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Wright County News

Friday, December 9, 2016


Important Mailing Dates Ahead 

Business is ramping up at the Post Office as the holiday season gets in full swing. Pete Nowacki with the U-S Post Office in Minnesota says there around 750 million packages delivered between Thanksgiving and the New Year. He says packages going overseas to military servicepersons should be sent by December 9th. Packages to be delivered within the U-S should be postmarked by December 15th. Nowacki says the deadline for cards and letters to arrive by Christmas, is December 20th.

Officials Urge Caution With Space Heaters 

As temperatures turn colder this week, safety officials urge everyone to be cautious with supplemental heating sources like space heaters. State Fire Marshall Bruce West also recommends never leaving space heaters unattended and shutting them off while you're sleeping.

Wright County Parks to Hold Seasonal Campsite Lottery 

The Wright County Parks Department has announce that they will hold a special lottery for seasonal campsites available at Collinwood Park and Campground for the 2017 camping season. A lottery request form is available from the Wright County Parks Department at their offices, or online on the department's website. The form, plus a deposit must be submitted to the Wright County Parks Department no later than 4:30 PM on Monday, January 9th. If more than 4 lottery forms are turned in, a blind draw for the four campsites will be held on January 11th. For more information about the available seasonal sites, and Wright County Parks in general, contact Brad Harrington at (763) 682-7894, or via email at; 

Funeral Services Today for World War II and Korean War Vet, Loren Zander 

Funeral services will be held today for a lifelong Howard Lake area resident. Loren Zander passed away December 4th at the age of 94. Loren was a 1940 graduate of Howard Lake High School. He enlisted in the U-S Army Air Corps at the start of World War II, and received his commission and wings in December of 1942. He served as a B-29 pilot, serving in the Pacific Theatre, flying 38 missions. He later was recalled during the Korean War, and served at Travis Air Force Base. Back home following the war, Loren farmed and was the Route 2 mail carrier for over 30 years. Funeral services for Loren Zander will be held today at the St. James Lutheran Church of Howard Lake.

River City Theatre Company to Present "A Christmas Carol" 

River City Theatre Company in Watertown will open their production of "A Christmas Carol" tonight. The adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic will be done in a Reader's Theatre format with minimal props and costumes, focusing instead on the story, dialog and interpretation of the readers. The production will be on stage at the Watertown-Mayer Primary School Auditorium in Watertown tonight and Friday nights at 7 PM, and Saturday afternoon at 2 PM. A special performance will also be held Sunday at 4:15 PM at B's on the River in Watertown. Tickets will be available at the door. All performances are free for those in the military with a military ID, and for youngsters under age 5. 

Thousands Affected by Natural Gas Outage in Waverly and Montrose 

It was a cold night for thousands of Wright County homes in Waverly and parts of Montrose that were without natural gas throughout the night. Xcel Energy reports that a construction project caused an accidental interruption of service around 3:30 PM Tuesday. Teams of technicians from Xcel went home to home to turn off gas meters as a precaution, and after repairs were made at the construction sight, crews worked through the night, again going home to home to re-light pilots and restore gas service. Residents were asked to turn faucets on a trickle to keep water pipes from freezing. The former Howard Lake Middle School was opened to the public overnight for those that needed a warm place to stay. Technicians will continue to restore service to all homes and businesses throughout the day. Officials with Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Schools say a back-up heating system at the Humphrey Elementary School in Waverly was being used, and classes will be held at the normal time today. Xcel officials say some 2300 customers were affected by the gas interruption, though no electric service was affected. No injuries were reported.

Holiday Shopping Restraint 

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, but just like anything else, you don't want to overdo it. Dr. Tom Kottke with HealthPartners says while the spirit of giving often leaves the giver with that warm, glowing feeling, a lack of control when it comes to spending can spiral into something quite different. Kottke says there is something to be said for the old adage, "it's the thought that counts." He recommends making a budget before holiday spending and sticking with it. And he says it's a good idea to create a diary with fitness and diet goals to help keep us on track and healthy. 

Buffalo Community Orchestra's Annual Holiday Concert Saturday 

The Buffalo Community Orchestra is putting the finishing touches on preparations for its annual holiday season concert, this year entitled, "'Tis the Season to Celebrate." The concert will feature not only the orchestra, but also the wRight Ringers Community Handbell Ensemble, and the Wright County Chamber Chorus, and members of the Buffalo High School Concert Choir. The annual concert is scheduled for Saturday at 7:30 PM at the Buffalo High School Performing Arts Center. Advance tickets are available at Buffalo Books and Coffee, and at; The concert is also being supported by a grant through the Central Minnesota Arts Board appropriated from the arts and cultural heritage fund made possible by Minnesota voters through the Minnesota Clean Water Land and Legacy amendment. 

One Injured in Single-Vehicle Rollover in Sherburne County 

A young woman was injured in a single-vehicle traffic crash Monday morning in neighboring Sherburne County. The Minnesota State Patrol reports that shortly after 8:30 AM, a passenger car that was eastbound on Highway 10 went out of control on icy roads, ran into the ditch and rolled over. Officials say the driver and lone occupant of the car, 18-year-old Mackenzie Literski of Elk River sustained non-life threatening injuries. She was transported to the St. Cloud Hospital for treatment. The Sherburne County Sheriff's Office assisted the State Patrol at the scene.

Fire Danger Up at Holiday Time 

Each year the stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is particularly dangerous for fire. State Fire Marshall Bruce West says everyone should get in the habit of checking fire safety devices regularly. West says the three leading causes of Minnesota fires are all holiday staples; cooking, heating and open flames from decorative items like candles. 

Cokato Family 2016 "Outstanding Conservationists" 

The Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District recently named its 2016 "Outstanding Conservationists." The Harlan and Mary Anderson family of Cokato were given that honor for their efforts to protect the environment in their farming operation. The Dassel-Cokato Enterprise Dispatch reports that the Anderson Farm, called "Idle Acres" was the first to be certified under the Minnesota Agriculture Water Quality Program in Wright County. The certification is given for farmers who go the extra mile to conserve water quality in their farm operation. The Andersons, along with their sons Mark and Richard grow alfalfa, corn, soybeans and wheat on their 1000-acre farm north of Cokato. They also tend 160 bee hives. The farm was originally homesteaded in 1871 and is currently in its fourth generation of family operation. 

Buffalo-Maple Lake Girl Scouts Host Annual Kids Only Sale Saturday 

The Buffalo-Maple Lake Girl Scouts will continue a long-standing tradition of the holiday season on Saturday. The annual "Kids Only" sale will be held at the Buffalo Community Middle School. The "Kids Only" sale is designed for youngsters to do their own shopping for Christmas gifts that they would like to give to friends and family. Girl Scouts will guide the children as shopper helpers. Parents can help out by making out a shopping list for each youngster, along with a set amount of money for purchases. Items for 25 cents to 4 dollars will be available. Parents should put the child's gift list and money in an envelope with their name on it. Small bills are appreciated. While the kids shop in the Middle School mall area, the parents can shop a bake sale and enjoy coffee. The annual "Kids Only" sale will run from 2 to 4 PM. For more information, call (763) 245-9249. 

Two Residents of Waverly Injured in Weekend Traffic Crash Near Sartell 

A mother and daughter from Waverly were injured in a two-vehicle traffic crash near Sartell over the weekend. The Minnesota State Patrol reports that around 9:50 PM on Saturday, an SUV and a pickup truck collided at the intersection of Highway 15 and Stearns County Road 1. Authorities say the SUV was northbound on Highway 15, and was turning left onto County Road 1 when it was struck broadside by a pickup truck that was southbound on Highway 15. The driver of the SUV, 45-year-old Theresa Brown of Waverly, sustained non-life threatening injuries in the crash. 15-year-old Charese Brown, also of Waverly, and the daughter of the driver was a passenger in the vehicle, and also sustained non-life threatening injuries. Both were taken to the St. Cloud Hospital for treatment. The driver of the pickup truck, 24-year-old Angela Schlangen of Sartell, was not injured. The Sartell Police Department and Gold Cross Ambulance assisted the State Patrol.

Big Lake Man Injured in Single Vehicle Traffic Crash in Becker 

A Big Lake man was injured Saturday morning in a single-vehicle traffic crash in Becker. The State Patrol says the crash happened around 9 AM on Highway 10 east of Liberty Lane. Officials say an SUV that was eastbound on Highway 10 went off the road to the left, then rolled into the median. The driver, 33-year-old James Jarvan of Big Lake sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to the Monticello Hospital for treatment. The Becker Police Department assisted at the scene.

Hwy. 24 in Clearwater to Close Multiple Times Daily Beginning Monday 

MnDOT is advising motorists who travel Highway 24 near the Mississippi River bridge in Clearwater to plan for delays while crews begin to close that road up to four times each weekday beginning Monday. The closures will occur from sunrise to sunset, Mondays through Fridays, and will last up to 15 minutes, with flaggers controlling traffic in both directions on Highway 24 near the bridge. The closures are needed while crews deliver oversized concrete beams that will span the new Highway 24 bridge over the Mississippi. The delivery of the beams is expected to continue until just before Christmas. The new Mississippi River bridge in Clearwater is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018. 

Klobuchar Says MN Farmers Will Benefit From New EPA Renewable Fuel Standard 

Senator Amy Klobuchar says it's good news for corn and soybean farmers in Minnesota and beyond now that the Environmental Protection Agency has strengthened the renewable fuel standard. Klobuchar says the strong rule is "a step forward in decreasing our dependence on foreign oil and increasing our investments in clean energy." In the EPA's rule, the renewable volume obligation for conventional renewable fuels - like corn ethanol - has been increased to 15 billion gallons.

Jump in Foster Care Numbers 

Minnesota has seen a sizeable jump in the number of children coming into the foster care system, with some 7 thousand kids entering foster care in the state in the last year. Veronica Carter has more in a complete report in our on-air news throughout the day. More information on the study is available at;


These stories and more follow CNN and MNN network news in our Wright County News at 6:10, 7:10, &  8:10 AM and 12:10, 4:10, 5:10, & 6:10 PM on AM 1360 / KRWC.