Stearns County’s Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing to get input from residents on the use of electric bicycles on County trails. The Stearns County Parks Department is considering changes to its trails ordinance to comply with state laws that specifically allow electric assisted bicycles on trails maintained by local units of government, in most cases.
The Minnesota Legislature recently made changes to state law to say that electric assisted bicycles with motors fewer than 1,000 watts are bicycles exempt from motorized vehicle trail restrictions. Commissioners will decide whether to allow electric bikes on the County’s pedestrian and bike trails to comply with the new state law.
People having trouble online can submit paper applications for public and private insurance through MNsure.
Individuals seeking coverage for both public and private insurance through MNsure can submit paper applications if they are having trouble getting through online via the MNsure website. People who have already applied online through MNsure and received their official Health Care Notice in the mail or who have submitted a paper application do not need to take any immediate action. Consumers who submit a paper application and are eligible for tax credits or are looking to purchase private insurance will still need to complete the enrollment process online.
At its Jan. 9 meeting, the Watkins City Council approved the purchase of a playground set for $16,756 from Midwest Playscapes, Inc., of Chaska. The playground equipment had been approved last year, but the council agreed to wait to make the purchase until 2014 so the city doesn’t need to pay sales tax on it. Another $1,520 will be added to the bill to pay for engineered wood fiber safety surfacing in the playground area. Another $1,135 will be added for installation of the playground. The purchase price includes freight delivery. The playground will be installed in a lot designated for the playground in the Faber Addition on the west side of Watkins.
The mayor appointed council members to the following posts: Jerry Hesse acting mayor and street commissioner, Melody Gertken water commissioner, Scott Piccerillo sewer commissioner and shade tree commissioner, and Sue Unterberger police commissioner.
The City of South Haven set the following appointments for 2014 at its Jan. 7 council meeting:
• Kandice Voigt is Community City Hall Supervisor, and acting mayor for April through June.
• Annette Gunnerson is Park Maintenance Supervisor, Street Maintenance Supervisor, Co-Weed Inspector (along with mayor Lemke), and acting mayor January through March.
• Russ Christinsen is Water Department Supervisor, Sewer Department Supervisor, and acting mayor October through December.
• Norman Bodeker is Fire Dept. Liaison, and acting mayor July through September.
• Mayor John Lemke is Municipal Liquor Store Liaison, and Emergency Management and Fire Commission Representative (along with Norman Bodeker and Fire Chief Kenneth Laney).
• Timothy Young of Young & Brown LLP is City Attorney. Annandale State Bank is official depository; certificates of deposits are authorized through Annandale State Bank and Star Bank. The Annandale Advocate is the official newspaper of the city.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has added five illnesses to service-connected Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). What this means is that veterans who have those illnesses as well as TBI will have an easier time getting additional disability benefits.
The VA based its decision on a report by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine that found “sufficient evidence” to link moderate to severe TBI with the five conditions: Parkinson’s disease, certain types of dementia, depression, unprovoked seizures or certain diseases of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. Those secondary illnesses will be considered service-connected and won’t require medical opinions to establish whether there is correlation to TBI.