October 17 news

WORTHINGTON - The Manna Food Pantry is having their last free produce give a-way of the season today, starting at 2 p.m. in the parking lot at the Pantry site, located at 230 Clary Street in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON — Students in Worthington hope to rally community members to commit to safe driving through State Farm’s Celebrate My Drive program. For the second year, Worthington High School students are participating in the program, which celebrates the fun of getting a driver’s license while teaching all drivers positive habits to help avoid car crashes. Last year, the Celebrate My Drive event and grant provided WHS students the opportunity to experience a driving simulator and show them the direct effects of texting or drinking while driving.

The public is encouraged to help WHS win a $100,000 grant and a Worthington concert by Grammy-Award winner Kelly Clarkson. Individuals 14 years of age or older may log on to www.celebratemydrive.com to make a safe driving commitment once a day, every day, between Friday and Oct. 26. The more safe driving commitments our community makes on behalf of WHS, the better the chance to win the $100,000 and hosting the concert.

SLAYTON - The Murray County Historical Society Museum will be holding their annual “Parade of Trees” event during the month of December. If your organization would like to decorate a tree please let museum staff know by November 15th. They provide the trees, you provide the decorations. Have fun with your decorations and compete for prizes. The trees are voted on by those who view the trees throughout the month of December. The Parade of Trees Open House will take place on Sunday, December 1st from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Trees can be decorated starting November 19th and must be decorated by November 27th. Please call 507-8366533 to reserve your tree at the museum.

SLAYTON - Hospice of Murray County will hold a bereavement group for adults at the Hospice of Murray County office in Slayton. It is for 6 sessions, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning October 29th and continuing through Tuesday, December 3rd. There is no cost for the bereavement support group as it is sponsored by Totzke Funeral Home of Fulda and Slayton, and Hospice of Murray County. Pre-registrations are appreciated so materials can be put together. You can pre-register by calling the Hospice office at 507-836-8114 by Friday, October 25th. This bereavement group is not just for those family members served by hospice, but all adults who have lost a loved one.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - Officials say a recently completed pond project at Okoboji View Golf Course will help improve and protect water quality of West Lake Okoboji. The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the golf course all partnered in the project, which is part of a larger effort to create 22 wetlands and restore more than 350 acres that drain into West Lake Okoboji.

Officials say the new wetlands will reduce drainage and flooding problems that plagued that area in the past and will reduce the amount of sediment and nutrients washing off into West Lake Okoboji. They estimate the amount of sediment reaching the lake will be reduced by 91 percent, phosphorous by 90 percent and nitrogen by 72 percent.

The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is raising funds for the project. To date they say they have $85,000 left to raise. To donate and to obtain more information on the project, you can visit the foundation’s website at www.inhf.org/west-lake-okoboji-projects.cfm.

JACKSON - The Jackson City Council earlier this week viewed and approved the final video segment of the Communities of Distinction Video. The segment is expected to air within approximately six to twelve weeks. The Traffic Coordinator of the program will be emailing airing notifications at least one week prior to the scheduled airing.

The purpose of the video is to promote Jackson as a great place to live, work, play and visit. The video was recorded earlier this summer in Jackson. The cost of the video was $20,000 and was split 50-50 between the City of Jackson and the Jackson Lodging Association. The segment will air one time nationally on Fox Business Network and again 19 times regionally on ABC and FOX affiliates, with former NFL player Terry Bradshaw narrating the video segment. After that, the City retains rights to use the video segment however it so chooses, including posting it on YouTube, Facebook, the City’s website, the City’s cable TV channel, and available for distribution to prospective businesses and companies for recruitment purposes.

HULL, Iowa - The city of Hull, Iowa, a partner in the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System, will vote "no" next week on a plan for the system to take on $18.4 million in debt to continue water pipeline construction.

That construction has been halted for years because of a lack of promised federal funds.
Hull was supposed to be receiving Lewis and Clark water right now, but isn't because of the delay. Rather than wait for Lewis and Clark, the city agreed this week to spend $4.3 million to connect with the near-by Rock Valley Rural Water System, which should cover their needs for short term growth.

MANKATO – The construction on Highway 60 between St. James and Butterfield has progressed to a point where the detour can be removed late today. Traffic has been detoured since Aug. 19 to construct the connections for the new four-lane segment.

No more detours are required to complete the project, which consists of grading, paving and bridge work for two additional lanes south of the current two lanes. It is a two-year project with grading, connections and bridge work in 2013 and paving and final bridge work in 2014.

This is the first of three projects planned to complete the expansion of Highway 60 to a four-lane facility. The gap between Butterfield and Mountain Lake is scheduled for construction in 2015-16 and the section from Mountain Lake to Windom is planned to begin in 2017.

SIOUX FALLS, SD - Sioux Falls police are investigating an unusually high number of burglaries and robberies. Police spokesman Sam Clemens says 23 businesses have been burglarized this month, which is easily double the normal number. Two of the recent three robberies involved armed suspects and happened at casinos. Clemens says investigators see similarities in the crimes but aren't yet ready to connect them.

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate leaders on Wednesday reached a deal to avert a historic default on the U.S. debt and reopen the government after a 16-day partial shutdown. Senators approved the agreement on an 81-18 vote.

Not long after the Senate leaders announced the deal, Republican House Speaker John Boehner said his chamber would not block it. The House wound up passing the measure 285-144 Wednesday night.

The agreement left Republican critics of the Obama administration with little to show for their political battle. But Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken said it is not a time to declare victory. Like many, Franken expressed relief that the country avoided a default – at least for now – and is ending the shutdown. Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann promised that she is not giving up her fight.

Representative Tim Walz (D-Minn.) released a statement Wednesday night, saying the situation was completely avoidable and no one should be patting themselves on the back about doing the basic work of government: keeping it open and paying our bills on time. Walz said the reckless shutdown led by the Tea Party fringe accomplished nothing except damaging our reputation abroad, costing our economy billions, and hurting hardworking middle class Americans. The American people deserve solutions, not more reckless political games, he added.

Officials said the deal will raise the current $16.7 trillion debt limit and allow the U.S. Treasury to continue borrowing through Feb. 7, and the government will reopen through Jan. 15.

The deal sends hundreds of thousands of federal employees back to work. The timeline of the agreement signals a potentially divisive battle in Congress in the next four months over spending cuts and entitlement programs.

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Update

Thank you for the update in these charity works. - Marla Ahlgrimm

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