NEWS-June 17
News Director: Bev Alquist Call with news at 320-235-2900 or email

News Archive

Sunday, the Meeker County Sheriff's Office was called to a motorcycle crash at the intersection of 650th Avenue and 225th Street. 41 year old Chad Savoy of Dassel was traveling north on 650th when he drove off the road and into the ditch causing the motorcycle to tip over. His wife, 43 year old Stephanie Savoy, was a passenger on the motorcycle. She was taken to the Hutchinson Hospital with minor injuries. According to the sheriff’s office, alcohol was a factor and Chad Savoy was brought to the Meeker County Jail where he is being held for DWI and Criminal Vehicular Operation charges. This crash is under investigation by the Meeker County Sheriff's Office.

Friday, the Meeker County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a distressed boat on the east side of Lake Ripley, City of Litchfield. The boater forgot to put in the drain plug and the boat was taking on water and the engine was also stalled. Nearby boaters towed the boat to shore where deputies assisted in retrieving the disabled boat and getting it out of the water and loaded onto a trailer.

Yesterday afternoon (Sunday), the Meeker County Sheriff's Office, Kimball and Dassel Fire Departments responded to a report of a slough on fire near Lake Francis. The fire was believed to be caused by a compost pile that was on the edge of the slough that possibly spontaneously combusted. Approximately 15 to 20 acres of slough grass burned. No structures or buildings were damaged.

The Alexandria City Council has been discussing a charter commission. They did establish a charter years ago, but membership has not been included for many years. City Administrator Jim Taddei says in reviewing the state statute, the council needs to keep that charter commission intact and appoint various members to that commission. He says those names are then forwarded to the district court, and the district court makes appointments on behalf of the city for that purpose. The city attorney’s office will make further recommendations on soliciting names and members for that charter commission. Taddei says the reason they need a charter commission is that the city is a charter city rather than a statutory city.

It’s time for the annual Loon count and there are still several lakes in Kandiyohi County where the Department of Natural Resources is needing volunteers to count the number of loons they see on one morning between June 28th and July 8th. Detailed instructions, training materials, maps, and a data form will be provided to all who sign up! The time commitment is 2-4 hours per lake. Surveys must be done sometime between 5 in the morning and 12 noonon the one morning of your choice. Volunteers must commit to completing assigned lake(s) and be willing to participate in the program for multiple years. Contact Dorie Tess at New Ulm for more information or to sign up.

The Paynesville City Council has been updated on the progress of the Trunk Highway 55 and County Road 181 turn lane realignment, according to Mayor Jeff Thompson. He says it should be a fairly short project. It’s been a dangerous intersection for some time and that turn lane is getting moved over just a bit to get some separation from the traffic there. In other business they also approved a preliminary plat for Opportunity Park, and had an update on McDonald’s. They’re still proceeding with construction and looking to be open in mid to late July.

Judy Jacobs has been named the new regional public affairs coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Transportation for District 8, which encompasses 12 counties in west central and southwestern Minnesota. She most recently served as the Toward Zero Deaths Regional coordinator for east central and west central Minnesota. She replaces T.J. Melcher, who recently transferred to Bemidji.

Willmar Police Chief David Wyffels recently asked the Public Works/Public Safety committee to consider an ordinance amendment that would place some restrictions on citizens shooting a bow and arrow within city limits, as currently there are none. The concern rises from the potential of an accidental target miss by someone using such a device and crossing property boundaries, possibly striking a child on a backyard swing, playing in a sandbox, or an adult working in a garden in their yard. Chief Wyffels was asked to devise language to restrict such action and bring it back to committee for consideration. Recognizing legitimate reasons of why someone may want to shoot such a device within the community, i.e., shooting carp on open water, improve hunting or competition skills, etc., Chief Wyffels is seeking public input on this subject. Attempting to balance public safety against individual rights, freedoms and interests, Chief Wyffels is currently considering language that “would” permit shooting such a device. Public opinion and comment is being sought. Those who believe the restrictions being sought are too confining or onerous are asked to articulate why, so valid consideration can be given to these concerns as well. 

Saturday, 64 year old Paul Larson of Dayton lost control of the 1933 Ford Model 40 custom built kit car he was driving on the race track at the Grove Creek Raceway and collided with the barrier walls at 80 to 90 miles per hour. He was taken to the Meeker Memorial Hospital. The crash is under investigation by the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.

The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office was called to a two vehicle crash Saturday at the Highway 12 and County Road 31 intersection west of Litchfield. The drivers were 69 year old Ronald Hoese of Mayer and 53 year old Asad Omar of Willmar. Omar and his passenger, 23 year old Mohamed Awale of Willmar, were taken to the Meeker Memorial Hospital. The crash is under investigation by the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.

The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office ws called to a para-gliding crash Saturday near the intersection of County Road 37 and 515th Street in Cosmos township. 53 year old Linda McClary of Eagan ws para-gliding with a group of people from the SDI Para-gliding Academy from Farmington. She was being towed by a vehicle and was about 20 feet in the air when the safety link brake released. This is  a piece of safety equipment designed to release the rope from the towing vehicle if too much tension is built up. Sheriff Jeff Norlin says McLary fell to the ground in a field and was taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. She is an experienced para-glider and a licensed para-glider. She was wearing a parachute, but wasn’t high enough to deploy it.

47 year old Mark Raddatz of Brownton suffered non-life threatening injuries last night (Sunday) when he crashed his Honda Roadster after hitting rumble strips. The crash happened at the intersection of Highway 71 and County Road 2 in Renville County. According to the Minnesota State Patrol and Renville County Sheriff’s Office, Raddatz lost control when he hit the rumble strips, and went into the ditch. He was transported by North Memorial Ambulance. Also assisting was the Lower Sioux Police Department.

Four people sustained non-life threatening injuries Friday in a rollover on Highway 59 south of Marshall in Lyon County. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, 29 year old Santa Lopez of Marshall lost control and rolled. Passengers were 11 year old Walter Lopez, 6 year old Victoria Chavez and 4 year old Edgar Chavez. Assisting at the scene was the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.

John Johnston has completed 50 years of coaching golf at Olivia and BOLD High School, retiring this past week as head coach of BOLD High School. Johnston’s wife is also retiring after 25 years of coaching BOLD’s girls golf team. The plan after retiring from coaching golf is to play more golf, most of that in Arizona.

Several farmers and business owners in southwestern Minnesota have received grants from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to upgrade or expand their operations. Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Poster and Marketing Division Director Mary Hanson was tour these farms and businesses today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday). They will be touring the Kevin Mathiowetz sheep farm at Olivia Tuesday at noon. He plans to use the Livestock Investment Grant to rebuild a barn destroyed in a wind storm in 2011.

The Board of Equalization meeting will be held in the Kandiyohi County Board Room at the Health and Human Services building tonight (Monday) at 6:30. Property owners must have gone before their local township board prior to being at this meeting.

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