John R. Russett
John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts.
You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett
- Member for
- 4 years 9 months
Dakota County Board Tuesday, June 5, gave its approval to move forward with construction projects across the county. One stretch of Highway 55, according to Dakota County Engineer Mark Krebsbach, can be particularly dicey. Krebsbach said left turn lanes are needed for Highway 55 westbound traffic at County Highway 42 and for eastbound 55 traffic at Fahey Avenue. The lack of turn lanes have resulted in increased traffic collisions, he added.
Following the resignation of longtime Hastings Middle School Principal Mark Zuzek in early April, Superintendent Tim Collins announced the district has selected Steve Kovach to fill the vacancy. "This was taken very seriously. This is a very important position in our district and the selection was taken very seriously," School Board Chair Lisa Hedin said. "It was a diverse group around the table participating in the selection process with representatives of the middle school staff, both in core and allied arts curriculum areas."
Hastings School Board on Wednesday, May 23, approved the following bids for bond projects: • Exterior lighting for multiple sites: Laketown Electric Corporation — $238,000 • Districtwide camera project: Brothers Fire & Security — $167,162 • High School building automation replacement: HumeraTech — $678,460 • High School and Pinecrest Elementary chiller replacement: Pioneer Power — $748,500
For just the second time since 2006, the Minnesota Psychological Association recognized a county with its Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award. Dakota County and its roughly 1,800 employees learned they received the award last month. "We were excited to be nominated for it," Dakota County Director of Employee Relations Andy Benish said. Dakota County was nominated by Sand Creek, which administers the county's employee assistance program. According to PHWA Committee Chair Jenn Pollard, that is not normally how the process works.
In Polk County, Wis., a man — young by most standards at no more than 23 or 24 — picked up the phone, dialed 911, then sat down on the couch next to his gun and waited for an officer to arrive. Little more than an hour's drive north of Spring Valley Police Chief John DuBois' office — up through Baldwin, past Pine, Bear Trap, Wapogasset and Deer lakes — sits the town of Centuria. Years before he became a chief, DuBois patrolled the streets of Centuria with its roughly 950 residents, anxious and unsure, awaiting a solitary call.
On a good day, Trish Nolan never would have met the man. It began as a group of four. They would sit around and talk regularly, usually until around 2 a.m., as music from the employee lounge permeated the halls. He kissed her behind the scenes when he thought no one was looking. He lied to her about his alcoholism. He lied to her about his marriage. He got her phone number. Then he showed up at her apartment and raped her. "It was like," Nolan paused, "going into hell."
Far from a new issue, law enforcement and mental illness have become increasingly more entangled since state governments began to close their mental health hospitals in the 1950s, continually taxing the agencies tasked with responding to those in crisis.
An estimated minimum of 70,000 people could benefit from a new service designed to improve interactions between law enforcement and vulnerable residents, according to a press release from Vitals Aware Services, the group behind the endeavor.
RED WING, Minn. — By the time the flurry of back-to-school bedlam begins to subside, the proverbial dust begins to settle, and the sun sets on the final day of summer freedom, many teachers have dipped into their own pockets to purchase supplies for their classrooms. On average, according to education publishing company Scholastic, educators spent an average of $530 of their own money for classroom items last school year.