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Though it happened more than eight years ago, the teachers strike is something that many Red Wing educators, administrators and community members remember vividly. Current Supt. Stan Slessor says though it is not talked about much now, the strike still impacts how educators and administrators make decisions. "When we come together to negotiate, both parties respect each other's positions and work hard to come to mutual agreement," said Slessor, who came to Red Wing after the strike.
An armed robbery May 1, 2001, was just the beginning of a more than two-year saga perpetrated by a Hager City man. Mark Samples, a decorated U.S. Navy veteran, stormed the Red Wing Credit Union with a handgun and escaped on a bicycle with nearly $70,000 in May of that year. He dropped a handgun and much of the cash during his getaway, but eventually made his way to an area near the Mississippi River where he had stashed scuba gear. He stayed submerged for several hours.
Goodhue County law enforcement officials still hope that someday someone will come forward with useful information about three babies found dead in area waters since 1999. "We have been humbled because we haven't been able to (solve these cases)," said Capt. Pat Thompson, who also worked on the Jessica Swanson abduction and murder in the 1990s. "My hope is that someone will come forward with the details as well as a reason why this happened.
The Iraq War hit close to home in 2003 and 2004 when soldiers stationed in Ellsworth, Red Wing and other area cities were deployed overseas. "Every man, woman and child was aware we had troops gone. If we had lost someone, it may well have made a major difference. But we were very lucky we didn't," Bob Davis, Goodhue County Veterans Service Officer, told the R-E this month. "In Lake City they lost someone, and that changed the way they looked at things." Davis was referring to Pfc.
Thousands of tourists descend on Red Wing in any given summer. In 2004, that number skyrocketed on July 2, the day the Grand Excursion Flotilla came to town. Grand Excursion 2004 was a celebration and retracing of an 1854 excursion that commemorated America's first railroad connection to the Mississippi River. At that time, more than 1,200 people journeyed by rail and steamboat from the Quad Cities to the Twin Cities, stopping in several communities along the way.
Green space proponents got vocal in 2005 about protecting Red Wing's riverfront when developer Ford Thompson announced his plan for housing and office buildings on the 202 acres. Citizens' persistence and efforts have shaped government decisions about the stretch of land from Jackson Street to Bay Point Park ever since. This year the Red Wing City Council voted to put the publicly owned land into a permanent easement with the Minnesota Land Trust, a nonprofit conservation organization.
What started with one interested company in 2007 has morphed into a fierce competition - one that has divided some communities in half -- for harvesting Goodhue County wind. The battle continues after Kenyon Wind came onto the scene three years ago with its proposal for a nine-turbine, 18.9 megawatt wind farm in Kenyon and Cherry Grove townships. That project, however, seems in limbo after the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission this month denied a request for two more years to secure a buyer for energy generated by the project.
Goodhue County's Social Services and Public Health departments began a facelift in 2010 that was years in the making. County commissioners approved a plan in July that officially merged the departments Aug. 1. Staff, facilities and programs from both departments will now be managed jointly by a new Health and Human Services Board. The merger will take five years and will be spearheaded by Nina Arneson, who this fall stepped into the newly created role of Goodhue County Health and Human Services Department deputy director.
What: Cannon Falls High School graduation When: 7 p.m. June 4 at the high school field house Graduating class: 99 students CANNON FALLS - Kaleb Shades talks excitedly about artificial eyeballs that give the person using them the gift of sight. It's the kind of invention the Cannon Falls High School senior hopes to be part of someday. "I want to be able to make those new technologies we may have thought impossible when I was younger," said Shades, who will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison next year to study biomedical engineering.
Scott McNurlin has always silently dreamed of being sheriff. The career goal is one the 27-year Goodhue County law enforcement veteran has kept quiet as Sheriff Dean Albers' chief deputy. "I've thought about being sheriff my whole career but have never said it out loud out of respect," McNurlin said. That changed Friday when Albers announced he would not seek re-election in November. McNurlin, the sheriff's right-hand man the past 12 years, announced the same afternoon he will run to fill his boss's shoes.