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2010: Year in Review

January 1, 2011
By Independent Staff

Area troops were welcomed home just before Easter with open and loving arms after a year of serving overseas. The chill in the air was no match for the warm feelings shared by everyone on the grounds of the Marshall National Guard Armory that day as Minnesota National Guard troops from the 151st Artillery, A Battery, returned from serving in the Middle East. The welcome home ceremony wound its way through the streets of Marshall and was truly one of the most memorable moments of 2010. But there were other times in the past year that most area residents would rather forget, like the September rains that raised doubts about the year's harvest and flooded roads, parks, and basements in and around Marshall. And, of course, 2010 was an election year as we said goodbye to a few longstanding policymakers from the area. The 2010 Year in Review includes the highs and the lows of the past 365 days, broken down in a month-by-month format:


The Marshall School Board had the first of three public hearings on flexible learning in front of only one public citizen. Marshall is one of many school districts in the region that started the school year early in 2010. The school board also elected officers; Jeff Chapman and Tim Swenson retained their officers, Matt Coleman was elected vice chairman and Bill Mulso was elected to the position of clerk.

Article Photos

Independent file photos

In one of the area’s brighter and most memorable days of 2010, members of the Minnesota National Guard troops from the 151st Artillery, A?Battery, returned home in April after a year of duty in the Middle East. The streets of Marshall came alive with hundreds of people gathering to welcome the troops home as they pulled into town and unloaded at the Marshall National Guard Armory. The weather was another big story in 2010, as the photos on the right show.

Wage and hiring freezes were put into effect by the Lyon County Board of Commissioners. The board voted 4-1 in favor of removing a county wage, hiring and capital equipment purchase freeze.

Minneota council member Tony Esping will finish the late Paul Larson's term as mayor.

Marshall and the area dug out of another winter storm that brought in a few more inches of snow and 40 mph winds and stopped snow plows from clearing the roads.

Minnesota's looming budget deficit was at the top of the agenda at the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce's legislative session.

Tracy City Administrator Audrey Koopman retains her post on a 6-1 vote by the city council.

The Marshall City Council got an updated look at the design for the new library to be built in Marshall. The size of the library, the council was told, has been shaved from 29,800 square feet to 22,800 square feet.

An open house took place for the newly-renovated Lincoln HI High School.

The Lyon County Board passed a resolution to not reappoint James Hubley as the Veterans Service Officer.

Taylor Gronau, a senior at Southwest Minnesota State University, announced he will run for outgoing House 21A Representative Marty Seifert's seat.

Another blast of winter hit the area, closing roads in and around Marshall. Stranded travelers filled hotels in Marshall, while others headed to the Marshall National Guard Armory.


Precinct caucuses drew large numbers of people hoping to narrow the field of candidates for Minnesota governor. In Marshall more than 140 people attended the Republican caucus, a local record for a non-presidential election year, and more than 70 attended the DFL caucus.

Marshall resident Marty Seifert claimed the lead in the precinct caucus straw poll for Republican gubernatorial candidates. Seifert, then a state representative, gained 50 percent of the vote, compared to 39.4 percent for Tom Emmer.

A family of 11 living in rural Hanley Falls lost everything in an early morning house fire. No one in the family of Chai Vue and Shoua Kong, including eight children and a grandparent, were injured, but the local chapter of the American Red Cross said it would take extra help and donations to provide food, shelter and winter clothing for the family.

The Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce announced that Cal Brink would stay on as its director. Brink had served as the Chamber's interim director for six months, and during that time Chamber Board members said the organization saw increased membership and improved financial performance.

The Marshall High School dance team qualified for state competition in both the high kick and jazz dance categories at the Section 3AA Tournament. Marshall placed first out of 11 teams in high kick and third out of 10 teams in jazz.

A majority of the Marshall City Council lent its support to a total 2 percent city tax to help pay for an amateur sports center and expansions to the Minnesota Emergency Response and Industry Training Center. If approved by both the state Legislature and a majority of Marshall taxpayers, the proposal would create a 0.5 percent city sales tax and a 1.5 percent tax on lodging, food and beverage sales.

A fire at a trailer home in Marshall left a family of five homeless but unhurt. The Marshall Fire Department said preliminary investigations pointed to an electric heater as the cause of the blaze. Two pets inside the trailer at the time of the fire were lost.

Per Peterson, news editor of the Marshall Independent, was named the editor of the newspaper. Peterson, recipient of numerous Associated Press and Minnesota Newspaper Association awards for page layout, graphics and photo illustrations, and writing, has been with the Independent for more than 18 years.

The Marshall High School high kick team placed seventh in state competition at the Target Center in Minneapolis, while the jazz dance team placed 11th in the state.

Dr. Vincent LaPorte, a family medicine physician for more than 33 years at Affiliated Community Medical Centers in Marshall, said he would retire at the end of the month.

Southwest Minnesota State University student Taylor Gronau introduced himself to delegates at the Lyon County Republican Convention in Marshall. Gronau, a college senior from Morgan, was running for Marty Seifert's District 21A seat in the House of Representatives.

Veteran Sen. Jim Vickerman, 79, announced he wouldn't seek an eighth term in office, citing a desire to spend time with his family as the reason he would not run again. Vickerman, DFL-Tracy, had represented southwest Minnesota in the state Legislature since 1986, and had a hand in legislation for new veterans homes, ethanol and wind energy.

A 17-year-old Marshall High School student was deported to El Salvador despite support from teachers, community members and classmates. Jairo Yanes was taken into I.C.E. custody after his family fled, leaving behind just a note for the teen.


Marshall residents Al Kruse and Charlie Sanow added their names to the list of area candidates vying for Marty Seifert's District 21A seat in the Minnesota House. Kruse received the DFL endorsement for District 21A; Sanow did not receive endorsement.

A total of 20 Minnesota General Motors locations received preliminary calls to have their franchises reinstated, after the auto company announced major cuts. Among the dealerships affected was Lockwood Motors in Marshall, which got its Cadillac franchise back.

A total of 25 school districts in southwest Minnesota, including Canby, Hendricks, Ivanhoe, Lakeview, Lynd, Marshall, Milroy, Minneota, RTR, Tracy Area, and Westbrook-Walnut Grove got state approval to start classes before Labor Day. School officials said the move would give kids more study time before state standardized tests, and would serve as the first step toward a shared calendar among area schools.

Chris Swedzinski of rural Ghent joined the race to claim the District 21A seat in the Minnesota House.

Marshall resident Al Kruse won the DFL endorsement to run for Minnesota Representative at the District 21A convention in Wabasso, but even after considerable discussion, area delegates were unable to come up with candidates for seats in House District 21B and Senate District 21.

Officials at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center announced the closing of Avera Marshall's in-home health care service line, citing financial losses and competition with other home health care services in the area. The home health care service served anywhere from 50 to 60 clients in the Marshall area at the time, and employed 16 people. Under the city of Marshall's transfer agreement for the sale of the hospital, the city was to be given the first opportunity to re-purchase Home Health Care.

Members of the Marshall City Council criticized the decision to close Avera Marshall Home Health Care, but did not buy the service back when given the opportunity at a regular council meeting. As much as they disagreed with the closing, council members said the city was not equipped to manage a health care business.

Sen. Dennis Frederickson announced that he will not seek a 10th term in the Minnesota Senate, ending a 30-year career in office. Frederickson, a New Ulm resident and retired farmer, was a powerful voice for the outdoors and environmental issues in the state Legislature.

Winterkill's effect: Lake Shetek residents pitched in to help remove an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 pounds of dead fish, mostly carp, forming a stinky nuisance along the lakeshore. Minnesota DNR fisheries technician Chuck Obler said heavy winter snows led to low oxygen levels in the frozen lake, which suffocated the fish.

Marshall businessman and property developer D.C. "Pat" McFarland Jr. died at the age of 91 at the Avera Morningside Heights Care Center. McFarland, who grew up on a farm east of Marshall and served in the Air Force during World War II, was the owner of the McFarland Co., which had been in business in Marshall for more than 55 years. McFarland was behind the development of many residential and commercial land deals in Marshall.

Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center received an upgrade from a Level IV to a Level III trauma center, meaning the hospital is equipped to deal with more serious medical emergencies than before. The upgrade puts Avera Marshall on the same level as regional hospitals in Worthington and Willmar.


Minnesota National Guard soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 151st Artillery, A Battery, returned home after being deployed overseas.

The Marshall School Board made $360,820 in cuts during its meeting because of a decrease in state funding and an increase in costs such as pay for teachers and staff, insurance, transportation and utilities.

Republicans in the 7th Congressional District have endorsed Willmar businessman Lee Byberg to challenge Democrat incumbent U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, DFL-Minn.

Scott Riddlemoser of rural Balaton has announced he will run for Lyon County Commissioner in District 3, the seat currently held by commissioner Phil Nelson.

Mark Mather announces he will run for Lyon County sheriff, a position he has held on an interim basis for two years.

Southwest Minnesota State University officials announced they were looking at a $2.8 million deficit unless cuts or reductions to the university budget take place.

Community Transit in Marshall will add an additional bus route in order to reduce riders' time riding a bus.

Marshall High School FFAers will attend the 81st Minnesota State FFA Convention April 25-27 at the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus. The students will compete in 12 categories and are expected to do well.

Marshall High School sophomore Eric Deutz was crowned a state champion in Creative Expression. Deutz was the youngest state champion in the 13 speech categories and the only sophomore to come out on top. By winning his category, he earned a $16,000 college scholarship.

Marshall High School FFA adviser Paul Lanoue's Farm Business Management team, comprised of Eric DeBlieck, Douglas Fischer and Kenny Deutz, qualified for the National Convention in October in Indianapolis, Ind., at the Minnesota State FFA Convention. Sam Welu received first place in Horse Evaluation and Brady Welu won the AgriScience Student of the Year scholarship.

Republican Gary Dahms, a Redwood Falls businessman, announced his bid for the seat held by Republican Sen. Dennis Frederickson, who has said he would not run for another term in Minnesota Senate District 21.

Bob Meyer, a Lyon County dispatcher and jailer, retires after 29 years of service.

Republican party delegates made Tom Emmer their choice to represent the party in the gubernatorial race. Emmer received 53 percent of the vote in the first ballot, while contender Marty Seifert received 43 percent, ending the Marshall lawmaker's run for governor.


A major resurfacing project on Minnesota Highway 23 begins. The project will resurface Highway 23 between Marshall and Russell, as well as add a pedestrian underpass connecting the campuses of Marshall High School and Southwest Minnesota State University.

A Marshall man, Matthew Thomas Fahey, 25, suspected of kidnapping a teenage girl in Fairfax, was arrested by Marshall police.

Lyon County commissioners discussed possible cost savings by changing its health insurance coverage.

Citizens spoke up at the Lincoln County Board meeting to voice their opinion on changes to county roads in the Lake Benton and Verdi townships. One proposal suggested the current County Road 9 would be changed to a township road and would be re-routed north of the township.

The Marshall-Lyon County Library search committee recommended the library board extend a conditional job offer to Holly Martin Huffman of Iowa.

Minnesota Department of Transportation officials are studying traffic bottlenecks created by the construction on Minnesota Highway 23.

Ramona Larson of Redwood Falls announced her candidacy for the soon-to-be-vacant District 21A House of Representatives seat. She joined Al Kruse among the Democratic candidates vying for Republican Marty Seifert's seat.

Republican delegates endorsed Gary Dahms of Redwood Falls as a candidate to fill the Senate seat that will be vacated by Dennis Frederickson, R-New Ulm, and Taunton native Chris Swedzinski to fill the House seat that will be vacated by current 21A Representative Marty Seifert, R-Marshall.

DFLers switched Al Kruse from the 21A House race to the Senate District 21 race against Gary Dahms.

Minnesota State College and Universities trustees approved a budget that puts average annual tuition and fee increases at $205, or 4.4 percent, for undergraduates at state colleges. Southwest Minnesota State University and other state universities will see an increase of $301, or 4.8 percent.

Minnesota Department of Transportation officials made changes to help alleviate traffic bottlenecks created by the construction on Minnesota Highway 23. Some of the changes included installing temporary traffic lights.


Lincoln HI High School English teacher Mary Stoffel retired after 33 years in the school district. Stoffel was presented with a certificate from her students thanking her for her 33 years of teaching at Lincoln HI High School.

Problems with exhaust fumes from the Lyon County Law Enforcement Center's backup generator led county commissioners to stop participating in a generator program with Marshall Municipal Utilities until a solution to divert the fumes could be found.

The Marshall-Lyon County Library board hired Holly Martin Huffman to the director's position.

Work began on a $8.6 million improvement project at the Yellow Medicine East High School and Bert Raney Elementary School in Granite Falls. The project aimed to improve ventilation in the school while ushering energy conserving heating components and lighting into the aging buildings.

Area residents attended a DNR workshop to discuss funding for state parks and trails. Residents said Legacy Amendment dollars should go to expanding regional trails and preserving parklands.

Marshall completed several new trails during the summer as part of a larger city project to create safe, accessible bike routes throughout the community.

American Legion Boys State kicked off at SMSU. Students learned about parliamentary procedure, how bills are passed, and how the government works in the first day of the event.

The city of Marshall was shown to be in good financial shape following the release of a financial audit during a City Council meeting. According to the audit, Marshall's net assets increased and debt decreased in 2009.

Minneota High School Athletic director Jim Rolbiecki retired after 35 years in the district. Rolbiecki also served as a teacher during his time at Marshall High School.

Hail and wind damaged crops between Taunton and Porter during a weekend storm. Corn and soybean crops were snapped off by heavy hail during the storm leaving some farmers to file crop insurance claims.


The Prairie Winds chapter of the Red Cross received a $10,000 donation from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). The donation to the chapter was part of a $300,000 donation from ADM to the American Red Cross. $175,000 went to the Red Cross' international response and disaster fund and the remaining $125,000 going to selected local chapters in communities with ADM facilities.

Marshall Public School District 413 was shown to be in good shape following an auditors report. School officials said they trimmed the budget where they could to prepare for leaner times in the future as the state cuts funding to schools.

Area girls learned about the political process during the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State. Six local girls attended the 64th annual event at Bethel University in Arden Hills.

A wet summer resulted in perfect breeding conditions for mosquitos in the area. It was bad news for communities that had to cut back on spraying due to budget restraints. Granite Falls crews cut back from spraying every week to spraying biweekly instead. Officials still had to add funds to the mosquito budget toward the end of the year to cover the wet summer breeding season.

Marshall held its first-ever SkyFest at Municipal Airport over the weekend. The event brought in top talent from the air show industry and featured stunt pilots and skydivers. The air show also featured a welcome home ceremony for area troops returning from active duty.

Edgewood Bluff, a landmark structure in Lake Benton, burned to the ground in a fire that was later deemed arson by the Lake Benton Fire Department. The building was formerly a popular supper club and apartment building located on a bluff overlooking Lake Benton.

Prairie's Edge Casino began construction to upgrade its hotel and casino. The new construction will double the capacity of the hotel and add additional gaming space to the casino.

Olga Franco del Cid, the woman convicted on 24 counts in the 2008 Cottonwood bus crash, lost her appeal in the crash that killed four students and injured 17 others and the bus driver. The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the convictions against Franco del Cid, who said she was not driving at the time of the crash.

A Tyler grocery store took some major damage during a summer storm when heavy rain caused the roof to collapse. A clogged drain caused water on the roof to pool. The weight from the water caused the collapse.

The Marshall City Council approved the sale of a $1.15 million bond to help pay for construction of the new Marshall-Lyon County Library building. Council members were divided on proposals for a final library construction budget and bond.

Salaries for Marshall's mayor and city council members went down 1 percent after the council voted 4-2 in favor of the resolution. The cut translates to a reduction of $82 a year for the mayor and $52 a year for council members.

A 32-year old man was hospitalized after a shooting at a Vallers Township farmstead. The suspected shooter, a resident at the farmstead, allegedly shot the victim in the basement and set the house on fire before authorities arrived and placed him in custody. The alleged shooter, Donald Lowe, was later found incompetent to participate in his own defense; doctors said Lowe had symptoms of both dementia and paranoid schizophrenia.


Lyon County Commissioners voted down proposal to use reserve funds for area libraries in a 3-2 decision.

Candidates for Minnesota governor were present at a forum panel at Farmfest. Lyon County Sheriff candidates outline their campaign priorities at a forum debate in Tracy.

Tracy residents voted 199-106 in favor of a resolution to shrink the city council to five members.

After the primary results were tallied, the race for Lyon County commissioner in District 3 was narrowed to incumbent Phil Nelson and challenger Rick Anderson, while Mark Mather took a strong lead in the sheriff's race.

Area residents got their first look at the three candidates for the Lyon County Veterans Services officer position, including finalists Terry Wing, Rebecca Kaas and Lisa Ourada.

The Marshall School Board decided to wait for the November elections to fill the empty seat on the board, vacated by Carolyn Jansen, who moved from the area.

The Lyon County Board voted in favor of contributing about $53,000 from county reserves to each of the building projects regarding the Tracy, Minneota and Cottonwood public libraries.

Terry Wing was chosen as the Lyon County VSO.

Ground was broken at the site of the new $5 million library in Marshall near the Marshall Middle School.

Sen. Al Franken met with members of the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging in Slayton, gathering ideas on how funds should be used when the legislation is reauthorized. State Auditor Rebecca Otto spoke in Marshall about how the heavy reliance on property tax is taking its toll.

The Marshall City Council rescinded an ordinance to cut mayor and council salaries by 1 percent, putting the amount back at the 2009 levels.

The footings were dug on a new townhouse project in Tracy where, because of the high demand of rental housing, eight new townhouses are being built.

Marshall High School students have mixed feelings about starting school before Labor Day this year as part of a 25-school "flexible learning year" program.

Tracy City Council members discussed deficiencies in the city's storm and sanitary sewer systems, voting to begin looking at possible financing and land purchase options for construction of new wastewater ponds.

A construction project aimed at improving air handling units and lighting at Bert Raney Elementary was completed. The construction is part of an estimated $8.5 million health and safety improvement project in the Yellow Medicine East School District.

Lyon County Commissioners voted unanimously to set another zero tax increase for 2011 in light of hard economic times.

Lyon County sheriff candidates were the victims of vandalized and stolen campaign signs.


Marshall City Council has a work session, a second in an ongoing series, to discuss priorities for upcoming city projects and a draft budget and levy amounts. City Administrator Ben Martig presented a draft of resolution for a proposed 2011 budget with revenues of $9.8 million and $11.2 million in expenses.

A hydro-electric power station is being proposed for the Granite Falls area. The proposal comes from Nelson Energy, a Golden Valley-based group, and two sites are being considered because of how close they are to two major transmission lines and the Minnesota River.

Bertrand Rushoud Curry, a Southwest Minnesota State University student, was charged with second degree assault, terroristic threats and possession of a handgun without a permit in an incident that happened in March 2009. Curry pleaded innocent. The two-day trial had been postponed from late June and the case had been the subject of a letter to the editor to the Independent. A Lyon County jury later found Curry innocent of charges of second-degree assault-liability for crimes of another and terroristic threats-liability for crimes of another. He was found guilty of possession of a handgun without a permit, a misdemeanor.

A flood warning was issued in Lyon County. Heavy rains affect the area with Marshall receiving 3.61 inches overnight. Runoff from the rains drained into the Redwood River, causing its level to rise to more than 12 feet.

A restored seasonal wetland that is being planned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources hit a nerve with area farmers who brought it before the Lyon County Board. The proposal is to turn 45 acres of land in Lines Wildlife Management Area in Lucas Township into seasonal wetland. Landowners said they were worried the project would cause flooding problems.

During one of its meetings, the Lincoln County Board slashed a 15 percent levy increase to less than 10 percent before setting a preliminary levy for the 2011 county budget.

Southwest Minnesota State University President David Danahar announces he will retire at the end of the 2010-2011 academic year. Danahar, the longest-tenured president in the history of SMSU, has been with the university since 2001. During his time, he has seen the school through a massive fire that destroyed the student center and the rebuilding of a new one.

After a year of hurdles, three buildings on Canby's main street were torn down to make way for Canby Inn and Suites. The $2.7 million project will include a space with 28 rooms and a full-sized pool.

Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center becomes part of a new patient care improvement program. Avera Marshall is one of 24 hospitals in Minnesota to participate in the program, "Transforming Care at the Bedside," a national program that aims to improve hospitals' care of their patients.

Yellow Medicine County board approved setting its preliminary tax levy for 2011 at 1.9 percent.

Ralco Nutrition, Inc. purchases former Balaton School building. Ralco plans to turn the school into offices and a technology center, which was discussed during a public information meeting between the Tracy School Board and Ralco.

The 100-year-old Minnesota Falls dam was the topic of controversy at a public meeting in Granite Falls. Xcel Energy is looking to move the dam three miles downstream from the city, but several businesses, including Granite Falls Energy and the golf course, use the water intake structures on the river.

Affiliated Community Medical Center filed suit against Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center. ACMC filed the suit, saying Avera is interfering with ACMC patients' relationships with their doctor. The suit alleges that Avera Marshall began a policy of not telling ACMC physicians when their patients come to the hospital for care and steer patients toward Avera Marshall physicians instead of offering them the choice of seeing their own doctors.

Rainy weather slowed construction on two of Minneota's main streets. The construction project, which includes updates to water and sewer infrastructure, streets, gutters, and sidewalks on Minnesota Highway 68 and Jefferson Street has been on target to be completed by the end of September.

Steve Hall of Marshall was tapped to serve as commander of the 1st Battalion 151st Alpha Battery. Hall was previously commander of a battalion in Montevideo.

Marshall School District approves a 3.88 levy increase, site improvement goals, sets Truth in Taxation meeting.

Lynd, Marshall School boards meet for the first time in about seven years. The boards came together to keep the lines of communication open and to discuss the tuition agreement between the districts that is set to expire on June 30, 2011.

Another round of heavy rains soaked the area. The Redwood River had reached 16.08 feet, but that wasn't the flooding threat. Ponding in several construction areas and interior flooding in residential areas were the culprits, according to Marshall City Engineer Glenn Olson. Students from Minneota were let out of school early, and several volunteered to go to Ghent to help with sandbagging efforts.

Candidates from House District 21A and Senate District 21 say there was going to be some tough decisions ahead during a public forum sponsored by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities. Ramona Larson, Chris Swedzinski, Al Kruse and Gary Dahms discussed city government issues, such as state aid and property taxes.

The Redwood River hits record crest in Russell. The previous record had been 18.11 feet on April 24, 2001. It crested at 19.07 feet Friday, Sept. 24. Many residents in the area were cleaning up water from their flooded basements. The Redwood River crested at its third-highest level in recorded history at 16.2 feet.

Although the rains had stopped, drainage from them swelled the Redwood River and filled Marshall's flood diversion channel, leaving residents to deal with pumping water out of their basements to detours. Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes declared a 72-hour state of emergency.

Flooded fields pushes back harvesting time by one to two weeks. Soybean producers may be hit the worst because of the crops being fully submerged, says Bob Byrnes, regional director for the University of Minnesota Extension. Marshall wastewater treatment facility workers work "around the clock" to deal with sewer backups from the heavy rains.

YMC Sheriff Bill Flaten presented a social host ordinance drafted by county attorney Keith Helgeson, which would make it a misdemeanor to provide an environment where the host knows or reasonably should know that underage drinking takes place. YMC board also approved a disaster tax relief request.

Marshall City Council tables two of three proposed street assessments - North 5th Street, West Lyon Street and West Redwood Street; Baseline Road and Susan Drive. Questions were raised as to how to fairly assess property owners.

Hy-Vee in Marshall announced it was partnering with Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center to bring a Curaquick Avera Clinic to the store. It would be staffed by licensed nurse practitioners who would work in consultation with specialists or other practitioners at Avera.


Road and bridge repairs continued after heavy September rains caused damage around the region.

The Lyon County Board approved a resolution requesting a presidential disaster declaration for flood damage in Lyon County. In addition, the county commissioners requested public assistance and hazard mitigation money under the Stafford Disaster Relief Act, asking for about $200,000 in disaster relief.

Lincoln County emergency manager Norm VanOverbeke submitted paperwork for FEMA to declare the county as a state of emergency. FEMA estimated the cost of damage in the county at $434,000.

Renovations began on the Holy Redeemer Church, built in 1915, including the demolition of the stairs to make room for a building addition at the front of the church.

The search continued for missing 19-year-old Brandon Swanson, as volunteers waded into Mud Creek northwest of Porter to help cut thick patches of cattails with machetes.

The Marshall Public School budget showed a healthier position, with more than $1,000,000 accounted for than previously budgeted for.

District House 21A candidate Republican Chris Swedzinski and Democrat Ramona Larson squared off in a debate at SMSU. Senate District 21 candidates Al Kruse and Gary Dahms also addressed issues at SMSU.

The Lyon County Board approves jail services contract with Murray County.

SMSU saw a 7.4 percent decline in student numbers, primarily due to a drop in College Now and graduate students.

Increased student cell phone use forces school administrators to crack down with policies.

The last of nine training meetings was held across southern Minnesota in regards to funding for flood damage.

Area political candidates making up a forum panel discussed transportation opportunities and challenges during a meeting of the Minnesota Transportation Alliance in Marshall.

Fagen Inc., a Granite Falls ethanol industrial contracting company, is set to build its first plant abroad in Dunafoldvar, Hungary.

In a 4-1 decision, the Marshall City Council approved a new employee health plan, one that is more consumer-driven.

Yellow Medicine County commissioners voted to advertise for a full-time assistant attorney position.

The NWS reported wind gusts of 53 mph in Marshall as the southern half of Minnesota was placed under a high wind watch. A record was set in northern Minnesota.

Candidates for Lyon County Commissioner, Marshall City Council and Lyon County Sheriff took center stage in debates hosted by the Government Affairs Committee of the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce.


Republican Chris Swedzinski was chosen by the voters to succeed outgoing Rep. Marty Seifert. Swedzinski of rural Taunton defeated Ramona Larson of Redwood Falls. He received nearly 64 percent of the vote as Republicans held onto the House 21A seat. In other House races, incumbent DFLers Andrew Falk and Lyle Koenen won in 20A and 20B, respectively, and Republican Joe Schmomaker unseated Ted Winter in 22A. A Republican also won in Senate District 21, as Gary Dahms defeated Al Kruse in a race to replace retiring Sen. Dennis Frederickson. In SD22, Republican Doug Magnus will replace retiring Sen. Jim Vickerman, and DFLer Gary Kubly retained his seat in SD20. A contentious Lyon County Sheriff's race was won handily by interim sheriff Mark Mather, and Jack Vizecky was re-elected as Lincoln County Sheriff. In the only contested race on the Marshall City Council, Mike Boedigheimer defeated Juergen Huck. Local winners on county boards were Rick Anderson, Bob Fenske and Rodney Stensrud in Lyon County, Larry Hansen in Lincoln County, and Greg Rennecke in Yellow Medicine County. Democrat incumbent Collin Peterson held off Willmar businessman Lee Byberg for the 7th District Congressional seat.

MnSCU will appoint an interim to replace retiring Southwest Minnesota State University President David Danahar, who announced his retirement in September. MnSCU representatives



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