Thursday, November 16, 2017

DNR to host employment seminar for military veterans



The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting a veteran employment seminar Jan. 3 in St. Paul. Many veterans want to work in a natural resources environment, and many military skills translate into DNR positions.

“If you’ve served in the military, you probably have a lot of experience in many of our professional areas,” said Don Matthys, DNR management resources regional supervisor and U.S. Army retired.

At the seminar veterans will have the opportunity to talk to DNR staff who work in the areas of logistics, fisheries and wildlife, informational technology, GIS and mapping, forestry, operations, communications, safety, real estate forestry, enforcement, human resources, engineering and landscape architecture and more. It’s a chance to find out from those who work it every day what the different job responsibilities include, education requirements, and how military work experience translates.

Human resources staff will provide information on how to apply for DNR jobs, set up job searches, and receive job posting notifications.

Veterans will also be on hand to answer questions about how to successfully juggle military – civilian commitments. Information on DNR veteran support resources will also be available.

“I can’t imagine a more military friendly employer,” said John Peterson, DNR emergency planner and currently serving with the 2-135th Infantry MN National Guard. “The DNR has always been incredibly supportive of my service in the National Guard.”

This event is free and will be at the DNR Headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55101. Space is limited so, registration is required. Register for a time slot between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Go to: http://tinyurl.com/dnrvets2018

Veterans will receive a welcome packet with additional information when registration is confirmed.
The DNR is Yellow Ribbon Company – a veteran friendly employer.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

MnDOT invites public comments on Freight Investment Plan




ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation is taking public comments on the Freight Investment Plan. The plan will help the agency and its stakeholders make freight capital improvements that improve freight mobility, safety and first- and last-mile connections over the next 10 years.

“The Freight Investment Plan addresses some of the freight transportation needs that exist across Minnesota,” said William Gardner, director of the Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations. “These investments will help the state’s businesses shop and receive their goods more efficiently, reliably and safely.”

The public can comment on the plan until Dec. 18. The plan is online athttp://www.mndot.gov/planning/freightplan/index.html.The plan is also available at MnDOT’s Central Office library, 395 John Ireland Blvd, St. Paul, and at the agency’s district offices around the state.

Comments also may be submitted via email to FreightPlans.DOT@state.mn.us or mailed to Nicole George, Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations, MS 470, 395 John Ireland Blvd. St. Paul, MN, 55155.

The investment plan identifies $99 million in freight capital improvement projects, including interchange and intersection reconstructions, highway improvements and port terminal expansions. They were selected through a statewide grant application process.

The project list is online at www.mndot.gov/ofrw/mhfp.

After the Freight Investment Plan is finalized, it will be amended into MnDOT’s Statewide Freight System Plan, which was revised to address requirements of the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act legislation passed in 2015.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

November is peak month for deer-vehicle crashes



ST. PAUL, Minn. – November is the peak time for deer-vehicle crashes in the state, so motorists should watch for them and drive cautiously, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The main reason for the increase in vehicle crashes is that the deer mating season occurs in November. Increased deer movement coupled with a reduction in daylight hours increase drivers’ chances of encountering deer on roadways.
Deer are more likely to be encountered in areas where habitat is close to the roadway, such as a bridge crossing over waterways, and during the early morning and evening hours when deer are most active.
From 2013 to 2015, there were 6,149 reported deer-vehicle crashes, according to the Department of Public Safety. There were 15 fatalities and 944 injuries. Crashes were reported in every county in the state. 
So far this year, there have been four motorcycle crashes with deer, with five fatalities reported.
A deer collision report released annually by State Farm Insurance states that Minnesota ranks seventh among the 50 states in how likely motorists are to hit a deer. The company said that 1-in-74 motorists will hit a deer or other large animal this year, up from about 1-in-80 in 2016.
For those driving on Minnesota roadways, MnDOT offers these tips:
·         Be particularly alert in the fall and spring. More than half of the crashes happen in late October and November when deer are mating, and in May and June during the birthing season.
·         Be vigilant at dusk and at dawn. A high percentage of crashes occur during the low-light or dark hours of the day when deer move between daytime bedding sites and evening feeding areas.
·         Slow down and scan the sides of the road and ditches for animals when driving through forested lands or near river and stream banks. Especially drive with caution in marked deer-crossing zones and along roads surrounded by farmland or forests as these are areas known for large deer populations.
·         Drive defensively and expect the unexpected. If you see a deer near the road, slow down because it might dart in front of you. If you see one deer, look for the next one. Deer often travel together but single file.
·         Don't swerve. While it may seem like the right thing to do, swerving to avoid a deer could cause you to lose control or travel into the path of another vehicle. Striking a deer is safer than colliding with another vehicle or a tree. Stay in your lane, brake firmly and hold onto the steering wheel.
·         Motorcyclists should avoid night and low-light riding times. A rider’s best response when encountering a deer is to use both brakes for maximum braking and to keep their eyes and head up to improve chances of keeping the bike up. Riders should wear full face helmets and full protective gear.