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Wright County News  

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Thunderstorms Leave Power Outages, Downed Trees, Heavy Rains in Their Path Tuesday 

Mid-morning thunderstorms turned severe Tuesday as they passed through the Wright County area. Around 9 AM, a line of thunderstorms moved through a sizeable portion of Central and East Central Minnesota, including here in Wright County. Some of those storms contained some cells that featured brief, but very strong winds, small hail, and most of the area saw brief, heavy rain. A narrow band of storms created the worst damage from just south of Buffalo through spots north of Howard Lake and Waverly. Some of these areas reported very large trees down, and in some cases, some property damage as well. Power lines were also affected as parts of our listening area were without power for several hours as crews cleaned up the area, and made repairs. Most or all of Wright County had rain gauge readings in the 1 inch to 1 inch range, with most of that rain falling in a matter of 30 minutes or less. All of the rain adds to an already wet month of August. A string of much calmer weather is in our forecast for the next few days. 

Nails, Screws on Sherburne County Roadways Causing Numerous Incidents of Damage 

Authorities are investigating what they say are numerous incidents of damage to vehicles due to someone intentionally scattering nails and screws on roadways in neighboring Sherburne County. The Big Lake Police Department says one of its squad cars was among the vehicles damaged in one of the incidents. A post on the department's Facebook page indicates roads in several areas including Big Lake, Zimmerman and Orrock, as well as rural Sherburne County roads have been targeted so far. Anyone whose vehicle was damaged in the City of Big Lake is asked to file an online report so the department is aware of it. Officials say the investigation includes reviewing security video from nearby businesses. Anyone with information on the suspect or suspects in the case is asked to contact investigator Rich Berg with the Big Lake Police Department by calling (763) 251-2987, or via e-mail at; 

Farm and Rural Stress Brochure Now Available Statewide 

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the USDA Farm Service Agency are teaming up to make copies of the "Coping with Farm and Rural Stress in Minnesota" brochure available at FSA offices in USDA County Service Centers across the state. The brochure highlights key resources that can help people struggling with financial, legal, emotional and relationship problems. MDA officials say the brochures highlight some ways that friends, relatives and neighbors can support those going through difficult times in agri-business. In addition to picking up a copy of the brochure at local FSA offices, Minnesotans may also download the information at; To receive a copy of the brochure in the mail, call (651) 201-6012. Both the print and online versions are free. Farmers who are experiencing anxiety, depression, indecision, and other challenges can call the free Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline at 1-833-600-2670. The line is open 24 hours a day. People who are worried about someone else in their life, but not sure how to approach them about it can also call this number for help.  

Memorial Services Today for Longtime Maple Lake and Annandale Resident, Roger Golby 

Memorial Services are set for today in Maple Lake for a longtime resident of the Maple Lake and Annandale area. Roger Golby passed away unexpectedly on August 14th at the age of 69. Roger was a veteran of the U-S Navy serving during the Vietnam war where he earned the National Defense Service medal, the Vietnam Service medal with two stars, as well as other military honors. After his service, he worked as a master electrician, and worked for the City of Thief River Falls, later the Buffalo school district, and for a dozen more years with the IBEW in Minneapolis before retiring in 2004. Locally he was involved with the Maple Lake Community Theater and the St. Cloud Great Theater. He also enjoyed playing Santa Claus for the youngsters. 

MN Jobless Rate Inches Up in July 

Minnesota's unemployment rate edged up slightly in July to 3.4%. State job analyst Steve Hine says unless signs point to a sustained down-turn, the slight up-tick last month is not a cause for alarm. Minnesota employers cut 13-hundred jobs last month, with the biggest losses were in leisure and hospitality. Even with the slight increase in unemployment, the state's jobless rate remains low and the labor force participation rate remains high at 70-percent. The county-by-county unemployment numbers should be out in the next week to 10 days. 

Motorcyclist Injured in Sunday Crash in Monticello 

A local man was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash Sunday evening in Monticello. The State Patrol reports that just before 10 PM, a motorcycle that was westbound on I-94 was exiting at Highway 25 in Monticello. Officials say the cycle was in the far right lane when the driver reportedly accelerated quickly and lost control. The motorcycle went down, and the rider was thrown off. Authorities say the driver of the motorcycle, 35-year-old Noah Berndtson of Monticello sustained serious, but non-life threatening injuries. Officials report he was not wearing a helmet. Berndtson was taken to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale for treatment. The official report on the crash indicates that alcohol was detected in the driver's system, though it was not reported whether that was a factor in the crash. The Wright County Sheriff's Department assisted at the scene. 

DNR Fisheries Meetings Planned 

The Minnesota DNR has announced the schedule for public input meetings to discuss proposed 2020 changes for special fishing regulations on 30 lakes across the state. DNR fisheries consultant Jon Hansen says anglers can provide key insights in this process. Meetings are scheduled throughout September and October. An open house about all the potential regulations is set for September 25th at 6 PM at the DNR headquarters in St. Paul. Hansen says anyone who can't attend a meeting is encouraged to reach out to their local fisheries office.  

Insurance Claims Still Coming in Following August 5th Storm in Wright, Carver, Hennepin Counties 

The insurance claims process continues for thousands of automobile and property owners in our region who suffered damage from a fast moving thunderstorm earlier this month. August 5th, a quickly forming thunderstorm developed in the extreme southeast portion of Wright County, the northern part of Carver County, and into parts of Hennepin County. Randy Schumann, based in Bloomington, Illinois is a Claim Team Manager for State Farm Insurance, dealing with automobile weather catastrophe losses. He says in our area, Watertown and a portion of Delano took the hardest hit from the early August storm.  He says by the looks of the damage, the reports of 3 to 4-inch hail stones in the Watertown and Delano areas are likely to be pretty accurate. Schumann says Minnesota has had a tough summer for storms, and particularly hail. For customers with storm damage, Schumann advises them to continue the claim process as soon as possible. Schumann says so far, State Farm alone has processed about 4 thousand claims stemming from the August storm.  

Wright County Highway Department Announces Road Closures 

The Wright County Highway Department has announced some upcoming road closures in the weeks ahead to allow for culvert repair and replacement. Tuesday, August 20th through Thursday August 22nd, County State Aid Highway 30, about one half mile west of CSAH 8 will be closed for culvert repair. Officials say work should be completed by the end of the day on Thursday, weather permitting. The following week, August 26th through 29th, County State Aid Highways 35 and 2 will be closed for culvert replacement near the intersection of the two roads. Work is expected to be completed by the end of the work day on August 29th, weather permitting. September 9th through the 12th, officials will close County State Aid Highway 11 near the intersection with County Road 106 for culvert replacement. Work is expected to be completed by the end of the day on September 12th. No detour routes will be posted for any of the three work zones. To view a map of all current and upcoming Wright County road closures, log onto; Those with questions on any of the culvert projects should call (763) 682-7383 from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.


These stories and more follow the Westwood One and MNN network news in our Wright County News at 6:10, 7:10, &  8:10 AM and 12:10, 4:10, 5:10, & 6:10 PM on AM 1360 / KRWC.