"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Initiative Fund helps Rushford evaluate their community


Fri, Feb 14th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) presented their "site visit reflections" to the Rushford Community Thursday night at the Rushford-Peterson school theater to an audience of approximately twenty-four people. SMIF had visited Rushford for a day on November 18, 2002. At that time they met with twenty-six community members and discussed the civic, public service, and economic infrastructures of the city. After an additional two days of staff reflection, the SMIF team put together their preliminary impressions, acknowledging that more fact finding and more input of finite information was needed.In these reflections, SMIF found Rushford’s strengths to include: • people committed to getting things done well;•varied community based organizations such as EDA, service clubs, and religious organizations;•diversity of jobs which aid the economy and lead to a viable economic community; •strong educational system with school-to-work, higher education availability, early childhood classes & longevity of staff in the K-12 school;• aesthetics of the natural environment;• quality of life with a safe environment and recreational opportunities;• a local clinic and an airport;• communication resources such as DSL and a local newspaper.At this point in the presentation, it seemed as though SMIF was describing Garrison Keillor’s fictional town, "Where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above-average." SMIF went on, though, to reflect on the weaknesses or "threats to the viability" of Rushford. These threats included:•public sector efficiency including the tax burden, conflict between governmental units, and lack of city/school/business partnership;• educational costs and needs including school funding and facilities, decline in enrollment and technology needs;•housing affordability and rental availability;•employment (especially employment opportunities for families and young people);• lack of diversity;• isolationism with a resistance to broader perspectives of the "outside" world;• lack of structure to develop community leaders.SMIF did not end on that note, but rather went on to detail the opportunities offered, suggesting the following possibiliti .....
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New administrator attends first Harmony council meeting

Fri, Feb 14th, 2003
Posted in Features

Due to bad weather on the evening of the Harmony City Council’s meeting, this reporter wasn’t able to attend. However, a telephone interview with the city’s new Administrator was conducted.

Jerome Illg of Brooklyn Park, MN atten ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report

Fri, Feb 7th, 2003
Posted in Features

Editor’s note: Due to inclement weather, the Journal’s reporter was unable to attend Monday night’s meeting. The following article is based on an interview with City Administrator Barbara Hoyhtya.  By John Torgrimson&n ..... 
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Choosing to live in rural America

Fri, Feb 7th, 2003
Posted in Features

A December article in the New York Times was titled "Pastoral Poverty; The Seeds of Despair." The article compared the current "rural collapse" to the inner city collapse of a few decades ago, and focused on poor rural counties all over the United St ..... 
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Commissioners’ Report

Fri, Feb 7th, 2003
Posted in Features

"With the Board’s approval, I will be applying for a state and federal Domestic Preparedness Equipment and Training Grant," said Larry Hunt, Emergency Services Director, as he addressed the Commissioners during their weekly meeting. The money would b ..... 
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Preston City Council Report

Fri, Feb 7th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Preston City Council met February 3, even though Monday presented the Preston area with the most inclement weather of the season. In what has been an unusually calm winter, the intense wind, blowing snow and falling temperatures brought everyone ..... 
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Benson rules in zoning case

Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Features

Judge Robert Benson has denied a request by Fillmore County for a summary judgement in a zoning dispute between the county and Eli Slabaugh of rural Canton Township.

Former Fillmore County Attorney Matt Opat filed the civil act ..... 
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Commissioners’ Report: Social Services’ budget safe from state cuts for now

Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Features

"I don’t see much that’s going to effect the county," Tom Boyd, Fillmore County Social Services Director, told the county board on Tuesday. Boyd was commenting on the state’s potential budget cuts and the impact they may have on his department. This ..... 
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The devil is in the details

Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Features

Kane & Johnson Architects, Inc. of Rochester, brought back more revisions to the courthouse remodeling project after several meetings were held with the architects, Judge Robert Benson, Court Administrator James Attwood, Sheriff Jim Connolly, and Com ..... 
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