Home loan, repair funding available

WORTHINGTON – USDA Rural Development has funds available for home loans to low-income individuals and families in rural Minnesota.

Applicants must be unable to qualify for traditional financing and meet USDA income and credit requirements. Homes must be modest in size and design and be located in a rural community of 20,000 people or fewer that is not urban in nature. No down payment or mortgage insurance is required.

Rural Development also offers home repair loans for very low income homeowners. Loans up to $20,000 are available at an interest rate of 1 percent and repayable over 20 years. Grants up to $7,500 may be available to homeowners over the age of 62 and must be used to remove health or safety hazards.

For more information, contact the Worthington Rural Development office at (507) 372-7783, ext 4. Or visit

Market Square prepares for event

FAIRMONT- Fairmont Market Square will take place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 4 at Heritage Acres in Fairmont.

In addition to a farmers market offering produce and baked goods; artisan vendors selling and demonstrating their craft; and food vendors peddling treats, Fairmont Market Square will be the meeting point for a guided community bike ride. Guides will take riders on one of three available routes of different lengths and difficulty. The rides begin at 2 p.m.; bring your bikes.

Kids are invited to participate in the Youth Kitchen Band, beginning at 11 a.m. Meet at the big tent to create instruments and work together to make a song. Feel free to bring instruments from home: maracas, washboards, etc.

For more contact Kylie Saari, local foods program manager for Rural Advantage, at (507) 238-5449.

Researcher removes radio collars

ELY (AP) – A Minnesota researcher has surprised his followers and officials alike by removing radio collars from his research bears in the Ely area.

Lynn Rogers tells KARE-TV it was a difficult decision. He blames the Department of Natural Resources for forcing them into a corner. He says the DNR gutted their program by restricting the number of radio collars and the kind of data they could collect to “to the point that it was hardly scientifically viable.”

Rogers claims his collared bears also became targets for hunters. He says removing collars now allows fur to grow back on their necks before hunting season.

DNR spokesman Chris Niskanen says Rogers’ move is a mystery. He says Rogers is allowed to leave the collars on pending a final decision on his permit.