Archive for News

KLKR broadcast club shines at HLWW

HOWARD LAKE, WAVERLY, WINSTED, MN – An article about the KLKR broadcast club at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School appeared on page 1A of the April 18 edition of the Herald Journal. Archived issues from 2011 to present can be accessed with an online subscription. 

To see past KLKR videos, including a recap of the club’s first year, click here:

KLKR has three seasons (fall, winter spring), and meets every day after school. The club is open to grades 8-12, and new members are welcome to join. Current participants include:

• Warren Weir, senior

• Zecheriah Riemer, senior

• Parker Kieser, junior

• Chase Lange, sophomore

• Wyatt Determan, sophomore

• Earl Weir, sophomore

• Wyatt Pelnis, sophomore

• Brook Lorenson, freshman

• Billy Hucker, eighth-grader

• Daniel Graham, eighth-grader

KLKR club members Parker Kieser, Chase Lange, Dan Graham, Warren Weir, Wyatt Pelnis, Brook Lorenson, and Earl Weir get ready to film an episode of Laker Nation.

KLKR club members Parker Kieser, Chase Lange, Dan Graham, Warren Weir, Wyatt Pelnis, Brook Lorenson, and Earl Weir get ready to film an episode of Laker Nation.

Hutchinson Health to study diabetes

SPONSORED POST – Hutchinson Health and the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) are teaming up to conduct a study in Hutchinson to help people with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers hope to determine whether diabetes care that uses registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) for medication management may be able to help individuals with diabetes achieve recommendations for healthful lifestyles – and whether doing so will ultimately help them improve their “D5” measures.

These five measures are blood glucose, statin use, blood pressure, tobacco use, and aspirin use, and they are a large part of the ongoing care required to manage diabetes.

The goal of the study is to determine whether patients who receive education and phone coaching that includes medication management from a RDN with diabetes expertise, in addition to care from their primary care physician, make greater improvements in their D5 outcomes than those who don’t receive the additional support.

Researchers chose Hutchinson for the study in part because, according to Minnesota Community Measurement statistics, only 30 percent of people with type 2 diabetes in the community have optimal D5 levels, compared with a statewide average of 53 percent.

About the study

For the study, a group of 144 residents age 40-75 who have type 2 diabetes will be randomly divided into a control group and an intervention group.

Both groups will receive regular clinical care from their primary care physicians, but the intervention group will also receive supplemental care from registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) to actively address the D5 measures. RDNs will provide health management and education involving nutrition, physical activity, and medication adherence, and may also prescribe medications for blood pressure, cholesterol or blood glucose to meet diabetes care goals in coordination with primary care.

Researchers will conduct baseline tests at the beginning of the study and then repeat the tests in one year to determine how the intervention group compares to the control group in the management of their D5 measures.

“Our team at Hutchinson Health considers it critical to continue providing innovative services and a vast array of care options to our patients,” said Steve Mulder, MD, president and CEO of Hutchinson Health. “We recently began offering mental health services through the exciting new format of telemedicine, and now are pleased to be able to partner with the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation on this study to explore the effectiveness of adding telemedicine as a complement to our diabetes care.”

Success in other locations

From 2010-2014, MHIF and Allina Health experienced success with a similar phone coaching program in New Ulm called Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project.

Nearly 1,100 patients participated in coaching and demonstrated outcomes included significant reductions in smoking rates and LDL cholesterol. Participants also made significant improvements in lifestyle behaviors, such as eating more fruits and vegetables, being more physically active, and lowered perceived stress rates.

About Hutchinson Health

One of the largest independent health care providers in Minnesota, Hutchinson Health includes primary and specialty care clinics, emergency services and specialty programs.

Hutchinson Health has a state-of-the-art intensive care unit featuring eICU technology, as well as a full-range of advanced diagnostic imaging services. Hutchinson Health has more than 30 full-time physicians, 35 specialty care providers, and 650 staff.

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HLWW to discuss school board member compensation

HOWARD LAKE, WAVERLY, WINSTED, MN – One item on the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Board work session agenda for Monday, April 25 is a discussion about school board member compensation.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. in the high school media center. Other items on the agenda include discussion about trophies, Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) testing, a solar project, and more.

Look for coverage in the Monday, May 2 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here to subscribe online or in print.

Carver Co. deputies involved in two vehicle pursuits

CARVER COUNTY, MN – Carver County Sheriff’s Office deputies were involved in two motor vehicle pursuits last Monday, according to a press release.

The first pursuit occurred at about 7:36 p.m. when a deputy saw a motorcycle traveling south on CSAH 43 in the area of Maplewood Rd. in Dahlgren Township. The deputy noted the motorcyclist was traveling well above the posted speed limit, which was confirmed with RADAR showing a speed of 131 MPH.

The deputy attempted to stop the motorcyclist and a pursuit ensued. The deputy checked the area and located the motorcycle and rider at an address on Nathan Rd. When the motorcyclist saw the deputy in the driveway, he fled a second time. The deputy pursued the motorcyclist, but eventually lost sight of him. At about 7:46 p.m., Chaska Police stopped the fleeing motorcyclist at US 212 and CSAH 11.

The rider, a 26-year-old man from Dahlgren Township, was arrested and transported to the Carver County Jail.

The second pursuit occurred at about 7:55 p.m. when deputies were dispatched to investigate a complaint of a domestic dispute on Mockingbird Drive in Waconia. Sheriff’s dispatch had informed responding deputies that the suspect, a 28-year-old man from Waconia, had left the residence in a Honda Odyssey.

A deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver fled and led the deputy in a pursuit along various roadways in Waconia. The driver ultimately stopped on Hill Top Lane, a dead-end cul-de-sac, where he abandoned the car and fled on foot, leading the deputy on a brief foot pursuit.

The deputy noted the suspect got out of the car carrying a box that he discarded during the foot pursuit. Eventually, the suspect stopped running and complied with the deputy’s commands. He was arrested without further incident.

After securing the suspect, the deputy located the discarded box and discovered it contained a 9mm handgun and ammunition. The box and its contents were seized as evidence.

The suspect was transported to the Carver County Jail and held for possible charges of felon in possession of a handgun, fleeing police in a motor vehicle, and domestic assault.

Both suspects have since been released from the Carver County Jail pending charges by the Carver County Attorney’s Office.

Wright County enacts emergency moratorium on solar projects

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – What began as a discussion about an amendment to allow solar projects on restricted land with no building entitlements resulted in the Wright County Board voting unanimously to enact an emergency moratorium on new solar project applications in the county during its Tuesday morning meeting.

“Applications currently filed with planning and zoning will still be processed,” Assistant County Attorney Greg Kryzer said. “The resolution you’re adopting is for staf to deny any applications presented after this resolution.”

Four weeks earlier, the board had tabled discussion on the amendment and directed Kryzer to outline the county’s options regarding solar projects.

Those options included approving the amendment, denying the amendment, adopting a different amendment or overlay district to further restrict where solar projects could be developed, or enacting an emergency moratorium on solar projects in the county. The emergency moratorium will be in effect until a public hearing at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 10, to consider a moratorium to be in place for up to one year.

“If you’re looking at doing an overlay district or substantial changes to the ordinance, our office is recommending a moratorium,” Kryzer said.

Had the board begun the process of amending the county’s solar ordinance without a moratorium, “you’ll have applications coming in during the process of trying to make amendments, and you’ll be treating different people differently,” Kryzer added. “I think it’s best, if you’re going to recommend changes such as an overlay district, put a freeze on it right now, go through it, and study it. You can always cancel a moratorium.”

Township officials from Buffalo, Clearwater, Franklin, Monticello, and Southside townships expressed support for a moratorium.

Franklin Township Supervisor DeWayne Bauman referenced the eight-megawatt solar project that the Public Utilities Commission approved, which is currently being developed in Buffalo Township.

“It’s a disaster out there,” Bauman said. “They cleared 60 acres of trees. They’re moving in 215,000 cubic yards of soil.”

“We need to slow this down,” Buffalo Township Supervisor Don Schmidt added. “People are appalled at what happened to us. We need to look at the effect on the county and the townships. Maybe we can avoid mistakes and make it workable so it suits more people.”

Monticello Township Supervisor Brett Holker encouraged the commissioners to “get together with the industry and try to understand how the logistics of where the substations are and how the engineering and technical piece works and make that part of, if you do an overlay district, make that a part of it.”

Gordy Simanton, of SolarStone, said he would be willing to participate in a workshop with commissioners to bring them up to speed.

He said his company targets marginal land such as decommissioned wastewater treatment facilities and gravel pits for solar projects, with prime agricultural land at the bottom of their list due to cost. A project SolarStone proposed in Cokato Township was one of three confirmed proposals for solar projects on restricted land.

Commissioner Charlie Borrell said Cokato Township supervisors had indicated to him that it was an ideal site.

He spoke in favor of allowing solar projects on restricted land, but also said he understood the rational behind a moratorium.

“I’m not opposed to (the moratorium),” Borrell said. “I hope we can look at the zoning ordinance change at the same time.”

He referenced concerns raised at the April 14 Wright County Planning Commission meeting, as did Planning Administrator Shawn Riley.

“One item that came up was the odd nature of 20 to 25 power poles clustered together that was done by Xcel, as well as putting poles in the right of way, and land alteration,” Riley said. “The transition area (for city expansion into townships) was also a pretty debated topic.”

Steve Nisbet, of Wright-Hennepin Electric Co-op, said a solar project his company has proposed would be located on restricted land in Maple Lake Township, would not have any “strange interconnection” such as extra poles, and would consist of 10 to 15 acres of low-laying land surrounded by land that is farmed regularly.

Laura Caspari, of SoCore Energy, is working with Wright-Hennepin to plan that project and another in Middleville Township. She spoke against a moratorium.

“You’re at risk of throwing out these cooperative projects,” Caspari said. “The call for a moratorium for a year is concerning.”

She added that a moratorium could also jeopardize Xcel-related projects.

“There’s a timeline with Xcel,” Caspari said. “If they don’t get a permit in a timely manner, those projects won’t happen.

“I can’t speak to what Xcel would do in this exact situation, but in other locations in the past, they have not given any extensions,” she added when asked about that possibility.

Commissioner Mark Daleiden suggested that Xcel might be forced to do grant extensions in order to fulfill the state mandate for solar energy.

That mandate calls for Xcel to produce 1.5 percent of its energy load from solar sources by 2020, Simanton said. He said that amounts to 450 megawatts, which he estimated would require between 2,200 and 2,300 acres of solar panels.

Regarding allowing solar projects on restricted land, an issue the county will address during the moratorium, Commissioner Christine Husom voiced her concern.

“My overriding concern is we’re not allowing, currently, other industries on restricted ag land,” Husom said. “To throw that out, it just opens it to other industries. How can we deny anything else coming in?”

Borrell disagreed.

“I think it makes sense to change this,” Borrell said. “If we make this so solar panels are exempt on restricted land, it does not open up a can of worms. You’re not going to be able to say, ‘I want a gravel pit on there.’ You’re still going to have to come back, and we’d have to change the ordinance again.”

For now, the board voted unanimously to deny the ordinance change, with the possibility of reintroducing it after studying the issue during the moratorium.

For more Wright County Board coverage, see the April 25 edition of the Herald Journal.