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After Deadline: Urban turkey still stopping traffic

This tom turkey, probably one hatched 1.5 years ago, has been a fixture in northwest Rochester south of IBM. It is likely the same bird that stopped traffic on the 19th Street Northwest bridge earlier this year.

A few months ago, I reported on a seemingly confused turkey that had been blithely wandering northwest Rochester, just south of IBM.

In the July 13 After Deadline column, I said the bird, which was then a jake (first year male) was becoming something is a fixture in our neighborhood, but I never thought he'd survive long enough to reach adulthood.

I was wrong. He's alive, and his beard is beginning to look more like a tom's.

The craziest thing he's done (I'm assuming it was the same bird but you can never tell with turkeys) was walk down the middle of the 19th Street Northwest bridge over U.S. Highway 52, blocking traffic. Now, he's ensconced in our neighborhood several blocks north. He regularly stands around, feeds off seeds dropped from bird feeders and makes a puzzling nuisance of himself.

Last week, I had to wait for him to move off a manhole cover in the middle of the street. Two weeks before, I had to wait for him to move before I could back out of our driveway.


Conventional wisdom would say the bird is just plain dumb.

But I wonder.

Could he be smart enough to act dumb and make people feel sorry for him and look out for him?

— John Weiss

Changes at Whitewater

ELBA — Big things are going to be happening soon in Whitewater State Park .

The Department of Natural Resources plans to celebrate the park's 100th anniversary in 2019 with a new campground safe from flooding and a much larger day-use area.

Gooseberry Glen has flooded several times, so the DNR is planning to build a new campground across Minnesota Highway 74 and out of the flood plain. Gooseberry will become a day-use area.


Park Manager Brent Anderson said they plan to break ground in April or May for the new campground, which will have about 50 campsites. The as-yet-to-be named campground, will open in the summer of 2017. Then Gooseberry will be changed into the day-use area and work will be done on the Cedar Hill campground.

All should be done in time for the 100th anniversary, he said.

— John Weiss

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