Nobody was injured Sunday evening when a train hit a vehicle at a railroad crossing in Diamond Bluff. Daniel Roth, 24, and Matthew Luostari, 23, both of Prescott, were able to escape the vehicle with the help of a Pierce County sheriff's deputy shortly before it was struck by a northbound Burlington Northern train, according to a press release from the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. No one in the train was injured. The incident happened at a crossing at 985th Street and Highway 35. Sheriff's officials said the vehicle became stuck on the track.
ELLSWORTH - Ellsworth School Board will decide by month's end whether to change 4-year-old kindergarten from a four-day to a five-day schedule. At Supt. Barry Cain's recommendation, board members will address the class schedule during a special meeting on budget adjustments, which is set for 6 p.m. March 29 in the high school library. Prairie View Elementary School Principal Mary Zimmerman said approximately 150 surveys went out to families. At this point, respondents are split evenly between the two options.
Two advisory task forces consisting of mostly area government officials will be formed to identify local issues and concerns with the CapX2020 project.
Goodhue County officials hope more employees will take advantage of an enhanced early retirement program to help shrink a $2 million budget deficit. The county could save almost $900,000 in 2011 and 2012 if 12 employees take advantage of the program, according to information from Human Resources Director Melissa Cushing. Savings are only realized if those positions are not refilled. "We need to offer this program," Commissioner Ted Seifert said.
A 26-year-old Hastings woman was killed Thursday in a crash on Highway 52 in Cannon Falls. Danielle Solberg and two small children were riding in a vehicle driven by Jeffery Huetmaker, 25, when it ran off the left side of the road, vaulted through the median and rolled, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. The crash happened at 6:53 p.m. about a quarter-mile south of Highway 19. The two children, Arin Solberg, 6, and Hunter Solberg, 4, both of Hastings, and Huetmaker, of Loretto, Minn., were all treated and released from Cannon Falls Medical Center, the State Patrol said.
Hundreds of anchor bolts at Byllesby Dam in Cannon Falls will be sandblasted and painted in the coming months to limit rust and corrosion issues at the 100-year-old structure. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission - the agency that regulates the dam - found issues with the bolts during its 2009 annual inspection and ordered the maintenance work. "This is a safety issue," Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel said Tuesday. "The bolts are what hold the dam and keep the water from flowing." Work on the bolts - plus additional painting projects - will cost $84,810.
Officials from an Edina, Minn.-based wind energy company will construct a meteorological test pole on a Goodhue Township man's property. Goodhue County commissioners on Tuesday OK'd a conditional-use permit for Geronimo Wind to build the 197-foot pole to gather wind data for up to five years on land owned by Hilbert Strusz. Geronimo Wind has expressed interest in building a wind farm in rural Goodhue but has not filed an application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the state board charged with regulating and permitting large wind projects.
Residents who want local lawmakers to take a more active role in Goodhue County wind energy development will have to continue waiting for answers. Goodhue County Planning Advisory Commission members will take a month to absorb comments and information from Monday's five-hour meeting before discussing an application from rural Goodhue landowners Steve Groth and Paul Reese.
Goodhue County Public Works officials are hoping to take advantage of potentially low bids for summer paving projects. Public Works Director Greg Isakson said the county may be able to pay for several additional projects with budgeted funds based on other bids received for paving work this spring. The 2010 paving budget includes work on County Roads 16, 24, 25 and 29. Commissioners on Tuesday gave Isakson permission to include those projects as the base bid for the contract and add work on County Roads 17, 40, 56 and 2 as optional work.
A local lawmaker's attempt to clarify how much control Goodhue County officials have over where wind developers build turbines failed to clear a critical hurdle this week. Rep. Tim Kelly's bill didn't receive enough votes Tuesday to get past the House Energy, Policy and Finance Committee. The Red Wing Republican said his bill would have cleared up current state laws outlining how regulatory and permitting control for wind farms is divided between local jurisdictions and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. "It would be nice to have local control.