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It is official: The site of the old Somerset landfill is now called "Parnell Prairie Preserve." The name was announced at the joint town and village of Somerset meeting last week. "We decided not to put 'park' in the name because then people will think of ballparks," said Lenny Germain, town supervisor and member of the preserve committee. "Parnell" refers to the family who originally owned the 50-acre parcel. Twenty-nine acres were burned on April 9 to clear the land for restoring native prairie grasses.
No one can accuse Scott Swenson of not having car sales experience. "I sold my first car when I was 10 years old," Swenson said with a smile. "My parents owned a car dealership, so you can say it was born into me." Swenson and his business partner Joe Christy own the new Somerset Sales and Leasing, 534 County Road VV in Somerset. They are both new to the Somerset area: Swenson and his wife live in Buffalo, Minn., and Christy and his family live in Forest Lake, Minn.
A secluded home on a Somerset cul-de-sac was recently the target of a daylight burglary. Although the investigation is still in progress, Somerset Police Chief Doug Briggs was able to release a few bits of information about the situation. "It was a house in a newer development that had its entrance not visible from the main road," Briggs said.
Her given name is Bo Gyeong, which means "Precious Shine" in Korean. "Her birth mom named her that," Brian Williamson said, noting that many children who are given up for adoption are rarely named. "So we kept it as her middle name because we wanted to honor that." Williamson stood in the pink nursery of his Somerset twinhome, a spring mural painted on one side courtesy of his wife Bethany.
No, they aren't rushing the season. "Tee it up for the Troops" - a golfing fundraising event for United States troops - is typically held around Sept.
The second public informational meeting for the proposed storm water utility prompted some Somerset residents to question the purpose of the fee. Representatives from Cedar Corp. gave a slide presentation explaining the reason the village is considering the addition. Referencing a 2004 master plan of the Village of Somerset, it was determined that the village deposits approximately 350,000 pounds of solids into the Apple River each year. This is due to what the rainwater runoff collects from nonporous surfaces such as driveways and parking lots.
A building that had been damaged by a 2008 fire was deemed a public nuisance in Somerset. At the village board meeting on April 20, Police Chief Doug Briggs showed a slide presentation of the building and grounds at 122 Spring St. "The property is abandoned but we've had reports that its been entered by children," Briggs said. The property included a multi-family, two-story dwelling, as well as a converted garage in the back that was also used as an apartment.
For Maggie Beauvais, it has been a dream come true. "I always liked to bake and cook, and I imagined a little shop with mismatched chairs and tables -- a place where people could relax and enjoy each other's company," Beauvais said. On April 1, she opened Magpie Coffee House and Café at 701 Rivard St., Somerset. Formerly Café Latte, Beauvais bought the business from the previous owners when they decided to sell earlier this year. "When I heard this space was changing owners back in January 2009, I had expressed interest," Beauvais said.
The smoke crept over the grass, floating above the ground like a ghostly apparition. With the slightest change of wind, the smoke stood up and obscured the sun whirling like a tornado. Nearby, people stood in bright yellow overcoats and face masks, carefully watching the grass burn. Somerset Fire/Rescue, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, did a controlled burn of 29 acres at the site of the old Somerset landfill on Friday, April 9. Travis Belisle, chief of Somerset Fire/Rescue, said that this was the first time his department had been involved in a controlled burn.
It was a full house at the Roberts Village Board meeting on Monday, April 12. A point of discussion was the new Barn Board Saloon that is planning on moving into Miller's Corner. Police Chief Dan Burgess said that during a routine background check of the owners applying for a liquor license, it was discovered that the other business they owned had an impending criminal trial in Polk County. "It was mentioned that their liquor-licensed business in St. Croix Falls had some concerns about Mr. Kramer's involvement, although no one has been convicted at this point," Burgess said.