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Wright County News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

 

State Makes Error In Letter To MinnesotaCare Subscribers 

The state Human Services Department has identified an error in a letter sent to nearly nine-thousand MinnesotaCare clients. Deputy Commissioner Charles Johnson says the July 17th notice warned subscribers they faced a four-month insurance coverage lockout if they failed to renew their policy by the end of July. He says that is not accurate, and that portion of the MinnesotaCare guidelines has been removed. Johnson says if you don't get your renewal application in by the end of business today, get it in as soon as you can to be eligible for September 1st coverage.

Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge 

Businesses across rural Minnesota are encouraged to enter ideas and innovations in the Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge, with winners getting initial capital and mentoring to turn their ideas into reality. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says they're accepting applications through September 15th. Stallman says participants will compete for the Rural Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which may include up to 30 thousand dollars to implement their ideas. More information and applications are available at; www.strongruralamerica.com/challenge. 

2014 Wright County Fair Continues 

The 2014 Wright County Fair moves into its second full day of activities today. The fair calendar includes numerous 4-H judgings and events today, along with an armband day on the midway, a classic car show, the antique tractor and garden tractor pull, the annual Wright County Fair talent show at 6 PM in the hoop building, and "Rock Through The Ages" tonight in the grandstand infield area with 4 rock tribute bands featuring the music of The Beatles, Chicago, Bad Company and Queen. The Wright County Fair runs daily through Sunday on the fairgrounds, just north of Highway 12 on County Road 6 in Howard Lake. 

SOAR Regional Arts Production of "Joseph" Continues Tonight 

The SOAR Regional Arts group continues its summer musical presentation of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" tonight. "Joseph" is the Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors brought to life in contemporary fashion with musical styles that range from country-western to rock. More than 50 local performers of all ages are a part of the production which takes the stage tonight at 7:30 PM at the St. Michael-Albertville High School. Additional performances this weekend will be Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30, and Sunday afternoon at 2 PM. Tickets are available online at; www.soararts.com, or by calling (612) 568-7627. 

Buffalo Thursday Concert Series Continues Tonight at Sturges Park 

Buffalo's Thursday night Concerts in the Park continue tonight at Sturges Park . Throughout the summer, the City of Buffalo and event partners and business and individual sponsors present live music covering a wide variety of musical styles at the Sturges Park Bandshell. Tonight it's the rock variety sounds of The Fugitives, with music beginning at 7 PM. This evening's concert is sponsored by the Buffalo Lions Club. 

Monticello Community Strings Orchestra in Concert Tonight 

An evening of orchestral music is planned tonight in Monticello, where the Monticello Community Strings Orchestra will be in concert. The 14th annual concert is scheduled for 7 PM at the Monticello High School Auditorium. Admission is free, with refreshments served following the concert. 

Political Campaign Signs Prohibited From State Highway Rights of Way

With the election season heating up, officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation are reminding residents about proper placement of political and campaign signs. MnDOT says placement of signs and other unauthorized objects in state highway rights of way is prohibited, and campaign signs may not be placed on private property outside road right of way limits without the consent of the landowner. Highway rights of way include the driving lanes, inside and outside shoulders, ditches and sight corners at intersections. MnDOT says crews will remove any unlawfully placed signs and impound them at one of its local truck maintenance stations. Violation of the law is a misdemeanor, and civil penalties may also apply if the placement of such material contributes to a motor vehicle crash that injures a person or damages a vehicle. The same or similar ordinances are also in effect on county and city roads and streets.  

New STMA Rotary President Named 

Officials with the St. Michael Rotary have announced a new president for 2014 2015. Sandy Greniger, a well-known leader in the community, and director of the St. Michael-Albertville Family Youth Community Connections was recently named the new Rotary president. Greniger has held several leadership positions with the STMA Rotary, including vice president and treasurer. Greniger says her biggest priority is to bring in a new member each month, and to continue to share the theme of "Light Up Rotary." For more information on the organization, log onto; www.stmarotary.org. 

Filing Window for Local Elections Begins 

The filing window for local elections is now open. Most communities in Wright County will hold elections for offices which may include mayor, and city council members. Some school districts around our region will also hold elections in November. These elections will be held along with those for numerous federal, state and county offices. Candidates who wish to file for local offices should do so at their local city offices, or with their local school district offices.

Wright County Area United Way Makes 5 Thousand Dollar Donation to Human Services Special Needs Fund 

The Wright County Human Services Department's Special Needs Fund recently received a sizeable grant from the Wright County Area United Way. The United Way contributed 5 thousand dollars, which officials say will help replenish the Special Needs Fund, formerly called the Good Samaritan Fund, which helps to fulfill the needs of individuals and families when they have exhausted all other resources, including those from county, community and volunteer organizations. The funds are used for clients who truly have no other place to turn, and are intended as a helping hand on a one-time basis. Officials say that many people helped by the fund are on some form of insurance or assistance, but the programs often do not fund all the needs, including some medical needs, as well as the incidentals that people often need to meet their daily living requirements. Officials with Wright County Human Services extend thanks to the Wright County Area United Way for the generous grant and support of the Special Needs Fund program. 

I-94 Lane and Shoulder Closures in Rogers and St. Michael Underway 

Motorists may encounter slow traffic and delays as lane and shoulder closures occur in both directions of I-94 between Highway 241 in St. Michael and Highway 101 in Rogers. MnDOT says both directions of I-94 will be intermittently reduced to a single lane during non-rush hours, while shoulder closures will occur during daytime hours Monday through Friday through August 11th. Officials say the closures are needed as crews do preliminary work for the major I-94 Corridors of Commerce project between St. Michael and Rogers, which will add and auxiliary lane to eastbound I-94 between Highway 101 and Highway 241, extend the turn lane from west I-94 to Highway 101, improve the I-94 bridges spanning the Crow River, construct a new noise barrier, and other improvements. The project is expected to be completed in 2015.

Buffalo Man Seriously Injured in Weekend Traffic Crash Near Glenwood 

A Wright County man was seriously injured in a single vehicle traffic crash over the weekend in Pope County. The State Patrol reports that 20-year-old Anthony Neumann of Buffalo was westbound on Highway 28 near Glenwood at around 1:30 AM Saturday when the pickup truck he was driving ran off the road into the north ditch. Officials say the truck hit the road approach for Golf Course Road, went airborne, landed briefly on Golf Course Road, then re-entered the north ditch on the other side. Neumann was taken to Glacial Ridge Hospital in Glenwood with serious injuries. Officials say he was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The Pope County Sheriff's Office, the Glenwood Police and Glenwood Fire Department all assisted at the scene.

MN Ranks Fifth in Annual Kids Count Survey 

Minnesota is once again one of the best places in the nation for child well-being, ranking fifth in the 25th annual Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Still, Stephanie Hogenson with Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota says some challenges remain. She says providing more children with access to health care would help improve long-term outcomes. Another key is increasing high-quality early education, which she says has a two-pronged benefit for families. One effort already finding success is the Freedom School program from Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota, which Hogenson says targets children of color and low-income youth to reverse summer learning loss. Progress is also being made in the teen birth rate, which is now at an all-time low. Death rates for children and teens are also down because of medical advances and increased usage of seat belts, car seats and bike helmets.

MnDOT Launches Website to Engage Public Interest in Transportation Investments 

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has launched a new website to better show the links between transportation, the economy, and Minnesotans' quality of life. The new "Get Connected" website was created in response to public feedback and provides answers to the most commonly asked financial questions the department receives regarding where the money for transportation comes from, how it is spent, the future goals of MnDOT and its progress toward meeting those goals, and how transportation projects are selected. The user-friendly site uses videos and other tools to answer the commonly asked questions, and to highlight some of MnDOT's most innovative projects. To tour the "Get Connected" website, log onto; www.mndot.gov/getconnected.

These stories and more follow CNN and MNN network news in our Wright County News at 6:10, 7:10, &  8:10 AM and 12:10, 4:10, 5:10, & 6:10 PM on AM 1360 / KRWC.