Archive for Hot Topics

VIDEO – Procession for Howard Lake Fire Chief Taddy Drusch

HOWARD LAKE – The City of Howard Lake Fire & Rescue/Ambulance Chief Daryl (“Taddy”) Drusch died in the early morning hours of January 13 at his residence from a suspected heart attack. Drusch had responded to an emergency call 12 hours prior.

A fire service procession started at 2 p.m. today, and  transported Drusch from the medical examiner in Minneapolis to Cokato; fire departments along the route will participated. Final arrangements and memorials will be shared as they are made available.

Video by Dan Birkholz.

While the family isn’t available to speak with the media at this time, Chris Parsons, president of the Minnesota Professional Fire Fighters, can be reached at 651-545-8100 and may be available for an in-person interview in the Twin Cities. Jay Wood, president of the Minnesota Fire Service Foundation, can be reached at 651-755-5037.

Howard Lake Fire Chief Daryl Taddy Drusch(1)


Hutchinson Walmart begins re-opening departments following arson fire

HUTCHINSON, MN – Hutchinson Police and Hutchinson Fire Departments responded to an active fire at Walmart located at 1300 Hwy 15 S. in Hutchinson Jan. 5 at approximately 3:01 p.m., according to the Hutchinson Police Department.

The fire was started in the men’s clothing department and the fire suppression system had been activated. When officers arrived there was still a small fire burning that was extinguished by responding officers with fire extinguishers.

Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that the fire was deliberately set. Two 13-year-old Hutchinson boys were identified by a Hutchinson police officer utilizing store surveillance. The two boys were later located and taken into custody. Charges are pending with the McLeod County Attorney’s office.

Hutchinson Police Services, Hutchinson Fire Department, Allina Ambulance and the State Fire Marshal all responded to the fire. The State Fire Marshall estimated the damage to be between $1 and $2 million.

On Tuesday, the store posted the following message on social media:

“An update on Hutchinson Walmart: at this moment we still don’t have any information on when we’ll reopen. We’ve assessed the damages and multiple crews are working hard to get the store back in business. Once again we apologize for the inconvenience.”

UPDATE Jan. 8, 2020: The store posted the following updates today:

“We are happy to announce we are now officially reopened! Come in and shop in our produce, bakery, dairy, and grocery departments. We will be opening up other areas of the store as they become ready.”

“We will be opening our pharmacy at 9am Wednesday morning, thank you for your support and patience.”






Waverly man injured in two-vehicle crash on Hwy. 12

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN –  A Waverly man sustained life-threatening injuries in a crash on Highway 12 at about 5:58 Monday Monday evening on Highway 12 near the intersection with Gowan Ave. SW in Victor Township, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

A 2007 Ford pickup truck driven by Thomas Edward Perra, 70, of Waverly, was traveling north on Gowan Ave. at Hwy. 12. A 2000 Ford Excursion driven by Eric Charles Frayseth, 46, 0f Cokato, was eastbound on Hwy. 12. The vehicles collided in the eastbound lanes of Hwy. 12 at the intersection with Gowan Ave., according to the State Patrol.

Airbags were deployed in both vehicles.

Perra was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, according to the State Patrol.

Frayseth was not injured, according to the State Patrol.

The State Patrol reported alcohol was involved for Perra, but not Frayseth. Frayseth was wearing his seat belt. It is unknown if Perra was wearing his seatbelt, according to the State Patrol.

Other agencies responding to the scene included Life Link, Hennepin County Medical Center, Wright County Sheriff’s Office, and the Howard Lake Police Department.


Carver County Sheriff’s Office investigating threats at Waconia High School

CARVER COUNTY, MN – Carver County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a threats complaint at the Waconia Alternative Learning Center (ALC) – Waconia High School campus Dec. 13 at 7:53 a.m., according to a release from Carver County Sheriff Jason Kamerud. Staff at the Waconia High School were alerted this morning by a parent about an inappropiate video posted on social media. The situation was handled immediately before school started. The student who posted the video was approached at Waconia High School. Deputies arrested the student, a 16-year-old juvenile male, for terroristic threats and disorderly conduct.

During the investigation, sheriff’s deputies remained in and around the Waconia High School as a precaution. Sheriff’s Office detectives received a report of a second ambiguous threat also posted on social media. While deputies investigated the second posting, Waconia High School students were released from school for the day at 11:45 a.m. as a precautionary measure. Sheriff’s Office detectives are attempting to identify where the second threat originated and are actively following leads.

At no time during this incident were students or staff in imminent danger. The middle school and elementary schools continued with their day as scheduled.

The Sheriff’s Office takes these matters seriously by investigating allegations thoroughly, and pursuing prosecution of offenders. This matter remains under investigation by the Carver County Sheriff’s Office and Waconia school officials.

Governor Walz orders flags flown at half-staff in honor of three Minnesota National Guardsmen

ST. PAUL, MN – In honor and remembrance of the three Minnesota National Guard soldiers who were tragically killed in a helicopter crash near Kimball, Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz has ordered all United States flags and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the State of Minnesota, beginning today, Friday, December 6 at 2:05 pm until Monday, December 9, 2019, at 2:05 pm.

The Minnesota National Guard lost contact with the UH-60 Black Hawk around 2:05 pm on Thursday, December 5, 2019, after the helicopter took off from St. Cloud, Minnesota, on a maintenance test flight. The names of the crew members have not been released, pending family notification.

“On Thursday, December 5, 2019, three Minnesota National Guard soldiers were tragically killed in a helicopter crash in Central Minnesota,” reads the proclamation from Governor Walz. “These fine soldiers served with distinction and put others before themselves. The people of Minnesota honor these soldiers for their dedicated service, pray for their loved ones, and recognize their ultimate sacrifice to our state and country.”

A copy of Governor Walz’s proclamation, ordering flags to be flown at half-staff across our state, can be found here.

LP School Board to hear audit report

LESTER PRAIRIE, MN – Lester Prairie School Board will hear an audit report during its Monday, Oct. 18 meeting.

Other items on the agenda include an asset management presentation, appointment of election judges for the Feb. 11 special election, and a report on the World’s Best Workforce.

The meeting will begin at 5:45 p.m. in the school media center.