December 26 news

LUVERNE – Two South Dakota residents suffered non-life threatening injuries in the early morning hours of Christmas Day when their vehicle rolled on I-90 near mile marker 6 in Rock County. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a 2003 Toyota Corolla driven by Matthew Gappa, age 33, of Dell Rapids, lost control on the icy highway, entered the median and rolled. Gappa and his wife, 34-year-old Nicole Anderson-Gappa, were taken to Sanford Luverne for medical treatment.

PIPESTONE – Five people received non-life threatening injuries Wednesday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash in Pipestone County on Highway 23 at 81st Street. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a 1998 Ford Ranger driven by 23-year-old Jonas Christianson of Miltona skidded on the icy road while northbound and crossed into the southbound lane. The truck collided with a 2013 Hyundai Sonata, driven by Paula Hodge, age 59, of Willmar. The two drivers and their three passengers were transported to the Pipestone County Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Both vehicles were totaled.

WORTHINGTON – The Worthington Fire Department was dispatched to the Brian and Amy Dykstra home at 1511 Hillcrest Ave., at 3:15 a.m. Tuesday for a fire in a garage. The fire came from a pickup that was parked in the garage. The Dykstras were able to get their five children out of the home before the firefighters arrived at the scene.
American Red Cross volunteers responded to the fire, which temporarily displaced the family due to smoke and water damage throughout the home. Volunteers were able to assist the family with their immediate emergency needs.

WORTHINGTON - A series of information and enrollment sessions will be held at the Nobles County Library 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, with an estimated 16 percent of the county’s residents under age 65 uninsured.

Navigators from Health Access MN will provide the information and enrollment assistance today from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. They will also be available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday; 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. January 2.

WORTHINGTON – Just a reminder, the Grassroots Community Theatre is producing the interactive play “Flanagan's Wake” in late February and will be holding open auditions from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight at the Elks Club. Production dates for the dinner theatre style play are Feb. 28 and March 1. Call Mary Jane Mardesen at 478-4474 with any questions or to schedule another time for auditioning if tonight will not work.

WORTHINGTON – After years of dedicated service to local theater, Margaret Vosburgh is retiring as director of Memorial Auditorium. There will be a retirement party for Margaret from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday at Memorial Auditorium.

WORTHINGTON – Worthington Police Department K-9 Laika was recently granted pet status and is retiring from the police force. There will be an open house to celebrate from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday at the Fire Hall training room.

JACKSON - Twenty-one year old Stacia Coonradt of Jackson faces drug charges for the alleged possession of drugs. The arrest followed a report of a noise disturbance at an apartment at 510 Sheridan Street in Jackson last week. When Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies arrived, they heard two people allegedly arguing over drugs. While inside the apartment, deputies saw drug paraphernalia sticking out of a purse on the couch. Upon checking the contents of the purse, the deputies found a small amount of alleged marijuana and a small amount of methamphetamine.

Deputies arrested Stacia Coonradt who was formally charged with one felony count of third-degree possession of methamphetamine in a school zone and one felony count of fifth-degree possession of methamphetamine. Coonradt was released from the Jackson County Jail after posting $20,000 bond.

IOWA -- The state is appealing a denial of assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in connection with an ice storm in April of last year that caused millions of dollars in damage to electrical utilities in northwest Iowa. The damage in Dickinson, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola and Sioux counties was so extensive that a Presidential Disaster Declaration was issued on May 6th, 2013.

FEMA originally denied funding to restore the downed utility lines to the tune of $19 million on August 30th, 2013, saying the utilities did not conduct "comprehensive laboratory testing". The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management submitted the appeal on behalf of Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative, Lyon Rural Electric Cooperative, Osceola Electric Cooperative and Sanborn Electric and Telecommunications.

Patrick Hall of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says FEMA has 90 days from the date they receive the appeal to make an evaluation and then issue a determination.

ASHTON, Iowa - Authorities are investigating the thefts of more grain wagons in the area. The Osceola County Sheriff's Office says two green Parker 5250 gravity wagons were taken from a farm site south of Ashton sometime between Monday, December 16th and Wednesday, December 18th. Deputies say it appears the wagons were hooked together and pulled by a single vehicle.

That report follows reports earlier this month of a grain wagon that was stolen from an implement dealer in Estherville and one that was taken from a farm site near Terril. Whether the incidents are related is unknown. Anyone who may have seen the wagons is asked to contact the Osceola County Sheriff's Office at (712) 754-2557.


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