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Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
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December 19, 2013     Tri-County News
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December 19, 2013
 

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Community Clipper Field upgrades_ planned that new parts can't be obtained," first base side of the field from the Mike Nistler Writer L I , Upgrades planned to Clipper Field in anticipation of 2015 State Tournament The summer of 2015 seems like a long way off, but for those plan- ning to host the state amateur baseball tournament, there is lots of work to be done. Plans are underway for upgrades at Clipper Field in Wat- kins, one of two host sites - the other is Cold Spring - for the state tourney. Clipper Field was built in 1981 and is a beautiful ballpark, said Bruce Geislinger, one of the lead organizers of the work. Stadium lights, and electronic scoreboard and dugouts were added in the 1990s to give the field even more charm. But improvements are needed. "The scoreboard is old enough said Geislinger, who began play- ing for the Clippers in 1983, mak- ing this summer his 31st year don- ning the Watkins uniform. Corporate sponsors are being sought to upgrade the scoreboard. Sponsors will get their names placed on the scoreboard for as long as it's in use. Benches that line the fence in front of the concession stand will also be sold to businesses. For $500 a business can purchase a bench that will have their business name and advertisement on. And individuals can purchase their very own seat in the grand- stand for $300. The seat will have a nameplate on it inscribed with the individuals name or a tribute to whomever they would like. In a few weeks the new grand- stand will arrive, which will be erected behind home plate and will seat 350 people. The existing grandstand will be shifted to the dugout to the outfield and will seat approximately 150. In addition, that a party deck with a stand- up bar on the third base side that will accommodate 150 people and there should be room to host 750 fans, Geislinger said. Improvements to the field have already begun as this fall the infield was improved. Sod was removed and 11 loads of black dirt were added. New sod was then installed. Volunteers are also being sought to work at the field imple- menting the upgrades and hope- fully those folks and more will be interested in volunteering dur- ing the state tournament week- ends in 2015. Geislinger estimates that about 150 volunteers will be needed. "I'm really excited," Gels- linger said. "This is going to be a neat place to play and to watch baseball." Sheriff Norlin announces retirement in 2015 Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Nor- lin has announced that he will be retiring at the end of his current term in early January of 2015, after 32 years in law enforcement. Sher- iff Norlin will not seek re-election in 2014. left Norlin has served as the 27th Meeker County Sheriff, appointed in 2009 and elected to office in 2010. Norlin also served Meeker County as patrol deputy and K-9 Officer before serving as Chief Deputy for 17 years. Before coming to Meeker County, Norlin worked for the U.S. Marshals Ser- vice, the Sibley County Sheriff's Office, and as a Police Officer in the City of Belle Plaine. Among Norlin's accomplish- ments during his tenure as sher- iff: He brought the Operation Life Saver program to the county to help locate Autistic children and those with dementia problems that go missing; he started the Meeker County Crime Alert program which has more than five hundred subscribers also involving many of the county's lake associations; he successfully installed five outdoor warning sirens to rural lake com- munities in the county by obtain- ing some grant funding for some of the projects; and he's especially proud that he has the most youth based programs in the history of the office, to :"include training and certification for snowmobiles, ATVs, youth firearms and has con- tinued including the long running D.A.R.E. and child finger printing programs. Norlin has obtained more than 2 million dollars in grant funding to build the ARMER radio network for the county that has a service life span of 25 years. To date, this raoadio syste.. :cost to taxpayers to get informa, provides communication technol- tion out to the public, and that has ogy to all public safety entities in the county, Meeker County Pub- lic Transit, Meeker Memorial Hos- pital, one school district and one local school bus transportation company. Norlin managed two major projects to relocate and to remodel/upgrade the 9-1-1 com- munications center during his ten- ure with the county; he obtained grant funding to upgrade the local public Ham radio system to bene- fit the local Ham radio clubs and to eventually partner them with the 9-1-1 center for communication needs during certain emergen- cies. Norlin partnered with Hen- nepin County Medical Center and Dr. Jeffrey Ho, to start the first vol- unteer sheriff's paramedic pro- gram in the state which bene- fits all of Meeker County citizens adding seven additional para- medics to serve citizens, aid first responders and deputies on a part-time basis throughout the year. Also, with this partnership the Meeker County Sheriff's Office was the first Sheriff's Office in the nation to ever win an award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police for Excellence in Law Enforcement Research. Last year, Sheriff Norlin started the Sheriff's Office on facebook, at no nearly 800 Likes with some posts reaching nearly 6,000 people. Noflin says that making the decision to retire was a very dif- ficult decision to make. He has always been proud to serve the cit- izens of Meeker County. He said that he has options that will take him in a different direction in the future. Norlin said that he is espe- cially proud of his 93 hardwork- ing dedicated employees and vol- unteers that he says are heroes. He said he will miss them very much. He said his staff is put in very tough situations that the public, in many cases, aren't aware of. He wants to thank his many supporters that have helped him through the years, and he also said that he will miss many of the other dedicated employees of Meeker County that fostered so many friendships. Pick up a copy nearby: Watkins South Haven Jack's of Watkins South Haven Sports Stein's Thriftway Foods (Tesoro station) Eden Valley Kimball Casey's General Store Gohmann's Foods Knaus Sausage House -': Tri-County News Or subscribe and have it delivered to .your mailbox Schmitt Insurance Valley Meat & Grocery PAGE 19 ursday, December 19, 2013 DWI has consequences The holidays are a popu- lar time for parties. The Wright County Sheriff's Office is putting extra DWI enforcement on during this time to prevent drunk driv- ing crashes. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traf- fic Safety is coordinating the enforcement effort. Extra DWI enforcement will continue through December. "Enforcing seat belt laws and arresting impaired drivers are preventive measures we take to ensure safety on Minnesota roads," says Sheriff Joe Hagerty. "Seat belts and designated driv- ers must be on the menu to ensure travel safety during the holidays." The Wright County Sheriff's Office asks motorists to follow these traffic safety tips to ensure safe Holiday Travel. Buckle up Plan for enough travel time to avoid the urge to speed - the posted speed is the speed limit. Pay attention. The holidays are one of the busiest travel periods of the year. If you plan on drinking, plan for a safe and sober ride home. DWI consequences A DWI offense can result in loss of license for up to a year, thousands in costs and possible jail time. Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offend- ers arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use ignition interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges, or face at least one year with- out a driver's license. Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges. Tips to prevent drunk driving Plan for a sober ride - designate a sober driver, use a cab/public transportation or stay at the loca- tion of the celebration. Offer to be a designated driver, or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere. Buckle up - the best defense against a drunk driver. Report drunk driving - call 911 when witnessing impaired driv- ing behavior. Be prepared to pro- vide location, license plate num- ber and observed dangerous behavior. Extra DWI enforcement and education campaigns are a com- ponent of the Department of Pub- lic Safety Office of Traffic Safety Toward Zero Deaths traffic safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practic- ing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strate- gic areas to reduce crashes - edu- cation, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response. Propane bills too high? Stop feeding the pig and get Geo. Bosch geothermal heating and cooling systems can save you up to 70% on your home energy bills. With an additional 30% federal tax credit, these systems are now more affordable than ever! Visit our site to find out how much you can save. BoschGeo.com/PropanePig BOSCH Invented for life " Commissioner.iMk&Rothman asks if you re | in2'O Idinnesotans who have more than $100 in unclaimed propertya. 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