Area News

Feb. 3, 2023

‘Angels’ welcome residents at Waconia’s Westview Acres

 There are angels hovering ‘round at Waconia’s Westview Acres senior living facility, not just at Christmas time, but all year long, according to the Sun Patriot.

Joyce Nurenberg and Mary Schullian are a couple of residents who fill that role. There are a few others as well.

The Westview Acres Angels welcome new tenants with a personal visit, help them become acquainted to life at Westview, dine with them, and invite them to participate in activities. They are also available to answer questions, and remain a friendly presence as new residents get settled in.

Carver's Soggy Bottom 'golf' tourney played in the cold

While the temperatures were frigid Saturday for the 14th annual Soggy Bottom snow golf tournament in Carver, it was the warmth of the community’s camaraderie that was most evident, Southwest News Media reported.

The unique event involves “golfers” using everything from hockey sticks to tennis racquets to play a round on a makeshift, snow-carved course at Riverside Park.

Proceeds from the festival, which also included raffles, bonfires, games and food and beverages, benefit local residents/families battling medical crisis. The three-hour event was hosted by the Carver Minnesota Lions Club.

Hutchinson teen wins new truck at fishing tournament

Despite Saturday’s freezing temperatures, nearly 12,000 ice fishermen made their way to Hole In The Day Bay on Gull Lake near Brainerd for the annual Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza, according to KDUZ. Since 1991, the tournament has raised more than $4.5 million for 75 different charities and non-profits.

The big winner on Saturday was 13-year-old Zac Padrnos of Hutchinson, who won a new Ford or GMC truck from Mills Auto Group by reeling in a 9.75 lb walleye. The next largest walleye was 5.67 lbs.

Xcel applies to extend Monticello nuclear plant license until the year 2050

Xcel Energy has formally applied to extend its operating license at the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant through the year 2050, according to the Wright County Journal Press.

The extension is to support the transition to clean energy generation through nuclear power’s combination of “always on” reliability, affordability, and zero emissions.

“Today they (nuclear plants) generate about half of the carbon-free energy we provide to Midwest customers,” Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy-Minnesota, ND and SD, said.

Litchfield High School students learn hydroponics

The casual observer might have believed a new planter full of greenery had been added to the office at Litchfield High School, the Litchfield Independent Review reported.

That planter, however, is one of seven hydroponic towers purchased with a grant from Launch Your Future Today (LYFT), a rural career and technical education initiative.

Family and Consumer Science teacher Linda Heggedal-Gust, who applied for the grant, said students in her culinary labs will harvest the salad greens and fruits grown in the hydroponic towers, and prepare them for use at the senior dining site.

Buffalo’s 30-foot tall snowman draws crowds

A snowman the size of a house is bringing tourists to a neighborhood in Buffalo, to get a peek at the momentous undertaking Fox 9 reported.

There's no denying "Frosty Fobbe" is big and fat. At about 30 feet tall and 20 feet across, this dude is carrying a wide load. Wednesday, as Fox 9 stopped by, Eric Fobbe was trimming the fat, shaping him up to look his best. Upkeep is an everyday thing, but it's not nearly the work that went into building him.

"Get all the snow from the neighborhood, and I just piled it up right here," he explained. “And then I take a snow blower and blow one big pile.” It took 40 hours and the entire weekend, with temporary stairs up the backside to help get the 75-pound hat on top of Frosty's head.

Mound council to select new member at February meeting

Mound Mayor Jason Holt and council members Sherrie Pugh and Kathy McEnaney took the oath of office at the council’s Jan. 10 meeting, according to the Laker Pioneer. The council also received four applications for the council seat vacated by Holt. Candidate interviews took place Jan. 24.

The council will use ranked choice voting to select the appointed candidate, who will be sworn in at the Tuesday, Feb. 14 meeting. Given that the appointed candidate will serve less than two years before the next election cycle, the council will not hold a special election.

Annandale man moved Lake Country Decks downtown

  Dustin Smith started his decking company, Lake Country Decks, in 2016. Last year he moved it to Annandale’s downtown, near Annandale City Hall in the former Hot Water building, according to the Annandale Advocate.

 Smith grew up in Annandale, just north of Clearwater Lake. He graduated from Annandale High School in 2006, and studied elementary education at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall.

 “I got into building decks when I worked for a builder in the metro,” Smith said. “A few of us that worked together started building decks on weekends and evenings for extra income.”

Smith got an LLC in 2016, and decided to try to make it a full-time job.

“Our annual sales were over $1 million before we knew it,” he said.

Arlington Fire Dept. had 76 calls during 2022

Arlington Fire Chief Doug Mackenthun said his department responded to 76 calls last year, according to the Arlington Enterprise. That’s a decrease of 10 calls from 2021.

The fire department serves the city of Arlington, Arlington Township, Green Isle Township, Jessenland Township, Kelso Township, and New Auburn Township.

The calls in 2022 were comprised of 17 fire calls, seven alarms, four weather-related calls, 10 medical calls, 13 helipad calls, 11 accident calls, one gas line hit, and eight canceled calls. The Arlington Fire Department had 52 and one-half hours of training in 2022.