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News headlines

 

Stubbes to kick off Library Brown Bag series Wed. - Sept. 28, 2014  

JACKSON - The Jackson Library Fall brown bag lunch series starts this Wednesday Dave and Laura Stubbe presenting A Change of Heart.

Two weeks after giving birth to their fifth child, Laura suffered a major heart attack.  Dave and Laura will talk about how they made it through that difficult time, what they learned and how they are doing now.

Brown bag lunch programs are at noon each Wednesday at the Jackson Library.


Nuñez to compete in Minnesota Sings - Sept. 27, 2014  

ST.PAUL - The first annual Minnesota Sings Competition will be held Sunday in St Paul.  There will be fifty contestants in this inaugural competition, including Josephine Nunez, winner of Jackson Sings this summer, who will be representing Jackson.

The winner of Minnesota Sings will take home a prize of $2,500 along with $500 to be presented to the winners favorite local charity and $250 to the Chamber they represent.

Contestants placing second and third will also win prize money, and fourth and fifth place contestants will win music gear.


Korks & Kegs to be Thursday at PLAC - Sept. 27, 2014   

SPIRIT LAKE - The Iowa Lakes Community College Foundation will host the 6th Annual Korks & Kegs Scholarship Fundraiser from 5 to 8pm on Thursday, October 2nd at the Pearson Lakes Art Center in Spirit Lake.

Tickets are $25 per person and include a souvenir wine glass, wine and beer samplea and hors d’eouvres.  There will be an art auction and a raffle for two tickets for Chanhassen Dinner Theater along with a one night hotel stay.  Raffle tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10. 

Proceeds from the event will provide scholarships for Fine Arts Students attending Iowa Lakes.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, call the Iowa Lakes Community College Foundation Office at 712-362-0425 or by e-mail at events@iowalakes.edu.


MCW Homecoming kicks off Monday - Sept. 26, 2014   

SHERBURN - Homecoming week activities at Martin County West kick off Monday, September 29.  Coronation will be at 7:30pm in the Jr/Sr High Gymnasium.  Homecoming Queen candidates are Hailey Leiding, Ellyn Swanson, Haley Jensen, Taryn Tumbleson and Lexi Ringnell.  King candidates are Tanner Lange, Nick Holm, Chris Kahler, Sam Baker and Parker Leiding.

There are activities scheduled throughout the week, with the parade at 1:45pm Friday followed by an All-School Pepfest at the football field.  The Mavericks will take on Wabasso at 7pm in the Homecoming game.

The Senior Class will be holding their annual Chili/Soup Supper on Friday from 4:30pm until around half-time of the football game.  Tickets are available from any Senior class member, or at the door.


Bentz to be sworn in Friday - Sept. 25, 2014   

JACKSON - Minnesota’s new Fifth Judicial District judge, Darci Bentz will be sworn in during a public ceremony at 3:00pm this afternoon in the district courtroom at the Jackson County Courthouse.  Bentz replaces the Honorable Linda Titus, who retired earlier this year. 

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

Bentz received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota and her J.D. from the Hamline University School of Law.


Local students name new K9 "Bosco" - Sept. 23, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department is getting a new K-9, and it now has a name.  Middle School students in Jackson County were given a list of five names to choose from and the students at the JCC, Immanuel Lutheran and Heron Lake-Okabena chose the name “Bosco” for the new K-9.

Bosco received 89 votes, followed by Diesel with 76 and Maverick with 74.  The other choices were Cash, Grizz and Judge.

Former Jackson County Sheriff’s K-9, Bear, retired in the spring due to an injury.

Bosco is coming from the Czech Republic and will be assigned to K9 Deputy Nick Schwalbe.   Bosco will hopefully join the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department in the spring of 2015 after training. 


JCC School Board met Monday - Sept. 23, 2014  

JACKSON - The Jackson County Central School Board met in regular session Monday night.  The meeting was called to order at 6pm with all members present.

The board approved setting the Truth and Taxation hearing for December 16th at 6pm in the Board Room, approved hiring Alexis Johnson as Superintendent’s Administrative Assistant starting September 30th, approved hiring Arica Svoboda as a paraprofessional at Riverside Elementary and Dallas Murray as a paraprofessional at the High School and approved Middle Management Contracts

The Board also approved a quote from NAC Mechanical & Electrical for just under $84,000 for installation of boilers at the High School, a quote from MAVO Systems for just under $2,000 for asbestos abatement and approved Family Medical Leave requests for Joan Voss and Aline Wilking.

In other action, the board approved the resignations Kathy Clymer and Cindy Kolander, the retirement of Harold Voehl and approved a multitude of donations.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:45pm.  The next regular meeting of the JCC School Board is Monday, October 27th at 6pm.


Jackson Council approves Airport Phase II - Sept. 17, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson City Council met in regular session Tuesday night at City Hall in Jackson.  The meeting was called to order at 6:35pm with Chris Vee the only council member absent.

Chelsea Honnette and Kristy Thurmer, co-Presidents of the Jackson Women of Today, requested use of the Jackson Trails from Riverside Elementary, up Springfield Parkway and around to Pond Drive for a Monster Dash, 5K run/walk on October 25.  Proceeds from this event will go to the Riverside and Pleasantview PTO’s.  The request was approved.

Jackson Ambulance Director Mike Muchlinski requested permission to purchase a new ambulance for around $160.000 in 2015.  One current ambulance has over 100,000 miles and another is around 82,000 miles.  The council approved the purchase.

On a late addition to the agenda, the council was requested to approve Phase II of the Jackson Airport Master Plan Study for just under $27,000, a 10% share.  City Adminstrator Jennifer Bromeland advised the council that if this was not approved at the meeting, the project would have to start over if the city wished to continue the process.  Councilman Dave Cushman asked why these requests come in last minute.  There was a similar request this summer where a decision had to be made that meeting as well.  City Administrator Bromeland said that if the city went forward and didn’t like the project, they could back out.  Councilman Fred Bern said the City should move forward, that businesses didn’t want to waste time and that made the airport expansion more important.  The council voted 4-1 to proceed with Phase II, with Councilman Cushman casting the lone no vote.

City Administrator Bromeland contacted MnDOT regarding excessive vehicle noise signage in Jackson.  There is a sign on the north side of Jackson on southbound 71 entering Jackson, however the sign is small and not easily noticeable.  The Council approved moving forward with bigger signs and placing them on southbound 71 entering Jackson from the north, eastbound county road 34 entering Jackson from the west and northbound 71 entering Jackson from the South.

In other action, the council approved the development agreement between the city and Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership Street E Townhomes, LLC and approved the city moving forward with the Library Construction Grant Program Application.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:15pm, to be continued at a special city council meeting at 12:15pm on Wednesday, September 24th.


DMVHSS receives UCare Community Grant - Sept. 17, 2014 

WINDOM - Des Moines Valley Health and Human Services is pleased to announce that it has received a $50,000 UCare Community Grant to make healthy living readily available to more people.

The UCare grant will support the work of the Statewide Health Improvement Program (or SHIP) in Jackson, Cottonwood and Nobles Counties.  This grant will allow SHIP to partner with communities to create active living plans to improve walking and bicycling, support promotional activities related to active living, assist healthcare organizations in addressing obesity and tobacco use among patients and wo work with schools to increase physical activity and nutrition for students and employees.

Many schools in Jackson, Cottonwood and Nobles Counties have partnered with SHIP over the last five years to improve school nutrition and school activity including the Farm2School program, salad bars, school gardens, healthy snacks and vending.

For additional information, you can contact Diane Marsden, SHIP Coordinator for Des Moines Valley Health and Human Services at 507-831-1987.


Two killed in two-vehicle accident near Fulda - Sept. 16, 2014 

FULDA - Two people were killed in a two vehicle accident Sunday north of Fulda.  38-year old David Schultz of Worthington was driving a 2009 Toyota Rav4 southbound on Highway 59 around 3:20pm Sunday, and 24 year-old Charles Goode of Lewisville NC was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Impala westbound on County Road 3, when the vehicles collided in the intersection.

A passenger in Schultz’s vehicle, 34 year-old Kerry Schulz of Worthington and a passenger in Goode’s vehicle, 24 year-old Kristen Boynton of Perry, GA were pronounced dead at the scene.  Both drivers were transported to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale with serious injuries.  Two other passengers in Schultz’s vehicle, both minors, were transported to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls with non-life threatening injuries.

The Fulda Police Department, Murray County Sheriff’s Department, the Slayton Police Department, Fulda Ambulance, Slayton Ambulance and Fulda Fire Department assisted the State Patrol at the scene.


ILCC Farm Field Day & Expo Thursday - Sept. 16, 2014 

EMMETSBURG- The Farm Lab of Iowa Lakes Community College will host its annual Farm Field Day and Expo Thursday starting at 4pm in Emmetsburg.  Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig will be the featured speaker.

Van tours of the college crops and animal enterprises will be given from 4 to 6pm.  A free dinner will be served from 5 to 6pm with Deputy Ag Secretary Naig speaking at 6pm.

The Farm Expo will be held rain or shine.  The College Farm Laboratory is located on US Highway 18, about 5 miles west of Emmetsburg.  For more information, contact Iowa Lakes at 712-852-5259 or visit them online at iowalakes.edu.


Jeffers male arrested on sexual conduct charges - Sept. 15, 2014 

JACKSON - An 18 year-old male from Jeffers was arrested by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday.  Taylor Lopez was charged with one count of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree.

During the investigation, Lopez admitted that he had sexual intercourse with a 15 year-old Jackson youth.

Lopez was released from custody after posting a $50,000 bond.


HL-O Homecoming "Mission Impossible" this week - Sept. 15, 2014 

OKABENA - The Heron Lake-Okabena Homecoming coronation will be held tonight at 7:30pm in Okabena.  Queen candidates are Desiree Crews, Rachel Mathias, Sarah Schmid and Kailey Wendland.  King candidates are Isaac Fest, Jacob Getzel, Garrett Schumacher and Hunter Timko.

Junior attendants are Haley Ruesch and Chad Holey.

Sophomore attendants are Jessica Reyes and Logan Knutson.

Freshman attendants are Tessla Crowell and Hunter Lubben.

8th Grade attendants are Jessica Rossow and Eli Becker.

And 7th Grade attendants are Madison Ruesch and Brandon Hinkeldey.

The theme for this year’s homecoming festivities at Heron Lake-Okabena is “Mission Impossible”.  Daily activities continue through the week.  Tuesday is Gender Blender/Undercover Day.  Wednesday is Class Color Day with Powder Puff Football and Powder Tough Volleyball.  Thursday is Suit Up MIB day with a volleyball match against WWG at 7:30pm in Okabena. 

Activities wrap up on Friday with Wildcat Spirit Day.  There will be a Homecoming Parade and Pepfest at 1pm in Okabena, the Homecoming game against RCW is at 7pm in Heron Lake with the Homecoming dance to follow the game in Okabena.


Agroforestry event planned in Waseca - Sept. 11, 2014 

WASECA - Interest in alternative bioenergy feedstocks and producing multi-value perennial plants using Agroforestry systems is expanding.  Several research programs/projects are underway in Minnesota to document practical bioenergy production systems from perennial plants. 

Research on willows, hazelnuts, grasses, poplar and other perennial plants will be the focus of a “Walk & Talk” event on Tuesday, September 16, from 1 to 4 PM at the University of Minnesota, Southern Research and Outreach Center (SROC) in Waseca.  This event and tour is free to the public.  The program will begin at the SROC Administration Building in the conference room.  

Designed for landowners and natural resource professionals you will learn options for producing biomass for energy using Agroforestry practices, get an update on the hazelnut research being done in Minnesota and the Midwest, learn about the willow variety study for biomass use and as living snow fences, perennial crop research for bioenergy and bioenergy crop landscape positioning studies. 

This unique field day will provide an opportunity to learn and ask questions about a diverse set of topics around agroforestry.  For more information about this tour contact Gregg Johnson, SROC, 507-837-5617.


One injured in 3-vehicle accident in Sherburn - Sept. 10, 2014  

SHERBURN - One person was injured in a three vehicle accident Tuesday afternoon in Sherburn.  Around 3:17pm, 26 year-old Jacob Korte of Fairmont was driving a 2003 Dodge Ram eastbound on county road 13 in Sherburn.  Korte crossed Highway 4 to enter eastbound I-90 and collided with a 1994 Ford Taurus driven by 16 year-old Ily Schlenk of Sherburn.  After the initial collision, Schlenk’s Taurus collided with a 2008 Winnebago Motorhome driven by 67 year-old James Hall of Cambridge, MN.

A passenger in Schlenk’s vehicle, 16 year-old Allissa Weber of Trimont, was transferred to the Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont with non-life threatening injuries.  There were no other apparent injuries.

Korte’s Dodge was estimated as totaled.  No damage was reported to Schlenk’s Ford or Hall’s Winnebago.

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office and the Sherburn Police Department assisted the State Patrol at the scene.


Commissioners support Road to Recovery Center - Sept. 9, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Board of Commissioners met in regular session Tuesday morning at the Jackson County Courthouse with all commissioners present.

Chrystal Dunker, Executive Director of the Prairie Ecology Bus Center, addressed the council about a bathroom and storm shelter project at Sparks Park in Lakefield.  With the increase in classes and usage at the park, there has become a need for an all-season restroom and storm shelter.  Initial estimates for the project are $125,000.  Dunker said that the PEBC is contributing $10,000 and is seeking outside grants and funding for the project.  A donation of $25,000 was requested from the County.  The request was tabled until the September 23rd meeting to address concerns.

Shelby Boone asked the Commissioners to consider sending a letter of support to the Fountain Centers and Mayo Health for the Road to Recovery Center in Jackson.  Boone outlined how vital this is to the community of Jackson and Jackson County and that there are number of citizens who are able to lead functional lives because of this Center.  The Commission emphatically approved sending an official letter of support to Mayo and copying it to all four of our state legislators.

The Commissioners set civil penalties for failed alcohol compliance checks at $100 for the first offense and $500 for a second offense in a 24-month period.  In a recent compliance check, 6 out of 17 business checked did not comply,  approved a conditional use permit for M. Rowe Properties for crushing and stockpiling concrete and block on the old DeKalb Seed property with conditions, approved a liquor license renewal for the Bergan Bar and Grill.

A public hearing was held to approve changes to the Jackson County Development Code.  There were no comments and the change was approved.

The Commission also heard a review of the 2013 Audit reports from Jim Murray, CPA at Baker Tilly.

In other action, the Commissioners declared the old Fish Lake siren as surplus and donated it to the Round Lake Camp Ground, set a public hearing for 9:30am on September 23rd regarding improvements on Judicial Ditch #46 and approved the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office working with Mark McDonough to choose and train a new K-9 to replace the retired Bear.  Federal Drug Forfeiture funds were used to fund the initial training.

The meeting went into closed session to discuss a property forfeiture and labor negotiations.  The next regular meeting of the Jackson County Commission will be Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 9am at the Jackson County Courthouse.


Grape Escape in Spirit Lake Sept. 20 - Sept. 9, 2014 

SPIRIT LAKE - The Lakes Regional Healthcare Foundation will be hosting their third annual Grape Escape wine dinner and auction on Saturday, September 20 at Okoboji Classic Cars.  The event will consist of a wine tasting upon arrival, a five course dinner, each paired with a select wine, immediately followed by a reverse raffle and auction.

Live auction items include an eye procedure at ReBe Skin Clinic, a hunting trip to West River, SD or a condominium in Naples, FL, and a captained pontoon for 26 guests.

The reverse raffle is a new event this year.  There will be one winner at the end who wins $5,000, although every tenth name drawn will receive a nice door prize.  Reverse raffle tickets are $50 and can be purchased in advance separate from the Grape Escape tickets.

Tickets are $100 each, of which $25 is tax deductible, and can be purchased at Lakes Regional Healthcare’s patient registration desk, by calling 712-336-8799 or email jennifer.gustafson@lakeshealth.org anytime.  Proceeds for the event will benefit the advancement of healthcare in the Iowa Great Lakes.


Human Trafficking awareness event in Estherville - Sept. 8, 2014 

ESTHERVILLE - Trinity Lutheran Church in Estherville will be hosting a Human Trafficking Community Awareness Event Wednesday, September 10th at 7pm.  The presenter will be Milford native Stephanie (Fisk) Mendez, the European Director of Men Against the Trafficking of Others).

Mendez has been combating human trafficking in Southern Spain since 2010 and mentors women who have chosen to leave their life of prostitution and helps them reintegrate into society.

Everyone is invited to attend this event.  Refreshments will be served.  For more information, you can call the church at 712-362-3335 or go online to trinityestherville.org.


2 injured in one-vehicle accident near Windom - Sept. 7, 2014 

 WINDOM - Two people were injured in a one-vehicle accident Saturday night on Highway 86 near Windom.  59-year old Lynette Stellmacher of Redwood Falls was driving a 2002 Chevry Trailblazer northbound on Highway 86 around 6:30pm when she fell asleep, woke and overcorrected.  The vehicle entered the ditch, rolled and came to rest on its side.

Stellmacher and a passenger in her vehicle, 73 year-old Richard Stellmacher, also of Redwood Falls, were both transported by the Windom Ambulance to the Windom Area Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Stellmacher’s Trailblazer sustained severe damage.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office assisted the State Patrol at the scene.


Little Tykes Storytime coming to Jackson Library - Sept. 5, 2014 

JACKSON - Little Tykes Storytime will be held at the Jackson Library on Mondays from 10-10:45am starting  next Monday, September 15th, for toddlers and preschoolers.

Each week will consist of theme-based stories, finger plays, songs, rhymes and crafts.  In addition, storytimes provide opportunities for children to interact with one another, engage in dramatic play, learn new words and concepts and help gradually increase their attention spans.

Registration is requested.  For more information, or to register, call the Jackson Library at 847-4748.


September is Library Card Sign-up Month - Sept. 3, 2014 

JACKSON - September is Library Card Sign-up Month and the Jackson County Libraries want to make sure that everyone in Jackson County has the smartest card of all – a library card. During Library Card Sign-up Month get a free library card protector with a new library card or replace a lost card free of charge!

Getting a card is easy and free.  People of all ages can receive a card.  Stop in your local library today and register for a library card.  You will need to fill out a short form and provide some proof of identification. Children need a parent’s signature.

Use the library card to check out a variety of materials: books, ebooks, DVDs, books on CD, CD-ROM games, magazines, cake pans, music CDs, and large print books.  Library cards can be used from home, too.  Our libraries offer access to an online catalog and ebooks at plumcreeklibrary.org/jackson

For more information on how you can sign up for your library card and for programming events, call or visit your local library.  You can call the Jackson Library at 847-4748, Lakefield Library at 662-5782 or Heron Lake Library at 793-2641. 


Trailer home destroyed in fire - Sept. 3, 2014  

HERON LAKE - Around midnight on Sunday, August 31st, a passerby reported a house fire in La Crosse Township.

The Heron Lake and Okabena Fire Departments responded to the scene and a trailer house was fully engulfed.

The trailer house was rented by 42 year-old Michael Johnson of Heron Lake, who was not home at the time of the fire.

The trailer house is considered a total loss.

The MN State Fire Marshall was contacted and deemed the cause of the fire as undetermined and is most likely electrical.


Libraries to hold technology classes - Sept. 3, 2014  

JACKSON - Get connected with free technology classes at the Jackson County Library on Thursday, September 18th at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Participants will learn  how to download eBooks, audio, and magazines from the PCLS digital collection using a Kindle Fire HDX tablet. A library card is required. If you don’t have a card you may sign up for one at the class. Kindle tablets will be provided and may be checked out after the class.

Class size is limited. Please pre-register by calling or visiting the library. 847-4748

This program is made possible by a grant through the Blandin Broadband Community Project.


City Council oks fiber optic line through Jackson - Sept. 3, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson City Council met in regular session Tuesday night in the Council Chambers at City Hall with all members present.  City Attorney Steve Handevidt was absent.

Paul Erickson of Midcontinent Communications addressed the council regarding a proposed fiber optic line that would run through the city of Jackson.  The line is intended to connect Sioux Falls to the 511 building in Minneapolis, creating a third access point to the 511 building and providing greater service.  The proposed line would enter Jackson on the west side and run down Sayles Drive, then North Highway to Highway 71, then to Industrial Parkway and out of Jackson on the East toward Sherburn.

Councilman Donnie Schoenrock expressed concern regarding the homes on Sayles Drive.  Many of these were new construction and he was concerned about the right of way being torn up and not replaced on these newly landscaped properties.  Schoenrock questioned why the route did not follow County Road 34 to Highway 71 and then up to Industrial Parkway.  Erickson explained that route was considered first, but they would have to lay the cable under the sidewalks through the downtown area, and that was not feasible.  Erickson also stated that they do a lot of work with Sanford in the Dakotas, and by taking this route, they would pass right by the Sanford Jackson Medical Center and allow greater service and security for them.  Erickson also assured the council that all properties would be returned to an acceptable appearance.  The council approved the permit for Midco Communications.

Mary Muir addressed the council regarding reducing engine breaking noise.  She had spoken with Ken Wenkel at MnDOT and was advised that they could put signage up regarding noise reduction, but needed a resolution from the City Council before they could start.  Councilman Fred Bern said he believed that something had already been done as signs had been up before.  Councilman Schoenrock said that there was an ordinance already in place that addressed this.  The council referred it to city staff to review and will revisit the issue at the September 16th council meeting.

In other action, the council approved a resolution of Tax Levy Collectable in 2015.  The preliminary 2014 tax levy is just under $1.4 million dollars, an increase of around $54,000 of 4% from 2013.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:15.  The next meeting of the Jackson City Council is Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 6:30pm.


Sheriff's Office responds to multiple break-ins - Sept. 2, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a couple of weekend break-ins in Jackson.

On Saturday, officers responded to a break-in at Leach Decorating in Jackson.  Entrance was gained through a rear door of the business and an undetermined amount of money was taken.

Also reported on Saturday was a second break-in at Coast True Value Marine/Radio Shack.  A padlock and hasp was pried and opened and it is believed tools were missing.

Last Wednesday, officers responded to an apparent break-in at the Good Shepard Catholic Church.  A screen on the parsonage garage had been torn to gain access to the garage.   It appeared that access was attempted into the parsonage which is attached to the garage.  Nothing was reported missing.

Anyone with information regarding these break-ins is urged to contact the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.


One injured in two vehicle accident in Jackson - Sept. 2, 2014 

JACKSON - One person received minor injuries in a two-vehicle accident in Jackson around 12:30pm on August 28th.  88-year-old Beverly Benes of Jackson was driving a 2003 Pontiac Bonneville eastbound on White Street and pulled into the intersection of Highway 71.

67-year-old Donald Sebby of Jackson was driving a 2012 Chevrolet pickup northbound on Highway 71 when the vehicles collided in the intersection.

Benes was treated for minor injuries by the Jackson Ambulance.

Both vehicles sustained moderate damage.