May 1 News

SIBLEY -- Devan Vander Veen, a senior at Sibley-Ocheyedan High School, was elected Iowa FFA vice president representing the Northwest Region during the 86th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference Tuesday night in Ames.

Vander Veen was one of 24 candidates vying for a position on the state officer team and continues a four-year string of state officers hailing from the Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA Chapter. To earn the state officer position, Vander Veen participated in a two-day interview process last week that included seven rounds of personal questions, speeches and essay writing.

He will now serve alongside eight fellow officers for the next year, helping to present leadership camps and workshops, travel to chapters throughout the state and carry the message of agriculture and the FFA to high school students. The team will also coordinate the 87th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference next spring in Ames.

JACKSON -- The Minnesota State FFA Convention wrapped up this last week with over 3,000 members, staff and alumni in attendance. Rebecca Dose, a sophomore at Jackson County Central, earned first place in the talent competition as part of the Sunday convention activities.

In her first time competing in the FFA Talent Show on Sunday, Dose sang “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles and accompanied herself on piano. Her performance topped that of 14 other competitors and earned her the opportunity to vie for an invitation to the National FFA Convention in late October in Louisville, Ky.
The FFA Talent Show took place Sunday inside the University of Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena, kicking off the 2014 Minnesota FFA Convention. Dose was announced the contest winner during the evening session.

In addition to participating in the FFA Talent Show, Dose served on the JCC FFA’s Food Science and Technology career development team event. The team placed third at state.

WORTHINGTON -- Also stemming from the Minnesota FFA Convention, Deb Martin, ag teacher and FFA Advisor from Worthington, was one of 19 individuals to be presented the Honorary State FFA Degree. The honor is presented to teachers, individuals and companies who have demonstrated continued success and support of the FFA and/or ag education, and made a significant impact and contribution to the success of students and the organization. More details on honors and awards earned by area individuals at kwoa.com.

WORTHINGTON -- Numerous events and activities will await children during Saturday’s Health Kids Day at the Worthington Area YMCA. From 10:00am to noon, children ages 4 and older are invited to the YMCA at 1501 College Way in Worthington to participate in activities that will teach them about living healthy. The event is free and open to both members and non-members of the YMCA.The program, which is a nationwide initiative, will feature games, arts and crafts and healthy snacks. The Optimist Club will also give away four bicycles. Children can also check out a Worthington Police Department squad car, a fire truck from the Worthington Fire Department, and a Sanford ambulance. The first 75 children will receive a free Healthy Kids Day T-shirt.

ST. PAUL -- A compromise between gun supporters and those who want to protect domestic abuse victims won overwhelming approval in the Minnesota House on Wednesday as representatives voted to keep guns out of the hands of abusers. Representatives voted 121-15 for the bill. A similar bill awaits Senate action.

The bill requires guns to be surrendered by people convicted of child and domestic abuse, as well as those who are subjects of a protection order that may be issued before trial. In either case, guns would be given up only after court actions. A gun owner would not give up ownership, and people who give up guns could get them back. Guns could be surrendered to law enforcement agencies, third parties or federally licensed gun dealers.

On another bill, the House unanimously approved allowing courts to order global positioning tracking units to be placed on some domestic abuse suspects. A law allowing that expired early this year, and the new bill extends the authority.

STATE NEWS -- The annual tally of new HIV cases in Minnesota dropped slightly last year, the state health department reported Wednesday.
The state tabulated 301 new cases during 2013, down 4 percent from 314 new cases the previous year.

Among people living with AIDS and the virus that causes it, racial and ethnic minority groups along with men who have sex with men continue to be over-represented, the health department said. New HIV cases remain concentrated in the Twin Cities metro area with 82 percent, according to the new report. Nearly one in three reported HIV cases were among 20- to 29-year-olds. No new HIV cases were reported among infants during 2013. The number of cases among injection drug users dropped from 23 cases during 2012 to 14 cases in 2013.

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I hope next time they will announce here whenever there would be a musical program. - James D. Sterling

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