The BOLD Board of Education meeting has been moved to Monday night, Jan. 21st at six in the Bird Island Media Center.
Minnesota law enforcement agencies arrested 2,551 impaired drivers as part of a statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DWI enforcement campaign last month, according to the Department of Public Safety. A similar DWI crackdown last year resulted in 2,600 arrests. The goal with these campaigns is to educate about the importance of planning a sober ride, and use enforcement for those who decide to get behind the wheel and put the lives of others, and their own, in danger. The state patrol reported the highest alcohol concentration in the state during the December campaign – 0.47. The legal limit is 0.08. Twenty-three agencies reported their highest alcohol concentration in an arrest was at or above 0.30.
At Monday night’s Kerkhoven City Council meeting, the oath of office was given to Scott Lamacher, who is new on the Kerkhoven City Council, and to Councilwoman Mona Doering and Mayor Brian Thompson, who were re-elected to their positions last November. Kim Harkema, city clerk, administered the oath of office. In going over the minutes from the last city council meeting, the council briefly discussed the Marion Larson property, which is classified as ag land, and the request to have the property detached from the city, which would reduce the taxes they pay. Councilwoman Doering said all the city has to do is pass a resolution rezoning the property from its current designation to an ag district.
West Wind Village, an 88-bed nursing home facility in Morris, has passed an annual review by the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services with only a few facility inadequacies. Attorney Amy Doll, West Wind's legal representation, says the deficiencies, including a plumbing issue and unlit light bulbs, have been addressed. Doll says, once deficiencies are addressed, the facility is once again considered in good standing with the Department of Health. The deficiencies were not rated as immediately hazardous to residents, staff, or the public.
Pending suitable snow cover, low-flying helicopters will be conducting whitetail deer population surveys from January through March in northwestern, central and southeastern Minnesota. DNR pilots will fly survey areas in 18 deer permit areas during daylight hours at about 200 feet. Results of aerial surveys are used to help estimate deer population in these areas. Affected areas include permit areas 239 and 270 in Becker, Clay, Grant, Otter Tail and Wilkin counties.
It’s Bee Season in area schools and students will be putting their spelling prowess on display. The Morris Area Schools will host their annual Spelling Bee for students in 5th-8th grade this afternoon (Wednesday) at 1:45. The Bee will be held in the Elementary Concert Hall and is open to the public. Students at the Hancock Schools will also host a spell-off tomorrow afternoon. Students will compete in the small gym at two.
Peace Lutheran Church in New London has decided to not sell an overflow parking lot to Tom Dittes, who had plans to build a new grocery store there. According to the Lakes Area Review, the church congregation voted January 6th to not sell the lot. Dittes is working with New London Real Estate to look at other potential sites for a grocery store.
A trial management conference for 46 year old Timothy Huber of rural Paynesville has been set for March 22nd, with a three week trial scheduled for April or May. Yesterday afternoon (Tuesday), after a chambers conference with District Judge Donald Spilseth, Kandiyohi County Attorney Jenna Fischer said they expect it to take a week to select a jury. Huber is indicted on first and second degree murder charges in the shooting death of 43 year old Timothy Larson of Albertville. Huber’s public defense attorney Carter Greiner would not comment on whether or not he plans to seek a change of venue. Huber has been housed in the Kandiyohi County Jail on a million dollar bail since the Oct. 8th, 2011 shooting death. His father, 82 year old Delbert Huber, was sentenced to 367 months in prison last September.
The New London Spicer School Board Monday night adopted a resolution directing administration to recommend reductions for the 2013-14 school year. Supt. Paul Carlson says they also reviewed the 2013-14 budget timeline which calls for the approval of revisions to the current year’s budget at the Feb. 28th meeting. Carlson says the board also approved a fundraiser request from the parent teacher organization. Deb Saulsrud was a representative of the PTO and presented an idea for a fundraiser at Prairie Woods this spring involving students in grades K-4. He said this was a wonderful opportunity for our PTO and staff members to request funds for special field trips or special equipment needed in our classrooms.
At yesterday’s (Tuesday) Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners meeting, the board approved a resolution supporting an increase in the fee for processing drivers license applications at the request of the state association of registrars. Kandiyohi County Deputy Registrar Deb Mickle says the $5 fee hasn’t increased for eight years, yet the state is giving them more and more work to do. The board approved increasing the fee by $3.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources state forest nurseries are gearing up for their spring seedling sale. Millions of seedlings are available for the 2013 planting season, including 20 species of native bareroot trees and shrubs grown from seeds collected in Minnesota. Seedlings vary in size from six to 18 inches in height. The state forest nurseries are taking orders now for April and May pickup or delivery. A minimum of 500 seedlings must be ordered, which will cover about one acre of ground. Visit the DNR’s website for more information.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is taking corrective actions after the agency discovered that a DNR employee inappropriately accessed driving license and motor vehicle records without authorization to do so. The DNR immediately asked the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) to conduct an investigation into the unauthorized access of the data. At this time, no criminal charges have been filed. The DVS records that were viewed include information such as full name, date of birth, driver’s license number, address, driver’s license status and driver’s license photo. The DNR is sending notification letters to approximately 5,000 affected individuals to make them aware of the unauthorized access. The agency is also recommending that those individuals monitor their credit reports. The employee involved in the unauthorized data access is no longer employed by the DNR.
Last night (Tuesday), the Meeker County Sheriff's Office and the Watkins Fire Department responded to a fish house fire on Clear Lake. John Young of Watkins, the owner of the fish house, was in another fish house on the lake when his second house started on fire. It is believed the cause of the fire was the heater being left on unattended. The fish house was a 7x14 homemade wheel house valued at $400 with approximately $1200 worth of equipment and personal belongings inside.