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Area News

Dec. 22, 2014

Litchfield police test body cameras

The Litchfield Police Department has been testing body cameras in preparation for buying them for all officers, the Litchfield Independent Review reported.

The feeling among local officers is that cameras will serve to validate their version of events, especially in the courtroom where prosecutors encounter suspects and witnesses who sometimes provide conflicting testimony. The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office has also been testing and acquiring cameras for its officers.

Carver Co. names new mounted posse people

Eight new members were recently accepted into the Carver County Sheriff’s Office mounted posse, including Caroline Orth, Megan Taylor, Phyllis Stoiaken, Robin Stolz, Kathy Kay, Casey Nus, Lindsey Walz, and Frankie Nelson, the Carver County News reported.

The posse assists with school and public outreach visits, search and rescue requests, park and city patrol, security for events, parades, crime scene security, levee security, and various other duties. To join this volunteer organization, contact Posse Liaison Lieutenant David M. Williams at (952) 361-1206.

Annandale housing study predicts growth

A recently completed housing study suggests that Annandale could see growth of about 13 to 15 new households per year for the remainder of the decade, the Annandale Advocate reported.

Households does not necessarily refer to new homes, meaning that at least some new residents could be living in existing structures. The Annandale City Council approved the $9,500 study earlier this year after receiving an AgStar grant of $4,750. The city’s last housing study was completed in 2001.

Waconia Hwy. 5 project to begin in May

Several Waconia citizens attended an open house Dec. 9 to learn more about the Highway 5 project coming up in May, the Waconia Patriot reported. The project will expand Highway 5 to four lanes from Highway 284 to Oak Avenue, in order to accommodate increased traffic.

From June 6 through July 31, the section of Highway 5 from Oak Avenue to CSAH 10 will be closed. The project should be completed by October 2015.

House fire in Young America Township

A house fire occurred in Young America Township during the early morning hours of Dec. 12, the Norwood Young America Times reported.

According to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, the office received a 911 call reporting a fire on the 13000 block of Tacoma Avenue in Young America Township at 3:11 a.m. All occupants had evacuated the residence and no injuries were reported. The incident is under investigation by the Carver County Sheriff’s Office and the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Assisting on the incident were Young America Fire, Cologne Fire, Hamburg Fire, and Ridgeview Ambulance.

Hoodie heist from Hutchinson J.C. Penney

Police are looking for a suspect accused of stealing about 20 Nike hoodies with an estimated total value of $1,100 from J.C. Penney in Hutchinson just after 6 p.m. Dec. 8, KDUZ reported.

Store officials say a male, about 5’8” tall, with a shaved blonde head put the hoodies in a bag, left the store, and then drove off in a silver 2000 Chrysler 300. The license plate identified the owner as living in Minneapolis; however, when Minneapolis Police followed up, they said the owner no longer lived at that address. Authorities tracked down a relative of the suspect living in Arden Hills, who told Minneapolis police that the car had been sold to an unknown person for drug money. The investigation continues.

Watertown Fine Arts plans 2015 events

The Watertown Area Fine Arts Council (WAFAC) has finalized its event schedule for 2015, the Carver County News reported.

Events include Crow River Radio Hour (a fictional radio play done before a live audience), a nine-piece all-acoustic mariachi band, The Church Basement Ladies, and a 32 voice all-boys choir. For more information, contact WAFAC President Mary Lou Jirik at (952) 955-2445.

Legal marijuana to be in Otsego, Cottage Grove

The Minnesota Department of Health announced Dec. 1 two of 12 applicants selected to be the state’s registered manufacturers of medical cannabis: Minnesota Medical Solutions will grow in Otsego, and LeafLine Labs in Cottage Grove, the Monticello Times reported.

Officials from the state’s two manufacturers said costs for the medicine will vary greatly based on the patient, his or her condition, and the dose required to treat it. According to KDUZ, average costs are expected to be $100 to $500 per month for treatment, according to KDUZ. Both companies will offer lower pricing for lower-income patients.

Glencoe to demolish Denny’s Barber Shop

Glencoe’s downtown area will lose its third business building on Greeley Avenue within a year, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.

The building that houses Denny’s Barber Shop, 1218 Greeley Ave., was recently condemned for occupancy due to the building leaning to the north. Owner Denny Wendlandt has volunteered to vacate the building, and his renters are required to leave the structure in January. Other recent demolitions in Glencoe have included the former Sunlife building, and the former Mark’s Economart.

Buffalo appoints new police chief

The Buffalo City Council officially hired Pat Budke as Buffalo’s chief of police Dec. 15, the Wright County Journal-Press reported.

Budke has been with the Buffalo Police Department the past 14 years, and had been serving as interim chief the last four months. The city had originally planned to hire a chief from outside the Buffalo area, and offered the job to someone who turned it down. Council members expressed confidence in Budke as the permanent chief.