Thieves will take just about anything if there is a market for it, and Sheriff’s Offices around Minnesota and elsewhere are getting calls of weathered wood being taken off barns. The barn wood look is a popular one in some urban areas. Police say it’s tough to catch up to the perps as the barns, often in remote areas, make for a sometimes easy target with darkness a good cover. Reports of stolen wood have been filed in Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and the hardest hit state, Kentucky. The lumber has been bringing up to $2.00 a board foot. Some buyers have been asking sellers for W-9 business tax forms or other I.D. to try to prove they are honest sellers.

Sibley State Park west of New London turned 100 years old yesterday. Originally established as a game refuge in 1917, it became a state park after being funded by the state legislature April 23 rd , 1919 and is named for Minnesota’s first Governor, Henry Hastings Sibley. The summer long celebration began with events yesterday and as Kelsey Olson from the park mentioned on our Community Roundtable program this past Sunday, events continue monthly throughout this spring thru fall season… This week-end volunteers will help plant a number of trees around the cabin area. The park has over 40,000 overnight stays and 300,000 visitors a year. Olson will be a guest on community Roundtable again in May with more on the park, its many features and events coming up.

The Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture wants farmers to scout fields this spring for signs of an invasive weed, palmer amaranth. The noxious weed was found last year in Redwood County, and the MDA has determined that the seed is being spread by cow manure. Cattle had been fed contaminated sunflower seeds. After many samplings of the seed, the MDA has found as many as 250 seeds per pound. Palmer amaranth has been found in 6 Minnesota counties since 2016 and can grow 2-3 inches a day, up to 8 feet tall or more. One plant can produce up to 800,000 seeds and it is resistant to many herbicides. To learn how to identify the plant go to the U of M Extension Website.

37 year old Jana Zenner, who with her husband are owners of Mike’s Market in Brooten, is being accused of swindling money from a 91 year old man, reportedly helping with his finances after the man’s spouse died. Zenner was arrested in early April on a felony count of swindling. The Bonanza Valley Bank of Brooten had noticed larger than normal checks on the account. Checks were written to Zenner, her husband and the business, Mike’s Market, totaling close to $49,000.00. Zenner also had the man’s credit card when she was arrested. The 91 year old said Zenner was helping with finances but didn’t seem to understand the large amounts being taken. Zenner said the money was a gift to help the store. Zenner did not have power of attorney for the man, and a niece who did was unaware of the transactions taking place.

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