May 28 news

WORTHINGTON – The Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force is back from the annual Canadian-American Drug Conference at Grandview Lodge in Nisswa, where, as we told you last week, they received the 2014 Minnesota State Association of Narcotics Investigators Task Force of the Year Outstanding Achievement Award.

This is the second time the group has received the award for task force of the year since they formed in 2005, having been named drug task force of the year in 2009.

Commander Troy Appel said the ripples of a case they investigated that started with a routine search warrant were felt across the United States and in to Mexico and resulted in the arrest of more than 150 people. 51 federal indictments, seizures of meth, marijuana, guns and prescription medications all resulted from just one routine questioning, he said.

Tune in to AM 730 KWOA next Tuesday to hear more of Justine’s interview with the drug force commander on Talk of the Town.

JACKSON - An old microwave tower that once connected college campuses will soon have new life connecting rural residences to the World Wide Web. Work crews were on the Jackson campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College last week dismantling the old microwave tower and moving it offsite.

Campus recruiter and marketer Lynne Liepold said the tower, which at one time facilitated communication between the Jackson and Worthington campuses, was part of the Jackson skyline for the past quarter-century. Changes in technology had basically rendered the tower useless in recent years.

The tower was purchased by synKro Southwest, a local rural broadband Internet provider. Sales representative Hanna Fransen on Tuesday said the tower will be moved and re-erected at a location between Loon Lake and Lake Chandler.

Once operational, at some point within the next two weeks, the tower will be able to provide Internet service to lake residents and rural residents within an eight- to 10-miles radius, Fransen said.

SIBLEY, Iowa - Osceola county authorities have released details into a single vehicle crash Friday that claimed the life of a man and a dog that was with him.

Authorities say 80-year-old Aloyus Anfinson of Park Rapids was driving a 1985 Cadillac southbound on Highway 60 shortly before 3:30 p.m. when the vehicle left the road, went into the ditch and struck an embankment. It then spun about 180 degrees before coming to rest.

Anfinson and a dog that was with him in the vehicle were both pronounced dead at the scene.

SPENCER, Iowa - Two people from Sibley face drug charges following a traffic stop Saturday on Highway 18 in Clay county. Authorities say it happened around 3:00 a.m. when a deputy pulled over a vehicle for an equipment violation and noticed some suspicious activity. Upon further investigation the officer discovered a quantity of what's alleged to be methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and cash.

Two people in the vehicle, 41-year-old Gabriel and 55-year-old Elisa Utrera were booked into the Clay county jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under suspension. Bond was set at $10,000.

IRETON, Iowa — An Ireton woman is temporarily homeless after a fire in Ireton on Monday morning.

Ireton Fire Chief Richard Steckelberg says a call for a house fire went out about 8:40 a.m. to a home in the 700 block of Third Street in Ireton. Hawarden and Sioux Center Fire Departments were also called.

Steckelberg said they fought the fire where it started in the basement. The cause appears to have been related to the removal of glue in the basement with chemicals.
While no injuries were reported, the chief says the home is not livable in its present condition. Firefighters were on scene for about two and a half hours.

MINNESOTA - The state of Minnesota is adding four more specialty license plates to a list of about 200 already available.

Minnesota lawmakers recently approved new tags to celebrate female veterans, retired firefighters, hiking (sales of which would benefit state parks and trails) and golfing (to benefit the Minnesota chapter of the Professional Golfers Association).

The four plates have not yet been designed.

The state has a long list of specialty plates to choose from, a large number of which celebrate military veterans.

Specialty plates cost vehicle owners more than a regular plate, but not a lot more. For an extra $25, car owners can order one of 26 college and university plates, featuring your favorite mascots.

More of a wildlife fan? For an extra $30, you can pick up one of seven critical habitat plates that feature Minnesota outdoor themes (loon, anglers, ladyslipper, etc.).

It was not clear how much the new specialty plates might earn for the state. The new parks and trails plate could net the Department of Natural Resources as much as $250,000 to $500,000 annually, one official told the AP.

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Good thing that more drug traffickers are being arrested. - Lindsay Rosenwald

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