With the holidays there’s an increase in traffic and the potential for bad weather just because it’s that time of the year. Sgt. Jesse Grabow with the Minnesota State Patrol wants you to be safe. He says drinking and driving obviously is not a good idea, and he encourages you to make good, hard decisions anytime you get behind the wheel, especially during the holiday. There’s more traffic on the roadways, he says, and not only does it endanger yourself but the rest of the motoring public. He said it comes down to the choices you make each and every time you get behind the wheel. Again, he said, you’ve got to ask yourself – have you had too much to drink and drive and if you’re not positive, you shouldn’t be behind the wheel. Always plan ahead, get that sober ride that designated drivers set up. For those people who don’t go out and celebrate, let them know you’re there to give them a ride or pick them up anytime they need to get home.
The Republican Party chairman in Big Stone County, Jack Whitley, has been fired from his day job for a Facebook post describing Muslims as "terrorists" and "parasites" and calling for someone to "frag 'em." Sue Kulbeik (CUL'-bike) who with her husband Bob owns the Hardware Hank in Ortonville, says they gave Whitley an opportunity clarify his position but he became very irate, the conversation went from bad to worse, and at that point they made the termination decision. Last week state GOP Chairman Keith Downey called Whitley's comments outrageous, saying "they could not be further from the Republican Party's beliefs." A party spokesman says the state organization probably does not have the authority to remove Whitley as GOP head in Big Stone County.
Stevens County Coordinator Rebecca Young has been in her current job position for less than a month and is already looking at the future. Young asked the Stevens County Board of Commissioners about their vision for the county’s future. According to Young, as a group they are looking at strategic planning and addressing the work force and community as it needs change. Young views having the right structure in place is important. She says the best way to learn processes currently in place is to do an audit of systems in place. Young says she looks at that as a chance for process improvement both cost efficiency and time efficiency. According to Young this is a great opportunity to learn more about the organization.
The Morris Area Elementary School is currently having its second annual fundraiser, “Invest In Our Youth.” According to Morris Area Elementary School Principal Ken Gagner, this fundraiser is different because they sell shares, one share for each student at $30 dollars a share. They started with 535 shares and have sold approximately 220 shares. If you want to donate for this fundraiser, check out the Morris Area Schools web site or send a check to the school. The deadline is December 4th, with a free-will spaghetti dinner from 5:30-7 to wrap up this fundraising event.
This is the time of year when many of us will be traveling to visit family and friends for the holiday season. In a recent survey, Minneapolis ranked 9th in the nation with 14% of vehicles having worn down tires compared to the national average of 12 percent of vehicles having one bald tire. Senior VP of Public Affairs at Rubber Manufacturers Association Dan Zielinski says because of the cold and abrupt weather changes you should check the air in your tires once a month. He says overloading also puts stress on tires. The label on the driver’s side door will have the amount of tire pressure and maximum load conditions, or you can look in your owner’s manual.
The University of Minnesota Morris Campus Activities Films Committee is inviting you to a special showing of “Frozen: Sing-Along.” It’s taking place Saturday morning, Dec. 6th at 11in Edson Auditorium in the UMM Student Center. Also that day the Salvation Army is having its Theme Table Luncheon and Dollar Auction. This event is at the Faith Lutheran Church in Morris. All proceeds go to the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army in Morris is also in need of bell ringers. If you would like more information or are interested in helping out call the Salvation Army.
The University of Minnesota Morris is presenting its first holiday Soiree’. This event will be on Saturday night, December 6 at 6:30 and Sunday afternoon, December 7, at 1 in the Student Center. This festive event is going to consist of jazz music and hor d’oeuvres, a meal with chamber singers, and a formal concert followed by a post-concert reception.
Representative Paul Anderson of Starbuck says they’re busy putting things in place at the Capitol so they can hit the ground running once the 2015 session starts Jan. 6th. Part of that involves setting up the committee structure as the new Republican majority prepares to take office in the House. Committee leaders have been set and Anderson will be serving as chair of the House Agriculture Policy Committee. He says agriculture is an incredibly important element in his area and, as a farmer, he understands the challenges farmers face and looks forward to addressing them.
The New Ulm Police Department is seeking your assistance in locating 51 year old Karen Schroeder of New Ulm. Schroeder left her residence on foot on Monday morning and has not been seen or heard from since. She has health concerns and authorities are concerned for her welfare. Because of the cold weather, the police department is asking you to check your properties for indications of someone who might have sought shelter, especially near her residence on the south side of New Ulm. Schroeder is described as 5’04” tall, 108 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She may have blemishes on her face. It is unknown what she was wearing or where she might have been headed. If you think you have seen Karen or know of her whereabouts, contact the police department.
The Minnesota State Patrol was called to a sideswipe crash in Crow Wing County near Brainerd yesterday (Tuesday) involving a man from New London and a woman from Nisswa. According to the state patrol, 48 year old Steven Beach of New London was traveling east on Highway 210 in his semi and struck a vehicle driven by 66 year old Connie McKinney of Nisswa who was traveling north on Highway 25. The two collided at the intersection. Beach was not injured. McKinney was taken to the St. Joseph Hospital with minor injuries.
A discussion on making some adjustments to the employee policies was discussed at this week’s Kerkhoven City council meeting. Mayor Brian Thompson asked the council to take a look at his ideas for changes and talk about them at the next city council meeting. One of his suggestions was that they take a look at vacation time and how that is accrued. Thompson says the language in the current employee policy is kind of vague and they need to review it so there is no confusion. Another idea was to look at a policy on ride-a-longs in city vehicles. He said they’ve been informed by the city’s insurance company that’s frowned on and they want to get that in the employee policy as well as the response time to a call when the guys are on call.” Thompson didn’t specify a time, he just said they could talk about it at the next meeting.