Area News

April 24, 2017

Monticello plant undergoes biennial refuelling outage

After 500 days of continuous operation, the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant began its 28th biennial refuelling outage April 14, the Monticello Times reported.

The outage includes fuel replacements, maintenance, inspection, and testing activities that will result in improved equipment and plant reliability.

The work brings 800 contractors from around the country to Monticello for approximately one month, boosting the local economy.

The plant will be refuelled, replacing 4 million fuel pellets arranged in 13,468 fuel rods.

St. Bonifacius council mulls cargo crate complaint

Resident Eugene Rakow, of Wildwood Avenue, was on hand for the April 5 city council meeting to dispute a letter from the city about a cargo crate located on his property. The letter, dated Feb. 21, requested that the crate be removed within 30 days.

Rakow said the crate has been on his property for the past 15 or 16 years.

City Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer Brenda Fisk acted on a complaint, and sent the letter, saying that the crate was not allowed per city ordinance, because it did not meet the style and design of the principal building on the property.

The council extended the deadline by 60 days.

Waconia woman watches her son on ‘The Voice’

Waconia resident Cindy Armour has been watching her son, Jesse Larson, take the stage on NBC’s “The Voice,” the Waconia Patriot reported.

Armour first saw her son step out in front of the judges in February.

Recently, Larson started the “live performances” on the show, hoping to make it to the top 12.

“Music has been his love all his life,” Armour said. “We’re going for the win.”

Hutchinson hotel agreements approved April 11

A proposed “mid-scale” hotel with approximately 54 rooms moved a step closer to reality April 11 when the Hutchinson City Council approved two agreements with the project’s developer, the Hutchinson Leader reported.

Duluth-based Titanium Partners hopes to begin work on the 2.86-acre site in the northeast corner of the intersection of state highways 7 and 15 by Sept. 1, with an opening planned for April 2018.

The company is asking the city to help with soil contamination remediation and a driveway to the hotel from Prospect Street Northeast.

Buffalo finance officer to retire after 33 years of service

The City of Buffalo’s finance officer, Mary Jo Stubstad will retire in 2018 after more than 33 years with the city, the Wright County Journal-Press reported.

Prior to her retirement, Stubstad will be working part time starting in August.

The city council approved the promotion of Ashley Hanson, currently a finance officer III, during its April 17 meeting.

Hanson has been employed with the city since 2015, and has a bachelor of science degree in accounting, as well as additional training in city finance.

Litchfield schools to replace food serving lines

The Litchfield School Board approved replacing the primary and middle/high school’s food serving lines during its April 10 meeting, the Litchfield Independent Review reported.

In order to provide space for more food options, the secondary school will purchase a new serving line at a cost of $67,520, while the elementary school will replace its non-compliant serving line with the secondary school’s current line.

The serving lines are essentially buffet-style steam tables that serve hot lunches to students each day. Their heating elements, controls, and overall size make the lines expensive.

A second bid of $72,512 was also received.

Annandale Lions mark half-century of Easter egg hunts

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the first Easter egg hunt organized by the Annandale Lions Club in 1968, the Annandale Advocate reported.

Dub Ferrell, a charter member of the club, which was formed in 1962, said it didn’t take any time at all for the community event to build into a large annual gathering.

“The minute it started it became a huge success,” he said. “They’ve done it pretty much the same way ever since.”

Current Lions president Al Nerheim said last year’s event attracted up to 700 children.

Residents unhappy about school cuts in Waconia

Nearly 100 people packed Waconia City Hall for the April 10 meeting of the Waconia School Board to voice their displeasure about proposed cuts to elementary music and physical education after enrollment for the current school year fell below expectations, the Waconia Patriot reported.

However, Waconia School District Superintendent Pat Devine explained that school board members do not vote on programming changes unless an entire program is cut or eliminated. He noted the programming changes are managerial, not a board-level decision.

Officials had projected growth of about 110 students, but only about 20 students were added.

Glencoe commission recommends permit denial

The City of Glencoe’s planning commission approved a recommendation to the city council to deny a special use permit for two sets of twin homes April 13, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.

The permit, requested by Glencoe Progressive Partners, was for four homes in the 400 block of 20th Street West in Glencoe.

Planning Commission Chair Ron Knopp, who lives across the street from the proposed site, agreed that there is a need for this type of housing in Glencoe, but said the proposed site is not the place for it.