The Minnesota Army National Guard’s training site at Camp Ripley received significant storm damage last week as storm cells passed through central Minnesota.

No injuries were reported in the Wednesday night storm that roared through Morrison County, but several buildings used for housing, training and maintenance received major damage, the guard said.

A nearly completed 10-megawatt solar array that was set to be dedicated this month also was damaged, postponing the dedication.

While assessments continued, most damage consisted of collapsed roofs, fallen trees, debris and damaged vehicles throughout garrison areas of the camp, the guard reported.




Grandma’s Marathon gets a new leader for 2017 race

Grandma’s Marathon has a new race director.

Greg Haapala, who has worked since 2012 for Twin Cities In Motion, is taking the reins of the country’s 11th-largest marathon, which begins in Two Harbors and ends in Duluth’s Canal Park. Haapala served as the participant services and events manager for Twin Cities In Motion, which organizes the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. He oversaw its Health & Fitness Expo, elite athlete program, hospitality and lodging, and Corporate Team Challenge.

Haapala previously worked in athletics at the University of Detroit Mercy in Michigan. He worked event operations, sales and fan experience.

He will officially begin his new role at the end of October. The 41st Grandma’s Marathon Weekend is June 15-17, 2017.



City Council votes to sell its 1915 historic armory

The Rochester City Council last week voted to put the city’s historic armory up for sale, disappointing dozens of supporters who attended the meeting and urged the council to turn the building into an arts and cultural center. Another group has proposed creating an arts and science academy in the building.

The downtown armory, a Romanesque brick structure built in 1915, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980.

“There’s no doubting the sincerity or the passion of the arts community. That’s not the question,” said Council President Randy Staver. “I view this ... more as information gathering, so we make the best decision for all of our residents.”

Mayor Ardell Brede noted that there have been many proposals for the building over the years. “And now I feel a little bit like Jerry Maguire: Show me the money,” he said.

The council voted to hire a broker to market the armory and its parking garage through the end of the year, but stipulated that the arts and culture group be given first priority to buy the building.

The council also will require any buyer to maintain the building’s status on the historic registry.