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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.
Washington County, along with about 20 other Minnesota counties, announced civil action against major pharmaceutical companies Nov. 30 for the sale and manufacture of opioid drugs. The counties will file separate lawsuits, but Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said they are all working in conjunction to launch the suits. Prosecutors say the lawsuits are a response to the rise in opioid abuse and an attempt to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for their products and marketing.
When Jim Meyer's shed housing his tractors, wagons and combine went up in flames, his neighbors stepped in to make sure his harvest schedule barely missed a beat. Meyer doesn't farm a huge amount of acres — about 100 acres total of corn and soybeans — but he had nearly a quarter of it left when the fire started. With no equipment to bring in the crop himself, he knew he would need help. "I knew somebody would help me, somewhere down the line," Meyer said. "And I'll tell them the same thing: When they're done (with their farms), don't drop anything."
Washington County, along with about 20 other Minnesota counties, announced civil action against major pharmaceutical companies Nov. 30 for the sale and manufacture of opioid drugs.
Vehicle title registration remains one of the biggest sticking points in the new Minnesota Licensing and Registration System launched in July.
Kristen Farris of Rosemount wanted to make it easier for the dogs she fostered to transition into a new home, a hope that inspired her to launch CuddleMutt. Fostering for the Eden Prairie-based rescue Secondhand Hounds, she encountered a lot of pets waiting for their forever homes. "I always felt like I wanted to send them with something, like a blanket, to help with a transition," Farris said.
A vulnerable adult missing from Hastings since Oct. 4 was found in River Falls Monday night. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Amanda Jean Olson, 22, left her Hastings home around 2 a.m. last Wednesday. Hastings police said Olson was found in a home in River Falls Oct. 9 safe, uninjured and there of her own will. "It was the best outcome we could have hoped for," Deputy Chief Dave Wilske said. Police received information that Olson was at the home, and Hastings police requested River Falls police check the home.
As popularity of community solar gardens in Minnesota rises, some who live next to the installations remain vocal with opposition to their construction. Many, including Kevin and Kay Moquist in Woodbury, fear their property values will be lowered from bordering a community solar garden for its 25-year lifespan and worry that it will take away from the atmosphere they bought their homes in. "It's disruptive to our rural neighborhood," Kevin Moquist said.
An unobtrusive pair of birds with heavy rounded beaks and a hue brighter than a Blue Jay has made its home in scrubland at the edge of Hamlet Park with their three chicks. The little family of Blue Grosbeaks have drawn several local birders to its nest, after Peter Nichols and Ben Douglas spotted it for the first time ever in Washington County last month. It is the 324th bird recorded in the county since documentation began over 100 years ago. Nichols estimates about 235 of the 324 get recorded in the county each year.
Authorities say a St. Paul man tried to disguise himself as a woman to evade police after stealing a handgun from Cabela's in Woodbury and driving a stolen vehicle to a Lake Elmo mobile home park.