Commissioner Notch Swearing In

Commissioner Steve Notch took the oath of office on Commissioner Notch
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 as the newly elected Commissioner for District 5. With family in attendance, he was sworn in by the Honorable Frank J. Kundrat, District Court Judge, during the beginning of the Board of Commissioners meeting.











Carry the Fallen Ruckmarch

Carry the Fallen is a 12 hour ruckmarch honoring our fallen soldiers and raising awareness for veterans suffering from PTSD. This event is presented by the charity Active Heroes whose mission is to stop the alarming veteran suicide rate of 22 a day.

Free Radon Test Kits for Residents

Stearns County Environmental Services and Stearns County Public Health will be giving away free radon testing kits to area residents later this month.

Every hour, someone in the United States dies from radon-related lung cancer. It is the largest environmental cancer risk and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Fortunately, the risk is largely preventable.

Stearns County and the Minnesota Department of Health recommend that all homes in Minnesota be tested for radon. It’s the only way to know if there’s an elevated level of radon in the home, which can cause lung cancer. Radon is an odorless, colorless and tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils and can enter homes through cracks and openings in basement or foundation floors and walls.

Testing is easy. Free radon testing kits will be available at the Service Center in Waite Park on February 21, 2014.  Radon kits will be available in Melrose on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning February 20, 2014 from 8:00 - 12:00 or at other times by appointment. Kits will not be distributed in any way before this date. There are a limited number of kits available and will be distributed in person only on a first come basis until the supply is depleted. If you wish to call on February 21st or later to see if kits are still available, contact the Stearns County Service Center in Waite Park at 320-203-6942 or the Stearns County Environmental Services office in Melrose at 320-256-1422.

MDH estimates that one in three existing Minnesota homes have radon levels that pose a large health risk over many years of exposure. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and more than 21,000 deaths are attributed to radon each year.

For more information on radon testing and mitigation visit or call the Minnesota Department of Health Indoor Air Unit at 651-201-4601 or 1-800-798-9050.

Propane Shortage in Cold Weather

On Monday, January 27, Governor Dayton declared a state of emergency to respond to current propane supply issues.  Central Minnesota residents with questions about the current propane situation or who are in danger of running out of heating fuel can call 1-800-657-3504.  The hotline is staffed with experts from the Minnesota Department of Commerce who can provide information about Energy Assistance Programs.

Tips for cold weather and propane shortage:

  • Try to conserve propane by turning thermostat down.
  • Check in on friends, neighbors, and relatives.
  • Don’t stay in a cold house. If you are going to leave your home to stay with friends or relatives, there may be some things you need to do to prepare your house before leaving.
  • Do not burn charcoal or use gasoline generators indoors, including the garage. Never use gas ovens to heat your home. Do not use gas or kerosene heaters in closed rooms. These things produce deadly carbon monoxide