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Regional news digest

I-90 bridge project begins Monday

LA CRESCENT — The first steps in replacing the Interstate 90 bridge across the Mississippi River just upriver of La Crescent will begin Monday when Ames Construction because stockpiling materials.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation said the $187.5 million project will continue through 2016 when the bridge, with separated two lanes of traffic in each direction, should be done. The present bridge, with a single span, is considered old and has some flaws, such as no place for vehicles to pull over if there is a problem.

The new bridge is also expected to solve many problems with the interchange on the Minnesota side where there are railroad tracks and U.S. 61 goes to the south. That area has seen many serious accidents.

The federal boat landing upriver of the bridge will be open until March but then will be closed for the entire 2013 fishing/boating season. The state landing nearby is expected to stay open the entire time.


For more information about the Dresbach Bridge project, visit www.mndot.gov/d6/projects/dresbachbridge/.

— Staff report

Festival of Owls scheduled March 2-3

HOUSTON — An owl expert from Kenya is expected to be in Houston for the 11th annual International Festival of Owls March 2-3 .

Francis Kithure will speak about his work changing negative cultural attitudes about owls on March 3. No pre-registration is required for this presentation, only an admission button that can be purchased at the door.

At the March 2 awards dinner, Wolfgang Scherzinger from Germany and Lucia Liu Severinghaus from Taiwan will receive the 2013 World Owl Hall of Fame Awards; each will present some of their life's work with owls.

Photographers can register for the March 3 outdoor photography sessions with the owls. Captive birds are posed on natural perches and their equipment is usually hidden so you get shots that look like wild owls.

For more information about festival events and to register, go to www.festivalofowls.com or contact the Houston Nature Center at 507-896-4668.


— Staff report

Fund set up for injured Spring Valley man

SPRING VALLEY — A benefit fund has been set up at Home Federal Savings Bank for Eric Orman of Spring Valley who was injured in a fall Jan. 2 and is recovering after a few surgeries.

Donations can be made to the "Eric Orman Benefit" at the bank at 715 North Broadway Ave., Spring Valley, 55975. You can also follow his progress at CaringBridge at www.caringbridge.org/visit.ericorman.

— Spring Valley Tribune

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