Brian Todd / Forum News Service
WINONA, Minn. — The first night, five people showed up, needing a warm place to spend the night. By February, the place will likely be full most nights. "It'll pick up as it goes along," said Lynette Johnson, Winona Community Warming Center Outreach Coordinator for Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota. "Once word gets around we're open, more people will show up."
KELLOGG, Minn. — Divers off the Florida coast can enjoy a little piece of Minnesota in the water. The new Circle of Heroes underwater memorial, located at Veterans Reef about 10 miles off the coast of Clearwater, Fla., in about 40 feet of Gulf water, features 12 statues of heroes from different wars and branches of the military. Three of those statues come from SVJ Creative Designs, the Kellogg statue company that makes everything from deer and giant frogs for the yard to statues of firemen, military members or police for memorial parks.
"Put the right program together, and you solve the whole immigration issue," Fred Wescott said. Of course, that's easier said than done. But a fix is needed. "There's no immigration or visa program that dairy farmers can turn to for workers," said Lucas Sjostrom, executive director of Minnesota Milk. "We can talk about stats. About 50% of the cows milked are milked by immigrants."
RUSHFORD, Minn. — Joel has returned to Featherstone Farms just west of Rushford for seven years now. A native of the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, Joel — he pronounces it "HO-el" — sees each trip north as an opportunity. "It's a better future than in Mexico," Joel said through his translator and boss, Nathan Manfull. Joel explained how he and his fellow H-2A visa workers from central Mexico have jobs — some have their own farms, a few work in factories — back home, but the pay as an H-2A worker makes the trip worthwhile.
MAZEPPA, Minn. — Branden Goranson lives about a mile south of Mazeppa and often drives to town on his ATV. But after a recent weekend when 42 tickets were written to ATV, side-by-side UTV and golf cart drivers in Mazeppa, Goranson wonders if he's been breaking the law taking his trips into town. "For the last five years, I thought I was legal," he said. "But I don't know." Goranson and many of the other roughly 150 people who packed the Mazeppa Community Center last week wondered the same thing.
MANTORVILLE, Minn. — At $831,000 in public infrastructure damage — and counting — Dodge County drew a visit from Gov. Tim Walz, who came down Thursday, July 11, to hear from local officials about the need for state aid after recent flooding. "You can see it on TV," Walz said. "I think many people saw the famous footage of the cows down the river here. But listening to some of the ideas batted about by local elected officials and the changes we can make to make the system work better, I think that's really important."
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Gov. Tim Walz was at Rochester’s Zumbro Valley Health Center on Wednesday, touting state funding of a program that holistically treats mental health and substance abuse issues. Walz talked about the newly passed budget’s investment in Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, a pilot program in eight states including Minnesota, where six clinics are combining mental health, physical health and substance abuse treatment as part of a holistic care package.
DODGE CENTER, Minn. — A cougar was spotted late Tuesday, June 4, in a back yard in the east side of Dodge Center. Dodge County Sheriff's deputies received a call Tuesday evening and confirmed the sighting in a residential area north of Highway Street near Airport Drive on the east side of town close to the McNeilus manufacturing facility.