The Sibley County town that conducted Minnesota's only successful grain bin rescue in 2019 has used that experience to design a first-of-its-kind rural rescue response trailer.

Gibbon Fire Department's new 16-foot custom-built trailer has a 35-horsepower self-powered grain vac that can move more than 1,000 bushels of grain per hour. It has space for grain bin rescue equipment, lifting bags, stabilization, and other tools that can aid in successful rural rescues.

The Fire Department started raising funds last year so the trailer wasn't paid for by taxpayers; so far, the department has raised more than $80,000. The unit was designed and built by Christianson Systems of Blomkest and Alum-Line of Cresco, Iowa.

The Gibbon Fire Department is holding training sessions for its entire department as well as nine neighboring communities it serves.



Jim Brandenburg earns award from National Geographic

Legendary Ely nature photographer Jim Brandenburg was recently given the National Geographic Lifetime Achievement Award.

He said in a social media post earlier this month that his first assignment for the magazine was with the television division 50 years ago, a special called "Strange Creatures of the Night." His last and largest assignment for the magazine was in 2016. The contribution, "93 Days of Spring," told the daily story of a Minnesota spring in 93 images, from the spring equinox to the summer solstice.

Four of Brandenburg's images are among the 40 most important nature photographs of all time, as chosen by the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Brandenburg wrote that he is currently working on two film projects, one with a Paris-based production company and one that he is producing in Italy.



MnDOT to host meeting on upcoming Highway 10/23 project

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will host an informational meeting Monday on the $43.7 million project to improve the interchange at Hwys. 10 and 23 on the east side of St. Cloud.

The project, which begins this summer and is expected to be completed next year, will reconstruct and improve the road surface, rebuild the Hwy. 23 bridges over Hwy. 10, reconfigure the on- and off-ramps and build a new bridge over Hwy. 10, which will connect frontage roads along 4th Street SE. to improve pedestrian access.

Motorists should expect delays with one-lane traffic in each direction of Hwys. 10 and 23. The meeting will be from 3-6 p.m. Monday at the MnDOT office, 3725-12th St. N., St. Cloud. For more information on the project, visit