July 12 newsPublished by on
WORTHINGTON – ADA curb and ramp reconstruction is scheduled to begin Monday on 10th Street in downtown Worthington, according to Jeff Faragher of the City of Worthington. The work will begin at First Ave and progress toward E. 9th Ave. First Avenue SW pavement reconstruction began Monday and continues from east of the elementary school entrance driveway past Schaap Dr to near Pleasant Ave. Water main reconstruction continues on Park Ave from W. Oxford St to W. Clary St.
ADRIAN – Nobles County Library Executive Director Julie Wellnitz has secured a site in Adrian to host a town hall meeting regarding the four possible sites for a new library. With Worthington meetings already scheduled, this brings the total to three. The first is at the Adrian High School Media Center from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, July 22. The others will take place in Worthington on the following day, Tuesday July 23. Immediately following the Nobles County Commissioners meeting, which would put it at approximately 11 a.m. in the board room of the Government Center, and that evening at 6 p.m. in the Farmer’s Room.
The meetings will begin with an approximate 10 minute program including a Power Point presentation. After the program, things will continue in an open house format answering questions and gathering public input. Information on all 4 sites will be displayed and attendees will be encouraged to give feedback and/or ask questions either verbally or on sticky notes with colors corresponding to each site.
TEA, S.D. —An additional $25 million for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Rural Water Program was included in the Energy & Water Appropriations Bill passed Wednesday in the U.S. House – something Lewis & Clark Regional Water System Executive Director Troy Larson was pleased to know. However, he said, there is still a long way to go to ensure the $25 million is ultimately part of the final FY14 budget, including passage of the Energy & Water Appropriations Bill by the full Senate.
If approved in the FY14 budget, Lewis & Clark and five other rural water projects would vie for a portion of this $25 million. The Bureau of Reclamation would make those funding decisions. Any additional funding would be on top of whatever is included for Lewis & Clark in the FY14 Budget — the Senate version includes $3.2 million, and the House version includes $3.05 million.
Larson said if additional funding is made available, it hopefully would be enough to allow Lewis & Clark to get pipeline about halfway to Luverne, while also delivering water to one of Rock County Rural Water District’s two connection points. The pipeline currently ends at the Iowa border.
Lewis & Clark is currently 65 percent complete. The 20 local members and three states have pre-paid 100 percent of their non-federal cost share ($153.7 million), so the schedule to finish construction is entirely dependent on federal funding.
The remaining federal cost share in September 2012 was $201.3 million. By comparison, the remaining federal cost share in September 2010 was $194.3 million. The $7 million increase in two years is the result of federal funding not even keeping pace with inflation. The nine members still not connected to the system are Sheldon, Hull, Sibley, and Sioux Center, Iowa; Luverne, Worthington, Rock County Rural and Lincoln-Pipestone Rural in Minnesota, and Madison, South Dakota.
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Court of Appeals has overturned the threat of terrorism conviction of a northwest Iowa farmer, saying there isn't enough evidence to show he would imminently act on his threat to "blow away" a county Farm Service Agency director. The case involves 60-year-old Arend Deboer, a Little Rock farmer who placed an angry call to the Rock Rapids branch of the FSA in September 2011.
While the court concludes in its ruling Wednesday that his comments were intimidating, there isn't enough proof to show they were about to occur. Iowa law requires a threat to be imminent to be considered terrorism.
The court threw out the conviction. A second charge of harassment goes back to a Lyon County judge to see if there is sufficient evidence to uphold it.
SPENCER - Two northwest Iowa airports have been awarded state funding. The Iowa Transportation Commission Tuesday approved $5.9 million for the fiscal year 2014 state aviation program. More than two dozen airports throughout Iowa received funding.
Among them, the Spencer airport received $36,000 to rehabilitate hanger approaches. Total cost of the project is $45,000. The Emmetsburg airport received $100,000 to help build a new 80x100-foot hanger, $113,000 to construct a taxi line to the new hanger and $10,500 for pavement maintenance. The total cost of all three projects is approximately $770,000.
MINNESOTA - The Associated Press gained access to documents in Michael Brodkorb’s wrongful termination lawsuit that identify those involved in alleged “secret” affairs at the state Capitol dating back to the 1980s.
The AP said the list was included in a mistaken filing last week by Brodkorb’s attorneys. The case is under protective seal, but was briefly made public on a federal courts website and later taken down. The AP downloaded a copy before it was removed.
Brodkorb had been a top aide to former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, but was fired in December 2011 after it was revealed that he and Koch had an affair. Brodkorb argues that he was discriminated against in his firing, noting that female staffers have had affairs with lawmakers, but were not fired.
The Associated Press report does not reveal the identities of the 10 legislators and six employees mentioned, but the news service says they attempted to contact those named and only one confirmed the filing’s assertion about her.
The case is scheduled to go to trial July, 2014. Brodkorb is seeking $600,000 in damages.
Minnesota Senate leaders have maintained that they don’t intend to settle the case and recently approved a budget of more than $500,000 of taxpayer money to pay for legal fees until the start of the trial. They’ve already spent at least $228,000.
MINNESOTA - Charles “Chuck” Foley, the Minnesota inventor of the party game Twister, has died at age 82, the Star Tribune reports.
Foley died at a St. Louis Park care facility on July 1, the newspaper reports. He had Alzheimer’s disease.
Foley and Neil Rabens submitted the patent for the game that made human beings the board pieces in 1966, the Star Tribune notes.
“Dad wanted to make a game that could light up a party,” Foley’s son Mark Foley told the Associated Press.
“They originally called it ‘Pretzel.’ But they sold it to Milton Bradley, which came up with the ‘Twister’ name.”
The game was initially viewed as too racy – “sex in a box,” critics said, the Star Tribune reports.
But the game became a hit after talk show host Johnny Carson and Eva Gabor played it in 1966 on “The Tonight Show.” Foley only attended school through eighth grade, but he had a life-long desire to make things work better, his daughter, Katie Foley, of St. Joseph, Minn., told the Star Tribune.