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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Goodhue County has good clinical care but residents have some unhealthy habits, according to a recent study ranking the health of counties. The 2011 County Health Rankings, released last week, place Goodhue County 36th out of 85 counties in Minnesota for health outcomes and 53rd for health factors. Health outcomes include premature death and self-reported overall physical and mental health, while health factors involve those aspects that could influence health such as behaviors and the physical environment.
Red Wing's garbage incinerator has been a key point in budget and policy discussions for years, and Red Wing City Council is continuing to explore options before making any final decisions. The incinerator, located on Bench Street, takes up an average of about $500,000 from the city's general fund each year, but burning trash is considered a more environmentally friendly alternative to landfills. A main problem for the city's incinerator operations has been a lack of waste, said Jeff Schneider, deputy director of solid waste.
As Goodhue County considers countywide social host and seller/server ordinances, Chemical Health Initiative and local police chiefs encouraged area leaders to consider passing the ordinances in their jurisdictions as well.
After years of planning and many delays, Goodhue County's public safety entities will switch to a new radio system Monday. The 800 megahertz system will replace a 35-year-old VHF system, offering more options for communicating and better reception, the Sheriff's Office said. "It will be connectivity like we've never had before," Chief Deputy Lyle Lorenson said. Exploring new radio options started about eight years ago, Sheriff Scott McNurlin said.
Wendell Pittenger has proposed constructing a hotel at Mississippi National Golf Links, but bills in the state Legislature and zoning issues could make the prospect difficult. A data request from the group Save MNGL unearthed a proposal by Pittenger to build a hotel on the Mississippi National property.
The risk of major flooding has decreased due to recent cold weather, but some Red Wing area roads and parks are still seeing closures. On Friday, the Mississippi River was measured at 13.38 feet, the same as Thursday's reading. Minor flood stage is 14 feet. City officials said Friday's level should be the extent of the first crest. Depending on rainfall, water levels are expected to remain steady over the weekend and begin dropping next week, leveling out around 13 feet. But once warm weather returns, the water likely will rise again.
Spectators might soon be seeing advertisements alongside events at local athletic fields. A proposed ordinance that would allow advertising at the Red Wing Athletic Field, A.P. Anderson Park and fields at Red Wing High School and Twin Bluff Middle School is back before the Red Wing City Council. The ordinance would allow temporary advertisements that are put up and taken down the day of an event and are attached to an existing structure such as a building, fence or scoreboard.
Goodhue County has grown by more than 2,000 people in the past decade, according to 2010 census data. However, while all cities in the county grew, many township populations stayed roughly the same or decreased slightly. Eight townships gained residents, while 13 saw populations decrease. The county as a whole has been growing slowly over time, county Planning Supervisor Mike Wozniak said. And he said the latest numbers don't come as much of a surprise.
The first public meeting on the potential sale of Mississippi National Golf Links has been rescheduled for April 19. The meeting, which was originally planned for April 7, will give both the city and opponents of the sale a chance to present information, city officials said. Council members generally approved of the shift in date, but Council member Peggy Rehder said she was concerned about the later date. "There's been a lot of information flying around, some of it true and some of it not," she said. "It's not a healthy situation. ...
While recent predictions have waters reaching lower levels than originally anticipated, there are still safety issues that can stem from flood season - and many that can be prevented. Flooding of wells is a common risk during high waters. The Minnesota Department of Health recommends storing a supply of clean or bottled water and disconnecting the power supply to wells during flood season. If there is enough time before water is expected to reach the area, officials recommend having a contractor install a watertight cap on the well.