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Wright County News  

Thursday, October 17, 2019


 Missing Becker Boy found Unharmed Thanks to Volunteers and Technology 

Thanks to technology and a lot of volunteers, the ending was a happy one for a 6 year old Becker boy, early yesterday morning. Ethan Haus,had just gotten off the bus with his two older brothers. While the brothers went in to have a snack, Ethan decided to wander past the boundaries of his family's yard with his dog Remmington. Once he found out that Ethan was missing, the father, Dan Haus, searched in vain for his little boy. That's when emergency workers and more than 600 volunteers from miles around, gathered for the search. Ten hours into the search, a stranger brought his heat seeking Drone into use, and eventually lead rescuers to the boy. That stranger turned out to be Steve Fines, a professional photographer from St. Cloud. Fines saw a tweet from Sherburne County Sheriff Joel Brott, about the missing boy. That's when he sprang into action. Upon arrival at the scene, Fines offered his services to authorities and was given instructions as to where to fly his Drone in the search area. Once the Drone located the boy and his dog, Fines hovered the Drone over the boy's location. The Drone's bright lights, served as a beacon and lead rescuers to an unhurt, but very tired and cold, little boy. Asked if he felt like a hero, Fines paused and said, that title belongs to a lot of people out here tonight. I just had the tools and skill set. Why the 6 year old boy ventured off his family's property in the first place, may not be known at this time. However, when he was found, Ethan had this to say. All these people make my heart happy. By the way, a spokesman for the Sherburne County Sheriff's office, said that the County plans to obtain it's own heat seeking Drone by early next year.

 Forsman Farms Named Outstanding Conservationists for 2019 

The Wright Soil and Water Conservation District, recently named Forsman Farms in Wright County, the Outstanding Conservationists for 2019. David and Peter Forsman, are 4th generation farmers in Wright County. Their operation, consists of 3.1 million laying hens, and some 1 thousand acres in production, in Minnesota and Iowa. The original farm, between Howard Lake and Cokato, was purchased by David and Peter's Great-Great Grandfather, Albert, in 1918. In the 1950's, Grandpa Norman Forsman, built the first egg production cage system in the state, and in the 1970's, David and Peter's father, Gary, purchased the farm and increased the capacity from 10 thousand to 60 thousand hens. Conservation and innovation has long been a part of the Forsman Farms plan. Since 2010, nearly all manure has been dried and pelletized, significantly reducing emissions. The farm continues to meet and exceed goals for all systems related to environmental compliance and sustainablility, and has gone above and beyond compliance in regards to water quality and wetlands, and recently were also water quality certified in the Minnesota Agriculture Water Quality Certification Program.

Farm Financial Counseling Still Available 

The University of Minnesota Extension Service, continues to offer one-on-one financial counseling to farmers in serious financial stress. Officials recognize, that due to a variety of factors, which include on going low prices, some farmers are finding themselves facing difficult circumstances. The program offered by the Extension, offers help in understanding the financial situation of farmers, as well as exploring options to keep their farms functioning as a viable enterprise. Financial analysts, include retired agricultural business professionals from the Extension and other organizations, who have been trained to update their capabilities and will work closely with current Extension collegues. To set up a confidential appointment with an Extension farm financial analyst, farmers can call the Farm Information line at 1-800-232-9077. 

More Traumatic Falls Among Baby Boomers 

More than three million older adults are treated in emergency rooms for falls each year, with one in five suffering serious injuries. Experts on health and aging want to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among adults. to find out more on this ever growing problem, log onto;

Authorities Still Investigating Mall Explosion 

Authorities are still investigating who set off an explosive device at The Albertville Premium Outlets Mall. According to a Star Tribune report, the device was set off in a garbage can on Friday night, near the Nike Factory Store. Although the explosion caused slight damage to the exterior of the store, thankfully, no one was injured. Witnesses reported seeing a flash and hearing an explosion near the store, right around 8:40 PM Friday night. Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, firearms and Explosives, are trying to find out who was involved in the incident. Anybody with information, is asked to contact the Wright County Sheriff's office, at 763-682-1162.                                                            


A Tuesday 3 Car Crash Near Rogers Remains Under Investigation 

A three vehicle crash near Rogers, is under investigation, by Hennepin County Authorities. According to reports, A Chevrolet Cavalier, driven by 20 year old Ethan David Petronleske of Albertville, was Eastbound on I-94, when it collided with a stopped Chrysler Town and Country mini-van. The mini-van, driven by 34 year old David Norbert Birdsbill of Fargo, was then pushed into the rear of a semi truck. The collision sent both the Cavalier and the mini van into the ditch. Petronleske, the driver of the Cavalier, received non life threatening injuries. Birdsbill, the mini van driver, had no reported injuries, however, two passengers in his vehicle, 67 year old John Birdsbill and 38 year old Jessica Lynn Davis, both of Fargo, received non life threatening injuries. The driver of the semi, 34 year old John Lee Christiansen, of Frazee Minnesota, required no medical attention. All those involved, were wearing their seatbelts in the 7:19 PM accident. The highway Patrol was assisted by North Ambulance, North Memorial Air Care, Rogers Police and the Rogers Fire Department.      

Blessing Closet Gets Ready to Distribute Clothing Items To Needy Families 

Officials say winter can be an especially difficult season for families experiencing financial hardship, to keep youngsters warm, during the cold weather. The Blessing Closet, along with numerous Buffalo community organizations, businesses and churches are collecting gently used coats and accessories. Those items will be distributed Thursday November 14th, from 10 AM to 6 PM at Zion Lutheran Church, south of Buffalo on Highway 25. Anyone with questions may call Roger and Sandy Brenny at 763-682-2979 or via e-mail at ;                                                                

October Is National Disability Employment Month And the D-A-V Has a Free Guide 

The D-A-V is putting out a free guide for employers and interested companies this month. The guide presents practical advice for those who hire and work with disabled employees. The D-A-V's Jeff Hall, says to get the guide or for more information, log onto;          


MNsure Preview Period Begins 

MNsure CEO Nate Clark, calls the recent announcement that health insurance premiums across the state will stay stable in 2020 "a win for Minnesotans". Clark says in 2020, every county in Minnesota, will have at least two insurers offering coverage in the individual market. Minnesotans can preview available 2020 plans through MNsure, beginning today, October 15th, with the next MNsure open enrollment period beginning November 1st.                                                                                                                                                      

Fraudulent Business E-mail, More Prominent, More Believable 

More and More scammers are targeting business owners and their employees across Minnesota, with fraudulent emails. Bess Ellenson, with the Better Business Bureau, says scam-related email volume was up 50 percent in the first three months of 2019, than in 2018. She says that these emails differ from the scams that may come into your personal inbox. Ellenson goes on to say that the easiest step, is to always confirm with your boss or supervisor, if the email originated from a trusted source and the claim is legitimate. She says, if you should fall victim to a scammer, report it, because, the more cases law enforcement knows about, the better chance they have of tracing the source. 

Talks  Continue about Getting More Insulin 

Talks continue at the Minnesota State Capitol on how to get insulin, into the hands of those who need it, but can't afford it. According to |Good R-X", the average insulin price, has risen to 55 percent, since 2014. 

Over night Lane Closures Continue on I-94 

Overnight lane closures and road work, continue on I-94, between highway 25 in Monticello and Wright County Road 8, in Hasty. Officials with MnDOT, say that eastbound I-94, will be reduced to one lane nightly, from 6 PM to 12 noon, while westbound I-94 will be down to one lane nightly, from 5 PM to 10 AM, through November. The work is part of a 3 year plan to improve a 39 mile stretch of I-94 between Maple Grove and Clearwater. More information is available at;

Health Officials Recommend Flu Shots 

Health care providers across the state, are beginning to get stocked up with flu vaccine. Jennifer Heath with the state health department, says flu activity, is currently sporadic around the state. Heath says, getting vaccinated, is your best protection against the flu. Officials also recommend getting youngsters vaccinated as well. In addition, Heath says the flu mist is being offered this year for those who don't like traditional shots.

Applications Being Accepted for Winter Heating Assistance 

It's not too early to apply for winter heating assistance. Alison Trouy is with Minnesota Energy Resources. She says information is available on their website that will help you determine if you're eligible. To view the chart, log onto; To apply for energy assistance in Wright County, contact Wright County Community Action at (320) 963-6500.

Applications Being Accepted for Winter Heating Assistance 

It's not too early to apply for winter heating assistance. Alison Trouy is with Minnesota Energy Resources. She says information is available on their website that will help you determine if you're eligible. To view the chart, log onto; To apply for energy assistance in Wright County, contact Wright County Community Action at (320) 963-6500.


House Bonding Committee Touring Southwest and Central MN 

The Minnesota House Bonding Committee has headed back out for the next bonding tour, where they will be looking at infrastructure projects in parts of southwest and central Minnesota. Committee member Dean Urdahl of Grove City, who also represents a small portion of Wright County says there is a pretty wide gap on dollar figures between the GOP and the DFL. Urdahl says new Committee Chair, Mary Murphy of Hermantown thinks the price tag could be as high as $3.5 billion, though he doubts that the GOP-controlled Senate would go along with a bonding measure that was that steep. Representative Urdahl says it would be nice, and would save a great deal of time if the House and Senate could agree ahead of time how much the bill would be. Lawmakers were visiting communities in McLeod, Meeker and Kandiyohi Counties on Tuesday.

MDA Urges Struggling Farmers to Utilize Farm Advocate Program 

Local farmers who are struggling may not know there are resources available to help them. State Ag Commissioner Thom Petersen is spreading the word about Minnesota Farm Advocates. Petersen says down years are nothing new in farming, but the string of down years is putting many farm operations in jeopardy. The Farm Advocate Program has been supported by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture since 1984. To find out more, visit the MDA website. 

State Commerce Department Announces Stable Insurance Premiums in MN for 2020 

Insurance premiums across Minnesota are remaining stable in 2020. That's according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce. MNsure CEO Nate Clark says that's a win for Minnesotans. Anyone looking for premium rate information can find it on the state Department of Commerce's website at;

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.