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.
WALKER — Cass County Board accepted a 2015-16 wage agreement with Minnesota Teamsters Public and Law Enforcement Employees' Union for county sheriff patrol and jail employees. The new contract follows a uniform county pay scale, which includes a 2.5 percent increase from the 2014 scale and gives another 2.5 percent raise in 2016. It also follows uniform clothing allowance changes as approved in agreements signed last month with two other bargaining units. Each employee also receives a step increase on the pay scale July 1 each year to recognize another year of service to the county.
WALKER — Emily Senta, Cass community health specialist, reported to the county board Tuesday she has begun initiating programs to help people learn more about simple recipes to make better use of fresh foods for meals. She is expanding upon tools available from the state health improvement program to make people who use the food shelves and the general public more aware of how to make more use of fresh meat and vegetables in their meals, she said. Classes, cooking demonstrations and videos are all means to get the message to the public, she said. Commissioner Neal Gaalswyk suggested m
BACKUS - Cass County Board voted Tuesday to hire attorney Paul Reuvers to represent Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch in a pending lawsuit. The sheriff and a private property owner are being sued, because the buyer of the property owner's land has been unable to record the land sale due to insufficient documentation about the land ownership, according to Cass Chief Financial Officer Larry Wolfe. The sheriff has been involved in the dispute, because the sheriff is the person scheduled separately to conduct a tax forfeiture sale of the property Jan. 23. The property has a Torrens title.