Archive for Hot Topics

PHOTO GALLERY: Holy Trinity homecoming coronation

WINSTED, MN – Katie Albers and Nathan Anderson were selected as Holy Trinity High School’s 2014 homecoming king and queen Sept. 24. Click here for a photo gallery of the coronation:

Some photos will also appear in the Monday, Sept. 29 edition of the Herald Journal.

Wright County adopts new emergency notification system

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – Wright County has a new rapid emergency notification service called CodeRED® . The new system will distribute emergency messages via telephone to targeted areas or the entire county at a rate of 1,000 calls per minute. CodeRED® employs a one-of-a-kind Internet mapping capability for geographic targeting of calls, coupled with a high speed telephone calling system capable of delivering customized emergency messages directly to homes and businesses . This service can be used in case of fires, flooding, train derailment, chemical spills, nuclear incidents, evacuation, downed power lines, lost individuals, natural disasters, abductions, water system problems, bomb threats, disease outbreaks, or other emergencies. Calls can be geographically targeted for local incidents . If widespread, the entire county with 31,000 households can be called within 30 minutes. Wright County residents are welcome and encouraged to enter their contact information for home, business, and mobile phones so they may be contacted by the system in the event of an emergency. Most landlines are automatically part of the system but mobile phones are not. It is important for county residents and business customers to register, especially if they use unlisted numbers, cell phones, or V o IP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) . Those who do not register their address and phone number may not be notified with CodeRED® in case of an emergency. Registration is confidential, free, and easy. To register, go to the Wright County website at and click on the CodeRED® Emergency Notification link on the lower left side of the page.

Man dies in Watertown fire

WATERTOWN, MN – Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson has announced that at approximately 9:47 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 13  his office received a report of a house fire in the City of Watertown.

The Carver County Sheriff’s Office, Watertown Fire Department, and Ridgeview Ambulance were dispatched to the 400 block of Franklin Avenue NW in Watertown. When they arrived at the scene, the residence was fully engulfed.

The body of an adult male was located in the residence, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Also assisting at the scene were the Waconia, Mayer, Victoria, New Germany, St. Bonifacius, and Delano fire departments.

The Carver County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Watertown Fire Department, Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Minnesota Regional Coroner’s Office are investigating the cause of the fire and the cause of death of the adult male.

The name of the deceased is not being released at this time.

Arrests made in Wright County missing person case

rossing.christopherWRIGHT COUNTY, MN – Wright County Sheriff Joe Hagerty announced today, SEPT. 12, that there have been two arrests made in relation to the Christopher Rossing missing person case. On Tuesday, Aug. 26, the Wright County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by family members of Christopher Rossing who advised them that Rossing has not been seen or heard from him since Friday, Aug. 22. The Wright County Sheriff’s Office began investigating this as a missing person case. On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the Wright County Sheriff’s Office arrested Robert Otis Nuttall, 28, of Hutchinson, on kidnapping charges in connection with the disappearance of Christopher Rossing. On Friday, Sept. 12, the sheriff’s office arrested Gwen Maria Butcher, 32, of Hutchinson, on felony obstructing charges in connection with the disappearance of Christopher Rossing. The investigation indicates that Christopher Rossing was involved in a physical altercation with Robert Nuttall at approximately 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, along Highway 12 on the west side of the City of Howard Lake. Information also indicates that a full-sized SUV may be involved in the case. The sheriff’s office is requesting that anyone who may have witnessed this altercation or has information pertaining to the case to contact the Wright County Sheriff’s Office at (763) 682-7637. The whereabouts of Christopher Rossing is unknown at this time. The investigation remains active.

Man drowns in Dog Lake – UPDATED

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – Wright County Sheriff Joe Hagerty reported that on Saturday, Sept. 6, at approximately 5:50 p.m. the Wright County Sheriff’s Office communications center received a call of a possible drowning at the Dog Lake public access in Woodland Township.

The caller reported that a male party in his mid 50s had been fishing off the dock located at the public access when he apparently fell into the water. The male party appeared to be struggling, went under the water, and did not surface.

Members of the Wright County Sheriff’s Office Recreational Services Unit responded to assist in the search. At approximately 7:45 p.m. the body of the deceased male party was found in 6’ to 10’ of water.

The name of the deceased is being withheld until family members can be contacted.

UPDATE: The sheriff’s office has announced the drowning victim was identified as Dennis Venske, age 53, from Winsted. Winsted Fire Department and Ridgeview Ambulance also responded to the incident.


State Fair poll results announced

ST. PAUL, MN – State Fair poll results show that, by a slim margin, Minnesotans believe that the state should not legalize the use of recreational marijuana. However, they strongly support same-day voter registration and lean toward increasing the state’s gas tax for road and bridge construction. Conducted by the nonpartisan House Public Information Services Office, the annual state fair poll is an informal, unscientific survey of issues discussed in prior legislative sessions and may be topics of discussion in 2015. Of the 7,607 people taking the 2014 poll, 48.1 percent are against the state allowing the recreational use of marijuana for persons age 21 and older; however,
43.3 percent support the idea. Nearly 9 percent of those taking the poll were undecided or had no opinion. The 2014 Legislature passed a law for use of medical cannabis (marijuana) for nine specific illnesses, but not for the recreational use of the drug. Only the use of pills, oils or vaporizing of a cannabis compound through a device similar to an e-cigarette is allowed. Only Colorado and Washington permit recreational use of the drug. Alaska and Oregon residents will vote in November to legalize recreational marijuana. Fifty-four percent of polltakers support raising the state’s gas tax by 5 cents per gallon to help fund the backlog of highway and bridge needs across the state. More than 40 percent are against the increase and
5.5 percent were undecided or had no opinion. When the same-worded question was asked in 2013, the respective percentages were 53.4 percent,
39.7 percent and 6.9 percent. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 10 states plus the District of Columbia presently offer same-day registration allowing any qualified resident of the state to go to the polls or an election official’s office on Election Day, register that day, and then vote. It’s a practice that 70.7 percent of polltakers believe should continue, compared to nearly 26 percent who are against the idea. Minnesota is one of 14 states that prohibits Sunday liquor sales, and the issue annually surfaces at the Capitol where efforts to repeal the liquor blue laws fail each year. Nearly two-thirds of persons taking the poll think liquor stores should be permitted to open on the second day of the weekend, while 27.5 percent oppose. The “yes” answers are a 1.1 percent increase compared to 2012 poll results, while the percent of “no” votes decreased 2.4 percent. In the area of commerce and taxes, respondents were almost evenly split — a 62-vote difference — on expanding the definition of taxable foods to include snack items, such as chips, popcorn, cookies and ice cream novelties. Fifty percent of respondents believe consumers should be able to purchase lottery tickets and play scratch games online, at the gas pump or at an ATM-like machine. Polltakers also believe:• the state should provide no additional public subsidies to the National Football League in connection with the 2018 Super Bowl being played in Minneapolis (70.1 percent);• e-cigarettes should be regulated the same as tobacco cigarettes (66.4 percent);• employers should be required to give veterans the
opportunity to take Veteran’s Day off (65.2 percent);• the threshold should be increased for the Legislature to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot (51.6 percent);• public schools should not be required to provide swimming lessons to students in kindergarten through 12th grade (49.6 percent); and• a person convicted of a felony should not regain their right to vote upon release from a correctional facility (47.2 percent).