April 25 newsPublished by on
WORTHINGTON — Minnesota Department of Transportation officials hosted a public open house Wednesday afternoon in Worthington, detailing the plans for Hwy 60 work slated to begin in May or as soon as weather permits. Striping, sidewalks and turf establishment will be done this spring, along with the storm sewer work that was ongoing in 2012.
When road reconstruction begins, motorists traveling U.S. 59 will detour to the west, following Oxford Street to Crailsheim Drive (Nobles County 10) and then south to U.S. 59/Minnesota 60. Those traveling on Minnesota 60 will again detour to the east, using Nobles County 3 and 35. The exception will be traffic coming from the south that needs to reach I-90. Those people will follow Nobles County 35 to Minnesota 264 (the Round Lake-Brewster road) for interstate access.
Westbound I-90 traffic will still be able to use the on-off ramp at Minnesota 60 throughout this construction season. Crews will focus on the north end of the project, from Armour Road north to the Blue Line Travel Center with the goal of providing the least amount of inconvenience to traffic needing to access JBS, Ron’s Repair and other businesses in that area of Worthington.
The contract for that portion of the project is due to be completed by the end of July, weather permitting. The final completion date for everything else is early November. In 2014, as landscaping begins along the newly created highway in Worthington, MnDOT crews will work on completing the three gaps in Minnesota 60 — the stretches of two-lane highway between Windom and St. James.
WORTHINGTON - During a public educational meeting this week in Worthington, Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Gary Nordseth said fines will be issued to boaters who forget to follow aquatic invasive species rules. With stepped up enforcement and a heightened concern for the spread of invasive species like zebra mussel and Asian carp, laws written to help stop the spread of invasive species will be strongly enforced.
This includes pulling the plug on a boat’s bilge tank, emptying all lake water from the boat’s livewell, emptying water from minnow buckets and replacing with non-lake water, and allowing water to drain from the motor before leaving the boat landing. The minnow bucket rule also applies to shore fishermen.
At this point, neither zebra mussels nor Asian carp have been found in lakes in southwest Minnesota, but with discoveries of both species as close as the Iowa Great Lakes, the Minnesota DNR isn’t taking any chances. Nordseth said half the boats on Lake Okabena on a summer weekend have Iowa registrations on them, and there are a lot of local boat owners who travel to the Iowa Great Lakes. The potential for young zebra mussel to get in bilge water or hitch a ride by attaching to a hard surface is too great to risk non-compliance.
More information about the threat of invasive species can be found in the 2013 Minnesota Fishing Regulations guide, available wherever fishing licenses are sold.
JACKSON - The Jackson County Commission unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the Jackson County Fair Association to make modifications to the steel sided former FFA building on the Fairgrounds.
Jackson County Fair Board President Mike Stade said the 4-H general exhibits and FFA crop exhibits will be in the Blue Building, with the commercial exhibits in the Red Building. The former FFA building will become a food court area and the east wall of the building will be removed to create an open area.
Stade said a suggestion heard from food vendors at the fair in the past years was having an area for people to sit and eat. He said converting the building to a food court will fit well with activities. Moving the 4-H general exhibits and FFA to the Blue Building will provide more space for those projects.
SPENCER, Iowa — A man wanted in connection with a trespassing complaint led authorities on a pursuit Tuesday that went through southern Clay county. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says a deputy responded to a criminal trespass complaint on 240th Avenue around 1:45 p.m. The complaint alleges that the suspect, 45-year-old Christopher Wood of Webb, attempted to enter a residence at that address. Wood then left the residence but was still in the area. Deputies located him a short while later in downtown Webb. Authorities say Wood ran to his vehicle as the deputy approached him and took off at a high rate of speed.
Additional deputies and the Iowa State Patrol responded and Wood was apprehended a short time later in the 2300 mile of Clay County Road B-53.
Wood was arrested on four counts of felony eluding, two counts of reckless driving, two counts of careless driving, two stop sign violations, four counts of interference with official acts, one citation for speed, and one count of criminal trespass.
Wood was released after posting a $5,000 bond. Authorities say the pursuit is still under investigation and that additional charges are pending.
WASHINGTON DC - New complaints against Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones have surfaced in Washington, D.C., alleging mismanagement, abuse of authority and reprisal against an assistant U.S. attorney for engaging in whistleblowing “or other protected” activity. The charges are being investigated by the U.S. Special Counsel, an independent agency that examines whistleblower cases.
Jones, acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF), is President Obama’s choice to become permanent director, but has come under fire in recent months for his work with the ATF and his leadership of the U.S. attorney’s office in Minneapolis.
The latest disclosure deepens Jones’ problems in the Senate, where GOP resistance has all but put his nomination on hold. An aide to Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said he is “making an assessment of the merits of the claims” so the committee can move forward. But three months after Obama nominated Jones to the ATF post, the committee has yet to schedule a hearing on the nomination.
Both Democratic senators from Minnesota who serve on the Judiciary Committee remained noncommittal Wednesday.
MINNESOTA - The Red River is expected to peak at Fargo-Moorhead next Wednesday or Thursday somewhere between 38 and 40 feet — with the higher level being 2 feet lower than feared in recent outlooks.
Staggered peaks in tributaries to the Red and the absorption of snow melt by previously frozen soil have reduced the maximum expected high-water mark, said National Weather Service hydrologist Greg Gust. But there remains some uncertainty with rain expected Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
A 40-foot mark would still challenge the record of 40.8 feet set in 2009, and a 38-foot crest would be among the five highest. The cities held back the river in 2009 with emergency measures that included a massive volunteer sandbagging effort, and held back a crest of 38.8 in 2011, the fourth-highest.
Sandbagging has been underway in Fargo and Moorhead this week, but with an eye toward a possible crest of 42 feet. That will likely be dialed back with the new outlook.
Officials had expressed confidence that they were prepared even for another record flood this year, after clearing away hundreds of homes, building more extensive permanent dikes and making other infrastructure improvements.