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July 16th, 2018 News

Groves Competes at AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships in Flordia

By Theresa Nysetvold

Alyssa Groves, daughter of Randy and Dawn Groves of Slayton, and her team recently returned from the 45th AAU Girls’ and Boys’ Junior National Volleyball Championships in Orlando, Florida where the team earned first place in their division and Alyssa was awarded the Most Valuable Player Award.  It was a grueling 4-day tournament, but the team was 15-0 in matches and 30-1 in sets, competing against 182 other teams in a large convention center that held hundreds of volleyball courts.

This is Alyssa’s second year as a member of the Southwest Minnesota Volleyball Junior 16-1 team in Marshall.  “Try-outs are in November,” explained Alyssa, “but we don’t start practicing together until February.  My teammates are from Marshall, Canby, Lakeview, Russell/Tyler/Ruthton, Minneota and Hendricks and most of us play on our school’s basketball team so we wait until that season is almost over.”  The talented right-side player stands six feet four and excels at the net.  “I’m left handed so it’s easier for me to spike or hit from the right side, and I also block.”  She has played volleyball since 4th grade, both with clubs and school teams and it’s her favorite sport.  Her highlight from the Orlando tournament was the team huddle before the final point in the championship game.  She reflected, “It was so emotional.  We’d played together for so long and then we were finishing this long tournament.  It’s hard to think we might not all play together again.”  Alyssa went on to describe the schedule of three matches each of the first two days, four matches on the third day and five matches on the fourth day.  “We were ranked 17th at the beginning so we had to play more games to work through the tournament.  By the last day we were exhausted, but our coach reminded us that everyone else was exhausted too and by the end it was all just a mental game to see who would win.”  At the awards ceremony, Alyssa was busy celebrating the team’s victory and didn’t realize what happened when her name was called as the Most Valuable Player.  She laughed, “I was so confused!  I wasn’t expecting it at all but that was another awesome moment.”

Many people contribute to the success of any athlete, and Alyssa points to her coaches Mike Dalager and Sarina Smith, along with her family.  She said, “My family has been a big part of this; they always offer support and help my confidence.”  Alyssa hopes to play volleyball in college someday and perhaps coach or assist younger children too.  For now, the Murray County Central junior is looking forward to the Young Mustangs tournament in Marshall next week and the upcoming volleyball season with her classmates at school.  “I’m excited to see how our school team does this year.  I’m really looking forward to the season.”


Progress Continues For MCC Gym Project

The Murray County Central School Board met on Monday, July 9th. All members were present and the meeting was called to order. The agenda was approved. The minutes from the June 11th meeting were reviewed and approved. They also reviewed the financial reports with Lisa Rademacher. Superintendent Joe Meyer presented the Board with the 2018-2019 Substitute Teacher, Para and Kitchen Staff pay. This will stay the same as last year with Substitute Teacher’s receiving $110 for the day, Para’s receiving Step 1 and Kitchen Staff receiving $11.00 an hour. He did suggest discussing some changes for next year as the school district is on the low end for Substitute Teacher pay. Secondary Principal Jake Scandrett informed the Board that a job offer was given on Monday to Danielle Dimond for the Language Arts vacancy. She has been working in Pipestone recently and has some experience but not the licensure yet. She will be working towards getting that. Her contract will be presented to the Board at the August meeting. 

The Board next accepted the donations for the month and thanked those individuals and businesses. Those include: Donations: Wheel/Herald - $500 to Baseball, American Legion Post #285 - $150 to HS Band, $100 each Rebel Card Sponsors – Jeff’s Motorsports, Minnwest Bank, Pierson Grain Farms, Bleyenberg Trucking, Jim’s Market, Avoca Farmer’s Agency. Myron Bennett - $300 to Baseball, Girls’ Golf parents - $252 for polos, Coborn’s - $11.91 to ECFE, SW Initiative Foundation - $500 ECI grant.

The Board next designated the official depositories for the school district for fiscal year 2019. All area banks including State Bank of Chandler, First National Bank of Slayton and Minnwest Bank – Slayton and Lake Wilson were set as possible depositories for invested funds and minor accounts and Minnwest Bank – Slayton as the official depository. The Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund was set as the official investment depository for the school district. 

Next item to discuss was a change to policy #761 Meal Charge Policy. They now have an online form that families can fill out to see if they qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. The form can still be mailed out and is available in the principal’s office. Elementary Principal Todd Burlingame presented the Board with the updated 2018-2019 Literacy Plan. The school has been part of this program for the past few years and each year they are awarded around $50,000 to use. He made the necessary updates and will be submitting the updated plan. The Board also updated the procurement procedure limit from $100,000 to $175,000.

There was no one present for open forum. 

Mr. Burlingame gave the Board his June update. The summer lunch program averaged 70-75 lunches, he is hoping July will be higher. The Summer School program started on July 10th. They have the long-term sub positions filled and he is working to fill the Reading and Math Corps positions. Registration is set for August 7th 4-7pm and August 8th from 11am to 1pm. Preschool screening will be August 20th at West. The summer projects are going well. 

Mr. Scandrett updated the Board on the high school June activities. On June 11th, they held the final attendance hearings for students who exceeded the attendance limit. The state is cracking down on attendance and students who are considered “chronically absent” will be watched closely. Being absent more than 10% of the year makes someone chronically absent. Currently MCC, as a whole, sits above the 90% threshold. The administrative team attended a conference put on by the SWWC Service Co-Op. Things discussed were building and creating positive relationships between students and staff. The new “North Star” accountability system which addresses the district progress towards learning goals. He also congratulated the golf team on their state golf performances. Girls placed 6th as a team and Abby Hamman placed 7th individually. The Boys placed 7th as a team and Tyler Groves was selected for Academic All State in section 3A. Groves, Hamman and Jack Pierson were also selected to the Class A All-State teams.  Congrats to both the Girls and Boys teams. 

Mr. Meyer gave the Board his June report. They will be updating the website and mobile app platform as what the school currently uses isn’t ADA compliant. The asbestos tiles in Mrs. Whitehead’s classroom have been removed and replaced. Once things dry up they will be replacing the tin roof on one of the storage sheds at the athletic complex. The new printer/copiers have been installed and they begin a 5-year contract with A&B Business Solutions. Carpet cleaning has been completed and the custodians are on track with summer cleaning and waxing of floors. Summer painting projects have been completed and smaller projects will fill in the remaining weeks of summer. The School Safety grant and application will open this week. There are 25 Million dollars available with ½ of those funds required to go to rural schools. The grant process is a first come basis. Policy revisions continue and he will present these to the Board in August. They are moving along with construction and are only two weeks behind because of the weather. 

The first item of new business was to review and approve the updated 2018- 2019 handbooks for High School Parent/Student, Elementary Parent/Student, High School Faculty and Elementary Faculty handbooks. They also approved the updated 2018-2019 Activities Handbook. Changes include wording regarding attendance and the new state standards, an updated explanation of custodial and non-custodial parents, testing assessments with the option to opt out, wording in the homework section, overnight trips with a chaperone of the same gender, and uniform rotation schedule.

The last item to approve was the Annual Long-Term Facility Maintenance Plan. This requires a 10-year plan and has to be addressed yearly at a School Board meeting. The Board approved this plan and the resolution to submit to the state. 

The next School Board meeting will be August 13th at 6pm. The meeting was adjourned. 


Flood Information Needed – From Homeowners and Businesses

Murray County Emergency Management Team has set up a Flood Information Center and is requesting residents and businesses from throughout the county to call in with information regarding their flood damage.

This information is needed ASAP.

The phone number for the center is 507-836-1177 and it will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily, including weekend, until further notice. 

The information being gathered through this hotline is critical for the county to obtain and document specific details and the severity of damage from throughout the county, especially now that we have been declared a state of emergency for Minnesota.

Some of the specific questions that will be asked is how much water depth you have in your building, if you have property and/or flood insurance and what areas of your property were affected. We will also be asking what kind of structure you have that is damaged.

As a reminder, permits must be obtained or substantial damage determinations must be made before repairs or reconstruction can begin. The first step is calling this number so we can document those requests.

If you need assistance with anything due to this flood, call 507-836-1177. The flood center can give you information about what to do with flooded debris and will try to assist in any other flood-related questions. 

If you have an emergency, please continue to call 911 or Murray County Sheriff’s Office at 507-836-6168.


 Wanted: Fundraising Felons To Support Local Children

The Murray County Early Childhood Initiative is looking for groups, businesses, and individuals in our community willing to take part in the Jail and Bail fundraiser.  This lively event is a fun way to positively impact the youngest children of Murray County. Jail & Bail will take place during the fair on Wednesday, August 15th.

Murray County ECI sponsors educational outreach programs for children from birth to age 5 to increase school readiness and support families.  Families Reading Every Day (FRED) events, Preschool Open Gym & Open Swim, Books for Businesses, children’s music concerts, the Annual Family Fair, ECFE on Wheels, and many other projects for local children are funded with the money raised during Jail & Bail. 

Jail & Bail participants will have the option of turning themselves in at the courthouse lawn or being “arrested” and transported by the Slayton Police Department.  They will be “incarcerated” in a mock-jail where they will stand before a community judge to be charged with their “crime.”  The detainees will then begin making phone calls to raise their bail goal of $100.  Bail can either be raised in the form of pledges or donations. 

Everyone is invited to visit the “inmates” on the east lawn of the Murray County Courthouse in Slayton from 2-7 p.m. on August 15th and help raise funds for Early Childhood Initiative activities in Murray County.

For more information about volunteering for the annual Jail and Bail event or having a friend, relative, or coworker arrested, please contact Marilyn Carlson at 836-6552. 

The Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative is a network of local community coalitions, including the Murray County Early Childhood Coalition, working with the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) to increase school readiness for children ages birth to 5 and engage citizens in advocacy for increased investments and sound public policy for young children and their families.  SWIF is an active partner to 13 coalitions, providing leadership, resources and funding to assist in implementing strategic action plans.  To learn more, visit