October 18 news

JACKSON – The Senate Capital Investment Committee was in Jackson Thursday to listen as bonding requests were presented, and according to Chairman Leroy Stumpf, there are almost $3 billion in funding projects being requested from the state, which will be able to fund less than a billion. There is a hierarchy, he said, to how the requests are funded. The state prefers to maintain its own facilities first, tries to address the needs of higher education, then looks at regional and community projects.

Four groups made presentations of their projects, including Minnesota West Jackson Campus, which hopes to receive funding for improving the power line technology training facility, relocating existing ITV classrooms at the Jackson campus and upgrading the HVAC system in Canby.

Executive Director Troy Larson spoke regarding the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System, stating it would take $63.8 million to complete the Minnesota portion of the project. He said the first phase would take $20.1 million, the second would be $27 million and the last would be $16 million. Representatives from the cities of Worthington and Luverne were on hand to discuss how essential the water from Lewis and Clark is to their communities.

Jackson City Administrator Jennifer Bromeland presented about the proposed expansion and renovation to the public library. The city is asking for $570,000 from the state. The money would add a new expansion of 1,500 square feet, new windows, ceilings in some areas, a new information desk, more space for periodicals, collection materials and technology.

From Windom, Justin Espenson laid out a plan for a new arena. He said the facility, as planned, would cost between $8.5 and $9 million. He said the group is requesting $4 million on bonding and is bringing a local option sales tax to the voters next year.

JACKSON - On a 3 to 2 vote, the Jackson City Council this week approved an Interim Use Permit for Olivia Tsialiamanis to operate a RV park along Highway 71 South. The approximately 30 acre site for the RV Park is located adjacent and south of her residential property at 805 Highway 71 South. She intends to operate the RV park from early spring to about Labor Day. Also planned are office/living space, showers and bathrooms, a dump station, playground and a possible nature trail by the river.

The area is zoned as Agriculture Residence. The interim use permit means if problems arise due to the RV Park, the permit could again be reviewed, stipulations added, or the permit could be revoked.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - Reconstruction of Highway 86 between Highway 9 and the Minnesota state line is starting to wind down. Crews have started paving shoulders along the new road. As a result, Dickinson County Engineer Dan Eckert says those looking to cross Highway 86 on 130th and 140th Streets will be unable to do so until Monday. The Highway 86 project is still slated for completion around Thanksgiving or sooner.

WAHPETON, Iowa - Two people were arrested on drug charges following a traffic stop earlier this month in Dickinson County. A deputy pulled over a vehicle driven by 31-year-old Cassandra Seeders of Milford for a traffic violation on highway 86 near Wahpeton. A K9 search turned up what’s believed to be marijuana and methamphetamine, along with meth precursors and drug paraphernalia. Seeders was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell methamphetamine and other charges. She was booked into jail on a $15,000 bond.

A passenger in the vehicle, 33-year-old Johnathon Jacobsen of Independence, Iowa, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance…marijuana…3rd offense. He was being held on a $15,000 bond.

A subsequent search warrant executed at Gull Point State Park resulted in additional charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell methamphetamine and possession of precursors and being filed against Jacobson.

SHELDON, Iowa — Several companies are going forward with plans to capture the wind power that is available in O’Brien County. On Wednesday, O’Brien County Development Director Kiana Johnson brought the Sheldon City Council up to date on some of the activity. Johnson told the Council that Invenergy has developed the Highland Wind Energy project. This will feature 218 turbines over seventy thousand acres of farm land. This project has been sold to Mid-American Energy. Mid-American is constructing a new transmission line across O’Brien and Clay County. Their collection point will be in Lincoln Township of O’Brien County.

At this time Invenergy is planning another wind project in O’Brien County with a total of five hundred turbines. Johnson noted that this would add up to an additional 450 million dollars in assessed value for the county.

Even though O’Brien County has a history of persistent strong winds, ideal for developing wind energy, there has not been a way to deliver electricity produced here to where it is needed. To meet that need a group called Rock Island Clean Line Energy has announced plans to build a converter station in Center Township. They will convert AC to DC and develop a high voltage direct current transmission line to travel through O’Brien County, then through Clay County and on to its destination in Illinois. This project will require energy from one thousand to two thousand turbines within a one hundred mile radius.

MINNESOTA - Minnesota’s Department of Health has started up its weekly flu reports, noting Thursday that two people in the state were hospitalized with influenza-related illnesses in the week ending Oct. 12.
The good news in the early-season report: Influenza activity remains low.

October traditionally heralds the start of the annual flu season, which can linger into May. Some hospitals and health officials this year have sought new strategies to battle the flu, including monitoring patients year-round for potential flu symptoms.

Last winter, a severe flu strain hit the nation, but it’s too early to predict if it might be another bad year, health officials say.

More children than ever were vaccinated against the flu last year, but health officials are prodding families to increase that rate this year. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said too many young and middle-aged adults still skip an annual flu shot.

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