Archive for Hot Topic

Highway 12 Cokato to Howard Lake lanes close as resurfacing begins July 16

ST CLOUD – Motorists who travel Highway 12 between Cokato and Howard Lake will encounter daytime delays, including during rush hours, while segments of the road are reduced to a single lane beginning Monday, July 16.

The lane closures will occur from sunrise to sunset, up to seven days per week, while crews resurface the road. Flaggers and a pilot car will allow one-way, alternating traffic through work zones on the two-lane segment of Highway 12 located in Cokato.

Delays of up to 15 minutes are expected during peak travel times. Motorists should plan their travel, and consider alternate routes or staggering their typical travel times. Motorists approaching the daily work zones should slow down, be prepared to stop, and move over to give crews room to work safely.

All lanes of Highway 12 will open by Aug. 10.

When complete, the project will provide a smoother ride along five miles of Highway 12 between Seventh Street E in Cokato and 13th Avenue in Howard Lake, extend the life of the road, upgrade guardrail and restripe a short segment of Highway 12 east of downtown Cokato.

For information on state road projects in Wright County, follow MnDOT District 3 on Twitter @MnDOTCentral and visit

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota visit or dial 5-1-1.

DASSEL – Sunrise Diner closed Saturday

Co-owner John Dietering of Dassel’s Sunrise Diner reported Monday morning that the business closed the doors to the diner permanently.

Diertering expressed gratitude to the citizens of Dassel for their constant support.  “The people of Dassel were very good to us.  They gave us business,” he said.  “And they tipped more than they should have.”

When Dietering put up several signs near the highway pointing to the diner, he said MnDot quickly removed them.

“There just isn’t enough volume,” Dietering said.  And while he and his co-owners may sell or lease the business, he isn’t entirely certain what will come next.  He has owned eight or nine businesses throughout his life.

“You win some, you lose some,” he said.



Woman hurt in Kingston Twp. crash

MEEKER COUNTY, MN – A woman was hurt in a one-vehicle crash in Kingston Township Monday afternoon, according to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.

Sharon Otremba, 66, of Buffalo was traveling east on County State Aid Highway 21 shortly before 3:30 p.m. when she veered off the road to avoid an oncoming truck.

She was transported by Gold Cross Ambulance to Buffalo Hospital for minor injuries, the sheriff’s office reported. The sheriff’s office was assisted by Gold Cross Ambulance and the Dassel Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

Teen hurt in Meeker County ATV accident

MEEKER COUNTY, MN – A teenager was injured in an ATV accident in Meeker County June 3, according to a press release from the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver of the ATV was identified as Malcolm Ludwig, 15, of Grove City. According to the press release, Ludwig was thrown off the ATV after hitting a driveway approach. He had been wearing a helmet. The accident occurred at the 54000 block of 343rd Street, in Union Grove Township.

Ludwig was flown to St. Cloud Hospital by Life Link helicopter. Also responding at the scene were Gold Cross Ambulance, Grove City Rescue, and the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.

Darwin man killed in crash

MEEKER COUNTY, MN – A 62-year-old Darwin man was killed Saturday when the 2008 Ford Escape he was driving northbound on Highway 15 collided with the rear right side of a planter being pulled by a tractor that had just pulled out from a field approach to travel north on Hwy. 15. The crash took place near the intersection of Highway 15 and 180th St,  in Collinwood Township in Meeker County, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

The tractor was driven by Peter Elvin Peterson, 56, of Dassel.

The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office and Dassel Fire Department also responded to the scene.

The identity of the driver of the Ford Escape has not yet been released.

UPDATE – The state patrol has identified the victim as Kevin Scott Erickson.

More than 1,000 marijuana plants seized in Dassel

DASSEL, MN – Authorities seized 1,433 marijuana plants from a house in Dassel May 3, according to a press release from the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Brian Cruze noted that in his 24-year career, including 15 years working in narcotics, he had never seen such a sophisticated operation with this many marijuana plants.

The operation was discovered after agents from the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, the US Marshals Service, the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the CEE-VI (Cooperative Enforcement Effort) Drug Task Force arrested  Bao Quoc Huynh, 37, who was a fugitive with an out-of-state warrant. No home address is listed for Huynh.

The arrest took place at about 11:30 a.m. May 3 in the 500 block of Marcia Street in Dassel. During the arrest, agents had reason to believe marijuana was being grown inside the house, so a search warrant was obtained, the press release noted.

Authorities then found an elaborate marijuana operation, with marijuana plants in various stages of growth. Along with the plants, there were numerous items used for cultivation.

Also arrested at the residence was Trong Brandon Ly, 45, of Brooklyn Park.

The Dassel Fire Department assisted at the scene.