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Ortonville, Minnesota
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September 6, 2011     The Ortonville Independent
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September 6, 2011
 

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Ask a Trooper By Sgt. Kathy Pederson of the Minnesota State Patrol Dear Trooper Kathy: My son just turned 15, and I was wondering what the rules are for new drivers with a farm permit. All of his friends drive to football practice and school. Is this legal? Trooper Kathy says: NO: There are many restrictions, so I will answer a few of your questions. Must have the permit in immediate possession. Must be accompanied by an adult licensed driver while driving Question: What the rules are for a Farmers permit?-I thought only for farm business, Trooper Kathy says: You are correct. The farm restricted license shall be issued to assist the person's parents or guardians with farm work. A person holding a restricted license may operate a motor vehicle only during daylight hours and only within a radius of 20 miles of the parent's or guardian's farmhouse. Question: but one other mother told me, they could drive to athletic practice. Is that right? Trooper Kathy says: NO Question: I was also wondering if that was true, could they drive to other sports events, Trooper Kathy says: no- Question: could they drive to work/job? Trooper Kathy says: -no Question: Grocery store? Trooper Kathy says: no Question: School? Trooper Kathy says: And no Question: If they get a farm permit -what do they have to do when they turn 16? Trooper Kathy says: They must go back to Department of Motor Vehicles and get the Farm restriction removed. Question: It would be helpful to us if she could drive to work, when I am at work and my husband is in the field. But I didn't think that they could. When I was younger, several kids drove to school on farm permits, but not sure if that was legal. Of course we did not have a police officer in my home town either. Trooper Kathy says: It wasn't-but yes a lot of kids DO it! Question: What are the rules once they turn 16? Trooper Kathy says:THIS IS FOR ALL DRIVER'S UNDER AGE 18 DURING Their first six months: A. only allowed one passenger under age 21 other than immediate family members B. cannot drive after midnight unless returning from work Their second six months: May now have up to three passengers other than immediate family members Question: What are the penalties if they do drive illegally? Trooper Kathy says: They may be charged with Driving with NO Minnesota Driver's License. This is a misdemeanor offense which is punishable up to $1,000 in addition to a possible loss of driving privileges for one year or until they are 18 whichever is greater. If you have any questions regarding traffic safety and/or traffic laws, please email her at kathy.pederson @ state.mn.us. Sgt. Pederson will not offer advice on specific situations or real events, which involve law enforcement. At least 232 DWI arrests in first state crack down days At least 232 motorists were arrested for DWI, Aug. 19-21, the first week- end of a statewide crackdown running through Labor Day, according to pre- liminary reports from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Of- fice of Traffic Safety. The number of arrests was reported by 108 out of around 400 participating law enforcement agencies. The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign is being conducted nationwide. DPS officials report added enforce- ment and education campaigns have factored in a continuing decline of al- cohol-related tragedies. There were 131 alcohol-related traffic deaths in 2010, the fewest on record and down 21 percent from five years ago. Still, in the last five years (2006-2010), 791 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes-reflecting impaired driving as a factor annually in one-third of the state's road fatalities. A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands in costs and possible jail time. Since July 1, stronger DWI sanctions became ef- fective for all repeat DWI offenders, as well as for motorists arrested for a first- time DWI with a 0.16 and above alco- hol-concentration level. Under the new sanctions, DWI offenders must use ig- nition interlock for at least a year or face at least one year without driving privileges. More than 30,000 motorists are ar- rested for DWI each year; one in seven Minnesota drivers has a DWI on record. DPS encourages Minnesotans to: Plan for a safe ride-designate a sober driver, use a cab/public trans- portation, or stay at the location of the celebration. Families should let each other know that they will be available to offer a safe ride home. Buckle up and wear protective mo- I I I I I I Two local web pages slated to receive funding Sixteen funding requests for pro- jects that promote the use of broad- band technology were received from the Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Swift, and Yellow Medicine County region for the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) Program managed through the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission. The C. K. Blandin Foundation included this region in its MIRC Program that was funded though the US Department of Commerce's NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. Two of the request which were granted funding include Big Stone County Public Internet Project for $6,554 and $10,000 for a project with the Ortonville School and the Ortonville Economic Development Authority. The goal of Big Stone County's public internet access project is to provide more convenient access to government information and resources to the public, enabling the public to access forms, county high- way project status, and GIS informa- tion online to increase public aware- ness and provide a connection to county government, thus increasing public use of broadband. Having a kiosk within the courthouse will allow department workers to train county residents how to use the web site to find information. The Ortonville Public Schools/Ortonville EDA project's goals are to increase internet usage by giving area businesses an understand- ing of how the internet can be used and the benefits it provides. The pro- ject hopes to ncrease local intemet usage as more discover the informa- tion to create a viable economic com- munity and a school system that uses technology that keeps up with the times and encouragingyouth to return as adults and become active members in our community. Broadband technology proposals came from a variety of entities includ- ing; local units of government, school districts, non-profits and private busi- nesses. The requests totaled more than $250,000 for local projects that pro- moted the use of broadband technolo- gy. Funds have been awarded to six different projects in the region-total- ing $85,959. Eligible projects were those that implement at least one of the follow- ing Intelligent COmmunity elements: Broadband-ensuring wired and/or wireless broadband availability to the area Knowledge Workers-ensuring that area workers have the skills necessary for good jobs Digital Inclusion-ensuring that all sectors of the population have broad- band access and necessary skills Innovation-providing new or more efficient government and busi- ness services .Marketing/Advocacy-attracting investment and talent to the area torcycle gear-the best defenses against an impaired driver. Report impaired driving-call 911 when witnessing impaired driving be- havior. Witnesses must be prepared to provide location, license plate and ob- served dangerous behavior. Enhanced DWI patrols are a com- ponent of the state's core traffic safety initiative, Toward Zero Deaths (TZD). A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by prac- ticing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to re- duce crashes-education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma re- sponse. To-date in 2011 there have been 206 traffic deaths compared to 253 at this time in 2010. II II II Other projects in the area slated to receive funding include: Dawson / Boyd Schools-S25,000 With the coming availability of broad- band technology in Lac qui Parle County, Dawson-Boyd Schools would' like to connect businesses, communiJ ty members, and students to produce a digitally literate community. We will achieve this by creating a Multimedia Collaboration Center, a Student Tech Team, and a hybrid (online and class- room) Teacher/Community Training Academy. Lac qui Parle County Economic Development Authority-S25,000 The goal of the LqP Computer Commuter is to increase the digital literacy of area residents and businesses, advance our knowledge workers, pro- mote broadband availability and digi- tal inclusion with an innovative pro- ject offering a mobile computer lab environment open to the general pub- lic at no charge. Johnson Memorial Health Services, Dawson-S15,000 Home Stream demonstration project- Demonstrate the potential for using broadband-based remote support tools and enhanced family, engag.e- ment to define appropriate vis- its/hospitalizations and to achieve increased medication adherence for better health outcomes. Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission-S4,405 This project will assist the cities of Bellingham and Echo in creating community websites. ORTONVILLE'S MOST ACTIVE SERVICE ORGANIZATION the Kiwanis Club, entertained Northridge resi- dents on Tuesday, Aug. 30. Kiwanis members pictured from left to right are Pat Kunz-Organist, Jack Gable, Becky Parker, Linda Hofhenke, Carol Knoll, Craig Randleman, Jan Schmidt, Burt Nypen, Norman Shelsta and John Ragan. A good time was had by all. (Submitted photo.) Transportation improvements key for future of rural MN If rural Minnesota is going to thrive, improvements in public transportation have to be part of the picture, according to the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL). The group's Executive Director, Billy Altom, says the ability to get around af- fects every facet of a person's life, and without it, the negative effects can pile up like dominoes. "It's almost a snowball effect some- times, when you look at, 'Well if I lose my ride, then the next, I've lost my job, I've lost my house,' and then you wind up in dire straits." Altom says part of the problem with the current systems is that each trans- portation provider has its own restric- tions and routes, many of which don't coordinate with each other. He says getting them to work together would be more efficient, cut costs and improve accessibility. While there are transportation op- tions in most rural areas for the elderly, poor and people with disabilities, Altom says they need to be better co- ordinated. Right now, in his view, there's no real system in place. "It's more of a, for lack of a better term, kind of a hodge-podge of differ- ent little providers. You may have Human Services that are providing here, another nonprofit is doing it here. They.'re not coordinated - yet the momes come from, basically, the same pot of money." So, Altom's group says, all the providers in rural areas need to get on the same page. He adds that they also need a voice in work on the next fed- eral transportation bill, which he hopes will cover a six-year time period. "Because if you just do a two-year bill and you're trying to coordinate pro- grams, by the time regulations and stuff come out of the feds - we're two years in, we haven't done anything. So, if we can spread it out into that six years, I think we'll be much better off." Altom says the next transportation bill also needs to be equitable. He says only six percent of federal transit fund- ing supports rural areas, where 25 per- cent of Americans live. More information on APRIL is at www.april-rural.org Rental housing squeeze tightens across Greater MN The number of people now renting in Minnesota continues to rise, right along with their monthly housing costs. Pressure on the rental market comes as the number of home owners in the state has fallen by 20,000 during the past five years, says Chip Halbach, ex- ecutive director of the Minnesota Housing Partnership. "With all of the foreclosures and also just the general state of the econ- omy, it's been much harder for people to be in home ownership, and therefore there's a lot more demand for rental," On top of the economic issues, when adjusted for inflation, rents have risen in 80 of Minnesota's 87 counties in the past decade, Halbach says. Dur- ing the same time period, the income of the average renter dropped by 17 percent. "In the state, nearly one in seven households are paying over half of their income for basic housing and the associated utilities, which of course means that you're restricted in covering other basic living costs like food, health care, transportation." Affordable-rental housing is also vital in rural Minnesota, Halbach says, because most of the counties that have the highest percentages of renters are outside the Twin Cities. "If you look at the top 10 counties for renters, in terms of a percent basis, eight of those 10 are in greater Min- nesota." As of 2010, Halbach says, 27 per- cent of Minnesota households were liv- ing in rental housing, up significantly from mid-decade. More data is online at mhponline.org. Habitat grant program offers local groups $5.45 million Conservation groups seeking fund- ing for projects that protect and im- prove Minnesota's prairies, forests, lakes and wetlands can apply online for a Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grant beginning Friday, Aug. 12. Funded through the Outdoor Her- itage Fund, the $5.45 million available for CPL grants in the coming year is one of the initiatives funded by a three- eighths of 1 percent sales tax that vot- ers approved when they passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amend- ment in 2008. "CPL grants help get money to groups that are ready to proceed with on-the-ground habitat initiatives," said Ed Boggess, director of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) Fish and Wildlife Division. "These projects are based on sound conservation practices with long-term benefits for the state, our lands and wa- ters, and our fish and wildlife." Projects that restore, enhance or protect Minnesota's prairies, forests, wetlands and habitat for fish game and wildlife on public or permanently pro- tected lands are eligible for funds. Local, state and federal nonprofit or- ganizations and governmental entities may apply. Applicants seeking a $5,000- $25,000 grant must provide 10 percent in matching funds and complete a sim- plified online application. Grant re- quests from $25,001-$400,000 require 10-15 percent in matching funds and must be completed using the standard online application. Grant applications will be accepted online through Thursday, Sept. 15. In- formation about this year's grant re- FORMER NORTHWESTERN BELL TELEPHONE GALS met for lunch at the Ortonville Clubhouse for lunch on Monday, Aug. 22. They also visited with Carol Ekdahl from Vancouver, WA. Ortonville lost their local operators in 1982 with the closing of the office. Pictured above in front from left to right are Diane Dorry, Janis Sellin, Jeanne Berg, Betty Hausauer, Donna Rabe and Frances Fridgen. Back row left to right are Carol Ekdahl, Ruth Strege, Judy Peter, Paula Bailey and Bonnie Rothi. quirements will be available online Aug. 11 on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/grants/habitat/cpl. Grant awards will be announced in Novem- ber. During the first two years of the CPL grant program, DNR has awarded more than 80 grants totaling $7.87 mil- lion. Big Stone Health Foundation's 2oth Annual Tree Classic MULTI-ITEM SILENT BIDDING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Items displayed in the basement of the clubhouse. MANY ITEMS - INCLUDING SEVERAL PACKAGE DEALS. Bidding closes 15 minutes after last golfer comes off the course. RAFFLE. Only 800 tickets sold at $ i0.00 eochl EVERYONE IS INVITED FOR ] THE MEAL- $10.95/ Pulled Pork, Baked Beans and Cole Slaw [ Information contact Sally Rakow at 32o.839.4135 Sally.Rakow@oahs.us www.bshcf.org Page 2 ~ INDEPENDENT Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011