June 20 news

WORTHINGTON - The American Red Cross will be hosting two annual chapter board meetings, for the Prairie Winds and Southwest Minnesota chapters.

The Prairie Winds Annual Board Meeting is Tuesday at the Marshall Library Community Room at 201 C Street, with the board meeting at 6 p.m. The meeting will be open to the public at 7 pm for a short presentation and volunteer recognition awards. Refreshments will be served.

The Southwest Minnesota Annual Board Meeting will take place on Thursday, at the chapter office at 716 Oxford Street, #2, in Worthington. The board meeting will be at 5 p.m. The public is welcome at 6 p.m. for a short presentation and to recognize our volunteers. Refreshments will be available.

Anyone wishing to attend either meeting can contact the Worthington office at 507-372-4702 for more information.

SPENCER, Iowa - Another bout of severe weather that rapidly developed over the area early Thursday afternoon sent some people scrambling.

A very weak tornado touched down on the southeast side of Spencer around 1:30 Thursday afternoon. The very small rope tornado quickly dissipated. There were no immediate reports of damage. A tornado warning was issued shortly after that for portions of northern Clay and southeastern Dickinson county, but no additional touchdowns were reported.

Dickinson County Emergency Management reported an estimated wind gust of 50 mph around 1:30 p.m. about five miles west of Terril.

In Emmet county, extremely heavy rain that fell in a short period of time caused some flash flooding, especially in the Wallingford area where sandbagging operations were getting underway in some areas.

2.41 inches fell in the Graettinger area of Palo Alto county between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m.

MINNESOTA - Following many days of heavy rain in all parts of Minnesota and in anticipation of more yet to come, Gov. Mark Dayton declared a state of emergency in 35 counties affected by flooding that has swamped farm fields, urban highways and small-town streets from one end of the state to another.

Included in the declaration are Jackson, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone and Rock Counties. Dayton’s executive order makes a range of state resources available and engages state agencies in response efforts.

Kris Eide, director of the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said they are ramping up efforts to help communities across the state that are dealing with storm damage and high water due to the recent heavy rains.

WORTHINGTON – Just a reminder to get those branches and tree debris to the curb this weekend - The city of Worthington is helping residents with the clean-up from the storms that went through by picking up branches next week. City Administrator Craig Clark said the service will be provided at no charge, but residents are responsible for getting the branches out to boulevards in time for the pick-up.

Branches must be at the curb Monday by 7 a.m. Clark said the crews hope to have the branches all picked up by Wednesday, but it is a one-shot deal, so once a crew goes through a neighborhood, they will not be back.

The city does ask that debris is limited to branches from the recent storm. Anyone with questions can call city hall at 372-8600.

ROCK VALLEY, Iowa -The City of Rock Valley has opened up a volunteer assistance hotline. Residents who are in need of assistance cleaning out their homes due to the flood are asked to call 712-451-HELP from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Volunteers willing to assist in cleanup efforts are asked to call between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday or Saturday.

The City of Rock Valley is opening up locations for residents to bring damaged items from their homes. Residents are encouraged to bring items to the Northeast corner the Netherlands Reformed Church parking lot or to the Old Block Plant located West of the Christian School on 17th Street. Volunteers will be available to assist at these locations. Residents can still place items at the end of their driveways.

The Bridge located at the North End of Main Street has been opened but is restricted to one vehicle at a time and no loaded trucks or trailers will be permitted to cross until the water has receded further. Highway 18 West of Rock Valley has also been opened.

Residents are still asked to fill out forms on the city website or on the City of Rock Valley’s Facebook page to get a count on the number of homes damage; the count will be used for Federal Assistance.

PIPESTONE - Cargill is planning a $25 million expansion project to update its state Highway 23 facility south of Pipestone by fall 2015.

Dennis Inman, regional manager for Cargill, shared the company’s plans with Pipestone County Commissioners while asking for a letter of support for the company’s New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program) application to help fund the project.

The expansion plans include upgrading a grain receiving pit to 30,000 bushel per hour, replacing two grain receiving pits and the addition of four steel bins. The plans also include installing a new bulk weighing system to replace the rail track scale, replacing old and outdated machinery such as grain cleaners and conveyers, fully automating the facility with hazard monitoring equipment, and laying about one mile of concrete road on the facility to control dust.

Inman said the expansion will not add jobs, but will improve and update the facility. The expansion at the 33-year-old Pipestone facility is one of several planned or already begun by Cargill in the region.

Inman said the Pipestone facility handles about 14-15 million bushels a year now, but that’s projected to increase over the next 10 years to over 20 million bushels a year as was the case during the facility’s peak years in the mid-1990s.

PRIMGHAR, Iowa — The O’Brien County Community Foundation has just awarded grants totaling $103,000 to twenty-nine organizations in support of projects and programs throughout O’Brien County. Funding for the grant program is a result of County Endowment Fund legislation passed in 2005 which provides that a percentage of state gambling revenues be distributed among all Iowa counties that do not have a gambling entity.

Among the grants were two for ten thousand dollars and seven grants between five and ten thousand dollars.

The City of Calumet received a $10,000 grant toward the installation of a new concrete pad with 4’ frost footings for a new fire station.

The Primghar Ambulance Team received the other $10,000 grant toward replacement of their current automated external defibrillator with one that’s more technologically advanced.

Receiving grants of between five and ten thousand dollars were:

• The O’Brien County Conservation Board for playground equipment at Dog Creek Park near Sutherland
• The O’Brien County Fair Board for camp sites on the fair grounds
• Sanborn Fire And Rescue for a thermal imaging camera
• Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn Schools for a high school trail project
• Kids Express Daycare in Sanborn for fencing, radon mitigation, and an automated external defibrillator
• Baum Harmon Mercy Hospital for handicap accessibility work
• The Family Crisis Centers for a copy machine, maintenance agreement and startup supplies

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