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A Twin Cities-area man who held up a Cannon Falls bank last year at knifepoint pleaded guilty in federal court this week to armed robbery. Christopher Lee Anson entered his plea Tuesday as part of a deal with federal prosecutors. The 24-year-old admitted taking more than $2,600 from White Rock Bank in July 2009. Anson ordered the teller to put money in a plastic grocery bag then brandished a knife and repeated his demand when the teller did not immediately respond, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
A team created in 2007 is taking big steps toward improving how the community - including advocates, law enforcement and medical personnel - helps sexual assault victims and survivors. Goodhue County's Sexual Assault Multidisciplinary Action Response Team is currently working on multi-agency protocols that will provide the foundation for a sexual assault response program focused on victims and survivors.
Goodhue County commissioners will need to decide quickly if they want to borrow money to replace the Government Center's boilers this summer or if they'll roll the dice and hope the aging units last another winter. Several engineers have warned county staff the boilers are on their last legs, though it would cost between $1.6 million and $2 million to replace the units and address heating, ventilating and air conditioning issues in three other county buildings.
A 52-turbine wind farm proposed near Goodhue may have picked up the financial backing of Texas oil and gas executive T. Boone Pickens, but Goodhue County commissioners are still trying to decide what role they will play in wind energy. Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel said Tuesday the county has received clarification from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission that local officials can impose standards stricter than state requirements on wind farms between 5 and 25 megawatts without assuming regulatory and permitting authority for those projects.
Goodhue County officials are considering trying to sell the county's recycling program, Recycling Center and landfill to save money. The idea stems from information revealed last year in an audit by trash hauler Waste Management. The outside analysis found that Goodhue County could save more than $250,000 by processing material collected from its eight countywide recycling drop boxes at a third-party site instead of the county's recycling center and by making changes at the recycling drop off boxes.
Goodhue County commissioners on Tuesday OK'd a revised citation ordinance, which gives certain Land-use Management employees the authority to write petty misdemeanor tickets to residents who violate some county laws. The document outlines general administrative procedures for citing county ordinance violations, like those relating to solid waste, zoning and public health nuisances.
There was a time when Goodhue County Sheriff Dean Albers would have dismissed ideas like 800 Mhz radio systems, regional dispatch centers and a countywide police force. Not anymore. Albers said this week options like a joint police force should be examined further as county and local leaders look to balance budgets amid state aid cuts and levy caps. "I would say it's probably something that has more legs now than it's ever had because of the current economy," Albers said.
Goodhue County's 4-H organization is one of the largest and most active in the state. A group of volunteers wants to ensure that remains the case, even as local officials consider cutting funding to non-mandated entities like University of Minnesota Extension, which operates the county's 4-H program. "We know that times are tough and we're going to try to forge a solution very proactively to make sure that people continue benefiting from the program," said Jayne Hager Dee, U of M Extension regional director.
GOODHUE - Yvonne Raasch sat down 50 Easter Sundays ago before a full crowd at St. Peter's Church, took a deep breath and began playing the church's brand new organ. The 19-year-old nervously made her way through simple pre-service tunes she selected and the hymns the pastor chose for her to play during her debut performance. The Goodhue native - who volunteered after the previous organ player retired, refusing to play the new organ - has been a staple at the small Lutheran church during almost every service since.
Goodhue County sheriff's officials plan on a countywide migration to the new 800 Mhz radio network by June 1. That date has been pushed back several times, most recently because of delays with a third-party vendor, Chief Deputy Scott McNurlin said.