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Area News

July 27, 2015

US Navy diver swims through Mississippi River in Monticello

US Navy diver Chris Ring recently finished his latest segment of a planned swim from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, leaving the water at the Kadler Avenue access in Monticello, the Monticello Times reported.

Ring decided to take on the task of swimming the 2,552 miles to help families who have lost sons, daughters, husbands, and wives in combat. When Ring completes the journey, he will become the first American to ever swim the length of the Mississippi River. Ring, along with Legacies Alive (the organization he represents), are using the swim as a way to connect as many Gold Star families as possible across the country.

Zebra mussels in Clearwater Lake in Annandale

Zebra mussels were discovered in Clearwater Lake in Annandale by a swimmer July 5, and a colony has since been verified by the Department of Natural Resources, according to the Annandale Advocate.

Christine Jurek of the DNR stated that it is likely the zebra mussels were transported to the lake by attaching to boats, docks, or other lake equipment, and might have already been in Clearwater the past two to three years. One female zebra mussel can produce 100,000 to 500,000 eggs per year. Zebra mussels filter tiny particles out of water, making it clearer but removing nourishment for other aquatic species and potentially disrupting the food chain. Jurek said each lake responds differently, so it is difficult to predict how it will affect the fish population in Clearwater Lake.

Meeker Co. 21-year-old dies in rollover crash

A 21-year-old Grove City man was found dead after a rollover west of the intersection of CSAH 11 and CSAH 31 in Meeker County July 22, the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Preliminary investigation shows that Spencer Dean Latham was driving west on CSAH 11 when he entered the south ditch. His 1989 Ford Mustang rolled over into a cornfield, and Latham was ejected from the vehicle. Latham was not wearing a seatbelt.

The sheriff’s office was notified of the rollover at about 7 p.m. When deputies arrived, they found Latham deceased. Detectives are continuing the investigation to determine whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Norwood Young America mulls nuisance ordinance

Unlike the previous public hearing on home-based businesses, the public hearing on nuisances July 13 drew no reaction from the public, the Norwood Young America Times reported.

Despite their dismay at the lack of public input, council members pressed on, considering revisions to section 600 of the city code regarding nuisances. The proposed code more clearly outlines different types of nuisances under three categories of health, moral indecency, and peace and safety, while listing specific examples. Council members ultimately tabled the nuisance code revisions to allow for edits to be made.

St. Michael clears approval for 200 new homes

Is the residential boom back? It just might be in St. Michael, as the city council recently approved two plats totaling more than 200 homes, the Press & News reported.

Two different subdivisions were on the consent agenda for rezoning, preliminary plat and planned unit development approval. The first was the Morgendal subdivision for 73 residential lots at the northwest corner of County Rd. 35 and 35th Street NE in western St. Michael. The second plat was for 130 residential lots at 2381 LaBeaux Ave. (County Rd. 19) in southern St. Michael, at the east side of Gonz Lake.

Waconia soccer teams play against other countries

Several soccer teams from Waconia, including the U15 boys, U16 girls, U12 girls and U12 boys, played in the Schwan’s USA Cup in Blaine mid-July, the Waconia Patriot reported

Their games were against teams from Mexico, Iceland, Brazil, Norway, Canada, and other countries throughout the world. The event had 1,153 teams from 19 states and 16 countries. The U16 C2 girls team made it to semi-finals before losing to Calgary, Canada. The weeklong event featured several athlete-oriented workshops, a teen dance, pin trading with teams from other countries, and professional men’s games.

McLeod Co. Commissioners split on solid waste costs

The McLeod County Board of Commissioners approved spending $166,904 on a fence and another $19,270 for a concrete apron for the driveway July 21, both at the Solid Waste Facility in Hutchinson, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.

The approval came on a 3-2 vote – not because dissenting commissioners disputed the need, but the process. Commissioners Doug Krueger and Ron Shimanski, who voted against the motion, both said they are concerned about escalating costs at the facility as the county converts to a one-sort recycling system. Krueger cited several instances in which the county has encountered unexpected or unbudgeted costs in the retrofit of the materials recovery facility.

Hutchinson’s Clay Coyote transitioning to new path

As Clay Coyote Pottery partners Betsy Price and Tom Wirt have said themselves, “There comes a time when even potters have to retire,” the Hutchinson Leader reported.

That time will come in April 2016, when the Clay Coyote Pottery line will be retired after 23 years of production. Clay Coyote pottery will be available for purchase online until March 2016 and in the gallery 4.5 miles north of Hutchinson at 17634 240th St. until May 2016. Price’s daughter, Morgan Baum, the associate director of development for Consumer Reports, will be taking over the business. Baum plans to continue offering items for sale in the gallery, while transitioning the studio into multiple spaces for potters in an artists-in-residence program. The studio spaces will be rented to potters following a remodeling next summer.

Fresh fruit and vegetable program coming to Buffalo

A local food program designed to make fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable to Minnesota families will be expanding to Buffalo, the Wright County Journal-Press reported.

Fare For All Express, established in 2007 by Emergency Foodshelf Network, purchases fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as frozen meats, in bulk and passes the savings on to its customers. The program is open to anyone, and is designed to supplement people’s grocery store purchases. Food distributions will be one Tuesday per month from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, 1200 Highway 25 in Buffalo.