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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A small Goodhue County city is getting statewide recognition after the governor chose it as his new puppy's namesake. Gov. Mark Dayton has named his new black German Shepherd "Wanamingo" or "Mingo" for short - a name city officials appreciate. "It's nice to be recognized by name," Wanamingo City Administrator Mike Boulton said. "Maybe people can get a geography lesson, too." The Wanamingo City Council passed a resolution at its last meeting commending the governor for choosing the name and inviting him and his dogs to visit to the city anytime.
With the federal and state governments facing pressure to make cuts across the board, funding for public housing and redevelopment programming could be in jeopardy. "Money for all these programs is up in the air," said Randal Hemmerlin, executive director of the Red Wing Housing and Redevelopment Authority. The HRA saw a dip in funding last year. Now, facing deeper cuts, the HRA is also trying to rebuild reserve funds and keep up with planned projects. "This will be an interesting year for us as we move forward and see what our budget situation will be," Hemmerlin said.
A potential land purchase by Goodhue County could help a trail project linking communities from Cannon Falls to Faribault move forward. Commissioners voted Tuesday to work with the Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Parks and Trails Council to look into purchasing property near the county's Lake Byllesby Park. The DNR has funding to build a bridge over the Cannon River as part of the Mill Towns Trail project, which would include a trail between the park and Cannon Falls.
The Goodhue County Sheriff's Office will take a conservative approach to tackling budget issues, at least for now. The department presented the Goodhue County Board with a variety of potential measures to cut the budget for the Adult Detention Center, ranging from leaving some open positions unfilled to closing the facility. "This is meant to begin some dialogue for things we could do in the future," Sheriff Scott McNurlin said. "I do look at this as a continuing conversation.
Fire service contracts with two nearby townships were up in the air after potential fee increases, and the results look to be coming back mixed. Diamond Bluff decided to sign a contract with Ellsworth Fire Department instead of renewing with the Red Wing Fire Department. While Jeff Holst, Diamond Bluff Town Board chairman, said the township was happy working with Red Wing, price was the ultimate factor. "It was solely a cost matter," Holst said. Diamond Bluff's contract with Ellsworth comes with a price tag of $19,500 a year.
Most townships in Goodhue County will likely see a quiet night when they hold elections and annual meetings Tuesday. Many of them have treasurer and supervisor positions open, though most candidates run unopposed. Here's a preview of who is running and when residents can vote: Belle Creek No candidate information provided. The annual meeting will be at 2:30 p.m. Belvidere Alan Breuer is running for supervisor, while Kevin Voth is seeking re-election as treasurer. The annual meeting will be at 1 p.m., and polls will be open from 3 to 8 p.m.
City officials want the federal government to hold up its end of the bargain when it comes to nuclear waste. Red Wing City Council voted Monday to send a letter to Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson asking her to sue the federal government for failing to take care of nuclear waste. The federal government is required to pick up nuclear waste from facilities like the Prairie Island nuclear plant, Council member Lisa Bayley said, but hasn't been doing so. "They are way behind on fulfilling their obligations," Bayley said, adding that with a central storage site at Yucca Mountain out of
Goodhue County is looking for creative ways to save money, but not all the suggestions are sitting well with locals. The Public Works Department was looking into closing Cutler Hill, a graveled half-mile stretch of County Road 46, but residents' protests convinced at least one county official to abandon the idea. About 30 area residents, county and Red Wing city officials gathered Wednesday at the public works building to discuss the closure. "No decisions have been made yet," Public Works Director Greg Isakson assured residents.
Counties in the region plan to work together to deal with lower jail populations and high costs, officials said Friday. Sheriffs, lawmakers, administrators and jail staff members from 11 surrounding counties met Friday in Goodhue County to discuss possible solutions to inmate housing issues. "There are a lot of opportunities to be gained by having these discussions," Goodhue County Sheriff Scott McNurlin said. In general, nearby counties are seeing more empty beds and expenses greatly exceeding revenue, according to a survey counties completed before the meeting.
A Red Wing resident was one of the eight Minnesota State Patrol officers who have been hit since last weekend's snowstorm in a winter that has proven dangerous not only for drivers but for law enforcement officials as well. Sgt. Dan Lewis pulled over on Highway 52 about 10 miles south of Cannon Falls on Monday to check on the people in a vehicle that had spun out. He had only been stopped for about 20 seconds when his vehicle was rearended by another traveling 65 mph, he said. Troopers spend a lot of time checking their mirrors, Lewis said, especially during bad weather.