August 20 news

WORTHINGTON – Wiring is thought to be the cause of a fire that displaced a family of five Tuesday evening in Worthington. The Worthington Fire Department responded to a fire call at 949 11th Street at approximately 5:04 p.m. that destroyed a home inhabited by three adults and two children.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, the back of the home was already fully engulfed, and neighboring homes had to be evacuated.

With significant fire and smoke damage, Fire Chief Rick von Holdt did not feel the home would be salvageable. The American Red Cross was on hand to help the displaced family with their immediate needs.

WORTHINGTON – The Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday had a relatively light agenda during their morning session, approving a legal service agreement with the city of Adrian and a contract with attorney Kayla Johnson for Child Protective Services.

Emergency Management Director Joyce Jacobs presented the commissioners with a performance grant in the amount of $22,285, which required a matching grant from the county. Commissioners approved and accepted the grant. Jacobs also asked them for approval of the newest National Incident Management Systems Guidelines, which advises all supervisory and management staff in what amount of NIMS training is required for disaster preparedness. Jacobs said she needs to prove the county is NIMS compliant in order to be eligible for federal grants.

The commissioners expressed their preference for a majority vote when it comes to an issue regarding the PERA for correctional officers in the county. According to Sue Luing, PERA officials some time back added social security benefits to correctional officers, not knowing they needed to take a vote to do so. Counties are now being asked if they would prefer going with a majority vote or a divided decision when they vote is taken.

Nobles County Sheriff Kent Wilkening had two requests regarding personnel. A deputy is planning on using the Family Medical Leave Act, which the sheriff can only authorize for 30 days. The commissioners approved the extended leave, which is good through January 1. They also approved Wilkening’s second request to move another deputy from part-time to full-time temporarily to fill hours until the first deputy can return to duty.

During a public hearing Tuesday afternoon, a drainage authority for Judicial Ditch 76, which includes three Nobles County Commissioners and two Jackson County Commissioners, approved an outlet to Alba Grain of rural Brewster for an additional 122 acres of land.

That meeting is continued to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 16, when a recommendation will be brought forth to set a franchise fee and the annual fees as a benefiting property owner in the ditch system, to be paid by Alba Grain.

JACKSON - A Jackson man is under arrest on drug charges. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office arrested 30-year old Roland Ybarra of Jackson for 4th degree felony sale of a controlled substance.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, on August 1st, Ybarra sold approximately a half gram of methamphetamine to a confidential informant. Officers executed a search warrant at Ybarra’s residence. Additional methamphetamine was located and seized along with approximately $600 in quarters.

Additional charges are pending at this time.

SPIRIT LAKE - The Spirit Lake VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic invites area residents to an open house on today to celebrate their seventh anniversary in the community. The open house will be from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Clinic at 1310 Lake Street in Spirit Lake. There will be facility tours, live music by Jessie James and the Outlaws and refreshments.

VA staff will be available to explain Veterans’ benefits and services and encourages Veterans who are not enrolled for VA care to stop by.

SPENCER, Iowa - The Clay County Sheriff's Office is investigating the theft of construction tools that allegedly took place at a construction site in the 2300 block of 495th Street in Spencer. Authorities say the theft place sometime between 6 p.m. Friday and 7:30 a.m. Monday from a locked trailer that was forced open.

Some of the items taken include a transit unit with tripod, a staple gun, router, rechargeable batteries, hand tools, a chop saw, impact sockets and several drop cords.

Anyone with information into the incident is asked to contact the Clay County Sheriff's Office at (712) 262-3221 or contact Clay County Crimestoppers Text-A-Tip by texting crimes, or 274637. You can also log on to to leave a message.

A $500 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest or conviction of whoever is responsible.

PAULLINA, Iowa — The manure discharge from Summit Dairy near Paullina to an unnamed tributary and Mill Creek has resulted in a fish kill that on Tuesday stretched 12 miles from its source to the edge of Cherokee County. The DNR is now suggesting that livestock and pets should be kept away from the impacted waters.

The discharge occurred when rain caused runoff from the facility to enter a trench dug to redirect rain from a construction site at Summit Dairy. The runoff then crossed a soybean field and entered the unnamed tributary. A citizen called the DNR to report a fish kill in Mill Creek on Saturday, August 16.

The DNR traced the incident to the dairy. Summit Dairy responded by redirecting the runoff to a basin and added a berm to prevent further discharges to the stream. In the meantime the runoff continued to flow downstream.

Tom Roos, senior environmental specialist at the DNR’s Spencer field office says that the runoff caused an elevated level of ammonia and lowered dissolved oxygen in the creek. He says that at the 12-mile mark the ammonia level is beginning to drop, but they’re still seeing dead and dying fish downstream.

DNR fisheries will continue counting dead and dying fish, including suckers, minnows, darters, shiners, catfish, small largemouth bass, madtoms and others.
Damages for fish restitution and enforcement action are likely, according to DNR officials.


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