Local News Headlines – Friday, April 12

THE WINDOM SCHOOL BOARD HELD A REGULAR MEETING THIS WEEK.   A NUMBER OF PERSONNEL ITEMS WERE HANDLED, INCLUDING ACCEPTING A RESIGNATION FROM AG TEACHER DARCY DAHNA.  BETSY HARWOOD WAS HIRED AS A FULL-TIME AG TEACHER.  DONATIONS WERE ACCEPTED, INCLUDING $552 FROM THE WINDOM UNITED DRIVE FOR THE IMAGINATION LIBRARY.  THE SUPERINTENDENT HAD AN UPDATE ON STAFFING FOR NEXT YEAR.  THE BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS COMMITTEE HAD AN UPDATE ON THE BUILDING PROJECT.  THE OFFICIAL GROUND-BREAKING CEREMONY WILL BE HELD EARLY IN MAY.   
 
THURSDAY WAS DOMINATED BY BAD WEATHER AND RELATED ISSUES.  ALL AREA SCHOOLS WERE CLOSED.  IN WINDOM, THE ELECTRIC DEPARTMENT HAD A PLANNED POWER OUTAGE FOR JUST OVER AN HOUR, IN ORDER TO PERFORM EMERGENCY MAINTENANCE ON TWO SWITCH POLES BY THE SUB-STATION.  A COMBINATION OF FREEZING RAIN AND STRONG WINDS LED TO NUMEROUS POWER POLES BREAKING IN THE AREA.  SOUTH CENTRAL ELECTRIC AND FEDERATED R-E-A EACH REPORTED WIDE-SPREAD POWER OUTAGES.  PORTIONS OF HIGHWAY 59 AND HIGHWAY 86 WERE CLOSED BECAUSE OF DOWNED POWER POLES AND ELECTRIC LINES.   
    
THIS IS SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IN MINNESOTA.   TODAY’S TOPIC COVERS HEAT AND SUN EXPOSURE.  HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS TAKES PLACE WHEN THE BODY LOSES ITS ABILITY TO REDUCE HEAT THROUGH CIRCULATION AND SWEATING.  SUNBURN WILL ALSO REDUCE THE SKIN’S ABILITY TO SHED HEAT.  PEOPLE AT HIGHER RISK FOR HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS INCLUDE INFANTS, YOUNG CHILDREN, PEOPLE 65-AND-OLDER, AND PEOPLE WITH A HISTORY OF HEART DISEASE AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.  SOME OF THE HOTTEST WEATHER LAST YEAR WAS ON JULY 11TH, WHEN THE HEAT INDEX WAS BETWEEN 100 AND 105 IN COTTONWOOD, JACKSON, MURRAY AND NOBLES COUNTIES. 
  
THE MT LAKE FIRE DEPARTMENT IS HOLDING A BURGER FEED THIS SATURDAY.   THE EVENT WILL BE HELD AT THE MT LAKE FIRE HALL, WITH SERVING FROM 4:30 TO 7:00PM.  THE FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL BE SERVING FRESH-GRILLED BURGERS WITH ALL THE FIXINGS, ALONG WITH SIDE ORDERS AND A BEVERAGE.  THE COST IS $7 FOR A PLATE, WITH EXTRA BURGERS FOR $3.  PROCEEDS WILL GO TO SUPPORT THE MT LAKE FIRE DEPARTMENT.  ALL LOCAL RESIDENTS ARE INVITED.   
  
APPLICATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED FOR A SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM OFFERED THROUGH THE PRAIRIE ARTS CONTINUUM.    ‘PAC’ IS A NON-PROFIT ARTS ORGANIZATION.  THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM IS OFFERED FOR LOCAL STUDENTS WHO PLAN TO PURSUE A DEGREE IN THE FINE ARTS.  IT’S OPEN TO STUDENTS FROM THE WINDOM, HERON LAKE-OKABENA, JACKSON COUNTY CENTRAL, MT LAKE, OR RED ROCK CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS.    APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY NEXT MONDAY.  FORMS ARE AVAILABLE FROM LOCAL SCHOOL COUNSELORS, THE WINDOM CHAMBER OFFICE OR THE ‘BARC’ OFFICE.                                                
THE COTTONWOOD COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MET LAST WEEK.   THE BOARD VOTED TO APPLY FOR $900-THOUSAND IN FUNDING TO CONTINUE THE LOW-INTEREST LOAN PROGRAM FOR SEPTIC SYSTEM REPLACEMENT.  THE BOARD DISCUSSED OPTIONS TO GENERAL MORE REVENUE FOR ROAD PROJECTS, INCLUDING A POSSIBLE INCREASE IN THE WHEELAGE TAX, OR A LOCAL OPTION SALE TAX.  THE BOARD CALLED ON THE STATE LEGISLATURE TO PROVIDE MORE FUNDING FOR HIGHWAY PROJECTS.  A JOB DESCRIPTION WAS APPROVED FOR THE COUNTY AUDITOR-TREASURER.