Coach Hoffner's criminal case has been expunged

With a judge's order, the legal nightmare that haunted Minnesota State University, Mankato football coach Todd Hoffner for two years has been formally erased. Blue Earth County Judge Bradley Walker signed the order last week, expunging the legal case against Hoffner. He was charged in 2012 with child pornography after videos of his children dancing after a bath were found on his work cellphone. The charges were dismissed three months later when a judge ruled the videos were innocent children's play.

Hoffner was eventually fired in the uproar only to have an arbitrator reinstate him last month. He then resigned from the head coaching job at Minot State University in North Dakota, which he had accepted in January.

His attorney, Jim Fleming, says all reports from the criminal case have been purged.



Pushback for RV park

Crookston is looking to move and expand a chronically flooded campground from a downtown Red Lake River location to a park on higher ground about eight blocks away. But residents are putting up a fight about how it's being done.

The proposed site at Castle Park would require selling or giving away about 3 acres of city parkland to a private developer, who would also use 2.5 acres of adjoining private land to install full-service hookups for 40 to 45 RVs, including those of seasonal sugar beet workers who arrive during harvest.

The city had hoped to develop campsites itself, but wasn't able to get grants to pay for the several hundred thousand dollar cost, City Administrator Shannon Stassen said.

Residents have started a petition to stop the development, saying the proposed RV park is too big.

"Other cities are buying parkland or increasing their green space … our city is reducing it," said Shirley Iverson, 57.

Pam Louwagie


End near for historic house

The Rochester City Council voted to raze a Victorian house that was home to the Chardonnay restaurant.

The council's 6-1 vote last week came after lengthy debate about whether the 1890s house, on 2nd Street SW., deserves protection under the city's Heritage Preservation Ordinance. The property's owner plans to demolish the house and sell it to a developer.

In March, the Rochester Heritage Preservation Commission recommended that the council label the house a preservation site — shielding it from demolition.

But the council disagreed. Members said Monday that while the house is clearly historic under the ordinance's criteria, it does not meet the second requirement: that its condition "must be such that maintaining its current use or establishing an adaptive reuse of the structure is economically feasible."

"It's a tragedy," said Council President Randy Staver, according to video of the meeting. "But I am not finding that it meets the practical, realistic side of the ordinance."



Mayor goes for second term

The mayor of Mankato, Eric Anderson, will run for re-election.

The Free Press reports that Anderson, elected in 2010, decided against a run for state representative and instead hopes to win a second term. Anderson, a financial adviser, serves on numerous regional and statewide boards, according to the city's website.

"I've built up very good relationships locally, regionally, statewide," Anderson told the Mankato newspaper. "I think that's a real benefit for our town."

Jenna Ross