Stearns County area lakes are currently experiencing unusually high water levels. In particular, the Chain of Lakes and Sauk River area around Cold Spring and Richmond, as well as Two Rivers Lake in the St. Anna area are especially high, The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office is in the process of placing “No Wake” signs in these areas. In these lakes and rivers and in all Stearns County waters, the Sheriff’s Office is asking boaters to exercise restraint, good judgement and common sense. Boat operators should reduce their speed to create no wake or waves from their boat. Water patrol officers will be out on area lakes over the weekend, weather permitting, reminding boaters to follow these recommendations. The following lakes have been added to the “No Wake Advisory” as of June 17, 2014.
Changes will take effect July 1, 2014, to Stearns County’s emergency general assistance programs. Revisions to eligibility criteria were approved by the Board of Commissioners.
Emergency General Assistance and Family Emergency Funds are programs designed for residents who need financial help with short-term, non-recurring housing and utility expenses. Both are mandated, state-funded programs. In past years, funds for these programs were depleted by fall, and all subsequent applicants were denied assistance.
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees(NARFE) will be meeting at 12:30 Wednesday, July 9, at Whitney Senior Center,
St. Cloud. Our speaker will be from the local Social Security Office and the topic will be Death Benefits.
Congressman Collin C. Peterson announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted a one-year exemption to drivers transporting livestock and poultry from the 30-minute break requirement during the first eight hours of a shift. This requirement is part of the current Hours-of-
Service (HoS) rules for truck drivers. Peterson had recently asked DOT Secretary Foxx to consider such an exemption for animal welfare.
“I wrote to DOT and FMCSA as a result of hearing from several livestock and poultry producers who were concerned that if they were required to take 30-minute rest breaks, the animals they were transporting might suffer in the heat,” Peterson said. “I am pleased to see the agencies agree with this common sense request.”
In 2013, FMCSA granted livestock haulers a 90-day waiver during the hot summer months with no adverse effects to safety. As authorized by Congress, FMCSA carefully considers and collects public comments on all applications for exemptions from federal regulations, including Hours-of-Service for truck drivers.
The Watkins city council met Thursday evening, June 12, with the meeting continued Monday, June 16.
Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Case was on vacation and not present to answer questions about a break-in at the softball concession stand, and graffiti on the Lions sign. Gossip in town says that it’s a local kid behind it. An investigator from the county is on the case.
Tara Donnay came to the council asking them to waive the reconnection fee after her water was shut off. She stated that they never received a bill, or the disconnection notice. The council denied her request, holding to the council policy.
Public Works director Steve Geislinger reported that traffic signs in town are being replaced as needed with more reflective signs, and the council adopted a retro-reflectivity policy.