Last year there were 78,396 traffic crashes reported to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. There were 143,681 motor vehicles and 190,070 people involved in these crashes. 361 people died and 29,439 were injured. The estimated economic cost to Minnesota was $1.6 billion. The 361 traffic fatalities is a 6.7 percent decrease from the previous year. This percentage decrease is encouraging in light of that fact that traffic fatalities in Minnesota have decreased sharply during the past decade. However, it indicates that traffic fatalities in Minnesota remain at epidemic levels, serving as a call-to-action for all motorists to buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and never drive impaired.
You’re invited to join Vision 2040, Willmar Lakes Area Chamber, for An Evening of Stories, Green Card Voices on Minnesota Immigrant Stories on Thursday afternoon at five at the Goodness parking lot in downtown Willmar. Learn more about our neighbors who live within the Willmar area and hear their stories of immigration, cultural backgrounds and the bonds shared between existing and new residents. Arrive early and bring your lawn chair. The speakers begin at 5:30. All ages are welcome. There will be free ethnic hor d’oeuvres and lemonade.
Two people were injured in a rollover on I-94 near Melrose yesterday afternoon (Monday), according to the Minnesota State Patrol and Stearns County Sheriff’s Office. 78 year old Reta Symalla of Long Prairie was traveling west on I-94, hit some tire debris while attempting to pass a tractor-trailer. She lost control and rolled into the ditch. Her passenger was 79 year old Deloris Symalla of Long Prairie.
A rollover on Highway 23 in Kandiyohi County yesterday morning (Monday) injured four people, according to the Minnesota State Patrol and Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office. 80 year old Richard Ford of Spicer was distracted and rear-ended a vehicle driven by 32 year old Karen Paulson of Brooklyn Center. Ford lost control and rolled into the ditch. Ford, Paulsen and two passengers in her vehicle, 10 year old Carrissa Paulsen and eight year old Devin Paulson suffered non-life threatening injuries. They were treated ad Rice Hospital.
The New Prague Police Department and the family of Anthony Slavik are asking for your help in locating Tony Slavik and his vehicle. He’s driving a red 2000 jeep Cherokee with MN license plate TM588. He is described as five foot eight, 145 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair. He has been missing since July 18th. He has a medical condition and is on the kidney transplant list. He had been doing home hemo-dialysis. If you have any information contact the New Prague Police Department.
Legislators and DNR officials are hosting a town hall meeting tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at 8:30 in the large community room at the Glenwood State Bank in Alexandria. Representative Paul Anderson of Starbuck says the meeting is to discuss well and irrigation permitting issues. The goal is to receive information from landowners that will help them adopt new state policies that are more efficient and workable for farmers, along with answering any questions people may have. Anderson says this is a good opportunity for irrigators to share information about how new large-water appropriation laws are affecting their ability to obtain permits for new wells. The DNR has been charged with coming up with sustainability criteria to make sure we don’t deplete our underground aquifers. There are currently four pilot areas around the state, including one in this area focusing on the Bonanza Valley.
Chen Garden, the Chinese restaurant housed in the Kandi Mall, has reportedly been evicted from the mall during a hearing Friday in Kandiyohi County District Court. According to an article in the West Central Tribune, a civil complaint was filed against the restaurant and its manager, Wei Dong of Willmar. It’s alleged the business vacated the premises at the end of May and failed to turn over the keys to the business or pay $12,000 of rent for June and July. Neither Dong nor an attorney for Chen Garden appeared at the hearing.
2015 was declared to be The International Year of the Soil by United Nations Food and Agricultural Organizations. The majority of our land surface is water with only 3 percent available for growing food. Research Soil Scientist Dr. Jane Johnson says a definition of soil is the thin layer that stands between us and salvation. In 1960 our population was three billion people and today it’s over 7 billion people. The projected population for 2050 is 9.6 billion people. Johnson says it is critical how we take care of our soil. It takes 100 to 500 years to re-build an inch of topsoil that may be lost in one event, such as a heavy rain. Johnson says less tillage, keeping more things covered and putting organic materials back into the soil, such as crop residue and adding animal manure will help care for that topsoil. She also says that Minnesota is starting to experiment with growing cover crops underneath the corn or soybeans.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is encouraging farmers and rural landowners to take steps to help protect Minnesota's insect pollinators. The campaign encourages landowners to use Best Management Practices developed by the MDA and others to improve and create pollinator habitat, and to combine those practices with funding sources available at the state and federal levels to make a difference on the landscape. There are ways rural landowners can improve pollinator habitat and increase plant diversity,” says Kevin Cavanaugh with the MDA pollinator outreach staff. The campaign also highlights stories of rural Minnesotans who have taken specific measures to improve pollinator habitat. Lac qui Parle County farmer Calvin Fernholz is one of those landowners. He operates a 400-acre organic farm with a 30-acre restored prairie and wetlands, and just planted additional acreage.
The Stevens County Economic Improvement Commission, Inc., has financing through its Store Front Renovation Loan Program for business owners, who are planning to make improvements or repairs to their building. Dependent upon renovation costs and the available business owners’ resources, up to $50,000 dollars in loans and rates at 2% percent fixed for up to 7-years, are available for qualified business owners in Stevens County. For more information, contact Executive Director Michael Haynes.
University of Minnesota Morris Associate Professor of Biology Timna Wyckoff, is guiding students April Dennison and Nathan Ferrey in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Summer Research Program. Together they will examine how certain proteins influence bacterial shape. The team will observe Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) to learn how cell shape-determining proteins lead to the corkscrew shape that helps H. pylori cause gastritis, ulcers, and gastric cancer. In analyzing this relationship, the team contributes to knowledge that may advance treatment techniques. Throughout the project, students will be surrounded by peers working on other projects, including students from the Chemistry, Statistics, Physics, and Computer Science Disciplines.
39 year old Mary Prigge of Minneapolis, formerly of Belgrade, was sentenced in Kandiyohi County District Court yesterday (Monday) on an amended plea of third degree drug possession. It’s alleged she stole medications that were prescribed to residents of the Glen Oaks Care Center in New London.Judge Donald Spilseth sentenced her to 120 days in the Kandiyohi County Jail, she has to pay fines and fees totaling $1,615, be on supervised probation for 20 years, complete a chemical assessment, write a letter of apology, and attend mental health counseling.
30 year old Nickolas Neal of Spicer appeared in Kandiyohi County District Court yesterday (Monday) where he was sentenced by Judge Donald Spilseth on a felony second degree criminal sexual conduct charge involving a nine year old girl. He was sentenced to 180 days in the Kandiyohi County Jail, 25 years supervised probation, has to undergo a psychological sexual evaluation, register as a predatory offender, and complete an outpatient sex offender treatment program. With Neal’s guilty plea, a second felony charge of criminal sexual conduct was dismissed.
The two girls reported missing from the Willmar area Sunday night, 16 year old Kiara Dillabough and 15 year old Madison Sankey, were located in Mankato yesterday (Monday).
42 year old Wesley Scantlin with the group Puddle of Mudd was charged in Renville County District Court yesterday (Monday) on a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and gross misdemeanor charges of refusal to take a chemical test and driving a motor vehicle under the influence. A Renville County Sheriff’s deputy saw a vehicle on Highway 212 in Bird Island at 3:45 Sunday morning that was traveling faster than the 30 mile per hour speed limit, followed the vehicle which reached speeds of 80 miles per hour. Near Hector the vehicle made a u-turn and headed back at speeds over 100 miles an hour. The deputy pursued the vehicle, which eventually stopped. The driver, Scantlin, was arrested and taken to the law enforcement center in Olivia.