Today (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 $9.4 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.
Five years ago, Minnesota voters passed a constitutional amendment that increased the state’s sales tax to fund work on clean water, natural resources, and arts and culture. One-third of the funds from this amendment go to protecting and enhancing Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater. According to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner John Linc Stine, this stable source of funding has enabled policymakers to tackle ambitious projects that are expected to profoundly improve water quality in the state. So far, more than 300 individual amendment-funded projects have been sponsored by the MPCA across the state. More information about the impact of the Legacy amendment on clean water work is available at the MPCA's website.
Minnesota’s newest critical habitat license plate featuring a ring-necked pheasant in grassland, is now available for purchase according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The DNR chose the pheasant image from a previous pheasant-stamp winner submitted by Minnesota artist Joe Hautman. Other critical habitat license plate options are: a showy lady slipper, a northern Minnesota fishing scene, a majestic white-tailed buck, a black-capped chickadee, and of course, Minnesota’s favorite, the loon. You can purchase the new, autumn-colored plate at any licensed registrar or department of motor vehicle office. It’s not necessary to wait until tabs are expired on the vehicle to purchase new plates and the tabs for the vehicle will expire at the same time.
The Subcommittee on Children’s Mental Health of the State Advisory Council on Mental Health has an opening for a person knowledgeable about the needs of children of minority races and cultures who have emotional disturbances. This subcommittee provides advice to the State Advisory Council on matters related to children’s mental health. The Subcommittee and Council file a formal report on their legislative and policy recommendations to the Governor and Legislature each even-numbered year. Current priorities of the Subcommittee are mental health in schools, mental health and juvenile justice and outreach to diverse communities. The meetings are usually the first Thursday of each month at the Department of Human Services in St. Paul. Terms of membership are four years. The current open position replaces a vacancy scheduled to expire in January 2016.
The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioner meet this morning at ten at the Health and Human Services Building. Agenda items include the county’s involvement in the Highway 12 Corridor Planning Study; MCIT voting delegates and alternates; a Natural Resource block grant; a request to publish the 2012 financial statement; a request to abate an assessment; approval of a Glacial Lakes Trail Snowmobile grant; approval of the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District budget; and a grant agreement between the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and the sheriff’s office for the 2013 ‘Toward Zero Death’ safe roads. At nine the board meets as a Health and Human Services Committee. There will be an adoption month proclamation; and a probation supervision report.
High school juniors and seniors had an opportunity to see what was available in post-secondary education during the Morris Area Career and College Exposition held yesterday (Monday). Morris Area Counselor Tammy Roth says this was a hands-on event. There were a number of two and four year programs promoted, including from Alex Tech, Ridgewater, Augustana, U.M.M., the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minnesota West, Wahpeton, and M-State.
Students at the Morris Area Schools have been planning their annual Veterans Day program. On Monday afternoon, November 11th, the students will gather to honor area veterans. Yellow Ribbon Network Committee member Blaine Hill says students gather to show veterans respect and to show students care. The program is open to the public and starts at 2 at the Morris Area Schools.
Special hunts to prevent overpopulation of deer and protect resources will take place this fall at several Minnesota state parks, and access to the parks will vary during these hunts. The Department of Natural Resources says some parks will remain open to all visitors, some will have limited access and some will be open only to hunters with special permits (closed to the general public). The Glacial Lakes State Park will be partially open to visitors during a special hunt November 14-17. Lake Carlos State Park will also remain partially open to the general public during a November 9-10 hunt. The deadlines have passed for youth and adults to apply for a special permit to participate in the hunts.
Owners of an estimated twenty-two thousand livestock feedlots registered in Minnesota must submit updated registration information to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency by January 1st. The information includes location, type of operation, and number of livestock. Feedlot owners who have not already re-registered will receive a registration form from either their local county office or an MPCA regional office. More information and the registration form are available on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website -- search for "feedlot registration" -- or from your county or the MPCA regional office near you.
The American Red Cross Bloodmobile will be in West Central Minnesota this week. Today (Tuesday), the bloodmobile will be in Fergus Falls at First Lutheran Church from 10:30-3:30.On Wednesday, the bloodmobile will be at the Wheaton High School from 1-6. The Benson Community will host the bloodmobile at the Benson Armory on Thursday, November 7th from 1-7, and on Friday, November 8 from 8 to one. All sites are accepting blood and double red cell donations.
Alexandria Police officers were called to a two vehicle crash with injuries at the intersection of Nokomis Street and 18th Avenue in Villard yesterday (Monday). A 17 year old male was traveling east on 18th Avenue and 52 year old Martin Holmquist was traveling north on Nokomis St. According to the police department, the 17 year old driver reportedly pulled out in front of Holmquist and the two collided. The 17 year old and his passenger, 43 year old Timothy Connor Jr. of Villard, were taken to the Douglas County Hospital. The 17 year old is being treated at the hospital. Connor was airlifted to the St. Cloud Hospital. Holmquist was not injured. Assisting at the crash was the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
The location for tonight’s (Tuesday) childcare unionization town hall event with Senator Scott Newman of Hutchinson, Representative Dean Urdahl of Acton Township, and Representative Glenn Gruenhagen of Glencoe, has been moved, and the time will be pushed back a half hour to accommodate the change in venue. Due to greater-than-expected interest, the town hall meeting will now take place at Hunter's Ridge Community Church in Hutchinson at 7:30. All citizens are invited to attend. Childcare providers and parents of children who receive care are especially encouraged to participate in the discussion. They will be joined by Hollee Saville, a childcare provider from St. Michael, Minn., who has led efforts opposing the childcare unionization effort.
The Salvation Army in Willmar is taking applications for Thanksgiving and Christmas assistance. Applications are limited to two weeks only, Nov. 4th through the 9th and December 2nd through the 6th. Persons wishing to apply for assistance have to come to the Salvation Army during those two weeks only from nine to noon and 12:30 to 4. Food vouchers for the Thanksgiving Holiday will be distributed Nov. 18th and 19th, and for the Christmas Holiday on December 19th and 20th. Contact the Salvation Army for more information.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation snowplow operators are trained, experienced and prepared for another winter weather season. MnDOT has the equipment, technology and know-how to provide first-rate service and performance, but they count on motorists to do their part in helping them keep the roads safe as possible by giving the plows room to work. Last year in Minnesota, 21 crashes took place between vehicles and snowplow. Crashes usually are caused by inattentive motorists, driving too close to the plow and driving too fast for given conditions.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, deer hunting should be good when theMinnesota’s firearms hunting season opens Saturday. Last year, Minnesota’s nearly 500,000 deer hunters harvested 186,000 deer. A similar harvest is expected this year, however, hunters may find farmland conditions more challenging due to this year’s later corn harvest, which results in a substantial amount of standing corn. The firearms deer season concludes Nov. 24th in Series 100 permit areas, which cover much of northeastern Minnesota. In Series 300 permit areas, which cover the southeastern corner of the state, the first season ends Nov.17th, but a late season opens Nov. 23rd, and concludes Dec. 1st. Firearms season ends Nov. 17th, in Series 200 permit areas, which cover the remainder of the state.
Several West Central Minnesota school districts will open polls today (Tuesday), in an effort to increase or extend funding for education. There are also several municipal elections scheduled in West Central Minnesota today. The Chokio-Alberta School District is asking voters to increase the length of two previously-approved operating levies. If passed, the proposed 10-year referendum would not increase the levy values. The current levies allow for about $2,500 per student. West Central Area Schools is proposing a $12.225 million bond referendum to fund projects at the secondary school located in Barrett. Projects include a 47,000 square foot elementary addition and an 8,000 square foot multipurpose addition. If passed, the school board plans to move all WCA students to the Barrett school complex and close the existing Kensington and Elbow Lake Elementary sites.
The City of Benson will be electing a mayor and two council members while the Benson School is asking voters to approve an increase in local student funding from $720 to $1,200 per student. The City of Appleton is asking its citizens for a general obligation bond issue of $625,000 to finance the acquisition of and improvements to the hospital and medical clinic facilities of the Appleton Area Health Services.