The Regional Report: News from around the lakes area - Aug. 26

CAMP RIPLEY A new executive director will lead the Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley, the Morrison County Record reported. Randal Dietrich recently took over the helm. Dietrich spent 12 years with the Minnesota Historical Society collabora...

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A new executive director will lead the Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley, the Morrison County Record reported. Randal Dietrich recently took over the helm. Dietrich spent 12 years with the Minnesota Historical Society collaborating with the military museum on projects related to various wars.


Whether to include the names and topics covered by residents at open forum in meeting minutes was a point of discussion at a Manhattan Beach City Council meeting, the Echo Journal reported. City Clerk/Treasurer Amy Wannebo proposed including the information, while the rest of the city council opposed it. Mayor Paul Allen asked what the point was, adding an open forum is not required by law. Wannebo said she was in favor of the change because residents asked for it. The council voted 3-1 to not include the information.



The Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office will soon see a changing of the guard within its K-9 ranks, the Mille Lacs Messenger reported. K-9 Yazz is approaching retirement, having served the county since 2011. While in service, Yazz has recovered $10,000 in illegal drugs and is responsible for the seizure of $10,000 of assets and currency. The K-9 also apprehended more than 90 suspects and is the most decorated K-9 the county has seen. A new German shepard named Bongo is learning the ways of Yazz.


The Morrison County Board is considering adding a job title to the county's social services director, the Morrison County Record reported. Under the proposal, Brad Vold would also serve as the public health director, although the departments would remain separate in the county's structure. If approved, the move could save the county between $37,000 and $64,000, by not hiring a new public health director. Vold has been serving as the interim public health director.


City employees in Motley may borrow city equipment for personal use "from time to time," the Morrison County Record reported. The city council recently clarified a policy that appeared to contradict itself-first stating employees could not use equipment, and then stating they could with department head permission. The equipment can't be used for commercial purposes and must be stored at employees' homes unless approved by the council.

A high school math teacher will take over as Motley-Staples Middle School principal, the Staples World reported. John Regan, who taught in the district, was hired for the leadership role immediately after he submitted his resignation for his teacher post.


Turnback of 6 miles of roads related to the Highway 371 reconstruction may be delayed, the Pequot Lakes City Council learned earlier this month. City officials anticipated road exchanges to take place by April 2018, but learned it could be extended to November 2018. This means $4.6 million toward the city's budget would also be delayed, throwing a wrench in budget planning. Council members asked city administrator Nancy Malecha to draft a letter to the Minnesota Department of Transportation explaining complications the delay would cause.



A solar power project hanging in the balance might get one last chance, the Pine River-Backus School Board learned. The Echo Journal reported the project was in trouble when Little Falls School District pulled out, although Central Lakes College officials have shown interest. The project includes installation of solar panels at PR-B, Pequot Lakes schools and Leech Lake Tribal College.


Swanville Public Schools was one of 59 school districts in the state selected to receive additional funding this year from the state for its preschool program, the Morrison County Record reported. The preschool program is free for students ages 4 and 5, four days a week. The additional funding would allow 3-year-olds to attend for free two of those days.


Wadena-Deer Creek School District voters will be asked to decide on two ballot questions this November: authorization for building bonds to improve the district's elementary school, and an increase in the district's overall operating levy, the Wadena Pioneer Journal reported. The operating levy would equate to an increase of $350 per pupil.

-- Compiled by Chelsey Perkins, community editor. Perkins may be reached at 218-855-5874 or . Follow her on Twitter @DispatchChelsey or on Facebook at .

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