March 25 news

WORTHINGTON – With the 10th annual Worthington Bio Science Conference fast approaching, Abraham Algadi and Nicole Frodermann of the Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp are very busy, handling logistics and nailing down the details of the upcoming event.

On Wednesday, April 2, a pre-conference get-together will take place in the evening at the Historical Dayton House. It will be a time for conference speakers, vendors and guests to get to know each other in an informal setting.

Thursday, April 3, the event will be opened by comments from Worthington Mayor Al Oberloh. This year, the conference will take place at Worthington’s Event Center, across the street from Prairie Holdings and Newport Labs.

The theme this year is “Towards a Regional Bio-Business Ecosystem.” The event includes a presentation from Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, and the key-note speaker, Doug Berven, vice president of corporate affairs of POET. There is also a panel discussion from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester about Destination Medical Center and its impact on the southeast Minnesota economy and the rest of the state.

For more information or to register for the conference, go to

WORTHINGTON – Minnesota West Community and Technical College rolled out the red carpet Monday at the Worthington campus for a very important guest – new interim president Dr. Barbara McDonald stopped for a tour of the facility and to meet faculty, staff and community leaders.

McDonald said she was pleased to meet everyone and looked forward to getting to know people in the community. She described the upcoming year as a journey with a bright future. Education and learning is what Minnesota West is all about, she said, and engaging the community to be a part of the college is a goal.

McDonald said she knows outstate Minnesota and is used to campuses spread across a wide area, making her familiar with the rural needs of the area.

WORTHINGTON – The City of Worthington is doing what they can to help the Memorial Auditorium out of a financial bind. They approved Monday night a request for a $20,000 grant and a $16,000 booking loan to the Friends of the Auditorium. The funds will come from the impact funds of the sale of the hospital. The money was approved under the condition that a management plan showing relationships between the city advisory board and the Friends of the Auditorium be completed by July 1.

The council also held a public hearing on the improvement of Okabena Street by the water main extension. They unanimously passed the project to the next step of preparing plans and getting bids. The total cost of the project is approximately $225,000.

SLAYTON – A group calling themselves Concerned Citizens for the Future of Murray County Medical Center is petitioning the Murray County Commissioners and Hospital Board to sever the management agreement with Sanford Health and replace it with an agreement with Avera, according to a full page ad in Murray County weekly papers.

The ad states Murray County Medical Center must get back the medical providers, nurses, technicians, and support staff, as well as the patients who have left to follow them for service and care. The ad claims the management agreement will be up for renewal May 1, and states the agreement is only for the businesses end of the facility.

A community meeting regarding the medical center is scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight at the Murray County Central High School Auditorium.

MADISON - A father and son are charged with hosting an underage drinking party attended by a student athlete from Dawson who was later found dead of hypothermia.
Fifty-nine-year-old Gary Hastad and his 19-year-old son, Erik, are accused of violating the Lac qui Parle County social host ordinance, a misdemeanor. The younger Hastad is also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Eighteen-year-old Michael Anyasike was reported missing March 9 after fleeing from the party as sheriff's deputies arrived. His body was found more than 12 hours later about a mile from the Madison area farm where the party was held. A medical examiner ruled alcohol was a contributing factor to his hypothermia death.

STORM LAKE, Iowa -- Company officials say a fire-damaged turkey processing plant in Storm Lake is expected to remain closed through Tuesday.

Saturday night's blaze caused a portion of the roof to collapse at the Hillshire Brands plant. One firefighters was injured but was soon released after being treated at a hospital. Fire crews from four departments were sent to the plant, which employs around 600 people.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

MINNESOTA - Minnesotans entitled to share in $49 million of new individual income tax breaks should wait a week and a half to file tax returns, according to state revenue officials. If taxpayers who qualify for one of 10 new breaks file returns now, Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans added, it could be months before they get their refunds. If they wait to file until April 3, tax officials expect software and tax preparers to be ready to handle law changes state legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton approved Friday.

Frans said he hopes to have a better idea by Thursday how long his department will need to finish the work reviewing tax returns for missed breaks.

In many cases, Revenue Department employees hope to make changes themselves and increase refunds for those who qualify, without taxpayers taking any further action. In other cases, the department will notify taxpayers they must file an amended return to take advantage of the law.

The tax bill lawmakers passed and Dayton signed on Friday set aside $1 million for the department to undertake the job.

While tax cuts overall amounted to $443 million, just $49 million of them affect individual income tax returns being filed now.

Frans said that he expects Minnesotans to have a lot of questions, so his department is increasing the number of operators at its call center: (651) 296-3781 and (800) 652-9094.


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I feel happy and proud that Worthington is moving into progress. I wish to go back someday. grew up there. - Steven Wyer


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