Michael Brun is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program. He has worked for the Republican Eagle since March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.
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The first tow barge of the year broke through icy Lake Pepin early Monday morning, marking one of the latest starts to the Mississippi River up-bound navigation season in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers history. The Roberta Tabor, operated by American River Transportation Co. out of St. Louis, crunched its way through 12 to 16 inches of ice on the lake en route to St. Paul, said Patrick Moes, spokesperson for the Corps of Engineers. Unseasonably cold weather this spring has kept Lake Pepin too frozen for barge traffic until recently, Moes said.
Red Wing City Council voted 5-2 Monday to extend a contract with Turf Solutions and Management to maintain the greens at Mississippi National Golf Links through Nov. 30. The city will pay Turf Solutions $14,000 a month to maintain the course, for a total of $98,000 this year, according to the approved contract. Funding will come from the city's 2013 operating budget. Council member Jason Sebion opened discussion by opposing the contract.
When Roy Hakala expanded his Red Wing dental practice to St. Paul, it meant the start of a nearly 100-mile daily commute. "Driving every day became onerous," Hakala said. To help make the trip more manageable, Hakala turned to a local vanpool program, which he stayed in until extended business hours made him drop out. Then he injured his leg, and, unable to drive, joined back up for about a year. Six years ago an eye injury brought him back once again - this time for good. Started in 1989, a vanpool group known as the Rolling River Riders has ferried members between Red Wing and St.
Goodhue County Board approved a grant application to help fund an overpass at Highway 52 and County Road 9 at a meeting Tuesday night. The board voted unanimously to authorize Public Works to apply for funds from the state's Corridor Investment Management Strategy or CIM program. The county will spend about $5,000 to hire consulting group HR Green to prepare the application. The county worked with HRG previously on a study that recommended an interchange at the intersection. "This (project) is something that people are asking for and needing," Commissioner Jim Bryant said.
A male driver was taken by ambulance to Red Wing Mayo Clinic Health System and two others were injured after a two-vehicle crash at Highways 61 and 19 a little after 2 p.m. Friday, Red Wing police reported. Thomas M. Swisher, 23, of Prescott was driving a white 2001 Chevrolet Impala northbound on Highway 19 when it collided with a silver 2009 Pontiac G3 hatchback traveling westbound on Highway 61. The impact caused the Impala to flip onto its roof, officials said. Swisher sustained a minor injury, according to a State Patrol report. Nicholas C.
Review Don't let the stuffy accents and period garb fool you. Phoenix Theatre's performance of "The Importance of Being Earnest" playing this weekend at the Sheldon Theatre is an enjoyable farce that zips along to a hilarious and utterly satisfying conclusion. Adapted from Oscar Wilde's 1895 play, "Earnest" follows bachelors Algernon Moncrieff and John Worthing, played by Chris Heineman and David Oakes respectively. Algernon -- Algy for short -- is a bit of a sleaze, lounging around his London flat in a silk robe sipping liqueur.
Sara Larson and Nancy Swanson have had plenty of experience dealing with the effects of Alzheimer's disease and dementia - not only in their professional lives, but in their personal lives as well. Larson, a senior resource specialist for St. Brigid's at Hi-Park, and Swanson, executive director of the Red Wing Senior Center, both have parents afflicted by degenerative brain disorders. Caring for a family member with dementia can be a daunting and emotionally taxing responsibility.
Fire destroyed a house in Wanamingo Saturday, the Wanamingo Fire Department reported. Firefighters were called to 216 Third Ave. after neighbors saw smoke coming from the house, Fire Chief Scott Goodman said. The residents were not home at the time, he said. The house was a total loss, Goodman said. The owner is Deb Delva, according to the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office. The exact cause of the blaze is being investigated by the fire marshal. Zumbrota Fire Department provided assistance in combating the fire.
Bitter cold and two snowstorms characterized a March that felt anything but springlike. The monthly high of 50 degrees was recorded March 30 after a brief warming trend, but only seven of the first 21 days had highs above freezing. The mid-month cold spell was a dramatic shift from last year, which saw the area reach a near record-breaking high of 80 degrees on March 17. On March 20, the first day of spring, the Red Wing area managed a meager high of 21 degrees and a low of five. Winter storms also swept through the area March 5 and 18.
A local group's plan for a civic center in downtown Red Wing met with tough questions and skepticism at a public workshop Monday night. Red Wing Civic Center, an eight-person committee formed to research a civic center project, presented its plan to around two dozen residents - including City Council members - in the Foot Room at the public library. "Downtown retail is suffering. We have lost the patrons and the patron diversity," said Paul Richards, the main speaker for Red Wing Civic Center's presentation.