Area Briefs

MPS customers should not see higher electric rates as result of winter storm

MOORHEAD – Recently, Moorhead Public Service (MPS) and its power suppliers saw an unprecedented perfect storm of events that affected the reliability of the power grid throughout the central U.S. Despite this perfect storm, MPS does not expect to raise rates to its electric customers due to the historic cold weather that caused significant increases in energy demand on the U.S. power grid. MPS also does not expect a rate increase from its power suppliers.

The event highlighted the critical need in the electric industry for a diverse, flexible, and robust generation mix to ensure that there is always sufficient electricity available.

Severely cold temperatures throughout the region caused a high demand for electricity. At the same time, many electric generating plants failed to perform during the extreme weather event, particularly in the southern U.S.

Wind units failed to perform due to lack of wind in the region, along with icing conditions in the south.

Solar failed to perform due to heavy cloud cover.

Coal and gas generation in southern states failed to perform due to freezing of gas wells or freezing at the plants themselves

In addition, limited gas supplies across the region played a significant part in the crisis situation.

“MPS extends a huge thank you to the residents and businesses of Moorhead who were impacted by the controlled outage,” said Travis Schmidt General Manager of MPS. “We never want to inconvenience our customers, but SPP had to initiate the outages to protect the greater grid. Doing our part for a short time prevented longer, more sustained outages for Moorhead and the entire region. Our long-term relationship and power supply contract with MRES gives us confidence that we can expect affordable, reliable electricity well into the future,” said Travis Schmidt General Manager of MPS.

Lake Agassiz Regional Library to Offer Kits for Book Clubs

MOORHEAD – Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) has added another service to its roster of options for residents. Beginning in late February residents of the seven counties served (Becker, Clay, Clearwater, Mahnomen, Norman, Polk, and Wilkin) will have access to a collection of book club kits for book club meetings and other literary-focused groups. Each kit will be equipped with ten copies of a work of popular fiction or non-fiction with a special focus on Minnesota-based authors, along with helpful discussion guides and tips.

The kits can be borrowed for six weeks and include titles appealing to a variety of ages, including This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger, Give a Girl a Knife by Amy Thielen, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and more. Learn more at

Spring Load Restrictions Starting March 5 – CENTRAL ZONE

CLAY COUNTY – The STARTING DATE for Spring Load Restrictions in Clay County for the CENTRAL ZONE (south of US Highway 10) will be Friday, March 5, 2021 at 12:01 AM.  Please be advised that restrictions may stay in effect for up to 8 weeks. Ending dates will be published once they are known.

Libraries Announce Adam Thielen-Inspired Poetry Contest for Grades 4-12

MOORHEAD – Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) is inviting students in grades 4-12 to participate in a poetry contest honoring a local football legend. Participants can submit original poems inspired by Adam Thielen’s football legacy for a chance to win an autographed Adam Thielen football donated by Choice Bank, an Adam Thielen jersey or other great prizes. Poems will be accepted March 1-April 9. Learn more and submit your poem at

Participation is open to students in the following counties served by Lake Agassiz Regional Library: Becker, Clay, Clearwater, Mahnomen, Norman, Polk, and Wilkin. Winners will be announced on April 30.

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