May 2 News

JACKSON -- The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is on the lookout for a stolen 2000 Bobcat CT 235 utility tractor. The machine, along with an attached front loader, was reported missing from the Loon Lake Golf Course on April 30. It was allegedly removed from a shed at the golf course. Owners and deputies followed tracks on township roads leading them into Iowa at the intersection of 210th Avenue and Highway 9 west of Spirit Lake, Iowa, where the trail was lost. The sheriff’s office requests anyone with information regarding this theft to call 847-4420.

OKOBOJI -- The fish are still there, the prize is still over $30,000 dollars and the waters will still be on the cool side. But, some changes are afloat for the annual walleye opener in the Iowa Great Lakes. Anglers will be greeted with a rule change when the 32nd edition of Walleye Weekend commences May 3-4.

The Easter Seals fundraiser is no longer a "live" tournament. Any fish caught during contest times and locations can be entered -- even if the fish doesn't survive the catch-and-retain process. The new rule was established to keep the area lakes free of unwanted inhabitants.
Walleye Weekend's history dates back to 1985.

Six specially tagged walleyes will be distributed throughout the lakes on May 3. Any tagged walleye caught during the tournament -- between 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 3 and 12 p.m. Sunday, May 4 -- will get all or a portion of the $32,000 grand prize. To win the prize the each participant must be registered through the Iowa Great Lakes Chamber, at any of the area bait shops or online at www.okobojichamber.com. On average, 1,600 anglers register for the tournament each year.

ESTHERVILLE -- A June 24 trial date has been set for an Estherville man charged with first-degree murder in Emmet County. Trial information filed April 9 formally charged 35-year-old Scott Sudbeck with first-degree murder on suspicion that he "did go to the residence of Michaela Jordan of Estherville and did willfully, deliberately and with premeditation fire a hand gun at Michaela, striking her, which caused her death," according to court documents.

Emmet County Attorney Doug Hanson and Andrew Prosser, an assistant with the Iowa Attorney General's Office are representing the state. Greg Jones of the State Public Defender's Office in Sioux City is serving as Sudbeck's attorney. A May 28 pretrial conference precedes the jury trial date.

SIBLEY—Sparking a reaction helped five Sibley teens win the Iowa part of a national video competition. The Collaborative Summer Library Program recently announced the winners of the 2014 Teen Video Challenge, which encourages teens to get involved with reading and their public library’s summer reading program. Winning videos were selected at the state level to be recognized as official CSLP Teen Video Challenge winners for this year. The five teens who represented Sibley Public Library and submitted Iowa’s winning video included Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School eighth-graders Mariah Elser, Paige Hurlburt, Rachel Poppen and Skylar Rueter and seventh-grader Ben Wollmuth. They were sponsored by youth services librarian Rachel Loutsch.

REDWOOD FALLS -- The Brown/Lyon/Redwood/Renville Drug task force has completed two investigations within the past weeks that have led to several Heroin related arrests.

On April 22, 2014 David Antonio Fields Age 43, from Woodbury Mn was arrested in the City of Redwood Falls in the Wal-Mart parking lot after delivering a large amount of Heroin, with a street value of 5,200 dollars to a confidential informant working for the drug task force. Fields was arrested immediately after the transaction took place and is being held at the Redwood County Jail on 2nd degree sale of a controlled substance.

On April 29, 2014, William Albert Kibble Jr. Age 48 and Michele Elizabeth Hamid Age 46 both of Morgan, were arrested in the City of Redwood Falls at the Select Inn from the result of a search warrant. The warrant was executed by the Drug Task Force and Brown/Lyon/Redwood/ Renville Emergency Response team. Evidence seized as a result of the warrant was 27 individually wrapped bundles of heroin with a street value of over 2,700.00 dollars. Also seized was over 1,100 dollars cash. Both Kibble and Hamid were taken to the Redwood County Jail and are awaiting formal charges. Assisting in these arrest were the Redwood Falls Police Department, Redwood County Sheriff’s Office, MN BCA, and MN State Patrol

LYON COUNTY-- Lyon County Iowa concluded its first jury trial in 2014 Last month. Douglas Eugene Hoppe of Doon was found guilty of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine more than 5 grams, a class B felony, supplying a gathering place where controlled substances are unlawfully used, a class D felony and possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor. A fourth charge, unlawful possession or transporting of anhydrous ammonia, a serious misdemeanor, was dismissed.

Hoppe was arrested June 5, 2013 in Doon after a four-month investigation by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department that began when the sheriff’s department started receiving phone calls from citizens about suspicious activity in the area of Hoppe’s residence. On the morning of June 5, deputies observed Hoppe leaving his residence and stopped him on county road K-42 in Doon. Deputies searched the vehicle and found evidence of a methamphetamine lab, including anhydrous ammonia, as well as methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Over the next few months, deputies found witnesses who knew what was happening at 508 S. Rice Ave. in Doon, Hoppe’s residence, where they had previously seized more than 108 pieces of evidence of a methamphetamine lab that were on display during the trial. During the three-day trial, the eight women and four men who comprised the jury heard testimony from 12 witnesses, including officers from the Lyon County Sheriff’s meth lab response team and a Sioux County deputy who assisted them. Hoppe remains in the Lyon County Jail until his sentencing May.

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa – Rapid Speedway has announced it will not have a 2014 racing season.

In a letter from Heartland Racing Association president Bill Mellenberndt and Rapid Speedway promoter Tim O'Banion that is posted on the track's website, the pair cited dramatic increases in the cost of fire and rescue services as reason for shutting down the 2014 season, which was to take place at the Lyon County Fairgrounds.

"We have been advised there is no room for negotiation in the price set for the fire and rescue services for Rapid Speedway in 2014," the letter reads. "While it is impossible to put a value on safety and human life, there is only so much money to go around."

MARSHALL - Two bills House Rep. Chris Swedzinski was championing this session - Drake's Law and the Brau Brothers bill - have hit respective speed bumps. Swedzinski, R-Ghent, believes Drake's Law would easily pass off the House floor but will have to wait until next year. The legislation, named after Drake Bigler, Brad and Heather Bigler's five-month-old son who was killed by a drunk driver in a crash nearly two years ago, was a victim of time constraints during this short session. Swedzinski said he tried to tie it in with another DWI-related bill but was ultimately encouraged not to. The bill would increase the maximum sentence for criminal vehicular homicide occurring within 10 years of a previous qualifying DWI offense. A qualifying offense includes an aggravating factor such as injury to a person or damage to property. The maximum sentence would be increased from 10 to 15 years. The drunk driver who crashed his truck into the Biglers' SUV had a blood alcohol content of 0.351, and it was the third time he had been arrested for drunk driving since 2000. His plea deal resulted in a 48-month prison sentence.

The Brau Brothers bill, which was included in the House omnibus liquor bill and would allow for Sunday growler sales and tap room openings for rural breweries, was essentially killed by the Teamsters Union, Swedzinski said.

Growlers are regulated branded, glass jugs, normally one-half gallon in size, that can be filled and refilled with tap beer from a brewery.

SOUTHWEST STAR -- Masked men and ladies will dance the night away Saturday in Okabena as Southwest Star Concept High School hosts a masquerade ball-themed prom.

“A Night of Mystery” is the theme for this year’s prom, which begins with a 6:30 p.m. grand march in the high school gym. Valet parking at the high school’s north entrance begins at 5. A catered meal will follow the 6:30 grand march and hypnotist John Ivan Palmer will provide entertainment until 9 p.m. Disc jockey Sean Callahan will spin the tunes for the dance, which begins at 9 and goes until midnight.

KILEN WOODS STATE PARK --Members of the public are invited to join Federated Rural Electric cooperative employees and customers for a spring cleanup day at Kilen Woods State Park on Saturday.

The effort is part of a statewide workday in various parks across Minnesota.

Locally, Federated employees, customers and the general public are invited to Kilen Woods northeast of Lakefield from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers will pick up litter on hiking trails and trim branches, clean the picnic shelter and shower building, scoop out campfire pits, pick up fallen branches, rake tent sites and the campground area and scrape and paint picnic tables. A free lunch will be served by Federated.

This year marks the 15th year of a partnership between Minnesota’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives and Minnesota state parks.

Federated is a rural electric cooperative serving 5,000 members in Jackson and Martin counties.
The Windom Area Chamber of Commerce is getting set to host its annual shredding event on Saturday.

WINDOM -- This year's "Shred It" event will be held in a parking lot owned by Staples Oil adjacent to the Fulda Credit Union building on Highway 60-71 in Windom.

Chamber Executive John Lafferty said the shredding event will be open to businesses from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and for residents from 10:30 to 12:30 a.m. The cost is 25 cents per pound with a minimum charge of $1.

Proceeds from this event go to the Windom Area Chamber of Commerce.

IOWA -- The Iowa Burn Center reported an uptick in agricultural-related anhydrous ammonia burns this season. The center saw five cases of anhydrous ammonia burns in a two-week period, which is high compared to past year's, where only one or two cases occurred over the course of the planting season. Carelessness with anhydrous ammonia can lead to serious injuries. Anhydrous ammonia is both a liquid and a gas, so it can also be a breathing hazard. Anhydrous ammonia, as a gas, has a strong odor. If one smells a strong unidentifiable odor before reaching the anhydrous tank, that is a sign of a leak and the area should be avoided to reduce the chance of breathing in large quantities of the chemical.

STATE NEWS -- The 2014 Minnesota State FCCLA Conference was held last month. 500 attendees from across the state of Minnesota came to enjoy various workshops, present their STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Events, run for office and attend sessions of countless speakers who addressed various youth topics.

Two members, in particular, chose to grasp these countless FCCLA life-changing opportunities and run for office on the state level. The two Fulda FCCLA members that will not only represent Fulda FCCLA but Minnesota FCCLA throughout this year are Marissa Kunerth and Courtney Heppler. That election process included various essay questions, an interviewing process, a workshop display presentation, onstage speech, formal house speech and questions, and networking throughout state conference, These two chapter members from Fulda worked their way to the top and now are proud to have back-to-back State President Elects and then State Presidents

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