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Wright County News  

Monday, January 21, 2019

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


Wrong-Way Driver in Double Fatal Crash in St. Cloud Sentenced to 8 Years 

The St. Cloud man charged in a traffic crash that claimed the life of a Clearwater man and a Wisconsin man last July has been sentenced to 8 years in prison. 28-year-old Charlie Barnett had entered a guilty plea to two counts of criminal vehicular homicide last October. Barnett was driving a car on Division Street in Waite Park July 9th of 2018 when the car crossed over the median and struck a vintage Chevrolet El Camino head-on. The crash claimed the life of 77-year-old Roger Nelson of Clearwater, and 61-year-old Richard Tomlinson of Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Tomlinson was the driver of the vehicle owned by Nelson. The men were on a test-drive as Tomlinson was interested in purchasing the vehicle. Witnesses reported that the car Barnett was driving was traveling at a high rate of speed, and did not slow down before slamming into the El Camino. The investigation turned up an aerosol can of dust cleaner on the floor near the driver's seat. Authorities learned that Barnett had a history of huffing the cleaner. Barnett was ordered to begin his sentence immediately. The judge indicated that he will be credited for time already served, which was 191 days.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observed 

Today is a national holiday, honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most influential leaders of the civil rights movement in the U-S. Wright County joins the nation today in observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday established in 1986 to honor the January 15th birth date of the slain civil rights leader. King was a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and was posthumously honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom , and a Congressional Gold Medal. In honor of the national holiday, governmental offices are closed today. Post offices are closed and there is no mail service. Many schools are closed, as are the majority of banks throughout the area. Most retailers and other businesses however, are open normal hours today.

Three Otsego Residents Injured in North Shore Traffic Crash Sunday 

Three people from Wright County were among those injured in a two vehicle traffic crash Sunday afternoon along the north shore of Lake Superior near Tofte. The State Patrol reports that around 4:45 PM, a mini-van that was southbound on Highway 61 near the Lutsen Resort, came to a stop for a vehicle that was making a left turn into the Lutsen Resort. Another passenger car that was southbound rear-ended the mini-van. The driver of the mini-van, 41-year-old Bret Deneson of Otsego, and two passengers, 41-year-old Catherine Deneson, and 12-year-old Luke Deneson, both also from Otsego, all sustained non-life threatening injuries. All three were treated at the Cook County North Shore Hospital. Five other passengers in the vehicle, also from Otsego and Brooklyn Park, escaped injury. The driver of the passenger car involved, 28-year-old Lee Hall of Lutsen was not injured. A passenger in his car, an 18-year-old woman, was treated for non-life threatening injuries at the Cook County North Shore Hospital. The Cook County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Medical Services assisted the State Patrol at the scene.

Wright County Man Injured in Crash of Three Semis in Southern MN 

A local man was injured when three semi-trucks collided on snowy and icy roads in southern Minnesota on Friday. The State Patrol reports that shortly before 2 PM Friday, three semis were southbound on I-35 in Bancroft Township in Freeborn County. The trucks reportedly lost control on snowy, icy roads and collided. One of the drivers, 45-year-old Viktar Yermakovich of Albertville sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the Albert Lea Medical Center for treatment. The other drivers, a 48-year-old man from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a 72-year-old man from Gilmer, Texas, were not injured. The Freeborn County Sheriff's Office, the Geneva Fire Department, the Clarks Grove Fire Department, the Ellendale Ambulance, and MnDOT officials all assisted the State Patrol.

These stories and more follow the Westwood One 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.