Representative Paul Anderson of rural Starbuck says the ripple effect of new taxes the governor is proposing may be felt throughout the state economy. He says he’s also been told ag related purchases won’t be directly impacted. Anderson said of the $3.7 billion in new taxes proposed by the governor, $2.1 billion would come from extending the state sales tax to goods and services which previously were exempt. Those would include clothing items over $100 per item; club memberships; over-the-counter drugs; personal care services; auto repair services; 94 cents per pack additional tax on cigarettes; a 25 percent increase in income taxes on the highest two percent of earners; a snowbird tax and more.
The two finalists for the president of Southwest Minnesota State University will be on campus for interviews tomorrow (Wednesday) and Friday. Ronald Rosati, the provost of Southeast Missouri State University, will be on campus tomorrow. Connie Gores vice president for student life and development at Winona State University, will be on campus Friday. A community reception will complete the day.
38 year old Dana Schoen of Starbuck was sentenced in Pope County District Court Friday on three felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide in the July 28th crash that killed five month old Drake Bigler, son of Southwest State University Basketball Coach Brad Bigler. Schoen was sentenced to 48 months in prison by Judge Charles Glasrud. Schoen had a blood alcohol level of four times Minnesota’s legal limit. It was his third driving under the influence conviction.
A conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recently netted an angler with nearly 250 fish more than the legal limit. Officer Shane Osborne met up with 69 year old Ronald Johnson of Carlos, as Johnson was about to pull his portable fish house off West Spitzer Lake in Otter Tail County. Osborne and Conservation Officer Mitch Lawler of Alexandria visited the Johnson home where they found 22 frozen half-gallon cardboard containers, six plastic bags and several loose fish and fish filets. The cache totaled 228 sunfish, seven bass and six northern pike. The fish restitution value is $1,560. Johnson will appear in Douglas County Court in February. If convicted, he forfeits his fishing license for three years and faces $3,000 in fines and a year in jail.
Earlier this month, the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice disciplined Dr. Martin Janning, a doctor in Willmar, for unethical and unprofessional conduct. He performed two eyelid surgeries on the same patient that didn’t go well. The board of medical practices has ordered that Dr. Janning successfully complete a pre-approved course in oculoplastic surgery within nine months; and that he observe a minimum of five entropion surgeries performed by a pre-approved physician. Once he successfully completes the coursework and following observation of the entropion surgeries, he has to write and submit, for review and approval by the Complaint Review Committee, a paper describing what he has learned and how this knowledge will be implemented into his practice. This Order remains in effect for a minimum of one year.
Zach Liebl of Atwater is now working with Habitat for Humanity of West Central Minnesota as a volunteer and family services coordinator. He will be supporting, coordinating and managing volunteers and assisting the Family Support Committee. Liebl ran for the Minnesota House of Representatives this past election as an Independence party candidate.
Local legislators are taking a close look at Governor Mark Dayton's budget proposal this week and next and assessing the impact the proposal could have on the local economy. Democratic District 12A Representative Jay McNamar says he doesn't agree with every provision in the proposal, but he does find some merit. He says he does think the adjusted tax rates will have a net result of Minnesotans paying more taxes, but he says the increased revenue will allow the state to balance a budget. McNamar says he strongly supports the initiatives to pay back schools.
It’s Catholic Schools Week across the U.S. and in Morris, St. Mary's School is celebrating by collecting money for charity. Sixth grade student Derek Johnson says the school is split into teams and are collecting coins which count toward a team's total. Any dollar bills put into the jars count against that team's total. To participate, drop your coins off at the school office or send them in with a student.
Stevens County Commissioners will be learning about the governmental operations they oversee tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at nine in the county board room. Two newly elected Commissioners, Donny Wohlers and Bob Kopitzke, along with Commissioners Jeanne Ennen, Phil Gausman, and Ron Staples, will hear from the county's Department Heads. Part of the start-of-the-year presentations includes assessing and directing the work Commissioners would like to prioritize for the coming year.