February 26 news

ADRIAN – A Fairmont couple received non-life threatening injuries Wednesday when their Honda CR-V went off the road near Adrian. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, 84-year-old Omar Behrends was westbound on I-90 around 9:03 a.m. when he lost control, went off the road to the right and hit a guard rail. The vehicle went back across the road and struck a second guardrail on the opposite side of the road. He and Janet Behrends, age 78, were taken to Sanford Worthington Medical Center.

LAKE BENTON - Due to extreme frost depth, many water lines have been freezing. In order to keep more lines from freezing, Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water is recommending customers take the temperature of the cold water coming out of their tap periodically. If the water temperature is below 34° or 35°, let the water run at a stream the size of the lead from a pencil. Continue this until mid-April or until the water temperature comes back up over 34°. Customers must contact Lincoln Pipestone Rural water at 1-800- 462-0309 to report they are running their water in order to receive an adjustment. When low water temperatures are verified, customers will be charged their average water bill while water is running.

WORTHINGTON – A Windom man is facing drug charges in Nobles County after being allegedly in possession of marijuana and more than $1,000 in cash. Authorities investigated after spotting a vehicle sitting in a parking lot with its lights around 11 p.m. Friday. Johnathan Dale Pfundt, 30, was arrested for fifth-controlled substance possession as well and possession of drug paraphernalia.

When the vehicle left the lot, police pulled it over. Authorities approached the vehicle on Oxford Street and identified the two passengers in the vehicle as Pfundt and Mark Anthony Kamm, 33. When questioning the men, the officer noticed an odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle and saw Pfundt making motions to hide a small plastic cooler between the seats.

When asked what was in the cooler, Pfundt handed the officer a large bag of marijuana. A large bundle of cash was found in Pfundt’s jacket pocket. While searching the vehicle, an officer found an additional bag of marijuana, a glass pipe used to smoke marijuana under the driver’s seat and $141 in cash.

Pfundt allegedly admitted the marijuana and cash were his.

JACKSON - Jackson County’s library system and two local school districts will benefit from the latest round of Blandin Foundation grants geared toward advancing high-speed Internet access and use in rural Minnesota communities.

Four of the 32 grants awarded last week by the Blandin Foundation are earmarked for local entities, including two for the Heron Lake-Okabena school district and one apiece for the Jackson County Library and the Round Lake-Brewster school district.

Lakefield-based Southwest Minnesota Broadband Services will support local residents and community leaders in taking advantage of the region’s growing high-speed Internet network with support of four broadband grants totaling $57,000.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - The Dickinson County Sheriff's Office has released information into a traffic stop earlier this month that resulted in the arrests of two people on drug charges.

Authorities say the vehicle was pulled over around 9 p.m. February 16th for an alleged moving violation. Upon further investigation, the deputy requested the K9 Unit be deployed on the vehicle, resulting in the discovery of drug paraphernalia in the vehicle.

The driver, 46-year-old Jaime Crosby of Spirit Lake, was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and no valid insurance.

A passenger, 44-year-old Kevin Duis of Harris, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

WEST BEND, Iowa - The West Bend-Mallard School Board voted Monday evening to keep the Mallard school building open for now, at least. According to Superintendent Amanda Schmidt, under the motion that was approved, the building will be closed if enrollment drops to 320 students, if elementary classes drop under 20 students consistently or of open enrollment out becomes more than open enrollment in. The board will also watch to see if the unspent balance would fall $100,000 in one year.

Schmidt says it will allow them to buy a little more time to plan for the future and focus on enrollment.

SHELDON, Iowa — A Sheldon “good Samaritan” was taken to the hospital after she tried to help an accident victim last week in Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police Department reports that about 8:15 a.m. February 19, 21-year-old Micah Postma of Sheldon was southbound on the ramp to Highway 60 in a 1998 Pontiac.
As Postma merged onto the on ramp, he lost control. The car slid into the north ditch and struck a light pole, causing the pole to land on top of the car. A bystander riding by attempted to check on Postma, but the car moved forward, causing the pole to slide down the car and strike her. The bystander, Sarah Butts of Sheldon was injured by the falling pole.

Butts was transported to Sanford Sheldon. Postma was not injured. He was charged with Failure to Maintain Control.

MERRILL, Iowa — A Sibley man was arrested on drug charges in Plymouth County last week. The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 4:20 a.m. on Wednesday, February 19th, one of their deputies had contact with an occupied vehicle in the Casey’s General Store parking lot in Merrill. During that contact, a search was conducted with the assistance of the sheriff’s office K9 and the Le Mars Police Department.

As a result, 44-year-old Gordon Leroy Foreman of Sibley was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into the Plymouth County Jail.

MINNESOTA - Minnesota lawmakers weren’t the only ones who returned to the state Capitol Tuesday. Hundreds of supporters of a minimum wage increase rallied in the rotunda, urging the Legislature to raise the wage to $9.50 an hour.

The rally was organized by the Raise the Wage Coalition. House Speaker Paul Thissen reiterated that the minimum wage increase is a priority for DFLers during the session that began Tuesday.

Raising the state’s minimum wage from its current $6.15 an hour to $9.50 has the support of Gov. Mark Dayton and of the leadership in the House, which passed such a bill last year. The Senate, on the other hand, backed an increase to $7.75 an hour last year and had been reluctant to embrace $9.50.

MINNESOTA - President Obama’s visit to downtown St. Paul Wednesday will cause some traffic headaches a few hours ahead of his expected 2 p.m. appearance, according to the St. Paul Police Department. The president is scheduled to appear at the renovated Union Depot to talk about transportation issues.

Police say downtown streets will remain open as usual for the Wednesday morning commute, and traffic detours will be set up at midday. For security reasons, the department won’t disclose in advance which streets will be closed. Some Metro Transit bus routes going through downtown St. Paul were detoured beginning at 4 a.m.; others will be detoured later in the morning.

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