January 22 news

WORTHINGTON – Charges were filed this week in Nobles County District Court against a Worthington man who allegedly stabbed a friend over a video game Friday night. Daniel Bockenstedt, age 25, was charged with first-degree assault -great bodily harm and four counts of second-degree assault.

According to the criminal complaint, authorities were called at approximately 11:30 p.m. Friday about an assault. They found Bockenstedt in the driveway at the scene with a bloody rag in his hand. Bockenstedt said his friend had gotten angry after losing a video game and had grabbed a knife, but he grabbed it from him, cutting his own hand in the process. He allegedly stated he hit his friend with the knife, dropping it immediately after feeling it strike his friend in the chest.

The other man had driven himself to the hospital. According to medical staff, there was a puncture wound in his chest and he had a perforated lung. On his face, there was a puncture wound that went through his left cheek.

The victim told authorities they were arguing jokingly after the game, when he called Bockenstedt a name and the suspect snapped, grabbing a knife from a drawer and stabbing him. He denied attacking him and said that Bockenstedt had pulled a knife on him before.

Bockenstedt has charges pending regarding an attack on an off-duty peace officer in April 2012. The office was with his 13-year-old son at the time of the alleged assault.
Bockenstedt is currently being held on a $75,000 bond with conditions.

WORTHINGTON – The Nobles County Commissioners Tuesday approved a Department of Natural Resources land acquisition in Bloom Township – a 75 acre tract with native prairie and some crop land located east of Wilmont near Jack Creek. According to Nobles County Pheasants Forever president Scott Rall, $75,000 of the funds to purchase the land were local dollars, and a matching amount was received from the Reinvest in Minnesota funds raised by the sale of critical habitat license plates. The DNR came up with the rest of the funds, including what was needed for local appraisers.

Nobles County Public Works Director Steve Schnieder presented the commissioners with a proposed 5-year construction program, laying out direction for developing projects for construction.

There are more projects than there is money right now, Schnieder said, which wasn’t a surprise to anyone in the room. But identifying and prioritizing the projects helps to set up a 2014 construction program. The commissioners declared several pieces of equipment through Public Works as surplus, opening it up to be sold.

They were also informed of a new project of Nobles County Community Services in which a satellite Women, Infant and Children’s clinic will be established inside the West Learning Center.

There was brief discussion regarding a new proposed vision statement: “Looking Forward with Purpose.”

HARTLEY, Iowa — The Hartley City Council upheld Mayor Clayton Pyle’s January 3rd firing of Police Chief Mark Younie Tuesday night during a public hearing at the Hartley Community Center. The council voted unanimously to confirm Younie’s dismissal.
Younie, along with his attorney and a group of his supporters attended Tuesday night’s meeting. In the days following Younie’s January 3rd dismissal, many Hartley residents rallied in support of him and his family, demonstrating their support through social media, picketing in front of Hartley’s City Hall, and gathering some 350 signatures on a petition calling for Younie’s reinstatement.

Following the meeting, Younie said next up for him is filing for unemployment, and looking for another job in Hartley.

LARCHWOOD, Iowa — A Hull woman was arrested after an accident near Larchwood when it was learned there was a warrant for her arrest in Minnesota.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Department reports that on Thursday, January 16 at about 2:15 p.m., 43-year-old Maria Ramirez-Ortiz of Hull was driving a 2001 Ford westbound on Highway 9 about a mile west of Larchwood. The report says she rear-ended an unknown vehicle. During the investigation it was found that Ramirez-Ortiz did not have a valid driver’s license and there was a warrant for her arrest out of Minnesota.

Ramirez-Ortiz was charged with failing to have a valid license or permit while driving a motor vehicle, and she was arrested on the Minnesota warrant. At last report, she was being held in the Lyon County Jail waiting for extradition to Minnesota.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - A vehicle fell through the ice on Big Spirit Lake Saturday afternoon off the shore of the Marble Beach area. The driver and passenger of the jeep escaped from the submerged vehicle, but DNR Conservation Officer Jeff Morrison says the incident does raise concerns about ice safety. The hole where the jeep fell through the ice is located straight east of the Marble Beach ramp about a mile out on Spirit Lake. It's marked with cones and reflective tape. The submerged jeep is expected to be extracted in the next week.

MINNESOTA - Just hours after Gov. Mark Dayton announced that the Vikings stadium project was in jeopardy, the Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday tossed out a lawsuit that was delaying a major chunk of financing.

The scheduled sale of $468 million in state-issued bonds was put on hold last week after three Minneapolis residents filed suit on Jan. 10.

The plaintiffs – former mayoral candidate and unemployed nurse Douglas Mann and his wife, Linda; and former city School Board member David Tilsen — claimed the bond sale is unconstitutional because the city should have held a referendum before committing sales tax revenue to repaying the bonds.

The court’s decision clears the obstacle, though it’s unclear when the sale will be rescheduled.

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