Paynesville Mayor Jeff Thompson said they are moving forward with updating the council chambers. When city hall was first built, the council chambers were designed with county court in mind. He says they had satellite court and that is not real conducive to council meetings. They’re also planning some needed technological updates that would go along with that. In other business they approved the sale of a lot of surplus equipment, computers, copiers, things like that. They also met in closed session to begin the process of evaluating the city administrator, which they do every year. They also certified past due garbage, water, sewer, snow removal and mowing bills. Thompson invites everyone to vote Tuesday because it’s a very important process.
Schools of Equity Education’s (SEE) Brad Lundell provided the New London Spicer School Board with a history of SEE at this week’s school board meeting. Supt. Paul Carlson says they reviewed recommendations from the SEE group, focusing on equalization to reduce some of the tax burden for school districts like New London Spicer. The equalization factor has not been updated for a number of years, Carlson says, and every dollar they raise comes from local property taxes, which amounts to about 18 percent of the district’s revenue. Any equalization will provide some property tax relief for the district’s residents. Carlson says last year the legislature updated the equalization formula for operating levies so for every dollar they raised the state would pay 33 cents on that dollar. Now they’re working this year and in the future, according to the SEE task force, to assist school districts throughout the state of meeting facilities and technology needs so that would have a direct impact on updating equalization when it comes to deferred maintenance on school buildings, new school building projects.
The Litchfield School Board, at its meeting this week, made a decision to convert their meetings to a paperless format, according to Supt. Dan Fraiser. Instead of the usual paper agenda and packet, they are now going to put all the agendas and all the information on line and will bring devices to the school board meetings, work from those and have the information available to the public through that format. The board received an update on safety and security initiative in the district. Both Ripley and Wagner Elementary schools have their security system fully activated. Supt. Fraiser sayd the doors are sealed during the day. He said visitors are allowed to enter by using a video intercom system in the entryway where they’re screened and badges are printed before they’re allowed entry into the building. So all school visitors, all adults interacting with the kids are screened and badged ahead of time for extra comfort and safety of our students.
22 year old Ramzey Abu-Shanab of North Mankato was not injured in a rollover late yesterday afternoon (Thursday) on Highway 68 in Lyon County. According to the Minnesota State Patrol he was traveling east on Highway 68 when a gust of wind caught the van which rolled into the ditch. Assisting at the scene was the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.
21 year old Calvin Larkins, a Level 3 Predatory Offender, was released from a correctional facility in Minnesota and moved to Alexandria yesterday (Thursday). He is living in the 500 block of 3rd Avenue in Alexandria. Larkins has a history of sexual conduct and contact with minor male and female victims. Conduct has included indecent exposure, and contact included fondling and penetration. He was known to his victims. According to the Alexandria Police Department, Larkins is not wanted by the police at this time and has served the sentence imposed on him by the court.
Today (Friday) U.S. Senator Al Franken will join the DFL Get out the Vote Bus Tour for stops in Willmar and Morris. He will speak with voters about the importance of getting out to the polls in next week’s election. Senator Franken will be at the DFL Field Office in Willmar at 9:30 this morning, and at the University of Minnesota Morris at 11:30.
Law enforcement officers in the 25 counties with the highest numbers of traffic deaths and serious injuries tied to alcohol will try to keep scary fun from turning deadly this Halloween. The top impaired-related counties include Stearns, Otter Tail, and Meeker. Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow urges motorists to plan for a sober ride, because while losing a license can really disrupt a person’s life, causing a fatality or injuring another driver or passenger is far worse. It’s all about choices, says Grabow, and one poor choice can result in jail time, a lost driver’s license and other consequences.
Most people in Minnesota know that smoke detector installation and testing is important, but according to a new survey, most are likely mistaken about how much time is needed to safely evacuate a burning home. Research from the American Red Cross shows folks think they have five minutes, but it’s generally less than half that time. Practice getting out of your house and make sure your family has a gathering space outside your home that you’re going to meet at. Another key to preparedness is having smoke detectors in each bedroom that are in working condition and regularly tested. Daylight Savings time starts this weekend so check the batteries in your smoke alarms.
Last night (Thursday) 23 year old Kyle Hallberg shot himself in the lower calf area of his leg while holstering his revolver. According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, Hallberg was shooting a skunk when the revolver accidentally discharged as he was holstering it. The accidental shooting happened on County Road 18 in Collinwood Township near Hutchinson. Hallberg was taken to the Hutchinson Health Emergency Room to be treated for his injury. The sheriff’s office is investigating.