PIPESTONE -- The community of Pipestone was shaken Friday by the news that wind power company Suzlon planned to lay off half the workforce at its Pipestone turbine blade plant. According to a letter sent to the City of Pipestone, Suzlon anticipates the elimination of 70 positions by Aug. 2 and will likely cut another 90 positions by the end of September. "I think the community as a whole sees it as a crushing blow, so to speak," said Laurie Ness, mayor of Pipestone. The economic downturn had already struck in Pipestone when Bayliner boat manufacturer U.S.
WORTHINGTON -- At heart, Craig Pospisil is just a boy who loves toys. That's why he started recreational consignment store Year Round Toys, where Craig helps people buy and sell motorcycles, jet skis, snowmobiles, boats and other toys for grown-ups. "Life is too short not to have some good recreation. It's the memories," Craig said. Year Round Toys is located at 2022 Dover St. in Worthington, where Craig's father Joe had owned, Worthington Truck and Trailer.
SLAYTON -- Exotic and fun table settings, live music and a silent auction will all be featured at the Spring Fling Table Setting Tour, a benefit dinner for the Murray County Historical Museum. "Hostesses will decorate tables with their own dishes, using a theme or ... old china from long ago. They supply tablecloths, napkins and centerpieces and whatever else they want to go with it," said Diane Clercx, the museum's director.
JACKSON -- Retired nurse Marge Tobola Westfall believes she collects dolls at her home in Jackson, but what she really collects is stories. Each of her approximately 175 dolls has a story, from the Amelia Earhart aviator doll, complete with red lips and a pair of goggles, to the yarn-haired doll made in 1943, to the pointy-headed Kewpie doll wrapped in ribbon, to a fierce Native American hunter doll wearing real furs and wielding a spear. "When I was 5 and I got my tonsils out, my dad gave that to me," Westfall said, indicating a baby doll in an incredibly detailed baptismal gown.
WORTHINGTON -- The Long Branch Saloon hosted a bilingual bash with cake, candy and piñatas for kids and adults Saturday, all in honor of Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo. The kids' piñatas came in the usual shapes, including a Spider Man, a toy car and a cheerful pink Care Bear. The "adult piñata," however, was actually a car donated to the cause by Robert Lopez, proprietor of Lopez Auto Repair, and throughout the afternoon anyone who wanted to could don a pair of safety goggles and use a sledgehammer to pound on the car. "We're glad we could participate," Lopez said.
WORTHINGTON -- Armed with waders, kayaks, a canoe, gloves, mechanical reachers and big white garbage bags, more than 70 intrepid volunteers joined forces Saturday to police the public beaches of Lake Okabena, picking up more than 2,000 pounds of trash and debris. "Above and beyond tires, we didn't find anything too significant this year, but we still had a lot of garbage and debris picked up," said Genny Turner, president of the Lake Okabena Improvement Association. The cleanup effort was coordinated to be on the same day as the Early Risers Kiwanis group's yearly park cleanup, so that the t
WORTHINGTON -- District 518 will join 15 other schools in southwest Minnesota seeking approval for a common school calendar from the Minnesota Department of Education, the District 518 Board of Education decided Tuesday. The 2009-2010 school year for all the schools making the request would begin Aug. 24 and the first semester would be complete at Christmas.
HERON LAKE -- Foul play has been ruled out in the house fire that claimed the life of Travis Paul Phelps, 32, of Heron Lake, early Tuesday morning. "At this point, it's still under investigation," said Heron Lake Police Chief Anthony Fauglid. "We haven't found out the formal cause of it yet, but it's looking accidental." The Heron Lake Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Heron Lake Fire and Ambulance, and the Okabena Fire and Rescue were dispatched to 1032 County Road Nine at approximately 2:43 a.m. When they arrived, the home was already fully engulfed.
WORTHINGTON -- Brown's Shoe Fit Co. has everything from work boots, dress shoes, sandals, casual shoes, handbags, arch supports, insoles, socks, shoe cleaners, shoe polish and protective spray. Since last Tuesday, it also has a new owner. Ashley Freml, originally of Carroll, Iowa, took over the business after serving as an assistant manager in another store and participating in a management training program. "It's going really well," Freml said of her time in Worthington. "We're having fun and I love the community.
The Worthington Fire Department was dispatched to assist a truck carrying hazardous materials at approximately 10:25 a.m., prompting the rerouting of most vehicles traveling Minnesota 60/U.S. 59 just south of Worthington. More information will be posted as it becomes available.