July 19 news

WORTHINGTON – Sewer spot repair in the 1600 block of South Shore Drive is tentatively scheduled to begin Monday, according to the City of Worthington Engineering Department. Bituminous paving began Thursday on First Avenue Southwest from east of the elementary school entrance driveway to near Pleasant Avenue, and coldmilling work is scheduled to begin Tuesday from west of Knollwood Drive to the elementary school entrance. Water main reconstruction continues on Park Avenue from West Oxford Street to West Clary Street.

WORTHINGTON - The Governmental Affairs Committee of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Legislative Breakfast at 7 a.m. on Friday, July 26 at the Hickory Lodge 2015 N. Humiston Avenue. Invited to attend are Senator Bill Weber, District 22, Representative Rod Hamilton, District 22B, and Representative Joe Schomacker, District 22A. The cost for the breakfast will be $7.50. A question and answer period will follow. If you would like to submit a question or reserve a seat at the breakfast, please contact the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce at (507) 372-2919, stop in at 1121 Third Avenue, Worthington, MN 56187, send a fax to (507) 372-2827, or e-mail: wcofc@frontiernet.net.

IOWA - Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad says the firing of a veteran criminal investigator was a "fair and just" decision that had nothing to do with his complaint about Branstad's speeding vehicle. Branstad Thursday blasted Larry Hedlund for making what he called "false accusations" of retaliation. Speaking at a news conference, the governor said Hedlund's attorney should release a 500-page investigative report so the public can know the full story of his firing.

Hedlund was fired Wednesday by the Iowa Department of Public Safety after a 25-year career over what the department called disrespectful behavior, which included negative comments about bosses to subordinates. Hedlund had been placed on paid administrative leave May 1, days after he filed a complaint about a high-speed pursuit involving Branstad's SUV traveling 90 mph.

DES MOINES, Iowa - The number of people reporting a food-borne intestinal illness believed to have come from a contaminated vegetable has climbed to 102 cases in Iowa up from 87 cases reported Wednesday. The cases of cyclosporiasis are spread across 29 counties. The Iowa Department of Public Health said Thursday at least six people have been hospitalized.

Linn County in eastern Iowa continues to lead the state with 34 cases. Polk County has nine and Pottawattamie County has eight. Nebraska has reported 62 cases mostly in the eastern part of the state. Public health officials from both states say the illness, which causes prolonged diarrhea, is rare. It comes from eating food or drinking water contaminated with feces containing the cyclospora parasite.

MINNESOTA - A federal judge says he plans to rule soon on whether plans to put together a union vote among Minnesota daycare providers should proceed. Judge Michael Davis heard arguments Thursday over two lawsuits challenging the new law that gives the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees permission to try to organize certain providers.

The Legislature voted in May to allow the union to try to organize providers who look after kids whose care is subsidized by the state.

Plaintiffs urged Judge Davis to put a stop to any union vote and throw out the law. Lawyers for the state and the union, meanwhile, argued it’s the lawsuits that should be thrown out and a union vote should be allowed to move ahead. Home daycare providers opposed to the law say it intrudes on independent businesses and may lead some to drop families that get state subsidies in order to avoid having to pay union dues.

Gov. Mark Dayton calls it a travesty that providers might be prevented from deciding whether join a union. A poll taken by the Star Tribune last month found more disagreed with the Legislature’s move than approved of it.

The challenges to Minnesota’s law have attracted the attention of national pro-union and anti-union groups, which are helping to pay the legal bills. The AP says one lawyer told Judge Davis Thursday it’s the kind of case that could land in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

MINNESOTA - Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura can continue his lawsuit over publication of a book that he contends defamed him, a federal magistrate ruled Thursday.

Chris Kyle, author of the book “American Sniper,” was killed in February by a young veteran he was mentoring, so Ventura’s attorneys asked that they be allowed to maintain the suit by substituting Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant.

Arthur Boylan, U.S. chief magistrate judge for the federal courts in Minnesota, wrote in his ruling that a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure specifies that if “a party dies and the claim is not extinguished, the court may order substitution of the proper party.” Boylan said the proper party is Chris Kyle’s legal representative, and Taya Kyle, executor of her husband’s estate, is the proper party, so she becomes the defendant.

Ventura and Chris Kyle are former Navy SEALs. Ventura sued Kyle over his description of a confrontation in 2006 in a California bar with a “celebrity” identified as “Scruff Face.” Kyle said that “Scruff Face” made disparaging remarks about the war in Iraq, the United States and President George W. Bush, provoking Kyle to punch him in the face.

Although he didn’t name “Scruff Face” in the book, Kyle alleged in media interviews that he was describing Ventura.

Ventura sued, saying the confrontation never occurred, he never made such remarks and the ongoing publicity injured his reputation.

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