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Wright County News

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Officials Say Many Crops Trying to Catch Up From Cool, Wet Start 

Agricultural officials say most crops in Wright County are doing fairly well, especially considering the cool, wet start that they've been subjected to. University of Minnesota Extension Educator Rod Greder says things have slowed down a little in the cool weather of the last few days. Greder says most crops came through the stormy weather of early June without too much damage, but nearly all varieties could use some warmer weather. A stretch of days without rain would also be welcomed by farmers growing hay and alfalfa. 

Emmer Supports Committee Efforts to Reauthorize and Reform National Flood Insurance Program 

6th District Congressman Tom Emmer has announced his support for the House Financial Services Committee recent approval of a series of bills designed to reform and improve the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP. The program was established by Congress in 1968, as a way to provide insurance for properties at risk of flooding. It was intended to reduce the threat of future flood damage by aiding in mitigation and assistance efforts. The program however, is reportedly more than 24 billion dollars in debt, and there is a great deal of support for reforms. Congressman Emmer, who sits on the House Financial Services Committee, said recently that despite being a Midwest state, Minnesota has more than 10 thousand policy holders with the NFIP. He said these Minnesotans deserve a program that will continue to work today and in the years to come in the event of disaster. The House Financial Services Committee approved a total of seven bills as part of an effort to reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program. The efforts will extend the program which is set to expire on September 30, 2017 for an additional five years and call for key steps to protect current and future homeowners, improve mapping and mitigation efforts, keep taxpayers off-the-hook for future federal bailouts, and allow for private innovation to make this program more efficient and effective in the future. 

Funeral Mass Today for Rural Howard Lake Farmer, Businessman, Allen Baldwin 

Friends, neighbors and clients will remember a longtime Howard Lake area farmer and businessman at a funeral Mass today. Allen Baldwin passed away June 22nd at the age of 61. Allen farmed in Victor Township, and for the past 15 years, he was the owner-operator of L P Gas Service. He was also a collector of John Deere Tractors and antique Ford cars. Services for Allen Baldwin will be held today at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Winsted. 

MNSure Officials Say the Program is Working 

Recent enrollment numbers show that more than a half-million Minnesotans have found health care coverage through MNsure. CEO Allison O'Toole says the tax credits, which act like instant savings are really helping in cost savings. O'Toole says currently, 96-percent of Minnesotans have health coverage, the highest percentage in state history.

Two Injured in Head-On Crash in Benton County 

Two people were injured Sunday evening in a head-on traffic crash in neighboring Benton County. The Minnesota State Patrol reports that just before 8 PM, a pickup truck and a passenger car were both northbound on Highway 25 near Benton County Road 51 in St. George Township. Authorities say the pickup apparently attempted to turn around in the roadway to go southbound when it struck the northbound passenger car head-on. Injured in the crash were the driver of the pickup, a 16-year-old male who was not named by the State Patrol, and a passenger in the sedan, identified as 47-year-old Rebecca Pollard of Oak Park, Minnesota. Both were taken to the St. Cloud Hospital. The driver of the passenger car, 48-year-old Todd Pollard of Oak Park, escaped injury. 

QPR Suicide Prevention Class Coming to Monticello 

A special suicide prevention class will be offered next month in Monticello. QPR, or Question, Persuade and Refer, a free, 1-hour presentation sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, will be offered in Monticello July 25th. Officials say just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. The program is said to be the most widely taught gatekeeper training program in the United States, and more than one million adults have been trained in classroom settings in more than 48 states. The QPR class in Monticello will be held from 2 to 3 PM on Tuesday, July 25th in the Bridge Room at the Monticello Community Center. The program is free, but seating is limited. To learn more, call (651) 645-2948, or 1-(888) 626-4435. 

After 41 Years, Curtain Call for Women's Office in Minnesota 

The elimination of a state office that was created to inform Minnesota lawmakers about the job and pay-related challenges faced by women in the state has some people saying, what now? Veronica Carter has more in our on-air news throughout the day. More information is also available at;

Franken Blasts Senate GOP Healthcare Plan 

Debate is raging after Senate Republicans revealed their healthcare plan aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. The bill ends ObamaCare's penalties for people who don't buy insurance and decreases an expansion of Medicaid. Democratic Senator Al Franken calls it a "bad bill." Franken says, in his opinion, the bill is far too similar to one passed by the House last month. President Trump Thursday said the bill will be "very good." Senate Republicans are hoping to pass the bill by the end of the week, before a July 4th recess.

Kreitlow-Ford Family Named Wright County Farm Family of the Year 

Wright County has a new Farm Family of the Year. The Kreitlow and Ford farm family was given that honor recently by the Wright County Board of Commissioners and Wright County Extension. The Kreitlow farm in Middleville Township was established in 1898. Third-generation farmer Willard Kreitlow has long been involved with soil and water conservation, and has been a longtime member of the Wright County Parks Commission. For nearly a century, the farm was focused mainly on dairy production, but changed to vegetables and pasture in the 1990s. Willard's daughter, Marienne and her husband, Jerry Ford have grown organic garlic and potatoes, and have branched out into an organic egg operation more recently. The Fords are also very involved with the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota, and were instrumental in establishing the Minnesota Garlic Festival. 

Three Injured in Two-Vehicle Weekend Crash in Meeker County 

Three people were injured in a two-vehicle traffic crash over the weekend in neighboring Meeker County. The State Patrol says Saturday afternoon just before 2 PM, an SUV was stopped on westbound Highway 55 just east of Eden Valley. The vehicle was waiting to turn left onto Meeker County Road 34, when it was rear-ended by a westbound pickup. Authorities say the driver of the pickup that struck the SUV, 59-year-old Debra Fortune of Eden Valley, and a passenger in the truck, 60-year-old Merle Fortune, also of Eden Valley, both sustained non-life threatening injuries, and were taken to the St. Cloud Hospital for treatment. The driver of the SUV, 49-year-old Rondell Craig of Willmar, also had non-life threatening injuries. He was also taken to the St. Cloud Hospital. Officials say all of the persons involved were buckled up. The Eden Valley Fire and Police Departments, the Meeker County Sheriff's Office, the Minnesota DNR, and the Watkins Ambulance all assisted the State Patrol at the scene.

Minnesota Named a Finalist to Host 2023 World Expo 

Minnesota is one of three finalists to host the World Expo in six years. Event spokesman Mark Ritchie says the theme of the event is health and wellness, which is something Minnesota takes great pride in. Ritchie says because of the theme subject, he believes Minnesota has a good chance of being selected. It has been more than 30 years since North America has hosted either a World Fair or World Expo. Buenos Aires, Argentina and Lodz, Poland, are the other two finalists competing for the chance to host the 2023 World Expo. The host community will be announced in November. Ritchie says the expo could draw an estimated 12-million visitors who would spend about four-million during the three-month run.

These stories and more follow CNN and MNN network news in our Wright County News at 6:10, 7:10, &  8:10 AM and 12:10, 4:10, 5:10, & 6:10 PM on AM 1360 / KRWC.