On Thursday night, April 12, at the Public Library, community members convened to discuss a fundamental right and a topic swirling around college campuses and social media: the freedom of speech. The Human Rights Commission organized the public discussion, which centered around what exactly the First Amendment does for citizens — what it protects, and what it doesn't. "We set out to have an evening of civil discourse, and that's what happened," HRC Chair Mark Ryan said. "People raised issues in a respectful way and I think everyone appreciated that."
Young adults trying to break into advanced manufacturing want to work; businesses desperately want to hire qualified local talent. Why not then, bring potential employers and employees together before the job interview? A dedicated team of local leaders has come together to make sure that happens, drafting an application to be a pilot community for the new Youth Skills Training program.
On May 22, Red Wing City Council will consider approving an extensive reorganization of the city's administration department.
After negotiations, meetings, legislation and letters, Red Wing has a final answer on whether the state will reimburse the city for the cost overrun on the Highway 61 reconstruction project. The state will pay $381,000 toward the remaining $968,000 cost attributed solely to trunk Highway 61 reconstruction. Including a previous payment of $500,000, the state will pay a total of $881,000, or 60 percent, of the total $1,468,000 price tag for trunk highway improvements. The city will wind up paying $587,000.
During Monday's City Council meeting, Don Kliewer's request for a $10,000 matching grant to help pay for this year's firework show triggered a short debate on whether the city should fund fireworks at all. Kliewer runs the volunteer Mississippi Alumination committee, which raises funds to pay for Fourth of July fireworks in Red Wing. For the last few years, Kliewer has asked for a $10,000 matching grant from the city. He raises another $10,000 through private donations and additional funds by selling aluminum cans.
Gov. Mark Dayton wants to remove the State Historic Preservation Office from Minnesota Historical Society control, and place it beneath the Department of Administration. While the governor argues the move would reduce inefficiency and increase accountability, others — including Red Wing professionals familiar with SHPO — are not so sure.
Lake Pepin is home to diverse aquatic habitats and awe-inspiring eagles, long-time boaters and first-time water-skiers, opaque foggy mornings and sublime summertime sunsets. But the lake is filling up with sediment, and unless something is done, our children may yet see the twilight of the region's most notable natural fixture. Thankfully, nearly eight years ago, Mike McKay started the Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance. While McKay died last year, Rylee Main now leads the organization.
Fire departments tend to be known for their heavy, noticeable equipment — massive trucks, thick overcoats and bulky oxygen tanks. The Red Wing Fire Department's newest upgrade, the LUCAS Chest Compression System, breaks that mold. It fits in a school-sized backpack, and is relatively lightweight. When in use, the LUCAS is strapped to a victim's chest and administers mechanically precise compressions to individuals in cardiac arrest.
Not many people were pleased with how the 2016 legislative session ended. No transportation bill was passed, and a bonding bill was left on the floor in the session's waning seconds, leaving sorely needed projects on hold throughout the state. Representatives and local officials are hopeful that the 2017 session concludes on a more positive, and more productive, note.
After two meetings without a resolution, the final assessments for the Main Street Reconstruction Project were approved April 10. Previously, Bob Exner of Goodyear Tire Service complained that he was not made aware of the cost increase of upgrading to a 6-inch water main, and asked council to reduce his assessment. City staff provided documentation that Exner had asked for the 6-inch main.