Latest Area News Headlines

Franken and Walz staffers talk veteran benefits backlog bill

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WORTHINGTON - Staff members from the offices of U.S. Sen. Al Franken and U.S. Rep Tim Walz met with local veteran service officers today to discuss the Quicker Benefits Delivery Act, legislation aimed at tackling the Department of Veterans Affairs benefit claims backlog.

Although a news release sent out yesterday states the backlog is forcing thousands of returning veterans to put their lives on hold for months at a time while claims are processed, Veterans Field Representative Shawn Schloesser of Walz’s office said the backlog of benefit claims is only about 20 percent Iraq and...


June 20 news

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WORTHINGTON - Key staff members from the offices of U.S. Sen. Al Franken's (D-Minn.) and U.S. Rep Tim Walz (D-Minn.) will meet with local veterans and veterans advocates today to get input on the expanding veterans benefits claims "backlog" that is forcing hundreds of thousands of returning veterans to put their lives on hold for many months while their claims are being processed.

Sen. Franken and Rep. Walz, who recently introduced legislation to help the clear up the backlog, said the meeting is part of their effort to get input from Minnesotans on the problem and on their...


New library location narrowed to four possible sites

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WORTHINGTON – Nobles County Commissioners today listened to the pros and cons of four possible locations for a new library before deciding they needed input from the general public before a decision could be made. Nobles County Library Director Julie Wellnitz was instructed to work with Vetter Johnson Architects to prepare a public display of the four sites for display at the library and the upcoming fair booth.

The four sites include the old Campbell’s Soup lot, the current Lampert Lumber Yard, the county’s public works area or the site of the old outdoor pool.

In a letter...


FEMA denies aid to West, Texas for blast

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HOUSTON (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is refusing to provide money to help rebuild the small Texas town where a deadly fertilizer plant explosion leveled numerous homes and a school, and killed 15 people.

According to a letter obtained by The Associated Press, FEMA said it reviewed the state's appeal to help West but decided that the explosion "is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration." FEMA has, however, provided emergency funds to individual residents.

West Mayor Tommy Muska said the rural community of 2,800 people...


Barn and calves lost in rural Bigelow fire

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BIGELOW – Twenty-seven calves and a barn were lost Tuesday evening during a fire in rural Bigelow, according to Bigelow Fire Chief Paul Hohensee.

The fire department was called out at approximately 8:45 p.m. after a neighbor noticed smoke and headed over to the farm near Lake Bella. Hohensee said the property owners were not home at the time of the incident. The neighbor called 911, but when the Bigelow Fire Department arrived, the barn was totally engulfed in flames.

“We protected all of his surrounding buildings - the barn had way too big a head start on us,” Hohensee said...


JCSO releases details of Lakefield man's fatal crash

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JACKSON – A Lakefield man who was found dead in his vehicle Friday in Clear Lake failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, according to information released Monday by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

23-year-old Cassidy Voss was found shortly before 7 p.m. Friday in his 2005 Mazda, which was partially submerged next to a dock. It was determined that Voss was westbound on Jackson County Road 10 when he missed the curve in the roadway. The vehicle entered the south ditch and struck an approach leading to the lake shore. The Mazda then vaulted into some shoreline trees and came...


Fire destroys Sheldon, Iowa printing facility

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SHELDON, Iowa – An early morning fire at White Wolf Web in Sheldon, Iowa destroyed the building Tuesday that prints several publications, including the Northwest Iowa Review, the Gazette-Tribune and Okoboji Magazine. The blaze, reported at 1:20 a.m., caused major damage and brought out the Sheldon Fire Department and three mutual aid departments from Ashton, Boyden and Sanborn. White Wolf Web, located at 300 Second Avenue and owned by Peter Wagner, is part of the Iowa Information Group.


June 4 news

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WORTHINGTON – Executive Director for the Minnesota West Foundation Jim Smalley announced Monday the capital campaign for the Center for Health and Wellness on the Worthington Campus of Minnesota West has passed the $100,000 mark. The goal for the renovation and new building of the facility is $400,000.

Smalley said the support from the community has been outstanding, and volunteers and staff have worked hard to get the campaign off to a great start. Naming opportunities for larger dollar amounts are available, Smalley said, and all donations will be recognized inside the new Center...


June 3 news

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PIPESTONE – Physician’s Assistant Dan Woldt of Slayton has been hired at the Pipestone County Medical Center. Woldt will fill a position left vacant by the departure of Melissa Scotting and help fill in at the Edgerton clinic during the six month medical leave of Dr. Matthew Viel. Woldt, who worked for the Murray County Medical Center, is currently involved in a civil lawsuit against the Slayton facility and its CEO, Mel Snow.

BOYDEN, Iowa — An alleged illegal alien living in Worthington has been charged with identity theft in Iowa. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office in Iowa reports...


May 31 news

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RUSHMORE – After a manure spill Wednesday in Nobles County, water samples taken from a gravel pit in Little Rock Township will be sent to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for analysis to determine if contamination exists. According to Nobles County Environmental Services Director Wayne Smith, the spill has been contained with a dirt berm and some round bales.

The spill occurred when stockpiled manure slid down a hill into the gravel pit nearby. Tom Kresko, area hydrologist from the Department of Natural Resources, said the spill was contained to the pit and did not overflow...