The 37th annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will be held in Willmar at the Conference Center Thursday May 2nd from 6:30 am to 8 am. This year’s featured speaker is Brian Orsten, who with his family has lived on a farm near Benson since 1990. He was severely burned in an explosion at an employee’s house and has a compelling story to tell. Tickets for the breakfast are $15.00 and available at Willmar area churches or by emailing at: www.willmarama@gmail.com.

Do you have kids or grandkids that are not familiar with Civics? State Rep Dean Urdahl has authored a measure to restore Civics as an educational priority and it was included in an omnibus education package approved by the house last week. Urdahl said that only around 1 in 4 grads leave school with proficient civics knowledge. He went on to say that it was a top priority of his to salvage the bill requiring the class to be taught to high school juniors or seniors for credit. It had been left out of the education package even though a majority of 69 members of the house sponsored it. The bill now heads to the Senate.

There are alternating lane shifts and closures beginning today in Elbow Lake as road work gets underway on highways 55/59/79. There’ll also be parking restrictions in place. Crews are starting on the north end with work to include resurfacing, storm sewers, and pedestrian accessibility improvements. Access to businesses and homes will be maintained throughout the project. Also, there’ll be weekly public info meetings every Friday at noon to update progress at the Grant County Office Building on Central Avenue North in Elbow Lake. The project should be done by the end of June.

A public open house will be held Wednesday in Appleton as MnDOT will be explaining the resurfacing project on highway 119 between Highway 12 north of Appleton and highway 40 in Lac Qui Parle County. The meeting will be from 4:30-7 pm Wednesday at the Appleton Civic Center.

You’ll be able to learn more about the 2019 resurfacing project on highway 28/29 from Glenwood to Starbuck, and the 2021 highway 29 overpass at the Junction of highway 55 at a meeting at the Minnewaska High School. MnDOT will be on hand Thursday from 4-7pm in the Minnewaska High media room to go over any questions brought up, and go over the plan review.

The University of Minnesota is flooded with a sea of blue jackets today and tomorrow as the 90th Minnesota FFA convention is underway. Over 3500 students are on hand with many competing in career development contests, attending sessions and workshops and receiving awards for their FFA achievements. The National FFA organization was founded in 1928 and today has over 650,000 members in all states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You can hear interviews with many of the local FFA students today & tomorrow on K95.3FM.

Last week, Senator Andrew Lang of Olivia joined Senate colleagues in passing budgets for the agriculture and environment-related areas of the state government. The bills, which passed with bipartisan support, now await action in the House of Representatives. Lang represents Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Renville and Swift Counties. Senator Torrey Westrom, who serves Western Minnesota Counties, added that the bipartisan vote included rural development, affordable housing, rural broadband expansion and other value added ag opportunities that will directly impact our areas farmers.

The RCW school board meets tonight in regular session and also a work session. Retirements, resignations and hiring’s will be on the agenda, along with talk on snow day forgiveness, administration restructuring, and the creation of new administration positions. The work session will include the 2019-2020 budget, the new addition and Exit interviews. Meeting time is 7 pm tonight in the RCW small gym.

Road work is slated to begin today on Highway 4 from the U.S. Highway 12 junction near Grove City to highway 55 near Paynesville. A stretch of 12 miles. Resurfacing will be done and there will not be a detour. There will be flaggers and drivers should expect short delays. The work should be done by mid-June.

Grass fires continue to be a problem in the area. Last Thursday afternoon a controlled burn near Sunburg on 62nd Street Northwest, the north side of Norway Lake, got out of control. Firemen from Sunburg and New London got the fire out before it did any damage to a nearby home.

19 year old Sergio Jesu Moreno-Leiva was in court in Willmar last Friday. He is charged with one count of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and also 2 third degree accounts. He is one of three who allegedly sexually assaulted a girl, age 14, two years ago. His next court date is set for June 27th . The other two, 18 year old Jesse Lopez of Willmar, and 19 year old Alex Chavez of Willmar have been in court, with Lopez put on supervised probation for 5 years and Chavez, who pleaded guilty in juvenile court, waiting for a an immigration hearing May 8th . He may still end up in adult court depending on the immigration issue.

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