The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 23, 2014

Medallion hunt starts Friday evening

The Mankato Free Press

---- — St. Peter medallionhunt starts Friday

ST. PETER — The 2014 Winterfest Medallion Hunt begins 6:01 p.m. Friday as the first clue is released on The Free Press website. In past years, the clue was announced at 12:01 a.m.

The medallion will be hidden on public land somewhere in St. Peter, and the finder will claim $1,000 in Chamber Bucks.

A new clue will be posted each evening at 6:01 p.m. on until the medallion, which resembles a plastic air hockey disk and has St. Peter Winterfest markings, is found. Clues also will be published in print editions of The Free Press the day after they are released.

The medallion hunt is sponsored by the St. Peter Tourism and Visitors Bureau. Rules, all clues and daily blog entries can be found at

St. Peter Winterfest is Jan. 24 through Feb. 8 and includes an ice fishing contest and Polar Bear Plunge. A schedule is posted at under the Events tab.

Human servicesdirector fired

ST. JAMES — Watonwan County Human Services Director Rich Collins was terminated Wednesday after a closed session held by Watonwan County Board.

Watonwan County Auditor Donald Kuhlman declined to provide details about the termination. He said the decision was made by the board on Wednesday during a performance review. He said the decision was based on the board’s “loss of confidence in his ability to effectively manage the department.” He said the board has not yet selected a replacement for Collins.

Media reports from last year indicated Collins was receiving a salary of $97,032.

The Watonwan County Human Services Department fired its welfare fraud investigator in August 2013 after he was charged with felony theft for falsifying the hours he actually worked. The case is still ongoing in Watonwan County District Court.

Kuhlman declined to comment on whether the incident was a factor in Collin’s termination.

The Free Press