August 9 news

WORTHINGTON – Here’s our weekly look at construction updates from the City of Worthington Engineering Department. Weather permitting, the city is anticipating the completion of the ADA ramp work on 10th Street by Friday and the Park Avenue water main reconstruction from Oxford to West Clary Street on Wednesday, August 14th. The First Avenue SW improvements from west of Knollwood Drive to Pleasant Avenue should be complete as of Wednesday of this week, but we’re not out of the woods yet.

Fourth Avenue storm sewer reconstruction from Okabena Lake to Ninth Street is tentatively scheduled to begin Wednesday.Work continues on both Minnesota 60 at the I-90 ramp area and on U.S. 59 just north of the city.

JACKSON - Jeff Rhoda, transportation project manager with the engineering and consulting firm SEH, recently gave the Jackson City Council a presentation of the traffic study results pertaining to the effort to get a second interchange off Interstate 90 in Jackson. The proposed interchange would be at Interstate 90 and County Road 34 bridge overpass east of Jackson.

Last summer, the City of Jackson was approved for a tentative $1.8 million transportation economic development program grant. The total cost of the interchange has been estimated at $3.9 million. As part of receiving that grant, a traffic study had to be completed. The study started in the fall of 2012.

Rhoda said even if a second interchange off of Interstate 90 is not built, the study showed improvements will need to be made to Highway 71 to accommodate future traffic growth. While the traffic study has been completed, an environmental review needs to be completed for the application to move forward. How much an environmental review will cost and who will pay for it needs to be determined. Council members asked if Jackson County may be willing to share in the cost.

Scott Thompson, district engineer with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said while MnDOT is in favor of Jackson getting another interchange, the final say will have to come from the Federal Highway Administration.

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa - Some big names hit up the GOP fundraising dinner in Lyon County Thursday night. Among them, former republican presidential nominee Rick Santorum, joined by former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds.

It was a packed house featuring a number of political figures and nearly 350 grassroots activists from northwest Iowa. Santorum said after Lyon County delivered as one of the best in the state for him during the 2012 campaign, he promised it a dinner. He called it an opportunity to come back and thank the folks. Santorum said it is a very turbulent time in our country and this was a chance for him to speak about where our country is going.

He went on to say Thursday's event was not about him but more a call to action to encourage people to start taking back the country, finding a solution to the nation's biggest problems.

SPENCER, Iowa - A Spencer man faces multiple charges after admitting to police he stole a semi and purposely drove it into a house last week. Spencer police say 22-year-old Hayden Theesfeld was arrested and charged with criminal mischief in the 1st degree, assault with a dangerous weapon, operation without the owner’s consent, reckless driving, and no valid driver’s license.

Officers say the semi was stolen from Spencer Truckline and that the trailer had been unhooked. Police say Theesfeld told them he then drove the rig to a residence at 108 West 3rd Street, number one, where it collided with a porch, causing about $7,000 in damage to the structure. Authorities say the semi then left the scene. Police located it a short time later a short distance away. Officers say the suspect told them he was mad at the occupant of the residence and wanted to scare the individual into leaving town. No injuries were reported in the incident.

TRACY – The Tracy Police Department says they have received multiple calls about people selling children's books in the region. The department has spoken with both the Lyon County Sheriff Office and the Redwood County Sheriff Office. Both have had contact with college age adults attempting to sell books in the area. Neither have had any reports of these young adults doing anything suspicious. Marshall PD, Redwood County SO and Redwood Falls PD have identified individuals selling door to door and know who they are. Residents are asked to please contact Tracy police if there are any door to door sales people in town as they need a permit to peddle any goods door to door and so the department can make contact with them to identify them.

MINNESOTA - With Minnesota’s only state veterans cemetery filling up, plans to develop a new one are moving ahead. A site overlooking the Root River was donated to the state by Fillmore County, but Finance & Commerce reports the work needed to turn the rolling land into a cemetery is now estimated to cost $10 million. The land features some terrain that will need grading and tree removal as well as road building.

Currently Minnesota has only one state veteran’s cemetery, just north of Little Falls. Even with a recent expansion, it’s only expected to accommodate another ten years worth of burials.The state is also home to Fort Snelling National Cemetery in the Twin Cities.

Demographics suggest the demand for veterans burials in Minnesota will grow. The director of the state cemetery in Little Falls said the Department of Veterans Affairs is looking for other suitable locations near Duluth and in southwestern Minnesota.

Work on the Fillmore County site, which is near Preston, is slated to begin this fall. The first burials are expected by early 2015.

MINNESOTA – For all of you who were feverishly checking your lottery tickets after hearing one of the big winners was from Minnesota, bad news. You’re not it. A 45-year-old suburban Minneapolis man wasted little time Thursday in claiming one-third of a $448 million Powerball jackpot, coming forward only hours after realizing he had won to reveal his good fortune to the world.

Paul White, a project engineer from Ham Lake, said at a news conference at Minnesota State Lottery headquarters that his significant other called him Thursday morning to say one of three winning tickets for Wednesday night's drawing had been sold in Minnesota. The other two were sold in New Jersey, but those who bought them hadn't come forward yet. He checked the 10 tickets he had bought and realized he had nailed all six numbers on one of them. He said he plans to help finish a few projects at his place of employment, but then his working days are over.

DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) - The daredevil son of Evel Knievel has been arrested on a drunk driving charge in South Dakota. Meade County Chief Deputy Tom Wilts told the Rapid City Journal that Robbie Knievel drove his motorhome into a couple of parked vehicles at the Buffalo Chip Campground, a popular spot during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Wilts says the Tuesday evening incident caused some property damage and the owner reported it. Knievel was stopped a short time later by a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper in Boulder Canyon and taken to the Lawrence County Jail.

Authorities say Knievel pleaded guilty to first-offense DUI on Wednesday morning and was released with his driver's license suspended for 30 days and about $600 in fines.

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