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Area News

Jan. 23, 2017

Buffalo man wins first place in corn growing contest

Joseph Hopkins of Buffalo recently won first place in the irrigated division of the 2016 National Corn Growers Association’s corn yield contest, the Wright County Journal-Press reported.

Hopkins earned one of the 199 state titles won by growers planting Pioneer brand products. The contest is an annual competition among corn growers with the goal of capitalizing on the high genetic yield potential of today’s corn hybrids.

Glencoe couple supports local hospice service

Long before they needed the service, Bob and Sandy Tibbits of Glencoe supported ConnectCare (later taken over by Allina) by attending the annual Blizzard Blast fundraiser, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.

Sandy, who was diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) has now been using the service for two years. This year’s Blizzard Blast fundraiser is set for Friday, Jan. 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the Glencoe City Center. Tickets are available at various businesses in Plato, Hutchinson, and Glencoe.

Three teens struck by pickup truck in Wright County

While at a school bus stop in Otsego Thursday morning, three 15-year-olds were struck by a pickup truck, the Wright County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Initial reports indicate that an Elk River School District bus was stopped on 78th St NE at Parrish Ave NE with its stop arm out waiting to pick up students. As the students walked towards the bus, they were struck by an oncoming pickup truck. Injured students were identified as Greta Jenson, Beckett Olson, and Ian Orina, all of Otsego. All three are at the Hennepin County Medical center where their condition was listed as critical. The 22-year-old driver of the pickup truck, from Lexington, was arrested and booked into the Wright County Jail on criminal vehicular operation charges. This is an active investigation.

Monticello guard unit will deploy to Cuba

A ceremony for members of the 257th Military Police Company is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 at Monticello High School, the Monticello Times reported. Members of the company will deploy to US Naval Station Guantanamo, Cuba for 11 months.

The 257th is based at the Monticello Community Center on Walnut Street. Soldiers are trained for both war and peacetime, and are capable of providing security, internment, and resettlement support, as well as maintaining law and order.

Waconia snowmobile champ injured in race

A highly decorated snowmobile racing star and Waconia native was seriously injured in a crash during a race in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Jan. 8, the Waconia Patriot reported.

Matt Goede was participating in the 2017 Snowmobile Olympus at the Gogebic County Fairgrounds in Ironwood, MI, traveling 100 miles per hour, when his snowmobile struck another sled driven by Blaine Stephenson. Both men were hospitalized. Goede suffered multiple compound fractures to his femur, lower leg, and forearm. A GoFundMe page for Stephenson states that he suffered multiple skull fractures and bleeding on his brain.

Carver Co. bank accused of discriminatory practices

Chaska-based KleinBank has been targeted by the US Justice Department for discriminatory lending practices, according to charges filed Friday in US District Court, the Norwood Young America Times reported. KleinBank officials are disputing the allegations.

Locally, KleinBank has branches in Waconia, St. Bonifacius, Norwood Young America, Cologne, Victoria, Chaska and Chanhassen.

According to the charges, KleinBank engaged in the practice of “redlining” by structuring its residential mortgage lending practices to avoid serving credit needs of minority neighborhoods. Redlining is the practice by which lenders deny or avoid providing credit to predominantly minority neighborhoods, according to the justice department.

Annandale teacher donates kidney to former priest

Annandale Elementary School teacher and St. Ignatius member Dawn Schaefer Stumpf donated one of her kidneys to Fr. Victor Valencia Oct. 20, the Annandale Advocate reported.

Valencia’s kidneys were beginning to fail due to consequences of lifelong diabetes. Valencia, a native of the Philippines, pastored St. Ignatius for about 11 years, departing in summer 2014. Among other accomplishments during his Annandale tenure, Valencia helped St. Ignatius establish a sister parish relationship with a congregation in the Filipino community of Pacuan. Schaefer Stumpf accompanied a group from the church on an initial visit to the Philippines.

Hutchinson aims to improve pedestrian safety

With no safe crossing along 1.3 miles of State Highway 7 between Main Street and School Road North, Hutchinson is applying for federal funding to install pedestrian-activated crossing signals at Montana Street, the Hutchinson Leader reported. If approved, work would not take place until 2021.

Currently, there are three places pedestrians can cross Highway 7 in Hutchinson with the relatively safe environment of a signaled crosswalk – at Bluff Street, Main Street, and School Road – as well as by using the underpass just west of School Road.

New library, city hall, and fitness center in Cosmos

In February 2011, the library of Cosmos burned down along with all the materials, the Litchfield Independent Review reported. After the fire, the city received funding to build a new library and city hall.

In 2014, the state gave the city enough money to build the library, which now shares building with the new city hall, and a small fitness center. The fitness center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and requires a membership. The project cost was $1.35 million. Construction began in spring 2016, and the library officially opened in December 2016.