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Sheriff Connolly looks back


Fri, Feb 18th, 2005
Posted in Features

Shortly after announcing his plans to retire, Jim Connolly sat down with the Journal to reflect back on his years as Fillmore County Sheriff. He was first asked why he was stepping down at the age of fifty-one.

It just feels like the right time, Mr. Connolly said, Ive been in the business thirty-two years and everything is going very well at the sheriffs office and Im real happy with what Im doing. So I think that its time to go. I always hoped that Id go when people would ask me why I was going and not wait until they wished Id gone five years before.

Mr. Connollys first job in law enforcement began before he was even twenty years old. He worked for a couple years as a police officer in the towns of Lanesboro and Chatfield, before joining the County force.

I worked contracts in Spring Valley and then I was a road deputy. I moved on to investigator and then chief deputy, Mr. Connolly recalled. When former Sheriff Gudmundson resigned in 1989 and moved to Lakeville, I was appointed Sheriff.

Mr. Connolly has since won four elections; each time running unopposed. Fortunately Ive never bought a campaign sign, he said. But Ive never forgotten either that its the people who put me in here.

His sixteen year tenure at the post makes him the second longest serving sheriff in Fillmore County history. Only E.K. Blexrud, with twenty-two years as sheriff, served longer (1896-1918).

Mr. Connolly recalled that when he started as sheriff the county jail would typically have four to five prisoners at any one time. And if we got up to twelve or so people we felt like we were full, he said. Now were averaging twenty to twenty-five and if we get down to twelve or fourteen we feel like the jail is empty.

Among the reasons Mr. Connolly attributed to the higher jail population is tougher drunk driving laws and harsher penalties, and the state sending prisoners back to the county to serve sentences of a year or less.

The most contributing factor, though, is methamphetamine. Meth is a major problem and our biggest challenge, Mr Connolly said. Weve been dealing with it in Fillmore County on an increasing basis for the last three or four years.

Fillmore County, along with neighboring counties, is a member of the Southeast Minnesota Drug Task Force. We t .....
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The Year of the Rooster

Fri, Feb 18th, 2005
Posted in Features

It was hard to say when winter arrived. The decline was gradual, like that of a person into old age, inconspicuous from day to day until the season became an established relentless reality.  --Allain de Botton The Art of Tra ..... 
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Cozumel getaway

Fri, Feb 11th, 2005
Posted in Features

It was a few years in the making, but during Christmas and New Years, it all came together for Jim and Ruth Ostrem of rural Lanesboro. Their four children and families came from Minnesota, New Mexico and Virginia on Christmas Day to sunny Isla Cozum ..... 
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Sheriff Connolly resigns

Fri, Feb 11th, 2005
Posted in Features

Fillmore County Sheriff Jim Connolly offered his resignation to the board to be effective April 29, 2005. Chairman Amunrud thanked him for his long service of 32 years, 16 of which he served as sheriff. Sheriff Connolly thanked his staff for their su ..... 
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Hearing set for Lutes-Scrabeck project

Fri, Feb 11th, 2005
Posted in Features

On Tuesday night, February 8, the Harmony City Council authorized their city attorney to begin drafting the development agreement for the Lutes-Scrabeck First Addition project. They also set a public hearing for March 8 on the matter.

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Fillmore County District Court: Wykoff woman charged with manufacture of methamphetamine

Fri, Feb 11th, 2005
Posted in Features

Pamela Sue Burns, 55, of Wykoff, was charged in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, February 7, with six felony counts related to the manufacture of methamphetamine and one misdemeanor charge of obstructing the legal process.

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Preston City Council Report: Police office expansion

Fri, Feb 11th, 2005
Posted in Features

A proposal for an expansion of the police office at city hall was approved at the Monday, February 7, council meeting. City Administrator Joe Hoffman described the size limitations of the city police office that only has space enough for one desk. Pr ..... 
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Commonweals The Wild Duck explores the nature of truth

Fri, Feb 11th, 2005
Posted in Features

Know a dirty little secret about someone that youre just dying to tell?

Are you sometimes tempted to blab things because, you tell yourself, the truth should be known, regardless?

Before you tell your next ..... 
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R-P School Board discusses facilities at special meeting

Fri, Feb 4th, 2005
Posted in Features

The R-P school board met Monday, January 31, in a working session theyd set up to discuss the issue of facilities.

Board chair Jim Kitchens expressed his hope that the group could come to consensus and offer some direction to S ..... 
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