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Aquatic Invasive Species Cooler Giveaway to be at Fair

Murray County Environmental Services will be giving away three 55-quart Igloo Sportsman coolers during the Murray County Fair. Stop by our booth in the Horticulture building to fill out a short aquatic invasive species quiz and be entered to win. One cooler will be given away on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. You do not need to be present to win; however, participants must be 18 to enter.

Each year, new infestations of aquatic invasive species creep closer to Murray County waters and we need your help to keep our lakes clean. Within Minnesota, 6% of all lakes are already listed as infested with one or multiple species. Less than 3% of all lakes are infested with zebra mussels. The presence of aquatic invasive species can be harmful to fish populations, water quality, and water recreation. 

Whenever you remove your boat from a lake, make sure to always clean, drain, and dispose. CLEAN all aquatic plant material, species, and sediment off your boat, trailer, and other equipment. DRAIN water from your boat by removing the plug and make sure to leave it out. DISPOSE of any unwanted bait in the trash.

When your boat has been in infested waters in other areas of the state, make sure to take extra precautions especially in waters infested with zebra mussels and spiny waterfleas. In certain situations, these species can survive out of water for days. Take advantage of any free boat washing or decontamination stations available. If not available, wash your boat in very hot, high pressure water and dry for at least 5 days. Let’s work together to keep our waters clean for future generations!  

Visit our booth for more information about aquatic invasive species and how you can help prevent their spread into our local waters. Additional questions can be directed to Murray County Environmental Technician, Sarah Soderholm, at 507-836-1165.


Resource Center Open On Thursday And Friday In Tracy To Assist Local Flood Victims August 16 – 17, 2018

A Multi-Agency Resource Center (Marc) Will Be Open August 16 – 17, From 1:00 P.m. – 7:00 P.m., At The Veterans Memorial Center At 372 Morgan Street In Tracy.   This Regional Center Will Be Available For The Residents Of Lyon, Murray And Redwood Counties That May Have Unmet Needs Or Are Looking For Resources To Assist In Issues From The Flooding That Took Place During The First Part Of July.

At The Center, There Will Be Volunteer Agencies That May Potentially Be Able To Assist Citizens With Various Needs Including, But Not Limited To, Flood Clean Up Kits, Supplies To Use For Cleanup, Tax Assessors To Talk About Possible Tax Credits, And Mental Health Staff To Talk To About The Aftermath Of The Flood.  Childcare Will Also Be Available So That Parents Can More Easily Talk To The Agencies Partners During This Event.

Now That The Waters Have Subsided, This Is An Opportunity To Find Out What Resources May Be Available To You.  There Is No Registration Or Application For Any Kind Of Funding Available Through This Venue. 

This Is Not A Place To Apply For Any Fema Assistance And There Are No Guarantees That You Will Find The Assistance That You Want At This Center.  However, It May Be An Opportunity To Find Someone To Talk To Or Find Something That That Meets Your Needs As You Continue To Recover From The Recent High-Water Event.

Please Bring A Photo Id And Some Kind Of Proof Of Residence, Such As A Copy Of A Utility Bill.  Also, Be Prepared To Offer Information Regarding Your Specific Damages, Your Insurance Coverage Information, And Your Ability To Cover Flood Expenses.

A Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) will be open August 16 – 17, from 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., at the Veterans Memorial Center at 372 Morgan Street in Tracy.   This regional center will be available for the residents of Lyon, Murray and Redwood counties that may have unmet needs or are looking for resources to assist in issues from the flooding that took place during the first part of July.

At the center, there will be volunteer agencies that may potentially be able to assist citizens with various needs including, but not limited to, flood clean up kits, supplies to use for cleanup, tax assessors to talk about possible tax credits, and mental health staff to talk to about the aftermath of the flood.  Childcare will also be available so that parents can more easily talk to the agencies partners during this event.

Now that the waters have subsided, this is an opportunity to find out what resources may be available to you.  There is no registration or application for any kind of funding available through this venue. 

This is not a place to apply for any FEMA assistance and there are no guarantees that you will find the assistance that you want at this center.  However, it may be an opportunity to find someone to talk to or find something that that meets your needs as you continue to recover from the recent high-water event.

Please bring a photo ID and some kind of proof of residence, such as a copy of a utility bill.  Also, be prepared to offer information regarding your specific damages, your insurance coverage information, and your ability to cover flood expenses.


Do We Want a Lakes Association?

On Sat. August 25th from 9:30 to 11am at the Dining Room at The Lutheran Bible Camp. 

The reason for the meeting is to see if there is interest in creating a Lakes Association to help plan for the future. Please consider attending. Contact Jon Hoyme 507-276-8264 or Lars Johansson 507-401-1360 if you have any questions. 


Free Nitrate Water Testing Clinic Coming to Slayton

Nitrates are the most common contaminants in Minnesota’s groundwater and a significant number of the wells within the state have high nitrate levels. Homeowners who rely on private wells for their drinking water supply should test for nitrates on a regular basis.  

Join us for a free nitrate testing clinic held from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 16th in the Horticulture Building at the Murray County Fair. Private well owners are encouraged to participate. The clinic is sponsored by Murray County Environmental Services. 

In order to participate in the testing, homeowners must bring at least one-half cup of water in either a Whirl-Pak plastic bag or a Ziploc-type bag.  In order to get a good sample, allow the water to run 5 to 10 minutes before filling the bag. Homeowners with distillators, reverse osmosis, or other nitrate removal systems should take two water samples   one before and one after the treatment process. This will determine if the nitrate removal system is working. Homeowners with just a water softener need to take one sample - either before or after the water passes through the water softener. Only water from private wells will be tested.

Samples should be taken no more than 24 hours before the testing and they must be refrigerated. Samples should be cool when arriving at the clinic. To ensure accuracy, homeowners should mark the bags with their name, phone number, and a well identification number if more than one well is sampled.  

Homeowners may remain anonymous. In that case, they should simply choose another easily recognized number to put on the well samples. It is not necessary to provide information about the well or well location.

Samples are analyzed on the spot and results are given directly to the homeowner. The process usually takes less than five minutes. If the nitrate level in a sample is elevated, clinic staff can refer the homeowner to certified labs that will retest the water.  For more information on the clinic, contact Murray County Environmental Technician, Sarah Soderholm, at 507-836-1165.


Fun Food Challenge: Cookies from around the world

Bring two scrumptious cookies and the recipe to the 4-H Building on Wednesday, August 15 between 2-7 p.m. to enter the Food Fun Challenge! The 2018 Food Fun Challenge, sponsored by the Murray County 4-H, includes sharing your favorite cookie and recipe from around the world with fairgoers. All ages, no 4-H affiliation necessary, are welcome to enter this contest. No pre-registration required. Local celebrity judges will taste, evaluate and look at the recipes to determine award winners in each age division. Participants should bring two cookies on a paper plate along with the recipe. Recipes will be displayed in the 4-H Building throughout the county fair. Award winners in each age division (divisions determined after all exhibits are submitted) will receive 4-H Food Stand coupons to redeem during the 2018 Murray County Fair. What country is your favorite cookie from?


4-H AT THE MURRAY COUNTY FAIR

Come see what the Murray County 4-H’ers have worked hard on this year. Some projects that can be seen in our 4-H Exhibit Hall are gardening, fine arts, photography, engineering design, soil science, and so much more! Also, in the 4-H Exhibit Hall you’ll find the Food Fun Challenge and the People’s Choice Photography Contest on Wednesday and Crazy Science with the McAmbies on Friday. In the 4-H animal barns you’ll find animals of all shapes and sizes. There will be horses, rabbits, and cows, oh my! Other animal exhibits will include poultry, sheep, swine, beef, dairy, lama, and goats. Animal shows are scheduled each day of the fair. Come walk through the exhibits, watch an animal show, and don’t forget to stop at the 4-H Food Stand. We thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you at the 2018 Murray County Fair!


Low Interest Emergency Physical Loss Loans Available for Producers in Murray County

Agricultural producers in Murray County who lost property due to recent natural disasters are eligible for physical loss loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers these loans for losses caused by a blizzard, excessive snow and high winds that occurred April 14, 2018.  

FSA is offering these low-interest emergency loans to producers with a qualifying loss. Approval is limited to applicants who suffered severe physical losses only, including the loss of buildings and livestock. The deadline for producers in designated primary and contiguous counties to apply for loans for physical losses is February 25, 2019.

 Physical loss loans can help producers repair or replace damaged or destroyed physical property essential to the success of the agricultural operation, including livestock losses. Examples of property commonly affected include essential farm buildings, fixtures to real estate, equipment, livestock, perennial crops, fruit and nut bearing trees, and harvested or stored crops and hay.

Please contact FSA for more information on loan eligibility and the application process. FSA office information is available at http://offices.usda.gov. Additional FSA disaster assistance program information is available at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.


Caring Community Criminals Line Up To Support Programs For Local Kids

Generous people across Murray County are going to jail for the benefit of our youngest citizens. The Early Childhood Initiative’s Jail & Bail fundraiser will take place on the courthouse lawn the opening day of the Murray County Fair on Wednesday, August 15th, from 2:00 until 7:00 p.m. 

Our 2018 “inmates” include candidates for District 3 County Commissioner Sarah Rylersdam,  Dennis Welgraven, and Casey Gass (Tim Gass), County Sheriff candidate Jeremy Steinle, Kim Holm & Riley Engbarth representing State Farm, Trish Grieme representing the Slayton Public Library, Jackie Linder on behalf of the Slayton Presbyterian Church, Kim Schreier, Marilyn Carlson, Gail Johnson representing the Daycare Association, David Hollis, Ruth Hoyme, Chris Usher on behalf of the Murray County Government Center, Larisa & Justin Smith, Pam Marshall, Dane Hanson, Peter Beerman, and Todd Burlingame. A competition is also heating up between area fire departments: Shawn Nelson will be jailed on behalf of The Slayton Fire Department, Dave Baumhoefner will serve time for The Fulda Fire Department, and a member of the Currie Fire Department will also be incarcerated. Additional volunteers are being added to this list daily, and the Murray County ECI would love to hear from you! 

If you or someone you know would like to join these generous jailbirds, please call Marilyn Carlson at 836-6552 or 507-360-9721 (cell). To arrange a surprise “arrest” for family, friends, or coworkers by the Slayton Police Department, you will need to make a $25 donation to the Early Childhood Initiative and contact Marilyn to discuss the “criminal details.”

The Murray County Early Childhood Initiative, a partnership with the Southwest Initiative Foundation, began in 2003 to ensure that all of Murray County’s preschoolers (from birth to age 5) thrive and have the opportunity to learn, achieve, and succeed.

Generous people across Murray County are going to jail for the benefit of our youngest citizens. The Early Childhood Initiative’s Jail & Bail fundraiser will take place on the courthouse lawn the opening day of the Murray County Fair on Wednesday, August 15th, from 2:00 until 7:00 p.m. 

Our 2018 “inmates” include candidates for District 3 County Commissioner Sarah Rylersdam,  Dennis Welgraven, and Casey Gass (Tim Gass), County Sheriff candidate Jeremy Steinle, Kim Holm & Riley Engbarth representing State Farm, Trish Grieme representing the Slayton Public Library, Jackie Linder on behalf of the Slayton Presbyterian Church, Kim Schreier, Marilyn Carlson, Gail Johnson representing the Daycare Association, David Hollis, Ruth Hoyme, Chris Usher on behalf of the Murray County Government Center, Larisa & Justin Smith, Pam Marshall, Dane Hanson, Peter Beerman, and Todd Burlingame. A competition is also heating up between area fire departments: Shawn Nelson will be jailed on behalf of The Slayton Fire Department, Dave Baumhoefner will serve time for The Fulda Fire Department, and a member of the Currie Fire Department will also be incarcerated. Additional volunteers are being added to this list daily, and the Murray County ECI would love to hear from you!

If you or someone you know would like to join these generous jailbirds, please call Marilyn Carlson at 836-6552 or 507-360-9721 (cell). To arrange a surprise “arrest” for family, friends, or coworkers by the Slayton Police Department, you will need to make a $25 donation to the Early Childhood Initiative and contact Marilyn to discuss the “criminal details.”

The Murray County Early Childhood Initiative, a partnership with the Southwest Initiative Foundation, began in 2003 to ensure that all of Murray County’s preschoolers (from birth to age 5) thrive and have the opportunity to learn, achieve, and succeed.