November 12 news

JACKSON - A woman has been injured in an accidental shooting while hunting in Jackson County. Sheriff Roger Hawkinson on Monday confirmed a 58-year-old female was wounded in her lower leg while deer hunting. More information will be released as it becomes available.

JACKSON - A southwest Minnesota rural electric cooperative has distributed nearly $14,500 in funds to various non-profit entities in its service area.

Officials with Federated Rural Electric Association, based in Jackson, say the funds were made possible through contributions to its “Operation Round-up” program. The program allows customers to round up their monthly utility bill to the nearest dollar, with the difference being donated to “Operation Round-up”.

The awards range from $75 to the Lakefield 4-H Lego Robotics program to purchase field guide kits for robotics competitions to $1,000 to Jackson County Dept. Human Services to assist low-income Federated members with energy assistance. Other recipients include Greater MN Family Services of Willmar, Reinbows Inc. of Windom and Journeys of Healing, Inc. of Jackson.

Since the first round of funding in 1995, more than $414,000 has been awarded to various organizations and as high school scholarships through the program.

LYON COUNTY, Iowa - The Lyon County Sheriff's Office investigated a two vehicle accident at 2:35 p.m. Sunday in the 1300 mile of 200th Street. Keegan Knobloch, age 17, of Alvord, Iowa was eastbound on 200th Street when he crested a hill and nearly struck an oncoming vehicle. Knobloch lost control of his vehicle and entered the north ditch. Knobloch's vehicle then entered the roadway again and slid into an oncoming vehicle. The vehicle that was hit was driven by Scott Stuerman, age 25, of Rock Rapids, Iowa. Knobloch's 2004 Honda Pilot sustained an estimated $2,000 in damages and Stuerman's 2008 Chevrolet pickup received an estimated $4,500 damage. No injuries were reported. Knobloch was cited for failure to maintain control.

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A prosecutor is defending his decision to wait for additional testing before deciding whether to bring murder charges against a northwest Iowa daycare provider who allegedly admitted to causing injuries that killed a 3-year-old girl. Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister said Monday he wants the state medical examiner to rule on Autumn Elgersma's cause of death before deciding whether to charge Rochelle Sapp. The medical examiner has requested additional testing by University of Iowa pathologists, which could take two weeks or longer.

Investigators say Sapp admitted to throwing Autumn to the floor while watching her in Orange City on Oct. 29. The girl was hospitalized with severe head trauma, and died days later. Charges of willful injury and child endangerment were dismissed last week against Sapp.

PIPESTONE - About 425 Pipestone Area Schools elementary students are going to join a worldwide effort to set a Guinness Book World Record on Thursday, Nov. 14. The students will be among hundreds of thousands of people on six continents trying to set the record for the most people who are sport stacking at multiple locations in one day, during the annual “Stack Up!” event organized by the World Sport Stacking Association (WSSA).

Sport stacking involves arranging specially designed plastic cups in various formations as quickly as possible. The activity began in the early 1980s in southern California. In 2001 the WSSA formed to promote and govern sport stacking and in 2006 it started holding the annual “Stack Up!” day.

In 2006, 81,252 people participated. New records have been set each year since with the current record of 483,658 people set in 2012. This year the WSSA’s goal is to reach 500,000 stackers. This is the first year PAS students will participate in the attempt to set a new record.

WINDOM - The referendum approved by Windom voters last week may eventually have less of a tax impact than voters expected.

That's because the school board annually has the option of taking less than the full amount listed in the referendum. The board makes that decision each December, according to Windom Superintendent of Schools Wayne Wormstadt.

The referendum, which was approved by a vote of 678-150, is an extension of the current seven-year referendum which has one year remaining. So the new referendum will kick off for the 2015 payable taxes, Wormstadt said.

MINNESOTA - Hunters and trappers in northern Minnesota killed more than 40 wolves over opening weekend, about 40 percent of the target harvest for the early season. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources set this year’s target for the hunting and trapping season at 220 wolves, down from about 400 last year, due to a 25 percent drop in population. However, the DNR said the long winter created ideal conditions for a large number of wolf pups this spring.

Minnesota held it’s first-ever regulated wolf hunt last year after gray wolves were removed from federal protection. There were 66 wolves killed in the season’s first weekend last year.

ST. PAUL — Archbishop John Nienstedt has backed away from a promise to release the names of some priests in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis who have sexually abused children.

Nienstedt said on Friday that, in a reversal of a decades-old policy, he would release some of the names this month and that more could be made public after a private firm hired by the archdiocese reviews all clergy files.

But less than 36 hours after Nienstedt read those remarks, church officials started putting caveats on them. Nienstedt then revised his statement and sent a separate, private letter to clergy saying he believes he cannot release the names without the "permission of the relevant court."

Nienstedt's decision comes in response to an investigation that found the archdiocese kept the Rev. Clarence Vavra in ministry, despite his admission that he had sexually abused several boys and a teenager while on assignment at the Rosebud Sioux tribe's reservation in South Dakota.

In his latest, revised communication, Nienstedt appears to be referring to an earlier list of 33 accused priests that the archdiocese provided to a Ramsey County court as part of a 2009 lawsuit. A judge placed that list under a protective order, which allowed victims' attorneys to receive it, but prohibited them from divulging its contents.

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