The Wright County Assessor's Office will be conducting a Green Acres informational meeting for the public to review the new legislative changes in the Green Acres program. There will be a short presentation covering the program rules and requirements, enrollment options and the application process. The meeting will be at the Rockford Township Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m. For more information or directions to the hall, contact the assessor's office at 763-682-7367.
The annual Maple Lake Veterans' Day programs are set for 10:20 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 11, in the Maple Lake High School auditorium.
This year's theme will be "Women in the Military," with local speakers Helen Doherty, Florence Menth, Erma Jude, and Christina Vikingson. The MLHS choir will perform and other entertainment will be offered. A free lunch will be served for all veterans and spouses at the VFW between programs.
A program to remember the sixth anniversary of the disappearance of Maple Lake college student Joshua Guimond and keep hope alive has been set for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Maple Lake.
Joshua disappeared in the early morning hours of Nov. 10, 2002, after he left a gathering of friends on the St. John's campus.
The program at Holy Cross will begin with a prayer service followed by a candlelight procession outside to the tree and plaque dedicated to Joshua.
In October of last year, five members of the Maple Lake High School Class of 2005 survived a serious accident during a hunting trip. At that time, the Maple Lake community breathed a collective sigh of relief at escaping the unthinkable tragedy of losing so many young people in the blink of an eye.
This year, our luck ran out.
Four friends and former students of Maple Lake High School were involved in a single-vehicle crash that killed Derek Kammerer, 22, of Maple Lake; his girlfriend, Andrea Northern, 23, of South Haven; and their friend, Michael DeMars, 22, of Maple Lake. Stephen Dooher, 22, of Waverly, survived the crash.
In a 10-day statewide Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign that ended Sunday, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced the state's overall seat belt use compliance is 87 percent, comparable to the record-high 88 percent use rate recorded in 2007.
DPS conducted a two-week motorist observational survey in August of more than 12,000 motorists in 37 counties. The state will receive $15.2 million in federal funds for both behavioral traffic safety initiatives and road safety improvements as an incentive for recording two consecutive years of belt use above 85 percent.
Technology is playing a growing role in the education of students and a demonstration at Monday's meeting of the Maple Lake School Board showed why technology is being welcomed into classrooms.
The district purchased 14 SMART Boards for use during this school year and four teachers provided a first-hand look at the changes the addition of that technology is making in their classrooms.
SMART Boards are interactive white boards that provide a touch-sensitive display which connects to computers and digital projectors. Science teachers J McClelland and Jeff Kubian, English teacher Ben Youngs and first grade teacher Ann Hagen showed board members how they are using the new technology.
Minnesota law enforcement will enhance seat belt patrols during a 10-day Click It or Ticket enforcement sweep that began on Oct. 10 and will run to Oct. 19. In the last three years more than half-612- of 1,212 total vehicle occupants killed during 2005-2007 were not belted. Another 1,298 unbelted motorists were seriously injured in crashes. To-date in 2008, of the preliminary 209 vehicle occupants killed in crashes, 128-61 percent - were not belted.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) is coordinating the effort that includes around 400 law enforcement agencies. Seat belt citations are $25 but can cost up to $115 with administrative fees. A similar May 2008 seat belt enforcement campaign generated 8,202 seat belt and 180 child seat citations.
When it was initially brought to the State Legislature a couple of years ago, Green Acres legislation was intended to get people that were taking advantage of farmland status to use large tracts of land that had minimal farm production as deer hunting land with lower valuation. The legislation, which is in the process of being implemented, has had more far-reaching effects - especially in areas like Wright County - and the matter came before the Wright County Board at its Oct. 7 meeting looking for a solution.
The legislation was introduced by representatives from Beltrami and Swift counties, where it was contended that people would buy individual parcels of 160 acres, use 30 acres to grow corn that served as feed for deer and hunted on the other 130 acres. Green Acres legislation seeks to differentiate between productive and non-productive farmland and assess those landowners at the going acre-price rate for land deemed non-productive.
A special meeting of the Annandale/Maple Lake/Howard Lake Joint Wastewater Commission was called on Thursday, October 9, to consider a major change to the wastewater treatment plant under construction in Albion Township.
At the meeting in Maple Lake's city hall, Project Engineer Brad DeWolf told the commission that he investigated, as previously directed, the feasibility of changing the plant's disinfection system from chlorine to ultraviolet light.
DeWolf said that an upgrade to the UV system was planned for the future, but he said doing it now will save on construction costs for the Chlorine Contact Basin, which would eliminate $300,000 in concrete work. He said the UV system has become more affordable, now that the plant partnership has been expanded to include Howard Lake.