The U.S. House Agriculture Committee continues to hear testimony on the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission--or CFTC--but ranking Democrat Congressman Collin Peterson hopes the committee won't devote all of their time to CFTC reauthorization. In an Ag Committee hearing, Peterson said the Farm Bill should continue to be a priority for the committee, with intensive work to ensure passage on the House floor in June and July and conference committee work with the Senate through August. Peterson says CFTC reauthorization is something the Committee will need to address this year, but he thinks we need to wait until later this summer, when the CFTC has hopefully completed its rule-making under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act before moving ahead.
The University of Minnesota, Morris and the Center for Small Towns are hosting an arts summit this week. The Center's Jessica Beyer says the summit is to bring together artists, community activists, and economic interests to see how art can help communities thrive. The Summit will be held on-campus and in the Morris community tomorrow(Wednesday) and Thursday.
Celebrate the end of the school year with a potential angler-to-be by fishing for free with a child 15 or younger, June 7-9, during Take-A-Kid Fishing weekend. Mike Kurre, the DNR's mentoring program coordinator, says, Minnesotans 16 or older who take a child 15 or younger fishing don't need a license that weekend. Even when it's not Take-A-Kid Fishing weekend, Minnesota residents may fish in a state park without a fishing license if the body of water doesn't require a trout stamp.
The Red Cross Bloodmobile will be in Pope County this week. Today (Tuesday) it’s at the Glenwood Lutheran Church from12:30-6:30. Tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday), donors can give at the Starbuck Community Center from 1-6. Drives have been planned in Ortonville, Beardsley, Graceville, Browns Valley, and Clinton later in the month. All donation sites are open to the public.
Delayed mowing of roadsides will be more important than normal this year as the cool, wet weather impacts bird nesting, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. More than 40 bird species, including pheasants, use roadsides for nesting from April to August. The late spring will likely impact pheasant nesting in one of two ways, says Nicole Davros, DNR research scientist and pheasant specialist. Some hens may have delayed nest initiation due to cooler temps and snow cover at the start of the nesting season. Other hens that did start nesting may have abandoned their first attempt due to the weather. It takes six weeks for a hen pheasant to lay eggs and hatch chicks, Davros said. If a nest fails due to weather, predators or human disturbance, the hen will attempt to re-nest until successful in hatching a clutch, although re-nesting clutches will have fewer eggs. A pheasant hen will only hatch one brood per year and will not re-nest if she loses her chicks.
The Willmar Police Department is investigating two separate incidents where individuals illegally burned a U.S. flag this past weekend in downtown Willmar. Charges relating to these acts are arson and criminal damage to property, both of which are being investigated and pursued. These reported crimes have resulted in a wide variety of community response and statements made to the police department according to Chief David Wyffles. He says there is no evidence that individuals from the Somali community are responsible for the crimes. Current video evidence gathered by cameras and being viewed by the police suggests otherwise. While the acts are concerning, Wyffels says there is nothing from either incident that knowingly raises the crime to a level of terrorism, was committed as a bias offense, or is connected to some larger subversive effort. Anyone having information that might help in solving these crimes should contact the police department.
17 year old Marissa Quade of Brooten was injured Sunday when she crossed Highway 55 to enter the RJ’s Mini Mart and gas station parking lot in Brooten. She missed the entrance and drove into the steep ditch on the east side of the highway. According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, Quade was taken to the Glenwood Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A passenger, 15 year old Marisa Jacobson of Brooten, was released to a guardian. She was not injured.
42 year old Robert Olson of Sunburg was injured in a motorcycle crash Sunday in the area of County Road 18 and 330th Street in Raymond Township near Sauk Centre, according to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office. Olson was traveling north on County Road 18 when he hit some gravel in the roadway and lost control. He ws taken to the Sauk Centre Hospital by a private party. He had non-life threatening injuries.
Motorists traveling Interstate 94 between Alexandria and Freeport this summer may notice a helicopter and crew working near the interstate. The work began yesterday (Monday). The CapX2020 utilities are using a helicopter to string conductor (wire) along several transmission structures that were installed along I-94. The Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Department of Transportation and the CapX2020 utilities urge motorists to avoid gawking at the helicopter work and keep moving through the work zone. The Alexandria-St. Cloud work is the second phase of the CapX2020 Fargo-St. Cloud 345 kV transmission line project. Transmission line crews will erect structures and string conductor (wire) between the Quarry Substation west of St. Cloud and the Alexandria Substation west of Alexandria. The 78-mile segment is expected to be in service in May 2014.
19 year old Darien Frank of Owatonna and 30 year old Ruben Vallejo of Willmar made their first appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court Monday on felony drug possession charges. Vallejo is facing both a third and fifth degree felony drug possession charge, a felony charge of storing meth paraphernalia in the presence of a child, and a gross misdemeanor of endangering a child. Frank is facing a fifth degree drug possession charge, storing meth paraphernalia in the presence of a child, and endangering a child. Bail for Vallejo was set at $50,000, and bail for Frank was set at $25,000. Their next court appearance is June 17th.
The Alexandria City Council has approved the MnDOT interchange at 50th Avenue and Highway 29, which will be proposed in a couple of years along with the work they’re doing on I-94. The state will be paying for most of the improvements. The city’s share of that realignment is about $22,000, with MnDOT to pick up the balance. City Administrator Jim Taddei says a couple of property owners that live in Carlos Township want to connect to the municipal water service. In order for that to happen, their property needs to be annex into the city. The city will meet with the township regarding that annexation.
Tonight (Tuesday) at six is the Family Fun ‘Milk Run’ at the Kennedy Elementary School track. This is open to all ages, with registration beginning at 5:30. This is hosted by Community Education and Recreation. There will also be free dilly bars from the Willmar Dairy Queen. Thursday and Friday is ‘Build-A-Burger’ at Cashwise. You’ll get a cheeseburger, milk and cookie for three bucks and an ice cream sandwich for 50 cents. Thursday night is the Stingers Baseball Game at 7:05. It’s Salute to Cows Night presented by the Kandiyohi County Dairy Association at the Bill Taunton Stadium.
The Kandiyohi County Commissioners meet this morning (Tuesday) at 10 in the Health and Human Services Building. There will be bid lettings; an update on the county’s Redesign Phase II initiative; a water plan resolution; wetland replacement and delineation plan; and a resolution.In the afternoon, from 1:30-4 there will be public hearings on County Ditch 23 and County Ditch 12. The public hearings will be held in the multipurpose room in the health and human services building.