Rice County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jesse Thomas reported that it was a quiet commute this morning. A couple of cars in the ditch but that was about it. State Patrol Sgt. Troy Christianson reports that they had a few in the ditch but the bigger story is the white-out conditions in rural areas. While plows have been out, with winds picking up, they’re not going to be able to keep up with drifting. He recommends no travel unless you have to and is also cautioning folks about the upcoming dangerous cold temperatures. The City of
Northfield is under a Snow Emergency until roads are plowed curb to curb.
Rural Mental Health on Lippert’s agenda
Rural Mental Health was part of the focus for Rep. Lippert last week. He sits on the Minnesota House Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy committee. They heard from a woman who’s husband committed suicide. She told their story of the financial crisis they were facing as farmers, “how for 5 months they were working with banks to try to find a way through it, then her husband ended up taking his life”. Lippert added, “she was so courageous to tell her story and it was emotional for all of us but she was there because she wanted to talk to with lawmakers to try prevent this for other farming families and other rural families”. They heard bills from both Democrats and Republicans, some of which include more dollars for current programs such as the Farm Advocates Hotline. Those will be moving very quickly as there’s bipartisan commitment to that. They went a little deeper with reimbursement rates for providers that are key for mental health including more beds for those in crisis. He says any investments they make in mental health are good investments. He says those conversations need to continue and he’s eager to be in the middle of them. He said it was very encouraging working with both sides on the issue to find immediate relief. Lippert will be in studio at 7:20 Friday morning.
Draheim gets small business recognition
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Minnesota announced the presentation of its Guardian of Small Business award to Senator Rich Draheim for his votes in support of small businesses in the Minnesota State Senate. He was on the air this morning. His first bill was a bill that would appropriate funds to business development groups throughout the whole state. then those groups with work with entrepreneurs and help them get ready to open a small business. He said it has bipartisan support throughout the State. He believes it will make its way into law, depending on the February forecast. This particular bill will likely be put into a larger bill. Draheim is on kymn every Monday morning at 7;20.
Want to farm in Farmington?
Farmington is looking for people or groups to lease 31.5 acres of city-owned parkland with the intent of farming it. The land is at the northeast corner of 195th St. W. and Diamond Path. The area sits in the Jim Bell Park and Preserve and will become a community park when the city has the money to develop it. Over 5 years, the last tenant paid nearly $34,000 to rotate corn and soybeans. Sealed bids are due by 11am February 15th and should go to the Parks and Rec. department at 430 3rd St.. For a map of the plot and application go to farmingtonmn.gov/RFP. Scroll down to RFP/RFQ for details. The current lease expires March 31st.