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Airport decision tops second quarter news

July 23, 2013 - Lee Smith
The city of Fairmont opted to cut ties to its airport manager in June, in one of the bigger local news stories for the second quarter of 2013. The action came only one year into a five-year deal with Five Lakes Aviation.

The City Council had been discussing the matter since April, when the city administrator compiled a list of concerns about the company, from cleaning up the airport property, to providing flight training school, among other items. Months later, according to city staff, the problems had not been resolved.

The council voted to terminate its contract with the company, effective Sept. 30.

In other second quarter news:

— Father Leo Charles Koppala, 47, of Blue Earth, was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct, stemming from an incident June 7 in which Koppala allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with a child under 13 years of age, with the defendant being more than 36 months older than the child. Maximum sentence for the felony charges is 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine. The case is ongoing.

— The Prairieland waste-processing facility in Truman approved entering into negotiations with Green Photon Power, to consider changing what Prairieland produces and possibly create more jobs at the site. One option may be plasma gasification.

— Blue Earth Area School Board member Vickie Hanson, 54, died of a brain aneurysm in May. Her sudden death stunned the school district and left a hole on the school board.

— StateLine Cooperative of Burt, Iowa, moved closer to building a $7 million, 1.7 million bushel facility on 30 acres just east of Guckeen on Highway 16. Faribault County commissioners OK'd a 12-year property tax abatement and a conditional use permit for the facility.

— The Highway 169 reconstruction project got under way in Blue Earth. It will cause disruptions this summer but create a new and improved main thoroughfare through Blue Earth for years to come.


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