2010 Year in Review: AugustAug. 2: Counties in southwest Minnesota have more children living in poverty than the state as a whole, according to KIDS COUNT data recently released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
Aug. 2: Counties in southwest Minnesota have more children living in poverty than the state as a whole, according to KIDS COUNT data recently released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Aug. 3: With construction of the $120 million four-lane expansion of Minnesota 60 from Bigelow to Worthington to begin in just two weeks, officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation will host an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 12, in the Farmer’s Room of the Nobles County Government Center, 315 10th St., Worthington.
Aug. 4: While Rock County commissioners seemed ready to move forward with a multi-county public health collaboration during its meeting Tuesday morning, Nobles County commissioners applied the brakes and asked for more time to discuss the idea further.
The two boards met via interactive TV with Chris Sorenson, administrator of Lincoln-Lyon-Murray Human Services and Lincoln-Lyon-Murray-Pipestone Public Health, to discuss the potential creation of Southwest Health and Human Services. The plan would combine LLMP Public Health with LLM Human Services and Nobles-Rock Community Health Services. If approved, the agencies could be combined as early as Jan. 1.
Aug. 4: Responses from the city of Worthington and Plum Creek Library System (PLCS) were presented to Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday after board members sought feedback on a potential collaboration that it is ready to move forward with plans for a new library.
Nobles County Administrator Mel Ruppert sent letters to the city of Worthington, District 518 and PLCS last month, after the county received a report from Vetter-Johnson Architects stating that there wasn’t enough land at the existing library site to complete an expansion project.
Aug. 5: Rural residents of Rock, Pipestone, Lyon and a portion of Nobles counties will soon be able to access broadband service thanks to a $15 million grant and loan awarded Wednesday through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Aug. 5: Yesterday they clocked cars and found coins. Today they hope to contact the International Space Station. Just another day at Minnesota West’s Kids College 2010.
Kids College has classes that involve building rockets, bowling, archery and aquatic adventures for fifth- and sixth-graders; art, emergency response, aquatic gardening and psychology for seventh- and eighth- graders.
Aug. 6: A motorcycle versus farm truck crash Thursday morning claimed the life of a Worthington man.
Francisco Javier Granados Borquz, 49, of Worthington, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred at approximately 9:50 a.m., at the intersection of 280th Street and Nystrom Avenue near Org.
Aug. 6: After nearly two years in operation, the windto-battery storage project near Beaver Creek is being deemed a success.
The project — unveiled in March 2008 as a partnership between Xcel Energy and Luverne-based Minwind Energy LLC — has been testing the capability to store wind power produced by Minwind’s 11-megawatt wind farm in a nearly 80-ton battery north of Beaver Creek. The wind-to-battery research is the first of its kind in the United States, and is being led by Xcel, which is the nation’s leading wind energy provider in the country.
Aug. 7: The Heron Lake Watershed District has amassed a long list of accomplishments in the 40 years since it was first established to help improve water quality, but perhaps its greatest success comes from educating landowners and finding willing partners to implement conservation practices on the land.
HLWD will celebrate its successes and look ahead to the next 40 years during a special anniversary open house from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Heron Lake Community Center.
Aug. 7: Members of the Cottonwood County Drug Task Force were busy writing reports Thursday after seizing an indoor marijuana grow operation Wednesday night from a Windom apartment.
Aug. 10: Bob Miller, Cameron Johnson and John Armstrong of Worthington and Dave Stenzel of Heron Lake were four of 17 people caught on the side of a mountain at Grand Teton National Park several weeks ago when an electrical storm came out of nowhere, eventually claiming the life of 21-year-old Brandon Oldenkamp of Sanborn, Iowa.
All four men firmly believe it was by the grace of God they were able walk off the mountain unscathed.
Aug. 11: A storm that rolled through the area Tuesday morning dropped anywhere from 1 to 5 inches in southwest Minnesota, drenching ground that has been saturated many times this year.
Aug. 13: It was opening day of the Nobles County Fair on Thursday, and Trevor Gruis of the Grand Prairie Rockets 4-H Club said it was the hottest day he remembers in his 12 years of showing cattle.
Aug. 13: A Worthington man died Thursday after a rollover crash north of Brewster in Graham Lakes Township, according to information from the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office.
Jose Alexander Lopez, 25, of Worthington, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Aug. 13: Sharpen your chalk and sweep off your sidewalk square, it’s time for northwest Iowa’s first-ever ChalkStock event.
The sidewalk chalk festival is slated for Saturday at A Piece of Work Inc. in Spirit Lake.
Aug. 14: While smiling veterans hid their grins, First Lady Mary Pawlenty firmly instructed her husband, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, to describe where he was and who he was with as soon as he got on the phone with renowned filmmaker Ken Burns.
The governor and first lady were in Rock County Friday morning to broadcast their weekly radio show, “Good Morning Minnesota.”
Aug. 16: Heartfelt hugs, handshakes and smiles were ever present Saturday morning during the commemoration and memorial dedication marking the 50th anniversary of the worst car crash in Nobles County history.
An estimated 400 people filled Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church to standing room only Saturday morning to honor the nine victims and the sole survivor of the crash on Aug. 13, 1960. Among the dead were six residents of Wilmont.
Aug. 16: Two men were pronounced dead at the scene of a motorcycle-van crash on Rock County roads 6 and 4, shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday.
Aug. 17: Seventeen-yearold Benjamin Cunningham of Round Lake remained in critical but stable condition Monday at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., following a crash Sunday night south of Worthington.
Aug. 17: Though it has been two months since the Nobles County Relay for Life wrapped up its overnight event in Worthington, the money has continued to pour in — so much so that on Friday night, a collection taken at the grandstand during the Nobles County Fair pushed the final fundraising tally over the $100,000 mark.
Aug. 17: A site feasibility study by G.J. Therkelsen and Associates named Worthington as the most suitable site for a consolidated regional dispatch center, but states the existing facility poses significant challenges to growth beyond the four counties now studying the issue.
A backup site for an alternate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) would be more suitable to Cottonwood County than the current Murray County facility, the report states.
Aug. 19: Congressman Tim Walz visited Hitch-Doc in Jackson Wednesday afternoon to learn about the successes of the manufacturing company and discuss tax credits available to small businesses.
Aug. 20: Bedbugs — those creepy crawly critters that bite humans and suck their blood in the middle of the night — are stirring up trouble in the area again.
Nobles-Rock Community Health Services sanitarian Jason Kloss has responded to three reports of bedbug infestations in rental housing units between the two counties already this summer. As of yet, there have not been any reports of the bugs in commercial establishments such as motels this year.
Aug. 21: In a move that may be a case of “too little, too late,” Murray County commissioners approved a motion Friday morning to spend up to $39,500 to update engineering plans for construction and remodeling of their law enforcement center (LEC). They also sent two options out for bid, including one that includes a six-station dispatch center to accommodate the possibility of a regional dispatch.
Aug. 23: King Turkey Day buttons are now available at banks and businesses throughout Worthington.
This year’s button depicts the celebration theme, “Our Paycheck Still Remains Strong,” featuring a buff-looking bird strutting down the street clutching money in his feathers. The artwork was created by Rod Harvey, owner of Harvey’s Signs, and it’s the first time his artwork has been chosen to represent Worthington’s annual shindig.
Aug. 24: Westbrook man and member of the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 41, The Frozen Chosin of Mankato, received the first Korean Defense Service license plates during a presentation Monday afternoon in Worthington.
Aug. 24: Sen. Al Franken visited southwest Minnesota Monday, stopping in Luverne, Tyler, Slayton and Worthington to discuss a variety of subjects that ranged from wind energy projects to bioscience.
Aug. 25: Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday took a definitive step in pursuit of a new library in Worthington. They will not work with the City of Worthington to develop the former Campbell Soup property and will send notification of their decision to the city.
Aug. 25: Jackson County commissioners met in closed session Tuesday to discuss a threatened injunction that, if filed, could halt demolition of the 1938 portion of the Jackson County Resource Center.
Aug. 26: Cottonwood County Environmental Office employee under investigation for gas expense charges and time card claims was suspended without pay effective Wednesday. The suspension will remain in place until further action is pursued by the Cottonwood County Commissioners following hearing scheduled at 1 p.m Sept. 8 in the commission’s room.
Aug. 27: Unless Randy Leeroyal Swaney can find a federal issue to cite, which is unlikely, his remedies for an August 2008 murder conviction have been exhausted and the man accused of murdering Blue Mound State Park worker Carrie Nelson will stay in prison for the rest of his life.
The Minnesota Supreme Court filed a decision Thursday denying most of the arguments made by Swaney regarding his conviction in that murder.
Aug. 27: Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh and City Administrator Craig Clark have been recognized by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities for their excellence in service to Greater Minnesota.
Aug. 28: At just 6 years old, little Parker Murphy of Round Lake certainly has a big heart.
For the past two weeks, the first grader and 4-H Cloverbud member has been selling Parker’s Produce at a makeshift stand outside his mom’s hair salon in Round Lake, and at the Amoco station in Brewster, to raise money for Benjamin Cunningham. The Round Lake teen was seriously injured in a car crash on his way home from the Nobles County Fair on Aug. 15.
Aug. 28: Farm to School, a nationwide initiative that supplies schoolchildren with locally produced food, has come to Worthington District 518 this year — and first on the menu is that summertime favorite: sweet corn. Students at Prairie Elementary and Worthington middle and high schools nibbled away this week at fresh corn provided by Brewster Fresh Produce.
Aug. 30: Before oil washed up on U.S. coastlines, the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had alerted staff throughout the nation to be ready. Their help and expertise would be needed.
Four staff members of the Windom Wetland Management District Office (WWM) have already answered the call. FWS Wildlife Biologist Scott Ralston was the first Windom-based staff member to head south. In mid-July, he spent 16 days in Grand Isle, La., as part of a bird rescue and recovery team.