August 27 news

WORTHINGTON —A Worthington man is charged with possession of stolen property and financial transaction card fraud after being arrested for thefts from construction sites and vehicles, including a debit card taken from a wallet. Manivong Senesoury, age 38, is accused of stealing more than $6,000 in items or purchases.

The complaint states authorities were first alerted when a construction trailer in downtown Worthington had a padlock cut. Tools worth more than $2,600 were taken, some still in boxes. Days later, a wallet went missing from a man’s truck, and purchases began to show up on a debit card. All were made in Worthington and all on the same day for almost $1,600. An attempt was made to purchase an item at Pawn-It pawn shop, but it did not go through. Surveillance tape was obtained.

Authorities were called back to Pawn-It when the man who had tried to use the stolen card returned to pawn items. Officers found him next to a vehicle in the parking lot. He had wrenches and speakers at the time. He initially denied having a stolen debit card in his possession, but when asked, allowed police to look in his wallet, where they found the stolen card. He said he bought the card for $100.

During a search executed on his vehicle and home, more stolen merchandise was located. Senesoury will make his first court appearance early next month.

LUVERNE – A routine traffic stop turned into something more when authorities noticed the smell of marijuana coming from a vehicle over the weekend in Luverne. Ashlee Michele Martin, age 29, of Brandon, SD, is facing one count of fifth-degree controlled substance possession, one count of possessing more than 1.4 grams of marijuana in a motor vehicle and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the criminal complaint, authorities stopped Martin’s vehicle when the noticed a something hanging from the rearview mirror and that the driver was not wearing a seatbelt. In speaking with the driver, the smell of marijuana coming from the car was noticeable, but Martin denied having any in the vehicle. She allegedly stated she and the passenger had smoked some at home earlier.

The officers told Martin if the amount of marijuana in the vehicle was small, she would be cited and would be free to go. She gave them a container with buds from her purse. During a search, pipes, a scale and baggies of marijuana were located, a total of 47.4 grams of marijuana was found.

WINDOM - Windom City Administrator Steve Nasby was recognized by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) on Thursday during the coalition’s three-day summer conference in Rochester for his excellence in service to Greater Minnesota.
The Excellence in Service Award is given annually to a city leader who demonstrates knowledge, leadership and active participation in CGMC program areas over the past year.

Nasby played a key role in advancing two of the CGMC’s top priorities during the 2014 legislative session — broadband expansion and the Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) grant program. According to Randy Wilson, president of the CGMC and mayor of Glencoe, Nasby’s testimony in front of two separate legislative committees on improving public infrastructure and promoting private business growth helped legislators understand how important they are to economic development in Greater Minnesota.

CGMC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization representing 85 cities outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The coalition educates legislators about issues important to Greater Minnesota.

MILFORD, Iowa - Officials say they think a nearly $1 million electronic fish barrier has succeeded in stopping invasive Asian carp from getting into the Iowa Great Lakes.

The fish first swam into the Iowa Great Lakes during flooding in 2011. They had previously been kept out by dams on the Little Sioux River in Harrison County and near Linn Grove.

The Asian carp species are thought to be a major threat to native aquatic species throughout the midwest. One species, silver carp, poses a safety hazard because the leap from the water when startled.

The 21-foot-long fish barrier was built in 2012, and officials believe it is working. There have been few reports of Asian carp being netted or sited in the Iowa Great Lakes.

ESTHERVILLE, Iowa - Estherville police have released the identity of the body of a man found dead last Friday in an alley in the city's downtown area. Police identify the man as 54-year-old Thomas Pettit, formerly of Graettinger. Police believe foul play was not involved in Pettit's death.

The body was discovered in the alley in the 500 block of Central Avenue shortly after 5 a.m. Friday by a woman who called 911. Police Chief Brent Shatto says an exact cause of death isn't known yet as they're still awaiting autopsy results from the State Medical Examiner's office. He says it could take a few weeks to get that information.

MINNESOTA - In what has been described as the largest union vote in state history, home health care workers in Minnesota have voted to unionize.
The workers, also referred to as personal care assistants, help the elderly and people with disabilities in their homes.

Of the 5,872 votes that were cast, 60 percent were in favor of unionizing, according to results announced Tuesday by the Service Employees International Union. The union effort needed a simple majority of the votes to pass.

The workers will be represented by the SEIU, which will bargain with the state of Minnesota on wage and benefit issues.

Although only about 22 percent of the 27,000 eligible workers voted during the 25-day ballot period, union organizers called the outcome a great success at a news conference Tuesday afternoon, the Star Tribune reports.

PCAs typically earn low wages and have no benefits, and there’s a high turnover rate for workers who care for non-family members.

The unionization campaign has been going on for the past year or so, ever since the Legislature passed a law authorizing them to pursue collective bargaining.

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