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Wright County News  

Sunday, August 19, 2018


Two Separate Car vs. SUV Crashes in Buffalo Thursday Leave Two Injured 

Two people were injured in separate car vs. SUV crashes in Buffalo on Thursday. The State Patrol reports that just after 11 AM, an eastbound SUV collided with a car at Highway 55 and 3rd Street South in Buffalo. Authorities say the SUV was eastbound on Highway 55. The other vehicle was westbound on 3rd Street South and was crossing Highway 55 when it was struck by the SUV. Injured in the crash was the driver of the passenger car, 73-year-old Craig Annis of Phoenix, Arizona. He sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the Buffalo Hospital for treatment. The driver of the SUV, a 16-year-old female from Buffalo was not injured. The Buffalo Police and Allina Ambulance assisted the State Patrol.

Later in the day, an Wright County Sheriff's Office SUV was making a left turn from northbound County Road 117 onto County Road 35, when it was struck in the driver's door by an eastbound passenger car that failed to stop at the intersection. A temporary 4-way stop is currently in place at that intersection as the route is a part of a detour because of construction at County Roads 34 and 134. Injured in the crash was the driver of the SUV, Deputy Matt Sturm, 42 of Buffalo suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Buffalo Hospital. The driver of the passenger car, 18-year-old Ryan Dugan of Buffalo, was not injured. The crash happened around 1:25 PM on Thursday. Allina Ambulance assisted the State Patrol. 

Good Weather Meant Good Crowds for 2018 Cokato Corn Carnival 

A nice stretch of summer weather meant good crowds for the events of the 2018 Cokato Corn Carnival. Wednesday night, the Corn Carnival finale was the annual prize drawings. This year's winner of the car raffle for a 2018 Chevrolet Cruze was Frank Cruz of Cokato. Lynne Lahr of Cokato was the winner of the 500 dollar consolation prize, and ten other ticket-holders won 100 dollars. The big cash prize winners were Lindsey Bekkala of Dassel winning 25 hundred dollars, Shannon Jex of Hutchinson won 15 hundred, and Cindy Anderson of Annandale was the winner of 1 thousand dollars. Seven 100 dollar prizes were also awarded. Plans are already beginning for a very important milestone next year, as Cokato will celebrate the 70th Annual Corn Carnival in 2019. 

Montrose Days 2018 Continues 

One of the final summertime celebrations in our area runs through today in another Wright County community. Montrose welcomes residents and visitors alike to Montrose Days 2018. This afternoon is the KRWC Road Show from 2 - 4 P.M. Montrose days continues through today. For a complete calendar of events, log onto; 

Monticello Man Killed, Three Others Injured in Six-Vehicle Crash in Dayton 

A Monticello man was killed, and three other people were injured in a six-vehicle traffic crash Wednesday morning in Dayton in neighboring Hennepin County. The State Patrol reports that around 6:30 AM Wednesday, a flatbed box-truck was westbound on I-94 when it crossed through the median cable barrier and into on-coming eastbound traffic. Officials say the truck went partially airborne and clipped only the top cable of the barrier. Authorities say that 40-year-old Kevin Parker of Monticello died as a result of injuries he sustained when his pickup truck was struck by the truck. Officials say two other Wright County individuals, identified as 40-year-old Darrin Grebinoski and 38-year-old Robyn Grebinoski of Otsego were injured in the crash when their passenger car was involved in the crash. Darrin Grebinoski sustained non-life threatening injuries, but Robyn Grebinoski had life-threatening injuries, and was airlifted to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale. Another Wright County man, 31-year-old Jared Loidolt of Otsego, who was driving another passenger car involved, escaped injury, as did three men from Iowa who were in a pickup truck. 33-year-old Brandon Larkin of St. Cloud, who was the driver of yet another pickup truck involved in the crash, also was un-injured. The driver of the delivery truck, a 53-year-old man from St. Louis Park sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to North Memorial Hospital. The State Patrol is continuing to investigate the circumstances that led to the fatal crash. Authorities have ruled out alcohol, and they say the driver did not fall asleep at the wheel. Officials say that a medical emergency on the part of the truck driver is a possibility. The Rogers Police Department assisted the State Patrol at the scene.

One Injured in Two-Vehicle Crash in Sherburne County 

One person was injured when a mini-van and a station wagon collided late Tuesday afternoon in Big Lake. The State Patrol reports the crash happened shortly after 5 PM Tuesday when the mini-van and the station wagon were southbound on Highway 25 near Terry Town Road. The station wagon stopped for animals in the roadway, and was rear-ended by the mini-van. Injured in the crash was the driver of the stopped station wagon, 41-year-old Anthony Cole of Monticello. He sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the Monticello Hospital. The driver of the mini-van, 70-year-old Elaine Farnam, also of Monticello, was not injured. CentraCare Ambulance assisted the State Patrol.

Big Resurgence in Minnesota Primary Voting Numbers 

A record number of people voted in Tuesday's Primary Election in Minnesota. Secretary of State Steve Simon says almost 902-thousand people cast a ballot. Simon says it's quite likely that November's general election numbers will be proportionally similar. Wright County Auditor-Treasurer Bob Hiivala says here in Wright County, voting numbers were also very strong. Statewide, the high primary election turn-out is credited in large part to the popularity of new early and absentee voting procedures. Hiivala says that wasn't quite as much of a factor for the primary, but he believes it will be in November. Tuesday's primary was also the first big test for the new "poll-pad" registration systems at the polling places, designed to improve accuracy, and speed along the check-in process. Hiivala says all reports were generally good for those that used the new systems.

Deringer, Kaczmarek Advance to Wright County Sheriff's General Election, Walz, Johnson win in Governor's Primary 

Turnout was high by primary election standards for Tuesday's Minnesota primary. The high vote count was spurred-on by easier access to early and absentee voting, and by some compelling races across the state and here in Wright County. The most highly contested local race was for Wright County Sheriff, where five candidates entered the primary, and took their case to the people through several candidate forums, and with many appearances at local events. When the votes were counted, Sean Deringer was the top vote-getter with 5543 votes, or about 32 percent, with Mike Kaczmarek finishing a fairly close second with 5032 votes, or about 29 percent of the vote. Drew Scherber received 3155 votes, finishing third, while Stacy Braun got 2471 votes, or 14 percent. Chad Torkelson received 1184 votes, or about 7 percent. The big question now will be who will those that voted for Scherber, Braun and Torkelson support in November, when Deringer and Kaczmarek advance to the general election when voters will elect a new sheriff. In other races, 6th District Congressman Tom Emmer easily fought off a primary challenge from two other Republicans. Emmer received more than 34 thousand votes, or about 77 percent of votes cast. Challenger A. J. Kern finished second with less than 8 thousand votes, while Patrick Munro received around 25 hundred votes. In the governor's race, Tim Walz won the DFL primary, defeating party-endorsed candidate Erin Murphy, and current Attorney General Lori Swanson. Walz received about 42 percent of the vote, while Murphy received around 32 percent. Swanson had about 24 percent of the DFL vote. On the GOP side, Republican-endorsed candidate Jeff Johnson held-off a challenge from former governor Tim Pawlenty. Johnson had 53 percent support from GOP voters, while Pawlenty had about 44 percent. In the U-S Senate races, DFL incumbent Amy Klobuchar ran away with her primary race, though there were three challengers. Klobuchar received over 554 thousand votes, equaling about 96 percent of the vote. Jim Newberger won easily on the GOP side with 70 percent of the vote. For the seat vacated after the resignation of Senator Al Franken, DFL'er Tina Smith won easily over challenger Richard Painter. Her opponent in November will be Republican Karin Housley who had 62 percent of the vote, defeating Bob Anderson, who received about 36 percent. In the race for Attorney General, last-minute filer Keith Ellison won handily in the DFL primary with about 50 percent of the votes cast, while GOP-endorsed candidate Doug Wardlow fought off a challenge by two fellow Republicans to win with about 46 percent of the vote.

County Highway 34 Roundabout Project Now Ready to Begin In Buffalo 

Signs were posted in recent days alerting motorists to the start of construction of another new roundabout in the City of Buffalo. The Wright County Highway Department has set today as the start of construction of a roundabout at the intersection of County Highway 34 and County Road 134 in Buffalo. Officials say improved safety and traffic flow are the goals of the roundabout, which will be very similar to one already in place a short distance away at the intersection of County Highway 35 and County Road 134. The intersection will be closed to traffic to facilitate the work getting completed in as short as time as possible. A signed detour route will be posted to direct traffic around the work zone. The detour route will include State Highway 55, County Highway 35, and County Road 117. Work on the roundabout is expected to be completed around the end of September, weather permitting. Anyone with questions about this project is asked to contact the Wright County Highway Department Office at (763) 682-7383, or by email at:

Xcel Customers to be Awarded Bill Credits 

Xcel energy customers will benefit from over 130 million dollars gained by the energy provider from federal tax cuts. The Public Utilities Commission decided in recent days that most of Xcel Energy's 136-million dollar gain from last year’s federal tax act will go directly to its customers. Xcel's Aakash Chandarana says the refunds or utility credits for most residential customers should show up later this year. Chandarana says someone paying between 85 and 90 dollars per month will get a refund of about 45 dollars as a one time credit. Those who paying an average of 48 dollars or less will get a credit of about 8 dollars. 

Gas Companies Urge Safety First When Dealing With Clogged or Backed-up Sewer Lines

Natural gas companies are reminding Minnesotans--if you have a clogged or backed up sewer, call you before you clear it. Rebecca Virden from Centerpoint Energy warns that it's important to call first, because digging around intersecting natural gas lines and sewer lines could potentially cause a dangerous situation.

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.