June 27 news

WORTHINGTON – Today is the day you can help save a life. The All-American Blood Drive begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Ground Round, running until 4:30 this afternoon. The event is sponsored by Sanford Worthington, the Ground Round, Radio Works, Holiday Inn Express and the Daily Globe. The blood mobile will be parked alongside the Ground Round patio, where donators can check in and receive a voucher from the Ground Round.

Donors must be at least 17 years old, weight at least 110 pounds and be in good general health the day of the blood drive. Donors are asked to bring identification. Appointments are available, and walk-ins are also welcome.

WORTHINGTON – 10th Street from First Avenue to Ninth Avenue in downtown Worthington will be resurfaced this summer, beginning in July. According to Jeff Faragher of the city of Worthington, the upper 2 inches of the existing pavement will be removed by use of a milling machine and replaced with a new layer of pavement. Prior to the resurfacing, all curb ramps within the work area will be reconstructed to meet current standards for accessibility.

On July 15, curb ramp reconstruction is scheduled to begin, which will affect the entrances to certain businesses for approximately two weeks. By July 29, surface milling will start. In general, 10th Street will be open to restricted traffic during milling and clean up, but traffic will be diverted around milling operation as it progresses up and down the street. No parking will be allowed in the blocks where milling and cleanup is planned for the day.

Paving should begin around August 5, which may close blocks of the street to traffic and parking during the surfacing and cool down time period.

The contractor is not allowed to be actively working during the International Festival July 12, Downtown Crazy Days July 25 and 26, or the Cruisin Downtown Car Show August 13, although uncompleted work will likely be present on those days.

All scheduling is subject to change, dependent on contractors and weather.

WORTHINGTON — Author Tim O’Brien has been awarded the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award. O’Brien grew up in Worthington, the son of William and Ava O’Brien. After graduating from Macalaster College in 1968, O’Brien was drafted into the Vietnam War. His military service figures largely into his writings, including one of his best-known works, a 1990 story collection, “The Things They Carried,” about a platoon of U.S. soldiers serving in Vietnam.

O'Brien, now of Austin, Texas, is a visiting professor and endowed chair at Southwest Texas State University, where he teaches in the creative writing program.

ORLEANS, Iowa-- Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say a collapsed sewer line resulted in some 21,000 gallons of wastewater getting into the southeast side of Big Spirit Lake Wednesday morning.

Bryon Whiting of the DNR's field office in Spencer said a resident of Orleans reported seeing wastewater coming out of a manhole shortly before 8 a.m. on Sunset Drive. Upon arriving, crews with the Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary District discovered a pipeline below a manhole had collapsed, resulting in the wastewater flowing into a storm sewer that empties into Big Spirit Lake about 1,400 feet northeast of Orleans Beach. Crews managed to stop the discharge in less than an hour.

Whiting said DNR crews are testing water samples from the affected area. In the meantime he's recommending people stay out of the water in that part of Big Spirit Lake over the next 48 hours out of fears of possible e-coli contamination. He says they hope to have results of the tests sometime today.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa—The Dickinson county board of supervisors Tuesday heard another plea for funding from a group that is spearheading the Freedom Rock/veteran’s memorial project in Lake Park. The supervisors took no action on a request when they were originally presented with the proposal several weeks ago. The group that is behind the project is requesting a $15,000 one time sum from the county.

A motion by supervisor Paul Johnson for the county to support the project failed for lack of a second.
Jim Kessler, who is one of the project organizers, said it was crucial the county fund the project now in order for the freedom rock to be painted this coming September. He said the artist commissioned to do the work is booked up and they could be faced with a lengthy delay if they don’t have the funding in place by Sept. 1.

MINNESOTA - State regulators say Minnesota farm fields – and a fast-growing technique for draining them – carry millions of pounds of nitrates into waterways annually. A study by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency traced more than 70 percent of the nitrates in the state’s rivers to farm fields. The Associated Press reports that in the Minnesota River, 95 percent of nitrates came from cropland.
Smaller sources of nitrates include wastewater treatment plants, forests, and the atmosphere. High concentrations of nitrates have been found to be toxic to fish and other aquatic life. They also pose health risks to humans when they occur in drinking water.

In announcing the study’s findings, MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine said “…too much nitrate is ending up in streams and rivers. We have to do better.”

The study found that Minnesota sends 158 million pounds of nitrates downstream per year. Most of that winds up contributing to an oxygen-depleted dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. An executive with the group Friends of the Mississippi River says the study shows Minnesota’s current approach to cleaning its rivers is not working.

The MPCA study found that 30 percent of the nitrates in rivers arrive there after soaking into the groundwater and being carried underground to the nearest stream, but even more (37 percent) are deposited into rivers by a popular drainage technique known as drain tiling, in which underground tubes carry excess water away from cropland.

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