Archive for Montrose

Grand jury indicts three in Clough murder case

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – A grand jury indicted three individuals in connection with the June 1 murder of 19-year-old Cheyenne Clough of Buffalo, at Crow Spring Park in Franklin Township, Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly announced Thursday.

Shawn Tyler Benson, 21, of Maple Lake, was indicted for first-degree premeditated murder and second-degree intentional murder.

Justin Michael Jensen, 29, of Maple Lake, and Edward Victor Zelko, 26, of Buffalo, were both indicted for aiding and abetting first-degree premeditated murder and aiding and abetting second-degree intentional murder.

According to a report from Kelly, Clough and her boyfriend, Devon Boyles, had been staying at Jensen’s residence in Maple Lake, while Natasha Brandenburger, Callie Anderson, and Shawn Benson were also living at Jensen’s residence.

Jensen contacted a bounty hunter May 31, and had Boyles arrested on outstanding warrants. This reportedly caused Clough to become very upset and a heated argument took place with those who resided at Jensen’s residence. Clough was told to leave. When she refused to leave they threatened to call the cops on her. Clough then threatened to call the cops on one of the residents who had an outstanding warrant. The argument went into the early morning hours of June 1.

Jensen, Benson and Zelko had some discussion in Zelko’s car, which was parked in front of Jensen’s home. Jensen had his .22 caliber revolver that was in the house brought to Zelko’s car. Jensen reportedly ordered a “hit” on Clough to have her killed.

Jensen reportedly went into his home and told Clough she was leaving and that Zelko would be giving her a ride home to her mother’s place in Buffalo. Benson went with as a passenger. The time was about 2:30 a.m.

Zelko and Benson reportedly took Clough to Crow Springs Park in Franklin Township. Around 3 a.m., Benson, aided by Zelko, reportedly shot Clough four times with Jensen’s .22 caliber revolver. Zelko and Benson then returned back to Jensen’s and informed Jensen that Clough had been shot.

Around 6 a.m., Jensen, Benson, Zelko, Brandenburger, and Anderson fled to International Falls, arriving the evening of June 2. The murder weapon was reportedly thrown into a river in northern Minnesota.

At about 8 a.m. June 1, Clough’s body was discovered in the park and she was transported to North Memorial Hospital, where she died June 4.

Wright County Sheriff’s Office, working with law enforcement agencies in northern Minnesota, were able to locate and apprehend Zelko in Staples June 4. Jensen, Benson, Brandenburger, and Anderson were located and apprehended outside of International Falls June 5.

Kelly called the work of the Wright County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement agencies in northern Minnesota remarkable.

“From the moment Ms. Clough’s body was found, the Sheriff’s Department investigated and worked nonstop until those responsible for murdering Ms. Clough could be taken into custody,” Kelly said in a press release. “Their work was truly outstanding.”

In Minnesota, the law does not allow county attorneys to charge first-degree premeditated murder. That requires the work of a grand jury. Brian Lutes, Chief of Criminal Division, assisted Kelly with the grand jury.

“I would like to note the importance of citizens who participate in the grand jury proceedings and the individual sacrifices they make when they carry out this very important function in our criminal justice system,” Kelly said. “I appreciated their time and commitment to hearing this case. I would also like to acknowledge those citizens who came forth with information during the investigation of this case.”

Kelly also expressed sympathy to the family and friends of Clough.

He noted all three defendants are scheduled to make their first appearance on the indictment Wednesday, Aug. 31, in Wright County District Court.

Kids asked, we listened

McLEOD, WRIGHT, CARVER COUNTIES, MN – Newspapers aren’t just for adults.

A while back, a few of our youngest readers sent a letter to the editor reminding us of this fact.

Part of the letter states, “Once upon a time, there was a girl and a boy who went to Wisconsin, and we only bought the newspaper for the comics, and the girl even separated the comics from the news. Then they went back to Minnesota and got the newspaper and looked for comics, but NEWS FLASH! There was none! The End.”

As a way to put more kid-friendly content in the paper, we’ve created a “Kidz Korner” featuring a question of the week, jokes, and games.

We hope children will enjoy reading this section, and we welcome your feedback. Send comments to or call (320) 485-2535.

Here’s a look at our first section, which is in the Monday, Aug. 22 edition of the Herald Journal:

Look for the children's section in each issue of the Herald Journal.

Look for the children’s section in each issue of the Herald Journal.


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Local asparagus farm grows sustainably

DASSEL, MN – From the top of the hill, it may be hard to see the plants emerging from the ground. But with a closer look, it’s easy to see the hundreds and hundreds of asparagus that have changed the land they grow on.

“We have 16,000 crowns of asparagus planted,” Kevyn Herdklotz said. “The amount of asparagus each crown produces really varies. In full maturity, each one produces 2 to 4 pounds a season, depending on variety.”

Herdklotz plans to expand the farm in the future by putting in another 15,000 crowns of asparagus, as well as other plants.

“I’m going to be putting in garlic, and more fruit trees,” Herdklotz said.  “We’ve mostly just been working on getting all the asparagus in, which takes a couple of years.”

Herdklotz values keeping plants natural and growing sustainably.

“I like growing asparagus because it feels like it’s part of a natural environment, rather than something you’re forcing nature to do,” Herdklotz said. “I don’t weed the fields in order to keep plant diversity, which creates an environment for frogs, spiders, and other natural predators to the asparagus beetle.”

Read the full story, as well as many other farm-related articles in this month’s Farm Horizons. To subscribe, call our office at 320-485-2535, or click here.




New family medicine doctor joins Hutchinson Health

SPONSORED POST – Dr. Mark Stuckey, DO, joined Hutchinson Health’s dedicated team of health care practitioners today (Aug. 1).

“I was drawn to the community of Hutchinson for two main reasons,” Stuckey said. “First is the size and feel of the community. Second is the ability to practice medicine in a variety of settings, with colleagues who will push me to be my best.”

Stuckey completed medical school at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, He then participated in the Mankato Family Residency Program, which is supported through the Mayo Clinic Health System and the University of Minnesota.

Stuckey’s special interests include sports medicine, preventive care, and emergency medicine. He also performs colonoscopies and endoscopic procedures.

“I enjoy family medicine because of the challenge and reward that accompanies this diverse specialty,” Stuckey said. “My goal is to provide first-class medical care to all my patients, young and old, as we build a relationship that fosters a healthier future.”

To meet with Dr. Mark Stuckey at the Hutchinson clinic, call (320) 234-3290. Regular appointments can be scheduled Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Urgent care is available Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

About Hutchinson Health

Hutchinson Health is one of the largest independent health care providers in Minnesota. Services include primary and specialty care clinics, emergency services, and specialty programs. To learn more, go to

Dr. Mark Stuckey

Dr. Mark Stuckey

Safety first, then Pokémon

McLEOD, WRIGHT, CARVER COUNTIES, MN – Nintendo’s Pokémon Go dropped in the App Store Wednesday, July 6. Immediately, it picked up popularity around the country – including local communities.

This game makes players physically move around in order to capture animated creatures in “Pokéballs.”

“It’s a lot of fun, and I’ve gone outside a lot more,” said Donavon Decker of Howard Lake. “It’s also a way to meet new people.”

Some may believe this game to be a great motivator for people to get exercise, but others have seen some safety issues arise when players become unaware of their surroundings.

The Winsted Police Department, for example, has recently observed several people playing Pokémon Go and nearly walking into traffic, and trespassing on private property.

“The police department would like to remind people who are playing these games that they cannot go onto private property without permission, and if they do so, they may be charged with a crime,” Police Chief Justin Heldt noted. “Please pay attention while walking up to – and across – roadways, to avoid being struck by a vehicle.”

Look for the full story on page 11A of the July 25 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here to subscribe online or in print.

Donavon Decker and Dylan Borrell  were spotted playing Pokémon Go in Howard Lake a week after the game was released. They said they are careful to stay safe while playing, always using sidewalks and staying on public property.

Donavon Decker and Dylan Borrell were spotted playing Pokémon Go in Howard Lake a week after the game was released. They said they are careful to stay safe while playing, always using sidewalks and staying on public property.