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Answer Man: Natural foods grocery still on track for Rochester

Dear Answer Man, what's the plan for the vacant land by the Kwik Trip on Salem Road, near the Kahler Apache hotel and across from T J Maxx?

That's where the Natural Grocers store is planned, on the site where Think Mutual Bank at one time planned an office. Though that angle of land doesn't look big enough for a 14,000-square-foot natural and organic grocery store, that's the plan, and the company recently confirmed it's moving ahead full-speed on what will be its first Minnesota store.

The Denver-based company has more than 90 stores in 15 states. No date has been set for the local store opening, but it's planned in fiscal year 2015; their fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.

Staircase to heaven

Yesterday, I described the path to lofty Memorial Park on Sorin's Bluff in Red Wing via Seventh Street East, but I should have noted the limestone steps to the top are along Bush Street (Minnesota Highway 58), near Glenwood Street, and they were installed just last year.


There used to be a path up the bluff from that side, but the improved path and steps are part of a $440,000 project paid for by the Legacy Fund, said Brian Peterson, the city's planning director. The project includes "a whole host of improvements" throughout the 265-acre park, he said, including trail and facility improvements and 40-some interpretive panels that describe the history and natural features of the park.

Remaining to be finished this spring and summer are final trail improvements, restroom upgrades and the picnic pavilion.

What an excellent use for Legacy money . Maybe there's Legacy money available for improving Rochester's "Memorial Park" -- better known as Soldiers Memorial Field.

About those doughnuts

As you may recall, I offered a few weeks ago to buy a doughnut for all of my worldwide readers if Rochester's KNXR radio remained an easy listening station when it went back on the air.

Well, it went back on the air at 4 p.m. Tuesday, and the format is ... contemporary hits, a la KROC-FM , home of "Today's Best Music." KNXR now goes by the monicker "Pulse 97.5."

So, the flip side of our little bet is that you now owe me one doughnut each. If you intend to pay up, please drop me a line so we can plan this out over the next several years and make sure no doughnuts go to waste.

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