Local News

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    Hastings Announces "Restaurant Week"

    The City of Hastings is proud to be home to a large selection of over 40 restaurants, and wishes to showcase dining in the Hastings area during the winter months by rolling out "Restaurant Week" in Hastings, during the week of January 15th through the 22nd. Businesses that wish to participate by offering patrons a discount or special offer during the week are encouraged to fill out a form to be featured online and on the City's social media channels. A link to the enrollment form is available on the City website.   

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    HFS Year End Recap

    Hastings Family Service reports that they have had a strong year of helping families in the ISD 200 Area. Executive Director Amy Sutton says that numbers are up from previous years.

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    Sutton also talked about the recent Town Hall meeting held to address the issue of homelessness in Hastings.

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    HFS always welcomes volunteers to the Service, and listeners can learn more on the Volunteer page of HastingsFamilyService.org.   

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    Rise Up Recovery Finishes 2022 Strong

    Rise Up Recovery in Hastings is finishing the year on a strong note, and Executive Director Tiffany Neuharth says that the strong finish happened with a lot of donated support and materials, especially at Providence House.

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    Learn more at RiseUpRecoveryMN.com.

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    Hastings Chamber Sets Annual Meeting

    The Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau is looking ahead to their Annual meeting, coming up in January. Jessica Dodge, Program and Communications Manager for the Chamber commented on the need for the meeting and how it has evolved over the years.

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    The Chamber has chosen an historical location for this year's meeting.

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    Learn more at HastingsMN.org.

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    Brittany Mora Recognized

    Brittany Mora, Nutrition and Physical Activity Manager at Pierce County Public Health Department, has been named Wisconsin's 2022 Community Star, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health recently announced. On the third Thursday of November, NOSORH leads National Rural Health Day (NRHD), an annual celebration that honors those serving the vital health needs of nearly 61 million rural Americans. Mora is currently featured in the 2022 edition of the Community Star eBook, which is available on the official NRHD website, PowerofRural.org. The eBook showcases the stories of Community Stars from 48 states, exemplifying this year's NRHD theme of "Driving Change and Going the Extra Mile".   

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    (Brittany Mora. Submitted Photo.)

    Sweet Kneads Opens Cannon Falls Location

    The Hi-Quality Bakery Building, on 2nd Street in Cannon Falls, has gotten a new lease on life as the second location for the Sweet Kneads Bakery of Farmington. The owner of Hi-Quality, Matthew Shelton, closed the doors of the bakery in November, and reached out to Steve Hobbs, owner of Sweet Kneads to offer the building. After conferring with his family, Hobbs decided to take over the space, and even took on a number of Hi-Quality staff in the process. There are plans to remodel the store in January.

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    Dakota County Thanks Park Volunteers

    Dakota County Parks might be covered in white snow, but park staff still thinking green. The end of the season marks another excellent year of growth for the Dakota County Native Plant Propagation Program. The propagation team, consisting of staff, volunteers, and Conservation Corps members, grew over 40,000 native plants from 120 species this year to improve habitat throughout the parks. County Parks staff thank the 160 volunteers who joined them in collecting seeds, growing natives, and planting plugs. Learn more on the Dakota County Parks webpage.

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    (Volunteers work on plants. Dakota County photo.)

    Groups Have Ideas For Estimated $17B Surplus

    Minnesota's projected budget surplus now stands at more than 17 billion dollars. Supporters of clean energy projects and other infrastructure needs say the outlook should compel state lawmakers to approve matching funds tied to federal support. Mike Moen reports.

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    Shop With A Hero Set For Thursday Evening

    The YMCA, Fleet Farm, and the Hastings Police and Fire Departments will hold "Shop with a Hero" for approximately 20 youth in the Hastings Area on Thursday evening. YMCA Executive Director Josh Shoaf has the details.

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    Items were generously donated by Hastings residents.

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    Winter Fest Prep Underway In Prescott

    Looking beyond the Christmas and New Year's holidays, businesses in Prescott are well under way for planning a Winter Fest, on Saturday, January 14th, in Downtown Prescott. Kimberly Braun, owner of Lucille's has some of the details.

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    The event runs from 11 AM to 8 PM. Learn more on the Facebook event page.

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    Prescott To Hold Public Hearing On New Road

    The Prescott Planning Commission will be holding a public hearing on Tuesday, January 3rd at 6:00 PM, at the Prescott City Hall, 800 Borner Street, to hear public comment on a recommended amended Comprehensive Plan and to recommend adoption of the amended Comprehensive Plan to the City Council. The Plan Amendment would shift the route of the current north/south arterial planning east. The City of Prescott is proposing this change due to the old route requiring an estimated $11-$16-million-dollar bridge over a ravine in the middle of the route. Additionally, a north-south route was originally planned for residents to gain access to businesses along US Highway 10 and for emergency personnel to have an alternative route to homes that are being built within new developments. Like any plan it is meant to look to future growth, density, and potential for additional services if it occurs. Following a short presentation, the Plan Commission will open the public hearing to accept public input. Residents are encouraged to attend the public hearing and to offer your comments.

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    PSD Election Set

    The Prescott School District announces that an election will be held in the District on Tuesday, April 4th, for the seat currently held by Steve Sizemore. According to a public notice published on the School District website, Campaign Registration Statements and Declarations of Candidacy must be filed no later than 5:00 PM on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, in the office of the school district clerk at 1220 St. Croix Street. Forms may be submitted between the hours of 8 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday or by appointment. The school district offices are closed beginning December 23, 2022 through January 2nd, 2023. If a primary is necessary, the primary will be held on Tuesday, February 21st. A description of the school district boundaries can be obtained at the school district administrative office.

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    GCSO Volunteer Awarded

    On Tuesday evening, Goodhue County Sheriff Marty Kelly was honored to present Cal Fulton with the 2022 Minnesota Sheriffs' Association Volunteer of the Year Award. Cal joined the Goodhue County Sheriff's Mounted Posse as a volunteer in 1995 and has been an active member for the past 27 years. Cal has volunteered over 10,000 hours within this organization.

    Chief Deputy Jonathan Huneke and Captain Chad Steffen also attended this special occasion. Chief Deputy Huneke commented that it is amazing to have members like Cal involved with the GCSO.

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    (L to R: Captain Steffen, Sheriff Kelly, Cal Fulton, Chief Deputy Huneke. Submitted photo)

    MN Budget Surplus Increases

    The Office of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released a new economic forecast. According to MMB, Minnesota has a projected budget surplus of $17.6 billion. The forecast does not take inflation into account on the expenditure side, but does take projected inflation into account on the revenue side. Majority Leader-elect Rep. Jamie Long issued the following statement.

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    The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a public hearing about the new economic forecast; an announcement with the date and time is forthcoming. The 2023 legislative session convenes on Tuesday, January 3.

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    Women In Ag Conference Set

    "Building Resilience on your Farm and in your Family", the 2023 Women in Ag Network Conference will be held February 7th at the Willmar Conference Center, 240 23rd Street SE, in Willmar. This event will be a day of learning and networking for women involved in agriculture. Registration begins at 8:30 AM with the conference program from 9 AM to 3 PM. Monica McConkey, a rural mental health specialist and founder of Eyes on the Horizon Consulting, will be the keynote speaker. Breakout sessions will feature three diverse tracks for attendees to choose from on topics regarding business, production and safety and health. The day will end with a panel discussion on resiliency featuring local women in agriculture who have shown exceptional resiliency in their life and on their farm. Pre-registration is required for the conference on the U of MN Extension website. The early bird rate is $75 through January 16. After that date, registration increases to $100. Students receive a special rate of $25. Refunds are available for cancellations through January 27, with a $10 service fee charged. After January 27, there will be no refunds.

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    Mellick Renews Certification

    The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has announced that Mari Mellick, Executive Director of United Way of Hastings (UWH), was recently renewed as a Certified Association Executive (CAE). Mellick has been a member of ASAE since 2001 and has maintained the CAE designation since initially achieving the certification in 2005. The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry. To be designated as a CAE, an applicant must have experience with nonprofit organization management, complete a minimum of 100 hours of specialized professional development, pass a stringent examination in association management, and pledge to uphold a code of ethics. To maintain the certification, individuals must undertake ongoing professional development and activities in association and nonprofit management.

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    HFD Wreath Gets Red Bulb

    The Annual "Keep the Wreath White" campaign of the Hastings Fire and EMS Department has earned its first red bulb of the season. Assistant Fire Chief Chris Paulson has the details.

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    The damage was contained to the couch and there were no injuries. The campaign runs through January 1st.

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    HFS Reports Record Giving

    Give To The Max Day continues to have positive effects for the City of Hastings, as Hastings Family Service reports on the efforts for them. Executive Director Amy Sutton commented that Give To The Max Day was a record for HFS this year.

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    She also commented that Gobble Gait was also big event this year.

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    People in need in the ISD 200 area can reach out to Hastings Family Service in times of need. Visit HastingsFamilyService.org for more info.

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    Local Artists Honored

    The Hastings and Prescott Area Arts Council held their 12th annual HPAAC Gala on December 4th at the Hastings Arts Center, and local artists Connie Misener and Dale Lewis were announced as HPAAC Heroes at the event. Both artists have contributed heavily to the arts in the Hastings and Prescott area, with Lewis providing many pieces of statuary derived from discarded materials and Misener using her training and experience in building restoration efforts and murals.

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    Hastings Budget Hearing Held

    The 2023 Budget process for Hastings continued on Monday evening as the City Council held a required "Truth-In-Taxation" public hearing during the regular City Council meeting. City Administrator Dan Wietecha presented the Truth in Taxation meeting as a requirement for adoption of the 2023 Budget.

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    After the Public Hearing, and discussion of concerns by the Council, the Council approved a 2023 Budget of $42,375,010 and set a property tax levy of $17,373,405. A link to the Budget package is provided here.

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    Hollenbeck Speaks In Support of Arts Commission

    At Monday evening's Hastings City Council meeting, Barb Hollenbeck, owner of Second Childhood in Hastings, spoke on behalf of the Arts Task Force and the anticipated adoption of the Arts Commission.

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    She thanked the members of the Arts Task Force, City staff, and Council for the move to Commission, and announced she will be seeking appointment to the Commission, and will seek an extension of the two year Commission lifespan.

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    PSD Seeks Long-Term Substitute

    The Prescott Public School District announces they have an immediate opening for a long-term substitute teacher for 2nd grade at Malone Elementary School. According to the School website, compensation for substitute teachers is $150 per day. The successful candidate will start on January 3, and be available through the end of the 2022-2023 school year. Qualifications include Elementary/Middle Level Education (1088, 1083), or Regular Education (1777) certifications, with a Kindergarten License preferred. For complete details, or to apply, visit the Prescott School District website.

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    PPD Weekly Blotter Report

    The Prescott Police Department logged 133 entries to the Police Blotter for the week ending December 4th. A suspicious person call brought officers to the intersection of Sea Wing Boulevard and Pleasant Drive at 3:10 AM on the 2nd. Investigating officers arrested a female in a vehicle at the location for an active warrant, and she taken to the Pierce County Jail. The person arrested was not identified. A traffic stop near the intersection of South Court and South Streets at 1:20 AM on the 3rd resulted in citations issued to 47-year-old Prescott resident Matthew Jacob Allen for Operating While Intoxicated, operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration and driving with lights off. Allen was also arrested for Operating While Intoxicated. And a domestic disturbance call brought officers to Shane Park Circle at 1:40 PM on the 3rd. The investigation resulted in the arrest of 38-year-old Prescott resident Christopher Lee Offenhauser on a charge of assault. All persons listed on the blotter report are presumed innocent until proven guilty by due process of law.

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    Dean Markuson Passes

    Community condolences have begun pouring in after the news that local Viet Nam veteran and Veteran's advocate Dean Markuson passed away on Friday afternoon at the Veteran's Hospital in Minneapolis. A long-time figure in the City of Hastings, Markuson, a 20-year veteran of the Army, is best known for heading up Hastings' branch of the Yellow Ribbon Campaign for many years. After stepping down from that position, Markuson continued his service to veterans and their families by opening the Foss and Swanson Veteran's Center at 507 Vermillion Street. The Center was to be a place where veterans in need and their families could find resources for assistance and support. In 2021, Markuson donated the facility to Rise Up Recovery as a location for Rise Up to assist people dealing with chemical dependency to receive support and assistance. Dean was very active in the community and was a fierce advocate for veterans. Markuson was 71. Funeral arrangements are pending.   

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    HAHS To Celebrate Onion Grille

    Hastings Area Historical Society President Spencer Johnson announces that the next meeting of the Society will be held at the Onion Grille, 100 Sibley Street, Hastings, on Tuesday, Dec 13th, 7:00 PM. According to Johnson, the restaurant will be closed to the public, but open to members and friends for the meeting and program. There will be a cash bar, and a light appetizer menu available. Johnson commented that the building has a long history, including a Bahls Motor auto dealership, a boxing club, Hastings City Hall and more. Johnson, along with local artist Dave Youngren will be talking about the history of the building, with a short tour, starting at 7 PM to socialize, formal meeting at 7:30, with the tour to follow. Members are encouraged to invite friends and prospective members. The Society thanks Wendy Dodge of the Onion Grille for hosting. An RSVP is encouraged, but not required. Email RSVPs to SpencerJ1957@GMail.com.

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    CNC Reports GTTM Results

    The results from this year's Give to the Max fundraiser are in, and the Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center was able to raise over $5,000 in year-end gifts. Donations also helped the Center achieve a bonus goal of having at least 50 Give to the Max donors, with 70, which unlocked an extra $1,000 gift. Center Staff say there is still time to show your support with a year-end gift. In the spirit of inspiring generosity, the Carlson and Northard families have created a Challenge Match. If the Center receives a total of $45,000, in year-end donations through Jan 9, the Center can receive up to an additional $15,000 in matching gifts. Your year-end gift can help unlock thousands of extra dollars to support environmental education and conservation. Please share this opportunity with friends and consider donating today. Give to the Max gifts count towards this fundraiser challenge. Visit CarpenterNatureCenter.org to learn more and donate.

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    School Board Meeting Preview

    The ISD 200 School Board meets for regular business at 6 PM, on Wednesday, December 7th. Agenda items include a presentation regarding post-employment benefits, a World's Best Workforce annual report, a Policy Committee Report, and deliberation of several policies. Also included on the Agenda is deliberation of funding, and replacement of Elementary Literary Resources. The meeting is open to the public.

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    Andersen Named Prescott Kiwanis Student Of The Week

    The Prescott High School Counseling Office reports that the Prescott Kiwanis Student of the Week is Sophomore Riley Andersen. According to a nomination submitted by Math Teacher Bryce McCauley, Riley is a student that stands out due to her consistent work habits, respectful and positive demeanor, and high levels of achievement in the classroom. She has given herself the opportunity to take AP Statistics as a sophomore this year through her hard work in Summer Geometry before her freshman year and in Algebra II during her freshman year. Thus far, she has met every challenge that AP Stats has thrown her way and continues to demonstrate her strong character and work ethic through the manner in which she approaches class every day.

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    (Riley Anderson. Submitted Photo)

    PAFEA Meeting Preview

    The Prescott Area Fire and EMS Association will hold a regular meeting at 7 PM on Wednesday, December 7th, at the Prescott Fire Hall, 260 Flora Street. Agenda items include regular reports from the Fire Chief, Fire Safety, Ambulance Operations, and Department Administration, Finance Reports, and continued deliberations of old business. The meeting is open to the public.

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    DHS Urges Current MNCare and Medicare Info

    The Minnesota Department of Human Services is urging people on Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare to keep their contact information updated so they can receive important renewal information for their health insurance. According to a DHS press release, these programs rely on postal mail to communicate with enrollees, who risk losing their health insurance if they cannot be reached. People on Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare who moved in the past three years or will be moving soon should visit the DHS website to learn how to update their address, phone number and email. Keeping information current will help them keep their insurance when it's time to renew coverage.

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    Nurse Strike Possible

    Barring an agreement, 15,000 Minnesota nurses will go on strike on December 11. It would be the second walkout in recent months in a labor dispute that goes beyond standard negotiating matters, as Mike Moen reports.

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    Hastings City Council Meeting Preview

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

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    Consent Agenda Preview

    The Consent Agenda for the December 5th meeting of the Hastings City Council contains 15 items for consideration by a single vote. In addition to the routine measure to pay bills as audited, the Council will act on resolutions to declare the Holiday Train as a special event, Adopt Polling Place Locations for the 2023 Elections, Designate Official Newspaper, and declare Insurance Liability Coverage. Also included on the Consent Agenda are 2 change orders for Hastings Public Works storage building, a 1st reading and order for public hearing for City Ordinance Chapters 152 and 158, 2nd readings and adoptions of changes to City Code, Chapter 30, and Chapter 30, Section 34.03, a memorandum of understanding for a compensation study for Teamsters Chapter 320, Fire Captains, a declaration of surplus property, and an approval of the Civic Arena Ice Rental Agreement with ISD 200.

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    Prescott Plan Meeting Preview

    The Prescott Plan Commission meets for regular business at 6 PM on Monday, December 5th, at the Prescott Municipal Building, 800 Borner Street. Agenda items include a Concept Plan review for a structure in the 1000 block of Campbell Street, and a Zoning Code review for Zoning Chapter 635, pertaining to accessory dwelling units and solar energy. The meeting is open to the public.   

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    CF Legion Hosts Military Care Package Drive

    Kraft-Ostrum Legion Post 142 in Cannon Falls has announced the 6th Annual "Military Care Package" Event on January 28th, starting at 2 PM, at 218 4th Street North, in Cannon Falls. In preparation of the event, Care Package donation boxes have been placed at King's Place Bar and Grill in Miesville, Looking Good Full Services Salon, Family Salon, and the VFW in Cannon Falls. Donations of nonperishable food items, notes and letters will be accepted at these drop points. If any other businesses would like a donation box, please email the Legion at ALPost142.CannonFalls@gmail.com.

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    Arrests Made In Woodbury Assault Case

    On December 1st, Woodbury Police conducted 2 search warrants and an arrest warrant in relation to the assault involving a firearm that occurred on Lake View Drive on November 21, 2022. According to a Department press release, two juvenile males were arrested, ages 15 and 16. Since juveniles are involved and the investigation is ongoing, the WPD is unable to release more in-depth information at this time. The Woodbury Police Department was assisted by the Oakdale Police, the Washington County Sheriff's Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.    

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    WI Capitol Christmas Tree Trimming Set

    The State Capitol of Wisconsin is gearing up for Christmas, which includes the trimming of the Capitol Christmas Tree. State Representative Warren Petryk has the details.

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    Visitors to the Capitol are invited to the tree-lighting ceremony on Tuesday, December 6th, from noon to 1 PM. You can also watch the ceremony online by going to WisEye.org.    

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    MN Drought Concerns Linger

    Snow is on the ground in much of Minnesota, but the state is coming off another warm season with notable drought conditions. Those who monitor precipitation say there are some glimmers of hope, while acknowledging concerns. Mike Moen reports.

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    Bremer Farms Light Display Open

    The Bremer Farms Light Display is now on through January 1st. Organizer Sarah Hewitt has the details.

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    Santa on the Farm will have a special event on Saturday, December 10th. Bremer Farms is located at 7048 150th Street East, in Hastings.

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    HKS Partner Coalition Seeks Members

    United Way of Hastings' Helping Kids Succeed program seeks the input of parents, guardians, and those with a vested interest in the success of kids by way of the Community Partners Coalition. Jane Neumiller-Bustad, Director of Helping Kids Succeed, explains.

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    To learn more or to sign up for the coalition, visit UnitedWayOfHastings.org.

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    Hastings Candy Cane Hunt

    The City of Hastings invites everyone to get into the Holiday spirit with a Candy Cane Hunt, on now through December 11th. Candy Canes will be hidden in 5 parks in Hastings. To participate, use the 5 clues provided by the City to locate in which parks the candy canes are hidden. Each Candy Cane will have a letter attached. Write down this letter or take a picture. At the end of your hunt you should have 5 letters to unscramble a word. The hunt can be walked on the trails & would take 1.5 hours to complete. If driving, the hunt takes around 30 minutes. Email your unscrambled word and/or photos to ParksInfo@HastingsMN.gov. Prize information will follow once you submit your email. Clues can be found on the City website.   

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    Bison Settle In At SLP Reserve

    Dakota County has introduced a small herd of bison to Spring Lake Park Reserve, in Hastings, and Tom Lewanski, National Resource Manager for Dakota County Parks recently stopped by the KDWA studios talk about how the ideal number of bison for the area was determined.

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    Dakota County received a small herd of bison in early October. During the first fall and winter, the bison will remain in a fairly remote part of the range within Spring Lake Park Reserve to give them time to get used to each other and their new home.

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    Bianconi Selected As Dakota County Chief Deputy

    Dakota County Sheriff-Elect Joe Leko is pleased to announce that he has selected Dakota County Sheriff's Office Captain Dan Bianconi to be appointed as Chief Deputy Sheriff effective January 2, 2023. Captain Bianconi was hired as a deputy sheriff in 2001 and has held many duties and ranks in his 22-year tenure. In 2009, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant where he spent time in patrol, investigations, and commander of the Dakota County Drug Task Force. In 2014, he was promoted to captain with assignments in patrol, investigations, detention services, and administration. He holds a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Leadership from Concordia University and is a 2021 graduate of Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command.

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    (Dan Bianconi. DCSO Photo)

    PCSO Receives Donation For "Shop With A Cop"

    The Pierce County Sheriff's Office is well into their fundraising efforts for an upcoming "Shop With A Cop" event for the Holidays, and Sheriff Hove reports that the Pierce County Tavern League stopped by to present the PCSO with a $300 check in support of Shop With a Cop. The PCSO is still collecting donations for this event which will be held Monday, December 12th. Checks can be written out to "Pierce County Shop with a Cop" and dropped off or mailed to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, at PO Box 9 Ellsworth, WI 54011, Attn: Shop with a Cop.

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    (Submitted Photo)

    2000 Attend Home Town Holiday In Cottage Grove

    On Nov. 30, Cottage Grove held a Hometown Holiday Celebration outside City Hall from 5 to 7 PM. It is estimated that between 2,000 and 2,500 residents attended for an evening of photos with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and live reindeer, kids' activities, enjoying several lit trees on the property, wagon rides from the HERO Center and the Washington County Service Center, food trucks, music from the Park High School choir, bonfire pits, giveaways from sponsors, and a welcome speech from Mayor Myron Bailey. The intent is that the city will turn this into an annual event.

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    (Singers at the Hometown Holiday. Photo Source: City of Cottage Grove)

    School Board Certifies Zuzek

    The ISD 200 School Board met on Wednesday evening for the express purpose of verifying the election of Mark Zuzek to the School Board to fill the seat recently held by Mike Reis. Director Lisa Hedin read the resolution.

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    The board approved the motion to certify the election by unanimous roll call vote, with Director Beissel absent from the meeting. Zuzek's current legal issues were not officially addressed at this meeting.

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    Onion Grille To Close

    In an announcement made via social media, the Onion Grille reports that the eatery will close its doors permanently at the end of December. Owner Wendy Dodge says it is time to move on.

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    She also says that she is proud of the Grille for supporting other local businesses.

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    The closing date is set for the end of December, depending on staffing and other considerations.

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    TreeHouse Hastings Opens

    The Hastings community now has a new partner in the effort to raise healthy and well-adjusted children. Treehouse Hastings is a new community outreach program focused on kids grades 5-10 to keep them engaged and moving forward in life. Amy Hanson, the Director of Children, Youth and Families at Our Savior's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hastings explains.

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    Theresa Chantelle, the Community Outreach and Events Coordinator for Our Saviour's talked about how long it took to put the program in place.

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    Amy also commented about scheduling of events.

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    For more information, email TreehouseHastings@OSEL.org, or check out their page on Facebook.

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    St. John Lutheran Live Nativity Set

    St John's Lutheran Church in Hastings will have their 6th annual Living Nativity on Saturday, December 3rd, from 5 to 7 PM. Pastor Jon Zimpelmann invites the community to the event.

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    Pastor Zimpelmann talked about the intent of the Nativity.

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    St. John's Lutheran Church is located at 202 8th Street West.

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    Dakota Electric Capital Credit Payout Announced

    Dakota Electric Association's Board of Directors recently announced the 2022 capital credit payout to its members of a projected $5.8 million. Those who received power from Dakota Electric in 1998 through 2002 will receive a check this month. Capital credits reflect each member's ownership in the cooperative. Any excess revenue beyond expenses that is collected each year is accrued to each member's account based on their total energy usage that year. The capital credits are not paid out immediately but help reduce borrowing, saving money on interest rates and helping to keep electric rates low. These capital credits (sort of like dividends from a for-profit company) are then paid out to the membership, and more than 50,000 checks will be mailed in mid December. Dakota Electric's board has set the goal to achieve a 15-year rotation on the payout of capital credits by 2025. Currently, the payout is on a 20-year rotation, three years ahead of last year's payout. To learn more about capital credits, visit Dakota Electric's website.

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    2023 Budget Forecast Set For Release

    MN State Representative for District 52A, Rick Hansen, reports that the November budget forecast is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, December 6th. According to Hansen, this budget forecast will set the tone for the next biennium as the Legislature determines what to prioritize. For the last fiscal year, the 2022-23 biennium had a surplus of $9.25 billion. The final legislative actions used only about $2.2 billion of that surplus, leaving $7 billion on the bottom line. Hansen says that recent revenue results have exceeded expectations, hinting that the upcoming budget projection could exceed $10 billion.   

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    GCSO Deputy Involved In Shooting Identified

    The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has identified the Goodhue County Sheriff's Deputy involved in the use-of-force incident on November 22nd in Red Wing. According to a BCA press release, Deputy Steve Sutton-Brown shot 24-year old Fernando Javier Carbajal of Red Wing during a physical altercation. Reports say that just before 1 PM on Tuesday, November 22, witnesses called 911 to report a vehicle crashed into a telephone pole near Bay Point Park. The driver left the vehicle and was walking away from the crash. Deputy Sutton-Brown was taking part in training nearby and arrived on the scene first. Witnesses say the man, later identified as Carbajal, charged the deputy as he approached and the two engaged in a physical altercation. Because Sutton-Brown had come from training, he did not have his normal array of tools, including less-than-lethal options like aerosol, a baton, or taser. At one point during the altercation Sutton-Brown fell and injured his foot. He discharged his firearm three times at Carbajal, who was unarmed. Sutton-Brown has been a law enforcement officer for 19.5 years, and is on standard administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of investigation.

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    Tracy Scholarship Application Period Open

    The Minnesota FFA Foundation is excited to announce that the James W. Tracy scholarship applications are open. The James W. Tracy scholarship application carries a deadline of February 1st, 2023. This is the eighth year the Minnesota FFA Foundation has offered this scholarship program. The scholarship is open to Minnesota FFA and 4-H members. Applications are due by February 1st, with scholarship recipients being announced by May 1st. Applicants can be high school seniors or college students. Students are eligible to apply annually. If selected each year, they can receive this scholarship once as a high school student and once as a college student. For questions on the program, contact Amanda Sommers at 507-461-2214 or visit MNFFAFoundation.org.

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    Conditions Added To Cannabis Usage List

    The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will add irritable bowel syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder to the list of qualifying medical conditions for participation in Minnesota's medical cannabis program. Under state law, the new qualifying conditions will take effect Aug. 1, 2023. As in past years, MDH conducted a formal petition process to solicit public input on potential qualifying medical conditions and delivery methods for medical cannabis. Minnesotans submitted petitions in June and July. Following that, the process moved into a public comment period and a review panel. Under state rules, patients certified for new qualifying medical conditions will become eligible to enroll in the state's medical cannabis program on July 1, 2023, and receive medical cannabis from either of the state's two medical cannabis manufacturers starting Aug. 1, 2023. As with other qualifying conditions, patients need advance certification from a participating Minnesota health care provider. For a list of qualifying medical conditions, visit the MDH website.

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    Prescott Council Approves Police Contract

    The Prescott City Council deliberated a renewed contract between the City and the Prescott Police Department on Monday evening. City Administrator Matt Wolf introduced the measure.

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    The contract with, a term of January 2023 to December 2024, passed by unanimous vote.

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    Paid Parking Under Consideration For Downtown Prescott

    On Monday evening, the Prescott City Council deliberated a proposal to initiate paid parking for out-of-town vehicles in downtown Prescott. Alderperson Bailey Ruona summarized the proposal.

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    No official action was taken by the Council, but the City will continue to study the issue.

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    2023 Prescott Budget And Levy Adopted

    The Prescott City Council held a public hearing and deliberated the 2023 Levy for City property tax on Monday evening. City Administrator Matt Wolff provided a summary of the proposed levy.

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    He also summarized the budget broken down by departments and what percentage of the budget they were allotted.

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    After a public hearing, the Council adopted Resolution 41-22, the 2023 City of Prescott General Fund Budget and Levy by unanimous roll call vote.

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    Hastings Celebrates Thanksgiving 2022

    Thanksgiving weekend was a big hit in Hastings, starting with over 2800 participants raising money for Hastings Family Service at the 25th Annual Gobble Gait run on Thanksgiving morning. After the turkey comas wore off, the Hastings Downtown Business Association celebrated Small Business Saturday with a full day of festivities including performances by the Hastings Public Elementary School choirs, the Spiral Singers and Northern Lights Performance fire show. The day also included horse-drawn carriage rides, music, the lighting of the new snowflakes on 2nd Street and the annual Christmas Tree lighting at Hastings City Hall by Mayor Mary Fasbender.

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    (Fire Show At The Pavilion. KDWA Photo.)

    Barge Season Closes

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, saw the last barge of the year, the Motor Vessel Ashley Danielson, depart Lock and Dam 2 on Tuesday, November 29th, at 4:25 AM, ending the 2022 navigation season on the Upper Mississippi River. Traditionally, the last tow departing the capital city heading south of Lock and Dam 2 has marked the unofficial end of the navigation season. The last tow to leave St. Paul usually occurs around the last week of November or the first week of December. The 2022 season started March 21 when the Motor Vessel Aubrey B. Harwell, Jr., broke its way through the ice of Lake Pepin to travel to St. Paul. While they say goodbye to the 2022 navigation season, St. Paul District staff are busy this coming winter with maintenance projects scheduled at Locks and Dams 3 and 4 for miter gate anchorage bar replacement. The repairs are scheduled for completion in March 2023.

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    Prescott Weekly Blotter Report

    The Prescott Police Department logged 121 entries to the Police Blotter for the week ending November 27th. On November 21st at 2:10 PM, officers responded to the1000 block of Dexter Street to investigate a 2-vehicle accident. Officers determined that the vehicle occupants were juveniles and uninjured. An officer conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of Warren and Jefferson Streets at 6:25 PM on November 2nd that resulted in a citation issued to 43-year-old Prescott resident Jeanette Joy Sylvester for expired registration and no proof of insurance. Sylvester was then arrested for operating after revocation and violation of a court order for an ignition interlock device. And at 4:15 PM on November 26th, an officer assisted a citizen with a vehicle lock-out situation. All persons listed on the blotter report are presumed innocent until proven guilty by due process of law.

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