"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Saturday, October 25th, 2014
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So much snow... no where to put it


By Angie Rodenburg

Fri, Mar 7th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Snow plow drivers are working hard to improve visibility at intersections and push snow into already full ditches. Photo by Angie Rodenburg

By Angie Rodenburg

Driving on Highway 43 into Rushford the other day, I couldn’t help but notice the snow drifts that towered several feet above my car. In that moment I couldn’t help but be thankful that despite the massive amount of snow we’ve accumulated this winter, I was still able to drive safely on a clear road. It reminded me of all the hard working snow plow drivers have done and continue to do for us this winter. Dealing with the snow in my driveway can be frustrating enough. I’m glad I can rest assured that the roads will be taken care of.

Mike Dougherty, our district’s MnDOT public affairs coordinator, says, “They [snow plow driver’s] take great pride in their work.” Snow plow drivers work around the clock, with each driver taking a 12 hour shift at a time. Many breaks are allotted for such long shifts, ensuring that the drivers do not get over-tired.

Snow plow drivers are having an especially difficult time this winter trying to push new snow into already full ditches. Due to the intense cold there has been very little snow melting. MnDOT has had to pull out the big machines in order to push back the huge snow piles; using front end loaders, snow blowers, and road graders. “It had been one of the toughest winters that Minnesota has seen,” said Dougherty.

While pushing back piles is important to snow plow drivers, the top priority is to make sure the highways are clean. Safety is MnDOT’s main focus, according to Dougherty. Snow plow drivers are doing what they can to improve visibility at intersections, though it has proved to be a difficult task with this amount of snow. MnDOT asks that motorists take extra caution and notify them via phone or email if they encounter a problem area.

MnDOT advises motorists drive a little slower and plan the trip to take a little longer. Also, for the safety of snow plow drivers and motorists alike, give snow plow drivers plenty of space. “Don’t crowd the plow,” reminded Ron Gregg of the Fillmore County Highway Department. It is recommended that there be five car lengths between cars and plows. Being patient and alert will ensure everyone gets where they are going safely. In January alone there have been seven plow/vehicle accidents in Minnesota. Thankfully there were no serious injuries.

Ron Gregg, Fillmore County Highway Department County Engineer, asks that motorists give the plow drivers a little .....
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Winter recovery - car care

By Angie Rodenburg

Fri, Mar 7th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Winter has a way of wreaking havoc on our vehicles. Between the bitter cold, snow, sand, and ice it is no wonder that vehicles can encounter a whole slew of problems here in the Great White North. As we start to see the (hopefully) soon coming thaw, ..... 
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With winter trail recreation strong, DNR urges caution

Thu, Feb 20th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

With winter trail recreation up this year, the Department of Natural Resources advises people to be aware that some winter trails, such as groomed ski trails, are not open to bicyclists. “We have had a great snowmobile and cross-country ski sea ..... 
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Legacy Amendment funds habitat restoration near Root River Trail

Fri, Feb 14th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Thirty acres of rare habitat in southeastern Minnesota are getting an ecological makeover thanks to a voter-approved tax and a partnership between the Department of Natural Resources and the Nature Conservancy. Located three miles north of Preston ..... 
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Even kids put the “International” in the Festival of Owls

Fri, Feb 14th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

By Karla Bloem When the Friends of the Houston Nature Center started the Owl Festival way back in 2003, it was simply called the Festival of Owls. Then in 2007 they added the World Owl Hall of Fame and people began flying to Houston from all over t ..... 
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The National Trapper’s Association brings their biggest trapping and outdoor expo to Escanaba, Mich.

Fri, Feb 7th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Trappers and their families from across the U.S. and Canada are putting in for vacation days for July 24-27, 2014 to attend the NTA Expo in Escanaba, Mich. at the U.P. State Fairgrounds. This will be one of the biggest outdoor events ever held in Mi ..... 
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Fillmore County survives arctic cold, polar vortex moves out

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Jan 10th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

For the first time in 17 years, all Minnesota public schools were ordered closed by Governor Mark Dayton on Monday, January 6 due to dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills. The last Minnesota governor to close public schools statewide was Arn ..... 
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Preston’s Candlelight Ski & Chili Cook-off

Fri, Jan 10th, 2014
Posted in Preston The Great Outdoors

Let it snow - just in time for Preston’s annual Candlelight Ski & Chili Cook-Off event! Bundle up and come on down to the Trailhead Inn office on Saturday evening, January 18 to ski on the trail and to test-taste some wonderful chili contest entri ..... 
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DNR launches habitat restoration projects at two southeast SNAs

Fri, Jan 10th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will conduct habitat restoration projects involving tree removal and other work this winter on two state nature preserves in the southeast corner of the state. At Mound Prairie Scientific and Natural A ..... 
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