April 9 news

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington Economic Development Authority and Independent School District 518 have agreed on a price for a seven acre plot of land on Stower Drive across from the Nobles County Fairgrounds. The district will pay $140,000 for the land on the condition the two parties mutually agree on who does the environmental study - something that must be completed before any construction begins. The school district intends to build a bus terminal on the land, although the scope and size of the project has not yet been finalized. The district has hired Short Elliot Hendrickson Inc. of Worthington as the architect/engineer for the project, with an anticipated fee of $77,000. District Superintendent John Landgaard expects the project will move along quickly, with hopes for a terminal building in the fall.

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington City Council Monday approved a $600,000 to $800,000 loan to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority for use toward the construction of a 36 unit townhome complex, called Rising Sun Estates. Six buildings made up of two and three bedroom units are planned along Nobles County 35, with completion expected in the fall. If all goes as planned, Highland Manufacturing will begin production on the units in July while the infrastructure is going in, and construction could be complete by November.

The funding for the loan comes from legacy funds from the hospital sale. Other financing for the project comes from HRA equity, revenue bonds, grants from Wells Fargo and JBS and two zero percent loans, for a total of $3.7 million in development costs.

SLAYTON – Three of the four people involved in a methamphetamine bust last week have been granted public defenders in Murray County District Court following court appearances Thursday. Clint Magnus, Jon Mollema, Christopher Dragon and Ashley Erichsen were arrested April 2 after a search warrant was executed at a residence on Maple Avenue.

Authorities located hypodermic needles and other paraphernalia that tested positive for meth in several rooms of the house and the garage, along with small amounts of meth. In the basement, officers found a loaded AR-15 assault rifle and magazines and more paraphernalia. Another search warrant was obtained for a semi used by Mollema and Magnus that contained meth, a handgun and psilocybin mushrooms. More mushrooms were found in Magnus’ safe in a cattle shed, along with a digital scale and more drug paraphernalia. Erichsen allegedly admitted she had gone with Magnus to the Twin Cities to meet his meth source and had gone with him to put the safe in the cattle shed.

Bail amounts for the four ranged from $2,000 to $20,000. Magnus has previous convictions for controlled substance possession and assault and is currently on probation. Mollema has convictions for theft, burglary and controlled substance possession and is currently on probation. All four are scheduled to make court appearances April 15.

FULDA – A foggy morning resulted in a collision on Hwy 59 just south of Fulda at approximately 5:30 a.m. Monday, injuring a 58-year-old Slayton man. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Lee Larson of Slayton was travelling south on Hwy 59 in a 1992 Buick LaSabre when a 1989 GMC pickup driven by Nicky Fischer, 51, of Kenneth, made a left turn and pulled onto the highway from 160th street, causing a collision. Larson receive minor injuries, Fischer was not injured.

WORTHINGTON – The Center for Active Living will host a ribbon cutting and open house from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, April 26 at 211 11th Street. There will be refreshments, tours and programming explanations – all are welcome.

OKOBOJI, Iowa - For the sixth year in a row, Iowa Lakes Community College students will have their artwork exhibited at the Pearson Lakes Art Center in Okoboji. The exhibit will include displays of photography, paintings and graphic design artwork by the students. The public is invited to attend an Open House Reception on Thursday from 5 to 7 pm. The student exhibit is scheduled to hang at the Pearson Lakes Art Center through May 4.

MINNESOTA – At least eight people were killed on Minnesota roads this past weekend, making it the deadliest weekend of the year, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Two of the fatal crashes took place in Olmsted County east of Rochester on Saturday in separate incidents.

In the deadliest crash, three members of a family died on Interstate 94 Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis when a minivan rolled over. The three, who were not properly belted in, were identified Monday as an 80-year-old female, a 44-year-old female and a 16-year-old male - three generations: a grandmother, her daughter and grandson. Five others were injured.

In one of the Sunday crashes, police were pursuing Tyron Somaiah, 23, of Crystal, Minn., on a motorcycle after they clocked him going 100 mph. After reaching speeds of 130 mph, he collided with an SUV and was killed in Brooklyn Park, investigators said.

The people who lost their lives in these crashes are the reasons we all need to take the task of driving seriously and make safe decisions behind the wheel, according to Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol.

MINNESOTA - Minnesota lawmakers are moving to make the potential Sanford Health takeover of Fairview Health Services, including the University of Minnesota’s hospitals, as difficult as possible.
On Monday, several lawmakers sponsored bills they say would put a moratorium on the sale of University of Minnesota hospitals to any out-of-state company, which would halt South Dakota-based Sanford from buying Fairview.

The lawmakers’ actions are the latest signs of serious consternation over the talks between Sanford and Fairview. The potential deal could harm not only Minnesota’s control of its own health systems, but also the university’s teaching hospitals and mission, state officials said.

Gov. Mark Dayton praised Attorney General Lori Swanson’s careful look at the takeover. Swanson, whose office regulates nonprofit organizations like hospitals, held a Sunday hearing on the possible merger and plans to hold another one in two weeks.

Dayton also voiced support for the University of Minnesota’s proposal to take over its hospitals itself. University officials met privately with several lawmakers on Monday to explain that plan.

The plan, which could require millions in state investment over time, was publicly disclosed after the Sanford-Fairview talks came to light. While the governor said he wants to know more about the university proposal, Dayton made clear he was already a fan.

If the university plans move forward, the result would be “an epicenter for medical care” in Minnesota, he said.

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