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NEWS
Apr 28

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

Tomorrow night (Saturday), the Prairie Arts Chorale will present ‘Cool, Cool Water’ at 7:30at the Unity Christian Reformed Church in Prinsburg. The Prairie Arts Chorale Spring 2017 Concert Series is “Cool, Cool Water”, featuring an extended medley from the musical “Big River” and other favorites, such as “Shenandoah”, “Singin’ in the Rain”, and “Old Man River.” The Prairie Arts Chorale is a regional choral group in Southwestern Minnesota. The Chorale prepares two musical seasons each year: the fall concert presents classical and sacred music, while the spring season is selected from folk songs, popular tunes, and themes from Broadway and musical theater.

The Benson Police Department says the calls for ‘dogs at large’ have been significantly increasing as the warmer months continue this year. The city ordinance requires all dogs to be on a leash when outside. As always, safety is paramount not only for ourselves but those around us, this also includes our pets. If you let your pet outside keep them on a leash or some type of device that keeps them in your yard.

DFL legislators will be holding a public town hall meeting in Willmar tomorrow (Saturday) in the Kandi Entertainment Center’s Gold room from 11-12:30. Legislators are Senators Jason Isaacson of Shoreview, Assistant Minority Leader Susan Kent of Woodbury, Dan Schoen of St. Paul Park, and Melissa Wiklund of Bloomington. They will also be taking a tour of the city that will be led by local community leaders. You’re invited to attend, ask questions, and share what issues or concerns you may have.  

On Saturday, from 10 to 2, the Montevideo Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 13th opportunity in 7 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to the Montevideo Police Department at 103 Canton Ave. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

The Stevens County Sheriff's Office has an open/ongoing investigation where they suspect property has been stolen from residents and it has not yet been reported to our office. The suspected property ranges from firearms to tools, to coins to jewelry. Officers ask that you thoroughly check your property to make sure all valuables are accounted for. If you know something is missing, make a report to the sheriff’s office.

It was a much quieter Morris City Council meeting than normal Tuesday night, as no citizens showed for public comment or the public hearing. The public hearing was for the second reading of an ordinance establishing the Morris City Code for storm water management, including an illicit discharge ordinance. The addition is mandated by the state so that the city can acquire the proper storm water permit. Morris City Manager Blaine Hill said after the last meeting that it will have little effect on property owners involving small things such as no longer being allowed to mow grass into the streets. The city will have to work now on mapping out the storm water system and working on how to monitor and enforce the new ordinance. Actions that were approved during the meeting included the sale of improvement bonds, a design and build agreement for the library HVAC system, the purchase of a Freightliner Semi from the DNR, and the advertising of bids for 2017 reclaim projects.

A request for a taxi resulted in a Fergus Falls woman being arrested for assault. EarlySaturday morning, Fergus Falls law enforcement received a call from a female party requesting a cab ride. During the short exchange with dispatchers, the report says that a male party could be heard in the background cursing, and an argument ensued.  The disagreement between the two individuals caused the female to discard the phone without ending the call. Law enforcement listened to the argument through the open line until the male was heard telling the original caller to “put the knife down,” the report states. Upon arrival, officers arrested 26-year-old Samantha Louise Longie for second degree assault with a deadly weapon. Officials say there were no injuries to either party.

Stevens County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ron Hensinger received the Medal of Honor award from the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association at their annual banquet this week.  The Medal of Honor is awarded for actions in a single event which demonstrate bravery, heroism, and self-sacrifice; clearly distinguishing the individual for gallantry and bravery under life-threatening circumstances. Deputy Hensinger was nominated for this award for his actions during a pursuit and office-involved shooting on October 28, after an Evansville man led law enforcement on a 50 mile chase starting in Donnelly and spanning three counties. Hensinger fatally shot the man after he pointed a handgun at law enforcement in Traverse County. In February, the Traverse County Attorney’s Office announced they would not pursue charges against Hensinger, stating the man provoked the gun fire after being given several opportunities to surrender.

Miles Weske, the North Memorial flight paramedic who almost lost his life in a helicopter crash in Alexandria last year, and his wife, Brooklyn, say they will pursue legal action against North Memorial after changes to his employment status. The legal action is being pursued after Miles was recently terminated from North Memorial Air Care while still recovering from severe injuries sustained in the company helicopter crash. Though terminated from Air Care, Brooklyn states that Miles is still employed by North Memorial in the billing department. On Sept. 16, 2016, Miles was in the back seat of a North Memorial Air Care helicopter when it crashed north of the Alexandria Municipal Airport at about 2 in the morning. He suffered fractures to two vertebrae, a liver laceration, multiple broken ribs, a broken sternum, broken femur, broken ankle, collapsed lungs and blood in his lungs.

 An individual was picked up by law enforcement around 1 Wednesday afternoon in Kandiyohi after allegedly shooting up cars and buildings with a long gun, which could have been a higher caliber, according to the incident report. The individual was located at a residence at the 4000 block of 60th Street Northeast. A Keeping Our Police Safe alert was sent to alert area law enforcement about a potentially dangerous situation, though it was canceled a few minutes later when the suspect was found.                                         

There will be a Level 3 sex offender community meeting on Wednesday night, May 3rd at six in the Olivia City Hall. 26 year old Christopher Johnson, a predatory sex offender, will be moving to an address on Maple Avenue in mid-May. He has a history of sexual contact with adolescent female victims, including penetration. Johnson is a high risk offender. He is not wanted by police at this time, he has served his sentence imposed by the court.

The Legislature has continued working this week to put omnibus finance bills in shape to be considered by both bodies for re-passage so legislators can send them to the governor for his decisions. Representative Paul Anderson of Starbuck says concern has arisen since the governor has chosen to not be engaged in the conference committee process. He says the governor has also said he is unwilling to compromise on the enactment of buffer strips. Anderson says the main point is they need clarification on numerous aspects of buffer law before it can be reasonably enforced.  Anderson, who chairs the House Agriculture Policy Committee, says he will be part of a panel during two public meetings in the region tonight(Friday) where they plan to discuss buffer strips and a number of other ag-related issues. The meeting in Herman will be at six at the American Legion; and the one in Alexandria will be at eight in the Glenwood State Bank Community Room.

48 year old Kyle Rhoda of Raymond has been charged with setting fire to his home, which was destroyed in a fire last week. Rhoda was injured in the fire, accidently burning his hands, face and eyes. Rhoda was treated at Rice Hospital and from there transferred to Regions Hospital. He made his first court appearance yesterday (Thursday) on one count of first degree arson. His next court appearance is May 8th.

Rural Minnesotans listed access to affordable health care as their top concern during a series of listening sessions hosted by the Minnesota Farmers Union. Gary Wertish, a Renville County farmer who heads the Minnesota Farmers Union, says they held community meetings in every corner of the state, and the farm group brought members of Governor Mark Dayton's cabinet to take part in the session and take feedback from people in Greater Minnesota. In Mankato they heard from a farmer who pays more than $40,000 in out-of-pocket costs for health care every year; and from a farmer in Alexandria, a mother of five, who says the only way she and her husband can both continue to farm is because they have access to Minnesota Care health insurance for their family.

Producers of four Minnesota agricultural commodities have elected new members to serve on the barley, beef, corn, and soybean commodity research and promotion councils. Each new board member will serve a three year term to help guide how each group spends mandatory check-off dollars. The councils play an important role in developing and promoting Minnesota farm products, including grains and meats. Commodity council elections allow producers a say in how their check-off dollars are spent, says Minnesota Agricultural Commissioner Dave Frederickson. Brian Lacey of Dalton was elected to the Barley Research and Promotion Council; Davis Wulf of Morris to the Beef Research and Promotion Council; and Patrick O’Leary of Benson to the Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was called to a fire yesterday (Thursday) in a garage of an above residence at 9170 Blue Jay Way in Garfield. The Garfield, Brandon, Alexandria and Evansville Fire Departments responded to the call. Deputies found the fire had engulfed the garage and was spreading to the main part of the residence. The fire did consume the upper floor of the residence and caused extensive damage to the main and lower floors. A vehicle parked in the garage was also lost in the fire. There were no injuries. The State Fire Marshal was called to investigate the cause of the fire and his investigation continues.

The Department of Natural Resources celebrates Arbor Day today (Friday) and Arbor Month in May by recognizing the health benefits of trees in Minnesota. Trees and forests provide numerous health benefits such as helping reduce skin cancer; decreasing mental stress and promoting healing; cleaning the air and reducing childhood asthma rates; reducing stressful noises by 50 percent; providing healthy fruits and nuts. To encourage people to get a daily dose of trees, the DNR is launching the #31DaysOfTrees challenge during Arbor Month. Participants may win one of five state parks permits and have 10 trees planted in their honor in a Minnesota state forest.

Across the state, spring is a busy time to plant trees. But they need to be planted correctly so they can grow strong and provide health benefits to people. Pick a tree that will grow well on site; keep the tree’s roots damp until planting; remove pot-bound and encircling roots; plant the tree so the tree’s first woody root is at ground level; layer 2 inches to 4 inches of mulch over planting area, keeping mulch away from trunk; and water newly planted trees at least once a week for three years. This year’s Arbor Month celebrates the human health benefits of trees. Did you know trees keep the air clean, and that childhood asthma rates are lower in urban neighborhoods that have a higher density of trees? The trees that homeowners and communities plant will provide additional health benefits such as a lower level of stressful noises, cooler air temperatures in the summer and increased shade that reduces heat stroke and exposure to UV rays.

The Highway 23 project from Clara City to Willmar is scheduled to begin on May 8th. This project includes the resurfacing of Highway 23 from one mile east of Highway 7 to one mile east of Kandiyohi County Road 5, which is 16.3 miles. The project will be completed under traffic using lane closures during daylight hours and a flagger/pilot car directing traffic.

A plant in western Minnesota that burns turkey litter and was once heralded by politicians could soon be shutting down. Reed Anfinson, who serves on the city of Benson's economic development authority, says 45 employees of Benson Power, formerly known as Fibrominn, were told this week that the plant could close. Xcel Energy has about a decade left on a contract to buy the power at a premium, but the utility wants out. Company officials say biomass power costs up to 10 times more than new wind power. For the past decade, the plant has created work for turkey farmers and truckers who deliver biomass to the plant. Anfinson, who is also owner and publisher of the Swift County Monitor-News, says the plant accounts for a quarter of the city's current property tax revenues.

 

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