There will an open house Saturday afternoon from 2-5 for the grand opening of the Multi-Purpose Community Room at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society in Willmar. You’re invited to come celebrate and to not only check out the new community room but also the museum, Sperry House, Engine #2523, log cabin and schoolhouse. There will be a slideshow, games and refreshment.
Roger Imdeke of New London invites you to join the fun during the New London-Spicer "Healthy Families: Healthy Communities" day on Thursday, May 16th. The event runs from 4:30-7 and includes an expo on health-related topics, a 1-mile "Cat Crawl" for kids, keynote speakers, student poster contest and student presentations. Proceeds will benefit the NL-S middle school. The Cat Scratch Fever 5K Run/Walk is designed to be a fun event for individuals and families. The goals of the event is to promote healthy activities with an emphasis on exercise, healthy eating and family wellness. Another goal is to introduce more young people to the sport of running. This is held at the New London Spicer Middle School gym, with the race to start west of the high school gym. Trophies will be awarded to the top female and top mail. Medals will be given to first through third places in each division.
May is Arbor Month, an opportunity to celebrate the importance of trees in our state. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, this year the annual event takes on special importance. That’s because last year many severe storms and floods damaged or destroyed a lot of trees. Forrest Boe, the DNR’s director of Forestry, is asking Minnesotans to plant trees this month to assist with long-term storm recovery efforts. Boe said trees really help in a variety of ways - They reduce runoff, they slowdown that runoff, they help clean our water, and ultimately help with energy. There is so many benefits to planting trees. Getting these communities and forests and yards back in shape will really help our environment, he said.
Only 103 girls in the Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valley Girl Scouts are receiving the Girl Scout Gold Award this year, and Andrea Saucedo from Olivia will be among them. Andrea’s project was creating and implementing a structured program during the CCOC’s after school “hang time”. She organized service projects for some of the kids, assisted others with extra academic help and developed monthly themes to open up new areas of interest for the participants. Andrea will receive her award at the Girl Scout Ceremony on May 19 or June 2.
You may encounter minor delays on Highway 7 from Highway 29 in Montevideo to Highway 40 near Milan as construction begins on Monday, May 13th. Crews will resurface the highway with two inches of pavement, install high tension cable guardrail and work on the shoulders. Duininck Inc. is the contractor for the $2.3 Million project, which is scheduled for completion near the end of June, weather permitting.
Separate versions of the Omnibus Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Finance and Policy Bill have been passed off the Minnesota Senate and House floors, but significant difference exist between the two bills. Those differences will be handled by a ten-person conference committee, with equal representation from both parliamentary bodies. Representative Andrew Falk of rural Murdock will co-represent the House version. Falk says funding for the various agencies represented in the bill is important. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Agriculture, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are among the governmental offices with their budgets determined in the bill. Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake will be among the five Senators in the committee
Morris Area Schools FFA Advisor Natasha Mortenson has been inducted into the Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame. Mortenson has been an agriculture educator in the Morris School District for 12 years. She was previously honored with the US Department of Agriculture Excellence in Teaching award in 2012.
A Morris Area High School student has been named a state officer during the 84th Minnesota FFA Convention. Brooke Wente will join the officer team for the coming year as Secretary. Wente was selected from a pool of 23 candidates to complete the 12-month term as part of a six-member board. The State Officer Board represents over 9,000 FFA members in Minnesota. The newly elected state officers will go through an extensive training process before putting on different events and conferences throughout Minnesota, as well as visiting with chapters and industry leaders before completing their year by planning the annual convention.
Walter Roeder, Gene Lauer, Carolyn Lauer, Ed Rossman, and Lucas Bemboom, all friends and neighbors of 47 year old Timothy Huber of rural Paynesville, who is on trial for the Oct. 8, 2011 murder of 43 year old Tim Larson of Albertville, testified in Kandiyohi County District Court yesterday (Thursday). Huber’s father, 82 year old Delbert Huber, pled guilty to second degree murder in the shooting death of Larson last August and is now serving 30 years in prison. Both Hubers were indicted for the murder. The five people all testified to the abuse Timothy Huber took from his father, and to the elder Huber’s disagreeable demeanor. Rossman testified that Delbert Huber told him he had hit his son in the head with a baseball bat and said he was acting ‘goofy.’ Rossman said young Huber’s eyes were cross-eyed for a couple of weeks. Gene Lauer said Timothy Huber showed him a bad bruise on his head, and said it was because of his father hitting him. Carolyn Lauer testified that Delbert Huber was sarcastic, demeaning and controlling, and Timothy Huber was very humble, meek and subservient. Bemboom said Timothy Huber didn’t show any emotion when his dad was on his case, that he was quiet and would move away. Bemboom said he saw Huber hit his son hard with a cane, that the young Huber cowered from him, then got away. The elder Huber was angry enough to where he was screaming at his son, he told the court. Young Huber didn’t stand up to his dad, he just walked away. The murder trial is in recess until 9 Monday morning. It’s expected the jury will begin deliberations early next week. The trial is before District Judge Donald Spilseth.
Minnesota Senators and Representatives are working out their differences this week over education in the state. The two bodies are meeting in conference committee to hash out a Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education omnibus finance bill. Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake says he is disappointed with the Senate version of the bill. He says it doesn't go far enough to increase needed funds for the state's schools. The Senate version also does not fully pay back the school shift. Westrom says the Senate bill focuses more money on "categories," rather than distributing money equally to all districts. Those categories tend to fund urban schools, Westrom says, an unfair disadvantage to rural school districts. Companion bills to finance the potential demolition of the Cyrus school building remain in both the House and Senate versions of the bill.
Today (Friday) two UMM student organizations will be hosting a community meal to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Vamos Juntos and Voces Unidas will host the Cinco de Mayo celebration at Faith Lutheran Church from five to eight. The menu will feature several traditional authentic Mexican dishes like pozole soup, carnitas, tamales, tacos, and many Mexican desserts.
The Litchfield Police Department was called to a two vehicle crash at the intersection of East St. Paul Street and South Davis Avenue on Wednesday. The first vehicle, a 2013 Chevrolet, was driven by Orville Reinke of Litchfield. The second vehicle, a 2008 Lincoln, was driven by Roxann Bergstrom of Grove City. There were no injuries.
Wednesday afternoon, the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office took a report of a grass fire in a wildlife management area on MN Highway 22 and County State Aid Highway 18, Greenleaf Township. The Litchfield Fire Department was dispatched to the scene along with US Fish and Wildlife. It is estimated that 10 to 12 acres burned, plus there was some fire damage to four power poles.
Motorists on Highway 29 in Starbuck will experience shoulder closures and occasional lane closures starting Monday as crews complete work on the new bridge over Outlet Creek. Crews will finish the multi-use trail, lighting, concrete curb and gutter. They will also add an additional layer of asphalt and paint the new bridge. Work is scheduled to last about one month, weather permitting. The new bridge was constructed in the fall 2012. It improves safety for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
On Sunday afternoon, the Redwood Falls Police Department is hosting the annual Law Enforcement Ecumenical Service. This non-denominational service honors the over 260 police officers that have been killed in the line of duty in Minnesota. The service will take place at two at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls. Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Deputy Glenn Grove is one of those listed on the honor roll. Grove died in 1976 of a duty related illness.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation says there are $3.8 million in federal grants for Safe Routes to School, and the grants will support Safe Routes to School at 105 schools in 61 communities. Schools received grants in three categories: Planning, Non-Infrastructure and Infrastructure. Among those receiving the Planning Grants were one school in Clarkfield in Yellow Medicine County; one school in Glenwood in Pope County; and two schools in Montevideo in Chippewa County.