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ST. PAUL — Students and faculty at the University of Minnesota say an inadequate number of advisors can add spendy years of school past the typical four years. More time spent in school can mean padding a recent graduate's debt by thousands of dollars. A new project in the university's two-year budget proposal aims to funnel a portion of the $147 million of additional spending into hurrying students' graduation and minimize student debt.
ST. PAUL—Chloride seeping from the Morris sewage treatment facility into the Pomme De Terre River will require a new facility to meet pollution-reduction requirements. A nearly $17 million bid for the new facility fell through after Minnesota legislators failed to agree on a 2016 public works bill that would have helped fund the project. Today, the west central Minnesota city faces an $18 million price tag on the project, and City Manager Blaine Hill said a new bid opening in February could increase the costs again.
Red Wing Downtown Main Street enjoyed a successful year in 2016. The local nonprofit geared toward revitalizing and sustaining the city's historic downtown business district helped usher in four new stores to the heart of Red Wing through its Retail Challenge competition — a feat the organization's newest leader hopes to build upon in 2017. "We want to keep what's great, and streamline where we can, to potentially bring in some more events and targeted work like the retail challenge," said Megan Tsui, who recently accepted a position as DTMS executive director.
For Stevanna Steiner and her five children, the prospect of owning a home offers exciting opportunities such as gardening, welcoming a new pet to the family and investing in a house rather than paying rent each month. After about 2,600 hours of work over eight months, volunteer crews with Goodhue County Habitat for Humanity reached the final weeks of construction on the Steiners' home, marking the organization's 23rd home built in Red Wing. "I want to get in here and start making new memories," Steiner said at the dedication event Saturday. "We are happy and blessed."
Red Wing residents whose homes surround the site of a proposed ash processing facility will not notice increased noise and dust levels following the building's completion, according to an a study the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency published this week. The 30,000-square-foot building is slated for a 3.4 acre lot Xcel Energy owns west of Bench Street between Pioneer Road and Highway 61. If completed, the facility will process combustor ash from Xcel's incinerator on the east end of town to recover ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
Red Wing City Council City Financial Director Marshall Hallock outlined a more than $2 million property tax levy increase over last year at the city's Truth-in-Taxation meeting Monday, driving the total 2017 levy up to $21,595,473. Debt service made up the most substantial portion of the levy increase, accounting for about 45 percent of the increase at $919,553.
If the winter freeze can hold off for a few more days, Kevin Weber plans to continue his head start tilling his corn and soybean fields near Red Wing. He typically reserves the task for springtime, but a stretch of unusually warm weather has allowed him to break ground now and save some work once the ground thaws. Although the chance to till this late in the year is unusual, Weber said it's not unheard of.
U.S. Lock & Dam 3 in Red Wing will be among the locations the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District will close Dec. 10 as it prepares for the end of the 2016 Upper Mississippi River navigation season. All vessels will need to be south of Lock & Dam 10 in Guttenberg, Iowa, by that date to accommodate scheduled winter maintenance at Locks 15, 16 and 17 in the Rock Island District, which close Dec. 13. They are expected to open March 3, 2017.
Lake City police officer Shawn Schneider lost his life in 2011 during a response to a domestic dispute involving a handgun. He was helping a 17-year-old girl to safety when her former boyfriend, 25-year-old Alan Sylte, shot the officer in the head. The Goodhue County Sheriff's Office deployed its armored vehicle, the Peacekeeper, to what turned into an hours-long standoff following the shooting. The 30-year-old vehicle broke down on the way to the scene.
How much screen time is too much? What happens to brain development when we spend too much time online? "Screenagers," A new documentary showing at the Sheldon Theatre at the end of the month aims to shed light on the psychological and physiological impacts of kids and teeangers' ever-increasing digital consumption.