Eric Rudningen with the Kerkhoven Ambulance Service informed the council they’ve made reductions on their maintenance budget because of the new ambulance, and that he doesn’t believe there is a need for any increases for the townships in the near future. Mayor Brian Thompson says the ambulance service is also looking at updating the heavy coats they wear in the winter. The jackets cost $150 per jacket, and it’s been 15 years since they were updated. Another item the ambulance is looking at is a LUCAS device, which mounts on the ambulance cot and does chest compressions. Thompson says they’ve talked about it before and they will be discussing it again in the future.
You’re asked to use extra caution when driving through highway work zones during the Labor Day weekend. Work will be suspended on projects over the holiday weekend, but drivers will still encounter lane closures and detours across the region. Three highway projects in West Central Minnesota may affect travel: Highway 29 south of Benson where traffic is currently detoured to Highway 12, Swift County Road 31/Chippewa County Road 4 and Highway 40; and Highway 29/Broadway in downtown Alexandria. Through-traffic is detoured around downtown Alexandria. All businesses remain accessible. The third project is Highway 10 east of Glyndon where traffic is reduced to a single lane in each direction. Drivers traveling between the Fargo-Moorhead area and the Detroit Lakes area, including the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag, may want to consider an alternate route during peak travel hours.
The Stevens County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting yesterday (Thursday) at the Stevens County Courthouse. The meeting was to conduct interviews with Todd Larson and Brian Noetzelman, candidates for the County Engineer positions. Larson, who is from Glenwood, is currently a civil engineer for Hancock Concrete Products LLC. Noetzelman is from Villard and his most recent position was County Engineer for Pope County Highway Department.
The Morris City Council approved property tax abatements and the awarding of a business subsidy to assist in financing improvements to be made by Dripps Automotive LLC. This is the first project regarding the Hwy 28 development. Morris City Manager Blaine Hill, says it’s expensive to build a business off a highway because the business is required to have a frontage road. The monies from the Property Tax Abatement will help offset these costs. Dan Drips, Project Developer for Drips Automotive, will be asking Stevens County and the Morris Area School District if they will award property tax abatement for this project. If Drips does not get approval from all three government organizations then the project will not go through.
The Morris Area School District says it’s important to maintain a safe and secure building. This year legislation passed the new law in Minnesota, Safe and Supportive Schools Act. Morris Area Elementary Principal Ken Gagner says that the measures the school district is taking include having a policy in place on how to address disrespectful behavior by training the staff, and having investigations done by the principal and staff members. Morris Area High School Principal Craig Peterson says he believes the culture and climate of the building runs the show for the year.
With schools back in session Tuesday, the Morris Police Department receives many complaints regarding pedestrians and bicyclists. According to Police Chief Ross Tiegs, bicyclists have to abide by the traffic laws and pedestrians are to walk on the left side of the roadway. It is unlawful for any pedestrian to walk or move in a wheelchair along and upon an adjacent roadway if there are sidewalks that are accessible and usable.
Yesterday (Thursday), the Morris Area Chamber of Commerce held the Community Expo Picnic at East Side Park. This event was to welcome new Morris community residents, teachers, University of Minnesota, Morris, students, staff and faculty. This was a free picnic meal, and those attending had the opportunity to visit with local merchants and organizations.
“Feed My Starving Children’ is a Christian non-profit organization that helps world hunger by sending MannaPack meals to more than 70 countries. Tuesdayand Wednesday over 800 people from Morris and the surrounding communities helped with this cause. They packed enough food to fill about 26 pallets equivalent to 202,176 meals.
Blue-green algae, which can be toxic to humans and pets, appears to be in bloom in backwaters of Lac qui Parle Lake west of Milan. The bloom was noticed over this past weekend by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency staff travelling along Highway 40. The MPCA advises pet owners to check water conditions when dogs are playing near lakes or slow-flowing streams. Blue-green algae “blooms” have a thick, cloudy appearance that can look like green paint, pea soup or floating mats of scum. Some, but not all, species of blue-green algae contain potent toxins that can be deadly to dogs, livestock and other animals within hours of contact. Blue-green algae blooms can occur anytime during the summer, though they are normally associated with warm weather and low rainfall. Algae are a natural part of the ecosystem, but under certain conditions, algae populations can “bloom” with dramatic growth. Most blue-green algae are not toxic, but there is no way to visually identify whether a particular bloom contains toxins that are harmful to people or animals.
Residents in northwest Kandiyohi County gathered at Country Park 7 recently to celebrate past accomplishments and look to the future for protecting and improving water quality and land use in the Shakopee Creek Headwaters area. Blue Water Legacy awards were given to Don Holmgren, Steve Erickson, Brad Carlson, Dean Shuck, Larry Urban, Ron Dilley, Phil Hatlestad and Dean Rudningen for notable contributions they have made over the years to water quality work in the area. The Shakopee Creek Headwaters area including Norway, Games, Andrew and Florida Lakes is the spotlight for trying out some new tools to protect and improve water quality throughout the entire Minnesota River Basin and beyond.
The Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone to keep safety in mind while out on lakes and rivers this weekend. Kara Owens with the DNR says boaters should wear a life jacket every time they step on a boat and stay away from alcohol because booze and boating don’t mix. In Minnesota so far this year, nine people have died in boating accidents compared to nine deaths for the same time period last year. The DNR offers tips for safe and responsible boating including: wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person on board all watercraft; all children under 10-years-old are required to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while a boat is underway; alcohol and boating don’t mix; take a boater course and receive a boat education certificate.