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Local/state briefs

UCAP announces changes to operations

United Community Action Partnership has been closely monitoring the situation with COVID-19. During this difficult time, UCAP is working to ensure the safety of staff, customers, and partners, while continuing to support and provide essential services for the community.

The offices are closed to the public, but many services are still available.

Staff contact with the public is limited, so services are offered via the telephone or other technology resources such as email, text, and Zoom. Below is specific program-related information.

Emergency Housing: If you are homeless or past due with rent or mortgage call your local UCAP office. Cottonwood/Jackson Co., 507-847-2632 ext. #3106 or #3109; Kandiyohi Co., 320-235-0850; Lincoln/Lyon Co., 507-537-1416; Meeker Co., 320.693.7911; Mcleod Co., 320-587-5244; Redwood Co., 507-637-2187; Renville Co., 320-587-5244.

Food Shelves: Marshall, Tracy, Westbrook and Heron Lake/Okabena residents call 507-537-1416.

Energy Assistance: You can still apply for assistance to help pay for a portion of your heating bill. Applications are available at www.unitedcapmn.org and can be filled out and faxed to 320.441.6399. If your furnace is not working or you have a shut off notice call 320-235-0850 ext. 1203.

Transportation: Essential services in Cottonwood, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Jackson, Murray, Pipestone, Redwood and Rock counties are still being provided. Fewer passengers are being scheduled on transit buses to allow for social distancing. Go to the website at https://unitedcapmn.formstack.com/forms/transportation_request_change_form to request a ride on-line or call our county dispatchers. Lincoln, Lyon, Redwood Co., 507-537-7628; Jackson, Cottonwood, Murray Co., 507-847-2632; Pipestone Co., 507.825.1180; Rock Co., 507-283-5058.

Thrift Store: Litchfield and Redwood Falls stores are currently closed.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance: Call 507-537-1416 ext. #2163

MNsure: Healthcare applications will be taken over the phone. Call 320-235-0850 ext. 1117.

Weatherization: Staff will be checking emails and calls and will respond as needed. Call 507-537-1416 #2130.

Head Start: Currently closed with a remote service plan in place as needed. Call 320-235-0850 ext. 621.

Child Care Aware: Staff will continue to check email and respond as needed.

Youth Development: Remote based services are being provided to our youth.

WRAP receives grant for economic empowerment of domestic abuse survivors

WoMen’s Rural Advocacy Program has received $1,000 from Lyon-Lincoln Electric Trust through its Operation Round Up Grant. This money will help a victim with a one-time need, such as first month’s rent, security deposit or unpaid utility bill. The purpose of this funding is not to provide ongoing financial support but rather help a victim so they can reach financial stability.

Often times individuals who experience domestic abuse have little time to find their escape. Those individuals escaping domestic abuse may leave with nothing more than the clothes they are wearing and their children in hand.

For more information about WRAP and the services it provides, call 507-532-9532 (business line), 507-532-2350 or 800-639-2350 (crisis line) or visit www.letswrap.com.

Driver who struck, killed woman jailed in Sherburne County

PRINCETON (AP) — A driver who struck and killed a woman walking along a Sherburne County road is jailed while authorities wait for blood test results to see if he was impaired.

Catherine Lynn, 69, was killed Monday afternoon while walking with her longtime partner on County Road 2 southeast of Princeton. He was not injured.

According to sheriff’s officials, the two were walking on the shoulder of the road when the 55-year-old driver crossed the center line and struck her. He was arrested at the scene.

The Star Tribune said the man has a prior conviction for drunken driving and for driving with a revoked license.

Minnesota Supreme Court agrees to hear PolyMet permit appeal

ST. PAUL (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court has agreed to hear PolyMet Mining Inc.’s appeal of a ruling that canceled three permits needed for its proposed copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

In January, the Minnesota Court of Appeals gave environmentalists a major victory by rejecting some of the most important permits for the planned mine.

The appeals court sent the dispute back to the Department of Natural Resources for a trial-like contested case hearing before a neutral administrative law judge on the project’s environmental risks.

PolyMet pointed out that the DNR has already held a 15-year-long environmental review and permitting process that included numerous chances for the public to weigh in.

Environmental groups said Wednesday they will defend the appeals court decision.

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy says the appeal court properly concluded that the risks of PolyMet’s proposal “are too important not to be fully evaluated by an independent judge.”

Paula Maccabee, an attorney for WaterLegacy, another group that challenged the permits, says the appeals court ruling was “sound, well-reasoned, and compelling.” Maccabee says Minnesotans “deserve a contested-case hearing process.”

At issue were PolyMet’s permit to mine and its two dam safety permits. The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa also is challenging the project.

The Supreme Court order did not set a time for oral arguments.

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