Archive for Nancy Dashwood

McLeod County sees rise in COVID-19 cases

McLEOD COUNTY – McLeod County Administrator Sheila Murphy announced an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the county.

“We have seen a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in McLeod County,” she stated via email. “We are working diligently with our state and local partners to follow up, as we always do, with any suspected cases. We are actively evaluating what additional resources need to be implemented in order to address the increase in cases. No specifics are available at this time.”

Murphy said she will be in contact with additional information as it becomes available.

Road work on Highway 12 between Montrose and Delano to begin Monday, Aug. 17

WRIGHT COUNTY – Drivers who use Highway 12 between Montrose and Delano may be looking for alternate routes later this month.

Road work is scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 17, between Zephyr Avenue in Montrose, and Bridge Avenue in Delano, which will result in lane closures and traffic delays. The lane closures will take place from sunrise to sunset Monday through Saturday  – weather permitting – and are expected to continue until early October.

Flaggers will be on the road in the work zone allowing one lane of traffic to proceed alternately, turning Highway 12 into a one-way road in the work zone. For those who use Highway 12 for their daily commute, it is expected that an additional 10 minutes should be added to the projected drive time.

The six-mile project will include resurfacing, culvert repair/improvements, pavement markings, rumble strips, and upgrades to pedestrian sidewalks.

The work will be done in segments to reduce the amount of time motorists will have to wait to drive through the work zone.

Those with questions about the project are encouraged to call Construction Project Manager Josh Daniel at (320) 293-2946 or contact him by email at For real-time travel information on the project, call 5-1-1 or visit

Wright County opens next 900 spots for drivers license renewals today

WRIGHT COUNTY – The Wright County License Bureau has announced that the next round of 900 appointments for renewing driver’s licenses at the Wright County Government Center became available at 8 a.m. today, Friday, Aug. 7.

The time frame covered under the new release will be for the period of Aug. 17 to 28. To access the schedule, go to the county website ( click on the “Make an Appointment” tab on the left side of the screen.

Bishop John M. LeVoit resigns from Diocese of New Ulm, effective today

NEW ULM –  The Most Rev. John M. LeVoir has resigned as bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm due to health reasons.

Pope Francis accepted his resignation effective Aug. 6, 2020. Bishop LeVoir, 74, who was appointed bishop of New Ulm on July 14, 2008, is now considered a retired bishop. A typical retirement age for a bishop is 75. Since early July, Bishop LeVoir has been undergoing a physical and psychological assessment at Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Center in Alma, Mich., operated by the Religious Sisters of Mercy. He will remain in Alma until early September to undertake a therapy plan.

“Although these last years have been very challenging for the diocese and the life of the Church, it has been a privilege to have served the faithful of the Diocese of New Ulm. As bishop, it has not only been a great honor, but an enriching experience as I have come to know many people throughout this local Church. I have been impressed by their love for Jesus Christ, their willingness to share their Catholic faith, and their concern for the less fortunate. It would not have been possible to serve as their shepherd without their continued support, cooperation, and prayers,” said Bishop LeVoir.

According to the Code of Canon Law, when the bishop of a diocese vacates his office, and no simultaneous appointment is made by the Holy See to fill the office, a diocesan administrator is elected by the diocesan College of Consultors to govern the diocese. The diocesan administrator is elected from the active priests of the diocese and is at least 35 years of age. Once he accepts the election, he holds the power of a bishop until the pope appoints a new bishop. There is no timeline for the appointment of a new bishop. However, the search for a replacement will begin immediately, a process run primarily by the Vatican.

Msgr. Douglas Grams, the vicar general of the diocese under Bishop LeVoir offered prayerful best wishes to him. “I applaud Bishop LeVoir for recognizing his health concerns and making the request for early retirement. I thank him for his devoted leadership during his tenure as the shepherd of our diocese.”

A native of Minneapolis, Bishop LeVoir was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1981. He was serving as pastor at the Church of St. Michael and the Church of St. Mary in Stillwater, when Pope Benedict XVI appointed him July 14, 2008, as the fourth bishop of New Ulm.

Established Nov. 18, 1957, the Diocese of New Ulm consists of 15 counties in south and west-central Minnesota: Big Stone, Brown, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Nicollet, Redwood, Renville, Sibley, Swift, and Yellow Medicine, a total of 9,863 square miles. It encompasses nearly 50,933 Catholics, in 61 parishes, served by 35 assigned priests and 19 permanent deacons. There are 13 Catholic elementary schools and three Catholic high schools.

Minnesota National Guard releases info about crash that killed Winsted man last December

The Minnesota National Guard has released a summary of the results from the military investigation board appointed by the Adjutant General to provide an accurate account of the Dec. 5, 2019, crash of a Minnesota National Guard UH-60L aircraft, that resulted in the tragic death of three crew members, including Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers, Jr., of Winsted.

“It is critical for us to determine what caused this tragic loss of life – not so that we can place blame, but so that we can do everything possible to ensure nothing like this ever happens again,” said Brig. Gen. Sandy Best, Interim Adjutant General, Minnesota National Guard.

The investigation found that on Dec. 5, 2019, a crew of three Minnesota National Guard members conducted a maintenance test flight to verify the proper installation of the aircraft’s Hydromechanical Unit (HMU). The crew was conducting a maximum power check on the Number 1 engine in an area southwest of the St. Cloud Regional Airport.

The Number 1 engine failed during the check, and the Number 2 engine was in the idle setting, causing a dual engine out condition. The crew did not recover the aircraft from this condition, and it subsequently impacted the ground at a high rate of speed.

The investigation identified several factors that contributed to the accident:

– The Number 1 engine failed due to an incorrect installation of the Hydromechanical Unit (HMU)

– The inspection of the HMU installation was not completed in accordance with the published installation procedure

– The Maintenance Test Pilot failed to respond to a critical situation during a maintenance maneuver

– The pilot on the controls failed to execute an autorotative descent and landing

– Leaders did not adequately assess the technical inspector’s ability to perform his duties while pending administrative actions

– In accordance with Army Regulation and the Minnesota Army Aviation Standard Operating Procedures, the aircraft mechanic should not have been on the flight because he did not have a valid purpose for being on the flight

The investigation recommends the Minnesota National Guard take the following actions to prevent an accident like this from happening again:

– Consider administrative action for the mechanic who installed the HMU.

– Consider administrative action for the inspector who inspected the maintenance work. (As of January 2020, the inspector is no longer employed with the Minnesota National Guard).

– Additional training for maintenance test pilots regarding the conduct of maintenance test flights

– Additional training for all Minnesota National Guard pilots in responding to emergency procedures.

– Review of the written and unwritten policies regarding maintenance test flights

The Minnesota National Guard’s investigation is in addition to a safety investigation conducted by the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center at Fort Rucker. The safety investigation results provide recommendations to prevent future accidents, and are not releasable to the public. The aviation community uses the results of safety investigations for safety and accident prevention purposes.

The families of the deceased service members have received separate, individual briefings on the results of the investigation. All three families have requested to have no media contact.

“We continue to grieve with the families of these fallen Soldiers and the Aviation community, and the extended Guard family during this extremely difficult time,” said Brig. General Best. “We hope the conclusion of this investigation and its findings will help to bring them closure and peace.”


Hwy 12 closed due to 4-vehicle accident Wednesday morning

MIDDLEVILLE TOWNSHIP – A  Peterbilt semi-truck rear-ended a pickup on Hwy. 12 between Howard Lake and Cokato Wednesday morning, according to the Minnesota State Patrol (MSP), in a crash that eventually involved two additional vehicles, and closed Hwy. 12 until at least Wednesday evening.

The Peterbilt semi-truck with a tanker was traveling eastbound on Hwy. 12 when it rear-ended a Ford pickup truck hauling a gravity box near 58th St. at approximately 8:31 a.m. The gravity box flew into the westbound lanes, striking a Mack cement truck that was traveling westbound. The Peterbilt semi truck then attempted to avoid the gravity box, but then rear-ended the Volvo sedan, causing the Peterbilt semi-truck to roll over and block all lanes of Hwy 12, according to MSP.
The 2007 Peterbilt semi-truck was driven by Jonathan Noel Hinnenkamp, 46, of Sauk Centre. He was wearing a seat belt, and received non-life-threatening injuries.
A 1995 Ford pick-up was driven by Larry Everrett Smith, 60, of Howard Lake.  Ryan Everrett Smith, 30, of Howard Lake, was a passenger in the vehicle. Both Smiths were wearing seat belts, and received non-life-threatening injuries.
The 2006 Mack semi-truck was driven by Steven Edwin Rossman, 64, of South Haven.  Rossman, who was wearing a seat belt, was transported to the Buffalo hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The 2006 Volvo S40 was driven by Alex Timothy Sheff, 24, of Dassel.  Sheff was wearing a seat belt, and received non-life-threatening injuries.
The Minnesota State Patrol (MSP) was assisted at the accident scene by the Wright County Sheriffs Office, Howard Lake Ambulance, Cokato Ambulance, and Howard Lake Fire.
MnDOT estimated Hwy. 12 would remain closed in both directions until at least Wednesday evening. MnDOT suggested drivers should seek alternate routes, follow law enforcement directions, and plan for delays. Crews have been called to remove spill materials overnight, according to MnDOT.
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(Photos by Jacob Wandersee and Troy Feltmann.)