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The Minnesota Historical Society announced this week 31 recipients of its quarterly grants, which help nonprofits, educational organizations, government entities and federally recognized tribes preserve and share Minnesota history.

The Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants, which are up to $10,000 apiece, will total $270,130 for entities in 21 counties across the state. The grants are funded by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Among the recipients:

  • The city of Appleton, to hire a qualified historian to research and assemble materials in preparation for a heritage tourism map.
  • The Beltrami County Historical Society in Bemidji, to improve collections care and management through an updated collections management system.
  • Cottonwood County in Windom, to hire a qualified architect to conduct a condition assessment of the Cottonwood County Courthouse, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The Gammelgarden Museum in Scandia, to hire a qualified historian to complete the nomination to the National Register of Historic Places for the 1868 Prast Hus, or Pastor's House.
  • The Sleepy Eye Area Historical Society in Sleepy Eye, to add 124 rolls of microfilmed city newspapers to the historical society's holdings and make primary records more publicly accessible.

The Minnesota Historical Society makes the grants available in two funding tiers. Small grants up to $10,000 are awarded quarterly, and the next application deadlines are April 8 and July 8. Large grants of more than $10,000 are offered once a year.



Police officers moving up with promotions

The Owatonna Police Department is in transition, with several officers receiving promotions as longtime leaders retire.

Capt. Eric Rethemeier will retire at the end of January following a 31-year career in law enforcement. Sgt. Josh Sorensen has been promoted to captain to fill Rethemeier's slot; meanwhile, Sorenson will be replaced by Detective Ben Johnson, newly promoted to sergeant.

Another longtime officer, Sgt. Andy DeVinny, will retire in February after 25 years in law enforcement, and Detective Val Satre will be promoted to sergeant.

The department is in the process of hiring two new patrol officers to fill out its ranks and has posted a third patrol opening for applications.

"If you see these officers, please thank them for their dedication to Owatonna and our department," Police Chief Keith Hiller said. "Our community is fortunate to have benefited from their years of service. I am excited to see our officers grow within the department and I look forward to welcoming new officers to the team."