News of the Region: Top stories from our surrounding communities

Soldiers deploy to Cuba
Members of the Monticello-based 257th Military Police Company will make history with their nine-month deployment to Cuba.
More than 120 soldiers from 90 Minnesota communities are getting ready to travel to the oldest U.S. military base overseas and only base located within a Communist country. Two of the soldiers are from Elk River, and two others are from Otsego. The group includes one from Zimmerman and three from Ramsey.
The ceremony, held in the school’s auditorium – which was packed with family members, friends and community supporters – formally sent-off 120 soldiers as they prepare for a nine-month deployment in support of Joint Task Force Guantanamo.
The unit’s deployment represents the first time a Minnesota National Guard unit has deployed to U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, which is located on the southeast corner of Cuba.
Well-wishers packed the auditorium at Monticello High School Saturday, Jan. 28, for the unit’s official departure ceremony.
– Monticello Times

Police track damaged vehicle by trail of fluid
A trail of fluid led police to a vehicle that hit a mailbox and then left the scene.
Police had reported the damaged mailbox on Fifth Street in Elk River shortly after midnight on Feb. 4. Several car pieces were scattered on the street and in the yard and police located the trail of fluid at the scene and followed it to the suspect vehicle.
The driver, an Elk River man, 30, was located and cited for failing to drive with due care and hit and run.
– Elk River Star News

Indiana corporation to purchase Larson Boats facility
Wabash National Corporation is expanding its operations to Little Falls. And with that expansion, it expects to create more than 100 jobs over the next five years.
Wabash National Corporation announced its plans to invest more than $3 million for the Larson Boats manufacturing facility.
Wabash National Corporation is a diversified industrial manufacturer and North America’s leading producer of semi-trailers and liquid transportation systems based in Indiana. Expectations are that Wabash will take ownership of the facility in April.
A press release said the investment is part of a $10 million longer-term plan for the company to expand production operations for molded structural composites (MSC).
– Morrison County Record

Cambridge presented water award
The Minnesota Department of Health recently announced the city of Cambridge has earned a Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the year 2015.
The city celebrated the achievement during the Cambridge City Council meeting on Feb. 6. Public Works-Utilities Director Todd Schwab noted the city has received the award four different times over the years.
– Isanti County News