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The new Becker County jail will cost less than $20 million—county commissioners got it in writing on Tuesday, when they approved a maximum construction cost of just under $19,780,000 from McGough Construction Co., Inc. of Fargo. And the final cost to the county could be considerably less: It will be refunded between $400,000 and $600,000 in state sales taxes associated with the 186-bed jail. And if the project goes smoothly, the county will save another $500,000 by not having to use the construction contingency funding built into the project's budget.
It's a sign of the times that a Detroit Lakes police officer stood in front of a Holiday Inn banquet room Thursday night, full of several hundred people who came to talk about health insurance. As it turns out, he had an easy time of it. There were no fist fights, yelling, or even cross words. Though passionate at times, people who lined up to ask questions were almost all respectful, well informed and courteous towards the three panelists. They were there to answer questions about how the Republican-designed American Health Care Act could change healthcare in Detroit Lakes.
The proposed Senate version of the American Health Care Act (designed to replace Obamacare) would end Medicaid as we know it, by capping it and gradually passing more of the cost burden onto the states and individual patients. Medicaid provides health insurance to low income and disabled people (64 percent of nursing home residents, 76 percent of all poor children, 30 percent of all adults with disabilities) and the possibility of cuts has a lot of people who depend on the federal program worried.
Former Detroit Lakes High School Principal Rod Thompson, who left Detroit Lakes under a cloud about 16 years ago, allegedly after an affair with a subordinate, has resigned under fire from his position as superintendent of the Shakopee School District.
Becker County taxpayers can expect to pay perhaps another $18,500 to defend the county against a lawsuit filed by State Auditor Rebecca Otto. The DFL state auditor sued Becker, Wright and Ramsey counties for using private auditors to conduct their annual financial audit. The counties acted under a Republican-written 2015 law that allows counties to hire private firms instead of using the State Auditor's Office.
An ATV crash early Tuesday morning in Becker County has left one man dead and another injured, according to the Becker County Sheriff's Office. Anthony Robert Ortiz Sr., 47, of Soap Lake, Wash., died at the scene after the side-by-side ATV he was driving rolled over on South Elbow Lake Road in Round Lake Township.
The White Earth Tribal Council has taken the first step towards allowing a vote of the people to decide the fate of the proposed Star Lake Casino near Dent—or any other question they want to put to a vote. The council on Monday voted 3-0 to approve the White Earth Referendum Ordinance, which sets forth the procedures for putting an issue to a referendum vote. The new ordinance will be posted for 15 days and now begins a 30-day public review period.
White Earth has spent about $7 million so far on the proposed Star Lake Casino project, Tribal Secretary-Treasurer Tara Mason said at a meeting with tribal members. Expenses for the Star Lake Casino include land acquisition, buying wetland credits and architectural, planning and environmental fees. Some of the money spent so far includes intermingled architectural fees for the existing White Earth casino between Ebro and Bagley. The same design, on a larger scale, will be used at Star Lake, if the project is approved.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. -- U.S. Book of Common Prayer, 1928 edition.
Feeling anxious about your health care coverage? You're not alone. Aiming to replace the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. House approved its replacement version, called the American Health Care Act; the U.S. Senate is working on its own secret version; and it's anyone's guess what the American health insurance system and Medicaid will look like in a few years. If only there were a panel of local experts to answer your questions. Voila! There is!