City Takes Back Some From Coborn’s Tax Abatement Page 17
Inaugural Hockey Tourney May Become Annual Event
Boys’ Cagers Experiencing Long Delay Page 19
ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SECOND YEAR
BELLE PLAINE, MINNESOTA, FEBRUARY 27, 2013
75¢ SINGLE COPY
Power Line Land Issues Frustrating Area Landowners
As landowners, agents and staff from CapX 2020 continue to debate the value of residential and agricultural land affected by the transmission line crossing Sibley and Scott counties and southern Minnesota, lawyers and lawmakers will also have their say on the level of compensation awarded. One thing is potentially certain, the issue won’t likely be wrapped up quickly. Scott West’s state individual qualiﬁers are, from left, Jake Weierke, David Flynn, Zach Siegle, In Scott County, attorney Rod Krass represents the owners of Luke Zilverberg and Andrew Fogarty. 67 parcels affected by CapX’s easement for its 345-kilovolt transmission line running 247 miles from South Dakota to Five members of the Scott 113 pounds: Flynn (37-4) vs. vidual Tournament is available Hampton, Minn. Thirty-three West wrestling team qualiﬁed Milaca/Faith Christian’s Ray on page 19. of those parcels are potentially for the Minnesota State Class Hoffman (29-16). involved in the “buy the farm” State Class 2A 2A Individual Wrestling Tour- 126 pounds: Siegle (32-5) vs. provision of the state’s eminent nament at this past weekend’s North Branch’s Reid Johnson law. The provision reIndividual Tourney domain Section 2AA tourney at Waco- (33-7). quires CapX to acquire the nia High School. entire farm rather than just an 132 pounds: Weierke (25-14) Schedule Four Panthers won the cham- vs. Marshall/Lakeview’s Riley Friday, March 1 pionship of their weight class. Roth (26-12). Included were David Flynn 138 pounds: Zilverberg (38- First Round 9 a.m. (113), Zach Siegle (126), Luke 4) vs. Quad County’s Kirby Quarterﬁnals 5 p.m. Zilverberg (138) and Andrew Winson (19-8). Wrestlebacks 8 p.m. Fogarty (160). Also qualifying Saturday, March 2 for state by ﬁnishing second 160 pounds: Fogarty (36-3) Consolation quarterﬁnals 10 vs. Totino-Grace’s Kez Flomo was Jake Weierke (132). All a.m. (27-10). ﬁve will be in action starting at 9 a.m. Friday at Xcel Energy Complete brackets for each Championship semiﬁnals 11:15 weight class are available at the a.m. Center in St. Paul. Consolation semiﬁnals 1:15 Below is a listing of Friday’s MSHSL’s website. Class 2A ﬁrst round match ups More information on this past p.m. involving Scott West wrestlers: weekend’s Section 2AA Indi- Third and ﬁfth place 5 p.m. When she was a third-grader,
Five Scott West Wrestlers St. Paul Bound
easement. But the law allows CapX, a consortium of 11 power companies including Xcel Energy and Great River Energy, to decide whether it will purchase the residential or agricultural property. The process could take more than a year to complete, leaving landowners waiting and frustrated. Monday, Dan Lesher the lead person on CapX’s land rights acquisition team, said he’s aware of 15 requests from farmers in Sibley and Scott counties interested in the power line group acquiring their farms. CapX has accepted four of the 15 requests. Through both counties, eminent domain boards have yet to approve any awards to landowners, whether the acquisition is for an easement or the entire property, Lesher said.
Most of the farmers in Scott and eastern Sibley counties have until early-April to decide if they want the group to acquire their properties via the buy the farm law, Lesher said. CapX has several weeks to decide if it is willing to do so once it accepts a farmer’s decision and determines the farm is economically viable.
Weighing-in from St. Paul
Two issues in St. Paul could affect the issue, one from lawmakers and the other from the Minnesota Supreme Court. Lawmakers are considering a Rep. David Bly, DFL-Northﬁeld, and Sen. Kevin Dahle,
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B.P. Special Olympian Asks Students to Respect One and All She asks Them to Take a Pledge
Championships 7:30 p.m.
City Council Gets Stuck on Garage Door Height Issues Dog Park Gets Official Approval, Rules Set Forth by Dan Ruud The Belle Plaine City Council last Tuesday night had a full agenda of items, ranging from recognizing local karate school students to authorizing the opening of a dog park to discussing garage door and accessory building heights. As for the latter, the council could not come to a conclusion on a proposal that would allow accessory buildings to be the same height as the primary structure on properties. City Council Member Scott Schneider, the council’s liaison for the planning and zoning commission, said the commission had “worked long and hard” on its recommendation to allow property owners more ﬂexibility in meeting their accessory building needs. During the public hearing that
preceded the council’s discussion, Ashby Carter, alternate member of the planning and zoning commission, spoke against the proposed ordinance, expressing concern over what he felt may result in a negative impact on the aesthetics in some neighborhoods. Nate Hvidsten, a member of the planning and zoning commission, had submitted written testimony in support of the ordinance. Schneider concurred with Hvidsten. However, fellow council members Gary Trost and Paul Chard agreed with Carter, expressing concern over not just the aesthetic aspect of the proposal, but what property owners may be able to do inside their expanded accessory structures in terms of business, such as working on multiple race cars or large trucks. “I don’t think we should approve this,” Trost said. Mayor Mike Pingalore said he felt like he was caught in the middle between both sides, and expressed a desire to reach
Belle Plaine Mayor Mike Pingalore, right, presented Tim Lies with a plaque of appreciation for his four years of service as Belle Plaine’s mayor. The presentation took place prior to the start of last Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
some sort of compromise. Following more of the same discussion, the council elected to table the issue and send it back to planning and zoning. In other business last Tuesday night, the council put its ofﬁcial stamp of approval on holding an open house at 6 p.m. April 22 for the opening of a dog park at the hockey rink on the 200 block of South Market Street. The dog park will be open during the non-skating months. The following rules will be posted at the park: (1) Owners are liable for damage and/or injury inﬂicted by their dog. (2) Dogs must be leashed prior to entering and upon leaving the off-leash area. (3) Dogs must have current dog license to use the park. (4) Owners must pick up and dispose of dog feces in on-site trash cans. (5) Owners must prevent aggressive behavior, including biting, ﬁghting and excessive barking by the dogs. (6) Do not allow children to approach or pet dogs without permission from the owner. (7) Hunting, discharging of ﬁrearms and dog-training devises are prohibited. (8) Park is open from sunrise to sunset. (9) Owners must remain in the area with their dog at all times. (10) No tobacco or alcohol is to be brought into the dog park. Park board members plan to have dog treats and hot dogs available for the public at the open house. Local businesses
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Trisha McGovern ﬂapped her hands quickly when stimulated by classroom activity or other children around her. As an autistic student, the motion helped McGovern process what was happening nearby. Her mother, Kelly Ploumen, recalls a day when Trisha was a third-grader and, with mom’s permission, students could ask McGovern anything they wanted about her autism. The session helped build understanding of students with autism. “No questions were off limits,” Ploumen said. McGovern is proud of her classmates. She credits that day in third grade with their acceptance. “I couldn’t choose better classmates than the ones I’ll graduate with in a few years,” she said. Today, McGovern is in mainstream classes, a high-functioning autistic student much like her 10th-grade classmates walking the halls of Belle Plaine Junior-Senior High. She’s a student with a powerful message and a heartfelt request of all her schoolmates, Please don’t use the ‘R’ word – Retarded. “It’s a medical term,” she said, deﬁning an intellectually delayed person. It’s also a hurtful word, a word ﬁlled with negative connotations and lack of understanding. It also is used for people who act foolishly and inappropriately, McGovern said. “It’s an offensive word,” Ploumen said. This week in the junior-senior high school’s common area, McGovern will be standing at a table asking her schoolmates to sign a pledge not to use that hurtful word. She’ll wrap up her pledge campaign tomorrow since Friday is an early-release day at the school. A federal law President Obama signed in the fall of 2010 outlawing the use of “mental retardation” in federal statute. The law, known as “Rosa’s Law,” requires the use of the phrase, “intellectual disability.” The law bolsters McGovern’s belief in her request.
Trisha McGovern wants people to promise not to use “the R word” -- retarded -- when referring to people with autism or other intellectual disabilities. agnosed when she was 4. Her mother and doctors noticed the signs, including Trisha avoiding eye contact with others. She and her mom moved from Burnsville to Belle Plaine when Trisha was in ﬁrst grade. It’s that early detection and support from family that has helped McGovern thrive within her
classes. Years ago, McGovern wouldn’t have the temerity to ask people to sign such a pledge. Along with help in school and at home, she owes much of her conﬁdence to Special Olympics. Mc-
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Longtime Ambulance Fund Dispute May be Resolved Soon
It appears that an issue that dates back over two years may be resolved within the next week. According to Belle Plaine City Administrator David Murphy, the city and area township ofﬁcials, as well as legal representation for both sides, have reached a tentative agreement on solving the dispute regarding the ambulance fund issue. The latest “closed” session on the matter was held last Tuesday night. Murphy said another closed session will be held following next Monday night’s regular city council meeting, after which the council could approve the agreement. After both sides ﬁnalize it, all the details within will become public record. Murphy, citing attorney-client privilege, said he could not comment on any of the details Early Diagnosis McGovern’s autism was di- outlined in the tentative agreement at this time.
The issue centers around $613,786 that was left in the local ambulance fund when Ridgeview Medical Center took over the Belle Plaine Ambulance Service in January of 2008. After that, Murphy said the city no longer operated the ambulance “201 fund,” which prior to 2008 was used as working capital for local ambulance services. Murphy said the $613,786 (the amount at yearend 2009) was transferred to the public safety capital fund of the city’s general fund. The city council, by resolution, approved the transfer of the money on March 1, 2010. Included in that resolution was the transfer of $50,000 of the ambulance funds to the park fund for the development of Riverview Park as a memorial for Belle Plaine Ambulance
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BELLE PLAINE HERALD, BELLE PLAINE, MINNESOTA
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2013
Ronald Brings Message of Respect to Trinity
BPHS students Allison Stolee, left, Zach Juaire and Samantha Gregory were among those utilizing instruments from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to transfer their own DNA (from cheek Ronald McDonald and his friends -- Trekker Meritworth (left) and Professor Zibbit -- recently cells) to a test tube/vial in class last week. visited Trinity Lutheran School to present a play about the importance of recognizing differences in people and respecting each other. The group posed with teachers Andrea Hahm, Sam Korth and Lavonne Bratsch and students in kindergarten through fourth grade. The visit was sponsored by the Belle Plaine McDonaldâ€™s.
BPHS Science Students Get Hands-On Experience With Equipment from Mayo Belle Plaine High School science teacher Rich Foust attended a one-week class at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester this past summer. It was called molecular biology and genomics for high school teachers. The class involved a full day of lab prep and studies utilizing recent advancements and techniques in the ďŹ eld of biotechnology. â€œThe long term goal of the program is to develop an interactive group of teachers who will incorporate molecular biology and genomics instruction into their classrooms,â€? Foust explained. â€œBy completing this course, and as an instructor at Belle Plaine, I had the opportunity to rent a trailer for three weeks that included all the equipment necessary (enclosed within a trailer) to perform the biotech labs at the school setting.â€? Foust added that the approximate cost of all equipment in the trailer is close to $50,000, which is funded by the low rental fee of $125 for a week-anda-half session. Large donors are sponsors of the program. â€œWhile it would be nice to
have some of this tech equipment available at our school, and maybe over time we may be able to slowly add this equipment, renting this trailer is a great way to expose students to the new science techniques and studies,â€? Foust said. â€œFor the students who are planning on continuing their post secondary education in science ďŹ elds, this was a great opportunity to get some basics before continuing at the college level.â€? â€œBefore these labs, I wanted to pursue a career in this ďŹ eld, and after doing this, I want to pursue this career much more,â€? said student Samantha LeMay. â€œWorking with the biotech lab tools and equipment was so much fun and interesting. I would deďŹ nitely do it again.â€? â€œThe gene labs were a rockinâ€™ good time,â€? chipped in Kris Corl. Fellow students Kirstyn Klug and Rachel Feldermann both agreed that â€œhaving the biotechnology trailer in the classroom and getting to work hands on with the equipment helped us realize that science is and will continue to be a growing part of future generations.â€?
Some of the labs performed by students included: Micropipetting - students used tools to transfer very small amounts of ďŹ‚uids measured in microliters, (5 microliters or 5ul is equivalent to .005 milliliters). Transformation lab - taking the gene that codes for a ďŹ‚uorescent protein in a jellyďŹ sh to be inserted into a common bacteria. Making future generations of bacteria glow. DNA necklace - students used their own cheek cells, isolated their DNA, and inserted it into a small capped tube, and made a necklace. Crime scene analysis - students collected DNA from a crime scene, ampliďŹ ed it (made many copies) through a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machine, and then ran a gel electrophoresis to determine which DNA from several suspects matched the DNA from the crime scene. Mitochondrial DNA analysis - students collected mitochondrial DNA (which is passed down from mother to children) Jarrett Johnson, a sophomore at Belle Plaine Junior-Senior from cheek cells and analyzed High School, said heâ€™d rather have been in school Friday than the results. shovel -- by hand -- the several inches of snow from the end of the driveway on West Main Street. The snow and strong winds covered roads in the area townships so Jim Koonst of Stier Transportation and school ofďŹ cials allowed students a snow day, the ďŹ rst of the winter.
Old-Fashioned Snow Removal
This Weekâ€™s Mystery Photo
Think you know what this is? The ďŹ rst person who calls the Herald ofďŹ ce (873-2261) with the correct identiďŹ cation and location of the above mystery photo will be recognized in next week's issue.
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