December 20 news

WORTHINGTON – According to information released Thursday evening, Minnesota West Community and Technical College President Richard Shrubb will retire in July, which is when his contract is complete. Shrubb is currently in his sixth year as president at Minnesota West.

Shrubb said with the college on sound footing and prepared to meet the needs of the region and state, the timing is good for him to pursue new professional challenges.

Steven Rosenstone, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor, said he intends to begin the process of naming Shrubb’s successor by visiting the Minnesota West campuses in January to consult with faculty, staff and students about the qualities necessary in the next president. The MnSCU Board of Trustees is expected to act in March 2014 on Rosenstone’s recommendation on an interim president. The interim president is expected to begin July 1, 2014.

Rosenstone said the college has accomplished a great deal under Shrubb’s leadership, including achieving one of the highest graduation rates in the state and being named one of the top 50 community colleges in the nation.

WORTHINGTON - The Minnesota campaign finance agency on Tuesday slapped the Minnesota DFL Senate campaign with a $100,000 fine for improperly coordinating 2012 campaign mailings with candidates.The result of investigation and settlement talks that lasted more than a year, the fine is one of the largest ever levied in Minnesota for campaign violations. The penalty stems from candidates and the party committee violating rules that ban coordination between independent spending and what is controlled by a candidate.

The campaign watchdog found that the Senate committee and 13 senate candidates coordinated photos for mailings that the committee sent out. For the mailings to be legal independent expenditures, the Senate campaign should have prepared the mailings without any input from the candidates.

Each candidate’s involvement consisted, at a minimum, of actively participating in a photo shoot, the board found. In many cases, the candidates also helped arrange locations.

Worthington Mayor Al Oberloh, one of the 13 candidates, said he was in the Twin Cities area for a meeting regarding the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities when he was asked to allow someone to take his picture, a process that took 15 minutes and was done. When asked me about it later under oath, Oberloh said he wouldn’t know the man again if he saw him, and didn’t know his name.

WORTHINGTON – Sanford Worthington Medical Center will be offering Prepared Childbirth Classes in a 5-session Tuesday evening series – January 7, 14, 21, 28 and February 4, 2014. The classes are held in the hospital classroom from 6:30 – 9 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Please call (507) 372-3106 for more information.

The class covers topics in a format that allows for in-depth discussions, practicing techniques and questions. Childbirth classes include a course handbook, handouts, and product samples. Also included are lectures, videotapes, discussions, breathing exercises, and a tour of the Women's Center.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - A collaborative effort involving two area high schools and Polaris Industries will give students first-hand experience in problem solving and developing models to increase efficiency on assembly lines.

Tina Sheryl Range of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is overseeing the initiative to be held January 6th through the 22nd. She said it will involve three teams of five students from each high school and include a Conceptual Productions Class.

The class filled up quickly, she said, and fits in nicely with what's needed to teach young people valuable skills to prepare them for their entry into the workforce. The general public will be able to see the models developed by students in the Conceptual Productions Class as well as those in other career and college pathway classes at a showcase night January 23rd from 4 to 8 p.m. at Spirit Lake High School and the Sami Center.

PIPESTONE - Pipestone County Commissioners intend to purchase personal property left in the old Central School building from the building’s former owner, Richard Haase. Haase bought the school property in 2004 for $1 and lost it through tax forfeiture earlier this year after accumulating more than $35,000 in back taxes.

Pipestone County Attorney Jim O’Neill said personal property items such as desks, tools or shelving within the school became Haase’s property, according to the purchase agreement, when no one claimed the property at the time of the sale.

Board members entered into a closed session during their Dec. 12 meeting to discuss a price to offer Haase for the items. O’Neill recommended the board consider what to do with the personal property left in the school before deciding what to do with the real estate.

SPENCER, Iowa - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will release trout in seven locations around the state this winter, including Scharnberg Pond in Spencer. The program, finances by trout fishing fees, places the fish in areas where they wouldn't survive in warmer months. Trout will be released January 25 in Spencer.

Anglers must have a fishing license and a valid trout stamp.

MINNESOTA - With recent reports of vehicles breaking through the ice, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is cautioning everyone about driving on the ice. Capt. Greg Salo, DNR Enforcement Manager, said ice is never 100 percent safe.

Last winter, November through April, six people died in Minnesota from breaking through the ice. All the deaths involved either a snowmobile or vehicle.

If a vehicle breaks through the ice, the owner is responsible for removal and must report it to the county sheriff. If the vehicle is not removed within 30 days, the owner is subject to fines.

The DNR recommends anyone heading out on the ice should check with a local bait shop or resort, ask about ice conditions and measure the ice. The DNR clear ice thickness recommendations are 4 inches for walking, 5 inches for a snowmobile or ATV, 8-12 inches for a car and12-15 inches for a medium-sized truck.

When the temperature rises above freezing for six of the last 24 hours, double the recommended minimum thickness. And remember, if it stays above freezing for 24 hours or more, stay off the ice – it is not safe.

MINNESOTA - U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson still has not decided if he will run for re-election in 2014, but that has not stopped conservative groups from launching new attack ads at the 12-term Democrat.

An ad from the American Future Fund accuses Peterson of ignoring his constituents. The American Future Fund is one of the most active nonprofit groups in politics. Under tax law, it is not required to publicly identify its donors. Last year the fund raised a staggering $68 million, according to MinnPost. So far it has spent about $81,000 on the attack of Peterson.

Should Peterson decide to seek re-election he will have a challenge from state Sen. Torrey Westrom, who announced his bid for the seat earlier this month.


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