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The elegant Mississippi River cruise that was promised by Viking Cruiseline in 2014 will not be coming to port in Red Wing, or any other city along the prospective route, anytime soon. In the end, it all came down to money. While Viking has not made an official announcement through its media channels or directly to Red Wing city officials, it's been reported by other news outlets that Viking has "terminated current discussions to build vessels in a U.S. shipyard for Mississippi River and U.S. coastal cruising."
Michelle Leise began her career by asking questions. As a writer for Meredith Corporation in Des Moines, Iowa, and editor for Minnesota Monthly's imprints Twin Cities Taste and Midwest Home & Garden, she lived a lifetime in the publishing world before returning to her hometown in 2002 to head a new startup called Live Healthy Red Wing. "For me I'm always curious what someone thinks, what they want to know," Leise said. "There's always a reason behind what someone thinks. "Asking questions is just a way to build relationships and really find out what people want."
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld a decision by the Goodhue County Board to permit a proposed factory farm in Zumbrota Township. Circle K Family Farms, owned by brothers Mike, Yon and Jeff Kohlnhofer, will have capacity for 4,700 hogs and include a 3.5 million gallon liquid manure storage tank. Last winter, the Goodhue County Board issued a conditional-use permit for the project that was quickly challenged by Zumbrota residents and family farmers.
WARSAW TOWNSHIP—At the far western edge of Goodhue County sits a partially completed castle atop a small hill. It's made of stone and concrete, the front wooden door is festooned with British iconography and a good sized garden awaits its first crop — but the throne room, bathroom and every other kind of room is empty. Without furniture or electricity. This tiny kingdom is in transition and it's ready for a new owner to come and sweep it off the market.
Minnesota State College Southeast Technical President Dorothy Duran announced Thursday, Dec. 14, that she plans to resign her position effective Jan. 8, 2018. Duran has been in the role since July 1, 2014. During that time she oversaw a major update to the college's mission, broadening focus to include its historic technical programs and a new Associate of Arts degree. This involved a change to the college's name and identity of the school, which spans two campuses in Red Wing and Winona.
The Red Wing Human Rights Commission will host a local celebration to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on Monday, Jan. 15, at the Goodhue County History Center. Plans for the day's events include a breakfast with guest speaker Bukata Hayes, executive director of the Greater Mankato Diversity Council, participation from Red Wing middle and high school students, live music and a remote viewing of Minneapolis' MLK Day keynote speaker David Oyelowo, who portrayed King in the feature film "Selma."
The city plans to purchase the Viking Coca-Cola Bottling Co. property on Bluff Street. The agreed upon purchase price is $500,000. The purchase will include a six-stall garage with ample storage space, an office building that's slated for demolition and the bottling plant. This building will be part of the new gateway to Red Wing once the new bridge is built. The city's deal to purchase the facility has been over a year in the making. This purchase was originally proposed in April 2016 but has been delayed over hesitation from the seller.
The city budget passed on Monday, Dec. 11 with a narrow 4-3 vote. Council members continue to have strong feelings about the way they have been engaged in the decision-making process that led to the 2018 budget of $23.2 million and expressed a wish for more opportunities to have an open dialogue in the future.
City Council approved a $1.2 million renovation plan for Fire Station 1 and authorized staff to begin accepting bids for work on the property. The Heritage and Preservation Commission will continue to be involved in the process and approve work related to the building's exterior and visible materials. Council members questioned a lack of detail in the initial proposal and sent Fire Chief Shannon Draper back to the drawing board when the issue was initially presented at their Nov. 13 meeting.
The Gunderson House in Kenyon was alive with festivity during its annual Christmas dinner on Saturday, Dec. 9. Members of the Kenyon Area Historical Society hosted the event, which included a horse-drawn carriage ride, tours of the historic home, harp music, an abundance of food and a piano-led holiday sing-along.