September 25 news

WORTHINGTON – It took less than 10 minutes for the defense team in the Josue Fraga trial to state their case Tuesday, which is about 20 minutes less than the argument they posed back in 2009. Closing statements will begin this morning in Nobles County District Court, and the case should be handed over to the jury for deliberation by mid-day.

Fraga, accused of killing his 2-year-old niece Samantha in 2008, opted not to testify on his own behalf, leaving his entire defense to rest on the brief recall testimony of Worthington Police Detective Dave Hoffman.

Fraga’s retrial began September 16 after a week of jury selection. This is his second time standing trial for Samantha’s murder – the first conviction was vacated after new evidence was discovered.

Fraga and his wife brought the toddler into the emergency room at approximately 5:30 a.m. on March 20, 2008 with severe head trauma, a ruptured stomach and obvious signs of molestation, including a prolapsed rectum.

Since last Monday, 42 witnesses have taken the stand, including law enforcement officials, forensic scientists and family members.

During the first trial, Fraga’s defense team insinuated Fraga’s 13-year-old son Josue David could have been responsible for the girl’s injuries, but this time the defense went past insinuation and straight to allegation, stating authorities didn’t explore Josue David’s possible involvement with the murder.

Judge David Christensen told jurors Tuesday to bring an overnight bag along with them this morning – in the event their deliberation cannot be finished today, they will be sequestered in a local hotel. Keep an eye on kwoa.com and follow me on Twitter @RWnewschick for updates.

WORTHINGTON - The Nobles County Library, 407 12th St., will have its fall book sale Oct. 2-6.
Books available for purchase will be displayed in the library conference room on the lower level of the building.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Thursday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. For more information, phone 295-5340.

WORTHINGTON — The exhibit, “74 Years of Turkey Day History,” will remain on display through October at the Nobles County Historical Museum, located on the lower level of the War Memorial Building (Nobles County Library), 407 12th St. The exhibit can be viewed from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and admission is free.

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington Hockey Association is doing a Tip Night at Pizza Ranch on Monday, September 30 from 5:30 – 8:00. Please come out and support our youth hockey players.

SOUTH DAKOTA - Authorities in southeast South Dakota have pulled from the ground an old Studebaker believed to be tied to the 1971 disappearance of 2 17-year-old girls. Crews lifted the rusted, mangled hulk of a car from an embankment in Brule Creek near Elk Point on Tuesday afternoon.

Items from the site will be tested and evaluated to determine further evidentiary value. Skeletal remains have been recovered as well as additional items; no further information will be released until a requested autopsy and further testing is complete and family members properly notified.

Investigators say they think the car was driven by Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson, who were last seen May 29, 1971, driving a beige 1960 Studebaker Lark on their way to a party.

A fisherman who remembered the 42-year-old case called authorities after noticing one of the car's wheels sticking out of the creek.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - The Dickinson County Board of Supervisors Tuesday set October 22nd as the date for a public hearing on a proposal to issue not to exceed $5 million in Senior Housing Revenue Notes to assist Keelson Harbour assisted living with an expansion of its facility in Spirit Lake. Plans call for an additional 27 units to be added to the south side of the existing facility. Company officials say the expansion would result in an additional 10 to 12 employees being hired.

The non-profit group that owns the facility is requesting to tap into the county’s bonding capacity so it can take advantage of more favorable interest rates. A bonding attorney told the supervisors the county would be in no way held responsible in the event of a default.

The board also approved a motion for the county to contribute $3,659 to a feasibility study for a countywide recycling facility, with the stipulation that the total amount of money needed for the study is raised.

The Dickinson County Landfill Commission is proposing the study, which would be funded by the various cities and county. The entities have been asked to contribute one dollar per household to fund such a study.

INWOOD, Iowa — Two boys were referred to juvenile court and a Sioux Falls man is wanted by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office after reports of underage drinking and illegal drug use at the West Lyon School.
On Friday, deputies were called to the West Lyon School to investigate the incident. They identified 20-year-old Ricardo Rasgado-Martinez of Sioux Falls, and two boys as the persons involved.

The boys were both charged with underage possession of alcohol, and one of them was also charged with carrying weapons. Both were referred to juvenile court.

On Sunday, arrest warrants were issued for Rasgado-Martinez on charges of carrying weapons in a weapons-free zone and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, all serious misdemeanors.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Rasgado-Martinez, you are asked to contact the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office at 712-472-8300.

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