December 31 News

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Safe Cab program, a partnership between local law enforcement and business sponsors, will give free rides home to New Year’s Eve revelers on Tuesday night.

The Safe Cab will operate from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.; people need to call the Worthington Taxi Service, 372-4300, to secure a ride. The service will operate from party points around the city, including private residences, but is not intended as a shuttle between venues.

Off-duty law enforcement officers will be behind the wheel of the Safe Cabs to ensure people get home safely.

JACKSON -- After finalizing a three-year lease agreement with Ferrara Candy Co., AGCO Jackson Operations and its logistics company, G&D, has hired seven new full-time positions. Scott Berglund, senior project manager for AGCO, said Monday that the first phase of operations at the Round Lake facility will begin on Jan. 6, when parts warehoused at the site will begin moving to the Jackson plant for production. The warehouse will store everything from engines and transmissions to smaller components. AGCO Jackson Operations manufactures lines of Challenger and Massey Ferguson tractors and sprayer equipment.

Since signing the lease, AGCO has begun consolidating its inventory at the Round Lake facility. AGCO products stored in at least three other warehouses outside the region will be moved to Round Lake in the coming weeks.

The seven full-time employees, now completing the training and orientation process, will primarily do material moving, warehouse production and inventory control. The filling of those jobs completes the first of what will be a multi-phase project to utilize the space at the Round Lake facility. Berglund said plans are still being worked out for the second phase, which he anticipates will be completed by mid-March and include the hiring of additional people. Ultimately, plans are to have 25 employees at the Round Lake facility and to further utilize the space available there.

Initially, Berglund said they will use only about half of the square footage.
Modifications to the existing loading dock began a week before Christmas, and are expected to be completed in early January, while material storage work is being done in the warehouse area.
Berglund said AGCO Jackson is thrilled to have the warehouse space in Round Lake, and said the three-year lease gives the company needed flexibility. There is a buy-out clause in the lease, should AGCO decide to make the Round Lake site a permanent fixture in its operations.

CASSELTON -- Authorities are urging residents to evacuate a North Dakota town near the scene of a fiery oil train derailment.

The Cass County Sheriff's Office says it's "strongly recommending" that people in Casselton and anyone living five miles to the south and east evacuate. It's a precaution in case winds change as some derailed cars continue to burn.

Casselton has about 2,400 residents and is about 25 miles west of Fargo.

Investigators couldn't get close to the blaze about a mile outside of Casselton and estimates of how many cars caught fire varied. BNSF Railway Co. says about 20 cars caught fire after its oil train left the tracks about 2:10 p.m. Monday. The sheriff's office says 10 cars were on fire.

No one was hurt. The cause is being investigated.

RENVILLE -- A 47 year old man from Olivia was arraigned today in Renville County court after a Renville Drug and Violent Crimes Agent completed an investigation in the Renville County Jail.

Ronald James Anderson was being held in the Renville County jail on a housing contract with Redwood County on charges of 3rd degree burglary. He now faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, witness tampering and 1st degree assault.

Evidence against Anderson includes electronic recordings, a drawn map of a witnesses home, neighborhood and names, contact information for an alibi and a property release form-authorizing several rings to be turned over to the hired man.

A cooperating individual worked with investigators when it was learned that Anderson was attempting to hire someone to murder or assault 2 individuals identified only by initials in the complaint that were listed as witnesses against him in the burglary case.

Anderson was recorded as telling the cooperating individual about the witnesses description and asked that he make it so they were not able to show up in court—describing black eyes, busted jaws, breaking legs and leaving them swinging from a tree. He offered $5,000 and $10,000 with different scenarios. After the conversation Anderson is recorded making a phone call to a female and claiming that there was a 100 percent chance the burglary case would be going in his favor now.

In another recorded conversation Anderson offered 3 rings as payment, including a Hell’s Angels skull ring that that he claims is worth 1 million dollars. Another map is drawn and the he warns the cooperating individual of a near by officer that lives in the area and to avoid a certain route. A detailed description that matched the witness’s residence was given.

Unconditional bail set at $500,000. According to the complaint filed by the Renville County Assistant Attorney, Laurence Stratton-Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the 1st degree-premeditated is punishable with 20 years in prison.

BROWN COUNTY -- Authorities said the bodies of two people found Friday, December 20th inside a rural farmhouse in Brown County died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office said the father of one of the victims called authorities to the home on 410th Avenue at about 1:40 p.m. in Springfield. When authorities arrived, they found the bodies of two adult men unresponsive inside the home. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

The autopsy reports on 30 year old Nathan Potter and 23 year old Adam Jensen indicate that carbon monoxide poisoning was the result of their deaths. It appears that a damper on the furnace in the home was not functioning properly. The deaths have been ruled accidental by the Medical Examiner. The investigation by the Sheriff's Office is considered closed.

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by Springfield Police and the Springfield Fire Department among other agencies.

NATIONAL -- The United States District Courts case against Jeffrey Rodd of Redwood Falls has still not been completed.

The Courts clerk reported that the last activity in the case came in November when a motion was granted for discovery. Review, inspection and copies of requested documents were granted according to the clerk.

On September 16, 2013 Rodd was charged by a grand jury with cheating investors out of at least 2 million dollars.

50 year old Rodd was charged with 4 counts of wire fraud and 2 counts of mail fraud in connection with a scam that spanned more than 3 years. Back in February regulators ordered Rodd to halt his scheme and fined him $300,000. Operating a business in Redwood Falls called Redwood Valley Interest, Rodd sold insurance and other investment products. The charges filed against him claim he devised a scheme to defraud and obtain money by false and fraudulent pretense, representations and promises.

No sentencing date or further proceedings are scheduled yet at this time according to the US District Court.

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I would certainly love to

I would certainly love to hear good stuff in the news on the last day of the year. That would cap up the interesting year. - Sandra Dyche

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