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Area News

July 21, 2017

Energetic giant wasps seen in Buffalo recently

Very large wasps have been observed in downtown Buffalo recently, the Wright County Journal-Press reported.

The 1.5-inch wasps are called sphecius speciosus, and are also called cicada killer.

The energetic males are aggressive fliers, but have no stinger. The females have stingers, but tend not to use them on humans unless they feel threatened.

The females use cicadas to feed their young.

NYA council takes initial step toward Hwy. 212 underpass

Norwood Young America council members took initial steps toward a potential Highway 212 project, July 10. The council OK’d requests for proposals for design and engineering, its first action toward a Highway 212 underpass project, the Sun Patriot reported.

Council members have had substantial discussion on the Highway 212 project in recent months, most recently during a work session June 26.

During the meeting Monday, City Administrator Steve Helget refreshed the council on a variety of factors involving the project including the 2020 mill and overlay project, the reception of a $1.2 million Safe Routes to School grant, and updates from Bolton &Menk and MnDOT.

Annandale brewhouse wins national awards for its beers

Annandale’s Spilled Grain Brewhouse recently won three national awards for three of its beers, the Annandale Advocate reported.

The brewhouse earned a gold medal for its Kinnikinnick Kream in the “American cream ale” category. It earned a silver medal for Emancipator, and a bronze in the Märzen category for its Oktoberfest.

Maple Lake girl dies after contracting E. coli

A 5-year-old Wright County boy is fighting for his life after contracting a strain of E. coli that killed his younger sister earlier this week, the Star Tribune reported.

Kade and Kallan Maresh were sickened by a shiga toxin-producing bacteria July 9, eventually sending them into acute kidney failure. State health officials are investigating the source for the E. coli that eventually led to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of the bacterial infection.

On their CaringBridge site, parents Joseph and Tyffani Maresh said the toxin from the bacteria attacked their 3-year-old daughter’s kidneys and her neurological system. “Her brain and heart were being damaged,” the family said. “Our sweet sweet little girl lost the battle . . . Kade is still fighting.” Kallan would have turned 4 next month.

Montrose adds two hours to police service contract

After serious discussion on the issue for the past two months, the Montrose City Council decided July 10 to add two hours to the sheriff’s patrol of the city.

With Waverly increasing its sheriff’s contract to six hours, Montrose will have a sheriff’s deputy either in the city or within two minutes of the city for 16 hours a day.

The additional two hours is the first increase since 2004, when the council moved to eight hours of service every day. In 2004, the population in Montrose was 1,800, and it is now 3,300.

The 2017 police budget for Montrose is $202,940. Adding the two hours in 2018 will increase that budget to $263,000.

St. Anastasia in Hutchinson has a new principal

Collaboration is the name of the game for Julie Shelby, new principal at St. Anastasia Catholic School in Hutchinson, the Hutchinson Leader reported.

“I don’t want to make changes without staff input,” she said Monday morning, the start of her second week on the job.

As a longtime teacher of varying subjects and grades, Shelby, a Buffalo resident, was previously an educator at Mary Queen of Peace in Rogers, and St. Peter’s School in Delano.

In 2014, she went back to school for her master’s degree in teaching and learning, with a goal of entering administration.

Shelter dogs quarantined due to canine influenza

According to the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar, as of Friday, July 7, the shelter had encountered dogs suffering from respiratory issues. Their symptoms included, but were not limited to: not eating, vomiting, coughing, fever, nasal discharge, and sneezing. One dog tested positive for canine influenza, H3N2 strain. Shelter dogs were placed under quarantine for a minimum of three weeks. The shelter closed its dog adoption floor and contacted everyone who adopted or claimed animals in the last month. Currently, there are 20 dogs under quarantine. They are responding well to medical care and none have died. The shelter is not taking in any owner-surrendered dogs.

Monticello City Council moves to paperless agendas

The Monticello City Council no longer gets paper copies of its meeting packets, the Monticello Times reported.

Starting with the July 10 council meeting, council members have gone paperless, getting memos and background information electronically. Microsoft Surface Pros were purchased for council members and one for city staff at a cost of approximately $5,422, including devices, pens, and covers.

City Clerk Jennifer Schreiber said the move will result in some cost savings for printing and copying, but the most significant efficiency will be due to less staff time and less paper being used to prepare meeting packets.

Silver Lake council approves city hall space needs study

Silver Lake City Council approved an agreement July 5 with Short Elliot Hendrickson Inc. to conduct a space needs study for city hall, the police department, and ambulance service at a cost of $2,950, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.

The two-phase study will include creating a list of existing equipment and analyzing possible future vehicle needs, meeting with city, police, and ambulance staff to determine and prioritize future space needs, develop a concept plan for the layout of the facility that is not site specific, develop preliminary cost estimates, and provide a final report. The project is expected to be completed by the end of summer.