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Area News

July 25, 2016

Skid loader catches fire on Meeker County farm

The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office and Litchfield Fire Department responded to a report of farm equipment on fire at a residence in the 19400 block of County Road 1 in Greenleaf Township July 15, according to the sheriff’s office.

A parked 2012 skid loader was found to be on fire. The equipment had earlier been used to move hay bales. The skid loader is a total loss with a value of $30,000. No one was injured as a result of the fire. Property owners are Daniel Barka, 64, and Joshua Barka, 40.

Monticello’s CentraCare will close 10-bed unit

In response to community need and a commitment to lowering the cost of care, CentraCare Health–Monticello, is planning to restructure rehabilitation services by closing its 10-bed Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation unit and investing in rehabilitation care that is available to patients in a lower cost setting, the Monticello Times reports.

The Monticello-Big Lake Community Hospital District approved the action as a new business item during a July 14 special meeting. Patients needing extensive rehabilitation care will continue to have options close to home at CentraCare Health – Monticello’s Care Center.

Waconia grandstand takes giant leap forward

A project that has been in development for several years is coming closer to reality, as Waconia is one step closer to becoming a baseball gem, the Waconia Patriot reports. At the June 20 Waconia City Council meeting, the proposed grandstand was an item of discussion. The board decided it was time to put the construction project out for bid, hoping to start construction after Labor Day.

The proposed grandstand will be constructed at Lions Field next to the high school, and would serve up to 450 fans with amenities including a concession stand, ADA-compliant restrooms, and a new press box.

Litchfield mother recalls child’s Lyme Disease battle

When summer started, Lyme Disease wasn’t the first thing that crossed Litchfield mother Syndi Raiber’s mind, the Independent Review reports. One day in mid-June, Raiber came home to find a blemish on her 19-month-old daughter’s leg. The center was white and warm with a red ring around it.

At first, her child, Presley, was diagnosed with a spider bite. However, when Presley’s condition didn’t improve, Raiber sought another opinion. She was referred to a disease specialist, who diagnosed Presley with Lyme Disease. Presley is currently seeing a specialist at the University of Minnesota. Raiber said this experience changed how she thinks about the disease, and that she will be more thorough when checking for ticks on her daughter. She encourages other parents to follow their instincts when they feel something is wrong.

Veterans memorial planned in St. Michael

The St. Michael City Council approved construction of a veterans memorial recently, the Press & News reported.

American Legion members Tom Zander, Howard Larson and David Dayon said the project site is located downtown, just west of the One-Way Pair split. Zander said the memorial’s structure foundation should be installed this year, and then fundraising will continue for the project’s next phase. He estimated the project would be completed within two years, depending how fundraising goes. The total estimated cost of the monument is $75,000 to $80,000.

Buffalo mayor hurt in bicycling accident

Buffalo Mayor Brad Nauman is recovering at a hospital after sustaining injuries in an accident while bicycling locally July 16, the Wright County Journal-Press reported. The mayor said he was going down a hill that makes a 90-degree turn, became aware of a car pulling out of a driveway, and braked quickly.

He flipped over the handlebars and landed on his shoulder. The mayor said he went to the Buffalo Emergency Room, and after discovering a separated shoulder, several fractured ribs, and a fractured sternum, he was transported by ambulance to North Memorial Hospital. The mayor said he is making good progress.

Annandale club aims to shine a light on trafficking

The Annandale Improvement Club aimed to shine a light on one of the dark undercurrents of modern society when it hosted a presentation on human trafficking July 7, the Annandale Advocate reported.

More than 50 members and guests went to St. John’s Lutheran Church to hear from Linda Miller, executive director of Civil Society in Minneapolis, and Rebecca Kotz, human trafficking services coordinator for the Minnesota Sexual Assault Center in St. Cloud. The two speakers shared experiences with victims, their work, as well as trends, statistics, and area information.

Children’s museum created at Hutchinson Mall

Wheel & Cog Children’s Museum recently opened for a test run at the Hutchinson Mall, and an official grand opening is planned Tuesday, Aug. 2, the Hutchinson Leader reported.

One permanent exhibit in the play area is a farmers market with play fruits and vegetables hand-sewn by community volunteers, along with a hand-painted backdrop. The museum is for ages 0-12, and a soft play area will soon be fenced off for children younger than 18 months. The museum also seeks to accommodate kids with special needs. The museum will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Daily admission is $4 per person (12 months and under are free.)

Lindemans named county farm family of the year

The Robert and Lori Lindeman farm southeast of Brownton is in its fourth generation – moving into its fifth generation, the McLeod County Chronicle reported. The Lindemans are McLeod County’s Farm Family of the Year, an honor bestowed by the Minnesota Extension Service to farm families who are engaged both in farming and in communities.

The Lindemans live on the home site, which consists of 160 acres. Most of the land surrounding the site is still owned by Bob’s father Jim. They farm about 900 total acres. They own about 200 acres and have 600 acres in the conservation reserve program (CRP). The family will officially receive their award at Farmfest Thursday, Aug. 4.