The PRCA Gallery in Morris has planned a mask and puppet-making workshop for August 12-14, featuring two artists from the Twin Cities. The mask making class will be held from 12:30-3:30 each of the three days and puppets will be made from 5-8 daily. Classes will be held on the UMM campus. This event is sponsored by the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance with cooperation from the CNIA Native American Gardeners. All ages are welcome; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. For information and to register contact the PRCA or Morris Area Community Education.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar has been named to the Farm Bill Conference committee, which is responsible for crafting the final version of the legislation. Klobuchar, who is a member of the Senate Agricultural Committee, says farmers across the country deserve the certainty of a long-term farm bill. The Senate Farm Bill reduces the deficit by $24 billion, strengthens the crop insurance program, eliminates direct payments, supports dairy producers and includes nutrition programs for Minnesota families, a strong energy title, as well as strong conservation programs.
Back to school is fast approaching and state health officials are reminding parents to make sure their children have the benefit of being fully vaccinated against any array of potentially serious childhood diseases. For copies of your child’s vaccination records, talk to your doctor or contact the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has released a draft revision of the Minnesota Nitrogen Fertilizer Management plan for public comment. This plan is the state’s blueprint for prevention or minimization of the impacts of nitrogen fertilizer on groundwater. The revised plan includes extensive testing of private wells in areas with row crop agriculture and groundwater; an emphasis on involving local farmers and communities in problem solving for local groundwater concerns; consideration of alternative land management and cropping practices in highly valuable areas. There will be a series of public meetings across the state during September.
The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners meet this morning (Tuesday) at ten in the Health and Human Services Building. Agenda items include a grant agreement; information on the feedlot rule revision; an update on the Middle Fork Crow River aquatic invasive species; a Hawk Creek Low Interest loan obligation; an appointment to the Southwest Minnesota EMS board of directors; and more. The board meets as a Human Services committee at nine, prior to the board meeting.
Paul Olson, president of the National Farmers Organization, will be the featured speaker at the state National Farmers Convention at the Greenwald Pub in Greenwald, near Sauk Centre. The event is Saturday morning, August 17th at 9:30. A new director will be elected to the national board, there will be reports from the various commodity departments, and a number of resolutions on current issues will be passed.
This afternoon (Tuesday) at 1:15, U.S. Senator Al Franken, will be at FarmFest where he will meet with Minnesota producers and farm leaders and be part of an afternoon panel discussion on energy from the FarmFest Center stage. Franken, a member of the Senate Energy Committee, will be part of a panel discussion on the "Future Direction of Renewable Energy Policy." Other panelists will include Doug O’Brien, USDA Undersecretary for Rural Development; Dave Frederickson, Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture; Rep. Mike Beard, State Representative, MN House Energy Policy Committee; Doug Bervan, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, POET; Jon Brekke, Great River Energy; and Tom Haag, President, MN Corn Growers Assn.
The Morris Area High School Student Council, FFA, and BPA are putting together school supplies for high school students in need. Student Council Advisor Peg Rinkenberger says students partnered with Stevens County Human Services to get backpacks to students who need them. Items appropriate for elementary students are also welcome and are passed on to the elementary school to provide students. Donations are needed by August 13 for timely distribution. You can leave donations at the Morris Area High School office or the district office.
The Stevens County Board of Commissioners will get their first look at the preliminary 2014 budget today (Tuesday) at nine on the second floor of the courthouse. The budget includes projected expenditure of $13.4 million, a 0.76% increase over 2013. The preliminary budget includes a proposed levy of $6.6 million, a 4.28%. Also, the board will discuss employee health insurance and compliance with the Federal Affordable Care Act. The board meets onTuesday, August 6 at 9:00 a.m. on the second floor of the Stevens County Courthouse.
The American Red Cross will be in West Central Minnesota in the coming weeks, hoping to avoid a summer blood shortage. Wednesday, the bloodmobile will be in Kerkhoven at the Civic Center from 2-7. Also on Wednesday, donations are accepted at the Dawson Community Center from 1-7. On Thursday, the bloodmobile will set up in Madison at the Calvary Baptist Church from noon-6 and at St. John's Catholic Church in Appleton from 1-7. The bloodmobile will be in Benson at the Armory from 8-1on Friday. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.
Representative Paul Anderson of Starbuck will meet with the members of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association today (Tuesday) in Alexandria. Agriculture is a huge component in our state’s economy, he says, especially in his area. He’s looking forward to sharing thoughts regarding the state of the milk industry and discuss issues.
The Willmar Community-Owned Grocery has hired Zack Liebl as their new Outreach Coordinator. The COG is a planned cooperative that will be a full-service grocery store offering local, fresh, and quality food which will support a healthy and connected community. The part-time Outreach Coordinator position is responsible for helping to grow the number of COG member-owners, speak to various groups and organizations, to recruit and work with volunteers, and to evaluate and track the COG membership. In addition to the Outreach Coordinator position, Liebl is working under an Otto-Bremer Foundation grant at Habitat for Humanity of West Central Minnesota as the Volunteer and Family Services Coordinator. Also, Liebl is currently the rear-detachment company commander for the 850th Horizontal Engineering Company based in Cambridge.
The names of those involved in the two vehicle crash Saturday that sent two people to the Melrose Hospital by ambulance, and two to the St. Cloud Hospital via air ambulance, have been released. According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, 30 year old Joshua Ainali of Sauk Centre was traveling east on County Road 37, attempted to turn north onto Mary’s Lake Road, when a vehicle driven by 24 year old Christopher Lehner of Uppsala struck the driver’s door. Lehner was traveling east and attempting to pass a third vehicle that was not involved in the crash. The passengers were 22 year old Jeremy Becker and 27 year old Cody Becker, both of Grey Eagle. The crash remains under investigation. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash, and Lehner was later arrested and is in the Stearns County Jail pending two counts of criminal vehicular operation.
Yesterday (Monday) six people were involved in a two vehicle sideswipe crash at the intersection of Highways 4 and 68 in Brown County. The Minnesota State Patrol says 27 year old Shaila Boerner of Redwood Falls was traveling east and 59 year old Michael Lux of Sleepy Eye was traveling west when they collided in the westbound lane. Boerner suffered non-life threatening injuries as did Lux, and a four year old passenger in the Boerner vehicle. Injuries to three others in the Boerner vehicle were not documented.
22 year old Esequiel Gomez Jr. of Texas appeared in Kandiyohi County District Court yesterday (Monday) where he was sentenced for sexually assaulting a teenager near the footbridge by the railroad tracks in Willmar last year. Judge Donald Spilseth sentenced Gomez to 117 months in prison, gave him credit for serving 351 days, a conditional release after confinement of ten years, ordered him to register as a predatory offender and pay restitution. Also, Texas officials are seeking to extradite Gomez on a murder charge.
The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a one vehicle crash involving a 17 year old juvenile. The crash happened on Stearns County Road 54 by the public landing on Lower Spunk Lake in Avon. Officers found the vehicle had hit a power pole, and the pole was leaning at a steep angle over the roadway. The juvenile said he was traveling east on County Road 54, fell asleep and woke in time to see the electric pole in front of him but not in time to not hit the pole. Both air bags were deployed. The family denied transport to the hospital. The crash remains under investigation.