The Austin City Council has voted to ban feeding deer and geese within city limits.

The ordinance, passed unanimously last Monday, would prohibit placing grains, salt licks, fruits, vegetables, hay or any other edible materials on the ground. Feeding of wildlife would be allowed if the food is placed 6 feet above the ground or higher in a way that would exclude access for deer or geese.

In a work session earlier this month, Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger said police had received complaints about the amount of deer and goose droppings in the city.

The ordinance, which becomes effective June 30, would make a violation a petty misdemeanor.

There are exceptions for veterinarians, city community service officers or other government game officials.

Mark Brunswick


Locals to file insurance claims over “quake”

Homeowners are being urged to file property insurance claims over damages received when the earth shook in some city neighborhoods April 25.

A mining operation in the city run by Jordan Sands set off a controlled explosion that day and a government scientist said the available evidence suggests it was the company’s blasting that made the ground shake.

The company’s own review, released last week, said an earthquake shook the area seconds after the company set off a blasting charge.

City officials so far have followed the guidance of the United States Geological Survey.

“It still continues to be classified as seismic activity related to a blast event,” said City Administrator Pat Hentges. He said the city logged 128 complaints. A building official visited 38 of the affected homes and determined that all of them were structurally sound.

The company plans to resume blasting as soon as this week and has a permit to continue through the end of the year. The city has required that a seismic monitoring device near the mining site run a bit longer after each blast to gather better evidence in the event of future damage claims. The U.S. Geological Survey reported the April blast at 2.8 on the Richter scale.

“It’s probably a lot of shakin’ for us here in the Midwest,” Hentges said.

Matt McKinney

Pine County

Malnourished donkeys taken from owner

Seven malnourished and lice-ridden donkeys, some with overgrown hooves, were rescued last week from a Pine County property, according to Wade Hanson of the Animal Humane Society.

Agents and volunteers from the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation found the animals in need of hoof care, with some showing years of growth.

The donkeys were taken to Anoka Equine Vet Services in Elk River for treatment. One of the animals had to be euthanized. The case remains under investigation.

Matt McKinney