WORTHINGTON – Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday approved the salaries of all county elected officials, just shortly after accepting the resignation of County Assessor Joe Udermann. The commissioners also approved a 2 percent increase in their own salary, on a 3 - 2 vote. Commissioners Marv Zylstra and Matt Widboom voted against the increase, both mentioning that the timing of the vote was not appropriate. Both said it should have been brought up much sooner in the budget process, rather than waiting until last minute.
Chairman Bob Demuth agreed that the timing was wrong, but said it made more sense to keep up yearly with the cost of living adjustment (COLA) rather than make a bigger jump every few years. Non-union staff in the county is to receive 2 percent cost of living adjustments.
The last commissioner raise was in 2010, when the annual salary went to $17,510. With the new increase, each commissioner will receive about $350 more per year, which will make an approximate $2,000 impact on the county’s budget. Per diem of a maximum $100 per day remained unchanged.
Following the approval of the salary increase, the commissioners approved the 2014 budget with a levy increase of 4.31 percent.
During this last official meeting of 2013, renewing contracts was a time-consuming business. Included in those renewed for 2014 were contracts with attorneys representing parents in child protection cases, cooperative agreements for fraud investigation, agreements for mental health coverage for community service and interpreter contracts. The commissioners also authorized final payments to be made for several public works contracts.
WORTHINGTON – The action that placed all Minnesota West Community and Technical College athletic teams on probation has been lifted, with only the football team remaining on probation for the next two years. According to Minnesota West president Richard Shrubb, the football team will supervised at away games following an incident after the Oct. 26 quarterfinal football game in Brainerd that involved drunken fans taunting players, which resulted in a physical altercation after the game.
Shrubb appealed the original sanction against all teams, and the Minnesota College Athletic Conference rescinded the action. During a review of the athletic teams by an ad hoc committee, recruiting for the football team was suspended and the team was not allowed to accept post-seasonal invitation games. Head Coach Jeff Linder has been given permission to talk with players who were likely to return to let them know the football program will continue. New players will be accepted under the guidelines brought forth by the committee.
WORTHINGTON – A hearing for a man charged with fleeing from peace officers and more was continued Tuesday to allow the suspect, Thomas Warborg of Roanoke, Texas, time to re-apply for a public defender. Warborg was arrested November 30 after an officer pursuit that led through the city of Worthington. Warborg was stopped when officers of the Worthington Police Department had to use maneuvers with their squad cars against his truck. The pursuit began when authorities were contacted by owners of a local hotel, who said Warborg had caused damage at the hotel and threatened to drive his truck through the lobby.
He was charged with fleeing a peace officer in a vehicle, use of deadly force against a peace officer, two counts of first-degree property damage, obstructing the legal process, test refusal, driving while impaired, indecent exposure and fourth-degree property damage.
He has been released on a $10,000 bond on the conditions he remains in Minnesota, stays in contact with an attorney, uses or possesses no drugs or alcohol and submits to random testing.
WORTHINGTON — Grassroots Community Theatre is planning an interactive dinner theater production of “Flanagan’s Wake” for Feb. 28 and March 1. Auditions for roles, both male and female, will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 26 at the Elks Lodge, 1105 Second Ave. Auditions will include a cold reading and some physical comedy and are expected to take about 15 minutes. For more information or to schedule an alternate audition time, contact Mary Jane Mardesne, (507) 478-4474.
WORTHINGTON – During Independent School District 518 action Tuesday, the Board of Education voted 4 - 3 to approve the maximum levy amount of $4,630,657, during a Truth in Taxation meeting, leaving a $10 million reserve intact.
During a regular school board meeting, Prairie Elementary Principal Josh Noble reported changes at the school, which include the creation of a first-grade class for students who struggled in kindergarten and a restructuring of the English Learners department.
JACKSON – The Minnesota State Patrol responded the to the scene of a one-vehicle rollover Tuesday evening at 8:07 p.m. that left a Heron Lake woman with non-life threatening injuries. Marybeth Sebby, age 49, was westbound on Highway 60 when her 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix ran off the road into the median and rolled, coming to rest on its wheels. The Heron Lake Ambulance assisted at the scene.
ADRIAN – A Lakefield man received non-life threatening injuries when his 2000 Ford Ranger rolled on I-90 west of Adrian in Nobles County at approximately 9:10 a.m. Richard Burks, age 66, was westbound when the truck left the roadway, hit a median and rolled, coming to rest on its roof. He was transported to Luverne Sanford. The truck was totaled.
JACKSON - The Jackson County Central School Board Monday night approved the 2013 Payable in 2014 Levy Limitation and Certification of $3,142,987, which amounts to a .47 percent increase in the levy.
The Board approved hiring Watson Consulting Group to take a look at the School District’s transportation services. Watson worked with the JCC School District in 2000. It’s anticipated Watson’s recommendations will save the School District money on transportation costs and also look into possible transportation funding aid from the State. Watson’s fee initially is $5,400 dollars, but Superintendent Todd Meyer said the savings gained and obtaining state transportation aid will outweigh the cost. Watson has also consulted the Windom and Mountain Lake School Districts regarding their transportation.
ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa - The Lyon County Magistrate Nominating Commission has appointed attorney Jenny Lea Winterfeld to fill a vacancy created by the death of Francis Honrath. Winterfeld will assume the duties of Lyon County Magistrate on Friday. The current term of office for magistrates ends July 31st, 2017.
Magistrates are required to be attorneys and have jurisdiction over simple misdemeanors including scheduled violations, county and municipal infractions and small claims. They have authority to issue search warrants, conduct preliminary hearings and hear certain involuntary hospitalization matters.
SOUTH DAKOTA – In South Dakota, a high-speed chase on I-29 early this morning ended with tire spikes being used to slow the driver. Lincoln County Police say the chase started around 1:30 a.m. at mile marker 62 near the Canton exit, where a white car was driving north in the southbound lane.
Lincoln County Sheriff's officers and the Highway Patrol pursued the car at speeds more than 85 miles per hour as the suspect repeatedly switched back and forth between the north and southbound lanes. The pursuit ended about two miles north of the Lennox exit, where authorities used spikes to slow the vehicle.
Police haven't released the suspect's name yet, and no charges have been issued as the chase is still under investigation.