May 16 News

MINNESOTA STATE NEWS -- Today, the Minnesota House passed a bonding bill that includes $846 million in bonds and an additional bill that includes $200 million in further investments in infrastructure projects. In the House bill, money has been set aside to help finance the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System that will provide desperately needed water to several communities in southwestern Minnesota.

The spending deal would pay Lewis and Clark $22 million in cash and allow local officials to sell bonds to fund the remaining $45 million of project costs. Local governments would repay a third of the bonds over 20 years, with the state paying the other two-thirds.

Minnesota is getting involved because the federal government backed off a promise to pay for the system, which is to bring water from near the Missouri River in South Dakota. Federal funds dried up when the project reached the Minnesota-South Dakota line. The solution was to remove the system from the state bonding bill and instead pay to get water to the Luverne area from the state budget surplus. The rest of the project, moving water to the Worthington area, would be funded by provisions in a tax bill. That required juggling other provisions, including reducing Local Government Aid increases House and Senate tax negotiators had planned to send to cities.

The spotlight for much of the past few days was on public works projects, especially Lewis and Clark. Rep. Rod Hamilton of Mountain Lake said that while the Lewis and Clark provisions would provide full funding for the water system, southwest Minnesota leaders will continue to pressure federal officials to pay what they promised.

JACKSON -- Voices raised and tempers flared Tuesday during a public hearing on the proposed construction of a 345-kilovolt transmission line across the heart of Jackson County.

The evening hearing in Jackson was the second in a series of four scheduled this week, all of which were presided over by James LaFave, administrative law judge with the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings. It is LaFave who is tasked with issuing a recommendation on the need for the project and the route of the line to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which renders the final decision on if and where the line is constructed.

Close to a dozen members of the public addressed the judge Tuesday, with the majority expressing some concern with one or more of the proposed routes. Between 15 and 20 miles of the 75-mile line would run across Jackson County. Two primary routes have been proposed — both north of Interstate 90 — along with a handful of variations within those routes.

JACKSON -- It appears Cottonwood and Jackson counties will soon be sharing a county parks and trails position. Subcommittees of the two counties recently ironed out the details and advertisements have been running in an effort to fill the position. The deadline for applications is May 23.

The two counties decided to share the position partly because it allows one person to have a greater focus on parks and trails (rather than multiple other responsibilities), but also to expand the number of campsites to include on grant applications. This will make the two counties' park systems eligible for significant grants.

WINDOM --The Windom Police Department is holding two individuals in connection with suspected burglaries at Peterson Jewelry and Verizon Wireless in Windom.

Formal charges are pending against a 20-year-old male from Northridge, Calif., and a 30-year-old female from Storden. The two were taken into custody on suspicion of burglary.

According to a release from the Windom Police Department, officers were dispatched to Peterson Jewelry in reference to a burglary alarm at 5:00am Thursday. Upon arrival, an officer observed a vehicle leaving the parking lot area and subsequently stopped the van near Casey's General Store in Windom.

Through investigation, it was determined that the two individuals in the vehicle had allegedly committed burglaries at Peterson Jewelry and Verizon Wireless on the west side of the Square in Windom.

The 20-year-old California male ran from the officer at the scene of the traffic stop. With help from the Fairmont Police Department's K-9 Unit and residents in the 500 block of Quevli Ave., the male was taken into custody on suspicion of burglary as was the 30-year-old Storden female.

The incident remains under investigation by the Windom Police Department.

SIBLEY, IOWA -- A Hartley man will serve some probation after he pled guilty to OWI.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 23-year-old Jordan Jeffery Clark of Hartley pled guilty to Operating While Intoxicated, Second Offense, an aggravated misdemeanor.
Clark is to pay a fine of $1850, surcharges and court costs, and restitution of any court-appointed attorney fees.

He was sentenced to a year in the Osceola County Jail with all but 10 days suspended, during a two-year formal probation to the Sheriff.

SHELDON, IOWA -- The Sheldon School District Board of Education approved a motion to consider the termination of the contract of East Elementary principal Tanya Langholdt during a special meeting Wednesday, May 14. The effective date of the proposed termination is June 30 at the end of the 2013-14 contract year. No reason was given for the decision. She has served as principal of the school since the 2010-11 school year.

ARNOLDS PARK, IOWA -- The Arnolds Park city council met in regular session Wednesday evening, but the appointment of a new Mayor was not among the items on the agenda.

Mayor Pro-Tem John Adams, Sr. said a committee consisting of himself and a couple of other council members continue to gather names of those interested in the position. He says a special council meeting will likely be held next week regarding the matter.

Mike Mitchell abruptly resigned earlier this month, after serving 20 plus years, saying he and his wife would be moving out of town.

ARNOLDS PARK, IOWA -- Arnolds Park Amusement Park will be opening its door this Saturday.
Renovation on the world's second largest wooden roller coaster, 'The Legend', is now complete.
'The Legend' is celebrating its 88th year of providing thrills to all of its riders. Riders can expect a much different experience this year when they buckle up. The first phase of the renovation started two winters ago.

The park will be celebrating 125 years next year. The Arnolds Park Amusement Park opens this Saturday at 10 a.m. and is open until 7 p.m. Each year, there are around 250,000 people who make their way through the park and around 120,000 people ride the roller coaster.

OKOBOJI, IOWA -- The Iowa Court of Appeals will hear a couple of cases later this month in the Iowa Great Lakes. Judges will hear oral arguments in two cases May 30th at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Okoboji as part of the annual Lawyer's Chautauqua.

The cases that will be heard are out of Woodbury and Cerro Gordo counties. The Woodbury county case deals with disputed alimony; the case out of Cerro Gordo county involves an appeal of a man convicted of 2nd degree murder.

The proceedings will begin at 11:00 a.m. that morning and are open to the public.

SIOUX COUNTY, IOWA -- A Rock Valley woman was taken to the hospital after an accident on Tuesday, May 13th.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 6:50 PM, 31-year-old Kelly Vander Pol of Rock Valley was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt eastbound on 280th Street, 11 miles northwest of Rock Valley, when she lost control of her vehicle, which crossed the westbound lane, entered the north ditch and rolled.

Vander Pol was transported by the Canton-Inwood Ambulance to the Canton-Inwood Hospital.
Vander Pol was ticketed for failure to maintain control of her vehicle. The Rock Valley Police Department, Iowa State Patrol, Fairview, SD Fire Department, and Canton-Inwood Ambulance assisted the sheriff’s office.

PIERRE, SD -- The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission has proposed steep cuts to the number of licenses and tags available for many of the state's deer hunting seasons.
The commission says a decrease in deer population prompted the proposed cuts. The 2014 seasons could see a substantial decrease in antlerless tags.

The East River 2014 deer season would see a reduction of more than 7,000 licenses and 20,000 tags compared to 2013. The West River season would see about 4,000 fewer licenses and a reduction in tags of more than 25,000. Antlerless tags alone would be reduced by 23,000. The proposal leaves the Black Hills with no antlerless licenses for 2014. The commission expects to finalize the proposal in June.

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