NEWS-July 19
News Director: Bev Alquist Call with news at 320-235-2900 or email

News Archive

A portion of County State Aid Highway 38 on the north shore of Lake Andrew will be closed to traffic until further notice due to a culvert replacement. The Kandiyohi County Public Works Department in Willmar says the road will be closed from County State Aid Highway 48 to 0.20 miles west. They ask that you use an alternate route. 

All farm owners and operators that are eligible to vote in the upcoming Farm Service Agency County Committee election need to submit nominating petitions for candidates by August 1st. You can submit them to your local Farm Service Agency. The FSA County Committee makes important decisions that affect all area producers, and the Committee needs to represent each and every one of them. If you’ve thought about running, the time to get moving is now. The FSA committee helps administer USDA’s many programs at the local level. And as agriculture, markets and government policies change, these decisions are increasingly important to your farming operation. For more info contact your local Farm Service Agency.

Representative Jay McNamar of Elbow Lake and Minnesota House Majority Leader Erin Murphy sat down with health care workers in Morris Wednesday to discuss new legislation that will impact Minnesota seniors and nursing home workers in the current biennium. McNamar says nursing home workers across the state will receive, on average, a 5 percent Cost of Living increase sometime this fall, with a second increase of just over 3% starting in 2015. Representative Murphy says the state's investment in nursing home workers is representative of the state's attitude toward the elder population: a desire to care for the elderly in a sustainable, respectful way. The 2013 Cost of Living Increase is scheduled to begin September 1st. The base increase is 3.75% for all nursing homes with "quality add-on" incentives bringing the statewide average to 5%.

Businesses and individuals are dressed in purple this week, all across Stevens County. The local chapter of the American Cancer Society encouraged the color trend for their upcoming Relay of Life Walk in Pomme de Terre Park. Kayla Hawkinson of the American Cancer Society says the walk will be today (Friday) from six with a special luminaries lighting ceremony at 9:30, and continue to early Saturday morning.

The University of Minnesota, Morris will host the West Central School of Agriculture (WCSA) All-School Reunion on Saturday. The reunion is an annual event on the Morris campus, the former home of the WCSA. This year the class of 1963 will be having its 50th reunion, while the classes of 1943, 1948, 1952-53, and 1958 will be enjoying their 70th, 65th, 60th, and 55th reunions, respectively. Areas in which all of the five-year reunion groups can gather will be marked, although all alumni are encouraged to mingle with one another. The day's festivities will include a bus tour of the West Central Research and Outreach Center, wind turbines, and biomass facility. Alumni are also welcome to visit the WCSA Alumni Garden and to check the progress of the Welcome Center's north courtyard renovation.

The Grant County Fair is underway, with open class entries and 4H Judging today (Thursday). Pig races will be held four days of the fair, starting tonight at 7. Tomorrowafternoon (Friday), the carnival opens at 3, with a free dance starting at 9. Fireworks will go off about 10:15. The fair continues on Saturday and Sunday with a parade on Saturdayafternoon at 4. Enduro races at 8 Saturday night. Sunday’s carnival opens at noon and vintage stock car races start at two Sunday afternoon). All events take place at the fairgrounds in Herman. For more info visit

The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners approved two conditional use permits at this week’s meeting. One was for the Southern Minnesota Cooperative Beat Plant for  piling facility in northern Kandiyohi County, Colfax Township. The second was for an expansion of animal units at the Bryon Hjelle farm in Lake Andrew Township.

The 8th annual LTD motorcycle memorial tour is tomorrow (Saturday). It starts and finishes in Appleton, with riders to register at the Swift County Fairgrounds from 7:30-9:45 in the morning. The ride itself starts at ten, and will go through numerous cities, with stops in Marshall, Madison and Morris, before returning to Appleton. The ride is dedicated to the memory of Sgt. Jesse Lhotka, 1st Lt. Jason Timmerman and Staff Sgt. David Day. Last year, 670 bikers and riders participated.

Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin says they’ve formed a Community Service Officer-Paramedic program in partnership with Hennepin County Medical Center. This program is an all-volunteer program that utilizes experienced, certified paramedics in the roll of a Community Service Officer. This program will augment the available Emergency Medical Services (EMS) that Meeker County citizens currently enjoy. Sheriff Norlin says that seven Paramedics have completed their first phase of training in Meeker County, and are now deploying with sworn Deputies for field training as part of the next phase. The Paramedics are supervised by the Sheriff's command staff and receive medical direction from Hennepin County Medical Center's Department of Emergency Medicine and HCMC's Dr. Jeffrey Ho who is also a Meeker County Deputy Sheriff and serves as the Meeker County Sheriff's Office Medical Director. The primary purpose of the Sheriff's Paramedic program is to enhance the number of hours and the geographic coverage of Advanced Life Support (ALS) - paramedic level care available within Meeker County. The Paramedics will be working various shifts and will respond with advanced life support equipment to medical emergencies in a specially marked Sheriff's Paramedic squad car. They will be responsible for providing initial advanced life support care until the arrival of the ambulance EMS personnel. When there are no medical emergencies to respond to, they will augment the sworn patrol staff with non-enforcement duties that will enhance public safety coverage throughout Meeker County.

59 year old Randy Pieper of Melrose was injured in a tractor rollover yesterday (Thursday) at Vogt Dairy on Queensfield Road in Getty Township. Pieper was operating the tractor when the incline of a large pile of haylage became top-heavy. The tractor rolled to its side with Pieper inside the enclosed cab which had roll bars. He was taken to the Sauk Centre Hospital with unknown injuries. The Stearns County Sheriff’s office is investigating. Assisting at the scene were the Sauk Centre Police, and Minnesota State Patrol.

Due to flooding, the Anderson Lake County Park in Renville County is still closed until further notice. The parks that had been closed and are now open include the Beaver Falls County Park, Birch Coulee County Park, Mack Lake County Park, Skalbekken County Park, and the Vicksburg County Park.

Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, who was first elected to his senate seat in 2006, says he’s getting encouragement from supporters to run for governor and plans to make his final decision in about a month. Ingebrigtsen says he’s not going to jump into this without giving it a lot of thought. He says he would bring common sense to the governor’s office. Prior to coming to the Legislature, Ingebrigtsen was the Douglas County Sheriff and deputy sheriff, emergency management director and spent years as a bus driver in the district.

Lake Latoka in Douglas County near Alexandria is joining the growing list of Minnesota lakes that are designated as infested with zebra mussels. Earlier this month, a snorkeler found a 3- or 4-year-old zebra mussel in the lake, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. DNR biologists recently searched the area near the find, but were unable to locate any additional zebra mussels. In this case, the DNR will designate this water as infested as a precaution until additional searches of Lake Latoka can be conducted.

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