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Area News

June 23, 2017

Storm creates prolonged power outage in Litchfield

Electrical power was restored to all of Litchfield early June 12, ending a 20-hour ordeal for city staff and residents, the Litchfield Independent Review reported.

Power came back on at about 3:45 a.m., as Great River Energy repaired a feeder line that comes into Litchfield from the south.

That line and another line that feeds the city from the north, which is owned and operated by Xcel Energy, were knocked out by a strong thunderstorm that raced through Meeker County and a large portion of the middle part of the state June 11.

“It’s pretty rare you’re going to have that storm that takes out both (feeder lines),” Litchfield City Administrator David Cziok told the city council during an emergency meeting June 12.

Annandale jewelry store marks 125 years in business

For almost as long as Annandale has been a town, a jewelry store has been a fixture on its Main Street, the Annandale Advocate reported.

Miller’s Jewelry will celebrate its anniversary Monday, June 26 through Saturday, July 8.

Most years, the event celebrates the beginning of the Miller family’s ownership of the store in 1949. This year, however, the store is marking 125 years as a continuously run jewelry store in the same Main Street location.

Fire destroys barn in Watertown Township

Carver County sheriff’s deputies responded to a barn fire at 12975 32nd Street in Watertown Township at approximately 7:26 p.m. June 15, according to a release from Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson. The barn was fully engulfed when deputies arrived. Deputies learned that the homeowner was in the barn and started an older vehicle when something under the engine caught fire. The fire spread before the homeowner had a chance to extinguish it, and he called 911 for assistance. The 50-foot-by-75-foot barn and contents, along with an adjacent 20-foot-by-30-foot greenhouse, were a total loss. There were no injuries. Watertown Fire Department responded and summoned assistance from fire departments in Mayer, Delano, St. Bonifacius, and Victoria. Ridgeview Ambulance was called to scene as a precaution.

Miss Rodeo Minnesota pageant coming to Waconia

When the rodeo comes back to Waconia July 14 and 15, it won’t be coming alone. This year, the Waconia Professional Rodeo will feature the coronation of Miss Rodeo Minnesota 2018, the Waconia Patriot reported.

“Miss Rodeo Minnesota is the ambassador for professional rodeo in the state of Minnesota,” said Ashley Fuchs, national director of the Miss Rodeo Minnesota Association. “She, as our state representative, will go on to compete in Las Vegas . . . for the title of Miss Rodeo America in December.”

Only the coronation will be featured during the rodeo, but other pageant events will take place in Waconia during the two days.

Longtime Glencoe children’s choir director to retire in July

This summer will mark the end of many years with the First Evangelical Lutheran Church children’s choir for longtime director Glenda Schuft, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.

Schuft moved to Glencoe in 1973 to teach school at First Evangelical Lutheran School. She immediately began leading children’s singing groups in the school. She also started a regular practice and performance schedule for children who were members of First Lutheran and attended public school.

I wanted to make singing in church a priority for all the children of the congregation,” she said.

Monticello resident, lineman hurt during storm cleanup

Matt Stachowski, 35, a Connexus Energy lineman who resides in Monticello, was seriously hurt when cleaning up damage from a storm northwest of Becker June 11, the Monticello Times reported.

Stachowski, who has been employed by the company 15 years, was still in the intensive care burn unit at Hennepin County Medical Center June 12, according to Connexus Energy spokesperson Samantha Neral.

Stanchowski and his partner were clearing poles with power lines that had been knocked into the road by the storm when his right hand touched a live wire. He has extensive injuries to his right hand and legs.

Meeker Co. sergeant pleads guilty to disorderly conduct

A Meeker County patrol officer was sentenced to three months in jail after pleading guilty to one count of disorderly conduct, kstp.com reported. A charge of stalking levied against patrol Sgt. Joel Engler was dismissed.

According to a complaint, an individual produced text messages between him and Engler during which the individual requested several times that Engler stop contacting him.

Engler will serve 10 days in jail beginning in August. The remaining 80 days would only come into play if he violates conditions including no alcohol or drug use, and no contact with the victim. He was ordered to serve 10 days community service, and will remain under supervised probation for one year.

Hutchinson to research shared police, fire dept. space

Hutchinson’s fire and police stations may share a location sometime down the road, the Hutchinson Leader reported.

The city will research the option, as directed by the City Council following a meeting this past week. The consideration is part of an ongoing, long-range planning process for Hutchinson’s facilities. The city worked with Wold Architects and Engineers of St. Paul to study the fire station, police station, and city center, which have been in use for 36, 28, and 23 years, respectively.

“We took a comprehensive look at the future needs of those buildings, not only from a maintenance aspect but also for growth,” said Hutchinson City Administrator Matt Jaunich. “One of the main aspects we wanted to look at is security.”

Annandale to reverse parade route to improve safety

Annandale’s Fourth of July parade will look a bit different this year as the procession will reverse course in a change intended to encourage safety, the Annandale Advocate reported.

Fourth of July committee chair John Volden explained during the June 5 city council meeting that in past years, people leaving the parade have had to travel against the parade route. The reversed course will help alleviate that problem.

Units will line up at the high school, take AJ Way behind the elementary school, and then enter the parade route on Poplar Ave.