Latest Area News Headlines

August 12 news

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LAKEFIELD - The Lakefield Police Department is informing the community according to Minnesota Statutes about a Level 3 predatory offender that has moved to Lakefield. This predatory offender is not wanted by the police and has served a sentence that was imposed on him by the court.

According to the police department, Ronald John Madsen relocated to Lakefield on Aug. 4. He has a history of engaging in sexual conduct with male juvenile victims ages 14-16. Conduct included manipulating exposure and taking nude photos of the victims. Madsen provided alcohol and marijuana to victims and...


Currie man sentenced to a year for stolen property, will be out in 3 months

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SLAYTON – A Currie man charged with six felonies in Murray County District Court was recently sentenced to a year in county jail after pleading guilty to a count of receiving stolen property. Counts against Brian John Hames, 41, of first-degree burglary, controlled substance possession and possession of burglary tools were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

According to court documents, Hames, who has previous convictions of driving while impaired and controlled substance possession, was seen by witnesses driving a vehicle related to several burglaries at a rural residence....


August 9 news

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WORTHINGTON – Here’s our weekly look at construction updates from the City of Worthington Engineering Department. Weather permitting, the city is anticipating the completion of the ADA ramp work on 10th Street by Friday and the Park Avenue water main reconstruction from Oxford to West Clary Street on Wednesday, August 14th. The First Avenue SW improvements from west of Knollwood Drive to Pleasant Avenue should be complete as of Wednesday of this week, but we’re not out of the woods yet.

Fourth Avenue storm sewer reconstruction from Okabena Lake to Ninth Street is tentatively...


An alert from the Minnesota BCA

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DULUTH - A man wearing a black masked forced a teenage girl into a SUV while wielding a baton late Wednesday afternoon and authorities are seeking the public's help, according to a release from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

A black Ford Expedition with white rims pulled up to the girl at about 5:30 p.m. near Lincoln Park in southwestern Duluth, according to eyewitness accounts.

The suspect is described as an American Indian male, 5 feet 11 inches with black hair in a braid wearing a long-sleeved black shirt with a Chicago Bulls logo on it.

The girl...


August 8 news

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WORTHINGTON – During a pre-trial hearing Wednesday in Nobles County District Court, a change of venue request made by Josue Fraga’s defense team was denied. Fraga, accused of murdering his 2-year-old niece Samantha in 2008, is scheduled to go on trial in September. He was convicted of first-degree murder in May of 2009, but that conviction was vacated in 2012 when new evidence was discovered. Jury selection is scheduled to begin September 9.

WORTHINGTON – Nobles Cooperative Electric’s Operation Round Up application deadline is drawing near. Operation Round Up is designed to provide...


August 7 news

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WORTHINGTON – Southwest Crisis Center Director Sara Wahl on Tuesday met with the Nobles County Commissioners, updating them on the latest statistics that include assisting more than 160 victims of domestic assault since Oct. 1, 2012. Wahl said just in the past three months in Nobles County, they have assisted 37 domestic assault victims, nine of whom are children, and four victims of sexual assault. More than 30 people were safe-housed..

The Southwest Crisis Center will mark its 30th anniversary in 2014. Serving the counties of Rock, Nobles, Jackson, Cottonwood and Pipestone, the...


BCA completes active investigation into Cold Spring Police Officer Tom Decker

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ST. PAUL — The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office have completed the active portion of the investigation of the November 29, 2012 murder of Cold Spring Police Officer Tom Decker. As new information emerges, the investigation will continue. In discussions with the Stearns County Attorney, the BCA and Stearns County Sheriff’s Office have been advised to leave the case open.

Investigators have compiled evidence that would have resulted in Eric Joseph Thomes’ arrest for the murder of Officer Tom Decker had Thomes not taken his own life on...


August 6 news

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WORTHINGTON - Even though the non-essential watering ban has been lifted, the odd-even watering is still in effect. Those with even numbered addresses can water on even numbered days and those with odd numbers can use water on odd numbered days. According to Worthington Public Utilities General Manager Scott Hain, there’s a $95 fine for watering on the wrong day, and it is being enforced.

Hain discussed water levels with the Water and Light Commission Monday, stating the level at Well 26 well is down about 3.5 feet since the ban was lifted and is 4 feet, 4 inches below the 10-year...


Heroes Behind the Badges blood drive Tuesday

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WORTHINGTON – Worthington / Nobles County Law Enforcement and Worthington Fire Department / EMS will be competing to see who can recruit the most blood donors to boost the summer blood supply for the community in the 8th annual “Heroes Behind the Badges” blood drive Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. at Sanford Worthington Medical Center. The public is encouraged to come in to donate and designate their donation to the department of their choice. All donors will receive a free Subway meal at the time of donation and a t-shirt. The department credited with the most blood...


August 5 news

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HERON LAKE — Granite Falls Energy has purchased a majority interest in a financially struggling southwest Minnesota ethanol company.

Granite Falls will assume management of the Heron Lake BioEnergy plant, which has been financially troubled for more than a year. The match is a good fit, Granite Falls CEO Steve Christensen said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Both Granite Falls Energy and the Heron Lake plant produce about 60 million gallons of ethanol annually.

An agreement last fall to sell the Heron Lake facility to the Guardian Cos. for $55 million fell through....