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Area News

June 21, 2019

‘9/11 Never Forget’ exhibit Aug. 2-4 at Sibley Co. Fair

To ensure that Americans “Never Forget” and that those who were very young, or not yet born on 9/11/01, learn what happened that day, the Sibley County Fair will be hosting the 9/11 Never Forget exhibit Friday, Aug. 2 through Sunday, Aug. 4.

The 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit features everything from World Trade Center steel to aluminum façade from the buildings, to audio tapes of the firefighters discussing what they will need to conquer the fire, to items such as the panel of a fire truck and a golf ball that were found in the rubble after the buildings collapsed.

The tours, which are free to the public, are conducted by firefighters who were eyewitnesses to history and able to share their perspective on what happened that fateful day and thereafter.

The 2019 150th Sibley County Fair is located at 801 W. Chandler St. in Arlington, and will take place Wednesday, July 31 through Sunday, Aug. 4.

Litchfield School Board discusses open lunch

Litchfield High School Principal Jason Michels proposed changes to open lunch next year during a school board meeting Monday, the Litchfield Independent Review reported.

Michels told the board he wanted to discontinue open lunch for juniors, which allows students to leave campus for 53 minutes during their flex period. The proposition comes after a concern for safety of students, staff and district, Michels said. Although there have not been any major behavioral problems from the students leaving campus, Michels said the district shouldn’t look at the past because situations may change.

Board member Chase Groskreutz said he wasn’t enthusiastic about this proposition because some students benefit from leaving campus for a few minutes and coming back immediately after.

Board member Greg Mathews said he knows things have changed in the last four years. Students using electronic cigarettes was not a big thing in the past as much as it is today, and this frightens administrators and athletic directors in other school districts, he said.

“I’m sure we’re not immune to that,” Mathews said. “In fact, that we have given our students the opportunity to leave the building for half-an-hour could increase the chances of that happening. Four years ago, I was a major advocate of supporting (open lunch), and now I’ve changed my mind because of (e-cigarettes).”

Justin Brown, athletic director and assistant principle for Litchfield High School, said with the proposed changes students can also take full advantage of the school’s flex period. During this period, students can partake in extracurricular activities and academic support and eat lunch within the first or last 15 minutes.

The board will continue to discuss open lunch options at its next meeting.

Drews named grand marshals for Glencoe Days

Mike and Mary Ann Drew were named grand marshals for the city’s Glencoe Days celebration, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.

Mike worked for the city for 20 years, serving as its parks superintendent and later as its public works director. He retired in 2015, and is still active in the community, serving on various committees. Mary Ann worked as the high school secretary.

The festival began Thursday, and runs through Sunday afternoon.

Waconia City Council appoints new member

Peter Leo, the new Waconia City Council member for Ward 2, was appointed to the council after serving on the city’s inclusive playground task force, the Waconia Patriot reported.

Leo and his family have lived in the city for three and a half years. He is a commodity manager with Emerson Process Management and works in the company’s offices in Shakopee and Eden Prairie.

The current term of the Ward 2 council seat runs through 2020.

“My passion is working with people and giving back to the community where I can,” Leo said.

Annandale City Council approves playground lease

The Annandale City Council, during its June 3 meeting, approved a lease agreement with Little Learners Child Care to use a vacant area owned by the city for outdoor play space, the Annandale Advocate reported.

The two-year lease calls for a monthly rent of $250. It would be terminated if the property is sold or leased to someone else.

A 4-foot high chain link fence will surround the property.

The city will maintain control over any improvements, and the company would need to submit any proposed improvements to the city for approval in advance.

Glencoe-Silver Lake School Board split on start times

The Glencoe-Silver Lake School Board, during a recent meeting, voted 3-3 on a proposal to push back start times for the 2019-2020 school year, the McLeod County Chronicle reported. The motion failed due to the split vote.

Superintendent Chris Sonju, who presented the proposal in May, contends that the changes would have given staff more time to improve student learning, would have allowed buses more time to arrive when supervision is in place, and would have allowed more alternative learning before school. Sonju acknowledged that the changes might affect departure times for students leaving for conference-level activities.

Minnesota National Guard won’t expel Chaska man

The Minnesota National Guard said it will not expel a 19-year-old Chaska man with ties to a nationwide white supremacist organization, following an investigation into his online activities before he enlisted, the Star Tribune reported.

However, the Guard said the man will remain under close supervision.

The man, who holds the rank of private, was recalled to Minnesota from basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO., in April after his involvement with Identity Evropa was revealed in the leak of hundreds of thousands of messages between the group’s members by left-wing media collective Unicorn Riot in March. The Star Tribune is not naming the man because he has not been charged with a crime.

“After a thorough investigation into his alleged conduct, the Minnesota National Guard has determined that ... [the Chaska man] did not engage in prohibited activity during his period of service,” Guard spokesman Col. Joe Sharkey said in a statement. “Due to this, he will be retained by the Minnesota National Guard.”

Reached by telephone Monday, the Chaska man said he was unaware of the Guard’s decision. He said he was “embarrassed and ashamed” about his involvement in Identity Evropa, and no longer shares its ideology.

“Those groups are really manipulative,” he said. “They target young men and make them feel like they’re part of something.”