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Just as one by one 10 ducklings fell into the storm sewer May 30, so did two Hastings Police officers Mike Schmitz and Matthew Schlafer pull them back out one by one.
ST. PAUL — Tony Jurgens, Cottage Grove, filed June 4 to run for re-election to his seat in the state House of Representatives. Jurgens said he learned a lot during his first term and is excited to integrate this into another session if he is re-elected. "I'm looking forward to getting back out on the campaign trail and meeting with people," Jurgens said. If he's re-elected, Jurgens said he would work to pass a bill to help students with financial issues but do not qualify for free and reduced lunches.
HASTINGS — Some boating equipment spotted under the Hastings Bridge on the Mississippi River May 20 was a little out of the ordinary. The U.S. Army generally holds its drills in Red Wing, but launched its boat a little farther north this year, using the boat launch in Hastings instead. Residents could see soldiers and the boat training under the city's trademark bridge.
HASTINGS — The Regina Auxiliary's Spring Thrifty Treasures Sale is underway the Regina Senior Living Chapel lobby, 1175 Nininger Road. A $3 bag sale will also be held from 9 1.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday, May 24. All are welcome to the sale. Donations are being accepted Friday, May 18 through Sunday, May 20 at the Senior Living Activities Room. Items will also be accepted in the chapel lobby Monday, May 21 and until noon Tuesday, May 22. Items should be clean and in good condition.
ST. PAUL — The SMART Center is inching forward, as local officials wait with bated breath for what the end of session could bring. The state House this week announced that the (Safety and Mental Health Alternative Response Training) SMART Center has been flagged for nearly $6.6 million in its state funding. The SMART Center's price tag is $13.2, and the county is asking for half from state bonding. The other $6.6 million is already in their county budget plan.
COTTAGE GROVE — A fire in the Grey Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural Area lit over 80 acres ablaze for the better part of the afternoon April 25. The land, managed by the DNR, caught fire before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and spread across the prairie area. DNR helicopters mapped the fire and dropped water on it from above. On the ground, firefighters used water bag packs and ATVs fitted with sprayers to extinguish the vast brush and grass fire. Over a third of the nearly 240-acre natural area was affected by the fire.
Triple Angels Healthcare, a senior living and assistance company, is proposing a new 20-bed facility along Highway 61. The building at 7150 West Point Douglas Road is a one-floor, 10-room building set up with two beds in each room. The building will be able to serve 20 seniors. Construction will be done in two phases, starting with the 10-unit building. An addition to the facility to be constructed in the future will double the size.
Karla Bigham will take her seat in the Senate when the Legislative session starts Feb. 20, after securing a tight victory over Denny McNamara in a special election Monday night. Bigham, DFL-Cottage Grove, beat McNamara, R-Hastings, by about 4 points Feb. 12, after a long and fierce fight to the polls. The seat was vacated after former DFL Sen. Dan Schoen resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Dakota County is proposing a new facility — the SMART (Safety and Mental Health Alternative Response Training) Center — for law enforcement and first responder training and offices. Dakota County's proposed SMART Center came in part due to space needs and new training requirements. It would provide space for mental health, diversity and crisis intervention training, as well as space for the growing electronic crimes and drug task forces to work, Sheriff Tim Leslie said. Construction is proposed in Inver Grove Heights.
Special interests, political action committees and state party offices are out to sway votes in the Feb. 12 special state Senate election, with fliers, commercials and online ads inundating area voters.