At last week’s Kandiyohi County Road and Bridge meeting there was discussion about replacing the bridge on County Road 7 just north of Raymond in the golf course area. Public Works Director Gary Danielson says the plan is to replace the bridge with two, 16-foot wide by 12-feet high box culverts. There’ll be a total opening there of 32 feet, according to Danielson. There’s a bridge in place now, he said, but the piles are rotted on the bridge so they have to quickly get something in there before those rotted piles cause a serious restriction in truck traffic. That project is expected to cost $280,000 to $300,000. He’s hopeful they can find some money to do that this year.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) there is a special city council election in Ward 4 to replace the term of Doug Reese, who was elected to the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners in November. Candidates for the position are Jay Lawton and Audrey Nelson.
Friday, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office was called to a garage fire at the Thomas Schwieters residence in Melrose, Grove Township. An unattached garage was fully engulfed on arrival. Items in the garage included two ATVs, two vehicles, a skid loader and snowmobile. The garage was a total loss. At this time the cause of the fire is undetermined. The fire remains under investigation. The Melrose Police assisted at the scene.
One person was killed in a crash Saturday on County Road 195 in Zion Township according to the Stearns County Sheriff’s office. A 2001 Chevrolet Silverado was traveling south on 195 when it left the roadway, rolled on its side and landed in a drainage ditch. The 45 year old male driver was ejected out of the passenger side window. He was not wearing a seatbelt. The man was taken to the Paynesville Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The crash is under investigation.
The Midwest Medical Examiners from Anoka identified the individual who died February 7thin a fire at the Westcourt Apartments in Olivia. The deceased is 64 year old Billy Camper of Olivia. Camper’s family has been contacted and funeral arrangements are pending according to Derek Lee, Olivia Chief of Police. He says the manner and cause of death is pending the receipt of final laboratory results. He says they will release additional information pertaining to this case as soon as the lab results are received by his office.
The Renville County Board of Commissioners has passed an ordinance authorizing and regulating open burning within Renville County. Cities may further restrict burning within the boundaries of their jurisdiction. The ordinance includes a general permit, which allows for the open burning of wood and vegetative material only, either piled or a running fire. Wood is defined as trees, shrubs and clean, unpainted lumber. The burning of standing buildings is not allow, except by special permit from the DNR to fire departments for training purposes. The most significant change outlined in the new ordinance is that to burn in rural Renville County, property owners and occupants no longer need to obtain a burning permit from the license bureau or pay the associated feed. They will still need to notify the sheriff’s department.
26 year old Markee Colquitte, 30 year old Christopher Patton and Katie Colquitte were arrested last week after an investigation by the West Central Minnesota Narcotics Task Force and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. They were charged with second and third degree controlled substance crimes, and Katie Colquitte was also charged with child endangerment. The two men are in custody in the Douglas County Jail. Katie Colquitte was released after paying bail. Patton’s next court hearing is March 1st. The hearing for the other two is March 4th. Assisting in the investigation were the Alexandria Police Department and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Saturday night, the Meeker County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of an injured horse lying in the roadway near the intersection of MN Highway 55 and County State Aid Highway 34, Forest Prairie Township. The deputy stood by while the owner was contacted at which time they returned and retrieved the horse. Also assisting was the Eden Valley Police Department.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will not open a 2013 moose hunting season or consider opening future seasons until the population recovers. The moose population declined 35 percent from last year and 52 percent since 2010. Representative Andrew Falk of rural Murdock is glad to see the swift response. He says this dramatic decrease is alarming and right not it’s important to remove any excess pressure on our moose population until we understand what’s causing the decline. To help solve why moose are rapidly dying, the DNR is leading the largest and most high tech multi-partner moose research effort ever initiated.
State Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen says the Minnesota Insurance Marketplace Act that was passed by the Tax Committee on a party line vote, continues to move through committees. A substantial amendment was adopted that changed the funding mechanism for the exchange from a 3.5 percent withhold on insurance premiums to a transfer of funds from the health impact fund to cover the cost of exchange operations. He says the bill is being heard in the Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Division of the Finance Committee where he serves as the Republican lead.