Rice Co. Admin exits
And another Administrator is gone. Rice County Administrator Tony Murphy resigned Tuesday morning after a special closed meeting of the Rice County Commissioners, effective immediately. The closed session was scheduled for Murphy’s second performance review. Commissioner Malecha commented, “He has served us very well as a Administrator in the last 2 years”. He said Murphy is a good guy and, “there’s no smoking gun, no scandal involved in his resignation. It’s just… he’s going to move on to other things in life”. Murphy was offered the position in January 2014 after the resignation of Gary Weiers who held the position for 10 years. The next steps include hiring an Interim and commissioners will be making some decisions as to whether they will use in-house resources to perform the search or go out for bids to hire a search firm. Malecha said Commissioners will discuss approaches to their process and, certainly, keep it open.
Northfield PD wins Innovation Award
On December 10th, the Northfield and Faribault Police Departments, received an Innovation Award from the Humphrey Institute for their work in partnership with the Rice County Chemical Health Coalition on its medication disposal effort, Take It To the Box. After several opioid overdoses in 2008, the coalition, in collaboration with the Mayor’s Youth Task Force decided it would be a good idea to tell people in Rice County to empty their medicine cabinets of unwanted/unneeded prescription drugs and over the counter medications. The Coalition’s Kathy Sandberg. In 2009, with the help of Faribo and Nfld PD’s, they started to collect the medications at the police stations. And then dispose of it through incineration. That first year they collected 2295 lbs of drugs. Sandberg said disposal of the drugs collected proved to be more problematic. The cost that first year was over $9,000 because the drugs, in particular scheduled drugs such as opiates, had to be taken by police escort to southern Illinois for proper disposal. Today, they go to Mankato. The evidence techs of Faribault and Northfield PD take them down. Round trip is a couple of hours. Sandberg said the program has been very successful and become sustainable. They’ve collected over 16,000 pounds of drugs so far. She said without the support of local law enforcement it could not have been done. Chief Nelson said the next step will be lock boxes for people’s homes.
Sen. Thompson won’t run again
District 58 Senator Dave Thompson will not run for re-election in November. His seat covers the portion of Northfield in Dakota County. The Senator from Lakeville is moving to North Carolina for work. Thompson, a Republican, who was first elected in 2010, plans to move his family after his term is over. Lakeville Mayor Matt Little, a democrat, has announced his bid for the seat.
WINGS invites non-profits to apply for grants
WINGS (Women in Northfield Giving Support) invites Northfield area nonprofit organizations to apply for a 2016 WINGS grant. These grants are given in support of projects benefiting women and youth in the Northfield area. WINGS funds grants focusing on economic, housing and food stability,, safe environments for victims of domestic violence, early learning, and more. In 2015, WINGS awarded $73,868 in support of 27 grants. For more information or to apply go to the WINGS website at www.wings-mn.org. Applications must be submitted by March 15th.
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