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Area News

March 30, 2015

Delano grad co-hosts National Park TV series
Delano High School 2007 graduate Colton Smith is co-hosting a series called “Rock the Park,” which airs at 11:30 a.m. Saturdays on the CW network, the Delano Herald Journal reported.
Smith and his friend, Jack Steward, filmed 26 episodes at about 20 different parks between July and January. Their goal is to visit all 400 national parks. One unique aspect of the show is that Smith and Steward are not experts.The show is pushing them to try new things and conquer fears along the way.

Nordic-influenced fiber art on display in Dassel
Anita Jain of Common Strands International Fiber Arts Exchange has a unique fiber and textile art exhibit at the Dassel History Center until the end of April, the Enterprise Dispatch reported.
Fiber artists also use a variety of techniques such as machine sewing, knitting, weaving, crochet, and textile dying. Items include clothing, wall hangings, rugs, decor, and other fiber art. The exhibit will later be sent to Jyvaskyla, Finland.

Watertown playground to be replaced
The Watertown City Council unanimously approved a proposal March 10 that will replace the playground equipment at Highland Park, the Carver County News reported.
The project, which had been delayed for several years, will cost $50,000. Installation of the equipment will be led and managed by Landscape Structures. The swing set will remain, but chains and seats will be updated. The hope is to have the project finished by May, weather permitting.

Litchfield egg producer cited in scalp incident
Litchfield egg producer Sparboe Farms was cited by the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for two “serious” violations as a result of an investigation regarding an incident last August. In January, Sparboe was fined $9,100.
The incident involved 27-year-old Vanessa Enriquez of Litchfield, who lost her scalp after her hair became entangled in an egg-grading machine at the Sparboe complex on Highway 12. Enriquez was not employed by Sparboe Farms, but was sub-contracted by JNS Cleaning Service of Litchfield.

Maple Plain building to be razed or repaired
Maple Plain City Council recently voted to issue an order to the owner of property at 5210 Main Street, stating that the building was structurally unsound due to a collapsed foundation and other damage, and that it must be razed or repaired within 30 days, the Laker & Pioneer reported.
Essentially, a 14-foot section of the basement’s foundation collapsed, leaving a section of the building above without adequate support. Some sediment beneath a public sidewalk outside the building had also caved in. The engineer’s report suggested that the cold weather may be holding that soil together.

Annandale schools could cut $250K
At the March 19 Annandale School Board Meeting, district administrators presented more than $400,000 in potential cuts for the 2015-16 school year, and the board expects to choose $250,000 worth of cuts to make, the Annandale Advocate reported.
One possibility includes $100,000 in severance and health insurance changes. A few other options include $50,000 to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act; $30,000 to hire a less expensive science teacher to replace one who is taking a year-long sabbatical; and $66,233 to drop the middle school counselor position, and reassign the employee to a teaching position.

Waconia earns spot on new Monopoly game
The city of Waconia will soon have a permanent place on the Monopoly board game, the Waconia Patriot reported. In honor of Monopoly’s 80th anniversary, Hasbro and entertainment company BuzzFeed collaborated to create the Monopoly Here & Now games, which will feature US and world editions.
Waconia was chosen through an online voting process. The games will be available this fall, featuring iconic landmark tokens and a new gameplay in which players race to visit as many locations as possible.

Pawn shop application OK’d in Monticello
Monticello council members unanimously supported an application for a pawn shop at 118 W. Broadway, but elected earlier this month to restrict Stacy and Brad Schultz’s license request to six months, the Monticello Times reported.
Council Member Glen Posusta noted that he was not comfortable with a one-year license right away, “because of the nature of the pawn [shop] business.” Deputy City Clerk Cathy Shuman said once IPawnLLC, dba Let’s Pawn, is up and running, the City of Monticello will receive a monthly report from the Wright County Sheriff’s Office regarding pawn transactions.

Hutchinson man wins DNR award
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has named Paul Kruse of Hutchinson the Youth ATV Safety Volunteer Instructor of the Year, KDUZ reported.
Since 2006, Kruse has taught 16 courses and certified 168 students. As president of the Crow River Wheelers, Kruse was instrumental in developing the Meeker/McLeod county area’s first ATV park, established last year. DNR conservation officers work closely with more than 1,000 ATV volunteer safety instructors, and about 3,000 riders have graduated from ATV safety education courses annually since 1985.

City of St. Michael sued by local church
Riverside Church in St. Michael recently filed a lawsuit against the city, Press & News reported.
According to St. Michael’s city attorney, Dave Lenhardt, the suit was filed in federal court regarding the city’s decision last fall not to approve an ordinance amendment that would have allowed Riverside Church to host worship services in the former Cinemagic movie theater building at Hwy. 241 and Oday Avenue at Interstate 94. The city council has hired attorney George Hoff to represent the city, as recommended by the League of Minnesota Cities.

McLeod Co. township man retires after 54 years
The McLeod County Board of Commissioners recently recognized Lester Lindeman, who will be retiring from the Penn Township Board after 54 years of service, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.
Lindeman was first elected to the board in March 1961, serving as board chair most of his time in office. Milestones included helping to get three new bridges, and purchasing land for construction of a new township hall.

Former Wright Co. man dies in California tragedy
A man who formerly lived in Wright County and operated a business at a commercial building in Buffalo reportedly killed his business partner in California and then took his own life, the Wright County Journal-Press reported.
Robert Dahl, 47, is reported to have left Minnesota five years ago to become a winemaker in California. March 16, he reportedly fatally shot his business partner, Emad Tawfilis, before turning the gun on himself. Dahl had reportedly been in trouble with the law in the past and had been involved in contentious lawsuits. He is survived by his wife and three children.