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At Tuesday's County Board Meeting, Sheriff Larsen presented a Life Saving Award to the pictured individuals.  

A short synopsis of the event is:  

On January 28, 2020, Mr. Greg Hyatt was operating his Motor Vehicle, had
a medical emergency, and drove into the ditch.  Through quick response, and training the pictured individuals were
able to preform CPR and ultimately save Mr. Hyatt.  It should also be noted:  Mr. Hyatt was transporting 2 Grandchildren
at the time.  Chaplin Valentine was able to take custody of the children, place them in his squad, in car seats and
transport the children to family.  From the Dispatcher's who received this call, to all of the individuals mentioned and those
not mentioned, Thank you!  Another wonderful job!

Back row:  Morrison County Commissioners:  Randy Winscher, Jeff Jelinski, Greg Blaine, Mike Wilson, and Mike LeMieur

Front row:  Chaplin Gregg Valentine, Pierz Fire Fighter Brian Boser, Deputy Dan Rocheleau, Victim/Survivor Greg Hyatt,
Pierz Police Chief Eric Hanneken, and Pierz Fire Fighter Scott Sahr.

At the July 28, 2020 Board Meeting, Sheriff Larson presented a "Lifesaving Award" from an incident
that took place on May 24th.  The incident was a boating accident where a young man, Dalton, was critically injured. 
From the time of the call to everything that happened in-between, we are all thrilled to know that
Dalton will (with lots of work) make a full recovery.  The lifesaving award was presented to 9-1-1 Dispatchers Jane Holman
and Heather Ray, along with Deputy Jason McDonald.  

Photo #1.  Deputy Jason McDonald, Commissioner Randy Winscher, Lead Dispatcher Jane Holman,
Commissioner Jeff Jelinski, Dalton, along with Commissioners Mike Wilson and Mike LeMieur.

Photo #2.  Also includes (from photo #1) Mayo Paramedics, Randall Fire/First Response, Life Link personnel, and
HCMC Doctor Nick Simpson.

"Part of the Courthouse Renovation included "Meeting Room 1" as a general purpose,
"County Board Room and Meeting Room".

11-16-2019 Honored to participate in "Partners in Policy Making" with Commissioners from throughout MN

YOUR Morrison County Board during Adoption Awareness Month

Out to dinner on My Nephew's graduation from St. Cloud State University

"Supporting Public Safety Dispatchers today and everyday"

10-8-2019  4-H Week Proclamation:  Pictured 4H members, parents and leaders along with the County Board, supporting 4-H week.

10-8-2019 Your Morrison County Board, along with Morrison County Auditor, County Administrator and State Auditor Julie Blaha
on 4 H Day at a County Board Meeting

8-10-2019  I was honored to Emcee the Cow Milking Contest at this year's Morrison County Fair.  Lon Johnson, member of the Fair Board (Time Keeper) for the Milking Contest and I enjoyed the event.

(EMS Week)  5-21-2019 At today's County Board meeting there was a proclamation read for EMS Week.

Pictured is YOUR County Board and several EMS Partners.  The moto for EMS week is "Beyond The Call".  A huge

Thank YOU goes out to all of OUR EMS workers.

(Foster Care Month) 5-21-2019 Today, at County Board we were joined by representatives from Social Services

where a Proclamation was read supporting Foster Care Month. Thank you to ALL of OUR Foster Care Providers.  Pictured is

YOUR County Board Members along with Sarah and Melanie from Social Services.

5-21-2019  Your Morrison County Board along with First Responder Representatives in Morrison County.

Left:  The Morrison County Board along with members from the Mental Health Team, holding a proclamation, proclaiming the month of May as Mental Health Month.

Middle:  Your Morrison County Board with members of the Jail Staff along with Sheriff Shawn Larsen, proclaiming May 5-10, 2019 as National Correctional Officers Week.

Right:  4-30-2019 While at the 2019 Public Safety Communications Conference I had the opportunity to grab a photo with Mille Lacs County Commissioner, Genny Reynolds, (myself), Mille Lacs County Commissioner Dave Oslin, and retired Benton County Commissioner Jim McMahon.  

(2-27-2019) Today I was honored to participate at Lunch on Location sponsored by the Little Falls Chamber and hosted by Staff and Board Members from Hands of Hope. A great gathering.  Don't forget the BIG Fund Raiser for Hands of Hope is Saturday, March 23, 2019, "Hope Rocks", Killer Country Show with, The Killer Vees.  (Matt Vee, Jeff Vee and more)

(3-2-2019) Once again I was able to join my three brothers and three nephews as we participated in the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Banquet in Nisswa, MN. This has become an annual event for my brothers and three of my nephews.  Always a fun time.  

(3-5-2019) - Caption:  Every year Morrison County staff nominate different individuals to be recognized with an "Award of Excellence".  This years award winners (pictured with the County Board) were:  From L to R:  From Public Works, DJ Prom, From Social Services Julia Weise, and also from Social Services, Jeff Guith.  Congratulations to each of these fine employees.  Thank you for all you do!

1-22-2019The Morrison County Board of Commissioners recognized the "team" that was recognized as an award winning team by the Humphrey School.  The Category:  Morrison Country - Region V+ Family Child Care Licensing Collaboration The Region V+ Family Childcare Licensing Collaboration created an innovative solution for family childcare licensing by combining the licensing roles of seven counties into three regional licensors.  This collaboration effort addressed a workforce shortage, created consistency in the application of regulations across the counties, and eliminated the duplication of efforts within its counties at a crucial time when the availability of family childcare is hitting a crisis point. 

On December 13, 2018  The Humphrey School recognized 19 local government projects that Demonstrate Innovation

and Collaboration.  I feel it is important to include this opening paragraph from the original news release: 

"From streamlined dispatch of emergency responders and childcare licensing services, to breakthrough conversations about race and county-tribal collaborations, local governments in Minnesota are finding creative ways to deliver services to their residents with greater impact and at a lower cost."

1. I was presented an award/certificate Chair of the board 2018

2. 1-8-2019  YOUR 2019 Morrison County Board.

3.  1-8-2019 Newly elected and re-elected County Officials after being sworn in.

4. 1-8-2019 YOUR Morrison County Board with Administrator Deb Gruber.

1. 12-16-2018 Christmas show in Elmdale.
2.12-18-2018 A few classmates from the class of '76 getting together over the Christmas season.
3. 12-21-2018 Santa and Mrs. Claus at Herbies Bar, my last show with the band.
4. 12-21-2018 My last show with the band. Thanks for the Memories!!

1: 11-30-2018 As Chair of the Central Region EMS JPB it was my honor to present certificates to retiring Commissioners (Left to Right) Stearns County Commissioner Dewayne Mareck, (myself), and Benton County Commissioner Jim McMahon.  Gentlemen thank you for your service and enjoy retirement.

2: 12-3-2018 Me and Goldy Gopher at the AMC's Annual Meeting in Minneapolis.

3: 10-26-2018 My last Halloween show with the band.

1: November 2018 Deer Camp with my brothers and Nephews 
2: Your Morrison County Board with representatives from Social Services and a proclamation dealing with Adoption. 

1: 8-9-2018  At the Morrison County Fair
2: 8-9-2018 break time with the band at the Morrison County Fair.

Left to Right:

1: 3-26-2018  At Senator Gazelka's Office:  Public Works Director, Steve Backowski, Administrator Deb Gruber,

Senator Paul Gazelka, Myself and Leadership Assistant Matt Steele.

2: 3-30-2018 Your Regional EMS Joint Powers Board (JPB) {Proclaiming May 20-26) as EMS Month.

3: 4-3-2018 The Morrison County Board with Sheriff Larsen, Dispatchers, and Chief Worlie proclaiming National

Public Safety Telecommunications week.

Left to Right:

  1.  2-28-2018 Myself, County Administrator Deb Gruber, and Commissioner Mike Wilson (at the Capital with AMC)
  2.  3-6-2018 (As you can see it's simply an article, probably needs no caption)
  3.  3-24-2018 At the Hands of Hope Fund Raiser, (Hope Rocks): Todd Country Commissioner Gary Kneisl, Matt Vee (a celebration of Neil Diamond) and Morrison County Commissioner Jeff Jelinski

Left to Right:

1: At the Kinship Chili/Soup kickoff, March 2017

2: At the Harding Bazaar, September 2017

3: Honoring the Farm Family of the year, October 2017

Left to Right:
1: Honored to be part of "Partners in Policy Making"

I'm pictured with Commissioners:  Blake Huffman, Ramsey; Debbie Goettel, Hennepin; Karla Bigham, Washington;

Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin; and Tom Egan, Dakota County, November 2017

2: Your Morrison County Board, last meeting of 2017, last meeting in this Board Room, December, 2017

Left to Right:

1: Your Morrison County Board (seated), December 2017

Mike LeMieur, Randy Winscher, Jeff Jelinski, and Mike Wilson

2: County Administer Deb Gruber and myself, just elected as County Board Chair, January, 2018

3: My Mom and Dad (Betty and Willie Jelinski), January, 2018

5-23-2017  EMS Week Proclaimation, pictured:  Commissioners:  LeMieur, Winscher, Jelinski, Johnson, and Wilson.  Back row:  Emily Senta, Morrison County Public Health and Pat Boone, Camp Ripley Fire Chief and Chair of the Morrison County Public Safety Committee 

Left:  6-2-2017  The Band, our Country Show, Herbies Bar, Sobieski
(Little did we know, WE would be the last band to play at Herbies.  Herbies Bar burned to the ground on 6-12-2017)
Right: 3-17-2017 The Band, Randall Muni, Randall, Minnesota

Left: 1-3-2017  Commissioners:  LeMieur, Winscher and Jelinski being sworn in.
Right:  2-16-2017 At the AMC Convention, Senator Gazelka's Office, pictured:  Senator Gazelka, Commissioner Wilson, County Administrator Deb Gruber, Commissioner Winscher and myself.

Left: 2017 Morrison County Board of Commissioners:  LeMieur, Winscher, Myself, Johnson, and Wilson.
Right:  Little Falls Community High School, Class of 76, planning committee.  40th Class reunion was held at the Royalton Legion.

This is a picture of the "Central Region's" Joint Powers Board with a Proclamation for EMS week, 2016.

Those that were available for the photo shoot from left to right include:
Cass County Commissioner, Neal Gaalswyk; MilleLacs County Commissioner Genny Reynolds; Marion Larson, Regional EMS Coordinator - Central Region; Morrison County Commissioner/Chair of the EMS Joint Powers Board, Jeff Jelinski; Todd County Commissioner, Barb Becker; and Wadena County Commissioner, Bill Stearns.

May 10, 2016: Col. St. Sauver presenting Camp Ripley's Annual Report to the Board.
Pictured (left to right): Col. St. Sauver, County Atty. Brian Middendorf, Commissioners: Kevin Maurer, myself, Duane Johnson, Mike Wilson, Randy Winscher and County Administrator Deb Gruber.

At LF Health Fair, May 2. Students with Advisor (Sheila Funk), Stand UP 4 U Committee members Peter Keyes, Jason McDonald, myself, Charles Strack, Sheriff Larsen, and Chief Deputy Worlie

Morrison County Commissioners: Johnson, Wilson, Winscher, Maurer, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, myself, and U.S. Representative Rick Nolan, at the Grand Opening of the Food Hub (The former Crestliner Boat Complex) in Little Falls. April 1, 2016.

Sue Kliber and the Mardi Gras show band.

That's me in the corner playing drums.

The 2016 Morrison County Board. (Left to Right) County Attorney Brian Middendorf, Commissioners Kevin Maurer, Jeff Jelinski, Duane Johnson, Mike Wilson, Chair Randy Winscher, and Administrator Deb Gruber.

Images descriptions (from left to right): 
#1, Playing a halloween show with Sue Kliber and Witches Brew at Herbies bar in Sobieski. #2, Playing a Christmas Holiday show with Sue Kliber at Elemale's Watering Hole. #3, Playing final Christmas Holiday show of the season with Sue Kliber at Randall Muni.

Oct. 26, 2015: Attended the MN federation of County Fairs, District 6 (includes Morrison County) Fall Meeting. Event was held at the Falls Ballroom, Little Falls. (2016 meeting will be in the same location and is scheduled for October 24, 2016)

Morrison County Commissioners support 4-H, 9-22-2015

Morrison County 4-H Kids and Leaders, County Staff, and Commissioners, 9-22-2015

8-30-2015 Commissioner Mike Wilson and myself getting ready for the OctoberFest parade in Pierz

Left image: County Attorney Brian Middendorf, myself, Commissioners: Johnson, Wilson, Winscher, Maurer; Count Administrator Deb Gruber, Brad Vold, Director of MC Social Services, Leota, South Country Health, and Senator Paul Gazelka.

Right Image: Brad Vold, Director of MC Social Services; Leota, South County Health; Senator Paul Gazelka; MC Attorney Brian Middendorf; Myself, Commissioners: Johnson, Wilson, Winscher, Maurer, and County Administrator Deb Gruber.

Morrison County staff and commissioners, along with Cass County commissioners, after the completion of the Pillager bridge. 
From left to right: Ross Norgren (Morrison County retired), Steve Backowski (Morrison County engineer), myself, Morrison County ommissioners Mike Wilson, and Randy Winscher, along with Cass County commissioners and staff.

This morning Januschka Family Farm hosted Friday Morning Coffee (FMC).  FMC is an event that is hosted by the LF Chamber and goes around to a different business once a month.  This month the event was hosted by the Farm and was held at the Home Farm.  Pictured are:  Myself, Gene, Kourtney, Jackie, Jerry and front and center is Tareyn!

Senator Amy Klobuchar gave us a visit in Morrison County on May 26, 2015

Jeffrey Jelinski and Amy Klobuchar                                                                     
Smude Sunflower Oil, Pierz, while Senator Klobuchar toured the operation.              Ron Kresha gives an update at the Morrison County Board meeting.

Jeffrey with the 'Stand up 4 U' group             Jeff After speaking at the Kiwanis club        Jeffrey volunteering for the 'National Night Out' event
     Fire Chief Boone, Jeff, and Fire Chief Nieman                  The Band Days            Jeff with wife Barb at Little Falls Dam Festival parade 

Swearing in new commissioners                                                   Proclamation for Distracted Driving

Klobuchar Visits LF/Morrison County to support rural economies

Tom and Jenni Smude welcomed U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar to their sunflower oil processing and bottling plant in Pierz. Pictured are (from left): Tom Smude, Klobuchar and Jenni Smude.

Tom and Jenni Smude welcomed U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar to their sunflower oil processing and bottling plant in Pierz, Monday. Pictured are (from left): Tom Smude, Klobuchar and Jenni Smude.

    U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, stopped in Little Falls Monday, to chat with local community leaders about Morrison County’s economic prospects.During the brief visit, Klobuchar toured local business DMP Awnings located in the Little Falls Development Center as well as the proposed food hub.

    Klobuchar praised the efforts of the community and SproutMN in developing the food hub concept, after learning about the hub’s potential to unite the region in improving the local economy.

    “A very cool part of this project is commitment … from the grower, the buyer, the government, from the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top, meeting in the middle,” said County Commissioner Jeff Jelinski. “One of us couldn’t make this commitment alone. It truly takes a whole community.”

    Klobuchar’s visit also included a stop at the WorkForce Center, where manager Brian Gapinski gave the Senator a brief summary of job prospects and trends in Little Falls, notably keeping young workers in the community.

    “One of the things we see at the WorkForce Center is kids who have no idea what they want to do,” Gapinski said.

    As a result, Gapinski said, students graduate from high school and leave the county, leaving manufacturing and other sectors with a lack of new hires willing to learn the trade.

    “It seems really great,” Klobuchar said of the WorkForce Center’s work.

    The Senator also expressed enthusiasm for the Little Falls Community Schools’ internship programs.

    “If we can keep federal grants going on apprenticeships, I think that would be really important,” Klobuchar said.

    Klobuchar sympathized with the plight of local business in finding qualified employees and cited similar problems statewide.

    “I know how hard it is to get welders,” Klobuchar said. “We have an aging workforce of welders and also a new need because of more manufacturing. This is all about high school kids at this point.”

    Carol Anderson, director of Community Development of Morrison County, agreed that employing local high school graduates was a solution to the region’s worker shortage.

    “I’ve been in this business a long time, and there are ebbs and flows,” said Anderson. “When everybody is saying ‘Where can I get workers?’ you go to the same place — the high schools.”

    Anderson also mentioned the challenge of integrating people back into the work force after DWIs or other crimes.

The Senator said she looks forward to next year’s annual visit to see the progress made by local businesses.

    Klobuchar said legislation is currently in process to prevent employers from preemptively screening out potential hires solely on the basis of criminal history without first considering their other qualifications.

    “They do ask eventually, but it’s not the first round question, so they get to know the person and are more likely to hire them,” Klobuchar said.

    Gapinski said that, given the region’s high population of those with previous convictions, such a move could be important for local business.

    “The work force has shrunk and you have to tap that population (of people with criminal histories) also,” Gapinski said.

    Anderson added that a key part of promoting a healthy local economy would be to take advantage of available resources and the many strengths and skills of the population.

    “You can’t force things to come to rural areas. But when you have something and start nurturing it, it goes a long way,” Anderson said.

    Klobuchar’s visit to Little Falls was part of the Senator’s “Growing Minnesota” tour across the central portion of the state, including stops in Elk River, Foley and Milaca.

    “I’ll have to come back and see the shrimp farm (in Pierz),” Klobuchar said. 

Newly-elected county officials sworn in

    The County Commissioners meeting kicked off with a flair, Tuesday.

Those county officials newly-elected or re-elected in the November 2014 election were sworn in prior to Tuesday’s Morrison County Board meeting by the Honorable Judge Conrad Freeberg. After the oaths of office were administered, newly-elected Sheriff Shawn Larsen and his new chief deputy, Jason Worlie, were pinned with their new ranks by their predecessors. During this ceremony are front retiring Chief Deputy Tom Ploof, left, and Worlie. Back: Retiring Sheriff Michel Wetzel, left, and Larsen.

    District Judge Conrad Freeberg was present in his black, judicial robe to administer the oath of office to each newly- elected or re-elected county official, including Morrison County Attorney Brian Middendorf, Sheriff Shawn Larsen, Auditor/Treasurer Deb Lowe, Recorder/Registrar Eileen Holtberg and Commissioners Duane Johnson and Mike Wilson.

    About 60 well-wishers attended the ceremony, including, notably, former U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Rural Development, Minnesota State Director and Representative, Steve Wenzel.

    Badges were officially transferred from former sheriff Michel Wetzel to Sheriff Shawn Larsen, and from former chief deputy Tom Ploof to new Chief Deputy Jason Worlie.

    Also, the Board unanimously voted Commissioner Kevin Maurer as the 2015 chairman of the County Board, and Randy Winscher, vice chairman.

   The important involvement of 49 citizens on nine committees responsible for input on county government functions was approved for each to continue for

    Larry Ehoff was unanimously appointed to the at- large vacancy on the Morrison County Extension Committee.

    The Board unanimously approved $50 and $40 payments per meeting for each citizen serving on those committees.

Duane Johnson and Mike Wilson take oath of office before taking their seats as county commissioners.

    The commissioners were in agreement about considering making all payments $50, rather than a few being $40, a move which will wait until the budget is created for 2016.

    A new Public Health Director, Katy Kirchner, will start working for the county next month, County Administrator Deb Gruber said. 

    In other business, the commissioners:

 • Approved the appointments of individual commissioners to the many committees they serve on, and agreed to report back to the Board about all meetings each attends;

• Approved the travel policy for elected officials and department heads for 2015, detailing specifically for which meetings and seminars mileage reimbursement will be given and approving a similar, detailed policy for the commissioners;

• Approved the code of conduct for the commissioners, in their interactions with each other, constituents, the public, employees and other elected officials; and 

• Approved that Morrison County public meeting notices may be posted on the 

Judge Conrad Freeberg issues the oath of office to County Attorney Brian Middendorf.

bulletin board located in the public entry of the new Government Center, as well as electronically mailing all County Board meeting notices, at least three days in advance, to all persons who file a written or electronic mail request for notification. If an emergency meeting is called, the three-day advance notice rule may be waived, with notices being posted and emailed as soon as possible.

    The County Board’s next meeting will be at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 20, in the Government Center in Little Falls.

Klobuchar sold on Smude's Sunflower Oil

Tom and Jenni Smude welcomed U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar to their sunflower oil processing and bottling plant in Pierz, Monday. Pictured are (from left): Tom Smude, Klobuchar and Jenni Smude.

Tom and Jenni Smude welcomed U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar to their sunflower oil processing and bottling plant in Pierz, Monday. Pictured are (from left): Tom Smude, Klobuchar and Jenni Smude.

    When representatives of all the organizations instrumental in helping Smude’s Sunflower Oil get started gathered to wait for U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar to visit, the room was packed.

    But then, it took a lot of help for Tom and Jenni Smude of Pierz to start production of their sunflower oil, and they’re the first to admit that.

    “It took everybody together to make it happen,” Jenni told the senator.

    Tom described it as a sort of puzzle, trying to find different pieces to fit.

    In 2008, the Smudes started searching for a drought-resistant crop. The young couple farmed, raising beef cattle and raising crops — on top of that they each had jobs outside their farm — and still they were losing money.

    Tom spent a lot of time researching and the idea to produce sunflower oil took hold.

    So did the realization of what the process would encompass.

    Carol Anderson of Community Development of Morrison County was their first call. From there, Anderson was able to put the Smudes in contact with the different entities that could help them start and grow their business.

Some of those opportunities came in the form of loans and a matching grant funded by the rural development portion of the Farm Bill.

    Anderson said about 70 – 75 percent of the Farm Bill goes toward the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The division that funds rural development is included in the remainder, about 1 percent of the Farm Bill.

    That 1 percent, said Anderson, “Goes out and helps create all these jobs in rural areas, and helps with public facilities providing loans and grants for cities for water facilities and they do a lot of housing. So out of that 1 percent — that’s where the economic development money is for rural America.

    “We’re rural America, where are we going to get money to help businesses start up and create jobs?” said Anderson. “If we don’t have that, then everything is just going to die in rural America.”

    That’s why Anderson was excited to get the call from Klobuchar’s office that Monday, she wanted to visit the Smudes’ operation.

    Klobuchar’s staff asked Anderson if Smude Sunflower Oil was still going. She told them, “Absolutely, growing and doing well.”

    Those entities that helped the Smudes along the way, in a variety of ways, include Community Development of Morrison County, the Initiative Foundation, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Farm Services Agency, the city of Pierz, Region 5, the Agriculture Utilization Research Institute (AURI), the Farm Services Agency (FSA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    The FSA actually helped with the grain business the Smudes also started. “It had nothing to do with the Smudes’ oil, other than the grain bins that held the sunflower seeds,” said Anderson.

    First Klobuchar and the group toured the building where the sunflower oil is produced, located on the Smudes’ farm. From there, they traveled to the Pierz Industrial Park where, last year, the Smudes moved the bottling portion of their oil business and the grain bin business.

    The Smudes explained what they had done to bring together all kinds of Minnesota grown producers to put their products in a fundraiser program for schools and group, and how they were developing new uses for the sunflower oil.

    Instead of shipping out oil orders once a week, there are now daily shipments leaving the plant, going across the United States.

    The room where the bottling takes place, Anderson explained, actually started out in a building the city of Little Falls acquired when helping AirBorn move into its new facilities.

    It made the facility more attractive to buyers to have that room gone. The city of Little Falls told Smude he could have it if he took it out, so it cost the city nothing, Anderson said.

    “I was really, really glad to see Klobuchar come to visit since she sits on the Senate Ag Committee and looks at the USDA budget,” said Anderson.

    “Now she’s seen first-hand what that money (economic development) can do in rural America,” Anderson said.

    “I said to Mayor Egan that it’s not often that a U.S. Senator comes to visit a business in Pierz, Minnesota,” she said.

    Klobuchar was impressed with the research, work and effort the Smudes had put into their business and how they had found new ways to use their products — branching into infused and flavored oils, lotions and massage oils.

    The Smudes served several flavors of potato chips made with sunflower oil, a healthy version of the snack, which is sold at Hartmann’s in Pierz and at farmers markets the Smudes attend. They also served popcorn, made with the oil, but that tasted a bit buttery.

    Klobuchar said they wanted to visit the Smudes for several reasons.

    “We’ve actually heard such great things about this and how they’ve been expanding and adding jobs and finding new markets. It’s exactly the kind of company we want to highlight,” she said.

    “One, they didn’t come into it with a lot of money and they put it together with some loans and help from the Department of Agriculture and others in the state, so it’s a great example of that,” she said.

    “Two, they are homegrown Minnesota — not just the company — they use Minnesota products and we really want to promote things made in America, particularly made in Minnesota. The third thing is they are adding jobs to our economy,” said Klobuchar.

    She said it was important that people knew that the Farm Bill, the economic development sliver of the Farm Bill, aided businesses and furthered them along by helping them with loans. “It’s important for people to know that it’s not just about farmers — it’s about businesses.”

    She said the funding was in the form of loans that needed to be repaid.

    As for the sunflower oil, it will be used as an example when Klobuchar speaks about what that funding can help accomplish. The oil will also be used as a gift to Klobuchar’s staff, as the senator bought a case to take with her.

    Popcorn in hand, the senator left, headed for Detroit Lakes. “I love it,” she said of the popcorn. “I think it’s the best popcorn I’ve had for ages — no more microwave for me,” she said.

Hundreds enjoy Thanksgiving Community Meal

Hundreds enjoy Thanksgiving Community Meal:

    Volunteers for the Thanksgiving Community Meal served hundreds of residents  Thanksgiving Day at the Little Falls Community 

    High School commons. Diners ranged from those would have otherwise been alone for Thanksgiving, to those who had traveled to visit grandmas and grandpas or other family and wanted to volunteer, to community members who wanted to socialize. From 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., the line was constant and long said Jeff Jelinski, who has greeted guests at the meal for nearly 20 years at the meal. He said people came from every walk of life and all of them had a smile. Tim Sumner, one of the organizations of the event, said he received so many offers for help, he had to turn away 60 volunteers. Pictured above are Ruth Sumner with her grandchildren (from left): Zachariah and Brooklyn Johnson and Cayden Raduenz, who received name tags from Jelinski.

Morrison County employees recognized

    The Morrison County Board of Commissioners recently honored a handful of county employees for their performance, customer

Employees Recognized:

Morrison County commissioners recognizes employees for work Theresa Stout (front left), Todd Kosovich, Denise Vogl, commissioner Duane Johnson, Linda Browning and commissioners Don Meyer (back left), Randy Winscher, Jeffrey Jelinski and Kevin Maurer.

service and their innovation and leadership through its Awards of Excellence Program at its regular county board meeting.

    “It’s an honor, and one of my favorite times of the year to be able to recognize employees for all their hard work and dedication,” Deb Gruber, county administrator, stated in a news release. “We would like to formally thank those who have helped create an effective, efficient and customer service driven organization that services thousands of people. They truly deserve a big thank you and recognition for standing out and contributing to make public service what it’s meant to be and I’m proud to be a part of this organization because of it.”

    The Awards of Excellence Program was created to honor county employees for excellence in performance, customer service, innovation or leadership as individuals or as a group. It provides the opportunity to honor county employees who may otherwise go unrecognized in the increasingly busy, daily course of work. By recognizing and honoring these efforts, Morrison County hopes to improve and maintain cost effective, high quality services to its residents. 

    Chairman Duane Johnson said, “Morrison County has hard working and dedicated employees. We have employees who are committed to serving the public and helping those in need. The employees recognized today truly represent the organization and what we strive to be. The county board appreciates all of our employees who put our residents and our clients first, day in and day out.”

The 2013 winners are:

• Denise Vogl, Department of Motor Vehicles for her Innovation/Leadership because of her significant contribution for developing a new performance standard process. Allowing the county to ensure they are meetings the needs of the department and its customers.

• Todd Kosovich, county attorney’s office received his award for Customer Service even with an overwhelming caseload, causing many extra hours. He has taken the extra effort to identify veterans that enter into the judicial system and connected them with the Veteran Service Office. This has allowed for the opportunity to connect Veterans with needed resources. 

• Theresa Stout from social services and Linda Browning from the recorder’s office were awarded for their performance in assisting the Veterans Service Office in their transition to the use of ApplicationXtender for document management. Their efforts helped lessen the staff’s learning curve of the program and helped save them time and expense in implementing the project.

    Any current Morrison County employee or customer may nominate an individual or group for recognition. Award forms can be obtained at the Administration Department at the Government Center or on the county’s website. Completed forms for next year’s awards must be submitted by Dec. 31, 2013.

Read what others are saying:

Morrison County Record:

Jeff Jelinski receives nationally recognized certification

    Jeff Jelinksi, Morrison County communications supervisor, received the Communications Unit Leader Type III certification in late 2009. The certificate was awarded by the statewide Radio Board of Minnesota. Jelinski is one of four individuals recognized with this honor in the state of Minnesota.

    This nationally recognized certificate trains emergency responders to lead communication during all hazards emergency operations. This practice significantly improves communications across the multiple disciplines and jurisdictions when responding to an incident.

    A number of requirements exist prior to being eligible to complete this certification. One in particular is a Type III incident event. In April 2009, an emergency training scenario took place at Camp Ripley. The scenario included a plane skidding off of a runway and various hazards as a result.

    During an all hazards emergency, such as depicted during the training exercise at Camp Ripley, Jelinski will lead the communication among those responding. This often includes emergency medical, fire and law enforcement services. Without an on-scene communications leader, the effectiveness of the emergency response teams can be compromised in critical operations.

    “Having the skill set to maintain good communications during an emergency is crucial to successful management of emergency situations,” said Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel. “Morrison County is better positioned to respond to a major event due to the training and certification Jelinski has received.”

    In an effort to increase public safety, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications, in partnership with the Office for Interoperability and Compatibility, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Integration Center and practitioners from across the country, developed performance and training standards for the All Hazards Type III Communications Unit Leader.

Morrison County sheriff’s employee receives certification 

    Communications leader Morrison County Communications Supervisor Jeff Jelinski, center, was recently awarded the Communications Unit Leader Type III Certification. Upon qualifying and successfully completing his requirements, Jelinksi completed his certification at the Type III incident emergency training scenario held at Camp Ripley in 2009. Pictured with Jelinski are Deb Gruber, Morrison County Administrator and Michel Wetzel, Morrison County Sheriff. Jelinski is only one of four in the state of Minnesota recognized with the honor. Jeff Jelinksi, Morrison County Communications Supervisor, has received the Communications Unit Leader Type III Certification. The certificate was awarded by the Statewide Radio Board of Minnesota. Jelinski is one of four individuals recognized with this honor in the State of Minnesota. 

    This nationally recognized certificate trains emergency responders to lead communication during all-hazards emergency operation. This practice significantly improves communications across the multiple disciplines and jurisdictions when responding to an incident. 

    A number of requirements exist prior to being eligible to complete this certification. One in particular is a Type III incident event. In April of last year an emergency training scenario took place at Camp Ripley. The scenario included a plane skidding off of a runway and various hazards as a result. 

    During an all-hazards emergency such as the training exercise at Camp Ripley, Jelinski will lead the communication among those responding. This often includes emergency medical, fire and law enforcement services. Without an on-scene communications leader the effectiveness of the emergency response teams can be compromised in critical operations. 

    “Having the skill set to maintain good communications during an emergency is crucial to successful management of emergency situations,” said Sheriff Michel Wetzel. “Morrison County is better positioned to respond to a major event due to the training and certification Jelinski has received.” 

    Jeff received his certificate from the Statewide Radio Board in late 2009. 

Morrison fire departments receive grant for upgrade

    LITTLE FALLS - The Morrison County Sheriff's Department announced the receipt of a federal grant submitted on behalf of the Morrison County Fire Chief's Association to buy fire departments 800-megahertz radios and pagers.

    The grant was submitted a year ago and listed the Randall Fire Department as the host agency. A total of $847,490 was requested and a 10 percent match was made by Morrison County for a total of $941,655 to buy the equipment.

    The grant was prepared by Morrison County Sheriff's Communications Supervisor Jeff Jelinski, Camp Ripley Fire Chief Pat Boone and Little Falls Fire Chief Mike Nieman. The three put in more than a month of work preparing the grant, which will be used to purchase federally mandated 800-megahertz radios and pagers for the 11 fire departments serving Morrison County.

    The sheriff's department reported cost estimates of $2.5 million to $4 million for full county-wide implementation of the 800-megahertz radio system. In a news release Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel said the grant of nearly $1 million will significantly reduce the taxpayer impact for the equipment.