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Plastech purchases old Fairview Clinic building, and more news

Plastech in Rush City is in the process of expanding its facilities.

The business recently completed a major 33,000-square-foot addition to its plant.

“This (addition) brings most of our raw material components indoors, so we can be more efficient. It will be better for our employees. They won’t have to go out in the inclement weather in the middle of winter at two o’clock in the morning to get a product,” said Plastech General Manager Jerry Miller.

Along with the addition to the plant, Plastech is in the beginning stages of renovating the old Fairview Clinic building in Rush City for employee housing.

In an interview, Miller said owner Dennis Frandsen saw the former clinic became available. Frandsen felt it’d be another way to invest in the local community after hiring a group of immigrant workers.

“Housing is a focus across many communities. Dennis has been an investor in this community since the late ‘60s or early ‘70s, so he’s particularly interested in this community and wants to help it grow,” said Miller.

The clinic closed in 2019, and the pharmacy was closed later.

Once renovated, the building will be able to house 32 employees within walking distance of the plant.

Miller gave no timeline for the project’s completion, but he said a building permit was just issued to the company. He anticipates construction to take around 90 to 120 days to complete once they start work.

“It (the clinic) was gutted,” said Miller. “(It will need) all new electrical and all new HVAC. It’ll be done right and done nice, so it will take us a little bit of time.”

Braham city administrator to resign effective Aug. 11

Braham City Administrator Rachel Kytonen has notified the city that she’ll resign from her position effective Friday, Aug. 11.

Kytonen has served in her current role with the city for the past 14 months.

In a letter to Mayor Nate George and the city council, Kytonen said her resignation is to pursue new career opportunities in areas she feels more passionate about.

During Tuesday’s regular meeting, the Braham city councilors will review the administrator job description posted in February of 2022 to make any necessary changes.

The council will also authorize city staff to fill the position.

Kytonen, previously the managing editor for the Isanti County News Review, was hired in April of 2022. She was among six candidates interviewed for the role.

Highway 23 crash sends four to the hospital

Four were sent to the hospital Saturday morning after two cars collided on Highway 23 in Sandstone.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a Kia Optima was entering Highway 23 from Quarry Place when it was struck by a Mazda hatchback.

The collision caused the Mazda to spin, where it came to rest on the center line. The Kia stopped on the north shoulder of Highway 23.

The driver of the Kia, a 77-year-old Hinckley woman, was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth with life-threatening injuries.

The three occupants of the Mazda were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Pine County Sheriff’s Office, Essentia Ambulance, and Life Link assisted with the crash.

High-speed crash injures one in Braham

One is recovering following a high-speed crash at a gas station in the City of Braham Wednesday night.

According to Braham Police Chief Kevin Stahl, police were called to the Sinclair station on Mainstreet around 8:38 p.m. after it was reported that a man had crashed into two cars at a high rate of speed.

The driver was found unresponsive by a police officer and required to be extricated from the car by the Braham Fire Department. He was later flown to a metro trauma center.

No other people were injured by the crash.

Chief Stahl says that a sample of the driver's blood was gathered to determine if the driver was under the influence or if the crash was caused by a medical condition.

Stahl says the investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released as it becomes available.

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