The Alexandria Lakes Area Tea Party will meet on Tuesday, November 12th, at the Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria. Social time is at 5:15, with the regular meeting beginning at5:30. The program for November’s meeting will include presentations on U.S. History, the U.S. Constitution and relationship to its citizens, progressive update, an Obamacare update, etc., with discussions to follow presentations. You’re welcome to attend.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the grant program which promotes environmental stewardship and conservation of resources and strives to improve profitability and quality of life on farms and in rural areas. Representative Andrew Falk, Vice Chair of the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee, hopes local farmers will apply. He says this grant program really helps encourage sustainable farming and production. The grant program will award up to $250,000 in 2014 for on-farm sustainable agriculture research or demonstration projects. Examples of eligible projects include fruit and vegetable production, conservation tillage and weed management, integrated pest management, livestock production, organic farming, alternative energy crop production, and specialty crops as an alternative market.
An annexation petition for a small sliver of property in LaGrande Township to be brought into the city limits has been approved by the Alexandria City Council. Also, an engineering request to provide surveying and engineering work for a project to overlay some of the city streets, was approved. The city will bid the project out in the spring, and based on the availability of funds, they’ll determine how many blocks can be overlaid. The council also approved an engineering agreement to provide for survey work only for a potential project in 2014 in the Victoria Heights area. This is a reclaim project where the existing asphalt is completely torn up and ground up and the roads are overlaid. The council authorized the survey work to begin in the fall and will evaluate over winter whether the funds are available to complete the engineering work and do the project in 2014 or to push it back to a later date.
The 12th annual Community Conference on the Brain will be held Thursday, Nov. 21st from3-8:30 at the Willmar High School. Its presented by Pact for Families Collaborative and the theme is ‘Aggression, Violence, Trauma and the Brain.’ The speaker will be Dr. Stanton Samenow, author of ‘Inside the Criminal Mind.’ Breakout presentation topics include: childhood trauma, childhood mental health, domestic violence, restorative justice and many more.
Atina Diffley, author of ‘Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works,’ will speak at the Willmar Public Library on Saturday morning, Nov. 16th at ten. This event is co-sponsored by the library and the Willmar Community Owned Grocery. Her book is a firsthand history of getting in at the ‘ground level’ of organic farming. It’s a story of a world transformed, and reclaimed, one acre at a time. In telling her story of working the land, coaxing good food from the fertile soil, Diffley says it reminds us of an ultimate truth: we live in relationships – with the earth, plants and animals, families and communities.
The Montevideo Police Department will be starting a new policy for its live traps. A $50 deposit will be required at the time of checking it out. You can check it out for two weeks at a time and can always re-check it out if the problem persists. The department will start the policy November 15th. If you currently have one of the live traps, you’re asked to bring it back to the police department. This policy is being enforced because individuals are not returning the traps.
47 year old Douglas Young was injured Friday when the milk hauler he was driving flipped upside down pinning his legs. The crash happened on 120th Street Northwest of Pennock. Young was transported to the hospital.
Minnesota’s newest critical habitat license plate featuring a ring-necked pheasant in grassland is now on sale, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.Since 1995, sales of the critical habitat license plates have helped generate more than 34 million dollars. And according to the DNR’s Lori Naumann (NAW-man) money generated from the sale of the plates is used to purchase critical habitat, land in Minnesota that is primarily used for public hunting and other recreational purposes. They’re very excited about this. This is the newest design and it’s the first new design they have had since 2009. It is very colorful and it is meant to emphasize the department’s interest in grassland habitat and the pheasant itself. Naumann says the plates require a minimum donation of at least $30 each year plus the cost of the plate. They are available at any licensed registrar or department of motor vehicle office.
Congressman Collin Peterson was in Willmar Friday to talk about the Farm Bill. He says they hope to have some answers back soon and hopefully will have it done by Thanksgiving. Peterson, who is the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, says everybody is ready to get it finalized, but even if everybody on the caucus committee signs the agreement, it might not pass. He believes if a bill passes the House, the majority of the votes will come from Democrats. He says they differ mostly on food stamps, and that was created by Congressman Eric Cantor when they had that separate vote on that. That should never have happened. That’s going to be the big sticking point with people. I can live with whatever they come up with.
Representative Paul Anderson of Starbuck says it’s nice to see gas prices have dropped to near $3 per gallon, but you need to be aware when you fill up your tank. Anderson says he pulled up to a station which showed $3.08 per gallon for 87 octane. He often chooses to pay a few cents more for the 89-octane grade, but was shocked to find out it was now priced 28 cents higher per gallon. He wondered if it was a mistake, but the attendant told him it was the correct price. Anderson says he would have gone with the 87 had he noticed that steep change in price prior to filling his tank.
U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and 38 other senators urged the Administration to release Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funds and ensure Minnesota’s seniors and families receive critical heating during the winter months. In a bipartisan letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the senators requested that the funding be released quickly and at the highest level possible. Klobuchar says no family should face the choice between buying groceries and heating their home. Franken says anybody who’s lived through a Minnesota winter knows that home heating is not a choice, it’s a necessity.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) voters in the KMS school district will go to the polls to vote on two questions on the school referendum ballot. The first questions asks if they want to issue $9.5 million in bonds to pay for improvements to the high school and to the elementary school. The second questions deals with building a new gym at the high school, the cost - $1.26 million.The school board has been planning for the past year or so to meet the current and future learning needs of its students from Early Childhood through 12th grade.