Energy Assistance available to help Minnesotans with utility bills

Additional shutoff protections are also available as utilities transition back from COVID-19 rules Hundreds of millions in financial assistance is available to help Minnesotans pay for electricity, natural gas, propane, and other delivered fuels. The nonprofit Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota (CUB), along with many others across the state, is spreading the word that grants…

Lack of rain creating challenges at boat launches this summer

The abnormally dry drought conditions occurring across Minnesota are creating challenging conditions for people trying to get their boats into or out of the water at public boat launches, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. When water levels drop during extended dry periods, the concrete ramps at boat launches may no longer reach…

Byrne JAG grant

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Cloud Police Department have been invited to apply for the 2021 Edward Byrne Memorial JAG Program grant in the amount of $34,680. The funds will be evenly divided between the two agencies. The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office intends on utilizing the funds to purchase Fireaway Stat-X 1st…

Minnesota enters drought warning phase

DNR and partners are implementing next drought response steps With 52 percent of Minnesota now experiencing severe drought and 4 percent in extreme drought, the state has entered the drought warning phase. With this designation, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and others are taking additional steps. Current drought information, including details on areas…

Firework-related medical

At about 7:46 p.m. Wednesday, July 7, the Stearns County Communications Center received a report of a medical emergency at the address of 25386 Hilltop Road in Munson Township. When officers arrived on scene, they found the victim, Neal Schmitt, 31 of Richmond, had sustained extensive injuries to his hand. It was reported that a…

Delays in processing passports

Anyone with travel plans that require a new passport should apply early. Passport processing times are taking longer than usual, currently running between 12-18 weeks. The U.S. State Department says mail delays are impacting processing times, and it’s taking longer to receive a passport from the federal government. Routine service takes about 18 weeks to…

Alley issue continues in Watkins

By Jean Doran Matua, Editor In an issue that has been in process for 11 months already, the City of Watkins must await further legal work before a vote can be taken on vacating an alley that adjoins five properties in town. At this point, the city plans to vacate its easements on an alley…

Watkins appoints new firefighters

By Jean Doran Matua, Editor The July 8 Watkins city council meeting was led by acting mayor Tootz Tschumperlin. They approved the appointment of four new members to the Watkins Fire Department: Jake Kramer, Nick Meierhofer, Aaron Dockendorf, and Joe Kuechle Jr. All four have passed background checks. Although this appointment puts the department’s roster…

Kimball okays Eagle Scout project

By Jean Doran Matua, Editor At its July 6 regular meeting, the Kimball city council heard from Kimball Express manager Tom Marquardt about the ball field. The condition of the left field, which is “sitting on a bunch of muck,” has become a safety issue. The outfield fence posts are set about 4 feet deep,…

Valley Daze committee lauded for hard work, great festival

By Jean Doran Matua, Editor At its July 7 regular meeting, the Eden Valley city council discussed recent damage at the splash pad in Friederichs Park and possible ways to remedy it, including adding security cameras in the park. They approved a change to the current street improvement project going on in Eden Valley right…