Yesterday (Tuesday), the Litchfield Police was called to a property damage crash that occurred at the intersection of Hwy 12 and Holcombe Avenue. A 54 year old Cosmos female was charged with fail to yield. She will be appearing in Meeker County District Court on a later date.
The Alexandria School Board has accepted retirement requests from Judy Backhaus, Human Resources Director, and David Hartmann, student activities director at the high school. Hartmann will retired at the end of June. Backhaus’ last day is August 3. The school district is starting a selection process to identify replacement for each position, according to Supt. Terry Quist.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is offering $150,000 in grant funding for diesel engine upgrade projects. They invite owners of 2006 and older heavy-duty diesel engines to apply for grants to upgrade or replace their engines in order to reduce diesel emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that every dollar spent on diesel emission reduction nets $13 in health benefits. Over the last seven years the MPCA’s clean diesel grant efforts have helped to directly fund emission-reducing improvements on 2,746 diesel engines in Minnesota, including nearly 1,900 school buses. The deadline to apply is March 31st.
You’ll lose an hour of sleep this weekend as clocks spring forward, but for many it’ll just be another day in their regular struggle to get enough rest. A new poll says among the most common factors of losing sleep are pain, stress and poor health. Dr. Todd Greatens (Gree-tens), medical director with the Sleep Center of Central Minnesota, says a new poll finds that sleep is a key indicator of overall health and quality of life. It’s estimated that more than a third of adults don’t always get the amount of sleep they need to feel their best.
Representative Jeff Backer of Browns Valley authored his first bill and it was unanimously approved by the Minnesota House. The bill addresses some of the problems related to the sustainability of Rural Ambulance Services. It seeks to provide an opportunity to remove hurdles, and streamline the process for ambulance services in rural Minnesota to use alternative staffing models. Backer says as an EMS himself, he’s happy the bill passed off the House floor. He says it will address issues related to the EMS community, and will help to ensure that our communities in rural Minnesota have the capabilities to respond to an emergency situation in a timely manner.”
Professor of Geology Jim Cotter has received the 2015 University of Minnesota, Morris Alumni Association Teaching Award. The award honors faculty members for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education by calling attention to educational philosophies, objectives, and methods. During Cotter’s 30-year tenure at Morris, he has taught Environmental Geology to more than 7,000 students. Furthermore, his nomination for the UMMAA Teaching Award was prompted by two of his students: Chelsea Tarbell and Michelle LaGarde. Cotter is a recipient of both the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education and the UMM Faculty Distinguished Research Award as well as a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math and Engineering.
A local legislature will get a hearing this week in the Minnesota House on his proposal for flood control projects in the district. District 12A Representative Jeff Backer has introduced a $3.5 million dollar bill for four projects. The four projects include $1,800,000 for the City of Ortonville for a control structure on the Whetstone River, $600,000 for Redpath Township in Traverse County, $390,000 for the Bois de Sioux Watershed District for Big Lake near the City of Herman, and $750,000 for the final phase of construction in the City of Browns Valley. This would remove them from the flood plan, eliminating a barrier to development.
Two persons were found submerged in water on Lake Andrew just southwest of Alexandria in Douglas County yesterday (Tuesday). They were taken to the Douglas County Hospital and from there the juvenile was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in the Twin Cities and the adult male airlifted to North Memorial Hospital. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Brad Brejcha about two missing persons who were traveling in a UTV on the lake, that the two, a 50 year old man and his 2-1/2 year old grandson had been on the lake and were overdue. Brejcha told officers he had been out looking for them and located a large hole in the ice where it appeared the UTV had broken through. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team was activated and located the two submerged in the water. Details of the accident and their names are not available at this time.
67 year old Peter Hoagland, owner of Pete’s Communications in Willmar, appeared in Kandiyohi County District Court yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) where he was charged with three additional criminal sexual conduct charges involving children under the age of 13. He now faces a total of seven criminal sexual conduct charges, four of them second degree charges and three of them fourth degree charges. Hoagland is free after posting $15,000. An omnibus hearing has been set for April 28th.
Yesterday (Tuesday), 20 year old Exsavor Cruz of Willmar entered a plea of guilty to a charge of second degree attempted murder for stabbing his 64 year old step grandmother at her home last summer. In exchange for his guilty plea, two other charges of first and second degree assault were dismissed. Judge Jenna Fischer ordered a pre-sentence investigation. Cruz will be sentenced April 13th.
The Willmar City Council Monday night approved moving forward with about two million dollars’ worth of street improvements. They also approved the water and electric rate increases. Mayor Marvin Calvin says the concerns in regard to the electric rates was that if people are producing electricity at home either through solar or wind energy that the utility then needs to buy that back. The question basically was if this was fiscally comparable to those who just buy power. People try to have that zero energy use, he said, and there are issues that come both for the utility and also for the private person providing that power.
Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jim Butterfield says at the Human Services meeting there was a report on Drug Court, which appears to be working. Since last July they’ve had 7 people enter Drug Court, which has very stringent rules. Three of the seven left either because they weren’t complying or some other reason, says Butterfield. He says the presenters did give one example of a young man who started drinking, smoking dope and using meth at the age of 13 and now is in his 30s and doing very well. This individual has 388 days of sobriety. The biggest thing is the savings the Drug Court will provide for the citizens of the county. For every dollar invested in the Drug Court, it reduces $3 of additional cost to the county whether it be through Health and Human Services or additional treatments that didn’t work in the past. So getting $3 back on every dollar we spend is a good thing on Drug Court and I support it wholeheartedly.