May 15 News

WORTHINGTON -- Detective Sgt. Kevin Flynn has been appointed interim director of public safety for the Worthington Police Department. The department’s current chief, Mike Cumiskey announced his retirement Monday. On Tuesday, the civil services commission gave the go-ahead for City Administrator Craig Clark to appoint Flynn to the interim position. Flynn, who has been with the Worthington Police Department for 23 years, will begin his new duties at 5:00pm on Friday.

Flynn began as a patrol officer for the department in 1991. He was then promoted to detective in March 1996 and detective sergeant in 2005. The civil services commission now has 180 days to find a permanent police chief, but Flynn said he’s not looking to fill that position. Even though Flynn could be the interim chief for up to six months, he will assist the department with investigations. When his duties as interim chief are fulfilled, Flynn will return to his current position as detective sergeant.

ADRIAN -- A South Dakota man was injured Tuesday when a semi he was driving left the road and rolled on Interstate 90 in Nobles county. The Minnesota State Patrol says 47-year-old Lonnie Roth of Mitchell, South Dakota was driving a 2000 Peterbilt westbound near Adrian when he lost control. The rig left the road and rolled in the median.

Roth was taken by ambulance to Sanford Hospital in Worthington with non life-threatening injuries. The semi was totaled. The crash took place shortly after 3:00 p.m. The Minnesota State Patrol was assisted by the Adrian Police Department and the Nobles County Sheriff's Office.

FAIRMONT -- The Fairmont area school board learned this week during the operations committee report given at the end of the regular meeting that the all route buses for the Fairmont area schools will be equipped with four security cameras in the coming school year. Supt. Joe Brown said that the school district and Minnesota motor bus will share the cost of about 10,400 dollars per entity.

The cameras will record both video and audio. Older cameras now in six of the buses will be reinstalled in two special education vehicles. Mr. Brown said the decision on the purchase of the cameras was made in part because of the new bullying law that passed in theMminnesota state legislature and the fact that some bullying situations occur on buses.

SPIRIT LAKE, IOWA -- The Spirit Lake Protective Association, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and members of the Dickinson County Clean Water Alliance invite the public to a short presentation and open house from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 20 at Mini-Wakan State Park Shelter House located on the north shore of Big Spirit Lake.

Presenters will address the upcoming restoration project on Marble and West Hottes Lakes. Water quality and habitat in these two lakes has degraded over time providing reduced benefits to fish and wildlife. Marble and West Hottes lakes are extremely important to the health of Big Spirit Lake and the entire Iowa Great Lakes chain. When healthy, they are an important nursery area for fish, provide wildlife habitat, and filter nearly 20 percent of the water entering Big Spirit Lake.

Survey and design phases of the project are complete, with construction scheduled to begin this summer. This meeting will provide an opportunity to view progress and specifics of the plan and to learn more about shallow lake and wetland management, its benefits for water quality, plants, fish, animals, and public use. The renovation plan includes a drawdown, which will stimulate plant growth, eliminate common carp, and compact bottom sediments.

PAYNESVILLE -- Investigators are taking a new look into whether the abduction of Jacob Wetterling nearly 25 years ago may be linked to similar cases in central Minnesota.
Jacob was 11 when he was abducted by a masked gunman near his St. Joseph home in October 1989. He has not been seen since and the case remains open.

Stearns County investigators are now taking a closer look at several stranger assaults that took place in Paynesville in 1986 and 1987. There were at least five assaults and the victims were all teenage boys.

Sheriff John Sanner says investigators assigned to the Wetterling abduction compared similarities with the Paynesville cases 25 years ago. Sanner says officials have been taking a new look for about six months.

ROCK RAPIDS -- Anna Van Veldhuizen, a student at Central Lyon High School in Rock Rapids, was recognized by Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds for outstanding academic achievement at the 11th annual Governor’s Scholar Recognition Ceremony in Des Moines.

The statewide program, sponsored by the Iowa Governor’s Office, Iowa High School Athletic Association and its title sponsor the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, honored 435 high school seniors from throughout Iowa.

EVANSDALE, IOWA -- Authorities have ruled out a potential suspect in the case of two young cousins whose bodies were found months after their disappearance in northeast Iowa.

Evansdale Police Chief Kent Smock says that an investigation into Michael Klunder indicates he wasn't in the area when Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins disappeared in July 2012.

Elizabeth was 8 and Lyric was 10 when they were last seen riding their bikes near a lake in Evansdale. Hunters found their bodies in a rural area several months later. Klunder became a potential suspect in the case following his death in May 2013. Shortly before he killed himself, authorities say he kidnapped a 12-year-old girl and 15-year-old girl. The younger girl escaped, but police say Klunder killed the teen.

HOWARD, SD -- Authorities say a man who died on a family farm northwest of Howard was caught in a piece of machinery. Howard is 90 miles west of Madison.

Miner County Sheriff Lanny Klinkhammer reports that 66-year-old James Rentschler died Friday after he fell and was pinned between the cab and arm of a skid steer-loader he was using to move containers of corn.

Rentschler's father found him a short time after the accident but paramedics were not able to save him. He was pronounced dead at the scene

MINNESOTA STATE NEWS -- Minnesota smartphones next year must include a way to disable them when stolen. Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill into law Wednesday requiring mobile telephone companies to include “kill switches” on smartphones and connected tablets sold beginning July 1, 2015. This new process will allow owners to disable lost and stolen devices as a way to discourage thefts.

With Dayton’s signature, Minnesota became the first state to have such a law. One out of three thefts nationally now involves a smartphone. The bill also forbids businesses from paying cash for mobile phones after police told lawmakers that many thieves who stole phones immediately sold them.

Besides the value of the phone itself, personal data can be used by thieves.

IOWA STATE NEWS -- Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is reminding Iowans that if they wish to pre-register to vote for the June 3 primary election, they must do so by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 23. Iowans may still use election day registration procedures to register to vote after the pre-registration deadline through the June 3 primary election.

"I encourage all eligible Iowans take full advantage of their right to vote by registering to vote and casting a ballot," Schultz said. "Every vote counts and it's important that Iowans participate to make sure their voices are heard."

Registering to vote is easy. Simply download the State of Iowa Official Voter Registration Form from www.sos.iowa.gov and return it to your local county auditor's office or visit your local county auditor's office to fill out a paper copy.

The Iowa Secretary of State's office offers a comprehensive app called Iowa SOS available for both Android and Apple devices to ensure voting resources are at voter's fingertips.

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Its a god thing to have a new director. I hope that they will do a better job. - Thaddeus Heffner

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