Tag Archives: Rice County

The fight over wind turbine siting moves from Greenvale Township to Rice County

"Township Wind Turbine Discussion" is agenda item #6 at tonight’s work session after the Northfield City Council meeting.

Dr. Gary Carlson, a physician at Allina, has a commentary in today’s Strib titled Wind energy’s ripple effects.

Gary CarlsonI just returned from a meeting of my county planning committee, where we debated the pros and cons of our neighbor’s proposal to put up two 400-foot wind turbines, with the closest about 1,300 feet from our property line. My family lives on a bluff on the edge of Northfield…

Getting up to speed on the science of sound and the medical research related to wind turbines has been exhausting, and in the process I have discovered the dark medical underbelly of industrial-sized turbines. They produce a lot of infrasonic and low-frequency noise.


Scattered across four Rice County townships and capable of producing as much as one megawatt of power each, the six turbines that received preliminary approval would be constructed by Gro Wind LLC. — a company presided over by Leone Medin.  Medin was a co-owner of Medin Renewable Energy, which attempted to construct the 11-turbine Greenvale Township wind farm in Dakota County along with another company, Sparks Energy.

The companies’ plans failed last year after the wind farm ran into heavy opposition from township residents. According to permit applications submitted by the companies to Rice County, the two turbines that did not receive preliminary approval from the Planning Commission would be developed by Spring Creek Wind LLC., co-owned by Anna Schmalzbauer, Medin’s daughter.

Podcast: Mary Ho on H1N1 flu preparations

Griff Wigley, Mary Ho, Ross Currier

Our radio show/podcast guest on Monday: Mary Ho, Rice County Director of Pubic Health, talking with us about local preparations for the H1N1 flu season. Ross and I did the proper virus-preventive fist bump upon her departure though now I see that we may have to graduate to elbow bumps.

Click play to listen. 30 minutes.

Continue reading Podcast: Mary Ho on H1N1 flu preparations

Where are the area’s most popular speed traps?

traffic-ticket-online-versiontraffic-ticket-print-version I got nailed for speeding a week or so ago, going 44 in a 30 in the laughably-labeled ‘urban zone’ of Cannon City. (It’s a freakin’ township.) It’s ridiculous IMHO to have the speed set for 30 MPH on County Road 20 as if it were a neighborhood street. Even Dennison, which is a city and has many businesses along County Road 9, has the speed set at 35 MPH through the middle of town.

Okay, so it’s cash-cow speed trap, I should have known better since I travel that way to Faribault often, and my fine of $130 helps Rice County’s revenue stream. I’ll get over it eventually.

So in the interest of public safety (heh), where are the other speed traps in the area?

Plan to keep Rice County jail full proposed

On Monday, the Strib reported that Some Minnesota counties struggle with empty jails

In Hubbard County, some officials say without that outside revenue, it would actually be cheaper for them to shut the jail down and send their inmates elsewhere… It appears that region-wide, fewer people are going to jail.

Rice County jail Rice County does not have this problem but at the County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, administrators proposed a program to prevent it.  “We’d like to ramp up enforcement of illegal music file downloading and sharing,” said Administrator Cary Weers.

With the RIAA’s successful 2007 prosecution of Jammie Thomas, a 30-year-old woman from Brainerd, and the rapid increase in broadband penetration throughout the county, Weers thinks “this situation is a major O in our SWOT analysis for keeping the jail full. Northfield’s college population in particular is low-hanging fruit.”

Also of particular interest to county officials is the RIAA’s effort to stem the increase in people who publicly whistle or hum copyrighted songs without permission. “It’s fine to engage in these activities in the privacy of one’s home,” said Commissioner Gabe Malkovich. “But people have to realize that musicians are artists who need to be paid for the use of their work. Publicly using music without paying for it has to be stopped.”

Continue reading Plan to keep Rice County jail full proposed