Hotel Broz, formerly Schumacher's, is sold

New Prague's historic Hotel Broz, formerly Schumacher's New Prague Hotel, has been sold to Marty and Anna Herrmann of New Prague. The price was $50,000, according to the Le Sueur County Recorder's Office.

Anna Herrmann is a childhood friend of Caroline Amplatz, a philanthropist and the previous owner. Amplatz purchased and renovated the property after it was closed in 2011.

The property was first opened as a hotel and restaurant in 1898 by Wenceslaus Broz, a Bohemian immigrant, and cycled through three other owners before it was acquired by John Schumacher, an award-winning chef who made the hotel well-known statewide.

The 13-room hotel was originally listed for $1.6 million. The sale closed on Dec. 4, according to the recorder's office.

Erin Adler

Washington County

Public can comment on strategic library plan

Washington County residents wishing to comment on a draft plan for the county's library strategic plan can do so until Feb. 1.

Information can be found on the county's website at Comments may be e-mailed to or sent to June Mathiowetz, Office of Administration, P.O. Box 6, Stillwater, MN 55082. All comments received will be compiled for consideration by county commissioners, library staff and county administration.

Washington County's library is at a critical stage in planning its future, county leaders have said.

Kevin Giles


Lake Minnetonka dam closes at latest date ever

The Grays Bay dam on Lake Minnetonka made history last week when it was finally closed Dec. 21 — the latest it has ever operated in its 36 years.

The dam, which manages the water flow from Lake Minnetonka to Minnehaha Creek, can't be closed until the lake water levels fall below 928.6 feet above sea level.

But this fall's heavy rains and warm weather kept lake levels higher than normal.

The dam is reopened in the spring to make room for spring snowmelt and to reduce chances of flooding on the lake and the creek, which is managed by the Minnetonka-based Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

The district says the lake is also fast approaching a record for the latest ice-in date, Jan. 2, 2001.



Rock-balancing images at arboretum through Jan. 1

Jan. 1 is the last day to see photo images of the work of stone-balancing artist Peter Juhl at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Juhl's work "looks like magic," the arboretum says on its website, but "is closer to meditation or art."

The artist balances three or more rocks in "seemingly impossible fashion without the aid of bolts, duct tape or glue," the arboretum says.

Juhl's "Center of Gravity III" exhibit opened Nov. 4 and runs through next Friday.

The arboretum, which was closed Friday but is open Saturday and beyond, is at 3675 Arboretum Drive. For more information, go to