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Fillmore County District Court: Mortens attorney asks that Judge Benson be removed


Fri, Oct 10th, 2003
Posted in Features

The attorney for Trevor Morten has filed a petition with the Minnesota Court of Appeals asking that Judge Robert Benson be removed from the case.

Morten is charged with second degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Tim Loeding on August 29 outside Mortens Spring Valley Township home. Morten, a convicted felon, is also charged with two felony counts of Discharge of Firearm and Felon in Possession of Firearm.

Morten appeared in Fillmore County District Court on September 4 for a Rule 5 hearing. At that time Benson ordered Morten to undergo psychiatric evaluation at the St. Peter Security Hospital to see if Morten was able to participate in his own defense. Benson continued the Rule 5 hearing to a later date.

Around mid-September Mort-en hired Attorney Chris Ritts of Minneapolis to represent him. On September 16, Ritts asked that Benson remove himself from the case. Typically, an attorney has the right to ask a judge to be removed from the case before the trial or hearing starts. After that period, the defense attorney must show cause for why the judge needs to be removed. Benson, however, refused to step down stating that Ritts request wasnt timely in meeting the state statute requirement.

Ritts then filed the petition to the state Court of Appeals. No reasons for Bensons removal were given.

As of this writing, Judge Benson is still the judge of record and is scheduled to continue Mortens Rule 5 hearing on October 27. Morten has been released on $100,000 conditional bail.

In other developments, Judge Benson has ordered that the Mayo Clinic/St. Marys Hospital release medical records of Morten for when he was being evaluated at the medical facility following his arrest. Fillmore County Attorney Patrick Oman wrote in his request to Judge Benson that Mortens mood swings at the time of the incident are similar to behavior shown by methamphetamine users.

Fillmore County vs.

Eli Slabaugh

A trial date has been set for a zoning dispute between Eli Slabaugh of rural Canton Township and Fillmore County. The trial will begin in Fillmore County District Court in Chatfield on December 10.

The dispute centers around the location of Slabaughs house, which was built 300 feet from the survey line of a rock quarry, in violation of Fillmore Coun .....
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Preston City Council Report: Sauer fills council vacancy

Fri, Oct 10th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Preston City Council met in the basement of the F & M Community Bank Monday night to accommodate the great number of citizens that were expected to attend.

The council faced a busy agenda which allowed adjournment after fou ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: City Administrator takes steps to improve city books

Fri, Oct 10th, 2003
Posted in Features

Bobbie Torgerson stepped into her role of city administrator and submitted her plan to correct negative cash balances in city funds at the October 6th Lanesboro Council meeting. Some of the funds had corresponding CDs which Torgerson suggested cashin ..... 
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October is National Pork Month: Yes I work with pigs, and darn proud of it!

Fri, Oct 10th, 2003
Posted in Features

I havent woke up once and not wanted to go to work. My favorite part of the job is Life being born every day."   Kim Merkel   Farrowing Manager

The swine industry has taken man ..... 
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Eagle Bluff celebrates 25th anniversary

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2003
Posted in Features

Joe Deden recalls plowing out the long drive way at Eagle Bluff one winter day more than 20 years ago, only to run out of diesel fuel midway through the task. He cross country skied down to his nearest neighbor, John Horihans place in the valley, wi ..... 
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Judge Wieners to hear MPCA challenge December 2 in Olmsted County

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2003
Posted in Features

Olmsted County Judge Joseph Wieners will hear oral arguments on a motion for a summary judgement against the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in Courtroom 6 of the Olmsted County Government Center in Rochester beginning December 2. Wieners w ..... 
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Age is a state of mind for Cherry Grove woman

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2003
Posted in Features

The thirst for knowledge and the possibilities of what technology can do for one is not limited by your age or your generation. Someone once said that "it is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end. [Read the Rest]

Morton out on bail

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2003
Posted in Features

Trevor Lee Morton, 30, of rural Spring Valley was released on $100,000 bail after completing a psychiatric evaluation at the St. Peter Security Hospital.

Judge Robert Benson ordered the evaluation to determine if Morton was abl ..... 
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Sierra Club meets with farmers

Fri, Sep 26th, 2003
Posted in Features

Sierra Club members met with local farmers Saturday, September 20 at the Root River Church of the Brethren in rural Preston to discuss issues of sustainable agriculture.   The meeting was led by Jeff Webster, a 25-year reside ..... 
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