Archive for General

Head-on collision injures Mayer woman

KANDIYOHI COUNTY – A Mayer woman received non-life threatening injuries in a head-on collision in Kandiyohi County at 7:25 a.m. today.  Julie Vonne Stanley, 19, of Mayer, was driving a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer southbound on Highway 71. A Chevy Trailblazer, driven by Kyle James Dimler, 44, of Willmar, was northbound on Highway 71. The vehicles collided head-on.  Both drivers sustained non-life threatening injuries and were transported to Rice Hospital.  Both drivers were wearing seatbelts.

Herald Journal Offices Closing Early Friday, January 17

We will be closing our offices at 3 p.m. in Winsted, Delano, and Cokato today, January 17 due to weather conditions. Our offices will be open again on Monday, January 20 during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you need to reach any of our offices, you may call the appropriate number listed below and leave a voicemail and we will get back to you as soon as we can on Monday morning.

Winsted Herald Journal office: 320-485-2535

Cokato Enterprise Dispatch office: 320-286-2118

Delano Herald Journal office: 763-972-1028

Thank you and have a great weekend and safe travels!

- Herald Journal Publishing Management

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.

https://photos.herald-journal.com/Procession-for-Fire-Chief-Taddy-Drusch/

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)

 

Montrose man charged with murder of Buffalo man found in Meeker County

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – A Montrose man is facing a felony second-degree murder charge in connection with the death of Justin Edwin Warnke, 34, of Buffalo.

Alejandro Vega

Alejandro Vega

According to a formal complaint, Alejandro Vega Jr., 37, is charged with intentionally murdering Warnke, without premeditation, and disposing of his body in rural Meeker County.

Warnke’s body was discovered on a dead-end road in Kingston Township shortly at 8:01 a.m. Dec. 29. Authorities believe he had been there since about 1:53 a.m. that morning, consistent with observations of a vehicle at the location by a nearby resident.

His body had sustained hemorrhages in his eyes and neck, and sustained blunt-force trauma to his head, scalp, and chest, consistent with him being beaten and strangled, according to the formal complaint.

The formal complaint lays out the following timeline utilizing surveillance video from Vega’s apartment and other businesses, witness interviews, and Vega’s statements to investigators:

• At about 4 a.m. Dec. 28, Vega reportedly picked up Warnke from a Monticello hotel where he had been staying.

• At 5:25 a.m. surveillance video reportedly showed Vega and Warnke entering Vega’s apartment in Montrose.

• Vega allegedly traveled from his apartment to the hotel in an attempt to retrieve Warnke’s property, which was documented by law enforcement at about 11:35 a.m.

• At 2:33 p.m., surveillance video reportedly captured Vega taking an appliance cart from his garage into his apartment.

• At 6:20 p.m., surveillance video reportedly captured Vega taking rope into his apartment. It is alleged that Vega later used that rope to tie Warnke to the appliance cart.

• At 1:13 a.m., surveillance video reportedly showed Vega wheeling what appeared to be Warnke’s dead body – tied to the cart and wrapped in a blanket, with his head wrapped in garbage bags – from his apartment.

• Four minutes later, Vega was allegedly observed driving his vehicle with what appeared to be Warnke’s body tied to an appliance cart and sticking out of the open trunk.

• Vega allegedly dumped Warnke’s body at the location where it was found at about 1:53 a.m. Dec. 29.

During a Jan. 1 interview with authorities, after being advised of his rights, Vega allegedly claimed that he left his apartment and returned to find Warnke unresponsive in a bedroom and attempted life-saving measures.

Vega reportedly said that he knew he could not have Warnke’s body in his apartment, but did not explain why he did not contact police after supposedly discovering the body.

Vega reportedly confirmed that he removed Warnke’s body from his apartment and dumped it where it was later found.

He also allegedly admitted removing portions of carpet that contained Warnke’s blood. That carpet, allegedly disposed of in a commercial dumpster, has not been located. Luminol testing indicated the presence of blood in other areas of carpet.

Vega also allegedly told investigators that he and Warnke had been using controlled substances together prior to Warnke’s death.

According to the criminal complaint, no other suspects are observed on surveillance video entering the apartment complex while Warnke was there.

During the time he was alone with Vega, Warnke sustained injuries that led to his death.

In conclusion, the complaint states, “The manner in which the defendant attempted to conceal the death of Justin Warnke and the lengths he took to dispose of the body illustrate overwhelming evidence of his intent and guilt.”

If convicted, Vega could face up to 40 years in prison.

He is due in Wright County District Court for his initial appearance and bail hearing Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Wright County road conditions improving; still slick

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN -   An accident adjacent to Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School on County Road 6 was one of several reported in the county this morning.

photo by Jami Berg

photo by Jami Berg

As of 10 a.m. Monday, Captain Dan Anselment of the Wright County Sheriff’s Office reported that there were six accidents that involved property damage, one spinout that left a vehicle in a ditch, and no reported crashes that involved injuries.

Although the snow is winding down and moving out of Wright County, Anselment said that many roads, off-ramps, and bridge decks remain treacherous, and extreme caution should be used for those that have to be out on the roads this afternoon.

One issue that will continue to be a concern is that because of the high winds that have accompanied the storm, the Wright County Highway Department will not be able to chemically treat the roads and will depend on plowing to get the roads as clear possible.

Wright County Highway Maintenance Superintendent Steve Meyer said that all of the county’s plows were out on the roads clearing snow, but that, given the gusting wind the came behind the storm not only has created limited visibility in open areas, but that chemical treating of roads isn’t effective. It tends to collect on the road surface because of the wind and, at times, can create more problems than it solves in these kinds of conditions.

 

State Football Basics

WHO? Delano Football Team

WHAT? Class AAAA State Quarterfinals

WHEN? Friday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m.

WHERE? Husky Stadium, SCSU

HOW MUCH? Adults: $11    Students: $7

 

Class AAAA State Quarterfinals Schedule

Friday, Nov. 8, 6 p.m. – Hopkins High School
No. 1 Hutchinson (10-0) vs. No. 8 Fridley (10-0)

Saturday, Nov. 9, 1 p.m. – Centennial High School
No. 4 SMB (10-0) vs. No. 5 Chisago Lakes (5-6)

Friday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m. – St. Cloud State
No. 3 Delano (7-3) vs. No. 6 Rocori (8-2)

Friday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m. – St. Cloud State
No. 2 Winona (10-0) No. 7 Simley (9-1)