September 26 news

WORTHINGTON - Elaine Harder, of Jackson, who represented Nobles, Jackson and Cottonwood Counties in the Minnesota House of Representatives for nearly a decade, died Tuesday in Minneapolis. She was 65.

Funeral services are pending in Jackson.

She represented House District 22B in the Minnesota Legislature from 1995 to 2004. In her time in the Legislature, the five-term Republican served on several committees, chairing the committee on agriculture and rural development finance and the subcommittee on sales and income tax. She also authored several bills.

Harder was raised on a farm near Westbrook and received her education at Mankato State University.

OCHEYEDAN, Iowa — A pair of rural Ocheyedan barns will be open to the public this weekend for the annual Iowa Barn Foundation’s barn tour from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

The Ackerman barn, located at the corner of Iowa 9 and Osceola County L-58, just north of Ocheyedan; along with the Lorch Mennonite barn, located east of the intersection of 220th Street and White Avenue, are among the 32 barns open for this year’s tour.

For more information, and directions to the barns on the tour, visit www.iowabarnfoundation.org.

OKOBOJI, Iowa - Okoboji Elementary School is getting some national recognition. It’s among five Iowa schools and 286 nationwide to be named 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The schools were selected based on overall academic excellence or for their progress in improving student academic achievement levels. Superintendent Gary Janssen said it speaks highly of the caliber of the students, staff and parents at Okoboji Elementary.

LARCHWOOD, Iowa - The Lyon County Sheriff's Department investigated a one vehicle accident which occurred on K-12 approximately three miles west of Larchwood at 7:02 a.m. Tuesday. Donna Langenhorst, age 63,from Larchwood, IA was operating her 1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager northbound on K-12 when she struck a deer in the roadway.

The 1997 Plymouth received approximately $1,800 in damages. No injuries were reported, the deer was killed by impact.

MINNESOTA - There could be more money heading toward the fight against invasive aquatic species for lake associations in Minnesota. Minnesota Public Radio reports the Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council is recommending $3.6 million in new funding for the fight.

If approved by the legislature the money could be used by the Minnesota Coalition of Lake Associations to buy land and equipment to create regional boat decontamination stations.

The move was thought to be controversial as some, according to a Politics in Minnesota blog earlier in September, thought that fighting invasive aquatic species fell outside of the of the purview of council. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr told the council that funding a boat decontamination program doesn’t fit the mission of the legacy amendment.

The recommendation from the council was short of the lake association’s $25 million request, but still a big improvement considering the DNR budget for invasive species is about $8.5 million.

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