October 15 news

WORTHINGTON – Approval for Dakota Golf Management to continue at Prairie View Golf Links for another two years was given Monday night during the Worthington City Council meeting on a 3 to 1 vote, with a small rate increase.

The council also heard details of a flood mitigation plan for the city by Bill Douglass of Bolten and Menk. The five-part plan begins with an 11-acre pond by Walmart, followed by replacing a culvert on East Oxford Street with a 10 foot by 10 foot box culvert. On McMillan Street, a block-long box culvert would be added. The channel would be widened from McMillan and optional pond storage would be added, for a total of more than $6 million. No action was taken on the plan, but the council will take the matter under consideration.

After a public hearing regarding assessments, the council unanimously approved $1,048.47 for sanitary sewer improvement to Living Life Adult Day Care Center, LLC, and four bituminous pavement improvements. Two alleys, Sherwood Street/Franklin Street and Trevor Street had a total cost of $319,892.53. A sanitary sewer improvement for Morning View Second Addition was also approved for $7,406.47. A total of $2,347.63 was approved in unpaid charges for eight properties.

WORTHINGTON – A workplace assessment at the Worthington Police Department shows a handful of complaints consistent with bullying, the department split into two identifiable groups and reports of too much religion, unnecessary drama, lack of face-to-face communications and people who grumble and enjoy conflict. Some employees, the report states, presented the assessor with examples of what they believed were inappropriate instances of elected officials involving themselves in the management of the police department.

Issues related to the police department were brought to city officials, which prompted the workplace assessment. A third party conducted the assessment to identify any problems or issues that may be leading to conflict or dissatisfaction in the work environment, and the report was completed by William Everett of the firm Everett and VanderWiel of Buffalo at a cost of $13,012.52 to the city.

The city will handle the assessment administratively because of private personnel information.

JACKSON – Congratulations to the Jackson County Central Varsity Cheerleaders, who dominated the Class A division of the Minnesota Cheer-Off Saturday in St. Paul. It’s a competition for sideline cheerleaders that includes performing a chant, time-out cheer and school song. The JCC Varsity Cheerleaders also placed first in time-out cheer. Over all, JCC placed first, followed by Jordan, Kasson-Mantorville and Annandale.

OKOBOJI, Iowa - Two lakes area non-profit organizations are benefiting through fundraisers conducted by a local marina. Parks Marina presented the Arnolds Park-Okoboji Fire and Rescue $464 raised through its Barefoot Photo Contest and $2,000 to the Humane Society of Northwest Iowa through funds raised in a poker run the marina held in conjunction with its Crownline Rendevous event.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa — Iowa Department of Natural Resources enforcement officers say they’re seeing somewhat of a disturbing trend from deer hunters—baited deer stands. According to Officer Jeff Morrison, the use of bait in Iowa is illegal and that includes bait that is either natural or man-made. If you happen to have an apple tree in your hunting area you can hunt around that apple tree. Morrison said, but if you gather up a bunch of apples in a bushel basket and take them out and put them under your stand where there's no apple tree or apples, that's considered baiting. Morrison says violators are subject to a $100 fine and loss of hunting equipment. Anyone who placed bait around a hunting stand needs to remove that bait or move the stand.

ARNOLD’S PARK, Iowa - The city of Arnolds Park has been awarded a sizable REAP Grant through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The grant will be used to help finance Arnolds Park's new city park to be constructed on the site of the old park located on the hill overlooking West Lake Okoboji just across from Preservation Plaza. Phase one, much of which has been completed, was removal of the maintenance building and removal of some of the other buildings down there. a materials storage area by the water tower was taken out and a hard surfaced parking area and some rain gardens constructed. Phase two will be the construction of a new shelter house, a walking trail through the park, maybe some sitting areas, and a program area.

PIPESTONE - Pipestone resident Mark Thode will debut a new photography exhibit in the lobby of the Pipestone Performing Arts Center (PPAC) in conjunction with the opening night of the Calumet Players’ “Angel Street.”

Entitled “Insights,” the five-piece exhibit explores the blurred lines between photojournalism and surrealism using subjects Thode spent months shooting along local country roads.

Thode received a grant earlier this year for $703 from the South Minnesota Arts Council to create the new body of work. Additional funding came from two local benefactors, Pipestone residents Dennis Hansen and Delores Runge. The money funds the framing and printing of the photos on fine art canvas paper.

Opening on Oct. 11, the exhibit will remain at least until the end of 2013.

SPENCER, Iowa - Arrest warrants have been issued for an Iowa attorney once contracted by the State Public Defenders Office. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says the warrants issued for 60-year-old Ney McDaniel, of Spencer, are in connection to a July audit that questioned his billing practices.

The audit identified more than $177,000 of improper disbursement to McDaniel. In one case, he claimed to have worked 24 hours or more in a single day during 80 days. The audit shows McDaniel took in $1.1 million from 2005 through March 2011, when his contract was terminated.

McDaniel has been charged with ongoing criminal conduct, first-degree theft and first-degree fraudulent practice.

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