Briefly

Rodriguez files for school board

FAIRMONT – Dr. Rufus Rodriguez has filed his candidacy for the Fairmont Area School Board. Danielle Schutz and incumbent Myron Moeller had filed earlier.

Voters will cast their ballots on Nov. 4 for three candidates to fill school board seats currently held by Moeller, Sandy Beckendorf and Diane Gerhardt.

Filings close at 5 p.m. today. Persons interested in filing can do so at the district office in Fairmont Elementary School.

State examines decline of moose

ST. PAUL (AP) – The state is partnering with a private conservation organization to raise funds to study why Minnesota’s moose population has dramatically declined in recent years and how that trend could be reversed.

A portion of proceeds from sales or sponsorships of one of Minnesota’s most recognized wildlife artists, Les Kouba, will be directed to moose research. Kouba was a devoted conservationist who died in 1998 and donated original works and prints to conservation groups to raise money.

“We’ve been trying to draw attention to moose [for years],” said Lou Cornicelli, the DNR’s wildlife research program manager. “Moose are a species that aren’t found in a lot of states.”

New numbers released this year show there are an estimated 4,350 moose in Minnesota, a population Cornicelli said is trending downward. Researchers found that of 54 moose tracked, the greatest number were killed by bear and wolves. Others died from parasites or winter ticks and some moose calves were abandoned by their mothers.

For the first time, the DNR is partnering with Kouba’s private organization, Les Kouba Outdoors, launching “Call of the Moose Minnesota.”

“We’re always looking for new (funding) opportunities,” Cornicelli said. “This is a good opportunity to focus some funds for moose.”

Wastewater spills into river

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Officials say initial lab tests indicate that a wastewater spill into the Big Sioux River won’t affect people or wildlife.

Sioux Falls Public Works officials say they’re continuing to monitor the river and expect more test results later in the week.

The city in a statement says about 9,000 gallons of “treated biosolids” made it into the river Sunday before the spill at the water treatment plant was contained with an earthen berm. Wastewater Superintendent Mark Perry says biosolids are solid organic materials from treated sewage.

He says treated biosolids have a high ammonia content but river water tests have come back normal.

The contractor responsible for the spill – Veit, of Rogers, Minn. – is working to clean up the spill area. That’s expected to take through Wednesday.