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Lafayette, Minnesota
April 24, 2013     Winthrop News
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April 24, 2013

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I Sibley County becomes part of the metro Sibley County has now become part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul- Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). This designation is determined at the federal level based on the percentage of the county's workforce commuting to the metro- politan area primarily for statistical purposes. The county was issued a document by the White House which included the update metropolitan area designations for the whole United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, the counties included in the MS& since 2007 have been Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Serburne, Washington, and Wright counties in Minnesota. Now, Sibley, along with Le Sueur and Mille Lacs counties, are also being added to the MSA. The bureau's website explains that "The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delineates metropolitan and microp- olitan statistical area according to published standards that are applied to Census Bureau data." These standards, said Sibley County Administrator Matt Jaunich, are partly determined by having "over 25 percent of our population" commuting to one of the MSA coun- ties. The Le Sueur News-Herald notes that these numbers may be skewed for Le Sueur County, since some people in New Prague have only to cross Main Street to work in Scott County. However, in Sibley, Januich mentioned that there are "a good portion on the east side (of the county)" that do commute towards the cities. Jaunich explained that this desig- nation really doesn't mean much will change for Sibley County. "It's basi- cally for data collection purposes," he explained and added that Sibley will now be included in studies such as population trends or average income along with the rest of the MSA coun- ties. Obviously, there could be someissues with averages in studies in which "Sibley is lumped in with Hennepin..with totally different eco- nomics," for instance, according to Jaunich, but the counties also have their individual statistics. A possible beneit is the "slim chance" that the MSA designation for Sibley County "might open us up for additional (federal) funding, Other than that, besides the prestige or recognition as an MSA county, Jaunich doesn't expect mucht to change for Sibley. Jaunich cautions against getting the MSA mixed up with the Metropolitan Council, which is a government agency. According to the council's website, "The Minnesota Legislature created the Council in 1967 to coordinate the orderly growth of the seven-county metro area, and to achieve goals too big for any one community, but possible to accomplish as a region. The Council's 17-member governing board is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the governor." This is the agency that deals with the economic growth of the metro and operates things such as the Metro Transit. Becoming part of the MSA, on the other hand, changes nothing for Sibley County "automatically," stated Jaunich. "It would take special legis- lation" he said, that specifies all Minneapolis -St.Paul-Bloomington MSA counties to make changes that would affect the county or its taxpay- ers financially. -Henderson Independent Lightning one of weather's most dangerous threats Lightning is the No. 2 weather- related killer in the U.S. according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). Striking the earth at an estimated 25 million times each year, lightning causes $4 to $5 billion in damage annually. To help you stay safe when severe weather strikes, Farm Bureau Financial Services offer these tips. Play it safe Lightning may strike as far as 10 miles from any rainfall, so don't wait for rain before suspending out- door activities. If you hear thunder, you're within striking distance and should seek shelter inside. Wait 30 minutes after the last observed light- ning or thunder before resuming activity outside. Find shelter If lightning threatens when you are outside, find shelter in a substan- tial building or fully enclosed vehi- cle. While picnic shelters and trees may shield you from rain, they offer no protection from lightning. If shel- ter is unavailable, avoid the most common areas where lightning strikes-water, high open ground and metal, such as fences and machinery. Don't be fooled Being indoors doesn't guarantee your safety. Lightning may strike the building exterior, sending current along electric and phone lines as well as metal pipes. To avoid shocks, avoid plumbing fixtures and water, stay off landline phones and don't touch plugged-in-appliances, com- puters or power tools. Be aware of secondary dangers Lightning can also trigger wild- fires. The U.S. Forest Service cur- rently reports 20 active blazes across the country and expects to continue to see a significant number of wild- fires throughout the remainder of the year. If you live in an area prone to wildfire, the U.S. Fire Administration recommends raking leaves, removing dead branches, pruning limbs and clearing flamma- ble vegetation to create a 30 to 100 foot safety zone around your home. Lightning and fire can cause sig- nificant damage to your home and property. To ensure coverage, should disaster happen, prepare an up-to- date list of your home's contents and take the time to review your home- owner's insurance policy. University of Minnesota May 2013 Starwatch by Deane Morrison After the April we've had, May has got to have clearer skies. Let's hope so, anyway. We'll need those clear skies to see Jupiter, Venus and Mercury perform an intricate dance during the second half of May. Jupiter, in the west, is dropping from the sky as Earth leaves it behind in the orbital race; meanwhile, Venus and Mercury are climbing into the evening sky as they catch up to Earth. Mercury, being closer to the sun, is faster and outstrips Venus. The dance begins with Jupiter descending into the sun's after- glow as Venus comes up to meet it. Then, in the last week of the month, Mercury pops up and becomes the highest of the three planets by month's end. Try to get out the evening of the 26th, when the three will form a compact trio that fits easily within a binocular field. Saturn, still bright after being lapped by Earth in late April, comes out in the east after night- fall and follows Spica, the bright- est star in Virgo, across the sky. Above the ringed planet, brilliant Arcturus leads its kite-shaped constellation, Bootes, the herds- man, on its nightly journey. These three objects form a rather long, thin triangle with Arcturus at its apex. The Eta Aquarid meteor Ditch improvement will cost less than was expected $18,822.70. In other business, the commis- sioners approved the minimum damage acquisition process of County Road 166 parcels valued less than $10,000 and appraisal process for County Road 166 proj- ect valued at more than $10,000. Mary Fisher, Sibley County Treasurer, reported that Sibley County had earned $48,870 inter- est to date on its investments. Commissioners set the dust coating at $105 for 100 feet, which was the same rate as 2012. Improvement to a portion of Sibley County Ditch 49 in Moltke Township will cost less than expected. County Commissioners, accepted a bid from Hector Tile Co., Inc. of Hector for $18,822.70. This is $39,627.30 less than the engineer's estimate of $58,450. The improvement will take place in Section 16 of Moltke Township, which is located about four miles northwest of Gibbon. Nine bids were received for the project. The bids ranged from a high of $74,440 to a low of shower is expected to peak in the predawn hours of the 6th, but plenty of meteors will fly for a few days before and after that date. A waning moon will be up, but shouldn't interfere much, especially on and after the 6th. Meteors will radiate from a point near the Water Jar of Aquarius, which rises a couple of hours after midnight in May. Eta Aquarid meteors are typically fast and bright, and often leave per- sistent trails. In the north, the Big Dipper is very high during evening hours and "spills its water" down toward the Little Dipper. In the southwest, Leo, the lion, is also high, its head an upright but back- ward question mark of stars anchored by bright Regulus. Between Leo and the bowl of the Big Dipper, try to find three evenly spaced pairs of stars known as the Three Leaps of the Gazelle. The gazelle leaps along a line running northwest from a spot just above Leo's hindquar- ters. These three pairs of stars are also identified as three feet of Ursa Major, the great bear--the constellation that includes the Big Dipper. The Milky Way sits on the horizon in every direction during evenings in May. But in the early morning hours it lifts up in the east and moves westward behind the spring constellations. To Algonquin Indians, May's full moon was the full flower moon, corn planting moon or milk moon. The moon becomes full at 11:25 p.m. CDT on the 24th, having risen, round and beautiful, in daylight less than three hours earlier. At 11:11 p.m. the moon just barely grazes the northernmost part of Earth's penumbra, or light outer shadow, but this event--which is, techni- cally, an eclipse--will not be noticeable. The University of Minnesota offers public viewings of the night sky at its Duluth and Twin Cities campuses. For more infor- mation and viewing schedules, see: Duluth, Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium: Twin Cities, Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics (during fall and spring semesters): night Check out the astronomy pro- grams at the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum ExploraDome: www.bellmuse- Dome/index.htm Contact: Deane Morrison, University Relations, (612) 624- 2346, Find U of M astronomers and links to the world of astronomy at County clarifies who has first rights to road ditch hay Sibley County Commission- ers, passed a resolution stating the County's position on the mainte- nance of road ditch hay. Sibley County's position, included in the resolution, states that "the landowner adjacent to any ditch on a County road and/or highway retains first right to ditch hay and no other party may har- vest such ditch hay without receiving prior permission from the adjacent property owner of the land in question." This resolu- tion has no effect on state high- ways, township roads, or city roads that are under the jurisdic- tion of the State of Minnesota, townships and cities. Commissioner Jim Nytes, last month, asked that the county clar- ify its position because of ques- tions received from constituents regarding the maintenance of land adjacent to County roads and highways, specifically regarding road ditch hay. -The Gaylord Hub ti#k has availibilitY o, over 2000.000 quality parts a,d aoomories. i,elodi, over $0.000 parts for imports. 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