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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
January 28, 2014     The Ortonville Independent
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January 28, 2014

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Changes approved for MN high school football in 2015 On Thursday, Jan. 23, the Min- nesota State High School League Board of Directors approved a district- oriented format for the football regular season, which will take effect in 2015. The plan, which was passed in a 19- 1 vote, will place teams into scheduling groups based on school size, geogra- phy, "like schools" and strength of pro- grams, according to the MSHSL website. The groups could consist of at least 16 schools with a minimum size of 10. Postseason play will not be af- fected by the change. A placement committee will assign schools to scheduling groups, which will need approval from the MSHSL board once solidified. District drafting is slated to take place in April with scheduling to follow in June. The main guideline for grouping bigger and smaller schools together is that the difference in enrollment should be no more than 2-to-1 and when ap- plicable should be smaller than 2-to-1. Due to the limited availability of TCF Bank Stadium, the MSHSL board mal, with no changes except the Prep Bowl will be played at TCF Stadium. The board considered shortening section playoffs and cutting regular- season games, but changes will not be made to either facet. Practice will start on Aug. 10 and the first games of the regular season will be slated for Aug. 22, leaving two weeks of preseason practice intact. These changes come in the wake of approved a timeline that will push up the demolition of the Metrodome, the Prep Bowl two weeks earlier than which closed its doors at the end of the usual to Nov. 14-15, according to a NFL regular season in late December. news release. This will be in effect in 2015. The 2014 season will go as nor- Martig updates Board on 2013 Vital Statistics for County Big Stone County Recorder Elaine Martig presented the 2013 Vital Statis- tics Report at the County Board Meet- ing on Tuesday, Jan. 21. The statistics were compiled from the records of the Minnesota Depdrtmenf of Health and the Big Stone County Office of Vital Statistics. Big Stone County births, which does not include confidential births, were at 41 in 2013 which was the same in 2012. Deaths occurring in Big Stone County were 69 in 2013 compared to 64 in 2012. Big Stone County resident deaths were 63 in 2013 compared to 62 in 2010. Marriage licenses showed an in- crease. Marriage licenses issued at the regular fee were 24 in 2013 which is up from 14 in 2012. Licenses issued at the reduced fee were 13 in 2013 compared to 14 in 2012, for a total of 37 in 2013 compared to 28 in 2012. Notary licenses were at 18 in 2013 compared to 17 in 2012. Martig also stated that the total income for her of- fice for 2013 was $255,198.96. Human Resource Director Dawn Gregoire came before the board asking for approval of the hiring of Molly Taffe as Social Worker, effective Feb. 3 Taffe would fill the position left va- cant by the retirement of Susan Kaess. The board approved unanimously. The board also accepted the resig: nation of Emily Radermacher as Social Worker. The position will be posted in- ternally. Board members approved a Wetland Easement from Steve and Loft Strei of Odessa. Cheri Sloneker, Realty Spe- cialist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was present and stated that the land is located in Section 11 of Otrey Township. This is a wetland easement protecting the wetlands, while allowing agriculture use. Ortonville Kiwanis members Craig Randleman and Butt Nypen were pres- ent to ask for the County's blessing to construct a Bike Trail Shelter to be lo- cated behind Hartman's Supervalu in Ortonville. Randleman stated that Kiwanis Club had indicated that they have talked for sometime to have a small shelter in that area. It would be a sim- ple structure to have a train depot look. There would be no cost to the county as the Kiwanis Club would construct and assume maintenance of the shelter. A plaque would be placed on the build- ing commemorating the 90th year of existence of the local Kiwanis Club. The board was in favor and passed unanimously. The board discussed the filling of two positions on the HRA Board. Jim Kaye of Clinton and James Reynolds of Graceville have resigned their posi- tions. The board will need to fill these positions with candidates from the dis- tricts of Commissioners Brent Olson and Walter Wulff. Jim Kaye's term will end on Sept. 30, 2017 and James Reynold's term will end on Sept. 30, 2015. The board did pass a motion to advertise for these positions. In other business,, board members approved a building addition at the Big Stone County Historical Society. The 40'x50' building would be constructed to the south, running parallel to the ex- isting building. The board approved the 2014 to- bacco compliance contract with Coun- tryside Public Health. The next meeting of the County Board will be on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 8:30 a.m. in the Board Room of the Courthouse. Big Stone Lake Area Chamber to kick off Winterfest Feb. 1 The Big Stone Lake Area Chamber of Commerce WinterFest will be tak- ing place Feb. 1-8 in Ortonville and everyone is invited to come shop Or- tonville with store specials throughout town. A broomball tournament wilt kick offWinterfest on Saturday, Feb. 1 start- mg at 10 a.m. at the Ortonville Ice Skating Rink. Cost is $50 per team made up of six person teams. Payback is half of the proceeds and you must be registered to play. There is a guarantee of two games. Teams can register by calling Tim Haugen at 305-1315. Con- cessions will be available. All equip- ment is provided. A free ice skating show will be held Sat, Feb. 8 at 4 p.m. featuring Or- tonville Figure Skaters and Watertown Figure Skating Club. This will be held at the Ortonville Ice Skating Rink. If inclement weather, the show will be held on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. A medallion hunt will again he a part of WinterFest. Clues will be given out each day starting on Monday, Feb. 3 and will be broadcast live each morn- ing at 9:05 On KDIO or by visiting If you find the medallion, bring it to the Chamber office to claim your Chamber Buc.ks. On Monday, Feb. 3 the prize will be worth $200, Tuesday $150, Wednesday $100, Thursday and Friday $50. The Medallion is a granite plaque that is hidden on public property in ei- ther Big Stone City or Ortonville with no digging required. Winterfest will wrap up with the Attic Open Golf Tournament hJd on Lake Eli in Clinton on Saturday, Feb. 8. Golfing will start at noon and will wrap up that evening with the Annual Sweethearts Dance at the Clinton Me- morial Building from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Lots of cool deals and hot prices throughout town so make sure to attend WinterFest Feb. 1-8 in Ortonville. ORTONVILLE PRINCIPAL JOEL STATTELMAN reets T.C. The Bear as the Minnesota Twins Winter Caravan stopped in Ortonville on Tuesday, Jan 21 at the high school auditorium. Pictured next to Stattelman is Kandi Hamann of KDIO Radio which hosted the event. Current Twins players Brian Dozier and Glen Perkins, along with former Twins players Dan Gladden and Tom Brunansky took part in the program. Grassroots allies working to keep grass on the land Protecting grassland and wetland habitat is one of the most critical envi- ronmental challenges facing Min- nesota. In response, local teams have formed to consider common sense so- lutions to keep grass on the land, ac- cording to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. These 10 new teams - working Closely across western Minnesota with farmers, landowners, local officials and citizens - will promote grassland con- servation and grass-based agriculture as outlined in the state's prairie conser- vation plan. "We are relying on our local re- source managers and partners who know the lay of the land and what will work in their communities," said the DNR's Marybeth Block, who coordi- nates efforts to implement grassland el- ements of the prairie conservation plan. "These folks already have relationships with many landowners and producers, and they're reaching out in a coordi- nated manner to those who may not be aware of the conservation and manage- ment options out there." The prairie conservation plan demonstrates unprecedented coopera- tion between federal agencies, state agencies and conservation organiza- tions. The plan addresses the millions of acres of grassland and wetland which have been lost in Minnesota over the past 150 years and creates a vision of connected grassland and wet- land habitat from Canada to Iowa. Partnerships- both among conserva- tion and agricultural groups, as well as with key landowners and farm opera- tors - are crucial to implementing suc- cessful conservation strategies, said Ryan Atwell, an independent re- searcher who studied the sociological connection between grassland conser- vation and agriculture in areas of west- ern Minnesota. Agricultural entities often voice confusion and frustration about the lack of coordination among conservation organizations. "The formation of these local teams emphasizes coordination and partner- ing to achieve the best social, eco- nomic, and ecological outcomes for a particular area," Atwell said. "Meeting farm operation goals and understand- ing the needs of rural communities is vital to conserving grassland land- scapes." Mead Klavetter, assistant manager with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Morris Wetland Management District, has worked with grassland habitat in many locations across the nation. "Being part of the Lac Qui Parle grassland team has been one of the most rewarding efforts I've been part of in my career," Klavetter said. "Working together, we can speak with one voice to people who want to hear about options to protect, restore or manage native prairie, other grassland and wetlands." "Our teams concentrate on conser- vation efforts that get positive out- comes for the environment while adding value to the community and economy," Block said. "When we ac- complish that, everyone benefits." Phone 320-839-6163 MER to monitor Natural Gas supply during cold One of the three natural gas pipelines affected by the incident in Canada is expected to return to normal operation sometime on Monday. With the extreme cold weather heading this way and the time needed to bring the line to normal operation, they are ask- ing their customers to continue to con- serve. "By everyone pitching in, CUS- tomers, utilities, pipelines, local gov- ernment and the media, we were able to maintain system stability during a very difficult time" said Barb Nick, President of Minnesota Energy Re- sources. "A combination of factors in- cluding extreme cold weather and the loss of natural gas supply really tested the pipeline system and customers' pa- tience. We know this hasn't been easy for our customers and we thank them for their cooperation and continued conservation." They are monitoring the situation and working with their natural gas pipeline providers and will let cus- tomer's know when they can resume normal natural gas use. Minnesota Energy Resources is continuing to receive natural gas sup- ply from the Great Lakes Pipeline ST. Vincent, ANR Pipeline Marshfield, WI and Northern Natural Gas Chisago. Safe and reliable gas service is the primary concern during this event. In- formation on safety and cold weather tips is available on the company's web- site. If customers smell gas or suspect a gas leak, they should move to a safe lo- cation and contact the Minnesota En- ergy customer service center at 800-889-4970. ;RALITE.ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE 320 East Hwy. 12 P.O. Box 228 * Benson, MN 56215-0228 Phone (320) 843-4150 A Touchstone Energy Partner NOTIC TO SUBSCRIB RSI! NOW IS THE TIME TO RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION DON'T MISS AN ISSUE// As you know, most Independent expiring with this week's issue. subscription renewals are due Please renew your subscription Feb. 1st of each year. Thus, your today! present subscription will be JUST FILL OUT THE COUPON BELOW! Don t delay renewing your subscription, for another year. Just fill out the coupon Do it today. 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