The Madison Lake police chief will be issued a verbal warning and ordered to complete a professional development course over a controversial Facebook video he posted in July, the City Council voted last week.

Chief Daniel Bunde apparently made the video while on vacation at Yellowstone National Park. In it, he disparages people standing near him who are speaking languages other than English. “Wake up, America,” he says before signing off.

The video has since been removed from Bunde’s Facebook page.

Matt McKinney

St. Louis County

Veterans Court expands with grant

The South St. Louis County Veterans Court will expand dramatically next year thanks to a new federal grant.

The court, a special program to assist military veteran defendants who are diagnosed with mental health or substance abuse disorders, will go from a capacity of five veterans to 25. A $550,000 Veterans Treatment Court Discretionary Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will help provide funding for a part-time coordinator, a designated probation officer, additional drug testing, training and research through 2022.

The court started informally several years ago and became official earlier this year. The grant will “help us take things to the next level,” said District Judge Dale Harris, who presides over the court. “When we made the commitment to really implement the sort of model that’s recommended to get maximum effectiveness out of it, we needed to be able to have those designated staff.”

Evaluations of treatment courts in Minnesota have found reduced recidivism, long-term cost savings and better outcomes for defendants in employment, housing and education.

Pam Louwagie

Waseca County

DNR plans winter anti-carp campaign

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) plans to launch a winter campaign against carp in Buffalo Lake, a shallow lake southwest of Waseca.

Common carp were discovered in the 895-acre lake last month during a routine DNR assessment. Carp and other “rough” fish destroy beneficial aquatic plants and invertebrates. Minnesota has more than 5,000 so-called shallow lakes, less than 15 feet deep, that are considered crucial wildlife habitat.

Officials plan to lower the lake’s water level by at least 18 inches over the winter. Water drawdowns simulate drought conditions, which are the natural reset mechanism for shallow lakes and wetlands. After ice-out next spring, the lake will be returned to its previous depth.

John Reinan