March 3 news

WORTHINGTON — The 2014-2015 Worthington High School exchange student to Crailsheim, Germany was announced Sunday during the Worthington-Crailsheim International Banquet. Jessica Velasquez-Herrera, a WHS sophomore, will leave for Worthington’s Sister City in July with current Crailsheim exchange student Lars Opaczek, where she will study for one year.

Velasquez-Herreras will join a long list of Worthington High School alumni to participate in the Worthington-Crailsheim Exchange Program. The exchange began in 1947, and is believed to be the oldest sister city relationship still in existence post-World War II, according to Janice Berger, who presided over Sunday’s program.

WORTHINGTON - the Worthington Regional Healthcare Foundation on Friday presented a $169,792 check to Sanford Worthington Medical Center to be used to replace one of the hospital’s four ambulances. The Foundation, created five years ago with funds from the sale of the hospital to Sanford, has contributed nearly $1 million to health-related causes.

The new ambulance will take approximately six months to build and will come equipped with a Stryker battery-powered cot. Some equipment from the retiring ambulance will be used in the new one – other equipment will need to be purchased.

STORM LAKE, Iowa - An investigation into some alleged illegal drug activity at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake has resulted in the arrest of a Spirit Lake man.

Storm Lake police say the college's security staff located and seized a small amount of what's alleged to be marijuana from a dorm room on February 13th. Following a subsequent investigation, police arrested 18-year-old Spencer Carlson on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. Carlson was booked into the Buena Vista county jail on a $1,000 cash bond.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - One of the lakes area's largest employers has been designated as a Blue Zones Worksite.

Lakes Regional Healthcare received the designation after meeting various criteria and pledge actions. They include leadership, purpose, habitat and physical environment, engagement and creation of social networks, and policies and benefits. Spirit Lake is one of 19 Blue Zones Project demonstration sites in Iowa.

PRIMGHAR, Iowa — The Primghar Fire Department was called to a residential fire just before 3 a.m. Saturday, three miles west of Primghar. The house, owned by Spring Kamp was a total loss. Primghar Fire Chief Gary Lansink said the department called Paullina Fire Department for mutual aid, but the house was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived. Flames were already through the roof, which had caved in.

No one was home at the time the fire started – the blaze was reported by a passerby. A detached garage was also on fire, but firefighters were able to save the structure, located about six feet from the house. Chief Lansink says the cause is undetermined. Firefighters were able to save a cat, which had been singed in the flames.

HULL, Iowa — A 12-year-old girl from Hull was honored at a special ceremony on Friday. Teresa Alverado, a student at Boyden-Hull Elementary School, was recognized for a courageous act that the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office said helped save her mother’s life.

On December 13, 2013, while at their home in Hull, Teresa’s mother, Crystal Uvieta, was having trouble breathing; she soon collapsed and became unresponsive. Alvarado, although obviously upset, was able to call 911 and provide necessary information to the dispatcher and later to responding medical personnel. These acts of courage by Alvarado likely saved the life of her mother, says the Sheriff’s Office.

Teresa was presented with certificates of recognition from Sioux County Sheriff Dan Altena and Iowa State Representative Dwayne Alons.

WASECA - A Marine from Waseca was killed in Afghanistan Friday, according to his sister. Lance Cpl. Caleb Erickson, 20, was in the last truck in a convoy that was attacked by a suicide bomber at about 4 p.m. local time, Rue Erickson said Saturday.
He was airlifted to a medical facility, where he died. No one else in the convoy suffered life-threatening injuries, she said.

Erickson was a 2012 graduate of Waseca High School, where he was involved in football, wrestling and other activities. He joined the Marines immediately after high school. Erickson began his tour of duty to Afghanistan last September and was about two months away from coming home.

MINNESOTA - The two Carleton College students injured in a two-vehicle crash Friday that killed three others remained hospitalized Sunday.

William Sparks, 20, of Evanston, Ill., was in satisfactory condition. Conor J. Eckert, 19, of Seattle, remained in serious condition Sunday at Hennepin County Medical Center, said hospital spokeswoman Christine Hill. Eckert has been in serious condition since he arrived at the hospital, she said.

The accident happened while Sparks was driving four teammates to the Minneapolis airport en route to an Ultimate Frisbee tournament in California. Traveling on an icy road outside Northfield, the vehicle slid across the centerline and was hit broadside by an oncoming semitrailer truck just before 3 p.m. on Friday.

The other three teammates — James P. Adams, 20, of St. Paul, Paxton M. Harvieux, 21, of Stillwater, and Michael D. Goodgame, 20, of Westport, Conn., were killed in the collision near the junction of Hwy. 3 and County Road 47.

The truck driver, from Tennessee, was not injured.

The State Patrol said no signs of alcohol were detected in either driver.

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