34 year old Joseph Butcher of rural Hutchinson was injured in a motorcycle crash last night (Thursday) at County State Aid Highway 28 and 575th Avenue. According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, Butcher was traveling east on CSAH 28, when the motorcycle went onto the shoulder of the roadway and then into the ditch hitting a field approach. He was airlifted from the scene to the St. Cloud Hospital. This crash is currently under investigation by the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.
The Joint Ditch Authority for JD # 1 will meet this morning (Friday) at 11 in the in the Kandiyohi County Commissioners board room in the Health and Human Services Building. The Joint Ditch #1 RMK Drainage Authority has not met in a number of years. They will be discussing maintenance needs as well as the possibility of a Redetermination of Benefits.
The Montevideo City Council this week reviewed some recommendations from the park board on the outdoor pool, leaving the fees the same. City Administrator Steve Jones says the council also approved a letter of commitment to FEMA for some additional buyouts they would like to do in Smith Addition. The council also reviewed a number of programs for a possible business development in the city’s railroad yard. The council reviewed some new loan programs associated with that and also approved a loan from the Montevideo Community Development Corporation for $75,000 for that project and agreed to let staff go ahead with negotiations on a proposed lease for the railroad yard and some potential work on water and sewer lines.
Glenn Peterson, Benson’s finance director/city clerk, says at this week’s city council meeting there were informed Swift County Relay for Life has the North Side Rec scheduled for use in June for their event. The council approved $6,400 to insulate some walls at the city’s fire hall, and they renewed a five year agreement with PKDA Engineering out of the Twin Cities for the airport. In other business they received notice from Missouri River Energy Service that they want to consolidate an agreement with the city’s old generating units as well as the newer generating units. Peterson said the city just added the pollution control equipment to the new generators and that meets the EPA requirement for emissions.
The state Health & Human Services budget, set by the Minnesota Legislature, has seen cuts in the last several years and 2013 will be no exception. Stevens County Human Services Director Joanie Murphy says both the House and Senate versions of the bill start with $150 million in cuts. That comes on years of cuts, Murphy says. In some cases, Murphy says, the cuts are "rob Peter to pay Paul": making budget cuts in one area to fund a new program or a new service mandate.
As the air warms and the landscape turns green, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources encourages people to visit one of the state's 76 state parks and recreation areas. On Mother's Day weekend, state parks will host guided wildflower walks, birding and stargazing workshops, and a bluebell flower festival in various locations. Glacial Lakes State Park, in Pope County south of Starbuck, will host an "Astronomy and Stargazing" on Saturday. The free program starts at sundown. Entry to the park requires a valid state park vehicle permit.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be using three zebra mussel-sniffing K-9 teams for the first time this year to help combat the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Minnesota is the second state in the country to use trained dogs to prevent the spread of AIS. They will be used throughout the state during the open water season. The use of K-9s is a progressive enforcement tool that will complement and support our invasive species prevention efforts, says Col. Jim Konrad, DNR Enforcement director. However, he says, don’t overshadow the fact that preventing the spread of AIS is still everyone’s personal responsibility. The Minnesota mussel dogs were trained in-house for five weeks by Muyres, an experienced K-9 handler and certified K-9 unit trainer.
According to Swift County Sheriff John Holtz, Highway 12 opened at noon yesterday (Thursday) between Murdock and DeGraff. It had been closed since Tuesday morning when a semi-truck hauling anhydrous ammonia was struck by a train. Holtz says the incident has been cleared and the semi-truck and trailer have been removed from the scene. Sheriff Holtz says there will still be some clean-up in the area of the crash scene for some time. Crews will be working off County Road 85 and Highway 12. The driver of the semi was Eric Westin of Pine City. He was airlifted to the St. Cloud Hospital where he is in serious condition.
Spring road weight restrictions were lifted today (Friday) south of Highway 12 according to the Kandiyohi County Public Works Department. They will be lifted Monday north of Highway 12.
Thousands of Minnesota anglers are getting set for this weekend’s fishing opener. Even though many lakes in northern Minnesota are still frozen over, Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Chief Dirk Peterson is optimistic there will be good fishing where there is open water. Peterson said you should make sure you have fun out there, it’s a great family event, it’s a Minnesota tradition. He said we are the land of 10,000 lakes, over 5,400 of them have fishing opportunities, not to mention thousands of miles of streams. It should be a good opener, he said, cautioning you to be careful and be safe out there. Peterson says there are about 1.2 million licensed anglers in Minnesota. Governor Dayton will be celebrating the opener in the Park Rapids area.
Former Minnesota Senator Dean Johnson of Willmar has been sworn in to a second term on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. The 12-member board is the governing body of the University of Minnesota. The Minnesota legislature elects one Regent from each of Minnesota's eight congressional districts and four from the state at large. One of the four at-large Regents must be a University student at the time of election. Johnson is also a retired brigadier general in the Minnesota National Guard.
Tuesday the Kandiyohi County Board heard a final report from Ray Grossman pertaining to the nearly two year project to install tourism kiosks in the four counties of Pope, Swift, Kandiyohi and Stearns. Commissioner Harlan Madsen says there was a local match in addition to federal money. He says wonderful to have support for tourism but the complexities that were brought forth with the federal grant money made them question if they would ever do this again. Grossman did a marvelous job with the coordination, he said, and also the quality of the signs. Those signs have a lot of the historical events in Pope, Swift and Kandiyohi and Stearns County.