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Vote for Your Favorite Scarecrow | News, Sports, Jobs



Submitted photo
The scarecrows are throughout downtown and now is the time to vote for your favorite. Voting locations are Byrd’s House of Donuts, Henry G’s and S&T Bees. Three People’s Choice Awards will be presented on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Pictured is the Mountain Heart scarecrow near the Elkins Randolph County Public Library which is one of more than 40 from which to choose. Mountain Heart wants the community to know that they leave five bags daily with their scarecrow that contain a preschool and school age book along with valuable child-centered information. Please, be courteous and allow different families to share in this opportunity.

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Early Voting Draws Some Crowds On First Day | News, Sports, Jobs




Chautauqua County’s election commissioners, Norm Green and Brian Abram, have provided a Voting 101 for local residents. Election Day is Nov. 3, but there are other ways to vote this year.
P-J file photo

Unlike last year, early voting appears to have plenty of momentum.

Sites in Dunkirk at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds and in Lakewood at the Chautauqua Mall reported lines of people waiting to fill out a ballot on Saturday. Waits at the locations were reported, at times, to be longer than five to 10 minutes.

Voting also is taking place at the Hall Clothier Building in Mayville.

This year’s ballot, besides the presidential race, includes county races for executive, district attorney as well as state Assembly, Senate and Congressional District 23.

Polls are open Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., Monday and Tuesday from noon to 8 p.m. It continues through Nov. 1. Polls throughout the county will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 3.

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Lithuania holds parliamentary vote as pandemic hits jobs




VILNIUS, Lithuania — Polling stations opened Sunday across Lithuania for a parliamentary runoff election in which the winner will have to tackle a growing health crisis and high unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The election is widely expected to bring about a change of leadership in the southernmost Baltic nation, which has been governed by a centre-left coalition for four years. In the first round of voting on Oct. 11, three centre-right opposition parties finished with a combined lead.

In the second round, 68 of the 141 seats in Lithuania’s legislative assembly, the Seimas, are up for grabs. The other seats were allotted after the Oct. 11 first round of voting.

The first round resulted in the conservative Homeland Union party winning 23 seats, or 24.8% of the vote, while the ruling Farmers and Greens party only grabbed 16 seats, or 17.5%.

“If the conservatives are successful on Sunday, they would very likely try to form a new ruling coalition with other two centre-right partners — the Freedom Party and the Liberal movement,” Vilnius University political scientist Tomas Janeliunas told The Associated Press. “Yet this would be a rather fragile majority.”

Some 54 Homeland Union candidates made it into the runoff, while the Farmers and Greens have 32 contenders. Together, the Freedom Party and the Liberal movement have 21 candidates. Two other centre-left parties that have crossed the 5% support threshold into parliament could join the Farmers and Greens in a new coalition but they have few candidates in the runoff.

More than 7% of Lithuania’s 2.5 million voters have already cast early ballots for the runoff, according to election authorities who set up special drive-in polling stations because of the pandemic. Voters this year must wear a face mask and bring their own pen.

Polling stations close at 8 p.m. and results are expected overnight.

Lithuania, a member of the European Union and NATO, has kept strong democratic traditions and sustainable economic growth since declaring independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. It has also played a major diplomatic role as the protests in Belarus, its southern neighbour, unfold against that nation’s authoritarian leader.

The country fared comparatively well during the first wave of the pandemic, but like elsewhere in Europe this fall, the nation of 3 million has reported worrying infection spikes in recent weeks. Overall, it has seen over 9,500 cases and 129 reported deaths.

After weeks of hesitation, the Lithuanian government imposed a quarantine in 12 of 60 districts that starts on Monday. Opposition lawmakers have criticized the government for not doing enough to stabilize the latest outbreak.

The economic impact of the pandemic has hit Lithuania hard: it’s unemployment rate was over 14% in September compared to 9% in February. The outgoing parliament had drafted a 2021 budget with a 4-billion euro ($4.7 billion) deficit.

Liudas Dapkus, The Associated Press

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St. Casimir’s set to get relief aid | News, Sports, Jobs




Commissioner Tom Warmka accepts a WWII memorial plaque from creator/designer Ross Pollard.

The Faribault County Commissioners are still busy allocating funds from the CARES Act.

They had previously distributed funds to three schools located in Faribault County. Those were Blue Earth Area, United South Central and Genesis Classical Academy.

At their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20, they heard from St. Casimir’s School in Wells.

St. Casimir’s had been without a principal when the prior meetings with school officials were held. In fact it was not until the school year began that Diane Edwards was hired to be the principal at St. Casimir’s.

“I want to thank you for your time,” Edwards told the commissioners. “My background has been in public education. This is my first job in private education.”

The commissioners inquired about the school’s needs.

“We are currently operating with in-person learning,” Edwards told the board. “We are looking to improve our technology in case we have to go to virtual learning. We would also like to be able to add some hand sanitizing stations and a secured entry system to control the traffic flow into our school.”

She told the commissioners the school had been able to purchase computers.

“We had access to some grant money to help us with acquiring the computers,” Edwards said. “We are still in the process of getting them set up.”

Edwards was asked what the current enrollment numbers were at the school.

“We currently have 26 students in grades K-6, nine in preschool and a number of kids in after-school care,” Edwards responded.

The board passed a motion making up to $30,000 available to the school.

Action was also taken by the commissioners to award the sale of refunded jail bonds to Northland Securities. Bids were solicited through noon of Monday, Oct. 19. A total of six bids were received for the resale of the bonds.

Arcelia Detert of PFM Financial Advisors, LLC attended the meeting virtually and informed the board the new interest rate would be .67 percent.

“The net savings to the county will be about $301,000 or about $40,000 per year,” Detert explained. “The maturity date for the bonds is 2028.”

Planning and Zoning administrator Loria Rebuffoni also attended the meeting virtually to update the board on the junkyard ordinance.

“After our last Planning Commission meeting we are wondering if the better way to address the situation would be through a nuisance ordinance,” Rebuffoni commented. “Approaching things in that manner would allow you to abate, assess and issue misdemeanors.”

She referred to an ordinance which Renville County is using as an example to follow.

The commissioners asked Rebuffoni to send them copies of the Renville County ordinance so they could study and review it.

“An ordinance like that would not pertain to salvage yards which are under state authority,” Rebuffoni explained.

There were some concerns raised by the commissioners.

“Laws limit you. I do not want to infringe on peoples’ rights,” commissioner Tom Loveall stated. “I do understand we need order. We cannot have chaos.”

Commissioner Greg Young also offered his thoughts.

“Understand, this is a process,” he said. “We are not trying to persecute people. We are looking at the concept.”

Rebuffoni had a reminder for the board members.

“The public has to be part of this process,” she said. “All counties struggle with this issue.”

Randall Anderson of the Faribault County Historical Society was on hand at the meeting to present the commissioners with a plaque to honor those from Faribault County who fought in WWII.

Ross Pollard, a local artist who designed and created the plaque was also on hand for the presentation.

“The plaque measures 18 inches by 12 inches and weighs approximately 12 pounds,” Pollard mentioned. “It is made of solid bronze and brass.”

Chairman Tom Warmka thanked the pair for the plaque.

“I know the families of the people listed on this plaque will appreciate this,” Warmka commented.

In other business:

• Public Works director Mark Daly gave a construction update with almost all county work being completed.

• A motion was approved designating First Bank Blue Earth, Wells Fargo, Frost State Bank and the State Bank of Easton as depositories of funds for Faribault County for a period of one year, ending Oct. 20, 2021.

• The commissioners passed a motion setting the 2020 Truth in Taxation meeting for Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the courthouse and via telephone/ video conference.

• The starting time for the regular board meeting on Dec. 1, was moved from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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