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Area News

Aug. 12, 2022

Carver County to host the first sale of tax-forfeited properties since 2016

After years of staffing shortages and a pandemic, Carver County is hosting its first public sale of tax-forfeited properties since 2016, according to  Southwest News Media.

 The auction will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at 6 p.m. at the Carver County Government Center. The sale includes 15 various properties in Hancock Township, Hamburg, and New Germany. Item #1 of the properties has a structure on it, single-family home built in 1880, while the other 14 are undeveloped pieces of land — 11 of which are in the same development and were taken from the same owner.

When a property owner stops paying property taxes after three years of delinquency, the county starts a process of forfeiture in which the property is taken from them if the tax amount is not fulfilled in full. Around Feb. 15, every year, a newly delinquent property owner is notified in two ways — a letter is mailed to the affected property owners, and a list of all properties is published in the official county newspaper.

 “We give them every opportunity. We attempt to contact them in any and all ways possible to find these owners and make sure that they’re aware that there are delinquent taxes and they will lose the property,” said Carver County Property Tax Department Manager Crystal Campos.

Couple with ties to Buffalo area killed in home explosion

Husband and Wife Herb Vassar (85) and Sharon Vassar (83) were found deceased after an explosion destroyed their home, according to the Wright County Journal Press.

Sharon grew up on a farm outside of Rockford and graduated from Buffalo High School. They were married at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Buffalo. The Vassar family is going through what is left of their house in Hopkins.

Emergency crews respond to semi crash in Glencoe

Emergency crews showed up to the scene of a crash involving a semi and train in downtown Glencoe, according to local law enforcement.

It happened shortly after 9:20 a.m. Friday, Aug. 5  at the railroad crossing on Hennepin Avenue North in downtown Glencoe. The driver of the semi was helped out of the cab by witnesses nearby. There is no word on the drivers condition.

Fundraising efforts for Eli Hart playground take off in Mound

A group of community members wants people to remember Eli Hart, according to the Laker Pioneer.

To that end, they have started fundraising in the hopes of building a playground in Eli’s name in Mound. Mound resident Tiffany Beitler has created a GoFundMe page to raise $200,000 to construct the Eli Hart Memorial Playground at Surfside Park in Mound.

Hart, a 6-year-old student at Shirley Hills Elementary School in Mound, was found dead in late May in the trunk of a car driven by his mother, Julissa Thaler. Thaler is charged with murder in the case.

According to the GoFundMe page, the city of Mound was planning on building a new playground at Surfside Beach but had not secured the necessary funds to build the playground. The city estimates the new playground will cost between $200,000 and $250,000.

“This is the perfect opportunity for us to build a playground in honor of Eli - he loved playgrounds and especially loved monkey bars,” Beitler said.

Beitler started the fundraising effort this past weekend at the Spirit of Lakes Festival, and as of Tuesday, almost $6,000 had been raised from 96 donors.

“We came together because we all felt that something good needed to come from this tragedy,” Beitler said. “It’s important to the family that Eli never be forgotten, and a memorial playground in his name brings joy to the whole community. They want Eli’s name to be remembered in a positive light, not the tragic way he was taken.”

Meeker County man hurt in motorcycle crash

A Meeker county man suffered minor injuries in a motorcycle crash, according to the Meeker County sheriffs department.

Authorities report at about 3:30 p.m. Aug 4, 68-year-old Gregory Bunce was going south on 675th Avenue south of Watkins when his motorcycle went into the ditch.

Bunce was not wearing a helmet and hit his head. He was brought to his home, where he eventually called in the crash.

He was then taken to Meeker Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.