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BACK ISSUES: September 1 | September 8 | September 15 | September 22 | September 29 | October 6 | October 13
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Wright County Journal-Press & The Drummer

Park packed with classic cars during annual show

Close to 500 cars were on display during the 2017 Classics by the Lake car show in Buffalo's Sturges Park last Saturday, Sept. 9.  Participants and spectators enjoyed near-perfect weather all day.  Trophies were awarded to the top 75 cars, and special honors, the Sponsors Award, the Spectators Award, the Best-in-Show Award, and the Bratzy Award, were also presented.  See the award-winning cars and more inside this week's issue of the Journal-Press.  (Photos by Ed DuBois)




'Never forget 911'


"Never forget 911," says the Buffalo Fire Department.  The firefighters set up their annual tribute to the heroes and victims of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.  Motorists on Highway 55 often signaled their approval and support by honking their horns throughout the day last Monday, Sept. 11.  (Photo by Ed DuBois)







Allegations against Sheriff's Office found to be unsubstantiated

By Ed DuBois

Several months ago, an investigation by an outside counsel was started in regard to employment-related complaints against the Wright County Sheriff's Office.  The Wright County Board learned at the board meeting last Tuesday, Sept. 12 that the complaints were found to be unsubstantiated.

The matter was brought up by Board Chair Charlie Borrell.  He asked Brian Asleson, chief deputy county attorney, to provide information about the investigation.  Asleson said he could not provide details because of data privacy laws, but he said the outside counsel determined that allegations were unsubstantiated.  He said the matter is now concluded.

The complaints followed a period during which the County Board struggled with a Sheriff's Office decision last spring to restructure clerical staff in an effort to streamline operations.  The elimination of two supervisor positions was particularly controversial.

Nick Knese Construction

In other business:



The Board accepted findings of fact, conclusions and an order for an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) regarding plans to expand a Knife River/Naaktgeboren gravel pit in Silver Creek Township from 40 acres to 81 acres.  The Board also accepted a declaration that an environmental impact statement (EIS) is not needed.

The Board's action is one step in a process toward the possible approval of the expansion project.



The Board awarded a contract for mainline intersection-warning systems.

Design Electrical Contractors of St. Cloud was the low bidder.  The project involved $310,480 in federal safety funds and $34,498 in local levy funds.

Intersections included in the project are: County Rd. 117 and CSAH (County State Aid Highway) 35, County Rd. 117 and County Rd. 113, County Rd. 117 and CSAH 37, and CSAH 39 and CSAH 11.

The systems will alert mainline traffic about approaching traffic.



The Board conducted a closed session to discuss litigation, Pribyl vs. County of Wright.  The case involves a promotion decision in 2015 and a claim of discrimination based on gender.



The Board scheduled a public hearing on Monday, Oct. 23, 6 p.m., in the board room to discuss a petition for establishing a Maple Lake Improvement District.



Chev of DelanoIn other actions, the Board:

• canceled the Dec. 5 board meeting because the annual Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) Conference is taking place Dec. 4-5 in St. Cloud;

• authorized attendance at the annual AMC Conference;

• appointed Dan Vick of rural Howard Lake to the Board of Adjustment as the successor to Bob Schermann, who passed away Aug. 11;

• adopted a resolution authorizing the public sale of tax-forfeited properties on Nov. 2 at 1 p.m.;

• scheduled a public hearing on Oct. 17 at 9:30 a.m. to re-establish records for County Ditch 38 and County Ditch 18;

• authorized signatures on a 2017 emergency management performance grant of $60,019, as well as an off-highway vehicle enforcement grant of $12,000;

• accepted a Planning Commission recommendation to approve a request from Moises Bustillos to rezone about ten acres in Clearwater Township from agricultural use to A/R agricultural-residential use; and

• approved filling an office tech I position in the Auditor-Treasurer's Office.


Homecoming Week at BHS Sept. 17-23

Buffalo High School announced on Monday, Sept. 11 the 2017 homecoming candidates.  This year's homecoming king and queen will be unveiled at next Monday's coronation held at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.  Pictured above (front row, left-right): Gabrielle Grage, Jack Oistad, Abby Kohls, Cory Knudsen, Danika Tweten, Aydin Sherber, Caroline Zumbusch; (back row, left-right): Alan Hernandez, Ella Shuherk, Eric Braun, Peter Deneen, Mya Lubben, Nick Immel, Claire Stevens, Harrison Bjorback, and Madelyn Backes.  (Photo by Rob LaPlante)



Bus-semi crash on I-94 causes injuries

Long traffic delay from Albertville to Monticello

Traffic was backed up on I-94 between Albertville and Monticello after a bus and semi crash last Thursday, Sept. 7 at about noon.

The State Patrol reported a westbound semi struck a bus that was stopped in traffic.  The bus rolled and struck two other vehicles that were also stopped in traffic.  Several passengers in the bus sustained non-life-threatening injuries, and one person in the bus sustained serious injuries and was airlifted.  The semi driver, Steven Bobo, 66, of Tomah, Wis., had minor injuries.  The occupants in other vehicles were not injured.

The State Patrol reported those who were injured included: Peter Bolle, 30, of Cottage Grove, Jacob Cisar, 23, of Moose Lake, Aaron Davies, 30, of Madison, Wis., Travis Doig, 29, of San Antonio, John Fonder, 27, of Lakeville, Barton Hughes, 51, of Blaine, Thomas Jacobson, 31, of Pewaukee, Wis., Robert Preskorn, 41, of Hager City, Wis., and Chelsea Schattner, 25, of Kansasville, Wis.

According to Twin Cities news reports, the bus was an Air Force Reserve vehicle on its way to a training site near Fargo.


Pedestrians struck by pickup in Waverly

Two pedestrians were struck by a vehicle in Waverly, Minn. last Thursday, Sept. 7 at about 7 p.m.

According to the State Patrol, a passenger car that was not involved with the accident had stopped to allow pedestrians to cross Highway 12 in a marked crosswalk.  A pickup truck passed the stopped car and struck two pedestrians.

The incident occurred at Highway 12 and Elder Ave. SW.  One of the pedestrians, Jane Krueger, 40, of Waverly, sustained life-threatening injuries.  The other pedestrian, Roy Krueger, 57, of Waverly, sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the pickup truck, Patricia Dahlheimer, 56, of Dassel, was not injured.

Current information about the condition of the two pedestrians is not available.


The perfect flood rescue tool

Annandale resident uses jet boat to help flood victims in Houston area following Hurricane Harvey

By Ed DuBois

A low-profile jet boat was the perfect tool to get in and help flood victims in Texas, and Bill Walker had one.  He and a friend volunteered to conduct welfare checks in the Houston area following Hurricane Harvey and subsequent massive flooding.

The owner of three Invest Cast Inc. foundries in Minneapolis, Wisconsin and Dallas, Walker has homes in Annandale, Minn. and just east of Dallas.  His company performs casting and parts making for manufacturing companies, and some of their customers include: Polaris, Harley-Davidson, Maytag, and John Deere, he said.

Walker's watercraft is a 250-hp RiverPro jet boat, which he enjoys using for fishing on the Mississippi River.


Trouble with outboards

Down in the flooded areas around Houston, people in boats with outboard motors were having all kinds of trouble, Walker said by telephone last week.  The water was not very deep in some places, and their props were striking curbs and objects.  Meanwhile, the jet boat was gliding along the surface with no problems.

"We checked hundreds of homes," Walker said.  "We went up and down the streets in neighborhood after neighborhood."

He estimated the depth of the water ranged from 2-6 feet.

"We found and moved about a dozen people," Walker said.  "We also moved belongings, making several trips to each location."

He recalled an elderly couple who could barely walk and had medical issues.  They were helped into the boat and taken to safety and care.  They had about three feet of water in their home.


Helped in Vidor, Texas

Walker said the neighborhoods were literally saturated with people in boats offering help.

When he decided to volunteer, Walker drove to Vidor Fire and Rescue, which is located east of Houston.  He helped in the area from Wednesday to Friday, Aug. 30 to Sept. 1.

"We were wrapping it up on Friday.  Law enforcement boats were arriving from just about every state.  They were checking all the homes (to make sure everyone was out)," Walker said.

He mentioned some of the law enforcement boats came all the way from Alaska.

"It was humanity at it's finest," Walker commented.


Never seen before

At various times in the past, he has helped people having trouble on the water, "but the scope of this disaster is incredible," he stated.

He was told in Vidor they had never seen such massive flooding ever before.

Walker recalled seeing an Interstate 10 overpass underwater.

With the help of business associates, he was able to bring supplies, such as food, blankets and a pallet of bottled water to Vidor.


More hurricanes

The entire Houston area was still recovering when news arrived about another extremely large and powerful storm, Hurricane Irma, which was forming in the Atlantic Ocean and heading toward Miami.  Meanwhile, Hurricane Jose was following Irma, and Hurricane Katia was gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico.

Walker was glad he had the perfect tool to help after Hurricane Harvey.  Hopefully, his services won't be needed again real soon.

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