Archive for Montrose

Several departments respond to grass fire

Smoke billows from a Tuesday evening swamp fire behind the residence at 1495 110th St. SE between Watertown and Delano.

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, MN – A discarded cigarette led to a large grass fire in a swamp between Watertown and Delano Tuesday, according to Watertown Fire Chief Wade Stock.

His department was called to the fire at 1495 110th St. SE in Franklin Township around 4:25 p.m.

Fire departments from Delano, Montrose, Mayer, St. Bonifacius, and Victoria provided mutual aid, as did the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources helicopter.

Smoke from the fire was reportedly visible from as far west as Hutchinson and as far north as Maple Lake, just one indicator of the size of the blaze.

“It was 60.5 acres,” Stock said. “I only know that because the helicopter took GPS footage. It’s hard to tell when you’re standing on the ground. We had the DNR helicopter out there, so it was taking GPS of the whole burn area. They did water drops with it. That’s what put out the majority of it.”

Nearly 70 firefighters responded to the scene, with some going on foot or by ATV to attack the fire with blowers and water, while others parked fire engines on neighboring properties and stood by to protect them.

No injuries, property damage, or property loss was reported.

Stock said the scene was cleared at 7:41 p.m.

He used the incident to remind residents of the current fire risk.

“Everybody just needs to be cautious with the dry conditions out there,” Stock said. “It will be a busy spring until we get rain and things green up. We encourage no burning whatsoever. It wouldn’t take much to get away from you.”

He believes official burn restrictions will be in place soon, noting that the DNR helicopter, based in Princeton, responded to five fire calls Tuesday alone.

Vital records location changing in Wright County

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – Effective March 6, the vital records function including birth certificates, death and marriage certificates, marriage applications, ordinations and passport photos will be processed at the Wright County recorder’s office on the second floor of the Wright County Government Center in Buffalo.

MN health insurance deadline extended to Feb. 8

MINNESOTA – Across America, the cost of healthcare hasn’t always been a happy topic. Local citizens can relate, as many have faced spikes in insurance rates the past few years.

“I really don’t know how people can afford this,” one Herald Journal reader wrote in fall 2016. “Last year, my insurance increased over 50 percent.”

MNsure is one place many Minnesotans are purchasing health insurance this year. The original deadline had been Jan. 31, but MNsure announced a one-week special enrollment period Jan. 28 to give Minnesotans additional time to purchase health insurance and benefit from a new law that provides an automatic 25-percent reduction in health insurance premiums for the more than 125,000 Minnesotans facing significant premium increases in the individual market.

The special enrollment period run from Wednesday, Feb. 1, through Wednesday, Feb. 8. It is open to all Minnesotans; however, they must purchase health insurance through the MNsure website (

Because MNsure is a state-based exchange, it has the authority to declare a special enrollment period under exceptional circumstances. The new law, signed with only five days remaining in the current open enrollment period, presented exceptional circumstances because it did not offer Minnesotans enough time to: 1) become aware of and 2) benefit from this new subsidy.

The premium relief bill, passed by the Minnesota Legislature and signed by Governor Dayton, appropriates $312 million to provide consumers who purchase health insurance in the individual market and do not receive advanced premium tax credits, an automatic 25-percent discount on their monthly health insurance premiums. The discount will be applied automatically by health insurance companies.

An article about how health insurance is affecting local citizens is on page 1A of the Jan. 30 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here for subscription information.

Funeral notice: LaVern ‘Vern’ Johnson, 91, of Buffalo

BUFFALO, MN – LaVern (Vern) Johnson, 91, of Buffalo, formerly of Montrose, died Sunday, Oct. 25, 2016. A memorial service for LaVern will take place Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 11 a.m. at Bethlehem United Church of Christ in Maple Lake, followed by a potluck luncheon. Bethlehem UCC is located on County Road 37, on the north side of Maple Lake High School.

Cute baby contest now accepting entries

MINNESOTA – Know someone with an adorable baby? The Herald Journal’s sister paper, the Delano Herald Journal, is hosting a cute baby contest.

Entrants do not need to be from Delano to win.

Nearly $1,000 will be given away in cash prizes.

For details, click here: 

Fire destroys machine shed in Woodland Township

WOODLAND TOWNSHIP, MN – A machine shed in Woodland Township  is a total loss after a Christmas morning fire.

The Montrose Fire Department was called to the fire at 8577 Hwy. 25 at 1:32 a.m. Sunday.

The shed and its contents were a total loss, but there were no injuries as a result of the fire.

Delano and Watertown fire departments assisted at the scene.

Firefighters were on scene for about three hours, followed by two hours of cleanup.