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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.
A 36-year-old Hastings man faces two counts of controlled substance crime in the fifth degree and one count of theft following an Aug. 30 incident in Hastings. According to the criminal complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office, a Hastings Police officer observed two males on foot at about 4:30 a.m. Aug. 30. The officer observed Joshua Paul Schaffer take a bicycle from a backyard and ride away on it.
A concert on a barge along the Mississippi riverfront would be one of the highlighted performances if the American Wind Symphony plays in Hastings this year. Other featured performances could include chamber performances and a special patrons' concert. An informational public meeting will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, in the community room at Hastings City Hall to determine if there is public interest and support to host the American Wind Symphony Orchestra. Hastings resident Dennis Pellant is one of the organizers of the meeting and a supporter of the orchestra.
The day went well and Jami Losh Flannigan's family has been helped financially, at least for a while. Losh Flannigan died Dec. 18 at St. Mary's Hospital, Rochester, from a rare disorder. She was 32 years old and has recently given birth to her fourth child. Friends and former co-workers from Edina Realty and The Harbor Church held a benefit last Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Hastings National Guard Armory. The benefit included a chili feed, silent and live auctions, a bake sale and Kids' Fun Area. One of the event organizers was Christy Lundby Hill. "The event went off very well," she said.
Dakota County Sheriff Don Gudmundson has indicated his plans to retire at the end of February, rather than at the end of the year as previously announced. In a memo Wednesday to the Dakota County Board of Commissioners, Gudmundson said "circumstances have changed," causing him to reconsider his decision. He would not elaborate. In the memo, Gudmundson also recommended Chief Deputy Dave Bellows be appointed as sheriff. After Gudmundson announced his retirement last fall, Bellows announced his plans to seek election as sheriff. Apple Valley Police Sgt.
Minnesota icon Garrison Keillor, the creator of Lake Wobegon and the voice of "A Prairie Home Companion," is scheduled to visit Hastings from 1:00 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18. He will be speaking in the Hastings High School auditorium. In addition to reading from his book, "Leaving Home," Keillor will share his Minnesota wit with Hastings residents. Those attending can bring their books to have them autographed. Free tickets are available at the Pleasant Hill Library through Friday Feb. 12. After that, tickets will be available at Hastings High School.
The Dakota County Sheriff's Office has charged a 37-year-old Farmington man with one count of felony domestic assault by strangulation, one count of misdemeanor domestic assault, and one count of assault in the fifth degree following an incident Feb. 3 in Vermillion Township. According to the criminal complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office, deputies were dispatched to the residence on the report of a domestic assault. A woman said she had been abused by Mark Andrew Myskewitz. They had been talking and the argument started to get heated.