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News headlines

Von Ohlen injured in fall - Oct 8, 2015 

JACKSON - On 10/06/2015 the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson Ambulance and Alpha First Responders responded to 88790 600th Avenue for a report of an individual falling from a grain bin. The individual was identified as 55 year old Nicholas Von Ohlen.

Von Ohlen was transported to Sanford Jackson Hospital and later air lifted to the Sanford Sioux Falls Hospital.

Council discusses transformer issue - Oct 7, 2015 

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 6:32pm with Councilman Brandon Finck the only member absent.

 Bob Stewart addressed the council regarding an electric transformer being placed in his daughter’s yard.  The transformer will be located just over 2 feet from the edge of the driveway.  Stewart was asking to council to look into an alternate location as he felt this was a safety issue being so close to the driveway.  Jeremy Boogard with the electric department explained that there really wasn’t any other place to locate the box.  Mayor Wayne Walter advised city staff to investigate the cost of putting posts around the transformer box.

In other action, the council approved a proposal Mary Ippel with Briggs and Morgan as Bond Counsel for the PFA Loan, approved hiring Carey Simmons as an EMT for the Ambulance Department and approved a new generator for Lift Station #4.

The council also moved the first meeting in November to Monday, November 2nd at 6:30pm to avoid conflict with election night.

The council adjourned to closed session at 7:02pm.  Following closed session, the Council approved a proposal from Bolton and Menk in the amount of $5,000 to play the former cable TV tower site for land to be used for future housing development with the costs covered through council unallocated funds.  The council also authorized city staff to negotiate with a private party that is interested in acquiring clay from a city owned parcel.

The next regular meeting of the Jackson City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, October 20th at 6:30pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

JCC FFA to grill for farmers - Oct 4, 2015 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Central FFA Members will be grilling at Cargill in Alpha and at the FCA Coops in Lakefield and Jackson on Wednesday (Oct. 7th) starting at 11:00 a.m. as a thank you to farmers. 

Farmers should feel free to stop by and have a brat, chips, and cookies as a thank you from the FFA chapter. 

Diabetic Support Group to meet Monday - Oct 2, 2015  

SPIRIT LAKE, IA - The Spirit Lake area Diabetic Support Group will meet Monday at 7 PM.  

The topic of tonight’s program will be information around artificial sweeteners.  The local diabetic support group meeting is led by local patient facilitator, Marcia Young, and is open to anyone dealing with diabetes, spouse, family members, or friend. 

The presentation will be held Monday at 7 p.m. in the Big Spirit Room in Lakes Regional Healthcare’s Education Center, on the hospital’s lower level. Admission is free.

Photo Walk on Saturday - Oct 1, 2015 

ESTHERVILLE, IA - The 8th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk™ – the world’s largest photo walk – is set for this Saturday, Oct. 3 in thousands of cities all over the world, including Estherville.

The Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk, dubbed the world’s largest global and social photography event, has grown immensely in size and popularity since the inaugural walk in 2007. Last year, more than 30,000 photographers of all walks of life and skill levels converged to explore their corners of the world through photography and social community.

The concept of a Photo Walk is simple. Photo Walks are created by Walk Leaders in cities all over the world. Walkers meet up at a pre-designated location to spend a few hours socializing, capturing images and sharing with like-minded people. At the end of the photo walk, most groups convene at local restaurants or taverns to share their images and experiences over food.

Locally, David Petrick, Coordinator of the Photography Diploma program at Iowa Lakes Community College, is leading a walk in Estherville at Fort Defiance, starting at 9:45 a.m.

The event is free, but pre-registration is required. Register at www.worldwidephotowalk.com, locate the Estherville walk and complete the free sign up form. Those interested can also apply to be a photo walk leader in their area. This year, every photo walker in encouraged to help support this year’s initiative to “Walk with a Purpose” by donating $1 to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya.

In addition to the event, photo walkers will be able to upload their favorite picture to a popular Photo Walk contest for a chance to win a digital copy of the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby. A Grand Prize winner and 10 finalists will be named by Scott Kelby.

Additionally, participants can connect socially before, during and after the event using the hashtag #WWPW2015 hash tag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Or connect on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/groups/wwpw2015.

For more information, local individuals may contact David Petrick at (712) 362-7954 or email dpetrick@iowalakes.edu.

Highway 4 detour extended - Sep 30, 2015 

MANKATO, Minn. – Highway 4 motorists south of Sherburn can expect the detour to continue until mid-October. 

A project to replace bridges over the East Fork of the Des Moines River and stream began on June 15 and was originally projected to be complete in early October.  However, workers were surprised to find old footings from a previous bridge and the removal of those footings added about two weeks to the work schedule.

Traffic is detoured to Martin County Roads 13 and 8.

The bridges are located about one and one-half miles north of Dunnell or five and one-half miles north of the Iowa State line.

Minnowa Construction Inc., of Harmony is the contractor on the $1,497,397 project.

When the project is complete, motorists will have new, safer bridges that will help preserve the transportation system for years to come.

For statewide travel information, visit www.511mn.org .

September Terrific Kids honored - Sep 29, 2015 

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

September’s Terrific Kids honored for being “Positive” were First Grader Dominic Sargent, son of Nathan and Chelsey Sargent, Fourth Grader Andaysia Tomlin, daughter of Krista Krieger and Fifth Grader Jack Pierson, son of Dan Pierson and Lisa Reimer.

The Terrific Kids honored for being “Responsible” were Second Grader Teagen Shelhamer, son of Eugene and Nichol Shelhamer, Third Grader Saige Theobald, daughter of Keith and Amanda Theobald, Fourth Grader Jaden Carey, son of Brent and Jennifer Hample and Fifth Grader Cameron Scholten, son of Chris and Cara Scholten.

Terrific Kids honored for being “Safe” were Second Grader Savannah Genzlinger, daughter of Amanda Genzlinger and Third Grader Kylie Jo Dehn, daughter of Kyle and Crystal Dehn. 

And the Terrific Kids honored for being “Respectful” were First Graders Erin Beckel, daughter of Tyler and Jennifer Beckel and Kingston Anousone, son of Sylvia Insixiengmay and Second Grader Meila Phaly, daughter of Tony Phaly and Nousana Phaly.

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

This is the 23nd 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.

Harvest in full swing - Sep 29, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Farmers were able to harvest nearly one-quarter of Minnesota's soybean crop in the past week, despite having only 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork.

According to the Minnesota crop report released Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says it was the least amount of days suitable since the week ending Aug. 23.

Minnesota's soybean harvest is 34 percent complete, 10 days ahead of last year and five days ahead of the five-year average. Soybean condition is rated 79 percent good to excellent.

Farmers are starting to harvest corn for grain throughout Minnesota. Sixty-seven percent of the state's corn acreage was mature, 10 days ahead of last year and two days ahead of average. Corn condition is rated 88 percent good to excellent. Corn harvested for silage is 86 percent complete, three days ahead of normal. 

JCC Board approves maximum levy - Sep 29, 2015

JACKSON - The Jackson County Central School Board met in regular session Monday night.  The meeting was called to order at 6:03pm with board member Tim Thurmer and Superintendent Todd Meyer absent.

Greg Crowe with Ehlers, Inc. addressed the board regarding the sale of refunding bonds for old construction.  The bonds were originally issued in 2002 and refinanced in 2006.  This is the final time the bonds can be refinanced with a potential savings of just under $500,000 over the final 6 years of the bonds.  The board approved the sale.

Melissa Aschlager and Tammy Timko discussed a tour of Europe being planned for the summer of 2017.  The tour would not be sponsored by the school, but would be open to students currently in their junior or sophomore years.  An informational meeting will be held on October 7th at 6pm.

In action items, the board approved levying the maximum on the 2015 payable in 2016 levy limitation certification, approved bids from Minnesota Life for life insurance and from Sun Life for long term disability insurance, approved an interagency agreement between the JCC School District and Western Community Action Head Start, approved raising the hourly minimum wage for lifeguards, approved Family Medical Leave for Kim Albers, approved Cynthia Simmons and Amy Gathercole as long term substitutes and approved Monica Knutson and Dawn Potthoff as paras at Riverside Elementary.

In other action, the board approved a resolution for the 2015 MSBA Legislative Platform to support students in concurrent enrollment courses in Minnesota High Schools.  The Higher Learning Commission, which accredits many colleges and universities in Minnesota, is reviewing procedures that would make it more difficult for students to take college level classes in high school and receive credit for both.  Right now, JCC offers 11 classes.  If the rule changes, that would drop to 3.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:18pm.  The next regular meeting of the JCC School Board is scheduled for Monday, October 26th at 6pm.

KKOJ/KRAQ Radio to have new owners - Sep 28, 2015

JACKSON - For the first time since going on the air in 1980, KKOJ Radio will have a new owner.  Effective October 1st, Community First Broadcasting will take over the operational reigns of KKOJ-AM and KRAQ-FM from Kleven Broadcasting of Minnesota.  Community First Broadcasting currently operates KUOO in Spirit Lake, KUQQ in Milford and KUYY in Spencer.

KKOJ/KRAQ General Manager Doug Johnson says that term of the sale were finalized over the weekend.  Neil Lipetzky of Community First Broadcasting told KKOJ/KRAQ that they look forward to working with the community of Jackson.

Steven Duncan to be new County Coordinator - Sep 28, 2015 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Board of Commissioners announces that Steven Duncan has accepted their offer of employment as the next County Coordinator of Jackson County.  Duncan will replace current Coordinator Janice Fransen who will be retiring at the end of this year. 

Steven Duncan most recently was the County Coordinator for Menard County, Illinois where he worked for 8 years.  Before that, he was an Assistant City Administrator in the City of Eureka, Missouri.  Mr. Duncan holds a master’s degree in Public Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. 

Duncan will begin his duties on November 30, 2015.

IA DNR reports increase in zebra mussels - Sep 26, 2015 

SPIRIT LAKE - Iowa Department of Natural Resources officials have reported a growing number of zebra mussels being noticed in the Iowa Great Lakes. 

DNR officials are asking lakeshore property owners and service providers to be vigilant while taking out boat hoists and docks this fall and report any sightings of zebra mussels to the DNR.

Zebra mussels were first noticed in East Lake Okoboji and Upper Gar in the fall of 2012 and have been increasing in numbers and distribution since.  Spirit Lake is now the only lake in the Iowa Great Lakes chain where adult zebra mussels have not been found.

The DNR reminds everyone it’s illegal to possess or transport zebra mussels and other prohibited aquatic invasive species in Iowa.  It’s also illegal to transport any aquatic plants on water-related equipment.  Water must be drained from boats and equipment before leaving a water access and drain plugs must be removed or opened during transit. 

10th Annual Buddy Walk is Sunday - Sep 25, 2015 

ARNOLDS PARK - The Northwest Iowa Down Syndrome Society will celebrate its 10th annual Buddy Walk n Sunday, September 27th with breakfast starting at

9 o’clock in the Roof Garden near the Arnolds Park Amusement Park.  Registration begins at noon for the walk that will begin at 1 o’clock near West Lake Okoboji. 

The walk is only a mile-long, but past events have covered a lot of ground.  Four families were able to attend the National Down Syndrome Congress National Convention thanks to local generosity.  Funds have also been used to purchase communication and therapy equipment for families. 

Sunday’s Buddy Walk involves both adults and children with Down syndrome.  Activities will include a silent auction, rides at Arnolds Park Amusement Park and a trip on the Queen II and an ice cream social. 

The event helps spread the message that individuals with Down syndrome possess a wide range of abilities and are active participants in their communities.  

U of O Bike Ride is Saturday - Sep 24, 2015 

OKOBOJI - The Oktoberfest Bike Ride at the University of Okoboji will be held Saturday, Sept. 26.  This ride is part of the National Rails to Trails Day and commemorates the recognition of the Spine Trail as mile number 5,000 of rails to trails nationwide.

The Arrowwood Resort is headquarters for today’s event which features about a 25 mile ride.  Registration is from 8 to 10 this morning at Arrowood and is 35 dollars.  The ride will start at 10.

Proceeds from the ride contribute to the ongoing success of the Dickinson County Trails.  Registration includes a long sleeve T-Shirt, food, and music by Dave Rowley at Minerva’s, and samples of West O’s Okotoberfest Brew at Alex Danbom Park adjacent to Terrace Park Beach.  Director Ken Hanson says over 200 riders and one politician is expected to participate in the event. 

This weekend also features golf, tennis, fishing, boating, nature walks, leaf watching, college football games and just enjoying the Iowa Great Lakes.

Schumacher to be honored by NHLGPA - Sep  24, 2015 

HERON LAKE - Dean Schumacher has been honored as the 2015 North Heron Lake Game Producers Association’s Person of the Year.

A member of the North Heron Lake Game Producers Association since 1976, Schumacher will be recognized at the Association’s 50th annual duck hunters’ banquet Saturday in Heron Lake.   

In his nearly 40 years as a member, Schumacher has witnessed and been a contributor to the positive changes the game producers have brought to the area’s wildlife. 

The banquet will be held at the Heron Lake Community Center.  Funds raised at the event will go towards conservation projects sponsored by the Game Producers Association.  

MN harvest ahead of schedule - Sep 22, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's fall harvest is running well ahead of last year's pace for most crops.

In its weekly crop progress and condition report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that farmers took advantage of dry weather last week. The harvest advanced for dry beans, corn for silage, potatoes, and sugarbeets, and harvesting has now begun for corn for grain and soybeans.

Fifty percent of potatoes and 77 percent of dry beans have been harvested.

Fifteen percent of the sugarbeet crop has been lifted, the fastest pace in the last 50 years.

Sixty-seven percent of the corn for silage has been harvested, and 12 percent of the soybean crop has been harvested.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay is 95 percent complete, over two weeks ahead of last year.           

Jackson Council delays decision on Speedway charge - Sep 16, 2015

JACKSON - The Jackson City Council met in regular session Tuesday night in the Council Chambers at City Hall.  Following a prayer by Pastor John Schuetz, the meeting was called to order at 6:30pm with all members present.

Dee Nestegard gave the council a report on the Summer Lunch Program held at Central Park.  They served 557 meals over the summer, and average of around 40 per time.  There one request was for an electric outlet in the gazebo at Central Park to help keep food warm.  Mayor Wayne Walter thanked Nestegard for what they are doing and advised city staff to look into what it would take to add electric outlets to the gazebo.

Councilman Ken Temple asked to review a recommendation from the Public Utilities Committee to drop the electric demand charge for the Jackson Speedway for 2015 and review the demand charge yearly.  With the Speedway being sold to a private owner, Temple was concerned that this would set precedence and invite other private companies to request their demand charge dropped.  Speedway promoter John McCorkle said that he has always paid the electric bill as it has been part of his contract with the county for the last 15 years and is the same with the Speedway owned to Todd Quiring.  He also added that if he knew that the demand charge would be added to his bill, he would not have agreed to the new contract as the additional $18,000 charge makes the business model unfeasible.  McCorkle also noted that their peak usage is on Saturday nights, which is not during peak demand hours.  Temple stated that this arrangement has been wrong all along and needed to be fixed.  The item was eventually tabled on a 4-2 vote with Temple and Councilman Fred Bern voting against.

In other action, the Council approved the resignation of Lead Liquor Store Clerk Brooklyn Drahota effective September 4th and approved hiring Melissa Voss as the new Lead Liquor Store Clerk.  The council also approved a memorandum of Understanding regarding DP4 Assessments and Development.

The council adjourned to executive session at7:22pm to discuss the asking price for city owned land located along Ballard Avenue.  No action was taken.

Following executive session, the council reconvened to discuss an agreement for Improvement and Special Assessment for 96 South 4th Street in Jackson.  A serious break occurred in the private water service line extending from the City’s main line to the property.  The property owned asked the city to repair the line and assess against the property.  The Council agreed to bill 105% of the cost back to the property in equal installments over 15 years with interest at 4% per annum.

The next regular meeting of the Jackson City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 6th at 6:30pm.

Commissions raises 2016 premilinary levy - Sep 16, 2015 

JACKSON - The Jackson County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. at the Courthouse with all members present.

Ron and Don Vrchota spoke at a public hearing regarding additions to the County Development Code. Concerns and questions about how large scale solar energy companies might adversely affect Jackson County were raised and discussed. Following the public hearing and a presentation from Andy Geiger and Jared Baloun from the Land Management Office the board approved the Subdivision of Land and Solar Energy Ordinances as recommended by the Planning Commission.

They approved the preliminary tax levy for taxes collectible in 2016. It represents a net increase of just under four hundred eighty thousand dollars or 4.85 percent over 2015. The final levy can be lowered, but must not exceed the preliminary levy. A meeting to discuss the 2016 budget and allow for citizen input was set for Thursday, December 3rd at 6:00 p.m.

Following a public hearing, they approved a revised engineer’s report and project for improvements to Judicial Ditch 35. If there are no appeals during the thirty day appeal period the project will then go out for bids.   

They approved the bond sale for the Judicial Ditch 46 project to Dougherty and Company of Minneapolis. The net interest rate is just under 3.2 percent. The amount of the bonds is nine hundred fifteen thousand.

They accepted a proposal from Walker Custom Siding for repairs on four buildings at the fairgrounds that damaged in the June 22nd wind storm. Cost is just over twenty five thousand dollars and is covered by insurance.

The Director of the Southwest Crisis Center, Sara Wahl, reported that in the past year in Jackson County the center served seventy victims of domestic violence and nine victims of sexual assault, up significantly from forty one for domestic violence and four for sexual assault the previous year. Wahl said they currently provide services to residents of Jackson County through their satellite office in Windom, but they are looking for office space in Jackson to improve their service.

 The board approved allowing Drainage Supervisor Dave Macek and Drainage Engineer Tim Stahl to use their discretion in ordering redeterminations on all ditches that have open ditches in the county. Macek and Stahl reported that this action will aid them in dealing with the new buffer law and help make purchasing the buffer a consistent process for all landowners.

They set the Judicial Ditch 24 proposed improvements preliminary hearing for Tuesday, October 20th at 11:00 a.m. in the County Board Room.

They approved a request to classify five tax forfeited parcels of land as non-conservation land and requested approval from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources of the classification and the sale of the land.

They approved subsurface sewage treatment system loans in the amount of eight thousand dollars each to Kayle and Jessica Pauling, Adam and Melanie Onken and Alan and Patricia Schulz; approved accepting Deputy Justin Hesse as a member of the Public Employees Police and Fire Plan as a part-time officer; approved the appointment of Paul Henning to the Planning and Zoning Board and Chuck Lucht to the Board of Adjustment; and approved three liquor license renewals for Bergen Bar and Grill, Horse Barn and Hunt Club and Jackson Speedway.

The board will be meeting with the finalists for the County Coordinator position on Thursday, September 24th. The next regular meeting of the Jackson County Board is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6th at 9:00 a.m.

High School students at risk of losing College credit - Sep 13, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — High school students around Minnesota are at risk of losing access to college-level classes in their schools due to new requirements that teachers have a master's degree or at least graduate-level credits in those subjects.

The change could be a major blow to a growing number of students who rely on dual-credit classes to earn college credits to take a bite out of their future higher education costs.

Hundreds of high school educators in Minnesota could soon be barred from teaching the classes, forcing students to take courses at a local college or university or forgo them all together.

The problem arose because the Higher Learning Commission recently updated its standards for college instructors. The HLC accredits nearly 1,000 colleges and universities in 19 Midwestern states including 114 in Minnesota.

Windom School Board to meet Monday - Sep 12, 2015 

WINDOM - The Windom School Board will hold their regular monthly meeting at 6:30 Monday night at the Windom City Hall Council Chambers.

On the consent agenda, the Board will take action on the resignation of gymnastics coach Cheryl Bass, give consideration for two Family Medical Leave Act requests and consider hiring an ECFE Parent Educator.  The Board will also consider approving additional paraprofessional time, increase time for Bridges Preschools and approve revised coaching assignments, including the hiring of new gymnastics coach Jordan Bussa and girls hockey coach Bill Fredin.

In regular action items, the board will review the Superintendent’s evaluation.  The Board will also consider a lease agreement with the BARC Center, consider an auto insurance proposal and discuss the proposed Prairie Meadow housing development.

The Windom School Board will also review the 2016 School District Levy, set the Truth in Taxation hearing, and act on a bond proposal.   

ILEC to construct solar array in Estherville - Sep 12, 2015 

ESTHERVILLE - Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative is planning to construct a solar array on land located directly east of its headquarters facility in Estherville.

President and CEO Rick Oleson said the Cooperative should receive word soon on a USDA Rural Energy for America Program grant that would provide 25 percent of the cost of the project. 

Locating the solar array adjacent to their headquarters will increase the visibility of the project, provide oversight and help reduce maintenance costs.

The 475,000 dollar investment would be offset by the Federal grant.  If approved, construction on the solar array could begin this Fall.

Authorities warn of scams - Sep 12, 2015 

SPENCER - Authorities are warning area residents using automatic teller machines (ATM’s) and card reading devices at gas stations to be on the lookout for skimming devices that could be attached to them. 

The Spencer Chamber of Commerce has issued a special alert to its members.  It comes on the heels of notification from the FBI regarding complaints it’s been receiving about skimming devices showing up throughout Iowa. 

Investigators report a group of eastern Europeans based out of Des Moines has been attaching skimmers to drive-up ATM machines.  They say the suspects have been able to get the account information from each card used at the machines.  The information is then sold weeks after it’s taken. 

Any businesses with an ATM are urged to be vigilant and to report to authorities anything that looks tampered with.

Jackson Co Libraries to go Outside the Lines - Sep 11, 2015 

JACKSON - Jackson County Library announces its participation in Outside the Lines, a bold campaign designed to reintroduce the library to the Jackson County community and get people thinking – and talking – about the library in a whole new way. Outside the Lines is a weeklong celebration, continuing until Saturday, demonstrating the creativity and innovation in libraries.

During Outside the Lines, participating organizations from across the world will host either an event or campaign that helps people understand how libraries have changed into dynamic centers for engagement, and how they are more relevant than ever to people’s lives. Learn more online at getoutsidethelines.org.

All three of the Jackson County libraries will be decorating the towns’ sidewalks to spread the message. There will also be ‘medallions’ available for pick up around town. The libraries are encouraging the community to pick one up, give it their personal artistic flair, and return them to one of the libraries by September 20th, 2015. The medallions that are returned will be used in an artistic display showcasing the integral part that the community plays in the libraries, as well as how crucial libraries are to the community.

Sons of Norway to host Lefse Ladies - Sep 11, 2015

WINDOM - The local Sons of Norway Stavanger Lodge will host their next monthly meeting on Thursday at the Cottonwood County Historical Society in Windom. The meeting will begin at 7:00 PM with a program by the Lefse Ladies.

The Lefse Ladies began rolling out lefse thirty years ago.  The four women, who are all from Jackson, have over the past few years, developed a “culinary musical comedy” show that is sure to please one and all.  The Lefse Ladies will certainly be 'on a roll' as they also explain what beverages go best when preparing lefse and more!

The Ladies state that they are dedicated to carrying on the traditions of their Northern European ancestors, or at least making some new traditions to pass on to their Scandinavian offspring. Be sure to find out more about the Lefse Ladies on their Facebook page.  

The public is cordially invited to come and attend this special program free of charge. Guests are always welcome at any Lodge meeting. Refreshments will be served at the meeting as well. This meeting is also the annual membership meeting. A brief presentation about the Sons of Norway will be included.

The mission of the Sons of Norway is to promote, preserve and cherish a lasting appreciation for the heritage and culture of Norway and other Nordic cultures while growing soundly as a fraternal benefit society and offering maximum benefits to its members. The local Stavanger Lodge was chartered in 1974 and currently has approximately 80 members.

For more information about Sons of Norway or the September meeting, please contact Harvey Pederson, Sons of Norway President, at 445-3188.

Compassionate Friends to meet Monday - Sep 11, 2015

WINDOM - Compassionate Friends, a self-help support group for parents and families of children who have died at any age from any cause, whether recently or some time ago, will meet on Monday at 7:00 PM at the BARC in Windom. 

For more information, please call Carol at 507-831-4235.

MN Revenue continues to exceed forecast - Sep 10, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Robust corporate, sales and income tax receipts have led to another month where Minnesota's revenues far exceeded forecaster expectations.

The Department of Minnesota Management and Budget said Thursday that the state took in $113 million more than it was counting on in August, or 8.5 percent better than projected.

Officials said almost one-third of that was from one-time corporate tax payments that they don't think will be repeated. Larger-than-expected income tax withholding resulted in $37 million of the excess.

The monthly reports don't look at state spending patterns. And officials caution there can be wide swings. Still, this one is part of an overall trend that suggests Minnesota might have a bigger surplus for lawmakers to work with when the next full economic forecast comes out later this fall.

Prairie Winds Kite Fly is Saturday - Sep 9, 2015

JACKSON - The Prairie Ecology Bus Center’s 13th Annual Prairie Winds Kite Fly is this Saturday from 10am to 4pm at the Jackson Municipal Airport.  New this year, the worlds largest parafoit kite (with over 2,000sq ft of surface area) will make it's midwestern debut.  There will be pro-kite flyers from seven states flying their giant show kites, plus you can fly your own kites.  There will also be kite making for kids, Bol races, kids candy drop, a scavenger hunt, concessions and more.

This family event is free and open to the public.  For more information, you can visit the Prairie Ecology Bus Center online at ecologybus.org.

Everyone is invited to the 13th Annual Prairie Winds Kite Fly, this Saturday, from 10am to 4pm at the Jackson Municipal Airport.

Fort Belmont's Pioneer Days Saturday - Sep 9, 2015

JACKSON - Pioneer Days is this weekend at Fort Belmont in Jackson.  Hours Saturday are from 9am to 4:30pm and on Sunday from 10am to 4pm.  There will be an 1840’s Buckskinner Camp with traders, vendors and trade blankets.  There will also be demonstrations of blacksmithing, butter churning, weaving, rope making, wood carving and hawk and knife throwing along with pioneer kids games, toys and more.  Guided tours of Fort Belmont will be available along with consessions.

There will be horse drawn wagon rides on Saturday and on Sunday, the Minnesota Raptor Center will have programs on an Owl, Falcon, Hawk and Bald Eagle at 10am and 1pm.   There will also be raffle drawings Sunday at 1pm.

Everyone is intited to Fort Belmont’s Pioneer Days, this Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

MN Crops remain ahead of average - Sep 9, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Warm, humid weather is helping keep development of Minnesota's corn and soybean crops ahead of last year's pace.

According to the USDA's weekly crop report, there were 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork in Minnesota for the week ending Sunday.

The report says 85 percent of Minnesota's corn acreage was in or beyond the dent stage — 11 days ahead of last year and a week ahead of the five-year average. With corn starting to mature, the crop's condition is rated 88 percent good to excellent.

Sixty-one percent of the soybean acreage was turning color or beyond, 10 days ahead of last year and six days ahead of average. Fourteen percent of soybean acreage was dropping leaves, slightly ahead of normal.

The small grain harvest was wrapping up across Minnesota.

IA Crops remain in good shape - Sep 9, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's corn and soybean crops endured the hottest week of the year so far last week but largely remain in good shape.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its weekly crop report released Tuesday says 10 percent of Iowa's corn crop is mature. That's three days ahead of last year but nine days behind the five-year average. Seventy-nine percent of the crop is in good to excellent condition.

Farmers report some fields are showing signs of disease stress.

Soybean development is three days ahead of last year but a day behind average with 76 percent of the crop in good to excellent condition.

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says the first week of September was the hottest week of the year. Temperatures as a whole averaged 10 degrees above normal.

Okoboji Middle School defeated for second time - Sep 9, 2015 

OKOBOJI, IA - For the second time, voters in the Okoboji School District voted against building a new middle school.  Turnout was higher this time around, and so was the margin of defeat.  1,310 voted against while 1,006 voted in favor.  There were a total 1,485 votes cast on the first ballot attempt.

The $14.7 million project would have been funded by increasing the district's Physical Plant and Equipment Levy to $1.34 per thousand dollars of valuation over 10 years.

MN State Fair attendance sets final day record - Sep 8, 2015

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — The final day of the 2015 Minnesota State Fair has set a Labor Day attendance record.

Fair officials say 178,867 people attended the Great Minnesota Get-Together on its final day Monday. The previous Labor Day turnout record was 164,227, set in 2013.

In total, 1,779,738 people visited the fair over its 12-day run. That's the fourth-highest attendance in fair history. The total attendance record of 1.8 million visitors was set last year.

The State Fair also saw more than 30,000 entries for agricultural and craft competitions, the debut of 40 new fair foods and 96,847 fans in the seats for Grandstand shows.

The 2016 Minnesota State Fair will run Aug. 25 through Labor Day, Sept. 5.

Good Samaritan identified - Sep 8, 2015    

MANKATO - A man who helped a State Trooper rescue another man from a fiery crash near Heron Lake Monday afternoon has been identified. 

Paul Langseth of rural Worthington is being hailed as a hero by the State Patrol after he stopped to assist with the accident while on his way to the State Fair. 

Langseth and his wife were stopped in traffic waiting for a funeral procession when a 2003 Volvo semi driven by Michael Junker of Trimont collided with a 2014 Freightliner semi driven by Michael Schultz of Lake Crystal on Highway 60 at 400th Avenue near Heron Lake.   

Langseth assisted State Patrol Sargent Ron Richards in removing Junker from his semi after it started on fire.  After Langseth assisted the Trooper, he was told he was free to go.  However, the State Patrol had been looking for Langseth since the accident to recognize his assistance.

Langseth came forward Thursday and was recognized Friday morning in Mankato.

Junker sustained non-life threatening injuries and was released from a Sioux Falls hospital on Wednesday.  Junker wrote a statement thanking Langseth, Richards and two nurses who stopped to assist.

Youth Hunting Rendezvous Saturday in Windom - Sep 8, 2015  

WINDOM - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold its annual Youth Hunting Rendezvous on September 12th at its Wolf Lake office, just east of Windom on County Road 17.  The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The day will feature free Pheasants Forever Ringneck membership for all youth up to age 15, and a free drawing for youth ages 12 to 18 for a local guided pheasant hunt with guides provided by Pheasants Forever.

The day will also feature pointing and water dog demonstrations, a waterfowl decoy presentation, a predator hunting seminar and an instruction on waterfowl calling, concluding with a calling contest. 

There will also be a spear target toss, bracelet weaving, use of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s shooting simulator and a question and answer session with local conservation officers.  New activities this year include an inflatable BB gun range and wildlife tattoos. 

The event is free of charge and open to all youth interested in learning about hunting and enjoying the great outdoors.

A free lunch will be provided by Friends of the Windom Wetland Management District.

FFA Results from State Fair - Sep 8, 2015 

ST. PAUL - Here are the JCC FFA results from the 2015 Minnesota State Fair.

Market Lambs


-Michaela Kellner

·         Class 4 Commercial Ewe, 8th Place

·         Class 3 Whiteface Market Lambs, 3rd Place

·         Class 5 Blackface Market Lambs, 10th Place

-Kailey Koep

·         Class 1 Blackface Market Lambs, 3rd Place

·         Class 6 Blackface Market Lambs, 4th Place

·         Class 9 Blackface Market Lambs, 1st Place

·         Pen of 3 Class 2, 2nd Place



-Jadi Koep

·         Class 8 Blackface Market Lambs, 6th Place

-Bailey Schneekloth

·         Class 6 Blackface Market Lambs, 5th Place

·         Class 7 Blackface Market Lambs, 6th and 9th Place



-Riley Johnson

·         Shorthorn Plus Senior Heifer Calf, 1st Place


-Marcus  Hinkeldey



Breeding Gilt

-Zach Bargfrede

·         Crossbred Breeding Gilt Class 2, 2nd Place

·         Crossbred Breeding Gilt Class 6, 5th Place

-Nolan Hohenstein

·         Crossbred Breeding Gilt Class 3, 2nd Place

·         Crossbred Breeding Gilt Class 7, 1st Place

·         Grand Champion Crossbred Breeding Gilt

-Dominic Bargfrede

·         Crossbred Breeding Gilt Class 3, 5th Place

-Dalton Dykstra

·         Crossbred Breeding Gilt Class 4, 1st Place

·         Duroc Early January Gilt, 1st Place

·         Grand Champion DurOC Breeding Gilt

-Jon Harmening

·         Crossbred Breeding Gilt Class 5, 1st Place

-Bailey Schneekloth

·         Crossbred Breeding Gilt Class 5, 7th Place

·         Crossbred Breeding Gilt Class 7, 2nd Place




Market Swine

Grand Champion Market Pen of 10 – Jackson County Central

-Dominic Bargfrede

·         Class 4 Purebred Market Hogs-Hampshire, 1st Place


·         Class 15 Middleweight Division, 1st Place

-Zach Bargfrede

·         Class 20 Heavyweight Division, 5th Place

·         Class 22 Heavyweight Division, 7th Place

-Nolan Hohenstein

·         Class 10 Market Barrow Lightweight Division, 4th Place

·         Class 19 Market Barrow Heavyweight Division, 1st Place

·         Class 19 Market Barrow Heavyweight Division, 3rd Place



-Maggie Post

·         Class 10 Market Barrow Lightweight Division, 3rd Place

·         Class 14 Market Barrow Middleweight Division, 2nd Place

·         Class 15 Market Barrow Middleweight Division, 3rd Place

·         Class 25, Market Barrow Pen of Three – 1st Place


-Bailey Schneekoth

·         Class 11 Market Barrow Lightweight Division, 4th Place

-Jon Harmening

·         Class 12 Market Barrow Lightweight Division, 5th Place

·         Class 20 Market Barrow Heavyweight Division, 7th Place

·         Class 22 Market Barrow Heavyweight Division, 1st Place

-Jadi Koep

·         Class 13 Market Barrow Lightweight Division, 4th Place

·         Class 15 Market Barrow Middleweight Division, 4th Place

·         Class 22 Market Barrow Heavyweight Division, 5th Place

·         Class 27, Market Barrow Pen of Three – 1st Place

-Dalton Dykstra

·         Class 14 Market Barrow Middleweight Division, 1st Place

·         Class 16 Market Barrow Middleweight Division, 3rd Place

·         Class 17 Market Barrow Middleweight Division, 3rd Place


·         Class 18 Market Barrow Heavyweight Division, 2nd Place


-Josh Ulbricht

·         Class 16 Market Barrow Middleweight Division, 8th Place

·         Class 19 Market Barrow Heavyweight Division, 6th Place

-Mady Vancura

·         Class 16 Market Barrow Middleweight Division, 6th Place

·         Class 19 Market Barrow Heavyweight Division, 7th Place

-Gavin Mulder

·         Class 17 Market Barrow Middleweight Division, 7th Place

·         Class 18 Market Barrow Heavyweight Division, 1st Place

·         Class 18 Heavyweight Division, 4th Place


-Kailey Koep

·         Class 18 Market Barrow Heavyweight Division, 8th Place

·         Class 20 Market Barrow Heavyweight Division, 3rd Place

·         Class 22 Market Barrow Heavyweight Division, 10th Place

·         Class 30, Market Barrow Pen of Three – 1st Place






Crop Show

Reserve Champion High Point Chapter – Jackson County Central

GRAND Champion Overall High Point Individual – Maggie Post

RESERVE Champion Overall High Point Individual – MEGAN EDLIN

Grand Champion Ear Corn – Megan Edlin

Grand Champion Shell Corn – Jordan Winter

Best of Show Ear Corn – Megan Edlin

State Patrol seeks Good Samaritan - Sep 3, 2015   

The Minnesota State Patrol is looking for a motorist who helped a trooper pull a semi-truck driver out of his burning cab to safety on Monday afternoon.

The trooper was holding traffic for a funeral procession on Highway 60 at 400th Ave. in Windom when the semi-truck driver failed to stop for traffic and rear-ended another stopped semi.

With the striking semi in flames, the trooper and Good Samaritan ran to the burning truck and pulled the driver to safety.

Thanks to the actions of the trooper and Good Samaritan, the truck driver is recovering from significant, but non-life threatening injuries.

The trooper believes he would not have been able to rescue the injured semi-truck driver without the help of the Good Samaritan.

The State Patrol wants to find and recognize the man for his heroic actions.

Anyone with information should contact the Marshall District office: 507-476-4020.

MnDOT urging caution during Labor Day weekend - Sep 3, 2015

ST. PAUL – As Labor Day weekend approaches, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds motorists to be alert and use extra caution while driving through highway work zones.

“Most projects will shut down over the holiday weekend, but there are still many work zones around the state that will affect travel,” said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “We ask drivers to pay attention in work zones and make it a safe weekend for everyone. Check www.511mn.org before you leave to get current road conditions for your route.”

Highway projects that may affect weekend travel Sept. 4-7 include:

Twin Cities area

·         Interstate 494 in Plymouth – multiple lane and ramp closures

·         I-35E in St. Paul and Little Canada – lane and ramp closures

·         Highway 5 between St. Paul and Highway 55 – lane and ramp closures

·         Highway 5 between Waconia and Victoria – road closed, detour

·         Highway 100 in St. Louis Park – ramp closures and lane shift

·Highway 169 in Jordan – single-lane traffic in both directions

Central Minnesota 

·         I-94 between Rogers and St. Michael – lane shift, narrow lanes and reduced speeds, expect delays

·         Highway 169 along south shore of Lake Mille Lacs – bypass lanes, minor traffic delays

·         Highway 25 at Highway 12 east of Melrose (7 miles south of Buffalo) – closed, detour

West Central Minnesota 

·         Highway 12 between Atwater and Litchfield – detour

Northern Minnesota   

·         Highway 29 in Alexandria – lane closures and lane shifts near I-94, delays possible

·         Highway 2 between Cass Lake and Ball Club – lane shifts, flagging activities, some delays

·         Highway 371 between Cass Lake and Walker – lane closures, pilot car, some delays

·         Highway 10 in Detroit Lakes – single-lane traffic in both directions, expect delays

·         Highway 2 (Bong Bridge) between Duluth and Superior – eastbound lanes closed, detour

·         Highway 23 between Duluth and Duquette – single-lane, detour

·         Highway 70 east of I-35 – both lanes will be open through the weekend, part of roadway will have a gravel surface

Southern Minnesota    

·         I-35 Owatonna to Albert Lea – single-lane traffic in both directions, slow traffic

·         I-90 between St. Charles and Stewartville – single-lane traffic in both directions, slow traffic

·         I-90 between Alden and Highway 22 – single lane, slow traffic

·         Highway 14 between Nicollet and Mankato detour

·         Highway 22 south of St. Peter

·         Highway 59 in Marshall – short detour

For a complete list of projects, including construction dates and traffic impacts, visit www.mndot.gov/roadwork/current.html. Motorists may also sign up to receive email updates for major projects at www.mndot.gov/emailupdates.

MnDOT urges motorists to always be attentive, drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones.          

To learn about funding Minnesota’s transportation system, visit Get Connected at www.dot.state.mn.us/getconnected.     

Highway 60 Mountain Lake to Butterfield completion delayed

County Coordinator finalists names - Sep 2, 2015   

JACKSON - The Jackson County Board of Commissioners has released the names of the four finalists for the Jackson County Coordinator position. 

The finalists are recent Menard County, Illinois Coordinator Steve Duncan.  Duncan was the coordinator there for 8 years and prior to that was the Assistant City Administrator in the City of Eureka, Missouri.

Cory Fleming is currently a Program Director for the International City/County Management Association in Washington, DC, where she has worked for 12 years.  She has held previous Administrative positions in the public and private sector.

Diane Miller is currently a Business Manager/Analyst which she has done for the last 4 years.  She was the City Administrator in Canby, MN and has held other Human Resource and Management positions in the private and public sector.

Luayn Ruch-Hammond is currently the City Administrator for the City of Mayer, MN where she has been for 11 years.  She has held other City Administrator positions and served on the LeSueur County Board of Commissioners.

The four finalists will take part in an interview process that will take place on Thursday, September 24th.

Highway 60 project delayed - Sep 2, 2015   

MANKATO – The completion date for the four-lane expansion of Highway 60 from Mountain Lake to Butterfield has been delayed from early October to early November due to delays for the paving contractor.

Recent information from the paving contractor estimates they will begin on Highway 60 on October 1 as they are behind on another project with traffic currently detoured due to recent wet conditions.  Paving the new two lanes between Mountain Lake and Butterfield is expected to take two weeks followed by another two weeks of working on the in slopes, top soil, seeding, signing and striping.

The project includes grading, paving, concrete repair and lighting of two additional lanes to expand Highway 60 to a four-lane facility. It was originally expected to be complete on Oct. 2.

Motorists are asked to continue to reduce speeds and use caution in the work zone until the project is complete.

Mathiowetz Construction of Sleepy Eye was awarded the contract with a bid of $12,424,000. 

This is the second of three projects planned to complete the expansion of Highway 60 to a four-lane facility.  The section from Mountain Lake to Windom is planned to begin in 2017.  For more project information visit www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/hwy60stjames/ .

Jackson Council takes action on revolving loan - Sep 2, 2015   

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

John McCorkell with the Jackson Speedway asked the Council to approve a Fireworks Display Permit Application for the Jackson Nationals this weekend, which the council approved.

In action items, the Council approved a resolution of a Tax Levy Collectable in 2016.  The preliminary levy is just under $1.4 million, which represents no change in what was certified in 2014.

The council adjourned to closed session at 6:43pm.  Following the closed session, the Council accepted the recommendation of the City’s Revolving Loan Fund Committee to settle an outstanding loan balance with Vicki Swanson of Vicki’s Clothing Mine.  Swanson owes a balance of approximately $18,500 on a $27,000 loan.  The recommendation included accepting a cash payment and taking possession of a vehicle, inventory, fixures, furnishings and equipment that was used as collateral to secure the loan.  The city seeks to recoup as much as possible by selling the items.

Commissioners hear about tobacco free grounds - Sep 2, 2015   

JACKSON - The Jackson County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. at the Courthouse with all members present.

They narrowed the field of applicants for the County Coordinator Position to four candidates. Interviews and department head meetings with the four finalists will be scheduled for Thursday, September 24th.

They heard an informational presentation from a representative from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Lung Association. Erin Simmons talked about the impact of tobacco use and specifically the issue of tobacco free grounds policies for workplaces including counties.

The board heard an annual update on the Southwest Initiative Foundation. Cheryl Glaeser thanked the board for their past support and presented examples of the foundation’s efforts in Jackson County.

The board awarded a project to remove bridge 1804 in Section 28 of Round Lake Township to Svoboda Excavating of Jackson for just over $79,700; they approved advertising projects at Engineer Tim Stahl’s discretion for the replacement of Bridge 32504 in Round Lake Township and replacement of a Culvert on County Road 76 in Section 15 of Belmont Township.

They passed resolutions relating to employees health insurance and ancillary benefits; approved a gambling permit for the Windom Area Youth Hockey Association for a raffle to be held during the Jackson Sprint Car Nationals this weekend.

They set Tuesday, September 2 as the time for the board to meet to review and discuss the 2016 Budget and Levy.

The next regular meeting of the Jackson County Board is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15th at 9:00 a.m.

Trimont man injured in two semi accident - Sep 1, 2015   

HERON LAKE - A Trimont man received minor injuries in a two vehicle accident yesterday on Highway 60 near Heron Lake.

49 year-old Michael Junker of Trimont was driving a 2003 Volvo Semi eastbound on highway 60 when he collided with a 2014 Freightliner semi driven by 54 year-old Michael Schultz of Lake Crystal.  Junker was transported to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls with non-life threatening injuries.  Schultz sustained no apparent injuries.

Severe damage was reported to Schultz’s Freightliner.  Junkers Volvo was considered a total loss.

The Heron Lake Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Windom Police Department, Heron Lake Fire and Ambulance and Windom Fire and Ambulance assisted the State Patrol at the scene.

JCC Board approves contract with teachers - Aug 25, 2015   

JACKSON - The Jackson County Central School Board met in regular session last night.  The meeting was called to order at 6:02pm with all members present.

The board approved the 2015-17 agreement with the JCC Teachers.  Superintendent Todd Meyer noted that 90 out of 97 teachers voted in favor of the agreement.  They also approved the 10 year Long-Term Facilities Management Plan.  It was noted that this was not a firm schedule, but rather a guideline to help keep a handle on what needs to be done.  The Truth in Taxation meeting was scheduled for December 14th at 6pm.

In other action, the board approved a resolution for board member Jody Thrush to continue working as a substitute teacher in the JCC School District, approved Family Medical Leave for Wendy Fredrickson.  The Board also approved hiring Cheryl Bass as an ELL teacher, Brandon Fredrickson as a Social Studies teacher at the High School, Maria Hustedt as a reading teacher at Riverside, Mary Benson as a para at the High School, Lori Kroger as a para at the Middle School, Ashley Johnson, Melissa Polz, Crystal Ringling, Shirly Slater and Blaike Smith as paras at Riverside and Tiffany Mathias and Rachel Truong as paras at Pleasantview.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:43pm The next regular meeting of the JCC School board is scheduled for 6pm on Monday, Sept 28.

Disc Golf tournament Sept 12 in Okoboji - Aug 24, 2015              

OKOBOJI - Okoboji Disc Golf Course will be the host for the first Professional Disc Golf Association tournament on Saturday, September 12.

The Battle at the Border event will be a full-day of competition, education and fun for disc golf players of all skill levels.

Registration begins at 8am at the course in Kenue Park in Okoboji.  A players meeting will be held at 9:45am with tee off scheduled for 10:15am.  Players can register in pro, advanced, intermediate or junior.  Pro level competitors will play for cash awards with other skill levels receive player packs with a custom-dyed disc and T-shirt.   

Competitors can also play in a team of five, and if multiple teams sign up a team trophy will be given out to the group with the lowest combined score.

Following the tournament will be a free putting and driving clinic put on by Ascension Disc Golf staff, and anyone is invited to attend, including people who do not wish to participate in the tournament.

The Battle at the Border will also feature a longest drive contest, which costs $1 per disc throw, and a raffle for a disc golf basket valued at $220. Raffle tickets will be sold for $5 each.

Registration is $50 for pros, $40 for advanced players, $30 for intermediate and $25 for juniors. An extra $10 fee will be charged to those competitors not members of the PDGA, but the additional fee is waived for competitors 16 and younger. The Dickinson County Conservation Board will receive $5 from each entry fee.

For more information on the tournament, e-mail ascensiondiscgolf@outlook.com. To learn more about the Okoboji Gold Disc Golf Course, contact the Dickinson County Nature Center at 712-336-6352 or go online to dickinsoncountynaturecenter.com.

Ruby's Pantry in Jackson on Tuesday - Aug 23, 2015    

JACKSON - Ruby’s Pantry returns to Jackson today from 4:30 to 6pm at the Jackson National Guard Armory. 

There are no income or residency requirements to participate in Ruby’s Pantry.  Everyone participating needs to bring two large boxes or laundry baskets and a $20 donation for the abundance of food that you will receive.

Ruby’s Pantry will be in Jackson from 4:30 to 6pm today at the Jackson National Guard Amory.

Alpha Appreciation Days Aug 28-29 - Aug 22, 2015    

ALPHA - Alpha will hold their annual Appreciation Days August 28-29.  On Friday, the beer garden opens at 6pm with burgers, brats and more.  The Alpha Fire Department Street Dance featuring the Nectorines starts at 8:30 with no cover charge.

On Saturday is the Grilled Pork Chop Supper featuring a pork chop dinner for $10 or a pork burger dinner fro $6.  There will be kids games and a beer garden.  At 7pm is Karaoke with Larry Clymer with fireworks at 9:30.  Don’t forget about the huge raffle Saturday night.

That Alpha Appreciation Days, next weekend, August 28th & 29th in Alpha.

Truck vs Cow accident south of Jackson - Aug 22, 2015   

JACKSON - The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office investigated a car vs. cow accident on the Petersburg Road south of Jackson on Monday, August 17th.

55 year old Jeff Fiala of Jackson was southbound on Petersburg Road when a cow ran onto the roadway. Fiala struck the cow with his 2013 Chevy pick-up causing major damage. The cow was found deceased.

The owner of the cow was determined to be 60 year old Mark Olson of Jackson. The cow had gotten loose from the Jackson Sale Barn approximately 1 week earlier.

Investigation continues into death in Brewster - Aug 20, 2015   

BREWSTER - Authorities in Nobles County continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a Brewster woman.

Nobles County Deputies responded to a 911 call around 2:40 Wednesday morning reporting a woman had been shot.  Inside, investigators located the body of a 40-year old female who was the victim of an apparent gunshot wound.  Two other individuals inside the home at the time of the shooting were not injured.

The woman’s body was taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy and formal identification.

The Brewster Fire and Rescue Department and the Worthington Ambulance Service assisted at the scene yesterday.

The incident remains under investigation.

Federated REA holds 80th Annual Meeting - Aug 19, 2015  

FAIRMONT - A large crowd attended Federated Rural Electric's 80th Annual Meeting August 18 at the Martin County Fair Arena.

Members elected director: Jon Saxen, Sherburn, for District At-Large. On the Nominating Committee Steven Landsteiner, Sherburn, was elected for District 5; while Lowell Spee, Fairmont, was elected for District 6. Members also passed amendments to Federated’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws; these changes allowed for fair representation of the new Alliant members with redistricting, setting a higher level of indebtedness, eliminates membership fees and provides flexibility on the annual meeting order of business during the meeting.

President David A. Hansen and General Manager Richard Burud provided a cooperative update on 2015 highlights. Hansen welcomed the former Alliant customers as new Federated member-owners, where they cast ballots in their first Federated elections. Hansen told the membership that General Manager Richard Burud will retire January 6, 2016; the Board of Directors is working with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s consulting agency on hiring the best possible candidate as general manager. Hansen also reported on a successful state legislative session that “allows cooperatives to apply a reasonable fixed charge that requires members generating their own power to pay their fair share of the co-op’s lines and substation when selling excess power on the grid, instead of it being subsidized by the rest of the Federated members.”

Manager Burud reported that 2015 was a year of financial stability with equity growing from $27.9 million to $30.4 million in 2014. “Residential electric rates are also stable, with the possibility of slight increase in wholesale power costs in 2016,” Burud stated. He also thanked state and federal legislators, especially for passing the federal water heater legislation. Burud voiced concern over the next legislative hurdle for the industry being “the EPA’s ruling on coal generation emissions effecting your rates and ultimately what members’ energy costs are.”                                                              

In addition, Burud thanked the Federated membership as it’s his last annual meeting address. “In my past 42 years of working for Federated, I’ve enjoyed my employment immensely,” he stated. “I want to thank you for your support and patronage. It has been a true honor to represent you.”

Burud also recognized two other employees who will be retiring as well in the next few months. Jerald “Festus” Hagen is the assistant line superintendent in Welcome with 49 years at Federated. Meanwhile, Brian Hansen is Federated’s warehouseman/mechanic and he will retire this fall with 29 years at the cooperative.    

Members attending the Annual Meeting received two LED light bulbs as attendance gifts, along with two $5 food tickets to use at local fair food vendors.  

Twelve children ages nine and under each won $17 worth of Midway ride tickets at the fair.

In addition, nearly 45 door prizes were awarded to the members. The top three prize winners were:

  • Curtis Luetgers, Fairmont, won a $300 Federated gift certificate.
  • Wade Krenz, Fairmont, won a Hitachi LI-ION impact driver.
  • Ronald Blair, Winnebago, won a Hitachi 18-volt cordless drill
Federated is a Touchstone Energy cooperative serving 6,700 electric members in Jackson and Martin Counties.

Jackson Council approves library changes - Aug 19, 2015   

JACKSON - The Jackson City Council met Tuesday nightt in regular session. Mayor Pro-Tem Fred Bern called the meeting to order with Mayor Wayne Walter the only member absent.

The council approved engaging JMCM Consulting to apply for grant funding for the Fire Department. Gary Reif from the Fire Dpartment told the council that the firm charges 5% if they help get a grant approved, but there is no fee if their help does not result in getting grant approval.

They adopted Ordinance Number Eighty-seven amending fees, rates and charges for 2015.
They reviewed and approved the engineer's recommendation to Award the Sanitary Sewer Extension Project Contract to Svoboda Excavating. It is hoped that the work can begin this fall and be completed in 2016.

They approved change orders totaling just over twenty thousand dollars for the Library Expansion and Renovation Project. The change orders involve performing soil correct6ions and converting the library's electric service from overhead to underground. Both change orders are within the project budget.

The council approved recommendations from the Planning Commission including a variance for New Fashion Pork to build an addition to their present office building at 164 Industrial Parkway that will be fourteen feet from the side property line; and an interim use permit for Holi and Davin Amara to operate an office-professional business in a zoned residential area at 97 Muir Avenue.

They approved a one day temporary liquor license for the Jackson Knights of Columbus Steak and Brew Fundraiser on September twelfth, and a one day temporary liquor license for the Jackson American Legion Post One Thirty for a wedding reception at the Jackson National Guard Armory on September nineteenth.

The next regular meeting of the Jackson City Council is scheduled for Tuesday September first.

Commissioners set public hearing - Aug 19, 2015   

JACKSON - The Jackson County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. at the Courthouse with all members present.

They approved a recommendation letter and resolution authorizing David Drown Associates to solicit bids for the sale of drainage bonds for the Judicial Ditch Forty-six Improvement Project in the amount of nine hundred fifteen thousand dollars. The sale will tentatively be held on September fifteenth with the project funded on October first.

They set the Judicial Ditch Thirty-five final public hearing for the purpose of considering the revised Final Engineers Report in the matter of the proposed drainage improvement for Tuesday, September fifteenth at 1:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria of the Government Center East Building.

They approved a letter of support for Western Community Action’s proposal to bring E.B.T.-card acceptance to our local farmers markets in Southwest Minnesota, including the Riverside Farmers Market in Jackson. Health Educator Angela Naumann (NEW-mun) from the Statewide Health Improvement Program told the commissioners that the goal is to provide a central terminal for all vendors at the farmer’s market.

In other action, the commissioners approved a request for a two day temporary on-sale liquor license for American Legion Post One Thirty to provide services during the National Sprint League Jackson Speedway Nationals at the Fairgrounds on September fourth and fifth.

They set a public hearing on two separate ordinance additions. The planning commission will hold public hearings for the adoption of the Subdivision of Land and Solar Energy Ordinances at their regular meeting on August twenty-sixth. The full board will then hold a public hearing on the ordinance additions and amendments at the September fifteenth meeting at 9:30 a.m. Anyone interested in viewing the ordinance amendments may do so at the Jackson County Auditor/Treasurer’s Office or the Jackson County Land Management Office during regular office hours. The document can also be viewed online. (www.co.jackson.mn.us)

They supported a resolution initiated by Nobles County to propose that the state use the budget surplus to repair unsatisfactory roads and bridges.  The board met in closed session to discuss real estate negotiations. No action was taken when they returned to open session.

The next regular meeting of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners is set for Tuesday, September first at 9:00 a.m.

Deputies investigate stolen ATV in Jackson - Aug 18, 2015

JACKSON - The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported theft of a youth sized ATV on Friday.  The theft occurred at Jackson Sports located in Industrial Parkway in Jackson.

The ATV was removed from a crate and is described as a 2015 Polaris ATV-15 Outlaw, blue in color with a reported value of $1,000.00

Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office.

Domestic assault in Jackson County leads to arrest - Aug 17, 2015  

JACKSON - A 25 year-old male was arrested last weekend in Iowa after a reported domestic assault.  At approximately 10:30am Saturday, deputies responded to a domestic assault in Minneota Township in Jackson County.

A 23 year old victim reported that they were assaulted by their 25 year old boyfriend, Wesley Hanson.

The victim told deputies an altercation occurred with Hanson earlier that morning when he reportedly threw her to the ground, slapped and punched her and held a lit torch next to her face. The victim attempted to call her mother and Hanson reportedly took the phone from her preventing her from calling.

Hanson left and returned around 9:30 a.m. to retrieve a work torch. He allegedly placed his hands around the victim’s neck and told her he was going to kill her. It was also reported that he kicked her several times.

A warrant was issued for Hanson’s arrest and was arrested in Palo Alto County in Iowa. He waived extradition and is expected to appear on felony terroristic threats-second degree, felony assault and domestic assault.

Hanson remains in custody.

Seal Coat project delayed until Wednesday - Aug 17, 2015 

JACKSON - Due to the rain Monday and forecast for Tuesday, the contractor has put the seal coat work on hold until Wednesday. 

They will leave the signs in place, but cars can be parked in the affected streets until then. 

Weaver to seek 4th District Seat - Aug 16, 2015 

CLEAR LAKE, IA - Kim Weaver of Sheldon has announced she’s running as a Democrat for the 4th District Congressional seat in Iowa.  Weaver made her announcement at the Democratic Wing Ding event Friday evening in Clear Lake.

Weaver is a single mother of three children.  She said her campaign will be centered on fighting income inequality and preserving a strong middle class.   

IA man arrested for counterfeit currency - Aug 15, 2015  

EMMETSBURG, IA - At approximately 10:25 Friday morning, the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office arrested 43 year old Brian Stowe of Waverly, Iowa on a valid Federal Arrest Warrant for Manufacturing Counterfeit Currency and Dealing in Counterfeit Currency. 

Following his arrest, Stowe was taken to the Palo Alto County Jail in Emmetsburg to await transport by the U.S. Secret Service to Federal Court in Cedar Rapids.

Butterfield man injuried in motorcycle accident Friday - Aug 15, 2015  

ST. JAMES - A Butterfield man was injured when his motorcycle struck a deer around 5:30 Friday afternoon.

According to the State Patrol, 58 year old Timothy Steinle was driving a 1991 Honda south on Highway 4 near mile marker 41 in Watonwan County when three deer crossed the roadway.  Steinle struck one of the deer and laid the motorcycle down. 

Steinle was taken to the St. James Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

Moderate damage was reported to motorcycle. 

The St. James Fire Department, St. James Ambulance and Watonwan County Sheriff’s Office assisted the State Patrol at the scene.  The State Patrol is investigating the mishap.

I-90 construction to wrap up for 2015 - Aug 15, 2015  

MANKATO, Minn. –  Interstate 90 motorists in Jackson and Martin County should see traffic restrictions removed on Aug. 18 as the construction wraps up for 2015. The Jackson County Road 29 ramp opened Friday.

Drivers need to continue to use caution as workers install interchange lighting and work on culverts off the roadway.

In 2016, construction will resume between Jackson County Road 5 and Highway 86 (Lakefield).

This $36 million project, consisting of both concrete and asphalt work between Round Lake and Sherburn, is being designed and built at the same time and should be complete in July 2016.

Information on all I-90 work in southwestern Minnesota can be found www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/I90preserve/ where the public is encouraged to sign up for e-mail updates.

Motorcycle accident in Spirit Lake claims life - Aug 15, 2015 

SPIRIT LAKE, IA - A Logan, Iowa woman died from injuries sustained in a traffic accident Friday afternoon in Spirit Lake.

Just before 2 o’clock, Police were called to an accident involving two motorcycles on Highway 71, just south of 36th street in Spirit Lake.  According to police, both motorcycles were travelling south on Highway 71.  The driver, 53 year old Julie Coolman from Logan, Iowa collided with the rear of a motorcycle driven by 45 year old Laura Levell of Magnolia, Iowa.  Both drivers were taken by ambulance to Lakes Regional Healthcare.  Coolman later died from her injuries.  Levell sustained serious and incapacitating injuries.  

Spirit Lake Police were assisted at the scene by the Spirit Lake Fire Department, Lakes Regional Healthcare Ambulance, Spirit Lake First Responders, Okoboji Police and the Iowa State Patrol.

JCC hosts Back to School nights - Aug 12, 2015  

JACKSON - Students entering the 12th grade at Jackson County Central are encouraged, along with their parents, to attend a 12th grade orientation Thursday at 7pm at the JCC High School Auditorium.  Doors will open at 6:15pm and iPads will be distributed.

On Monday, there will be an FFA Orientation at 5:30pm in the High School Ag Room, then at 7pm there will be a 9th Grade Orientation in the High School Auditorium.  All incoming freshman and at least one parent are encouraged to attend.  Doors will open at 6:15pm.  iPads will be distributed and schedules will be available.

On Tuesday, there will be an open house for students entering 10th and 11th grade from 4-7pm in the High School Auditorium.  Students and at least one parent are encouraged to attend.  Schedules and iPads can be picked up that night.

There will be a Middle School Back to School Night on Thursday, August 20th.  6th grade students and their parents are encouraged to attend an orientation from 6-6:45pm in the Middle School Auditorium.  The technology department and Southwest Coaches will be on hand to discuss iPads and transportation.  Classrooms will be open from 6:45-7:30pm for students and parents to meet the staff.  7th and 8th grade students are encouraged to come after 6:45pm unless you have a brother or sister in 6th grade.

MN Crops continue to excel - Aug 11, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's small-grain farmers are making substantial harvest progress while the state's corn and soybean crops are in great shape.

In its weekly crop progress and condition report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that almost half the state's barley crop was harvested last week, the second-largest portion harvested in one week on record, trailing only a 1990 mark. Thirty-three percent of the spring wheat acreage has been harvested, three weeks ahead of last year's pace and slightly ahead of average.

Minnesota corn and soybean conditions are rated at their best levels since 2010. The report says 89 percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition, up 2 percentage points from last week. Soybean condition is rated 83 percent good to excellent, up 2 points.

Federated REA's 80th Annual Meeting Aug 18th - Aug 10, 2015

JACKSON - Attend Federated Rural Electric’s 80th Annual Meeting Tuesday, August 18, and learn about the electric cooperative’s 2015 accomplishments.

The meeting is at the Martin County Fair in Fairmont in the Martin County Arena. Federated members receive free admittance to the fair between 3:30-6 p.m. by registering at the northwest gate (look for the Federated sign). Members may park in the north fair lot. They can walk over to the northwest gate or catch a free Federated golf cart shuttle up to the gate.  

During meeting registration, members receive the co-op’s Annual Meeting attendance gift — two LED light bulbs. Besides election ballots, Federated members receive two $5 coupons to use at preapproved local fair food vendors. While waiting for the meeting to begin, attendees can listen to acoustic pop music by Elyse Barnard and visit Federated's booths for information on Federated's money-saving programs, Exede Internet, Heartland Security Services and electric grills.

The 41st round of Operation Round Up funds from this spring will be highlighted at 5:30 p.m. with a slide show. Approximately $17,888 was awarded to 17 local organizations, which included $5,600 as eight Operation Round Up scholarships. Operation Round Up is a program where participating Federated members' electric bills are rounded up to the nearest dollar. This money goes to a trust fund, which the Trust Board oversees, and is awarded twice a year to organizations serving Jackson and Martin Counties.           

The meeting starts at 6 p.m., Federated members will learn about the cooperative's highlights for the year and welcome the former Alliant customers at their first Federated Annual Meeting. President David Hansen and General Manager Richard Burud will give reports on the year in review and a preview of 2016.  

Members will also elect one director and two members to serve on the Nominating Committee; terms for all positions start December 1, 2015. Director candidates for District At-Large are: Donald E. Tietje, Fairmont; and Jon Saxen, Sherburn.                               

The Nominating Committee candidates for District Five are Kelvin Klunder, Ceylon; and Steven Landsteiner, Fairmont. District Six candidates are Larry Cowing, Granada; and Lowell Spee, Fairmont.

            Following the business meeting more than 40 prizes will be given away. The top five prizes are:

·         $300 Federated electricity gift certificate

·         Hitachi Li-On impact driver

·         Hitachi 18V cordless drill

·         Dremel Ulta-saw tool kit

·         $100 Welcome TV & Sales gift certificate

 Federated members’ children ages nine and under can register for prizes too. Federated will give away $17 worth of Midway ride tickets to 12 kids. Members must be registered to win.

Federated members should bring along their August Connections newsletter, which includes their registration card.

Federated is a Touchstone Energy electric cooperative serving 6,700 members in Jackson and Martin Counties.                      

Clay Co Fair looking for Farm Gadgets - Aug 10, 2015

SPENCER, IA - The 2015 Clay County Fair is excited to host a Farm Gadget Show for the first time this year.  Exhibits will be displayed in and around the Innovation Pavilion in the southwest corner of the fairgrounds.

Each entry will need a laminated written description of the project, its intended use and safety qualities. Entries are due on or before August 15. To see the complete rules and regulations to enter in your gadgets go to www.claycountyfair.com for more information.  

"Take It All In" September 12-20, 2015 at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa!  Known as "The World's Greatest County Fair" since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 300,000 people each September for world-class Grandstand events, daily livestock and horse shows, more than $140,000 in free entertainment, thousands of competitive exhibits, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States!  For more information, visit online at claycountyfair.com.


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