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Briefs: Traffic delays coming for bridge project; Red Wing man's plea hearing set

Intermittent traffic delays coming for bridge project

Motorists on Highway 61 near the Highway 63/Eisenhower Bridge will experience intermittent delays March 12-16 as construction crews set beams on a temporary bridge that will connect to the new button hook ramp, according to the Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of transportation.

Highway 61 traffic delays of up to 15 minutes are possible from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., depending on the work and weather. Work is expected to take place all week, but will wrap up sooner if possible.

The bridge will remain open during this work. The work is only expected to affect Highway 61, which passes under the new temporary bridge. Crews are building a small temporary bridge over Highway 61 that will provide access to and from the Eisenhower Bridge. It will connect with a new button hook signalized intersection with Highway 61 that is slated to open in April when the slip ramp on the Red Wing side of the bridge is closed. The slip ramp closure will be from April 2018 to September 2019.

The new bridge is expected to open to traffic by fall of 2019. For more information, visit the project website at

Red Wing man's plea hearing set

Red Wing resident and Lake City Lumber owner Spencer R. Kuehl, charged in late-January with felony attempted first-degree sexual assault of a child and felony child enticement, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Eau Claire County Circuit Court, according to court documents. A plea hearing is scheduled for March 29.

According to the criminal complaint, Kuehl responded to an Eau Claire police detective's Craigslist ad, which indicated the subject's girlfriend was out of town and her 8- and 11-year-old daughters were "willing to play."

Kuehl allegedly agreed to pay $200 for the assault and arrangements were made to meet at Hobbs Ice Arena in Eau Claire. Shortly after he arrived at the ice rink parking lot, he was arrested.

Minnesota court documents show Kuehl was convicted in 2012 as part of a prostitution sting in Rochester. At the time, Kuehl stated he was simply looking for conversation.

Goodhue County Board

Bleu Dog Cafe license approved

Bleu Dog Cafe in Welch was unanimously approved for a license to serve wine and strong beer by Goodhue County Board at its regular meeting March 6. The restaurant's application will advance to the state for final approval. Bleu Dog is open for breakfast and lunch; the addition of beer and wine on the menu would likely result to new dinner hours.

GPS donated to Environmental Learning Center

Three outdated GPS systems will be donated by the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office to the Red Wing Environmental Learning Center. The board approved this donation as part of its consent agenda.

Trucking expansion denied

Jason Augustine, owner of Augie's Trucking in Vasa Township, attended the County Board meeting March 6 to support a request from his business to expand operations at his home-based location and update the current conditional-use permit. The board voted unanimously to deny the expansion.

"I think we're a pro-business board and we want people to expand," board member Ron Allen said. "Jason wants to go from five to 10 trucks and you know I'd like to see maybe 20, 25 trucks. But the location that this is starting off and going from may not be the best place."

The board voted to amend the current permit to include hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for repair services and 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. for trucking, with a limit of two trucks traveling between normal hours. Augie's Trucking will also to contribute to chemical dust control efforts on their main route.

"Enforcement could be the challenge but it will be up to the individual. If you want to enforce it then they're going to have to show — get a picture or something," board chair Jason Majerus said.

Permit approved for home business

The board unanimously approved an interim-use permit for JB Heating and Air Conditioning, a Tier-2 home-based business in a R-1 zoned district of Florence Township. Factors for approval included the fact that customers do not enter the business that is located in the garage, it is primarily a location to receive and store items which are then brought directly to the customer for installation and that the neighbors were largely in support of the businesses remaining in its current location. But the board acknowledged that growth and expansion of in-home businesses is an issue they want to address and bring into compliance.