What: Bay City Mobile Food Pantry When: Fourth Thursday of the month Where: Methodist Church on West Main Street Time: 9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 4 p.m. Next pantry: Feb. 25 Members of the Hunger Prevention Council of Pierce County were looking at a map a few years ago when they realized something: southern Pierce County did not have quick access to a grocery store or food pantry. So the group sprung into action.
Richard Samuelson is disappointed, but he's not giving up. After months of anticipation, the Goodhue County commissioner and other officials learned this week that a crucial interchange at Highway 52 and County Road 24 in Cannon Falls did not receive $20 million in federal stimulus dollars. Local politicians and county staff have been trying for years to scoop up funding for the project, which would drastically improve safety and access at one of the county's busiest and dangerous intersections. "This is bad news," Samuelson of the lost grant opportunity. "But we don't give up.
Some Goodhue County commissioners are worried that staff writing petty misdemeanor tickets for certain ordinance violations could abuse the power if proper safeguards are not put in place. Certain Land-Use Management employees currently have the authority to write petty misdemeanor tickets to residents who violate some county laws, such as those relating to solid waste, zoning and public health nuisances. Most commissioners agree staff members need ways to enforce certain rules without burdening the County Attorney's Office or local law enforcement officials.
Goodhue County is not as healthy as some officials thought. The county's overall health ranked 38th out of 85 Minnesota counties analyzed in a report released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Goodhue County is one of the worst statewide -- 81st out of 85 counties -- when it comes to adult smoking, adult obesity, binge drinking, motor vehicle death, teen birth and Chlamydia rates. The findings surprised Karen Main, Goodhue County Public Health Service director.
In fourth grade, Austin Knott remembers being terrified to speak in front of large groups of people. Knott quickly abandoned that fear in middle school and won Minnesota's American Legion Oratorical Contest late last month as a Red Wing High School senior. The win means Knott will represent the state April 9-11 at the national American Legion Oratorical Contest in Indianapolis, where he will compete against more than 50 other high school students eager to take first place. The national winner receives an $18,000 college scholarship.
w/box What: Family Feud Who: A Cannon Falls family appears on the show When: 3 p.m. Monday Rod Johnson thought he had it nailed. The Cannon Falls auctioneer and Minnesota Timberwolves announcer walked up to the red buzzer for his face-off, shook his opponent's hand and listened to the question. Surely, all the years he watched "Family Feud" - a game show Johnson called "an American classic" - would pay off. "Name something a man wears that women think is sexy," host John O'Hurley said. Johnson was confident. "Speedo," he blurted out.
Jean Meyer knew it was time. The Jordan Towers resident said she felt uncomfortable and unsteady getting in and out of her car. She feared she would fall and nobody would be there to help her. So the 82-year-old decided she would stop driving. "I don't feel bad about it at all," Meyer said. "It was time to give it up." Meyer retired her driver's license - she said she will probably cut it up soon - and gave her car to her granddaughter.
Another Goodhue County Sheriff's Office employee has graduated from the FBI National Academy. Maj. Lyle Lorenson, who oversees the department's patrol operations, received his diploma in December along with 266 graduates from the United States and 27 other countries. "It was a good experience," Lorenson said this week.
Goodhue County business owners looking to expand could get help from a state lobbying organization seeking money for road improvements that directly impact businesses. The Minnesota Transportation Alliance is trying to promote a bonding program to state legislators that will fund upgrades to county roads unable to carry 10-ton loads. Many area roads cannot carry large trucks year round - or at all - limiting some rural businesses from expanding, Goodhue County Public Works Director Greg Isakson said.
Officials from several southeastern Minnesota counties - including Goodhue - have received a state grant to study shared 911 dispatch services. A consultant will explore the possibility of one dispatch center for Houston, Fillmore, Winona, Wabasha, Dodge and Goodhue counties, Goodhue County Sheriff Dean Albers said this week. Minnesota officials are encouraging counties to research the idea. The state's Department of Public Safety awarded the group $150,000 to begin a study this summer. It will take more than a year. "What will come out of this, I have no idea," Albers said.