A nearly $10,000 gift from Hormel Foods has wiped out student lunch debts in the Austin schools. The Austin-based company donated about $9,800 to erase the lunch debts in Austin Public Schools and Pacelli Catholic Schools.

“Through these donations, we hope to ease the burden on families in our plant communities,” said Jim Snee, chairman of the board, president and chief executive of Hormel Foods.

Hormel made similar gifts in several other areas where it has operations, for a total of about $28,000. Other communities that received gifts include the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools as well as schools in Iowa, Kansas and Georgia.

John Reinan


Depression-era building to reopen

A Great Depression-era building at Camden State Park near Marshall has been renovated into an overnight lodge.

Visitors are invited to an official opening for the Redwood Lodge from 1-3 p.m. Feb. 15, one of four state park open house days in 2020, when visitors may enter state parks without a vehicle permit.

The structure was built in 1934 along the Redwood River by World War I veterans as part of the national Veterans Conservation Corps. It has been used as a residence for park caretakers.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources began the renovation, paid for by the Parks and Trails Legacy Fund, to the three-bedroom building in 2017. Improvements addressed plumbing, electrical systems, flooring, bedrooms and the bathroom. Additions include log bed frames, tables and chairs.

The lodge sleeps eight and is available for overnight guests beginning Feb. 16 at $230 per night. Visit mndnr.gov/reservations or call 1-866-857-2757.

Reid Forgrave


Developers sought for golf course land

Golf course property with views of Lake Superior is opening for development in Duluth.

The city is seeking proposals by March 16 for 10 acres on the Enger Park Golf Course and 50 acres on the Lester Park Golf Course.

Developments are expected to feature mixed-use residential projects at a range of prices, including the possibility of affordable housing. A request for proposals can be found at https://bit.ly/38l8gm0.

The declining popularity of golf and a need for housing in the city prompted a council vote to move ahead with the sales process last August.

Pam Louwagie