April 8 news

WORTHINGTON – Worthington’s Water and Light Commission on Monday approved a $250,000 allocation to help Pheasants Forever purchase a parcel of land that is located within the wellhead protection area. The total cost of the land is $850,000, which will come from various sources.

More than half of the parcel is considered vulnerable, according to WPU Manager Scott Hain. Two gravel pits will be filled in by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Hain also confirmed to the board that that the non-essential water ban put in place last fall is still in effect. There has been some spring recharge, but not enough. Well 26 gained five inches on Friday, its level is still seven feet lower than at the same time last year and nine feet, 10 inches below the 16-year average.

The daily take from Lincoln-Pipestone Rural Water has also been increased to approximately a million gallons a day – about as much as the they can sell to Worthington Public Utilities.

WORTHINGTON – When Dr. Richard Shrubb announced in December he would retire, Minnesota West Community and Technical College, along with MnScu, began a search for a new president. Now Shrubb is a finalist for a new position as president at Tulsa Community College in Oklahoma and says he never intended to quit working.

During a public forum last week in Tulsa, Shrubb said that when a president is offered a new contract and declines, that is classified as retirement.

ORANGE CITY, Iowa — The trial for an Orange City woman facing first-degree murder charges will be moved out of Sioux County.

Rochelle Lynn Sapp, 34, is charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death for an Oct. 29, 2013, incident in her home that led to the death of 3-year-old Autumn Elgersma of Orange City.

The motion to change the venue for Sapp’s murder trial was filed by the defense just before a pretrial hearing last week. The prosecution told District Judge Edward Jacobson it did not plan to challenge the motion. A new location for the trial has not been determined, however, Jacobson expects it to be announced in 7 to 10 days.

Monday’s pretrial hearing at the Sioux County Courthouse in Orange City also tentatively established jury selection for the trial on Thursday, Nov. 13, with testimony in the case beginning either Monday, Nov. 17, or Tuesday, Nov. 18.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - A motorcycle crash Sunday near Hales Slough on the northeast side of Big Spirit Lake injured two people. The Dickinson County Sheriff's Office says it happened shortly after 4:30 p.m. in the 1200 block of 260th Avenue.

Authorities say 22-year-old Colton Baschke of Spencer was driving a 2009 Honda when he lost control after encountering some sand on the side of the road. The motorcycle then went into the ditch.

Baschke sustained possible injuries but declined immediate treatment. A passenger on the motorcycle, 18-year-old Allison Spencer of Everly, was transported to Lakes Regional Healthcare with possible injuries.

The motorcycle sustained an estimated $2,500 in damage. Baschke was cited with failure to maintain control.

SPENCER, Iowa - A Spirit Lake woman wanted on warrants also now faces drug charges after being taken into custody over the weekend at a residence in Dickens.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office says deputies made contact with 21-year-old Kelsey Hagedorn around 5 p.m. Sunday at a residence at 101 West Drive in Dickens. Hagedorn was arrested on two active warrants and was transported to the Clay county jail.

Upon further investigation, Hagedorn was additionally charged with possession of a controlled substance...methamphetamine; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

ST. PAUL – Minnesota’s minimum wage would rise to $9.50 per hour within a few years and continue going up unless a governor’s administration applied the brakes.

That’s the outline of a deal announced Monday between leaders of the House and Senate. It could move through both Democratic-led chambers this week.

Minnesota’s current minimum is $6.15 for large employers, though most workers qualify for a higher federal minimum. Minnesota’s base rate hasn’t gone up since 2005.
Lawmakers had generally agreed to hit the $9.50 mark in a series of steps beginning this summer. But House leaders insisted on raises tied to inflation starting in 2017. Top senators said they couldn’t muster support for purely automatic increases.

By giving the governor veto power, future raises could be withheld if economic trouble hits.

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