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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In its fifth year, the Guns vs. Hoses softball game was close one, with the Hoses edging out the guns, 16-14 on Aug. 22. The event is a fundraiser for the United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha & Pierce County's Packing for the Weekend program that distributes weekend meals to students. The game was played at the Red Wing Athletic Field with hundreds in attendance. Recently retired Goodhue County Sheriff Scott McNurlin threw out the ceremonial first pitch, but also managed the Guns in the game.
GOODHUE, Minn.—After a $30 million referendum failed on May 8, the school district will be asking voters to support a new referendum, this time being a $26.9 million option. The Goodhue School Board approved the resolution unanimously at its Aug. 20 meeting after a short presentation by Superintendent Mike Redmond. Redmond, along with Board members Ann Buck, Jerry Stehr and Jerod Thomforde, are members of a Facilities Planning Committee that has been meeting with regularity for two years.
PINE ISLAND — "To subject our town to this negative rhetoric for a number of months isn't the right thing." Mayor Rod Steele had this to say before City Council voted unanimously Monday, Aug. 21, 2018, to rescind a resolution of support for a potential Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ir ICE, facility in the town. The upstairs of City Hall was packed with people showing their support for the project and also those protesting the potential project with signs, including a vehicle sitting outside that said, "No Detention Center in Pine Island."
The solid waste processing agreement between Red Wing and Goodhue County officially has begun. At the Red Wing City Council voted unanimously on Aug. 13. The County Board had already approved the agreement, 3-1 at its July 24 meeting. The agreement will bring all solid waste in the county to Red Wing, resulting in county's landfill to be moved into the state's closed landfill program.
On Aug. 13 a paving project will begin between Zumbro Falls and Lake City on Highway 63, according to a Minnesota Department of Transportation news release. The work will be approximately nine miles and motorists will encounter daily lane closures and short traffic delays between Highway 60 in Zumbro Falls to Wabasha County road 78 south of Lake City. Crews will remove a layer of existing payment and replace it with new blacktop, replace several pipe and culverts and install guardrails.
ZUMBROTA, Minn. — Since 1983, Scott McNurlin has been a friendly face in Goodhue County while working for the sheriff's office and spending the last seven years as sheriff. On Aug. 9, McNurlin turned in his badge and retired. At the Goodhue County Board meeting, the board unanimously approved the promotion of Chief Deputy Kris Johnson to replace McNurlin effective immediately until Jan. 6, 2019 when a newly elected sheriff will take over.
The following school board filings in Goodhue County were recorded as of 2 p.m. Aug. 10 from the Minnesota Secretary of State website. Filings close at 5 p.m., Tuesday. Cannon Falls School District • Anna Olson • Brenda Owens (incumbent) • Nels Swenning Kenyon-Wanamingo School District • Kevin L. Anderson • Tonya Craig • Jennifer Lerfald • AJ Lindell • Marilyn Syverson (incumbent) • Sandra A. Vold Lake City School District • Dawn Balow (incumbent)
Since July 31, the window for running for school board has been open for municipalities and school districts that don't hold primaries. That window closes on Aug. 14, with races around the county still seeking people to run for their respective school board. A few, including Kenyon-Wanamingo and Randolph, don't have any candidates running for their respective boards, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State website. Both districts confirmed to the Republican Eagle that no candidates are running yet.
ZUMBROTA — A new crop is beginning to take form at Willow's Keep Farm outside of Zumbrota. It's not corn or soybeans. The crop isn't to be confused with ditch weed or marijuana. It's hemp. The multi-purpose, versatile crop is going to be turned into a maze for people to walk through, while also getting a hands-on education from the farm's owner, Ted Galaty. Previously, the site had a corn maze as a part of the farm's haunted house experience: Fright Farm. Galaty predicts the hemp will grow about 8 feet tall. Galaty said some hemp will grow upwards of 12 feet.
Goodhue County will have a half-cent sales tax starting Jan. 1, 2019. The Goodhue County Board passed the tax increase July 24 to help fund transportation projects over the next 10 years. The county joins 40 others to implement a local option sales tax. The discussion started with Public Works Director Greg Isakson going through a long list of potential projects the county will have to address in the coming years. Two slated for 2021 are particularly important because they put the county in a position of raising an additional $6 million to pay for them.