Speech team headed to state

FAIRMONT – Members of Fairmont speech team recently won the Section 2A tournament in St. Peter.

Fairmont is the section champion for the third straight year. St. Peter finished second, while Minnesota Valley Lutheran was third.

Seventeen Fairmont students earned medals by placing in the top six in their category, with 13 students advancing to state speech by placing in the top three.

Six students are returning to state, while seven are headed to state for the first time.

Individual results follow:

Champion in great speeches – Bethany Linse, state qualifier; champion in discussion – Bergen Senf, state qualifier; champion in drama – Izzy Munsch, state qualifier; champions in duo, Isabell Geiger and Tabitha Thatcher, state qualifiers; second place in creative expression – Eric Head, state qualifier; second place in prose – Apoorva Komaragiri, state qualifier; second place in storytelling – Annika Wheeler, state qualifier; third place in humorous – Sydney Hainy, state qualifier; third place in informative – Emily Kerekess, state qualifier; third place in drama – Kara Fischer, state qualifier; third place in discussion – Eleanor Hamlet, state qualifier; third place in prose – Kaycie Brookens, state qualifier

Fifth place in oratory – Ameya Komaragiri; fifth place in extemporaneous speaking – Weston Loughmiller; sixth place in original oratory – Grace Higgins; sixth place in informative – Lilly Laven.

Fairmont competes in the state speech tournament Friday at Wayzata High School, if the weather does not interfere.

Rosen backs mental health bill

ST. PAUL – Minnesota Senate Republicans recently presented Senate File 1, a bill on mental health.

The legislation designates $25 million in grant money to make mental health more easily accessible and more affordable for a variety of people — farmers, new moms, students, young adults and individuals in crisis.

“Mental health is just as important as physical health,” said state Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center. “Across the state, we are hearing from schools, farmers and law enforcement that mental health is a concern not only for someone’s well-being, but for the safety of our public spaces. This bill will allow communities to prioritize mental health services so anyone can get the help they need. Whether that is on campus, in a shelter, on the farm or in the courthouse.”

The legislation also establishes a Community Competency Restoration Task Force dedicated to evaluate, study and​ provide recommendations to address the needs of individuals deemed incompetent to stand​ trial, and prevent incarceration when treatment would be a better option.

MnDOT to host I-90 open house

FAIRMONT — The public is invited to attend an open house 4-6 p.m. April 24 at the Holiday Inn in Fairmont. The gathering will address construction along Interstate 90 from Fairmont to Blue Earth.

Staff from the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the contractor will be present at the event to answer questions about the project and traffic impacts.

Weather permitting, preliminary work for this two-year project will begin in mid-April, with intermittent shoulder and lane closures.

Major traffic restrictions are expected to follow in mid-May, with ramp closures and I-90 traffic carried in a two-way, head-to-head situation in the eastbound lanes.

The 2019-20 project includes resurfacing the 16 miles of both eastbound and westbound lanes with concrete for a long-term fix, as well as making improvements at bridges, culverts and drainage pipes. The project includes adding interchange lighting at county highways 53 and 1.

More information can be found at