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County outlines top priorities for State Legislators PDF Print E-mail
News - Pope County Tribune - Starbuck Times
Written by Deb Mercier - Tribune Editor   
Thursday, 13 February 2014 11:11

County outlines top priorities for State Legislators

Rep. Paul Anderson and Rep. Jay McNamar visited with Pope County commissioners at last Tuesday’s board meeting about the county’s concerns for 2014 and beyond. Sen. Torrey Westrom was also on the schedule but unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting.
Earlier in the agenda, county commissioners approved a list of top legislative priorities for 2014. The primary purpose of meeting with the area’s state representatives was to share those priorities with them—to give them information on what is important to Pope County and why.
At the top of the list was the need for an increase in transportation funding from the state. County Coordinator Jim Thoreen shared some reasons on how that priority pertained to Pope County, including basic road safety for drivers and transit needs for non-drivers.
Anderson said, “Of all the times to raise taxes, election year is not the time to do it. I don’t know how much traction this [transportation funding] will get this year.”
Thoreen said, “I recognize the politics, but the clock is ticking.” He told Anderson and McNamar that without additional County State Aid Highway funding, Pope County was considering putting 18 miles of blacktop back to gravel in the coming years. “Long term that’s probably not the best option,” he said. “But we’re squeezed.”
Anderson asked if the new wheelage tax would help. Thoreen said that money is pegged for basic maintenance that needs to be done anyway. Commissioner Larry Lindor added, “We’re using it [the wheelage tax] to extend the life of our current pavement.”

Highway 29 overpass discussed
Commissioner Gordy Wagner showed the board, Anderson and McNamar a preliminary concept drawing from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) outlining a possibility for a Highway 29 overpass. The overpass would allow traffic on Highway 29 just north of Glenwood to bypass the railroad tracks running parallel to Highway 55.
The concept shows that traffic moving south on Highway 29 would flow over the railroad tracks, then over Highway 55; drivers would turn left at an expanded 160th Street, then left or right to catch Highway 55 east or west. Drivers heading north on Highway 29 would take a right on 160th Street to access Highway 55. The concept also shows a section of Highway 55 near the current intersection with Highway 29 moved slightly to the north to flow under the proposed overpass.
Both Wagner and Thoreen emphasized that the plan shown was a preliminary conceptual layout, and by no means the final plan from MnDOT. Thoreen said that though the county is not directly involved in the overpass project, the county is supportive of MnDOT’s plans.
Wagner said the project is on MnDOT’s radar now in part because the intersection of Highways 29 and 55 near the railroad crossing is over the state limit for incidents. He said the state determined that “the traffic and accident counts warrant an overpass.”
“The status quo is not acceptable; MnDOT agrees,” said Thoreen. “We’ve got good communication with MnDOT,” he said. He added that concern at the local level, the legislative level and from business leaders has helped the overpass project gain traction.
Pope County Housing and Redevelopment Authority/Economic Development Authority Executive Director Dick Dreher agreed. “We very much appreciate the interest you and Senator Westrom have shown [in this project],” Dreher told McNamar and Anderson.

Department heads weigh in
Speaking to the other points on the board’s list of top legislative priorities, Pope County department heads had a chance to highlight their main concerns for Anderson and McNamar as well.
While the details differed by department, Director of Probation Terry Jaworski, Human Services Director Nicole Names, Public Health Director Sharon Braaten, Pope County Sheriff Tim Riley, Pope County Assessor Mike Wacker all seemed to have similar wish lists: keep it simple; streamline; make it easier for counties to deliver the services needed by their residents—both by getting rid of wasteful complication and keeping funding promises made at the state level.
HRA/EDA bids for Phase II of Bay Meadows PDF Print E-mail
News - Pope County Tribune - Starbuck Times
Written by Zach Anderson - Starbuck Times New Editor   
Thursday, 13 February 2014 11:02

HRA/EDA getting bids for Phase II of Bay Meadows project

Pope County Housing and Redevlopment Authority/Economic Development Authority (HRA/EDA) Executive Director Dick Dreher presented a plan for Phase II of Bay Meadows near the Starbuck Airport at the HRA/EDA board’s Feb. 5 meeting. The plan showed the floor plan for the new units, one double and two single units to go with the existing plat.
Dreher said the problem they had with the current Bay Meadows units was mostly because the late spring and short construction season led to a late construction finish and leasing start. Dreher said with the four units of Phase II, the bids are due on Feb. 28. After that there will be a bid opening and he said he is hopeful construction will be able to start around March 11. That would leave the units ready to be leased in July.

The board also discussed the Lakeview RV Park in Starbuck.
The Lakeview RV Park in Starbuck has been a subject at recent HRA/EDA meetings because the board is looking to find an alternate location to move the RV park to so they can use the land where the current park resides for something else.
In discussions with Palmer Aaberg, Dreher said Aaberg gave approval for the HRA/EDA to relocate the RV park to his land.
The next step, Dreher said, is sending a plan to Studio-e Architects for them to see if it is possible to fit the RV park on that land. If possible, the HRA/EDA will make arrangements to relocate the RV park, and if not, it will have to find another suitable location.
In other action the board voted unanimously to be a Platinum Sponsor for the Pope County Community Expo for $2,500. The board agreed that the expo is a great event that brings many people to the area.
Notes From The Capital PDF Print E-mail
News - State Legislators Comments
Written by Paul Anderson - State House Representative 12A   
Saturday, 01 February 2014 07:56
By now, most folks are probably aware of the huge spike in price that has occurred in the LP or propane market this winter.  What was priced under $2 a gallon just a couple of weeks ago is now between $4 and $5.  Reasons given include the wet harvest that pulled down inventories of the fuel used for corn drying last fall and now our bitterly cold winter.  Retailers are having difficulty in sourcing product, and there have been reports of trucks being sent as far as Kansas or even Texas to bring back supply.

This is having a big effect on folks’ ability to pay for heating fuel.  Budgets weren’t set with the idea of gas doubling in price.  As a result, instead of filling tanks, retailers in some cases are limiting deliveries to as little as 100 gallons.  And it’s not just home heating that’s effected by this shortage.   Livestock facilities, especially chicken and turkey barns are large users of LP gas during the winter heating season.  I heard from one turkey grower who has six, 1,000 gallon tanks alongside his barns.  Just imagine the increased cost of filling those tanks right now…if he can get that much delivered.  A month ago, six thousand gallons would have cost less than $12,000, but today that same expense will run between $24,000 to $30,000.  It will be difficult to recoup that additional expense because farmers can’t set their own price -- they take what the market will pay.  And a short-term spike like this will probably not affect prices in a significant way.

One retailer was quoted as saying that we are dealing with one-half the inventory this year and that product supplies are at levels not seen in years.  And even more concerning is that the pipeline terminal in Benson which has been a major source of product for this part of the state is phasing out of propane.  Originating in Canada, this line, called the Kochin Pipeline, is in the process of reversing its pumps and, after this spring, will no longer be delivering gas to the Midwest.  Instead, it will be pumping drilling material north to the oil fields in Canada.

The federal government has appropriated additional funding to help with this sudden increase in heating costs.  At this time, it’s not known how much will be coming to Minnesota.  Here is a phone number folks can call to learn more about getting assistance with their heating bills: 800-657-3710 (Department of Commerce).

* * *

If you happen to be having a birthday and turning 65 soon, you are not alone.  Studies show that approximately 10,000 Americans are reaching that milestone every day and will continue reaching our once traditional “retirement age” at that pace for the next 15 years or so.  This rapidly aging demographic is having a large impact on social and medical programs, in addition to causing shortages in some areas of the US workforce.  This same “aging” is also being seen in agriculture, where during the period from 2002 through 2007 the number of farm operators under the age of 25 decreased by 30 percent while the number of older operators increased by 20 percent.

Another statistic gleaned from a recent ag seminar is that 98 percent of farms today are family-run.  When they are included in the broader category of family-run businesses, we were told that only 30 percent of family-run businesses survive and are passed on to the next generation.  Even fewer, 12 percent, are passed on to the third generation, and only three percent reach the fourth generation.
Dr Bosl Wins National Award PDF Print E-mail
News - Pope County Tribune - Starbuck Times
Written by Zach Anderson - Starbuck Times New Editor   
Saturday, 18 January 2014 16:34

Starbuck’s own Dr. Robert Bösl received the National Country Doctor of the Year award

See KARE 11 Video and on Jason Davis On The Road  Video

presented by Staff Care, an AMN Healthcare company at an awards ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 9 at the Starbuck Community Center. Bösl was recognized during the ceremony for his dedication and commitment to medicine over the years. Coworkers and friends told stories of Bösl over the years and offered their congratulations. In his speech Bösl thanked everyone he’s worked with over the years, his family for their support and others.

When Bösl got the letter informing him that he won it stated, “On behalf of Staff Care and Drs. Elton Lehman and John Haynes of our Country Doctor of the Year Award Selection Committee, it is a great pleasure to confirm that you have been selected as the 2013 Country Doctor of the Year! The Selection Committee was greatly impressed by the many years of commitment and devotion you have shown to the people of Starbuck. The committee found it particularly admirable that you have maintained superb medical services in Starbuck at the cost of considerable financial and personal sacrifice to yourself. As a mainstay of primary care in Starbuck, you have provided an exemplary level of care and compassion to your patients, choosing for many years to practice as the only physician in the community. You have positively influenced, bettered and indeed saved many lives and are one of the pillars on which your community stands. It was a great pleasure spending time with you at the hospital you serve, in your practice and with your patients and fellow community leaders. We look forward to visiting with you in the days ahead as we make preparations for the presentation of the award. Congratulations on the outstanding record of service you have achieved and on being named the 2013 Country Doctor of the Year.”
The award, which provides a temporary doctor for two weeks so Bösl can take a vacation, has been given annually since 1992 to physicians across the nation in communities with 30,000 or fewer residents.
Photo by Zach Anderson

Glimses From The Past PDF Print E-mail
News - Historical Society News
Written by Merlin Pederson - Pope County Museum   
Monday, 16 December 2013 07:58

From the Glenwood Herald December 19, 1913

Mr. & Mrs. Matt Ward expect their daughters to come home for the Holidays the first of the week.  Hazel came from Miles City, Montana, where she is holding a splendid position in the public schools.  She has not been home since a year ago last August.  Marguerite is teaching in the public schools at Detroit and Zoe is studying at Carleton.

W.B. Crawford is the new man in charge of the Standard Lumber Company.  He took charge last Friday.  He came here from Casey, Iowa, where he was engaged in the lumber business.  His wife and two children are expected to arrive within a short time and the family will live in the Darkes residence.

Mrs. C.L. Marshall arrived in Glenwood Sunday evening from Kansas City.  Her husband, Mr. Marshall of the New Minton met her at Minneapolis.

Joe Achter has bought the interest of his partner, O.J. Knutson, in the pool and billiard hall and will be in charge of same hereafter.  We have not heard what Mr. Knutson will do.

Arnold Gulbrandson one of the prominent farmers of the southern part of the county transacted business at the county seat Monday.

Pope County wins silver cup in Morris at last day of corn and alfalfa exposition Friday. Early in the day began to arrive in automobiles and the first special train from Willmar and Benson added a large delegation to the big crowd already on hand. It was seen at the time that the attendance records of the other two days would be eclipsed, but no one was prepared for the avalanche of people that descended on the town from the Pope county special, arriving at 10:30. More than 1200 fares were collected on this train and accompanied by three bands. This crowd paraded the streets of Morris and created a sensation.

On Friday and Saturday nights of this week, Glenwood people will have an opportunity to see one of the best and largest motion picture shows ever shown at the McCauley opera house. The picturesque Hawaiian islands, 5000 feet of film showing everything of interest, volcanoes in action, scenery, industries, people, their mode of living and sports. A lecturer gives the history of the island and explains the pictures.
Christmas Care Program Looking For Donations PDF Print E-mail
News - Pope County Tribune - Starbuck Times
Written by Contributed Article   
Friday, 29 November 2013 11:34
Christmas Care program still looking for donations

As you shop for Christmas gifts for family and friends, there are two local organizations hoping you’ll extend your kindness and also pick up a gift for someone less fortunate in the community.
The Minnewaska Jaycees and Starbuck VFW Auxiliary have teamed up to host this year’s Christmas Care program and here’s how you can help:
•Donate a new gift(s) for an adult and/or child at any local church or bank in Starbuck, Lowry or Cyrus.
•Make a monetary donation at First National Bank or Bremer in Starbuck.
•If you know of a family or elderly person who could use some holiday cheer, contact Dick and Lori Woodbury 763-234-9976 or 320-334-1555 or Carol Holten 320-239-2621. Please get in all names by December 11.
The program connects struggling families with a meal and opportunity to pick up gifts they may not otherwise be able to afford.
On Saturday, December 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. local families in need will be invited to the Starbuck VFW to enjoy lunch, choose a gift for each member of their family, take home a food basket containing a Christmas meal, plus there will be an opportunity for children to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.
Organizers say the smiles on everyone’s faces are worth more than anything!
In 1989 the Christmas Care program was started to help local families in need during the holiday season. It started with just a few people volunteering their time.
Now, in its 25th year, Christmas Care is still helping families in Pope County.
The members of the Christmas Care program would like to thank the local businesses, churches, banks and community members for their continued support over the past 25 years.
Grand Jury Indictment Issued PDF Print E-mail
News - Pope County Tribune - Starbuck Times
Written by Deb Mercier - Tribune Editor   
Friday, 29 November 2013 11:32
Grand Jury indictment issued in Peltier case

A Starbuck woman was issued a grand jury indictment in Pope County court in connection with the death of a 4-year-old boy who died in February 2013 while in her care.
Amanda Lea Peltier, 32, was indicted Nov. 14 on two counts: murder in the first degree while committing child abuse, and murder in the second degree while committing malicious punishment of a child.
The grand jury indictment follows charges filed in July 2013 after a police investigation into the death of 4-year-old Eric Dean. The boy died after suffering “abdominal trauma,” on or about Feb. 28, 2013 that resulted in intestinal perforation, according to the complaint filed in court.
An indictment means that the grand jury believes there is enough evidence to charge Peltier on the two counts. According to the indictment, the maximum penalty for Count I, murder in the first degree while committing child abuse, is life; the maximum penalty for Count II, murder in the second degree while committing malicious punishment of a child, is between one year plus one day and 40 years.
Peltier pleaded not guilty to the charges on the indictment at a court hearing last Wednesday, it was stated.
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