If you want to buy a car for $25, ask a junior or senior at the Morris Area Schools for a ticket. The upper classes are raffling a car to raise funds for their scholarship fund. Paul LeTandre says only 800 tickets will be sold for the 2006 car. The winning ticket will be drawn on April 6 during the Morris Prom Grand March.
The State of Minnesota still owes its schools millions of dollars, due to payment delays over the last few years. That may soon change, says Representative Andrew Falk of rural Murdock, with several bills introduced in the Minnesota House. With the February budget forecast showing a reduced deficit, schools could benefit. Falk says bills introduced early in the session to deal with the school shift issue have been waiting for the February forecast before committees will take the bills up for consideration. Now that the forecast shows an economic improvement, Falk says a bill to restore school shift payments has a better chance of passing. Falk's bill would restore school shift payments to 90-10, with the majority of funding dispersed at the start of each school year.
A local legislator is working to pump more funds into local economies, with a state appropriation for area nursing homes. Representative Jay McNamar of Elbow Lake has signed onto a bill that would return several fees from the state for nursing facilities, for a net savings of $56 million. Eligible nursing homes across the state would be required to invest 73% of their savings in raises for employees. McNamar says the bill would cover the entire state; many nursing facilities in his district will be eligible. McNamar notes that many of the largest employers in his district are nursing homes and other care facilities. The bill covers 2013 and 2014.
Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake and Representative Paul Anderson of Starbuck will be hosting several town hall meetings later this week. On Friday afternoon, they will be in Sauk Centre at Jitters Java Café at one. On Saturday morning they will be in Glenwood at Lakeside Ballroom at nine. At 10:45 they will be in Melrose's City Center, and at one that afternoon they will be in Freeport at Charlie's Café. The tour will end in Albany at the Hillcrest Family Restaurant at 2:15. Westrom says the goal is to hear what constituents are thinking about in an informal setting. There is no cost to attend any of the town hall meetings.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced an expansion to their Walk-In Access program. Walk-In lands provide public access to private land. Landowners, in turn, are paid for the access. Landowners from 14 additional counties now can enroll land in the Walk-In Access program. In West-Central Minnesota, lands in Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Traverse, and Wilkin Counties are eligible for enrollment. Walk-in targets privately owned parcels of 40 acres or more, which are enrolled in a conservation program such as the Conservation Reserve Program or Reinvest In Minnesota. River bottoms, wetlands and other high quality habitat can also be considered for the program. Landowners can contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District office for program details and enrollments.
The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office has set a community notification meeting for Monday night at six in Room 115 at the Paynesville High School regarding a Level 3 Predatory Offender who is moving into Eden Lake Township. According to the sheriff’s office, 39 year old Michael Klappenbach of Eden Lake Township is not wanted by the police and has served the sentence imposed on him by the court. He has a history of engaging in sexual contact with a 15 year old female. Representatives from the Department of Corrections and the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office will be at the meeting to talk with residents.
The Minnesota Historical Society has awarded a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant in the amount of $3,845 to the Kandiyohi County Historical Society. The grant was approved by the Society’s awards committee and will support its Microfilm Kandiyohi County Township Records project. Microfilming Kandiyohi County Township Records is a project of enduring value because it will continue to tell the story of Kandiyohi County’s people and places for many years to come. The project begins in April with an anticipated completion date of October. The project is to gather and microfilm records from 6 townships in Kandiyohi County to provide for preservation and access to local government records. This is phase two of a three phase project.
A resolution of support for the Family Homeless Prevention Program was approved by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners yesterday (Tuesday). Deb Brandt and Odalis Elliott-Bastian told the board they were helping families not to become homeless and also working with families that are homeless. Brandt says in the last two years Heartland received $360,000 and they’re planning to increase that based on the needs they’re seeing in the area. Elliott-Bastian, an outreach worker for the county, says she helps the families that come into the agency to access their needs. On a monthly basis she says they see at least 85 families here in Kandiyohi County. Along with their program what they try to do is prevent them from being homeless, and sometimes they see a family who is currently homeless and they help them get into stable housing. Brandt says they also work with families by doing budgeting so hopefully they won’t be caught up in the same situation again. They do what they call rent-wise money-smart classes where they visit with them about landlord tenant rates and responsibilities and also work on budgeting with them so hopefully they can then meet their basic needs.
Kandiyohi County Board Chair Harlan Madsen and Kandiyohi County Administrator Larry Kleindl were in St. Paul yesterday (Tuesday) where they testified on behalf of the county, asking the legislature for permission to appoint the auditor/treasurer and the recorder. Madsen says the request was to start the process for the appointment. They testified along with three other counties that are requesting the same thing. This was in addition to a statewide bill that is proposed that would allow all counties to proceed. There are 27 counties that currently have the appointment process in place and have done so and there are 13 bills in the legislature this year. Madsen says they received unanimous support from the committee to proceed with the bill as did the other counties. Madsen said their premise from Kandiyohi County, Redwood, Jackson and Lake Counties, is allow them the opportunity and they will exercise the responsibility on the local level to make the decisions that are in the best interests of the constituents of their respective counties.
Yesterday (Tuesday), the Litchfield Police arrested a 28 year old Litchfield man on charges of disorderly conduct and 5th degree assault. The arrest occurred at a South Sibley Avenue residence. He is being held in the Meeker County Jail pending an appearance in Meeker County District Court.
Two people suffered minor injuries yesterday (Tuesday) following a head-on crash on Highway 212, one and a half miles west of Renville. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, 50 year old Vickie Sober of Minneapolis was traveling west on Highway 212, got caught in a snow cloud from a semi and collided head-on with a vehicle driven by 55 year old Laurie Thielen of Sacred Heart. Assisting at the scene was the Renville County Sheriff’s Office.
The Minnesota State Patrol was called to a head-on crash yesterday (Tuesday) on Highway 67 at the Redwood County 13 intersection. According to the state patrol, 16 year old Tawnee Pendelson of Redwood Falls lost control and collided with a vehicle driven by 49 year old Mary Steinhaus of Morgan. Both sustained minor injuries. Assisting at the scene was the Redwood County Sheriff’s Office.
On Saturday morning at nine, Representative Mary Sawatzky of Willmar and Senator Lyle Koenen of Clara City will be at the Thompson Bakery in Atwater to talk with constituents. They invite constituents from the Atwater area to come and join them and let them know what their concerns and ideas are regarding the budget and some of the things they’ve been hearing that they’ve been doing at the Capitol.