July 15 news

LUVERNE – The Madison, South Dakota man accused of vehicular homicide in the death of Steen woman Andrea Boeve made a brief appearance in Rock County District Court Monday with his public defender Virginia Barron.

Christopher Weber, age 25, pleaded not guilty to both the felony and gross misdemeanor vehicular homicide or operation and requested a jury trial.

Weber was charged after the incident involving his pickup and Boeve’s bicycle June 30 near Steen. The criminal complaint states that upon questioning, Weber allegedly admitted he was looking at his cell phone to do some online banking and didn’t see Boeve’s bike or the trailer she was pulling that carried her two children.

Weber, a member of the Army National Guard, works as an electrician and currently lives in Hills. He is out of jail on a $250,000 bond.

Boeve, age 33, was declared dead at the scene. The children, ages four and one, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

WORTHINGTON – According to Worthington Director of Community and Economic Development Brad Chapulis, there was no contact from Northland Mall Realty regarding their plans for the old K-mart portion of the mall, which means the city now has the right to move forward with demolition plans. Chapulis said he hopes to see resolution by the end of the year.

In June, Judge Gordon Moore deemed the K-Mart portion of the mall hazardous and granted the city the right to demolish the structure, but Northland Mall Realty and owner Mike Kohan were first given the opportunity to make arrangements to do so themselves. They had until July 11 to contact the city regarding the arrangements.

Chapulis said the city will now move forward with lining up the information regarding pricing for environmental and engineering services for the demolition. Phase I and II environmental studies will need to be completed, which will include looking into the environmental impact of the various enterprises that have used the building and documenting what is found.

City staff is hoping to have specs for the environmental and engineering bids prepared for the council for the July 28 meeting.

For the remainder of the mall, the court process has begun that will likely lead to a structural assessment.

WORTHINGTON – A local company is looking to expand, and eyeing the Bioscience Industrial Park as the place to do it. PurNet is a medical device and supply purchasing and sales company that currently employs 20 people in Worthington.

They are looking to construct a 10,000 square foot office building. In a letter addressed to the city, office manager Kim Collin said they are experiencing urgent growth needs and plan to employ 10 to 15 new full time employees in addition to the ones they already have, and are asking for assistance in acquiring the approximate 2.7 acres needed.

The letter states they are specifically asking that the city provide them with a site, and they will in turn create the jobs and invest to increase the community’s tax base.

During Monday night’s Worthington City Council meeting, Darlene Vortherms, founder and CEO of PurNet, went before the council to explain the need for an office expansion through its established land acquisition policy.

While all the council members were in favor of the expansion, councilman Scott Nelson voiced concern over the requested location, near the Comfort Inn & Suites and Worthington Event Center. He said there has been a request to have a restaurant in that vicinity. Mayor Alan Oberloh said he had spoken to the hotel manager, who had no problem with the location of the PurNet building.

More information will be given during the July 28 council meeting.

In other business, two tax abatements for the Nobles Home Initiative were approved, and two committee appointments approved - Paul Karelis for a vacancy on the Police Civil Service Committee and Aaron Hagen for the Worthington Public Utilities Water and Light Commission.

SHELDON, Iowa – One Sheldon man was hospitalized and another jailed following a stabbing incident that happened in Sheldon late Friday night.

Sheldon Police say that about 11:30 Friday night, 23-year old Derek Bucher had gotten into an altercation with 27-year old Zackery James Dean Soesbe at a residence on North 5th Avenue, and that Bucher had been stabbed once in the chest with a knife. Bucher was taken to the Sanford Sheldon Medical Center, then airlifted to Sanford Sioux Falls.
About an hour later, Sheldon Police officers and O’Brien County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Soesbe at his apartment in downtown Sheldon. Soesbe faces a felony charge of assault, and was taken to the O’Brien County Jail in Primghar.

Police say the investigation is ongoing, and additional charges are possible.

AKRON, Iowa — One of the two Akron residents who were found dead in their home last week died of blunt-force trauma — that from an autopsy report from the Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny.

The bodies of 83-year old Donald John Neunaber, and 80-year old Esther Grace Neunaber of rural Akron were found on Wednesday evening, July 9th.

The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner says that the cause of death for Esther Neunaber will be certified as blunt force injuries. Her manner of death is classified as a homicide. The cause and manner of death for Donald Neunaber is pending additional laboratory testing.

The couple’s son who had recently been living with them, Jonathan Neunaber was returned to Plymouth County over the weekend and is being held in the Plymouth County Jail. Deputies transported Jonathan Neunaber from La Crosse, Wisconsin where he had been arrested after a traffic stop. Jonathan Neunaber did make an initial appearance in Plymouth County and is being held without bond as a material witness in the death investigation. He has not been charged with any crime.

However, the vehicle he was driving at the time of his arrest was seized and is being held in La Crosse. The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office and DCI are working on getting the vehicle to the DCI lab in Des Moines where a crime scene team will process the vehicle for evidentiary purposes. The vehicle is a 2006 Buick, which was registered to Donald and Esther Neunaber.

Plymouth County authorities say the investigation continues.


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I hope that the victim's family will be compensated. - BannersBroker

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