1. The building trades program was restarted this year at Minnewaska Area High School with 41 students in a program that will spend the school year building a two-bedroom house on school property. The program, however, is unique because it was made possible by a community and school partnership. Minnewaska Area Schools partnered with the Prairie Lakes Chapter of Habitat for Humanity and a number of local businesses to start the program and students will be building the house for a Habitat for Humanity family. Cory Larson, principal of Minnewaska Area High School, said the program was possible because of the partnership with the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Larson first approached the local Habitat board about connecting with the school district and said he appreciated the board’s willingness to consider that partnership.
“This is a win-win for the school, the students and the community,” Larson said.
2. A joint effort of the Minnewaska Lake Association (MLA) and the Pope County Land and Resource Management department (PCLRM) produced “tremendous success treating Starry Stonewort in the Starbuck Marina” in Lake Minnewaska. After four treatments in an effort to kill the invasive species, an inspection found no living Starry Stonewort active in the marina. There are 77 GPS inspection locations within the marina that are monitored on each inspection. While monitoring and treatment will continue, this may be the first time treatment has been able to work this well on the Starry stonewort algae.
3. The Minnewaska Baseball Association had a big victory during the Oct. 21 meeting of the Minnewaska school board. The board voted to approve the sale of 3.2% beer only at the Minnesota Amateur Region 4C playoff tournament. The tournament would occur over three weekends from the last weekend in July to the second weekend in August 2020.
4. In 2018, Lake Amelia was pristine, said Morley Frantzick, president of the Amelia, Villard, Leven Lakes Association. Now, in 2019 the lake does have zebra mussels and the Amelia, Villard, Leven (AVL) Lake Association officially declared war on all aquatic invasive species, Frantzick said from the Lake Amelia boat launch area during the May 17 dedication of a new waterless boat cleaning station that was installed for the public to use before and after launching a boat, or anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And it’s free.
5. FAST Global Solutions celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2019 and the employee-owned company is doing well. The company, a world leader in manufacturing equipment for air transportation, agriculture and material handling industries, did face some challenges last spring, but after weathering some changes in leadership and workforce, FAST Global Solutions has rebounded and is back to the level it was before last year.
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