Area News

Oct. 19, 2018

Woman allegedly steals squad car, flees, bites trooper

A Buffalo woman has been charged after authorities say she stole a squad car near St. Cloud, led authorities on a high speed chase, and then bit a Minnesota state trooper, cbslocal reported.

The Wright County Sheriff’s Office said the incident started Oct. 12, when a homeowner in Monticello Township called 911 about a distraught woman asking to use his phone.

Authorities say 36-year-old Crystal Capko then stole a responding Wright County deputy’s car. A police pursuit began, which covered more than 30 miles on Interstate 94 and reached speeds of 90 miles an hour. Law enforcement used stop sticks to pop the tires of the stolen squad car.

Traffic cameras appear to show Capko abandoning the squad car, then running across the busy interstate near County Road 75. She was nearly struck by traffic as she tried to get into other vehicles on the highway.

Investigators say Capko bit a state trooper while resisting arrest. She now faces several charges including burglary, driving under the influence and assault on a peace officer.

DNR confirms Zebra Mussels in Wright County lake

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in Sugar Lake in Wright County, kstp.com reported.

A release said more than a dozen lake property owners reported finding zebra mussels on equipment being removed from the lake for the season.

Wright County staff had initially contacted the DNR after finding a zebra mussel attached to a boat. Following that report, 13 lake property owners also reported finding zebra mussels on their docks and boat lifts.

DNR invasive species staff also found numerous adult zebra mussels in both the north and southeast ends of the lake.

Hwy. 212 coalition optimistic about funding

Metropolitan and local leaders are moving ahead with plans to improve sections of the US Highway 212 corridor, the Hutchinson Leader reported.

The Hutchinson City Council reviewed recent talks between the Southwest Corridor Transportation Coalition and the Metropolitan Council at its Tuesday meeting. Securing funding for the various projects remains as the coalition’s main obstacle, but applications for federal funding have already been filed.

In a letter to the Met Council, coalition president Randy Maluchnik urged assistance from the Met Council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation if the competitive federal funds are not secured, writing that improvements are crucial to the metropolitan district’s 2040 Transportation Policy Plan.

Highway 212 transitions into a two-lane road in two different 5-mile sections: from Cologne to Carver, and from Norwood Young America to Cologne. The coalition aims to expand the sections into four-lane roads to reduce bottlenecks and address safety issues.

Cosmos man charged with lottery/pull-tab thefts

A Cosmos man made a first court appearance Oct. 11 in Meeker County District Court on two separate cases for allegedly stealing lottery tickets from a business where he worked, and theft involving an electronic pull-tab machine at a different business where he worked, KDUZ reported.

The West Central Tribune reports 35-year-old Matthew David Marshall II, is charged with one felony count of theft of nearly $5,000 from an electronic pull-tab.

The loss was discovered during a routine lottery audit.

Marshall is also charged with three felony counts of state lottery fraud and a felony charge of theft in connection with a July 15 incident at a different Cosmos business where he worked.

According to the complaint filed against him, Marshall is charged with taking 43 lottery tickets, representing a loss of $1,185.

The loss was discovered during a routine lottery audit.

Scream Town reopens after deal with Carver County

As visitors to Scream Town entered the popular Halloween haunt Friday night, they were greeted by a sign that read, “All are welcomed here,” the StarTribune reported.

One day after Carver County officials shut down the Chaska site after its owner made a disparaging comment about Somali-Americans, it reopened, welcoming hundreds of customers.

The reversal came after Scream Town agreed to hire private security guards, since the county has voided its contract for security, traffic, and crowd control. The sheriff’s office will continue to provide routine patrols and 911 response.

As customers lined up to enter the attraction, Scream Town owner Matt Dunn stood outside, shaking hands. Three security guards stood nearby.

Some customers expressed relief that an agreement had been reached so quickly and that Dunn’s apology was so swiftly accepted by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN).

Monticello considers 136-unit senior living facility

A 136-unit senior living facility is being planned on land known as the Jameson property – a site that once housed a 14-building museum dedicated to the early settlement of Monticello, the Monticello Times reported.

The Monticello City Council and Monticello planning commission heard plans for the proposed facility Oct. 8.

Plans call for 2 two-story buildings – a 66-unit senior housing complex, and a 70-unit assisted living/memory care building.

The developers would like to break ground by early summer 2019.

Pedestrian killed by truck in Carver County

A 20-year-old man was killed Oct. 11 while walking in Young America Township, according to a press release from the Carver County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office received the emergency call at 9:47 p.m. When deputies arrived, they found that a pedestrian, a 20-year-old man from Norwood Young America, had been hit and killed by a pickup truck traveling south on County Road 31 near the intersection of 134th Street. The driver, a 27-year-old man from Hamburg, stopped and called 911. The Carver County Sheriff’s Office, the Hamburg Fire Department, the Norwood Young America Fire Department, and Ridgeview Ambulance Service responded to the scene. The accident is under investigation by the Carver County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Waconia OKs raises for city council, mayor

The Waconia City Council granted itself a raise at its Oct. 1 meeting, the Waconia Patriot reported.

The $2,000-$2,300 salary increase marked the first salary adjustment since 2009, and came at the recommendation of city staff following a comparison of mayor and council member compensation in similar metro area cities.

The salary for Waconia mayor will be set at $7,200, and city council at $6,000. That is compared to current respective salaries of $4,900 and $4,000 per year. The new compensation will be effective Jan. 1, 2019. Any changes for next year needed to be made before the next election to be put in place for the year, according to state statute. The changes put Waconia mayor and city council compensation at slightly below average for elected officials in comparable communities, according to assistant city administrator Jackie Schwerm.

Carver Co. deputies will not face charges for killing teen

Carver County Sheriff’s Corporal Jake Hodge and Deputy Travis Larson will not face charges for the July 13 killing of Archer Amorosi, 16, in Chanhassen, WCCO reported.

Thursday, Mark Metz, Carver County attorney, said it was clear from the evidence given to him by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension that when Amorosi charged Corporal Hodge with a BB gun in his left hand and a hatchet in his right hand, both officers were justified in their use of deadly force. Metz therefore declined to charge either officer.

“Their actions were reasonable considering all the circumstances,” said Metz. “I think everybody wishes it didn’t turn out like this and there could’ve been other alternatives.”

Court documents show at 9:46 a.m. July 13, a 911 call came from Kara Amorosi, Archer’s mother. She called from their home at 6451 Oriole Avenue. Kara asked dispatchers to send “multiple police” after her son locked her in their garage. She said he was “being violent and destructive. He’s assaulting the house, he took my keys, he won’t let me leave. I told him to give my keys back before. He’s got a baseball bat, he also has knives.”