July 24 news

WORTHINGTON – A meeting of the Support Our Schools group is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Worthington High School cafeteria. The group is working to expand participation to help support the need for the referendum at the November election.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - Construction of Spirit Lake's new city hall is running ahead of schedule. City Administrator/Attorney Greg Owen told the city council this week the project is running roughly 30 days ahead of the contract deadline of late November.

Owen added bi-weekly meetings will be held with those directly involved in the project beginning this coming Tuesday, as the project enters a crucial stage with most of the work soon to be focused on the interior of the building.

In other business, the council approved the appointments of Bob Cosens and Brad Fullmer to vacancies on the city's Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Adjustment, respectively.

The council also approved a utility locate agreement with the city of Orleans for the Pioneer Beach Road project.

SHELDON, Iowa — Two Sheldon men were taken to the Sanford Sheldon Medical Center in the aftermath of a pickup versus motorcycle accident that happened early Tuesday morning in western Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police Department says that about 5:50 a.m. Tuesday, a 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup, driven by 51-year old Ralph Kincer of Sheldon was westbound on West 7th Street. Cops say that at the intersection with Western Avenue, Kincer attempted a left turn, and turned into the path of a northbound 1997 Suzuki motorcycle driven by 30-year old Jonathon Koerselman, also of Sheldon.

Police say both Kincer and Koerselman were transported to the Sanford Sheldon Medical Center. Kincer was cited for failure to obey a stop sign.

Sheldon Police were assisted by the Sheldon Fire Department, Sheldon EMA, and Sheldon Community Ambulance Team.

WESTFIELD, Iowa — A Plymouth County man has died after a large hay bale fell on him. The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office reports that 76-year-old Barry Knapp of Westfield was struck by a hay bale that had fallen on him, Tuesday afternoon. Family members were at the scene at the time of the accident.

The Plymouth County Sheriff’s office and the Plymouth County Medical Examiner have ruled the death was accidental. They say Knapp was assisting in stacking bales when one rolled off the pile and landed on him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

MINNESOTA - Hunters can expect a conservative 2014 deer season designed to rebuild deer numbers across much of the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday.

According to DNR Big Game Leader Leslie McInenly, hunters should check the 2014 hunting regulations closely because only one deer can be harvested in 95 percent of the state. To shoot a doe, hunters may have to apply for a permit in areas where they haven’t in the past and, in some places, no antlerless harvest will be allowed.

In 69 of Minnesota’s 128 deer permit areas, hunters must be chosen in a lottery to shoot an antlerless deer. Only bucks can be hunted in 14 areas. In 38 areas, hunters have the choice of shooting a doe or a buck. Bonus permits allowing hunters to shoot more than one deer may only be used in seven permit areas and for some special hunts.

Hunters can enter the lottery for antlerless permits beginning Friday, Aug. 1. The deadline to apply is Thursday, Sept. 4. Hunters may apply using both their firearm and muzzleloader licenses. If hunters are selected for both licenses, they must select the one season in which they want to shoot an antlerless deer.

The DNR strongly advises hunters to review new deer hunting regulations, permit area designations and boundary changes before applying.

MINNESOTA - Michelle Larson is Minnesota’s first-ever director of the Office of Medical Cannabis.

Larson, a longtime Minnesota Department of Health staffer who most recently served as deputy director for the Office of Statewide Health Improvement, will be in charge of managing the medical pot program’s staff, as well as creating and implementing its administrative policies, the department announced Wednesday.

What that means: The medical cannabis program currently has no processes to choose anything. It all needs to be created from scratch.

Two of her main tasks, according to the release, will be implementing an application and selection process for a medical marijuana manufacturer, and also building back-end infrastructure to handle the patient registry.

Larson will begin her job as director of the Office of Medical Cannabis on August 13.

The state is also looking for a research manager to help oversee the new office, whose job responsibilities include planning and organizing a new statewide medical cannabis patient registry. The manager would also ensure the research and registry portions of the program support the state’s goal of providing patients, providers and the general public with information about the benefits and risks of medical cannabis.

MINNESOTA - The 10-member jury deciding the fate of former Gov. Jesse Ventura’s defamation lawsuit against the estate of “American Sniper” author and former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle has ended its second day of deliberations without reaching a verdict.

Jurors met from about 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Wednesday at the federal courthouse in St. Paul. They received the case about noon Tuesday after hearing closing arguments from attorneys for Ventura and Kyle’s estate.

Ventura’s lawsuit claims Kyle fabricated a story he included in is 2012 bestselling book, in which Kyle said he punched out another man he called “Scruff Face” during a bar fight in 2006. Kyle later identified “Scruff Face” as Ventura.

Witnesses called by Kyle’s attorney corroborated his account of the bar fight. Ventura denies it happened, and some of his companions backed up his account.

Ventura claims the book harmed his reputation and caused him to lose income.

The jurors must first decide whether Ventura was defamed. If they deem that he was, they must determine how much Ventura should receive in damages. Ventura is asking for millions of dollars.

The jury will resume deliberations today.

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