announced the retirement of IT Manager Alan Nordquist. As the IT Manager since 2013, Nordquist has been known as a dependable, knowledgeable member of the City team. He has worked with each department in the City to implement various projects, large and small. Alan has overseen the installation of robust, reliable servers and data storage; increased network security and recoverability with a new firewall, backup system, network analysis server, and instituted user security awareness training. In other staffing news, the City reports that the City Council has appointed new resident Commisisoners to the Charter Commission. The new Commission members are Joe Balsanek, Connie Blasing, Paul Hicks, Dolores Pemble, Josh Salzman, Ron Toppin, and Marty Weber. The Charter Commission is responsible for reviewing and revising the City Charter to ensure applicability with State and Federal laws and that it meets the needs of the citizens of Hastings.

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    Trail Study On Hwy 42 in Hastings

    Dakota County has begun a study of various locations around the County on their roadways where pedestrian and bicyclist safety concerns have been brought forward. In Hastings, the study will focus on the area along County Road 42 between Pleasant Drive and Madison Street. According to the City, during the initial stages, the study will be observing current conditions and soliciting feedback from trail users through an online survey, accessible by links to QR codes placed on signs in the immediate area. As the study progresses, there may be pilot-project style implements placed in key locations where the data, observations, and feedback suggest a need for improved safety.   

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    Starry Trek Participants Sought

    Lake-loving volunteers are needed across the state of Minnesota on Saturday, August 21, to participate in a search for starry stonewort, an aggressive, aquatic invasive algae can spread easily and grows into dense mats at and below lake surfaces. According to the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District, Starry Trek is an annual event where members of the public first gather at training sites to learn how to identify starry stonewort and other aquatic invasive species. Lindsey Albright, with the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District explains why Starry Stonewort is an issue.

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    For a full list of the sites and other FAQs, please visit StarryTrek.org.

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    Pierce County Crash Injures One

    On Monday, July 26th at about 4:20 AM, the Pierce County Sheriff's Office was notified of a one vehicle crash with injury on Highway 65 near 610th Avenue in Ellsworth Township. According to a PCSO press release, 56-year-old Ellsworth resident Benjamin Kelln was driving a vehicle southbound on Highway 63 when he left the roadway, traveled through the west ditch and struck a field driveway before stopping at the edge of a corn field. Kelln was transported from the scene by Ellsworth Area Ambulance Service to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, with undetermined injuries. Assisting the PCSO at the scene was the Ellsworth Fire Department and the Ellsworth Area Ambulance Service.

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    Prescott Council Meeting Preview

    The Prescott City Council meets Monday evening. City Administrator Jayne Brand provides a preview of the agenda.

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    Prescott Water Ban Update

    As previously reported on KDWA Radio, one of the Prescott water towers will be drained for routine maintenance, starting August 2nd. City Administrator Jayne Brand reminds Prescott residents of a couple of impacts from the work.

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    Questions and concerns can be directed to the City at 715-262-5544.

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    Crane In Place For Lock Work

    Work continues at Lock and Dam #2 to replace the lock gates that were originally installed in 1942. Motorists traveling across the bridge have seen the large derrick-style crane that is being used to remove the old gates and install the new ones. According to the USACE Website, the lock will be closed to all traffic, commercial and recreational, from 7 AM to 7 PM, July, 27 and 29, and the observation deck will also be closed to the public. See more on the Corps of Engineers News Page.

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    (Photo Source: USACE)

    Veteran Services Officer Assigned To Hastings

    Hastings will now have a Dakota County Veteran Service Officer who will work at the Hastings City Hall. Veterans Services provides benefit counseling, advice and assistance for veterans or their family members filing claims for state and federal benefits. The county also assists veterans and their families with a variety of other programs and provides referrals to community resources. County Veterans Services Officer Karly Tiegs will be scheduling appointments at the Hastings City Hall on Wednesdays, starting August 4th. Walk-Ins are welcome, however, appointments are preferred. Please contact 651-554-5601 to schedule a meeting.

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    K9 Zeus Joins DCSO

    The Dakota County Sheriff's Office has announced the newest member, K9 Zeus, to the Dakota County Sheriff's Office. According to a post on social media, Zeus is a Dutch Shepherd from Belgium and was born on May 27th, of 2020. Zeus is already familiar with hand signals and verbal commands. Zeus and his K9 handler, Deputy Jacob Kurschner, will begin training in August for approximately 12 weeks.   

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    (K9 Zeus and Handler Deputy Kurschner. Photo Credit: DCSO)

    County Board Hopeful For No Tax Increase

    At a recent budget work session, members of the Dakota County Board signaled support for a County budget that requires a 0% increase in County property taxes for 2022. While there is still more budget work to be done, County Commissioners say there is a very strong chance of no increase in county property taxes for 2022. Keep up with the County Budget process at DakotaCounty.us.

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    Bison Shelter Planned At Spring Lake Park Reserve

    Using grant funds, the Dakota County Board voted last week to begin construction on facilities that will safely make Spring Lake Park Reserve in Rosemount a great home to 15 American Plains bison. The bison will play a key role in prairie restoration and management on 130 acres, and these efforts will help protect and restore the American Plains bison as a species. Commissioner Joe Atkins thanked local legislators for leading the efforts to secure state LCCMR grant funding. To celebrate the funding, everyone is welcome to the bison groundbreaking on Friday, July 30th at 9:45am at Spring Lake Park Reserve, 13501 Pine Bend Trail, Rosemount. Join in the placing of the first fencepost, as the site is readied for the arrival of bison in 2022.

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    UWH To Hold Overdose Awareness Day

    United Way of Hastings continues to sound the alarm for Fentanyl poisoning issues in the Hastings area. According to a recent information release by UWH, Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a prescription drug that is also made and used illegally. Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, are now the most common drugs involved in drug overdose deaths in the United States. According to the CDC, in 2020, the United States recorded a staggering 90,000 overdose deaths.That's a 30% increase from 2019 and the highest on record. A substantial number of them involved fentanyl. In an effort to increase awareness of this tragedy, August 31st has been designated International Overdose Awareness Day. United Way of Hastings is joining with the City of Hastings and community members to recognize this day in our community. Learn more at UnitedWayOfHastings.org.

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    Impact Fees Under Review In Prescott

    The Prescott Prescott Public Works Committee recently conducted a review of Impact Fees levied against new construction in Prescott. City Administrator Jayne Brand explained that the fees are collected from new construction projects to help fund infrastructure improvement in town.

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    The City Council will make a final decision on the fees at an upcoming meeting.

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    Prescott Watering Ban To Start

    The City of Prescott will activate a watering ban in City Limits beginning on August 2nd. City Administrator Jayne Brand provides the reason.

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    The ban stipulates that even house numbers will be allowed to water on even days, and odd house numbers will water on odd days. The watering ban will remain in effect until the drained tower is refilled.

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    Hastings Preservation Meeting Preview

    The Hastings Heritage Preservation Commission meets for regular business on Tuesday, July 27th at 7 PM. Agenda items include Certificate of Approval Reviews for new signs in the 100 block of 2nd Street East, partial demolition and rehabilitation on the 300 block of Pine Street, and new storm windows for a structure in the 200 block of Sibley Street. The Commission will also discuss Preservation Awards. The meeting will be held in the City Hall Volunteer Room, and is open to the public.

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    Hastings Plan Commission Meeting Canceled

    Hastings Community Development Director John Hinzman has reported that the Hastings Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Monday, July 26th has been canceled. The next regular meeting of the Hastings Planning Commission is scheduled for Monday, August 9th at 7 PM. Meeting access information is available on the City website at HastingsMN.gov.

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    Slavik Appointed To Broadband Task Force

    One takeaway from the COVID pandemic is that not all Dakota County residents have access to stable, fast, and reliable internet access, which is becoming a norm in society with the advent of distance learning and telemedicine. Dakota County Commissioner Mike Slavik recently commented on one reason the county experiences difficulty in funding for upgrades.

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    He also said that a nation-wide task force has been created to address the issue on a nationwide scale.

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    Slavik hopes to bring attention and solutions to the County's unique situation.

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    Dakota County Warrant Resolution Day

    Dakota County has announced a virtual Warrant Resolution Day in Dakota County. Commissioner Mike Slavik explained why the program was started.

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    If you've got a low-level Dakota County warrant that needs resolving, there is now an opportunity for individuals who meet the specific warrant criteria to appear safely via Zoom and work with the Minnesota Judicial Branch First Judicial District and key partners to address active warrants and take actions to resolve or move forward with their underlying court case. Virtual Warrant Resolution Day runs from 9 AM to 4 PM on August 20. Get more information at DakotaCounty.us.

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    IRS Warns Of Tax Scams

    The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division is warning taxpayers about Child Tax Credit-related scams, which criminals may use to steal money and personal information. While millions of American families started receiving the advance Child Tax Credit payments last week, criminals were already looking for innovative tactics to take advantage of unwitting victims. Taxpayers should be on the lookout for a variety of phone, e-mail, text message and social media scams targeting families eligible for the credit. Any communication offering assistance to sign up for the Child Tax Credit or to speed up the monthly payments is likely a scam. When receiving unsolicited calls or messages, taxpayers should not provide personal information, click on links, or open attachments as this may lead to money loss, tax-related fraud, and identity theft. To report suspicious IRS-related phishing and online scams, visit IRS.gov.

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    ISD 200 Developing Strategic Plan

    The Hastings School Board is currently working in development of a Strategic Plan for ISD 200 that will help the District best serve the students and staff. Superintendent Dr. Bob McDowell commented that the process has been going for a while.

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    Hear the entire interview with Dr. McDowell on Community In Depth on KDWA.

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