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Polk County News 
County Board meets its new members 
By Arianna Schultz 
The Polk County Board got a chance to meet each other April 9 during the orientation meeting. The meeting was a welcoming meeting to train in the board members for their upcoming term. The two newest members, John Bonneprise and Josh Hallberg were welcomed before they jumped into their agenda. 
First the board talked about their role and functions as supervisors, and things like public record laws and communications were reviewed with them. They also talked about code of ethics and open meeting laws before going into depth about rules of order and parliamentary procedure. 
The board also talked briefly about their meeting schedule, which will be determined by the committee structures. 
There was a lot of debate and talk when the board decided to talk about the Committee of the Whole style meeting. Previously, each board member attended between two to three different committee meetings, and recently it was suggested that the board consider making this into one big meeting with all of the board members involved. 
​​See this week's County Ledger Press (April 17) for the entire article.

Mental health, obesity and alcohol
By Lynda Berg Olds
Polk County Health Director Gretchen Sampson, along with Patty Willeman, of Amery Regional Medical Center, Sandy Williams, of St. Croix Regional Medical Center, Mary Boe and Elizabeth Hagen, both Health Educators at the Polk County Health Department, and Erica Kamish on the Board of Health, collectively held a press conference last Thursday to present “Healthy Polk County 2020 – Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP, 2014-2016).
Sampson began, “This has been a journey for us. We were here about a year ago almost to the day, releasing our Community Health Needs Assessment document, a result of a year-long process where we worked as a collaborative group with many other partners to look at data, examine trends in health behaviors and health data for Polk County residents, analyze body mass index data, and held fairly numerous community meetings to figure out what the top three health problems are facing the citizens of the county.”
A tremendous amount of data was collected and ultimately the three health areas that need a whole bunch of attention ion this county were identified as 1) poor mental health, 2) obesity and 3) unhealthy alcohol use. 
Sampson stressed that in order for the CHIP to be successful, partnerships are what it’s all about.
“It is those partnerships that create opportunities for health improvements through contributions of creative ideas, resources, strategy implementation and policy change to positively impact the health of our citizens. ​​​See this week's County Ledger Press (April 17) for the entire article.


Mine Resistant Armored Personnel carriers at issue
By Lynda Berg Olds
Former County Board Supervisor Rick Scoglio’s timing was uncanny Tuesday night as he showed up to the county board meeting just in time to address a resolution he had authored, but which apparently was not submitted in time to be considered at the last meeting.
Chair William F Johnson IV stated, “The resolution didn’t make the deadline last month and since you were still a supervisor until we took the oath about an hour and a half ago, you had the option of bringing the resolution forward.”
Johnson then called for Scoglio to address the resolution to prohibit the county from purchasing “MRAPs” (Mine Resistant Armored Personnel).
“As you know most of my resolutions are strictly about personal freedoms and restrictions of government, and I like to be preemptive. This is something that is happening across the county right now. MRAPs are being offered free of charge to municipalities’ sheriff’s departments across the county. St. Cloud has one now; Madison has one now…they are everywhere (including several counties in Idaho, Arizona and Pennsylvania he added later). These are militarized vehicles form the Mid East. And it is further militarization of police departments.
See this week's County Ledger Press (April 17) for the entire article.