January 29 news

WORTHINGTON – A request to build a mini-storage facility along First Avenue Southwest will be sent to the Nobles County Board of Adjustments for review after a joint jurisdictional committee meeting Tuesday. The intended land is located outside city limits but within a half-mile of the city; requests for altered property uses therefore go before the joint jurisdictional committee.

Allen Drost of Worthington purchased the parcel just south of Prairie Elementary last fall to build a home and the 10,000 square-foot mini storage. Weeks before Drost closed on the property, he was notified city staff would object to his plans for mini-storage units because that area had been identified as future residential. The city has invested in infrastructure, such as water and sewer lines, to provide service for residential development.

PIPESTONE – Pipestone County has been named a Yellow Ribbon Community, one of 250 cities, counties and business across the state who have committed to support Minnesota troops when they return home.

Since 2008, Yellow Ribbon communities have united all areas within a community to create a comprehensive network that connects and coordinates agencies, organizations, resources and employers for the purpose of proactively supporting service members and military families.

Cristy Appel, chairperson of Pipestone County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, said committee has done various projects during the past years, including shingling a roof for a deployed soldier, shoveling driveways so spouses of the deployed can get to work and replacing windows in homes.

For more information on how to help a military family, contact Appel at appel0411@gmail.com.

LAKEFIELD - Christopher Paulson, age 39, of Lakefield is facing drug charges following a traffic stop in Lakefield.

According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy was patrolling near Lakefield on Sunday and stopped a vehicle driven by Paulson due to faulty lighting. After further investigation, Paulson was arrested for driving while under the influence and believed to be allegedly operating a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance.

The Sheriff Department’s K-9 Bear was deployed on the vehicle. Approximately 4.3 grams of methamphetamine was located in the vehicle.

Paulson was formally charged with a misdemeanor DWI., operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance, and one felony count of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine. After posting a $15,000 bond, Paulson was released from custody.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa -The Spirit Lake City Council Tuesday awarded a bid on the city hall project that came in lower than projected. The low bid of slightly more than a million dollars was awarded to Woodruff Construction of Fort Dodge.

Steve Robinson, a representative of the architectural firm overseeing the project for the city, says he couldn't be happier with how competitive the bids were. He says four different contractors submitted bids, which they had anticipated would be 20 to 30 percent higher.

Robinson says it will likely be later in March or April before ground is broken on the project. The council was also updated Tuesday on how the project will impact the neighboring Carnegie Building and on negotiations with the owners of that building on related matters.

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa — The Rock Rapids City Council is considering the elimination of the Rock Rapids Police Department. Lone officer Jim Kille is planning on retiring this year.

Council member Dr. Cody Hoefert says they have looked at several options including a full 3-man department, some shared enforcement options similar to what is now in place, and turning all law enforcement over to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office. He says that financially, the option that made the most sense was the elimination of the Police Department and contracting with the Sheriff’s Office for all law enforcement.

If that option is selected, Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says the Sheriff’s Department would guarantee an average of 80 hours per week that officers would be working in Rock Rapids. This would include all investigations and patrol hours. During the other hours if a call or assistance were needed in Rock Rapids the officer that is covering the county would come into town and take care of the situation.

Hoefert says the council tabled making a decision at least until the next council meeting on February 10th so that the public could have a chance to comment. Rock Rapids citizens are encouraged to talk to council members and let them know their opinion on the issue, or contact them for more information.

The Lyon County Board of Supervisors would also have to approve any contract with the City of Rock Rapids for law enforcement services.

MILFORD, Iowa - Some big changes may be in store for a heavily traveled street in front of the Okoboji Elementary School in Milford. The city council Monday directed city staff to begin the process of amending an ordinance making a portion of "N" Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets one-way traffic.

The council took the action after hearing from school officials concerned over the safety of students in a drop-off, pick-up zone that's in that area.

A first reading of a proposed amendment to the ordinance that would make the change will be held at the council's February 10th meeting.

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