June 2 news

WORTHINGTON - Grazix Animal Health Inc., based in San Carlos, Calif., has signed a lease to move into the Biotechnology Advancement Center in Worthington. Grazix manufactures a family of next-generation natural animal health products, which are developed to assist veterinary professionals to maintain healthy animal digestive balances in production environments.

The company is relocating its sales and distribution operations to Worthington, where it will be managed by Randy Simonson, a Worthington resident and business owner. Grazix anticipates hiring three full-time employees immediately and ultimately 20 full-timers when the company reaches its sales goals.

The lease agreement states that Grazix will use and occupy 480 square feet of office space within the BAC for $300 per month. The lease will have an initial term of one year and continue on a month-to-month basis thereafter.

SIBLEY, Iowa — A northwest Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with the theft of farm and construction equipment. Michael Block, of Sibley, entered his written plea Thursday in Osceola County District Court. He faces seven counts of first-degree theft, 10 counts of second-degree theft and one count each of third- and fourth-degree theft.

Block is accused of stealing farm and construction equipment that was reported missing in four Iowa counties. The equipment is valued at more than $200,000.

Block turned himself in to authorities in April, after Osceola County sheriff’s deputies served warrants on his property and found items that had been reported stolen.

BROOKINGS, SD - A city-owned maintenance building was damaged by fire in Brookings Sunday night.

According to the Brookings Fire Department, the fire was put out around 11:30. Several pieces of city equipment were damaged in the fire, but crews were able to salvage some equipment.

Crews stayed on the scene several hours afterwards to check for hotspots. There's been no word on the cause of the fire.

ROCK RAPIDS, IA — If your commute to Sioux Falls involves the road referred to by many as “the back way”, your trip is about to get a little longer.

A bridge deck overlay project on the Big Sioux River Bridge connecting Lyon County, Iowa road A-18 and Lincoln County, South Dakota road 135 will require the bridge to be closed to traffic beginning today until September 1, weather permitting, according to the Lyon County Engineer’s Office in Rock Rapids.

Traffic will be detoured around the construction zone using Lyon County Roads K-12 and A-26 in Iowa and Lincoln County Roads 116 and 135 in South Dakota. Alternate routing for any trips until at least September 1 are suggested.

SPENCER, Iowa - A bridge replacement project on Highway 18 west of Everly is now underway. A contractor has started work on the bridge over the Ocheyedan River about 2.3 miles west of County Road M27, or Barb's Corner.

Traffic is being detoured around the site using Clay County Roads M22, B24 and M27.

The Iowa Department of Transportation says the project is slated for completion November 1st.

BOYDEN, Iowa — A semi tractor was destroyed in a fire in Boyden early on Friday. At about 4:30 a.m., the Boyden Fire Department responded to a report of a vehicle on fire parked on Main Street in Boyden, IA.

Upon further investigation, emergency responders found a 2005 Peterbilt semi-tractor, owned by Vern Smit, of Boyden, fully engulfed with fire. A grain trailer attached to the Peterbilt was also damaged by the fire.

No injuries were reported. The Peterbilt and trailer sustained approximately $100,000 in damages. A mechanical issue with the Peterbilt is believed to be the cause of the fire.

MINNESOTA - Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson won the Republican Party’s endorsement for governor in a bizarre ending to the state GOP convention in Rochester Saturday night.

Johnson won the endorsement on the fourth ballot after one opponent, state Sen. Dave Thompson, withdrew from the race and endorsed Johnson and the other major contender, former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, released his delegates and said he would run in the party primary in August.

Instead of withdrawing from the endorsement race, Seifert encouraged his supporters to go home. If too many of them left, the convention would have been short of the quorum it needed to endorse.

Party officials pleaded with delegates to stay and vote one more time, and they did so — giving Johnson the endorsement with 90 percent support.

He will face three challengers in the GOP primary on Aug. 12 — Seifert, Orono businessman Scott Honour and state Rep. Kurt Zellers. The winner will oppose DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, who easily won endorsement at the DFL Party convention being held in Duluth.

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