Area News

April 16, 2021

Trump flag in Buffalo may violate city ordinances

Jay Johnson flies a large ‘Trump 2020’ flag from a crane at his Buffalo construction business and it may violate local laws, reported the Wright County Journal-Press.

Buffalo city ordinance says a sign that big needs to be licensed. City officials are determining how to best proceed with enforcement. The city has received more than 100 formal comments on the flag, and they are split evenly between positive and negative.

“I’ll just put it up someplace else, and maybe even a bigger flag,” Johnson said. “I am prepared to get the fines, ultimately get cuffed, go to jail, whatever.” Some of Johnson’s company vehicles were recently vandalized. The incident is under investigation.

Glencoe gives street work another green light

The Glencoe City Council approved the next step in overlay projects on city streets in dire need of attention, reported the McLeod County Chronicle. It is estimated to cost $805,000.

The council also advanced the next step for upgrades to East 10th Street. The East 10th Street project calls for a two-inch mill and overlay, as well as sidewalk improvement and construction and is slated for bid opening May 13 to begin construction in August. The assessment, overlay, and curb and gutter replacement work on various city streets is slated for bid opening July 15.

Both projects will draw on federal funding.

Orono looks at building new public works facility

Orono is looking into the possibility of constructing a new public works facility after securing the necessary land in January and releasing requests for proposals for architectural and engineering services last week, reported the Laker Pioneer.

The current facility has a capacity no longer sufficient for the new equipment it holds, said Adam Edwards, city engineer and director of public works for Orono.

“It’s not a 100 percent for sure thing that it’s going to happen, as far as actually constructing the building or exactly what the timeline is,” said Edwards. The new facility, if built, is likely to be about 20 percent larger than the current building.

Bicyclist killed in Monticello semi crash

A bicyclist is dead after being hit by a semi that was on a ramp exiting I-94 in Monticello Monday morning, reported Kare 11.

The incident occurred just before 7:45 a.m according to the Minnesota State Patrol. The patrol said a Peterbilt semi pulling a dump trailer was exiting the interstate on the ramp to northbound Highway 25 when it made contact with a bicyclist at the intersection.

Several lanes of 25 were closed through the Monday morning rush as the crash scene was reconstructed and cleared. It is unknown whether the driver of the semi will face charges in the fatal incident.

Hutchinson Ridgewater returning to in-person classes

Ridgewater College, with campuses in Hutchingson and Willmar, is preparing a gradual return to in-person classes for upcoming summer and fall semesters, reported Lakeland Broadcasing.

After moving to online or limited in-person classes during the pandemic, Ridgewater believes it is becoming safer to return to normal. “We are increasingly confident we will be able to safely return to campus this fall and provide students with face-to-face instruction and on-campus student life activities,” said Ridgewater President Dr. Craig Johnson. “As a first step, we will gradually re-open our campuses during the summer session with in-person classes and increased group activities.”

Several on-campus services will also re-open this summer.

Rockford self-storage facility approved

Mark Saliterman is looking forward to opening an indoor self-storage business in the Westrock Shopping Center in Rockford, reported Hometown Source.

To make this use of the property possible, Saliterman, who is chief managing partner for Westrock, asked the Rockford City Council for an amendment to the planned unit development for the shopping center. The Rockford City Council approved his request March 23.

Saliterman hopes to open his indoor storage business in roughly two months, if he can get enough metal for the project. A metal shortage might delay the opening until as late as 2022.

Deadly crash in Hutchinson

A 92-year-old Hector man was killed Wednesday in a crash with a semitractor-trailer, south of Hutchinson on State Highway 15, reported the Hutchinson Leader.

According to State Patrol, at 10:32 a.m. Marcel Jerome Mathison was killed while riding in a 2020 Buick Encore driven by Jean Alice Anderson, 85, of Hector. The Buick was eastbound on 150th street in Lynn Township and collided at the intersection of Highway 15 with a southbound 2011 Kenworth semitractor-trailer driven by Matthew Jay Wilder, 39, of Alexandria.

Mathison was pronounced dead at the scene. Anderson was taken to Hutchinson Health with life-threatening injuries. Wilder was not injured.

Monticello School Board terminates 49 teachers

The Monticello School Board approved the non-renewal of 49 teacher contracts during their meeting April 5, reported the Monticello Times.

The cuts were due to budgetary concerns and declining enrollment because of the pandemic.

Superintendent Eric Olson explained that while this is an abnormally high number of teachers receiving contract termination notices, the district is not laying off 49 long-standing teaching positions. Many of the teachers being laid off were hired because of the pandemic through federal CARES funding, positions that were always meant to be temporary.