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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
March 30, 2010     The Ortonville Independent
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March 30, 2010

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I 1646 *********************** FOR ADC 980 SMALLTOWNPAPERS 5026 CALIFORNIA AVE SW ,&apos;, ,t, SEATTLE WA 98136-1208 II,l,.h,l.,,,ll,,ll,,ll,,,,,Ih,l,llh,,h,h,,I,l,ll,,,I,.ll 101 Ortonville "Town with a heart" N "A Constructive Newspaper In A Live Community" N 2 Sections-20 Pages Ortonville, Minnesota 56278 Tuesday, March 30, 2010 Volume 92; Number 11 DEBRIS WAS REMOVED FROM THE FOOT OF BIG STONE LAKE on Saturday, March 20 to prevent it from going into the dam. Pictured above is one of two piles of debris that was removed. The lake level has dropped from 973.5 last week to 972.35 as of Monday, March 29. . Big Stone Lake levels falling, some sewer Systems still off Big Stone Lake levels have contin- ued to decrease during the past week. As of Tuesday, March 23 the lake was at 973.5. According to Upper Min- nesota River Watershed District Man- ager Dianne Radermacher, the level as of Monday, March 29 was at 972.35. Weather conditions over the past week have helped with lake levels, as a second crest did not happen. City officials had closed McLeod Street which runs through the Penin- sula and was still closed as press time Monday. The sewer system is still turned off on the Peninsula and Dahle Addition and portable toilets are still being used by residents there. Au- thorities are continuing to monitor the lake levels and hope to have the sewer system up and running sometime this week. Debris was removed from the foot of the lake on Saturday, March 20 to prevent it from going into the dam, which enabled the water to move through freely. Highway 12 east of Ortonville was reopened on Saturday, March 26 be- tween Highway 75 and Big Stone County Road 67. There is still water on the sides of the roadway and mo- torists are reminded to drive with cau- tion through that area. Highway .12 east of Big Stone County Road 21 at Horseshoe Lake is open to traffic as well. U.S.00 Fish, 00Wi!dli.fe. Service plans prescribed fires Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge and Morris Wetland Management Dis- trict are planning to conduct prescribed burns this spring in Big Stone and Lac qui Parle counties. The bums will be starting in April, continuing through May and into early June. These carefully planned and con- trolled fires are designed to help wildlife and wildlife habitat. Here, on the eastern edge of the prairie, where trees will grow if given a chance, grass- lands and the wildlife that depend on grasslands actually require some sort of harsh disturbance such as an occasional fire for their very survival. Animals that live on the prairie are adapted to fire. They escape by going underground, or simply running or fly- ing away. Though some nests may be destroyed, birds of the prairie quickly build new nests. The short term harm caused to a few eggs or an occasional animal is Outweighed by the benefit of improved habitat. You may see them burning or see the results of the burning as you drive throughout the countryside. All of their fires are carefully planned and con- trolled to cause as little inconvenience or trouble to their neighbors as possi- ble. They prefer to bum when the pre- vailing winds carry the smoke away from homes and busy roads. Some- times, there is no ideal wind direction. Occasionally, despite their best ef- forts, some smoke crosses a road or passes near a rural home. They work hard to minimize such problems and are prepared with road signs to warn drivers of smoke along roads. If you have any questions or com- ments please contact the Morris Wet- land District at 320-589-1001 or the -Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge at 320-273-2191. City council to decide fate of Lakeside Park Monday ject. This new walking/bike trail is the trailhead of the Minnesota River Valley State Trail System from Ortonville to St. Paul. The trailhead connects the headwaters of the Minnesota River (Big Stone Lake) to After more than 20 years of plan- ning, raising funds and finally imple- menting the Minnesota River Headwaters Recreational Trail, Ortonville's City Council is slated to consider bids Monday, April 5 to complete the final phase of the pro- ORTONVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT responded to a house fire on Second Street near the King Koin Launderette at 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning. A rental property owned by Paul Skinner started on fire in the basement, boring an 8 x 10 hole through the main floor, gradually working its way to the attic. After leaving the scene .at approximately- 7:45 a.m., firefighters were called back to" the scene at around 9 a.m. after the fire rekindled. The fire was extinguished by 10:30 a.m. At this time the cause of the fire is undetermined. Ortonville Firemen were assisted at the scene by the Big Stone City, SD Fire Department, Big Stone County Sheriff's Department and the Ortonville Police. The structure was a total loss. the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. The final phase of the trailhead project will be located in Ortonville's Lakeside Park. This is the start of the recreational trail, showcasing the community and welcoming visitors and residents to the trail, Big Stone Lake and Ortonville. Included in this phase is an expan- sion of Lakeside Park from the pre- sent park area, east to the Go Fasters building, to County Rd. 30. On this a'iangular property, which is currently covered with gravel, will be a build- ing with bathrooms and a small area which could be used for concessions. A parking lot is planned to rtm adja- cent to Co. Rd. 30 on the south end of this expanded park property. The road going into the park from the north would be changed to a culdesac rather than a through street. New playground equipment for toddlers has been purchased for the north end of the park. Plans are also designed for a basketball court in the area. Volunteers and organizations plan to landscape and spruce up the area with plants, shrubs and flowers. The Minnesota River Headwaters Recreational Trail Project has been the result of much hard work and ded- ication of numerous volunteers and entities working together. It has been a vision of the community since the 1980s and is near completion today, due to the joint effort between Big Stone County, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission and the City of Ortonville. To date nearly $1.1 million has been spent to develop the project The city has been awarded a $129,000 (Continued on page 3) Guards to be home Saturday The Minnesota Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 151st Field Ar- tillery (1-151 FA) completed their Transfer of Authority ceremony Friday, March 26 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. More than 550 Soldiers from 1-151 FA are returning to Fort McCoy, WI following their 12-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 1st Battalion, 151st Field Ar- tillery Soldiers will undergo medical and administrative out-processing at Fort McCoy before they return to Min- nesota. The first wave of Soldiers" were scheduled to arrive on Sunday, March 28. They are expected to arrive in Mor- ris this Saturday, April 3 where they will be greeted by family members at noon and a welcome home ceremony is planned for 3 p.m. at the Univeristy of Minnesota, Morris Gymnasium. There are five major units in the 1 st Battalion, 151 st Field Artillery: Head- quarters and Headquarters Battery in Montevideo, A Battery in Marshall, B Battery in Madison and Olivia, C Bat- tery in Morris and Ortonville and the 175th Forward Support Company in Appleton. Headquartered at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, the unit provided Convoy Se- curity and Force Protection for logisti- cal supply convoys from Kuwait to Forward Operating Bases throughout Iraq. 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery notable accomplishments include: -Successfully completed 591 com- bat missions traveling more than 1.9 million miles without accident or in- jury. -Sustained an operational readiness rate of 99.63 percent throughout their deployment. -Received the 1 st Theater Sustain- ment Command Safety Award. -Conducted 127 Soldier reenlist- ments while deployed. The .Minnesota Army National Guard's 1st Battalion 151 st Field Ar- tillery left Minnesota for training on April 15,2009 for a one-year deploy- ment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Deployed were 95 Soldiers from the Montevideo-based Headquar- ters; 150 Soldiers from the Appleton- based Forward Support Company ; 105 Soldiers from the Marshall-based Bat- tery A; 105 Soldiers from the Madi- son/Olivia-based Battery B; and 105 Soldiers from the Morris/Ortonville- based Battery C. FEMA reps in town assess,ng for flood damage Representatives from the Fedoral Emergency Management Agency and the Minnesota Department of Homeland Security met with county, City and watershed officials Monday afternoon to assess damage to public property and facilities from the recent flooding. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty issued five teams to conduct Preliminary Damage Assessments in 25 counties along the Red, Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers. 'The Governor requested these representatives conduct PDAs to determine if the Emergency Disasters <leclared in these counties should be upgraded to Major Disasters. The difference could mean more federal funding from FEMA. The teams hope to be done with their assessments by Wednesday evening according to Hannah Vick, FEMA Public Informations Officer. The assessors will then give their information to the Governor for his determination. Milltone Chorus annual show set The Milltofies Annual Show will be presented, Saturday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Milbank High School Theater. The theme of the show is "Hooray for Hollywood", and portrays a game show featuring several local stars, as well as the chorus and local quartets. The featured guest quartet will be "McPhly". The quartet was a semi- finalist in the 2008 International con- test. Tickets can be purchased from any member and also from most banks. LT. COL. SCOTT ST. SAUVER, outgoing Commander, 1-151st Field Artillery.,, left and Command Selrt..Ma'orLaJG Er-lk Arne, outoing Command Sgt. Maj., 1-151st FA, prepare flagto be cased during a Transfer of Authority ceremony held Friday, March 26 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. The incoming unit is the 1-124th Infantry of the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team from Florida, and the outgoing unit is part of the 115th Fires Brigade from Wyoming. Last week for donations to March FoodShare Drive Just a reminder that this is the last week for you to make your donation to the food shelf for the annual March FoodShare Drive. Friday, April 2 is the last day they can accept donations for the event. There will be volunteers and staff available to accept your donations on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (March 30, 31 and April 2). These days and times allow for privacy of food shelf cus- tomers on Monday and Thursday. If other arrangements need to be made, please contact RSPV Volunteers United at 839-2111. They will be happy to do their best to accommo- date your busy schedule. The food shelf is a non-profit 501(c) 3, so all donations are tax deductible. Mail your monetary dona- tions=please make checks out to Food ShElf, to: Big Stone County Family Services, 340 NW 2nd Street, Ortonville, MN 56278, or drop off your food donations at the food shelf using the alley entrance at 125 NW 2nd Street in Ortonville. If you have any questions or concerns please call Karin at (320) 839-2111. The food Shelf is open Mondays 1- 4 p.m. and Thursdays 9 a.m. to noon for anyone needing food. Scholastic Book Fair to be held next week at BSC School The Big Stone City, SD School will be hosting a Scholastic Book Fair Monday-Friday, April 5-9 in the lunch- room hallway. Hours will be Monday- Wednesday from 2-4 p.m., Thursday from 2-8 p.m. and Friday from 2-4 p.m. Help kids develop an appetite for reading. Everyone knows a good breakfast is important in providing nourishment for an active school day. Similarly, great books supply students with the fuel they need to stimulate their imagination, curiosity and knowl- edge of the world. The Scholastic Book Fair serves up a menu of great books to inspire stu- dents an exciting way to boost readers appetites for a lifelong love of books. The book fair is a tasty treat to moti- vate students having fun and being cre- ative in learning and to help improve their reading skills. Remember, a watched pot never boils, so take time to come to the book fair and find some great books for the whole family to enjoy. Parents, grandparents and the peo- ple of the community are welcome to attend the Scholastic Book Fair next week. If you have questions feel free to contact Book Fair Coordinator Janelle Kelly, School Librarian at 605-862- 8108 Ext. 31. Schools hold first meeting on go,ng to four-day week Area residents attended a public meeting on Thursday, March 25 at the Ortonville High School Auditorium to discuss the possibility of the Ortonville and Big Stone City, SD Schools going to a four-day school week. Members of the Ortonville and Big Stone School Boards were in attendance. Ortonville Superintendent Jeff Tay- lor began the meeting by informing those in attendance that nothing has been decided and that they were look- ing for input from the public. Taylor stated that they wanted to hear from the public about the postives and negatives about the four-day school week. He also statedthat before a decision can be made, they need to hold three public meetings and then apply to the Depart- ment of Education. Greg. Schmidt, MACCRAY Super- intendent discussed what the MAC-" CRAY School Digtrict went through to get to the four-day school week. This is the second year that MACCRAY has had the four-day week. MACCRAY is made up of Maynard, Clara City and Raymond. They have 710 students en- rolled in K- 12. Schmidt stated that the reason they went to a four-day school week was to reduce expenses, minimize staff reduc- tions and maintain elective offerings for the students. Some of the benefits of the four-day school week were it was environmen- tally friendly, increased enrollment, improved attendance for students and staff, improve student morale, decrease discipline referrals and to save money. According to Schmidt, one of the mai n concerns involved daycare which theywere able to work out with a local YMCA in nearby Willmar. Big Stone City School Superintend- ent Dan Swartos stated that they would (Continued on page 3)