August 26 news

WORTHINGTON – The Worthington City Council on Monday opted to go with the Fullerton Building System for the “Welcome to Worthington” signs, a decision they tabled from their previous meeting after being chastised for not considering using a local business to build the signs.

The Fullerton signs will cost $90,000 – as compared to the alternative signs through Wells Concrete for sign faces and Reitmeier Masonry to erect the side brick pillars, which would have been $120,000 – and are guaranteed for 30 years.

Even with a lower price, the city only set aside $50,000 for the signs. They had thought to spend $25,000 each on two signs, with the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce to pay for the third. For now, money will be taken from the undesignated unreserved funds for the remaining cost and replenished over the next five years. The $25,000 may still come from the Chamber if their board approves

The motion to approve Fullerton for the signage passed on a 4-1 vote, with council member Rod Sankey voting against.

The council also approved an interfund loan for administrative expenses related to the Northland Mall redevelopment.

In connection with a resolution council members approved July 28 regarding PBK Investments and the Northland Mall, city staff have been incurring administrative expenses in the preparation and establishment of a tax increment financing (TIF) district and other related activities. The resolution authorizes the establishment of an interfund loan for the project in an amount not to exceed $50,000 with a 4 percent interest rate.

LUVERNE - Motorists on Highway 75 north of Luverne can expect an approximate three week detour beginning Monday, September 8, as crews work to replace a flood damaged box culvert.

Traffic will be detoured west to Interstate 90, north on Rock County 6, and east on Rock County 7. The detour adds about 15 miles to travel on Highway 75.

The project consists of replacing the damaged box culvert with two lines of concrete arch pipe. When the project is complete, Highway 75 will again be posted as a 10-ton road.

~ The detour for Highway 86 over Interstate 90 will be removed Friday as crews completed bridge repairs.

In mid-September, the resurfacing of Highway 86 from the Iowa state line to Interstate 90 will begin. No detour is required, but motorists can expect brief delays and use caution in the area of flaggers.

The project, which should be completed in mid-October, includes a mill and overlay to preserve the pavement and provide a smooth ride as well as extend the life of the bridge over I-90 by replacing drainage structures, bridge railings, deck and expansion joints.

~ Motorists on Highway 71 south of Windom should expect about a two-week detour beginning Tuesday, Sept. 2 as crews begin to remove and replace a culvert.

The Highway 71 closure is between Jackson County Road 22 and Jackson County Road 30; approximately six miles south of Windom. Traffic will be detoured Jackson County Road 21 (south of Bergen) to Jackson County Road 30.

The culvert replacement is part of a project to repair and replace several culverts on Highway 15/60 near Madelia, Highway 71 south of Windom and Highway 91 north of Adrian.

JACKSON - Gov. Mark Dayton announced Monday the appointment of Ms. Darci J. Bentz as District Court Judge in Minnesota’s Fifth Judicial District. Bentz will be replacing the Honorable Linda S. Titus, who retired earlier this year. Bentz will be chambered at Jackson in Jackson County.

Bentz is an Assistant Public Defender for the Fifth Judicial District, where her practice focuses on representing adults and juveniles in criminal cases. Previously, she was an attorney at Scott, Nielsen & Bentz, representing clients in workers’ compensation cases, unemployment cases and civil litigation, and a managing attorney for the Fifth Judicial District Public Defender’s Office.

Bentz is a member of the Martin/Jackson/Faribault County Family Dependency Court and serves as the treasurer for the Kinship Board of Directors, a nonprofit youth mentoring program.

LUVERNE – Senator Bill Weber of Luverne was appointed Monday to the Minnesota State Senate’s Rural Task Force. The group will study the needs of Minnesota’s rural communities, including nursing home and health care access, education, transportation, economic development, and property taxes. The group will have its first meeting Wednesday.

Weber said he is honored to be appointed to the task force, which will allow for greater focus on the needs of rural communities. He said he will continue working for southwest Minnesota by ensuring nursing home and healthcare access, emphasizing the need for vocational and technical training in secondary schools as well as education funding equity, and working for a sensible tax policy.

He also hopes to address the regulatory burdens on citizens and businesses, which he said is becoming an increasing area of concern and is hampering economic development and job growth in many areas of the state.

The group will meet once per month during the interim and bring forward potential legislation when the 2015 legislative session convenes.

SANBORN, Iowa - Charges have been filed in connection with a crash this past Thursday in O'Brien county.

The Iowa State Patrol says it happened shortly before 7:30 p.m. at the east junction of Highways 18 and 59 near Sanborn.

Troopers say 29-year-old Brandon Bootsma of Melvin had stopped at a stop sign and was facing north and that a semi tractor-trailer was eastbound on Highway 18, slowing to make a turn south onto Highway 59, impairing Bosma's vision. Authorities say a vehicle driven by 47-year-old Brian Parks was also eastbound and was beside the semi, gaining speed, passing it. Troopers say the vehicles driven by Bootsma and Parks then collided, with the impact pushing Bootsma's vehicle into a ditch.

$3,500 in damage was estimated to a 1999 Ford pickup driven by Bootsma; damage to a 1999 Pontiac Parks was driving was estimated at $2,000.

Bootsma was cited for open container, failure to obey a stop sign, failure to yield the right-of-way and violation of a financial responsibility, accident-related. The latter charge was also filed against Parks.

No injuries were reported in the collision.

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