March 11 news

WORTHINGTON – The lack of a quorum kept the Worthington City Council from any action Monday night, but the members present listened to a presentation by Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp Director Abraham Algadi regarding the Nobles Housing Initiative.

The Initiative would offer 100 percent tax abatement on new residential construction from the county, city and school district. Last week, the Nobles County Board of Commissioners approved the concept of the plan, and are now waiting for Algadi’s office to work out details for their approval.

The city council meeting was continued to Wednesday night, and the same presentation will be offered to the District 518 school board today.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - A traffic stop Thursday evening in Dickinson County resulted in the arrest of a Wahpeton man on multiple charges. The Dickinson County Sheriff's Office says a deputy pulled over a vehicle driven by 51-year-old Todd Booge of Wahpeton who was arrested for driving while suspended, open container and operation without registration.

A subsequent inventory of the vehicle resulted in deputies finding what's alleged to be methamphetamine. They then obtained and executed a search warrant on Booge's residence.

Booge was additionally charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver methamphetamine and unlawful possession of prescription drugs.

The Dickinson County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Milford and Arnolds Park Police Departments.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - Two more lakes area employers have achieved Blue Zones certification. The Spirit Lake Hy-Vee and YMCA of the Okoboji's have been recognized as designated Blue Zones Worksites.

Designated worksites meet various criteria in the areas of leadership, purpose, habitat and physical environment, engagement and creation of social networks, policies and benefits, and well-being solutions.

Spirit Lake is one of 15 Blue Zones Project demonstration sites in Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa – The route to be taken by RAGBRAI bike riders is no longer a mystery. Iowans were aware the ride would start in Rock Valley and spend the first night in Okaboji, but the route they would take to get there was not released until this past weekend.

The riders would be coming through Hull, Boyden, Sheldon, Melvin, and May City.
According to RAGBRAI’s map, the ride will start off on Sunday, July 20th, going east on the north side of Rock Valley taking B14 and K42 to get to Highway 18. The riders will then stay on 18 as it makes the one-mile jog at Perkins. Riders will continue through Hull and Boyden on their way to Sheldon.

The map shows riders leaving Sheldon going north, on Country Club Road or Washington Avenue and then meeting up with Northwest Boulevard and picking up B14, traveling east for a few miles. Then they’ll find L40 north and A52 east before jogging a mile north on Highway 59. Then they’ll take A48 through Melvin, do a couple more short jogs and end up in May City before they take A34 to Milford and the lakes area to stay the night.

The riders will also make other overnight stops in Emmetsburg, Forest City, Mason City, Waverly, and Independence on their way to Guttenberg on Saturday, July 26th.

ST. PAUL, MN - A proposal to legalize medical marijuana is going before its second House committee today.

Pot as medicine made it through the Health and Human Services Policy Committee last week after emotional testimony that included mothers describing the drug's ability to reduce epileptic seizures, intense pain and nausea.

Today's hearing is before the Government Operations Committee.

It could still be a long way to the House floor. Speaker Paul Thissen said last week he doesn't plan to let a bill on the floor without police support. And state law-enforcement groups and most Minnesota Medical Association members remain opposed to the bill.

MINNESOTA - A ban on lobbyist gifts is making a comeback at the State Capitol. The Minnesota House of Representatives voted 123-3 Monday to reverse a measure that had loosened the ban on free food and drink provided by lobbyists, with members of both parties arguing that their integrity is worth more than a free dinner.

The ban won’t be reinstated, however, unless the Senate passes a bill that is still awaiting its first committee hearing.

The provision passed last year allowed legislators and their staff to eat and drink for free at receptions hosted by special interest groups, as long as all 201 are invited at least five days in advance. It was the first real crack in the 19-year-old so-called gift ban, which was designed to prevent lobbyists and special interest groups from giving legislators anything of value¬ — including meals — unless they’re giving a speech or taking questions.

Backers of that relaxation say easing what once was one of the strictest gift bans in the nation was needed to restore bipartisan camaraderie in an increasingly polarized Legislature. The law still prohibits lawmakers from accepting freebies in more exclusive gatherings.

MALAYSIA — One of the two men traveling on a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner with a stolen passport was a 19-year-old Iranian man believed to be trying to migrate to Germany, and had no terror links, police said Tuesday.

The announcement was the first certain piece of news in what has become a baffling mystery over the fate of flight MH370. On Tuesday, baffled authorities expanded their search for the Boeing 777 on the opposite side of the country's coast from where it disappeared days ago with 239 people on board.

In the absence of any sign that the plane was in trouble before it vanished, speculation has ranged widely, including pilot error, plane malfunction, hijacking and terrorism, the last because two passengers were traveling on stolen passports. The terrorism theory weakened after Malaysian authorities determined that one of them was an Iranian asylum seeker.

Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters the 19-year-old was believed to be planning to enter Germany to seek asylum.

Khalid said the other man traveling with the Iranian had arrived in Malaysia on the same day, and had yet to be identified.

The plane took off from Kuala Lumpur, on the western coast of Malaysia, early Saturday en route to Beijing. It flew overland across Malaysia and crossed the eastern coast into the Gulf of Thailand at 35,000 feet. There it disappeared from radar screens. The airline says the pilots didn't send any distress signals, suggesting a sudden and possibly catastrophic incident.

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Malaysia

I feel bad to those victims. I hope help will come their way. - Mission Maids

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