Please contact Governor Mark Dayton and urge him
to line item veto $6.3 million in metro parks funding and $3 million
in invasive species money from the Legacy Bill as he promised to do
in his campaign.
Riverside principal named
May 21, 2013
Joel Timmerman has been named principal at Riverside Elementary
School. The Jackson County Central School Board approved the hiring
at its regular meeting Monday night.
Timmerman has principal experience in St. Clair, Faribault,
Mankato and Waterville-Elysian-Morristown.
Dan Beert, who has served as principal for four years, has accepted a position as a
principal at Lake
Timmerman was one of four finalists from a field of 14 who
applied for the position.
Test scores low
Principal Kari Wilkinson reported that math test score results
were the lowest in history at JCC Middle School.
Wilkinson said they
are still analyzing the results and waiting to look at comparisons
with other districts. Official results have not been
The Department of Education experienced technical
difficulties during testing. Students can re-take the tests.
Board President Jeff Johnson, a member of the negotiations
committee, reported that the negotiators for the district and
Education Minnesota JCC have met twice in their work toward
a new teacher contract.
In the initial talks, Education Minnesota JCC
proposed a salary increase of 3.95 percent plus steps and the board
has proposed a salary increase of one percent plus steps.
session is scheduled for May 28.
Board member Luke Henning reported on transportation issues.
suggested that the district may look at other opportunities
regarding transportation services. Options could
include the school district owning and operating their own buses, or
working with neighboring school districts.
decision has been made. Discussions continue with Southwest
Roof needs replacing
Henning and Kirk Dunlavey, members of the
facilities committee, reported that the roof at Pleasantview will
need to be replaced or patched. The roof is more than 20 years old.
quote to replace the roof with a 15-year warranty was $22,500. Repair
of the roof would be about $3,000. Henning
and Dunlavey suggested replacing the roof.
The matter will come up
for action at a future meeting.
Committee chair named
Board member Jodi Thrush, a member of the staff development
committee, reported that Tammy Egge is going to serve has
chairperson of the that committee.
Sandra Nunez will be vice-chair.
In other action the board approved:
- Hiring Carol Wrightson as a full-time third-grade teacher at Pleasantview Elementary for the 2013-2014.
She is the wife of new girls basketball
coach and elementary teacher David Wrightson.
- Hiring Molly Strom as an ECFE/Discovery Place Teacher at Riverside.
- The resignation of Samantha Frings, a third-grade teacher at Pleasantview.
She has accepted a position in Sioux Falls.
- The resignation of sixth-grade teacher
Shane Roenfanz, who has accepted a position with the Okoboji School
- The resignation of Kristen
Price as a cook’s helper at the high school effect on May 24.
- A resolution relating to the termination and
non-renewal of the teaching contract of Devon Arbuckle, a
probationary elementary teacher effective on June 30.
- Family medical leave for speech-language
pathologist Brittany Brennan for 12 weeks starting on approximately
- Seeking bids for milk and bread contracts
- The purchase of a 2010 Blue Bird 47-passenger
school bus for $50,860.
- The district-wide health and safety policy
that includes the health and safety budget for fiscal years 2013,
2014 and 2015.
- The IEA contract for environmental, health
and safety management services for fiscal years 2013-2016.
- The second reading of district policies.
Worthington boy dies in accident near Loon Lake
May 20, 2013
A five-year-old Worthington boy died from injuries sustained Saturday
in a vehicle-pedestrian accident in Jackson County.
According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, around 11:22
a.m. Saturday, a report was received a report that a
vehicle had struck a pedestrian on County Road 4 at the south end of
Loon Lake in Minneota Township.
A 2011 Ford Explorer driven by Marjorie Svoboda of rural Jackson
struck Yomi Alexis Castillo of Worthington as he ran
across the road directly in front of Svoboda’s vehicle.
Castillo was transported by ambulance to Lakes Regional Healthcare
Hospital in Spirit Lake, where he was pronounced dead from his
injuries. Svoboda was not injured and her vehicle sustained minor
Assisting were the
Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office, Lakes Regional Healthcare
Ambulance, Minnesota DNR and Minnesota State Patrol. The investigation which is ongoing.
injured in rollover
May 20, 2013
One person was injured in a one-vehicle rollover at 10:53 p.m. Friday
on Highway 91 in Nobles County.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol,
17-year-old Cassie Fuestenberg of Wilmont was driving a 2008 Pontiac
north on Highway 91. She attempted to pass another vehicle when her
car went too far to the left hitting the gravel shoulder. Fuestenberg overcorrected causing her car to go into the ditch
Fuestenberg was taken to the Sanford Luverne Hospital with
Severe damage was reported to her car.
Adrian Police Department, Lismore Fire Department and Adrian Ambulance
Geesman inducted into Lions Hall of Fame
May 20, 2013
Lion Guy Geesman (center) receiving his Hall of
Fame award from fellow Lions Hall of Fame members Al Nelson and Merv
Jackson Lions Club member Guy Geesman has been inducted into the
Lions Clubs International Multiple District 5M Hall of Fame.
was one of 12 inductees from Minnesota and the Canadian provinces of
Manitoba and Northwest Ontario.
Geesman said while he is honored to be inducted. He said the many projects of the
club is a team effort.
Geesman has been a Lions member for 38 years.
Geesman joins Al Nelson and Merv Nosbusch as Jackson Lions Club in the Hall of
barn destroyed in fire
May 19, 2013
Fire destroyed a 60x22-foot hog barn on the Ron
and Cameron Mulder farm approximately seven miles southwest of
There were no hogs in the
barn and no one was injured.
Jackson Fire Chief Mark Sasker said the fire department received the
call around 1:30 p.m.
The cause of the fire was not
immediately known. Firefighters were on the scene for several hours.
for "The Legend" complete
May 18, 2013
Arnolds Park Amusement Park supporters enjoyed
the 2013 maiden ride on The Legend Roller Coaster Thursday.
ARNOLDS PARK - Supporters of Arnolds Park Amusement Park were
treated to the 2013 maiden ride on The Legend Roller Coaster
The coaster underwent a $250,000 renovation project to smooth the
The Amusement Park is open Saturday and Sunday, then begin it's
daily season schedule next Saturday.
Two injured in
May 17, 2013
Two people were injured in a two-vehicle head-on accident at 12:35
p.m. Thursday on Highway 15 near Northrop.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, involved was a 2013 Ford Explorer
driven by 31-year-old Amanda Hallett of Spencer and a 2009
Freightliner driven by 43 year old Todd Handevidt of Fairmont.
Both Hallett and Handevidt were taken to the Fairmont Hospital with
non-life threatening injuries.
No information was available on the amount of damage to the
The Martin County Sheriff’s Department assisted at the scene.
Jackson man dies in motorcycle accident
May 14, 2013
JACKSON - A 32-year-old rural Jackson man died from injuries
sustained in a motorcycle accident Monday night in Jackson County.
According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, the accident occurred around
10:30 p.m. near the intersection of State Highway 264 and County Road 4
in Round Lake Township.
Jason Clair Libengood was driving a Yamaha motorcycle west on County Road 4 when
he failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway. He entered the south
ditch, struck a sign and was thrown from the motorcycle.
Libengood was taken to Sanford Worthington Hospital, where he
died from his injuries. The motorcycle was estimated as a total
The accident remains under investigation.
The Nobles county Sheriff’s Department, Round Lake Fire Department
and Sanford Worthington Ambulance assisted at the scene.
Another disaster declaration issued
May 14, 2013
DES MOINES -
Another disaster declaration has been issued in connection with the
severe weather that struck northwest Iowa last month.
According to the USDA Farm Service Agency Office, nearly a dozen
northwest Iowa counties are part of the Presidential or Secretarial
National Disaster Designation.
A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration was issued for Dickinson,
Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, and Sioux counties as the primary disaster
area for severe winter storms from April 9-11. The
contiguous counties are Emmet, Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Palo
Alto and Plymouth.
Farm operators who have sustained major production and/or physical
losses caused by severe winter storms and continuing drought
conditions may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans. Other
programs may also be made available to assist farmers, including the
supplemental Revenue Assistance Program due to this designation.
The final date for making application under this designation is
Jan. 6, 2014.
Governor catches walleye during opener
May 14, 2013
PARK RAPIDS - Governor Mark Dayton caught a walleye during the
Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener Saturday.
Jason Durham, who was the Governor’s host, said Dayton caught the
fish shortly after midnight.
Kathy Negorski Leary, communications director for the Brainerd
Lakes Chamber of Commerce caught the largest walleye at 28.5 inches.
The second largest walleye at 28 inches was caught by David
Leatherman of Minneapolis.
The largest northern measured 26 inches and was caught by Eric
Magnuson, while the largest rock bass measured 14 inches and was
caught by Eric Cruisin.
The Brainerd Lakes Area will host next year's event, with
headquarters at Grandview Lodge on Gull Lake.
Volunteers spruce up Kilen Woods
May 11, 2013
In the front row (from left) are Amber Gallaway, Jackson; Jessica
Christoffer, Round Lake; and Cheryl Holthe, Jackson. In the back row
Robert Axford, Windom; Chris Gallaway, Jackson; Craig Fransen,
Jackson; Harry Knutson, Jackson; Dean Christoffer, Round Lake; Jason
Honkomp, Windom DNR. Not pictured is Andrea Christoffer.
JACKSON - Volunteers added their GreenTouch to Kilen Woods State
Park near Lakefield last weekend.
At the event, sponsored by Federated Rural Electric, 10 volunteers
helped spruce up Kilen Woods. About 15 Touchstone Energy
Cooperatives across the state helped promote a clean-up day at the
“Even with all of the drizzle and rain we still worked at Kilen
Woods,” stated Andrea Christoffer, Federated’s marketing and
communications manager. “Our volunteers unloaded lumber for
replacement footbridges, painted two picnic tables and a sign; we
also cleaned the office, chalet/park shelter and swept out the shop.
A few volunteers picked up branches and raked a little around the
park shelter before it rained harder.”
“I’d like to thank Federated and all the volunteers who participated
in GreenTouch,” added Jason Honkomp from Kilen Woods. “It shows that
people care about our natural resources and Kilen Woods State Park.
Federated and the volunteers help us get ready for the summer
picnics, hiking and camping season, donating about 20 hours of
The volunteers received a free hot dog lunch from Federated.
The program is a partnership between Minnesota’s
Touchstone Energy cooperatives and the Minnesota State Park System.
Electric cooperatives throughout the state also help fund the State
Park guide. Over the last 13 years GreenTouch has organized nearly
7,900 volunteers who donated more than 26,800 hours taking care of
Minnesota’s State Parks.
Minnesota’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives that participate in
project GreenTouch are part of a group of rural electric
cooperatives throughout the state. Touchstone Energy is a co-brand
used by cooperatives all over the nation to market what local
electric cooperatives stand for: Integrity, Accountability,
Community Involvement and Innovation. The state park sponsorship
fits well with the Touchstone Energy commitment.
Amber Gallaway and Jessica Christoffer painted picnic tables.
Dean Christoffer and Harry Knutson unloaded lumber that will be used
to rebuild footbridges on the trails.
Craig Fransen and Harry Knutson rake up downed sticks from the April
May 11, 2013
SPIRIT LAKE - Tim Marker of Jackson landed this 40-inch, 35-pound
Muskie on Big Spirit Lake during the Great Walleye Weekend.
He used Fire tiger rap 10-pound test line.
Questions raised about what to do with cable equipment
May 10, 2013
JACKSON - Rita Lapic, President of the Jackson Cable TV Board, had some questions for
the city council regarding what will be done with the property and
equipment of the municipal cable system once its no longer in use
after June 1.
Lapic told the
council that the system started in
1956 when a group invested $125
apiece to get the cable TV system going. It was then turned
over to the City of Jackson to conduct the billing and upkeep. The intent was
that the money generated from the system would be reinvested back
into the system for upkeep and improvements.
Lapic asked what the
city intended to do with the land and equipment
and whether they intended to reimburse those
who made the original investment into the system, whether it be the
original $125, or in today’s value, $1,069.
Lapic said the
board was not allowed to be a part of the
meetings regarding the change or consulted about changing over to
Southwest Minnesota Broadband. She told the council that cable committee should have been involved in those decisions.
City Administrator Jennifer Bromeland asked if records were
available stating who the original investors were.
Steve Handevidt said the original investors made a donation to a
municipal corporation. He said there were people who also donated
toward the system in the 1970’s and received lower cable rates for
eight years, so in essence received their money back.
Lapic said the issues of what was going to be done with the land and
equipment should have been answered before now.
Mayor Wayne Walter told Lapic she had good questions and provided
good information. He directed city staff to look into it. The
matter will need to be looked at by the utilities commission, which
will make a recommendation to the city council.
AGCO breaks ground on three-year
May 8, 2013
Pictured (from left) are Jackson City Administrator Jennifer
Bromeland, Jackson County Coordinator Jan Fransen, Jackson Economic
Development Corporation President Clayton Lewis, AGCO-Jackson
Director Eric Fisher, Mayor Wayne Walter and Jackson County
Commissioner Bill Tusa.
Groundbreaking was held Tuesday on a 30,000-square foot addition
to the AGCO manufacturing plant in Jackson.
Manager Eric Fisher said the groundbreaking is the first phase
in a three-year program that will expand the plant by
100,000 square feet.
AGCO plans to invest an estimated $42 million in infrastructure,
increasing production capacity and efficiency in order to help meet
growing demand for the tractors and application equipment built
The project is made up of seven phases affecting all areas of the
facility, including component manufacturing, the tractor assembly
line and the application equipment assembly line.
The expansion will create 75 additional permanent jobs, bringing
the total number of employees to more than 1,200. The project will
increase production capacity by 25 percent for both the tractor and
sprayer assembly lines.
sought in hit-and-run
May 8, 2013
GRAETTINGER - The Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s
help in its investigation of a hit-and-run accident Monday at the
Country Store in Graettinger.
According to a release, a 2005 Chrysler Pacifica owned by
Brenda Harding of Graettinger was parked on the south side of the
Sometime between 11:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., the vehicle was
side-swiped by an unknown vehicle causing an estimated $800
in damage on the driver’s side.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Palo Alto County
Sheriff’s Office in Emmetsburg.
Storm disaster declared in southwest Minnesota
May 6, 2013
SAINT PAUL - President Barack Obama has declared a major
federal disaster for five southwestern Minnesota counties hit by an
April ice storm.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency says Obama declared the
disaster for Jackson, Cottonwood, Murray, Nobles and Rock counties.
Gov. Mark Dayton requested the designation. The storm downed power
lines and caused widespread power outages. Preliminary assessments
peg the damage at more than $26 million.
The declaration clears the way for federal aid. Governments and
certain private nonprofits in the disaster area can get help for
emergency work and repairing or replacing damaged facilities.
Assistance also is available to state and local governments and
nonprofits for steps taken to reduce risks from natural hazards. All
counties in Minnesota are eligible under that program.
FEMA will reimburse 75 percent of approved costs.
Remodeling work almost done
May 6, 2013
JACKSON - The remodeling project at Kemna-Asa Auto Plaza is
nearing its completion.