May 19 News

SIOUX FALLS, SD -- Police say a drunk driver may be to blame for hitting a semi-truck and damaging a traffic signal in Sioux Falls, overnight.

Just after 1:00 a.m. Police say the driver of a BMW ran a flashing red light at Cliff Avenue and Benson Road. They also say the driver slammed into the passenger side of a semi-truck. The driver of the BMW was hurt but not critically and was arrested for DWI. Two other people were passengers in that car. One of the passengers received medical treatment, the other refused it.

The driver of the semi-truck was not hurt.

ABERDEEN, SD -- Former Northern State University Men's Basketball Coach Don Meyer died Sunday following a six-year battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.

The Meyer family issued this statement: "Don Meyer peacefully went to heaven on Sunday morning, May 18, 2014. He won his greatest victory and is now running again and gearing up to pitch nine innings. The family appreciates the outpouring of love, prayers and concern."

Funeral arrangements are pending, but a service will be held at the Barnett Center, on the campus of Northern State University, in Aberdeen. The longtime coach had been in hospice care since Tuesday.

MILFORD, IOWA -- The Iowa Economic Development Authority today (Fri.) approved a package of incentives to assist Polaris Industries with an expansion of its operations in Milford.

The authority approved a $300,000 forgivable loan and $706,000 in tax credits for Polaris Industries.

Polaris Industries plans to install a new assembly line that will produce off-road vehicles at the former Style Craft plant in Milford.

The company plans to add 150 jobs there.

SPENCER, IOWA -- A man who was sentenced in connection with the 1997 death of Gregory "Sky" Erickson may someday be eligible for parole as the result of a new sentence handed down this morning.

Judge David Lester re-sentenced 32-year-old Ryan Wedebrand to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Wedebrand had been serving sentences of life without the possibility of parole since his conviction in 1998 of first degree murder and first degree kidnapping. He asked to be re-sentenced after a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that found it is unconstitutional to automatically sentence teens to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Wedebrand was 16 at the time Erickson was kidnapped from a Spencer apartment and was taken to an abandoned farm house near Petersburg, Minnesota where he was tortured and fatally shot.

The judge's ruling leaves any future parole for Wedebrand up to the determination of the State Parole Board.

Wedebrand was one of 10 people convicted in Erickson's death.

WILLAR -- Another new scam has reached the area, according to the Willmar Police Department.

According to a post on the department’s Facebook page, the department has received reports of people receiving what appears to be a legitimate email from the IRS about crediting their tax refund directly to their credit card. This email asks for their Social Security Number and credit card information.

This is a fraudulent email and the Police Department advises citizens to not provide this information.

The email appears to be a legitimate website with IRS contact information. Use caution. The IRS does not refund to a credit card.

JACKSON -- The filing period for the offices of Jackson County sheriff, attorney, recorder and auditor/treasurer and two seats on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners begins next week.

A pair of soil and water conservation district supervisor positions — in Districts 2 and 4, the same districts with expiring county commissioner terms — are also up for election.

Locals interested in holding those offices must file their candidacy sometime between 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 20, and 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, at the office of the county auditor/treasurer inside the Jackson County Courthouse. The office will be closed Monday, May 26, in observance of Memorial Day.

Jackson County Auditor/Treasurer Kevin Nordquist, the county’s top election official, said candidates need only file their intent to seek office with some basic personal information and a filing fee — $20 for soil and water conservation district supervisor, $50 for all other county offices.

The filing period for the county offices is the same as for various federal and state offices, including U.S. senator and District 1 representative, District 22B and 23A state representative, governor and lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, attorney general, associate justices on the state’s supreme court, seven seats on the court of appeals and eight seats within the fifth judicial district.

JACKSON -- Jackson County Commissioners on Tuesday did their part to help keep invasive Asian carp out of local waters.

The commissioners approved the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ acquisition of a perpetual flowage easement on privately owned farmland in far western Jackson County. With the easement in hand, the DNR plans to remove culverts from the nearby township road and erect electric barriers in an attempt to prevent the carp-free Okabena Creek from ever becoming contaminated by the infested waters of the Little Sioux River should either ever overflow.

“The goal is to not allow the carp to jump watersheds, from the Little Sioux to the Des Moines River Watershed,” said DNR fisheries official Ryan Doorenbos. “When we remove the culverts, we will essentially be using the township road as a barrier between watersheds.”

An electric barrier will serve as a Plan B in case creek waters should ever rise over the road.

MARSHALL -- The end-of-session clock ticking loudly in the background, the Minnesota Senate on Friday passed a construction bill that includes $846 million in General Obligation bonds, plus an additional $200 million in one-time cash from the state's budget surplus for further investments in infrastructure projects across the state. The bill includes $4.298 million for Marshall's regional amateur sports complex.

The $4 million for the sports complex has been long-sought by city leaders who have waited years for state bonding support. Not having the state in its corner would've meant a scaled-back version of the project. For example, without state support, the facility would have one sheet of ice instead of the two project backers planned for.

Paul Erickson, executive director of the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission, said it's not uncommon for projects to have to go to the well time and time again to secure state bonding dollars.

Revenue from voter-approved local sales taxes has been coming in since last year. Marshall put three voter-approved local sales taxes into effect in 2013: a one-half percent general sales tax, a 1.5 percent lodging tax and a 1.5 percent tax on prepared food and beverages. The taxes are meant to generate capital and operating revenue for the sports center, as well as expansion to the MERIT Center, which was not granted its $2.5 million request this year but does have $1 million in state money in the bank that will be used to get the project started.

Southwest Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission co-chairman Roger Madison said inclusion in this year's bonding bill is a culmination of a six-year process that started with a strong partnership with the MASC.

According to the SMASC website, the sports complex is planned to be 78,200 sq. ft. with two sheets of ice. There will be 1,200 seating in the main arena, 200 in the building housing the secondary sheet. The facility has the capacity for wrestling, basketball, and volleyball and also for special events including expos.

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Its really sad to have an accident but it could be worse if someone died. - Banners Broker

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