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Westbrook, Minnesota
January 30, 2013     Sentinel Tribune
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January 30, 2013

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OACHES VS. CANCER ! !i i! i i llnli,h,l,lhililhhilqhh,"ilhll,,l,illlllhl,lhll,lhl ' ***************MIXED ADC 50902 SmallTownPapers Inc 09113/99 217 W COTA ST 'j- SHELTON. WA 98584-2263 I k 3 6 Wednesda00 Y Jan. 30, 2013 $1.00 lll!l!l!LIIIl!!l!l!l!llU Volume No. 28 NUMBER 23 10 PAGES Plus supplements in local edition ii:!!iji!!!:ii , , ;iiiiiii:i:!!:i!iiiii - m Board holds budget planning meeting School funding shift ,pay backs will help districts but more is needed for strapped school districts Tom Merchant Sentinel Tribune WWG -- Due to the recent positive state budget numbers, schools in the state will receive approximately half of the most recent funding shift held back by the state. The move was done to help the state balance the last budget for the biennium. In that budget shift the WWG district had about 1.5 million withheld from state aid. With the current pay back the district will receive $790,262 of that money back right away. Superintendent Loy Woelber feels the money will be welcome to all districts. Although Westbrook Walnut Grove has not had to borrow due to the shortfall, many districts were forced into that position and that costs money to do that. Woelber also commented that even though the district actually did not receive the funds from the shift, they were required to show it in the fund balance. Without that money in the bank, the district's fund bal- ance of 1.9 million normally would give the district a four month cushion of operating capital, but in reality it was actually only a one month cushion. At the planning and budget meeting last week Monday night board members and staff members discussed things to consider when setting the next budget. Student numbers were discussed, enroll- ments have dropped significantly the past few years. Enrollments increased several years ago when large Hmong families moved into the community at Walnut Grove. Woelber said simply put, "revenue is student driven." He talked about several aspects involving highlighting what the district is proud of. Board members talked about getting more information out about the good things in the school. When new families move into the area and inquire, the district needs to follow up with positive information detailing the posi- tives of our school. Home school is taking a large chunk out of public education. The district should try to connect with home school people to show them things that are hard to do at home. According to elementary principal Paul Olson, pre-school numbers are up quite a bit. It is good to get these kids in the system as many will continue into kindergarten. Budget Page 3 Freezing Rain, then Fog Freezing rain moved in about nine o'clock Sunday morning, quickly coating everything outdoors with a thick coat of ice making travel extremely dangerous. Later in the day the area received a little more than a dusting of snow, but the snow actually improved the icy conditions. Monday morning fog moved into the area complicating the situation even more. Walnut Grove Bar and Grill adding WiFi By Paula McGarvey The City Council met in a regular ses- sion on the 14th day of January, 2013 at 7:00 PM in the council room. Greg Hansen, Xiong Yang, Todd Harrington, JeffHarnack, Leonard McLaughlin, Mike Zeug, Kerwin Armitage and Tom Hansen were present. The Bar & Grill report was reviewed by the council. Discussion was held on remodeling the Bar & Grill. Remodeling will start February 17, 2013. The council approved the installation of a cell phone booster to improve cell service in the Bar & Grill. The council also approved ordering a computer from Tracy Computer at a cost of $1239.73 and a wireless router & printer. Internet service will be installed at the Bar & Grill after the computer has arrived. Wireless connection will be available for patrons. The council reviewed the contract with DPM and signed the contract as approved at the last council meeting and agreed to 24/7 support for the first year. The Water/Wastewater report was given by Kerwin Armitage from PeopleService. All plant maintenance work orders have been completed for the month and all systems are running properly. Bolten & Menk responded to the letter from a property owner near the wastewa- ter treatment plant that has concerns about erosion. Tom Hansen gave the maintenance report to the Council. Discussion was held on completing tile replacement in the hall of the community center. The Council approved this. The council also approved the ordering of the floor buffer for $1060 and 10 tables & 72 chairs that were budgeted for in 2013. The Police Report was given by Chief Zeug. The Council approved the $325 fee for training through MN West Community College. The American Legion had requested a special alcohol permit for their Super Bowl Party. The council approved both the special license and the annual Liquor License for the Walnut Grove Legion. Council -- on page 3 The cost of mailing a letter just went up First class mailing rate increased a penny from 45 cents to 46 cents Tom Merchant Sentinel Tribune SPECIAL -- It's not all bad, said PMR (Post Master Relief) person Julie Halverson. Along with slight increases in all classes of mail, she said there are some perks that were added for customers. The new rates include a one cent increase for a one ounce first class letter from .45 cents to .46 cents. Additional ounces will be .66 cents for 2 ounces, .86 cents for 3 ounces, and $1.06 for 3.5 ounces. Postcards will also increase by one cent going from 32 cents to 33 cents. First Class Flats base (Oversize letters) rate will increase by two cents to .92 cents plus .20 cents each for additional ounces. Delivery Confirmation of Priority and Standard Post will now be free. Letters sent to international destinations weighing one ounce or less will be $1.10 to all countries. Before there were different prices for international First Class Mail except Canada and Mexico. Now patrons can mail first class letters any- where in the world for the same set price. For those using Priority Mail or Standard Post (formerly called Parcel Post) will be able to track their packages with no additional charge. Standard Post will only be available at the Post Office. Priority Mail and Flat Rate Boxes will also have new pricing, along with other products and services. Halverson pointed out that all regular first class stamps now are labeled "Forever" stamps and can be used any time in the future for mailing a one ounce letter. Additional post is only required if the letter goes over one ounce. Although the US Postal Service is autho- rized by the federal government, and specifi- cally by Congress, no tax dollars are used for operational expense. Sales of postage, prod- ucts and services are used to fund Postal Service operations. ON RECORD PAGE 2 EDUCATION PAGE 7 AREA FOCUS PAGE 3 SPORTS PAGE 8 VIEWPOINT PAGE 4 CLASSIFIED ADS PAGE 9 FAITH & FAMILY PAGE 5 AREA FOCUS PAGE 10 COMMUNITY PAGE 6 WINTER SPORTS PAGE 2, 8 INFORMATION CIRCULATION CLASSIFIEDS ADVERTISING 507-274-6136 OR 800-410-1859 Please read and recycle Printed with Soybased Ink Copyright 2013 Sentinel Tribune ; t, .t