District 9B continues to a hotbed of activity. Pierz and Upsala both had stellar football seasons, but ended just short of the State Prep Bowl. Congratulations to both teams! Of course the passing of Fall sports means basketball, hockey, wrestling, school plays and Christmas programs are just around the corner. Be sure to make time to stop by your community schools and to participate in community activities—they are the backbone of our rural quality of life.
I wanted to wish a big thank you to Mary of Lourdes School, Little Falls Schools and Pierz Schools for the invitation to participate in their respective Veterans Day programs. I was especially honored to speak at Mary of Lourdes and to share the story of my grandfather, who was a WWII Veteran in Europe.
On November 13th, I participated in a rural broadband town hall meeting sponsored by Sen. Matt Schmit. These listening sessions are critical to furthering our conversation on working to improve broadband speeds in Morrison and Todd County.
According to Connect Minnesota, "[c]urrently, 74.5% of Minnesota households can access fixed and mobile broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mbps download/6 Mbps upload – the minimum speed threshold for Minnesota’s goal of ubiquitous broadband availability."
Unfortunately, the 25.5% who do not meet broadband standards are largely in rural Minnesota.
While our Metro legislators continue to push for light rail expansion and a $92 million dollar new Senate building, our rural families in Morrison and Todd County are struggling to get high-speed access that is critical for education and economic growth. Rural broadband is essential for our area, and I will continue to fight to make it a priority.
On Wednesday night, I was in Long Praire town hall meeting about Veteran benefits with Todd County Veterans Services Coordinator Paul Berscheit and Legion commander Gary Peterson.
If you know of a Veteran who is having trouble receiving their benefits, please let me know so I can find the right person to help.
Finally, I want to pass along blessings for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. As a father and husband, I know firsthand the importance of family and sharing time together. I wish you and your family blessings, and I hope you can find some time to volunteer or donate to a food shelf.