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MNRAAA establishes Response Fund for olders adults during time of COVID-19

The Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging (MNRAAA) recognizes the challenges organizations face in serving older adults, caregivers and persons with disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic. To support coronavirus-related services, MNRAAA has established a Response Fund and invites applications. The purpose of this fund is to support older adults, caregivers, and persons with disabilities with services such as access to nutrition, social isolation, culturally responsive services and caregiver supports.


• 501(c)3 Non-profit Organizations

• Small Businesses

Grant funding must be used to serve older adults, caregivers and/or persons with disabilities in the MNRAAA service area which includes: Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Sibley, Swift, Waseca, Watonwan and Yellow Medicine Counties.

Funding Amount Range: Generally, between $1,000-$10,000 with the option of awarding higher amounts as determined by MNRAAA.

Funding Criteria: Coronavirus Response Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis and the request for applications will remain open until available funds are exhausted. Applications will be considered weekly. The Coronavirus Response Fund Committee may retain applications for consideration in the future, depending on other applications received. MNRAAA’s intent is to keep the application process simple and concise.

Focus Areas: MNRAAA is seeking applications to address the service needs of older adults, caregivers and/or persons with disabilities as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic such as:

• Nutrition. Support older adults and/or persons with disabilities with no or limited access to adequate nutrition with services such as shopping for and delivery of groceries, medication and other essential items.

• Volunteers. Support sustain and/or recruit volunteers for services for older adults, caregivers and/or persons with disabilities.

• Diversity. Support diverse older adults, caregivers and/or persons with disabilities by assisting in interpreting coronavirus related materials and/or utilizing technologies for connecting to services virtually.

• Virtual Service Delivery. Development of plan to adapt current older adult, caregiver and/or persons with disabilities services to a virtual format and investment in technologies and training to deliver programing.

Carver County Sheriff’s Office announces award winners

CARVER COUNTY – Due to COVID-19, the Carver County Sheriff’s Office was not able to host its annual Awards Ceremony, at which it recognizes the outstanding efforts of staff and citizens from the previous year.

As a way to recognize some of the great work performed by Carver County Sheriff’s Office staff, and some outstanding acts of generosity and bravery from local citizens,  the administration of the Carver County Sheriff’s Office wanted to take a moment to mention those who who would have received an award:


Deputy Burt and Deputy Belmares: Their actions of CPR and use of an AED helped save a life during a medical incident.

Civilian George Raymond Thiss: Assisted on a near-drowning incident.

Detention Deputy Hoffman: Performed Heimlich maneuver on an inmate.

Deputy Voigt: Prevented a suicidal person from jumping off a balcony.

Deputy Lundell and Chaska Police Sergeant Gibbons: Their actions of CPR and AED use helped save a life during a medical incident.

UNIT CITATION: Detention Sergeant Beyer and Detention Deputies Hoffman, Lagergren, Wolfe, Dickison, Erickson, Dobbs and K. Johnson: Their response to a violent altercation involving two juvenile males.

OFFICE RECOGNITION: Detention Sergeant Beyer: Obtaining Dive Team grants and donations.


Detective Gerber: Burglary/stolen property investigation.

Deputy Burt: Mental health/suicidal person call for service.

Deputy Lessard: Mental health/suicidal person call for service.

Reserve Captain Steers: Assisted stranded motorist.

Deputy Grundeman and Detective Kuhnau: Investigation of a drug overdose and drug dealer.

Deputy Lundell: Mental health/suicidal person call for service.

Deputy A. Peterson: 29 DWI arrests in 2019.

Civil Process Assistant Muller: Assistance with a suicidal person via a phone call.


Eden Prairie Police Lieutenant Sackett: Located and detained a student who reportedly had a weapon.


Katherin E. Mbonde: Assisted an elderly motorist.


Kara Tyler: Assisted on a car crash.

The Carver County Sherrif’s Office staff expresses its appreciation to everyone who helped contribute to the safety and well-being of area citizens. Congratulations to all those who received an award for 2019. Your dedication to your community and to public service are appreciated.

Winsted council to consider airport items

WINSTED, MN – Winsted City Council will consider a bond sale, award of a bid for parking lot improvements and a turf taxiway, and a bond sale related to the Winsted Municipal Airport Tuesday.

Other items on the agenda include plans for a pond at the industrial park, an audit report, and a bond sale for the McLeod Ave. project.

Workshop items include the city parking ordinance and extension of the waste removal contract.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting is not open to the public in person, but residents are welcome to watch via public access cable.

HLWW Senior Salute – Nicholas Uter


Nicholas Uter

• Basketball and Football letter winner
• Started all 10 senior FB games
“Nick is a hard worker and always puts the team first. No matter the score or the opponent, Nick would always give his best physical and mental effort.” -Coach Anderson.

HealthPartners increases COVID-19 testing capacity at drive-up locations, including Hutchinson

BLOOMINGTON — HealthPartners is increasing its laboratory capacity to more than 2,000 COVID-19 tests a day beginning next week, a seven-fold increase since April 22, when Gov. Tim Walz announced plans to significantly increase state testing capabilities.

The organization has created new high-volume, drive-up testing sites in St. Louis Park and White Bear Lake where care teams can test 300-400 symptomatic patients a day. In addition, capacity has been increased at existing drive-up testing locations in Plymouth, Lakeville, St. Paul, Stillwater, Hutchinson, and Olivia where more than 6,000 tests have been performed since mid-March. With the additional capacity, HealthPartners will now be able to test 2,000 patients every day.

“Expanding access to COVID-19 testing will help us slow the spread of disease, and support the health and safety of our patients, members and colleagues in health care,” said Andrea Walsh, President and CEO of HealthPartners. “We look forward to working with the state and other care systems as we continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Testing begins with screening

Starting Monday, HealthPartners will offer tests by appointment for all symptomatic patients. Patients begin the process by calling their clinic for a short screening assessment. Based on symptom severity and risk factors, patients will be:

  • scheduled directly at a drive-up testing location (appointment required);
  • referred for an in-person visit and testing at a HealthPartners respiratory center; or
  • referred to a clinician for additional evaluation.


The screening assessment helps patients quickly get the right care for their needs, and it’s more convenient for the majority of people because most won’t need the additional step of scheduling an appointment with their clinician before testing. Early next week, this same screening also will be available online at and

“Testing symptomatic patients is the first step toward understanding the total burden of COVID-19,” said Dr. Mark Sannes, Senior Medical Director, HealthPartners. “Moving forward, we will be partnering with the Minnesota Department of Health on the important next step of contact tracing and quarantine of exposed individuals.”

Roundabout in the works for Hwy. 7 between Winsted and Lester Prairie

WINSTED, LESTER PRAIRIE, MN – Planning to improve safety on Highway 7 and McLeod County Rd. 1 between Winsted and Lester Prairie is underway, according to Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt, director of public engagement, MnDOT District 8

Thist is a joint project between MnDOT and McLeod County.  Both groups worked together to submit the project for funding with federal safety dollars, and they have been notified that those safety funds were awarded for this project.  ”This intersection has been the site of a number of crashes, with some that resulted in serious injuries.   Over a five year period between 2013 and 2017, there were 18 crashes at the intersection which is more than what would be expected at this type of rural intersection,”  Lighthizer-Schmidt stated.

Roundabouts show an 86 percent decrease in fatal crashes, an 83 percent decrease in life-altering injury crashes, and a 42 percent overall decrease in the injury crash rate at intersections.

“Design for the roundabout at County Road 1 is just getting started, so we don’t yet know the exact size and configuration of the design, but expect it will generally look and work the same as the other roundabouts on Highway 7.  It will be a single lane roundabout.  As part of the design process, we review the types and size of vehicles that use the intersection and design it so that the roundabout can accommodate those vehicles.   We know there are larger trucks that use County Road 1 going to and from Lester Prairie, Winsted and beyond.  We also evaluate past permits that have been issued for oversize vehicles that have traveled on Highway 7 to inform our design of the roundabout.

“After we work this summer on the preliminary design, our current plan is to bring information to the public,” she noted.

Watch future editions of Herald Journal for more information as this project develops.