Minnesota GreenCorps is recruiting host sites and AmeriCorp members. This is a program that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency started in 2009. Available positions for the upcoming Minnesota GreenCorps program year, which begins in September, are in the areas of energy conservation, waste prevention, living green, and green infrastructure. In the past, cities, counties, school districts, universities, and nonprofit organizations served as hosts for Minnesota GreenCorps projects. Applications to be a host site are due May 6. Minnesota GreenCorps presents opportunities for those who are about to graduate from college or are contemplating a career change. Applications to become an AmeriCorp member are due June 7.
The Southwest Minnesota Arts & Humanities Council has awarded $75,546 in art project grants. Included in those grants was the New London Music Festival; The Barn Theatre in Willmar; Willmar Area Arts Council; Prairie Winds Concert Band; ’52 Wing Restoration Committee; Litchfield Community Theatre; and the Granite Falls Area Community Theatre. The council also awarded $26,656 in arts organization/development; equipment and facilities grant. The Willmar Area Arts Council was one of the recipients of that grant.
There was a review and update of the student handbooks when the New London-Spicer School Board met this week. Supt. Paul Carlson says there were highlights and changes from last year for all the handbooks. Carlson says Instructor Jason Schorn was at the meeting with the itinerary for the June, 2014 trip they’re planning to Washington D.C. After the presentation of the four day trip and reviewing the itinerary and reviewing the cost of the trip, the school board unanimously approved the trip for students in grade 6-8 who want to attend. He said they’ll highlight and promote this event for the students.
The jury has been selected in the murder trial for 47 year old Timothy Huber of rural Paynesville. Opening statements and testimony will start tomorrow morning (Thursday). Huber is charged with first and second degree murder in the shooting death of 43 year old Tim Larson of Albertville on Oct. 8th, 2011. Huber’s father, 82 year old Delbert Huber, pled guilty to shooting Larson and is serving a 30 year prison term. Tim Huber has been held in the Kandiyohi County Jail on a million dollar bail since his arrest.
A group of parents and teachers attended the Morris School Board meeting Monday night to lobby the board for an additional school counselor position. The district currently employs one counselor for nearly 1,000 students. The school board is considering their budget for the coming school year and the parent and community group asked the board to prioritize adding a second counselor.
After an increase in Distracted Driving enforcement, police officers are tallying the number and ways in which Minnesota drivers ignore the road. Minnesota State Patrol Sergeant Jesse Grabow says troopers pulled over a driver who was knitting behind the wheel. In addition to the distraction, Grabow notes that in the event of a crash, the driver would have been at a greatly increased risk for injury, with sharp instruments between the driver, the steering wheel, and deployed air bags. The Prevent Distracted Driving campaign continues through the end of April.
The Morris City Council met last night (Tuesday), officially opening 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 refinance a 2005 bond. A public hearing was also held for an ordinance to authorize the Morris Police Department to complete criminal history background checks on potential city employees.
The Minnesota House passed the Omnibus E-12 Education Finance and Policy Bill last night (Tuesday) on a bipartisan vote of 83-50. Representative Andrew Falk of rural Murdock says the bill sets the goal of closing the achievement gap, reaching a 100 percent high school graduation rate, 100 percent literacy by third grade, and 100 percent career and college readiness by graduation, all by 2027. He said this is a really good bill for our schools and our school kids. Falk said it’s the most important investment they’ve made in education in over a decade. “We fully pay back the money borrowed from our schools by previous administrations. We actually invest in all day, every day kindergarten, and we invest in the basic per pupil funding formula. It’s a very good bill for rural schools and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to support it.”
There will be a mock crash at the KMS High School in Kerkhoven on May 3rd, and Dean Nichols, maintenance worker for the city, and who also serves on the ambulance, was approved to take a day off to work with the mock crash. The city council met Monday night and also approved a request from a company to burn some CRP land owned by Marian Larson. Mayor Brian Thompson says they also discussed the city’s swimming pool. Kim Harkema, city clerk, said the pool board has met and will open the pool June 3. They’ll have a family fun night fundraiser on June 26. The prices will stay the same. The family rate for the season is $130; individual rate $55; and the daily rate is at $3 per day.
The Litchfield School Board met Monday night, during which interim Supt. Dan Fraizer reported on the history of teachers’ salaries in Litchfield. He says for the last two years teacher salaries in the district have risen above the state average. He says it’s a trying time for all teachers across the state of Minnesota when the state has not had the money to fund public education and teachers have had to settle for less but the board has been making some strides in Litchfield. In other business. The last day of school for the district has been pushed back from Tuesday, June 4th to Wednesday, June 5th for the students. That means for the teachers the last day is Thursday, June 6th. “Of course that is assuming no further snow days yet this April or May” said Fraizer.
Tomorrow night (Thursday) at 6:30, a Civil War documentary titled ‘From Wasioja to Washington: a Civil War Story’ will be presented at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society in Willmar. This is a Civil War documentary that tells the story of what happened to the men and boys from Wasioja and Dodge County. This film tells how “The Boys of Wasioja” were recruited from Northwestern College Seminary to muster at Fort Snelling as the Second Minnesota Company C. The film follows the men and boys through the Battle of Mill Springs, The Battle of Chickamauga, the march to Atlanta and the march to the sea with General Sherman, the routing of South Carolina to the Grand March at war’s end. The film then follows these brave men as they mustered out at Fort Snelling.
The Alexandria City Council Monday night reviewed some of the requirements they’ve set with the Vikings Speedway over the years. That item was tabled and referred to the legislative committee. They will bring a recommendation to the next council meeting. City Administrator Jim Taddi says the airport manager was at the meeting regarding a request for proposals for consulting services at the airport. Taddei says ever five years or so, under FAA requirements, they have to do that. The recommendation was to use the services provided by TKDA Consulting firms. The council concurred with that and approved entering into a contract. The airport manager also asked about the farm lease of property around the airport to the adjoining property owner. this was approved.