January 16 news

WORTHINGTON – The long-standing Penney store in the Northland Mall is on the chopping block. A news release issued Wednesday states the Worthington store is slated to close in May, along with 32 other stores across the country, including one on Iowa.

JCPenney Co. states the closures are part of a turnaround effort to eliminate underperforming stores in order to focus its resources on the company’s highest potential growth areas. Approximately 20 employees from the Worthington store and 2,000 across the board will lose their jobs. Eligible employees will be provided separation benefit packages by the company.

The Northland Mall has been plagued with closures in the past years, losing K-Mart, the Hy-Vee and more. With a no-show owner and the city of Worthington closing one part to public use, its future is grim.

MINNESOTA – Governor Mark Dayton on Wednesday released his list of capital budget recommendations for 2014 at a State Capitol news conference - a list of construction projects he supports that would amount to nearly $1 billion in state spending and create 27,000 jobs.

Dayton recommends that $20.2 million be used for the Lewis & Clark Joint Powers Board for Phase 1 of the water system. Phase 1 would deliver water to the city of Luverne by 2015. The total project cost is $70.5 million, past of a 3-phase project. Dayton said if the bill is approved and he’s re-elected, he’ll come back in 2015 and push for the money to get the project to Worthington.

Lewis and Clark will also receive a portion of the $27 million set aside by Congress for rural water systems, although the exact amount has yet to be determined by the Bureau of Reclamation.

If Dayton’s bill is approved, the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne will receive money to repair and renovate resident rooms and remodel the nurses’ station, and Minnesota West Community and Technical College will see some improvements on the Jackson and Canby campuses.

Also included in the recommendations is $4.3 million in state bonding to construct a southwest regional sports center in Marshall, which would feature two ice sheets that could be converted to volleyball and basketball courts. It would also have 10 outdoor athletic fields for soccer, lacrosse, rugby and football.

WORTHINGTON — Minnesota artist Wing Young Huie will give a presentation, “How Do Photos Form Us?” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Worthington Event Center, 1447 Prairie Drive. The event is sponsored by the Nobles County Integration Collaborative. Huie will also speak to local area art students at 1 p.m. in the Worthington High School cafeteria and with art teachers at 2 p.m.

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa- The Lyon County Sheriff's Office arrested Bonnie F Wiggins, 49, of Sioux Falls South Dakota earlier this week after a deputy observed a vehicle parked partially in the ditch on Coolidge Avenue, just north of Highway 9. The deputy’s investigation determined that Wiggins was operating while intoxicated and was transported to the Lyon County Jail and booked in for Operating While Intoxicated 1st offense, Serious Misdemeanor. Deputies conducted an inventory of Wiggins vehicle and located a container of marijuana and drug paraphernalia items commonly used for intending to deliver a controlled substance. Wiggins was charged with Possession With Intent to Deliver, Class D Felony, Possession of a controlled substance, 2nd offense, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - Dickinson County Republicans are gearing up for their caucus, which will be held Tuesday at the Dickinson County Community Building in Spirit Lake. The event begins at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

SHELDON, Iowa — RISE Ministries has announced Big Daddy Weave will perform in the 2014 Risefest lineup. Rise Ministries Founder and President Rob Roozeboom says they are in negotiations with multiple Christian artists at this time to try to work out who else is going to be at the 2014 Rise Fest over Father’s Day Weekend. For more information on RiseFest and RISE Ministries visit www.riseministries.com

MINNESOTA - The future of the new Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis is up to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which has agreed to address the most recent roadblock to the massive project. The court ordered all of the parties in the stadium’s newest funding dispute to file a memorandum of law by 4:30 Thursday afternoon.

Last week, former mayoral candidate Douglas Mann, his wife Linda, and former Minneapolis school board member David Tilsen filed a lawsuit claiming the funding plan for the stadium was illegal. The uncertainty over that action prompted the state to cancel a $468 million bond sale scheduled for earlier this week.

The delay in straightening out the funding could stall work on the project and ultimately push back the scheduled debut of the stadium, targeted for the 2016 NFL season. Justice Alan Page, a former Vikings player, recused himself in the case.

NATION - A national drug recall is wiping out the entire US stock of a popular cholesterol drug. Merck says the recall covers all dose strengths and every batch of Liptruzet produced since the drug was launched last May. The foil pouches holding the pills may allow air and moisture inside -- decreasing the drug's effectiveness.

The company says patients should consult their doctor before stopping therapy.

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