U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue reiterated during a recent U.S. Senate Hearing of the need to restore the original intent of the Supplemental Nutrition Program, or SNAP. Perdue said the program is to provide a second chance, not a way of life. His comments came on the heels of a the Dept. of Agriculture publishing a proposed rule to move more able-bodied recipients of SNAP benefits to self- sufficiency through the dignity of work. That rule has the aim of helping people through tough times and not have the program become a life-long dependency. The comments and thoughts were published in the Federal Register.

Stearns County Deputies were called to a home recently in the Spring Hill area. The caller said a passing vehicle shot a potato gun and the spud went through there window! Deputies found the guilty party, consisting of 4 young men, in the ditch just down the road. They said they were bored and just out driving around, but they happened to have a 6 foot long potato gun and the igniter, a can of hair spray with them. They admitted their guilt and the homeowner says a payment plan for repairs has been worked out.

State representative Paul Anderson of Starbuck reports that a bill of his received a hearing recently in an Ag committee. The bill would provide short-term financial help to dairy farmers by compensating them for conservation efforts. Anderson, and state Senator Torrey Westrom invite you to town hall meetings on Friday, including the Albany City hall at 9:15; the Melrose City Hall at 10:30; the Sauk Centre City hall at 11:45 am and the Glenwood Pizza Ranch at 2 pm.

Bipartisan legislation authored by State Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake to expand guidelines authorizing EMTs, AEMTs, and paramedics in Minnesota to administer prescription meds to patients in lifesaving situations passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee by a unanimous voice vote and now will go to the senate floor for consideration. Westrom authored the legislation after talking with a 14 year old Morris girl, Alexis Lhotka, who needed meds in an emergency. She and her mom came to Westrom after the ordeal after realizing current state law does not let EMTs administer possible life saving meds.

According to the DNR, grant money is available for groups that help people become hunters or anglers. Groups can apply through April 4 th with dollar amounts ranging from $5,000.00 to $49,999. Funded projects must be located in Minnesota and completed by June 30 th 2020. There is no required funding match. Log on to the DNR website for more information.

U.S. Safety and Health Centers have been working with the Farm Bureau this week to promote the Ag Safety and Awareness program. Running through Saturday with a theme of “know your limits”, a variety of topics have been brought to the forefront with overall farm safety a top priority. Tony Seykora with the Minnesota farm Bureau Federation says it’s important for everyone to be mindful, and know your limits no matter what the chore or the workload. He said that working long days in and around snow will be even longer once the melt starts and the spring season gets here. Guidelines for safety information can be found through the Farm Bureau’s social media pages and elsewhere in the internet.

A traffic stop west of Alexandria on I-94 resulted in 2 Montana men being arrested after 900 pounds of marijuana was found in their camper. The State Patrol had stopped the two for an equipment violation, then a narcotics dog alerted the officer to the drugs. The two men, 30 year old Jared Desroches of Missoula, and 24 year old Alexander Gordon of Helena brought in and charged in court on controlled substance and possession charges. Bail was set at $150,000.00 for each of them.

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