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Wright County News

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Wright County Attorney Promises Additional Charges if Remains are Positively Identified as Christopher Rossing  

Authorities believe human remains found at a rural Hutchinson home are the remains of missing rural Howard Lake man, Christopher Rossing, but so far those remains have not yet been positively identified. Thursday, Gwen Butcher, who remains free on bond was in court for another appearance on charges of aiding after the fact. Authorities claim she initially lied about incidents that happened on the night Christopher Rossing was last seen in Howard Lake.

Funeral Services Today for Buffalo Clinic Pediatrician, Dr. Glen Pfister  

Funeral services are scheduled for today for a local doctor who died unexpectedly last Sunday. 57-year-old Dr. Glen Pfister of Orono was a Pediatrician who was employed by the Buffalo Clinic from 2005 to present, practicing both in Buffalo and Monticello. Pfister had entered the medical field as a second career after working in the commodity brokerage industry in the 1980s through the mid-90s. He studied pre-med at the University of Minnesota and graduated with his MD in 2002. After a 3-year residency at the U of M he came to the Buffalo Clinic. Dr. Pfister was also a clown with the Zuhrah Shrine Funsters, and often used some of the skills from clowning to break the ice with youngsters in his care. He was also a past Master of the Wayzata Masonic Lodge. Funeral services for Dr. Glen Pfister are scheduled for today at 11 AM at the Trinity Lutheran Church of Long Lake. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.  

More Candidate Forums Scheduled in Wright County 

More candidate forums are scheduled in the coming days as the November 4th elections draw closer. Monday, candidates for Delano mayor and city council will be featured at a forum at the Delano American Legion. The Delano Chamber of Commerce will host the forum Monday from 7 to 9 PM. Wednesday evening, candidates for mayor and city council in Montrose will be featured at a candidate forum in that community. The forum will begin at 7 PM at the Montrose Community Center. Both forums are free and open to the public, and residents are encouraged to attend. 

Pedestrian Killed When Struck by Northstar Train in Elk River 

A pedestrian was struck and killed by a Northstar commuter train early Wednesday evening in Elk River. Authorities say the man was walking in a non-designated area when he was struck by the train, reportedly near the city's recycling plant. Officials with Metro Transit say both east and westbound trains were shut down temporarily as the tracks were closed. Passengers on board the train that struck the pedestrian were reportedly transferred to the final outbound Northstar train, and a commuter bus that provides service from Big Lake to St. Cloud was reportedly held in Big Lake to accommodate passengers who were delayed. The man who was killed has not yet been identified. Officials say the reason he was on the tracks is also unknown. 

National "Save for Retirement" Week Observed 

This is National "Save for Retirement Week" and the state Commerce Department is urging Minnesotans to get the ball rolling now, if they haven't started saving already. Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman who says far too many of us are not doing all we can to plan for the future. For more information on the steps you can take to start saving, visit the Department of Commerce's website at; 

Sheriff Again Asks for Help From Public in New Phase of Rossing Case  

Local law enforcement agencies are still asking for help from the public in any aspect of the case of a rural Howard Lake man who disappeared in late August, and is now believed to be deceased. Sheriff Hagerty says a number of agencies have worked toward a common goal in the Rossing case. Christopher Rossing was last seen on August 22nd when he had an altercation outside a bar in Howard Lake. On Monday October 13th, the Wright County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at the Robert Nuttall and Gwen Butcher residence located at 22164 150th Street in Hutchinson. Authorities confirmed earlier this week that during that investigation they recovered evidence of human remains, including bone fragments and teeth from a fire pit located at the residence. Human remains were also recovered from a corn field located across the street from this address. The evidence was sent to the Anoka County Medical Examiner’s Office and the MN BCA Lab for analysis and identification. Wednesday, Robert Nutall made an appearance in Wright County Court, where his defense attorney requested, and was granted more time to contest evidence in the case, which will presumably be presented in a contested omnibus hearing, now set for December 22nd. Family and friends of Christopher Rossing packed the courtroom for the brief hearing on Wednesday. Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly says he believes more people have information about the case, and he is asking them to come forward willingly. Kelly said his office will pursue new charges if the BCA confirms that the remains found at the Nutall and Butcher property are identified as the remains of Christopher Rossing.

Sixth District Congressional Candidates Debate in St. Cloud 

Candidates for Congress in Minnesota's 6th District squared off in Saint Cloud this week, and discussed some hot-button topics. Republican Tom Emmer said the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare is not working. The candidates are running for the U-S House seat being vacated by multi-term Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.  

Coats For Kids Collection Drawing to a Close 

There's still time to donate coats and other outerwear for youngsters in the 2014 Coats For Kids drive, being co-sponsored by Love, INC–Big Woods and the Salvation Army. The collection continues through Saturday at several area businesses including Cub Foods, Coborn's, Walmart, Dojo Karate, Buffalo Hospital and Allina Clinic, all in Buffalo, as well as at the Buffalo Community Center, and most Buffalo churches. Tom Kunz, Executive Director of Love, INC. Big Woods in Buffalo highlights the most needed donations. Kunz highlights details of the upcoming distribution day for Coats For Kids. For more information, contact the Buffalo Community Center at (763) 682-6036. 

MN Secretary of State Highlights Voting Options 

If you haven't registered to vote or need to update your registration, there are still options other than standing in an extra line on November 4th before you get your ballot. Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says voters who aren't registered will receive registration materials if they request an absentee ballot, or when they go to their county or some city offices to vote early. 

Debut Performance tonight for Buffalo Community Orchestra and New Conductor Paul McShee 

The Buffalo Community Orchestra will be in concert tonight for its first concert in the 20th Anniversary season, and will feature the debut of new conductor Paul McShee. The concert's theme is "Nature Takes A Bow," and portions of the performance will feature artwork from the Buffalo Art Guild. Art will also be on display at various locations in the lobby area. A "Conductor's Chat" will begin at 6:30 PM, to be followed by the concert at 7:30 PM at the Buffalo High School Performing Arts Center. Advance tickets are available at Buffalo Books and Coffee in downtown Buffalo, and at the door. More information on the concert, and the orchestra's 20th anniversary is available online at; 

Number of Unemployed Minnesotans Declines 

The latest numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate for September was 4.1 percent, the lowest in eight years. Job analyst Steve Hine says employers last month added seven-thousand-200 jobs. Professional and business services led all sectors with 41-hundred jobs gained. The county-by-county unemployment numbers for September should be released in a week to 10 days.

Congresswoman Bachmann's Security Beefed Up After Threats 

The security around Wright County's representative in the U-S House is being stepped-up after online threats. The threats allegedly came from ISIL after Bachmann was critical of the organization and expressed support for military action against the group. 

Free Electronic Recycling Event Thursday in Delano 

Residents of the Delano area are reminded of a free electronic recycling event on Thursday. The State Bank of Delano and the Delano Herald Journal are co-hosting the event from 4 to 6 PM at the parking lot at the State Bank of Delano. Items that will be accepted for free include cell phones and accessories, game consoles, miscellaneous cords and cables, computer mice, various computer-related items, and flat-panel TVs and monitors. A small fee will be charged of disposal of older-style CRT-type TVs and monitors. Appliances will not be accepted. Officials say that all materials will be recycled by Tech Dump, which destroys all data, and a tax deductible receipt will be available for all donations. For more information, log onto;, or call (763) 432-3117. 

Fall Winery Tours Becoming Popular Throughout Minnesota  

State agriculture officials are encouraging Minnesotans to visit a farm winery this fall. Minnesota Grown spokesman Paul Hugunin says 36 wineries are listed in the directory and all are open to the public. Hugunin says the number of farm wineries in the state has tripled over the last ten years, and several wineries have been developed in and around Wright County. State law requires that at least half of their grapes and fruit are grown in Minnesota. 

Unusual Farm Accident Claims Life of Carver County Farmer 

A farmer from Carver County died in an unusual farm accident over the weekend. The Carver County Sheriff's Office says a man who was working in a drainage ditch on his property on Sunday was accidentally buried alive by one of his employees. 78-year-old Dennis Lenzen of Dahlgren Township was working on drain tile installation on his farm shortly after 2 PM Sunday. Authorities say Lenzen was standing in the ditch when an employee pushed dirt in with equipment he was operating. The Carver County Sheriff's Office says the employee called 9-1-1 for help, and then attempted to dig the man out by hand. The man was eventually removed from the dirt and emergency responders arrived and began lifesaving techniques, but Lenzen was declared dead at the scene. The incident happened along Carver County Road 43, just south of Highway 212, southwest of Chaska.

Technology Jobs Expected to be in High Demand and to Offer Higher Salaries 

It's likely no surprise that technology careers offer the greatest potential for growth in 2015, but just how much could prompt some folks to consider a career change. John Michaelson has a complete report in our on-air news throughout the day. More information on the report is available at; 

Cold Weather Rule Update 

Minnesota's Cold Weather Rule for the upcoming heating season is in its first full week. Anyone who anticipates having trouble paying their heating bill this winter, is encouraged to apply for help through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program, also called LIHEAP. State Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman says the Cold Weather Rule protects residential utility customers from having their heat shut off during the winter months. He says pre-approved agreements with utility providers pertains only to natural gas. Rothman says if you heat your home with fuel oil, propane or wood you need to contact your distributor to work out a similar plan. In Wright County, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is administered by the Wright County Community Action Agency in Maple Lake. You may contact Wright County Community Action at (320) 963-6500.

Delano Relay for Life Meeting Wednesday 

Organizers of the annual Relay for Life in Delano will be meeting Wednesday evening in that community. Committee members are looking for ideas and input for the 2015 event. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 PM Wednesday in the meeting room at Unhinged Pizza. Anyone with ideas on drawing people, building fun and funding the mission, along with committee members, team captains, team members and anyone interested in being part of the 2015 event is encouraged to attend. Anyone with questions should call (612) 532-9603. The 2015 Delano Relay for Life is scheduled for next July 31st. 

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.