Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.
- Member for
- 4 years 11 months
WABASHA — He’s not ready for prime time yet, but the National Eagle Center’s newest resident will one day greet visitors as an eagle ambassador. Exactly when that will be is up to him. “It’s different every time,” said Jennifer Drayna about the training process to prepare wild birds for use in an educational setting. Drayna, an avian care specialist and naturalist educator, is taking the lead to train the male bald eagle that arrived in Wabasha recently from a rehabilitation center in Washington.
Plans for a public high-speed passenger line in southeastern Minnesota are coming to a halt, clearing the way for a potential project by the private sector. Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Wednesday it will suspend work on the proposed Zip Rail line from the Twin Cities to Rochester. Meanwhile it has issued permits to Minnesota-based North American High Speed Rail Group to explore a privately funded line. The final of three permits for a non-invasive study was approved Tuesday, said Wendy Meadley, NAHSR chief strategy officer.
Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Monday the release of an Alternatives Analysis report for the proposed Zip Rail high-speed passenger line from the Twin Cities to Rochester, but a lack of funds — and interest in a similar project by the private sector — could mean an end to the study process.
ZUMBROTA — Parker Quammen paused a moment, looking back on his 14-year stint as executive director of Goodhue County Habitat for Humanity. Then, fighting back tears, he spoke.
After years of “putting out fires” over the recession, foreclosures, wind farms and silica sand mining, Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel said 2016 should allow Goodhue County Board time to start planning for the future. “I feel we’re at a point where we can now stop, take a breath and look not just through 2016, but through 2026,” said Rechtzigel, 40, a longtime board member and Kenyon-Wanamingo High School social studies teacher. He was selected as the board chairman earlier this month, the third time since first being elected in 2004.
Commissioners discussed potential revisions Tuesday to the county’s vehicle and equipment replacement schedule, a policy local government officials said has not been followed in years. County Board Chair Dan Rechtzigel touted a “common sense” approach to replace assets based on a range of years the equipment has been in service, instead of a set number used in the current policy. “If (equipment) is starting to nickel and dime us, then let’s get rid of it sooner,” he said. “Is it working perfectly? Well, let’s hang on to it toward the end of the range.”
Olmsted gives Zip Rail update Responding to a request by Goodhue County Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel for an update on Zip Rail, Olmsted County Regional Railroad Authority replied it is in the process of closing out a grant for the project and transferring it to the private sector, Goodhue County Administrator Scott Arneson said at Tuesday’s Goodhue County Board meeting.
A former nursing home employee accused of stealing a resident’s $4,000 wedding ring and pawning it during a lunch break in July is scheduled to be in Goodhue County District...
Continuing to explore options for a campground at Lake Byllesby Park, Goodhue County Board voted 4-1 Tuesday to rezone a portion of adjacent county-owned land from urban fringe to commercial recreation use — a move that has some residents worried. A privately run campground would be “inconsistent” with the area’s agricultural and residential character, said Ken Burns, a Stanton Township official and nearby landowner.
Rechtzigel named board chair Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel was voted County Board chair for 2016. He was nominated by Commissioner Brad Anderson with a second by Commissioner Ron Allen. Rechtzigel thanked previous Board Chair Ted Seifert for “leading us during a year when we had our first two new commissioners in 10 years.” Allen also was named vice chair by unanimous ballot.