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November 22, 2011     The Ortonville Independent
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November 22, 2011
 

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MnDOT snowplow crews set for another winter season The Minnesota Department of Transportation's snowplow operators are trained, experienced and prepared to assist motorists through another win- ter season. "Our crews have the equipment and technology to do an excellent job of clearing Minnesota's roads," said MnDOT Commissioner Tom S0rel. "We need motorists to do their part to keep the roads safe this winter, by giv- ing our plows room to work." Last year in Minnesota, there were 72 crashes involving vehicles that hit snowplows. This is typically caused by inattentive drivers, motorists driving too close to the plow or motorists driv- ing too fast for conditions. Operators have much to monitor and control, and their ability to see be- hind them is limited by side mirrors. Their vision can also be hampered by the snow clouds they create while plowing. "We all must get back into winter driving mode, which means increasing caution and patience while reducing distractions," Sorel urged. "To keep themselves safe and the highways open, motorists need to stay at least five car lengths away from snowplows and give the plows time to remove the snow." Safe driving means: • Check road conditions at www.511mn.org or call 511; it takes time to get roads back to good driving conditions. • Be patient and remember snow- plows are working to improve road conditions for your trip. • Stay back at least five car lengths behind the plow, far from the snow cloud. Snowplow operators will pull over when it is safe to do so to allow traffic build-up to pass. • Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They may also travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to fur- ther improve road conditions. • Slow down to a safe speed for cur- rent conditions, and give yourself plenty of travel time. Snowplows typi- cally move at slower speeds. • Buckle up and ensure children are properly secured in the correct child re- straint. • Avoid unnecessary travel if road conditions are too poor. Area fire departments receive training reimbursement grants The Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education (MBFTE) no- tified Minnesota's 790 fire departments of their 2012 training reimbursement grants. The statewide grant total ex- ceeds $2 million. "These grants benefit the public safety of all Minnesotans," says Bruce West, executive director of MBFTE. "Assuring annual firefighter training is good for departments and their com- munities. Skill updating makes fire- fighters better responders and keeps them safer, as well." The Fire Safety Account was cre- ated by the Minnesota Legislature in 2006. It is funded by a fire-safety sur- charge on all homeowher and certain commercial insurance policies in Min- nesota. The Fire Safety Advisory Com- mittee makes recommendations to the commissioner of the state Department of Public Safety on use of the funding. Steve Flaherty, Grand Rapids fire chief and director of Mesabi Range Community and Technical College (MRCTC) Fire Training Program, says that many departments are using this money for basic firefighter training. Others are able to reinforce basic skills with Firefighter II, auto extrication, water rescue and other high-level classes. The training program at MRCTC serves more than 100 fire departments, from all-volunteer corps in towns of 150 people to full-time departments with their own training budgets. As program director, Flaherty sees the dra- matic difference the MBFTE funds make in keeping every fire department capable of providing adequate protec- tion. Grants must be claimed through a reimbursement process by June 30, 2012. The amount of each grant is based on two factors -- the amount of money allocated to MBFTE by Min- nesota's Fire Safety Account and the number of firefighters in each depart- ment. This year, the per-firefighter rate is $101.85. The allotment process helps elimi- nate the training budget disparity be- tween larger, better-funded departments and those in cities and towns with smaller budgets, notes West. "For the first time, Minnesota fire departments received grants with- out having to apply. That makes the equalizing factor even greater." Area fire departments and the amount received include: • Ortonville-$3,055.50 • Odessa-$1,324.05 • Correll-$1,018.50 • Clinton-E2,546.25 • Beardsley-E2,240.70 • Bellingham-$1,935.15 • Browns Valley-$1,833.30 • Graceville-$2,546.25 • Marietta-E2,851.80 • Nassau-$1,833.30 Water quality !ssues meeting set for Dec. 6 Mankato The public is invited to attend a wa- tershed wide, citizen-led conversation on water quality issues facing the Min- nesota, the Blue Earth and Mississippi River south of the Twin Cities to be held on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at the Mankato City Center Hotel from 5-8 p.m. The event is free, but advanced registration is required. The conversation is being sponsored by a wide range of grassroots citizen groups, farm groups, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and InCom- mons. The dialogue comes on the eve of public comment periods for pro- posed water quality goals for the three rivers. The purpose of the meeting is to explore how citizens, businesses and government can share leadership by collaborating to restore water quality in the Minnesota, Blue Earth and Missis- sippi Rivers. The meeting will feature a meal and round table discussions facilitated by InCommons - a community-based ini- tiative that connects Minnesotans to share tools, knowledge and resources to address complicated problems. This past summer, InCommons helped sponsor a series of meetings around the state about the state government shut- down and revenue shortfall. For this meeting, InCommons was asked by event organizers to connect with "Art of Hosting" trained facilita- tors to help facilitate "courageous con- versations" about proposed water quality goals among farmers and envi- ronmentalists, upstreamers and down- streamers, business owners and gov- ernment agency employees, urban and rural citizens. "We hope to create a judgment free space where we can experience what it is like to really listen to each other with everybody taking on a piece of the work, based on what the proposed water qualit.y goals are," said one of the event organizers. The public is invited to attend. To register for the meal and dialogue call 1-877-269-2873 by Nov. 30. Seating is available for 80 people on a first come, first served basis. Organizers are expecting a full house, so don't delay. Applications accepted for 2012 Angel Tax Credit Program The Minnesota Department of Em- ployment and Economic Development (DEED) has begun accepting applica- tions from investors and businesses that want to participate in the Min- nesota Angel Tax Credit Program in 2012. The agency will have $12 million in angel tax credits available to qualified investors next year. DEED had $16 million in angel tax credits available in 2011, but those credits ran out this week because of the strong response to the program. "The Angel Tax Credit Program has been a huge success since it was launched in mid-2010," said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. "This program is making investment funding available to promising startups that often struggle to attract capital in their early stages of development." Under the program, qualified in- vestors can receive a tax credit of 25 ercent on investments of at least 10,000 in emerging companies that specialize in high technology or new proprietary technology. Since launching on July 1,2010, the program has made nearly $23 million in tax credits available to investors and attracted about $92 million in invest- ments for high-tech startups in the state. Businesses that receive angel fund- ing must be headquartered in Min- nesota and have fewer than 25 employees, with at least 51 percent of the workers and total payroll based in the state. Businesses must have been operating for no more than 10 years and cannot have received previous eq- uity investments exceeding $2 million. As of early November, 175 busi- nesses, 544 investors and 19 funds have registered for the program since mid-2010. Investors and businesses can begin the application process for 2012 par- ticipation at www.PositivelyMin- nesota.com/angelcredit. Other details about the program are available from Jeff Nelson at 651-259-7523 or Angel .Credit@ state.ran .us. DEED is the state's principal eco- nomic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce deyelopment, in- ternational trade and community de- velopment. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at www.PositivelyMinnesota.com. '4  " HANDS ACROSS THE LAKE QUILT GUILD recently donated doll quilts and children's quilts to Project Christmas. A few dolls and stuffed animals accompamed the quilts. Those making the little quilts included Sally Fischer, Terri Thompson, Jyla Dahle, June Harms, Carol Knutson, Arvilla Bergseth, Sharon Schroeder, Arlene Frederick, Norma Frevert, Mary Weber, Linda Chase, Gerry Boe, Shirley Voeltz, Marvel Anderson, Laurie Athey, Connie Sporleder, Susan Roggenbuck, Rhonda Thiele, Carol Jean Kellen, Adrienne Stattelman, Sandy Kumm, Vicky Torgerson, Kay Robinson, Erlys Sis and Aria Mae Discher. The quilt guild also collected toi- letries for Someplace Safe. From all of us to all of you, go our warmest wishes for a very happy ThankYgiving holiday to you and your kin. Cae, Oadza Closed Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24th, Open Friday, Nov. 25th and Saturday hours on Saturday, Nov. 26th. Emergency care available 24[7 at the Ortonville Hospital, (320) 839-2502. Orto.vill00 H00alth "" O,.t,:,,i'vill I lo,pit,l .... -th,-id,e ll,,sid,,,,oe N,,rd,,le ,',.di,,,d C,li,;,, 0:\\;llS II ..... 11,,,,I, Chai,,n Chn,, i AT CARLSON DRUG! Holiday Russell Stover BOXED CANDLES for Thanksgiving and Christmas \\; A LOOK DOWN MAIN STREET ORTONVILLE LAST SATURDAY as the area received its first snowfall of the year. Around 5-6 inches of snow was recorded with higher amounts to the north. Most of the snow should melt away as temperatureswarmupto.eupper 40s and low 50s this week. Page 2  INDEPENDENT FREE GIFT CARDS for Thanksgiving and BOXED CARDS N DRUG Your Locally Owned and Operated Main Street Ortonville, MN 320-839-6102 IDrug With Two Pharmacists Mike and Brian To Serve You! LOTs OF HO GIFT WRAP, GARLAND, LIGH AND OTHER DECORATIONs! Tuesday, Nov. 22,2011 II J "