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Wright County News  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!


Buffalo Woman Injured in Broadside Crash in Buffalo 

A local woman was injured in a two-vehicle traffic crash early Wednesday morning in Buffalo. The State Patrol reports that just before 8 AM, a pickup truck that was eastbound on Highway 55 entered the intersection at 3rd Avenue Northeast on a red light, and collided with an SUV that was northbound on 3rd Avenue. The driver of the SUV, 40-year-old Kaia Christensen of Buffalo sustained non-life threatening injuries in the crash. She was transported by ambulance to Buffalo Hospital. The driver of the pickup, a 41-year-old man from Sedalia, Colorado, was not injured. Officials say airbags deployed in both vehicles, and that both drivers were buckled up properly. The Buffalo Police and Fire Departments, and Allina Ambulance assisted the State Patrol. 

One Injured in Wednesday Morning Rear-end Type Crash in Waverly 

One person was injured around mid-morning on Wednesday in a rear-end type traffic crash on Highway 12 in Waverly. The State Patrol says just after 9 AM, a pickup truck and an SUV were both eastbound on Highway 12 in the vicinity of Elder Avenue Southwest in Waverly. The pickup truck was stopped in traffic when it was rear-ended by the SUV. Officials say the driver of the SUV, 51-year-old Kathy Breault of Howard Lake sustained non-life threatening injuries, and was transported to the Ridgeview Hospital in Waconia for treatment. The driver of the pickup, 40-year-old Wesley Hoffman of Cokato, was not injured. The Waverly Fire Department assisted the State Patrol at the scene. 

Heavy Travel Expected for the Thanksgiving Weekend 

Thanksgiving kicks off the start of what will likely become the busiest holiday travel season in more than a decade. Triple-A Minnesota's Gail Weinholzer says more than 85 percent of travelers will be in automobiles. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period runs today through Sunday. 

MnDOT Reminders for Thanksgiving 

Most of Minnesota and a large part of the Upper Midwest are enjoying a good travel day on this Thanksgiving Day. Though the roadways themselves aren't likely to be much of an issue, MnDOT's Kevin Gutknecht says there are a few things for motorists to remember, including construction areas. The latest road conditions can be found on-line at or by calling 5-1-1. 

Minnesota Turkeys Pardoned by President During Light-Hearted Thanksgiving Week Moment 

Though international and domestic U-S events in recent weeks have been quite intense, President Donald Trump pardoned the national Thanksgiving turkey in a light-hearted Rose Garden ceremony on Tuesday. The event will featured two Minnesota birds, "Drumstick" and "Wishbone." Steve Olson is with the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, headquartered in Buffalo says though it wasn't for the table, the pair of Minnesota birds went through plenty of preparation for the event. After being a part of the national festivities, the birds will live out their lives at a special sanctuary at Virginia Tech University. 

Thanksgiving Dinner Costs Down for 2017, Second Straight Yearly Decrease 

The price for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for 10 is down again this year. The American Farm Bureau Federation's 32nd annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year's feast for 10 is $49.12, down 75 cents or 1 and a half percent from last year's average, and marks the second straight year of Thanksgiving dinner price decreases. Dr. John Newton with the AFBF says some of the big ticket items have come down in price from last year. The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with plenty for leftovers. A total of 148 volunteer shoppers checked prices at grocery stores in 40 states for the annual survey. 

Days Around Thanksgiving Busy Days at MSP 

The Thanksgiving travel season is expected to be busier than recent years across the country. Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman John Welbes says airlines are projecting a 3% increase in air travel nation-wide compared to a year ago. Welbes says travelers are likely to notice a number of new restaurant options that have opened in the terminals since the last holiday travel season. He says major construction work which had been going on over the past year has recently been wrapped up. 

Albertville Woman Injured in Single-Vehicle Crash on I-94 Tuesday Evening 

A Wright County woman was injured late Tuesday evening in a single-vehicle crash on I-94 near Monticello. The State Patrol reports that just before 10 PM, a passenger car was eastbound on I-94, and had to swerve left off the freeway to avoid colliding with slowing traffic ahead. The vehicle hit the center median barrier, then traveled back across the eastbound traffic lanes and into the right ditch before finally coming to a stop. The driver of the car, 70-year-old Jean Current of Albertville sustained non-life threatening injuries, and was taken to the Monticello Hospital for treatment. CentraCare Ambulance assisted the State Patrol at the scene. 

One Injured in Midday Crash Tuesday in McLeod County 

One person was injured in a rather spectacular traffic crash around lunchtime Tuesday in neighboring McLeod County. The Minnesota State Patrol reports that just before 12 noon on Tuesday, an SUV was southbound on Highway 22 in Hassan Valley Township near Hutchinson. A witness reported that they saw the SUV go into the right ditch, where it hit a field approach, went airborne, then came down on its front wheels, nearly going end-over-end before the rear wheels again came back onto the ground. The witness said the vehicle traveled about another 100 feet before finally coming to a stop. Injured in the crash was the driver, 55-year-old Terry Robbins of Hutchinson. She sustained non-life threatening injuries and was treated at the Hutchinson Medical Center. The McLeod County Sheriff's Office, and the Hutchinson Fire and Ambulance responded to the scene and assisted the State Patrol. 

Black Friday Book Sale Planned at Buffalo Public Library 

If you're looking for something a little different for Black Friday, the Friends of the Buffalo Library have announced a special Black Friday sale of books and media items. Officials say that the items are in like-new condition and are suitable for holiday giving. The sale is for all ages, and will take place Friday from 11 AM to 1 PM at the Buffalo Public Library. Any questions may be directed to the library staff at (763) 682-2753. 

Watertown Man Faces Criminal Vehicular Homicide Charges Following Girlfriend's Death 

A Watertown man has been formally charged with criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the death of his girlfriend last week. 42-year-old Casey Hoskins was charged late last week after allegedly running over his girlfriend, 33-year-old Jessica Ludenia with his pickup truck in Watertown. Officials say around 6:45 PM November 14th, authorities were called regarding a woman who was unconscious on the side of the road on Deerfield Road in Watertown. The criminal complaint against Hoskins suggests that he and Jessica has argued earlier in the day, and that the couple's argument may have re-surfaced before the fatal incident occurred. Authorities reported that alcohol may also have been a factor. Casey Hoskins is scheduled to make his first court appearance in Carver County District Court on Wednesday. The funeral Mass for Jessica Ludenia has been scheduled for Thursday in Wayzata. 

MN Turkey Growers to Donate Turkey to State Foodshelves 

As Thanksgiving nears, the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association is donating over 13 thousand pounds of turkey to Minnesota foodshelves. Hunger Solutions' Colleen Moriarty says in many cases people end up at foodshelves not because of long-term poverty, but rather "one blip on the screen." Moriarty says they've been working hand-in-hand with the Turkey Growers for almost two decades and the partnership is a great benefit for Minnesota foodshelves.

Two Injured Monday in Three-Vehicle Crash in Stearns County 

Two people were injured in a three-vehicle traffic crash late Monday afternoon in neighboring Stearns County. The State Patrol reports that around 5 PM, a pickup truck, an SUV and a passenger car were all northbound on Highway 15 near Stearns County Road 1 in Le Sauk Township. The passenger car and the SUV were stopped, and waiting for traffic to start moving. The pickup truck was approaching the intersection, and changed lanes from the right to the left, colliding with the passenger car, which in turn, struck the SUV. Injured in the crash was the driver of the passenger car that was struck by the pickup. 19-year-old Mikayla Healy of Waconia, sustained non-life threatening injuries and was treated at the St. Cloud Hospital. A passenger in the car, a 19-year-old woman from St. Cloud, also had non-life threatening injuries, and was also taken to the St. Cloud Hospital. The driver of the pickup, 24-year-old Kristy Henkel of Clear Lake, and the driver of the SUV, a 56-year-old woman from St. Cloud, were not injured. The Sartell Police Department and Gold Cross Ambulance assisted the State Patrol.

City of Rockford Announces Openings on Two Commissions 

The City of Rockford has announced openings on two city commissions in that community. Officials say there will be openings for 3-year terms beginning in January on the Park and Recreation Commission, as well as the Planning and Zoning Commission. Anyone interested in applying for service on the commissions should complete the Commission Application form available on the city's website, and return it to the Rockford City Hall by December 6th. 

New Minnesota Unemployment Rate Drops to Levels Nearing Pre-Recession Levels 

Minnesota's unemployment rate fell to 3.3 percent in October, its lowest level in 17 years. State job analyst Steve Hine says the jobless rate isn't as low as we saw in the late 1990s when Minnesota's unemployment rate fell to 2.5 percent but says we're headed in the right direction. Hine advises however, that despite the continuing drops in state unemployment, the October report wasn't perfect. Hine says the biggest job losses were in education and health services down 23-hundred, followed by trade, transportation and utilities down 16-hundred. Statistics on the county-by-county unemployment rate for October should be released in the next week to 10 days.

Pedestrian Critically Injured When Struck by Car in Big Lake 

A pedestrian was critically injured in the early morning hours of Sunday morning in Big Lake when he was struck by a car while attempting to cross Highway 10. The State Patrol reports the incident happened at around 2:20 AM Sunday when a man was crossing Highway 10 near 168th Street Northwest in Big Lake. Authorities say 29-year-old Daniel Martin of Zimmerman sustained life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a Lincoln Town Car limousine that was westbound on Highway 10. Zimmerman was airlifted to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale. The driver of the limousine, 47-year-old Robert Nowak of Big Lake, was not injured. Officials say alcohol was not present in the driver's system. The State Patrol did not report whether or not the incident happened at a designated crosswalk. The Sherburne County Sheriff's Office, the Big Lake Fire and Police Departments, and North Air all assisted the State Patrol at the scene. The incident remains under investigation.

These stories and more follow CNN 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.