Area News

June 15, 2018

Litchfield Police say motorist hit child on bike, then fled

Litchfield police responded to a hit-and-run accident involving a bicycle June 8, the Litchfield Independent Review reported.

According to a report from the Litchfield Police Department, a child on a bicycle was hit by a vehicle June 1 near the intersection of North Sibley Avenue and East Depot Street (US Highway 12). The incident was reported at 2:48 p.m.

According to Litchfield Police Detective Dennis Hanson, the rear tire of the boy’s bicycle was hit, but he was not injured. The motorist then turned off East Depot Street and went south.

Hanson said officers later made contact with the driver, who was cited for leaving the scene of an accident.

Hamburg man takes barbecue on the road

The Fireman’s Barbecue food truck has officially opened its doors (so to speak) and has begun bringing barbecue to local venues, the Waconia Patriot reported.

The new business, started by Justin Spande of Hamburg, has been long in the making.

Spande has begun officially making the rounds in the area.Wednesdays, the trailer will be parked at Bongards Farmers Market. Thursdays through Sundays, he’ll set up shop outside of Carquest in Norwood Young America.

Firemans Barbecue’s menu consists of the barbecue staples. Smoked brisket and pulled pork will be available daily – or at least until that day’s batch runs out – paired as always with coleslaw and beans. There will also be a revolving daily special option, ranging from ribs to ham to pastrami.

Student acquitted in Meeker County school threats case

A student who said he was joking when he placed pictures of the Columbine High School massacre in students’ lockers has been found not guilty of felony charges.

Eighteen-year-old Deshaun Randy Haag, who was 17 at the time, was charged with making terroristic threats for helping place the pictures in more than 20 lockers at Eden Valley-Watkins High School Nov. 22, KNSI radio reported.

Following a trial by judge, he was acquitted in Meeker County District Court.

Five students testified that they didn’t feel threatened by the pictures and thought they were a joke, while three students testified that they showed the pictures to school administrators because they were concerned and feared what might happen next.

School administrators took the pictures as a threat, including high school Principal Bruce Kiehn who was in the Rocori School District during the school shooting in September 2003.

Annandale street project moves forward

Annandale City Council conducted a public hearing during its June 4 meeting regarding a proposed 2020 Main Street renewal project, the Annandale Advocate.

After the hearing, the council approved moving forward with the project, which includes replacing water and sewer mains.

The project will also involve renovating the sidewalk and stormwater system, as well as improving the street, curb, and gutter to comply with standards from the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

McLeod County jail project is nearly complete

With the exception of one lock and the cleanout of a strainer on the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), the McLeod County Jail expansion and courthouse security project are complete, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.

Sam Lauer of Contegrity, the construction manager, gave the final construction update to the county board at its June 5 meeting. “It took longer than expected, but it came in under budget, and that’s the important thing,” said Lauer of the project. He said he was finalizing a financial report for the project and expected that the county board would have it by July.

“I’d say it would easily have cost 15 percent more or higher to do the project now. This was a 2016 bid, too, so you are looking at two years ago, also,” Lauer said.

Litchfield wants to discuss pool/rec center with school

The Litchfield City Council wants to meet with the Litchfield School Board to discuss potential future partnership on a swimming pool or recreational center, the Litchfield Independent Review reported.

The need for a community swimming pool has been discussed for years. An aquatic facility has been at the top of some citizens’ wish lists in recent community surveys.

A consultant hired by the city has determined that a modest outdoor aquatic facility would cost approximately $4 million to build. To accommodate a pool at the Memorial Park location would also involve relocating the park’s access and parking lot, at an estimated cost of about $325,000, according to the city’s engineer.

League of Minnesota Cities works with Glencoe council

Class was in session for a packed house at Monday’s City of Glencoe Personnel and Legislative Committee meeting, the McLeod County Chronicle reported. Pam Whitmore, a representative from the League of Minnesota Cities, presented advice in effective communication as a result of repetitive, dysfunctional city council meetings.

The PowerPoint presentation entitled, “City Government and You!” was a 2.5-hour long lecture jam-packed with activities, helpful advice, and team-oriented problem-solving exercises.

Motorcyclist dies in Meeker County crash

A motorcyclist from South Dakota died after a crash in Harvey Township (north of Litchfield) Saturday evening, the Minnesota State Patrol reported.

Leslie Melvin Lemke, 57, of Watertown, SD was driving a 2015 Harley Davidson FLHX south on Highway 22 shortly before 9:30 p.m. when his motorcycle went off the road to the right, according to the state patrol. The motorcycle then hit a driveway approach, throwing Lemke from the bike. He was not wearing a helmet.

Lemke was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital, where he died from injuries sustained in the crash, the state patrol reported.

Glencoe paves way for a brewery and taproom

Glencoe residents jealous of Hutchinson’s new brewery may have one of their own soon, the Hutchinson Leader reported.

In the same week Bobbing Bobber Brewing Co. opened its doors in Hutchinson, members of the Glencoe City Council instructed city staff to draw up an amendment to the city’s liquor ordinance allowing for a brewery and taproom in town. The first reading of that ordinance was approved June 4, but two more readings are required before it goes into effect.

The change to the city’s liquor ordinance was requested by Jonathan Lueck, who hopes to bring his Lazy Loon Brewing Co. to town by the end of this summer.

Lueck started his brewing company in 2014 out of his residence in Victoria, but for the past three years he’s been searching for a new place to brew and open a taproom.