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Doing "less with less." That is how Dakota County Finance Director Matt Smith described the recommended 2011 Dakota County budget to the Dakota County Board of Commissioners this week. The recommended budget is $307.1 million, compared to the 2010 budget of about $368 million. The recommended levy for the 2011 is $129,402,073 (the amount property owners pay), or an .8 percent increase over this year's levy of $128.4 million. Smith said the budgets for both county operations and capital improvement program (CIP) will be smaller.
It was close, very close. When the final votes were totaled early Wednesday morning, Senate District 57 incumbent DFLer Katie Sieben had won re-election to another four-year term. She defeated Republican challenger Karin Housley, 15,812 votes, to 15,206 votes. In Dakota County, Sieben received 6,095 votes to Housley's 5,861votes.
Dakota County Sheriff Dave Bellows was elected to a full four-year term Tuesday, defeating Apple Police Sgt. Mitch Scott by a 54- to 45-percent margin. Bellows earned 67,377 votes to Scott's 56,216 votes. The Dakota County Board of Commissioners had appointed Bellows sheriff in February after former Sheriff Don Gudmundson announced his retirement from the position.
When the Minnesota House of Representatives District 57 B race began seven months ago, challenger David Page, DFL, Hastings, was realistic about his chances to win - slim at best. He was right. On Tuesday, incumbent Rep. Denny McNamara, Republican, Hastings, was returned to the House by 2-1 margin. With all 21 precincts reporting, McNamara had 10,885 votes to Page's 5,726 votes. "I'm just so thankful to the voters of the district," said McNamara late Tuesday night. "I'm humbled by their votes." "Denny is a pretty hard opponent," said Page.
The seemingly-endless television commercials, mailings and door knocking by candidates will end soon. The 2010 general election will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2. Voters across Minnesota will elect a new governor and cast ballots for other state officials and their choices for Minnesota House of Representatives and a third of the State Senate.
Another holiday tradition will return to Hastings at about 4:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, when the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stops at the depot on East Second Street. As in previous years, the stop offers entertainment and an opportunity to raise food and funds for the food shelf at Hastings Family Service. This is the 12th year the CP Holiday Train has been raising food, money and awareness for food banks in communities across Canada and the United States.
It began as a small race to help Hastings Family Service. After 12 years, GobbleGait can report it has raised more than $425,000 for Hastings Family Service (and thousands of pounds of food). In 2009, GobbleGait raised $75,000 and more than 3,000 pounds of food for Hastings Family Service. A total of 2,200 runners participated. The 13th annual GobbleGait will be held Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 25, beginning in downtown Hastings. The 8K race and 2K fun run are through the historic Hastings area. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m.
Hastings police have located the car and named the driver involved in a hit-and-run accident Tuesday, Oct. 12 at Highways 55 and 61. The Minnesota State Patrol continues its investigation of the accident. According to a state-filed accident report by Hastings Police, the owner of the vehicle is identified as Jacob Nils Hansen of Hastings. On Wednesday morning he was named by the Minnesota State Patrol as the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash. The driver of the other vehicle, a motorcycle, was William Rhode, 51 of Hastings. He was transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
Her life and much of educational background are tied to Hastings. And now, Jill Moes will return to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School as principal next month. In an announcement this past week, parish administrator Mark Dittman said Moes will succeed Rita Humbert as principal of the Catholic School here in Hastings. "Jill is currently the principal at Immaculate Conception in Columbia Heights and brings a richness of education knowledge and experience with her to SEAS," said Dittman.
He spoke his mind and the Rev. Brad Brandon of Berean Bible Church in Hastings is ready to do it again. At the church's regular Sunday morning worship service, Brandon offered his political endorsements, mostly Republican and conservative, for the upcoming Nov. 2 elections. It is not unheard of for people to offer their endorsements - newspapers and other media are currently in the midst of doing it.