Rice County’s economy is growing. Commissioner Galen Malecha reports that Faribault’s Daikin Applied is expanding. They are buying the 300,000 sq. ft. warehouse that Malt-O-Meal had rented on County Road 76 just north of Faribault. They’ll be adding on to the building with an office complex and a manufacturing facility. The new facility will be new products. Faribault was in competition with St. Cloud and Mexico and Texas for the opportunity. Malecha said the plan is to add 32 jobs in 2019, the next couple of years will add
100 more and by year 5, they hope to have 250 jobs. These positions are for unskilled and skilled labor. Daikin works with South Central College to recruit students to work as well as training programs. Daikin also offers on-the-job training. The average wage is $25 and up with full benefits.
Preventing the “Summer Slide” for students
The Summer Slide is still a thing. Northfield Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann said it exists for everyone but it’s even more challenging for kids who come from lower socio economic homes. He added that there are a lot of efforts throughout Northfield and the nation to help mitigate that summer slide. Some of it is simple, Hillmann said, pointing out Northfield’s Carnegie Public Library wherein a librarian goes to the elementary schools to ensure that kids know about it, how to use it and what they can do there. The new book bike has been a huge success, which volunteers use to travel all around the City. And of course, Booker, the book mobile. Hillmann said there are 2 things that are most important in preventing the summer slide. Number one is keeping kids reading. The other is to give kids different kinds of experiences such as museums, parks or other opportunities that give them, what he calls, “context for learning”. Hillmann said his wife, a former math teacher, says we need to make sure kids keep thinking about counting. Suffice it to say, Northfield has abundant opportunities to get books in the hands of kids.
BWI enforcement for holiday weekend
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, county sheriff’s offices, and other public safety agencies are stepping up patrols for intoxicated boaters today through Sunday as part of Operation Dry Water, a national campaign aimed at deterring drinking and boating. The goal is to reduce the number of BWI-related boating accidents and fatalities. In 2017, alcohol was a factor in half (six of 12) of the deadly boating accidents in Minnesota. That’s slightly higher than the five-year average.
NOTE: If you’re traveling over the holiday, be aware of construction zones and some flooded areas. MnDot has a list of areas to watch for. It’s posted on our website, kymnradio.net.