COL Fillmore County wetlands receive protection

PRESTON, Minn. -- Two existing wetlands in Fillmore County have been protected due to a voluntary agreement landowners made with the county and the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources.

The Wetland Conservation Act, Minnesota's wetland protection law, allows a county or watershed district to enroll existing wetlands located in areas that are both high-priority areas (counties that have lost 50 percent or more of their pre-settlement wetland acres) and high-priority areas (identified in local water management plans) into a wetland preservation area.

Fillmore County is the first county in the state to use the protection tool.

The first enrolled wetland in the county is located on Gary and Deb Anderson's land in Sumner Township. It has 5.5 acres of wetland and 3.3 acres of buffer. The second is on land owned by Dennis Severson in Chatfield Township. It has 1.4 acres of wetland and 1.9 acres of buffer.

Deer Hunters Association issues cards


ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association is working to prevent trespassing conflicts with landowners through a Hunter Access Card program.

The free Hunter Access Cards are perforated and separate into two business-card size halves -- one for the hunter and one for the landowner. The hunter fills out the card by providing their name, address, telephone number, vehicle description and license number and give it to the landowner.

The landowner than signs the other half, giving the hunter written permission to enter private lands.

Hunter Access cards are available free and can be obtained by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to: MDHA Hunter Access Initiative, 460 Peterson Road, Grand Rapids, MN 55744-8413.

Forum formed for health care issues

ST. PAUL -- Comparing health care cost inflation to high blood pressure, former U.S. Sen. David Durenberger last week was named to head an 18-person "citizens forum" that Gov. Tim Pawlenty hopes can prescribe the state a miracle cure.

Pawlenty rattled off a variety of foreboding statistics that ranged from double-digit private health care cost hikes to frightening demographic trends.

"We can't keep up," the governor said in a news conference to announce the panel, which he first suggested in his State of the State address in January.


The panelists include union leaders, business executives, nonprofit heads, academics, financial experts and health industry workers. Durenberger will be its chairman.

Durenberger, a Republican long known as a health care expert, said he's looking to the group for innovative policy ideas that will put Minnesota on the leading edge of reform.

Austin's worst flood was on July 10, 2000

AUSTIN, Minn. -- The city of Austin has settled one of those questions that gets kicked around whenever it rains hard: What was the worst flood of the century?

The winner of the dubious honor, according to a new report, was the flood of 2000.

On July 10, 2000, at its climax, 15,500 cubic feet of water per second blasted down the Cedar River. The next three largest were July 17, 1978, with 12,400 feet per second, Aug. 15, 1993, with 10,800, and July 7, 1978, with 10,200.

That information is part of an annual report from the city, which details the history of flooding in Austin and the current system of prevention and warning.

It is part of a voluntary program in which keeping flood data up to date, having proper drainage from buildings and preserving open space earn points, which lead to a numbered rating. Better ratings mean lower payments for flood insurance for residents.


Beekeepers will meet Sept. 27 in Rochester

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- The Southeastern Minnesota Beekeepers Association's annual meeting will be held Sept. 27 at Assisi Heights in Rochester.

Martha Spivak, an entomologist and bee research authority from the University of Minnesota, will be the featured speaker. Spivak developed the Minnesota Hygenic Bee and provides beekeepers with disease, mite and recordkeeping information.

The event begins at 10 a.m. with a trip to the Assisi bee yard. Minnesota Department of Agriculture employee Blane White will provide an update on Minnesota beekeeping.

Dakota SWCD honors Land O'Lakes

FARMINGTON, Minn. -- The Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District has selected Land O'Lakes Feeds as the district's Outstanding Conservationist of the Year.

Land O'Lakes operates a feed processing plant in Inver Grove Heights and along the Mississippi River bluff. Over the past several years a large ravine had eroded with tons of sediment transported to the Mississippi River. With cooperation from several agencies, a design plan was created to reduce stormwater impacts and provide for native plants.

Land O'Lakes constructed a pre-treatment basin, filter swale and infiltration basin designed to accommodate a 100-year storm prior to discharging to the Mississippi River through the basin.


The ravine site is adjacent to a DNR Scientific and Natural Area and potential route for a regional trail, making it likely that it will receive many visitors.

Extension offering Food Safety training

MANTORVILLE, Minn. -- The Extension Service is offering a Food Safety Renewal Course in Mantorville on Oct. 2. The course will be taught from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. in Meeting Room B in the Dodge County Courthouse.

Serve It Up Safely is a four-hour renewal course for certified food managers. Managers need four hours of continuing education credits within three years of becoming certified.

The renewal course costs $50. Pre-registration is required and can be made by calling (507) 537-6702.

St. Francis de Sales plans fall bazaar

CLAREMONT, Minn. -- St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Claremont will hold its annual fall bazaar and turkey dinner from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 21.

The meal costs $7 and the family-style dinner includes turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sauerkraut, green beans, pie and beverage. Cake walks, a country store, a silent auction, and a raffle is also planned. The Mass is planned for 10 a.m.


St. Francis de Sales is the oldest church in Dodge County, having been established in 1868.

4-H Banquet planned Oct. 16 in Albert Lea

ALBERT LEA, Minn. -- The annual 4-H Recognition Nite Banquet is planned Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.

The banquet is held to honor 4-H members and adult 4-H volunteers.

The banquet is scheduled in the Fairlane Community Center on the Freeborn County fairgrounds in Albert Lea. The cost is $6.50 per person.

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