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Appel named as new Worthington Director of Public Safety


WORTHINGTON – Troy Appel was named the new Director of Public Safety for the City of Worthington on Monday, according to a news release issued by Worthington City Administrator Craig Clark.

Appel was hired as a part-time patrol officer with the Worthington Police Department in 1993 and moved to full-time in 1996. He served as the Emergency Response Unit team leader from 1998 to 1999 and became a narcotics investigator in 1999, reestablishing the position for the Worthington Police Department.

In that position, he acted in an undercover capacity, recruiting confidential informants along the way and training other drug investigators for the department and for the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office. He also assisted with other investigations, including homicide, assault, forgery, theft and gambling. While working in this capacity, he established working relationships with other entities, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and others.

His work as a narcotics investigator led to being named Commander of the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force when it was formed in 2005. With a group of incredibly commendable agents, the task force distinguished themselves as one that would make a difference in southwest Minnesota. Under Appel’s command, they were twice recognized as the Narcotics Drug Task Force of the Year in Minnesota. At a time when task forces are coming under fire for mishandling of funds, the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force has been recognized by the Minnesota State Auditor’s Office as one of a select few to complete issue-free audits.

Appel has also won recognition in his own right, through letters of commendation, outstanding service awards and outstanding achievements.

“I was very pleased with the outcome of the Civil Service Commission’s decision. While we had three strong finalists and any one of them could have slid into the position, it was Troy Appel in the end that showed his experience best prepared him to be the Director of Public Safety,” said Cindy DeGroot, Chair of the Civil Service Commission.

“It is with great pride and excitement that I was able to extend the offer to Troy Appel,” added Clark. “His nearly nine years of experience as the Commander of the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force and twenty overall years serving the Worthington Police Department have prepared him well for this opportunity. He will be a great leader for our department and brought a clear vision for moving the department forward.”

Clark said during the interview with the Civil Service Commission Appel spoke about the principles that would define his leadership of the department. He stated that “Honor, Integrity, Professionalism and Excellence” will be hallmarks of his tenure.

“We have every confidence that Mr. Appel will deliver on these objectives while serving the Worthington community,” Clark stated.

Appel succeeds Mike Cumiskey, who retired after 13 years as the Worthington Director of Public Safety/Police Chief.

SUV driver transported after Minnesota 60/Armour Road crash

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WORTHINGTON – The driver of an SUV was transported by ambulance Monday morning after it crashed with a semi truck at the intersection of Minnesota 60 and Armour Road in Worthington at approximately 10:22 a.m. The Minnesota State Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Worthington Fire and Rescue and the Worthington Ambulance.

The Worthington Police Department and Nobles County Sheriff's Office also assisted with traffic control.

The extent of the injuries are unknown at this time.

Ted Siefried on Market to Market


If you missed it on Friday, September 19th, one of our favorite market analysts, Ted Siefried of the Zaner Group, was featured on Market to Market with Mike Pearson. Check out the video below, or click here for the script only.

Of course, you can always hear Ted joining us every Monday and Friday around 8:10 a.m. for market analysis as well here on AM 730 KWOA!


See video

September 22 news


WORTHINGTON – There are two author presentations in Worthington this week, courtesy of the 40th anniversary of the Plum Creek Regional Library System.

At noon Wednesday, Waseca native Rachael Hanel will offer an informal brown bag lunch presentation in the Nobles County Historical Museum, located in the lower level of the Nobles County Library. Hanel has received critical praise for her book “We’ll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down: Memoir of a Gravedigger’s Daughter,” which was published in 2013 by the University of Minnesota Press. She has also authored more than 20 non-fiction children’s books.

At 6:45 p.m. Thursday, playwright/author/storyteller Kevin Kling will perform at the Worthington Event Center. He has had three books published, including “The Dog Says How,” has several plays to his credit and is a frequent guest at the National Storytelling Festival.

A congenital birth defect gave Kling a left arm that was only three-fourths the size of his right arm, and his left arm has no wrist or thumb. A 2001 motorcycle accident further affected him, and he now has only partial use of his left arm while his right arm is essentially useless.

Both events are free and open to the public.

PIPESTONE – According to information released earlier this month by the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office, “careless smoking by the victim” caused the Dec. 4 house fire at 905 Second Ave. SW in Pipestone that led to the death of Ardelle Jacqueline Hice, the home’s 76-year-old owner/occupant.

Evidence indicates the accidental fire originated in a chair along the west wall of the living room where Hice was smoking. The location of Hice’s body, an exploded oxygen cylinder, and flame and char patterns suggest Hice attempted to escape the fire before collapsing. Firefighters located her body after spraying water through the windows and front door to suppress the flames and entering the home to search for her.

A neighbor called 911 to report the fire at around 3:23 a.m. and Pipestone fire chief Corey Popma said in December that the house had been burning for quite a while when firefighters arrived on the scene. The fire destroyed the house, which has since been demolished, leaving a vacant lot in its place.

SPIRIT LAKES, Iowa - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has temporarily closed the Marble Lake Public Access as construction continues on the Marble and West Hottes Lakes Restoration Project. Officials say the closure is out of safety concerns while the work is going on. The DNR says the access will reopen later this fall once they determine it's safe to do so.

The Marble and West Hottes Lakes Restoration Project is intended to improve water quality in Big Spirit Lake.

HOSPERS, Iowa — Two people from Paullina have been arrested on felony warrants after a Sioux County Deputy showed up at a home where they were visiting in Hospers.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that shortly after 8 PM Thursday evening, September 18th, the deputy went to a Hospers home to serve a civil process document. While at the home the deputy became suspicious of the behavior of two people who were visiting the occupants at that home. Upon further investigation it was discovered that there were felony arrest warrants out for the visitors.

Twenty-seven-year-old Ashley Silberstein was arrested by the deputy on site. Thirty-one-year-old Nathan Silberstein attempted to evade arrest by fleeing on foot, but he was taken into custody a short time later.

Both were wanted in connection with a burglary case. Both Silbersteins have a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, September 30th.

MINNESOTA - More than two dozen parties intend to compete to become one of Minnesota’s certified medical cannabis manufacturers under the state’s new medical marijuana program.

The Minnesota Department of Health received 29 letters of intent from individuals or groups by the Friday deadline, it announced in a press release. The department had asked anyone interested to submit the letter, signaling their intent to submit a full application by the upcoming Oct. 3 cut-off date.

Submitting the letter doesn’t obligate someone to actually send a full application, the department said, but allows the staff to plan for the application review process.

The department did not identify who sent in letters of intent, saying it would provide details about applications only as allowed under state law, in order to “help ensure a level playing field for all applicants throughout the process.”

The formal application is 36 pages long, and asks potential manufacturers to provide detailed plans about how they would grow, cultivate, transport, and even market the product. On top of the phone book’s-worth of information needed to apply is a hefty cost.

Simply applying requires a non-refundable $20,000 application fee. Then the two manufacturers selected will be on the hook for an annual fee to cover the costs of the state monitoring the program, which could range from $75,000-$100,000.

UPDATE: Names released in Round Lake crash

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ROUND LAKE – A 49-year-old South Dakota man died Friday in a crash between two semi trucks near Round Lake, according to information released Saturday morning by the Minnesota State Patrol.

Charles Luze of Sioux Falls was killed when the 2005 Mack Truck he was driving northbound on Minnesota 264 struck a 1998 Freightliner semi that went through a stop sign on Nobles County Road 35. The Mack struck the right center of the Freightliner.

The driver of the Freightliner, 67-year-old James Miller of Cylinder, Iowa, suffered no apparent injury.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the passenger of the Mack, Samuel Luze, 21, of Sioux Falls, SD, was taken to Worthington Regional Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Brewster Fire and Rescue, the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office and the Worthington Ambulance assisted the Minnesota State Patrol at the scene.

September 19 news


WORTHINGTON – Tickets for the Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener Banquet at the Worthington Event Center went on sale this week.

Governor Mark Dayton will be in Worthington October 10 and 11 for the 2014 pheasant hunting opener, something that was announced during last year’s event in Madelia.

The Friday night banquet, which is open to the public, begins with a social hour at 6 p.m. and the meal at 7 p.m. The meal is sponsored by JBS. Tickets are $35 each or $50 per couple. After the meal, there will be a live auction and presentations. Only 250 tickets for the banquet will be sold on a first come-first served basis.

Tickets can be purchased at the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce at 1121 Third Ave. Call 372-2919 for more information.

LAKEFIELD – Volunteers are needed to help make up the packages for the Food for Kidz project. The packaging event will take place at Immanuel Activity Center, 620 Bush St. in Lakefield beginning Friday, Sept. 26 from noon until 5 p.m. and continues Saturday, Sept. 27 from 7:30-11 a.m.

If you are interested in volunteering as an individual or as a team, contact Carol Wilson at (507) 662-5608 or Marless Cuperus at (507) 662-5254 with the day and time you are available.

WORTHINGTON — The Plum Creek and Pioneerland Regional Library Systems are working together to develop a Winter Reading Program for young adults and adults and are seeking artwork submissions. The chosen theme is “Book Your Winter Getaway.”

The artist whose design is chosen will be awarded $500, and his or her artwork will appear on 2015 Winter Library Program promotional materials. Artists living within the Plum Creek and Pioneerland regions are invited to submit original artwork to be considered by the Winter Reading Program committee.

For additional details and artwork specifications, contact Chris Lang, Submission deadline is Oct. 20.

PIPESTONE - The city of Pipestone will try again for a grant that allows residential property owners within a targeted neighborhood to receive zero percent, forgivable loans for home repairs.

The project the city is considering would enable low-to-moderate income property owners to receive deferred-payment loans to fix up their properties and improve the housing stock within Pipestone. Eligible projects include repairs to roofs, heating, doors, windows, insulation, siding, foundations, electrical and plumbing.

In the near future public meetings will be held for and surveys will go out to the targeted 131 residential properties within the targeted neighborhood. A certain percentage of those living within the targeted area must meet the income guidelines for qualification for the loans, and about half of those must show interest in receiving one of the loans.

Lack of interest sunk Pipestone’s chances for getting the grant last year. This time around, a new neighborhood has been identified and Pipestone City Councilors Myron Koets and Jim Stout volunteered to go door-to-door to each of the 131 residences to explain the program.

MINNESOTA - Absentee voting for the Nov. 4 general election opens today in Minnesota.

Residents can obtain an absentee ballot application online at the Minnesota Secretary of State website or in person at their county courthouses. The county auditor will then mail a paper ballot to the voter to complete and return. Once you receive your ballot in the mail, follow the instructions carefully. You will need a witness to sign the absentee ballot signature envelope to confirm your ballot was delivered blank and that you marked the ballot in private. The witness must be another registered Minnesota voter, or a notary from any state.

Return the ballot on or before Election Day by mailing it in the provided pre-paid envelope or by package delivery service. The ballot must arrive on or before Election Day. It can also be delivered in person to the office that sent the absentee ballot by 5 p.m. on the day before the election.

Voters can have someone else return their ballot before 3 p.m. on Election Day. This person cannot deliver more than three ballots.

You may not hand deliver your own absentee ballot on Election Day.

Voters can also request, receive and cast an absentee ballot in one visit to your county election office.

ORANGE CITY, Iowa — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office has recently investigated a report of burglary and assault that occurred at a home four miles northeast of Orange City, and has now made three arrests in connection with the case.

Deputies discovered that three people illegally entered the victim’s home on Saturday, September 6, at approximately 4:00 AM, and an assault occurred inside the home.

As a result of the investigation 23-year-old Jonathan Kats of Hull was arrested and charged with 2nd Degree Burglary and Serious Assault. Twenty-three-year-old Andrew Driesen of Alton was arrested and charged with Serious Assault and Criminal Trespassing. Twenty-three-year-old Lance Hulstein of Sheldon was arrested and charged with Criminal Trespassing.

In other news from the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, deputies have made an arrest in the case of the broken car window near Sioux Center on September 12th. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office charged a 16-year-old boy from Sioux Center with Criminal Trespassing. He was cited into Juvenile Court.

September 18 news


WORTHINGTON – There will be an open house from 5 to 6:30 p.m. tonight at BenLee’s so the public can meet the three final candidates for the position of the Worthington Public Safety Director/Police Chief.

Those three candidates, are the current interim chief Kevin Flynn, Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force Commander Troy Appel and Paul Ver Meer, who is currently the Chief of Police in the city of Creston, Iowa.

The Civil Service Commission is scheduled to begin interviews with the three candidates on Friday and hopes to have a final decision made by the end of the month, if not sooner.

WORTHINGTON — A fall festival and open house will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Buffalo Ridge Apartments, 2107 Nobles St.

Free apple cider, coffee and fresh apple slices from Ocheda Orchard will be available. Experienced housing staff will be on hand to answer questions and give apartment tours. Buffalo Ridge Apartments is an apartment community for seniors ages 62 and older. Rent is based on 30 percent of gross adjusted monthly income, with rental assistance coming from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For additional information about the apartments or the open house, call 376-6613 or 1-800-466-7722.

WORTHINGTON — A free car seat checkup will be hosted from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 20 at Marthaler Chevrolet, 1660 Humiston Ave.

Three out of four child restraints are used improperly. This clinic is conducted by nationally certified child passenger safety technicians. Assisting Marthaler in sponsoring the event are the Helping Hands Pregnancy Center, Nobles County Public Health, the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office, Des Moines Valley Health & Human Services and Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

To make an appointment for a free car seat checkup, call the Helping Hands Pregnancy Center at 372-2111.

TRACY – There have been recent reports across the area of a phone scam. The latest entity to warn of the scam is the Tracy Police Department, who placed a message regarding the scam Wednesday on their Facebook page. Comments on the message indicate several people received a call overnight, but did not answer.

Calls seem to come primarily from the number 801-396-8280. Authorities recommend you do not answer. The message from the Tracy Police Department states if you do answer, the caller will state your credit card has been locked due to unauthorized access, and you should press 1 on your phone to begin the unlocking process.

The police recommend you not do so, and instead hang up the phone.

PIPESTONE - Xcel Energy has scheduled a planned power outage due to substation upgrades on Saturday from 6 – 9 a.m. for customers in Pipestone County, including select customers in the city of Pipestone, and the majority of customers in Woodstock, Holland and Ruthton.

Within the city of Pipestone, the outage will apply to customers in the Skyway Industrial Park, and the New Horizon grain elevator. No other customers on the city’s southeast or northwest sides will be impacted.

In the other Pipestone County communities the outage will apply to a majority of the Xcel customers.

Xcel has contacted all customers who will lose power for the two-hour time frame, according to an Xcel Energy spokesperson.

Xcel has recommended that customers turn off their computers and to remember to later reset alarm systems or other equipment sensitive to a power outage. All equipment that operates only by electrical power will not work during the outage, including items people may not remember, such as sump pumps and garage door openers.

WINDOM - Des Moines Valley Health and Human Services is pleased to announce that it has received a $50,000 UCare Community Grant to make healthy living readily available to more people.

The UCare grant will support the work of the Statewide Health Improvement Program (or SHIP) in Jackson, Cottonwood and Nobles Counties. This grant will allow SHIP to partner with communities to create active living plans to improve walking and bicycling, support promotional activities related to active living, assist healthcare organizations in addressing obesity and tobacco use among patients and to work with schools to increase physical activity and nutrition for students and employees.

Many schools in Jackson, Cottonwood and Nobles Counties have partnered with SHIP over the last five years to improve school nutrition and school activity including the Farm2School program, salad bars, school gardens, healthy snacks and vending.

For additional information, you can contact Diane Marsden, SHIP Coordinator for Des Moines Valley Health and Human Services at 507-831-1987.

MAURICE, Iowa — State environmental officials say a weekend fish kill in northwest Iowa is continuing to wipe out more fish as the pollution moves downstream. Kevin Baskins, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says they’re still investigating the cause — and impact — of a manure spill that killed fish in Orange City Slough Creek in Sioux County.

The spill happened Saturday night at the Brian Roorda Dairy, near Maurice. Baskins says it’s encouraging that the dairy reported the incident on its own and took action to stop further contamination of the creek, but he says these types of accidents can be prevented.

The investigation is still underway, but Baskins says the dairy may be ordered to pay compensation for the damage caused to the stream.

In the news release issued Sunday, the DNR said the fish kill appears to have happened after a wrong switch was pulled that turned on a pump which moves manure from one lagoon to another. That caused a second lagoon to overflow. Manure from the lagoon ran down a grassed waterway into the creek.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota is the latest state to detect a case of a respiratory illness caused by the virus known as enterovirus 68.

State health officials announced Wednesday that a case had been confirmed in a child who was hospitalized with acute symptoms. The child has since been released and is recovering at home, the agency said.

The Health Department said the lab results Tuesday night confirmed suspicions that enterovirus is circulating in Minnesota. Some hospitals have reported an increase in children being brought in for respiratory problems.

At least 12 other states have confirmed cases of the virus, many in the Midwest. It can cause mild to severe illness, and may even require breathing help for patients with the worst cases. But no deaths have been reported.

MINNESOTA - Minneapolis-St. Paul is one of three metro areas in the U.S. where a new Justice Department initiative will try to stem recruitment of Americans by overseas terrorist groups.

Andy Luger, the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, confirmed to the Associated Press Tuesday that the Twin Cities are among the sites chosen for the pilot program.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder unveiled the program on Monday. Holder says it will bring social and mental health workers together with religious leaders and law enforcement in hopes of detecting Americans prone to recruitment by radical groups.

Authorities say a handful of Minnesotans have been convinced to join militant groups fighting in Syria. The U.S. has confirmed that one former Twin Cities man, Douglas McCain, was killed on a Syrian battlefield last month while fighting with the group Islamic State, also known by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL.

Luger declined to tell the AP which other American cities are part of the pilot project. He says ending the recruitment requires building trust within groups such as Minnesota’s large Somali community. Those efforts are already underway and Luger says they’ll get a boost from the new federal initiative.

September 17 news


WORTHINGTON – The District 518 School Board approved a motion Tuesday to pursue a grant that will pay for all day pre-school for those who fall within 175 to 200 percent of the poverty level, which could translate to roughly $1.3 million for four years.

Approximately 10 new teachers would need to be hired, according to Superintendent John Landgaard, and about 11 more classrooms would be needed. In a district already busting at the seams, this will be no easy task.

Landgaard said the district would have to look out into the community for a building that would fit the needs of the district, and possibly enter into a lease agreement. Terms of the grant allow for assistance with leases, but not entirely with the building and completion of a new structure.

WORTHINGTON – Discussion about the library has resurfaced now that the former swimming pool site is no longer a possibility as a location for a new library building.

Both the Nobles County Art Center and the Nobles County Historical Society have expressed interest in moving out of the lower level of the War Memorial Building, if the county is still willing to support them financially, so Library Director Julie Wellnitz was asked by Nobles County Administrator Tom Johnson to create a list of pros and cons to keep the library at its present location and expand into the downstairs.

The Arts Center was once the children’s area and could be converted back, and according to Johnson, this could buy the library some time. Now, it is up to the Arts Center and the Historical Society to identify some sites where they could relocate.

PIPESTONE – A Clara City man received non-life threatening injuries Tuesday morning when the semi truck he was driving rolled in Pipestone County. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, 31-year-old Ross Saue was driving his 2014 Peterbilt semi southbound on Highway 23 when he drifted across the center line, over corrected and tipped the semi onto its side.

Pipestone Fire and Ambulance assisted with patient care. The semi received severe damage.

MILFORD, Iowa - A capacity crowd was on hand Monday evening at the Milford Community Building for a public hearing continued from last Tuesday into a manure management plan for a proposed 2,400 head hog operation near Horseshoe Bend southwest of Milford.

Tom Kaiser has applied to the DNR for the permit. Under Iowa law, that agency has the sole authority in either approving or denying such permits. The DNR wasn't represented at Monday's hearing.

Counties aren't required to hold public hearing on such permit applications, but Dickinson adopted the policy years ago to be transparent.

Many of those speaking Monday evening again expressed concern over potential environmental impacts.

Others expressed concern over what they say would be potential impacts on the area's economy in the event of manure spills, and property values. A Kaiser family member said the operation would allow them to involve future generations of the family in farming, adding she feels her family is being unfairly singled out.

Following some additional comment, the supervisors voted three to two in favor of a motion to send a letter to the DNR incorporating facts that were gathered from the hearing. Supervisors Marti Allen, Pam Jordan and David Gottsche voted in favor; supervisors Paul Johnson and Bill Leopold were opposed. Johnson said he wanted the letter to express opposition to the proposed operation.

MINNESOTA - The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning to school districts about a scam involving fake invoices for educational supplies.

According to the BBB, there has been a rush of complaints in the last few weeks filed against "Scholastic School Supply" claiming to have either a Nevada or New Jersey address. Both addresses have turned out to be mail drops.

The BBB says its Southern Nevada division first received complaints against Scholastic School Supply on August 20, and since then has received more than 70 complaints from schools across the country. The bogus invoices have been for the bulk purchase of “English-Language Arts Practice Books” or math workbooks. Complainants say they cannot reach the company to inquire about the products or amounts allegedly owed, and all have denied ever doing business with the company previously.

The BBB urges schools not to pay the invoices but to send them to the local Postal Inspector and the Federal Trade Commission, as well as their state's attorney general or consumer protection agency, according to BBB President and CEO Jim Hegarty.

So far, none of the complainants have sent money; however, BBB has no way of knowing if any schools have unwittingly paid the invoice, since they would not have filed a complaint.

To date, BBB has received complaints from schools in 27 states, including Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin. Due to BBB's process for handling complaints, which gives a business up to a month to respond, the complaints received to date are still considered pending.

MINNESOTA - After a day of public pressure from angry fans and concerned sponsors, the Minnesota Vikings have reversed course and placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, a move that will require him to stay away from the team while he addresses child abuse charges in Texas.

The Vikings made the announcement early Wednesday morning, about a day and a half after initially deciding that Peterson could play with the team while the legal process played out. Peterson is charged with a felony for using a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son and now could miss the rest of the season while the case proceeds through the court system.

The Vikings came under heavy criticism for their initial stance. Several sponsors responded by either suspending their deals with the Vikings or severing ties with Peterson, prompting Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf to revisit the situation on Tuesday.

LEMARS, Iowa — A Plymouth County Correctional Officer has been terminated and faces criminal charges, following an investigation by the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office.

Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo says that on September 9, he received a complaint from a member of the correctional staff concerning a possible assault. After interviewing the staff member, it was learned that she had been approached by another jailer in an inappropriate manner.

It is alleged that Correctional Officer Daniel Lee Kersbergen made comments to the complainant that were of a sexual nature and asked the complainant to engage in conduct that was not appropriate. He furthermore, on separate occasions, used his taser in an attempt to intimidate and annoy the victim, according to Van Otterloo.
When the victim informed Kersbergen she was contemplating bringing an official complaint to her supervisors, he allegedly threatened her by stating, “it would be the last thing you did,” according to authorities.

During an internal investigation into the incident, Van Otterloo says it was learned that recordings of conversations within the corrections facility had been made. It is alleged that an electronic recording device was placed in areas of the facility in an attempt to record other staff members without their consent or knowledge. It is further alleged that Kersbergen facilitated this conduct. On September 12, Van Otterloo says search warrants were issued to obtain information regarding this investigation from two cellular phones. Experts are in the process of examining the devices.

The Sheriff says the result of this investigation has led to criminal charges being filed on Kersbergen.

He was reportedly served with a notice of the charges on September 15. He is charged with one count of Assault, a simple misdemeanor, and one count of Electronic and Mechanical Eavesdropping, a serious misdemeanor. A court date has been set for his initial appearance.

The Sheriff says internal disciplinary action has been taken concerning the employment of Kersbergen. On September 15, Kersbergen’s employment was terminated with the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division. The Sheriff says Kersbergen was hired in November of 2013 as a part-time correctional officer, and within the past 30 days had been promoted to a full-time employee.

Van Otterloo says the investigation continues, however, he says additional charges are not anticipated in the near future.

September 16 news


LUVERNE – A Luverne man thought to be involved in multiple burglaries in southwest Minnesota, northwest Iowa and Sioux Falls. South Dakota made his first court appearance in Rock County District Court Monday after being arrested September 11 when a search warrant was executed at his residence in Luverne.

Bail for Travis Michael Hyatt, age 25, of Luverne, was set at $10,000 with conditions. He was granted a public defender. According to the criminal complaint, numerous items that could have been used in the burglaries were located at his residence, as were two laptop computers which were identified via their serial numbers as those stolen in burglaries in Sioux Falls.

A Rock County investigator has been working with other authorities on a string of burglaries across the area. They had identified suspects who were seen driving a blue Dodge Charger with Minnesota plates. On September 10, the Charger was seen after 11 p.m. in a business district in Sioux Falls. The door of a business had been forcibly pried open and desks rummaged through.

A traffic stop was initiated and the three occupants identified as Dylan and Jared Gates and Nathan Perkins. A pry bar was in plain view in the vehicle, the complaint states. All three were arrested and the Charger towed to a secure area.

During the ensuing interviews, Jared Gates allegedly admitted burglarizing the Sioux Falls business that night because it seemed an easy target. He also admitted to involvement in four other Sioux Falls burglaries and some connected with the multi-state investigation.

Recovered from the vehicle were items stolen from the business burglarized that night, including a handgun and ammunition and a bag of loose change. Other items were connected to other burglaries, including another handgun, a backpack and a computer.

Jared Gates admitted to the Rock County investigator that he, Dylan Gates, Perkins and Hyatt were involved in more than 20 commercial business burglaries, and provided specific details that matched respective reports for those burglaries. He confirmed that he, Dylan gates and Perkins share a storage unit that contained other stolen items.
Based on that information, the search warrant for Hyatt’s residence was obtained and his arrest was made.

He is charged with one count of receiving stolen property.

WORTHINGTON – He was a trailblazer, or a hopeful experiment, depending on how you look at it, but Steve Schulze was the first Court Administrator in the state to take on more than one court. He started out as the Court Administrator in Pipestone County, then took on Murray County. That was back in 1991. If it didn’t work, it could have been dissolved.

In 2012, an order filed in the Fifth Judicial District made him administrator over Nobles and Rock Counties as well. No options for dissolving this time around. At the time, Schulze said he knew he would be able to make it work because his staff in each office was good at what they did.

Schulze oversaw the arrival of electronic court filing in southwest Minnesota courts, in conjunction with the court’s increasing reliance on technology in rural areas. According to Judge Gordon Moore, it isn’t unusual for a judge in our part of the state to see people in two or more counties during a day, with some of them by ITV.

Schulze has been the backbone behind all of this, but now he’s ready to hand the reins over to someone else. Effective September 23, he will retire as the court administrator of, well, what seems like most of southwest Minnesota.

There will be a gathering to celebrate his retirement from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Prairie Justice Center.

OKABENA - The Heron Lake – Okabena Homecoming 2014 –‘MISSION IMPOSSIBLE’ parade route at 1 p.m. Friday will match up with the Okabena 4th of July parade. It will start at the foyer entrance of the school on St. Paul St., turn right at County Hwy 9, turn right at the diagonal back toward Minnesota St. and end at the front of the school.
The Homecoming game against RCW is at 7pm in Heron Lake with the Homecoming dance to follow the game in Okabena.

JACKSON - An 18 year-old male from Jeffers was arrested by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday. Taylor Lopez was charged with one count of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree.

During the investigation, Lopez admitted that he had sexual intercourse with a 15 year-old Jackson youth. He was released from custody after posting a $50,000 bond.

SHELDON , Iowa — Two Sheldon businesses have been added to the growing number of businesses being burglarized in recent weeks.

Sometime Saturday night or Sunday, Vogel Paint and Glass in downtown Sheldon was burglarized. According to the police report, the burglars did $300 in damage to a door to gain entry, but netted less than $25 in cash in that incident.

Shortly after midnight Sunday morning the Verizon Wireless store in east Sheldon became the latest target for burglars. Police say that a window was broken to gain entry to the building, and a little more than $500 in cash was reported missing from a pair of cash boxes that were broken open in the incident.

Authorities say the investigation into both incidents continues.

SPENCER, Iowa - The execution of a search warrant last week on an apartment in Spencer landed two people in jail on drug charges.

Spencer police say the search was conducted shortly after 3 a.m. September 10th, at 21 West 1st Street, apartment 2. Officers found and seized what is alleged to be marijuana, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Two suspects, 35-year-old Jessica Altenburg of Spencer and 37-year-old Gordon Bartelson of Winterset, were located in the residence and arrested.

Altenburg was booked into the Clay County Jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance...methamphetamine; possession of a controlled substance....marijuana; and possession of drug paraphernalia. Altenburg was also wanted on an active warrant out of Buena Vista County for failure to appear.

Bartelson was jailed on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

September 15 news


FULDA – Two people were killed in a car crash just north of Fulda Sunday afternoon, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

The broadside crash happened at the intersection of Murray County Road 3 and U.S. 59 at approximately 3:23 p.m. A 2005 Chevrolet Impala was westbound on County Road 3 when it collided with a southbound Toyota RAV4. Both vehicles came to rest upside down in the ditch of the intersection.

Both drivers, 24-year-old Charles Goode of Lewisville, NC, and 38-year-old David Schultz of Worthington, were taken to North Memorial in Robbinsdale in serious condition.
The passenger in the Chevrolet, 24-year-old Kristen Boynton of Perry, Georgia, was killed in the crash.

Two children, ages 9 and 12, who were passengers in the Toyota, were transported to Sioux Falls, SD, with non-life threatening injuries.

The names and details of the second deceased has not been released pending notification of family.

The Fulda and Murray County Ambulance, Fulda Fire Department, Fulda Police Department and Murray County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.

WORTHINGTON – It was a clean race, it was a tight race, but in the end, Ruby Begonia ran away with the first leg of the Great Gobbler Gallop on Saturday.

Both turkeys started out the course at a steady trot, faltering only a few times. With the crowd shouting encouragement, the turkeys and their teams kept up a pretty steady pace up 10th Street. In the end, Ruby simply had a little more giddy-up, and finished the race in one minute, 41.12 seconds. Paycheck was right on her heels, finishing up in one minute, 47.17 seconds.

There have been closer races, but not many. The closest leg in the history of the races happened in 1974 in Texas, when Ruby beat Paycheck 28.3 seconds to 28.5 seconds.

With such a small lead, anything could happen during the second leg of the Great Gobbler Gallop, which will take place in Cuero in October. Overall, Paycheck still has more wins than Ruby, but if he’s not careful, she’s going to close the gap.

WORTHINGTON — The Governmental Affairs Committee of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce will host a candidates forum for District 518 School Board at 6 p.m. tonight in the Worthington High School cafeteria. Each candidate will be given three minutes to introduce themselves, followed by a question and answer period. Questions can be submitted prior to the forum by faxing them to 372-2827 or email them to The public is encouraged to attend.

WORTHINGTON – According to the Worthington Police Department, two males claiming to work for Dish Network stole money from a home on McMillan Street on September 9 when they talked their way into the residence claiming they were there to fix the satellite TV. The person who let them in was staying at the house temporarily while the owner was at work. During the incident, which occurred between 10 and 11 a.m., money was taken from a bedroom.

The suspects are described as tall Hispanic males, who wore tool belts but had no clothing or vehicle that represented Dish Network. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact the Worthington Police Department at 507-295-5400. The information can remain anonymous.

STORM LAKE, Iowa - Trial for a Sioux Rapids man charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of a Spencer teen has been postponed.

43-year-old Pedro Orozco was charged in connection with a stabbing at a Sioux Rapids home July 9th. He was initially charged with willful injury, a class C felony. The charge of attempted murder, a class B felony, was later filed by the Buena Vista County Attorney's Office.

Orozco has pleaded not guilty in Buena Vista County District Court. His trial was originally scheduled for September, but was postponed to November 18th with a pre-trial conference set for October 9th.

A request for a bond reduction was denied, and he remains in the Buena Vista county jail on a $50,000 bond.

GRANVILLE, Iowa — A charter bus carrying 39 passengers was involved in an accident on Friday near Granville. Only the driver reported any injuries.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 12:15 p.m., 57-year-old Harold Flavell of Johnston, Iowa was driving a 2007 VanHool charter bus transporting 39 passengers westbound on Highway 10 when he apparently experienced a medical condition and lost control of the bus. It entered the north ditch, struck a fence and came to a stop in a bean field.

The Granville Ambulance transported Flavell to the Orange City Area Health System Hospital. None of the passengers reported any injuries. The bus sustained about $7,500 in damages. The fence and bean field sustained an estimated $500 in damages.

The sheriff’s office reports they were assisted by the Granville Fire Department, Granville Ambulance Service, and the Spalding Catholic School in Granville. The school provided a school bus to transport the passengers to another charter bus.

MINNESOTA - Minnesota National Guard soldiers from the 204th Area Support Medical Company departed Saturday for a nine-month mission in Egypt.

The 43-person company will provide health care services in remote sites to troops from 14 other countries who are there enforcing the 35-year-old peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

Earlier this week, WCCO reported that a Minneapolis-based Air Force Reserve Unit headed to the Middle East. More than 100 members of the 934th Airlift Wing said goodbye Tuesday morning. For the next 120 days the pilots, navigators and mechanics will transport troops, equipment and dignitaries through Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.

Meanwhile, the Duluth News Tribune reports that some military families on the Iron Range are counting down the days until the 114th Transportation Company returns. The 140 guardsmen with the Chisholm-based Minnesota National Guard unit will come home on Tuesday after nine months’ duty in Afghanistan.