August 1 news

WORTHINGTON – Linda Lund is the new coordinator of the Nobles County Integration Collaborative, taking over the position from Lakeyta Potter. A resident of rural Fulda, Lund graduated from the University of Sioux Falls and taught music education in Fulda for 17 years. She is a member of the Fulda School Board, a position she has held for the past 10 years, and also has a master’s degree in English as a second language.

The NCIC works with a large number of students who have immigrated to the United States — something Lund can relate to. Born and raised in Tura, India, Lund moved back to the United States when she was in junior high and has experienced firsthand the challenges of integrating into a new culture. She and her husband, Brian, have four children, Michael, Jasmine, David and Daniel, and three grandchildren. They are both active members in the community and have hosted 17 exchange students, primarily from Europe.

IOWA - Recently, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reported burglaries at grain elevators in three communities, and the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reported a burglary at an insurance agency in Boyden. Now the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office is reporting four more burglaries.

Authorities are investigating burglary reports from Sanford Medical Clinic in Boyden, Hospers Telephone Company in Hospers, Bruce’s Repair in Matlock and Ireton Veterinary Services in Ireton. Property was stolen in each incident.

The first three are being investigated by the Sheriff’s Office, and the Ireton burglary is being investigated by the Hawarden Police Department.

These burglaries are believed to have occurred during the overnight hours sometime Saturday, July 27 into Sunday morning, July 28 and are believed to have been committed by the same perpetrator(s).
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office. If you wish to remain anonymous you may use the Text.a.Tip program. You can find directions for how to use text-a-tip at

MINNESOTA - A drug bust used to mean that Minnesota law enforcement would either stockpile the illegal booty in crowded property rooms or spend thousands of dollars to escort it out of state to be destroyed.

Now, Minnesota agencies can dispose of the confiscated drugs for free at the 3M incinerator in Cottage Grove. The incinerator at 3M Cottage Grove is the only facility in the state that is approved to dispose of not only prescription drugs but all narcotics.

Nobles County Sheriff Kent Wilkening, who is president of the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, said county sheriffs were waiting for something like this to come along. Disposing of the illegal drugs has been a problem, and the drugs take up lots of space, he added.

Wilkening’s office has ordered 10 five-gallon containers to begin to move drugs that were being kept in the property room. Getting rid of the drugs frees up space and makes audits easier as well as hedges the temptation of somebody stealing the drugs, he said.

The closest other facility that could destroy all types of drugs is in Sauget, Ill., said Brandon Finke, a pollution control specialist at the MPCA.

Law enforcement has to fill barrels of each separate type of material off-site and accompany them sealed to the 3M facility. Under the watch of video surveillance, the barrel is first destroyed in a kiln that ranges in temperature from 1,800 to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

IOWA — The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA), local public health officials and the CDC and FDA, has been investigating what has become a national Cyclospora outbreak for several weeks, and even included three cases in O’Brien County. Iowa continues to have the most cases reported in the multi-state outbreak, with 145 cases reported as of today. The number of new cases being reported continues to decline.

Interviews with ill individuals and food trace back investigations have led to the identification of a pre-packaged salad mixture as the source of Iowa’s outbreak. More than 80 percent of Iowa’s cases reported eating the same pre-packaged salad mix that contained iceberg and romaine lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots. The mixture came into Iowa already packaged and already contaminated.

IDPH has not released the name of the salad mixture brand, or locations where it was purchased or eaten because of confidentiality mandated by Iowa state law. Because the vast majority of illnesses occurred in mid-June and the limited shelf life of fresh produce, IDPH and DIA determined the implicated salad mix was no longer in the Iowa food supply chain. Thus, there is no ongoing threat to the public health which would require the identification of a particular brand, store, or restaurant where the salad mixture was available.

WASHINGTON – After a five-hour drama, the U.S. Senate confirmed Minnesota U.S. attorney B. Todd Jones to be the next director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Wednesday, giving the agency its first permanent head since 2006.

Jones was confirmed 53-42, but not before Senate Democrats were forced into a last-minute scramble for votes to head off a Republican filibuster of his nomination.

To secure the 60 votes necessary to close debate, Democrats lobbied Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to switch her vote. Still short, they delayed for hours while North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who has been sick all week, flew to the capital to cast the decisive cloture vote.

Jones, 56, of St. Paul, will take the helm of a law enforcement agency at the center of an increasingly volatile gun-control debate in Congress.

Jones has led the bureau as acting director since 2011, when he was tapped to help it bounce back after the infamously botched “Fast and Furious” gun-smuggling operation, which led to the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

Minnesota’s U.S. senators, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, were staunch supporters of Jones’ confirmation throughout his ordeal, but Klobuchar proved a key player in brokering the vote switch that made confirmation possible.

During the process, Klobuchar was among Democratic senators who swarmed Murkowski on the floor, persuading her to flip her vote.


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