April 29 news

WORTHINGTON – Mn/DOT is working this morning at the corner of Humiston Avenue and Oxford Street to patch potholes, so please exercise caution at that intersection or avoid it if possible. The work, which was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., will result in temporary lone closures throughout the day.

WORTHINGTON – Governor Mark Dayton Friday afternoon signed a letter addressed to President Barack Obama requesting federal aid for a five county region in southwest Minnesota following ice and snow storms that knocked out electricity and caused millions of dollars in damage earlier this month. Counties included in the proposed disaster declaration are Cottonwood, Jackson, Murray, Nobles and Rock.

The letter, part of a request for a presidential disaster declaration for funds through FEMA and Homeland Security, stated Dayton issued an Emergency Executive Order April 10, triggering activation of the Minnesota Emergency Operations Plan. As the storm continued and worsened, Dayton declared a state of emergency in several counties and cities.

Preliminary damage assessments showed an estimated 252,000 cubic yards of debris due to ice formation on trees and electric lines. More than 3,000 electric utility poles snapped and 170 miles of power lines were deemed unsalvageable.

Emergency protective measures for Jackson County are estimated at $66.96 per capita. In Murray County, $199.11 per capita just for utility restoration has been estimated. The estimated cost in Nobles County for debris removal alone is approximately $100.79 per capita. Between the five counties assessed for the declaration, more than $26 million in damages was estimated. Totals by county range from $467,000 in Cottonwood County to the hardest hit Nobles County at $16 million dollars.

Now that the request has been made by the governor, the paperwork will move to a FEMA office for verification before being sent to the White House for Obama’s approval.

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has also penned a letter to President Barack Obama requesting a Presidential Disaster declaration for five northwest Iowa counties hit hard by the storm. The request is being made on behalf of Dickinson, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola and Sioux counties.

A joint federal, state and local preliminary damage assessment of the five counties found the severe weather caused an estimated $6 million in damage that would be eligible under the federal program. Public Assistance funds may be used to rebuild damaged infrastructure such as roads, bridges, culverts and other public facilities, or to cover costs of emergency work during and debris removal after storms.

WORTHINGTON - Two Worthington students have been named as recipients of the Minnesota-Dakotas Kiwanis Education Foundation Scholarship. Nathan Landwehr, son of Joe and Lori, and Gordon Moore, son of Gordon and Jane, will receive the scholarships, processed through the Early Risers Kiwanis Club of Worthington, with funds given by the Golden K Kiwanis Club of Worthington.

WORTHINGTON - The Nobles County Regional Weather Spotter Training will take place at 7 p.m. tonight at the Minnesota West College Fine Arts Theater (Worthington campus). The class will last around two hours and includes a multimedia presentation. Training is intended for storm spotters or potential storm spotters but is open to the public and is free of charge. For more information, call 507-295-5212.

WORTHINGTON - The American Cancer Society is offering its "Look Good...Feel Better" program tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sanford Cancer Center in Worthington. This program helps teach female cancer patients make-up and skincare techniques to overcome the appearance-related effects of chemotherapy and radiation. To register or for more information, call 888-535-4227.

WORTHINGTON – The Worthington Sports Boosters Club will be having a tailgate gathering at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Centennial Field for the Worthington girls’ softball team. The meal, sponsored by coaches and parents, includes pork chops on stick, chips, bars and a drink for $5.

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington Area Christian Ministerial Association will have a National Day of Prayer observance from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Worthington City Hall. The public is invited to join in prayer for the community and nation. The theme for 2013 is "Pray for America," emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually to "place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities and men."

OKOBOJI, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld an injunction obtained by the city of Okoboji against the "Fish House." In a ruling handed down Friday morning, justices say Leo “Butch” Parks cannot use his marina on West Lake Okoboji to operate the Fish House or any other bar located on an excursion boat.

The Fish House, when not cruising the lake, was moored to the marina, which provided restrooms, parking and access for customers.

City officials claimed the operation violated zoning rules in the residential area, citing issues with traffic and noise. Parks argued the city couldn’t regulate the operation because it operated on the water, which is under state sovereignty. He also argued that he had been granted a liquor license by the state for the operation.

GRAND FORKS - Authorities in Grand Forks evacuated two churches Sunday, as a gunman held a woman captive in a nearby home. Police received a call shortly before 10:30 a.m. from the woman, saying an intruder was holding her at gunpoint. That prompted the evacuations of Hope Church and Bethel Lutheran Church.

The standoff lasted for hours and included firefighters responding to a small blaze at the home. One firefighter said after hours of negotiations with the suspect, police detonated a flash-bang device to stun him and then stormed the home. No injuries were immediately reported. The suspect was arrested and taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation.

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Thank you

Thank you for keeping us updated on Worthington. - Eric Ludy

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