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NEWS-Apr 3
News Director: Bev Alquist Call with news at 320-235-2900 or email bahlquist@k-musicradio.com

News Archive

Harvest Community Church in Willmar is having its spring clothing exchange next week. Kirsten Jenson of Willmar says it’s happening Friday, April 12th from noon to seven. They’re also accepting donations Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week from ten to six. Friday, April 12th is when the actual clothing exchange is and you can come and get free clothes from noon to seven at Harvest which is located on 905 Litchfield Avenue Southwest Willmar.

A Community Coffee will be held in honor of University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler on Saturday morning, April 6th at 9 in Welcome Center 122 at the U of M, Morris. The public is invited to this casual "meet-and-greet" event hosted by Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson. President Kaler and his wife, Karen, will be visiting Morris to attend the 2013 Jazz Fest on Friday, April 5th.

The three state legislators representing District 18 will co-host town hall meetings in cafes in Litchfield and Hutchinson on April 6th and April 13th. Representative Dean Urdahl of Action Township and Senator Scott Newman of Hutchinson will attend the Litchfield meeting on  Saturday morning, April 6th at 10 at the Main Street Café. Joining Urdahl and Newman on Saturday morning, April 13th at nine at the Hutch Café in Hutchinson is Representative Glenn Gruenhagen of Glencoe.

The Minnesota Farmers Union is hosting the Inaugural Women’s Leadership Conference April 27th and 28th at the Ramada Plaza in Minneapolis. Women are one of the fastest-growing segments of new farmers. MFU President Doug Peterson encourages all women from outside and within the agricultural community to spend the weekend growing, sharing and connecting with other motivated women.

Kids and adults who have a 2013 Minnesota hunting or fishing license can buy discounted tickets online to six Minnesota Twins baseball games and receive a free regulation blaze orange Twins logo baseball cap as part of a special promotion with the Department of Natural Resources. Hunting, fishing and the Twins are all big parts of Minnesota’s culture, says Jenifer Wical, DNR customer enhancement manager. The special rate starts with the April 13 home game against the New York Mets. It also includes home games April 27-28 against the Texas Rangers, Aug. 3 against the Houston Astros, Aug. 18 against the Chicago White Sox and Sept. 7 against the Toronto Blue Jays. Discounted ticket prices range from $12 to $20, depending on the game. A limited number of tickets are available for each game and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The offer is available online only.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) nongame wildlife program is recruiting volunteers for a frog and toad calling survey to help track the health of the state’s 14 species. This effort is part of the nationwide North American amphibian monitoring program. Heidi Cyr, frog and toad survey volunteer coordinator, says many frog and toad species are indicators of habitat quality and provide valuable information on the condition of Minnesota’s wetlands. The volunteers’ reports also help track the health of the state’s frog and toad populations. Participants will conduct nighttime “listening surveys” on three evenings between April and July.  These 10-stop routes are run after dark in good weather and in each of the following time periods to capture seasonal variation in calling frog species: April 15 – 30 (early spring), May 20 - June 5 (late spring), and June 25 - July 10 (summer). Participants record their information on datasheets in their volunteer kit. 

A local transportation company is getting help at the Minnesota Legislature. A bill benefiting Rainbow Rider, an on-demand bus service, would plan for more bus garages across the 6 counties the company serves. Representative Jay McNamar of Elbow Lake says more bus garages, rather than a centralized bus barn, would improve efficiency. New barns would be located across the region, in Elbow Lake, Lowry, Glenwood and Alexandria. Buses are currently housed primarily in a bus barn in Lowry. Rainbow Rider provides transportation services in Stevens, Pope, Douglas, Traverse, Grant and Todd Counties.

The Barnes-Aastad Association in Morris will hold its annual membership meeting tomorrow morning (Thursday) at 10:15 in the Conference Room of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service ("Soils Lab") in Morris. Agenda items include a report by the association's delegates who recently visited Washington, D.C. to lobby lawmakers; and information from Dr. Sharon Clay, president of the American Society of Agronomy and professor at South Dakota State University, who will speak on the state of agriculture and agricultural research.

Another scheduling conference has been planned in the salary appeal filed by Stevens County Auditor-Treasurer Neil Wiese. On Friday, Wiese's case will be taken up by Judge David Mennis, seated in Swift County. Following the budget and salary review process in late 2012, Stevens County Commissioners set Wiese's salary and the budget for the Office of Auditor/Treasurer, along with the budgets and salaries for the county's other elected officials. Wiese's appeal alleges the board acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner. The scheduling conference will determine when the court will hear arguments from both sides.

The American Red Cross will be in West-Central Minnesota this month, hosting blood drives in several counties. The Bloodmobile will be in Big Stone, Stevens, Swift, and Yellow Medicine Counties in the later part of the month. On Tuesday, April 16, the Bloodmobile will be at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Chokio from 1-6. On Wednesday, April 17, you can donate at the Hancock school from 1-7. On Thursday, April 18 the bloodmobile will be in Graceville from noon to six at the Holy Rosary Church. Red Cross volunteers will also be in Appleton on April 18 from 2-7 at the Word Fellowship Church.

One hundred years after it was founded, the Swift County-Benson Hospital Foundation’s annual fundraising event is "Celebrating a Century of Caring." The eighteenth annual Emerald Eve is being billed as an evening of “celebrating the past, present and future” of the hospital and the healthcare services it has provided for the area for over 100 years. Hospital CEO Frank Lawatsch has announced that proceeds from this year’s fundraiser will be used to purchase a replacement analyzer for the new laboratory which is part of the hospital remodeling project underway. The project includes construction of a new clinic. This year’s Emerald Eve is Friday night, April 12, at McKinney’s on Southside. The evening starts with social hour at 6:30 followed by dinner, a timeline presentation showcasing the 100 years of Swift County-Benson Hospital, a silent auction, a live auction and a wine fundraiser.

The Glenwood Police Department is continuing to investigate the March 24th armed robbery of the Cenex Convenience Store in Glenwood. You’re asked to contact the police department if you have any information about this. A large amount of money was taken and the robbers fled on foot. They’re both described as Caucasian men, one of them between five foot seven and six feet tall with blonde facial hair. The other is shorter and has a thin build. They were both wearing masks and clothing to disguise their appearance. One was armed with a knife and a handgun. The store clerk was not harmed.

Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin wants to remind everyone that the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office along with several hundred other law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Minnesota will be conducting enhanced traffic enforcement during the month of April as part of the Safe and Sober campaign. The focus of this enhanced safe and sober enforcement will be primarily on seatbelt and distracted driving violations. The goal of the enhanced enforcement is to reduce the risk of death and serious injuries caused by distracted drivers and those who choose not to wear seatbelts. Sheriff Norlin would also like to remind you about the child safety seat and booster seat laws in Minnesota as well. A child who is both under age 8 and shorter than 4 foot 9 inches is required to be fastened in a child safety or booster seat. It is recommended to keep a child in a booster based on their height, rather than their age. Also children under age 13 should ride in the rear seat of a vehicle.

The Minnesota State Patrol was called to Highway 15 north of Hutchinson in McLeod County for a sideswipe crash yesterday (Tuesday). According to the state patrol, both vehicles were traveling south on Highway 15. 80 year old Eugene Johnson of Dassel attempted to pass 50 year old Robert Klapotz of Hutchinson and was sideswiped by Klapotz. Klapotz sustained minor injuries. Johnson and his 71 year old passenger, Carol Johnson of Mansfield, PA, were not injured.

A two vehicle crash yesterday morning (Tuesday) north of Kandiyohi at the intersection of County Road 8 and 60th Avenue Northeast, injured two people. 39 year old Miranda Timlin of Richmond was traveling south on County Road 8, and 66 year old Karen Kaufenberg of Spicer was travel east on 60th Avenue. They collided at the intersection. Both Timlin and Kaufenberg were taken to Rice Hospital in Willmar.

An update on what’s happening with the Phase 1 Remodel of the downtown county office building was given by Kandiyohi County Administrator Larry Kleindl at the county board meeting yesterday (Tuesday). The commissioners approved moving forward with the remodel, the goal of which is to eventually have everyone in the building on the main floor. Kleindl said the work will begin in the next few weeks, and the building will remain open throughout the process.

If you want to learn more about Project Lifesaver, contact the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office. The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer's, autism, and other related conditions or disorders. Kandiyohi County has offered this program since 2005. Enrolled citizens wear a small personal transmitter around the wrist or ankle that emits an individualized tracking signal. If a client goes missing the caregiver notifies the Sheriff's Office, and trained deputies respond to the wander's last observed location. The sheriff’s office supplies transmitters and batteries at no cost to the client. This program is paid for by the driver awareness program. Batteries are checked daily by the caregiver and monthly by a deputy. Ten deputies that are certified search specialists and they work closely with each individual client enrolled.

The American Cancer Society is seeking 300,000 volunteers nationwide to take part in the Cancer Prevention Study 3. In Minnesota, they’re looking for about 4,000 participants and enrollment starts this week. The most recent study found a link between obesity and ten common cancers. The first study led to evidence linking smoking and lung cancer. Those taking part in this study start with a half hour appointment. From there they just fill out a short survey at home every year or two for the next 20 to 30 years.

Nine new conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are on the job following 16 weeks of field training. The new officers and their field stations include Caleb Silgjord, Sauk Centre. All the conservation officers have previous law enforcement experience. The 16-week field training followed graduation last October from the 12-week Conservation Officer Academy at Camp Ripley. During field training the recruit is paired with an experienced conservation officer to gain on-the-job training for natural resources management and law enforcement-related activities before receiving their initial field station assignment.

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