Archive for Hot Topics

McLeod Co. peace officer appreciation night June 22

McLEOD COUNTY, MN – Because of the rise of officers being hurt or killed in the line of duty, a few citizens of McLeod County decided that the officers of McLeod County deserve an event that shows them the citizens appreciate their hard work.

“I thought I should do something to show appreciation for officers,” said Judy Peik of Brownton. “My goal is to give all residents and businesses the opportunity to show their support for law enforcement.”

The public event will feature the police officers, corrections staff, deputies, posse, and conservation officers of McLeod County, and will take place Wednesday, June 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the McLeod County Fairgrounds in the Agribition Building.

Residents of all ages are welcome to attend and give their thanks and support to McLeod County’s peace officers.

There will be music, children’s activities, rock wall climbing, face and hair painting, and balloon art.

Rehmann and Hutchinson Police Chief Dan Hatten will also be present.

Food will be available as well, for free. There will be hot dogs, beans, chips, cookies, popcorn, bottled water, and coffee.

A free will donation would be appreciated, but is not necessary.

For more information, McLeod Citizens Beside the Badge can be found on Facebook at

Two sought in connection with attempted murder last seen in Howard Lake

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – The Wright County Sheriff’s Office has identified a 28-year-old man and 33-year-old woman as persons of interest in connection with the attempted murder of Cheyenne Lee Clough, 19, of Buffalo, who was found unresponsive at Crow Springs County Park Wednesday morning.

According to audio posted by Police Clips at 6:48 p.m. Wednesday, the WCSO is seeking Justin Michael Jensen, a 6’1″, 180-pound white male with blue eyes and Natasha Leanne Brandenburger, a 5’6″, 150-pound white female with blue eyes.

According to the Police Clips audio, the two may be armed and dangerous and are possibly driving a stolen, white Honda Accord with Iowa plates of AXK 248, which may now have unknown Minnesota plates on it.

Their last known location was Howard Lake, according to the audio.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the WCSO at (763) 682-1162 and mention master incident No. 8395.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Howard Lake teen hurt in rollover crash

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – A teenage boy from Howard Lake was injured in a one-vehicle crash in Wright County Saturday evening, according to the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.

Initial reports indicate that Gavin Kritzeck, 16, was driving a Buick Century south on Lathrop Ave SW in Victor Township shortly before 8:30 p.m. May 7 when he lost control of the vehicle, causing it to enter the ditch and roll. The Buick came to rest on its roof.

Kritzeck was extricated from the vehicle, and airlifted by North Memorial Helicopter to Hennepin County Medical Center. The extent of his injuries are unknown at this time. Kritzeck was the lone occupant of the vehicle, and the crash is under investigation.

Norwood will not participate in Crow River Valley League this year

WINSTED, MN – Officers of the Crow River Valley League have officially been informed that the Norwood Indians will not be fielding a baseball team for the 2016 season.

UPDATE: At Wednesday’s league meeting the following action taken:

• Norwood was granted a leave of absence, remaining a league member, with the issue to be revisited at the fall meeting.

• Each team is granted one forfeit win vs. Norwood, which is applied to the league standings immediately. This leaves the North and West division teams with an 18-game schedule, while the other Central teams have 17 games. Because of that, the tiebreaker process for ties across divisions was modified to use a runs-per-game calculation rather than total runs to allow for a difference in number of games played.

See more league info at

Legendary musician Prince found dead in Carver Co. studio

CARVER COUNTY, MN – Pop musician Prince Rogers Nelson, 57, was found dead Thursday morning in his Paisley Park recording studio in Chanhassen, according to a Carver County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Deputies responded to a medical call at the studio at about 9:43 a.m. April 21, and found Prince unresponsive in the elevator. First responders attempted CPR, but were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m.

According to the Star Tribune, officials had closed a stretch of the road outside Paisley Park by mid-day Thursday. Traffic had backed up along Highway 5 due to mourners driving to the studio to pay tribute with purple flowers.

A Los Angeles news outlet, KTLA 5, reported that Prince had been ill the week prior to his death, and was rushed to the hospital April 15 on his way back to Minnesota from two performances in Atlanta. According to the Star Tribune, a source reported that Prince had been dehydrated on the flight home.

The Carver County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding Prince’s death.

Medical calls hit a high in Winsted

WINSTED, MN – In 2015, the Winsted Police Department responded to 185 medical calls for service – a number higher than the past 10 years, and possibly ever.

Medical emergencies have more than doubled since 2010, when police responded to 84 of these calls. Winsted Police Chief Justin Heldt noted in 2014 that, fortunately, all of Winsted’s full-time police officers are certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs), which gives them the skills to assist in times of crisis.

In total, Winsted police officers responded to 2,125 calls for service in 2015, plus 1,057 agency assists, 66 motorist assists, and 765 public assists. A total of 63 arrests were made.

Heldt told Winsted City Council members April 5 that drug calls are among the most concerning, because they often go hand-in-hand with other crimes, such as theft or assault. Nineteen drug complaints were reported last year, as well as 73 thefts, 26 domestic violence calls, three first-degree criminal sexual conduct calls, two fifth-degree assaults, and one fourth-degree assault.

Alcohol-related crimes are also a concern for local police. Eighteen driving while intoxicated (DWI) citations were issued last year.

Several other driving crimes were also reported, for a total of 911 violations.

“We issued 233 citations,” Heldt said.

Twenty-five traffic accidents occurred, 18 resulting in property damage. No injuries were reported.

The most common traffic violation was for parking (46 violations), followed by speed (33 violations). Other driving issues included no proof of insurance, driving without a valid license, possession of marijuana/drug paraphernalia in a moving vehicle, inattentiveness, texting while driving, seatbelt use, and more.

Look for more Winsted City Council coverage in the Monday, April 11 edition of Herald Journal. Click here to subscribe online or in print.