Latest Area News Headlines

June 8 news

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JACKSON – Two fatal crashes were reported in Jackson County over the weekend.

On Saturday, 26-year-old Leonard Busswitz of Jeffers was driving a 2005 Harley Davidson motorcycle northbound on Jackson County 17 near the intersection of 890th Street in Christiana Township when he swerved to miss an animal in the roadway and traveled into the southbound lane, colliding with a 2006 Dodge pickup driven by Jody Rossow, 49, of Lakefield. The Rossow vehicle came to rest in the east ditch.

Rory Johnson, 57, was driving a 1999 Harley Davidson, and Vaughn Corwin, 50, and a passenger,...


June 4 news

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WORTHINGTON – The first Nobles County tax-forfeited land auction went off without a hitch Wednesday morning, although there were a few last-minute questions to which County Administrator Tom Johnson and Auditor-Treasurer Beth Van Hove valiantly chased down answers.

Nobles County Commissioner Chair Matt Widboom once more showed his unique versatility by stepping into the role of auctioneer after letting Van Hove explain the basics to the interested bidders. Several of the lots, she explained, had assessments, some had buildings on them, and all were sold as is with all sales final....


June 3 news

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WORTHINGTON – The Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday authorized use of the environmental fund to continue cleanup of the railroad ties that have been scattered along the jointly owned Buffalo Ridge Regional Rail Authority for Nobles and Rock County.

According to County Administrator Tom Johnson, the person authorized to clean a test portion for an amount not to exceed $20,000 was able to clean a 2.6 mile section and has all the ties stored short-term. The funds for the Nobles County portion of the cleanup are largely meant to come from the environmental fund, Johnson said, and...


Round Lake Vineyards & Winery is ready to pour

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ROUND LAKE – During a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon, Scott Ellenbecker of Round Lake Vineyards & Winery said the event was a monumental day for them, joking that with wine, nothing happens quickly.

Scott and Jenny Ellenbecker started planting grapes in 2007 and have 18 acres on the estate in Round Lake and others in various locations in the area for a total of 27 acres, Scott said. It all came about because he learned in 2006 that grapes could be grown in Minnesota with irrigation to protect them from frost.

They have nine varieties of white wine grapes and...


June 2 news

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MINNESOTA - Chris Weber was released from the Nobles County Jail on Friday. Monday he stood in front of a bank of cameras, describing what he calls the worst mistake of his life and telling others to learn from it.

Weber pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide last summer, admitting that he was using his cell phone when his pickup truck fatally struck Andrea Boeve, 33, who was bicycling along a Rock County road with two young daughters in a bike trailer in tow.

Weber says he picked up his cell phone to make a bank transaction while driving, heard a thud, then saw a...


Worthington District 518 High School Principal resigns

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WORTHINGTON – Worthington District 518 High School Principal Paul Karelis tendered his resignation Monday, according to Superintendent John Landgaard.

The resignation will be formally accepted by the school board at their next meeting, Landgaard said, but Karelis has chosen to accept another position.

Landgaard said Karelis has done a great job within District 518 and will be hard to replace. The district appreciates all of his hard work and dedication, Landgaard said and they do not like to see him go.

A job posting for the position went up on the District 518 website...


President-elect Terry Gaalswyk visits MN West Worthington Campus

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WORTHINGTON – Minnesota West Community & Technical College President-elect Terry Gaalswyk visited the Worthington campus Monday during a tour of all five of the sites, taking the time to meet with all who stopped by the Commons area.

He was introduced by MnSCU Trustee Duane Benson, who thanked interim President Barbara McDonald for all of her efforts in preparing the college for a smooth transition, setting the stage to present Gaalswyk as the next president. Benson said the MnSCU Board believes that Gaalswyk is the right choice for Minnesota West and is very optimistic about...


June 1 news

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WORTHINGTON — The executive committee of the Plum Creek Library System has announced the hiring of Jim Trojanowski as the new Plum Creek Library System executive director.

Trojanowski is currently the director of the Northern Waters Library Service in Ashland, Wis. He has been in that position for the past 10 years and before that was the director of the Vaughn Public Library in Ashland. Trojanowski will begin his work at Plum Creek Library System in early July.

Plum Creek Library System provides Interlibrary loan, delivery, technology and consulting services to its 21 member...


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.

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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...