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NEW OFFICERS WERE ELECTED FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR at the meeting of the Big Stone County Board on Tuesday, Jan. 6.  Front row, left to right, are Vice Chairman Wade Athey and Chairman Roger Sandberg. Back row, left to right, are Commissioners Jay Backer, Brent Olson and Joe Berning.

Big Stone Lake to be featured on Fishing the Midwest TV

The award-winning Fishing the Midwest Television series announced that the show's episode airing the weekend of Jan 24-25 will feature Big Stone Lake.  The episode will show spring walleye fishing and then conclude with an ice fishing segment featuring the lake's jumbo perch.  The show will air in the Big Stone Lake area on Fox Sports North at 11 am on Saturday, January 24.

"We highlight top fishing destinations across the Midwest on Fishing the Midwest and Big Stone is certainly that!" stated Mike Frisch, co-host of the show. “We had some awesome open-water fishing for walleyes of all sizes and, the winter perch fishing was really good too, Artie Arndt of Artie's Bait and Tackle was our guide for the show and he did an awesome job putting us on the fish,"

"In addition to highlighting Big Stone's terrific fishing opportunities, we were also able to give our viewers solid information on the entire Big Stone Lake area and some ideas regarding lodging and dining for anglers traveling to Ortonville and the surrounding area," Bob Jensen, Fishing the Midwest's founder added. "We have been to Big Stone Lake several times and the lake never disappoints!" Jensen concluded.

Fishing the Midwest is recognized as an authority in fishing education and entertainment and reaches more anglers in its 15 state area of influence than any other fishing communication entity.  For more information regarding Fishing the Midwest, visit their website at

Ortonville PD receives new defibrillator from SMSC

The Ortonville Police Department received a HeartStart FRx automatic electronic defibrillator with a grant applied through the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC).

According to Ortonville Police Chief Jason Mork, the new defibrillator will be used in their squad cars, which both are equipped with. Their current defibrillator will be donated to the Ortonville Community Center.

Mdewakanton Public Safety is a full-time, professional fire and ambulance department staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As an exercise of governmental authority Mdewakanton Public Safety serves Community members, guests and patrons of the Community, and residents of nearby communities by request through mutual aid agreements. Each month the department responds to an average of 140 calls with 60 medical transports.

Several times a year Mdewakanton Public Safety conducts trainings to enhance readiness. During several mock crashes over the years, staff from Mdewakanton Public Safety participated along with the Minnesota State Patrol, Shakopee Police and Fire Departments, Allina, North Memorial Medical Center’s Air Care helicopter, and the City of Prior Lake Police and Fire Departments.

Mdewakanton Public Safety also provides emergency medical training including Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), First Responder, and American Heart Association CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) classes.

The SMSC's AED donation program is administered by Mdewakanton Public Safety.  To date, hundreds of AEDs have been donated to civic organizations, governmental bodies, schools, and in hundreds of  locations throughout the state of Minnesota, including all Minnesota State Patrol vehicles.

Police Chief Mork stated that they had applied for the equipment in 2014 and on Jan. 6 of this year received the defibrillator. Mork stated they have been trained to use the equipment which can help save lives.

Blandin Foundation awards grant to BSAG for internet use

The Blandin Foundation has announced  that it has awarded nine grants totaling $123,900 to assist rural Minnesota communities advance high-speed Internet access and use in their communities.

With support of a $6,400 grant, Big Stone Area Growth (BSAG) will expand their community’s online presence through a number of targeted programs.

“This grant rings in the new year with fresh opportunity to strengthen and advance both Big Stone Area Growth and the Ortonville Economic Development Authority’s separate broadband initiatives and pulls them together for a stronger unified approach,” said Vicki Oakes, Community Development Coordinator for Ortonville Economic Development Authority. “By having a greater number of businesses accessing the power of the Internet, the county will enjoy greater visibility, economic diversity and prosperity.”

BSAG will engage community members to accomplish this by developing their online portal (, hosting a social media breakfast series to increase local businesses’ use of online tools and developing QR code signage for visitors to quickly access the information they need by linking to the city’s blog.

“Internet access – and the skills to use it – are essential if rural communities want to compete and thrive in a digitally-connected world,” said Dr. Kathy Annette, Blandin Foundation CEO. “We’re excited that Big Stone Area Growth is bringing local leaders together to imagine and achieve their hopes for a vibrant, connected future.”

About Blandin Foundation: Blandin Foundation works for vibrant rural Minnesota communities by investing in community leaders and working with partners to expand opportunity for all residents. Located in Grand Rapids, it is one of only a handful of foundations in the U.S. focused exclusively on rural communities and the largest rural-based private foundation in Minnesota. Information on Blandin Foundation grant-making, leadership development programs and public policy initiatives: Information about the Blandin Broadband Communities Program:

About Big Stone Area Growth: BSAG was created in 2009 for the sole purpose of expanding the economic base of Big Stone County by assisting with business development, workforce development and community development. Their mission is to facilitate the development and retention of diverse and economically viable businesses and to encourage and assist communities to provide sustainable and supportive environments in which these businesses can prosper.

Seth Parker