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Refrigerator & Freezer Recycling Program Starts May 15th

Refrigerator & Freezer Recycling Program Starts May 15th

The Conserve & Save program, serving Austin Utilities, Owatonna Public Utilities and Rochester Public Utilities, is back for a second year. The program allows people looking for new refrigerators and/or freezers to turn in operating but energy inefficient units for a $35 incentive. The incentive is good for each qualifying appliance, with a maximum of two units per program life.

This is the 2nd year for the program, which generated an incredible response in 2011. The 2012 program starts today, May 15th, and runs through October 31, 2012 or until funds are exhausted.

In order to qualify, the refrigerator or freezer must be 10-30 cubic feet, operating secondary unit, in working order and owned by an RPU customer. The appliance will also be picked up, free of charge, inside the customer's home from the address listed on their billing account.

You can get more information by calling 1-877-341-2259 or at www.rpu.org

OMC to Host Still Missed Garden Honor Planting Service

OMC to Host Still Missed Garden Honor Planting Service

Olmsted Medical Center will hold its eleventh annual Honor Planting Service at its “Still Missed” Garden site, located at Olmsted Medical Center Hospital, 1650 Fourth St. SE, at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16, 2012. The Garden is located to the right of the OMC Hospital’s main entrance.

OMC’s “Still Missed” Garden provides community and support for families who have experienced loss at Olmsted Medical Center. According to OMC social worker and event co-chair Erica Hansen, "This annual event continues to give all of us who have experienced the loss of a loved one a time and place to honor their memories." The garden is truly a living tribute to those memories, and those who attend the service are encouraged to bring an annual blooming plant to be added to the garden to honor and remember their loved ones.

Arbor Day Celebration

Arbor Day Celebration

Rochester Public Utilities, with partners Maier Forest and Tree and Rochester Park and Recreation, will host the 10th Annual Arbor Day Celebration on Friday, April 27th from 11 a.m. to1 p.m. at Mayo Park behind the Mayo Civic Center.

The fun and free community event will feature a variety of activities and displays that will include: A tree giveaway of over 3,000 trees, a free lunch of hot dogs, corn on the cob, chips, cookies, and soda will be provided (while supplies last), and live music from Paul Mayasich and his band, Real American Made Music. Tree experts will also be on hand to answer questions on tree planting and care, along with many other vendor displays.

Children will be able to enjoy Smokey Bear, balloonists, a scavenger hunt, temporary tattoos, bean bag toss, and much more!

Church to Dedicate New Client Garden for Channel One

Church to Dedicate New Client Garden for Channel One

Sunday, April 22nd Community Presbyterian Church of Rochester and Channel One Food Shelf will be dedicating a new garden for use by Channel One Food Shelf clients on church grounds.  This new addition to Channel One’s Green Garden program allows families struggling with hunger the opportunity to supplement their food budgets with fresh produce that is grown in the garden.

Visits to the Channel One Food Shelf remain very high.  The opportunity to for clients to grow their own nutritious foods is an important tool in the fight against hunger. This new garden is an expansion of Community Presbyterian Church’s support of Channel One.  The church also partners with Channel One in the Back Pack program that helps feed children in need in Rochester Public schools. 

Minnesota Crop Report

Minnesota Crop Report

Small grain planting is advancing at a strong pace in Minnesota, aided by warm, dry weather. In its weekly crop weather report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday that spring wheat advanced 22 percentage points to 25 percent planted, compared with none last year and 1 percent for the five-year average. Oats advanced 31 points to 49 percent planted, compared with none last year and a 5 percent average. Barley advanced 12 points to 18 percent planted, compared with none last year and a 2 percent average.Four percent of Minnesota's oats have emerged, while 1 percent of the state's barley has emerged.Statewide average temperatures were 9.7 degrees above normal last week. Weekly rainfall ranged from 0.36 inches in east-central areas to none in the southwest.

High Fire Danger, Burn Permits Suspended

High Fire Danger, Burn Permits Suspended

     There's an elevated fire risk for much of Minnesota.  Red Flag warnings are in place for much of south Minnesota and northwest Iowa
     It's blamed on low humidity and high winds.  Winds will be breezy for the next couple days with gusts towards 35 mph.
     Any burning outside of a recreational camp fire is strongly discouraged and with any burning, extreme care will be needed.

Remember to Obtain Permits for Open Burning

Remember to Obtain Permits for Open Burning

Residents are reminded that permits are required for open burning and those permits have limitations, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

An open burning permit is required for any fire larger than a campfire up to three feet in diameter and when the ground is not covered by at least three inches of snow. 

Open burning is restricted to vegetative materials such as grass, brush or untreated wood.

The permit does not allow the burning of materials including garbage, tires, plastics, sheetrock, plywood, painted boards or any other nonvegetative materials.

“What you can and can’t burn is pretty simple,” according to DNR Fire Supervisor Tom Romaine. “If it’s not natural, untreated, vegetative material, it cannot be burned.”