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Heartland mandamus suit moved to federal court


Fri, Jan 16th, 2004
Posted in Features

On Friday, January 9, Attorney John Baker, who is representing the city of Preston in a second mandamus suit brought by Bob and Elaine Maust, filed papers moving the suit from state to federal court.

The Mausts are asking the court to grant a writ of mandamus ordering the city to grant a building permit that was denied to Heartland Energy & Recycling on November 3.

Baker told the Journal that he filed the removal to federal court because the suit includes a federal claim that the city violated the Mausts due process in denying the building permit.

In the Mausts mandamus suit, the plaintiffs state that the city’s action “constitutes fundamental procedural irregularity and truly arbitrary conduct prohibited by the due process clauses of the Minnesota and United States Constitutions (14th Amend-ment).

“The federal courts are historically more experienced in dealing with constitutional matters,” Baker said, as justification for the move to federal court.

Baker said that he is confident that the Mausts 14th Amendment claim is invalid. “We believe the court will agree,” Baker said.

The federal court has the option of choosing to hear the case or sending it back to the state court; or they may choose to deal only with the constitutional matter and leave the balance of the suit to the lower courts.

The Mausts are proposing to build a $50 million plant in Preston that would burn scrap tires to produce electricity.In the first mandamus suit, Judge James Fabian ruled on December 3, that the city acted arbitrarily in denying the Mausts a permit. The city implemented the court order by issuing the Mausts a permit to make alterations to their existing building.

Baker believes that the central issue in this suit, that was absent from the first mandamus suit, is the interim moratorium ordinance implemented by the city council on November 18.

“The interim ordinance didn’t apply in the first suit,” Baker said. “We believe it applies squarely in this case.”

No date has been scheduled in federal court to hear the suit.

Fillmore County District Court

Fri, Jan 16th, 2004
Posted in Features

Felony Charges

Lee Allan Comstock, 20, of Wykoff, appeared in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, January 12, on charges of felony burglary in the second degree.

According to the criminal complaint, ..... 
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Harmony City Council Report: Council reviews ordinances

Fri, Jan 16th, 2004
Posted in Features

Paula Michels, of Harmony, joined council members at the table at their Tuesday, January 13 meeting, as the group began to review sections of the ordinances. Michels has been incorporating the city’s ordinances with a League of Minnesota Cities model ..... 
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Rushford City Council Report: Substation transformer bill still in question

Fri, Jan 16th, 2004
Posted in Features

Who put the water in the city’s substation transformer? Who should be responsible for the subsequent bills to repair said transformer? These questions still plagued the Rushford City Council January 12th at their first meeting of 2004. While the coun ..... 
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Legislators meet with county officials

Fri, Jan 16th, 2004
Posted in Features

Senator Robert Kierlin and Representative Greg Davids met with Fillmore County officials on Tuesday, January 13, to discuss the upcoming legislative session which begins in February.  Various department heads spoke to the two ..... 
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Meth, ice, crank, speed – it’s all the same poison

Fri, Jan 9th, 2004
Posted in Features

Editor’s note: This is the first of two articles dealing with the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine and the impact meth is having on the lives of people in Fillmore County. Part two of this series will appear in our January 19 issue of the Journ ..... 
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County Commissioners: Zoning works toward more septic system inspections

Fri, Jan 9th, 2004
Posted in Features

Fillmore County Coordinator Karen Brown started off the board’s annual meeting by entertaining motions for the 2004 Chairman. Commissioner Randy Dahl, Second District was elected, with Commissioner Chuck Amunrud, Third District voted in as Vice Chair ..... 
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Candidates for Preston City Council speak out

Fri, Jan 9th, 2004
Posted in Features

On Thursday, January 15, Preston voters will go to the polls to fill the vacanct city council position created by the death of Mike Gartner. Three candidates, Steve Knoepke, Robert Sauer, and Mike Sveen, are officially running for this seat, which ha ..... 
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Preston City Council: McGarvey’s seat remains open; Steve Corson hired as City Attorney

Fri, Jan 9th, 2004
Posted in Features

Preston's City Council met Monday evening with four members at the table. Mike McGarvey’s seat was empty. Mr. McGarvey had written a letter to the council attempting to postpone his resignation from the council until January 6, 2004, so that he could ..... 
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