August 20 news

WORTHINGTON - Notice from the City of Worthington Engineering Department: Resurfacing of Tenth Street from First Avenue to East Ninth Avenue is tentatively scheduled to begin Wednesday. Work will begin with surface milling and conclude with a bituminous overlay. Tenth Street will be open to restricted traffic during milling and cleanup, however, traffic will be diverted around milling operations 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.

Milling and cleanup work is estimated to take up to three working days. Bituminous paving will follow completion of the milling work. Tenth Street from First Avenue to Eighth Avenue will be closed to all traffic and parking in multiple block segments during the surfacing and cool down time period. Surfacing work is estimated to be completed within three working days. Tenth Street from Eighth Avenue to Ninth Avenue will be open to alternating two-way traffic under flagmen control during cold milling and the surfacing and cool down time period. Paved areas will be reopened as soon as the new bituminous surface has adequately cooled. Through traffic should avoid the work area and use adjacent Ninth Street and Eleventh Street alternate routes until the work is completed.

Please reduce your speed, watch for construction workers and equipment, and drive carefully in and near the construction zone. Be prepared to stop when approaching the work areas. Weather permitting and construction proceeding as planned, a majority of the street work should be completed in seven to ten days.

JACKSON – Two people were injured early this morning when their vehicle rolled on I-90, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. A 2006 Dodge Ram was westbound when it entered the median and rolled shortly after 2 a.m. Driver Jordyn Black, age 20, of Castle Rock, Colo. and passenger Amy Pinger, age 41, of Surray, BC, were both taken to Sanford Jackson with non-life threatening injuries.

BREWSTER -- Members of the Minnesota Soybean Processors board of directors broke ground Monday afternoon on a unit train project that will allow them to capitalize on customer demand for more soybean meal. After nearly three years of planning, the $8- to $10 million project is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year. It will include the addition of two new rail tracks along the current Union Pacific rail line between Zeh Avenue and Jackson County Road 20, two miles northeast of the soy processing facility. Each of the two new tracks will hold approximately 110 hopper cars. Each car can carry 100 tons of soybean meal. It takes approximately 500,000 bushels of processed soybeans to fill one unit train. While being able to send out more cars at one time will meet customer needs, MnSP board President Mike Zins said it also saves money on freight rates.

LUVERNE – The Green Earth Players will be holding auditions for their production of “Leaving Iowa” Sunday Aug 25th from 3 to 5 p.m. and Monday Aug 26th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the new Green Earth Players building, 401 West Edgehill Street in Luverne. Performance dates are Nov 15-17 and 22-24.

LUVERNE -- The 11th annual Remember Rally to honor military and first responders is planned Sept. 7 in Luverne. Registration begins at 11 a.m. at the Howling Dog Saloon, with the ride leaving at 12:30 p.m. The fire department will escort rally participants down U.S. 71 and Main Street out of Luverne.

This year, proceeds from the rally will support three separate national veterans organizations, Project Sanctuary, BurnPits 360 and Troops Direct. The first stop for the rally is Big Orv's in Adrian. A barbecue meal will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Howling Dog. For more information, contact Diane Sherwood at (507) 283-4194 or email promos@iw.net. To learn more about the Remember Rally, visit www.rememberrally.com.

WORTHINGTON – It’s no wonder Northland Mall owner mike Kohen hasn’t found the time to create a remediation plan for the broken-down building’s woes. He’s too busy buying other malls.

According to an article in the Tulsa World, Kohen, who purchased the Northland Mall in 2008, closed a deal on the Tulsa Promenade in early July, just days after the old Kmart section of the Northland Mall was deemed unsafe to occupy. Kohen reportedly spent $12.3 million on the Tulsa mall, more than $10 million more than he paid for the Worthington facility. He currently owes more than $140,000 in back taxes in Nobles County.

Some of the comments Kohen made in the Tulsa World article are strangely similar to those he made to reporters in Worthington back in 2008. In both cases, he stated he wants to reach out to retailers and show them the value of their mall. He uses words such as incentives, vibrancy and renovations. But as malls in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois have learned, Kohen is more likely to buy another fading mall before he bothers to fix the ones he has or pay his bills. Malls under his ownership have had utilities shut off more than once.

Since Kohen did not file a remediation plan within the 30-day deadline from the city of Worthington, the council has now declared the old section of the mall hazardous. The council will now have to go through the legal system to get work done on the decaying building. It is highly likely the work done would be tearing down rather than fixing up – the Kmart leg of the mall would probably be demolished.

PIPESTONE - The flooding problem that occurs after heavy rains at the intersection of Second St. St. NW and Eighth Ave. NW will be addressed at a price tag of more than $52,000.

After weeks of no rain, close to 3 inches deluged Pipestone on Saturday evening, Aug. 10. Scott Swanson, city public works director, said the water had risen at least to the daycare building.

The owners of the daycare business brought the flooding issue to the council’s attention in early July. At that time, city water/wastewater supervisor Joel Adelman said a new, 36-inch stormwater pipe was installed on Second St. NW during the 2010 street project and reconnected with the old, 18-inch pipe that continues west toward Westview Park. During heavy rains, the mismatch causes a backup that has flooded the intersection and the business.

The work includes the installation of a 42-inch pipe through Westview Park to Second St. NW and one or two grates instead of manhole lids. The project is not expected to completely fix the issue but to relieve some of the pressure on the pipe and accelerate drainage at the intersection, with the goal of preventing a backup, Adelman, said.

He told the council he had between $25,000 and $30,000 in his budget to use toward the project. The balance will come from the city’s liquor store fund.

MINNESOTA - No snow? No problem. Toro’s betting money that your snowblower won’t go to waste this winter. The king of lawn mowers and other yard equipment has a new “S’No Risk Guarantee” that promises customers 100 percent of their money back if this winter’s snowfall is less than 10 percent of the average for their region. If it snows less than 50 percent, Toro promises a 10 percent refund. In both cases, Toro will let the customer keep their machine.

Marketers at the Bloomington-based company are billing the offer as “taking the risk out of buying a snowblower.” The refund offer is good for purchases made between Aug. 1 and Nov. 15 and applies to any model of Toro snowthrower. Toro will use official snowfall averages tallied by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Before consumers get too comfy over the offer, data presented by the Climatology Working Group at the University of Minnesota shows that Toro’s not risking much by making its offer. With traditional snowfall pattens, consumers are unlikely to see refunds. In the Twin Cities, for example, the climatology data shows the Twin Cities annual average snowfall is near 54 inches.

For full refunds to become a reality, the metro area would have get less than 5.4 inches of snow for the year. Examining records dating to 1891, the lowest snowfall on record was 14 inches. The chances for a 10 percent refund under Toro’s offer are not much better. According to the National Weather Service, the Twin Cities hasn’t averaged snowfall levels less than 27 inches (50 percent of 54 inches) in more than a decade.

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