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September 25th, 2017 News

MCC Welcomes 4 Exchange Students This Year

By Theresa Nysetvold

Four charming young ladies from Europe have joined the Murray County Central high school community this year as exchange students.  They are all looking forward to personal growth, new friendships and a lot of fun.  For their host families and school community it’s a chance to share life in a rural Minnesota community while they also learn about life in their student’s home country.

Katrine Katholm is from Hammel, Denmark and is hosted by the Tim and Shannon Rhodes family.  At home Katrine lives with her parents and two younger brothers.  She likes to run and she has been involved in gymnastics and dance.  At MCC, Katrine is in the junior class, is a cheerleader and is carrying the banner for the marching band.  Her school life in Denmark is very different, with students staying together in a classroom all day while the teachers move.  “We have very close relationships with our teachers, eating dinner with them and talking about our personal problems,” explained Katrine.  “We also work a lot in groups, making movies, projects and long presentations.”  She is looking forward to improving her English, adding, “This year will be one of the biggest adventures of my life!”

Vittoria Mazzoni is from Prato, Italy, where she lives with her parents and one brother.  She is hosted by the Dave and Jodi Beckmann family, and her primary hobby is sports.  Vittoria has joined the senior class, and is participating in volleyball, basketball and hopefully track.  Vittoria explained, “I don’t really remember why I decided to become an exchange student, but it’s the best decision I have ever made.  For now I’m staying until January, but if my parents agree I will stay the whole year.”  Vittoria’s home community and school are quite large, but she believes the differences between home and Slayton are the fun parts of being an exchange student.  “You get to experience things that you don’t have or wouldn’t do in your home country.”  She is looking forward to making many new friends and doing as many things as possible at school.

Adalie Dolle is from Stuttgart, Germany.  She lives with her parents and an older sister, and is hosted by the Mike and Naomi Samuelson family.  Adalie is a junior at MCC, and sings with the choir.  At home she dances ballet and enjoys time with friends, and she is looking forward to making new friends at MCC.  School in Germany is quite different, with longer breaks, different subjects studied every day and fewer choices.  She hopes to improve her English and get to know a different culture.  “I just want a different experience,” said Adalie.  She is excited to attend football games, shop for prom and she hopes to go to a concert.

Kirsti Guttelvik is from Norway, and this year she is hosted by Dennis and Margie Anderson.  Kirsti’s family includes her parents, one brother and one sister.  She is a senior at MCC, and is also carrying the banner for the marching band and has joined the student council.  In Norway, Kirsti participated in Red Cross Youth, and describes a very different lifestyle at home and at school than in Slayton.  “We don’t have as much homework back home!” said Kirsti.  She also hopes to improve her English and experience a new culture.  She is looking forward to traveling to Minneapolis and Chicago, and the fun of celebrating Christmas in the United States.

These young women remind us the world is getting smaller and it’s easy to find the many similarities we share and fun to learn about our differences.  We welcome Katrine, Vittoria, Adalie and Kirsti to the MCC community! 

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City Council Sets Preliminary Levy

Slayton City Council met on Monday, September 18th. All members were present and the meeting was called to order. The agenda was approved with additions. The minutes for the September 6th meeting and the budget workshop meeting on September 6th were reviewed and approved. City Administrator Josh Malchow reported to the Council that he had been approached by a company from Pipestone who may be interested in the city’s concrete pile. They are going to come look at it. Malchow will keep the Council updated. 

The first item of new business was the Conditional Use Permit application for Doug Rupp. He had requested a CPU instead of a IPU instead this time. The Zoning Board recommends approval of this application. There were no complaints against the property in the last year and all requested changes to the property have been completed. The property is located at the corner of 27th and Juniper. The Council approved the conditional use permit.

The next item of new business was to purchase a “varmint” rifle for the Slayton Police Department. This will make the disposal of animals like raccoons and skunks easier. A quote for a Ruger 10/22 was obtained from two locations. Low bid came in from Skalak Outdoors at $239.00. Lindsey Schreier requested to use the city dump to burn yard waste/branches. The Council approved this and agreed that this could become an administrative task in the future. Malchow will put something together. 

The next item of new business was the manhole rehabilitation project. They have $15,000 to spend on this. Malchow recommends going back to Rehab Systems which they used in 2015. Last year they had gone with a different company that was low bid.  It was agreed that the quality was lacking last year. The Council agreed and approved up to $15,000 with Rehab Systems Inc. 

The next item on the agenda was to set the 2018 preliminary levy. This amount can come down from what is set now but cannot go over it. The preliminary levy was set at $933,645.00 which is 5.42% higher than last year. This is largely due to the increase in health insurance premiums of 43%. 

The last item to discuss was the hail damaged buildings and getting those repaired. These buildings include the Airport Hangers, Pool Building, West Shelter at Gullord Park, Christmas Project House and the Library/Senior Center Building. These will be covered by insurance with the cost difference in upgrading the shingles a city expense. They had received one bid for these projects and that came in from Trevor Rosenbrook Construction LLC. The Council agreed to get these replaced and to upgrade to the better-quality shingle. 

There was no other business to discuss and the meeting was adjourned. The next city council meeting will be Monday, October 2nd.

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County Commissioners Discuss Building Security

Murray County Commissioners met on Tuesday, September 19th. All commissioners were present. The meeting was called to order and the agenda was approved with additions. The minutes from the September 5th meeting were reviewed and approved. 

County Auditor, Heidi Winter,  was first on the agenda. She introduced to the Board, Margo Newman who started on Monday. Winter next presented the Board with this week’s warrants. These were reviewed, discussed and approved for payment. The ditch bills were the next item on the agenda. These were discussed. There were some bills for CD 11 (HWY 30). It was discussed to pay or hold off until the meeting with MnDot next week. There is some question as to who (Murray County or MnDot) is responsible for certain portions of the project cost. As Commissioner Gunnink stated “If they hadn’t built their road over our ditch we wouldn’t have had to re-route it”. The Board agreed this will be discussed in detail next week. The last item Winter had was to pay application 2 for the JD 8 project. The amount of $149,685.55 was approved for payment to Loo Con, Inc.

Next on the agenda was County Ditch Inspector Howard Konkol. He presented the Board with his ditch inspection reports. He had 4 new reports this week and a follow-up report. The 4 new reports were discussed and approved. The follow-up ditch needed to have 500 feet replaced and bored under the road. This went beyond Konkol’s limit and he wanted direction from the Board. They agreed that it was best to take care of the whole system now instead of waiting until next year to fix another portion. The Board approved to have the work done by Murray County Land Improvement, Inc. Konkol’s next item was to consider purchasing drainage software. Himself and Winter had recently seen a demo given by Houston Engineering of a web based program, Drainage DB Software, that they have designed. The cost of the program is $15,000 with a yearly admin fee of $4,000. Grants are available to assist in updating the information into the program and Konkol would also like to apply for that if they decide to get the software. The grant is an equal match by the county and the Board approved purchasing the program and applying for the full $25,000 that Konkol presented. 

James Reinert was next on the agenda. He gave the Board an update on his recent attendance to the CVSO Fall Conference. “There was a lot of good information available and given.” Reinert also asked for Board approval to allow the contractors doing work around UPS to slope the land into their new parking lot better. The Board was ok with this being done. 

Heath Landsman brought his Emergency Management Performance Grant to be signed by the Board chair. The grant amount is $18,030. This was approved.

Janet Timmerman was present for open forum. She updated the Board on the Northern Bedrock Program. It was decided that between her and Justin they had more work than can be completed in the 8 days. They will be coming but will only be working on the Museum items (End O Line and Wornson Cabin). They also lowered their cost to the $3,000 that Timmerman had available in her budget. They will be here from Oct. 4th to the 11th. The round barn is on the national register and Timmerman said there would be some grant money they could apply for to help cover that cost. The Board thanked her for the update.

The Building committee gave the Board an update on the security grant and what progress has been made for the possible remodel to the courts building. The court security grant contract will be coming soon and they need to have a plan of action. These funds will need to be used by end of 2018. Vetter Johnson who gave the Board the preliminary drawings is unable to continue to the next step of the process as they have a number of projects they are already working on. It was decided to fix/replace the east door on the courts building and have key fobs installed on all exterior doors. 

The next item on the agenda was a request from Jean Christoffels and Shelly Lewis. BWSR is offering the counties $18,000 for the FY2018 Capacity Grant with matching county funds. They were present to request a motion be made to approve 100% of the grant match. This was discussed. A motion was made to approve this request. 

Next on the agenda was Randy Groves. He had final payments to be approved for the Overlay Project, Seal Coat Project, HSIP Striping Project and Maintenance Striping Project. These were approved for payment. He also presented the Board with a contract with CBS Squared Inc. to develop a plan for the Highway Department property to build a new maintenance building. They are running out of space. This was discussed. Commissioner Thiner thought that it was a little soon for this as it won’t be built until 2020. Commissioner Gunnink felt that having a plan in place would allow them to budget for the coming years correctly.  It was finally agreed to approve this contract. 

Justin Hoffmann, Stan Larson and Stacy Posthuma approached the Board for approval to apply for the MN Horse Council Grant. They would like to do improvements on the horse barn and this grant would help with those costs. The grant requires matching funds and the Board approved this request to $7,000. With Hoffmann present, Commissioner Jens brought up the topic of the aeration systems. The county is looking for a proper location to house these systems. Two landowners have offered their land for a fee but the Commissioners feel they would like to avoid this if possible. Hoffmann will speak with the Shetek Area Sportsman’s Club. 

Commissioner Magnus gave the Board an update on Pipestone Recycling. They have a year and a half left with their contract with Murray County and are looking for other options. Commissioner Gunnink asked for an update on the Muecke Property and it was explained that nothing has happened yet as the land owner would like to be present when they have the land surveyed and it is a busy time for him currently. 

Ronda Radke presented the Board with the Off-Highway Vehicle Safety Grant, this has been approved by the Sheriff already. The Board approved this request. Commissioner reports were read.

There was no other business to discuss and the meeting was adjourned. 

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MCC Receives Monsanto Grant 

By Theresa Nysetvold

Area farmers and their families joined Murray County Central principal Jacob Scandrett as he accepted the honorary check representing the $10,000 grant given to MCC by the Monsanto Corporation. The farmers had submitted a request for the “American Farmers Grow Rural Education Grant”  to be used for supplies and start-up costs for a new engineering class at the high school.  

Mr. Scandrett explained, “We have classes in biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology, but we’ve been lacking in engineering.  In order to stay progressive I felt we needed to add this elective course.  But with equipment, curriculum and training, the upfront costs are high.  This grant allows us to make this possibility a reality.”

The engineering course will begin during the 2018-19 school year, and be offered as an elective every other year.  Among other costs, the grant will provide funds for a 3-D printer and curriculum called “Project Lead-The-Way”.  Dominick Damm will teach the class, which will cover the principles of engineering and explore the many fields of study available to students after high school.

The MCC science department and administration are grateful to the local farmers for their support and encouragement in this new endeavour.  Mr. Scandrett said, “It’s another example of how our community supports our school.”

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“Love & Respect” Marriage Study

By Theresa Nysetvold

Marriage is one of the most important relationships in our lives and it deserves the investment of time and energy.  Gary and Candy Kellen are prepared to lead couples through a seven-session study that will enhance your relationship and help husbands and wives better understand each other.  “We will help you work together and see things from the other person’s point of view,” said Candy.

The study group will meet Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Plaid Moose on Broadway in Slayton.  Most of the time will be spent viewing a DVD series called “Love & Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, though Gary and Candy will add information from additional Biblically based marriage studies and their own experiences as leaders.  Candy said, “We’ve taught this class in Worthington, Minneapolis and even in Rwanda.”  Gary added, “We have a heart for this - we try to make it fun and enjoyable.”

Participants will have opportunity to purchase a cup of coffee and watch the series each week as they cover topics such as: how your spouse feels loved by you and how to really care for each others’ hearts, how to get out of a crazy cycle, how to best motivate your spouse, what to do if your spouse doesn’t respond to you any more, and why spouses react negatively to each other and how to deal with it when it happens.  As you watch, there will be breaks for comments, questions or discussion.  At 8:00, couples can either leave for the evening, or stay for more discussion with the group or privately with Candy and Gary.  And if your schedule doesn’t allow you to attend all of the meetings, you’ll be given a code so you can watch the missed video at home.

Gary and Candy emphasize this is for any married couple, whether they’ve been married a short time or for many years.  Gary stated, “We had a couple married for 56 years come to the class, and others who’d only been married two years.  It’s good for those who feel they may have a troubled marriage and for those who just want a better marriage.”  And if you don’t feel comfortable talking in front of the group, you won’t be expected to share your thoughts.  “Some people never share at all,” said Gary.  “Some people just talk with their own spouse.  There is no pressure - everyone will feel comfortable.”

The cost is $30, with an additional $10 for the workbook and scholarships are available. The class begins Thursday, September 28 and you may register by calling the Community Education office at: 836-8360 or come to class at 6:15 p.m.  Candy likes to quote Family Life CEO, Dennis Rainey, who said,  “Every couple needs to take the time to focus on each other and be proactive in maintaining their relationship. When it comes to marriage, investment equals improvement, no matter where it stands.”

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