February 20 news

LAKEFIELD – The Lakefield Police Department is seeking help from the public to identify two men who allegedly attempted a theft at the Genz Gas Station on Main Street and committed a theft at Len’s Bins Car Wash. A video posted on Facebook shows a man in a blue shirt removing the change from the car wash machine while another man, wearing a black jacket, stands by to keep watch.

The date on the video shows the theft took place Tuesday. Anyone who could possibly help identity the men are asked to call the Lakefield Police Department at 507-662-5353 or send a message via Facebook. All tips can be kept anonymous, according to the post.

JACKSON – The 2014 Jackson County Visitor and Information Guide hit the streets this week. 4,000 copies have been printed and will be distributed across the county and region. The electronic version of the publication has been simultaneously posted and is accessible via links on a host of local and regional websites.

A joint venture of the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau and Jackson-based Livewire Printing Co., the annual guide highlights all Jackson County has to offer in terms of visitor attractions and amenities for prospective new residents.

Complimentary copies of the guide are available at several locations throughout the county and beyond, including at the offices of Livewire Printing Co. and at the Chamber.

ARNOLD’S PARK, Iowa - Two more lakes area cities in Iowa are warning residents of the possibility of water service lines freezing. Arnolds Park and Okoboji are the latest to issue the warning, saying this winter's prolonged cold snap has resulted in frost going much deeper into the ground than in previous years. That, they say, is resulting in frozen water service lines in some areas.

Officials say your water service line is in danger of freezing if the temperature of water coming out of the tap is 40 degrees or below and the water is rusty in color. They say if you observe either or both of those conditions that you should run a pencil lead size stream from your faucet on a continuous basis. However, officials in most area cities say the user will be responsible for any additional fees incurred with the additional water usage. Likewise, they say it's much cheaper to do that than to have your service line dug up and repaired, which is the responsibility of the homeowner in most cases.

Officials once again warn the danger of frozen water service lines will be ongoing over the next several weeks, at least.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - A lakes area man has announced his candidacy for the House District One seat representing Lyon, Osceola and most of Dickinson counties. John Wills, a Sibley native, has announced his intention to run for the seat. He currently is President of the Okoboji Protective Association and serves in the National Guard. Wills is a founding member of Pheasants Forever in Osceola County and a member of the State Pheasants Forever Council. He also serves on the board of Lakeside Lab and Veterans of Foreign War.

Wills says his campaign will focus of relieving burdens on small businesses, as well as being a supporter of agriculture.

Kevin Wolfswinkel of Sibley has also announced his candidacy for the seat currently held by Jeff Smith of Okoboji. Smith has indicated he will NOT be seeking another term.

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa - The Lyon County Sheriff's Department's K9, Athos, will be receiving a ballistic vest thanks to a nationwide Groupon event.

K9 Athos is a 3 1/2 year old German shepherd, certified in narcotics, along with tracking, article recovery, building search and criminal apprehension. Athos was purchased thru funds provided by the Lyon County Riverboat Association and has been Deputy Rob Ver Meer's partner with the Lyon County Sheriff's Office in Rock Rapids, Iowa since May of 2012.

The "Occasions" campaign for Groupon Grassroots to outfit police K9s with bullet and stab protective vests runs February 15th through February 26th. Vested Interest in K9's, Inc, is the nationwide non-profit organization and charity partner selected by Groupon Grassroots to participate. All funds were allocated to purchase ballistic vests for our four-legged crime fighters who put their lives on the line for the community and their partner.

The nonprofit raised $155,537.33 in just one week, which provide ballistic vests for 163 law enforcement dogs in 30 states.

SOUTH DAKOTA – The story of the ownership of Wounded Knee has taken an interesting twist.

For the past year, the future of the piece of land on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where hundreds of women, children and elders were slaughtered by the U.S. military in 1890 has been in question. Oglala Sioux Tribal President Bryan Brewer said the man who owns the land bought it for $1,000. Now he's trying to sell it to developers for millions.
When actor Johnny Depp heard about this, he told a London newspaper that he wanted to buy it and gift it back to the tribe.

The actor's proxy to the Oglala Sioux is the chairman of the Comanche Nation, of which Depp is an adopted member. They say Depp is planning a trip to South Dakota to see Wounded Knee for himself.

According to Brewer, Depp is planning to visit this month.

When Depp is coming has yet to be decided, but members of the Tribal government say it will be kept private. They don't want the presence of fans or media to sour a potential deal.

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