Tricounty News

55+ Driver Improvement Program offered

The Minnesota Highway Safety Center will be offering a 55+ Driver Improvement Course on the following days:

Monday, Jan. 6 (four-hour Refresher Course) 5:30-9:30 p.m. Whitney Sr. Center, 1527 Northway Dr, St. Cloud.

Tuesday, Jan. 7 (four-hour Refresher Course) 5-9 p.m. Apollo High School, 1000 44th Ave N;
St. Cloud.

Thursday, Jan. 9 (four-hour Refresher Course) 5-9 p.m. Gilleland Chevrolet-Geo Inc., 3019 Division St, St. Cloud.

Saturday, Jan. 11 (four-hour Refresher Course) 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Miller Auto Plaza-Community Rm, 2930 2nd St S, St. Cloud.

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Local crime blotters Dec. 19, 2013

Car hits train in Cokato

At 3:16 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, the Wright County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a car vs. train accident at Quimby Avenue Southwest and the Burlington Northern tracks just south of US Highway 12 in Cokato Township. The initial investigation indicates that a 2006 Ford Focus, being driven by Janna Jo Marie Larson-Stigen, 23 of Cokato, was northbound on Quimby Av SW when it failed to stop for the railroad crossing and collided with an eastbound train. The roadway was slippery at the time of the crash. Larson-Stigen was transported to Hutchinson Hospital by Cokato Ambulance for injuries received in the incident. The accident remains under investigation by the Wright County Sheriff’s Office. 

Crash with injuries Dec. 15

Sunday, Dec. 15, in the early afternoon, a motorist called in a vehicle in the ditch on County Road 12, Spring Hill Township in Stearns County. The motorist then checked the car and found it was on its roof. The occupants were trapped inside and yelling for help. Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, Melrose Fire Dept., St. Martin Fire Dept., and Melrose Ambulance responded to the crash. The three occupants, Desiree Ruprecht, age 19 of Cold Spring, Lindsay Spanier, age 20 of Sartell, and Trevor Spanier, age 21 of Paynesville, were extracted and taken to the Melrose Hospital by ambulance. One person was later airlifted to the St. Cloud Hospital. The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash. 

Kimball police blotter

The City of Kimball patrols both Kimball and Fair Haven. This contract was recently renewed.

There were 76 calls in Kimball. These included: 60 parking violation warnings (and 1 citation), 25 extra patrols, 23 equipment warnings, 14 business checks, 10 speed citations (and 7 warnings), 5 agency assists, 5 citizen contacts, 4 driver license violation warnings, 4 license plate/tab warnings (and 2 citations), 3 driving complaints, 3 DWI citations,
3 insurance violation warnings (and 2 citations), 3 medical calls, 3 suspicious vehicle/person, 2 accidents,
2 civil complaints, 2 DAR/DAS/DAC arrests, 2 motorist assists, 2 seatbelt citations, 2 suicidal individuals, 2 welfare checks. There also were one each of the following: alarm, animal complaint, careless/reckless driving citation, disorderly conduct citation, domestic complaint, fight, fire/burning complaint, harassment complaint, intoxicated person, juvenile problem, matter of information, minor consumption citation, neighbor dispute, violation of order for protection citation, passing on right warning, stop sign/light citation (and 1 warning), theft, and threats complaint.

Watkins police blotter

(The City of Watkins is policed by Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.) There were a total of 37 calls in November 2013, down from about 60 in October. There were 8 traffic stops (5 warnings and 3 citations), 5 animal complaints (including 1 dog-bite), 3 suspicious person/vehicle calls, 2 agency assists, 2 welfare checks, 2 fire calls, 2 hit-and-run cases, 2 medical calls, 2 cases of trespass; and there were 1 each of the following: 911 hangup, abandoned/stalled vehicle, alarm, public assist, domestic call, driving complaint, property-damage accident, vehicle unlock, and violation of order for protection.

Deputy Josh Case talked with the council about snow removal policy and illegal parking in winter. The usual procedure is to issue a warning once, then a citation. The biggest problem in Watkins is on Meeker Ave. where cars park on both sides of the street and the 12-foot-wide plow can barely make it through. Meeker Ave. may be restricted to parking on one side of the street only.

Wright County Sheriff’s Office

Dec. 9, Jordan Tyndale Vaughan, 24 of Annandale, was arrested in Buffalo on a Wright County warrant for domestic assault.

Dec. 10, Derek Roland Lindala, 41 of Annandale, was arrested in Southside Township on the charge of third-degree DWI.

Dec. 13, Leah Christine Finical, 20 of Clearwater, was arrested in Clearwater on a Morrison County warrant for fifth-degree controlled substance violation.

Dec. 13, Natasha Christine Frey, 29 of Annandale, was arrested in Buffalo on a Wright County warrant for violation of conditions of release.

Dec. 13, Brian Thomas Bloom-quist, 38 of Maple Lake, was arrested in Corinna Township on the charge of domestic assault.

Dec. 14, Kayla Ann Foley, 18 of Maple Lake, was arrested in Monticello on the charge of domestic assault.

Dec. 15, Tyler James Fisher, 19 of South Haven, was arrested in Buffalo on the charge of fifth-degree assault.

There were 96 property-damage accidents, 9 personal-injury accidents, 2 hit-and-run accidents, and
7 car-deer accidents.

There were 5 arrests for DWI, and 104 tickets for miscellaneous traffic violations reported this week.

Meeker County Sheriff’s Office

Sunday, December 15, 2013

10:16 a.m. the Sheriff’s Office received a report of harassing text messages at a residence on Rails Avenue West, Eden Valley.

5:56 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office responded to a car/deer accident near the intersection of County State Aid Highway 34 and 370th Street, Forest Prairie Township. The deputy noted damage to the vehicle’s front end passenger side and the deer had left the area prior to arrival.

7:15 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office dispatched Watkins Ambulance, per the request of the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, for a report of a medical at Powder Ridge Ski Hill, 93rd Avenue, Kimball. One individual was transported to St. Cloud Hospital.

Saturday, December 14

2:14 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office dispatched Watkins Ambulance to a medical at a residence on Luella Street, Watkins.  One individual was transported to the St. Cloud Hospital.

4:49 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office dispatched Watkins Ambulance to a medical at a residence on Luella Street, Watkins.  One individual was transported to Meeker Memorial Hospital.

5:39 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office received a report of a car/deer accident on MN Highway 15, Dassel Township.  The caller was transferred to the MN State Patrol.

5:51 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office dispatched Eden Valley Rescue to a medical at a residence on 228th Avenue, Eden Lake Township, Stearns County.  The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office dispatched Paynesville Ambulance.

9:46 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office transferred a cellular call to the MN State Patrol for a report of a northbound driving complaint on MN Hwy. 15, north of Kimball.

11:44 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a possible juvenile party at a residence on 650th Avenue, Forest Prairie Township. The deputies made contact with several individuals and citations were issued for minor consumption.

Friday, December 13

3:58 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office issued a deer possession tag to an individual for a deer that was hit on County State Aid Highway 2, Forest City Township.

Thursday, December 12

10:00 a.m. the Sheriff’s Office took a report of theft at a residence on 365th Street, Forest Prairie Township.

1:13 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office arrested Rusty William Hubert Staten, age 24 of Watkins, at a residence on Meeker Avenue South in Watkins on a Stearns County Warrant.

Wednesday, December 11

9:39 a.m. the Sheriff’s Office took a report of a burglary at a property on State Street North, Eden Valley.

4:33 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office responded to a dog complaint at a residence on 722, Kingston Township. One female German Shepard with a red collar was transported to the Meeker County dog pound.

5:13 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office responded to and dispatched the Dassel Rescue Squad and Gold Cross Ambulance to a medical at a residence on 309th Street, Kingston Township.

10:21 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office responded to a domestic situation at a residence on North 4th Street, Watkins. The individuals were separated for the night and a report was taken.

Tuesday, December 10

10:13 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office assisted the Eden Valley Police Department with a welfare check at a residence on Hyneman Avenue East, Eden Valley.

Monday, December 9

12:28 a.m. the Sheriff’s Office dispatched Eden Valley Rescue Squad, per the request of the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, for a report of a medical at a residence on MN Highway 22, Eden Lake Township.

11:48 a.m. the Sheriff’s Office responded to assist the public at an address on 380th Street, Forest Prairie Township. Upon arrival the deputy assisted with a property exchange.

12:47 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a civil issue at an address on 380th Street, Forest Prairie Township. Upon arrival the deputy advised the complainant of options. 

7:04 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office received a cellular 9-1-1 call reporting a vehicle off the roadway on MN Highway 15, Kimball. The caller was transferred to the MN State Patrol.

10:09 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance at a residence on 380th Street, Forest Prairie Township. The individual was advised of his options.

11:04 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office responded to and dispatched Watkins Ambulance to a medical at a residence in the Watkins Trailer Park, Watkins. The individual was treated on the scene and no transport was needed.

Having a plan can keep your family alive in a house fire

Fire Marshal urges families to prepare in light of seven recent residential fire fatalities

With several weeks left in the historically fire-heavy Holiday season, the state fire marshal reminds Minnesotans to learn and practice fire safety so they can survive a residential fire.

November and December are historically dangerous months for residential fires in Minnesota. This year has been no exception. There have been seven fire fatalities since Thanksgiving Eve, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division.

“Escape options, planning and practice keep people alive in a building fire,” State Fire Marshal Bruce West said. “Children as young as 3 years old can be taught to get out and stay out if parents plan and practice with them often.”

To prepare your family for fast escape from a fire

• Draw a diagram of your home. Be sure to mark windows and doors.

• Plan two ways out of each room.

• Teach your kids to crawl low to protect themselves if they see smoke. 

• Plan an outside meeting place for everyone in your home.

• Practice your escape plan with every family member.

• Make sure your kids know the sound of a smoke alarm and what steps to take when it goes off. 

• If you’re staying somewhere away from home, know how to escape there, too.

• Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.

Working smoke alarms are critical to surviving a house fire. Smoke alarms need to be checked often and batteries changed at least once a year. Alarms should be replaced after 10 years.

About the Minnesota Department Public Safety

The Department of Public Safety comprises 11 divisions where employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.

About the State Fire Marshal Division

The mission of the State Fire Marshal Division is to protect lives and property by fostering a fire-safe environment through fire/arson investigation, code development and enforcement, regulation, data collection and public education. Data collected by the State Fire Marshal Division from fire departments statewide is analyzed and used to determine the best methods of public education and enforcement to improve fire safety in our state.

State Fire Marshal Division 2012 statistics

• One structure fire was reported in Minnesota every 1.4 hours.

• 4,863 of a total 6,436 structure fires in Minnesota occurred in residential property.

• 58 percent of fire deaths occurred where people generally feel safest – at home.

DWI has consequences

The holidays are a popular time for parties. The Wright County Sheriff’s Office is putting extra DWI enforcement on during this time to prevent drunk driving crashes.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety is coordinating the enforcement effort. Extra DWI enforcement will continue through December.

“Enforcing seat belt laws and arresting impaired drivers are preventive measures we take to ensure safety on Minnesota roads,” says Sheriff Joe Hagerty. “Seat belts and designated drivers must be on the menu to ensure travel safety during the holidays.”

The Wright County Sheriff’s Office asks motorists to follow these traffic safety tips to ensure safe Holiday Travel.

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Local crime blotters Dec. 12, 2013

Chicken coop fire in Manannah

Monday, Dec. 9, at 4:51 p.m. the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a chicken coop on fire at the address of 34766 587th Avenue, Manannah Township. A Meeker County Deputy and the Eden Valley Fire Department were dispatched to the fire.

The chicken coop was used to house three pet chickens and five pet Canadian geese. The renter of the property, Cheryl Elliott, 53, was able to get two of the geese out of the building before the building became engulfed with fire. She sustained minor burns to her hands while rescuing the two geese, she refused medical treatment.

The fire is believed to have started by heat lamps that were being used inside the chicken coop. The approximate value of the 8’ X 10’ chicken coop and its contents is $5,000, and was a total loss. 

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