Deputy settlement costs Meeker County $45,000
A settlement between Meeker County and former Sheriff’s Office Deputy Adam Fast required the county to pay Fast $45,000, the Litchfield Independent Review reported.
The settlement with Fast, approved Jan. 22 by the Meeker County Board, marks the second time in less than a year that the county has negotiated a separation agreement with a former deputy. In April, the board approved a $40,000 settlement with former deputy Nick Besemer.Both Fast and Besemer belonged to unions, which increases the settlement costs because of the large role played by lawyers on both sides, Meeker County officials stated.
Carver Co. prisoner could be released
Richard A. Happ, 45, may leave the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter 15 years after fatally stabbing his parents in the kitchen of their Waconia home, the Star Tribune reported.
The state department of human services says he should be allowed to leave the hospital and live at a licensed, state-operated residential facility in West St. Paul. Happ’s recommendation report states that he has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and alcohol and drug addiction, but has been free of aggressive behavior since he was admitted to the security hospital.
Monticello votes to keep spring break
For the first time, the Monticello School District sought feedback on its calendar from students, and those who responded were overwhelmingly in favor of having a spring break, even though that means ending school a week later, the Monticello Times reported.
Students stated that spring break combats burnout and allows for time to catch up and refresh their minds. In 2015, Monticello’s spring break will be March 30 to April 3, and graduation is set for June 5.
Watertown-Mayer dean of students to retire
Pat Hittle, the current dean of students at Watertown-Mayer Elementary School, recently announced her plans to retire at the end of the year, the Carver County News reported.
Hittle became the dean of students in 2008. She has been part of District 111 for the past 34 years. She taught elementary phy-ed for 29 years, coached varsity gymnastics for eight years, and coached track for five years. For the past 15 years, she worked at various sporting events, running the scoreboard and announcing, if needed. Both of Hittle’s daughters, Kate and Lauren, graduated from Watertown-Mayer High School.
Waconia approves two major building projects
The Waconia City Council approved site plans for two major building projects Feb. 18, the Waconia Patriot reported.
One of the projects is a two-story vertical expansion to Ridgeview Medical Center’s professional building at 560 Maple Street, which will result in 41,070 square feet of new space.
The second project is for Good Samaritan Society, located at 433 and 333 5th St. W. Plans are for a three-story, 34,000 square-foot addition that will provide 32 new private resident rooms, an updated therapy suite, and more.
Hutchinson has 91 percent graduation rate
Although Hutchinson High School exceeded state average graduation rates in 2012-13, District 423 Superintendent Daron VanderHeiden said there’s still room for improvement, the Hutchinson Leader reported.
About 91 percent of Hutchinson High School students graduated on time last school year, while the state average was about 79 percent.
Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted’s graduation rate was 96 percent, Glencoe-Silver Lake’s was 95 percent, Dassel-Cokato’s was 95 percent, and Lester Prairie’s was 94 percent.
Annandale student goes to state spelling bee
Annandale Middle School student Jessica Scheer advanced to the fifth round of the Multi Region State Spelling Bee in Fergus Falls Feb. 25, the Annandale Advocate reported.
Before being eliminated, the eighth-grader correctly spelled “macaroni,” “catkin,” “ramada,” and “mahal.” In the fifth round, Scheer misspelled “obsequious.” Scheer earned her spot at the state spelling bee by taking first place in the regional contest Feb. 13 in Sartell.
The winner of the state bee was Alyssa Boynton, a student at Murray County Central in Slayton.
Miss Teen of Carver Co. competes for MN title
Hilary Wickenhauser, daughter of Don and Anna Wickenhauser of Cologne, was recently named Miss Teen Carver County International 2014, the Norwood-Young America Times reported. She competed for the Miss Teen Minnesota title in St. Cloud March 8.
Wickenhauser’s platform is “Readers to Leaders helping end illiteracy throughout the world.” She is working to collect books to give to families without the financial resources to buy their own. To invite Wickenhauser to speak to a group or organization about helping to end illiteracy, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kidney dialysis facility planned in Glencoe
DaVita, a division of DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc., is planning to locate a kidney dialysis facility in Glencoe, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.
The Fortune 500 company, a leading provider of kidney care in the US, is leasing the former Pam Hallmark’s building on Hennepin Avenue and has taken out a remodeling permit. Glencoe officials estimate that DaVita could invest about $1 million in remodeling the building and in purchasing new equipment. DaVita has about 20 other kidney dialysis facilities in Minnesota.
Technology upgrade set for Buffalo school district
Upgrades for school buildings and for the technology used in them were addressed at the Buffalo Hanover Montrose School Board meeting Feb. 24, the Wright County Journal-Press reported.
The board approved a $398,401 lease-to-own arrangement with Tech Check to improve the technology infrastructure. Communications between the school buildings will be about 1,000 percent faster. The first installment is expected to be paid in May. Work will be underway during spring break.