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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Friday, January 30th, 2015
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Rushford-Peterson responds to concerns; renews superintendent contract


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Education



Due to time constraints at the December 17 school board meeting, a special meeting was called December 22. The meeting was well attended by the public, as was the previous meeting, with more than 20 citizens waiting to hear the district’s response to recent concerns and the outcome of the superintendent’s contract.

A two-page memorandum from Tom Melcher, school finance director for the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), was presented in regards to the district eligibility for Natural Disaster Debt Service Equalization. Many in the district have argued concern over state aid. While not guaranteed, Greg Crowe, of Ehlers & Associates, the financial firm assisting the district with the referendum and new school initiative, has stated on multiple occasions that there is no reason to expect funding to be pulled by the state.

Per state statute, three conditions must be met in order to for the district to qualify for state aid for the New School Initiative, a $38.1 million pre-K through grade 12 facility. First, “The district was impacted by a natural disaster event or area occurring January 1, 2005, or later, as declared by the President, which is eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency payments (FEMA).” The community was impacted by a 500-year flood in 2007 and the Rushford facility, while not under water, did sustain damages.

Secondly, “The natural disaster caused $500,000 or more in damages to school district buildings.” This aspect of the eligibility requirements has been subject to much speculation and varying interpretation, according to James Noble, representative from the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor. Noble stated that the district will qualify for state aid, despite some of the $734,695.66 in FEMA grants and disaster aid being utilized for equipment, grounds, and hazard mitigation and not directly to the facilities themselves.

Melcher also echoed this assurance, noting that MDE had used restorative costs of school facilities to pre-disaster function and capacity as defined by FEMA. According to Melcher, this included “Essential components and steps other than just the cost of construction contracts for repairs to the main building.” These components include cleanup, planning, project management, and replacement of equipment and restoration of grounds.

The last piece of eligibility states, “The repair and replacement costs a .....
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Journal Writing Project: Not just a ‘New’ Year

By Jeremiah Munson

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Journal Student Writing Project

Most people are aware of and participate in the tradition of a “New Year’s Resolution.” Whether you want to exercise more, spend more time with your family, or be a little more adventurous, New Year’s resolutions can cover just about every ..... 
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Rushford hits at rate changes, law enforcement trends

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

Discussion from the December 8 council meeting, regarding water and sewer rate structure and charges, continued December 22. The city is eyeing plans to address operating needs, capital improvement, debt service, and existing shortfalls. Any rate ch ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson faces tough questions on new school issues

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Education

Talk moves swiftly in tight-knit communities and recent rumblings over potential problems with Rushford-Peterson’s New School Initiative, and the subsequent referendum, led more than 55 citizens to pack into the high school biology room for the ..... 
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Fire Department receives massive donation

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

Christmas has come early for the Rushford Fire Department. December 17, representatives from Farmers Co-op Elevator (FCE) presented the department with a $20,000 donation to the volunteer department to be used for the purchase of equipment. Seizin ..... 
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Ray C. Humble

Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Obituaries

Ray C. Humble, 93, of Rushford, Minn. died on Friday, December 12, 2014, at Seasons Hospice in Rochester, Minn. Ray was born on July 23, 1921, on the home farm in Norway Township of Fillmore County, Minn. He attended the Dolalie School and Gradu ..... 
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Rushford considers rate changes

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 15th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

A work session regarding proposed changes to water and sewer rate changes was held prior to the Monday, December 8 council meeting with Bill Chang and Mark Lundgren of MSA Professional Services. The rates modification seeks to address operating ne ..... 
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Edward Robert Fogal

Mon, Dec 15th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Obituaries

Edward Robert Fogal, 99 of Rushford, went to meet his Lord on Friday, December 5, 2014 at Winona Health. Ed was born March 12, 1915 in Waseca to Joe and Anna (Janike) Fogal. He married Agnes Habeck on June 28, 1933. Ed began working for the railroa ..... 
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Parade of Lights to benefit SEMCAC Food Shelf in Rushford

Mon, Dec 8th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Arts & Culture

RUSHFORD, MN – Merchants Bank is once again helping to organize the Rushford Parade of Lights at 7 p.m., Saturday, December 13 in downtown Rushford. Cookies, cocoa and cider will be served at the Rushford Fire Hall during and after the parade. ..... 
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