February 6 news

WORTHINGTON – A former Worthington man pleaded guilty Wednesday to third-degree assault in Nobles County District Court. Joshua Barker, age 25, entered into a plea agreement with the state, admitting he assaulted another man in April of 2013 during a confrontation. As per the agreement, other assault charges pending were dismissed.

Barker said he hit another man with a glass, causing three deep lacerations to his head. In the midst of the confrontation at an apartment they shared, there was no other way to get him to move, Barker said, when the man backed him into a corner.

In response to questions by both prosecuting and defense attorneys, Barker said he felt some of the facts of the case would support a self-defense claim, but he was unwilling to let the case go to jury trial.

The agreement states imposition of the sentence will not happen as long as Barker agrees to spend 180 days in jail, served in 60 day increments each year for three years. Potentially, the second and third increment could be dismissed by probation officials.
Judge Gordon Moore accepted the plea but deferred sentencing until a pre-sentence investigation takes place, along with a chemical assessment.

WORTHINGTON - Sanford Worthington and Community Blood Bank are hosting a community blood drive today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Sanford Worthington Medical Center in Worthington. Community Blood Bank is the sole provider of blood and blood products to 32 local area hospitals, including Sanford Worthington. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 507-372-3319. Walk-ins are always welcome.

KENNETH – The Rock County Sheriff’s Office received a call at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday about a potentially suicidal male at an acreage near Kenneth, according to a press release issued Wednesday by law enforcement. The male, identified by the sheriff’s office as Dean Fodness, was taken into custody after deputies spoke with him through use of cell phone and a PA system. He agreed to come out of his location, and neither Fodness nor any law enforcement officials were injured in the incident.

JACKSON - The City of Jackson was approved to receive state grant funds that will give low to moderate income families zero percent deferred loans for up to 80 percent of eligible home repair costs. Homes located in two target areas may be eligible for this funding.

The housing rehabilitation grant program is being offered through the Department of Employment and Economic Development's Small Cities Development Program. The program allows single family homeowners to seek financing for home repairs that address health and safety, energy efficiency, lead hazards and accessibility issues. The loan would carry no interest and have no payments. The deferred loan would forgive 10 percent each year if the property doesn't change ownership. Income restrictions apply. Income will be determined at time of owner application and will be verified with current HUD Income Guidelines.

For more information or to request an application please call Jeff Buesing at 800-658-2448, extension #2140. Loans will be made to qualifying applicants for qualifying projects on a first come-first served basis.

JACKSON - With approval by the Jackson City Council, Dave Maschoff will be the new council secretary-city clerk for the City of Jackson. Steve Walker will retire from that position on Feb. 28.

A graduate of Mankato State University, Maschoff joined KKOJ Radio in June of 1980, later transferring to stations in Sturgis, S.D., where he served as news director and did play-by-play of sports events. In November of 1995, Maschoff returned to Jackson to serve as news director.

HERON LAKE - The 7th Annual Heron Lake Young men’s Club Ice Fishing Tournament will take place Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at West Graham Lake. Door prizes will be given away with raffle tickets sold for other items. Cost is $10 per person, with those 10 year-old and under $5. For the raffle, winners need not be present to win. Proceeds will benefit area youth activities. For more information or for ticket purchases, contact a Young men’s Club member.

PIPESTONE - The Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office will soon have a lieutenant investigator for the first time in four years.

Sheriff Dan Delaney told the Pipestone County Board the position was left vacant due to a lack of experienced staff after former investigator, Dale Mathews, retired in September 2010. Delaney has since had a deputy carrying out many of the responsibilities of the position.

The lieutenant investigator’s responsibilities, according to the job description, include conducting “major investigations” as well as routine casework, and working with other county, state and federal agencies to determine the cause of criminal behavior. The investigator will coordinate all investigations with those other agencies and keep the sheriff informed of all cases under investigation.

While Delaney has someone in mind for the position, he must post the position internally as required by the union contract before offering it to anyone and obtain a letter of agreement from the union to amend the current pay scale to include the position. The length of the process will depend on how many people apply, but Delaney expected the position to be filled by the end of February. He did not plan to backfill the position currently held by the deputy who will assume the investigator role, so there will be no added staff.

SIOUX FALLS, SD - A Sioux Falls man was jailed Wednesday on 10 different charges -- including assault on a police officer. Rocky Thomas Traversie Jr. is no stranger to trouble. Traversie has had 62 charges against him since he was 18. He's now 31.
Wednesday's charges -- three counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement, five counts of kidnapping, and two counts of aggravated domestic assault -- aren't even his first in this past month.

Police were called to Traversie's house around 7 Wednesday morning by a 17-year-old boy who escaped through a window. He told neighbors that Traversie was assaulting two women and wouldn't let anyone leave the house.

Traversie left the scene but when he came back, there were three officers arriving to arrest him. A fight broke out and backup was called -- 18 officers ended up on the scene. The three officers Traversie assaulted were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.


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