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NEWS
Aug 11

News Director: Bev Alquist
Call with news at 320-235-2900 or email bahlquist@k-musicradio.com

Yesterday afternoon (Thursday), the Renville County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two vehicle crash near the intersection of Ash Avenue and Main Street, in Bird Island. 18 year old: Ellen Weikle of Fairfax, was travelling west on Ash Avenue, near the main street in Bird Island when she collided with a vehicle driven by 29 year old Natashia Johnson of Bird Island. Johnson had been backing out of a parking spot on Ash Avenue and had been unable to see Weikle’s vehicle approaching. There were no injuries. The sheriff’s office is investigating the crash.

The Alexandria Police Department is continuing to work and follow up on every lead in the investigation of the disappearance of 15 year old Jasmine ‘Jaz” Block of Alexandria. She disappeared about 10:30 the night of August 8th, had last made contact with a friend at 11, and has not been seen or heard from since. She is described as a white female, 5’1”, 110 pounds, with brown curly heair. She has pierced ears and scars on her left arm. She was last seen wearing black and red pajama pants, an unknown top, grey/black tennis shoes with neon green soles and pink shoelaces, and dangling gold-tone leaf earrings. She is without her phone or any personal belongings. The police department is working with Jasmine’s family as well as other law enforcement agencies and jurisdictions. They ask your help in locating Jasmine. If you know anything about her disappearance contact the police department.

An armed standoff last month in Appleton has resulted in criminal charges for a man who held a SWAT team at bay outside his house for 11 hours. 36-year-old William Synowczynski of Appleton, made an initial appearance Tuesday in Swift County District Court. He is charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and fourth-degree assault on a peace officer. Both are felonies. At around 9:30 the night of July 26, Appleton police officers responded to reports of a car that had apparently spun out and was stalled crossways in a street. According to court documents, Synowczynski arrived a few minutes later in another car, then balked at a preliminary breath test and fled to his house with an officer in pursuit. As he unlocked and opened the back door, he punched the officer in the throat and then threw him to the ground before barricading himself in the house. The overnight standoff ended when Synowczynski slipped and fell on a staircase, enabling officers to subdue him and take him into custody. Synowczxynski's next court appearance is an omnibus hearing Oct. 11. He is allowed to be released from jail on bail but must have electronic alcohol monitoring in place before his release.

About 25 calves were killed during a barn fire at the Peter and Lisa Wuertz farm near Melrose. Stearns County Deputies and the Elrosa Fire Department were dispatched to the farm just before one yesterday morning (Thursday). The cattle barn was fully engulfed in flames. The Wuertz’ were awakened by a passerby prior to the deputies’ arrival. The Wuertz’ were able to open one gate to release several of the trapped cows inside. The barn house about 30 cows. The barn was a complete loss. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Fire departments from Lake Henry and Belgrade assisted at the scene.

The Morris City Council got a chance to meet the newest officer in the Morris Police Department at this week’s meeting. City Attorney Aaron Jordan administered the oath of office for John Ophoven. Ophoven is the son of former Morris Police officer Jerry Ophoven; John comes to Morris from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office near Crookston where he was a transport officer. The council also approved a resolution to provide a school resource officer at the Morris Area Schools. The school district will pay the city for a two-thirds time position in the amount of $33,697 dollars. Police Ross Teigs says Officer Anita Lieble (lee-bull) provides a first line of contact with students and defuses potential conflicts and can intervene where child services may be necessary.

A Danvers man died in a one-vehicle crash east of Clontarf on Friday afternoon. The Swift County Sheriff’s Office received several calls of a rollover near the intersection of County Road 22 and 30th Avenue Northwest. 60-year-old Ricky Aust lost control of his vehicle and was ejected. He was taken to the Swift County Benson Hospital where he died. Aust was alone in the vehicle and alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the crash. The crash is under investigation by the Swift County Sheriff’s Office.

Teague (Tee-gu) Picht (Pee-sh) of Morris is the latest winner of Pay it Forward Stevens County.  Natasha Mortenson says Picht will help with anything at any time. Several other community members gave him high marks. Peg Rinkenberger, Morris Area High School teacher, says he is a wiz at computers and is always able to help anyone in need, even if that meant missing class. Picht is involved in the Morris Area FFA and always arrives early and stays late to help with anything that needs to get done. Picht is a 2017 graduate of Morris Area High School. This fall, Picht will be attending Alexandria Technical and Community College for Computer and Voice Networking.

The owners of Lindor Farms, Incorporated, near Chokio, has been recognized as the Stevens County Farm Family of the Year. The history of the farm dates back to the 1950s, when Don and Lorraine Lindor relocated to the current location. Lindors' son Jerry, and wife Gail, took over the operation. In 2006, Jerry and Gail's nephew, Jake Marty, and wife Anita, entered into a joint operation that makes up Lindor Farms, Inc. The Lindor Farm raises corn and soybeans and operates a farrow-to-finish hog operation. 

Heather Weseman, author, will be at the Willmar Public Library tomorrow (Saturday) from10-10:45 during story hour. You’re invited to meet the author. She will read and talk about her book Nettie's Garden. Following that there will be a activity for the children to do. Nettie's Garden is based on a true story about her mother, Jeanette Cordes and told from a plant's point of view. The children's book setting is base off of her childhood home near Litchfield.  

Tuesday, the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an injured two year old boy in Lake Andrew Township. The child was riding an electric powered dirt bike. The dirt bike is made for children ages 2-5 years old weighing up to 60 pounds. The boy was under the supervision of his parent. The child was riding in the yard, lost control and collided with a barbed wire fence. He sustained injuries to his abdomen. The child was taken to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar with non-life threatening injuries.

Darlene Bratberg has been named this year’s Kandiyohi County Outstanding Senior Citizen. She is well known all her volunteer work, and as Happy the Clown walking in various parades, showing up at the fair, at hospitals and other venues. She has been volunteering her time for more than 30 years. She sings weekly at Hope Presbyterian Church, was a nurse for many years, and volunteers at the Willmar Regional Cancer Center. The honor was bestowed on her yesterday (Thursday) at the fair.

56 year old Samuel Drodofsky of Spicer pled not guilty yesterday (Thursday) in Kandiyohi County District Court to a felony theft charge of diverting corporate property, allegedly stealing about $292,000 from the Little Crow Country Club, New London, cashing checks and using the club’s credit card. A settlement conference to talk about a possible plea agreement has been scheduled for Nov. 1. Drodofsky was the pro and general manager for the Little Crow Country Club from January 2003 until his termination. 

An Osakis couple face felony charges for allegedly leaving methamphetamine paraphernalia in the home they share with their three young children. 28-year-old Jessica Wagner and 29-year-old Dustin Wagner were charged in Douglas County District Court on August 3. The Osakis Police Department obtained a warrant and searched the Wagners' home on Aug. 2 and found syringes and broken piece of glass that was consistent with that of a meth pipe. The children were removed from the home and placed in the care of a family member, according to Osakis Police Chief Chad Gulbranson. Jessica Wagner posted bail and was released. She posted bail for Dustin Wagner, who was then picked up by Benton County authorities on an outstanding warrant. Jessica's next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 14. A court date for Dustin Wagner hasn't been set yet.

The entrance ramp from Highway 79 to eastbound Interstate 94 near Evansville will close during daytime hours for approximately three days starting Saturday, Aug. 12. During the closure, crews will remove the old concrete pavement on I-94 near Highway 79, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. A detour will direct traffic to the Brandon exit.

The Stevens County 4-H will hold their Swine Show at 8 this morning (Friday), the Dairy Show is at 11:30, and the Beef Show will be at 2. On the free stage, enjoy Brodini Family Magic at 2:30, 6, and 8. Unspoken Voice will be at 4, and Strongheart Martial Arts Academy will perform at 8:30. The Family Fun Carnival opens at 1. Generation Nashville, featuring Mitch Goudy and Diana Upton-Hill, perform two show at 5 and 6:30 in the Storck Bandshell. There’s more music tonight with Them Pesky Kids at 8 in the beer gardens. The Grandstand show tonight is the Dacotah Bank Extreme Bull Riding. Other grandstand shows include the Red River Valley Tractor/Pickup Pull on Saturday at 6:30 and the Bank of the West Demo Derby Sunday at 6.

The 10th Annual Dragon Boat festival begins today (Friday) in Starbuck. You’re invited to a free will dinner at 5:30. The Opening Ceremony and “Beating Of The Drums” will held at 7. Light Up the Sky will start at 8. On Saturday, a parade of teams starts at 9 with races at 9:30. The 500 meter dragon boat race has all the fun, food and fellowship that this sort of event can raise. Each team will have at least two races.

Three big days of family, friends, and fun starts today (Friday) during Harvest Festival in Hoffman. A Kids Medallion Hunt starts at 1. There will be kids games in the city park from 3 to 9. A Rib Fest and sweet corn feed fundraiser will be held at 5. A teen dance will cap the day at 8. Tomorrow morning (Saturday), be sure to come back for the Tractorcade at 8:30, the softball tournament at 9, the Miss Hoffman Pageant at 4 and the Street Dance at 8. The 69th Annual Parade will be held Sunday at 1:30.

Today (Friday) is the judging of 4-H exhibits and animals, along with the 4H Market Livestock Auction in the 4H arena. There is also bingo, the Haunted House, an entertainment on the free stage. There’s also wristband rides on the midway; a cow milking contest; a semi, pickup and tractor pull at the grandstand; and music in Motion. Saturday is the National Tractor Pullers Association event at 6:30 in the grandstand. This will feature the top drivers and premier events from across the United States. Other events include a free kids’ pedal tractor pull for ages 4-11; FFA children’s barn; Little Red School House; a lego building contest; Holstein show; decorated cupcake contest; the KDJS kids’ straw dive; wrist band rides on the Midway; and much more. 

 

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