WORTHINGTON – District 518 is one of 138 schools to receive a planning grant for the Safe Walk to School program, through the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Planning grants provide funding to help analyze existing conditions, gather public input and identify infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions at K-8 schools.
Plans will be completed by the Southwest Regional Development Commission or a planning consultant hired by MnDOT.
The district was not given a dollar amount, because MnDOT pays all expenses related to planning grants, including time put in by MnDOT employees and outside consultants.
According to School Superintendent Landgaard, the school needs to receive the planning grant before it can apply for the infrastructure grant, and that planning will continue throughout the year.
WORTHINGTON – Worthington Public Utilities Manager Scott Hain told the Water and Light Commission Monday that Well 26, used to measure water levels, has gained 11 inches in the past 6 weeks. A year ago, if gained 84 inches. In a time of year the well should be recharging, not much is happening, which is a cause for concern.
There is currently a ban on non-essential water use which prevents people from watering lawns, spraying driveways and cleaning patio furniture. If things continue to be so dry, more restrictions may be necessary, Hain said.
Tune in to AM 730 KWOA at 12:30 to hear more from Hain on Talk of the Town.
SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - A Spirit Lake man pleaded guilty Monday in Dickinson County District Court to charges in the death of a Jackson, Minnesota woman that took place on or about December 6th, 2013 at a residence near Spirit Lake. Tailer Handsaker pleaded guilty to a charge of murder in the second degree and two counts of willful injury in the death of Sara Grimmius of Jackson. An original charge of 1st degree murder was dropped as part of a plea agreement.
Handsaker was sentenced to no more than 50 years in prison on the murder in the second degree charge. He must serve at least 70 percent of that term, or 35 years, before being eligible for parole. Handsaker was also sentenced to no more than 10 years on each count of willful injury. The terms are to be served consecutively with credit given for time already served.
Handsaker was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim's family and a crime victim's assistance fund.
Handsaker admitted Monday court he struck Grimmius in the face and skull using a pool cue and a golf club, and that he also struck her in the arm. Grimmius' body was later discovered by authorities.
Grimmius' parents addressed the court, with her mother reading a statement expressing their grief over the death of Sara and the impact it's having on her children. In addressing the court himself, Handsaker apologized for his actions.
SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - A Spirit Lake man faces multiple charges following a pursuit early Sunday on some city streets and on Highways 9 and 71 east of town. Shortly after 2 a.m., an officer tried to pull over a minivan for a traffic violation. The driver, 33-year-old Timothy Higgins of Spirit Lake, refused to stop, leading officer on a pursuit that finally ended when a pair of stop sticks were deployed near the Jackson Y. Higgins was stopped near the Dickinson/Emmet County line when officers used a pursuit immobilization technique.
Higgins was arrested and booked into the Dickinson county jail on charges of eluding, operating while intoxicated, traveling on the wrong side of the roadway and various traffic violations.
WINDOM – A presentation called “Community Conversation about Childhood” with 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year Katy Smith will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1 at the Windom High School lecture hall. A licensed Parent Educator and trainer for more than 25 years, Katy will share research and stories focusing on early childhood. The program is for parents, day care providers, teachers, professionals who work with children and families, and community members.
JACKSON - A St. Louis Park woman who stole her son’s old checks and used them to purchase pharmaceuticals, restaurant food and liquor will spend five years on probation and pay back nearly $300 in restitution.
Michelle E. Anderson, 38, pleaded guilty last Thursday in Jackson’s Fifth Judicial District Court to one count of felony check forgery. Judge Linda Titus granted Anderson a stay of imposition of sentence, on the condition she serve five years on supervised probation, pay restitution of $299.07 plus $90 in fees, submit a DNA sample and remain law-abiding.
The charge stemmed from a series of checks she illegally used at Jackson businesses over a period of five months, from late November 2011 to May 2012. The checks belonged to her son, she testified last Thursday in court, and she falsely endorsed them with her name to make purchases at a local pharmacy, restaurant, liquor store and two convenience stores.
MINNEAPOLIS - The Minneapolis City Council may vote this week to rename Columbus Day. A group of activists, led by new City Council Member Alondra Cano, is urging the holiday be renamed Indigenous People’s Day on all city communications.
Columbus Day is a federal holiday, and is celebrated each year on the second Monday in October to commemorate Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the Americas on October 12, 1492.
The Columbus holiday has become a source of controversy in recent years because his explorations led to European settlement of the Americas, which in turn led to the maltreatment and death of a large percentage of native people. Critics also claim Columbus did not “discover” the New World, because indigenous peoples had been living in the Americas for thousands of years before his arrival.
The campaign to change the name of the holiday gathered steam during last fall’s Minneapolis mayoral campaign. The Native American Community Development Institute hosted a forum for all the mayoral candidates, and audience members asked questions of them.
“One of them was, ‘Are you willing to un-recognize Columbus Day?’” said NACDI President and CEO Jay Bad Heart Bull. “A majority of candidates said yes, and one of them was Betsy Hodges, who was elected and is now our current mayor.”
Alondra Cano was also elected last fall, and she said the name change is more than just a symbol.
If the measure passes on Friday, in reality it won’t have much impact except for changing the name of the holiday on official city communications.
The city of Red Wing is also considering whether to change Columbus Day to “First People’s Day.”
The Red Wing City Council has yet to act on the resolution, though the chair of the human rights commission, Barbara von Haaren, said Monday that the council plans to vote on the issue on April 28.