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News headlines


JCC Board approves purchase of new bus - Nov. 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 6pm, board members Gary Place and Kirk Dunlavey were absent.

Kyle Meyers of Abdo, Eick & Meyers, LLP presented the Fiscal Year 2014 Financial Audit to the Board.  The District’s total net position increased by around $1.3 million and the expenditure per pupil remained steady at around $10,700, up $400 from last year.

JCC Softball Coach Shelly Hotzler and Baseball Coach Mike Wierson talked to the Board regarding a proposed spring trip.  Board Chair Holly Arp said the board needed to think through everything before doing anything and said she appreciated the coach’s time and efforts.  No action was taken.

In action items, the board approved the Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records policy, approved the Dewey Street Connector Trail Grant Application, approved the 2014-15 JCC Teacher and Non-Certified staff Seniority Lists, approved hiring Tori Rowland as a Discovery Place Preschool paraprofessional, approved a Family Medical Leave request for Rachael Mitchell for March 2 through April 24, 2015, approved a Family Medical Leave request for Molly Strom for Nov 11, 2015 through Jan. 19, 2015 and approved hiring Jody Thrush as the long term substitute for Molly Strom with Jody Thrush abstaining.

In other action, the board approved purchasing a 2013 International Bus from Hogland Bus Company for $67,000, approved the resignation of Head Volleyball Coach Teresa VanEpps, approved the resignation of Nicole Mohning as an assistant cook and approved a number of donations.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:40pm.  The next regular meeting of the JCC School Board will be at 6:15pm on Tuesday, December 16.

November WBR and "Paws"itive winners - Nov. 23, 2014  

LAKEFIELD - The November WBR and “Paws”itive Performers were drawn at Pleasantview Elementary.

WBR Winners include Kindergartener Adria Ambrose, First Grader Cailee Jo Pauling, Second Graders Brylee Sachtjen and Kendra Haar, Third Grader Aubree Tidyman, Fourth Grader Tyron Collins and Fifth Graders Avery Jensen and Noah Steckman

“Paws”itive Performers are Kindergarteners Jayden Lecky and Xavier Schultz, First Graders Ava Fischer and Jadyn Polke, Second Graders Brylee Sachtjen, Emerson Hendrickson, Alex Koster and Ian Titterington, Third Graders Hannah Hash and Mariah Vancura, Fourth Graders Drew Nichols and Braxton Pavelko and Fifth Graders Trayton Kolander, Trinity Schultz, Alana Freking and Paul Troe.

County announced potential sale of Speedway - Nov. 21, 2014  

JACKSON - The Jackson County Board of Commissioners announced the potential sale of the Jackson Speedway by open bid.  The Speedway was previous offered for sale in 2012, but there was no successful bidder at that time. 

Commissioner Bill Tusa, Chair of the Racing Advisory Committee, stated “there has been renewed interest in the Speedway and the County Board would like to explore the benefits that the sale of the Speedway would bring to the citizens of Jackson County.” 

No official action has been taken, and further discussions are expected in December.

Christmas House Walk this weekend - Nov. 20, 2014   

WORTHINGTON - The 12th Annual Worthington Hospice Cottage, Inc. Christmas House Walk will be this weekend.  The Walk will be today from 4:30 to 8:30pm and again tomorrow from 9am to 12:30pm.

Tickets are $10 per person and are available only at Hy-Vee, McCarthy’s Floral, Sterling Drug, Decadent Door, Sanford Worthington Hospital Gift Shop and at the Worthington Chamber of Commerce.  Tickets will not be sold at the homes.  All proceeds benefit Hospice Cottage, Inc.

The 12th Annual Christmas House Walk, tonight and tomorrow in Worthington, sponsored by Hospice Cottage, Inc in Worthington.

Monroe Crossing in Jackson Saturday - Nov. 20, 2014 

JACKSON-JCC Community Education will be presenting Monroe Crossing in concert Saturday night at 7pm at the JCC Performing Arts Center. 

Saturday’s show will feature bluegrass music with some gospel favorites included.  The second half of the show is audience request.  Tickets are only available at the door and are $10 for Adults and $5 for students, with preschool aged children admitted for free.

Everyone is invited to enjoy Monroe Crossing, Saturday night at 7pm at the JCC Performing Arts Center, sponsored by JCC Community Education. 

MCW presents "The Music Man" - Nov. 19, 2014  

SHERBURN - The Martin County West High School Drama Department will present the Musical “The Music Man” this weekend in Sherburn.   

Everyone is invited to the Martin County West High School Drama Department’s performance of the musical “The Music Man”.  Performances are on Friday and Saturday nights at 7pm with a Sunday matinee at 2pm.  Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students and can be purchased from any cast member, or at the door.

MN Chamber Tour visits Jackson - Nov. 19, 2014  

JACKSON - The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce brought their Statewide Policy Tour to Jackson yesterday.  The event held at AGCO was one of 20 scheduled throughout the state during the month of November. 

The goal of the Tour is to visit with local Chambers in preparation of the 2015 Legislative Session.

Council reviews Tobacco-Free Parks policy - Nov. 19, 2014  

JACKSON - The Jackson City Council met in regular session last night in the council chambers at City Hall.  The meeting was called to order at 6:30pm with all members present.

Luke Ewald with Public Health addressed the council regarding a Tobacco-Free parks policy.  Councilman Donnie Schoenrock expressed concern over some of the language used in the policy.  This was tabled to allow more time for review.

Marsha Pohlman, owner of Enchanted Flowers, spoke to the council regarding the $15 sidewalk display permit required by the city for businesses to display items on the sidewalk in front of their business.  Pohlman asked why if the business is responsible for removing snow, repairs and keeping the sidewalk clean, they have to pay to display items.  This was sent to the street committee to review this policy.

Jacquiline Knips, Director of Jackson/Cottonwood County Parks and Trails addressed the council regarding the Dewey Street Connector Trail.  Rather than put a new trail between the Football Field and the hospital, the trail will be added to the east side of Dewey Street, to connect North Highway and Springfield Parkway.

Mark Sasker asked the council to increase the pool of Firefighters from 30 to 36 to help ensure there are enough firefighters available during daytime calls.  This was approved by the council.

In other action, the council approved selling the former cable TV headend building to Steve Bechel for $1001, approved the sale of the city lot behind It’s a Keeper Too to Mike and Kandee Ennis and approved a resolution of support for a TAP grant application.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:25pm.  The next regular meeting of the Jackson City Council will be on Tuesday, December 2nd at the City Hall in Jackson.

Commission names Haley acting County Attorney - Nov. 18, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Commissioners approved an agreement for the Odell Wind Farm Project at their meeting Tuesday morning. Plans are to begin construction in the spring with the system being operational by the end of next year.

Area Senior Dining and Meals on Wheels coordinator Sarah Henfling from Lutheran Social Services also gave the board an update

The Commissioners approved the retirement of County Attorney Robert O’Connor effective November 30 and appointed current assistant and County Attorney Elect Sherry Haley as acting county attorney effective December 1.

The board approved a resolution adopting a multi-county solid waste management plan. The regional effort fulfils a requirement by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and includes twelve counties in Southwest Minnesota. The resolution is contingent upon county attorney review and approval.

The board met with representatives of Super America and Casey’s General Store of Jackson before approving their tobacco license applications. Both S.A. and Casey’s failed a compliance check for selling to an underage person in the past twelve months. The representatives assured the commissioners that they have emphasized the importance of not selling to underage customers with all of their employees.

In other action the board approved the re-appointment of Michelle Ignazewsk to the Extension Local Advisory Committee…approved a one percent cost of living increase for non-union employees…and set Tuesday, December 16 at 2:00 p.m. as the time for a public hearing for the redetermination of benefits for Judicial Ditch number twelve.

15th Annual Madrigal Feast Dec 6-7 - Nov. 16, 2014  

The Iowa Lakes Community College Music Department is proud to announce the Fifteenth Annual Elizabethan Madrigal Feaste.  This year’s festivities will be held at 6:30pm on Saturday, December 6th and Sunday, December 7th at the Estherville VFW.

Guests will be served a delicious six-course meal and will have an opportunity to participate in some hilarious comedic entertainment, and listening to splendid sounds of the season performed by the Iowa Lakes Chamber Choir, the Lakers Handbell Ringers, The King’s Brass Ensemble and Her Majesty’s Recorder Consort. 

Tickets are $20 per person and seating is limited.  Reservations must be received in the Music Department and paid in full by Wednesday, Dec. 3. 

If you have any questions, or would like to reserve tickets, please contact Linda Kautz, Music Department Assistant, at 712-362-8345 or 1-800-242-5106 Ext. 8345 or by email at lkautz@iowalakes.edu.

DCCN to host Turkey Trot on Nov. 26 - Nov. 14, 2014  

OKOBOJI - Trot on over to the Dickinson County Nature Center and gobble up some knowledge during the Turkey Trot hike at 1pm and 4pm on Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dickinson County Conservation Board naturalists Karess Knudtson and Charles Vigdal will lead young and old alike through Kenue Park in Okoboji to learn all about turkeys as Thanksgiving approaches.

This is the third year for the Turkey Trot, but this year’s event will be new and exciting. Hikers will stop at various stations throughout Kenue Park to learn all about turkeys, from characteristics of the animal to seeing a model turkey nest to searching for a live turkey with calls.

The event will end at the Dickinson County Nature Center with a craft and snack.

The Turkey Trot is a continuation of a series started this summer titled Hike the Wild.

The next will be the Winter Solstice Hike 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23, and more hikes will be held 10 a.m. the fourth Tuesday of each month January-October as well as the fourth Wednesday of the month in November and December --- Jan. 27, Feb. 24, March 24, April 28, May 26, June 23, July 28, Aug. 25, Sept. 22, Oct. 27, Nov. 25 and Dec. 23.

For more information on the Turkey Trot or other Hike the Wild events, contact the Dickinson County Nature Center at 712-336-6352 or visit online at dickinsoncountyconservationboard.com.

Holiday Coffee House at ILCC on Nov. 24 - Nov. 13, 2014 

ESTHERVILLE - A Holiday Coffee House will be presented by the Iowa Lakes Music Department on Monday, Nov. 24.   The Coffee House will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in The Max on the Estherville campus. 

The evening’s performances will include an assortment of holiday musical styles by various Iowa Lakes vocal and instrumental ensembles, as well as members of the community. 

Everyone is invited to enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable evening of live music and refreshments. Admission is free. 

If anyone is interested in performing at a Coffee House, please contact Linda Kautz, Music Department Assistant.

JCC HS to present "Meet Me in St. Louis" - Nov. 12, 2014  

JACKSON - The Jackson County Central High School Drama Department will present the musical “Meet Me in St. Louis” this Friday and Saturday at the JCC Performing Arts Center.  Showtime is 7:30pm each night. 

“Meet Me in St. Louis” will be presented by the Jackson County Central Drama Department this Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30pm each night at the JCC Performing Arts Center.  Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students.  Activity passes will be honored for admission.

Jackson has Talent will be Saturday, Nov. 22 - Nov. 12, 2014  

JACKSON - The Jackson Golf Club will host the first Jackson Has Talent next Saturday at 6:30pm at the Golf Club in Jackson. 

Contestants must be at least 21 years old.  There is no restriction on the type of act, and should be 3-5 minutes in length.  The crowd will judge the acts.

The First Jackson Has Talent will be next Saturday, November 22.  Happy Hour and Taco Bar will start at 5pm with the show starting at 6:30.  There will be a $1 admission with proceeds going to the winners.  For more information, contact the Golf Course at 847-2660.

Sheriff requests residents secure vehicles - Nov. 10, 2014  

JACKSON - The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has investigated 2 thefts from vehicles and 1 incident of tampering of a motor vehicle in the past week.

They are requesting that all residents secure or remove any valuable items form vehicles that are left unattended and encourage everyone to report any suspicious activities to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

4-H Banquet held Sunday night - Nov. 10, 2014 

LAKEFIELD - "Get Hooked on 4-H" was the theme of the 79th Annual Jackson County 4-H Banquet held Sunday night at the Immanuel Lutheran Activity Center in Lakefield. 4-H members, adult leaders and supporters were recognized and honored.

First year, 5th year, 25th year and 35th year 4-H Adult leaders were honored. First year adult leaders included Tracy Freking and Jeremy Bartosh of the Lacrosse 4-H Club, Loren Eckert of Enterprise, Cathy Holthe and Mackenzie Erickson of Heron Landers, Beth Fogelson of Petersburg and Stacey Christoffers of the Rost 4-H Club.

Fifth Year leaders included Susan Lusk of Middletown and Janet Majerus of Sioux Valley.

Kent and Terri Bargfrede of the Enterprise 4-H Club were honored for 25 years as leaders and  Betty Elness of Delafield was honored for her 35 years of serving as an adult leader.

A number of awards were presented to 4-H members for their work and activities over the past year.

Ashley Wagner and Sam Freking of the Lacrosse Loyal Workers were honored with the "Reporter Award". Jessica Christoffer of the Rost Rustlers and Ali Eckert of the Enterprise Earners were honored with the "Secretary's Award".

Jon Hussong of the Lacrosse Loyal Workers received the "Treasurer's Award"

Joseph Mohr of Middletown received the "REA Incentive Award".

4-H Alumni Awards were presented to Betty Elness and Deb Rentschler.

The Rost Rustlers 4-H Club earned this year's "Community Pride Award".

The Lacrosse Loyal Workers were honored with the "Club Project Award".

Anna Fest and Taylor Post received the "Young Achiever Awards".

Lisa Fest of Lacrosse was honored with the Adeline Rossow Adult Leader Award.

Maggie Post of Lakefield-Hunter and Wyatt Ignaszewski of Delafield received the "I Dare You Awards".

Kristin Liepold and Nolan Hohenstein were both honored with the "Achievement, Leadership and Citizenship Awards".

Marcus Hinkeldey of Delafield was honored with the "Ray Palmby Livestock Achievement Award".

Aaron Fest, Tanner Post, Kristin Liepold and Paige Anderson was all recognized as recepients in Jackson County of the Andrea Ruesch Regional 4-H Scholarships.

Michelle Hohenstein and Jade Holthe received the "4-H Spirit Award".

For the sixth year in a row, the Lacrosse Loyal Workers received the "Scotch Trophy Award". The Scotch Trophy Award is presented to the 4-H Club with the highest percentage of participation at the Jackson County Fair. Second place honors went to the Rost Rustlers, Third to the Delafield Diggers and Fourth to the Enterprise Earners.

The Delafield Diggers were honored with the "Most Improved Club Award". The Enterprise Earners were the runner-ups.

The Lacrosse Loyal Workers were honored as the "4-H Club of the Year". They were among the 4 clubs who earned "Golds" in the competition which included Lacrosse, Delafield, Enterprise and Rost.

Earning "Silvers" were Lakefield-Hunter, Middletown and Petersburg and earning "Bronze" were Heron Landers and the Sioux Valley Work and Win 4-H Clubs.

Club Leader Awards were presented to Sharon Hinkeldey and Michele Hohenstein of the Delafield Diggers, Justin and Staci Warmka of the Enterprise Earners, Mackenzie Erickson of Heron Landers, Tracy Freking of the Lacrosse Loyal Workers, Shirley Anderson of Lakefield-Hunter, Sue Lusk of the Middletown Livewires, Elizabeth Fogelson of the Petersburg Willing Workers, Shelly Gustin and Stacey Christoffers of the Rost Rustlers and Janet Majerus of the Sioux Valley Work and Win.

Thirty-eight first-year 4-H members were recognized. Also six 3rd year members, nine 5th year members and nine 10 year members were recognized. Also, graduating members of the Jackson County 4-H program were honored.

Seventy-three 4-H members were recognized as "4-H Record Award Winners".

The 2012-2014 Outgoing Advisory Board members, Chairman David Hussong and Melonie Vancura were both honored. Newly elected Advisory Board members Stacey Christoffers, Shirley Handzus and Justin Warmka were recognized. They will join Advisory Board members
Lisa Fest, Melanie Post, Vicki Thiner and Ed Yonker whose terms continue.

Curt Chergosky was recognized and given a standing ovation on his contribution to the Minnesota 4-H Program.

2013-2014 Outgoing 4-H Federation Officers were honored. They included Nolan Hohenstein who served as President, Sydney Eddy as Vice President, Kristin Liepold as Secretary, Joshua Christoffer as Treasurer, Paige Anderson as Reporter and Jessica Chrstoffer as Historian/Photographer.

The 2014-2015 4-H Federation Officers were recognized. They include Sydney Eddy who is serving as President, Maggie Post as Vice-President, Abi Fest as Secretary, Marcus Hinkeldey as Treasurer, and Ashley Wagner as Reporter, Historian and Photographer.

The Annual 4-H Recognition Banquet is sponsored by the Jackson County Bankers Association.

Winter weather advisory to be in effect on Monday - Nov. 9, 2014   

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for mixed precipitation, snow and blowing snow, which is in effect all day Monday, starting at midnight.

Mixed precipitation will develop across the area toward midnight tonight, then transition to all snow from north to south during the morning hours of Monday.

Snowfall accumulations will be in the range 1-3 inches across the area, with the heavier amounts over the northern portions of the effected area. Any ice accumulations are expected to be light, occurring mainly through the southern portions of the effected area tonight into Monday morning.

Northeast winds will increase to 15-30 mph tonight, with the strong winds gradually shifting to the north on Monday. The strong winds and any falling snow could result in visibility less than a mile at times.

A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities and use caution while driving.

Veterans Day Chapel at ILS in Lakefield - Nov. 9, 2014   

LAKEFIELD - Immanuel Lutheran's School will have a special Veterans' Day Chapel on Wednesday, November 12 at 8:30. It will be led by Pastor Bart Mueller and everyone is invited.

Great Wall of Art Fundraiser starts Monday - Nov. 9, 2014   

JACKSON - For the third year, Pleasantview and Riverside Elementary schools will create a Great Wall of Art in each building.  The ordering phase of the square 1 art fundraiser starts today and runs through Friday November 21st.

All funds raised through the fundraiser will go towards buying ceramic supplies as well as a kiln for Pleasantview Elementary. Any unused funds will be saved for the Great Wall of Art in 2015.

Parents can order using the catalog order form children bring home or they can go online.

For more information, please contact art teacher Aline Wilking by email at
Aline.Wilking@jccschools.com or by phone at Riverside Elementary at 507-847-5963.

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training to be held in Milford - Nov. 7, 2014   

MILFORD - Harbor of Joy Lutheran Church will serve as host for a program on child sexual abuse prevention training.  This Free program is scheduled for Wednesday, November 19th from 6:30 to 8:45 at Harbor’s building at 1204 L Avenue in Milford, Iowa.

One in four girls and one in five boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.  Darkness to Light Stewards of Children is prevention training that empowers and educates adults on how to prevent, recognize and react to child abuse.  This training is especially helpful for youth serving organizations, churches and parents.  It offers tools to communicate to children about this topic and teaches safety measures to put in place in homes, organizations and communities.

All adults are invited to attend the free community training on November 19th from 6:30 to 8:45 at Harbor of Joy Lutheran Church.

For more information or to register for one of these trainings, please contact Kristi Neumann at Kristin@caasaonline.org or by phone at (712)732-8120.

ILCC sponsoring Honor Trees for veterans - Nov. 6, 2014   

OKOBOJI - Geocaching is a new and exciting activity for people of all ages to do at the Dickinson County Conservation Board parks.

Four National Wildlife Foundation Ranger Rick geocaches have been established in the area around the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji, and four more have been added at the Horseshoe Bend Wildlife Area south of Milford.

Geocaching uses handheld GPS units or smartphone navigational systems to find hidden caches --- containers that are camouflaged to blend into their surroundings. People can check out a GPS unit from the nature center or they can download an app for their smartphones using the directions from the geocaching display within the nature center. Whichever system is used, geocachers will follow directions that will lead them to within just a few feet of the cache.

Then they explore to find where it might be hidden.  Once the participants find the cache, they can read the clue on the enclosed card to figure out what Ranger Rick character is represented at that stop, then stamp the animal’s footprint on their souvenir passport, and finally record their names and the date in the logbook.

In addition to the Ranger Rick Geocache Trails, several caches not maintained by the conservation board are also available in Kenue Park and at Horseshoe Bend.

The conservation board is also excited to place caches in more of its parks in the future, and Knudtson hopes to utilize some of the different types of caches, such as a mystery/puzzle box or a Cache In Trash Out geocache event.

To take advantage of this new and exciting activity which has already fascinated more than 6 million geocachers around the world, visit the nature center and pick up a geocaching passport with complete instructions. For more information, call 712-336-6352.

Jackson Council approves pay increase - Nov. 5, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson City Council met in regular session last night in the Council chambers in City Hall.  The meeting was called to order with all members present.

The Council approved rezoning the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership Tract to Multi-Family Residential and approved adjusting the compensation for the Mayor and City Council.

In other action, the council approved hiring Craig Hagen as a part-time liquor store clerk, approved a one-day temporary liquor license for the Jackson National Guard Armory for the Pheasants Forever Banquet and approved participation in the Southwest/West Central Cooperative Health Cost Management Program.

The meeting was adjured to closed session at 6:40.  During closed session, the council approved releasing Travis Harmening from his farmland lease with the City that is schedule to expire in February of 2016 and approved an offer of $185 per acre from matt Benson to farm this land in 2015 and 2016.  The Council also accepted an offer of $3,000 from Mike and Kandee Ennis for the purchase of a bare city owned lot.

The next regular meeting of the Jackson City Council is scheduled for 6:30pm on Tuesday, November 18th at City Hall in Jackson.

One injured in one-vehicle accident on Hwy 60 - Nov. 5, 2014  

HERON LAKE - One person was injured in a one vehicle rollover accident Wednesday morning on highway 60 in Jackson County.  38-year old Claudia Tema of Okabena was driving a 2005 Ford Focus eastbound on Highway 60 when she left the roadway, over corrected and flipped onto the roof.

Tema was taken by Worthington Ambulance to the Worthington Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  No damage was reported to the Focus.

The Worthington Police and Nobles County Sheriff’s office assisted the State Patrol at the scene.

Commissioners meet on Tuesday - Nov. 4, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Commissioners approved a contract with Dunnick Brothers of Prinsberg, Minnesota for paving of the Public Works parking lot at their meeting Tuesday morning.

The Public Hearing for the jurisdictional transfer of County Road 87 was set for Monday, December 15 at 5:30 p.m. The Wisconsin Township Board meets at the Alpha Community Hall.

In other action the board approved a tentative contract agreement with the Law Enforcement Labor unions. The three year agreement includes a 1 percent increase in 2015, one and a half percent in 2016 and two percent in 2017. The board Approved filling two part-time Jailer Positions in the Sherriff’s Department. One was created due to a part time jailer accepting a full time Jailer/Dispatcher position. The other was created due to another part-time jailer who resigned to complete his law enforcement degree. They approved a request from County Auditor/Treasurer Kevin Nordquist to change a part-time Administrative Assistant position to a full time Deputy Auditor/Treasurer-Recorder.

Deputy County Assessor, Lisa Will presented an updated County Tax Abatement Policy which was approved.

The commissioners also met in closed session to discuss real estate negotiations.

Pedestrian injured in accident near Brewster - Nov. 4, 2014  

BREWSTER - One person was injured in a pedestrian-vehicle accident in Nobles County on Monday.  43-year old Erin Fahey of St. Peter stepped out of a disabled vehicle on Highway 60 near Brewster and was struck by a 2008 Pontiac Grand-Am driven by 27 year-old Amanda Estrada of Worthington.

Fahey was transported to the Worthington Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  Estrada sustained no apparent injuries.

Minor damage was reported to Estrada’s Grand-Am.

The Nobles County Sheriff’s Office and Worthington Ambulance assisted the State Patrol at the scene.

2014 Beef Royale Banquet Announced - Nov. 3, 2014  

WINDOM - The 2014 Beef Royale Banquet will be held Saturday evening, November 15th, at the Windom Community Center, Windom MN.  Serving time will be 6:00 p.m.  This year the meal will include carved prime rib with T-Tommy’s of Springfield catering the meal.

The evening will include, presentation of show awards and premium checks, winners of the spectator judging contest, naming of the 2014 Beef Ambassador, announcing the Beef Producer of the Year recipient and announcing the Outstanding Service Award of the Year.

Guest speaker for the evening will be Bruce Vincent of Montana, a highly acclaimed motivational speaker who is in tune with rural philosophies.

Tickets may be purchased from Cottonwood Cattle Producer board members, the Cottonwood County Extension Office at 831-4022.  The price of a ticket is $20.00 Adults/$15.00 Students until November 13.  The price after November 13th and at the door will be $25.00 Adults and remain $15.00 for students.   For more information contact MK Franz at 507-822-1671.

ILCC sponsoring Honor Trees for veterans - Nov. 3, 2014  

EMMETSBURG - Iowa Lakes Community College will be honoring veterans with several activities throughout the month of November.

For the second year in a row, all campuses are sponsoring ‘Honor Trees.’ Multi-colored ribbons are placed near the Honor Trees to encourage students, faculty and staff to tie various colored ribbons on the trees to recognize those who have served, as well as those currently serving in the U.S. military.

Also throughout the month, all campuses are encouraging contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project. Iowa Lakes has established a specific web page for donations. A link to that page is available on the Iowa Lakes website of www.iowalakes.edu. The link for the Wounded Warrior Program page – that is specifically for college contributions – is located below Military Veterans Opportunities in the lower center position of the home page. The link is entitled ‘Donate to the Wounded Warrior Project.’

Members of the public are welcome to join the college in thanking Veterans by tying a ribbon on the “Honor Tree” at any campus of Iowa Lakes Community College.

Also, all students, faculty and staff of Iowa Lakes are encouraged to ‘show their colors’ and wear red, white and blue on Veteran’s Day.

For more information, please contact Beto Hernandez at 712-362-7919; or the Iowa Lakes marketing office at 712-362-7944.

One injuired in accident in Nobles County - Nov. 3, 2014 

BREWSTER - One person was injured in a one vehicle accident near Brewster Sunday morning. 23 year-old Joshua Nibbelink of Brewster was driving a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am on  Highway 60 when he struck some debris on the road, lost control and came to rest in the ditch.

Nibbelink was transported to the Sanford Worthington Hospital with non-life threating injuries.  Minor damage was reported to his Grand Am.

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

Big South Choral Festival on Monday - Nov. 2, 2014 

WORTHINGTON - The First Annual Choral Festival of the Big South Conference will be held today in Worthington and Redwood Falls.  The Jackson County Central High School Choir, along with choirs from Worthington, Luverne, Fairmont, St. James and Blue Earth Area will take part in today’s festival in Worthington.

Each choir will sing two songs for guest judges and clinicians, who will deliver comments and critiques for each choir.  The choirs will then rehearse together.

The Festival will conclude with a concert at 6:30pm at the Worthington High School.  Each schools choir will perform their two songs, then an honors choir will perform followed by all six choirs in a mass 450-voice choir performing three songs.

Choirs from Marshall, Windom, Redwood Falls, Pipestone, New Ulm and St. Peter will holding a similar festival in Redwood.  Waseca High Schools chose not to participate in the Frist Annual Choir Festival for the Big South Conference.  

National FFA Convention wrapped up Saturday - Nov. 2, 2014 

LOUISVILLE, KY - The 87th National FFA Convention wrapped up Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky.  Approximately 60,000 FFA members from across the nation and Puerto Rico attended this year’s event.

FFA teams that placed first in Career Development events at their State Conventions qualified to compete at the National FFA Convention.

Jackson County Central FFA’s Vet Science Team placed 11th in the competition.  The team was just one-and-a-half points out of placing in the top ten.  The JCC Vet Science Team earned a “Gold Emblem”.  Individually, Jacey Edlin was 37th and Hannah Holmberg was 38th.  Both received “Gold Emblems”.  Alexa Palmer earned a “Silver” and Elyse Johnson a “Bronze”.   The team activity is one of the major portions of the Vet Science Competition and the JCC Team earned 578 points out of a possible 600.

The Windom FFA Agronomy Team placed 6th in competition earning a “Gold Emblem”.  Individually, team member Spencer Wolter placed first.  The top ten individuals received cash awards to recognize their success in the event.  Wolter, along with team mates Rylea Minion and Eliza Ford all earned “Gold Emblems” and Natalie Resch earned a “Silver”.  The team was coached by Larry Christopher and Darci Dahna. 

Local FFA members earning their American Degrees included Darby Harder, Daniel Oeltjenbruns and Alex Schultz of the Mountain Lake FFA Chapter, Austin Liepold and Stuart Schumacher of Heron Lake-Okabena, Jacqueline Martin of Worthington, and Mallory Pagel and Laura Williams of Fulda, and Ashtin Scotting of the Murray County Central FFA Chapter.

Levi Jahnke and Caitlin Oeltjenbruns of Mountain Lake were members of the National FFA Band that performed several times at the National Convention.

Competing in the National FFA Talent Contest was Britton Pankratz of Mountain Lake with his yo-yo demonstration and Rebecca Dose of Jackson County Central with her music.  They also performed at several functions during the Convention.

Approximately 1,000 Minnesota FFA members participated in this year’s Convention.  Next year, the National FFA Convention will be held in Louisville, before moving to Indianapolis in 2016.

Fish Boil Sunday in Lakefield - Oct. 31, 2014 

LAKEFIELD - A Fish Boil will be held Sunday from 11am to 12:30pm at the Immanuel Lutheran Church Activity Center in Lakefield.  The menu includes flaky, boiled white fish drizzled with melted butter, potatoes, coleslaw, home baked bread, assorted desserts and beverages.

A free-will offering will be taken with proceeds going toward the Orphan Grain Train, which is a Christian volunteer network that shares personal and material resources with needy people in America and around the world.

Everyone is invited to come to the Immanuel Lutheran Church Activity Center for a Fish Boil Sunday from 11am to 12:30pm.

Trick-or-Treat inside this Halloween - Oct. 30, 2014  

JACKSON - It’s Halloween, the day when little ghosts, goblins and other creatures are free to roam the streets at night looking for tasty treats.  Tonight’s forecast is calling for cold and windy conditions, so make sure your trick-or-treaters are bundled up appropriately for the weather.

In addition, several area nursing homes are hosting trick-or-treating events today that will be inside their facilities where it’s warm and light.  Children are encouraged to come in costume and visit The Good Samaritan Society in Jackson from 5 to 6pm, Trimont Healthcare from 4 to 5:15pm, Temperance Lake Ridge from 5:30 to 8pm and Lakeview Assisted Living in Heron Lake from 6 to 8pm tonight.

October Terrific Kids recognized - Oct. 30, 2014  

JACKON - October’s Terrific Kids were recognized Thursday afternoon at Riverside Elementary.

For the 22nd year, the Jackson Kiwanis Club honors Terrific Kids monthly throughout the school year.  In addition to the Kiwanis Club, sponsors of the program include Jackson businesses Burger King, Livewire Printing Company, Santee-Crossing Embers America, the Historic State Theater, the AmericInn, the JCC Swimming Pool, the Pizza Ranch, Casey’s, Dairy Queen and KKOJ/KRAQ.  The Terrific Kids are chosen from nominations that are submitted by teachers and staff during the past month.

Octobers’s Terrific Kids honored for being “Respectful “ were Third Grader Ben Spaeth, son of Jared and Sarah Spaeth and Fourth Grader JC Chanthalangsy, son of Khamoune and Somnuek Canthalangsy. 

Terrific Kids honored for being “Positive” were Third Grader Ava Brinkman, daughter of Mike and Mary Brinkman and Fourth Graders Caleb Vancura, son of Bryce and Laura Vancura and Lillian Blackmore, daughter of Crystal Nelson.

Terrific Kids honored for being “Safe” were Kindergartener Grant Ambrose, son of Jeremy and Kassandra Ambrose and First Grader Addison Thurmer, daughter of Adam and Karie Thurmer.

Terrific Kids honored for being “Responsible” were First Grader Hadley Wachal, daughter of Kip and Heather Wachal, Second Grader Alexa Gonzales, daughter of Patricia Vongsy and Matthew Vongsay, Fourth Grader Logan Butzon, son of Chris and Liezl Butzon and Fifth Graders Ridge VanWesten, son of Paul and Karen VanWesten and Riley Endreson, son of Curtis and Kris Endreson.

The students honored as October’s Terrific Kids received a Certificate proclaiming them as a Terrific Kid, a magnet, a button, pencil and certificates from the sponsoring businesses. 

"Amp Up The Music" at IRRM - Oct. 28, 2014 

OKOBOJI - The “Amp Up The Music” winter exhibit in the Iowa RockNRoll Music Museum will be introduced at an Open House on Saturday, Nov. 1.

A unique display of vintage and rare amps used on entertainment stages as far back as the early days of rock and roll will be highlighted in the museum located on Lake Street in Arnolds Park.  

Dewey Leopold of Lakefield, Minnesota and John Senn of Spirit Lake are the owners of the exhibited amps. They will be on hand to talk about their collections and answer any questions between 1:30 and 3 p.m. that Saturday.

The museum is operating on its off-season hours which are Thursday – Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is no admission charge to enjoy the museum.

Senn and Leopold invite everyone to join them at the Grand Opening on Nov. 1.

JCC School Board looks at building safety - Oct. 27, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Central School Board met in regular session Monday night.  The meeting was called to order at 6pm.  Tim Thurmer was the only board member absent.

JCC Head Baseball coach Mike Wierson and Head Softball Coach Shelly Hotzler addressed the council regarding a potential spring trip.  They had looked at several locations, but Las Vegas was the lowest cost per student.  The Board asked that the coaches meet with the Activities Council and they will vote during their November meeting.

Rod Schumacher with IS Group addressed the council regarding building security at each of the JCC Schools.  In light of recent school incidents, Superintendent Todd Meyer wanted what could be done to make all four JCC Schools safer.  Schumacher said that the Middle School building is currently in the best shape, with Riverside Elementary having the least desirable layout.  The goal is to have a preliminary plan this fall and then work on design over the winter.  Bids could be requested and received in the early spring, approved in March and work starting after the school year.

In other action, the board approved the resignation of School Nurse Tracy Mitchell and Head Custodian Cliff Rubitschung, approved hiring Ashley Mouw as a paraprofessional at Pleasantview and Bardene Peter as the new van driver, approved the 2014-16 agreement between the JCC Principals’ association and JCC Schools, approved the MSHSL Foundation Application for Student Participation Grant and approved applying for Rural Healthcare Services Outreach Grant through the US Government.

The School Board will meet at 6pm on Monday, November 10th to canvass the election.  The next regular meeting of the JCC School Board will be at 6pm on Monday, November 24th in the Board Room at the JCC High School.

Two hurt in accident south of Lakefield - Oct. 26, 2014 

LAKEFIELD - Two people received minor injuries in a two vehicle accident Sunday afternoon south of Lakefield.  26 year-old Mitchell Ferguson of Heron Lake was driving a 1998 Kenworth Tractor Truck southbound on Highway 86 when he attempted to turn left onto eastbound Interstate 90.  81 year-old Franklin Post of Chandler, MN was driving a 1997 Dodge Dakota on the eastbound exit ramp from I90.  Post attempted to turn northbound on Hwy 86 and pulled in front of Fergusons truck.

Post and a passenger in his vehicle, 80 year-old Arlene Post of Chandler were both transported to the Sanford Worthington Hospital with non-life threating injuries.  Ferguson had not apparent injuries.  No damage was listed for either vehicle.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Lakefield Fire and Ambulance assisted the state patrol at the scene.

Ruby's Pantry coming to Jackson - Oct. 26, 2014 

JACKSON - Ruby’s Pantry, a regional food distribution organization, will make their first visit to Jackson on Tuesday, October 28th from 4:30 to 6pm at the Jackson National Guard Armory. 

There is a $20 donation requested from those receiving food.  All participants are requested to bring two large boxes or wash baskets to help carry the food that is distributed.

Ruby's Pantry will be in Jackson monthly on the fourth Tuesday each month.  Distribution will be at the Jackson National Guard Amory.

First Monster Dash being held Saturday - Oct. 23, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson Women of Today will be sponsoring the first ever Monster Dash on Saturday, October 25th.  Registration starts at 9am at Riverside Elementary, with the Dash starting at 9:30am.

 The Monster Dash will follow city trails along Springfield parkway, with the course being just over 3 miles total.  There is a $10 registration fee for individuals with a $30 cap for families.  All proceeds will go to the PTO's at Riverside and Pleasantview Elementary Schools.

Everyone participating is encouraged to wear a costume, and a costume contest will be held.

Reinbows to host 7th annual Horses in Costume - Oct. 23, 2014

WINDOM - Reinbows in Windom will be hosting their 7th Annual Trick-or-Treating and Horses in Costume on Friday, October 31 from 4:00 to 6:00pm.  The Reinbows’ horses can’t wait to show you their costumes!  There is no cost to attend this always-popular event, but we ask that you consider bringing a canned food item to be donated to the Windom Area Sharing Center.

If you have any questions, or for more information, you can call Damon at 507-822-0526 or visit their website at reinbowsinc.org.

Blues/Rock & Roll Jam Nov. 6 at PLAC - Oct. 23, 2014

OKOBOJI - It's time for another Blues/Rock & Roll Jam. Summers gone, dust off your guitars, basses, horns, harmonicas and sticks, bring them to the Pearson Lakes Art Center on Thursday, November 6th and join fellow musicians for some good music and tons of fun. The Blues Jam is in its third year and has built a large crowd of fans - everyone has a good time.
A backline of drums, amps, keyboard is provided - all you have to do is show up with your instrument or stick bag. 
Jam participation, admission and parking are FREE so tell you friends to be there. The fun begins at 7 p.m. in the casual setting of the Pomerantz room. Cash bar and sign-in starts at 6:45.
Don't miss this great opportunity to jam with musicians you normally don't get to play with and trade chops with some new friends.

For more information, contact Rachelle at 712-332-7013, ext. 107 

Jackson Council approves raise for 2015 - Oct. 22, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson City Council met in regular session Tuesday night in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Pete Filippi with Contegrity Group addressed the council with a change order request for Lube Oil piping at the Maintenance facility.  This is needed to handle high pressure oil.  The council approved the request at $42,400, the city’s share is 30%. 

Mike and Kandee Ennis presented an offer to purchase city owned land behind It’s a Keeper 2 in Jackson.  The Ennis’s would like to use that land to unload trucks and eventually put in a building.  The council reviewed the request in closed session, but no action was taken.

Luke Ewald with Public Health addressed the council regarding a tobacco-free parks policy.  No action was taken on the request.  The Council advised city staff to research if a policy currently exists.

The council approved adjusting the pay rates for the Mayor and Council members in 2015.  The mayors pay will increase from $4,290 to $5,300 per year and council pay will increase from $3,240 to $4,200 per year.  A per diem of $50 for half day and $100 for full day seminars or meeting was also approved.

 In other action, the council directed the weed overgrowth at Ashley Park be mowed down for safety concerns.

The next regular meeting of the Jackson City Council will be Wednesday, Nov 5th at 6:30pm.

Commissioners hear concern over sewage pond - Oct. 21, 2014

JACKSON - The Jackson County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday and received a copy of a petition and a presentation from Hunter Township resident John Nauerth. Nauerth represents residents opposed to a proposed City of Lakefield Sewage Treatment Pond near their properties.

The area discussed is located in the Northwest Quarter of Section 18 of Hunter Township. No action was requested or taken by the board.

Also making a presentation to the board was County Veteran’s Service Officer Jeff Johnson regarding a new Minnesota Military Family Tribute on the State Capitol Grounds.

Action items included approval of a bid from Wicks Construction of Decorah, Iowa to pave the public works parking lot and staging area at a cost of $737,827. The amount is over budget, but County Engineer Tim Stahl said they’ve analyzed the overall project and they’ll still be able to stay under the total bond amount due to underspending in other areas.

They approved the purchase of a new crack or tar kettle used for maintaining county asphalt roads from Stepp Manufacturing of North Branch, Minnesota for $49,845.

They approved creation of a new revised Heavy Equipment Operator Position and eliminated two Parks Maintenance Positions. It was noted that this is the last step in reorganization of the joint Jackson and Cottonwood County Parks Department.

They approved utility permits, approved revisions to the county employee handbook, and approved a special meeting for a work session on the proposed 2015 budget for Thursday, November 20th at 9am.

Lakefield in good financial posistion - Oct. 21, 2014 

LAKEFIELD - The Lakefield City Council met in regular session last night at the City Hall in Lakefield.

The council reviewed the Third Quarter Financial report and the city is in a good financial position.

In action items, the council reviewed salary adjustments for 2015 but it was not approved.  The council approved hiring Kyle Reasoner and Josh Bretzman as Fire Fighters and John Carlson as a reserve. 

The Lakefield Police Department submitted a request for a part time officer.   The council requested more information on the cost to the city before taking action.  The council also approved the election judges for the general election November 4th.          

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Lakefield City Council will be on Monday, November 10th at 7pm at City Hall in Lakefield.

Minnesota Manufacturing Week is this week - Oct. 20, 2014 

 JACKSON - This week is Minnesota Manufacturing Week.  Tune in each morning throughout the week for interviews with local businesses sponsored by the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce…a chance for you to find out more about the valuable community resources.

Also, between 7 and 8am on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, you’ll have a chance to win a great prize from one of these businesses by answering a trivia question.

Be sure to be listening all week long for interviews and prize give-aways during Minnesota Manufacturing Week.

We'll be visiting with Full Tilt, Ziegler, FCA Coop, AGCO and Tri-County Implement.  If you missed any of our interviews, they will be on our website.  You can find a link on our home page at kkoj.com.   

Youth injured in accident north of Windom - Oct. 19, 2014  

WINDOM - A 17 year old girl was injured in a one car accident around 11:50 Friday night near milepost 76 on Highway 30 in Cottonwood County.  The name of the girl and her hometown were not released.

According to the State Patrol, the girl was driving a 2005 Chevy Classic west on Highway 30 when she lost control, causing it to roll.  She was taken to the Windom Hospital by the Mountain Lake Ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.

The car the girl was driving was estimated as totaled.

The Cottonwood County Sheriff’s Department assisted the State Patrol at the scene.   

Four injured in accident near Brewster - Oct. 17, 2014 

BREWSTER - Four people were injured in a three-vehicle accident Thursday morning on Highway 60 near Brewster.

Just before noon Thursday, a 2004 Honda CR-V driven by 65 year-old Gail Klassen of Windom and a 2012 Ford Focus driven by 57 year-old Todd Dibble of Westbrook were westbound on Highway 60 when they collided with a 2008 Dodge Dakota driven by 82 year-old Amedia Colan of Dundee in the intersection of County Road 1.

Colan, Dibble and a passenger in Dibble’s vehicle, 89 year-old Jacob Wieler of Mountain Lake were all transported to the Sanford Worthington Hospital with non-life threatening injures.  Klassen was transported to the Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls with non-life threatening injuries.

Severe damage was reported to all three vehicles.  The Nobles County Sheriff’s Office assisted the State Patrol at the scene.

Beyond Blue to perform at Pearson Lakes Art Center - Oct. 17, 2014

OKOBOJI - “Beyond Blue” with Debby Ankeny and Mike Springer is coming to the Pearson Lakes Art Center for the first time on Thursday, October 23rd at 7:30pm. 

“Beyond Blue” vocalist and musician, Debbie Ankeny, has had a long career in the entertainment industry. Debbie has sung and performed with the legendary Anne Murray for over 30 years, traveling the world, recording records, and making a name for herself among music professionals. Guitarist Mike Springer is a gifted musician with over 30 years of experience, playing and singing with the rock band, “Rambone”.

This is an Open House show on Thursday, October 23rd at 7:30 pm in the Pomerantz Hall. This show is free.  Enjoy an evening of great entertainment.

Call the boxoffice at 712-332-7029 or go online to lakesart.org for more information.

Bull at large in Jackson - Oct. 15, 2014

JACKSON - At approximately 3 p.m. last Saturday, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office responded to the report of a bull at large on Ashley Street nearing River Street in Jackson. The bull had escaped from the Jackson Livestock Exchange and several employees, both on foot and in trucks were attempting to herd it safely back to the sale barn.

In the process of herding the bull back, it rammed two pickups owned by employees of the sale barn and a Jackson County Sheriff's Office squad car. Minor damage was found on all vehicles.

The bull was successfully herded back to the sale barn via Ashley Street by the employees and Jackson County deputies.

The Sheriff’s Office reported a few issues with people in vehicles attempting to see what was going on. People are reminded that when an event such as this occurs, please stay away from the area until the area is deemed safe by deputies!

JHCF now accepting grant proposal applications - Oct. 14, 2014 

JACKSON - The Jackson Health Care Foundation is now accepting grant proposal applications through October 30th.  Applications are available at Bank Midwest and United Prairie Bank, both in Jackson and can be returned to Bank Midwest or mailed to PO Box 124, Jackson, MN  56143.

Any community group is welcome to submit a grant proposal that will help support health and wellness in Jackson County.  Last year, the Jackson Healthcare Foundation donated $8,200 to four local organizations.

The grants will be awarded at the Third Annual Holiday Gala held on December 5th.

Power outage affects more than 2,000 on Friday - Oct. 13, 2014

JACKSON -  More than 2,000 Federated members lost power around 7:45pm Friday after a farmer hit a transmission line pole in Petersburg Township with his equipment. 

Federated Rural Electric crews worked for nearly two hours to restore power. East Chain, Wilbert, Dunnell, Ceylon, Middleton and Enterprise Substations were affected. Federated crews worked with Great River Energy to reroute and restore power Friday night.

The first substations where power was rerouted includes Enterprise and Wisconsin at 8:09 p.m. The other substations had power rerouted between 9:16 p.m. and 9:41 p.m. The transmission line pole will be replaced. The farmer will be billed for the transmission line pole replacement and crews’ labor.

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church to host concert Oct. 21 - Oct. 13, 2014

JACKSON - Dave Anderson and Roger Walck will present a worship concert at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church at 7:00 PM, Tuesday, October 21st.  A light supper will be served at 6:00 PM.  A free will offering will be received to benefit Shepherd's Canyon Retreat. 

For more info call Our Redeemer Lutheran Church at (507) 847-3693. 

Counselors to help with Medicare enrollment in Jackson Co. - Oct. 13, 2014 

JACKSON - The Medicare Open Enrollment period begins on Wednesday and continues through December 7th.  To help with the enrollment process, a trained counselor will be available on Wednesday in Lakefield and on Friday in Jackson.

Appointment times on Wednesday are from 10am until 2:30pm at the Lakefield Library, and on Friday from 10am until 3pm at the Jackson Library.  You can call the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433 to schedule an appointment at either location.

If you have Medicare Part D drug coverage questions, or want to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan or switch to another Medicare Part D plan, you are encouraged to visit with a counselor.

You can schedule an appointment by calling the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433.  Appointments are available at the Lakefield Library from 10am to 2:30pm on Wednesday and at the Jackson Library from 10am to 3pm on Friday.

PEBC hosting Halloween Hike Oct. 24 - Oct. 11, 2014 

LAKEFIELD - The Prairie Ecology Bus Center will be hosting a Halloween Hike from 8 to 9:30pm on Friday, October 24th at Sparks Park in Lakefield.  You will have no fear of the dark night after this enlightening walk - especially after you've seen what's NOT lurking out in the woods!

Participants will try night vision tricks, sniff tests, stealth maneuvering and more! Join the PEBC naturalists and learn how to "super-size" all your senses with fun nighttime activities on a hike though Sparks Park. Dress for the weather and wear good walking shoes.

This event is open to families and adults.  To pre-register, you can call 507-662-5064 or email marilyn@ecologybus.org.

Donations sought for Fall Sales MLHS - Oct. 10, 2014

NORTHRUP - Donations to the Fall Rummage and Bake Sale at Martin Luther High School, Northrop will be accepted Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from 8 a.m. until noon on Wednesday.

Items of fall and winter clothing in good condition, household items, toys, furniture, baked goods and garden produce are appreciated. Appliances, computers or exercise equipment cannot be accepted.   For larger items please call ahead.  Volunteer workers to help set up and during the sale are welcome. 

Sale hours will be from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, October 16, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, October 17 and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, October 18th. For more information go online at martinlutherhs.com or call 507-436-5249

Crest of Martin County to hold training - Oct. 9, 2014

The volunteer caregivers organization “CREST” of Martin County will be hosting a training session for anyone that is interested in becoming a CREST volunteer. It will be held on Thursday, October 23rd at 7pm in the board room of the Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center in Fairmont.

CREST has volunteer opportunities in friendly visiting, telephone reassurance, home helper, transportation, minor home repair, and respite care. Refreshments will be served and reservations are required so volunteer manuals can be ordered. Please call 235-3833 by October 21st if you are interested in attending.  

Jackson City Council moves forward with airport Phase II - Oct. 8, 2014  

JACKSON - The Jackson City Council met in regular session Tuesday night in the Council Chambers at City Hall in Jackson.  The meeting was called to order at 6:30pm with all members present.

Angela Neumann from Des Moines Valley Health and Human Services addressed the council regarding an Active Living Plan.  Neumann asked the council to consider partnering with the Southwest Regional Development Commission to work on improving walking and biking options in and around the city of Jackson.  In many cases, there would be grants available that could limit or eliminate any financial responsibility from the City.  The partnership was approved.

Robin Henning addressed the council regarding their property at 105 Oak Street.  Recent street projects have made it almost impossible to use portions of the driveways, and water run-off during heavy rains is washing away gravel and parts of the property.  The council agreed to set up a meeting with city personnel, county personnel and representatives from Bolton & Menk to view the property on site and come up with recommendations.

On a five-to-one vote, the council approved the State Grant agreement for Phase II of the Jackson Airport.  Councilman Dave Cushman voted no. 

In other action, the council approved moving forward with larger “Vehicle Noise Laws Enforced” signs on Highway 71 both Southbound on the north side of Jackson and Northbound on the south side of Jackson, approved the 804 funds as a revolving loan fund, approved a professional services agreement with Bolton and Menk for design of Highway 71 bridge and roadway improvements and proclaimed October 20-24 as Manufacturers week in Jackson.

The meeting was adjourned at 8pm.  The next regular meeting of the Jackson City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 6:30pm.  As a reminder, the first meeting in November will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 5th at 6:30pm due to the general elections on Nov.4th.

Commissioners approve Speedway lease - Oct. 7, 2014

JACKSON - The Jackson County Board of Commissioners met this morning and approved a two year lease for the Jackson Speedway to Jon McCorkle. Terms include lease of the track at $6,000 per year and the County agreeing to pay Svoboda Excavating $5,000 for about 3300 yards of dirt that has already been hauled to the track. McCorkle will be responsible for moving and sifting the rocks out of the dirt. The Racing Committee has explored the financial feasibility of shortening the Jackson Speedway and may have more seriously considered it if they could have convinced McCorkle to more than a two year contract.

In other news County Engineer Tim Stahl updated the board on road work progress and Stahl was joined by Pete Fillipi (Fill’-uh-pie) to update the progress on the Public Works Facility. After considerable discussion the board approved a change order request of $42, 400 to be taken out of contingency funds with the stipulation that the City of Jackson also approves.

The board tabled action on a proposal for the Parks Information Committee after presentation and discussion with Parks and Trails Director Jacqueline Knips. Knips has been working to restructure the parks department and presented that it is in the best interest for Parks to separate from Planning and Zoning. Commissioner Bill Tusa made the motion and Commission Dave Henkels seconded to table the proposal for the Parks Information Committee until another meeting can be held with the people involved. There seems to be concerns and confusion with some people about the new proposal. The motion to table carried on a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Kim Hummel casting the no vote.

In other action the board approved the appointments of Dave Hulstein and Gary Schimbeno to the Red Rock Rural Water System Board, approved advertising for a new assistant county attorney; advertising for an eligibility list for the Jailer/Dispatcher position and fill the position due to the retirement of Sherri Field; approved a new wellness incentive policy for employees and approved a proclamation declaring October 20th through the 24th as Manufacturer’s Week in Jackson County.

The commissioners also met in closed session to discuss real estate negotiations.

Counterfeit bill investigated in Jackson - Oct. 6, 2014  

JACKSON - Last week, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office investigated a counterfeit $20 bill that was passed at a local business.  This is the only report received.

The bill, along with video of the person that passed the bill, was forwarded to the US Secret Service Department in Minneapolis, MN.      

FCA Coop leases Rabbe Grain facilities - Oct. 4, 2014   

JACKSON - The FCA CO-OP has entered into a Lease agreement to operate the Trimont and Sherburn grain assets of Rabbe Grain Company, owned wholly by Rabbe Farms. LLP. The Rabbe Grain Company facilities in Ormsby and Odin, MN are not part of the lease agreement.  The transaction closed on Friday October 3, 2014.

The agreement involves the leasing of two grain facilities located in Trimont and Sherburn with a combined grain storage capacity of 2.17 million bushels. FCA CO-OP will assume contracted corn that is physically on site and may purchase some or all of the other grain held in inventory on the closing date as part of a separate agreement.  FCA CO-OP will also assume all the forward purchase contracts with local growers and assume the grower contracts with farmers who grow Non-GMO soybeans.

FCA CO-OP is a farmer owned cooperative with sales exceeding $200 million per year offering grain, agronomy, feed and energy products and services to members and non-members in the Southwestern Minnesota communities of Jackson, Lakefield, Okabena, Wilder, Round Lake, Sherburn and Trimont.

September Terrific Kids recognized at Riverside - Oct.1, 2014 

JACKSON - September’s Terrific Kids were recognized Tuesday at Riverside Elementary.

September’s Terrific Kids honored for being “Positive” included Third Grader Caden Thurmer, son of Matt and Darcy Thurmer, Forth Grader Mackenzie Roland, daughter of Jeremy and Kim Roland and Forth Grader Alaina Lilleberg, daughter of John and Sheri Lilliberg.

Terrific Kids recognized for being “Respectful” included First Grader Jolyne Zimmerman, daughter of Dale and Teresa Carr, Second Grader Rece Johnson, son of Scott and Christina Johnson and Taryn Lessman, daughter of Justin and Amber Lessman. 

Terrific Kids honored for being “Safe” included First Grader Kristoph Olsem, son of Bob & Jessica Olsem and Second Grader Serena Szafryk, daughter of Gregory Szafryk and Tammy Somnis.

Terrific Kids honored for being “Responsible” include Kindergartener Julie Bidne, daughter of Michael and Laura Bidne, First Grader Mason Foster, son of Shawn and Melissa Foster, Fifth Grader Emma Swan, Daughter of William Swan and Rachel Truong and Fifth Grader Brayden Adams, son of Terry and Jessica Adams.

The students honored as September’s Terrific Kids received a Certificate proclaiming them as a Terrific Kid, a magnet, a button, pencil and certificates from the sponsoring businesses.

This is the 22nd year the Jackson Kiwanis Club honors Terrific Kids monthly throughout the school year.  In addition to the Kiwanis Club, sponsors of the program include Jackson businesses Burger King, Livewire Printing Company, Santee-Crossing Embers America, the Historic State Theater, KKOJ/KRAQ, the AmericInn, the JCC Swimming Pool, the Pizza Ranch, Casey’s and the Dairy Queen.  The Terrific Kids are chosen from nominations that are submitted by teachers and staff during the past month.

Two 1st District House Debates scheduled - Sept. 30, 2014

BLUE EARTH - Two debates between DFL incumbent Tim Walz and Republican challenger Jim Hagedorn for the 1st Congressional district have been scheduled. 

The first will be on Tuesday, October 7th from 7 to 8pm at Century High School in Rochester with doors opening at 6:30.  The second will be held Wednesday, October 15th from 7 to 8:30pm at South Central College in Mankato with doors opening at 6:30pm.  Both events are open to the public. 

3rd Annual Walk for PAWS is Saturday - Sept. 29, 2014

JACKSON - The 3rd Annual “Walk for Paws” will be held this Saturday, October 4th in Jackson.  The walk will start at 10am in Ashley Park and will follow the trail by the river to Albertus Fields and back.  The walk is approximately one mile.

There is a $10 registration fee for each walker and includes a decal.  Pets are encouraged on the walk, but must be up to date on all their shots.

Prizes will be available to the walkers with the most pledges.  Pledge forms, and more information, is available at their website online at pawsofjackson.com.

Transit Authority brings "Chicago" sound to PLAC - Sept. 29, 2014  

SPIRIT LAKE - The Big Horn Sound of “Chicago” comes to the Pearson Lakes Art Center with Transit Authority, performing in the Lauridsen Performing Arts Theatre on Thursday, October 9th at 7:30 pm. Transit Authority is the premier tribute band to the historic music of Chicago. This 8-piece powerhouse ensemble includes some of the Midwest’s most talented musicians. Each show is a high energy, spot-on tribute to some of the greatest music of all time.

Transit Authority is the most highly acclaimed “Chicago” tribute show in the country.  If you love the music of Chicago then this is the show for you!! !

For more information, or to order tickets, you can call the boxoffice at 712-332-7029 or go online to lakesart.org.

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.