ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Department of Transportation urges snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle operators to conform with state laws and regulations when operating their machines in ditches and other areas within a highway right-of-way.
MnDOT issued the warning to ensure that snowmobile and ATV riders know where they are permitted to operate their machines and remain aware of safe operating practices.
A recent commissioner's order from the department, for example, bans ATVs from freeways, expressways and other controlled-access highways. The order applies to both Class 1 ATVs, those weighing 900 pounds or less, and Class 2 machines, which weigh more than 900 pounds.
Operators also are urged to check with local jurisdictions to determine if they have additional restrictions.
State snowmobile regulations allow riders to operate on outside ditch slopes and ditch bottoms, but prohibit operation on roadways, shoulders and the inner slopes of a state or county road. Regulations also prohibit operation on the medians of four-lane highways and within the right-of-way of any interstate highway.
Regulations also prohibit riders from operating against traffic at night within highway right-of-way.
Officials from the state DNR and public safety departments urged riders to reduce speeds in construction areas, especially at night. They also remind ATV operators that they must possess a valid driver's license in areas where it's legal to drive on highway ditches and slopes and when crossing roads.
Teacher of the Year candidates announced
The 2007 Minnesota Teacher of the Year program announced that 133 teachers have accepted their nominations and completed the required candidate materials to become eligible for the honor.
The candidates for 2007 Minnesota Teacher of the Year include Jody Perrine, Crosby-Ironton; Charles Johnson, Pillager; and Catherine Brennan, Pine River-Backus.
Over the coming months, a 22-member panel of community leaders will name a group of semi-finalists and then finalists for the program. The teacher of the year recipient will be announced May 6 at the Northland Inn and Conference Center in Brooklyn Center.
Senior dances scheduled this week
Senior dances are scheduled this week from 1-4 p.m. Wednesday in Waukenabo with music by Helen, Don and Gary; 7-10 p.m. Thursday in Staples with music by Jerry B.; and 1-4 p.m. Friday in Deerwood with music by Carl and Gary.
Eagle View receives forest education grant
Beth McKenna, a teacher at Eagle View Elementary School in Pequot Lakes, has been awarded a forest education grant from Minnesota Forest Industries.
The grant funds will be used to replant trees lost to drought in the school nature center.
McKenna is one of 12 teachers in the state to receive funds through Minnesota Forest Industries, which is an association that represents the state's forest products companies.
Local pastor gives prayer in state Senate
Pastor Rory Swenson of the Park United Methodist Church in Brainerd gave the opening prayer Thursday at the Minnesota Senate. The Brainerd pastor was invited to give the prayer by Sen. Paul Koering, R-Fort Ripley.
Nonprofit applicants sought for funding
Nonprofit organizations are invited to apply for grant dollars made available by a fund created by Anderson Brothers Construction and the Jim and Linnea Anderson family of Brainerd.
Grants will be awarded this summer.
The Initiative Foundation-hosted Anderson Brothers Family Fund will award grants to eligible nonprofits for projects or programs supporting children, youth and families; the elderly or special needs groups; and environmental initiatives.
Eligible organizations must serve Cass or Crow Wing counties; northern Morrison County, including Little Falls; or the Park Rapids area. Priority will be given to volunteer-driven projects and organizations that have few other means of support.
Grants awarded from this fund typically range in size from $1,000 to $5,000.
To apply for grants from the Anderson Brothers Family Fund, nonprofits must submit a short grant inquiry form by March 15 to the Initiative Foundation for projects beginning after June 1, indicating ABFF in the funding priority area.
Organizations that are selected through the inquiry process will be invited to complete a full grant proposal. Inquiry forms are available online at www.ifound.org in the "Grants, How to Apply" section or by contacting Chris Fastner at (877) 632-9255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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