July 9 news

WORTHINGTON – The Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a request from Sheriff Kent Wilkening to hire Chris Dybevick as the new Chief Deputy, replacing the recently retired Chris Heinrichs. Dybevick is currently the captain of the Worthington Police Department, where he has served for the past 27 years.

Wilkening is anticipating a start date of August 7 for Dybevick. According to the request Wilkening submitted to the board, he feels Dybevick has the supervisory and leadership experience needed to assist the sheriff in running the office. There would be no financial impact to the county, he stated, as the funding was already in the 2014 budget.

During a busy and lengthy meeting, the commissioners also approved a motion to send a letter to Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, protesting the end of the UCC Satellite Office Agreement. Recorder Lynn Wilson said the closure will only cost the county approximately $7,000 or so per year, but she feels once clients are forced to go through the state or online, turn-around times will be slower.

Conditional use permits were approved for Trent Slater of Rushmore, Knips Brothers of Magnolia and Richard Zebe of Adrian. For the Zebe permit, there were questions of whether the requirements for notification had been met, but according to Nobles County Attorney Kathy Kusz, proper notification had been sent out to township clerks and property owners.

Nobles County Public Works Director Steven Schneider informed the commissioners he would like the Minnesota Department of Transportation to do a speed study on many of the roadways coming into Worthington. Schneider said the DOT takes as look at the number of driveways and other factors and what speeds people are driving, then decides if speed limits should change. There is no cost for the service, he said.

After listening to a discussion about comparable worth studies for job descriptions in the county, the commissioners went into a closed session to discuss union negotiation strategy for a pay equity plan.

They also approved a $22,000 contract with Vetter Johnson for redesign and architectural work to be done on the stairwells in the government center. Nobles County Administrator Tom Johnson said the money is just for the design work, not the construction, which he said he assumes will be a fairly large number. The stairwells need to be completely redesigned for safety and ADA compliance, for which he said there is not a simple solution.

WINDOM - A Jeffers man is charged with first- and second-degree assault as well as possessing an explosive device after allegedly stabbing a 63-year-old neighbor several times and threatening police with a homemade bomb on Saturday.

Scott Hanson, 43, faces one count of first-degree assault resulting in great bodily harm, three counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, and an additional count of possessing an explosive device after a previous conviction of a violent crime.

The criminal complaint states the Cottonwood County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a stabbing in the 200 block of South Courthouse Avenue in Jeffers, where they found the victim with stab wounds in his back and ankle. He said Hanson had attacked him in the driveway between the two houses. He was later found to be in critical condition with lacerations to three arteries.

When officers went to Hanson’s residence to question him about the incident, Hanson allegedly appeared from the basement, charged quickly up the stairs toward the officers and kicked the door shut. During a second attempt to remove Hanson from the basement, he allegedly appeared from the basement with what looked to be a homemade explosive device in one hand and a lit propane torch in the other. This time, it was the officers who kicked the door shut.

Officers called dispatch so that the Southwest Minnesota HEAT Team could be alerted and a perimeter was set around the house. A neighboring home was evacuated a traffic for one city block stopped.

Hanson was eventually talked out of the house and taken into custody without incident. A search warrant was executed Sunday for Hanson’s residence, where officers found a six-inch bladed knife, the propane torch and a homemade bomb, according to court documents.

Hanson’s bail was set at $500,000 without conditions and $250,000 with conditions in Cottonwood County District Court.

JACKSON – The Jackson County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to deny a reimbursement request from the City of Jackson. The City paid $1,500 for an appraisal of the County Parks Building and felt it was not used by the County and should be reimbursed. The Board felt the appraisal by the City was a cost of doing business and the City was notified up front this would be their expense.

A resolution was also approved that would make the position of County Auditor/Treasurer an appointed position rather than an elected one. State legislation was passed this spring making this possible. If the resolution is not opposed, it would take effect at the end of the next term which will be elected in November. Kevin Nordquist, the current Auditor/Treasurer, is the only person who filed for this position in the upcoming election.

MILFORD, Iowa - Petitions calling for special elections for Mayor and a seat on the city council in Milford have been filed with the City Clerk's Office.

Acting City Administrator Mark Stevens said the petitions meet legal requirements and were filed prior to the deadline of 5 p.m. Monday.

Stevens says the city council will act on a resolution at its meeting this coming Monday, July 14th, directing the County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections to set a date for the special elections. Once that date is set, candidates will be able to take out nomination papers.

At a meeting June 23rd, the council voted unanimously to appoint Bill Reinsbach and Rody Peterson to fill out the terms of Mayor and a city council member, respectively. The action came on the heels of the resignations of Don Lamb as Mayor and Rick Kilts as a council member. The two stepped down citing differences with some of the other council members stemming from several factors, including what some say was the forced resignation of Matt Skaret as City Administrator

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