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Wright County News

Thursday, August 25, 2016


MN Secretary of State Wants Top Voter Turnout in U-S in November  

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon is challenging Minnesotans to put us back in the number one spot for voter turnout in November's general election. To bring Minnesota back to number one in voter turnout, Simon says he's focusing on bringing in groups with particularly low numbers including 18 to 24-year-olds and minority voters. Earlier this month, Minnesota had the lowest primary election voter turnout since the 1950s, but Secretary of State Simon says that should have no bearing on the turnout for the November general election.

Funeral Services Today for Longtime Howard Lake Barber, Donald Westphal  

Family, friends and longtime customers will remember a well-known Howard Lake man at funeral services today. Donald Westphal passed away Sunday at the age of 88. Donald owned and operated a barber shop in Howard Lake from 1954 to 2009. For 20 years he also was a school bus driver. Donald was a longtime member of the St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, where he served as an Elder, and worked on various church boards and committees. Funeral services for Donald Westphal will be held today at the St. James Lutheran School of Howard Lake.  

Goodhue County Woman is New Princess Kay, Buffalo Woman Runner-Up 

A young woman from Goodhue County is the new Princess Kay of the Milky Way. Haley Hinrichs, a 19-year-old from Goodhue, Minnesota who attends Iowa State University was crowned the 63rd Princess Kay of the Milky Way in an evening ceremony Wednesday at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Hinrichs will serve as the official goodwill ambassador for more than 3,000 Minnesota dairy farm families. Hinrichs received her crown from outgoing Princess Kay, Kyla Mauk of Howard Lake, who ended her 1-year reign as Princess Kay and gave her farewell speech Wednesday night. Wright County was well-represented at the Wednesday ceremonies, as Morgan Krause of Buffalo was a finalist from our region, and was selected as a runner-up along with Meghan Skiba of Cambridge, representing Isanti County. Skiba was also named Miss Congeniality. Both were awarded scholarships as runners-up. The new Princess Kay will have her likeness sculpted from a 90-pound block of butter today. All of the rest of the finalists will also have their butter sculptures done throughout the State Fair. Morgan Krause of Buffalo is scheduled to have her butter sculpture carved on Saturday at the fair. You can see the carving sessions done in the rotating cooler booth at the dairy building on the fairgrounds. The Princess Kay competition is sponsored by the Midwest Dairy Association, representing the state's dairy producers. 

Bluegrass Music Highlighted at Final Thursday Night Concert in Buffalo 

The 2016 season of Buffalo's Thursday night Concert in the Park series concludes tonight. Tonight it's the progressive bluegrass sounds of "Kind Country." Each summer, the City of Buffalo, along with event partners and business and individual sponsors present live music in the Sturges Park Bandshell covering a wide variety of musical styles. Music begins tonight at 7 PM. 

Crow River Beginning to Recede After Lengthy Crest  

Though a flood warning is still officially in effect for the Wright County communities of Delano and Rockford, the high water on the South Fork of the Crow River is receding, and is expected to fall out of flood stage by Thursday. The latest hydrologic report from the National Weather Service shows that the river level in Delano dropped below the moderate flood stage of 17.5 feet Tuesday morning, and is expected to fall below the minor flood stage of 16.5 feet by early Thursday. In Rockford, levels look to drop throughout the day today, and could fall below the minor flood stage of 10 feet by Thursday. The river levels stayed at flood stage somewhat longer than early anticipated because of additional rainfall in our area, as well as in areas southwest of the Twin Cities metro area. No major problems have been reported in our area as a result of the unusual late summer flood waters along the Crow River.

Rear-end Crash on Highway 55 Injures Two Tuesday Morning  

Two men were injured Tuesday morning in a rear-end type crash on Highway 55 in Maple Lake. The State Patrol says around 9:40 AM, a westbound mini-van was slowing to make a left turn into the driveway of the Cenex convenience store when it was rear-ended by another westbound vehicle. Authorities say the driver of the mini-van that was struck from behind, 69-year-old Patrick Howe of Buffalo, and a passenger in the van, 50-year-old Ronald Daniels of Maple Lake both sustained non-life threatening injuries and were transported to Buffalo Hospital for treatment. The driver of the passenger car that struck the van, 93-year-old Angela Paumen of Maple Lake sustained minor injuries that did not require hospital treatment. The Wright County Sheriff's Office assisted the State Patrol.

Albertville Man Seriously Injured in Monday Evening Rollover Near Osakis  

A Wright County man was seriously injured when his pickup truck rolled over on I-94 near the community of Osakis early Monday evening. The State Patrol reports that shortly before 6 PM Monday, an eastbound pickup on I-94 went out of control and rolled over in the eastbound right ditch. The driver of the truck, 50-year-old Patrick Dooher of Albertville sustained serious injuries and was taken to the Sauk Centre Hospital. Officials say alcohol was found in the man's system, but they did not say whether or not that was a factor in the crash. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office assisted the State Patrol at the scene of the crash.

Funeral Services Held for Former Annandale Businessman, Police Chief, Fireman, Richard Elliot  

Funeral services were held Tuesday for a longtime Annandale area resident and active community member. Richard Elliot passed away August 18th at the age of 83. Richard was a U-S Air Force veteran, serving through 1952. Following his service, he moved his family from Minneapolis to Annandale in the 1960s, as he owned and operated Elliott's Truck Stop. He later became the Chief of Police in Annandale, retiring in 1979. He also was a member of the Annandale Fire Department and the Annandale Lions. Richard moved away from Annandale when he became the Police Chief for the City of Brooten, and later he moved to Las Vegas where he was the head of security at the Landmark Casino and Hotel. In 1990 he moved back to the Annandale area. Funeral services were held for Richard Elliot Tuesday in Annandale. Burial will be held today at the Minnesota State Veteran's Cemetery near Little Falls.

Free Pre-K is a Start, But More MN Families Need Help  

Child-care proponents say Minnesota's new voluntary free pre-K program is a step in the right direction, but they're renewing calls for state lawmakers to do even more. Brandon Campbell has more in a full report in our on-air news. More information is available online at;

Buffalo Woman Injured in Two-Vehicle Crash  

A woman from Buffalo was injured Monday afternoon when her car was rear-ended on Highway 25. The Minnesota State Patrol reports that around 4:30 PM, 26-year-old Marketta Hill of Buffalo was northbound on Highway 25 near 32nd Street Southeast south of Buffalo when her vehicle was struck from behind by another passenger vehicle. Officials say the driver of the other car, 19-year-old Shelby Effertz of Delano stated she was distracted, and her vehicle rear-ended the other car. Marketta Hill was transported to the Buffalo Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The young woman from Delano was not injured. The Wright County Sheriff's Office assisted the State Patrol at the scene.

Sen. Bruce Anderson Receives Endorsement of MN Chamber of Commerce Leadership Fund PAC  

A local lawmaker has received the endorsement of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Leadership Fund PAC. In a letter of endorsement, Bill Blazar, treasurer of the organization called State Senator Bruce Anderson of Buffalo a "champion of the business community." Anderson was recognized for work on behalf of Minnesota employers and employees. The Leadership Fund PAC Board uses specific criteria to determine its endorsements, including responses to a candidate questionnaire, leadership on key business issues, and the voting records of incumbent candidates.

Klobuchar Pushes for Program to Battle Opioid Prescription and Drug Abuse  

Senator Amy Klobuchar says the U-S needs to do more to combat opioid prescription and drug abuse. Klobuchar joined law enforcement and healthcare officials and families impacted by drug abuse at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in St. Paul recently to address what she calls a "prescription opioid and heroin crisis" in the country.

New Attractions Announced for MN State Fair  

Dozens of new State Fair attractions are being introduced at this year's Minnesota State Fair. The fair's Brienna Schuette says the addition of new attractions is always exciting. New attractions this year include a tribute to the national parks, a Recipe Card Roundup giveaway, the Great Yoga Get-Together and a new 4-H Minnesota Meat Grilling contest, plus five iconic fairground "Selfie-Spots" for visitors to snap their State Fair photo memories. The State Fair opens on Thursday for its annual run. Wednesday night, a new Princess Kay of the Milky Way will be crowned. Morgan Krause of Buffalo is a finalist for the honor. Kyla Mauk of Howard Lake is the current Princess Kay and will be ending her reign. She will give her farewell speech at the event on the State Fairgrounds.

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.