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September 4 news

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WORTHINGTON - In observance of Labor Day, all city, county and state government offices will be closed Monday, including the law enforcement center at Prairie Justice Center. The Nobles County Library will be closed. The Worthington Post Office will be closed and delivery routes will not be running. The Radio Works business office will be closed on Monday. The Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce will also be closed.

Financial institutions will be closed Monday, as will the Worthington Municipal Liquor Store. Schaap Sanitation will pick up the normal Monday routes on Tuesday.

Fareway will not be open on Monday, but Hy-Vee will observe normal hours of operation, with the exception of the pharmacy, which will close at 5 p.m.

SLAYTON – If you haven’t finished cleaning out that closet, dresser, garage or basement, now is the time. The drop-off dates for the Hospice of Murray County Rummage Sale are just around the corner. Items can be dropped off at the Murray County Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. September 16, 17 and 18. The sale begins September 22 at 9 a.m. For more information, check out their website at www.hospiceofmurraycounty.com

PIPESTONE – Autopsy results to determine the cause of death of Steven Meyer of Edgerton are still at least a week or more away, according to Pipestone County Sheriff Keith Vreeman. Meyer, age 45, died August 23 at a hospital in Sioux Falls after spending more than a week and a half on life support.

Jamie Lee Danneman, age 34, of Currie, is charged with first degree assault causing great bodily harm during a fight with Meyer on August 12 in Edgerton at Van Dyke Sanitation, where Meyer was employed. The criminal complaint states an ambulance was called to Van Dykes, where Meyer was found lying on the ground with blood coming from his head and mouth. Meyer sustained a fractured skull and internal bleeding, and remained unconscious and was connected to a breathing tube the day after the fight.

Danneman told deputies he was seeking wages owed to him from Van Dyke Sanitation, according to the complaint. Witnesses told deputies that an argument ensued among at least four men that ultimately escalated to violence during which Danneman hit Meyer and Meyer went to the ground and did not get back up.

When autopsy results are available, it will be up to the Pipestone County Attorney to determine if any further charges are filed against Danneman.

Paul Langseth recognized as trooper's Good Samaritan in crash

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WORTHINGTON – Since Monday afternoon, the Minnesota State Patrol has been looking for a man who helped a trooper pull a semi-truck driver out of a burning cab after a crash between two of the big rigs on Minnesota 60 between Wilder and Heron Lake. On Thursday, the man came forward when he learned the authorities were looking for him.

Paul Langseth said he and his wife were headed to the Twin Cities when they were stopped by a trooper for a funeral procession. The Langseths were the first vehicle in line. While waiting, they heard a crash, and looking in the rearview mirror, Langseth saw a tanker truck had gotten rear-ended by another semi.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a 2003 Volvo, driven by 49-year-old Michael Junker of Trimont, rear-ended the 2014 Freightliner of Michael Schultz of Lake Crystal.

Langseth said when he realized what had happened, he pulled his van up out of the way, grabbed his gloves and ran to the trooper, asking what he could do to help. The trooper asked him to hang tight, but eventually told him the truck was on fire and they need to get the driver out. Langseth said they opened the door, fought to get the seatbelt unlatched and then struggled to get Junker out. The seat was jammed up under the steering column, causing some difficulty. Luckily, the man had no broken bones and they were able to maneuver him out from the cab.

It was maybe a minute or two after they got the man out that the truck became totally engulfed in flames, Langseth said.

Afterward, he checked with the trooper to see if his help was still needed. Since he hadn’t actually witnessed the crash, it was not. It wasn’t until later that the trooper started his search for the Good Samaritan who had helped him save a life. The trooper believes he would not have been able to rescue Junker without Langseth’s help.

While acknowledging he has no formal rescue training, Langseth said you don’t have a lot of time to think about it, you just do it. People that deal with issues on a daily basis, such as parents of children with epilepsy, they handle things on a daily basis and get no recognition, he said.

Langseth is being recognized at a press conference at 10 a.m. Friday at the Minnesota State Patrol District Office in Mankato.

Northland Cinema 5 to close doors at end of month

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WORTHINGTON – Northland Cinema 5 in the Northland Mall will close at the end of September, according to a press release issued Thursday by West Mall Theatres President Todd Frager. The final day of operation in Worthington will be September 27.

According to the release, demolition on the defunct mall is scheduled to begin soon, and the movie theater will be the last business to go dark inside the building. Frager said the last few years have been challenging, and the theater was severely affected by the well known negligence of the previous mall owner. They have had to deal will continuous problems and crippling expenses that Frager said he has never seen or heard of in his years in the business.

In 2013, West Mall Theatres invested tremendous capital in Northland Cinema 5 to install all new digital projection systems, but the rest of a planned remodeling project was put on hold due to the mall’s deteriorating condition and ongoing problems with the owner.

The company is working with First State Bank Southwest, the City of Worthington, the Worthington Regional Economic Development Corporation and PBK Properties to bring a new movie theater location to Worthington in 2016. All options will also be explored to bring movies to town in the interim, the release states.

According to Frager, everyone is working for the same goal - to bring a new movie theater with the modern amenities of a full movie experience to Worthington. When the numbers make sense for all parties involved, he said, we will have a deal.

September 3 news

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WORTHINGTON – During a budget meeting Wednesday morning, the Worthington City Council tentatively set a not-to-exceed levy increase for 2016 at 6.79 percent, which will be voted on at the September 14 meeting.

The original net budget presented at a meeting August 26 was for $3.6 million, but already some changes have been made to bring that number down to $3.4 million. Those cuts include reducing the Clean Water Partnership budget from $100,000 to $50,000; eliminating a proposed Grand Avenue project, saving the city $125,900; and reducing health insurance costs by decreasing the increase from 10 percent to 7 percent.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the council heard from the Parks Department, where the biggest requests in capital improvement funding came from an upgrade in electric service at Olson Park campsites for $12,000 and an overlay at the Centennial tennis courts for $35,000.

In Public Works, there is a decrease in wages due to coding, according to interim director Todd Wietzema, and an increase in signs and signals. He also upped his budget request for money spent on the annual spring clean-up, explaining to the council that more money is being spent using Schaap Sanitation to get the process done faster, rather than let the items sit on the curb for more than a week.

Wietzema would like to purchase a ¾ ton pickup using the state contract, and keep the current ½ ton pickup on the revolving schedule as a spare. He said the truck has no maintenance issues, and they are often using a large truck to run parts because they don’t have an available spare pickup.

There was also discussion of moving some of their snow removal equipment to larger sizes, from single axle to tandem axle as they are replaces according to the equipment revolving schedule.

While addressing the Memorial Auditorium budget, Worthington’s director of finance Brian Kolander prefaced the discussion by stating that in the 2015 figures, a mistake was made that nobody caught. For some reason, numbers were entered changing the expected revenues from $42,000 in 2014 to $80,000 in 2015, something Kolander said was unrealistic and overly optimistic.

Manager Tammy Makram said she her goal is to increase use of the building to bring more people in. In the past year, lobby use has increased, she said, and they have doubled the amount of shows. They just received a grant to upgrade sound and light equipment.

Prairie View Golf Links was also discussed briefly, with City Administrator Steve Robinson stating they were budgeting for full expenses for 2016. Even if they do end up closing the course, he said, there would be expenses incurred with the decommissioning of the course.

HERON LAKE – The Heron Lake Police Department received a report of a phone scam involving Federated Rural Electric in Jackson, stating an $800 deposit needed to be sent via money order or power would not be connected to their business.

A news release sent out by Federated Rural Electric states Heron Lake Police Chief Anthony Fauglid has posted alerts on their Facebook page and on flyers regarding the scam. Federated’s general manager Rick Burud said the company sends out disconnect notices and follows up with phone calls, but advises customers to come into the office or call the telephone numbers posted on their bills to discuss any problems. Burud said a good way to scare off scammers is to ask for their name and phone number. He suggested not relying on caller ID, as scammers can now impersonate phone numbers.

ADRIAN – County Seed Inc of Adrian was recently recognized as a silver level elite dealer for its NK sales by the Southern Minnesota Syngenta Sales District. County Sales Inc was founded in 1977 by Adrian native Bob Wolf and has sold NK seed for 38 years. County Seed sells NK corn, soybean and Syngenta branded chemicals. The company also provides crop consulting services to area farmers.

ORANGE CITY, Iowa — For his role in burglarizing four separate businesses in the Hawarden area between November 2014 and January 2015, 18-year-old Brendan Michael Schurman of Hawarden was sentenced on Tuesday to a suspended prison term on burglary and criminal mischief charges. Schurman had been charged, along with several co-defendants, with Burglary in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony, and Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree, a Serious Misdemeanor.

Schurman was sentenced to five years in prison on the felony burglary charge and to 365 days in jail on the misdemeanor charge. The prison and jail terms were suspended, and Schurman was placed on probation for three years and ordered to pay restitution. He was ordered by the court to complete a substance abuse evaluation and follow any recommended treatment, abstain from all mood-altering chemicals including alcohol, obtain and maintain gainful employment or be enrolled as a full time student, complete his high school equivalency, and provide random urinalyses upon request as well as a DNA sample for profiling.

MINNESOTA - One of the two manufacturers of medical marijuana in Minnesota is delaying the opening of two dispensaries until next year.

Minnesota Medical Solutions, which produces its medical cannabis at a facility in Otsego, currently has dispensaries in Minneapolis and Rochester. It had planned to open two others – one in Moorhead and one in the western Twin Cities suburbs – sometime this fall.

But the company announced Wednesday it’s decided to wait until next year.
“At a point where patient numbers in this new program remain modest, we need to control costs in order to keep medication prices as affordable as possible for our patients,” said Dr. Kyle Kingsley, CEO of the company. “In the meantime, we appreciate the community’s support and patience.”

Kingsley added the two new clinics will be open in the spring, well ahead of the legal deadline of July 1, 2016.

he Associated Press notes the delay will be hardest on residents of western Minnesota who will face long drives to Minneapolis to buy their medication.

The other manufacturer, Cottage Grove-based LeafLine Labs, currently has one dispensary in Eagan for its patients. LeafLine will eventually have three others in St. Paul, St. Cloud and Hibbing.

Medical marijuana became legal in Minnesota on July 1. The number of people who have registered with the state to use it has been growing slowly over the past several weeks.
As of the end of August, 699 patients had applied and have been certified by their doctors to use medical marijuana, according to the state’s Office of Medical Cannabis. Of those, 395 are fully registered and able to purchase the drug.

Minnesota’s medical marijuana program is considered one of the strictest in the country. It only allows the drug to be dispensed to patients in liquid or pill form – it can’t be smoked.

September 2 news

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WORTHINGTON – A change of venue has been granted in the trial of Josue Robles Fraga, moving the case from Nobles to Lyon County District Court under the order of Judge Leland Bush.

The order comes as no surprise, as both Assistant Attorney General Bill Klumpp and Defense Attorney Cecil Naatz supported the move. During the first two trials, Naatz repeatedly requested a change of venues, which were denied.

This will be the third time Fraga will go to trial for the murder of his 2-year-old niece Samantha, who died in 2008. He has already been found guilty by two juries. The first conviction was overturned when new evidence was brought forward, and the second overturned when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that jury bias had been present.

While six days have been set aside in January and February for a new trial, a new scheduling order will be forthcoming. Between jury selection and the trial proceedings, the previous trials have taken up to two weeks.

Fraga, who was moved out of the state prison after the last conviction was overturned, is being held in the Nobles County Jail on a $1.5 million bond.

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington Area Foundation is now accepting applications for grants to be awarded on December 1, 2015. The Worthington Area Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization funded by donations from generous contributors. Grants are made to non-profit, non-religious, and non-political groups that promotes local culture, environmental causes, educational, recreational or civic activities essential to building and strengthening our community. Organizations must have a 501(c)3 tax status to be eligible.

Over $15,000 will be available for distribution to qualifying organizations. Grant applications may be picked up at the Worthington Chamber of Commerce at 1121 Third Avenue or on the Worthington Area Foundation’s website at www.wgtnareafoundation.org

Completed applications must be returned to The Worthington Area Foundation, P.O. Box 373, Worthington, MN. 56187 by October 1, 2015.

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce through the Community Improvement Committee is sponsoring a “Flower Power – Yard of the Week.” This week’s recipient is Betty Pomerenke at 727 9th Ave. The committee also picks a business each month to share in the honor of “Flower Power Business of the Month.” The recipient for September is Viking Apts, 1440 N Burlington.

Anyone is eligible to nominate a residence or a business as a candidate for the “Flower Power – Yard of the Week” or “Business of the Month” Awards. Nominations can be made by calling the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce office at (507) 372-2919.

MOUNTAIN LAKE – The completion date for the four-lane expansion of Highway 60 from Mountain Lake to Butterfield has been delayed from early October to early November due to delays for the paving contractor.

Recent information from the paving contractor estimates they will begin on Highway 60 on October 1 as they are behind on another project with traffic currently detoured due to recent wet conditions. Paving the new two lanes between Mountain Lake and Butterfield is expected to take two weeks followed by another two weeks of working on the in slopes, top soil, seeding, signing and striping.

The project includes grading, paving, concrete repair and lighting of two additional lanes to expand Highway 60 to a four-lane facility. It was originally expected to be complete on Oct. 2.

Motorists are asked to continue to reduce speeds and use caution in the work zone until the project is complete.

Mathiowetz Construction of Sleepy Eye was awarded the contract with a bid of $12,424,000.

This is the second of three projects planned to complete the expansion of Highway 60 to a four-lane facility. The section from Mountain Lake to Windom is planned to begin in 2017.

SPENCER, Iowa - Authorities believe they have solved a recent rash of burglaries in more than 10 northwest Iowa counties with the arrests of two people from Cherokee.
The Clay County Sheriff's Office says a deputy on routine patrol noticed some suspicious activity around 4:30 a.m. Sunday at Haggy's Bar in Royal. After making contact with the two, the deputy discovered burglary tools in the suspect’s vehicle.

25-year-old Shawn Boger and 37-year-old Misty Smith, both of Cherokee, were arrested on charges of attempted burglary and possession of burglary tools. They were booked into the Clay county jail on a $2,000 cash or surety bond.

As part of their investigation, authorities obtained and executed search warrants on a pickup owned by Boger, some cell phones, and residences in Cherokee and Storm Lake. Multiple items were located and seized, believed to be related to recent bar burglaries in the region.

Brad Hawley, Chief Deputy for the Clay County Sheriff's Office, says their investigation continues and that additional arrests and seizures are expected.

Multiple agencies are involved. They include the Spencer Police Department, the O'Brien County Sheriff's Office, the Clay County Attorney's Office, the Buena Vista, Cherokee and Lyon County Sheriff's Offices, the Cherokee and Storm Lake Police Departments, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation...in addition to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Hawley encourages anyone with additional information to contact authorities.

September 1 news

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WORTHINGTON - Bituminous overlay work is scheduled to begin Wednesday, September 2nd on Ninth Avenue from Tower Street to Winifred Street and Winifred Street from Lake Avenue thru Ninth Avenue.

Both streets will be closed during construction activities. Streets will be open to traffic when there is no construction activity, such as nights, nonworking days, and weekends. No parking will be allowed when construction work is in progress. Paved areas will be reopened as soon as the new bituminous surface has adequately cooled.

Please reduce your speed, watch for construction workers and equipment, and drive carefully near the construction zone. Weather permitting and construction proceeding as planned, work should be completed in two or three days.

WINDOM – The Minnesota Appellate Court on Monday upheld a Cottonwood County District Court conviction for Grady Dean Pederson, who was found guilty in 2013 of failing to register as a predatory offender and was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s records, Pederson’s registered primary residence in March 2012 was in Fulda. On March 27, 2012, a Windom police officer was informed Pederson was staying at an address in Windom, but had not notified authorities. When questioned by an officer, Pederson stated he had just started living at the new address. He would not say where he had been staying prior to March 28, but indicated he had been dropped off in Windom March 23.

During the trial, the opinion states, Pederson stipulated that he is a person required to register as a predatory offender until April of 2020, but now argues that the state failed to prove he knowingly violated the registration statute.

The statute requires offenders to register within 24 hours of entering a new jurisdiction, but Pederson argues even if there is sufficient evidence to prove he violated the statute, there is insufficient evidence to prove he did it knowingly.

The evidence shows Pederson received his first predatory-offender notification in 1996 and an annual verification notice from the BCA stating he must continue to advise authorities of address changes five days before moving. Pederson submitted several changes of address over the years, the appellate opinion states. Therefore, there is sufficient evidence to support a finding that Pederson knew he was required to register with law enforcement within 24 hours of entering a new jurisdiction.

WILDER – Two semi-trucks collided Monday afternoon on Minnesota 60 between Wilder and Heron Lake, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Both vehicles were eastbound on Minnesota 60 when the 2003 Volvo, driven by 49-year-old Michael Junker of Trimont, rear-ended the 2014 Freightliner of Michael Schultz of Lake Crystal. Junker suffered a non-life threatening injury, Schultz was not injured. The Volvo was totaled, damage to the Freightliner was severe. The incident took place at 1:44 p.m. Assisting at the scene were Heron Lake and Windom Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

HULL, Iowa — A woman is dead and a man hospitalized after a truck crashed through the Hull nursing home Monday afternoon.

The Sioux County Sheriff reports that shortly after 2 p.m., Kathleen Sohl, age 72, of Hull, was driving a 2011 Town and Country minivan westbound on Railroad Street, followed by her husband, 77-year-old Lawrence Sohl in a 2012 Toyota Tacoma.

East of the intersection of Railroad and Brown Streets, Lawrence rear-ended the minivan and continued westbound through the intersection, going across the lawn of the care center until he collided with the building, traveling through two rooms. The pickup came to rest completely inside the building.

When the pickup came through the building, it killed 88 -year-old Anna Dykstra, a resident of the care center, who was in her room at the time. The second room was unoccupied at the time of the crash.

Dykstra was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of her injuries. Lawrence Sohl was transported to the Sioux Center Hospital by the Sioux Center Ambulance.

The Toyota sustained $20,000 damage. The Chrysler sustained $5,000 damage. The care center sustained $200,000 damage.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Hull Fire Department, Hull Ambulance, Sioux Center Ambulance and Iowa State Patrol.

The accident remains under investigation by the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office.

LUVERVE - District 22A Rep. Joe Schomacker of Luverne, who chairs the Minnesota House Aging and Long Term Care Policy Committee, has co-authored a letter calling on Minnesota’s congressional delegation to support allowing a Medicare reimbursement extension to cover telemedicine services.

In the letter, he states Republicans and Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature approved a law bringing telemedicine options to those utilizing their own private plans and Medical Assistance. Now we need our federal representation to step up and do the right thing by allowing Minnesota’s Medicare patients to have those same choices, he says.

The new law Schomacker helped pass during the 2015 session requires private insurance companies to reimburse providers for telemedicine services. It also expands telemedicine opportunities for Medical Assistance (MA) recipients to include coverage for consultations and medically necessary services at the full allowable rate.

Shomacker said expanding Medicare coverage to include new technology like telemedicine would bring more medical choices to aging Minnesotans on Medicare in our rural areas.

High-Low Jackpot

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93.5 Rock It FM is giving away cash: it's the Rock It FM High-Low Jackpot, back again for another round! (Featuring your chance to win cash just by listening to US95!)

Here's how it works: we have a secret jackpot stashed away and it's your job to guess how much is in it! All you have to do is listen for the cash cow weekdays on Rock It FM (tune that dial to 93.5 FM). When you hear it, be caller 13 by calling 507-376-9350 or 800-886-5486 and guess the amount in the jackpot. We'll tell you if you're too high or if you're too low. Keep track of everyone's guesses to the penny!

It's the Rock It FM High-Low Jackpot - your road to winning with the Hot Country Highway US95! Of course, it wouldn't be possible without our great sponsors:

Note: all standard Radio Works contest rules apply to this contest.

August 31 news

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WORTHINGTON - Milling and bituminous overlay work on Fourth Avenue from 12th Street to 14th Street has been scheduled to begin Tuesday, September 1st, according to the City of Worthington Engineering Department.

Fourth Avenue will be closed to traffic during construction activities. Fourth Avenue will be open to traffic when there is no construction activity, such as nights, nonworking days, and weekends. No parking will be allowed when construction work is in progress. Paved areas will be reopened as soon as the new bituminous surface has adequately cooled.

Please reduce your speed, watch for construction workers and equipment, and drive carefully near the construction zone. Weather permitting and construction proceeding as planned, the work should be completed and traffic restored to normal in about a week.

DES MOINES, Iowa - MidAmerican Energy says it will build its next two wind farms in northwest Iowa.

The company says there will be 134 generators at the Ida county site and 104 at a site in O'Brien county, providing a combined capacity of 552 megawatts. The estimated investment for the two projects is $900 million.

A MidAmerican Vice President, Mike Gehringer, says that by the end of the year, more MidAmerica's electricity will come from wind than from any other single source.
MidAmerican spokeswoman Ruth Comer says by the end of 2016, when both projects are completed, the Berkshire Hathaway-owned company will have more than 2,000 wind turbines across Iowa.

REMSEN, Iowa — In Plymouth County, an arrest has been made in a case that has been under investigation since April. Samantha Kohls, age 24, was charged with two counts of an employee of a school district engaging in sexual conduct with a student. Both counts are aggravated misdemeanors, with a bond of $2,000.

On Thursday, Kohls, who now resides in Cedar Falls, turned herself in to the Plymouth County jail, posted bond and was released.

Authorities believe that Kohls, while employed as a teacher at the Remsen-Union Community School district, had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student.

ST. PAUL - The Black Lives Matter demonstration at the State Fair ended quietly Saturday, and the crowd of about 325 marchers dispersed after a peaceful protest at the fairgrounds.

The march began at Hamline Park in St. Paul. Demonstrators marched one and a half miles up Snelling Avenue to the fairground. They were escorted by St. Paul Police on bikes and horses.

They chanted as they walked, with calls of "No justice, no peace" and "Hands up, don't shoot," a chant that has been repeated across the country since the riots in Ferguson, Mo., after the death of Michael Brown.

At one point, the group deviated from their announced route and gathered in front of the gates on Como Avenue. Some protesters attempted to enter the fair, but were stopped by police.

The group gathered at the Snelling Avenue entrance for a number of speeches by organizers of Black Lives Matter - St. Paul. Organizers called for body cameras on all city police officers. They also called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the fatal police shooting of Marcus Golden last January. After the speeches, the crowds dispersed and the roads re-opened.

Fair officials say the protest by Black Lives Matter did little to disrupt the opening weekend of the Minnesota State Fair. General manager Jerry Hammer said he thought the police response to let the protesters leave on their own was appropriate, and arrests were unnecessary.

Hammer said the main complaint from people at the Fair was the noise from the news helicopters.

ND Judge Issues Injuction to WOTUS Rule

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Late Thursday night, a federal judge in North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction, blocking the Obama administration's controversial Waters of the U.S. rule which was set to take effect Friday the 28th of August. Federal District Court Judge Ralph Erickson agreed granted the injuction, as requested by North Dakota, along with Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wyoming, citing the potential irreparable harm it would cause the states if the rule were to go into effect August 28, 2015.

“On balance, the harms favor the states,” Erickson wrote. “The risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely. More importantly, delaying the rule will cause the agencies no appreciable harm. Delaying implementation to allow a full and final resolution on the merits is in the best interests of the public.”

While this is good news for the 13 states, the Environment Protection Agency insisted the injunction only applies in the 13 states that filed for it, and that the rule is essentially still effective as of August 28th, 2015 in the states that did not file for an injunction. This is in spite of the fact that North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who filed the injunction request, said his reading of the ruling was that it applied to all 50 states.

Another important note is that Judge Erickson's preliminary injunction is just that - preliminary - and that it will last only as long as the litigation continues, and can potentially be overturned.

August 28 news

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WORTHINGTON – The complaints against the suspicious gray DISH Network van in the area have been resolved, according to the Worthington Police Department. The Minnesota State Patrol stopped the van and verified the credentials of the driver with his employer, according to Worthington Police Captain Kevin Flynn.

Since putting out the warning about the van, the department received many tips from concerned citizens, Flynn said, which they appreciate. People need to be good neighbors, he added, as they were in this case, and if things seem out of place, it is best to inform law enforcement right away.

SLAYTON - Dracula auditions will be held Sunday, August 30th, and Monday, August 31st, from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Vine in Slayton. Those auditioning need to have a 1 to 3 minute prepared comedic monologue that is PG-13. Cast has 6 males ages 18-60 and 6 females ages 18-60. No singing is required. Performance dates are October 23rd, 24th, 30th and 31st. Performance times are at 7:30 p.m. except for on Oct. 31st, which will be at 9 p.m.

SLAYTON - The City of Slayton is currently in the process of developing an Active Living Plan that will be part of a Land Use Plan. The goal of the Active Living section of the plan is to help make the city more pedestrian friendly.

The first community meeting is scheduled for Thursday September 3rd from noon to 1 p.m. The agenda for the first meeting is to discuss local issues and concerns regarding walking, biking, and transportation related issues. This information will be summarized and will help to create potential goals that will be discussed at the second public meeting. Public participation is a critical component of the plan.

If you cannot attend the community meeting, you can share your concerns by going to the Wikimapping link or by contacting Josh Malchow with the City of Slayton or Drew Hage with SW Regional Development Commission. Wikimapping is an online public input tool used to identify issues in the community.

For access to the WikiMapping program, visit http://wikimapping.com/wikimap/Slayton-Active-Living-Plan.html

SHELDON, Iowa — A single-vehicle crash on Thursday afternoon caused the death of the driver south of Sheldon on McKinley Avenue, according to the Iowa State Patrol. The vehicle was headed north on McKinley when it entered the east ditch and struck a tree. The O’Brien County Medical Examiner pronounced the driver dead at the scene.

The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of family.

Troopers were assisted at the scene by the Sheldon Police Department, O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office, Sheldon EMA, Sioux County Sheriff’s Office Sheldon Fire and Ambulance, and the O’Brien County Medical Examiner.

The crash remains under investigation by the Iowa State Patrol.

MAY CITY, Iowa — A car versus motorcycle crash on Thursday near May City caused the death of a May City man, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. The crash happened at 4:21 p.m. at the intersection of 220th Street and Wilson Avenue. Timothy Allen Martin, age 30, of Ocheyedan, Iowa was westbound on 220th Street in a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica. Jose Mauro Castillo Gonzalez, age 20, of May City, was driving a Honda 200R dirt bike southbound on Wilson Ave. Castillo Gonzalez came to a stop at the intersection but failed to yield from the stop sign to the Martin vehicle, causing Martin to hit the rear tire of the dirt bike.

Castillo Gonzalez was transported to Lakes Regional Hospital by the Melvin Ambulance where he later succumbed to his injuries. Martin and two other passengers in the vehicle were not injured. Assisting at the scene was the Sibley Ambulance.

MINNESOTA - A ride on an all-terrain vehicle near a southern Minnesota lake ended in tragedy for two young men and their families early Thursday morning.

The bodies of the two riders, identified as 18-year-old Zachary R. Paulson and 24-year-old Derek Brandvold, were found in Lake Sakatah in Le Sueur County following an emergency call to the sheriff’s office, KSTP reports.

According to the station, authorities reported the two were ejected from the ATV when they lost control of the vehicle and ended up in the water.

While the accident is still being investigated, the Star Tribune reports speed is believed to have been a factor, though there are currently no signs of alcohol use at the time of the crash.

Sheriff David Tietz told the paper that neither of the victims was wearing helmets, speculating that head gear may have provided them some protection from the trauma they suffered.

The Le Center Leader says both bodies were transported to the Ramsey County Coroner’s Office in St. Paul for autopsy.