Local NewsMinute: Stevens Co. Epidemic, Native Plants, & National Guard Activated 18 Jan 18

MnDoT Quietly Working On Policy Recommendations

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is still chewing on feedback they received from last fall’s public session on mowing and haying in the right-of-way on State highways.
Public Affairs Coordinator Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt says the task force has been meeting, and expects some sort of announcement in February or March. During the last legislative session, the Department was instructed to freeze its proposed restrictions, gather more public comment, and submit a detailed plan to lawmakers in 2018.
MnDoT officials visited Morris on November 15.

Cleaning Seeds All Year ‘Round

Yesterday afternoon, Come Grow With Us officially returned for 2018, and nearly every seat of the AgCountry Auditorium was filled. Mary Holm of Morris-based Morning Sky Greenery talked about native plants, and how her business stays busy in the winter – by cleaning seeds.
Morning Sky was recently approved to harvest native seeds in Wildlife Management Areas, and regularly requests permission from local property owners to do the same on private lands.

Morris-Based Troops Activated

It’s official – local units of the Minnesota National Guard are headed to Super Bowl 52.
During yesterday’s meeting, Staff Sergeant Dawn Broesder [BRUISED-HER] of the Morris Armory briefed the area’s Beyond The Yellow Ribbon Committee. She said, last week, Governor Mark Dayton signed an Executive Order that places many Guard units under State Active Duty from January 26 until February 5.
For security reasons, the Guard hasn’t publicly announced what specific tasks members will do.

No Lawsuit From Stevens County This Week

The Stevens County Board of Commissioners won’t join other Minnesota counties in opioid-related lawsuits, yet. Coordinator Rebecca Young explained the Board wanted County Attorney Aaron Jordan to study what sort of exposure local doctors could face if the Board wanted to join the case.
Last month, the Board received a closed-door briefing on the issue, featuring what Young called “alarming” and “eye-opening” statistics on the local impact of opioid abuse. Douglas and Meeker Counties are the closest counties to our area that have chosen to enter into litigation.