Danielle Killey is the city reporter for the Republican Eagle, where she has worked since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.
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The city of Red Wing recently brought in an unusual bunch - or herd, more precisely - of employees to work on a parks project. Goats from the Hay Creek-based Goat Peak Ranch are feasting on buckthorn and other problem plants at A.P.
Tight budgets have pushed government entities to explore a wider array of financing options. In the city of Red Wing, bonding for funds is becoming a stronger possibility than in the past. "We've traditionally been 'pay as you go,'" Finance Director Marshall Hallock said. But now, with Local Government Aid still up in the air and other funding streams running dry, the City Council is considering bonding instead. Capital projects such as major street construction and infrastructure repairs are typical recipients of bond funds.
While other young girls usually ask for dolls or clothes for Christmas, Jami Kusilek told her parents one year she wanted a stuffed goat to practice tying for rodeo competitions. Now Kusilek, 16, is headed to the national high school rodeo competition for the second year in a row, armed with two state titles and an all-around award. "It's nice to see Jami run with some of the best horses nationally," her mother, Teri, said.
State funding and other key budget issues remain unclear as city department heads and elected officials delve into the budgeting process for the coming years. At Monday's City Council meeting, members discussed one option to change public safety funding - altering how it spends extra Public Employees Retirement Association funds. The discussion also revived concerns about filling vacant positions at the Red Wing Police Department and paying the salaries of three firefighters hired with grant money. During a workshop on public safety last month, council members decided to examine how they
The Red Wing City Council unanimously determined Monday that an ordinance proposed through a citizen initiative is invalid. The proposed ordinance would require a public vote on the purchase or sale of land assessed by Goodhue County at $1 million or more. Among other issues, council members said they believed the content of the ordinance deals with administrative matters. Such proposed ordinances must be legislative in nature, city attorney Amy Mace said, meaning they are uniform and permanent.
The federal government has agreed to pay Xcel Energy more than $100 million to cover the costs of storing spent nuclear fuel U.S. Department of Energy was supposed to remove. Thirteen years past its deadline, the government has failed to pick up radioactive waste from plants, spurring lawsuits throughout the country. The U.S. Department of Energy and Xcel have reached a settlement for local costs. The government will pay Xcel about $100 million to cover used fuel storage costs through 2008 at the Prairie Island and Monticello nuclear plants.
After more than four months of brainstorming, meeting and drafting, Red Wing has released a strategic plan for public review. The document aims to present a long-term vision for the city with specific steps to achieve those goals. Dave Unmacht from consulting firm Springsted facilitated City Council workshops, and members also sought input from department heads and city staff.
Red Wing is working to make its roads safer and more pleasant for pedestrians, and area residents are encouraged to give their input. On Thursday, a cluster of Red Wing residents took part in Red Wing's first "walkabout," an event to help determine how safe and enjoyable it is to be a pedestrian in the city. The group walked down Main Street on a hot Thursday afternoon, noting the noise and narrow sidewalks as they passed.
Wisconsin Republicans released their proposed congressional redistricting map Friday, which was met almost immediately with Democrats' cries of partisanship. Among other changes, the proposed plan would add a section of central Wisconsin to Rep. Ron Kind's 3rd District, absorbing parts of the current 6th and 7th districts. The 3rd District traditionally has hugged the Mississippi and current extends from La Crosse to Hudson.
ELLSWORTH -- I'd been to Ellsworth once before on a quest to find out what my coworkers meant by "squeaky" cheese curds. I wasn't sure I wanted my food to squeak, as I was told good, fresh curds do, but I made the trek to the creamery nevertheless and was instantly addicted to the salty snacks. That was months ago, but on a trip this week I wanted to see what else Pierce County's seat had to offer. Of course, I did head to the creamery - who could resist fresh cheese curds so close by? - but I wanted to get to know the rest of the village.