Lonsdale family loses home in fire
A Lonsdale family has lost their home after a fire broke out Saturday morning. The Rice County Sheriff’s department was notified of a garage fire at 11840 Falls Trail before noon. When Lonsdale fire and deputies arrived, the fire has spread to the home. According to the press release, the family made it out of the home with only minor smoke inhalation, which they were treated for at the scene. The fire is under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department but, based on evidence at the scene, appears to be accidental started by a space heater in the garage. Northfield, Montgomery and Faribault Fire assisted Lonsdale. The home and garage, owned by the Allen Ross family, is a complete loss.
Communication is “phenomenal” says Dunn
How’s the communication within criminal justice agencies in Rice County? Sheriff Troy Dunn answered, “In my opinion, our collaboration and cooperation throughout the county is phenomenal”. He says if there any issues, he can call up any of the Police Chiefs, fire and rescue departments, the county attorneys office, corrections… Dunn continued, “and we can address these concerns or whatever they might be and we have a great relationship with our courts and court administration”. Rice County Community Corrections Director Christine Curtis is working to establish a more formulated Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee aka CJCC. Dunn explained that Curtis’s focus is on developing more policies. He added that they would affect Rice County only. He added, “our corroboration across the State is phenomenal. I had some concerns, I called Mona Dohman, the Department of Public Safety Commissioner, and she called me back within 15 minutes”. A study was done in 2015 on criminal justice but Curtis has requested a new study as, she and others, feel it came up short. The National Institute of Corrections has agreed to pay for it. Though not outright opposed to the idea, the time for a representative to sit on the Board may be an issue with some departments.
Representative Bly says healthcare top priority
Healthcare looms large on the legislative agenda. House District 20B representative David Bly says Health insurance rebates, a short term possible fix for those whose insurance rates have skyrocketed, will be the first bill they tackle. The rebate floated around is 25% of the monthly premium. For most, the rate has increased by well over 50% up to 67%. Bly added, “everybody knows there needs to be a longer term fix, but that needs to be debated. There’s disagreement on what that long term fix will be and what will really make a difference”. Bly says Insurance companies are reporting record profits as they raise premiums. Bly, a firm believer in a single-payer system, says, “you reduce costs by having everyone in the same pool, you reduce the payments people make because you have a sense of it being based on your ability to pay but not beyond your means and you can contain costs by being the one provider that deals with the hospitals and the doctors rather than having many”. Just 5 years ago, health insurance, with multiple agencies to choose from, was much less expensive. The goal of the Affordable Care Act was to cover those who were turned down by insurance companies, those with pre-existing conditions. While they enjoy coverage, many of us who previously could afford it, now can’t, and will be fined by for not being able to afford the coverage.
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