The New London-Spicer School Board has recognized a number of students and community members for a variety of good things they’re doing for the school. The district held first grade literacy night, thanks to donations from a number of businesses. Almost 100 percent of students and parents attended. Tom Tengwall was recognized for receiving the Minnesota Athletic Director Association’s 2012-13 distinguished service award. They also recognized students who participated in special Olympics. The sophomores were recognized for several awards as well.
The New London Spicer School Board has approved the call for bids for a tennis court project. Supt. Paul Carlson says their tennis courts are 20 years old and they’ve been repairing and patching cracks in those tennis courts. Carlson says last year they were able to secure a capital facilities bond so are able to replace the tennis courts. Specifications will be sent to local contractors for that project. The board also adopted a resolution that recognizes the volunteers. They will be recognized April 22nd through the 26th at all the sites. Throughout the school year the district has over 400 volunteers.
Following an announcement the State of Minnesota had overpaid Health Maintenance Organizations by at least $207 million for care for Medicaid patients, local legislators are vowing to introduce legislation to further regulate the relationship between the state and it's paid contractors. Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake says health care providers are not reimbursed adequately and patients do not have accessible care. Westrom says there is a lack of providers who can afford to take Medicaid patients due to the low reimbursement rates. Legislation to correct the disparity between payment and services will be introduced by Senator Sean Nienow.
The Morris Co-op is expanding and working to bring utilities to their new location on Highway 9 North of Morris. Co-op Manager Brian Kruize says the Co-op plans to move some of their ag services to a site in Morris Township. Kruize asked the Morris City Council to approve extending city utilities to the township site, though that project faces a few hurdles. Morris City Manager Blaine Hill asked the city council if they were willing to invest in running water and sewer to one business when their current list of infrastructure projects fills the next several years. Hill says the first step would be for the Co-op to annex the property into the city. Then, the city council could approve running water and sewer lines to the site, acquiring the necessary rights-of-way and footing the bill. The other option would be for all affected property owners between the closest existing city line and the Co-op property to petition the council to install lines and pay for the installation as a group.
The annual Stevens County Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event is tomorrow (Tuesday) and falls in a month dedicated to domestic violence awareness. From Someplace Safe, Erin Koehntop says April is sexual assault awareness month. During the month, Someplace Safe, a victim advocacy group in west-central Minnesota, will be hosting events to raise funds for the work they do to combat sexual assaults and provide victim services. The annual walk is co-sponsored by Someplace Safe and the Men at the Morris student organization. The walk starts at noon at 202 Atlantic Avenue. Registration starts at 11:30.
The City of Morris has been named a Tree City by the Arbor Day Foundation based on forestry work in 2012. This is the ninth year Morris has earned the national designation. Morris achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program's four requirements: a tree board, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. Alexandria, Benson, Fergus Falls, and Sauk Centre have also earned the designation.
The Litchfield Rescue Squad will be hosting KSTP-TV meteorologist Jonathan Yuhas, the founder of FlashWarn Severe Weather Consulting Services, at a class in the high school cafeteria. The event will be Tuesday night, May 7th at six. It’s open to the public with a canned food donation. The class is will last two to three hours. Yuhas will be talking about the tools you need to stay informed, prepared and safe for severe weather of all sorts.
Registration and Roundup for kindergarten students in the Kennedy attendance area has been rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday) between 3:30-6:30 in the cafeteria. The registration and roundup for kindergarten students in the Roosevelt attendance area has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 18th between 3:30 to 6:30 in the cafeteria. You need to bring along your completed registration packet. If you didn’t receive a packet and your child will be five years old before Sept. 1st call the schools.
The city of Willmar will open its brush disposal/compost site to the public beginning on Saturday. It will be open from nine to six on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The brush site is open for city of Willmar residents only. No lumber or garbage of any kind is accepted. You can’t remove any firewood. The compost facility will accept leaves, grass clippings and garden clippings only. Leaves, grass and garden materials must be separated from brush and branches. Do not leave boxes, plastic bags or plastic of any type at the site. The site will be closed May 27th for Memorial Day and Sept. 2nd for Labor Day.
Representative Paul Anderson of Starbuck says a series of bills which will comprise the state’s new biennial budget are taking shape in the House. He says the House Democrats have unveiled a K-12 education finance and policy bill that will spend $15.7 billion over the next biennium. Top components include early learning childhood scholarships that republicans piloted last biennium, increasing the basic funding formula by $209 per pupil and implementing all-day kindergarten. He says the expansion of all-day kindergarten is not fully funded, however, forcing school districts to either subsidize these costs from other areas of their budget or increase class sizes.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $53.6 million available to agricultural producers and small businesses through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Farmers are the original ‘green energy,’ bringing innovation to the forefront of operations, says Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson. The REAP program aids farmers and ranchers to implement even more of these innovative technologies. Funds are available by grants, guaranteed loans and combined grants and guaranteed loans for the development and construction of renewable energy systems and for energy efficiency improvement projects. Grants are also available for conducting renewable energy system feasibility studies.
Despite the wintry weather Minnesota is experiencing, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is kicking off Work Zone Awareness Week today (Monday), with a new public education campaign. The campaign reminds you to slow down and pay attention in construction zones. A $75 million dollar construction season is about to begin in West Central Minnesota, the largest the region has ever experienced. MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle asks that you plan ahead, expect occasional delays and pay attention for your own safety and that of the construction workers. Last year there were 1,931 crashes in Minnesota work ones with three people killed.
This is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, and Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin says he appreciates and thanks their dispatchers for their continued work and dedication providing excellent services to our public’s safety. Norlin says when you call their dispatch center, or 911 in an emergency, the dispatcher on duty provides professional assistance from the routine calls for service to dire emergencies linking you to all of Meeker County’s public safety and law enforcement services. Last year the dispatchers received 29,624 incoming phone calls, and of these, 8,032 were 911 phone calls. They also initiated 17,451 calls for service through Computer Aided Dispatching software.
At 1:17 yesterday morning (Sunday), the Meeker County Sheriff's Office responded to and dispatched the Cosmos Ambulance for a report of a fight with possible injuries at the American Legion Bar in Cosmos. Deputies arrived and after investigation, arrested 22 year old Jesse Smith of Atwater, for pending charges of assault. The victim was transported to a hospital by a privately owned vehicle.