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New analyses of birth outcomes and rates of cancer in south Washington County released by the Minnesota Department of Health this week show that there may not be higher instances in the east metro, after all. MDH scientists found that rates of cancer, low birth rates and premature births in Washington and Dakota counties are in line with other areas of the metro, the department announced Feb. 7. Residents in Washington County have long worried that perfluorochemicals groundwater pollution in the area has caused higher rates of cancer or other adverse health effects.
Legends of Cottage Grove will become home to dozens of new residents when move-in begins Feb. 1. The four-story, 184-unit senior living facility is currently about 60 percent booked, Legends Community Manager Bailey England said. The developer, Plymouth-based Dominium, took a little over a year to construct the building which includes amenities such as a theater, library, meeting rooms and event space with kitchens. Each of the one-, two- or three-bedroom independent senior apartments available for rent also have a living room, kitchen and laundry.
Three candidates are battling it out in a state Senate special election Feb. 12 that could narrow control of the Senate. The Senate seat was vacated when then-Democratic Sen. Dan Schoen resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Former state representatives Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, and Karla Bigham, DFL-Cottage Grove, are facing off in the Senate race, with Hastings Libertarian candidate Emily Mellingen also running.
Longtime Legislator Denny McNamara beat out newcomer James E. Brunsgaard III in a Republican primary challenge Jan. 29. After winning 85 percent of the vote in the primary, McNamara earned his spot on the Feb. 12 special election ballot for the vacant District 54 Senate seat. The seat was opened after former DFL Sen. Dan Schoen resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct. "I really am humbled by the support throughout the district; it's cool to see," McNamara said. About 1,500 votes were cast in the Republican primary.
Another domino to move the Gateway Corridor bus rapid transit Gold Line forward has fallen, after the Federal Transit Administration accepted the project into a program Jan. 19 that could lead to matched funding. The Gold Line is now part of the FTA's "New Starts" program, which assists transit projects that exceed $300 million. With the Gold Line estimates ringing in over $420 million, the designation into the program helps it gain eligibility for federal matching funds, allowing up to half of the tab to be picked up by the FTA.
Cottage Grove Officer and EMT Jeff Rydeen was on call when an overdose call came in last June. On arrival, he found a 24-year-old man lying in the street next to his truck, sweaty and unresponsive. His breathing was so low it was barely there. "He showed all the telltale signs (of an overdose)," Rydeen said. The man's girlfriend told Rydeen he had taken an abnormal looking Oxycodone pill before he fell to the ground.
Washington County Karla Bigham takes over as County Board chair Washington County commissioner Karla Bigham was elected 2018 chair of the board at the Jan. 2 meeting. "I want to say thanks for the opportunity to be board chair," Bigham said. "I know we rotate.... But I look forward to a fantastic year working on infrastructure projects and making sure that the residents get the services and expectations that they have." Bigham replaces Lisa Weik as the board chair.
Zumbro House has made a preliminary proposal for a supported-living apartment building on the north end of the city. The company is looking at Newport to build a 200-unit three-story, market rate apartment building at 2300 Hastings Ave — and in a second phase, a 7,000-square-foot retail center.
Newport's Opinion Brewing Co. building was condemned by the city Jan. 1. The city had given them a six month temporary certificate of occupancy to work out fire code issues.