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Area News

Dec. 7, 2018

Counterfeit bills used at Wright County businesses

Two Monticello retailers are among those who have been victimized by people passing counterfeit bills in Wright County, the Monticello Times reported.

Since mid-November, four people have been charged with passing counterfeit bills at Wright County businesses, including Cub Foods and a Holiday gas station.

In Monticello, fake $20 and $50 bills were passed. Eight fraudulent $100 bills were passed at a Dollar General store in Rockford.

Westonka School Dist. opens athletic, theater facilities

Athletic activities and theater performances at Mound Westonka High School are more convenient and even luxurious now, due to the district’s recently-opened Westonka Activity Center and Performing Arts Center. The two separate buildings are connected to the high school and financed by a single $23 million bond measure passed in a 2016 referendum.

The school’s nearly 1,000 students in grades 8 through 12, as well as younger students throughout the district and community members with memberships, can now access state-of-the-art equipment and amenities.

Community residents with memberships can access the facilities when schools aren’t using them (the cardio room and walking track are always open). Memberships are $35 a month, less for seniors, more for families or for people living outside the Westonka public schools district. Daily and annual rates are also offered.

“High schools are pretty much like college campuses now,” said Lindsey Rague, the activity center’s manager.

Litchfield takes steps to address nuisance properties

For the past few years, the City of Litchfield has been taking a more aggressive approach when dealing with nuisance properties that violate city code, the Litchfield Independent Review reported.

City Administrator Dave Cziok said the city council has pushed city staff to take care of the properties. Some have been deemed hazardous to the community’s health, and others are considered eyesores.

The city has begun sending certified letters to property owners. The letters include completion dates for work to be done. If the problems are not resolved, the city will begin issuing fines.

Youth take the stage at Maple Plain Community Church

What happens when a detective from Bethlehem Police begins investigating a gang of joyfully rowdy shepherds with a crazy story about angels and a mysterious baby?

The answer is a rollicking good time, as the young actors of Maple Plain Community Church will show in “Arrest These Merry Gentlemen,” a quirky Christmas musical that puts a fun twist on the classic Nativity story, the Laker & Pioneer reported.

The play will be presented at 10:15 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at Maple Plain Community Church, located at 1815 Budd Avenue.

The play is organized by a group of church volunteers, and a church member designs the sets.

Questions about the musical may be directed to 763-479-1620. More information is available at www.mpcommunitychurch.org.

City of Hutchinson auctioning three forfeited vehicles

Hutchinson City Council Nov. 27 approved the sale of three forfeited vehicles the Hutchinson Police Department had accumulated, the Hutchinson Leader reported.

The vehicles include a 2003 Honda Santa Fe, a 1999 Ford Contour, and a 2006 Buick Lucerne. As allowed by Minnesota state statutes, the vehicles were forfeited to the police department after being used during crimes such as driving under the influence and fleeing an officer.

The vehicles will be sold by auction through Fahey Auction Center.

Overpass connects residents, businesses in Monticello

Nearly four decades of planning a crossing between the north and south sides of Monticello culminated with the Nov. 21 opening of the $6.01 million Fallon Avenue overpass project, the Monticello Times reported.

Along with the bridge, the Seventh Street construction project and Chelsea Avenue project were declared completed and opened for traffic.

There are three roundabouts located within the project areas.

Four injured in crash east of Hutchinson Dec. 1

Multiple injuries were reported in a crash east of Hutchinson Dec. 1, KDUZ reported.

According to the state patrol, a vehicle driven by 27-year-old Colten Hughes of Silver Lake was westbound on Highway 7 when he lost control in the snowy conditions, crossed the centerline, and collided with an eastbound pickup driven by 23-year-old Justin Jacobs of Silver Lake.

Hughes and his passenger, 23-year-old Gabriela Pytel of Hutchinson, along with Jacobs and his passenger, 23-year-old Emily Navratil of Silver Lake suffered non-life threatening injuries. All were taken to Hutchinson Health for treatment.

The crash happened on Highway 7 just east of Omega Avenue, just after 8 p.m.