Archive for Hot Topics

Family safe following house fire in Mayer UPDATE

MAYER, MN – The home of Brian and Sarah Grimm in Mayer caught fire during early morning storms July 28.
The family was sleeping when lightning struck the roof of the home, and started it on fire at 6:10 a.m., according to Mayer Fire Chief Rod Maetzold. “A neighbor saw their house on fire, and ran over to tell them,” Maetzold said. “Everyone made it out safely.”

Read more in the Aug. 3 issue of Herald Journal.

UPDATE 7-28-15: It has come to our attention volunteers are seeking donations for the family. See a request from volunteers below:

The morning of July 28, Sarah, Brian, Andrew (5th grader), and Lauren (2nd grader) Grimm of Mayer experienced a home fire. They are all safe but they have essentially lost everything.  Volunteers are asking the community to pull together to support this Watertown-Mayer family with donations. The Matertown-Mayer Elementary school will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today (Tuesday, July 28), Wednesday, July 29, and Thursday, July 30.  Donations may be taken to the school and volunteers will sort them and take them to the family.  Donations can be dropped off in the foyer area along the wall.   Gift cards can be turned in to the office.

Items needed include:

Women’s size 12 pants and size large shirts
Mens 32×32 pants and medium shirts
Boys size 12 clothing (interested in all sports)
Boys shoes 9.5
Girls size 8 clothing
Girls shoes size 3-4
Toiletries (deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc)
Toys – Andrew loves legos (all of his melted)
Gift Cards (these are often a great support because the family can use it for hotel stays, food, etc).

There is also a drop off point at Katherine Scotting’s house. 1216 Meadow Parkway, Mayer.

The public is asked to respect the privacy of the family during this time of need.

Robbery results in attempted murder charge

MIDDLEVILLE TOWNSHIP, MN – A Waverly man and Delano woman have been charged in connection with a July 14 robbery near Howard Lake, during which shots were fired.

Casey Harold Lambert, 23, is facing charges of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree aggravated robbery, and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

Callie Lynn Anderson, 19, is facing charges of aiding and abetting second-degree attempted murder, aiding and abetting first-degree aggravated robbery, and aiding and abetting second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the incident.

According to a criminal complaint, the incident began when two brothers met up with Lambert, Anderson, and a 14-year-old juvenile male to smoke marijuana near the Crow River bridge in Middleville Township.

When the brothers were ready to leave, they were allegedly approached by Lambert, who was armed with a shotgun and demanded one of the brothers to open the trunk of his vehicle. When the brother refused, he was reportedly struck in the face with the barrel of the shotgun. He then opened the trunk.

The juvenile reportedly retrieved a safe containing marijuana from the trunk, took it to the driver’s side door and demanded for it to be opened. The driver did so, and then started the vehicle in an attempt to flee the area.

As the vehicle started to drive away, Lambert allegedly fired four rounds from the shotgun, damaging the vehicle and breaking glass that struck the passenger in the face.

The two drove to a relative’s home in Montrose and were transported to Buffalo Hospital, where the driver was treated for a fractured nose and a broken orbital bone. A piece of metal that appeared to be a pellet from a shotgun shell was imbedded near his right eye and could not be removed.

A deputy met with the brothers at the hospital, where they recalled the incident and reported that a phone, wallet, and marijuana had been stolen.

For more information, see the July 27 edition of the Herald Journal.

Possible tornado touchdown reported in Carver County

CARVER COUNTY, MN – Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson reported that on July 18, 2015 at 12:05 AM, his Office received a call from the National Weather Service of a possible tornado touchdown southwest of the city of Watertown traveling northeast.

The Sheriff’s Office received the first reports of damage on the 2900 block of Vega Ave. in Hollywood Township. Emergency personnel responded and determined damage had occurred in both Hollywood and Watertown Townships north of Highway 7. There were numerous buildings with structural damage, blocked roads with debirs, downed trees and powerlines. First responders conducted a door to door search and determined there were no injuries at this time.

The following agencies assisted: Mcleod County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management, Minnesota State Patrol, Winsted Police Department, Winsted Fire Department, Lester Prairie Fire Department, New Germany Fire Department, Mcleod County Public Works, Carver County Public Works, Hollywood Township Public Works, and the Carver County Sheriff’s Office.

The Carver County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management continues to investigate this weather event.

New city administrator chosen in Winsted

WINSTED, MN – Winsted has whittled its pool of 49 city administrator candidates to just one.

Daniel Tienter was offered the position Thursday afternoon, after an extensive interview process with city council members and staff.

Tienter is currently a financial management analyst for Dakota County.

“Mr. Tienter brings a solid government financial background, which will be very helpful in the community,” said Gary Weiers of hiring firm David Drown Associates.

Weiers will be negotiating a contract with Tienter to determine salary and benefits.

If Tienter accepts the position, his start date in Winsted would likely be in early August.

The hiring process for a new city administrator began the end of May, after Clay Wilfahrt left to become the city administrator of Big Lake.

Of the 49 initial candidates, 10 were chosen to meet with a hiring committee consisting of two council members, three city employees, and two citizens. From there, three finalists were chosen.

One of the finalists accepted another position, while the other two underwent final interviews Thursday. The day included a meeting with council members, a lunch with city employees, a tour of Winsted, and a presentation from each candidate identifying a need in Winsted and potential solutions.

Tienter’s presentation focused on recruiting and retention strategies for volunteer firefighters in the community.

The other finalist was Robert Schoen, who works for the City of Delano.

“Both candidates were very strong,” Weiers said.

Look for more Winsted news in Monday’s Herald Journal. Click here to subscribe online or in print.

Winsted narrows city administrator search

WINSTED, MN – This afternoon, city officials will be interviewing the two finalists (Daniel Tienter and Robert Schoen) for the open city administrator position.

Look for results in Monday’s print edition.

Stolen truck leads to high-speed chase in Wright County

WRIGHT, McLEOD COUNTIES, MN – A Silver Lake man attempting to assist a motorist who was in the ditch early this morning was assaulted and had his truck stolen, according to the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.

At about 2 a.m., a Wright County sheriff’s deputy was patrolling the area of Highway 25 and 14 Street NE in Buffalo when his vehicle was passed on the right shoulder at high speed by a 2001 white Chevy Impala.

The deputy attempted to stop the Impala, but lost sight of it in the area of 8th Street NE.

A few minutes later, the Wright County Communications Center received a call from Brent Morris, 31, of Silver Lake, stating that his vehicle had just been stolen as he stopped to assist a motorist in a white Chevy Impala that had gone into the ditch in the area of Highway 55 and County Road 35.

Morris reported that as he approached the Impala, the driver assaulted him and fled in Morris’s 2010 Ford pickup.

Wright County sheriff’s deputies located Morris’s stolen pickup traveling at a high rate of speed in the area of Highway 55 and First Street NE in Buffalo. Deputies pursued this vehicle for a short distance until the driver lost control and struck a power pole at First Street NE and Calder Avenue NE.

The driver then fled on foot, and Wright County deputies, with help from a K-9, located him near 1156 Calder Avenue NE. The man, identified as Jeremy Sterzinger, 27, of St. Joseph, was arrested for fleeing, robbery, theft of a motor vehicle, and driving after revocation. He was transported to Buffalo Hospital for injuries sustained in crash and will be booked into the Wright County Jail upon his release.