August 22 news

WORTHINGTON – Worthington City Administrator Craig Clark on Thursday said the Civil Service Commission hopes to have a decision made regarding a new police chief by the latter half of September.

Applications for the position were due by August 4, and 10 were received. Of those 10, eight were asked for further information, which is due back on August 27. Interviews or an open house for the candidates will be scheduled in September.

Clark said the position is an important one for the community, and the civil service committee is taking an active role in making the right decision. In the meantime, Clark said, Interim Police Chief Kevin Flynn is serving in good stead.

WORTHINGTON – The 12th annual Firefighters BBQ is this Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. There will be pork sandwiches, inflatables, a bicycle giveaway, door prizes and a dunk tank. The fire station will be open for walk-throughs for those who have not taken the time to tour the facility. Free will donations are accepted, and checks can be made out to the Worthington Firefighter Relief Association.

WORTHINGTON – Sanitary sewer or spot repairs are scheduled to begin as early as Tuesday in the city of Worthington, according to the Engineering Department. Those manhole or spot repairs will take place on Grand Avenue south of Miller Street, in front of 806 Burlington Avenue and in the alley behind 1211 East Lake Boulevard.

Water main reconstruction work continues along Omaha Avenue from Dover Street toward near Miller Street. Water service work was completed Wednesday, but pavement restoration remains for the portion north of Clary Street. All turf restoration work remains.

SLAYTON – Murray County Central 7th grade orientation will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the MCC High School Auditorium for all 7th grade students and their parents or guardians.

MINNESOTA – Republican Candidate for the First Congressional District Jim Hagedorn on Wednesday invited incumbent Tim Walz to a series of debates across southern Minnesota that includes locations in Worthington, Mankato, Rochester and Winona, stating it is important for the people to fully understand the issue positions of the candidates prior to the election.

In his letter to Walz’s campaign, Hagedorn states he welcomes spirited debates to help voters comprehend their views, national legislative records and proposed solutions. He also encouraged media members to organize and participate in the debates.

Walz released a statement Thursday that said his campaign has always advocated for vigorous and robust debates in this race, which is why he first requested debates weeks ago. As always, the statement reads, he will participate in debates, as well as have face-to-face conversations with voters across southern Minnesota.

An earlier statement says he would participate in debates at Farmfest and in Rochester. The request for a debate in other locations, including Worthington, is not addressed in his recent communication.

EMMETSBURG, Iowa - The King of The Netherlands plans to visit Iowa next month to attend the grand opening of a northwest Iowa ethanol plant co-owned by a Netherlands-based company.

Willem-Alexander says he will take part in the September 3rd grand opening ceremony at the Project Liberty Ethanol Plant in Emmetsburg and tour the facility. The $250 million project is a joint venture of Sioux Falls-based ethanol maker Poet and Royal DSM, a biotechnology company based in The Netherlands. The plant will produce 25 million gallons a year when fully operational.

It is among the first facilities of its size in the United States to begin making ethanol from plant material. Cellulosic ethanol is made from the woody and fibrous parts of plants including corn cobs, stalks, leaves and other residue.

ORANGE CITY, Iowa — The Orange City woman accused of murder in the death of a 3-year-old in her care has asked for a suppression of evidence. Ned Bjornstad, the attorney for 34-year-old Rochelle Sapp of Orange City says she wasn’t read her rights when she was taken into custody in Sioux Falls.

Sapp is accused of picking up 3-year-old Autumn Elgersma and throwing her to the floor after she wouldn’t take off her coat, causing injuries that required treatment in Sioux Falls and that allegedly lead to her death. According to court records, Sapp is charged with First Degree Murder, a class A felony; and Child Endangerment Resulting in Death, a class B felony.

The Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office took Sapp into custody on October 30th, 2013, according to court records, and she was interrogated. She made statements to Detective Michael Walsh of the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office that the defense wants suppressed. The court document says she also sent text messages which were intercepted by the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office.

Her attorney, Bjornstad, says Sapp was detained but was not under arrest. However, he says that Miranda rights applied as soon as her freedom of action was curtailed to a degree associated with formal arrest.

The court document also says Sapp was sleep and food deprived, exhausted and distraught, and that the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office was aware of this.

Therefore, Bjornstad wants any text messages conveyed through her phone during her detainment by Minnehaha County officials and any statements she made to those officials excluded from her trial.

According to court records, a pretrial hearing is set for Thursday, September 4th at 10 AM at the Sioux County Courthouse. The trial was moved on a change-of-venue to Carroll County and at last report was scheduled to be in November.

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