January 7 news

WORTHINGTON — The Worthington Public Utilities Water and Light Commission approved funding for solar power to the city’s three new entrance signs Monday at a material cost of $2,431 per sign. That cost does not include installation. The signs themselves will cost approximately $24,000 each, with the cost of two being paid for by the city. The money for the third is being raised by the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce.

The commission approved a $1,500 sponsorship for the 10th Annual Bioscience Conference, scheduled for April 2-3 and organized by the Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp. This year’s conference will be in the Worthington Event Center.

WORTHINGTON — Johnson Eye Clinic of Worthington has been purchased by Avera Medical Group, according to a press release issued Monday. The purchase is a joint venture between Avera McKennan and Avera Marshall to expand eye care services and access to specialists. Optometrists Dr. Roger Johnson and Dr. Wally Johnson will continue to practice at the newly named Avera Medical Group Optometry Worthington. The location, phone numbers and staff at Avera Medical Group Optometry Worthington will remain the same.

WORTHINGTON - The Nobles County Library will hold a special winter book sale next week from Wednesday, January 15 to Saturday, January 18. It will take place downstairs in the library conference room during regular library hours.

RUSHMORE - The Rushmore Booster Club will host their first Jigsaw Puzzle Tournament on Sunday, January 19th at the Rushmore School. Teams may have up to four members and will all complete the same 1,000 piece puzzle.

The puzzling will start at 1 p.m. and stop at 5 p.m. Winners will be determined by puzzle completion in the shortest amount of time. If no team has completed their puzzle, winners will be determined based on a count of remaining pieces. Prizes will be determined on entries received.

Entry forms and complete rules are available at the Rushmore Booster Club Facebook page or at CD’s Café, City Hall and First State Bank Southwest in Rushmore. The entry form and $25 entry fee must be received by Friday, January 10th. Please make checks payable to the Rushmore Booster Club and drop off at CD’s Cafe. For questions call Charlotte at 478-4304 or Joyce at 478-4242. Entries will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

SPENCER, Iowa - A Spencer man accused of kicking in a door of a residence and pointing a gun at the residents faces burglary and drug charges.

Spencer police say officers were called to the scene around 1:00 p.m. Sunday. Upon investigating, officers obtained a search warrant that was executed shortly before 9:30 p.m. in the 900 block of 4th Avenue West in Spencer. Authorities recovered the weapon allegedly used in the incident along with a shotgun, ammunition, and items related to drug possession and distribution.

26-year-old Nathan Tesch of Spencer was arrested and charged with burglary in the 1st degree, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute marijuana, and criminal mischief in the 4th degree. Tesch was booked into the Clay county jail pending an initial court appearance.

STORM LAKE, Iowa - Eighteen people have been arrested as part of a series investigations into drug sales in Storm Lake. Arrests were made Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Details were released Monday. The majority of those arrested were from Storm Lake, with others from Schaller, Fort Dodge, Ida Grove and Newell. Charges against the 18 range from delivery of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and mushrooms to intent to manufacture meth or possession of pseudoephedrine. Police seized 2.25 pounds of marijuana packaged for street sales, cash, drug paraphernalia and a vehicle believed to be used in the transportation of drugs, officials said.

INWOOD, Iowa - MidAmerican Energy crews scrambled to get power back on for nearly 792 Inwood customers left in the dark Monday due to a downed power line.

MidAmerican spokeswoman Tina Potthoff said a power line in Hudson, S.D., went down at 7:04 p.m., severing electricity to 792 homes in Inwood, 499 in Alcester, Iowa, 284 in Hudson.

Power was restored to all residents except those living in Inwood by 8:02 p.m., she said. Potthoff said the extremely cold temperatures or gusty winds may have been a factor in the downed line.

MINNESOTA - With Minnesotans still experiencing problems with the MNsure website, the state’s legislative auditor said Monday he is planning a full-throttle investigation, starting with the vendors that received tens of millions of dollars to build the state’s new health insurance exchange.

Jim Nobles said the first phase will focus on whether the IT contractors delivered on their promises and whether the state kept a close enough eye on their work.

A team from Nobles’ office will kick off the audit Tuesday morning at the state Department of Commerce, which handled the flow of federal funds to the state.
Minnesota received $46 million in federal grants to hire contractors to build the technological backbone for the website. Combined with additional federal grants for staffing and marketing, the state has received $155 million since February 2011 for the MNsure effort.

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