Local Headline News

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

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Cottonwood County Sheriff’s office received a report of a mailbox damaged on County Road 14 in Springfield Township. It appeared a vehicle was eastbound on County Road 14, crossed over toward the north side of the roadway striking the mailbox and post. This is a Damage to Property and 4th Degree Intentional Damage Offense.

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The Jeffers City Council met in REGULAR session on January 10th.

  • The council reviewed City Offices and unanimously voted to keep City Offices the same. The Board also voted unanimously The City of Jeffers DOES NOT WAIVE Monetary Limits on municipal tort liability established by the Minnesota Statutes, Section 466.04 to the extent of the limits of the liability coverage obtained from the LMCIT.
  • Fees and charges were set for 2022.
  • Updates included that the new doors for the fire hall will not be coming until the end of March and the city sign should be delivered next week.

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Windom Area School Board met on Monday January 10th with a full agenda. Some of the highlights included the confirmation that Superintendent Wayne Wormstadt would be submitting his letter of resignation. He has accepted a position with the MEADE SCHOOL DISTRICT in South Dakota. The Board set a special meeting on Thursday January 18th at 4pm at the Elementary School Conference Room to set the process of hiring a new superintendent.

A lengthy discussion was held on the possibility of creating a Pilot Program for Hiring and Retention for Eligible and Qualified Teachers for the 2022-2023 school year. Windom School District is the only Rural District in Minnesota that received the opportunity to obtain a $24,000 Grant. Wormstadt explained to the Board Members that the Grant states we have an under representation of diverse and minority teachers that reflect our student’s population. Wormstadt, proposed that the district uses District funds along with the Grant Funds to provide the same bonus structure for ALL teaching hires this next year as a Pilot Program to see if it makes an impact on hiring teachers. Those teachers would also be eligible for the retention bonus after four years that would match that grant for ALL teachers. Wormstadt roughly estimated an additional $24,000 if there was no eligible candidate for the state fund match. Wormstadt went on to say it is imperative that we understand, regardless of the teacher, regardless of their background, diversity, or color they HAVE to meet the criteria set by the state which begins with being a Tier 3 or Tier 4 certified in Minnesota. PLUS, they must meet our standard to teach in our school district. The board will implement a policy in February and March that creates a retention bonus program for the current employees regardless of position.  Staff returning next fall would be eligible for this based on years of service.

A temporary Emergency Policy will be put into effect regarding OSHA ETS Facemask and Testing. It was stressed that it is important to remember that this is being written as a Temporary Policy and it could be voided if it comes to the end of the timeline, if there is an executive order to cease or if the Supreme Court says that it is unconstitutional. Wormstadt stated at this time there is a requirement for a policy and there could be a $13,000 fine if policy is not put in place. The Board also discussed Isolation Guidance and that they believed that choice was an important factor of following whether to be vaccinated and turn in a vaccination card or to be tested and wear a mask. The School Board did state that all testing must be witnessed by a medical staff or an employer. There would be no self-administered or self-read testing allowed.

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Good News for Cottonwood County! The Department of Public Safety has announced that our exam station for road or written knowledge testing or to pay a reinstatement fee will be re-opening January 24th. According to Kathy Kretsch- Cottonwood County Recorder/Registrar of Titles, Class D road tests and Class D Written Knowledge tests are by appointment only. All other knowledge tests are on a first come first serve basis from 10 to 11am. Re-Instatement Fees will be accepted on a first come first serve basis from 10-11:45am.

Kretsch went onto say that online scheduling at www.drive.mn.gov is the fastest way to make an appointment at the exam station. They will take appointments by telephone at 507-651-1000 but it may be difficult to get through on that number. Kretsch wanted to remind citizens that in Windom, it is still required to make an appointment to renew your drivers license at the Courthouse. Those appointments can be made on the Cottonwood County Website www.co.cottonwood.mn.us  or by calling 507-831-1458.

Exam Station will be open in Windom January 24th at 1012 5th Ave Room 20 from 8:45am-Noon and 12:30pm- 3:45pm.