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NEWS
May 26

News Director: Bev Alquist
Call with news at 320-235-2900 or email bahlquist@k-musicradio.com

The Paynesville City Council held a public hearing in regards to the 2017 street improvement project. Following the hearing they approved everything related to that project. That will be work on Lake Avenue North and also on the Airport View Development on the west side of the city, plus some other mill and overlay work throughout the city. Mayor Jeff Thompson says the city also agreed to work with Eden Valley in purchasing a boom truck lift. The city is working closely with a lot of the surrounding cities to cooperate in purchases and in other things we do to save money. On Saturday afternoon, June 10th at two there will be a dedication for the Veterans Memorial Plaza and the Kenneth Olson Memorial Highway 23 designation. That will be at the American Legion which overlooks the Highway 23 bypass.

There will be a public hearing in the Arctander Township Hall on Tuesday night, June 6that seven. The hearing will be held immediately preceding the township board meeting and will give all persons an opportunity to comment or otherwise testify on the proposed reversion and revocation of County Road 101.

Former Alexandria resident Lee Urness of Prior Lake, an FBI agent who helped track down the nationwide serial killer who shot famous fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1997, died May 19, at the age of 71. Urness, a 1964 graduate of Alexandria's Jefferson High School, worked as a deputy sheriff and in 1972, he began working at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He served as a special agent with the FBI Fugitive Task Force and was a member of the Minnesota Emergency Response Team or SWAT. In the summer of 1997, Urness was the main coordinator of the manhunt for Andrew Cunanan, who was suspected of killing five men, one of which was Versace. He died from two gunshots fired in broad daylight. Cunanan was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a luxurious houseboat in Miami Beach on July 24, 1997, nine days after he murdered Versace.

Morris Area High School's graduation is set for 7 tonight (Friday) at the elementary gym. The class of 2017 has 93 graduates. This year's valedictorians are: McKenna Lubenow, Noel Schieler, Midori Soderberg, Ashley Solvie and Nicole Solvie. The class has 33 honor students. To graduate with honors a senior must have a grade point average of 3.67 or above.

House DFL Leader Melissa Hortman says the 2017 legislative special session is over, elections have consequences, and they’re seeing those consequences both in Washington, D.C. and in St. Paul. She says Minnesotans will see tuition hikes and underfunded local schools because Republicans chose to give tax cuts to corporations and wealthy people instead of investing in Minnesota families. Hortman says the Republican Legislature prioritized the interests of corporations and the wealthy — and played politics with our children’s education, wages and benefits for workers, Minnesotans’ health care, and transportation. In the end, special interests like big tobacco and the insurance companies did well this session while the Republican budget left Minnesota's working families behind. Minnesotans should never lose in a budget, but they do in the one passed by this year’s Republican Legislature, Hortman says. With a budget surplus, our top priority should be investing in what has made our economy strong and in what Minnesotans value in order to build a better future for everyone, she says, but unfortunately that’s not what Republicans chose to do.

There have been no filings yet for the open seat on the Willmar School Board. Jared Anez died March 14th, and whoever is elected in a special election would serve out the rest of Anez’ term. If you’re interested in running in the August 22nd special election, you can file at the district office in Willmar.  

House Capital Investment Chair Dean Urdahl of rural Grove City the infrastructure-heavy capital investment bill that was approved early this morning (Friday), puts $987 million toward construction projects across Minnesota on a vote of 119-11. The vast majority of the bill is comprised of funding for roads and bridges, water infrastructure, and statewide asset preservation. Urdahl says this bill will put thousands of Minnesotans to work and help improve our state's infrastructure. Urdahl says this bill will help rebuild local roads and bridges, replace aging bridges, and upgrade water infrastructure in cities across Minnesota. Urdahl says $254.4 million—is geared toward transportation projects; $116 million goes to the Local Road Improvement Fund Program, $71 million for rail grade crossings, and $49.2 million for local bridge work. $172.9 million goes to water-related projects, including $116 million Public Facilities Authority funding for water and sewer infrastructure. $112 million goes to statewide asset preservation, and $212 million goes to state colleges and universities.

According to Mediacom Communications, the expanded roll-out of new broadband technology will bring 1 Gig Internet speeds to its service areas in an 11-county area of western Minnesota. As a result, residents and small businesses in 23 communities and townships passed by Mediacom’s fiber-rich digital network are now able to enjoy download speeds that are up to 40 times faster than the minimum broadband definition set by the Federal Communications Commission. The communities where 1-Gig internet speeds are now available include Morris, Granite Falls, Paynesville and 20 other communities or township areas located in the 11- county area that borders South Dakota and extends east through Kandiyohi County.

With summer road construction in full swing, the Minnesota Department of Transportation urges you to plan ahead before traveling during Memorial Day weekend and use extra care while driving through highway work zones. MnDOT will suspend work on most projects during the holiday weekend, according to Commissioner Charlie Zelle. However, the work zones are still in place. To prevent crashes, drivers need to slow down, pay attention and not follow other vehicles too closely when approaching and traveling through work zones. Highway projects that may affect weekend travel May 26-29 include: Highway 27 closed west of Osakis over I-94; Highway 71 is closed in Elrosa; Highway 238 Albany to Upsala; Highway 4 Cosmos; and Highway 22 Litchfield.

United Methodist Bishop Bruce Ough has appointed Reverend Sam Kautz as pastor of the Montevideo United Methodist Church.  His first Sunday service will be June 25th at 9:30. Pastor Kautz has a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice from NDSU, a Master of Arts in Youth and Family Ministries from Luther Seminary, and a Master of Divinity from the United Theological Seminary. He has been serving United Methodist churches in Duluth for about 9 years, and previous to that served in Youth Ministry Leadership for 12 years at the United Methodist Church in Anoka.

Motorists on Highway 59 between Appleton and Highway 12 will encounter a detour beginning Tuesday, May 30, when a pavement project begins. The first phase of the project will last up to two weeks while crews replace concrete pavement near the Pomme de Terre River bridge, and traffic will detour onto Highway 12 and Highway 119. Highway 59 will reopen once that work is complete. The resurfacing portion of the project is scheduled to start Monday, June 5. During that work, motorists will encounter intermittent lane closures. Flaggers and pilot cars will allow one-way, alternating traffic through the work zone. Drivers must obey the flagger and follow the pilot car. Motorists entering the highway from driveways or other roads that intersect with Highway 59 must wait for the pilot car to pass, then follow it through the work zone. Work is expected to be complete by late June.

28 year old Clara Mullet of Deer Creek, was injured when she struck a deer, breaking the driver’s side window. It happened yesterday (Thursday) on Highway 210 in Otter Tail County. Mullet sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the Tri-County Hospital. Her one year old daughter, Madilyn, was not injured but was taken to the hospital with her mother.

A three vehicle crash yesterday (Thursday) on Highway 59 near Pelican Rapids in Otter Tail County injured three people. The Minnesota State Patrol says 21 year old Courtney Thorson of Pelican Rapids was traveling south on Highway 59 when she stopped to wait for traffic before making a left turn onto 400th Street. A vehicle driven by 16 year old Tanner Keep of Foxhome didn’t stop in time, striking Thorson. Thorson was then pushed into the northbound lane where she struck a vehicle driven by 23 year old Chelsy Mcdougall of Fergus Falls. Mcdougall suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Lakes Region Hospital along with her passengers: two year old Kaden Beganovic and one year old Maximus Beganovic.  Also taken to the hospital was Thorson. Keep was not injured, nor was his passenger, 16 year old Hannah Blazinski of Erhard.

The JOYRIDE sober ride home program is now operating every Friday and Saturdayevening at Ruffs/Green Mill, Spicer American Legion, O'Neil's and Zorbaz in Spicer. The Willmar Police Department says this is a huge deal for our communities. These establishments can almost guarantee you a great night out, and the ride home will be safe and fun. Remember, a $5 ticket is cheaper than a DWI.

With the 2017 Legislative Session now in the rear-view mirror, State Representative Tim Miller of Prinsburg says hardworking Minnesotans should benefit from a number of accomplishments. Miller says the biggest highlight is a $650 million tax relief proposal that benefits the middle class, and a long term transportation funding proposal. He says the tax relief and road and bridge funding proposals are truly good news for Minnesotans. He said they accomplished a lot of good things this year. They made some good, solid changes in health care. At the end of session we were able to put together the biggest tax breaks in the last two decades for hard working Minnesotans. And, he said, they were also able to invest heavily in roads and bridges, the most they’ve been able to spend in ten years.

During the spring “cold water season” of Memorial Day weekend, boaters are reminded that wearing a life jacket is a safety necessity. While boaters are encouraged to always wear a life jacket no matter the water temperature or season, public safety officials stress that wearing a life jacket – not just having it on the boat – is the one action that significantly increases the chances of surviving a fall into cold water. Despite recent warmer weather, water temperatures statewide are still below 70 degrees – cold enough to incapacitate even strong swimmers in less than one minute. In Minnesota, more than 30 percent of boating fatalities occur on cold water, and accident records show the victims are disproportionately male. Before the first launch of the season, anglers are also reminded to review boating regulations, inspect their watercraft and gear, and enlist a mechanic to check exhaust systems for potential carbon monoxide leaks.

 

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