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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Goodhue County Board pushed ahead on a number of building projects Tuesday, including construction of facilities maintenance and Public Works garages and demolition of the Public Health Building. … Archive...
New Era Wind will no longer pursue a turbine wind farm in Goodhue County. Owner Peter Mastic formally made the request to abandon the project in a letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission made public Tuesday. The company requested the PUC terminate its site permit, while withdrawing a controversial Avian and Bat protection plan that ultimately stalled the multi-million dollar project.
The most important things in Mary Sprout's life are her faith, family and friends. "That sums her up pretty well," daughter-in-law Marcia Sprout said. "She is very social, and loves to talk, visit and travel." A few years ago, family and friends started to notice something different about Mary Sprout, who had been living alone in Lake City since the death of her husband, Leland Sprout, in 1998.
From the fifth floor of the St. James Hotel, Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle watched as a train passed by Levee Park. He took a phone from his pocket and snapped a picture. Through that lone window, he could see natural amenities, a bridge that needs replacing, freight and passenger rail traffic, bicycle trails and a commercial waterway.
Wabasha and Goodhue counties are two of 79 local government and law enforcement agencies around the state accused of illegally accessing citizens' driver's license information, including that of state Rep. Steve Drazkowski and Wabasha County commissioners. Details of the alleged snooping came to light in a lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court. The 18 plaintiffs listed in the complaint allege the accused agencies of violating the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act, or DPPA, as well as Minnesota common law against invasions of privacy.
The Minnesota commissioner of health is seeking a temporary injunction to shut down Hidden Valley Campground in Welch, alleging owner Cory Axelson has been running it without a license for two years. Assistant Attorney General Eric Beecher presented the state's case Monday at a hearing in Goodhue County District Court.
Back-to-school time is all about learning how to cooperate and share in a group environment. Unfortunately, closed-off classrooms and hundreds of children make for the perfect setting to unintentionally share illnesses like influenza — which students can then bring home to share with family members as well. There is a noticeable increase in flu cases once school starts, said Vicki Iocco, a public health nurse with Goodhue County's Health and Human Services department.
Bill Fuller has had a mustache for so long that not even his own children know what he looks like without it. "I started it the day I graduated high school, June 1, 1969," the recently retired Ellsworth High School assistant principal said. But later this year the venerable facial hair could be shaved clean as part of a fundraising idea by stepson Ben Schmidt.
Goodhue County Board set the preliminary 2014 property tax levy at $27.4 million, an increase of 1.72 percent. Even with the maximum levy increase allowed by the state, the county faces a $260,000 budget shortfall next year. The motion passed 3-2 at a meeting Tuesday, with Commissioners Ted Seifert and Ron Allen voting against it. Board members acknowledged something would have to be done to get county finances in line, but had differing opinions on exactly what that would look like.
In response to a statement by Pope Francis calling for a worldwide day of prayer for peace in Syria, area religious groups are encouraging local residents — regardless of faith — to join the effort Saturday. Francis delivered the statement Sunday in St Peter's Square, inviting "all men and women of good will" to participate in support of peace in Syria and "each situation of conflict and violence around the world." He asked leaders to "listen to the voice of their own conscience" regarding Syria in order to avoid "blind conflict."