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NEWPORT, Minn. — An unusual culprit is being blamed for wreaking havoc this fall. The city-owned properties between Cedar Lane and the Mississippi River have seen at least 12 trees up to 75 or 100 feet tall chewed down by beavers, Public Works Superintendent Bruce Hanson said, and many more left half-felled. "It's to the point I believe it's becoming a safety concern," Hanson said at the Nov. 2 meeting. "So many (trees) are girdled that I believe there's an urgency to go down there and take care of it. ... There are a lot of areas that deal we this ... we just haven't before."
Carol Isaak of Newport started volunteering at the Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul in 2013 to get herself out of the house. She had wanted to work serving and packing meals during the Thanksgiving for a while, but finally got onto the schedule the year her husband died. "I was down there constantly, because I didn't want to go home," Isaak said. "Little did they know, I was helping them, and they were helping me." She hasn't stopped since. Between Thanksgiving day and the weeks around it, she gets scheduled quite often and picks up extra shifts.
The city attorney has determined Newport Planning Commission chair Kevin Haley had a conflict of interest in while voting on and discussing the new Bailey Meadows development. Haley recently entered into a purchase agreement to sell land where homes will be built next year in the northeast corner of Newport.
A split city council voted to approve construction with conditions on the Bailey Meadows development planned for the northeast corner of Newport. The development will consist of just under 200 single-family and villa homes on about 64 acres.
A fire in the underground Norris Square garage Nov. 11 led to evacuations to keep residents clear of smoke. Firefighters responded to the scene around noon, finding a car burning near the facility's stairwell, District Fire Chief Al Beasley said. The vehicle's location caused smoke to travel up the stairwell and into the facility. Residents were evacuated from their rooms on all four floors and moved into common spaces that were clear of smoke. Police officers, firefighters and staff stationed with the groups on each floor.
A storage unit initially pitched to the city three years ago is now preparing for construction next to the Park and Ride. Park Place Storage, a five-building campus at 7552 West Point Douglas Road, is proposed for the site of the former All Seasons Golf, which closed in 2006.
Amid an east metro tuberculosis outbreak, officials say the few cases present in Washington County are unlikely to spread. The county treated two cases last year, and are working with three active tuberculosis infections this year that had been contracted before a recent Ramsey County outbreak began.
A man and woman from Albertville were arrested Oct. 25 for allegedly counterfeiting money in a Cottage Grove hotel room. Travis John Theisen, 23, and Natalie Michelle Ramey, 35, were arrested at the Country Inn and Suites, 8350 East Point Douglas Road, after police received information that they were counterfeiting in their room.
The city is looking into its major construction projects for 2018 through 2022, while also making room for the possible HERO Center construction. The city's capital improvement plan (CIP) includes a few big projects for 2018, but pushes a lot of bigger projects into the next five years.
An emphasis on events and specials has helped push the Eagles Bar and Grill into slight revenue increases. The third quarter earnings showed about a 1 percent increase over the 2016 third quarter, an uptick that staff have in part attributed to more events.