July 25 newsPublished by on
WORTHINGTON – The Worthington Goodwill opens today, making this the 20th store in the region, according to CEO and President John Hantla. The store will employ 17 people, paying out $230,000 in wages annually, Hantla said.
The Worthington Goodwill will offer a Connection Center, which offers labor market information free to the public. Hantla said the Connection Center is to help people with barriers find employment in the area.
The store will also offer computer recycling and Goodwill guarantees the integrity of any information left on a hard drive. Hantla said the drives are wiped clean.
The Worthington location is 10,500 square feet, with almost 7,000 of that retail space. For those donating, there is a drive through area. An attendant will come out and take items from your vehicle and get you a receipt for the donated items.
Hantla said Goodwill is happy to be part of the Worthington community.
WORTHINGTON – A date has been set for the trial of Josue Fraga, who is accused of murdering his 2-year-old niece Samantha in 2008 in Worthington. Fraga was convicted of the murder in May 2009, but that conviction was later vacated when new evidence was introduced.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin September 9. The choosing of jurors could take several days, as each will likely be questioned individually. The court calendar has been cleared through September 27 for the trial.
In 2009, the calendar was also cleared for three weeks. Selecting the jury took almost a week, and the trial itself lasted 6 days. The jury deliberated approximately 4 hours before coming back with a guilty verdict.
That verdict was vacated after information came out claiming one of Fraga’s children may have committed perjury on the stand. Fraga’s prime defense during the trial was trying to cast doubt over his guilt by insinuating his eldest son may have been responsible for raping the child and causing her death. During the son’s testimony, he claimed he had never touched the child, but later admitted he had fondled her while changing her diaper. Later, one of Fraga’s daughters testified during an evidentiary hearing she had been molested by her father for years, and she had witnessed her father’s assault on the little girl the night she died.
Earlier this week, the court filed documents agreeing to the fee for pathologist Dr. Bradley Randall to review his 2009 testimony so he can testify again, but denied the $5,000 fee for Dr. Hollida Wakefield to question Fraga’s daughter and provide testimony. The document states an application for the fee did not establish that Wakefield has expertise with child witnesses.
SLAYTON - The Murray County Agricultural Society is planning its Annual Antique Tractor and Small Engine Display for the 2013 Murray County Fair, August 14 - 18. This year the show will be held in memory of former county Commissioner Bill Sauer.
The Fair has expanded this year to include a Threshing and Field Demonstration area. They are looking for any vintage equipment that can grind, muck or shuck and are looking for a variety of makes and models to make the display interesting to the public.
Ernie Engelkes has again offered his property off of U.S. Highway 59 just outside of Slayton as the demonstration and display area for the antique equipment. The tractors will be on display by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14, and left in place until late afternoon on Sunday, August 18.
The threshing, plowing and field demonstrations will be held on Sunday, August 18 starting at 1 p.m. For more information and to register your tractor for the show, contact Ronda Radke at 507-836-1149 or via email at rra...@co.murray.mn.us.
IOWA - Some area farmers are eligible for assistance thanks to a Presidential Major Disaster Designation that’s been given to some counties just across the border in southwest Minnesota. 11 counties in Iowa that are contiguous to them are also eligible for assistance. Locally, they include Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Lyon and Osceola counties.
20 counties in Minnesota were named primary counties under the designation, which stems from heavy rainfall, freezing temperatures and thawing and re-freezing that resulted in winterkill from January 1st through May 15th of this year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency says farmers wishing to make an application through the designation have until January 8, 2014 in which to do so. Farmers in the designated areas are eligible to apply for emergency loans which would enable them to return to normal operations if they sustained qualifying losses during the designated time frame. Producers interested in signing up should contact their local Farm Service Agency office.
HINCKLEY - Authorities in east-central Minnesota have uncovered a marijuana-growing operation with an estimated value of up to $5 million. Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole estimates up to 5,500 plants were found on the site.
About 100 people from several local and federal agencies, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, were on scene east of Hinckley Wednesday. Cole said the marijuana was spread in patches over 40 acres. He wouldn't say whether the land was public or privately owned.
MINNESOTA - The lawyer for Amy Senser, who was found guilty of criminal vehicular homicide in a 2011 hit-and-run fatality, is asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to review the case.
The state Court of Appeals upheld Senser’s conviction in June, a ruling that defense attorney Eric Nelson said was wrong on several counts.
Senser, 47, the wife of former Minnesota Viking and restauranteur Joe Senser, struck and killed 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong on an exit ramp of I-94 while refilling the gas tank of his stalled car.
Senser was sentenced to four years in prison.
MINNESOTA — Officials with MNsure, Minnesota's new online insurance marketplace, have asked the state to keep some of its marketing and public outreach materials secret temporarily.
MNsure's application to the state's Department of Administration asks that various aspects of MNsure's public marketing and outreach campaign such as slogans, colors, characters and images be kept under wraps until the campaign goes public. State law requires agencies to prove there is a "compelling need" to keep information out of public view.
MNsure's attorney, Mike Turpin, says the agency's officials are trying to prevent fraud by other groups using MNsure's brand to put out information that might be inaccurate.
MNsure's first major marketing push will occur at the Minnesota State Fair, which opens August 22. It wants the marketing theme prepared for the event to stay secret until then.
At the same time, the agency has released details about its spending plans — which total $8.5 million in 2013 — for the campaign, which is scheduled to continue in earnest after the fair. Broadcast ads, for example, will aim to make consumers aware of MNsure's brand and its services.