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Wright County News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


One Injured in Broadside Crash West of Annandale 

A Monday morning traffic accident west of Annandale on Highway 55 left one person injured. The Minnesota State Patrol says the crash happened just after 7 AM at the intersection of Highway 55 and Wright County Road 3. Authorities say an eastbound passenger car on Highway 55 struck the side of a southbound pickup truck that was crossing Highway 55 on County Road 3. The driver of the passenger car, 23-year-old Aaron Hesse of Watkins sustained non-life threatening injuries. He was taken to the Buffalo Hospital for treatment. The driver of the pickup, 28-year-old Ryan Wolfe, and a passenger, 26-year-old Simon Kelley, both of St. Cloud, were not injured. The Wright County Sheriff's Office assisted the State Patrol at the scene. Officials remind motorists to be cautious at that intersection, which was the sight of a fatal traffic crash earlier this month when a northbound car was struck by an eastbound truck.

Group Pushes Coal in MN Energy Mix 

Keeping coal as a regional energy source is the goal of a group that's hired a well-known Minnesota political figure to help get their message out. Former state Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe will be working for the Coalition for a Secure Energy Future. Former state Senator Steve Morse with the Minnesota Environmental Partnership has a different view. Morse says Minnesotans spend about 18 billion dollars a year to buy coal and other fuels from other states, as much as the entire state government budget, and he says that money would be better spent in Minnesota with wind and solar energy.

Farm Land Rental Seminar Next Month in Buffalo  

Wright County Extension has scheduled a Farm Land Rental Rate seminar for next month in Buffalo. Farm land rental rates are in most cases at all-time highs, and determining a fair farm rent agreement is a challenge in the current economy with the significantly lower corn and soybean prices seen for this year's crop compared to the record high prices of a few years ago. Negotiating a fair rental agreement that satisfies both the land owner and the farmer is a challenge which requires examination of local historic and projected farmland rental rate trends, current farm land values and sales and crop prices. The Wright County Extension session on Farm Land Rental Rates is scheduled for Thursday, December 18th from 9:30 to 11:30 AM at the Wright County Government Center, meeting room 201. David Bau, Extension Educator in Ag Business Management will lead the session. For more details, contact Wright County Extension at (763) 682-7394.

MN Unemployment Falls Again in October 

The state labor market continued its hot streak in October as the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent. Minnesota employers added 95-hundred jobs and the September numbers were revised upward by 28-hundred jobs. State job analyst Steve Hine says October extended a pretty strong string of months. Minnesota's 3.9 percent unemployment rate is the lowest since June of 2006. The county-by-county unemployment rate for October should be out in about a week to 10 days. The U-S unemployment rate was 5.8 percent last month. 

Personal Injury Accident in Cokato Could Lead to Charges 

A Sunday afternoon traffic crash in Cokato resulted in injuries to a teenage driver, and authorities say the incident may result in charges against the teen. The State Patrol reports that shortly after 12 noon Sunday, a northbound car on Jackson Avenue pulled out from a stop sign onto Highway 12 and was struck broadside by an eastbound SUV. Officials say the driver of the passenger car that was struck was a 17-year-old female, who was taken to Buffalo Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Due to possible charges, her name has not been released by authorities. The driver of the SUV, 48-year-old Kendall Fenstra of Willmar was not injured. The Wright County Sheriff's Office assisted the State Patrol at the scene. The incident is still under investigation by the State Patrol.

Broadside Crash in Big Lake Sends Four to Hospital 

A broadside crash in Big Lake Sunday afternoon sent four people to the hospital. The State Patrol says around 4:20 PM Sunday, an SUV that was northbound on Industrial Park Drive pulled out onto Highway 10 in front of a passenger car. The driver of the car attempted to avoid the crash, but struck the SUV, then rolled into the center median, coming to rest on its wheels. The SUV spun and tipped after being struck, but also came to rest on its wheels. The driver of the SUV, 43-year-old Bobbi Baer of Princeton sustained non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the passenger car, 30-year-old Kristin Koons and two passengers, the driver's husband, 33-year-old Thomas Koons, and the couple's 1-year-old son, Daniel Koons, all of Big Lake, all sustained non-life threatening injuries. All 4 people involved in the incident were taken to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids for treatment. The Big Lake Police Department and the Sherburne County Sheriff's Office assisted the State Patrol at the scene.

Despite Recent Trend, Most Serious Injury Crashes Occur in Summer 

State officials are concerned about an uptick in traffic fatalities since the cold and snow arrived in Minnesota. Office of Traffic Safety Director Donna Berger says despite the high number of recent fatal and serious-injury crashes, those types of crashes are actually more common in the summer than in the winter. Berger says it's important to allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination in winter conditions. She also recommends putting a winter survival kit in all vehicles.

New Survey Shows Minnesotans Will Spend More This Holiday Season  

A new survey from a major Minnesota college is pointing to a little more money changing hands this holiday season. The study from St. Thomas University shows the average household will spend 868 dollars this year, which is the highest amount since the survey began 13 years ago. This year's holiday spending estimate is up 31 dollars from last year and around 230 dollars higher than the recession low point in 2009. Dr. Lorman Lundsten says those numbers indicate the recession is finally behind us. Topping the giving list of most Minnesotans surveyed are gift certificates, clothing and accessories and cash.

Minnesota Makes Progress on Reducing Premature Births

There's still more work to be done, but progress is being made in Minnesota in reducing the number of babies being born too soon. John Michaelson has a full report in our on-air news throughout the day. More information on the new 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.