News in the Neighborhood


Five-year-old Max Robinson was supposed to have a Batman-themed birthday party on March 28 but the current restrictions cancelled his fun. His mom put a plea on Facebook, and thanks to the kindness of strangers and the magic of the Internet, Max got his wish. Batman arrived on a motorcycle with many Batman gifts for the young man. Other local folks got in on the act and he was visited by a pair of T-rexes and a soldier, as well as numerous well wishers driving past the house while honking and waving. His mom has now helped to organize a Facebook page called Parades of Hope to help others who had to cancel celebrations.

Isabel Podratz celebrated her 14th birthday on March 27 with a parade. Friends and relatives lined up in their cars at a local park and her brothers gave a red rose to the first 14 drivers. The young lady was then presented with 14 red roses as the cars drove past her house with some of the cars decked out in balloons and birthday wishes. She admits this was a birthday she will never forget.


During its recent meeting the Arlington City Council voted to accept a $4,200 quote from Water Tower Clean & Cost, Lodi, Wisconsin for exterior washing of the water tower. The project is scheduled for this spring. The council also accepted an $11,560 quote from Hjerpe Contracting in Hutchinson to replace valves at two intersections and to perform related bituminous patching. The council adopted a resolution for a variance request on rear and side yards for “A” Town Tavern on Sheila Drive and approved a 10-year loan at 4.75 percent interest for the tavern owners from the Arlington Revolving Loan Fund.

In other business the council denied a quote from Reliable Plumbing to install a vegetable prep sink at the Arlington Community Center as they learned the area school that wanted to use the facility has since withdrawn the request.

Green Isle resident John Schauer was recently presented with a wildlife print from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in recognition of 30 years serving as a volunteer firearms instructor.


The Sibley County FoodShare announced that the Minnesota March drive has been extended until the ended of April. Every contribution made in this time period is recorded and reported to the state for matching funds. Monetary donations can be made online at or mailed to PO Box 676 in Gaylord.

At the March 24 meeting the Sibley County Commissioners voted unanimously to accept a $700,000 Federal Highway Safety Improvement Grant to be used towards widening CSAH 8 from Highway 22 to CSAH 13 in 2021. The grant will cover about half of the estimated cost.

Statistics from the first weekend of the Stay at Home Executive Order show that traffic volumes were down 55 percent statewide on March 28 and 54 percent on March 29. There were 94 DWI arrests over that weekend as compared to 293 arrests for the same time period last year. MnDOT hopes this is a trend that will continue after the outbreak.


The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Le Sueur County was reported on March 22. Since then the number has grown to 15 confirmed cases. County Public Health Director Cindy Shaughnessy said that none of the cases were spread via community contact. The first case was linked to travel and all the other cases were traced back to someone else with a confirmed case.

Last Monday morning kids from the Anders Early Learning Center decided to spread a little cheer in Cleveland. They dug out their Halloween costumes and paraded around town with balloons in hand. The aim was to bring a smile to those confined in their homes.


Although Nicollet County was one of the first in south central Minnesota to see a case of COVID-19, the number has since increased only a little. On March 21 the third confirmed case was reported and none have been reported since. As is the case across the state, the local business economy is changing with many small non-essential businesses remaining closed. The city of St. Peter has just established a micro-loan program that leaders hope will help those businesses during this time of hardship.

In keeping with the Governor’s stay at home order, the open house to review design concepts for a 2023 construction project involving the intersections of Highways 169 and 22, and Highways 169 and 99, both on the south side of St. Peter, has been changed. Rather than an in-person open house there is an on-line meeting on April 9 at 5 p.m. that is open to public participation. Attendees can join the meeting by going to for a presentation from MnDOT explaining the different designs. Attendees will be able to type questions in the live chat for staff to answer at the end of the presentation.

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