Olmsted County man dies of COVID

Another Olmsted County resident has died from complications due to COVID-19, health officials reported Thursday.

A man in his 50s who had been hospitalized due to complications from the illness was the 26th death from the illness in Olmsted County.

The death comes as the seven-day rolling average of new cases per day in the county dropped to 10 — the lowest that number has been since mid June.

Read the full story by John Molseed here.

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$2.15 million deal clears way for proposed Broadway development

This parcel of land on North Broadway across from the Kemps dairy facility has been sold for $2.15 million. Plans are to build a four- to five-story, mixed-use housing facility on the site. September 11, 2020. (Ken Klotzbach / kklotzbach@postbulletin.com)
This parcel of land on North Broadway across from the Kemps dairy facility has been sold for $2.15 million. Plans are to build a four- to five-story, mixed-use housing facility on the site. September 11, 2020. (Ken Klotzbach / kklotzbach@postbulletin.com)

Local developers have purchased a high-profile piece of open land on Rochester’s North Broadway, with plans to build an affordable housing/mixed-use complex.

Dirk Erickson and his mother, Marcia Bouquet, purchased five empty parcels at Civic Center Drive and North Broadway, across from the Kemps dairy facility, for $2.15 million. The Bouquet/Erickson family is an active investor in Med City real estate.

They purchased the property from real estate investor/developer Mark Kramer, of New Hampton, Iowa. That spot at the entrance to downtown has long been eyed by developers as a prime location.

Read the full story by Jeff Kiger here.

Two friends bring unique flavors to new restaurant in rural Minnesota

Blackboard's mix of indoor, outdoor and porch seating has helped fill the restaurant to its COVID-19 capacity on warm summer nights. An outdoor fire pit and regular live outdoor music creates a casual, fun atmosphere at this rural restaurant on five acres in Vergas. (Blackboard Facebook photo, used with permission)
Blackboard's mix of indoor, outdoor and porch seating has helped fill the restaurant to its COVID-19 capacity on warm summer nights. An outdoor fire pit and regular live outdoor music creates a casual, fun atmosphere at this rural restaurant on five acres in Vergas. (Blackboard Facebook photo, used with permission)

Opening a new restaurant in the middle of a pandemic might sound like an unappetizing idea to most entrepreneurs, but for Terri Trickle and Sara Watson, the pandemic is the reason they started their new restaurant.

Watson’s job was eliminated because of COVID-19, Trickle explained, and the two lifelong friends, both in their 50s, were each searching for something to do. They found that something when a restaurant in the area went up for sale, in a charming historic schoolhouse on five country acres in Vergas, not far from their parents’ lake homes.

“Let’s buy it,” Trickle recalls her friend proposing one day, out of the blue. “And so we did. We looked at it on May 11 and bought it on May 29. It was quick.”

Read the full story here.

Minnesota shipwreck hunters locate long-sought Lake Michigan wreck

A doorway to a cabin underneath the pilothouse is seen on the wreck of the Pere Marquette 18, located in about 500 feet of water in Lake Michigan offshore from Sheboygan, Wis. Two Minnesota shipwreck hunters discovered the wreck in July. The pilothouse structure broke loose during the sinking and now rests on the starboard rail near the stern of the ship. Courtesy of Ken Merryman and Jerry Eliason
A doorway to a cabin underneath the pilothouse is seen on the wreck of the Pere Marquette 18, located in about 500 feet of water in Lake Michigan offshore from Sheboygan, Wis. Two Minnesota shipwreck hunters discovered the wreck in July. The pilothouse structure broke loose during the sinking and now rests on the starboard rail near the stern of the ship. Courtesy of Ken Merryman and Jerry Eliason

As the crew muscled yet another railroad car off the stern of the ship and into the murky depths of Lake Michigan, Capt. Peter Kilty of the Pere Marquette 18 may have breathed a sigh of relief.

It had been a tumultuous few hours out in the middle of the lake early on the morning of Sept. 9, 1910 — 110 years ago this week. The ship, carrying about 60 passengers and crew, and close to 30 rail cars from Ludington, Mich., to Milwaukee, started taking on water faster than its pumps could handle, and Kilty quickly issued orders.

Jettison the rail cars to lighten the load. Change course to reach shore more quickly. Broadcast distress calls via wireless telegraph: “Carferry 18 is sinking midlake — help — help”

Read the full story here.

A popular chef is cooking up a new restaurant

It looks like a popular Med City chef is gearing up to launch a new restaurant in a historic building.

Chef Youness Bojji and his wife, Amber Bojji, built a reputation in Rochester for fine dining with their Casablanca Creative Cuisine & Wine restaurant. Unfortunately, the pandemic drove them to close Casablanca in the Barlow Plaza in August.

Now it seems the couple is back with a new restaurant – Chez Bojji.

Read the full story by Jeff Kiger here.