Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a journalism degree.
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Four months ago, the future for Red Wing High School's parliamentary procedure team didn't look very bright. The rookie team finished dead last at an invitational competition in St. Paul last winter. Their performance spurred advisers from competing teams to offer advice and pointers. "We didn't have much practice," team member Bryanna Wittman said. Now, the tables have turned and other chapters just might start asking the Red Wing team to share its tips. The team, comprising nine high school students, placed first last month at the regional competition in Rochester.
Jake Barrientos thought about repainting Barn Bluff to ask Stefanie Orr to prom this year. But a fear of slipping kept the Red Wing High School senior on the ground. Instead he just made a giant sign that said "Stef - Prom?" and stealthily placed in the back of their first-hour class. "I was really surprised. I didn't see him (put up the sign). He was kind of a ninja," Orr said. And yet, Barrientos' tamer plan is a far cry from what happened 35 years ago.
Missy Klapperich has her sixth-grade students number off from one to 30. Then she has students numbered one through 17 stand up. "This is the number of boys in Afghanistan who are educated," she tells them. Then, she has just number one stand up. "This is the number of girls who would be educated," she said. It's how the Cannon Falls social studies teacher illustrates that only about half of Afghani men, and less than 30 percent of women, are literate. "That really hits them," she said. This is the second year Klapperich has been teaching her students about life in Afghanistan.
Prairie Island nuclear plant is gearing up for another refueling outage. Plant officials have said the outage is set to begin sometime between now and the end of the month. Xcel Energy will send out an announcement when the plant goes offline. Mary Sandok, spokeswoman for Xcel, said the outage is "routine." "We have to do these (refueling) outages every 18 months," she said. During the outage, one of the plant's two reactors will be shut down.
Grace Bremer spends her Friday mornings in Catholic mass. The 5-year-old takes turns doing readings for the weekly service with some of the 47 other students who attend St. Joseph's Catholic School. "Thank you for joining us at Mass," Grace, who also attended preschool at St. Joe's, recites from memory.
A former Red Wing High school teacher faces criminal sexual conduct charges following allegations from a student. Durk Lee Stark, 42, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a girl, who was 17 at the time, from November 2009 to June 2010. Stark voluntarily resigned from his position as a special education teacher April 1. Supt. Stan Slessor said Stark was on placed mandatory leave Oct. 25, 2010, after the district learned about the allegations.
Earlier this month, Red Wing police received three separate reports of girls being followed or approached by men in vehicles. Each girl went back into her house or hid, and the men drove off. Police don't think the incidents were related and are not sure whether the girls were actually in danger. But according to Police Chief Tim Sletten, reports like these are not a common occurrence in Red Wing. "We don't get many reports about that. The reports we do get, we take very seriously," he said.
Get ready to pay more in the cafeteria. The Red Wing School Board voted Monday night to raise the price of school lunches for the 2011-12 school year. The increases are due to requirements from the United States Department of Agriculture, following the Healthy and Hunger-Free Act of 2010. Elementary lunches will increase by a dime and middle and high school lunches will go up a nickel.
Clayton Rutschow will probably be updating his resume next week. The 23-year-old former Red Wing man will be playing the leading role of Odysseus in the "The Odyssey" Thursday at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, D.C. "On a resume, this actually warrants a separate line," Rutschow said. Rutschow is one of about 40 cast and crewmembers from Minnesota State University, Mankato traveling to the Kennedy Center to perform the play. The cast and crew was one of 1,300 other groups to enter the KCACTF.
A former Red Wing High school teacher faces criminal sexual conduct charges following allegations from a student. Durk Lee Stark, 42, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a girl, who was 17 at the time, from November 2009 to June 2010. Stark voluntarily resigned from his position as a special education teacher April 1. Supt. Stan Slessor said Stark was on placed mandatory leave Oct. 25, 2010, after the district learned about the allegations. Stark is charged with one count of third-degree and one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.