April 22 news

WORTHINGTON — A total of $16.8 million dollars in damages for Nobles County was submitted to the Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management during a Preliminary Damage Assessment following the snow, ice and freezing rain that hit the region earlier this month. Nobles County Emergency Management Director Joyce Jacobs said the number could be significantly higher or lower based on actual costs that have not yet been determined.

Various agencies across the county — including power companies, cities, townships and school districts — were asked to relay their numbers to Jacobs for submission. Nobles County’s numbers will be rolled together with estimates from Rock, Jackson, Cottonwood and Murray counties, which were also impacted by the ice storm. The preliminary numbers are part of the application process, and do not guarantee a presidential declaration of disaster, Jacobs said, which means agencies could very well be responsible for any costs incurred.

If granted by FEMA, the Public Assistance Program would provide assistance to state and local government and certain private non-profit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. The preliminary damage assessment is the first step in determining if Governor Mark Dayton will make a request for a presidential declaration.

WORTHINGTON — 58-year-old Tex Peterson of Worthington was arrested for first-degree arson following a Saturday afternoon house fire and is currently being held at the Nobles County Jail. The Worthington Fire Department responded to the fire at 3:10 pm. Saturday on Diagonal Road, according to Fire Chief Rick Von Holdt. There were two people in the home when the fire started in a bedroom. Firefighters were able to quickly get the blaze under control.

The occupants of the home were displaced and the Red Cross was called for assistance. The Worthington Police Department also responded to the fire, and after an investigation, Peterson, who has a previous conviction for domestic assault, was taken into custody. The case is currently still under investigation, and charges will be filed through the Nobles County Attorney’s Office.

CHIPPEWA COUNTY - An 18-year-old Watson woman is dead and several others were seriously injured during a two-vehicle collision at approximately 3:50 p.m. Sunday on Hwy 29 north of Montevideo. Passenger Arian Mitlyng was killed when the Ford Ranger she was riding in broadsided a GMC Sierra driven by Thomas Finke, age 51, of Holland. Finke, who was wearing his seatbelt, was seriously injured. Driver of the Ford Ranger, 18-year-old Charles O'Malley of Montevideo was seriously injured, as was 4-year-old passenger Kayden Vanhueven. None of the people in the Ford Ranger, including the deceased, were wearing seatbelts, according to the report by the Minnesota State Patrol.

WORTHINGTON - The Heron Lake Watershed District, in partnership with the Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District and the Lake Okabena Improvement Association, will host a public information meeting regarding aquatic invasive species at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Farmer’s Room at the Nobles County Government Center in Worthington. The purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity to learn about the threat of zebra mussels, Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species. The intent is also for individuals to learn about what they can do to protect valuable Minnesota lakes from these threats.

For further information, contact Dan Livdahl of the O-OWD at (507) 372-8228 or Jan Voit at the HLWD, (507) 793-2462.

WORTHINGTON — The Social Media Breakfast Club – Rural Connection will have its April meeting at 8 a.m. Wednesday at BenLee’s Café, 212 10th St. The topic will be on tweeting and Twitter made easy.
The event is free, but pre-registration is required. To register, contact Julie Foote and jfoote@mvtvwireless.com or Lori Henning at lori@2smartwomen.com.

WORTHINGTON — A Minnesota Department of Transportation open house on Minnesota 60 construction is scheduled for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Nobles County Courthouse Farmer’s Room, 315 10th St.
This is the final year of the Worthington construction phase, and residents will have the opportunity to learn what will be happening over the next few months. According to MnDOT, the final year of the Minnesota 60 expansion project in Worthington includes multiple detours and varying impacts to area businesses. Work will resume in late April — as soon as weather allows — and be complete by late fall.

The project includes complete reconstruction of Minnesota 60 and I-90 ramps, including building roundabouts at the eastbound I-90 ramps and the Highway 59/60 intersection. The intersection at Armour Road will be controlled with stoplights.

WORTHINGTON — The Center for Active Living will have a grand opening from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, April 26. Refreshments will be served and tours will be given at the newly opened center at 211 11th St, Worthington. All are invited to attend.

DULUTH - One of the nation's top immunization experts will help Minnesota kick off National Infant Immunization Week this year. Dr. Melinda Wharton, acting director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta (CDC), will be in Minnesota April 22-24. She and two others from CDC will join the Minnesota Department of Health and its local public health and private health care partners in a variety of activities and special events marking the week.

A primary focus of this year's activities will be on talking to pregnant women and their doctors about the importance of immunizations for themselves and their babies. According to Kris Ehresmann, director of MDH's Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division, protecting infants from vaccine preventable diseases starts before the baby is born by making sure mom is up to date on her vaccinations.

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