January 2 news

TRACY – Benjamin Alberg, 17, of Milroy, received non-life threatening injuries when his 2000 Ford pickup ran off the roadway Wednesday morning on Highway 14, a mile and a half east of Tracy. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Alberg was northbound on Aspen Avenue at 6:55 a.m. when he ran off the road at the Highway 14 intersection. He was taken to the Tracy Hospital for medical attention. The pickup received moderate damage.

HERON LAKE - Two people were injured in a three vehicle rear-end accident around 1:40 Tuesday afternoon on Highway 60 at Heron Lake. Involved was a 2007 Lexus driven by 48 year old Deng Chairakoun of Worthington, a 2013 Honda Accord driven by 22 year old David Sorensen of Worthington and a 1997 semi driven by 30 year old Scott Johnson of Bloomington.

Chairakoun and Sorensen were both taken by the Heron Lake Ambulance to the Sanford Worthington Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Johnson had no apparent injuries. Chairakoun’s vehicle was estimated as totaled. Severe damage was reported to Sorensen’s car. There was no report on any damage to the truck driven by Johnson.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department assisted the State Patrol at the scene.

WATERLOO, Iowa - A Spirit Lake woman was injured after she was knocked off a highway overpass around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday near Waterloo. According to law enforcement authorities, 20-year old Ellayna Wiedow lost control of her vehicle and struck a railing. She stopped just east of the Cedar River on the eastbound lane of Interstate 380 in southwest Evansdale to survey the damage when another vehicle struck her car. Wiedow was knocked over the railing and fell about 25 feet to the ground.

She was taken to Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo for treatment.

ASHTON - No one was injured in a train derailment near Ashton. Shortly after midnight Tuesday, a Union Pacific train traveling from Council Bluffs to St. Paul had a 23 car derailment between Ashton and Ritter. Of the 23 derailed cars, 21 were empty, and the other two were loaded with scrap metal.

Heavy equipment was brought in and crews worked through the day to get the cars moved and make repairs to the track that was damaged by the derailment.

Officials blamed the cold weather for causing a piece of track to come up. National Weather Service records show subfreezing, near zero and subzero temperatures have chilled the area over the past three days.

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa — A Sheldon man now faces an additional charge after showing up at the Lyon County Jail in Rock Rapids drunk.
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Monday, December 30, 2013 at 4:50 PM, 52-year-old Joey Espeland of Sheldon reported to the Sheriff’s Office to serve a jail sentence on a prior charge. When he got there, it was determined that he was under the influence of alcohol. Espeland was arrested for Public Intoxication, a simple misdemeanor.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - Central Bank announced Tuesday it has completed the purchase of seven Liberty Bank branches in the Des Moines area. Central Bank now has 18 locations in 10 cities throughout northwest Iowa and the Des Moines metro area, including Storm Lake, Cherokee, Sioux City, Spirit Lake, Ankeny, Des Moines, Urbandale and West Des Moines with satellite branches in Quimby and Washta.

Central Bank President John Brown says other than the name change and some remodeling to reflect the Central Bank theme, that many things at the newly acquired branches will remain the same.

MINNESOTA - The bad news is, a bug going around is highly contagious, fast acting, hard to kill and makes the sufferer utterly miserable. The good news is, it struck during the holiday season when school is out.

It appears to be a norovirus infection, also called Norwalk virus, and its symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pains. For most people, causes one to three days of misery, but there have been deaths reported nationwide among vulnerable populations.
In early December, an outbreak linked to a high school football celebration banquet in Brooklyn Park left at least 75 people stricken with the bug. It's hard to know how prevalent it's been locally because the Minnesota Department of Health does not classify it as a reportable disease.

According to Jason Kloss, environmental health manager at the Murray County office of Southwest Health and Human Services, a norovirus doesn't grow on food, it exists on surfaces and can last a long time on dry surfaces. It's hard to kill, and it doesn't take much to infect someone.

Kloss said it is difficult to track because of the ease it spreads. When one person is ill, someone walking into a room can pick up the virus. What's dangerous is when you get to feeling better, Kloss said, and you prepare food for your family. You could be shedding the virus 72 hours after the symptoms are gone.

Kloss recommends anyone who gets sick should limit contact with other people, don't prepare food, wash hands frequently, clean and disinfect household surfaces.

Kloss recommends using one teaspoon of bleach in a gallon of water or disinfectant wipes. Disinfect light switches, door knobs, phones and in this day and age, iPads and computer keyboards.

MINNESOTA - A disagreement over a new state law limiting electronic access to some juvenile court records is headed for a public hearing next month.

The law, which was to take effect Jan. 1, would block access via the state’s online courts system to records involving the cases of 16- or 17-year-olds charged with a felony — the only juvenile cases currently public. Paper records and hearings in those cases would remain available, as would electronic records in cases involving serious offenses.

Backers touted the law as a way to allow young offenders to move on with their lives without being dogged by easily searchable online records.

But the state’s Juvenile Delinquency Rules Committee advised the Minnesota Supreme Court not to conform to the law, claiming it will place additional burden on staff members and that the courts — not legislators — are in charge of classifying which records are private.

A public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 18 before the Minnesota Supreme Court.

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