Archive for News

Cost of Cokato fire and ambulance station increases by $83,443

COKATO, MN – A second change order was adopted by the Cokato City Council Oct. 16, concerning the new fire and ambulance station.

Last month, the council accepted the first change order after learning the following needs:

• A 6-inch gate valve is needed to replace an existing gate water service valve, $1,935;

• additional pavement is needed for the parking lot, $56,965;

• a window is needed to be added to one of the station’s rooms in order to provide “visibility of vestibule and patrons entering the building,” $991; and

• a coiling door is needed to be added to “create partition and isolation” for the meeting room, $6,396.

Further requested changes brought before the council Oct. 16 included adding a storm sewer and corresponding grading for the north parking lot; adding additional metal studs to the girt system; and removing an isolated bypass switch from the design.

Combined with those of the first change order, these alterations increase the station’s total cost to $1,970,443 out of its $2.9 million budget.

Read the full story in the Oct. 13 edition of the Enterprise Dispatch. Click here to subscribe to the print or online version.

The fire station is expected to be completed Friday, Dec. 15.

The fire station is expected to be completed Friday, Dec. 15.

Wright County Sheriff issues scam warning

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – The Wright County Sheriff’s Office has issued a scam warning to retailers throughout the county, stating in a press release that fraud, scams, and identity theft continues to be a growing problem, evident by reports being filed in the county and surrounding communities.

Many people reporting scams to the sheriff’s office have either fallen victim to or have been targeted by scammers. Many other victims do not report becoming a victim of a scam because they may be embarrassed that they fell for a scam in the first place.

Suspects committing these crimes are many times not only outside of Wright County, but outside of the United States, making the investigation into these crimes extremely difficult. Suspects often use untraceable phone numbers and email addresses, and have become more and more creative in covering their tracks.

These scams have many commonalities. One of the most common ways a scammer requests to be paid is via gift cards because they are not easily traced and can be used anywhere, including online. These cards can vary between prepaid debit cards to cards for online merchants such as iTunes, Amazon, and Google. Many victims of scams will often be directed by the suspect to purchase several thousands of dollars worth of gift cards and then send the gift card numbers as payment. The use of gift cards is not just limited to scams but also the most common form of purchase by persons utilizing fraudulent credit cards. Many times suspects utilizing fraudulent or stolen credit cards will purchase large amounts of gift cards using several different cards until one is accepted.

The sheriff’s office is asking all retailers to remain aware of these criminal activities and to report any suspicious activity to the sheriff’s office or local police department. If retail employees notice someone purchasing a large amount of gift cards, they may be dealing with a victim of a scam. Oftentimes, victims are members of the older population. Many of the victims do not realize they are victims until after they have made payment to the suspect and, by then, it is often too late to help them get their money back.

Members of the public should not be afraid to ask questions or call law enforcement if needed. All employees should be given this information and reminded they may be able to help a victim of a scam by simply asking them if their purchase of gift cards is being made willingly or directed by someone else. If an individual feels there may be a victim or a scam in a store and is not comfortable asking them these questions, he or she may call the sheriff’s office or local police department.

The sheriff’s office appreciates the public’s assistance regarding this very important matter.

Fire destroys auto salvage shop in Litchfield

MEEKER COUNTY, MN – The shop of R&R Auto and Metal Salvage in Litchfield is considered a total loss after a fire Sunday evening, the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office reported.

When the sheriff’s office responded to the incident in the 64100 block of US Highway 12 in Litchfield at 6:36 p.m. Oct. 15, there was smoke coming from the building. The Litchfield Fire Department was called, and the building became fully engulfed in flames a short while later.

The Grove City Fire Department and Dassel Fire Department also responded. The building, along with the contents, was a total loss, according to the sheriff’s office press release.

At 12:44 a.m., the fire rekindled and firefighters from Litchfield, Eden Valley, Grove City, and Dassel reponded. No one was injured as a result of the fire. The cause is unknown and the fire remains under investigation.

DC sixth-grade teacher passes away

DASSEL, COKATO, MN – Wednesday was a sad day for the Dassel-Cokato School District, with the news that sixth-grade teacher Beth Flick had passed away that morning after a battle with cancer.

In a message to staff, Superintendent Jeff Powers noted, “After 25 years in DC, the hole that Beth’s absence leaves in our schools and community is vast. We have lost a wonderful friend, teacher, coach, and most of all, person. Please keep Beth’s family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Look for more information in the Friday, Oct. 20 edition of the Enterprise Dispatch.

New doctor joins Hutchinson Health

SPONSORED POST – Dr. Noah Retka, Hutchinson Health’s newest family medicine physician, loves helping families get well and stay well.

He and his wife both grew up in rural Minnesota and are happy to return to a rural lifestyle.  They have two young children and are excited to raise their family here.

In his free time, Retka enjoys working on home improvement projects, wood working, and being outdoors.

Retka studied chemistry at St John’s University. He was then a laboratory technician at the Mayo Clinic for a number of years. Seeking challenge, he attended medical school at the University of Minnesota in Duluth. He participated in the Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP), spending the third year of medical school in Duluth. He then did his residency in family medicine in St Cloud.

Retka enjoys caring for patients of all ages.  He does many in-office procedures, including vasectomies, joint injections, skin biopsies, IUD placement/removal, and Nexplanon placement/removal. Wellness exams for patients of all ages, as well as sports physicals, are some of the many aspects of his practice.  He has also been working in Urgent Care.

“I chose family medicine for the breadth and variety,” he said. “I enjoy caring for all members of the family and believe that an awareness of family relationships leads to more comprehensive care.  My philosophy is that patients are best served by being active participants in their care and that my role is to make recommendations to help my patients reach their goals; I am not here to nag, but want my patients to understand the recommendations that we make.”

Hutchinson Health is one of the largest independent health care providers in Minnesota. Services include primary and specialty care clinics, emergency services, and specialty programs. To learn more, go to

Dr. Noah Retka cares for patients of all ages at Hutchinson Health.

Dr. Noah Retka cares for patients of all ages at Hutchinson Health.

Cokato woman was nanny for Gov. Mark Dayton circa 1950

COKATO, MN – When most people think of Mark Dayton, they think of him as the 40th governor of Minnesota.

Irene Strey of Cokato, however, remembers him as a 3-year-old boy she took care of as a nanny.

Read the full story in the Oct. 6 edition of the Enterprise Dispatch. Click here to subscribe to the print or online version.

rene Strey received her wedding dress from the Dayton family’s department store, after nannying for Mark Dayton and his younger brother

Irene Strey received her wedding dress from the Dayton family’s department store, after nannying for Mark Dayton and his younger brother