Local NewsMinute: 4-H, Budget, MPCA, Interns, And Driving 07 Mar 18

Tight Schedule, Heavy Burden On Stevens County Attorney’s Office

Following budgetary questions from the Stevens County Board of Commissioners, Victim Services Coordinator Susie Hanson gave a follow-up presentation yesterday morning.

Hanson emphasized that her position is funded by a grant from the Office of Justice Programs, so there shouldn’t be any long-term fiscal impact, but wanted the Board to know what demands she faced.

Hanson was originally hired under the terms of fifteen-hours-per-week, but with the volatility of her trial schedule and other unexpected developments, that can grow to 28, even pushing as high as 35, at times.

Winter Winding Down, But Laws Remain The Same

Sergeant Jesse Grabow reminds you to keep the slush off your vehicle, he’s the Minnesota State Patrol’s local Public Information Officer.

State law prohibits “non-transparent material,” such as snow, from obstructing any of your windows. Plus, the windshield and front side windows cannot be covered with frost or steam “to such an extent as to prevent proper vision.” You could also be charged with a petty misdemeanor if a large amount of snow is sitting on the roof of your car, at risk of falling onto the roadway.

“This may apply when a vehicle is covered in snow/ice,  [which could hit] another vehicle, causing damage,” Grabow said in a statement.

Two Interns Joining Municipal Ranks

The City of Morris has a new intern, compliments of the Land Down Under.

Tess McGahn hails from Brisbane, Australia; she’ll be working on green energy initiatives with the University of Minnesota, Morris Office of Sustainability. The City will get another intern at the end of the month, from the University of Applied Sciences in Munster, Germany.

City Manager Hill credits Morris’ growing reputation in climate science as the cause for this international attention.

Big Stone County 4-H Going To State

Stevens County 4-H performed well in last week’s Regional Project Bowl in Foley.

Modeled after the College Bowl television show from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, it’s pits teams of three-to-six students against each other, testing their knowledge of beef, goat, sheep, and swine.

           Junior Team One was Zac Sleiter, Ava Wayne, Jazlynn Hilbrands, Grace Mortenson, Gabbi Joos, and Taryn Picht; they took sixth place.

           Junior Team Two was Charles Koehl, Anna Backman, Jeslyn Olson, Bethany Backman, and Campbell Sleiter; they earned third place.

           Junior Team Three was Kendal Evink, Eli Feuchtenberger, Molly Wayne, and Seth Feuchtenberger; taking home fifth place.

           The Senior Team included Justus Moser, Emma Heil, Anne Koehl, Karmen Sperr, and Paige Backman; winning fourth place.

The Teams were coached by Lee Johnston, Danielle Heil, Jon Moser, Natasha Mortenson, Suzanne Wayne, Liberty Sleiter and Julie Picht.

Douglas County 4-H placed sixth in Senior Dairy. Big Stone County 4-H took third place in Junior Dairy, they’ll advance to the State Competition, held on April 7 in Sauk Rapids.

State Agency And Ethanol Plant Resolve Dispute

DENCO II has reached a settlement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), stemming from multiple violations of the company’s permit-to-discharge between May 2010 and January 2018.

The agreement includes a $22,141 fine, and plans to switch the facility’s water supply from on-site groundwater wells to the City of Morris’ Water Treatment Plant, once construction has finished. 

In a statement, Plant Manager Brandon Soine says his facility has cooperated fully with MPCA’s investigation, and noted the citations were mostly focused on administrative procedures, as opposed to chemical discharges.

“The pollution violations that were identified related to dust and organic material from receiving corn,” Soine continues, “DENCO II remains committed to protecting the environment, and has taken steps to correct the violations.”

NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect comment from DENCO II.