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Lewiston

The Lewiston city council decided Wednesday to reduce the size of its police force by a third.

The city council approved a personnel committee’s package of recommendations, which included using five part-time officers only for sick time and vacation time or for special events.

The city’s remaining two full-time officers, Police Chief Mark Dungy and Officer Robbie Floerke, will be scheduled during "warranted" times, like the start and close of school and weekend nights.

"We needed to make some cuts," Boynton said after the meeting adjourned. "If the time is scheduled efficiently during high crime times, that’s enough."

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The council approved paying Dungy an hourly wage instead of his current salary but did not set the hourly rate. Half of Dungy’s time will now be spent working nights and weekends instead of his regular daytime shift.

Dungy said he scheduled the five part-time officers to work 260 hours in the next two months. He said there’s no way he or Floerke can pick up the slack.

Southeast Minnesota

As summer approaches, one organization wants to make sure area children don’t fall behind in their reading.

The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation will be distributing summer reading kits to more than 400 children at 16 centers on Tuesday. The giveaway comes as the nonprofit celebrates its 12-year partnership with AmeriCorps as part of National AmeriCorps Week.

The kits include books, writing tools and other items children can use in the summer to practice their literary skills with their parents. The organization is collaborating with SEMCAC Head Start.

The foundation’s President/CEO Tim Penny plans to help drop off books on Tuesday in Austin and Kasson.

Millville

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Here’s a chance to learn about, and celebrate, the Zumbro River.

Third- and sixth-grade Girl Scouts from Plainview, in cooperation with Zumbro Watershed Partnership, are hosting "Celebrate the Waters of the Zumbro" from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. May 19 at Reads Park just west of Millville.

You will have a chance to play some games, see a live eagle, and see live fish. It’s a chance to see what lives in the river.

Those coming are asked to bring a donation for children who live in New Orleans.

Spring Valley

Groundbreaking for the addition to the Kingsland High School will be at 10:30 a.m. May 25 at the high school in Spring Valley.

In case of rain, it will be 10:30 a.m. May 30.

The high school will be expanded to hold several elementary grades; and the elementary school in Spring Valley will be closed. Middle school will be at the Wykoff building, which will also get some updates as part of the project that was approved by voters in September.

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