Last week, the Morris Police Department hosted an annual dinner for their officers and staff, honoring the work they do throughout the year. Sergeant Ross Tiegs was named the 2012 Officer of the Year for his work with the department's technology. Tiegs conducts forensic investigations on technological crimes or crimes committed using technology. Tiegs is also part of the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children task force, working as part of a team to apprehend child predators. Morris Chief of Police Jim Beauregard says Tiegs keeps the department "working into the 21st century." Officers Shane Nelson and Anita Liebl were given the Life Saving Award for performing CPR on an unresponsive victim and saving his life. The Department will hold a public meeting to discuss their 2012 annual report on Wednesday night at seven in the City of Morris Council Chambers.
CURE (Clean Up the River Environment) will have its annual meeting on Saturday, Feb. 9thfrom 4-10 at Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort in Granite Falls. There will be food, music, a silent auction, awards and more. The event will feature Action Theater with Ashley Hanson and Andrew Gaylord, and keynote speakers Kate Eggers and Joshua Preston. You are urged to pre-register by calling the CURE office in Montevideo.
The Kandiyohi Corn & Soybean Growers will hold their annual Legislative and Policy Update at the Green Mill Roosevelt room on Saturday, Feb. 2nd beginning at 8:30 that morning. A six person panel will discuss state and national Ag and Political issues. The panel is made up of Senator Lyle Koenen, Representative Mary Sawatzky, Tom Meium with Congressman Collin Peterson’s office, Al Juhnke with U.S. Senator Al Franken’s office, Chuck Ackman with Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office, and Minnesota Commissioner of Ag Dave Fredrickson. Get your questions answered on fiscal cliffs, budget shortfalls and extending the farm bill and what it means for the residents of Kandiyohi County. Coffee and treats will be provided.
To celebrate cultural diversity, Ridgewater College students and staff will participate in several awareness activities during its annual Multicultural Month in February. Several are open to the public. Activities kick off in both Hutchinson and Willmar with interactive Global Feasts on Wednesday, Feb. 6th and Thursday, Feb. 7th from 6-8. Willmar Campus events are planned for Feb. 14th, 21st and 28th. On Feb. 14th the presentation is ‘My Somalia, A Review of What was Left Behind’. On Feb. 21st its on Minnesota Nice; and on Feb. 28th on cultural sensitivity.
The Paynesville City Council has approved a few step increases for three of their part time people at the liquor store and their bookkeeping person within city hall staff. Mayor Jeff Thompson says the city has also approved proceeding with plans for the 2014 street project. They need to get the facts in order before they can make a final decision on that, he said. The council has also be updated by the city’s police chief on the search for a new police officer to fill one vacancy. They will be doing some final interviews tomorrow (Tuesday) and then proceeding with the background and physical checks on the final candidates so we’re looking forward to that.
District 12A Representative Jay McNamar wants to restore funding to the Minnesota Trade Office, an office he says performs vital services for Minnesota industries. The office oversees exports, especially agriculture exports. McNamar represents portions of Pope, and Douglas Counties, and Stevens, Wilkin, Traverse, and Grant Counties.
When it comes to financing the City of Morris' upcoming road construction project, City Manager Blaine Hill is hopeful a winning bid will keep homeowner assessments low. The project is expected to cost around $3 million, but Hill says a competitive bidding market could drastically reduce that number. Project Manager Jay Fier (fear) also suspects the bids will come in low. He says the project is big enough that a road construction company could park one or two crews in Morris for the entire summer. The project will include West 9th, 10th, and 11th Streets, including cross avenues and buried infrastructure.
The Morris Area Elementary School, grades K-6, have been named a Celebration School by the Minnesota Department of Education. The Department names Minnesota Schools "Celebration Eligible" based on a number of factors, including high or improved test scores. The award is specifically for schools who receive Title I dollars from the federal government and use those monies in the education of students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Four Morris Area High School students were honored last week with two annual awards. Beth Holland and Bryce Jurgenson were named ExCEL winners, honored for their Excellence in Community, Education, and Leadership. The Minnesota State High School League also honors students from across the state with the award. In West-Central Minnesota, Jessica Mooberry of Benson High, was an award recipient. For the "Triple-A" award for Academics, Arts, and Athletics, Katie Holzheimer and Tom Holland of the Morris Area Schools were named the Morris recipients for 2012-13. They will be included in the State High School Leagues competition, with final results announced in March.
Harold Marthaler of Sauk Centre was elected as the new vice president of the Minnesota National Farmers Organization at the recent reorganizational meeting held in Sauk Centre. He milks 72 cows and farmers 1,000 acres of corn and soybeans with his parents. He has six children and has been a township supervisor for 13 years. The national convention of the NFO will be in Kansas City Jan. 28-31, and this year’s state convention has been set for August 17th at Gerard’s Restaurant in Sauk Centre.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation advises drivers to slow down and drive with extra caution due to icy roads caused by rain, wet snow and falling temperatures. Road surface conditions are generally difficult in Pipestone, Murray, Redwood, Renville and Mcleod counties. Officials do not anticipate any highway closures at this time; however, motorists may encounter brief lane and road closures where crashes occur. MnDOT snow plow operators are doing their part to make highways safe. Motorists should remember to drive slowly on bridges, overpasses and tunnels; use a safe speed for winter driving conditions, regardless of the posted speed limit; keep a safe stopping distance from the vehicle in front of you; and keep both hands on the steering wheel, eyes on the road and attention on your driving.
Rice Care Center and Therapy Suites have earned a 5-star rating from “Nursing Home Compare.” This is an online tool from Medicare/Medicaid that allows consumers to compare information about nursing homes.
34 year old Rebecca Johnson of Dawson suffered non-life threatening injuries yesterday afternoon (Sunday) in a rollover on Highway 212 east of Dawson in Lac qui Parle County. According to the Minnesota State Patrol Johnson lost control on the ice, spun off the road and rolled multiple times. She suffered non-life threatening injuries. Assisting at the scene was the Lac qui Parle County Sheriff’s Office.
The Minnesota State Patrol and Lac qui Parle County Sheriff’s Office were called to a rollover at the intersection of Highway 212 and 75 yesterday afternoon (Sunday). A vehicle driven by 69 year old Harold Kalass of Cottonwood went off the road due to icy road conditions and rolled. Kalass was treated and released. A passenger, 58 year old Marian Kalass, was not injured.
29 year old Amy Blackwelder of Canby suffered non-life threatening injuries yesterday afternoon (Sunday) in a rollover. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Blackwelder was traveling on Highway 75 south of Lakefield when she lost control on the icy roads, and went into a half roll with the vehicle coming to rest on its roof.
43 year old Alex Johnson of Nicollet was treated and released after running off the road on Highway 19 in Renville County. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Johnson ran off the road into trees. He was treated and released. Assisting at the scene was the Morton Fire and Rescue.
Yesterday afternoon (Sunday), the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office was called to a crash on Ridgewood Road in St. Joseph Township. 64 year old Raphael Wiltgen of St. Joseph lost control on the icy road and collided with a mailbox, a sign and an electrical transformer box owned by Stearns Electric. He was taken to the St. Cloud Hospital. The crash is under investigation by the sheriff’s office.
According to the Willmar Police Department and Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Department there were 410 people that took the plunge into the icy waters of Green Lake Saturday during the 2013 Polar Bear Plunge, held to benefit Special Olympics. They raised $78,000. The temperature at the time of the plunge was 20 degree, the wind speed was about seven miles per hour from the southeast, and the wind chill factor was 11 degrees. The water temp was a balmy 33 degrees at plunge time.
Windstream is planning to close its retail store here in Willmar effective the end of February. Officials say the closing won’t affect services to local residential customers and business customers. They say the closing is part of a restructuring plan
This year, owners of lake service provider businesses in Minnesota can choose from 19 aquatic invasive species (AIS) training sessions offered throughout the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The businesses are required by law to attend AIS training and acquire a permit before being hired to place or remove water-related equipment from any state waters. The law, passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2011, aims to help prevent the spread of AIS between waters of the state. After completing the free, three-hour AIS training session, lake service providers must pass an exam, apply for a permit online, and pay a $50 application fee before a permit is issued. The training sessions provide information about AIS issues and information needed to pass the test. They also cover how to integrate AIS prevention strategies into business practices. The permit is valid for three years. Lake service providers must have the permits while providing services.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking watercraft inspector interns for the upcoming boating season. These inspectors are stationed at public accesses on lakes and rivers infested with invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels. The deadline for applications is Feb. 1. Watercraft inspectors inform and educate the public about aquatic invasive species and the threat they pose to Minnesota waters. These full-time, temporary internships start in late April and run through the middle of October, with flexibility for students still in school. Positions are available in the a number of counties, including: Douglas, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Northern Pope Olmstead, Otter Tail, and Stearns. Applicants must have a valid Minnesota driver’s license, be enrolled in a natural resources or related program, and eligible to receive school credit for the position.
Saturday, the Meeker County Sheriff's Office was called to a sledding crash at a residence on 700th Avenue in Kingston Township. A seven year old juvenile was airlifted to the Hennepin County Medical Center with a several head injury from striking a tree.