--The Minnesota Legislature and Governor have passed legislation authorizing funding to Minnesota counties to distribute relief grants to local businesses and nonprofits impacted by an executive order related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Morrison County will receive $658,535.37 to administer the Morrison County Relief Grant Program in accordance with this legislation. The program will run from Monday, January 11, 2021 through February 5, 2021 with awards issued no later than March 12, 2021. A complete application and IRS Form W9 must be submitted no later than 4:30, Friday, February 5th and additional information must be provided if requested. Refer to the Morrison County Relief Grant Funding Program area on the Morrison County Government home page, www.co.morrison.mn.us for more information. The Overview and Eligibility document further explains the requirements and defines what businesses and nonprofits are both eligible and ineligible for this program. Applicants must certify a financial hardship of at least 20% in 2020 as compared to 2019 as a result of a Minnesota Governor Executive order or due to adverse impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous grant awards are required to be disclosed but do not disqualify an organization from applying. Eligible applicants include businesses with and without employees in addition to nonprofits that earn revenue similar to a business. Self-employed persons must certify that the business is their primary source of income and all entities must meet identified eligibility requirements. See documentation for additional information. “The State Legislature voted to provide additional assistance to businesses and nonprofits in Minnesota and has asked County government to assist,” stated Deb Gruber, Morrison County Administrator. “Morrison County is pleased to administer a program that gets those dollars into the hands of local businesses and nonprofits that are most in need as a result of the pandemic.” Gruber will serve as the primary contact for the program. Submit Applications, Via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, mail to: 213 1st Ae SE, Little Falls, MN 56345 via calling Deb Gruber, 320-632-0293 and all applications need to be in by Friday, February 5th, 2021. The county board will approve the applications before March 12th.
--Morrison County Public Works stated that as weather permits, maintenance employees will be working on the following activities this week including cutting trees on CSAH 1 north of Randall and on CSAH 21 east of Upsala. Brush cutting along roadside ditches will continue and crews will be patching potholes in the southeast and northwest part of the county. Please watch for the work crews.
--Morrison County Website on Monday reported 152 active cases of the COVID-19 virus in the county, Little Falls has seen a bit of an increase in numbers now at 79 for their zip code, Royalton 18, Pierz at 17 have stayed the same in the preivous days. All other zip codes were reporting less than 10 active cases on the report Monday. The state reported only 980 new cases on Monday with 4 new deaths linked to the virus. Morrison County had 7 new cases on Monday.
--A fatal incident on a farm near Melrose occurred on Friday. Around 5:21pm the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting an accident at the address of 36177 County Road 186 in Melrose Township approximately two miles west of Melrose. When responding officers arrived on scene, they found 32-year old Keith Deane Kingsley of Melrose, who was entangled and trapped in the power take off (PTO) shaft of the tractor he was using. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.
--Royalton Superintendent Jon Phelps Monday stated on KLTF that the hope is to continue to process of getting students back into school as soon as possible. Preschool through 5th grade returned to school yesterday. If approved in the days ahead, grades 6th through 8th are to be back in class by next week and after the semester ends the hope for high school students to return by February 1st. Again this is only a tentative idea right now as the state and department of education could make changes before then. Phelps wanted to thank all who have helped this year with lunches (they were down to 1 cook for a while and volunteers pitched in), transportation, paraprofessionals and others that made it work until they had no other choice to go to distance learning before Thanksgiving.
--A 22-year-old man was shot in the hand while sitting in his vehicle in the Ninth Avenue Express parking lot on Saturday, according to the St. Cloud Police Department. Officers responded to the parking lot on the 400 block of Ninth Avenue North shortly after noon Saturday following reports of a shooting, but the people involved had left the area, according to the release. The victim was treated at a hospital with a gunshot wound to his hand. He had been sitting in the front passenger seat of his vehicle while it was parked in the lot. "The investigation revealed that a woman and man approached the victim’s car, started asking him questions, at which time the male suspect shot him. A female driving the victim's car was not injured," according to the police. No one else was hurt. The suspects left the scene and no arrests reportedly were made.
--Nominations for the Little Falls Area Chamber's 2020 Small Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year and Chamber Volunteer of the Year are now being accepted. In an effort to celebrate their members and the numerous individual volunteers who dedicate their time and talents to the Chamber, the Outstanding Service Committee is now accepting nominations for Volunteer of the Year, Small and Large Business of the Year. Each award has specific criteria to assist you in the nomination process. Nomination forms are due in the Chamber office by Friday, January 22nd, 2021. Nominees must be a Chamber member. Recipients will receive public recognition and a plaque noting their honor. The names will also be displayed on permanent plaques in the Chamber office. Nomination forms are available on their website. For more information call 632-5155.
--Upsala Dollars for Scholars is looking for new committee members and leadership and help is needed to keep the program going for students. Please contact Colleen Harren at 320-573-2174 or Karin Nelson at 320-573-2151 if you are interested or have any questions.
TODAY= morning fog, then gradual sunshine, high 33.
TONIGHT= cloudy skies, low near 20.
WEDNESDAY= sunny skies, high 41, rain after midnight, low 34.
THURSDAY= rain, freezing rain then all snow, temps dropping to 19 with powerful winds over 40mph by later in the day.
COL FB= Alabama wins national title in college football last night beating up Ohio State 52-24 to finish 13-0 on season.
RAC= It was announced that MotoAmerica is set to return racing to Brainerd International Raceway beginning at the end of March through the end of September with of course the larger events in July and August at the raceway again for 2021. Rules on spectators and other safety protocols are being put together.