BEV is on Vacation the week of February 27th - March 5th.
Here is the news from Feb 24th...
The night time patrol officers at Benson are seeing an increase in juvenile activity in the late night hours after curfew. Benson City Ordinance curfew times for juveniles ages14 years old and under, is ten at night all the time; 15-17 years old 11 at night on weekdays, and midnightFriday and Saturday nights. If anyone has information pertaining to any crimes, call the Benson Police Department.
Joe Neaton of Watertown was re-elected state president of the Minnesota National Farmers Organization at the recent annual reorganizational meeting in Sauk Centre. Harold Marthaler of Sauk Centre was re-elected vice president. He milks 70 cows and farmers 1,000 acres of corn and soybeans. He is the father of six children and has been a township supervisor for 17 years. This year’s state convention is December 2nd, with a location yet to be determined. Next year’s national convention will be in January of 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Kensington Area Heritage Society will host an open house tomorrow afternoon (Saturday) from 1 to 3 in the Kensington Community Center. A formal program will begin around 1:30. For the last several years, this event has been called History with Eleanor Day in honor of Kensington's "town historian," Eleanor Gunderson. Her family donated much of her local memorabilia and history notes/newspaper clippings to the heritage society. Some of her materials will be brought from the museum and displayed at the open house. There will be a special presentation chronicling the formation and growth of the heritage society from a few people sitting in the back room of the Kensington Café to a museum/library housing local business and individual information, as well as the most extensive collection of materials related to the Kensington Runestone in the world. The open house will also include the announcement of preliminary plans for the April 29 research forum and a special exhibit at the museum to be unveiled in June.
Yesterday (Thursday). The Minnesota House of Representatives approved legislation which would allow Minnesotans to obtain an ID which complies with increased federal standards for such purposes as boarding commercial flights. Without a change in state law, standard Minnesota driver’s licenses will no longer be acceptable for boarding planes as soon as January of 2018. Minnesota is one of only a few states which remains out of compliance with the new standards. The House’s proposal features a two-path approach which allows people who want a Real ID to receive one, while also providing citizens the option of continuing to use the standard state ID. Representative Dean Urdahl of rural Grove City it is crucial to provide an alternative for people who would rather not obtain a Real ID.
Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake and Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen of Alexandria co-chaired a special joint hearing on buffer strips in the Minnesota State Senate. The hearing featured testimony from the Department of Natural Resources, the Board of Water and Soil Resources, local farmers, and advocates from both the agricultural and environmental communities. Westrom encourages county commissioners to keep local control over the issue and adopt a resolution for local implementation by the March 31st deadline. When fully implemented, the buffer strip law will result in the loss of nearly 150,000 acres of farmland. Senator Westrom has introduced legislation that would delay the enforcement of the buffer law in Minnesota by two years in order to allay and mitigate concerns that were not addressed when the buffer law was initially enacted. Additionally, the bill requires that the state or federal government provide financial assistance to landowners to cover the total cost for establishing buffers.
Representative Paul Anderson of Starbuck says the Ag Policy Committee has approved a billwhich prohibits road authorities from regulating when ditches may or may not be mowed and also prevents requiring permits to be obtained for mowing. The intent of the bill is to protect Minnesota landowners after MnDOT recently changed its statewide permitting standards for mowing and baling in the right of way. Another bill which passed the committee is legislation Anderson authored to extend summer contracts for FFA/ag instructors. Next week Ag Policy is scheduled to hear a bill Anderson authored to update the minimum debt amount for participation in the state’s Farmer-Lender Mediation Act. The minimum amount has remained the same since the program was established in 1986.
The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office is looking for assistance in locating 89 year old Richard Giles of Verndale. Giles was last seen at the Super 8 in Grand Rapids, after spending the night after he got lost. He is described as 5’09”, 165 pounds with hazel eyes and gray balding hair and a gray mustache and beard. He is driving a 2012 Burgundy GMC Traverse with MN license plate 276GYZ. Because of his age and weather authorities are concerned for his welfare. He may be lost so Wadena County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to keep an eye out on roadsides, in ditches and other areas for his vehicle or him. If you encounter him do not give him directions and send him on his way. Contact law enforcement to assist. If you think you have seen him or have information regarding his whereabouts contact the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office.
The Bemidji Police Department is seeking assistance in locating 13 year old Gary Tilander. He was last seen on the 600 block of Mississippi Avenue in Bemidji on February 22 around8:30 in the morning. Because of his age and the weather, authorities are concerned for his welfare. Tilander is described as 6’01”, 160 pounds with sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a black Flight Jordan Jumpman hoodie and has a charcoal grey backpack with numbers 23 in small print all over it. He is wearing black hightop Nike shoes. His usual place of residence is in International Falls. If you think you have seen him or have information regarding his whereabouts call the Bemidji police department.
Senator Andrew Lang of Olivia) has introduced a bill that would direct state officials to either purchase or lease-to-own the Prairie Correctional Facility, an unused prison located in Appleton. The bill aims to both bring jobs back to a rural community and ease the burden of prison overcrowding by making make use of the 1,600-bed facility that has sat empty since it closed in 2010. By 2022, there will be a projected 1,300 more inmates than capacity in the state prison system. This bill would directly address the serious problem of prison overcrowding in Minnesota. The prison would be entirely managed and run by the Department of Corrections. This bill has the support of officials in Swift County, which lost over 350 jobs and saw its unemployment rate spike to one of the highest in the state following the prison’s closing. The bill awaits a hearing in the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee.
The Willmar City Council has approved a contract with Isaac Holland as the city’s new administrator. He comes from Chillicothe (chill-uh-COT-ee), Missouri. His salary will be $126,000 a year. He is one of 47 people who applied for the administrator position.
A number of animals perished in a barn fire Wednesday night two miles east of Freeport. The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, Freeport Fire Department and Melrose Ambulance responded to the fire. A family member noticed the fire when she arrived home. The homeowner, Richard Klaphake of Freeport, and the fire department, extinguished the fire. The shed was a total loss. Sixteen calves and two goats perished. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
51 year old Andy Jaeger of Benson appeared in Swift County District Court Wednesday on a charge of theft by swindle, which is a felony. It’s alleged he took almost $60,000 from a friend to pay for medical treatments, specifically cancer treatments at the Mayo Clinic. There were never any treatments. Jaeger’s next hearing is set for April 26.
When the Kandiyohi County Commissioners held a Road and Bridge meeting this week, the Willmar Wye, the construction and railroad bypass on the west side of Willmar, was one topic of discussion. Mel Odens, public works director, reminded the commissioners they started this project with three things in mind, one to have a westerly bypass, two to have good roads into Willmar’s Industrial Park, and third, safety. Odens told the board it might be wise to do an intersection control evaluation on the south end of the Wye where Highway 23 is and the new bridge is being built. There are quite a number of roads that come together in that area – county road 5, turns into county Road 15 and intersects with 55. Commissioner Jim Butterfield says there are some options. There’s $3.77 million dollars that was approved by the legislature for county roads and they’re hoping to get that language changed from the north part of the Willmar Wye so Kandiyohi County can use that for the project by Highway 23 where County Roads 5 and 55 come together. There’s a lot of things that hinge on that project and a lot of things that would be very beneficial down there. Also the county would be looking at making things safer down there. We’re looking at part of that project and the intersection control evaluation would be to extend ramps coming down from the bridge to east and west – it wouldn’t complete the four lane down there but would act like the four lane on a two lane road.
Tonight (Friday) at six at the Willmar Conference Center, the Humane Society of Meeker and Kandiyohi Counties will hold the Humane Society’s annual fundraiser Save Our Tails. Tickets at door are $30 each or $25 at the humane society. There will be lost of live auction items and a lot of silent auction items. On March 10th the Fortress will hold its annual banquet and fundraiser at the conference center at six. The Fortress is a restoration project for men coming out of treatment, jail, prison, just to give them a safe place to live. The Fortress operates out of the old nursing home on Russell and Ella Avenue on the north side. Tickets are $35 each. During the live auction, Willmar Mayor Marv Calvin and Spicer Mayor Dennis Baker, will be auctioned off for Dinner with the Mayor.
Kandiyohi County Public Works Director Mel Oden had diagrams of a very comprehensive trail plan at this week’s Road and Bridge meeting. The county trail plan is dependent upon funding and right now there’s a lot of things roads need. He said when they do build, reconstruct roads, if you have a county road plan, there sometimes are federal dollars that can be accessed. The convention and Visitors Bureau is working hand in hand with Odens as far as a trail plan, whether it’s walking or biking. Odens says having the plan doesn’t mean they’re going to move forward, but having the plan for future construction and working on the roads might just help by extending the shoulder and having a paved shoulder rather than a gravel shoulder, which is less expensive than building a whole new trail.