The New London Spicer School Board met last night (Monday) during which there were updates on Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments. Also, Supt. Paul Carlson provided highlights of the general sessions and sessions at the National School Board Association’s conference, which he attended along with Dan DeGeest. Carlson said it was a very good conference, 21st century learning skills and project based learning, STEM initiatives, which is science, technology engineering and math, plus the arts. It was a very good conference, and a state of the art presentation he said.
Minnesota’s land-based invasive species outreach program known as ‘PlayCleanGo: Stop Invasive Species in Your Tracks,’ is kicking off a new campaign, according to the Department of Natural Resources. The campaign aims to do two things: encourage outdoor recreation on Minnesota trails, parks and recreation sites, and to educate and create awareness among outdoor recreationists about terrestrial invasive species. ‘PlayCleanGo’ encourages outdoor recreation such as off-highway vehicle riding, hiking, biking and horseback riding on Minnesota trails, parks and recreation sites. To help stop the spread of terrestrial invasive species you need to arrive with clean gear; burn local or certified firewood; use local or weed-free hay; stay on the trails; and before leaving, remove mud and seeds.
You’re asked to join United Way of West Central Minnesota to make a difference in your community by volunteering during the annual Day of Action on Wednesday, June 19th. United Way will coordinate this event by matching volunteer groups to service projects in the area. This opportunity is for businesses, organizations or individuals in United Way’s Territory which includes the surrounding areas of Willmar, Litchfield, Olivia and Benson. United Way is looking for volunteers that are interested in donating approximately 2-4 hours of their time doing service projects such as yard cleaning, bulk mailings, painting, older adult activities, sorting books at a school, delivering meals on wheels and so much more. If your business, organization, or group of friends would like to participate contact United Way. All teams or individuals must sign up by Wednesday, June 5th.
If you think your home or business may become flooded this spring, minimize damage and risks to health and the environment by preparing in advance. Take all hazardous or toxic products that you no longer need to your county’s household hazardous waste collection facility, and move those you still have a use for to a location that will not become flooded. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has other advice for preparing for flooding on its website.
All dogs and cats in the city of Montevideo must be licensed. The fee is $20 and is good for the life of the animal. Registration can be done at Perfect Paws (dog and cat pound) and at the police department. You will get a tag with a number for the animal. If it is picked up by the police department, the city will attempt to contact you. Responsible ownership includes vaccination, licensing and restraint of animals. There is a maximum of 4 animals allowed at residences, of which, only three can be dogs.
Tonight (Tuesday) at 6:30, key members of U.S. Senator Al Franken’s staff will be at the Willmar High School to lead a ‘college affordability resource night’ to help area families understand their best options for paying for college. Senator Franken’s Minnesota Education Advisor Dan Solomon will lead the event, which will include financial aid information and a presentation from a local college financial aid counselor. The event is free and open to the public.
The city of Olivia is asking its homeowners and business owners to evaluate their own building for proper address signage. You need to have a clear and visible street address and located so emergency vehicles can easily find your home if the need arises. This is an important public safety issue, and in each and every case, saving a few minutes could be crucial.
Following the passage of the House Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Finance Committee, legislators are waiting for the senate version of the bill to pass and reconcile the differences in Conference Committee. The bill contains a funding increase to the Department of Natural Resources for additional monitoring wells to track drought and the state's aquifers. Representative Andrew Falk of rural Murdock says the State of Minnesota needs to have the tools necessary to know where water is and how the state can more appropriately react to water crises. The bill passed in the Minnesota House on a 69-61 vote.
On Thursday night, students at the Morris Elementary School will be giving several concerts. The first grade students will sing at 6:30 and second grade students will follow at 7:30. Both concerts will be held in the elementary concert hall.
The Morris City Council will meet tonight (Tuesday) at 5:15 in the Morris Senior Center. The council will officially open the sale of a $3 million bond issue. The bonds will pay the upfront costs for the demolition of the old Morris school complex, a road construction project on the city's west side, and for the refinance of a 2006 bond.
The University of Minnesota, Morris will host its monthly Soup & Substance discussion today (Tuesday) at six in Imholte Hall 112. The event will explore the issue of e-waste, or discarded electrical and electronic devices. The conversation will address the environmental impact of discarding these devices, especially that faced by countries in the third world. Soup & Substance is open to all who wish to share their opinions and experiences. Everyone is welcome to join the discussion and enjoy a free meal.
On the heels of major education legislation that will be taken up at the State Capitol, Governor Dayton and DFL legislators held a ‘pep rally’ to call for historic new investments in education. Joined by education advocates, parents, students and teachers, Governor Dayton and DFL leaders talked about their shared priorities to invest in a stronger Minnesota future by making education a top priority. Dayton said they’re going to have a broad commitment to increasing funding for education all the way from early childhood through all day kindergarten through post secondary because they know that that’s the key to the future of our state.
Yesterday afternoon (Monday), the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office received a report of abandoned property found near the business of Precast Systems within the city of Darwin. The property is an older “E-Z-Go” brand golf cart, white in color, with a canopy that was found abandoned in a snow bank. The caller indicated the golf cart has been on their property for several days before he contacted the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office. The owner of this golf cart may contact the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office to reclaim their property.
Last night (Monday), the Minnesota House of Representatives approved the Omnibus Health and Human Services bill by a 70-64 vote. The bill reduces the Health and Human Services budget by $150 million over two years through targeted cuts, reforms, and re-prioritization while still protecting the poor and vulnerable. The bill achieves cost savings in several ways. It finds $66 million through managed care payment reforms. It makes about $93 million in targeted reductions to existing programs and reforms of services in areas like dental and prescription drugs. Representative Andrew Falk of rural Murdock says this is an excellent bill and it puts our state in a better path for better health care outcomes for our citizens after a decade of really kind of putting health care on the back burner with a significant amount of cuts and disinvestment. He said people who work in health care, namely the people who work in nursing homes and long term care, are finally going to see some increases in their wages and they’re going to make sure we have more Minnesotans covered at better results for less costs. Falk said it’s a very good step in the right direction and he’s thankful to have been able to vote yes.
Tonight (Tuesday), at 6:30, key members of U.S. Sen. Al Franken's staff will be at the Willmar High School to lead a "College Affordability Resource Night" to help area families understand their best options for paying for college. The event will be led by Sen. Franken's Minnesota Education Advisor Dan Solomon and will include financial aid information and a presentation from a local college financial aid counselor. The meeting is one of several Sen. Franken's staff will hold around the state. The event is free and open to the public.
The Highway 4 reconstruction project in Cosmos began yesterday (Monday), according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The detour follows Highway 4 north to Highway 7, then east to Meeker County Road 1, north to County Road 28, and west to Highway 4. Traffic on Highway 7 will not be affected by the detour. The reconstruction includes grading, paving, sidewalk construction, watermain replacement, sewer construction, landscaping and installation of pedestrian accessible ramps and signals. It is split into several stages and is expected to be complete in October. Stage one of the project consists of construction on Highway 4 from Highway 7 to Northern Cross Avenue and construction of East Gemini Avenue. Stage two construction is from the south fork of the Crow River to Highway 7. The total cost of the project is $4.48 Million and includes a $1.96 Million Better Roads grant awarded as part of the Transportation, Community, and System Preservation Program.
This is National Crime Victims’ Rights week, according to U.S. Attorney James Todd. Thetheme of this year’s observance, “New Challenges, New Solutions,” honors local champions of crime victims’ rights and celebrates the spirit that will advance the progress these heroes have to date achieved. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Minnesota has a dedicated Victim-Witness team. In addition to ensuring compliance with victims’ rights, as set forth in federal statute, team members accompany crime victims to court, make referrals for counseling, and assist in accessing victim compensation funds. Another way in which U.S. Attorney offices assist federal crime victims is by recovering the monetary losses incurred by them during the related crime. The federal government also assists victims of violent crime by paying for related expenses, such as lost wages, counseling, and medical costs.
Jury selection in the Timothy Huber murder trial began yesterday (Monday) in Kandiyohi County District Court. Nine jurors were selected, with jury selection continuing today (Tuesday). 47 year old Huber is charged with first and second degree murder in the shooting death of 43 year old Timothy Larson of Albertville in October of 2011.
MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle was in Willmar yesterday (Monday) along with some other MnDOT staff. One of the discussion items was filling in the gap as far as Highway 23. He also discussed the legislative process to look at transportation funding. Zelle indicated there is a disconnect as far as the expenditure in transportation, and the significant decrease in purchasing power. Kandiyohi County Board Chair Harlan Madsen says there were a number of individuals present from the Chamber, business, private and government sector. Madsen said there was a video that was shown. There was a test to get some feedback as far as creating a public information media effort to educate, inform and engage persons in not only the purpose in the transportation funding but how important and intricate involved all of transportation is and connects us in our lives.