WALKER - Townships will have to provide a building with a modern electrical system, heated to at least 55 degrees and free of mice, skunks and other creatures if they want to continue to use county voting equipment for elections. Towns also must show they consistently can recruit a sufficient number of election judges and alternates to continue have an in-person voting precinct at their town hall. Cass County Board adopted these requirements Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Anderson recommended as part of her report to the board Tuesday about the pending purchase of new voting machines. A state gra
WALKER - Human Resource Director Joshua Stevenson presented a chart to Cass County Board Tuesday listing potential key position retirements over the next five years. Though the commissioners took no immediate action on the proposed timetable for seeking replacements, they did indicate board action will be likely later this year for retirements likely to occur in 2016. The board already has authorized advertising to replace retiring environmental services resource specialist Retta Freeman, who has retired, and to add a new permit intake person to that department, who will also specialize in a
WALKER - Cass County Board members decided Tuesday to begin replacing county highway garage buildings in four cities. Two more garages still would be replaced 10 to 15 years from now. The county had been on a program to repair and upgrade existing highway garages to try to buy 10 years before replacement would be needed.
BACKUS - Merritt Bussiere, University of Minnesota Extension educator, presented an eight-county analysis of second homeowners from a survey extension conducted. The counties include Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Aitkin, Wadena, Todd, Morrison and Benton. About 47 percent of Cass County residences are second homes for the owners, he said.
BACKUS - Cass County Probation Department has begun to assess each client's potential to reoffend in an effort to help offenders avoid committing new offenses, Jim Schneider, director told the county board Tuesday. He presented his annual report to the board. He said county probation officers now look at each client's belief system, who they hang out with and what their temperament is to determine where the officer can help them change their lifestyle to help them turn around their life. "The goal is to facilitate the client's effort to change their behavior, which in turn lowers their risk
BACKUS - Cass County Board approved a two-year contract Tuesday with Teamsters General Local Union 346 representing dispatch and records personnel in the sheriff's department. It follows the same terms as previously approved agreements with other bargaining units — 2.5 percent raise this year and in 2016, plus step increases in July for those who have worked for the county 10 years or less. This contract grants employees a $25 increase each year for their clothing allowance, making that allowance $750 this year and $775 in 2016. Employment terms generally follow those in contracts alr
BACKUS - About 50 people living between Backus and Akeley signed a petition presented to Cass County commissioners Tuesday, asking the board "to defend our area from the abusive practices of industrial agriculture." The petition was signed on various dates from September 2014 to January 2015.
BACKUS - Environmental Services Director John Ringle obtained county board approval Tuesday for a 2015 aquatic invasive species (AIS) budget using state allocated money for that purpose. The $450,000 budget will use $171,000 left over from Cass's 2014 state and local AIS funds and $279,000 from the 2015 state grant.
WALKER - Jail Administrator Joel Norenberg reported Tuesday the number of Cass County jail inmates has increased. The number of female prisoners has risen to the point the county is having trouble finding available jail cells to board them, he added. Male and female prisoners must be held in separate housing areas of a jail under state regulations. Currently, Norenberg said, Cass has eight women held in a separate pod of its jail in Walker. Another eight are held at Crow Wing County Jail.
WALKER - Medical Examiner Michael McGee reported 92 people died in Cass County during 2014. Of that number, private physicians signed death certificates for 41 decedents. McGee's office at the Ramsey County accepted 51 death cases for autopsies. He signed death certificates without examination for 10 and did complete autopsies with toxicology reports for 41. In 2014, 69 people died of natural causes, 16 from accidents, six from suicide and one case was undetermined.