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Area News

Aug. 22, 2016

Wayzata swim coach takes bronze in Olympics

Wayzata High School’s boys swimming coach David Plummer (who also serves as assistant coach for the Minnetonka girls team), recently won third place in the 100-meter backstroke in the summer Olympics, the Waconia Patriot reported. His time in the Olympic final was 52.40.

Born in Norman, OK in 1985, Plummer won multiple state individual swimming titles in high school, and broke the 100-yard backstroke record at the University of Minnesota. Minnetonka’s head swimming coach Dan Berve described Plummer as a humble, genuine person who persevered after narrowly missing a spot on the Olympic team in 2012.

Carver Co. issues 158 tickets in speeding crackdown

During a speed mobilization from July 8-22, deputies ticketed 158 motorists traveling at illegal speeds in Carver County, compared with 173 in 2015, the Waconia Patriot reported.

The Carver County Sheriff’s Office, along with more than 300 law enforcement agencies, participated in the statewide speeding campaign. A total of 13,214 tickets were issued. An average of 81 deaths per year are attributed to speeding in Minnesota. In Carver County, an average speeding citation for 10 mph over the limit is $130. Motorists who are 20 mph over the limit face double the fine, and those ticketed for traveling faster than 100 mph can lose their license for six months.

Lightning blamed for house fire in St. Bonifacius

Officials are blaming a lightning strike for a fire that destroyed a home in St. Bonifacius Aug. 10, the Waconia Patriot reported. The family of five who lived there got out safely.

St. Bonifacius firefighters arrived at the scene five minutes after they got the call (just after 11 p.m.), and spent 1.5 hours extinguishing the flames. The second floor of the two-story home was a total loss, while the bottom floor sustained severe water damage from the storm that continued throughout the night. The fire also affected a neighboring house, warping the siding but doing no other visible damage.

Safety measures taken at Annandale intersection

In an effort to reduce crashes at the intersection of Highway 55 and County State Aid Highway 3 between Annandale and South Haven, left turn lanes and stoplights are being added, the Annandale Advocate reported.

The number of accidents at that site spiked in 2014 and 2015. One incident claimed the life of 52-year-old Sue Williams of Annandale at the end of 2014. During the project, which is scheduled for completion by Nov. 15, motorists traveling both directions on Highway 55 should expect delays of up to 15 minutes. About $800,000, including federal funding, has been allocated for the project.

State Rep. Nash appointed to Crown College board

District 47A State Representative Jim Nash was recently appointed as a member of the Crown College Board of Trustees, according to a press release from the school.

The board has 20 members who can serve up to two consecutive four-year terms. Other newly appointed members include Rev. Hector Belen, superintendent of the Spanish Central District of the Christian & Missionary Alliance in McAllen, TX; Greg Kummer, president of the Trust Company at Security Bank & Trust in Glencoe; Gordon Paisley, program manager for HR project quality at United Airlines in Chicago, IL; and Bob Solfelt, vice president and general manager of Mortenson Development, Inc. in Minneapolis.

Meeker County volunteer of the year honored

Jack Ulrich was named Meeker County Senior Volunteer of the Year for 2016, and received a certificate Aug. 5 at the Meeker County Fair, KFLD reported.

Ulrich was born in Thief River Falls and began working at an early age for his father as a milk hauler. He says one thing led to another and he ended up working as a field man for First District Association of Litchfield – a career that spanned about 45 years. After retiring, Ulrich worked for Meeker County as a bailiff, and has spent much of his time volunteering. He has recorded 880 hours as a volunteer driver for the Meeker Council on Aging, and has logged 3,750 hours as a driver of the Meeker County Veterans Van, among other contributions.

Community helps Brownton man with brain tumor

Jay Werner of Brownton, who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in April, was the recipient of this year’s Raise the Rouf event Aug. 20, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.

Jay and his wife, Shalon, have been part of Raise the Rouf since it began 10 years ago as a fundraiser for Natalie Roufs, a close friend who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2009. Jay noted that there is definitely a different perspective from the “other side” of the event, and he is touched by the support of the community. Jay has not been able to return to work since early April. For more information, visit his CaringBridge site.

Second Allina Health Clinic to open in Buffalo next year

A second Allina Health Clinic will open in Buffalo in 2017, on the northwest corner of County Road 35 and Crossroads Campus Drive behind Wells Fargo Bank, the Wright-County Journal Press reported.

The 15,000-square-foot building will be used for clinical services, including some new special services. Groundbreaking is expected yet this year, with an anticipated completion date of June 2017. The current Allina Health Clinic in Buffalo is attached to the hospital at 303 Catlin St. Services offered include primary care, lung care, psychology, podiatry, orthopedics, oncology, neurology, geriatric medicine, ear/nose/throat, diabetes, endocronology, metabolism, and hearing care.

Hutchinson aquatic center drenched by storm

Just days after workers had poured the concrete forming the lap pool of Hutchinson’s new aquatic center, a downpour of 6 inches of rain or more caused the pool to float Aug. 11, destroying that portion of the project, the Hutchinson Leader reported.

Some of the other outside work, such as foundations for other features of the aquatic center and the pool’s mechanical building, can be salvaged now that the flooded site has been pumped out. Completion of the $5.9 million project could be delayed by three or four weeks, depending upon how long it takes insurers to make their decision on covering the loss. The center was originally expected to open by the end of May 2017.