August 13 news

WORTHINGTON – During Monday night’s meeting of the Worthington City Council, members declared the former Kmart building as hazardous and will order the owner to repair or demolish the structure. Failure to comply with the order would allow the city to obtain legal right through the courts to step in and demolish or repair the hazardous building.

A letter will be sent, ordering the owner to complete three conditions. The first is to properly repair all the identified violations, or to demolish the subject building. The second is to obtain all the applicable permits to do the work necessary to satisfy the order within 30 days from the date of the letter. The last is that the demolition or repair must be completed within 60 days from the date of the letter.

If the owner fails to do so, the next step is to file the order with the court and proceed with a hearing.
In other business, the council agreed to pay for half of a study related to a new outdoor pool.

The total cost of the study is $7,500. The council unanimously approved $3,750 of the study, with the other half coming from the citizens pushing for the new pool.

The council also approved $101,100 through the use of hospital impact funds for a Lake Street trail. The cost is more than the original projections, but there were leftover impact funds available from the savings in the ARMER system. The trail would extend the current trail along Lake Street from near 7th Avenue to the existing walk ending east of May Street.

WORTHINGTON – The new King Turkey Day buttons have been unveiled and are now available for purchase at the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce. Along with the button comes a book that contains 50 coupons for area businesses.

This year’s buttons, designed by Brad Behrends, are oval-shaped. The design is based on the well-known logo of the TV reality program "Survivor" and features a turkey running in front of a yellow, setting sun. The Survivor theme was chosen when the King Turkey Day board received confirmation of the event’s guest speaker, Holly Hoffman, a former Survivor contestant. A native of Eureka, S.D., Hoffman placed fourth on the show in 2010. She is slated to speak at 1 p.m. during KTD festivities Sept. 14.

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington Housing and Redevelopment Authority was recently awarded $139,032 through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to make capital improvements to public housing properties. There are 136 units of public housing in Worthington, and the funds will be used to replace windows and doors, install floor coverings, upgrade furnaces and replace siding.

ST. PAUL - Minnesota has reported its first death from West Nile virus this year. The victim was a man from greater Minnesota. Additional details have not been released. So far, 16 human cases of the virus have been confirmed across the state. The Minnesota Department of Health recently reported that one of those affected has died. Last year, most of the cases of the mosquito-borne virus were reported in the southwest corner of Minnesota. There were 70 West Nile cases and one death reported in the state in 2012.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - A portion of a heavily traveled road in Dickinson County is scheduled to be closed to traffic later this week so crews can work on a bridge. The Dickinson County Engineer’s Office says County Road M-27, or the Lake Park-Everly road, is scheduled to be closed in the area of the bridge located between 240th Street and 250th Street starting this Wednesday, August 14th. Traffic will be detoured around the site.

Crews will be replacing a 60 foot by 24 foot wide steel I-beam bridge with a 110 foot by 40 foot wide continuous concrete slab bridge. Officials say the road should be re-opened to traffic prior to the onset of winter weather.

SANBORN, Iowa — A Sheldon, Iowa teen and a Fulda man were taken to the hospital after an accident on Saturday night in Sanborn.

The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office reports that just before 9 p.m., 47-year-old Grady Peterson of Fulda was northbound on Redwing Avenue, driving a 1979 Mobile Traveler motor home. He stopped at the stop sign at Redwing and Highway 18, a mile west of Sanborn. Seventeen-year-old Bradey Hinken of Sheldon was westbound on 18 in a 2000 Dodge Neon.

Hinken struck the back of the motor home as it was crossing the highway. The motor home rolled over on its left side. Hinken’s car slid, coming to rest facing eastbound, the opposite direction.
Both drivers were taken to Sanford Sheldon Hospital. Damage to the motor home was estimated at $2,500 and the Dodge Neon at $3,500.

Peterson, the driver of the motor home was charged with failure to have valid driver’s license, failure to obey stop sign and no proof of insurance.

PIPESTONE - After three years of collecting meteorological information and almost a decade in the planning stages, a Twin Cities company is going ahead with construction of the Stoneray Wind Farm, located primarily in Pipestone County.

An informational meeting will be conducted at 6 p.m., Aug. 14, at the Lake Wilson American Legion. Staff from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the wind farm and Minnesota Public Utilities will present details on the proposed wind farm that will produce approximately 105 MW of wind power through approximately 55 turbines.

Last month, EDF Renewable Energy (EDF-RE) of Minneapolis, submitted certificate of need and site permit applications to the state utilities commission to construct the wind farm north of Woodstock, in Rock and Burke townships in Pipestone County, and in Cameron and Chanarambie townships in Murray County. The new wind farm is proposed to be operating by the end of 2014.

EDF-RE, a U.S. subsidiary of Energies Nouvelles based in France, purchased EnXco Energy about a year ago. That sale included the Chanarambie Wind Farm near Chandler and plans for Stoneray. Peterson said the EDF-RE has stepped up work on the Stoneray project to capitalize on the U.S. Department of Energy’s wind production tax credit program (PTC). The program is set to expire Dec. 31.

MASON CITY, Iowa - A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in federal court by the family of an Iowa nurse who died with two others in the January crash of a medical helicopter.

The family of Shelly Lair-Langenbau has sued the air transport company that owned the helicopter and employed its pilot. The lawsuit was initially filed in Cerro Cordo County District Court, but was moved last week to federal court.

The family says Med-Trans Corp., a North Dakota-based corporation that operates its helicopter service out of Lewisville, Texas, is to blame for Lair-Langenbau's death. The suit says the pilot, Gene Grell, took off in unsafe weather conditions.

Lair-Langenbau, Grell and paramedic Russell Piehl died in the January 2nd crash. The helicopter had been headed to Emmetsburg from Mason City to pick up a patient when it slammed into the ground just north of Ventura.

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