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Wright County News

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Albertville Man Injured in Car-Pedestrian Accident in Crow Wing County 

A Wright County man was injured Friday night when he was struck by an SUV while crossing a roadway in Crow Wing County. The Minnesota State Patrol reports that just after 9 PM Friday night, 62-year-old Richard Kolles of Albertville was crossing Highway 6 at Oak Street when he was struck by an SUV. Kolles sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the Crosby, Minnesota hospital for treatment. The driver of the SUV, 50-year-old Lorrie Anderson of Crosslake, Minnesota, was not injured. The State Patrol is continuing its investigation. 

Fall Driving Easy on the Budget 

Motorists here in Wright County and throughout the state continue to enjoy a little less of a hit on the wallet as fall gas prices continue to stay down. The average cost for a gallon of gas statewide is $2.14, about a dime less than the national average, and down over 30 cents per gallon from last year at this time. Triple A Minnesota's Gail Weinholzer says that will likely continue through the fall, barring any instability in the Middle East. OPEC will be holding a meeting on oil production levels next month.

DNR Urges Deer Hunters to Get Licenses Early 

The DNR is reminding deer hunters to purchase their licenses early. DNR Licensing Program Director Steve Michaels says there are a number of options for hunters to get their license, including on-line, via the mail, and at more than 15 hundred retailers throughout the state. The 2016 Minnesota firearms deer season begins November 5th.

Work Continues on Deadly Stretch of Highway 12 

Work is continuing on the addition of a new concrete barrier to a deadly stretch of Highway 12 between Long Lake and Orono in the west metro. MnDOT's Susan Young says nearly two dozen people have been killed, and many others injured on that section of roadway since 2010. The 2.3 million dollar project is being paid for mostly through Federal Highway Safety Improvement funds, with about ten percent being covered by the state. The project is expected to take about three weeks to complete.

Buffalo Community Theater Presents "The Sunshine Boys" This Weekend 

Theater-goers should get ready for comedy as the Buffalo Community Theater's production of "The Sunshine Boys" takes the stage this weekend for a 6-performance run over the next two weekends. "The Sunshine Boys" is the Neil Simon story of a vaudeville team gearing up for their first comeback performance in 40 years, and the many hilarious and sometimes heartfelt hurdles they have to overcome. The production continues this afternoon at 2 PM at the Discovery Center Auditorium in Buffalo. "The Sunshine Boys" will also be back on stage, next Friday and Saturday evenings, October 28th and 29th at 7:30 PM, and next Sunday, October 30th at 2 PM. Tickets are available in advance at;, and at the door. 

MEA Airport Traffic Heavy 

With Minnesota teachers holding their annual convention, it means that many families are taking this time to do some traveling. If you're flying out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International over the next few days you're encouraged to get to the airport early. M-S-P spokeswoman Melissa Scovronski says the airport is always busier than usual during the MEA break. Scovronski recommends arriving two hours prior to your flight time during this busy MEA weekend.

Semi Broadsides Car in Sherburne County, Three Injured 

Three people were injured when a semi-truck broadsided a passenger car in neighboring Sherburne County Wednesday evening. The State Patrol reports that shortly after 7 PM, a 9-1-1 call was received from a motorist reporting that a semi that was northbound on Highway 169 near Sherburne County Road 74 was traveling without any headlights. Moments later, that semi broadsided a passenger car that had been traveling west on Sherburne County Road 74, and was crossing northbound Highway 169 to go south on 169. The driver of the passenger car, 36-year-old Crystal Sweet of Zimmerman, and two youngsters, ages 10 and 9, who were passengers in the car were all taken to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the semi, 63-year-old Vallerie Neary of Deer River, was not injured. The Sherburne County Sheriff's Office, the Baldwin Fire Department, and North Ambulance all assisted the State Patrol. 

Youth Deer Hunt is On 

Minnesota's special deer hunting season for youth ages 10 to 15 is open now through Sunday. The DNR's Mike Kurre says it's the perfect time to mentor a young hunter. During the youth hunt, the adult mentor does not need a deer hunting license, but may not carry a firearm. Youth hunt licenses are a dollar for ages 10 through 12; six dollars for 13, 14 and 15-year-olds. Youth deer hunt zones are in the very northwest corner of the state, the whole metro area and the southeast corner of Minnesota. Sportspersons are encouraged to carefully check the DNR maps for specifics on the youth zones.

Emergency Preparedness Exercise Continues Around Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant 

A reminder to residents and visitors that a radiological emergency preparedness exercise around the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant will continue throughout the week. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Department of Energy, and the Federal Radiological Monitoring Assessment Center will be conducting the exercise through Friday. Officials say the exercise will involve helicopter flights between the areas of Monticello and Camp Ripley near Little Falls. Residents around the Monticello nuclear power facility are advised that they should not be alarmed by frequent helicopter traffic, or other field personnel carrying out their duties during the exercise. 

Two Injured in Tuesday Evening Traffic Crash in Maple Lake 

Two local residents were injured in a two-vehicle, rear-end type traffic crash Tuesday evening in Maple Lake. The Minnesota State Patrol reports that just before 6:30 PM, a passenger car that was eastbound on Highway 55 on the west outskirts of Maple Lake was stopped in traffic to make a left turn. The passenger car was rear-ended by a pickup that was also eastbound. The driver of the car, 48-year-old Jolene Hannon of Maple Lake, and a passenger in the car, 10-year-old Erica Hannon, also of Maple Lake, both sustained non-life threatening injuries and were taken to the Buffalo Hospital for treatment. The driver of the pickup truck, 27-year-old Matthew Wuollet of Annandale, was not injured.

Presidential Candidates Generally Quiet on Agriculture 

With three weeks to the election, Collin Peterson, the top Democrat on the U-S House Agriculture Committee says regulations are among the biggest problem farmers have had to fight off. Clinton supporter, U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack responds Clinton is the only candidate with a plan to continue revitalizing the rural economy. Regarding the Waters of America legislation, Vilsack agrees that farmers need certainty and clarity on the new regulations. Many farm groups agree that neither candidate for president has said much about agriculture thus far in the campaign.

No Campaign Signs on State or County Highway Right-of Way 

As the political season heats up, officials with both state and county highway departments has a reminder for property owners that political ad signs are prohibited on state and county highway right-of-way areas. Long-standing state statutes do not allow for the placement of political signs in the right-of-way, and both state and county officials have the right to remove and impound signs, and dispose of them if they are not reclaimed. Political campaigners are reminded to place signs only on private property by permission only. Anyone with further questions on statutes covering political signage should contact MnDOT, or locally, the Wright County Highway Department.

Re-launch of State Jobs Program for Disabled Workers 

Governor Dayton recently announced the re-launch of two programs aimed at creating more state government jobs for Minnesotans with disabilities. Dayton says the goal of the Connect 700 and Supported Worker programs is to hit 7% employment by August 2018. 

MN House Speaker Says Even Higher Health Insurance Premiums are Likely 

House Speaker Kurt Daudt is sounding the alarm after a report predicting skyrocketing premiums for those buying health insurance through the MNsure state exchange. Daudt says in fact, an estimated 150-thousand people are losing coverage because their provider is pulling out of the individual marketplace. Governor Mark Dayton admitted recently that "the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable" and adjustments must be made at the state and federal levels. Daudt says he'd like to do away with the Affordable Care Act and go back to what Minnesota used to have -- a four-tiered system using private insurance, Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare and a plan that paid for people who could not get insurance elsewhere. Meanwhile, Democrats in the Minnesota House propose the state give a tax rebate to those who are hit with big health insurance premium increases next year. Minnesota House Minority Leader Paul Thissen says the rebate would be temporary until lawmakers can solve the bigger problem of health insurance premium increases. He says the state could pay for it with existing funds plus canceling a tobacco tax cut included in last year's tax bill.

Highway 12 Closed Between Long Lake and Orono 

Motorists who frequently drive Highway 12 into the metro area should take note that a section of that roadway between Hennepin County Road 112 in Long Lake and Hennepin County Road 6 in Orono is closed for construction work. Crews are extending a concrete median barrier to help prevent crossover crashes. The project is among the first in a series of safety improvements recommended in the U-S 12 Road Safety Audit. During the closure, Highway 12 traffic will detour onto County Road 112 through Orono and Long Lake. Motorists should expect significant delays and allow for extra time when traveling through the area. Officials with MnDOT estimate that the work will take about 3 weeks. Weather permitting, Highway 12 should re-open to normal traffic in mid-November. 

Cokato Woman Injured in McLeod County Crash 

A Wright County woman was injured in a two-vehicle traffic crash in neighboring McLeod County late Saturday afternoon. The State Patrol reports around 4:20 PM Saturday, a Chevrolet HHR was eastbound on Highway 7, and was stopped behind another vehicle that was preparing to turn left. The driver of another passenger car that was also eastbound on Highway 7 reportedly became distracted and didn't see that the Chevy HHR was stopped. The driver swerved, side-swiping the other vehicle. The driver of the HHR, 50-year-old Katherine Meredith of Cokato was taken to the Hutchinson Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Three other passengers of the vehicle, all family members, were not injured. The driver of the passenger car that sideswiped the other vehicle, 24-year-old Elizabeth Knight of Hutchinson, also escaped injury. The McLeod County Sheriff's Office assisted the State Patrol at the scene. 

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month 

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and groups in Minnesota are working to let victims know they don't have to tolerate it. Veronica Carter has a report in today's on-air news. Meanwhile, more information is available at;, and

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.