December 11 news

WORTHINGTON — The Worthington Police Department is investigating a burglary at Jaycox Powersports on Oxford Street. Stolen in the burglary was a 2014 Can-Am Outlander Max 650 ATV in Vista Camo with two aftermarket racks. Anybody with any information regarding this crime is asked to contact the Worthington Police Department at 295-5400.

WORTHINGTON — The Southwestern Mental Health Center, 1210 Fifth Ave., Worthington, will host an open house from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday to showcase its new office complex. The public is invited to attend the open house and ribbon cutting ceremony. Light refreshments and building tours will be offered.

WORTHINGTON — A series of information and enrollment sessions will take place Friday and Saturday at several locations in Worthington to help uninsured residents learn about their health insurance options through MNsure, the state’s health insurance exchange.

Nobles County has one of the highest rates of uninsured residents in the state, according to a recent data analysis, produced by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC). They estimates 16 percent of the county’s residents under age 65 are uninsured.

Navigators from Health Access MN, a MNsure grantee, will provide the information and enrollment assistance. On Friday, help will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Nobles County Integration Collaborative and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nobles County Library. On Saturday, navigators will help from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Residents who are interested in enrolling for health insurance through MNsure should bring their Social Security numbers and an estimate of their 2013 income from all sources.

SLAYTON — To celebrate the completion of a nearly three-year construction and expansion project, the Murray County Medical Center (MCMC) will host an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday. The public is invited to attend a short program about the project, which will begin at 4 p.m. Tours of the new facility will continue until 7 p.m.
The $12.2 million project broke ground in March 2012. An additional 34,144 square feet has been added to make MCMC a 70,000-square-foot facility.

WORTHINGTON – This year’s pledge total to the United Way from JBS hit the $100,000 mark – an all time high for the staff and employees at the processing plant. The money is a significant part of the 160,000 goal set by the United Way board and will be used to help fund 21 agencies. JBS offered a local food incentive to employees to encourage them to donate. A total of 248 JBS workers participated in the incentive, which allowed them to get a free buffet meal from Pizza Ranch for pledges at a particular level.

WORTHINGTON - During an open house at the Nobles County Government Center Tuesday, MnDOT Landscape Design Specialist Patti Strohmayer showcased the various tree and shrub plantings planned along the new Highway 60 route. The design calls for the planting of 124 coniferous trees, 266 deciduous trees, 261 ornamental trees and 464 coniferous shrubs. Another 1,742 deciduous shrubs are planned, with the majority of them to be planted near the on-off ramps north and south of Interstate 90 to act as a living snow fence.

Other trees and shrubs will help to catch snow in the areas near the roundabouts and beautify the trail system that follows along the highway. The ornamental trees will line Minnesota 60 and be planted in the medians to signify the entrance into the community in hopes of slowing traffic down.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - The Dickinson county board of supervisors Tuesday morning voted unanimously to publish notice that they plan to appoint someone to the position of County Auditor. Long time County Auditor Nancy Reiman will be retiring at the end of the year. The supervisors also had the option of calling for a special election, but decided to proceed with the notice to appoint after discussing the pros and cons of each. Whoever is appointed will serve only on an interim basis.

Assistant County Attorney Lonnie Saunders said those interested in the position will have a certain amount of time in which to submit applications and resumes in ordered to be considered for interviews. Anyone opposed to an appointment being made can file a petition calling for a special election.

MINNESOTA - Officials from the Obama administration said Tuesday that more than 65,000 Minnesotans will be cut off or become ineligible for unemployment benefits Dec. 28 if Congress does not act to extend them for the long-term unemployed.
About 8,500 people would lose unemployment benefits right away when the current program expires and another 57,000 who would qualify for the program next year would be out of luck.

A modest budget agreement announced on Tuesday does not include an extension in unemployment benefits, according to an Associated Press report. The budget deal is expected to have only a marginal impact on federal deficits, but instead is designed to make across-the-board spending cuts easier.

Nearly 4.9 million would lose out on the unemployment benefits nationwide, 1.3 million of those would be cut off immediately.

The benefits kick in after 26 weeks of state benefits run out. They have been in place since 2008 when George W. Bush signed them into law and have been extended multiple times.

ST. PAUL — Explore Minnesota Tourism, in partnership with Minneapolis-based Monopoint Media, has launched a statewide scavenger hunt, “Checkpoint MN.” The project includes 10 checkpoint signs placed at iconic Minnesota winter destinations and challenges people to visit all 10 of them during the contest, which runs now through Feb. 7. One of those checkpoints is the Pipestone National Monument.

More than $40,000 in prizes, including winter gear, snow bikes, GPS devices and getaway packages will be awarded to checkpoint visitors.

Visit CheckpointMN.com for a map of the 10 destinations and prize information.

The 10 destinations are: Grand Portage National Monument, Lutsen Mountains Ski Area, Sandstone Ice Park (Robinson Quarry), Lake Mille Lacs via Hunters Point Lodge, Bemidji’s Paul Bunyan & Babe statues, Roseville Oval Ice-Skating Rink, Minneapolis Greenway bike path, Hyland Cross-Country Ski Trail in Bloomington’s Three Rivers Park, Colvill Park in Red Wing and the Pipestone National Monument.

Participants are encouraged to use social media and the hashtag #CheckpointMN to follow the action on Explore Minnesota Tourism Facebook, Twitter (@exploreminn) and Instagram (@exploreminnesota) accounts.

Each participant automatically earns a prize by reaching their first checkpoint. Participants can earn more prizes the more places they check in, including camping equipment, hiking boots, jackets and outdoors apparel. The first four people to check in at all 10 checkpoints will earn a “Grand Prize Gear Pack,” valued at more than $1,000. One additional Grand Prize Gear Pack will be awarded via a random drawing.

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