Archive for Hot Topic

Four hurt in Darwin Twp. crash

DARWIN, MN – Four people sustained non-life threatening injuries in a two-vehicle crash on Highway 12 in Darwin Township Nov. 23, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

A 2003 Ford F150 driven by Scott James Steuck, 28, of Dassel had been traveling west on Highway 12 just before 6 p.m.  At the same time, Mitchell Ray Magnuson, 28, of Litchfield, had been traveling east on Highway 12 in a 2016 Chevrolet Equinox.

According to the state patrol, the Equinox collided with the F150 as Magnusun attempted to turn left onto Johnson Drive.

Both drivers were transported to Meeker Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The Equinox had two passengers who were also transported: Judy Lynn Magnuson, 53; and Melanie Marie Magnuson, 27; both of Litchfield. The airbags deployed in both vehicles.

Assisting agencies included the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office and the Litchfield Police Department.

Two corn dryer fires in Meeker Co.

MEEKER COUNTY, MN – The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office responded to two corn dryer fires Nov. 9.

The first was at 4:19 a.m. at a property on 210th Street in Collinwood Township. The Dassel Fire Department was dispatched and extinguished the fire. Approximately $180,000 worth of damage was reported. Dassel Fire Chief Dale Grochow said the dryer was lost, as well as the corn.

“It ended up being about a four-hour deal,” Grochow said, explaining that firefighters had to unload all the corn from the dryer. Grochow said that, fortunately, the Dassel Fire Department hasn’t had to respond to many of these types of fires.

As for grain dryer safety, Grochow said the best thing to do is to make sure the equipment is clean and free of fine accumulation prior to use. However, that doesn’t always prevent a fire, he added, as other things can go wrong, such as malfunction of a burner. In the case of the Nov. 9 fire in Collinwood Township, Grochow said property owner Andy Nelson had cleaned the dryer just before he used it, so the problem wasn’t accumulation.

The second corn dryer fire was at 4:59 p.m. at a residence on County State Aid Highway 16 in Harvey Township. This fire was extinguished by firefighters from Litchfield. About 2,100 bushels of corn were lost.

Mentorship program expands to Dassel Elementary

DASSEL, MN – American actor, director, and producer Denzel Washington once stated, “Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living — if you do it well, I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.”

While the thought of having an adult support and lead you through life’s journey may seem like a nice idea, for some people it never gets beyond that.

A nice idea.

The Litchfield Area Mentoring Program (LAMP) was founded to combat this very void within the local area.

Read the full story in the Nov. 10 edition of the Enterprise Dispatch. Click here to subscribe to the print or online version.

Gerome and Donovan (center) were so excited to see their lunch buddies, Chuck and Marlene Schrum, return to have lunch with them at Lake Ripley Elementary.Gerome and Donovan (center) were so excited to see their lunch buddies, Chuck and Marlene Schrum, return to have lunch with them at Lake Ripley Elementary.Gerome and Donovan (center) were so excited to see their lunch buddies, Chuck and Marlene Schrum, return to have lunch with them at Lake Ripley Elementary.

Gerome and Donovan (center) were so excited to see their lunch buddies, Chuck and Marlene Schrum, return to have lunch with them at Lake Ripley Elementary.

MDA issues consumer advisory for French Lake Butcher Shop’s Bloody Mary Waco Sticks

Saint Paul, MN – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has issued a consumer advisory for meats produced at French Lake Butcher Shop in South Haven, MN, due to lack of proper labeling. During a routine inspection, the MDA determined that French Lake Butcher Shop used wheat and soy products to produce its Bloody Mary Waco Sticks. Wheat and soy, both known food allergens, were not disclosed on the product label. Food allergens may cause an allergic reaction in people with sensitivity to known allergens.

 The following products are subject to this advisory:

  • Bloody Mary Waco Sticks with a “Lot Number” of 7590
  •  50 pounds were produced in the batch and 0 pounds are accounted for. The     MDA believes the remaining products have been purchased and consumed.
  • Bloody Mary Waco Sticks with a “Lot Number” of 7627
  • 50 pounds were produced in the batch and 34 pounds are accounted for. The MDA believes the remaining products have been purchased and consumed.

The products subject to this advisory bear the establishment number “1241” inside the State of Minnesota Mark of Inspection on the label. These products were sold at the following stores:

Jack’s of Cokato Inc., Cokato, MN

Jack’s of Eden Valley Inc., Eden Valley, MN

Jack’s of Watkins Inc., Watkins, MN

Cenex of Litchfield, Litchfield, MN

Jack’s of Richmond Inc., Richmond, MN

Mini Mart of Kingston, Kingston, MN

Lantto’s of Annandale, Annandale, MN

The MDA and the company have not received any reports of adverse reactions or illness due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about illness should contact a healthcare provider. Consumers who purchased this product should throw it away or return it to the store.

Consumers with questions about the advisory can contact the MDA at 651-201-6300.

Dassel man arrested after 64-mile police chase

STEARNS COUNTY, MN – A 47-year-old man from Dassel was arrested Monday after an hour-long police chase that covered 64 miles.

Jason Michael Ashwill was being held in Stearns County Jail and faces possible felony charges for fleeing police in a motor vehicle and damage to property, Waite Park Police Chief David Bentrud stated in a news release issued Tuesday.

According to the news release, Ashwill reportedly threatened an individual who was street sweeping the parking lot at Cash Wise Foods in Waite Park. The release states that he “started to yell and scream at him and advised him if he didn’t stop what he was doing he was going to kill him.”

Fearing for his safety, the individual retreated to a different area of the parking lot and called the police. When officers arrived, they attempted to stop the suspect vehicle, which was driving in circles in the parking lot.

Ashwill reportedly fled the scene in his vehicle when officers turned on their emergency lights, driving north on Waite Avenue and then east on Division Street. He then entered Highway 15.

Several agencies attempted to stop the vehicle, and pursuit speeds reached about 100 miles per hour. The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and the Kimball Police Department deployed stop sticks, which flattened one tire on the suspect’s vehicle.

Another set of stop sticks were deployed as the vehicle turned around and started driving north. A second tire was flattened, and the pursuit continued at speeds of 50 to 70 miles per hour.

Upon re-entering the St. Cloud area, police set up more stop sticks, which were able to flatten the last two tires.

Once all four tires were flattened, Ashwill allegedly continued to drive the vehicle on its rims. The release states that Ashwill had a hard time controlling the vehicle, but continued at speeds of 50 miles per hour. He continued north toward Royalton, where assisting officers were able to stop the vehicle using the Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) maneuver and take Ashwill into custody.

No injuries were reported. Three Waite Park squads sustained minor tire damage. The Waite Park Police Department was assisted by Stearns County, the Minnesota State Patrol, the Kimball Police Department, the Cold Spring Police Department, Morrison County, and the Little Falls Police Department.

Man dies in industrial accident in Meeker Co.

MEEKER COUNTY, MN – A man from Litchfield died in an industrial accident in Watkins Wednesday, according to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office responded to a report of the accident at 11:36 a.m. The initial report was of an employee pinned in a piece of equipment. Meeker County Deputies, Watkins Ambulance, Watkins Fire Department, and Life Link III all responded to the scene.

Rescue workers were able to free the individual from the equipment and began life saving efforts. However, the victim succumbed to his injuries and died at the scene.

The employee has been identified as Todd Shoutz, 51, of Litchfield. The preliminary investigation revealed Shoutz, a maintenance worker, was working on the machine at the time of the accident.

The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office is continuing the investigation.