Monday, April 4, 2016
An interesting hearing was held last week in the Property Tax Division of the Tax Committee dealing with a long-standing exemption that affects many towns and cities throughout Minnesota. It has to do with fertilizer and chemical containment facilities built at local co-ops and other farm supply businesses. Because of concerns about spills into the environment, the EPA along with the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture, has long required that concrete berms and other related facilities be constructed so any potential spills could be contained. The Legislature, in the middle 1990’s, passed legislation that such additions to fertilizer and chemical storage facilities should be exempted from property tax.
Fast forward to today, and a couple of problems have arisen with the exemption. First, it hasn’t been granted uniformly across the state. Some county assessors have been allowing the exemption, while others have not. And secondly, and this is where the situation gets complicated, today everything involved with agriculture has gotten bigger and more expensive. Buildings constructed in recent years containing fertilizer and other farm-related chemicals are huge compared to those built 20 or 30 years ago. And, in an effort to have this exemption carried out uniformly, the Dept. of Revenue recently issued guidance spelling out what exactly was included. They ruled that the roof should be included, along with the walls of a building that held fertilizer or chemicals. So, instead of a tax exemption for a cement floor and berms around liquid chemical tanks, for example, this ruling said that basically the entire structure was part of the containment system.
Spring tradition continues with annual Easter egg hunts
Kids and parents made their way to local Easter egg hunts at Barsness Park and Glacial Lakes State Park on Saturday. The Easter Bunny visited both events to take photos and help collect eggs. Glacial Lakes State Park Area Naturalist Ben Eckhoff was on hand to teach about different animals and other park-related topics. Other activities at the park included a scavenger hunt, face painting, and meet the Easter Bunny. For More pictures go to http://www.glaciallakesstateparkfriends.com/photos_2016-egg-hunt.htm
A 35-year-old Starbuck man was arrested March 20 on drug charges.
James Oneil of Starbuck was arrested for 5th degree possession of a controlled substance, a felony charge, on Sunday, March 20, 2016.
The Starbuck Police Department, with the assistance of the Pope County Sheriff’s Office and West Central Drug Task Force, executed a search warrant at 306 East 4th Street in Starbuck. During their search, officers discovered numerous items related to drug activity, including over 40 grams of marijuana and methamphetamine. Several other drug-related pipes and paraphernalia items were located throughout the house, according to the report.
Oneil was transported to the Douglas County Jail to be held for court.
From Starbuck Times - Wednesday, March 16th
It’s been a good year for Doug Toivonen, a 1985 graduate of Starbuck High School. Last summer Toivonen, a three-sport star for the Bucks, was inducted into the Minnewaska Laker Athletic Hall of Fame. Concordia University in Moorhead had Previously inducted Toivonen into their Athletic Hall of Fame. Red Wing has been Toivonen’s home since the late 1980s, and beginning with the 1989-1990 school year, he’s worked in the Red Wing School District. The Wingers went to the state tournament in basketball for six straight years, from 1999-2004, with Toivonen on the bench as an assistant coach. In his 12-year tenure as head coach, the Wingers hadn’t made it back to the state tournament until this year. Red Wing ﬁ nished the regular season ranked #2 in state AAA polls. The Wingers had been to the Section 1AAA championship game four straight years until ﬁnally breaking through this year. One of the reasons this year’s appearance at the state tournament is especially important to Red Wing and its fans isn’t that it’s been 12 years since their last trip to state. It will be the ﬁ rst, and last, trip with Toivonen as head coach. Doug will be stepping down as head coach after this season. There was no ofﬁ cial announcement about the retirement. It wasn’t a big secret, but it wasn’t widely known, either. Red Wing has been on a roll in recent years, racking up a 68-18 record over the ﬁ nal three seasons. This year the Wingers rolled through the Section 1AAA playoffs, winning the three games they played by margins of 30, 26 and 16 points. Toivonen stressed the importance of winning the ﬁ rst game of the state tournament. A loss in the ﬁ rst game would send them back home quickly. A win would guarantee two more games, either a championship game or a third-place game. Red Wing won that ﬁ rst game, defeating Simley by a 73-51 score. Travis Toivonen, a senior and Doug’s son, scored 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the win. Red Wing hadn’t won a state championship since 1933, and this year wouldn’t change that. The Wingers lost to Fergus Falls in the semiﬁ nals by a 58-55 margin. Fergus Falls built a 37-29 halftime lead, but the Wingers closed the gap in the ﬁ nal minutes. Red Wing missed a number of close shots over the closing minutes but still had a chance with their last possession. The Wingers hit a 3-point shot that would have tied the game had it not come just a fraction of a second after the ﬁnal horn sounded to end the game. The Wingers played Monticello in the third-place game on Saturday afternoon. Red Wing won that game, 75-59, to take third place in Class AAA. The win allowed Toivonen and the Wingers to end the season with a win, which rarely happens. Toivonen’s humility was refreshing in an age of self-promotion and overinﬂ ated egos. When asked about the why there was so little attention given to his ﬁ nal year of coaching and stepping down from the job, Toivonen replied, “I don’t need to make a big announcement. I’m a high school basketball coach.” Red Wing closed one of their most successful basketball seasons ever with a 28-3 record to go along with their third-place ﬁ nish at state. Congratulations to Doug Toivonen on a successful season, a successful career and best wishes on future endeavors
2016 marks 150 years of Pope County.
In celebration, we feature articles from all the newspapers published in Pope County in 1916.
Excerpts from the Glenwood Herald, Thursday February 10, 1916.
The convention committee of the commercial club has extended an invitation to the National Valdris Lag to have its stevne in Glenwood next June, and there is a strong probability that the invitation will be accepted. The Valdris Lag is perhaps the best organization of all the Norwegian lags and is said to have the largest membership. Its annual conventions have been held in Minneapolis several years and Glenwood will enjoy the distinction to be the first place outside the cities to entertain the organization of Norwegians hailing from Valdris, provided the invitation which has been extended is accepted as it seems very likely will be done. The officials of the Pope County Valdris Lag will meet in Glenwood February 18th for this purposed stevne. At this meeting representatives of the national organization will be present.
Plan to take the ‘plunge’
It’s a Minnesota thing. Only here would we willingly jump through a hole in the ice into freezing lakes—for a good cause, of course. Winterama 2016 officially hits the ice on Feb. 6, and the annual Polar Plunge, which helps raise funds for Waterama, is looking for as many brave souls as possible to take on the chilly challenge. Jumpers are asked to shoot for $150 in pledges, and family-friendly costumes and skits are encouraged.
Having made the plunge six times, 2015 Waterama Admiral Ted Hill is a veteran of the event. “Overall, the experience can’t be described as cold—I would say that it defies words,” said Hill. “When you take the plunge it steals the breath from your lungs, and clears your head immediately. Then you surface, swim to the ladder and emerge with a certain sense of satisfaction.”