Three agricultural experts will be featured at the 29th annual Farm Outlook Seminar on March 13th at the Southwest Minnesota State University Conference Center. This seminar raises scholarship dollars for SMSU’s agricultural programs and features nationally-known experts discussing topics such as weather, crop outlook, livestock strategies and prices as they relate to the upcoming spring farm session. Registration is from 8-9, followed by the speakers. The pre-registration deadline is March 8th. Contact the SMSU Foundation in Marshall.
The Center for Small Towns is working with Springboard for the Arts to co-host the 2013 Rural Arts and Culture Summit ‘Leveraging Arts and Culture to Build Thriving Communities.” It’s happening June 5th and 6th at the U of M, Morris. The RAC Summit will guide its attendees in how best to utilize arts as a tool for sustaining rural Minnesota’s economic vitality and strength through innovative partnerships between community leaders and artists.
Applications for the new RN to BSN degree program at Southwest Minnesota State University will be evaluated during March according to Director of Nursing Jane Wrede. Between 25-30 nurses will be accepted into the program each fall and spring semester. Students will enter the program with at least a two year nursing degree, and will take 60 additional credits, 30 of them nursing credits and 30 of them liberal arts credits. The program will be delivered, primarily online.
A new four month education series featuring information about memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will kick off in Alexandria on March 14th and run monthly through June 13th. The classes will be held the second Thursday night of the month from 6-7:30 at the Douglas County Public Works Facility. ‘Get the Facts’ Educating Series is designed to provide information and education and to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. The classes are free and open to anyone who wants to attend.
The Alexandria City Council Monday heard from its building administrator regarding activities in the city. In 2012 the building department, reviewed, processed and issued 1,030 permits within the city compared to 1,214 in 2011. City Administrator Jim Taddei says the council also approved a subordination agreement by a property owner who is refinancing their home and the city has an existing loan with them for building improvements. The council also approved the re-plat of the Government Point Area to identify the descriptions of the property, the right-of-way and securing some easements for the city’s waterline extension this year. The council also accepted a petition from Boise Avenue property owners for street improvements. The city engineer will prepare a report on the improvements.
U.S. Senator Al Franken will chair the Energy Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He plans to use his new role to help promote Minnesota’s and the nation’s renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors and to create manufacturing jobs. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar has been named Senate Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, the bicameral Congressional committee responsible for overseeing matters relating to the U.S. economy and recommending policies to move the economy forward.
If you would like to introduce a child to ice fishing, you can do so without a fishing license from this Saturday to Monday during Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says those 16 or older can fish without a license provided they are helping a youth younger than 16. Mike Kurre with the DNR says it takes little equipment and even less expertise. He says they need to do a little planning and they don’t have to be afraid to ask a nearby angler to drill a hole or two. Most of them will be glad to help. He also warns that ice is never completely safe, even in mid-winter. Check with a local bait shop or people familiar with ice conditions before heading out on the lake.
The New London Spicer School Board has approved the Ag Structures Project House contract and have sold the house they’re currently building this year. They contracted with a family interested in purchasing the home, and they’ll be working with the class as they complete the construction of the project. The board also approved West Central Integration Collaborative revenue for 2013-14. Supt. Paul Carlson says the revenue for the collaborative is up in the air right now. Last year the state legislature expired the revenue at the end of this school year but organized a task force. The task force has recommendations to maintain the revenue for school districts currently receiving that revenue. The board approved moving forward with the understanding there may be some changes during the current legislative session to approve the fiscal 2014 revenue of $146,984, a light increase from last year. It’s based on the number of students times $92 they have at New London-Spicer.
There was a house fire at the Daniel Hulke home in Brandon Monday morning. It was fully engulfed in flames when the Brandon Fire Department and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene. There was no one home at the time of the fire. It appears the fire started in an outside wood stove.
Representative Andrew Falk says they’ve been getting overviews from the agencies, and one of the most recent ones was from the pollution control agency looking at a lot of the programs they are administrating throughout the state. Falk says one of the jobs they have to deal with is making sure the programs and policies they’re asking them to accomplish are being implemented correctly and that they’re getting results for the dollars they appropriate to them. One of the areas where they want to see results and specifically they talked about was recycling and what they can do to further encourage that. It’s just a good policy overall, he said because Minnesotans benefit, it reduces cost, things become more efficient and its one of the things they have to continue to focus on is outcomes to make sure they’re achieving these goals and moving forward.
Pioneer Public Television will premiere the next episode of Postcards on Sunday night at seven with “Detroit Lakes Music & Rural Art”. This episode takes one to Detroit Lakes, to hear two special musicians performing at the historic Holmes Theater. Jam along to the laid-back, bluegrass music of Hardwood Groove, a local celebrity in the community. Plus experience the folk melodies of Caroline Smith. From there it’s to Evansville to see John House’s nationally renowned wildlife art. The twenty local productions of Postcards capture stories about Minnesota art, history and cultural heritage, with funding provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
A new project which the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is helping Minnesota restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses with is transition to paperless receipt systems. The goal of the project is to reduce paper waste and generation of the chemical bisphenol A [BISS-fen-all-A], or B-P-A, which is used in thermal receipt papers. Though B-P-A-free thermal papers are being marketed to retailers, the most common substitute, bisphenol S, has shown the same endocrine-disrupting properties as B-P-A. BPA is associated with reproductive problems, obesity and diabetes in mice. In humans, it is an endocrine disruptor that has been linked with the proliferation of breast cancer cells.
The Renville County West School Board met Monday night. The board approved the district putting together a request for proposals on the replacement of the district’s older outside doors. Supt. Jon Widby says they also approved the integration revenue budget for fiscal year 2014, and formally approved the PTO project for some tree planting and other amentias around the playground equipment. They also talked about paring in athletics, primarily looking at football. They also discussed the crisis management plan, determining more work needs to be done on that.
29 year old Michael Underland of Bird Island has been found guilty of two felony counts of second and third degree assault in the stabbing of a man last February at a home in Spicer. A one day jury trial was held Tuesday in front of District Court Judge Donald Spilseth. Underland will be sentenced March 11th.