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COL DM#x0026;E; lawsuit arguments delayed again

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Oral arguments have again been delayed in Rochester's and Mayo Clinic's lawsuit to block the Dakota, Minnesota &; Eastern Railroad expansion and upgrade project.

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which is hearing the case, has released its May schedule of hearings, and the DM&E; case is not on the list.

At one time, participants in the case expected oral arguments to begin early this year, but a backlog of case apparently have delayed the start of the trial.

Now, attorneys for Rochester and Mayo Clinic speculate oral arguments will begin this summer.

"I have heard nothing earlier than June and nothing later than July,'' said Steven Kalish, a Washington, D.C., lawyer representing Rochester.

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Reneau receives Minnesota DHIA honor

BUFFALO, Minn. -- Jeffrey Reneau has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota Dairy Herd Improvement Association.

Reneau specializes in the diagnostic use of dairy management records to improve farm productivity and profitability. He specializes in dairy herd health problems, including reproductive management and mastitis control.

Reneau has been a faculty member at the University of Minnesota since 1979. He has conducted numerous training sessions on a state, national and international level.

St. Charles environmental project may end

ST. CHARLES, Minn. -- A St. Charles High School environmental education project may come crashing down, 10 years after it was started in 18 acres of forest adjoining the school.

Plans are under way to clear, cut and bulldoze about six acres of the forest to make way for an athletic track.

Because St. Charles buses its track team to Eyota to practice, industrial arts teacher Chuck Koestler suggested building a new facility. Koestler and a grassroots "track committee" of eight to 10 people began looking at the school forest last October and presented a plan to build the track there to the school board in January.

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The committee was surprised when the school board approved the proposal on the spot and promised $100,000 of district money. Koestler and the track committee are now seeking funding and in-kind donations from engineers and contractors.

Olmsted County Fair may charge admission

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Olmsted County may charge admittance for this year's county fair.

The Olmsted County Fair Board has been considering charging admission after losing all its state funding, about $12,000. The cuts were made due to the state's budget deficit.

The board receives funding from Olmsted County for grounds and building maintenance, but state funds help pay for the annual event.

The 11-member fair board approved an admission price of $2, with children and senior citizens paying $1. This year's fair runs from July 28 to Aug. 3. Officials estimate that about 140,000 visitors attend the fair.

Land O'Lakes closing seed facility

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. -- Land O'Lakes will close its Research Seeds facility in St. Joseph, Mo., effective June 30.

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The closing will impact 27 employees who will either be offered relocation within the Land O'Lakes system or severance packages and outplacement assistance.

Customers previously served by the St. Joseph facility will be served by operations in Hastings, Minn., Madison, Wis., and Denver. Land O'Lakes officials say the decision was made following an extensive analysis of the marketplace and its seed system.

Dairy Princess training set May 16-18

WILLMAR, Minn. -- The Midwest Dairy Association, Minnesota Division, will hold its Dairy Princess Promotion Training Seminar May 16-18 in the Holiday Inn, Willmar.

The event is a preliminary step toward the selection of the 50th Princess Kay of the Milky Way. The Princess is the goodwill ambassador of the state's dairy industry. About 100 county dairy princesses are expected to gather for the event.

Water-testing clinic set in St. Charles

ST. CHARLES, Minn. -- Homeowners who get their water from private wells can have their water tested for nitrate contamination for free by bringing samples to a water-testing clinic scheduled May 28 from 8:45 a.m.-11 a.m.

The event will be held in Ag Room 103 in St. Charles High School.

The clinic is sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the St. Charles School District. It is a part of a series of water-testing clinics being offered throughout the year.

Only water from private wells will tested. Nitrates are the most common contaminants in Minnesota's ground water and a significant number of wells in the state have nitrate levels.

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