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Stearns County

Stearns County

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Ridgewood Road to Open along West Metro Corridor

More progress on the West Metro Corridor project as workers will shift traffic on Ridgewood Road to the newly constructed westbound lanes tomorrow afternoon. Eastbound traffic will remain in the eastbound lanes. There will be one lane open in each direction until late Monday when the roadway will be opened to two lanes in each direction.

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Stearns County
Stearns County
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Residents Snap Photos of Stearns County’s Beauty

If a picture says a thousand words, then Stearns County has a lot to say. The county's "staycation photo contest" has come to a close, and the top ten pictures have been chosen.

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Mining Dump Truck
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DNR Taking Comments On Stearns County Aggregate Resources

The DNR is now taking public comment on draft maps for Stearns County's aggregate resources. The county board of commissioners asked the DNR to map the county's sand, gravel and crushed stone deposits to better plan for future zoning and also to identify local, low-cost sources of these minerals.

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West Metro Corridor
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Lane Shifts Planned For West Metro Corridor Project

More traffic lane switches today as part of the West Metro Corridor project. Motorists will be switched to the south side of Stearns County Road 134 between Driftwood Road and Veterans Drive.

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Money
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Additional Sex Offender Costs Shift To Counties

County officials are saying it is just the latest example of how the state balances its budget by shifting the burden to counties. They're talking about a new state law that requires counties to pick up 25-percent of the cost for committing sexually dangerous people to state hospitals. Before this new law, counties paid 10-percent.

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Stearns County To Accept Pesticide Recyclables

Farmers, lawn care companies, golf courses and government agencies can bring their empty pesticide containers for recycling to the Farmer's Union Co-Op in Paynesville before tomorrow's pick-up.

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Sealcoating To Start On Lake Wobegon Trail

Stearns County will begin sealcoating parts of the Lake Wobegon Trail today. The segments getting seal coat treatments are from Albany to the Morrison County line, from Sauk Centre to the Todd County line and from St. Joseph to Avon.

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magnusfranklin, Flickr
magnusfranklin, Flickr
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Funds Available to Help Replace Septic Systems in Stearns County

Stearns County wants to help low-income homeowners replace unsanitary subsurface septic systems.

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Abby Faulkner
Abby Faulkner
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Longer Lives for Stearns County Residents than Any Other County in Minnesota [AUDIO]

It's the question that people have been asking since the beginning of time - what is the secret to a long and healthy life? Well, just ask a senior citizen in the land of Lake Wobegon...they should know.

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neenah
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Ghost Towns: Stearns County Towns that Disappeared from the Map — Our Top Five

So a few weeks back, we explored a smattering of supernatural legends from St. Cloud State University. This time around, I wanted to take a different approach to the concept of haunted spaces, and turn focus to a bunch of real "ghosts" we unknowingly encounter every day - the dissolved, forgotten towns of central Minnesota.

Many of us probably get the same old timey, western-style mental image when we hear the phrase “ghost town” – sepia-toned montages of overgrown, decrepit buildings with punched out floors and collapsed roofs, flanked by cacti and maybe a tumbleweed or two. I’m sure those Hollywood-style colonies are out there somewhere – but really, you won’t find them here in central Minnesota. As a matter of fact, most of the structures in the towns on this map were extinct before the turn of the century.

Like a good ghost story, the forgotten towns of central Minnesota are full of mystery. It took this reporter a few hours of digging around in the spectacularly organized archives of the Stearns History Museum to find the essential maps, facts, dates and photos to prove these places really existed. Now, while I’m crazy about history, research and heavy-duty air conditioning on 90-degree days, I was slightly discouraged when I realized that the vast majority of these towns have one thing in common – hardly ANY documentation exists to describe exactly where they were, what they looked like or who lived there. 

Another mystery I quickly uncovered - there's no good reason some of these towns flourished (if only for a while) and others failed almost immediately. These towns (pictured on the above map) were surveyed and settled by enterprising immigrants during the 1850s and 60s, itching to develop profitable commercial trade centers. Some were temporary outposts  - they drifted into disrepair and vanished. Others were platted, named and never saw so much as a single building. A handful served as the foundations for towns we know and live in today.  Take a close look at the map we've created.

The latter sums up the towns that made this list. May I present for your consideration - and in no particular order - 5 central Minnesota ghost towns that captured and haunted my imagination.


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