31Week in review
Process begins for school boundary change
Staff members of Rochester’s public schools and community members Tuesday night started the process of changing the district's school boundaries, in response to upcoming construction of an elementary school on the northwest side of Rochester.
The attendance boundary adjustment committee is made up of 20 parents, five community members, nine staff members and is led by Phil Wheeler, the director of planning for Rochester-Olmsted County. The task force will meet several times over the summer, with the goal of presenting their findings to the school board in October. The boundaries will not change for the upcoming school year; the new elementary school has an estimated completion date of July 2009.
"We want to roll this out in a way that will prevent any miscommunication," Superintendent Romain Dallemand said.
The group must balance wishes of parents with children already entrenched in a school, busing considerations and government mandates that force school populations to be representative of the minority populations across the entire school district. Minority populations within each school must be within a range of 20 percent as the entire district.
Theater to get new life
When the Cornerstone Baptist Church decided to build its new church and sell the old movie theater where it held services for more than 30 years, Tony Love of Pine Island couldn’t pass up the chance to buy the theater.
While working at the theater last Wednesday, Love, 71, reminisced about riding his motorcycle from Rochester to see movies at the theater when he was "just a kid."
He knows that the theater opened sometime in the 1950s and was bought by the church in the 1970s.
In order to save on heating costs, the church put in a false ceiling and installed paneling over projection windows in the upstairs apartment where a previous pastor once lived.
The original Art Deco light fixtures and curved ceiling were revealed after the false ceiling was torn down. A rain gutter was used to hold lights along the theater's sides.
The theater currently has a stepped stage, but local theater director Tom Bollman plans to help Love build a thrust stage and a proper teaser curtain.
"He’s got a lot more experience than me in the theater business," Love said.
Several community residents have volunteered to help him renovate the building, which he hopes to turn into a live performance hall that will include a dance floor. Love plans to sell his antiques in the upstairs apartment on weekends.
One-stop pet supply, veterinary clinic to open
A new one-stop pet supply, veterinary clinic and pet resort opening soon near Byron is hoping to capture some of the growing pet care market.
Leashes and Leads, owned by Jerry and Ruth Fischer, who owned a pet supply and feed store in Austin for several years, say the resort is mostly geared towards dogs, but it's for people too.
"It really is a place where people and pets come together," Jerry Fischer said.
The center, along 14th Street Northwest near Byron, will be home to Bone Appetit Canine Bakery and Gift Shoppe owned by Pam Miller of Austin and the dog grooming business Country Friends, owned by Jana Groski of Stewartville. Dog trainers Tekla Viker of Austin and Alice and Paul Howe of Oronoco will also be working with the business.
Grant will improve Chatfield music library’s lending capacity
The Chatfield Brass Band Music Lending Library will make its wide catalog of sheet music available online, thanks to a $254,683 grant.
The Library Service and Technology Act grant has been awarded to Southeastern Libraries Cooperating to upgrade the library’s online lending capabilities.
The grant will enable the Chatfield Brass Band Library to become a SELCO Online Library.
In April, Gov. Tim Pawlenty called proposed state funding for the band music library as an example of "misplaced priorities" when he cut the money. In scaling back the bill, Pawlenty chastised the Legislature for ignoring his repeated warnings for fiscal discipline and said it was "inconceivable" that legislators would fund a brass band musical lending library over a nursing home at the Minneapolis Veterans Home.
When the upgrade is complete, a person will be able to search for items and place request via the online catalog.
3 fatalities in 10 days
Another person has been killed in an accident on a Fillmore County road, the third within the last 10 days.
The State Patrol reported at 8:23 a.m. Friday that one person died in a one-vehicle accident on Nelson Hill on U.S. 52 between Chatfield and Fountain. The patrol said the vehicle went off the road.
Other fatalities have been:
• Steven Daskam, 18, of Cresco, Iowa, died on a Fillmore County road near Harmony early Wednesday when he lost control of the SUV he was driving and it rolled onto its top.
• Tyler Bunne, 20, of LeRoy, died from injuries sustained May 21 in an accident in Ostrander.