Archive for Hot Topic

Faribault Foods closing Cokato plant

COKATO, MN – Employees at Faribault Foods’ Cokato plant were notified March 7 of the company’s plan to discontinue production there later this year. The precise timing is not final yet, but anticipated to be early fall. Approximately 130 employees in Cokato are affected. This decision allows Faribault Foods to consolidate manufacturing into its Faribault facility, which the company expanded in 2017 to nearly 1 million square feet and is now one of the most modern and diversified manufacturing plants in the canned food industry. The consolidation of Cokato production into this new facility allows the company to leverage this investment and continue to succeed in the very competitive packaged food industry. Faribault Foods is committed to assisting its employees during this transition. All employees who want to stay with the company will be offered jobs in Faribault. Regardless of an employee’s decision to move, all employees that continue to work through the shutdown date will receive financial incentives including additional compensation and extended benefits.

Faribault Foods, Inc. is a US subsidiary of privately held La Costeña Group, a leading consumer products group headquartered in Mexico City, Mexico. Faribault Foods operates plants in Faribault, Minn. and Tucson, Ariz. in addition to the plant in Cokato, Minn. Faribault Foods is a leading manufacturer of canned foods including all types of bean products, soup, pasta, chili, and vegetables. Its products are sold under brands including S&W beans, SunVista, Luck’s, Butter Kernel, Kuner’s, and Mrs. Grimes among others. Faribault Foods also has a strong private label business as well as long standing contract manufacturing business with top branded companies.

Cokato, Hutchinson, and Glencoe stores added to the list of Shopko locations that will be closing

COKATO, MN – The Cokato Shopko, along with locations in Hutchinson and Glencoe, has been added to the list of Shopko locations that will be closing. The last scheduled date of operation for these stores is May 5, 2019, according to information released by the company.

Vehicle goes through ice in Meeker County

MEEKER COUNTY, MN – The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office received a report Jan. 20 at 9:48 a.m. of a vehicle through the ice on Greenleaf Lake in Ellsworth Township, according to a release from Meeker County Sheriff Brian Cruze. Dustin Tolsma, 33, of Hutchinson, was driving a Dodge Dakota on the Northwest section of the lake when his vehicle went through. Tolsma was the only occupant of the vehicle and was able to get out. He walked to an occupied fish house on the lake where he was provided dry clothing and a place to warm up. It appears Tolsma drove his truck over an area that was recently cut open for spear fishing.

UPDATE: Meeker Co. authorities searching for armed man

MEEKER COUNTY, MN – The man the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office had been searching for is now in custody, according to a press release issued this morning (Dec. 31).

The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office received a tip at about 8 p.m. last night (Dec. 30) that Anthony Kalland was back at the CSAH 16 residence where the standoff took place Dec. 27. Shortly before 10 p.m., Kalland was taken into custody without further incident.

Deputies searched the residence and found a loaded revolver, ammunition, and a small quantity of methamphetamine.

Anyone with information on where Kalland has been over the past several days is urged to call the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation regarding who helped Kalland evade law enforcement is ongoing.

Kalland is being held in the Meeker County Jail pending his first court appearance. The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office received numerous tips during this investigation. Meeker County Sheriff Brian Cruze appreciates the public for their assistance in locating Kalland.


This is the original post regarding the Dec. 27 incident:

The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man who allegedly brandished a revolver at a residence in Harvey Township Dec. 27.

Information from the sheriff’s office press release is as follows:

The sheriff’s office received a 911 call from a residence in the 58400 block of CSAH 16, in Harvey Township in reference to a domestic situation. The caller said a male, later identified as Anthony Steven Kalland, 38, of Brainerd, had brandished a revolver.

The caller fled the residence and deputies responded. Deputies confirmed Kalland was at the residence and a perimeter was established. Kalland failed to respond to deputies on scene.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office tactical and negotiation teams were called in for assistance. Contact was made with Kalland, but he refused to communicate or comply throughout the afternoon.

The standoff continued into the evening, and Kalland used the cover of darkness to sneak through an outer perimeter line and flee the scene. Deputies and Litchfield Police searched multiple locations that Kalland went to after leaving the CSAH 16 residence.

A search warrant on the CSAH 16 residence was executed. A stolen vehicle, ammunition and drug paraphernalia was recovered, but the firearm was not located.

Kalland is wanted on charges of domestic assault, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen vehicle. Kalland also has three outstanding felony warrants out of Crow Wing, Sherburne and Renville counties.

Kalland is considered armed and potentially dangerous. Anyone with information on Kalland’s whereabouts is asked to call the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office at 320-693-5400. If anyone sees Kalland, they should immediately call 911. Do not approach him.

Anthony Kalland


Data breach reported in Wright County

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – The following news release was issued Wednesday by Wright County officials:

A Wright County employee was found to have transferred private data to his home without authorization and in violation of county policy.

Based upon the investigation conducted by the county, no evidence has been found that indicates there was any sale or distribution of the private data. The data was recovered and returned to the county by law enforcement.

Since government agencies are held to a high standard for data protection, Wright County officials notified individuals because they felt citizens had a right to know this transpired – even though the data is back in the county’s possession.

Employees are required to complete multiple trainings about protecting citizen data annually, and the county has several policies in place.  This unfortunate decision by one individual to not follow policy has triggered this notification effort.

While the policy investigation is complete, a criminal investigation related to this employee’s actions is ongoing.

A company that specializes in data notification has been hired by Wright County to handle notifications and requests. Citizens are asked to use these resources to request further information:

Toll free information line: 866-680-3212.


Address for information:

Wright County Data Incident-6354


Minneapolis, MN 55440-0044

Individuals who did not get a letter from the county did not have data accessed in this incident.

Five charged after death of Cokato teen in Bemidji

BEMIDJI, COKATO, MN – Five young men have been charged with providing alcohol to a person under the age of 21, after a Cokato teen fell to his death on the Bemidji State University campus earlier this fall.

Isaac Jon Morris, a 2018 graduate of Dassel-Cokato High School, passed away Sept. 30 after falling out of a seventh-story residence hall window. He was not a student at Bemidji State, but had been visiting friends over the weekend.

Early investigation by the Bemidji Police Department revealed that Morris was drinking alcohol at a large party at 2517 Calihan Ave. NE, near the college campus. At that time, detectives identified several witnesses who saw Morris at the party and confirmed that he had been consuming alcohol there, according to a press release.

This week, the Beltrami County Attorney’s Office released a press release stating that five men were charged in connection with this incident. Bryce Peter Mattson, 18; Jack William Mathison, 18; Aaron Elliot Trebelhorn, 19; Zachary Charles Morse, 21; and Jordan Trowbridge Swan, 21, were each charged with two counts of gross misdemeanor for furnishing alcohol to people under the legal drinking age. Each count carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3000 fine.

The criminal complaint alleges that Mattson, Mathison, and Trebelhorn pooled funds to obtain kegs of beer for the party and sold cups for access to the beer. The criminal complaint also alleges that Morse and Swan purchased the kegs for the party and provided the location to hold the party.

Video footage showed that Morse had purchased a keg from Noel’s Bottle Shop in Bemidji at 7:35 p.m. Sept. 30, according to the complaint. Later that evening, Swan (who also lived at the residence where the party occurred) purchased a second keg, the complaint noted. Mathison told police he had helped collect money for the keg. Trebelhorn and Mattson contributed money toward the purchase.

Morse told police that he did not know how many people under age 21 were at the party, but he assumed underage people were there. He estimated that a total of about 45 to 50 people were at the party.