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Area News

April 27, 2015

Medical school planned in Gaylord

Gaylord, a community of 2,300 people 40 minutes southeast of Hutchinson, could soon be home to Minnesota’s newest medical school, the Hutchinson Leader reported.

The Gaylord City Council voted April 15 to work with a New York development firm to renovate the Sibley East school campus into a state-of-the-art training facility for primary care physicians. The campus is expected to include more than 125,000 square feet of classrooms and other learning centers, while dorms will eventually provide housing for more than 300 students.

McLeod Co. board says ‘no’ to additional hiring

McLeod County Commissioners voted April 21 not to hire a part-time deputy emergency management director at this time, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.

The state requires counties to provide a director and one or more deputy directors for emergency management. McLeod County’s director is Kevin Mathews, and deputies from the sheriff’s department have been serving in the part-time emergency management position.

Buffalo twins born on different days

The newborn sons of Greg and Jennifer Pilon of Buffalo are twins, but they weren’t born on the same day, the Wright County Journal-Press reported.

Grayson came first, at 11:34 p.m. March 31, while his brother, Griffon, was born at 12:32 a.m. April 1. Their big sister, McKenzie, is 20 months old. All three of the Pilon babies were brought into the world through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The process involves combining eggs and sperm outside the body in a laboratory. Once an embryo or embryos form, they are placed in the uterus.

Author shares story of loss in Watertown

The Friends of Watertown Library hosted an event Wednesday with award-winning author, JoAnn Kuzma Devent, a Mound resident and accompanist for churches in Mound and Watertown, the Carver County News reported.

Her award-winning book, “When Bluebirds Fly: Losing a Child, Living with Hope,” is a creative nonfiction memoir about losing her 18-month-old son, who drowned in a lake near their home. She has also written a humorous air travel book called “99 Ways to Make a Flight Attendant Fly – Off the Handle,” which has sold more than 10,000 copies.

‘Chemical-free’ activities funded in Litchfield

Members of Litchfield groups working to reduce underage drinking among local students reported April 20 how they’re using $5,000 contributed by the Litchfield City Council last year, the Litchfield Independent Review reported.

Funds helped pay for three “chemical-free” activities, including a trip to Valleyfair scheduled for later this year. The first event involved sending 174 students to Litchfield Hollywood Theater Nov. 21 to see “Big Hero 6” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One.” Expenses included movie tickets, popcorn and pop. Another event was an outing of 66 students and chaperones to Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe Jan. 23.

Cologne man works on Vikings stadium

Loren Schwinghammer, 59, of Cologne is one of many workers on the $1 billion Vikings stadium project, the Waconia Patriot reported. The stadium is scheduled to open in 2016.

Schwinghammer operates a crane with a reach of 300 feet, and has worked in construction the past 39 years. Originally from St. Cloud, he got his start in construction working on the family farm. Other notable projects Schwinghammer has worked on include the 35W bridge, the Lincoln Center and Norwest Center buildings, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport, and Target Field.

Annandale plans in case of shooting crisis

After gunfire erupted during a January council meeting in New Hope, the City of Annandale decided to make an evacuation plan that would take effect if an active shooter crisis occurred during a council meeting, the Annandale Advocate reported.

The Annandale Police Department also recently conducted active shooter training sessions at all three Annandale schools and at city hall. Police Chief Jeff Herr said the department is not trying to create anxiety or stress, but is just encouraging people to think about crisis situations and have a plan in place.

Waconia welcomes new elementary principal

Nancy Wittman was introduced as the new elementary principal for ISD 110’s new elementary school during the April 13 Waconia School Board meeting, the Waconia Patriot reported.

Sixty-five people applied for the position. Wittman has been an elementary principal with Eastern Carver County Schools for 15 years. Prior to becoming a principal, she spent 11 years as a classroom elementary teacher (grades 1-5) and gifted/talented teacher for both Eastern Carver County Schools and Jordan Public Schools.

Monticello man is $100,000 lottery winner

David Martineau of Monticello claimed a $100,000 lottery prize April 15 after playing the Monopoly Millionaires’ Club scratch game, the Wright County Journal-Press reported.

South Haven Sports in South Haven sold the winning ticket. Odds of winning were one in nearly 3 million. Since 1990, the lottery has raised more than $2.4 billion for state programs relating to education, public safety, health/human services, and the environment.

Hutchinson Lego League competes at world level

With help from local businesses, and some fundraising ideas of their own, the Lego League in Hutchinson traveled to the World Festival in St. Louis, MO April 22 to face off against 100 teams in their division, some from the US and others from abroad, the Hutchinson Leader reported.

The Hutchinson team was invited to the five-day World Festival after taking first place in the regional FIRST Lego League tournament in St. Paul. The team raised $11,000 to cover travel expenses for the 10 team members attending, and their guardians.