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The new sheriff will soon have a top deputy. On Monday, Dakota County Sheriff Dave Bellows announced he has appointed Tim Leslie as the new chief deputy sheriff in the Dakota County Sheriff's office. Under state law, the sheriff can appoint a new top deputy (when the position is vacant) and it does not have to be someone from within the department. The same process was followed 10 years ago when former Sheriff Don Gudmundson selected a top deputy after the retirement of Rich Thul.
Roman Urevich Tokarev, 27, the man involved in a police chase Dec. 2 in Hastings, has now been charged. In charges filed Wednesday morning by the Dakota County Attorney, Tokarev has been charged with four felonies - two counts of assault in the second degree by means of a motor vehicle, one count of fleeing a peace officer by means of a motor vehicle, and one count of theft of a motor vehicle (temporary control).
The incumbent office holders were returned to office in Tuesday's annual township elections. Of the reporting townships - Douglas Township had not reported its vote totals to Dakota County as of Wednesday morning - the results are as follows: Hampton Township: Incumbent supervisor Donna Otto was re-elected with 44 votes. A total of 45 votes were cast in the election. Marshan Township: Incumbent supervisor Jerry Bauer received 41 votes, and clerk Marge Snyder received 38 votes.
Think summer! The Hastings City Council did just that Monday night when it approved an opening date of Saturday, June 12, for the Hastings Family Aquatic Center. Aquatic center manager Darbie Johnson had suggested two opening dates in a memo to the City Council. Parks director Barry Bernstein had discussed it with the Natural resource and Recreation Commission and the council's parks and recreation committee.
The call at 8:27 p.m. March 4 to the dispatcher at the Dakota Communications Center said a 27-year-old man had committed suicide by shooting himself. Fortunately, he had not, but he had left the residence in the 31st and Cannon street neighborhood, and he was believed to have a weapon with him. He was later found, unharmed, in a vehicle near 17th and Vermillion streets. Hastings Police, however, believed they were responding to a completed suicide when they arrived at the residence.
Spring brings potholes and if Hastings residents can put up with the potholes and cracks along Highway 61 within the city for just a little bit longer, there is hope. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has scheduled a new resurfacing project for the two-miles of the highway within the city limits, from Fifth Street to Cannon Street, scheduled to begin in mid-May. The MnDOT project includes milling (the bad portions of the surfacing are ground off) and a two-inch bituminous overlay of the road.
The number of adults charged with felonies in Dakota County decreased by 12 percent from the previous year according to the 2009 annual report released this week by the Dakota County Attorney's office. In 2009, 1,514 adults were charged with felony offenses compared to 1,729 adults charged in 2008. However, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom cautions the drop is not quite that large because most of the decrease is tied in directly to a drop of charges through the Dakota County Sheriff's office.
It's looking bad, and it is probably going to get worse. The news about how Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty plans to balance the state's budget would have a significant impact on Dakota County, Dakota County Finance Director Matt Smith told the Dakota County Board of Commissioners Tuesday. The state must close an expected budget shortfall of $1.2 billion by the end of June.
In the end, there was no surprise appointment. At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Dakota County Board of Commissioners, on a unanimous vote, appointed Dakota County Chief Deputy Dave Bellows sheriff, replacing Don Gudmundson, whose resignation is effective this Sunday. The board also accepted his resignation Tuesday. Gudmundson announced last September he would not seek a fifth term as Dakota County, choosing to retire at the end of 2010, but he changed his mind earlier this month and announced his plans to resign earlier. Bellows has 30 years' experience in law enforcement.
The 15th annual Hastings Tastings will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, March 1, in the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church social hall, 2035 W. 15th St., and is a kick off to Minnesota Foodshare month. Guests will sample the best that 20 Hastings area food establishments have to offer, from appetizers to entrees to beverages and desserts. Funds raised for the Hastings Family Service food shelf at Hastings Tastings will be proportionately matched by Minnesota FoodShare and the Alan Feinstein Foundation. Proceeds from the silent auction benefit the HFS Just Friends program.