News in the Neighborhood


Mound, Orono, Spring Park, Long Lake, Maple Plain, Minnetrista

Holy Family Coach Arrested

A former Holy Family tennis coach has been arrested on charges of predatory sexual conduct. According to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, a former student contacted school officials at Holy Family, a Catholic school in Victoria, and reported being sexually assaulted by the coach, identified as 59-year-old Timothy James “TJ” Garin of Mound, beginning some time in 2015. School officials immediately notified law enforcement, according to the sheriff’s office, and a criminal investigation was initiated. Through the course of the investigation, deputies learned that Garin had allegedly sent text messages complimenting the victim’s appearance and detailing desired sexual activities – behavior the sheriff’s department described as “grooming.” Garin also allegedly inappropriately touched the victim and sent explicit photos to the victim and requested explicit photos from the victim, which the victim declined to send, according to the sheriff’s office. Garin was arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 6, and charged with 4th degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. He was booked into Carver County Jail in lieu of a $10,000 cash bail or $100,000 fine. Garin’s next scheduled court appearance is Oct. 23 at 9 a.m. The sheriff’s office reports that Holy Family has terminated Garin’s employment with the school.


Gusties Follow the Rules

Students and faculty at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter are enjoying a little more like the true college experience. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Gustavus chose to start the year with only about 1,000 of its about 2,300 current students on campus, including freshmen and a small number of upperclassmen. That plan reportedly went well during the first three weeks of the school year with students wearing masks and following six-foot distancing guidelines, so there are now about 2,250 students on campus, who have a mixture of in-person and online classes in their weekly schedule; about 50 students are doing distance only learning outside the community. As of Oct. 6, there is one current positive case for a student and one positive case for an employee. Three employees and 14 students are in isolation/quarantine, but those persons do not necessarily have the virus; the college requires anyone who was in close contact with a positive case to quarantine. The numbers reflect that, while the college is certainly seeing COVID-19 cases, strategies have been effective in preventing significant spread.


Regional Park Reopened

Lake Waconia Regional Park, which had been closed for over a year to make road, parking, trail, utility and stormwater management improvements, recently reopened for visitors from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the year. According to Carver County Parks officials, a new boat access, constructed in partnership with the DNR, also opened. Entrance gate arms and parking lot lighting are still being completed, so visitors are advised to be on the lookout for remaining construction crews and to stay off newly planted turf and just finished areas so they can get established. But a nearly mile-long trail is open through the park to County Road 92/Laketown Parkway. That trail is part of a trail system that ultimately will extend all the way around Lake Waconia, connecting to the Dakota Regional Trail. The sledding hill at the park also should reopen this winter as conditions allow, and the beach, which was off limits to swimmers and sunbathers this summer, will be available with lifeguards for the 2021 season. In addition to adding picnic areas and grills, the county is planning rentals next season for canoes, kayaks and paddleboards, and is in discussions on bringing in a water taxi service to Coney Island in Lake Waconia.


MyPillow Guy’s Cure?

The day before President Donald Trump announced on Thursday, Oct. 1, that he and First Lady Melania Trump both tested positive for COVID-19, Trump attended a private fundraiser at the home of Cambria CEO Marty Davis in Shorewood, which cost each couple $200,000, before rallying with thousands of supporters in Duluth later that night. Chaska resident and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who spoke at the Duluth Trump rally — but wasn’t in attendance at the private fundraiser — said he never came into close contact with Trump or anyone else on the campaign and tested negative for the virus Thursday, Oct. 1, but added that even if he did, “I could eat the virus and it wouldn’t do anything for me.” Lindell said he “prays... (the President and First Lady) get the cure from me,” referring to an extract from a toxic plant called Nerium oleander, which Lindell said he takes every day and has protected him from contracting the virus. Lindell is on the board of Phoenix Biotechnologies, Inc., the company claiming Nerium oleander extract is a treatment and preventative for COVID-19. It has not been approved by the FDA. “The FDA has been slow-playing it, and Big Pharma’s been stopping it,” Lindell said. “It’s a joke.” Lindell, a recovered addict-turned-evangelical Christian who has been one of Trump’s most recognizable supporters in the state, said he has been tested for the virus more than 30 times, all of which have come back negative.

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