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Area News

Jan. 14, 2022

'A mission from God' takes two Litchfield graduates to Texas border

When the Rev. Brian Oestreich and Evan Sandstede boarded a U-Haul truck Dec. 28 and headed out on a 26-hour road trip to Texas, it was real life, according to the Litchfield Independent Review.

And they really were “on a mission from God” — “Blues Brothers” reference notwithstanding.

The two Litchfield High School graduates arrived in Eagle Pass, Texas, late Dec. 29 to deliver the jam-packed truck’s contents of blankets, clothes, shoes and other items to the Caridad de Corazon ministry, which provides care and basic necessities to disenfranchised people living in the area on the Texas-Mexico border.

Carver County to collect on national opioid settlement

Carver County stands to gain some $2 million to $2.5 million from the nationwide civil litigation against manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids related to the opioid crisis, according to the Sun Patriot.

At its meeting Dec. 21, the county board of commissioners passed a resolution approving a national opioid settlement and state sub-division agreement that ensures Carver County’s participation in the settlement and accompanying agreements. The State of Minnesota and numerous counties and cities have been engaged nationwide against pharmaceutical distributors like McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmericsourceBergen, and drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

Dozens of kites taking to the ice in Buffalo on Feb. 12

The Kites on Ice Festival is coming back to Buffalo Lake in Buffalo on Saturday, Feb. 12, according to KRFO.

Hosted by the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, this will be the 4th annual event, and takes place on the frozen lake right in town. Experienced show kite fliers from Minnesota and all across the Midwest will show off their skills with kites of all colors, shapes, and sizes.

The Buffalo Chamber of Commerce shared five things to bring to the festival:

Bring the kids - There will be free kites for kids while supplies last.

Bring an appetite - There will be food trucks, a beer garden and hot chocolate, and treats, so come hungry.

Bring it on - Play in the cornhole tournament and win a cash prize. 

Bring Your Sense of Adventure - See all the other great things Buffalo has to offer:  Shopping, wine bar, taproom, eateries. Its a thriving community that is worth checking out.

There will also be free dog sled rides.

Bring your camera - The colorful kites flying across the sky something capture and share with friends.

Monticello EDA acquires Block 52 parcel

Two major developments during the last two weeks of December have added life to the Block 52 project located in the heart of Monticello’s downtown, according to the Monticello Times.

One is the sale and closing of the Preferred Title building at 113 W. Broadway, which gives the city 83 percent ownership of the block, which within the next two years could be home to a commercial and residential development with potential views of the Mississippi River.

Traffic safety study on Highway 7 begins

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) recently started a traffic safety study on Highway 7, between Highway 100 in St. Louis Park and Carver County Road 33 in Hollywood Township.

The purpose of the study is to identify necessary safety improvements. Through the study, MnDOT will evaluate intersections and other safety aspects, determine if the number and severity of crashes is abnormal, identify primary factors for crashes and propose short-, medium- and long-term updates to improve safety on the particular stretch of Highway 7, according to a release from MnDOT.

Corcoran house lost to fire

On Dec. 28 at approximately 7:22 a.m., Corcoran Police were dispatched to a house fire on the 23000 block by Meadow Creek Drive in Corcoran. The reporting party stated the house was on fire and that flames and smoke could be seen, the Sun Patriot reported.

Corcoran Police and West Hennepin Public Safety officers arrived on scene and found the building fully engulfed with flames showing from the roof. They verified no one was inside the residence. House was determined to have no occupants; homeowners left for out of state Dec. 27.

Hanover, Rogers, Loretto, St. Michael, Albertville, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Mound, Wayzata, Dayton, Osseo, Hamel, Excelsior, Rockford, Long Lake, Golden Valley and West Metro Fire and Rescue District and Maple Plain Fire departments all arrived on scene to help extinguish the fire.

Glencoe Light and Power’s budget includes no rate hike

Glencoe Light and Power’s operating budget for 2022 includes both revenue and expenditures for the coming year, but also a proposal to protect its assets over the long haul, according to the McLeod County Chronicle.

The utility’s board of directors voted 4-0, with councilor John Schrupp absent, to adopt the operating budget for 2022. The budget includes $12,124,049 in revenue, a 29.66% increase from 2021. The utility's budget includes $11,701,800 in expenses, up 26.78%  from a year ago.

Among the drivers of the increase in revenue and expenditures is the utility's new customer, Bit49, a new bitcoin mining operation in Glencoe.

Hutchinson levy of $7.95 million approved

Property owners in Hutchinson will pay a combined $7.95 million on the city portion of their annual 2022 property taxes. That’s an increase of about 4.2% from the 2021 levy of $7.63 million, according to the Hutchinson Leader.

The figure, which was approved unanimously Dec. 28 by the Hutchinson City Council, reflects a cut from what was expected in September, when a preliminary levy increase of 7% was forecast. The change includes a small reduction in the city’s general fund levy, and a larger cut from the debt fund.