Local/state briefs

Individuals urged to apply to be an election judge in Lyon County

Individuals can now electronically apply to become election judges within Lyon County. Lyon County has an election judge application linked on lyonco.org. Election judges play very important roles in elections.

The application provides the public the opportunity to become involved in the election process by serving at one of Lyon County’s polling places for the primary and general elections later this year.

The 2018 dates of service include the state primary on Tuesday, Aug. 14, and the state general on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Judges are required to complete a minimum of two hours of training, which Lyon County will offer online starting in mid-June.

Election judges are needed to make sure the voting process goes smoothly, help voters who need assistance, ensure only qualified voters are permitted to vote and certify precinct election results. Election judges are appointed by a city or township and are paid for their work at pay rates set by the municipality that appoints them. State law allows you to receive time off from work to be an election judge.

To serve as an election judge, you must be eligible to vote in Minnesota. Visit http://www.lyonco.org/ to apply. Applications are also available in person at the Auditor/Treasurer’s office on the second floor of the Government Center at 607 W. Main St. in Marshall.

Contact the Lyon County Auditor/Treasurer’s office with any questions at 507-537-6724, ext. 4 or elections@co.lyon.mn.us.

SRDC transportation committee, public information meeting set

The Southwest Regional Development Commission Transportation Committee is scheduled to meet at 3:30 p.m.Wednesday, April 4, at the Center for Regional Development Office, 2401 Broadway Ave., Slayton. Agenda issues to be discussed include: SRDC FY’19 Transportation Work Plan, Corridor Coalition updates and ATP Subcommittee funding targets. Public review and comment on the ATP 7 and ATP 8 Draft Area Transportation Improvement Programs for FY 2019 through FY 2022 begins at 4 p.m. The draft program identifies projects for federal funding over the next four years.

The public is invited to come and help provide comment on these transportation projects and learn what projects are scheduled for future funding, and ask about projects that are not yet funded. If questions contact Annette Fiedler, SRDC physical development director, at 507-836-1631 or by email at phydev@swrdc.org.

Snowmobile accident inspires new Minnesota DWI law

ST. PAUL (AP) — The death of an 8-year-old boy who was struck by a snowmobile spurred Minnesota legislators to advance a bill that would make drunk driving an offense no matter the vehicle being operated.

The House transportation committee approved a bill to allow for DWI convictions whether they’re on the road, trails or snow, Minnesota Public Radio reported . The bill would limit someone with a drunken driving offense issued while operating a car from operating other vehicles, such as a snowmobile.

There’s currently a loophole, said Republican Rep. Anne Neu of North Branch.

“It’s silly to think that for some reason there should be stiffer penalties for a DWI in a car than there are in an ATV or a snowmobile,” she said. “They are certainly deadly machines. They are certainly capable of destruction, just like a car is.”

Alan Geisenkoetter Jr. suffered severe brain damage and died in January after he was struck on Chisago Lake. The snowmobile’s driver, Eric Coleman, was intoxicated and has a history of drunk driving and license revocations, prosecutors said.

Coleman had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit for driving, authorities said. He now faces murder charges.

The Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association support of the bill. The snowmobilers association has long been against intoxicated riding, said Doug Franzen, a lobbyist for the group.

“We say this is really not a snowmobile issue,” Franzen said. “This is an issue with people’s attitudes regarding drinking. This is an issue of addiction. It’s a terrible tragedy.”

Man sentenced for helping steal dog from ailing officer

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — A Minnesota man who helped steal a puppy belonging to a South Dakota police officer who was recovering from brain surgery has been sentenced to a month in jail and fined $854.

The American News reported 19-year-old Hassan Yusef, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, pleaded guilty earlier this month to being an accessory to a felony.

Police said the 4-week old German shepherd and electronic devices were taken Sept. 30 from the home of Aberdeen Officer Briston Bruce, and the puppy was later let loose in Minnesota. It was found by a Minneapolis resident who placed an ad on social media, and police intervened to arrange for the dog’s return.