"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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DNR defends plans for Forestville Trail


Fri, Aug 6th, 2010
Posted in Court

A hearing in Winona on August 4 marked another leg in the lawsuit brought by the John Snyder and Vernon Ristau families against the State of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the city of Preston. Attorney Jill Schlick Nguyen of the Minnesota Attorney General's Office (MN DNR) argued "clearly an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) is not mandatory here."

Attorney Brent Kleffman, Peterson, Logren and Kilbury, P.A., representing the Snyder and Ristau families, insisted an EAW must be done.

District Court Judge Jeffrey D. Thompson admitted he does not have a background in the environmental issues in question, but assured the parties involved that he would study the reports and documents carefully and issue a ruling as soon as he could.

History

When the Preston City Council adopted a resolution to acquire the remaining needed properties on March 2, 2009, by exercising their power of eminent domain, the first leg of the relay was triggered. The revised resolution passed that day noted the efforts over the past decade of the Joint Powers Board and "particularly the city of Preston" to acquire the property for the construction of the Preston-Forestville Recreational Trail system. The resolution stated 17 needed properties had been acquired but three parcels, totaling less than six acres, owned by Snyder and Ristau family members, still needed to be acquired for the project.

The legal process, executed by attorney David Joerg representing the city, was set into motion in April 2009. Joerg had agreed to be special counsel for the city of Preston regarding the eminent domain proceedings without cost. Abundant requests for depositions and discovery have been ongoing and commenced almost immediately.

The landowners petitioned for an Environmental Review in August 2009. The citizen petition with 25 citizen signatures was directed to the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board requesting an EAW or more detailed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

On September 28, 2009, a stay was issued by Judge Thompson until the Minnesota Supreme Court could decide the city of Granite Falls vs. the Soo Line Railroad. The stay was lifted by agreement in early 2010 after the city of Preston filed a motion to have the stay lifted on the grounds the issues involved were unrelated federal issues.

A formal complaint was filed October 14, 2009, by the Snyder and Ristau families against the Minnesota DNR an .....
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Fillmore County District Court - August 2, 2010

Fri, Jul 30th, 2010
Posted in Court

On July 26, 2010, Laura Lynn Kahoun, a 27-year old white female from Rushford, MN, appeared in District Court with her attorney, Frederick S. Suhler, before Judge Robert R. Benson facing four counts involving controlled substance crime in the fifth ..... 
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Judge Benson one of three Minnesota judges to receive an ASTAR fellowship

Fri, Jul 30th, 2010
Posted in Court

District Court Judge Robert Benson recently received an award commemorating his election to a fellowship by ASTAR, a member of the Einstein Institute for Science, Health and the Courts. To earn the fellowship, he completed a rigorous 18-month course ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court - July 26, 2010

Fri, Jul 23rd, 2010
Posted in Court

On Monday, July 19, 2010, Charles David Sackett, a 26-year old white male from Winona, appeared before Judge Robert R. Benson in District Court facing two counts involving check forgery and offering a forged check. If convicted, the maximum sentence ..... 
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Fillmore County Sheriff Daryl Jensen announces 2010 Fillmore County Sheriff's Office Citizens Academy

Fri, Jul 23rd, 2010
Posted in Court

After a successful 2009 Citizens Academy, Sheriff Jensen said he and his staff are ready for the second academy in September. Jensen said the first academy was a great experience for everyone involved. Sheriff Jensen added that they have made some m ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court

Fri, Jul 16th, 2010
Posted in Court

Steve Clifford Johnson appeared before Judge Robert Benson in District Court on Monday, July 12, 2010, for sentencing. Frederick Suhler, Jr. was the defense attorney in this case; Brett Corson was the prosecuting attorney.

Based on the defen ..... 
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Bahr sentenced to 12 years in prison

Fri, Jul 2nd, 2010
Posted in Court

Stanley William Bahr appeared before Judge Robert R. Benson in District Court Monday, June 28, 2010, for sentencing. On March 26, 2010, a jury found him guilty of six counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first and second degrees that involved so ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court - June 28, 2010

Fri, Jun 25th, 2010
Posted in Court

Richard Donald Young, Jr., a 19-year old white male from Chatfield, appeared before Judge Robert R. Benson in District Court Monday, June 21, 2010, facing five counts for his part in aiding and abetting in criminal damage to property in the first an ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court - May 31, 2010

Fri, May 28th, 2010
Posted in Court

Steven Clifford Johnson, a 28-year old male from Chatfield, appeared before Judge Robert R. Benson in District Court Tuesday, May 25, 2010, facing one count of controlled substance crime in the fifth degree, possession; one count of possession of ma ..... 
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