July 24 newsPublished by on
WORTHINGTON – Nobles County Commissioners Tuesday approved a $10 wheelage tax on a 3-2 vote, estimating the tax could bring in more than $200,000 per year for the repair of roads and bridges in the county.
During the 2013 session, the Minnesota Legislature approved a statute allowing outstate county commissions the authority to adopt by resolution a wheelage tax for use on transportation projects. The statute allows counties to enact a wheelage tax up to $10 per vehicle up to 2017 and up to $20 starting in 2018.
The tax will be paid when vehicles are registered and will be based on where the vehicle is housed. The $10 fee, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014, will be tacked onto registration fees for most motorized vehicles, but is not included for motorcycles, mopeds, classic or collector cars, recreational vehicles or trailers.
Not all counties have chosen to implement the tax, however. Martin, Cottonwood and Jackson, along with Nobles, opted to put the tax in place, while Rock, Pipestone and Murray decided not to pursue it.
The commissioners also granted a conditional use permit giving Carol Pospisil until the end of this year to bring her property in the Ocheda Acres division in Bigelow Township into compliance. At this time, exterior storage on the property exceeds standards for a residential area.
Commissioners approved conditional use permits for Verlyn Timmer of Ellsworth to operate and expend a feedlot in Grand Prairie Township, and to Crown Castle for the replacement of the telecommunications tower on County Road 35. They denied a request from the Worthington Country Club to provide rock to riprap the edges of the golf course pond.
WORTHINGTON - The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a massive new international trade pact being pushed by the U.S. government at the behest of transnational corporations. It would be the largest free trade agreement in U.S. history, covering approximately 40 percent of the global economy. Find out more about how the TPP would affect you and your community at a forum in Worthington tonight. The forum will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Nobles County Integration Collaborative, 117 11th Ave.
Keynote speaker will be Josh Wise, executive director of the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition. The forums are hosted by the Western Minnesota/Red River Valley Area Labor Council. For additional information contact: Dale Moerke, field staff, 507-220-1980.
SLAYTON - The Slayton Police Department has recently taken a complaint of counterfeit currency being passed at area businesses. The report is of $20 bills that appear to be authentic but do not have the correct security coloring. Area businesses are advised to be cautious when taking cash and to report any suspicious activity to the Slayton Police Department.
JACKSON – At a meeting last week, concerns surrounding a proposed new major electric transmission line upgrade across eastern Jackson County and beyond centered not on the need for it, but on the prospect of it being rerouted through new territory.
Fact-finding staff of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, leaders of project developer ITC Midwest and members of the public gathered last week to discuss the plans, permitting process and local implications of boosting the amount of electricity carried through the county.
ITC Midwest needs the approval of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for both the reasons behind the project and the route it will take. Last Thursday’s meeting was one of the first steps in a 12- to 15-month process that is tentatively scheduled to render decisions in September 2014.
SLAYTON – Murray County ECFE-Little Rebels (formerly Kindergarten Connection) is participating in a new recycling program with Funding Factory. This company recycles ink cartridges, cell phones, small computer games, digital cameras, headphones, and GPS systems. The school receives a minimum of at least $1 per item.
They also recycle charger cords, but do not give money for them at this time. Be Mobile Verizon of Slayton is collaborating with this recycling program, with a recycling box available in their store.
SPENCER, Iowa - A stand-off Sunday in Spencer between authorities and a teen had a tragic ending. Spencer police say officers were called to a disturbance around 3:45 p.m. in the 500 block of East 10th Street in Spencer. Upon arriving officers learned that a distraught teen was in the basement of the residence with a handgun, and that no one else was in the home.
Numerous attempts by authorities to make contact with the teen were unsuccessful. Authorities then deployed a robotic camera into the residence. Officers entered the residence a short time later and found the teen deceased of what they say appears to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Spencer Police Chief Mark Lawson says the incident is still under investigation.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - A man who illegally re-entered the U.S. from Mexico has been sentenced to time served.
34-year-old Aaron Gomez-Gonzalez of Mexico was sentenced on July 15th in U.S. District Court after pleading guilty in May of this year to one count of illegal re-entry. At his plea hearing, Gomez-Gonzalez admitted he had been deported from the U.S. on February 22nd, 2012.
Gomez-Gonzalez came to the attention of Homeland Security Investigations while he was incarcerated in the Osceola county jail for domestic abuse assault.
ELY - Nationally-acclaimed bear researcher Lynn Rogers is suing the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources after he was informed last month he was losing his permit to study the animals at the Wildlife Research Institute in Ely.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court came a day after Rogers met with Gov. Mark Dayton and DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr regarding the DNR’s decision.
Rogers, 72, has studied bears for 46 years and has held a DNR permit since 1999. Rogers uses radio-transmitter tracking collars and den webcams in his studies.
Each year, the research center’s website attracts more than 6 million visitors that follow “Lily” and her cubs. The mother bear gave birth to twins earlier this year with thousands of viewers watching online.
But the DNR says Rogers’ methods, including hand-feeding the bears, have caused the animals to lose their fear of humans and become a public safety threat to Ely residents.
Rogers has been ordered to remove the radio collars and shut down the cameras by July 31. He said the DNR’s decision could spell the end to his career as well as a prime fundraiser for his nonprofit enterprises the WRI and the North American Bear Center in Ely.