Fast-growing Worthington is outgrowing its high school.

The seven members of Worthington’s Independent School District 518 voted unanimously last week to put a $79 million bonding referendum on the ballot.

The southwestern Minnesota city, whose population of about 13,000 is one of the most diverse in the state, just built a new wing on its high school. But Superintendent John Landgaard said the student body will outgrow that space within two years.

Landgaard joked that the district is squeezing every bit of use out of its classrooms, including the closets. Approving the bond would increase property taxes on a $120,000 home by $202.25 a year; for a $200,000 home, property taxes would rise by $390.66.

The measure will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Jennifer Brooks



Camp Ripley designated for land enhancement

The Minnesota National Guard training site at Camp Ripley has been designated for a federal program to benefit working lands, wildlife conservation and military readiness.

Through the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, three federal agencies are working near military installations to help farmers and ranchers make improvements to the land, enhance wildlife habitat and allow the military’s missions to continue.

Camp Ripley was one of three sites chosen for the program. The rural and agricultural character of the landscape helps to protect imperiled species such as the northern long-eared bat.

Sixteen local, state and federal partners have committed almost $5.2 million to protect or enhance nearly 35,000 acres, which they hope will also expand access to hunting, fishing and recreation.

Mark Brunswick


Blue Earth County

Countywide juvenile curfew goes into effect

Citing concerns about an increase in juvenile crime and victimization, Blue Earth County commissioners last week approved a countywide nighttime curfew for juveniles.

The ordinance will standardize juvenile curfews across the county.

Effective immediately, kids 12 and under are prohibited from being in a public place without adult supervision from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. It’s unlawful for kids 13 to 17 to be in a public place between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

While police will be given discretion in enforcement, parents or guardians and proprietors of businesses could also be cited for juveniles found in violation of the ordinance.

There are some exceptions, including employment, an emergency, or engaging in First Amendment rights.

The Blue Earth County attorney will prepare a report evaluating violations of the ordinance and juvenile crime and victimization next year.

Mark Brunswick