WORTHINGTON – During the Nobles County Commissioner meeting Tuesday, Terri Janssen, Community Health Services Administrator and Health Supervisor, explained a new grant the Des Moines Valley and Nobles County Public Health SHIP Team has been selected to receive through the Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health. The grant, which is referred to as the 1422 grant, is for over $300,000 annually for four years, for a total of $1.2 million and will focus on improving health in the areas of preventing and better managing obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Fiscal agents of the grant will be Des Moines Valley, and according to their public administrator Pat Stewart, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. Stewart said a program coordinator will need to be hired, as will a nurse and several health workers. Their hope is that by the time the grant runs out, the program will be self-sustaining.
Janssen said they have work to do, but she is excited to do it.
Public Health also was pleased to accept a $1,600 grant from the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation to fund two 16-week classes – one in English and one in Spanish – regarding diabetes prevention.
During a lengthy meeting, the commissioners approved conditional use permits for Brian and Russell Penning of Wilmont, Anthony Lonneman of Ellsworth and Kevin Kolander of Fulda, approved a beer and set-up license for Dakota Golf Management for Prairie View Golf Course and approved the sale of surplus property from Public Works.
Public Works Director Stephen Schnieder brought to the commissioners’ attention the fact that residents in some townships are moving the address location signs up by the edge of the roadways, in some cases next to or onto the mailbox support. Schnieder said he does not have the authority to tell them they cannot move the signs, so his crew has been putting them back when they can.
He didn’t know, he said, if the residents had been getting permission from townships to move the signs, or if they were just moving them of their own accord, which is illegal. The signs need to be consistent for emergency crews to find them, and the county tried to work with individual homeowners as far as location, Schnieder said.
Commissioner Marv Zylstra put it best, stating the county “could not have the signs randomly all over the place, because the next thing you know, they’ll be down in someone’s machine shed.”
The commissioners also approved an agreement for the Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp to be the Local Development Organization, or LDO, for federally derived economic development funds. Moving the funds defederalizes them, removing some of the restrictions, making them more accessible to businesses for future loans. According to WREDC Abraham Algadi, there are still strict guidelines, but moving the funds gets the money out there and working in the community.
WORTHINGTON - Minnesota West Community & Technical Worthington Campus will host a retirement party for Mike Fury on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. in the Commons. Cake and punch will be served. This event is open to the public. For more information contact Sharon Balster 507-372-3473 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SLAYTON - This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the devastating car crash in Slayton that killed 12 young people from the towns of Jackson, Fulda, Slayton, and Hadley. At noon on Thursday, April 2, the Dinehart Lunchbox Lecture Series will present “The 1940 Auto Crash: Seventy Five Years Later.”
Murray County Museums Coordinator, Janet Timmerman will present a synopsis of the events of that night and discuss the aftermath of what has happened in the intervening years since. It was a defining moment for the community of Slayton, one that has gone down in history. It is still considered one of the worst two car accidents in the nation. Held up as a cautionary tale for young drivers, the twelve THINK signs along the curve at the south end of Maple Avenue, where it turns into Maple Road, gives every driver pause. Bring a lunch along. Coffee and tea are provided. The cost is $3 per person and, as always, members of the Historical Society are free.
SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - The Dickinson County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to send a survey to other Iowa counties asking them if they feel the Master Matrix system should be revised to give local authorities more control over the placement of large confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOS.
The supervisors took the action after hearing from Jim Youngclass, a former Dickinson County Extension Director who now lives in Grinnell and serves on the board of directors of Concerned Citizens of Iowa. He commended the supervisors for raising the issue and for trying to protect their water resources.
Counties will have 30 days in which to return the survey to the Dickinson County Auditor's Office. Following that, Dickinson County Supervisors will review the results and decide what action to take from there.
MINNESOTA - Republican leaders in the Minnesota House outlined a $40 billion budget blueprint Tuesday, $3 billion less than what Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed, setting up a clash with DFLers who sharply criticized the plan.
The centerpiece is $2 billion of as-yet unspecified tax relief. That would be just a little more than the state’s projected budget surplus of $1.9 billion and fits in with an earlier ad campaign by state Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey to “give it all back.”
The budget overall largely holds the line on spending, with modest increases in certain areas and some potential for service cuts because the Republican plan does not account for inflationary pressures in the cost of delivering services.
If adopted, the GOP budget would increase total state spending by 1.7 percent from current levels, compared with 9.3 percent under Dayton’s plan.
“Our priority, really, is to put money in the pockets of hardworking Minnesota families,” House Speaker Kurt Daudt said Tuesday, flanked by key Republican House leaders.
Daudt did not explain how they plan to distribute $2 billion in tax relief, but said it would not be in the form of individual rebate checks.
DFL leaders immediately denounced the GOP budget proposal, saying Republicans could not defend reductions in services with the prospect of a $2 billion surplus. Republicans say they are merely slowing the rate of growth.
Republicans say they will spend $11.6 billion on health and human services in the 2016-17 budget period — an increase of $440 million over the current allotment. But the Minnesota Management and Budget office puts projected costs for providing the services mandated under current law for the next two years at $12.8 billion. DFLers say that translates into a $1.2 billion cut in the services that agency can provide.
“That’s real cuts to people in this state in a time of huge budget surpluses,” said House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis. The GOP plan, he said Tuesday, “is a recipe for a shutdown.” The last government shutdown occurred in 2011, when Republicans who controlled the House and Senate clashed with Dayton.
Matt Swenson, a spokesman for Dayton, said the governor’s office is reviewing the budget spending limits and declined to comment further.