July 1 news

WORTHINGTON - The City of Worthington and the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring the fireworks on the Fourth of July. The fireworks will be over Lake Okabena at dusk on Thursday, July 4th. In case of inclement weather, the rain date is July 5th.

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa – A 51-year-old Rock Rapids man is in jail after being apprehended Saturday for allegedly committing an assault and wielding a sword, according to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office. Hiram Wilson Meadows was arrested at his home in the 400 block of Adams Street and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and going armed with intent.

Deputies, along with the Lyon County Special Response Team were called to the scene at 3 a.m. Saturday, where they learned the suspect had entered a residence, believed to be his own, following the assault. Two hours later, the suspect surrendered to the deputies surrounding his home.

ELLSWORTH – The cause of a fire that destroyed a vacant farmhouse and garage in rural Ellsworth Friday morning is still unknown. According to Ellsworth Fire Chief Kim Chapa, the department was paged to the scene at 32668 Edwards Ave at 4:26 a.m. Friday to find the fire fully involved. Mutual aid was provided to the Little Rock Fire Department, and Nobles Cooperative Electric also responded to cut power to the house.

Little Rock Fire Chief Joe Schilling said no one was injured and there was no livestock or pet loss. The house was totaled, he said, along with some furniture that was stored in the home.

WORTHINGTON — The “Amazing” Worthington City Band will perform its usual Wednesday night concert this week as well as a Fourth of July concert. Both will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Matt Widboom will be the master of ceremonies for the Wednesday concert. Intermission entertainment will be by Teresa Widboom. Under the direction of Jon Loy, the band will perform selections including “National Emblem March,” “The Minnesota March,” “Washington Post March” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever March.”

Worthington Police Officer Jacki Bomgaars will host the Fourth of July concert on Thursday. Intermission entertainment will be by Dan Jensen. Thursday band selections will include “Mr. U.S.A.,” “Highlights from the Music Man,” “Over There” and “Marches of the Armed Forces.”

In case of inclement weather, the concert will be in the auxiliary gym at Worthington High School.

PIPESTONE – A Flandreau, SD man suffered non-life threatening injuries Saturday when he crashed his motorcycle on Highway 30 in Pipestone. Calvin Soward, 53, was westbound on 30 going around a curve shortly after 10 p.m. when he laid the bike down. His 1982 Honda Nighthawk was totaled. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, alcohol was detected in his system. He was taken by ambulance to Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls.

ORLEANS, Iowa - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it's once again safe to swim at Orleans Beach on Big Spirit Lake. The DNR had been recommending earlier people stay out of the water in that area after about 21,000 gallons of sewage got into the southeast part of the lake on Wednesday after a line broke.

Bryon Whiting of the DNR's regional office in Spencer says results from samples taken Thursday from Orleans Beach, which is near the area of where the spill took place, came back with levels of E.coli of 10 colonies per 100 milliliters of water...well below the level of concern at 235 where the DNR would issue a swimming advisory.

Whiting says the DNR has now concluded its sampling and monitoring efforts that had been ongoing with that incident.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - The Dickinson County Conservation Board has hired a new Executive Director. Lee Sorenson will begin his new position today.

Sorenson attended Iowa State University and received a Bachelors degree in Fish and Wildlife Biology. While attending college he did seasonal work for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in southwest Iowa. After graduation Sorenson worked as a park ranger in the county conservation board system. After two years he was hired as a director in which he served for 12 years. Sorenson and his wife have two children.

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa — Lyon County Schools, Cities, and County government are winning big with casino grants. The Lyon County Riverboat Foundation is the non-profit license holder for the Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood. State law mandates a certain percentage of the casino’s gaming take has to go back to the community. The second quarter 2013 non-competitive grants have just been announced. Lyon County public schools — Central Lyon, George/Little Rock, and West Lyon were each granted just over $42,500. That brings up their total to over $85,500 per school this year, and since the Riverboat Foundation started giving grants, each school has received just over $325,000.

Lyon County cities are given grants on factors that include their population. They ranged from $12,971 for Alvord to $15,562 for Rock Rapids this time around. That brings the total since the grants began to a low of just over $101,000 for Alvord to a high of over $121,000 for Rock Rapids.

Lyon County was given nearly $18,000 this time, bringing the total to over $140,000.

The Riverboat Foundation has now distributed nearly $2 million to cities, schools, and the county and another nearly $2 million in competitive grants to non-profit projects since they opened two years ago in June of 2011.

MINNESOTA - Minnesota’s higher cigarette tax has gotten the attention of smokers, tobacco retailers and state lawmakers. The state’s tax-per-pack will more than double when it begins today, going from $1.23 to $2.83. That will raise the average price-per-pack to more than $7.50. The price for a typical carton of cigarettes will go from $50 to $69. The new tax is projected to bring the state more than $400 million every two years, but it could be lower if the hike makes smokers kick their nicotine habit.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Cancer Society estimate the pricier packs will prevent 47,000 kids from starting to smoke and help 36,600 current smokers quit.

Minnesota now has the nation’s sixth highest tax on tobacco. Businesses in the border states of South Dakota and Iowa are expecting to reap some benefits as smokers cross over to make their cigarette purchases.

YARNELL, Ariz. — Gusty, hot winds blew an Arizona blaze out of control Sunday in a forest northwest of Phoenix, overtaking and killing 19 members of an elite fire crew in the deadliest wildfire involving firefighters in the U.S. for at least 30 years.

The "hotshot" firefighters were forced to deploy their emergency fire shelters — tent-like structures meant to shield firefighters from flames and heat — when they were caught near the central Arizona town of Yarnell, state forestry spokesman Art Morrison told The Associated Press.

The fire also destroyed an estimated 200 homes, Morrison said. Dry grass near the communities of Yarnell and Glen Isla fed the fast-moving blaze, which was whipped up by wind and raced through the homes, he said.
The fire started after a lightning strike on Friday and spread to at least 2,000 acres on Sunday amid triple-digit temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions.

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