July 5 news

WORTHINGTON – Pavement reconstruction on First Avenue Southwest is tentatively scheduled to begin Monday, beginning east of the Prairie Elementary School entrance driveway to west of the intersection of Schaap Drive, according to the City of Worthington Engineering Department. Park Avenue water main reconstruction from Oxford Street to West Clary Street continues.

IONA— Donations are being sought for the Todd and Deb Thraen family, rural Iona, who lost their home and belongings early Sunday morning to a fire. Clothing and toys are requested for Todd, Deb and their two sons, Riley, age 10, and Evan, age 8. Items can be dropped off at the Schmitz Grain office in Slayton. Donations may be sent to Minnwest Bank, c/o Todd & Deb Thraen Fire Benefit Fund, 2565 King Ave, P.O. Box 27, Slayton 56172.

WORTHINGTON — The “Amazing” Worthington City Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Chautauqua Park. Master of ceremonies will be Worthington Director of Public Safety Mike Cumiskey. Intermission entertainment will be a community bell choir directed by Louise Clausen. Under the direction of Jon Loy, the band will perform selections including “Williamsburg Overture,” “Afton Variations” and “Suite of Old American Dances.” In case of inclement weather, the concert will be in the auxiliary gym at Worthington High School.

SIBLEY, Iowa - An Ocheyedan man has been found guilty in Osceola County District Court on a charge of sexual abuse in the 3rd degree, a class “C” forcible felony. 62-year-old Ernest Christensen was sentenced to 10 years in jail with credit given for time he has served since his arrest back on March 5th of this year. A special sentence was also imposed, meaning Christensen must serve a life sentence with eligibility for parole.

Christensen must also comply with the state’s sex offender registry requirements and must submit to DNA testing. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim, along with all court costs in the case. Christensen has since been taken to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Oakdale.

ORLEANS, Iowa - A fisheries biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has received some special recognition. Mike Hawkins was named “Fisheries Biologist of the Year” by the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Hawkins was singled out for his work in lake restoration, watershed management and his leadership in getting the electric fish barrier installed at the Lower Gar Outlet. Hawkins was also recognized for the renovation of Lost Island Lake.

He’s a recipient of the Ace Cory Conservation Award presented by the Okoboji Protective Association; led a multi-agency project with South Dakota to replace a dam on the Big Sioux River in Lyon county; and played an instrumental role in the installation of a low-power AM transmitter that broadcasts information about invasive species and other boating and fishing information in the Iowa Great Lakes.
Hawkins works out of the Fish Hatchery in Orleans. He serves a nine-county region of northwest Iowa.

LAKEFIELD - A Lakefield man was injured Tuesday when the motorcycle he was riding flipped over backwards, causing him and the bike to slide across the roadway into a ditch. Michael Gabriel, 23, was transported by ambulance to Sanford Jackson Medical Center shortly after 4 p.m. July 2 with unspecified injuries.

The accident happened right around 4 p.m. on 510th Avenue in Middletown Township. According to Jackson County Sheriff Roger Hawkinson, Gabriel was driving his 2004 Yamaha motorcycle south when he accelerated quickly, pulling the front wheel off the ground and flipping the bike over backwards. Gabriel and the motorcycle slid across the road, the sheriff said, before entering the east ditch. The motorcycle sustained severe damage.

MINNESOTA - Perhaps looking for more bang in his Independence Day buck, a Minnesota lawmaker has used the national holiday to call for more fireworks to be sold in his state. Sen. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, says he plans to introduce a bill next session to legalize more fireworks in Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio reports, and Westrom says his bill would allow Minnesotans to sell and use fireworks like bottle rockets, firecrackers and Roman candles.

Westrom said nearby states already sell the things that go boom in the night, and Minnesotans cross borders all the time to buy better explosives.

Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a bill that would have allowed for the expansion of fireworks in 2012, MPR points out. In his veto letter, Dayton expressed concern for an increase in injuries and property damage.


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