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May 29 news

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LUVERNE – With a meter building on the Minnesota – Iowa border reaching substantial completion Thursday morning, the Rock County Rural Water District (RCRWD) began receiving water from the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System (L&C), becoming the twelfth member connected to Lewis & Clark. Eight members remain.

Rock County Rural Water District, which is overseen by the Rock County Commission, has reserved 300,000 gallons a day. However, it will only access half its capacity at this connection, with the other half at their future second connection at Magnolia.

In addition to Luverne, which is anticipated to be connected this coming December, the other non-connected members include Lincoln Pipestone RWS and Worthington in Minnesota; Hull, Sheldon, Sibley and Sioux Center in Iowa and Madison, South Dakota.

The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System’s Board of Directors on Thursday awarded a $1 million contract to Robert L Carr Construction of Marshall to construct meter buildings at Luverne and Magnolia. This December is the substantial completion deadline, at which time Luverne will begin receiving Lewis & Clark water.

The Magnolia meter building will eventually provide connections for the Rock County Rural Water District and the Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water System, however, the contract for construction of the pipeline between Luverne and Magnolia will not be awarded until this fall.

WORTHINGTON – There will be an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Center for Active Living for families that are interested in partnering with Southwest Minnesota Habitat for Humanity on a house build in Nobles County scheduled for the spring/summer of 2017. At this meeting they will be given all the criteria information needed to partner with Habitat for Humanity. After the presentation, they can receive an application and schedule a time to meet with a Habitat representative for the completion of the application.

This meeting should also be attended by anyone wishing to learn more about our Homeowners’ Repair program.

Please call 507-215-2091 if you plan to attend this meeting. The Center for Active Living is located at 211 11th Street in downtown Worthington.

SLAYTON - The City of Slayton will be implementing the fourth year of its mosquito population reduction efforts this summer. The goal of the program is to reduce the number of nuisance mosquitoes. Along with being a nuisance, some mosquitoes can be the transmitter of several serious diseases.

The focus of the program will be to minimize active adult mosquitoes. As the truck moves about Slayton neighborhoods using the ultra-low volume sprayer mounted in the back, a light visible fog will move through the area. The fog will not cause visibility problems. Common-sense precautions should be taken, including keeping away from the spray vehicle and out of the fog cloud. The majority of the spraying will be done from dusk to midnight.

Treatments are proposed for Tuesday nights, if weather permits. Wednesday nights will be the standard alternate.

The spraying schedule will be posted at city hall, and also on the city’s website at www.slayton.govoffice.com. Available at city hall are forms that citizens can complete indicating that they are refusing mosquito control around their property upon completion and return of the refusal form, the City will not spray directly in front of the listed property for a total of 300 feet, which is the effective range of the product the city is using.

SHELDON, Iowa — Nearly seven hundred electric users were without power for a time on Thursday. David Caris, VP for Corporate Communications for MidAmerican Energy Company said the outage happened when a tree crew was out cutting trees and a limb fell on a line in the 600 block of Fourth Avenue in Sheldon, about 12:55 p.m. The outage stretched north to 2917 McKinley Avenue, south to 1115 Fourth Avenue, east to 118 North Seventh Avenue, and west to 4530 300th Street.

Caris says the outage lasted for 31 minutes, until 1:26 p.m.

MINNESOTA - Minnesotans age 16 or older don’t need a fishing license to take a child age 15 or younger fishing on Friday, June 5, to Sunday, June 7, during Take a Kid Fishing Weekend.

For those new to fishing, the DNR’s Fish Minnesota Web page at www.mndnr.gov/fishmn answers basic fishing questions and explains fishing terminology. The site also includes links to a beginner’s guide to fishing, fishing regulations and information on where to fish.

Fishing classes from the DNR’s I Can Fish! program run throughout the summer at state parks. And even when it’s not Take a Kid Fishing Weekend, Minnesota residents generally can fish in state parks without a fishing license if the body of water doesn’t require a trout stamp.

For links to state park fishing information, the beginner’s guide to fishing and more, see the DNR’s Take a Kid Fishing page at www.mndnr.gov/takeakidfishing.

May 28 news

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WORTHINGTON – Minnesota West Community and Technical College President-elect Terry Gaalswyk will be visiting the Worthington campus at 12:30 p.m. Monday as he tours the five communities for the first time since his name was announced May 20 by MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone.

Gaalswyk was one of two semifinists under consideration for the position of president and will be taking over from interim president Barbara McDonald, who was chosen by Rosenstone as the next president of North Hennepin Community College.

Gaalswyk has been serving as the executive vice president at Western Nebraska Community College, where he was previously the vice president of educational services. During a visit to the Worthington campus in April, he described himself as loyal, dedicated and transparent, a family man and jokingly referred to himself as a recovering math teacher.

He said workforce development is something that is near and dear to him, and also stated we need to take as look at what we’re doing to retain our youth, then start in the high schools and even the middle schools to make that happen.

His anticipated start date is July 1.

WORTHINGTON - Simon Berihu Gebrehiwot, age 16, of Worthington, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Nobles County District Court to first-degree aggravated robbery and possessing a pistol or assault weapon after being convicted of a violent crime.

Per the plea agreement, Gebrehiwot was sentenced to 60 months in jail, stayed on the condition he is committed to a juvenile facility in Red Wing for an undetermined length of time for assessments including mental health and chemical dependency. Because of his age, his case is considered extended jurisdiction juvenile, and he will be on supervised probation until he is 21. At any time during his probation he commits another crime or violates the terms of the probation, it can be revoked and the 60-month sentence imposed.

During the plea hearing, Gebrehiwot admitted that on May 5, he entered a small grocery store on Oxford Street carrying a BB gun and demanded money from the owner, stepping behind the counter to take $70 from the register. He said he told the clerk to give him all of the money or he’d shoot her.

Due to the nature of the crime, Gebrehiwot will be barred from owning any type of firearm for the rest of his life.

SLAYTON — GreatLIFE Malaska Golf & Fitness Club announced Wednesday it’s latest regional partner is the Slayton Country Club.

Established in 1957, Slayton Country Club has established trees and a creek to consider on eight of nine holes. The course can be a challenge for golfers at every ability level.
Slayton Country Club features 2,837 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 35. The course rating is 36.9, and it has a slope rating of 121. Golfers can also warm up on the putting green or a small practice area for irons. The clubhouse offers a small pro shop and a place to sit and relax with a full bar, pizza and other snacks. There is seating available for 45.

Slayton is a great place to play and makes golf more accessible to the members who live in southwest Minnesota, according to Tom Walsh, GreatLIFE chairman and CEO.

CHEROKEE, Iowa - Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Incident Response team in Iowa says 35 loads of "biological materials", consisting of poultry carcasses stemming from bird flu, were transported over the weekend to the Cherokee Landfill and Recycling Center. Officials say the materials will be processed in a large incinerator there, with the ash being deposited at the landfill.

In addition to the incinerator site in Cherokee county, officials say two other landfills have agreed to accept remains under criteria set by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Officials haven't said publicly where those landfills are located.

The USDA has more than 1,500 staff and contractors in Iowa addressing the avian influenza outbreak. To date, they say depopulation has been completed on all of the previously mentioned turkey sites, and that the composting of turkeys is ongoing. They add that 19.1 million commercial layers and pullets had been euthanized as of Monday.
Meanwhile, two more probable bird flu cases have been reported in Iowa, in Adair and Webster counties, affecting about 1.1 million birds.

MANKATO - The Honorable Bradley C. Walker will continue to serve as Chief Judge of Minnesota’s Fifth Judicial District after being re-elected for a second two-year term by his fellow judges on the Fifth District bench. Walker has been a judge in the Fifth Judicial District since 1998 and has served as Chief Judge since 2013. He is chambered in the Blue Earth County Courthouse in Mankato.

In addition, the Honorable Michelle A. Dietrich was re-elected as Assistant Chief Judge of the Fifth Judicial District and will also serve another two-year term in that position.
Dietrich was first appointed to the bench in 2008 and has served as Assistant Chief Judge since 2013. Dietrich’s chambers are located in the Lyon County Courthouse in Marshall.

By statute, the chief judge of a judicial district exercises general administrative authority over the courts within the judicial district, including assigning judges to serve in locations throughout the district. Chief judges and assistant chief judges are elected to two-year terms by judges within the district. New terms begin on July 1.

The Fifth Judicial District serves these 15 counties in southwest Minnesota: Blue Earth Brown, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock, and Watonwan.

May 27 news

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WORTHINGTON – A rural Reading woman charged with 11 felony counts of animal neglect and nine misdemeanor charges of depriving animals of food and water entered into a plea agreement Tuesday in Nobles County District Court that will make it a probation violation for her to possess any pets or companion animals for a year.

Joan Moore was investigated in March of 2014 after authorities were alerted to the possibility of dead horses on her property. Nobles County deputies investigated and during two searches, a total of 15 dead horses were found in various states of decay. More horses were found alive in several stages of malnutrition.

Moore allegedly admitted to the deputies she did not have the financial means to feed the animals.

She pleaded guilty to five of the misdemeanor charges. The plea agreement is for a 90 day sentence per violation, stayed on the condition Moore pay the costs of the investigation, donate $200 to the Minnesota Horse and Welfare Coalition and serve one year of supervised probation, during which she is not allowed to possess any pets.

LUVERNE – The water system at Blue Mounds State Park was chlorinated Tuesday and will be flushed today in hopes of clearing out the E. coli bacteria discovered in the system during a routine water sample earlier this month. The water will be tested again Thursday and hopefully results on Friday will be good news for the park, which has seen its share of misfortune in the past year.

E. coli was discovered last year in the park’s water system, and a month later, heavy rain flooded a dam, forcing the park to close for part of the summer. A new well was dug in the fall and tested bacteria-free throughout the winter. This spring, the main campground was also free of any bacteria, and as of yet, a source has not been found.
Despite having to use bottled water, campers still enjoyed the park over the Memorial Day weekend.

JACKSON - The Jackson Area Children’s Theater will be presenting “Fractured Fairy Tales” in June. Youth ages 8-15 are encouraged to participate.

The camp will be in the JCC High School Performing Arts Center and will run Monday, June 1st through Friday June 5th, then again Monday, June 8th through Thursday, June 11th, with a public performance on June 11th.

Students will learn about the theater and theater skills. There will be auditions and rehearsals for the public performance.

Registration is $50 and must be received by Thursday, May 28th. Registration forms can be found online at jccschools.com, click on community then Community Education. For more information, call 847-6627.

SPENCER, Iowa - The Iowa Department of Transportation says traffic on Highway 71 will be detoured between Clay County Road B-53 and 15th Street in Spencer beginning this Thursday, weather permitting. The detour will follow Clay county roads B-53 and M-50 and will be in place until September.

A portland cement overlay project is what prompted the detour. Cedar Valley Corporation of Waterloo is the general contractor on the $4.02 million project.

PRIMGHAR, Iowa — The sentencing of Adam Sickles of Sheldon, which had originally been scheduled for Tuesday morning in O’Brien County District Court in Primghar, has been postponed until Monday July 6th.

Sickles entered into a plea agreement in April in which he admitted to his role in setting the blaze that destroyed Buddz’s and the Rec Bowl in Sheldon in May of 2013. He had originally pleaded not guilty to charges of 1st Degree Arson, but eventually changed his plea to the lesser charge of 2nd Degree Arson.

Sickles also testified for the prosecution in the 1st Degree Arson and Insurance Fraud trial of his former girlfriend, Kristina Manasil of Sheldon, who was convicted on both those charges by an O’Brien County jury last month. At the time of the fire that destroyed the bowling alley and sports bar, Manasil was the owner of the establishment, and was convicted of setting fire to the business for the insurance proceeds. She is scheduled to be sentenced for her crimes on Monday, June 22nd in O’Brien County District Court. Manasil faces up to 25 years in prison.

Liquor license approved for Venetian Steakhouse as mall taxes received

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WORTHINGTON – The Worthington City Council on Tuesday approved the application for an on-sale liquor license for the Venetian Steakhouse, which is located in the Northland Mall. The application had been delayed because of non-payment of taxes by the previous property owner, Mike Kohen. City ordinance prohibits issuance of a license to a premise when property taxes are reported as delinquent, even when the business in question is owned by a renter.

The sale of the mall had been pending for quite some time and has now been completed to 7&41 LLC, the real estate branch of PBK Investments, owned by Brian Pellowski. According to City Administrator Steve Robinson, confirmation was received from Nobles County on Tuesday that payment of the delinquent taxes were received.

The council adopted a resolution to enter into a sub-grant agreement with the Division of Homeland security and Emergency Management in the Minnesota Department of Public Safety for a Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program for up to 75 percent funding for flood mitigation to County Ditch 12. The proposed improvements include the replacement of the culvert under Oxford Street and construction of a retention basin near I-90. The acquisition process for the property needed for the basin southwest of the Shopko store and east and west of the strip mall adjacent to Walmart may require the use of eminent domain.

The most current estimated cost of the improvements is $3.25 million, which would leave the cities share at approximately $812,500. Currently, the Storm Water Utility fund has adequate reserves to fund the local share. Maintenance costs are estimated to be $5,600 annually.

City Engineer Duane Haffield said he’s not sure what their chances are of getting the grant, but pointed out they have no chance without submitting an application. The next phase would be in the Oslo and McMillan area, but for now, FEMA felt this is what could possibly get funded, Haffield said.

During a public hearing regarding proposed street improvements on Shady Lane, testimony was heard from residents who said their taxes would double from the assessments. They didn’t believe the improvements were necessary, since the road served them fine as gravel and had never been a problem. After listening to their comments, Council member Scott Nelson made a motion that they not move forward with the project, which the rest of the council approved.

They did, however, approve a motion to move forward with reconstruction improvements on Darling Drive, Schapp Drive and Hagge Street.

Cheryl Janssen, who serves on the NEON Broadband Sub-Committee, spoke to the council regarding broadband services to all Nobles County communities. The goal of the sub-committee is to provide high-speed internet throughout all of Nobles County.

The first phase of their plan is to get wireless service to areas where school children do not have access. Janssen has approached townships and cities in Nobles County with the message that high-speed internet is an important key to the future of the county.

May 26 news

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BREWSTER – A broadside crash on Sunday morning outside of Brewster left a Worthington man with non-life threatening injuries, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Y V Nguyen, 67, of Worthington, driving a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer, was traveling north on Highway 264. Holli Arp, age 41, of Jackson, was driving a 2015 Chrysler 2LM and headed east on County Road 35.The vehicles collided in the intersection at approximately 10:45 a.m. Arp was not injured. Nguyen was taken to Sanford Worthington with non-life threatening injuries.

CHANDLER — Monogram Meat Snacks will host three career fairs before the end of May in an effort to hire more than 30 new production and maintenance employees. Job candidates will be asked to fill out a job application and may interview with Monogram recruiters that day. All positions offer medical, dental, and vision benefits.

Monogram is seeking to expand its workforce in line with its $12 million expansion project underway at the Monogram plant in Chandler.

The dates and times of the career fairs are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at The Workforce Center, 607 W Main St., Marshall; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at Lange’s Café, 110 8th Ave. SE, Pipestone.; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at The Vine, 2630 Broadway Ave., Slayton.

PIPESTONE - Pipestone National Monument announces the second presentation in this year’s Guest Speaker Series from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Pipestone Performing Arts Center. Guest speaker David Flammond will present a lecture and slide show entitled “The History of the Flandreau Indian School: Past, Present, and Future”. He will be presenting a power point of the history of the Flandreau Indian School in pictures and will follow with one or two short videos of life at the school present day.

The Flandreau Indian School is a 9-12th grade closed campus boarding high school, where operations are overseen by the Bureau of Indian Education. The school is one of the184 schools managed by the Bureau. The school is about 140 years old and is one of the last off the reservation boarding schools in existence. The school currently enrolls 250-300 students that represent over 35 federally recognized tribal entities.

ROCK RAPIDS - Iowa – At approximately 11:45 p.m. Saturday, the Lyon County Sheriff's Office received a call for a noise complaint at 137 Main St in Little Rock. Upon further investigation it was determined that there were minors under the age of 21 consuming alcohol. Samuel Delfs of Rock Rapids IA, Mitchel Leuthold of Ellsworth MN, Glen Dreesen of Ellsworth MN, Anthony Tiesler of Adrian MN, Tom Schilling of Little Rock IA, Hannah Mulder of Magnolia MN, Alissa Walters of Ellsworth MN, and Alexa Huisman of Adrian MN were charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol, a simple misdemeanor.

MINNESOTA - Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed two more budget bills that were passed by the Minnesota Legislature in the last hours of the session. The latest vetoes mean there are even more issues for legislators and the governor to resolve in a special session, which has not yet been scheduled.

On Saturday, the DFL governor vetoed the omnibus agriculture, environment and natural resources bill. Environmentalists had called on the governor to do so because they objected to many provisions in the bill, especially the elimination of a citizens’ board that oversees some decisions at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. But the bill also included something Dayton wanted: a requirement that farmers maintain buffers between cropland and waterways.

Republican state Rep. Denny McNamara of Hastings said the veto affects avian flu funding, extended unemployment benefits, state parks and the Minnesota Zoo. According to McNamara, Dayton jeopardized all that and vetoed it over minor MPCA policies that they offered to work with him on in special session, adding that getting agreement in a special session will be difficult.

Dayton also vetoed the omnibus jobs and energy bill to fund the Department of Commerce, the Bureau of Mediation Services and Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals. Dayton said the bill had “seriously inadequate” funding for broadband. He also criticized the amount budgeted for the state’s Olmstead Plan efforts to address the needs of people with disabilities who live in communities instead of institutions.

In his veto letter of the jobs and energy budget bill, Dayton also said he objected to the “changes to Minnesota’s net metering laws that will disincentivize the use of wind and solar power.”

Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt of Crown said he was “very disappointed” with all three vetoes, including a bill vetoed earlier this week funding early and K-12 education.
Dayton vetoed the education budget bill because it did not fund prekindergarten for all Minnesota 4-year-olds.

During his Saturday news conference, Dayton also offered to accept a temporary tax cut in exchange for more money for public preschool.

The offer is a one-year income tax cut totaling $260 million, provided the governor can have $250 million in additional money for public schools, $100 million of that new money would fund preschool.

The governor said his preschool option would be voluntary and available to districts that apply for the money.

NATION - John Forbes Nash, Jr., the Nobel laureate known for his groundbreaking work on game theory and differential equations, was killed along with his wife in a taxi crash Saturday on the New Jersey Turnpike, police say. He was 86.

Nash is best known to the general public as the subject of the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind, which depicted the troubled mathematician struggling with paranoid schizophrenia even as he pressed ahead with his research. Nash was played by actor Russell Crowe.

Memorial Day closings

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WORTHINGTON - In observance of Memorial 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.

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.

A conversation with Rep. Paul Thissen about the Legislative Session

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Radio Works Director of News & Information Justine Wettschreck spoke to DFL Minority Leader Paul Thissen about the Minnesota Legislative Session, what went wrong, what went right, and what will happen during the upcoming special session.

If you missed the interview, here's your chance to listen in:

https://soundcloud.com/justine-wettschreck/mn-minority-leader-rep-paul-t...

May 22 news

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WORTHINGTON – According to information disclosed at Thursday’s meeting of the Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp or WREDC, the closing paperwork has been signed by Brian Pellowski and 7&41 LLC is now the official owner of the Northland Mall property, taking it out of the hands of Mike Kohan.

A loan of $1.2 million to 7&41 LLC – the real estate branch of PBK Investments – was approved earlier this month by the City of Worthington, which allowed the company to acquire to property as a tax increment financing district is being set up.

In the weeks to come, Pellowski should be making an announcement regarding some retail stores and the winner of the contest he started within the community to rename the mall area. The winner is to be given a $500 prize.

WORTHINGTON - Water main work on Oxford Street from near Smith Avenue to Burlington Avenue is scheduled to begin Tuesday, according to the City of Worthington Engineering Department.

Oxford Street will be open to traffic at all times. The Humiston Avenue and Oxford Street intersection will be open to traffic at all times. Driving lanes will be reduced to one lane traffic. Turn lanes at Humiston Avenue will be closed at various times throughout the project.

Please watch for changing traffic conditions and signing, reduce your speed, watch for construction equipment and drive carefully in the construction zone.

Weather permitting and construction proceeding as planned, pipe and pavement restoration work should be completed and normal traffic restored in mid to late August.

WORTHINGTON — The Center for Active Living will host a “Better Choices, Better Life” workshop for anyone with a chronic health condition. The six-week series will be offered from 9 to 11 a.m. Mondays from June 1 through July 13. The workshop is part of a study conducted by Stanford University to help implement healthy choices in people’s lives.

Topics the workshop will cover include relaxation skills, getting a good night’s sleep, weight management, effective problem-solving and more. To register, call Joanne Bartosh at A.C.E. of Southwest Minnesota, 295-5262.

LUVERNE – Felony charges have been filed in Rock County District Court against Mark Richard Zebe, age 43, of Adrian, who is accused of negligent burning that caused a fatal car crash near Kenneth.

The complaint states that on August 4 Zebe started a waterway fire on land he rented, but did not monitor the blaze. Fire and smoke approached County Road 3 from the east, eventually limiting visibility for motorists. The Rock County Sheriff’s Office was alerted, and a deputy dispatched. Arrangements were made to contact Zebe to monitor the fire.

The deputy was called back an hour later because of a crash at the site. A semi with a side-dump and another vehicle had been involved in a crash and were stopped south of the fire. When the deputy drove closer to the fire, he saw it was not yet being monitored. He called for another squad to stay at the south end because of zero visibility, then noticed a pickup in the northbound lane with severe front-end damage.
He got no response from the driver, later identified as 26-year-old Ashley Von Holtum.
She was breathing, but bleeding from head wounds. She was transported by helicopter, and later died of her injuries.

The semi driver involved said he had slowed down because of the smoke, had felt something hit him from behind, and had driven a safe distance out of the smoke to call for help.

During an interview, Zebe said smoke from the fire was going straight up at first, then switched as wind shifted. He allegedly said he didn’t see the first crash, but had gotten a call to give a motorist involved in the crash a ride home. Then law enforcement and the fire department were on the scene and there was nothing he could do, he said.

He is scheduled to make an appearance in court June 1. The maximum penalty for felony level negligent burning is five years in jail, a $10,000 fine or both.

LUVERNE - A candlelight vigil is planned in Luverne for Sunday, May 24, on the eve of Memorial Day. The ceremony will be at dusk, about 8:30 p.m., at the Rock County Veterans Memorial at the Rock County Courthouse Square in Luverne.

The event will honor the service and sacrifice of Rock County service personnel. It will include the laying of the wreath, reading of the names of those killed in action and missing in action, and special music by Barb Antoine.

A reception will follow in the Herreid Military Museum following the service. The museum will not be open prior to the ceremony.

If weather doesn’t cooperate, the ceremony will be in St. Catherine Church, with the reception following in the museum.

OKOBOJI, Iowa - The 2015 Lakeside Faculty Lecture series will kick off on Tuesday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Mahan Hall with a presentation on a new research buoy recently installed on Lake West Okoboji.

Dr. Evelyn Gaiser, from Florida International University in Miami, will discuss how data generated by the buoy benefits the global scientific and Iowa Great Lakes communities through linkage to the Global Lake Ecology Observation Network (GLEON).

Installed this spring, the GLEON buoy continuously monitors water quality and weather data that is accessible to the public at www.wqdatalive.com/public.

Project supporters include the Okoboji Foundation, Okoboji Protective Association, Dickinson County Clean Water Alliance, Friends of Lakeside Lab, State Hygienic Lab, University of Iowa Office of Research and Economic Development, Iowa Lakeside Lab Regents Resource Center, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Danbom Engineering.

IOWA - The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Thursday announced an order to cancel all live bird exhibitions at county fairs, the Iowa State Fair, and other gatherings of birds due to avian influenza. The Department’s order begins immediately, is effective through the end of 2015, and also prohibits live birds from being sold at livestock auction markets, swap meets and exotic sales.

Iowa has over 25 million birds and more than 60 farms impacted by H5N2 highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The purpose of the Department’s directive is to minimize the risk of potential further spread of the virus to other poultry.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health issues a similar directive May 15. The South Dakota Animal Industry Board also issued an order Thursday suspending all South Dakota bird exhibitions effective immediately and until further notice.

May 21 news

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WORTHINGTON – Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor Steven Rosenstone on Wednesday recommended Dr. Terry Gaalswyk to take over as president of Minnesota West Community and Technical College, a position with an anticipated start date of July 1. Gaalswyk will take over the reins from Dr. Barbara McDonald, who has served as the interim president since the retirement of Dr. Richard Shrubb in July 2014.

During the same MnSCU Board of Trustee meeting, Rosenstone recommended McDonald for the presidency of North Hennepin Community College.

Rosenstone said he visited all five Minnesota West campuses last winter, met with students, faculty and staff and received quite a bit of counsel regarding what and who was needed at the college.

Thirty applications were received after a national search was initiated, and 10 selected for preliminary interviews. Three were invited to interview, but one withdrew.

Rosenstone said Gaalswyk is described by co-workers and staff as someone who is student-centered, a team player and has the ability to get people to work together.
During his visit to the Worthington campus in April, Gaalswyk laughingly referred to himself as a recovering math teacher who relies heavily on numbers and a family man who is dedicated to having fun.

After Rosenstone’s recommendation, trustee Margaret Anderson Kelliher said she was in strong support of Gaalswyk for Minnesota West, stating his craftsperson and mathematics background, along with the higher education, felt like a perfect match for the area.

Trustee Robert Hoffman agreed, stating Gaalswyk was a good fit for Minnesota West and had a relevant background. Trustee Duane Benson said Gaalswyk had a style that was comforting, experience with employees and an instant grasp of skills that would suit southwest Minnesota.

Presentations of president-elect Gaalswyk will take place at all five Minnesota West campuses. On Monday, June 1, he will be at the Jackson campus at 10 a.m., the Worthington campus at 12:30 p.m. and the Pipestone at 3 p.m. On Tuesday, June 2, he will be at the Canby campus at 11 a.m. and the Granite Falls campus at 1:30 p.m.

WORTHINGTON – Southwest Minnesota Habitat For Humanity will have their annual board meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at the Center for Active Living at 211 11th Street, Worthington.

A social time and lasagna supper begins at 7 p.m., followed by “A Key to Success,” a power point presentation on Habitat for Humanity of MN and its impact on families. Call (507) 215-2091 to make meal reservations.

TEA, SD – Carstensen Contracting of Pipestone is making good progress on the pipeline to Luverne, according to information released Wednesday by Troy Larson, Executive Director of Lewis & Clark Regional Water System.

They started construction in February on the 23 borings for the highway, stream and railroad crossings between the Iowa border and Luverne. The contract includes 5.9 miles of 14 inch PVC pipe and 12.7 miles of 24 inch steel pipe. Carstensen started installing the 14 inch PVC pipe in early April and plans to have it all in the ground by late May. The first section of 24 inch steel pipe was installed on May 12. Weather permitting, Luverne is expected to begin receiving Lewis & Clark water in December. The City has reserved 821,000 gallons a day.

MOUNTAIN LAKE – Motorists can expect a detour on Highway 60 from Mountain Lake and Butterfield beginning June 1 for about two months.

The detour consists of Cottonwood County Roads 1 and 16, and Watonwan County Roads 10 and 5. The detour adds approximately 8 miles. The two-month detour is necessary to build the connections on both ends of the project.

The project, which includes grading, paving, concrete repair and lighting of two additional lanes to expand Highway 60 to a four-lane facility is expected to be complete in October.

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.

SHELDON, Iowa — Some dead birds from the bird flu outbreak will be buried near Sheldon. The Northwest Iowa Solid Waste Agency Landfill north of Hospers will be accepting truckloads of euthanized birds at its facility.

According to landfill director Larry Oldenkamp, a contract was signed on Tuesday to accept four million pounds of dead birds from flocks that were destroyed after Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza was found in the flock. He says the birds will be placed in large bags, and then loaded onto roll off dumpsters for transport to the landfill for disposal.

The birds will be kept separate from other refuse, and will be buried in a segregated area of the landfill, he says. According to Oldenkamp, the bird carcasses will be transported by a USDA contractor, along pre-approved routes.

He says trucks moving the birds will be disinfected at the poultry barn, they’ll be kept separate from other traffic at the landfill, and then the trucks will be disinfected before they leave the grounds as well.

ESTHERVILLE, Iowa - A Rural Wallingford man was arrested last week by the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office following an investigation into the theft of a motorcycle.
Authorities say 29-year-old Nathan Lear of Wallingford reported his 2005 Harley Davidson had been stolen back on December 13, 2014.

An initial investigation produced no results, however, on February 9 of this year, the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the West Lafayette Police Department in Indiana, who stated they had recovered the stolen bike. Further investigation revealed Lear had allegedly made arrangements with a relative from Indiana to come and take his Harley to that state.

Lear’s insurance paid nearly $13,000 to settle the claim for the stolen motorcycle.
Lear was charged with one count of Theft in the 1st Degree and one count of false report to a public safety entity. Lear was taken into custody and released after posting a $10,000 bond.

Arrest warrants have been issued for the other suspect involved in the case.

Terry Gaalswyk named as new president of Minnesota West

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WORTHINGTON – Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor Steven Rosenstone on Wednesday recommended Dr. Terry Gaalswyk to take over as president of Minnesota West Community and Technical College, a position with an anticipated start date of July 1. Gaalswyk will take over the reins from Dr. Barbara McDonald, who has served as the interim president since the retirement of Dr. Richard Shrubb in July 2014.

During the same MnSCU Board of Trustee meeting, Rosenstone recommended McDonald for the presidency of North Hennepin Community College.

According to Rosenstone, he visited all five Minnesota West campuses last winter, met with students, faculty and staff and received quite a bit of counsel regarding what and who was needed at the college.

“In additional to a great communicator, they wanted someone with new ideas, who understood technical education as well as the liberal arts, who would listen and work collaboratively with faculty, staff and communities to make great things happen,” Rosenstone said.

They were also looking for someone who would work with the schools and businesses, looking for openness and honesty, and someone who would be involved in the community.

Thirty applications were received after a national search was initiated, and 10 selected for preliminary interviews. Three were invited to interview, but one withdrew.

Rosenstone said Gaalswyk is described by co-workers and staff as someone who is student-centered, a team player and has the ability to get people to work together.

“Those who met with Dr. Gaalswyk describe him as student focused, collaborative, approachable, empowering and a breath of fresh air,” Rosenstone stated.

During his visit to the Worthington campus in April, Gaalswyk laughingly referred to himself as a recovering math teacher who relies heavily on numbers and a family man who is dedicated to having fun.

After Rosenstone’s recommendation, trustee Margaret Anderson Kelliher said she was in strong support of Gaalswyk for Minnesota West, stating his craftsperson and mathematics background, along with the higher education, felt like a perfect match for the area.

Trustee Robert Hoffman agreed, stating Gaalswyk wasa a good fit for Minnesota West and had relevant background. Trustee Duane Benson said Gaalswyk had a style that was comforting, experience with employees and an instant grasp of skills that would suit southwest Minnesota.

Gaalswyk has served Western Nebraska Community College as executive vice president since 2014 and vice president of educational services from 2009 to 2014. Previously, he served Iowa State University as a mathematics instructor; and Western Iowa Tech Community College as dean of instruction, associate dean of instruction, division chair, and mathematics instructor. He served South Dakota State University as a mathematics instructor and Southeast Technical Institute as an adjunct instructor and customized mathematics instructor.

Prior to his career in higher education, he was a craftsman, manager, and field representative for S&G Laminates. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern College, master’s degrees from South Dakota State University, and a doctorate from Iowa State University.

Presentations of president-elect Terry Gaalswyk will take place at all five Minnesota West campuses. On Monday, June 1, he will be at the Jackson campus at 10 a.m., the Worthington campus at 12:30 p.m. and the Pipestone at 3 p.m. On Tuesday, June 2, he will be at the Canby campus at 11 a.m. and the Granite Falls campus at 1:30 p.m.