For most area residents, the year 2011 will be remembered for one thing - the July 1 storm that toppled hundreds of trees, damaged numerous buildings and included a tornado in Tyler. The area also was saddened by a personal tragedy when two teenage girls took their own lives. These are but two stories that shook the area in 2011, and today, the Independent takes a month-by-month look back on the year that was.
A month-by-month look at noteable area news from the year 2011:
Independent file photo
NATURE’S FIREWORKS: The July 1 late-afternoon storm that blew through the area affected residents in area towns and those in the country as well. The city
of Tyler was hit by a confirmed tornado, which caused significant structural damage. There were no serious injuries or deaths reported.
1: Casey Jones Trail was at the top of a list for a 9-county trails plan. The Regional Development Commission released a comprehensive trails plan aimed to prioritize proposed trails across southwest Minnesota.The proposed trail would pave the surface of an old railroad bed from the Murray County line to Lake Shetek State Park.
3: Ellayne Conyers retired after 20 years as the Lyon County Museum director. During her tenure, Conyers helped with several fundraisers, such as Marshall's 125th anniversary to the holiday home tours, and the museum has moved to two different locations.
4: Republican majorities took over at the state Capitol, including freshman congressmen Rep. Chris Swedzinski, Sen. Gary Dahms, and Rep. Joe Schomacker. Their first order of business was to tackle the state's $6.2 billion deficit.
Megan Stensgaard, 22, of Florence was killed in an automobile crash in Pipestone County.
5: Granite Falls continued with flood mitigation projects. A $1.6 million project to protect Prentice Street from flooding was in its beginning stages and create a levee along the river.
Lyon County's Salvation Army kettle campaign exceeded its goal, raising a total of $17,752.05 during its season. That surpassed the previous year's total of $16,719.41
6: The Lewis and Clark Regional Water System, which includes Lincoln-Pipestone Rural Water, faced a money crunch as the remainder of a multi-state project rested on federal funding. The federal government has paid 51.5 percent of the project, but needed $188 million more to complete it.
Southwest Minnesota State University went tobacco-free at the beginning of the year. The new policy prohibits any smoking or tobacco use on SMSU-owned, operated or leased property.
10: Myers Field Airport in Canby added a second station to the taxi-way, which made it able to offer jet fuel for larger corporate jets. The airport made $2,700 in profit from jet fuel sales and an additional $13,244 in revenue from housing 30 planes.
13: A DM&E train derailed outside of Walnut Grove and involved more than a dozen train cars. The damage destroyed several of the railroad cars and damaged a section of the track. The cause of the derailment was unknown.
17: The Wooden Nickel was remodeled because of heavy snow causing serious damage to the roof and was declared unsafe by Marshall building inspectors.
18: The Marshall School District set a final 2010-2011 budget, which was projected at $4,099,144, for a decrease of only $62,135. The ending fund balance compared to expenditures was at 13.85 percent.
19: Minnesota Watershed Alliance set a list of priorities that aim to raise awareness of the issues facing the Minnesota River. One of those ways was a documentary - "Working Together for a Clean Minnesota River" that aired in April.
With a September 2010 crest of 16.2 feet on the Redwood River, more than 45 inches of snow and two more months of winter, those factors all added up to a high risk of spring flooding.
20: The Marshall-Lyon County Library received an anonymous donation of $10,000. The money was designated toward phase II of the new building construction, which includes a children's wing.
21-22: Ron McLaughlin, member of the Southwest Minnesota State University Mustang Boosters and Foundation, died at age 75.
24: Southwest Minnesota State University announced proposed budget cuts, which included the discontinuance of seven programs, 20 graduate assistant positions, retrenchment of three faculty members. The programs affected were agronomy, health education, humanities, public administration, rural and regional studies, Spanish and Spanish education.
The trial of Matthew Fahey of Marshall, who was charged with felony sexual assault and kidnapping charges on an incident involving a 14-year-old Fairfax girl, went to trial in Renville County Court. Fahey waived a jury in the matter, for fact finding and on the existence of any heinous elements or aggravating factors. Fahey would later plead guilty to two counts of felony criminal sexual assault charges and a kidnapping to facilitate felony.
A proposed local sales tax for Marshall headed back to the state Legislature. Those who supported a proposed regional amateur sports center in Marshall were seeking legislative approval to put a 5 percent city general sales tax to a public vote in the fall.
Local GOP legislators weighed in on Gov. Mark Dayton's order for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources to establish goals to expedite permit processes. The GOP bills are similar, giving those who seek permits a bigger role in the scientific reviews and send court challenges related to permits directly to the Court of Appeals.
25: Dads 4 Dads, a support group was started in Granite Falls for fathers who have lost a loved one. The group was co-founded by Ron Kahler, who lost his son, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Kahler, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2008.
Despite being diagnosed with ALS, Sen. Gary Kubly continues to do his job as a state Senator. The disease may have affected his speech, but it hadn't affected his ability to serve.
A Canby school bus driver's endorsement was reinstated after it was mistakenly revoked in December 2010. Driver Dean Crowley had been removed from a Canby School bus by law enforcement and cited for driving without proper certification. He was to get his new license by Feb. 18.
1: Area developers said that the Parkway loan repayment proposal is a bad deal. The developers met with members of the Marshall city staff, EDA and city government to discuss the issue involving the Parkway II housing addition.
6: The Marshall High School dance team placed first in high kick and third in jazz at sectionals, earning a trip to state.
7: The Meadowland Farmer Co-op in Walnut Grove was hit by its second fire within a year. The Walnut Grove, Tracy, Lamberton and Marshall fire departments responded.
Longtime and now retired city administrators - Greg Isaackson of Cottonwood and Audrey Koopman of Tracy - looked back on their careers.
Marshall School Board heard from music teacher Wes Meyers about fourth-grade orchestra program, which was cut the previous year.
9: A plan for a bridge connecting Madrid Street and the Marshall Airport was discussed by the council and it passed a motion advertising bids for the project.
Area legislators weighed in on Gov. Mark Dayton's State of the State address seeking a promise from lawmakers ruling out shutdown. Rep. Andrew Falk said he sensed an optimistic tone, while Sen. Gary Dahms was disappointed that Dayton didn't show more of a desire to work together with Republicans.
11: The Minnesota House redistricting committee was in Marshall as part of a public meeting on the new congressional and legislative districts. The deadline to adopt the new districts is Feb. 21, 2012..
13: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, Yellow Medicine East and Lac qui Parle Valley dance teams qualified for state after qualifying at the Section 3A competition.
15: Lyon County, Marshall officials were cautious on Gov. Mark Dayton's $37 billion budget proposal, which included raising more than $2.9 billion from the top 5 percent of taxpayers. DFL Rep. Andrew Falk said the budget proposal would be good for rural Minnesota, while GOP Rep. Chris Swedzinski was concerned, especially how raising taxes on the state's wealthiest would affect business owners.
Lincoln County outlined a multi-year road construction plan, set to be completed by 2018. The two projects, which cost $1,014,868 combined, would repair or replace three bridges on County Highway 13 and resurface a three-mile stretch of County Highway 17.
16: Testimony began at a hearing conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services, which was in response to petitions filed by Council 65 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. At issue was whether Southwest Health and Human Services is actually Lincoln, Lyon and Murray Human Services and Lincoln, Lyon, Murray and Pipestone Public Health operating under another name and whether AFSCME is the official bargaining unit for the employees.
The agronomy program at Southwest Minnesota State University is saved from the chopping block. In a round of budget cuts, the program was slated to be eliminated, but SMSU decided to let the program "develop more."
17: The National Weather Service raised the odds of flooding in Marshall area. The outlook showed a 90 percent chance of moderate flooding in the region. In Granite Falls, there were still concerns about flooding, but city officials said they are prepared. In the last 10 years, the city has spent $17 million and has made improvements to prevent widespread flooding.
18: Testimony continued at the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services hearing involving the Southwest Health and Human Services. SHHS officials offered testimony, saying that one of the goals for the merger was to cut duplications in administrative and supervisory costs for health and human services.
The Lakeview School had a celebration of life on the third anniversary of the 2008 bus crash that claimed the life of four students. The celebration included a visit from Minnesota Timberwolves mascot "Crunch," and other activities.
20: Area dance teams did well at state competition - YME places third in jazz and fourth in high kick; Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd takes third in high kick and Marshall places seventh in high kick.
21: Administrators at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center braced for the impact the governor's proposed budget could have on the health care industry. Surcharges for the hospital could rise from 1.56 percent of the hospital's calculated net revenue to 4.45 percent. Those increases could cost the hospital more than $700,000 in surcharges.
Marshall High School music teacher Caroline Przymus went before the Marshall School Board with a grievance on a letter she received disciplining her for messing a professional learning community meeting and was assessed one-half day of personal leave.The board chose to send the grievance to a subcommittee for further review.
22: Proposed cuts to Community Services Block Grant funding in 2012 may have resulted in an $11.9 billion blow to non-profits, including Western Community Action in Marshall. WCA receives $200,000 from CSBG, and it allows the agency to leverage all the grant programs it does.
24: Curaquick clinic at the Hy-Vee in Marshall was off to a good start, said the company's CEO during an open house. The clinic features a private examination room and visits cost $59.
25: New rates were in effect for Marshall utilities. On average, electrical rates had increased about 14 percent.
A unit determination for area health and human services employees had not been finished as a meeting was canceled. A hearing with the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services was continued.
1: Hydroswing officials attempted to quell rumors that the Hydroswing plant in Cottonwood filed for bankruptcy, noting that the company was reorganizing its office and will continue serving its customers.
Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center announced plans to build a 22,500 square foot medical office adjoining its existing clinic facilities on Bruce Street because of the growing number of physicians and specialists and the need for more space.
A hearing on proposed developments for a county park at East and West Twin Lake in Shelburne Township generated feedback at the Lyon County Board meeting. A public hearing was a requirement of applying for a Legacy grant to purchase additional land for the park.
Lincoln County Commissioners voted to approve the posting of a new full-time position that will oversee emergency management projects and administer the ARMER emergency response radio system being developed in the county.
2: The estate of the late David Cullen "Pat" McFarland, a Marshall businessman and property developer, left $1 million each to the Southwest Minnesota State University Foundation, SMSU and the Pride in the Tiger Foundation. McFarland also donated $200,000 to the Avera Marshall Foundation as well as other community organizations.
The Lyon County Sexual Assault Multidisciplinary Action Response Team (SMART) presented a mock trial designed to educate the community about the reality of sexual assault. The mock trial was performed by members of the SMSU theater and Marshall Area Stage Company (MASC).
About 20 people attended an informational meeting for the upcoming vote, on whether the city of Cottonwood should bond for a maximum of about $1.9 million to fund construction of a new fire hall and ambulance garage, a new city maintenance shop and a new city office and library.
3: Republican lawmakers rejected Gov. Mark Dayton's proposal to raise income taxes on the wealthy. Dayton had some harsh words for the Republican lawmakers, as the tax increase would have brought in an estimated $2.4 billion and helped to erase the state's $5 billion budget shortfall.
Hydroswing, a manufacturer of hydraulic doors based out of Cottonwood, filed a petition for involuntary bankruptcy in the Minnesota District of federal bankruptcy court. Documents revealed that the list of people and businesses affected by Hydroswing's Chapter 7 bankruptcy stretches from Alaska to Florida, and includes company employees and local businesses.
7: The Marshall School Board approved the reinstatement of the fourth-grade orchestra program and denied a grievance brought forward by music teacher Caroline Przymus at the work session meeting.
In an effort to address the short-term impact of tuition increases and provide long-term tuition guidance for students, freshman representative Chris Swedzinski introduced his first bill today to the Higher Education Policy and Finance Committee.
Veterans Service Officer Michelle Gatz presented a proposal to commissioners in Yellow Medicine County aimed at keeping businesses in the area while creating jobs. Instead of focusing on bringing new businesses in, Gatz suggested focusing on ways to improve existing businesses.
9: State Sen. Gary Kubly criticized former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the current Republican majorities in light of the Minnesota City Finances Report for 2009 that highlights a significant decline in revenue cities receive in state aid and corresponding increase in property taxes. Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, said Pawlenty went against his "no new taxes" pledge with cuts to Local Government Aid that resulted in $3 billion in property tax increases for every Minnesota homeowner and business owner.
12: The diesel program at Minnesota West Technical College in Canby received an upgrade in the form of an expansive hands-on training center.
14: Former Marshall mayor Bud McGuiggan died at his home in Mesa, Ariz. at the age of 85. McGuiggan was a 1943 MHS graduate and veteran of two wars, who followed in his father's footsteps as a dentist and orthodontist practicing in Marshall. He served as mayor of Marshall from 1960-64.
15: Eighth-graders from Marshall Public School and Tracy Area Public Schools joined together for a day organized to celebrate diversity. Approximately 230 students attended the event at Marshall Middle School.
Ryan Wendt of the county GIS department informed Lyon County Commissioners of a new partnership that will help share information about road closings in case of spring flooding. By using a program that was suggested by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the county could post information about closed roads, and that information could be shared with agencies like MnDOT, FEMA, the Red Cross and the National Guard. In return, the county can access the shared information for its own mapping purposes.
Slayton native Luke Beers, 30, died in a semi accident on Minnesota Highway 30 near Slayton.
17: According to 2010 Census numbers released, all but two counties in southwest Minnesota lost population. Lyon (grew 1.6 percent) and Nobles counties were the only two in the region to see an increase in population. In all, 20 of the 33 counties that currently make up the 7th Congressional District, lost population. The city of Marshall grew by 7 percent.
The Marshall boys basketball team defeated section rival Worthington 73-69 to advance to its first state tournament since 2001.
18: Alfred Schwan died at his home in Salina, Kan., at the age of 85. Schwan's leadership in 45 years with Schwan's, now known as the Schwan Food Co., helped take it from a family business in Marshall to an international, multibillion dollar company.
Area businesses sounded off about the possibility of the Minnesota legislature repealing a very old state law forbidding Sunday liquor and wine sales. Most felt that opening on Sunday would not increase sales enough to warrant asking employees to work more hours.
25: A historic building in Porter was lost when a decades-old grain elevator at the Porter Elevator Company was destroyed in an early morning blaze. The destroyed elevator was built in the 1930s.
30: State lawmakers worked and debated well into the early hours before passage of a GOP education funding bill that Republicans say would increase per-pupil payments to public schools and would make controversial changes to how schools operate, including ending the teacher tenure system and banning teacher strikes. House Democrats were not impressed with the bill and many felt Gov. Mark Dayton would likely veto the measure.
Lee Warne of Marshall was named the executive director of the Association of Educational Services Agencies based in Washington, D.C. In his career, Warne has moved from a regional directorship, to a state post and now a national position.
2: Jim Muchlinski, Kathy Reiber and the late D.C. "Pat" McFarland were inducted into the Pride in the Tiger Foundation.
7: Of the nearly 100 Lynd residents who attended, many showed resistance at the community meeting set up to discuss the three options presented for upgrading and/or remodeling the Lynd School. The options included bringing the current building up to code (at a cost of $4.9 million), bringing the building up to code and remodeling to add new classrooms ($8.5 million) and constructing a new building ($11.5 million).
9: Eric Santiago Martinez Solorzano, 27, a Granite Falls man, was reported missing. He was last seen walking along U.S. Highway 212 between Montevideo and Granite Falls about 2 a.m. Saturday.
Rain and hail in parts of the area bumped up levels on the Redwood River enough that the National Weather Service issued another flood warning for Marshall and Russell. The NWS predicted the river would crest sometime Sunday before beginning a decline Monday.
Four speech students from Marshall High School - Leah Wyffels, Luke Schroeder, Eric Deutz and Billie Miller - placed high enough at the section competition at Chanhassen High School that they advanced to state.
12: A contractor's bid and the use of MnDOT grant funding for an airport access bridge were passed by a narrow margin at the Marshall City Council meeting.
13:An agriculture and rural economic development appropriations bill were the first to make it through a conference committee as the Minnesota budget process continues.
After 405 matches and three state titles in 19 years, Canby High School wrestling coach Perry Fink stepped down as the Lancers' head coach. In his tenure, 41 individual wrestlers from Canby placed in the top six at the state tournament.
15: Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor James H. McCormick recommended that former president of Minnesota West Community and Technical College Ron Wood be appointed interim president of Southwest Minnesota State University.
16: In the early morning hours, two 14-year-old girls were found dead, apparently the victims of a double suicide, at a residence in Island Lake Township. The Marshall Middle School students were identified as Haylee Fentress of rural Lynd, and Paige Moravetz of Lynd.
18: Marshall Superintendent Klint Willert gave a public statement in response to the suicide deaths of two middle school students, noting that it was important to put rumors to rest, but also allow the community and families a chance to grieve and process the events.
The Marshall School Board observed a moment of silence for the loss of two middle school students before getting down to business. The board approved the early release framework, which was designed to have students dismiss an hour early every Wednesday afternoon.
19: The Lyon County Board voted in favor of an ordinance that would prohibit the use of gasoline-powered motors on West Twin Lake. Chuck Obler, a fisheries specialist with the Minnesota Department of National Resources, said the ordinance would help protect the lake, which is one of the rare ones with clear water and no problems with algae blooms.
20: Ron Wood was officially appointed interim president at SMSU by the MnSCU Board of Trustees.
25: After being closed for three months for renovations and roof repair, the Wooden Nickel bar and Restaurant in Marshall opened its doors again.
26: The Yellow Medicine County Board approved a resolution requesting a presidential declaration of a major disaster because of flooding this year.
Higher than estimated bids coming in for the 9/11 Memorial Park project were reported at the Marshall City Council meeting. Project organizers and city staff suggested removing some landscaping items from the plan to help reduce costs.
28: District 21 Sen. Gary Dahms joined his Republican colleagues in passing a bill requiring all Minnesotans to present a valid photo ID in order to vote.
1: A local group is working to make Marshall a Yellow Ribbon Community, recognized for providing a high level of support for military families.
3: Members of the Lyon County Board of Commissioners agreed to move ahead on forming a joint economic development association with the city of Marshall and the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce.
3: A change of federal rules means it will not longer be possible to get a passport at the Lyon County Government Center.
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners invited the city councils of Tyler, Hendricks, Lake Benton, and Ivanhoe to a negotiating session to take place at its scheduled meeting on June 7 to discuss disbanding their city police forces and supporting an expansion of the county Sheriff's Department.
3: The Granite Falls City Council unanimously approved a policy allowing retired police officers to carry firearms.
5: Dr. Lyn Brodersen, Dean of the College of Arts, Letters and Sciences at SMSU announced her resignation just a week after Daniel Campagna, Dean of the College of Business, Education, and Professional Studies resigned.
5: After hearing comments from the public at an emergency meeting of the Ivanhoe School Board, the board voted 5-1 to pass a consolidation vote in both Ivanhoe and Hendricks by November or else go K-12 starting in the 2012-13 school year.
Ground was broken at Memorial Park in Marshall for a 9/11 monument, which will feature a steel beam from the World Trade Center.
9: A Republican congressional redistricting proposal would shift five area counties south of the Minnesota River into the current 1st District, which would then stretch across the state border to border.
County Assessor Connie Erickson reported to the Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners that the county was economically growing or holding its own in almost all categories, due to a strong agricultural base.
11: District 22 State Sen. Doug Magnus publicly threw his support behind a new proposed stadium for the Vikings.
16: Contractors from PLM Lake and Land Management treated Lake Benton with an experimental mix of chemicals to help control curly-leaf pondweed, an invasive species from Europe that has been choking the lake surface.
16: Marshall Public Schools Superintendent Klint Willert expressed concern about setting a budget in light of the gridlock in the state Legislature. The district is required by law to have a budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year by July 1.
17: The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners voted to endorse the Minnesota Accountable Government, Innovation and Collaboration (MAGIC) Act at their regularly scheduled meeting. The act would change and redefine the relationship of counties with the state government.
19: The charred remains of a car reported stolen on Monday morning were found in a field south of Marshall. A reward was offered for the arrest of the car thief or thieves.
20: The Lynd School Board met this week and voted to approve an $11.5 bond referendum for the construction of a new school building.
25: The Yellow Medicine East School District is waiting on a decision from the Minnesota Department of Education as to whether the district will lose integration funding as a "racially isolated district." Funding is provided by the Department "to increase opportunities for interaction between students in racially isolated area and their adjacent districts." A school district qualifies as racially isolated if it has a minority student population 20 percent higher than neighboring districts.
25: Representatives of major employers, local government, and economic development spoke at a Lyon County business summit and urged teamwork to support the local business community and develop the city of Marshall.
26: Marshall public school staff, administration, school board members, and local residents met to develop a strategic plan to improve student performance, improve constituent satisfaction, encourage continuous employee development, align support systems, and maintain fiscal stability and accountability.
30: U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, DFL-Minn., made a presentation to members of the Marshall American Legion and Marshall VFW for Memorial Day.
30: Lyon County Veterans Service Officer Terry Wing said he is organizing a schedule for an 11-passenger van to take veterans to medical appointments and is looking for volunteer drivers.
3: Members of the Marshall Mural Project committee held a "living mural" at the corner of 4th Street and Main to kick off the painting of the first of three real murals in downtown Marshall.
4: The Danebod cultural center and school celebrated 125 years in Tyler.
7: Representatives of city government and law enforcement from Hendricks, Ivanhoe, Tyler, and Lake Benton met with the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners at their regularly scheduled meeting to discuss consolidating all county police forces into the county sheriff's office.
8: The Marshall School Board unanimously approved an amended tuition agreement with Lynd School, effective July 1.
8: A proposal by the Ivanhoe School Board to consolidate with the Hendricks School District failed to pass at a special meeting. Instead, Hendricks will discuss a different possible timeline to present to the Ivanhoe School Board later in the month.
10: Layoff notices went out to more than 36,000 state employees as the state moved closer to a government shutdown. After the legislative session ended in a stalemate, the government shut down.
12: Cottonwood resident Harold Fratzke won a silver medallion at the 54th annual Minnesota Inventors Congress Expo held in Redwood Falls for his 2X2 Body Builder bicycle featuring front and rear wheel drive powered by both arms and legs. Fratzke has had entries in the Expo more often than he can remember and has won numerous prizes for his inventions.
12: Approximately 325 boys from across the state arrived at Southwest Minnesota State University for the 63rd annual American Legion Boy's State, the fifth year SMSU has hosted the event.
14: The Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners granted a request for a tax abatement to the Farmers Cooperative Association for an expansion of their Canby facility already under way. The 10-year abatement was for $15,000, granted on condition the fertilizer facility created three new jobs.
14: The Marshall City Council declines to approve a request for a zoning variance adjustment permit on land located near Stephen Avenue to build multi-family housing.
15: Torrential rains the night before overwhelmed Tracy's catch basins and storm sewers, leaving standing water on roads all over town. According to the National Weather Service the rainfall measured at the Tracy airport was officially 4.84 inches, but Tracy Public Works employee Tim Jacob said he measured at least 5.02 inches.
17: The results of lab tests performed on sewer water discharged into a local creek revealed high concentrations of fecal coliform bacteria. The Marshall office of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said there was no cause for alarm.
20: The Ivanhoe School Board voted 4-2 in favor of a motion to go ahead with a plan to become a K-12 district.
21: The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners voted to make the county courthouse handicapped accessible at its regularly scheduled meeting. The board decided not to approve a $10 per month cell phone allowance for all county Highway Department employees requested by engineer's assistant Dustin Hauschild.
21: The Lyon County Board of Commissioners discussed forming a county finance department and whether the county auditor/treasurer and county recorder's offices should be appointed or elective but reached no decision.
22: Ethanol producers in the region voiced their opinions about the vote in the U.S. Senate to end government support for ethanol.
24: A groundbreaking ceremony for a wind tower simulator was held on the grounds of the Minnesota Emergency Response and industry Training (MERIT) Center in Marshall.
25-26: The city of Garvin celebrated 125 years of history this weekend. About 20 people participated in a Soldiers Walk to raise money support area service people and their families.
28: The Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners heard a briefing by Family Services Director Peggy Heglund about the effects of a possible shutdown of state government on county services and revenue. The board also discussed possible costs associated with a demand by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to repair or remove the 105-year-old Minnesota Falls Dam located about three miles downstream from Granite Falls.
28: Local officials said transit services could be suspended in the event of a government shutdown. The Marshall City Council discussed what services might be put on hold.
28: The Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners discussed the effect of a state government shutdown on human services, and a demand by the state Department of Natural Resources to repair or remove the 105-year-old Minnesota Falls Dam near Granite Falls.
1: Severe storms, with rain, large hail and wind speeds reaching more than 80 miles per hour, battered southwest Minnesota. Despite widespread damage to property, crops and trees, no injuries were reported, and many area cities and residents began cleanup efforts almost immediately after the storms had passed. An EF2 tornado was later confirmed to have touched down in Tyler, and residents spent a weekend without electricity as they, along with emergency responders from throughout the region, worked to clear streets and assess the damage. The city of Ruthton also reported heavy storm damage, and the city of Marshall went into a 72-hour state of emergency to focus on cleanup efforts. Other damage incurred by the storms included downed trees at Camden State Park and severe roof and water damage to RTR Middle School in Russell.
13: Area residents toured a new surgical unit at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center. While the surgical unit was already being used by the hospital, the tours helped mark the end of about two years of construction.
16: The owners of Lilibet's Boutique on Marshall's Main Street said they would be closing the business after 17 years of operation. Sisters Kitsi Marks and Jaci Peterson thanked customers for their support through the years, but said it was no longer financially possible to keep the boutique open.
20: The Tracy City Council voted to offer the position of city administrator to John Gorius, after conducting interviews with three finalists for the position. Gorius became Tracy's first new city administrator in more than 20 years, after the retirement of City Administrator Audrey Koopman.
21: Community Transit of Western Community Action said it was working back to its full county-wide service schedule, after the end of the government shutdown. Community Transit had been running on a limited schedule within the Marshall city limits while the shutdown effectively stopped funding for public services including transportation.
22: Marshall ci