2010 Year in Review: MarchMarch 2: Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, appearing alongside Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh, joined the call to oppose further slashing of LGA to Worthington and other Minnesota communities during a 30-minute news conference at City Hall.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
March 2: Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, appearing alongside Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh, joined the call to oppose further slashing of LGA to Worthington and other Minnesota communities during a 30-minute news conference at City Hall. Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s budget proposal, which he presented last month, strips $125 million in LGA.
March 3: Shooting victim Levi David Hofer, 50, of Rock Rapids, died Tuesday after being removed from life support, according to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.
Lyon County Sheriff Blythe Bloemendaal said a felony charge filed against Laura Jeanette Lowe, 51, of Rock Rapids, Iowa, in connection with the alleged shooting, could change from a class B attempted murder charge to one of homicide, depending on what the county attorney decides. Lowe’s bond has been set at $50,000.
March 3: About 80 Worthington High School students in grades 9-12 will showcase their artistic talents from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday in the basement of the Nobles County Library.
March 5: On Saturday nights during the mid-to latter 1950s, local residents could tune in to the “Lawrence Welk Show” and view one of their own, Dudley “Big Tiny” Little, as he performed as a regular on the popular television program.
Big Tiny died Wednesday in Carson City, Nev., at the age of 79, according to sources close to his family.
March 5: The City Council chambers were packed Thursday in Jackson for a meeting about the city’s newest proposed business — Herb N’Legend, which specializes in tobacco and tobacco paraphernalia.
March 6: Thanks to old sheets, student creativity and a little bit of paint, Coco the crocodile and his jungle friends have made their habitat in a display case at Northland Mall. The tropical scene is the work of fourth- and fifth-graders in District 518 enrolled in Art Quest, one of the activities offered as part of Prairie Elementary’s afterschool assistance program.
March 9: The city of Worthington will soon solicit a request for proposals from developers for its combination events center and hotel complex.
March 10: Construction workers should begin preliminary work on the Worthington Middle School addition and renovation project in late March, director of management services Dave Skog told the school board’s instructional committee Tuesday.
March 10: Three days before they were to leave on their international study trip, the participants of Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (MARL) Class V learned their business Visa had been changed to a tourist Visa, and that many of their planned visits to commercial farms in Cuba would no longer be possible.
Despite the setback, MARL participant Louise Worm of Lakefield said organizers adapted the schedule and still provided for one of the most unique travel experiences she’s ever had. MARL is a twoyear agriculture and leadership building program open to Minnesota farmers and ag professionals. Each class takes part in in-state programs, a week-long study trip to Washington, D.C., and a two-week international study trip.
March 11: Voters in the Hills-Beaver Creek school district have approved a $9.9 million bond referendum that will fund land acquisition for and construction of a new high school in Hills.
The measure gained substantial local support, with nearly 71 percent — or 632 — voters casting a yes vote while 261 voted no.
March 11: The Friends of the Auditorium will present “Gone Country V: A Salute to the Grand Ole Opry” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Memorial Auditorium performing Arts Center. The show features regional performers recreating music from artists including Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, George Strait and more.
March 12: The Nobles County Pheasants Forever Chapter has a lot to celebrate when it gathers for its annual banquet March 26 in Worthington.
Not only has the chapter purchased three new parcels of land for habitat development in the last year, it was recognized as the No. 1 Chapter in the nation based on dollars invested in acquisitions — more than $1.4 million in the last fiscal year. The ranking topped more than 730 other chapters across the country.
March 13: Worthington’s Newport Laboratories, which specializes in vaccines for the swine industry has recently received approval to mass market Para-Sail, a vaccine that targets Haemophilus parasuis. The disease affects multiple organs in pigs, causes respiratory problems, joint issues and can lead to mortality.
ParaSail will be the first mass-produced vaccine by Newport Labs, which has long specialized in site- or herd-specific vaccines in the pork industry.
March 13: Not even once.
It’s a message that was repeated often during a presentation Friday at Round Lake-Brewster High School, when Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force Commander Troy Appel spoke to students about the dangers of trying methamphetamine, a drug so addictive that 90 percent of people are hooked after one or two uses.
March 15: A teary-eyed Haley Rogers thanked everyone after being named the 2010-2011 exchange student to Crailsheim, Germany, at the annual Worthington-Crailsheim International Annual Banquet Sunday at First Lutheran Church.
March 15: District 518 and 24 other Minnesota school districts will begin the next academic year Aug. 23, school officials learned Friday.
“I think it means an opportunity to get seven to 10 days more of academic opportunity to do better on test results,” said District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard. “Our hopes are that we can provide some staff development and training experiences for our teachers. It will help create more effectiveness in their abilities. We already have quality teachers but we want to make them even better.”
March 16: The Education Minnesota — Worthington 2010 Teacher of the Year is herself a product of the Worthington educational system.
Worthington native Jodi Hansen now has two children of her own in District 518, and she thanked elementary-age Dale and Emma for helping her become a better teacher during the ceremony Monday at Worthington High School.
March 16: Representatives of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and local watershed districts gathered in Worthington Monday afternoon to discuss the state of the state’s waters and the work needed to improve or reduce the growing number of impaired lakes, rivers and streams.
Skip Wright, DNR regional hydrologist, said roughly 40 percent of the state’s waters are impaired. In southwest Minnesota, it’s closer to 90.
March 17 : A massive wind energy project that would have included the building of 134 new 1.5-megawatt wind turbines near Lakefield has been put on hold after the Indianapolis Power & Light Company terminated its power purchase agreement with enXco, the project’s developer.
March 18: The Worthington City Council continued revisions to the city’s 2010 budget on Wednesday, cutting items and pulling from reserves to account for $474,474 in proposed cuts to its Local Government Aid payment.
The city will likely begin implementation of a street lighting utility in August, transferring the cost to residents on lighted streets through their utility bills and saving the city $50,000. The move will mean an estimated increase of about $4 a month for residential homes and about $13 for industrial and commercial buildings.
March 18: After more than a year of being sought by authorities, a Guatemalan man has been extradited from Washington back to Minnesota in regard to criminal sexual conduct charges.
Diovani Bernardino Agustin Mazarie gos, also known as Yobani Mazarie gos, was known locally as Burt Reynolds.
March 19: Joel Hartzler, a senior at Jackson County Central High School, was recognized Thursday at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall for being selected to represent Region 3A in the Academics, Arts and Athletic (Triple A’) Award Program.
Other sub-regional representatives included Briel Hendricksen, JCC; Kathryn Dahl, Luverne; and Justin Feit, Adrian.
March 19: Minor flooding in southwest Minnesota and more intense flooding in northwest Iowa have local officials watching, waiting and taking preventative measures against the deluge that may occur as snow melts and rains fall.
Rivers at Milford and Spencer, Iowa, have reached the major flooding stage, and Rock Rapids, too, is considered to have been in the moderate flood stage, though water levels have dropped since Wednesday.
March 20: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will order the breaching of 230th Avenue between Lower Gar Lake and its Mill Creek outlet after the Little Sioux River crests and begins to go down, possibly Sunday but more likely Monday.
At that point, contractors Soukup Construction of Sioux Falls, S.D., will have 72 hours to complete the project, breaching the road with a 50-foot opening and riprapping it for protection against scouring and erosion.
March 22: Two Minnesota West women were among 40 students named to the 2010 All-Minnesota Academic Team for their academic achievements and community service.
Genna Nelson and Rachel Pavelko, both students at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, are amid the state’s nominees for the All-USA Academic Team for Community, Technical and Junior College Students.
March 23: Worthington City Council members on Monday approved the project scope and budgetary parameters for a redevelopment of the former Worthington Area YMCA location into a community center.
Total project costs are estimated at $697,918 and include the construction of a new 3,200-square-foot building, architect fees, partial demolition of the existing site and asbestos removal. Alternates, the most expensive of which is addition of an elevator, would bring that total to $890,608.
March 23: After a dry, chilly weekend, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided not to breach 230th Avenue between Lower Gar Lake and its Mill Creek outlet.
March 24: Nobles County Commissioner Norm Gallagher will officially retire from his post at the end of this month.
Gallagher, 69, had served Commissioner District 4 in Worthington since 2000. His term was set to expire at the end of this year.
March 24: An increasing concern among emergency responders led to a discussion among Nobles County commissioners regarding the need for residential signage in rural areas.
Commissioner Diane Thier requested the discussion Tuesday after the issue of signage was raised at a recent meeting of the county’s fire chiefs.
March 25: Nearly 100 high school students from Adrian, Luverne, Mountain Lake, Murray County Central, Worthington and Tracy Area districts attended a series of laboratories taught by instructors and professionals in the bioscience field on Wednesday at Worthington High School and Minnesota West Community and Technical College. The day of experiments was hosted in conjunction with the Sixth annual Regional Bioscience Conference.
March 26: More than $29 million dollars.
That’s the estimated loss in equity in the swine industry in 2009 within Nobles County alone, according to James Dick of the Fairmont Veterinary Clinic, a featured speaker Thursday afternoon during the first day of the sixth annual Regional Bioscience Conference. Statewide, the corresponding figure balloons to $540 million in lost equity, he added.
March 26: Just finishing up his fourth week back at work, Jackson County Attorney Robert O’Connor feels as if he is mostly adjusted to being in his office, but the first few days were a little rough.
“I’d decide I want a cup of tea and really have to think about where I keep the tea, where to get the hot water,” O’Connor said with a laugh. “During a conference call, I realized I had forgotten where some of the buttons are.”
After spending the last 10 months in Iraq, O’Connor is slowly getting reacquainted with all the little things he used to do daily.
March 27: Dr. Molly Jahn returned to her Midwestern roots Friday to tout research and education taking place in southwest Minnesota that will help lead agriculture and bioscience through the 21st century.
The USDA’s Acting Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, Jahn’s talk at the sixth annual Regional Bioscience Conference highlighted why the investment in biotechnology and rural youths will matter not just for Worthington or Minnesota, but for the entire nation.
March 27: One year after being released from prison and moving to Murray County, level III sex offender Jason Ryan Bitker is back in jail after being arrested for failing to register a new address.
March 29: They carried gift bags, brochures, freebies and roses in bloom, stopping by one booth after another for information, ideas, a bit of shopping or a relaxing break.
Hundreds of women — and even some men — attended the third annual Women’s Expo Saturday on the campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington.
March 30: A woman accused of fatally shooting her boyfriend during an argument last month pleaded not guilty to seconddegree murder in Lyon County District Court during an arraignment Monday.
Laura Jeannette Lowe, 51, filled out and signed a document stating the not guilty plea and demanding a speedy trial. That document was filed March 25.
March 30: A rather unique fundraiser has put an extra $22,600 into the coffers of the Sibley-Ocheyedan High School FFA Chapter.
During the chapter’s annual banquet Friday night, local sales representatives from Pioneer Seed presented an oversized check to FFA members, the money to be used however the chapter deems appropriate.
March 31: Effective July 1, Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington will no longer offer inpatient behavioral health services. The closure of the hospital’s behavioral health unit and transition of behavioral health services to Avera Marshall Regional Health Center was announced Tuesday at a press conference that included Marshall hospital staff via teleconference.
March 31: Axel Rene Kramer pleaded guilty Tuesday to aiding and abetting a second-degree murder — the fourth of five people charged in the murder of Alberto Samilpa Jr. to enter into a plea agreement with the state.