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U.S. senators push for federal action / 12A Girls basketball season heats up / 9A
Wingers vs. Raiders
Sand debate arena widens
Statewide moratorium, laws under consideration
By Danielle Killey
ST. PAUL – Many Minnesotans are not sure whether more silica sand mining could mean dangerous dust and contaminated water, a booming economy or something in between. Cities and counties have tried to manage mounting interest in mining Minnesota’s silica sand, but with many questions still surrounding the industry some think it is time for the state to step in. “I want to address the unanswered questions that are troubling our local decision-makers and stakeholders and concerned citizens,” Sen. Matt Schmit, DFL-Red Wing, said. “The state has the capacity to get some of those answers.” The Minnesota Legislature will take its first look at the issue this year on Tuesday. Lawmakers will hear testimony on silica sand mining issues at a joint House and Senate committee meeting, and bills will be discussed in the Senate Environment and Energy Committee Feb. 26. The Land Stewardship Project, a nonprofit organization focused on sustainability and land issues, plans to pack the hearing
room. The group and its partners are pushing for a statewide environmental and economic study to include information about water, health, infrastructure and economic impacts, and clearer state regulations, policy program organizer Bobby King said. “While that’s going on, we need a moratorium so the industry doesn’t get ahead of appropriate regulations,” he said. A statewide moratorium would temporarily put new operations on hold. Concerns about the mining industry include stress on roads due to increased truck traffic, noise and impacts on water and air quality. Gov. Mark Dayton has said that transportation issues are among his biggest concerns. The round, hard silica sand grains — mainly found in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois — are used to extract natural gas or oil in a process called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The sand is injected along with water and chemicals into oil and gas wells to prop open cracks and increase the productivity of the wells. Supporters note the industry can have a positive economic impact on communities around mining or processing operations. “These businesses have livable-wage jobs,” said Dennis Egan, head of the Turn to SAND, page 3A
Wingers skate into state tournament
Chris Harrell/Republican Eagle
Red Wing rushes to goalie Ashley Corcoran after defeating New Prague 9-1 in the Section 1A championship Thursday at the Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna to clinch a spot in the Class 1A tournament. The Wingers are headed to their fourth state tournament in five years.
Library director enjoyed his five years
By Rebecca Rudolph
The director of the Red Wing Public Library will leave his position after holding it for five years. When James Lund first came to Red Wing as the director in 2007, the library had a different look and feel to it. During his time there, he led projects like replacing the roof, rearranging the children’s collection, expanding Internet access, installing a new elevator, and, perhaps the biggest one, combining the desks, said reference staff
worker Randy bounce between Decker. desks. Merging the This month, circulation and Lund accepted reference desks the position at “created a seamthe Westminster less team enviSeminary Calironment with the fornia in Esconstaff ” to more efdido, Calif., as fectively help lithe library direcbrary patrons, tor, as a profesLund Lund said. sor of theology He thinks that the per- and as the bookstore mansonal touch at Red Wing’s ager. His last day as Red library is very important Wing Public Library direcand that is what makes it tor will be March 16. more than just a place to After going to school in check out books. California to receive his The merged desks cre- master’s in theology, he ate an opportunity for decided to pursue a career that by not having patrons as a library at the Univer-
sity of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating, he moved back to California to work at the seminary as the library director and as an assistant professor, only to return to the Midwest . He said if he did not feel so called to this new position, he would want to retire at the Red Wing Public Library because he has enjoyed the experience so much. “The five years I have had in Red Wing have been the most enjoyable, rewarding and productive,” Lund said.
We the People … we the fundraisers
Cannon Falls students must find $35,000 to show their constitutional know-how
By Sarah Gorvin
CANNON FALLS — It sounds like the premise for a game show: know all you can about the Constitution and Bill of Rights, be prepared to answer questions about the U.S. government and how it works, don’t be intimidated by the state Supreme Court justices who are
judging you — or by the other nationally ranked teams competing against you. And, on top of all that, also raise $35,000. But that’s exactly what Cannon Falls High School’s We the People team faces. And team members only have until April to do so. “We have to raise a lot,” student Shannon Phelps said. We the People is a nationally recognized program sponsored by the Center for Civic Education. Its purpose is to teach people about the Constitution and get them interested in participating in government. Competitions are held each year at state levels. Winners are
then invited to compete at in Washington, D.C. The Cannon Falls We the People team — made up of 23 advanced-placement government students — competed against other Minnesota teams at the state Capitol in St. Paul in early December. Their efforts there earned them a spot at the national competition. “We worked really hard before it,” student Phelps said. “We worked really hard.” Students from Cannon Falls have competed in the national We the People competition for years. Previously, federal and state grants have just about Turn to PEOPLE, page 12A
Cannon Falls We the People team member Joseph Hanka bags groceries at EconoFoods in Cannon Falls. The team — made up of 23 advanced-placement government students — is working to raise $35,000 to attend the national We the People competition in Washington, D.C.
Sarah Gorvin/ Republican Eagle
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Red Wing Republican Eagle
Saturday & Sunday February 16 & 17, 2013
Presidents Day. Government offices closed. lists, activities account balance update.
Red Wing City Council Agenda Committee, 8 a.m., City Hall council chambers. Goodhue County Mining Sub Committee, 9 a.m., Government Center, IT conference room. Pierce County Land Management Committee, 6 p.m., Courthouse boardroom.
Goodhue County Economic Development Agency Board, 8:15 a.m., Government Center Board Room. Goodhue County Board, 9 a.m., Government Center boardroom. Goodhue County Board/Management Team workshop, 9:15 a.m., Government Center boardroom. Goodhue County Health and Human Services Board, 10:30 a.m., Government Center board room. Sheldon Theatre Board, 5:15 p.m., City Hall council chambers. Red Wing Advisory Planning Commission, 7 p.m., City Hall council Rebecca Rudolph/Republican Eagle chambers. Red Wing School Phil and Linda McNairy work on his cardiorehabilitation at Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing. Board, 5:30 p.m., Red Wing High School Little Theater. Agenda: Special education update, seniority
Pierce County Highway Committee, 8:30 a.m., Highway office. Pierce County Board of Health, 4 p.m., conference room C. Red Wing Human Rights Commission, 7 p.m., City Hall council chambers. Highway 63 bridge project listening session, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Red Wing Public Library. Residents will be able to ask questions and speak one-on-one with members of the bridge project team.
McNairys take heart
Community preparedness saves life, prompting couple to start AED fund drive
By Rebecca Rudolph
Continued from page 1A ernments have the resources to regulate the industry. “I think maybe we can play a role to make Schmit sure they are aware of what options they have,” McNamara said, noting the state could offer model ordinances. “I see one community after another struggle with making sound ordinances and permitting decisions,” Schmit said. “At the end of the day, we want to empower our local decision-makers to make choices they feel good about.” McNamara said he does not necessarily see the need for more state regulations or a statewide moratorium, but will remain open during discussions. He said one item the state could study is taxes and fees on the industry. “We need to make sure they are paying adequately … so local governments don’t get stuck with the costs,” McNamara said, such as for building or repairing roads or restoring land after mines close. King said the process for getting the state to take action likely will be similar to how moratoriums and studies in local governments happened. “At the county level and at the city level it was really grassroots folks who pushed for what was needed, and got it in many cases,” he said. “I think that’s how it’s going to have to be at the Capitol this year.”
On Jan. 16, Phil McNairy was enacting his usual workout at the Red Wing YMCA. The retiree said he monitors his diet and was well aware of the importance of good health. So he didn’t expect anything was wrong as he stepped off the elliptical. But unlike every other day he worked out, he fell. “I thought he just lost his balance,” said his wife who was working out as well. That was until he did not respond to physical prompting to get up. “For all I knew, he was totally dead,” she said. She yelled for help and the response was instant. “An off-duty nurse jumped in and helped to provide CPR, a retired police man helped out with CPR, a Mayo employee who was working here at the time jumped in and helped, YMCA staff jumped in and helped. It was a community response,” YMCA Executive Director Mike Melstad said. That response included police officers who heard about the emergency on their scanners and came to see if more help was needed. It included multiple 911 calls.
Red Wing Mayor Dennis Egan (left) stands with Phil and Linda McNairy at Monday night’s City Council meeting. Some of the people involved in saving Phil McNairy’s life were honored.
AED device shocked McNairy back to life. “Time is muscle,” Mayo Clinic’s Emergency Department and Urgent Care Director Jane Gisslen said. McNairy could have suffered brain damage had the device not been used in time. Emergency vehicles arrived to find him coherent. He was transported to Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing. For Gisslen, the moment she heard about what had happened, she started coordinating care with the St. Marys Hospital, where she in turn would send McNairy. Paramedics drove McNairy to Rochester where he was told that he would have to get a triple bypass surgery to remove the clot that had formed, resulting in his cardiac arrest. “I knew if they were going to do that, they would crack my chest completely open, which they did, and then they automatically connect you up to a heart and lung machine so nothing inside me was functioning; it was all done by machine. That’s a scary thought,” McNairy said. Five days after he collapsed at the gym, McNairy entered a roughly eight-hour surgery. He was back on his feet by the next day, healing well. Linda McNairy is grateful. She also grateful for the support she received from the community the day he collapsed. “I had somebody drive me here to the ER because obviously I wasn’t in any shape to drive my car at that point, just a lot of community concern and support — that’s important,” she said. “Phil’s wife nearly lost her husband,” Gisslen said. During the minutes Phil was on the YMCA floor, Linda McNairy thought she had. “If it hadn’t been for those two things, people reacting quickly and that AED being there, I would probably be dead or severely brain damaged. Timing is everything,” Phil McNairy said. The collapse surprised the McNairys as Phil would not be a normal candidate for a cardiac arrest. A normal candidate for this event would be someone who does not exercise regularly and has a poor diet. Phil’s circumstance was a result of genetics, not lifestyle.
Danielle Killey/Republican Eagle
AED fund drive
Three key minutes
About three minutes after he went into cardiac arrest, a community member certified in using an
As a result of this sobering experience, the two are working with Melstad to collect money at the Y to help churches and businesses — “where there are a lot of people gathered at any one point in time,” Linda McNairy said — purchase AEDs. If they are purchased in bulk, the prices can be reduced, making these expensive devices more affordable. Of equal importance to purchasing devices is the training to use them, the couple said. “It isn’t a matter of it something’s going to happen — we’re all human and were all going to die so it’s a matter of when something happens,” Melstad said, stressing the importance of CPR, AED and first aid training. “You have to think about, ‘Do I want to be one of the people standing on the sidelines not knowing what to do, or do I want to know what to do and be able to help?’”
Minnesota Industrial Sand Council. “They take great pride in their relationships with the communities that they are doing business in.” Egan, also Red Wing mayor, said the group is trying to find its way in new territory as the industry is pulled into the spotlight. The mining council members, now six Minnesota-based companies, are predominantly from south-central cities such as Mankato, Shakopee, Jordan, North Branch and St. Peter. They will advocate for “best practices” management of dust control, transportation, water use and other issues that affect their industry. Egan’s involvement in the sand council has drawn attention since frac sand mining has been an issue in the Red Wing area. Some residents have called for his resignation, but he has said there is no conflict of interest in holding both positions.
Local, state roles
Individual counties and cities, especially in southeastern Minnesota, have established their own moratoriums in order to study the issue and set up local rules and regulations for mines. King said he thinks the best system would be local governments continuing to issue permits and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency managing pollution matters. “Local governments can’t be expected to take that on,” King said, referring to pollution monitoring. Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, said he sees the state’s role as facilitator, to make sure local gov-
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