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News headlines



JCC School Board creates new office position - July 21, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Central School Board met in regular session Monday night.  The meeting was called to order at 6:03pm with Kirk Dunlavey and Rhonda Moore absent.  Bryan Boysen was introduced as the new Pleasantview Elementary Principal and Mary Morem was introduced as the new Middle School Principal.

The Board approved the purchase of two 100-horsepower boilers for the JCC High School from PBBS for $85,400, approved spending just over $6,000 for infrared patching of the north parking lot at Riverside Elementary and approved the Edmentum-PLATO contract for the 2014-2017 school years for just over $57,000.

The Board also approved creating  the position of Human Resources/Finance Clerk for the Central Office, approved the Head Start-Western Community Action contract for 2014-15, approved the 2014-15 Handbooks for the Middle School and Pleasantview Elementary and the Social Health Agreement between JCC and Des Moines Valley Health and Human Services.

In other action, the board approved moving their August Meeting from the 25th to the 18th.  The meeting was adjourned at 6:40pm.

The next meeting of the JCC School Board will be on Monday, August 18th at 6pm in the Board Room at the High School.

Professor Marvel to take kids on "Aussie Adventure" - July 21, 2014 

JACKSON - Paws to Read is this Summer’s theme at the Jackson Library.  Summer Library programs continue this week with “Professor Marvel’s Amazing Aussie Adventure”.  Kids will take a whirl wind ride through the Professor's wonder-filled world of usually whacky, but oh-so-very cool magical adventures.

The show will feature interactive theatre, story-telling, comedy and Magic.

Professor Marvel’s Amazing Aussie Adventure will be in Jackson Wednesday at 10am and 2pm.  The programs will be at the Government Center East, the old resource center.  Enter through Door #7 on the South side.     

Professor Marvel will be at the Lakefield Library on Thursday at 10am and 1pm and at the Heron Lake Library at 4pm Thursday.

Vehicle stolen in Jackson - July 21, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a stolen vehicle in Jackson on Thursday. 

Dacia Broesder of Alpha had left her 2000 Chevrolet Silverado in Jackson for repairs.  The keys were left in the center console.  When she contacted the shop for a time estimate on repairs, it was discovered the vehicle was not there.

The vehicle was located just outside of Blue Earth in Faribault County on Friday.

If anyone has information regarding this incident, they are urged to call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Alcohol compliance checks done in Jackson County - July 21, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office recently conducted alcohol compliance checks on licensed establishments within the city and county of Jackson, along with the cities of Lakefield and Okabena.

A 20 year-old with a driver’s license that stated “Under 21” cooperated with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Lakefield Police Department.

Of the 21 establishments checked, seven were found to be out of compliance.  All reports have been forwarded to the Jackson County Attorney’s Office for review.

Farm Bureau picnic at Heron Lake BioEnergy - July 17, 2014  

HERON LAKE - The Jackson County Farm Bureau will be hosting a Family Picnic Night – Agricultural Style tonight from 4-7pm.  The picnic will be held at the Heron Lake BioEnergy Ethanol Plant in Heron Lake.  A free meal of pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, beans, chips, pickles and other fixings will be served along with lemonade, coffee and water.

There will be activities for kids and adults of all ages including tours of the Heron Lake BioEnergy Plant.  

Sons of Norway host Minnesota Author- July 17, 2014  


WINDOM - The Sons of Norway Stavanger Lodge will host their next meeting tonight at 7PM at the Cottonwood County Historical Society in Windom.


The special evening program will be given by Candace Simar from Pequot Lakes, MN. She is a writer and poet, and as a life-long Minnesotan and the grandchild of Norwegian immigrants, Candace nurtures a passion for Minnesota History.

Simar is author of the Abercrombie Trail series of historical novels which recount the story of Scandinavian immigrants in early Minnesota during the 1862 Sioux Uprising.

In addition to her novels, Candace’s poetry expresses her deep connection to all things Minnesotan and has received awards from the Bob Dylan Creative Writing Contest, the League of Minnesota Poets, the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, and the Brainerd Writer’s Alliance. 

The public is cordially invited to attend this event free of charge. Refreshments will be served after the program. For more information about Sons of Norway, please contact Harvey Pedersen, Sons of Norway President, at 445-3188.

Dickinson Co Conservation Board seeking input - July 17, 2014  

OKOBOJI - The Dickinson County Conservation Board is seeking input from the public about county parks, wildlife areas and nature programs.

As part of a Dickinson County Conservation planning process, residents are invited to share their thoughts and suggestions on current and potential county conservation facilities and programming through an online survey available at www.dickinsoncountynaturecenter.com through July 31.

Paper copies of the survey can be picked up or dropped off at the nature center in Okoboji.

The survey is anonymous and only takes about five minutes to fill out. It will ask residents and tourists about they use conservation board areas, how they would like to see these areas improved and how the conservation board can better serve the public.

A public meeting in June and focus groups will also be utilized to provide additional needs assessment input.

Minnesota gained 8,500 jobs in June - July 17, 2014 

SAINT PAUL - Minnesota gained 8,500 jobs in June, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The second straight month of strong job growth brought net job gains in Minnesota to 10,700 for the calendar year. In the past 12 months, the state has added 53,779 jobs, a 1.9 percent annual growth rate, which matches the U.S. growth rate for that period. 

The state unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 4.5 percent in June, down 0.6 percent from one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate in June was 6.1 percent.

Government added 3,900 jobs in June, followed by education and health services, trade, transportation and utilities, financial activities, information, professional and business services, and logging and mining.

Sectors with job losses were manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and construction.

Professional and business services led all sectors over the past year with 12,452 new jobs. Other industries adding jobs over that period were education and health services, manufacturing, construction, government, leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation and utilities, information, and logging and mining.

Financial activities  and other services lost jobs in the past year.

State Sen. Bill Weber named "Legislator of Distinction" - July 16, 2014  

SAINT PAUL - The League of Minnesota Cities has named State Senator Bill Weber (R-Luverne) as one of their 2014 “Legislators of Distinction.”  The award recognizes Senator Weber’s commitment to aiding and promoting Minnesota cities, and his support for city-friendly legislation.

The League of Minnesota Cities recognized 19 members of the Minnesota House of Representatives and 12 members of the Minnesota Senate as Legislators of Distinction. Each recipient was judged on several criteria:


  • Accessibility to League representatives.
  • Seeking input on issues of importance to cities.
  • Listens to League concerns and is receptive to the League providing information on issues.
  • Sponsors and/or supports League initiatives.
  • Speaks out on behalf of the interest of cities.
  • Demonstrates the importance of partnership between the state and cities

MnDOT launches new site - July 16, 2014 

SAINT PAUL - The Minnesota Department of Transportation has launched a new “Get Connected” website to better show the links between transportation, the economy and Minnesotans’ quality of life.    

The website was created in response to public feedback and provides answers to the most commonly asked financial questions the agency receives, such as: Where does the money for transportation come from? How is the money spent? What are MnDOT’s goals? What progress are you making toward these goals? and How are projects selected? 

The user-friendly site uses videos and other tools to answer commonly asked questions and highlight some of MnDOT’s most innovative projects. The site also includes a “Transportation in the News” section with links to numerous news stories about MnDOT’s work, along with a sampling of related articles that focus on infrastructure improvement needs of other states.

To tour the “Get Connected” website, visit www.mndot.gov/getconnected.

Council approves temporary 2-way for Riverside Dr - July 16, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson City Council met in regular session Tuesday night at the Jackson City Hall.  The meeting was called to order at 6:30pm.  Councilman Donnie Shoenrock was absent.

The council approved a resolution stating the City’s intent to create a Redevelopment TIF district within three years of demolition of city buildings on Highway 71 near Industrial Parkway.  The council also approved making Riverside Drive a two-way street for the next several months while I-90 is detoured for bridgework.  This is contingent upon the city not losing any grant monies for the trails, which will be closed along Riverside Drive while traffic is two-way.  The Council will also investigate widening Riverside Drive to make it permanently two-way along with the trail.

In other action, the council approved a variance setback request for a property in Sunset View Phase II and approved the sale of two lots in Sunset View Phase 1 for construction of a new home.

A public hearing was set for 6:30pm on Tuesday, August 5th to allow public input on a proposed Tax Abatement Resolution for a Downtown Project.  TP Holdings, LLC will be building a new pharmacy on the site of the current County Parks Building and removing an adjacent house for the construction.  The pharmacy will be leased to Lewis Family Drug.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:04pm.  The next regular meeting of the Jackson City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, August 5th at 6:30pm in the Council Chambers at the Jackson City Hall.

I-90 detours affect Jackson County Roads - July 14, 2014 

WINDOM - Bridgework on Interstate 90 has made detours necessary in Jackson County.  The westbound entrance ramp from Highway 71 to I-90 in Jackson is currently closed.  Motorists wanting to head west on Interstate 90 from Highway 71 will be routed west on County Road 34 south of Jackson to County Road 9, then north to I-90.

Construction will begin soon on the Highway 86 bridge over I-90.  Traffic both ways south of Lakefield will be routed east to 490th Street to cross I-90.

Once the westbound lane bridge is completed, work will begin on the east bound bridge, creating another detour.  Traffic exiting at Jackson will take the Highway 86 exit and routed to Jackson via County Road 34.

Initial estimates showed each side of the bridge would take around 6 weeks to complete.  Motorists are encouraged to watch for signs notifying when detours will change.  MnDOT urges everyone to drive safely and pay attention to road crews.

Schlager wins first KKOJ Birthday Present - July 14, 2014 

JACKSON - KKOJ radio is thirty-four this month, and we are celebrating by giving our birthday presents to you.

Cathy Schlager was the winner of our Family Game Night Present last week.  Cathy registered at Sunshine Foods in Jackson.

This week, we are giving away our Gambling Gone Crazy Present, a stay and dine package at the Wild Rose Casino and Resort in Emmetsburg.  To be eligible to win this weeks present, just register at one of the participating businesses.  Each week, we will draw one name from those registrations to win that week’s present.

At the end of the giveaway, we will draw from the remaining entries for 40 pairs of tickets, 10 each to the Minnesota Zoo, Nickelodeon Universe, Sea Life Aquarium and the Renaissance Faire.

Stop in at participating businesses this week and register to win one of our Birthday Presents!

Riverside Students at Safety Patrol Camp - July 14, 2014 

JACKSON - Four Riverside Elementary Fifth Graders are attending Legionville School Safety Patrol Camp near Brainerd this week.

The students attending are Daniel Stubbe, son of David and Laura Stubbe; Molly Turner, daughter of Tom and Kelly Turner; Shawn Anderson, son of Trevor and Paulette Anderson and Victoria Beaver, daughter of Chris and Sarah Beaver.

The four students are receiving instruction from members of the Minnesota State Highway Patrol on School Safety Patrol methods, Pedestrian Safety, First Aid and Water Safety. 

Tuition for these students to attend Legionville is sponsored by the Jackson American Legion Post #130 and the Riverside Elementary popcorn fund.

Martin County Relay for Life is Saturday - July 13, 2014 

FAIRMONT - Everyone is invited to come out to the Martin County Fairgrounds on Saturday afternoon, July 19, for this year’s Martin County Relay for Life. The event begins at 3 p.m. with many activities including a silent auction, pork chop feed, Mr. Relay competition, live auction, program at 7:30 p.m. and luminaria lighting at 9:15 p.m.

Come when you can and stay as long as you want! Fun activities are happening throughout the event. You do not have to be on a team to enjoy the activities. Just bring your family and friends and come and walk around the track and view the many luminaries lit to remember those who have died of cancer, and honor and encourage survivors.

Be there on July 19th as we celebrate an evening of HOPE in the fight against cancer.

Nuñez wins inaugural Jackson Sings! - July 12, 2014  

JACKSON - Josephine Nuñez of Jackson was the winner of the inaugural Jackson Sings Competition on Saturday as part of Rhythm of the River.  Nuñez won $100 in Jackson Bucks and will represent Jackson in the Minnesota Sings competition in St. Paul on September 28.  Nuñez, who will be a Sophomore at JCC High School this fall, sang “On My Own” from Les Miserables.

Brittany Parker of Trimont was second, winning $50 in Jackson Bucks.  Parker performed “Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz.

Commissioners deny City's request for reimbursement - July 8, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Board of Commissioners met in regular session Tuesday morning at the Jackson County Courthouse.  The meeting was called to order at 9am with all members present.

The Commissioners voted to deny a reimbursement request from the City of Jackson.  The City paid $1500 for an appraisal of the County Parks Building and felt that was not used by the County and should be reimbursed.  The Board felt the appraisal by the City was a cost of doing business and the City was notified up front that this would be their expense. 

A resolution was also approved that would make the position of County Auditor/Treasurer an appointed position rather than an elected one.  State legislation passed this spring making this possible.  If this resolution is not opposed, it would take effect at the end of the next term which will be elected in November.  At that point, the County would appoint the Auditor/Treasurer rather than have an election.  Kevin Nordquist, the current Auditor/Treasurer, is the only person who filed for this position in the upcoming election.

The Board set a public hearing for 9:30am on August 12th to consider the 2015-19 Capital Improvement Plan.

The Commissioners also approved hiring Taylor Martin as a Jackson County Deputy Sheriff.  Martin had worked for the Jackson Police Department and then the Jackson County Sheriff’s office before taking a job with the Sioux Falls Police Department in February 2013.  They also approved hiring recently retired Sergeant Doug Eicholz as a part-time Jailer/Dispatch and Deputy. 

In other action, the Board approved a resolution requesting a Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Jackson County, rescinded a tax abatement that had been awarded to Justin Farmer at his request, and authorized the County Coordinator to fill the Office Manager/Accountant position in the Public Works Department.  The meeting was adjourned at 10:20am.

The next regular meeting of the Jackson County Commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday, July 22 at the Jackson County Courthouse.

Zevenbergen introduced as new Parks & Trails Director - July 8, 2014 

JACKSON - Jacqueline Zevenbergen was introduced as the new Jackson/Cottonwood Counties Parks and Trails Director at the Jackson County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday.  Zevenbergen grew up in the Sioux Falls area and is a 2012 graduate of South Dakota State University with a degree in Recreation Administration.  

The Parks and Trails Departments of Jackson and Cottonwood Counties were recently combined.  Initially, Zevenbergen will spend 3 days a week in Jackson County and 2 days in Cottonwood. 

Zinghoppers to entertain at Jackson County Libraries - July 8, 2014  

JACKSON - Paws to Read this Summer at the Jackson Library.  The Summer Library programs continue this week with the Zinghoppers Animal Screen Show.  Show times in Jackson are at 10am and 2pm on Wednesday, July 9th, in Lakefield at 10am and 6:30pm and Heron Lake at 4pm on Thursday, July 10.

In addition to Emmy Award winning music, the multi-media program features an interactive movie where the audience will go on a reading adventure.

The Zinghoppers Animal Screen Show in Jackson will be at the Government Center East, the old resource center.  Enter through Door #7 on the South side.  The Lakefield and Heron Lake shows will be at the Libraries.

Break in at Family Dollar in Jackson - July 7, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a burglar alarm at the Family Dollar in Jackson just after 3am on Saturday morning.

Officers discovered the front door had been shattered.  A crow bar was found inside the store which was believed to have been used to break the glass.  There were items disturbed near the store safe but nothing was found to be missing.

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

Jackson City Council to meet in special closed session - July 7, 2014 

JACKSON - Jackson Mayor Wayne Walter has called for a special closed meeting of the Jackson City Council for tomorrow at 12:15pm in the council chambers in City Hall. 

The lone agenda item is to consider an AWSD vs. City of Jackson settlement.

Chamber holding silent auction - July 3, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a silent auction with proceeds to help support Town & Country Days.  Bids are being taken for a 2014 X534 John Deere Lawn Tractor.  Minimum bid is $6,200.  The tractor has a MSRP of $7,799.

The winning bid will be announced during the Jackson County Fair on Saturday, July 26th at 6pm.   The tractor will be on display during Rhythm of the River in Ashley Park July 11th and 12th.

66th Annual Estherville Flight Breakfast Friday - July 3, 2014 

The 66th Annual Estherville Flight Breakfast will be tomorrow morning at the Estherville Airport.  Serving is from 7-11am with a menu of pancakes, eggs, sausage and drinks.  Adults are $6, Children 4-11 are $3 and children under 4 are free.  Pilots, co-pilots and uniformed military personnel are also free.

The Northwest Iowa Jazz band will perform from 9-10am.  There are free pony rides, kids games and face painting all morning long.  Plane rides are available by Estherville Aviation for a fee.

The 66th Annual Estherville Flight Breakfast from 7-11am tomorrow at the Estherville Airport.

Jackson Sings ads Open Class - July 3, 2014           

JACKSON - The first ever Jackson Sings competition is next Saturday as part of the Rhythm of the River festival in Jackson.  Competitors ages 15-25 on September 28 of this year can compete for a chance to represent Jackson in the Minnesota Sings competition.  In addition, Jackson Sings has added an Open Class for all ages.  All rules that apply to Jackson Sings apply with the exception of the age rule and will not qualify for Minnesota Sings.

 The winner will receive $100 in Jackson Bucks.  Entry deadline for both Jackson Sings and the Open Class is Wednesday, July 9 and is open to the first 10 entrants.  To register, stop by the Jackson Chamber Office or contact Paul Jones at 840-1241.

Okabena Community 4th of July is Friday - July 3, 2014 

OKABENA - The Okabena Community 4th of July Celebration is Friday in Okabena.  There is a kiddie tractor pull at noon.  The kiddie parade is at 2:15 with the Independence parade at 2:30.  There is an Ic Cream Social at St. John’s Park after the parade ‘til gone.

At 4pm there is a Patriotic Program at the Legion and at 5pm is the slowest tractor contest on Main Street.  Fireworks will be around 10pm with the raffle drawing after the fireworks.

There will be Ball games, concessions, kiddie rides and games for the whole family all day long.  The Okabena Community 4th of July Celebration tomorrow in Okabena.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Great Heron Lake Get Together is Thursday - July 2, 2014 

HERON LAKE - The Great Heron Lake Get Together is tonight in Heron Lake.  The Pork Dinner starts at 5pm, with pork loin chops and riblets with all the fixings along with Strawberries and Ice Cream.  The Duck Races are at 7pm with the street dance starting at 8pm with the music of Decadance.

City still reviewing legality of returning funds to JHCF - July 2, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson City Council met in regular session Tuesday night.  The meeting was called to order at 6:30 with Councilmen Chris Vee and Ken Temple and city administrator Jennifer Bromeland absent.  

Chris Bower from MnDot provided update on the Highway 71 project.  With the trail being added along Highway 71, they only have room for three lanes of traffic.  The original plan included a truck lane heading up the hill toward Interstate 90.  After an internal review at MnDOT, their new proposal is one lane going up the hill with a turn lane added coming down Highway 71 into Jackson.  The city will review and address the proposal at their next meeting.

Semi braking along highway 71 was also addressed.  Councilman Fred Burn said there used to be signs along highway 71 advising no engine braking but those signs are no longer up.  Mary Muir said that there appears to be an increase of engine braking at night as well as during the day.  Chris Bower said that signage can be addressed as they work on highway 71.

The council approved restricting access to Spirit Lake Drive.  A reflective chained barricade with a padlock will be placed over Spirit Lake Drive.  The city and land owners will have keys for access.  The council accepted a donation of the former County Parks building from TP Holdings LLC and approved spending up to $62,000 to move the building to city property.

City Attorney Steve Handevidt asked the council to table the request from the Jackson Healthcare Foundation regarding the Helen Johnson Estate Funds.  He is still regarding the legality of returning these funds to the JHCF.  Jackson Healthcare Foundation member Brad Henning said that when the Hospital was upgraded the JHCF used liquid assets rather than use the estate funds which were in a CD that had not matured.  They could have requested the funds from the City before maturity but chose not to.  Handevidt said that they didn’t ask the city and that he, along with Hans Carlson, were still addressing legality.  Handevidt said that he would put this back on the agenda when they finished their review.

The council approved preparation of plans and specs for public improvements in DP area and authorized the bidding process.

In other action, on a 3-1 vote, the council approved the recommendation to enter into a contract with SEH engineering for Phase Two of the Airport Master Plan.  Councilman Dave Cushman cast the lone descending vote.  They also approved purchase of an F-350 truck for the Street Department for around $39,000.  This was budged for just over $42,000.

Greg Mitchell, engineer with Bolton and Menk presented an update on the Sanitary Sewer Extension Project.  Current bids came in 65% higher than expected.  There was no action taken.

The council adjourned to closed session to discuss the settlement relating to the AWSM vs. the City of Jackson litigation.

The next regular meeting of the Jackson City Council will be on Tuesday, July 15.

Town & Country Days in full swing - June 27, 2014  

 JACKSON - Town and Country Days activities get into full swing today.  Crazy Days downtown start at 9am this morning.  There is Summer Story Time at the Library at 10am and the carnival will be open in the afternoon and evening in the City Hall parking lot.

Tonight, the American Legion Beer Garden will open at 5pm with a bean bag tournament starting at 6pm.  The Kids Tri-4-Health gets underway at 6:30pm at the JCC High School.

At 7pm tonight, the Young Swedish Singers will be performing at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Jackson.  Then at 9pm, there is outdoor entertainment with IV Play at Pillars.

Tomorrow, The Knights of Columbus will have an Omelet Breakfast at Ashley Park from 8-10am.  The Adult Tri-4-Health is at 9am at the High School.  Also at 9am is the Take a Kid Fishing Tournament at Ashley Park and Crazy Days gets underway downtown.

There will be activities all through the day Downtown and at Ashley Park, and the parade will start at 4pm.

Wenzel and Arduser reign over Town & Country Days - June 27, 2014  

JACKSON - The new Little Miss and Mr. Jackson were crowned last night.  Kylee Wenzel, daughter of Wade and Brenda Wenzel is the 2014 Little Miss Jackson and Braedon Arduser, son of Emily Arduser is the 2014 Little Mr. Jackson.

Operation Dry Water this weekend - June 27, 2014  

JACKSON - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources along with other law enforcement agencies are stepping up patrols this weekend to crackdown on boating while intoxicating.  Operation Dry Water will run from Friday, June 27 through Sunday, June 29.

 The BWI enforcement comes as the DNR reports the number of drunken boating arrests and accidents around the state dropped 50 percent from 2012 to 2013 and arrests this year are on track to do the same.

UofO Campus Bike Ride Saturday - June 27, 2014  

MILFORD - The 30th Annual University of Okoboji Cycling Classic Campus Bike Ride tomorrow.  The Boy Scots will serve their world famous pancake breakfast from 7 to 9am.  The bicycle ride will start at 9am from Florence Park in Milford.  Enjoy a 25, 50 or 100 mile bike ride through the beautiful Iowa Great Lakes Area.

Registration is Friday from 7-9pm and again Saturday morning from 7-9am.  The $30 registration fee includes a Classic T-shirt and a barbecue with refreshments in Florence Park at 3pm.  Proceeds from the ride support the Dickinson County Trails and other area projects.

8-year old finds 2014 Medallion - June 26, 2014    

JACKSON - Eight-year old Ben Spaeth of Jackson found the Town and Country Days Medallion Wednesday night.  Ben found the medallion at Patterson Park under a slide.  He said the clue about an "iron horse" made him think of the park since they have metal rocking horses there.

For finding the medallion, Ben received a prize of $250 Jackson bucks.  At this point, he is not sure what he is going to spend it on.

AgStar seeks entries for Video Contest - June 26, 2014    

MANKATO - AgStar Financial is calling for entries for their 3rd Annual Purple Ribbon Video Contest.  There’s a lot of buzz these days about agriculture and what farmers and those involved in the industry do.

Submit a video on how you stand up for agriculture by showcasing your passion, whether it is for crops, livestock, precision ag or anything in between.  Videos should be no longer than 2 minutes and will be judged in three age groups; 14-15 year old, 16-18 year old and 19-21 year old. 

Videos should be submitted by July 21 with online voting taking place from July 22 through 31.  The contestant from each age group with the most votes will win a $1,000 scholarship.

For more information, or to submit a video, go to facebook.com/AgStar and click on the Purple Ribbon Video Contest tab.

Little Miss and Mr. to be crowned tonight - June 26, 2014  

JACKSON - The Little Miss and Mr. pageant is tonight at 6pm at the Historic State Theater in downtown Jackson.  Little Miss Jackson candidates are Reese Anderson, daughter of Sam and Sara Anderson; Alyssa Earhart, daughter of Eric and Rachel Earhart; Jamie Edlin, daughter of Carl and Julie Edlin; Erica Hanson, daughter of Nathan and Kriston Hanson; Haley Nichols, daughter of Cassie Nichols; Allie Robertson, daughter of Sara Robertson; Adrionna Powers, daughter of Branagen and Charlotte Powers; Saige Theobald, daughter of Keith and Amanda Theobald; and Kylee Wenzel, daughter of Wade and Brenda Wenzel.

Those seeking the Little Mr. Jackson crown are Miles Allen, son of Derek Allen and Melissa Schultz; Braeden Arduser, son of Emily Arduser; Brendan Blackmore, son of Crystal and Frank Nelson and Daniel Blackmore; Benjamin Dahlin, son of Eric and Julie Dahlin; Caleb Haskins, son of Jerome and Tammy Haskins; Clay Malchow, son of Melissa Osterberg and Jessie Malchow; Alex Mohning, son of Chris and Nichole Mohning; and Kade Tewes, son of Jeff and Jen Tewes.

Each candidate will perform a dance routing that was choreographed by Molly and Abby Brinkman and Tiara Menke.  2013 Little Miss Jackson, Hailey Pettiecord, daughter of Bill and Jenny Pettiecord and Little Mr. Jackson, Jack Sudusky, son or Michael and Natane Sadusky will crown this years royalty.

Pastor Eric Hullstrom will serve as the master of ceremonies.  The Little Miss and Mr. Pageant is free to attend, donations will be accepted.

"Light up the Grandstand" on Saturday night - June 25, 2014                  

JACKSON - A fundraiser for the Jackson Food Shelf will “Light up the Grandstand” at the races Saturday night at the Jackson Speedway.  They will be selling glow sticks and glow necklaces with all proceeds going to the Jackson Food Shelf.  Glow Sticks will be $1 and bracelets $4.  Free lemonade will be also be served.

The Jackson Speedway and Black Dog Signs are sponsoring this promotion.  Come out the races at the Jackson Speedway Saturday and “Light up the Grandstand”!

Treasure Village to Present "The Frog Prince" - June 24, 2014  

JACKSON - Treasure Village Theater will be presenting “The Frog Prince” Wednesday at 2:30pm at the JCC Performing Arts Center.  This event is free and open to the public.  Buses will leave from the Heron Lake Library at 1:15pm, Okabena Park at 1:30pm and the Lakefield Library at 1:45pm.  Heron Lake and Lakefield participants who will be riding the bus will need to fill our a permission slip available at the libraries.

For more information, contact the Jackson Library at 507-847-4748

County Commissioners abandon part of Judicial Ditch #33 - June 24, 2014

JACKSON - The Jackson County Commissioners met in regular session Tuesday morning at the Jackson County Courthouse.  The meeting was called to order at 9am.  Commissioner Kim Hummel was not present.

County Recorder addressed the Commissioners regarding pending changes to the Uniform Commercial Code Satellite Offices.  Jackson County is currently one of a number of counties set up as UCC Satellite Offices.  The State is planning on cancelling all county UCC Satellite Office agreement.  All transactions would need to be done online.  This would result in a loss of around $140,000 for the County and would eliminate customer service for these transactions.  The Board approved letters being sent to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Governor Mark Dayton.

A full house was there for a public hearing regarding the partial abandonment of Judicial Ditch #33 in Christiana Township.  Todd Luke, District Manager of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service petitioned the commissioners to abandon portions of Judicial Ditch #33.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife owns land in Christiana Township and will be acquiring land across the township road.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service intends to create a wildlife habitat in that area. 

A number of landowners were present.  Most were concerned with the direction any overflow water from the wetland would flow.  The current proposal has any overflow connecting to the remaining tile in Judicial Ditch #33 and flow southeast.  The commissioners voted to approve the partial abandonment and requested a public hearing following completion of the project.

The commissioner approved $44,750 to replace a pump on Judicial Ditch #2.  The existing pump has been rebuilt twice and parts are no longer available.  Pete Filippi informed the commissioners that the Public Works buildings are progressing.  Outside work is slightly behind scheduled due to the recent rains, but major inside items should be done this week. 

Doug Deragisch (dare-a-GISH) of the Southwest/West Central Cooperative provided an overview of the current Health Insurance Joint Powers Arrangement that Jackson County is a member of.  The Minnesota Service Cooperative Pool consists of around 600 public employers with about 86,000 members covered.  As part of this cooperative, the administrative costs have steadily decreased for Jackson County.  Health Care rates are continuing to rise, but the cooperative is helping minimize any impact.

The next regular meeting of the Jackson County Commissioners will be Tuesday, July 8th at 9am.

JCC School Board agrees with SW Coaches - June 24, 2014        

JACKSON - The Jackson County Central School Board met in regular session Monday night in the Board Room at the JCC High School.  The meeting was called to order at 6:03, members Rhonda Moore and Kirk Dunlavey were not present.

Consultant Tom Watson addressed the board regarding the recent Transportation negotiations.  Originally, JCC had looked at joining Windom and Mt. Lake in a regional bussing arrangement, but that did not work out.  Southwest Coaches was the only company to submit a bid to JCC and in their April meeting, the Board voted to not accept that offer and to seek other options.  Since April, the Transportation committee has been working closely with Southwest Coaches and reached an agreement that would save the district around $60,000 per year.  This contract for the 2014-16 school years was approved by the board Monday night.

Board Member Jody Thrush and Technology Ingregration Specialist Tara Boogerd presented a technology report.  Surveys were sent to parents and teachers of fifth graders through seniors, and given to those students regarding the impact of the 1:1 iPad project.  The survey was designed to determine if the 1:1 iPad project improved student learning, and if encouraged innovative strategies in teaching.  The results of the survey showed that the 1:1 project was improving student learning and encouraged innovative teaching strategies.

In action items, the board approved hiring Mary Morem as the Middle School Principal.  She is currently an elementary teacher in the Blooming Prairie School District.  JCC alum Garrett Geesman was approved as the Middle and High School Choir Director and Dana Sumnicht was approved the Food Services Director.

The board rescinded an item from the May 20th meeting regarding Bargen Incorporated’s quote to remove and replace the Pleasantview Elementary School’s parking lot.  Their original quote was for around $56,000.  Due to there being more asphalt in the parking lot than anticipated, the cost was going to increase by at least $20,000.  Being within $7,000 of the cost of concrete, with no need for periodic overlays, the Board accepted quotes from Diamond Concrete and Construction for around $83,000 to remove and replace the parking lot with concrete for around $15,000 to remove and replace the west sidewalk along the Pleasantview parking lot.

In other action, the approved changing the 2014-15 calendar for early dismissal on Wednesdays for PLC meetings.  They had previously voted to start school one hour late on Mondays.  The teaching staff wants to have weekly PLC meeting, and it was decided that an early dismissal on Wednesdays would work better than a late start on Mondays.  This will run from September through April.

The board approved the High School and Riverside handbooks for the 2014-15 school years, approved Upper Lakes as Prime Vendor/Supplier, Bimbko Bakeries as Bread Supplier and Land O’ Lakes/Dean’s Foods as the Dairy Supplier all for the 2014-15 school year.

The next regular session of the JCC School Board will be on Monday, July 21st at 6pm in the board room of the JCC High School.

Jackson Sings deadline in July 1st - June 24, 2014                  

JACKSON - Rhythm of the River is less than three weeks away, and leaves only one week to register for Jackson Sings.  Jackson Sings will be at noon on Saturday, July 12th during the ROTR festival and is part of the state wide competition Minnesota Sings.  The winner of the Jackson Sings! competition will win local prizes and be eligible to compete in Minnesota Sings in September.  Anyone between the ages of 15 and 25 on September 28, 2014 residing in the JCC School District is eligible to compete. 

Registration forms are available at the Jackson Chamber or Commerce or you can contact Paul Jones at 507-840-1241. 

Rhythm of the River committee member Deb Isaacson. Jackson Sings, part of this year’s Rhythm of the River, will be held at noon on Saturday, June 12th.