Paul Kruse of Hutchinson has been named the 2014 Youth ATV Safety Volunteer Instructor of the Year by the Department of Natural Resources. Since 2006, Kruse has held 16 classes and certified 168 students. As president of the Crow River Wheelers, Kruse was instrumental in developing the Meeker/McLeod County area’s first ATV Park, established last year. He helped secure initial grant applications, attended all the meetings when the project started, and helped design the layout of the park’s training area. Jeremy Losinski, DNR Parks and Trails Division supervisor in Spicer, says Kruse promotes the sport in a safe and responsible manner and is willing to assist in any way he can. DNR conservation officers work closely with more than 1,000 ATV volunteer safety instructors. Through the efforts of these volunteer instructors, about 3,000 riders have graduated from ATV safety education courses annually since 1985.
A voice of support for Governor Mark Dayton’s buffer initiative came Thursday from the Land Stewardship Project. The proposal would require a 50-foot buffer of vegetation along perennial waterways. The buffers help filter nutrients and trap sediments, benefiting water quality. They can be used for haying and grazing. Many of the state’s largest farm organizations have expressed concerns about the buffer proposal and what they term the governor’s “one size fits all’’ approach. Jim Falk of rural Murdock, who is a member of the Land Stewardship Project’s state policy committee and farms 950 acres in Swift County, sees the proposal as a long overdue effort to follow a stewardship ethic on farmland.
Saturday morning, the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office received numerous 911 calls of a house explosion in the City of Chokio with the house fully engulfed in flames. The Chokio Fire Department with the assistance of the Morris Fire Department were able to contain the fire until it was extinguished. No one was home at the time of the incident. The investigation into the cause of the explosion is ongoing. Also assisting were the Morris Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol.
According to a press release from Kandiyohi County Chief Deputy Greg Stehn the suspicious person report in New London Thursday was a case of mistaken identity as the driver offered the boy a ride because he thought the boy was the son of a friend of his. The father of the New London-Spicer Middle School boy that was walking from the New London-Spicer Middle School downtown on Highway 9 called the sheriff’s office to tell them that. The case is now closed.
Avian influenza has infected a turkey flock in Stearns County, making it the third in the state to be hit. The first report was March 5th in a turkey flock in Pope County and the second was in Lac qui Parle County. Officials say there is no connection between the three flocks.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar has been named as co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption for the 114th Congress. In this new role, Klobuchar will lead her colleagues in Congress in pushing for federal policies that support adoptive children and families. Klobuchar says she has long worked to advocate for American families who open their homes to adopt children from their own communities and around the world, and through her new leadership will built on her work to eliminate red tape in the adoption process and help keep adoptive families strong.
The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will meet tomorrow morning at 8:30 at the Kandiyohi County Public Works Department to discuss road, bridge and public drainage matters. Tentative agenda items include a snow and ice summary; 2015 bituminous projects; County Park 2 water an site pads estimates; Irving Road update; BNSF Willmar ‘Wye’ update; Federal dollar awards; 5-year plan; and a drainage update.
Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen of Alexandria and Representatives Mary Franson of Alexandria and Bud Nornes of Fergus Falls will host a town hall meeting in Alexandria. The meeting will be tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday) from 3:45 to 5 at Travelers Inn. All are invited to this meeting and urged to voice their concerns and ideas.
The manufacturing of marijuana wax is on the rise, resulting in a number of fires, explosions and overdoses and is a great public safety risk. The Department of Public Safety and the St. Cloud Police Department held a news conference to discuss recent murder charges resulting from a marijuana wax manufacturing operation and educate the public on the dangers of the drug. A marijuana wax manufacturing operation in St. Cloud recently led to the death of a woman after an explosion. In a separate incident, two teens overdosed in Duluth after using the potent drug.