November 8 news

WORTHINGTON – Congratulations to the United Way of Nobles County. They met and even surpassed their goal Wednesday night during the telethon at the Worthington High School, raising $6,729 between the telethon, the silent auction and the Taste of Nobles County food booths. They had set a goal of $6,000. The United Way of Nobles County hopes to raise $160,000 during its current fundraising campaign.

The United Way helps a variety of Nobles County organizations fund projects throughout the year, with all of their funding staying local.

WORTHINGTON — Minnesota West Community and Technical College will host a Pinterest Live event from 5:20 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, at Ben Lee’s Café in downtown Worthington. Participants are welcome to come at 5 p.m. to order something to eat and a beverage. This session features Fresco Christmas Ornaments. Explore fresco and multi-media and create some unique Christmas ornaments.

The registration fee for Pinterest Live includes all supplies needed for the class. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register visit www.mnwest.edu, call 372-3468 or email Roxanne Hayenga at roxanne.hayenga@mnwest.edu.

JACKSON — The city of Jackson is receiving $847,214 —as well as $447,756 in housing tax credits — from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, and the city of Worthington will also be awarded $108,550 to build five new low-income, single-family homes.

The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency awarded more than $54 million for affordable housing developments across the state on Thursday. The money will create 1,904 units of affordable housing, and support hundreds of jobs statewide.

Of that $54 million, $5 million was awarded to southwest Minnesota communities to fund six housing projects — two of those in Worthington and Jackson — through a state jobs and housing initiative that creates housing located in job growth areas hampered by critical workforce housing shortages.

Rick Goodemann, chief executive officer for the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, which has worked with the city of Jackson and AGCO on the funding, said the new money will help support the tremendous employment growth Jackson has seen. AGCO has also donated an additional $220,000 to the project to support an influx in workers.

HULL, Iowa — A school bus, donated by Western Christian High School in Hull is headed for Haiti. Western Christian Principal Dan Barkel says Western is partnering with Prosperity of God Ministries to make a significant impact on the lives of Haitian school children in Minotrie, Haiti, 19 miles outside the city of Port au Prince. Barkel says the Western Christian student body filled the bus full of school supplies prior to its shipment to Haiti.

SHELDON, Iowa - The Sheldon City Council on Wednesday followed the advice of the Sheldon Community School District with two safety measures. One of those would extend the school zone on Highway 18 eastward to the Sears and Peoples Bank intersection. The council’s action will be forwarded to the Iowa Department of Transportation for their approval. This would also extend the 35-mile-per-hour speed limit to that same point. The other request of the school board was to have stop signs erected for both east and westbound traffic on Fourth Street at the crossing with Normal College Avenue.

The council also approved the sale of city property located west of Crossroads Community Church as well as a residential lot in the Sunshine Addition to Jeff and Sara Van Meeteren.

PIPESTONE - After becoming a target of an animal activist organization, Pipestone System’s Rosewood Farms facility was visited last week by Walmart officials for a tour of one of the system’s pork production facilities.

According to Dr. Luke Minion, Pipestone System president and CEO, Walmart is simply going through their own process in order to arrive at a decision.

Hidden-camera footage shot by 27-year-old Jessica Buck drew Walmart to the site. Buck worked at Rosewood for six weeks between Aug. 6 and Sept. 27 as an undercover investigator for Mercy for Animals, a nonprofit organization that promotes animal protection and a vegan lifestyle. While working in a farrowing barn at the Rosewood facility, Buck secretly shot footage that was edited into a video entitled, “The hidden cost of Walmart’s pork.”

Although Mercy for Animals aimed for criminal animal cruelty charges against Pipestone System, the target of the animal activists’ website campaign is Walmart. Specifically, Mercy for Animals asks the giant retailer to ditch pork from suppliers who confine pigs in gestation cages, and asks consumers to do their part by refusing to eat pork and adopting a vegetarian diet.

Mercy for Animals released the video during a Minneapolis press conference, Oct. 29. The video can be viewed at www.walmartcruelty.com.

The day prior to the video release, Pipestone County Attorney Jim O’Neill notified Mercy for Animals that his office would not prosecute for criminal actions alleged by the animal activists. O’Neill’s charging decision was based in part on an investigation conducted by the Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office.

MINNESOTA - An investigation into this fall’s data breach at MNsure concludes the release of social security numbers in an email was a mistake with no malicious intent. But the legislative auditor also cites decisions made at the insurance exchange that contributed to the accident.

The Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor found no evidence that a MNsure employee intentionally included the social security numbers of more than 1,500 insurance brokers in the email. The auditor’s report says once it happened, MNsure responded to the mistake appropriately.

The audit also concludes, though, that MNsure could have done more to prevent the disclosure of private data in the first place.

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