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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Steve Anderson and Bethany Borgschatz wanted to see a deal go through with the Jefferson School before their term on Red Wing School Board ended. The possible sale will have to wait for 2019, however, along with the seating of incoming members Jim Bryant and Holly Tauer when the board reconvenes in January. The board unanimously voted to table the discussion Dec. 17 after receiving more information from one of two potential buyers.
Brent Lexvold said he was just 200 meals short from what he predicted the summer food program would serve in 2018. For Lexvold and the Red Wing School District staff, the number is still incredible. At the Red Wing School Board meeting Dec. 17, the food service director reported that the district served 36,800 summer meals. This number has increased dramatically over the past two years. In 2016, the district served 8,910 meals. In 2017, the district served 16,037 meals.
A difficult year of weather plagued area farmers, dealing with late snow in April, an unusual dry period near the beginning of the summer, and strong winds disrupting the harvest. Rick Anderson, the grain merchandiser for Ag Partners, said this year's yields "were good, not great." Anderson said they won't know the final numbers until the state releases them sometime next month, but says it won't be a record-setting year.
The Red Wing School Board will continue its discussion about the possible sale of the Jefferson School building during the regular meeting Dec. 17. There are now three interested parties. The board discussed the sale Dec. 3 but took no action. The Stencil Group, a company based out of Sioux Falls, S.D., had met with the district and toured the building on multiple occasions going back as far as this summer.
In an announcement to the Cannon Falls School District on Dec. 14, Superintendent Beth Giese said she will be resigning her position to fill the same role at St. Francis Area Schools. Giese, who has been the district's superintendent since 2011, will tender her resignation on Jan. 14, but her final day won't be until June 30. "My time in Cannon Falls has been remarkable. This community, the parents, staff and students are more than anyone could ask for in their career," she told the Republican Eagle on Friday.
Goodhue County Sheriff's Office issued a news release Thursday afternoon, Dec. 13, about a possible threat to the Pine Island School District being false, stating individuals concerned for their safety were misinformed. A social media post Wednesday from a 14-year-old former student reportedly said, "I'm sick of this it is going to end." Deputies responded the home of the former student on a welfare check, finding the individual was not going to harm themself and posed no threat to the public.
PINE ISLAND — It was around the end of Kelly Leibold's cancer treatments where she considered running for public office. Leibold has attended city meetings since she was 16, an unconventional move for a young person, across any generation. Now in a few weeks, at just 22 years old, Leibold will be attending city meetings in a more official nature: as a council member. Leibold loves Pine Island. From the parks and Douglas Trail, she has served on multiple committees and volunteered. There's no other path she could see for herself.
GOODHUE — After seeing the school bond pass a month prior, the Goodhue Facilities Planning Committee met on Dec. 6 to begin the design phase. Now called the Design Committee, the group of almost 20 members began looking at where the construction will take place on the building. The district is centralized in one building, originally built in 1935. Since then there have been additions, the last coming 15 years ago. The committee comprises faculty, residents and School Board members looking to make sure the money voters approved goes to the right places.
With an always changing marketplace, River Valley Power and Sport is ending its outdoor power equipment sales and services beginning this month. The Red Wing-based business will focus on its property maintenance, marine and powersports businesses. Owner John Wooden said the way people buy power equipment has changed, making it difficult to continue that side of the business. At this time, that endeavor is no longer "economically viable."
The Jefferson School Building was a hotly contested topic at the Red Wing School Board meeting on Dec. 3. The discussion centered on the Stencil Group's proposal to purchase the block-sized property and establish a 70-unit senior living facility. Based out of Sioux Falls, S.D., with offices in Rochester and St. Paul, CEO Nate Stencil represented the company and their plans to the board. The property wasn't previously for sale by the district, but Stencil and his group were given tours of the facility in the spring.