March 10 news

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WORTHINGTON – The King’s Wok Chinese Restaurant is facing an estimated $150,000 in damages after a fire that was reported just before 3 a.m. Saturday morning. The Worthington Fire Department was called to the scene after a witness reported seeing smoke coming from the roof.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were already coming through the roof of the building.

Worthington Fire Department Second Assistant Chief Chris Cummings believes the blaze may have started near the women’s restroom or a small meeting room.

Firefighters worked from the basement to the main level, and the stone facade on the north side of the building had to be partially torn out to gain access to the fire.

No injuries were reported, and crews were on the scene until about 7 a.m.

ALPHA - Four people were injured in a one-vehicle rollover around 7a.m. Saturday morning on Interstate 90 just west of Alpha. 20 year-old Veronique Johnson of Sioux Falls was driving a 2005 GMC Envoy eastbound on I-90 when she lost control, entered the median ditch and rolled.

Johnson and two passengers in her car, 4 year-old Danean Smith and 2 year-old Deair Smith were taken to the Sanford Jackson Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A third passenger, 26 year-old Victoria Smith of Sioux Falls was taken to the Worthington Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Johnson’s Envoy sustained severe damage during the rollover.

SIBLEY, Iowa - A northwest Iowa hospital will pay a woman $75,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit after she was denied a job because she has cerebral palsy.

As part of the court settlement Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley must adopt and distribute to employees a policy prohibiting discrimination, must train employees, and report regularly to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on its compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Court documents say the EEOC filed a lawsuit in 2012 claiming the hospital's day care program, Bright Beginnings, discriminated against Jodene Kruse in 2007 by failing to hire her "out of an unfounded fear that her disability meant she could not safely care for the children."

The EEOC says Kruse volunteered at the day care center and worked as a bus driver.

SPENCER, Iowa - A teen has admitted to leaving a threat on a wall Thursday that resulted in an early dismissal at Spencer High School. The Spencer Police Department announced Friday a 16-year-old student at the school has confessed to leaving the threat.

The student, whose name hasn't been released, was charged with making a terroristic threat, a class "D" felony. He has been released to the custody of his parents. Police say the case has been transferred to juvenile probation authorities.

HOSPERS, Iowa — An alleged undocumented worker who worked in Hospers has been arrested on identity theft charges. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Thursday, March 6, they arrested Napoleon Aristides Hernandez-Cruz on charges of Identity Theft, Possession of a Falsified Social Security Card and two counts of Forgery.
The arrest resulted from an investigation by the sheriff’s office following a complaint filed by the victim.

Hernandez-Cruz was arrested at his place of employment in Hospers.

YANKTON, SD - The fire that burned down the Colonial Inn Tuesday morning in Yankton is believed to have been deliberately set.

The fire caused an estimated $500,000 in damage. There was no one staying in the motel at the time.

Multiple agencies responded to the fire around 1 a.m. Tuesday and after further investigation, authorities determined the fire was started intentionally. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released a photo of the suspect that they're seeking as a person of interest in the case.

There is a $5,000 reward for anyone that has any information leading to an arrest in the case.
Anyone with information about the arson should call the ATF's Sioux Falls office at (605) 782-8200; the Yankton Police Department at (605) 668-5210; or Crime Stoppers at (605) 665-4440.

MINNESOTA – According to Sen. Bill Weber, a bill will be formally introduced to the legislation today requesting $69 million in bonding money for completion of the Minnesota portion of the Lewis and Clark Rural Water Pipeline. This money is necessary due to the failure of the federal government to carry through on its commitment to this project, Weber said. Future appropriations from the federal government would go to pay the state back for these funds. Weber said he has bipartisan co-signers on this bill and Representatives Rod Hamilton and Joe Schomacker are handling the house side of the issue.

ST. PAUL - The state Commerce Commissioner says more people have signed up for Minnesota's solar energy incentive program than the program can support.

The Made in Minnesota incentive program helps homeowners and businesses install solar energy systems manufactured in the state. The Legislature set up the program last year and established a $15 million annual budget for the next 10 years, funded by Minnesota's utilities.

Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman says the program is a "phenomenal" success.

That means applications received in January and February will have to be selected by lottery.

The solar incentive program is part of a new law that also requires large utilities to produce 1.5 percent of their electricity using solar by 2020. The state's overall goal is 10 percent by 2030.

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