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NEWS
April 29

News Director: Bev Alquist
Call with news at 320-235-2900 or email bahlquist@k-musicradio.com

The Benson Police Department asks that you do not hesitate to call, report, or stop and talk to an officer about any suspicious activity. The police department need as many eyes and ears helping them as possible. What information you think may be “not that important” can help them solve burglaries, thefts, narcotics cases and other crimes that influence a person’s everyday life. Remember, if something doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t. The police chief encourages everyone in the Benson area to lock their vehicles when not in use. In addition any items of high value should not be left in the vehicle unsecured.

The state building code was discussed at this week’s Kerkhoven City Council meeting. A public hearing to further discuss the code will be held May 9th. The Building Code Inspector, Mike Jacobson, will be at the meeting. He was at this week’s council meeting and was asked to be the city’s zoning administrator until they needed the building code inspector. The zoning permits the council had they gave to him. They have 15 days to review them. He’s newly hired, and this will take a little pressure off Kim and the council. Mayor Brian Thompson said they might not have all the questions or the answers, but this way they have a guy who knows what he’s doing.

The city of Kerkhoven would like to start an EDA Commission. Right now the city council is also the EDA. Plans are to start advertising for the position to see if there is any public interest. The bylaws say it would be a commission of five members with two of them council members. Councilman Scott Lamecker said he would be willing to serve on the commission as one of the two council members.

Representative Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake says the felons election amendment that went on the election bill really became problematic and concerning to many members. This amendment passed on a party line vote but what it would do is allow felons, people convicted of murder and other heinous crimes, to be allowed to have their voting rights restored or allow them to vote. Westrom says that brings great concern to several of them, making sure there are right perimeters in place. Many of these sentences of criminals have a provision of time, often ten years before they have their voting right restored, and this would try to expedite that so I think it comes with a lot of controversy and concern and we will see what happens when it goes to conference committee.

Morris City Council members passed the second reading for amendment of an ordinance at this week’s council meeting. The ordinance will be published April 30and will be effective May 30. This ordinances address issues, such as, vehicles being stored if not in running order, even if it has current tabs or collector plates, rabbits to be allowed as pets within the city limits, establishing an administrative fee for violating weed and grass rules, similar to the snow removal fee and adding carbon monoxide calls as incidents that may be billed.

Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake participated in a demonstration of new voting technology that will expand voting accessibility for all Minnesotans. A new law working its way through the legislature would require all new electronic voting systems that would verify votes, reduce paper consumption by 70 percent, significantly lowers election costs and employs touch screen technology that can be used by all voters. The voting machine functions by allowing an individual with a disability to use a detached keyboard and earphones to vote. It does use a smaller ballot, which has demonstrated some controversy. 

On Tuesday the Minnesota House voted unanimously in favor of a bill authored by State Representative for District 17A Tim Miller. The Public Safety Bill will require anyone on the predatory offender list to notify in writing of any change of physical address, vehicle or work.  The bill would also require that Child Protections Services be notified if a child is living with a predatory offender. There is a bill going through the Minnesota Senate. Representative Miller is feeling hopeful Governor Dayton will be signing this bill into law.

Wednesday, the American Red Cross blood drive was held at the National Guard Armory in Morris. A total of 75 people donated, and 79 units were collected. Lynn Schultz earned the 18 gallon pin. Paul Martin earned the 6 gallon pin in February.

‘Laura’s Law’, a bill authored by Representative Paul Anderson of Starbuck, has cleared its final committee hurdle. Anderson says the bill increases state penalties for committing crimes similar to what happened to 18 year old Laura Schwendemann of Starbuck last fall. Anderson has also authored legislation to improve farm tractor safety. His proposal creates a new tractor rollover protection pilot grant program to mitigate dangers posed by unstable tractors. The bill provides $250.000 for this voluntary program and a separate provision allows for additional funds to be raised from the private sector to support the initiative. The cost of installing rollover protection devices is between $1,000 to $1,500 a tractor. 

Kelly Tauber of Olivia has been selected as the new quality manager for the 11-clinic health care system. She will coordinate quality improvement activities and develop the quality care and patient safety culture throughout Willmar ACMC’s network. This may include initiatives and collaborations in the communities where ACMC clinics are located. She will also provide assistance and coordination of utilization management with the health plans and government programs.

Senator Lyle Koenen of Clara City says to date the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant program has received $30.6 million over the last two years, leveraging over $41 million in private investments. Combined with the economic benefit of serving 9300 homes and 930 businesses, money put into broadband has some of the highest returns on investment state governments will ever see. Koenen says as a Senator representing a rural district, the budget debate surrounding Broadband development in rural areas is very important to him. Currently, nearly 20 percent of rural communities don’t have access to sufficient internet speeds to do business, learn, communicate, or access critical health related programs. The potential for precision agriculture alone could revolutionize our state’s economy, but only if we have widespread broadband access.

The Little Crow Anglers will have a youth fishing clinic tomorrow (Saturday) at the Willmar Middle School. Registration is from 8:15 to nine; with the clinic from nine tonoon. This is free to all West Central Minnesota youth. Each child will rotate through 15 minute sessions covering boat and water safety; fish identification; rod and reel basting; minnow races, tying lines and knots and conservation education. Lunch is served from 11-11:30. There will be prizes by drawing, and parents can pick the children up at noon or attend with kids.

 

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