August 5 news

KENNETH – A Rushmore woman was killed Monday afternoon when her vehicle rear-ended a dump truck south of Kenneth, according to information released by Rock County Sheriff Evan Verbrugge.

Ashley Von Holtum, age 26, was northbound on County Road 3 a half-mile north of County Road 8 in a Chevrolet S-10 Crew Cab at approximately 1:50 p.m. There was an unmanned, controlled burn being conducted approximately ½ mile north. The wind had picked up and shifted, causing smoke to cross over the roadway. Von Holtum rear-ended a gravel side dump truck, which is owned by Russell Knutson, Magnolia. The dump truck was being driven by Gary Akkerman, age 65, of Luverne.

Fire and Rescue crews had to extract Von Holtum from the vehicle, where she was airlifted by Trauma 1 and sent to Sanford Sioux Falls. Von Holtum was pronounced dead at Sanford Sioux Falls. She was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Akkerman was not injured. Assisting the Rock County Sheriff’s Office at the scene was the Rock County Ambulance, Kenneth Fire Department, Magnolia Fire Department, Luverne Fire Department and the Minnesota State Patrol.

WORTHINGTON – Since lifting the non-essential watering ban, Worthington Public Utilities Manager Scott Hain said the water level at Well 26 in the Lake Bella Well Field has dropped slightly, but is still four inches above the 16-year average. He said he has not seen a large spike in water usage since lifting the ban, and that only a few warnings have been given out for people watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

WORTHINGTON – Over at the Nobles County Fair, today is entry day for 4-H non-livestock projects, as well as open class exhibits. All open class items must be brought in today between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The fair officially kicks off tomorrow, when the 4-H building open at 10 a.m. The 4-H Dairy show begins Wednesday at 11 a.m., with the District Dairy Show to follow. The Commercial Buildings open at noon and the 4-H Rabbit show is at 4 p.m. In the Grandstand on Wednesday night is the tractor pull, starting at 7 p.m.

ALPHA - An Alpha man was injured in a one vehicle rollover north of Alpha late Friday night. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Alpha Fire Department and Jackson Fire Department and Ambulance Service were dispatched around 11 p.m. Friday night to a one-vehicle rollover on County Road 29, just north of 820th Street.

Upon arrival, they located a 2002 Ford pickup on its top in a field on the east side of County Road 29. They did not find anyone at the scene. The vehicle was owned by 38 year-old Daniel Schultz of rural Alpha. Deputies were able to contact Schultz, who had been driving the vehicle, and met with him at the Sanford Jackson Medical Center where he was treated and released. The pickup was a total loss.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - County Recorder's Offices are warning Iowa property owners of some fraudulent notifications being received in some parts of the state. Dickinson County Recorder Ann Ditsworth says the notifications advise that there's been "deed activity recorded in public record" on their property and that they need to obtain a copy of the current deed to see what that is. Although none have been received locally, there have been report in the state of people getting such a letter that alarms them into thinking they need to check their deed, Ditsworth said, which the letter assists them in doing for $70 to $85, far beyond what it what cost them to do locally.

Ditsworth says the Iowa Attorney General's Office is now getting involved to try to figure out the origin of the bogus notices. They are hoping to hear from any Iowan who has received this type of solicitation, whether or not the person responded.

Ditsworth says anyone who gets such a correspondence should simply contact their local County Recorder's Office. They should also contact Stephen Switzer at the Iowa Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 1305 E Walnut St, Des Moines, Ia. 50319 or call (515) 281-8771.

STORM LAKE, Iowa - A former juvenile court worker in Storm Lake has pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse involving a 14-year-old female client. 26-year-old Trent Prather of Estherville entered a written plea of not guilty in Buena Vista County District Court to one count of third-degree sexual abuse.

Prather is accused of having sex with a girl while she was in the juvenile court system in 2008. Prather worked as a community service supervisor for the Buena Vista County Juvenile Courts Office at the time.

Court documents state that Prather told the girl he would eliminate her court-ordered community service hours if she had sex with him. Prather's trial is set for November 18th.

SHELDON, Iowa — The long-awaited demolition of the burned-out shell that once housed Buddz’s Sports Bar and the Rec Bowl in Sheldon began Monday. Heavy equipment could be seen on the site removing pieces of the structure and depositing them into a large roll-off dumpster for disposal. Sheldon City Manager Scott Wynja says he would expect the removal of the building to be completed this week.

The building was slated for demolition in late June of this year, but that was put on hold once the asbestos abatement contractors discovered that their permit to remove asbestos from the structure had expired. It seems that the permit was good for one year, and had been obtained shortly after the fire that gutted the building in May of 2013. A new permit was obtained, and removal of asbestos was completed last week, paving the way for the building’s demolition.

The City of Sheldon is removing the structure after it was declared a nuisance under City ordinance. Wynja says that, while the City is footing the bill for the removal, there will be a lien placed against the property so that the City will be reimbursed when the lot is sold.

The structure was heavily damaged in a fire that happened in May 2013. The owner of the business, along with one of her employees, currently await trial on arson charges in connection with that blaze.

MINNESOTA - Researchers at the University of Minnesota are taking a unique approach to stop the spread of invasive carp in the Mississippi River.

Scientists from the university are using five underwater speakers at Lock and Dam Number 8 to produce a sound they say causes the invasive carp to swim away.The sound will play every time the lock opens and will continue until it closes.

The experimental project is believed to be the largest underwater speaker system in the world and it has been up and running for about a week near Genoa, Wisconsin.
The sound it generates is said to be equal to about 20 outboard motors.

“It produces a sound that we know, from experiments in the lab and observations in the field, they hate,” Dr. Peter Sorenson told the Pioneer Press. “This is why they jump.”

The cost of the experimental project is around $75,000 for equipment and installation of the speakers. It will be paid for through trust funds in Minnesota and private donations.

Researchers will test the system for 2 1/2 years.

The fear is the invasive carp could crowd out walleye, northern pike and bass in the headwaters of the Mississippi and around Minnesota – and the economic impact that could have on the state’s fishing industry.


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Accidents are getting frequent. I hope people will be considerate as well as careful. - Dr. Hicham Riba

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