Matthew Lambert joined the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2018 covering school board, public safety, and writing features. Lambert previously wrote for the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal. He is a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication: Journalism.
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A community breakfast will be held in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 21 at Red Wing High School. The event, which runs 7-9:30 a.m., is sponsored by Red Wing Area Seniors, the Red Wing Human Rights Commission and Red Wing Community Education. Guests will have a chance to tune in to a live broadcast of Don Lemon, an author and journalist for CNN. Lemon will be speaking at the Minneapolis breakfast, but all Minnesota sites will be able to see his speech live.
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites became fully operational on Dec. 8, according to Charles Gould. Gould, who helps oversee the opening operations, said the plans have been two years in the making with special care taken to give the hotel that "Red Wing look." Red brick and landscaping with plants that have red hues, Gould said they will also be working with Red Wing Collectors Society to help decorate the building in everything related to the area. The hotel has 71 rooms, with amenities including complimentary breakfast, a meeting room and a workout facility.
Coming months after receiving funding for a drug treatment court, Goodhue County will have an inpatient treatment center for substance abuse in 2019. Filling this need will tie in well with the county's action to help people dealing with addiction issues, according Eric Spagenski. As the Common Ground Treatment & Clinical director, Spagenski oversees outpatient substance abuse facilities in Goodhue, Olmsted and Winona counties.
Goodhue County Attorney-elect Stephen O'Keefe and Sheriff-elect Marty Kelly were sworn in Dec. 28 at the Goodhue County Justice Center, with family, friends and colleagues in attendance. First District Judge Kevin F. Mark officiated, swearing in each man individually. The swearings-in will be repeated for ceremonial purposes at the next two Goodhue County Board meetings. However, Friday's ceremony was conducted because the board's usual organizational meeting date — the first Tuesday in January — falls on a holiday.
Almost two months after one suspect was arrested in a home invasion robbery in Cannon Falls Township, authorities have arrested another suspect. Terrell Reese Schaeffer, 29, St. Paul, was arrested by Hennepin County and transferred to Goodhue County on Dec. 27. Schaeffer is charged with two counts of kidnapping, two counts first-degree aggravated robbery, two counts of burglary, two counts of simple robbery. Schaeffer, along with Aldray Devon Young, 33, of Minneapolis, allegedly broke into a Cannon Falls Township home on May 21, holding the owners at gunpoint.
After failing in their first attempts, the Red Wing and Goodhue school districts each passed their respective referendums on Nov. 6 during the midterm elections. Both districts credited improved communication with voters as a key to success. The Red Wing School District posed a two-question referendum to increase the operating levy, as the existing one was set to expire in 2019. Both questions passed, boosting the levy to $1,200 per pupil for five years, plus an additional $450 per student.
After repeated efforts by many, Goodhue County secured a four-year, $499,469 federal grant on Sept. 26 to establish a treatment court. During the March 29 public forum "Needles and Pills" at the Red Wing Public Library, the community was invited to hear experts discuss substance abuse issues in Goodhue County. Red Wing Police Chief Roger Pohlman said that narcotics arrests have increased dramatically over five years, with numbers ranging from 240, 274 and 220 from 2013-2015. In 2016 numbers skyrocketed to 469 arrests. In 2017 there were 532.
With heavy snowfalls coming in the first month of the year and strong winds and tornadoes closing out the summer, Goodhue County experienced a variety of weather-related extremes. On Jan, 22, a blizzard pummeled southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin all through the day and into the next morning. Goodhue County saw snowfalls totaling more than a foot in some areas. The following were notable snowfall totals in Goodhue County, according to the National Weather Service: • Goodhue: 14 inches • Cannon Falls: 13.5 inches • Red Wing: 12.7 inches
Toys for Tots was able to deliver gifts to 1,100 kids in Goodhue County and western Wisconsin this year. Tom Gade and Marc Gerken of the organization said they usually average about 500 families, giving three gifts and four stocking stuffers to each child. Gade and Gerken have been busy collecting, packaging and distributing toys so children can have a happy holiday season. The organization collects toys year round, but gets them organized from October and ends sometime in January. "It doesn't matter how many hours we do, it's all for the kids," Gade said.
Melissa Manning poured over a thousand-plus nominations to find this year's Best Christmas Ever recipient. When she came across an anonymous letter asking BCE to consider the Baune family, she just knew. Jasmyne Baune, 27, Red Wing, died in a rollover car crash which her young children survived, but perhaps only because of an observant stranger. Today the three children live with Jasmyne's parents, Jack and Kim Baune, and her sister, Heather, who graduated from Red Wing High School in 2008.