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Area News

April 20, 2015

Suspicious Carver County death being investigated

Carver County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a property on Homestead Road in San Francisco Township to investigate a suspicious death at approximately 7:19 p.m. April 11, according to a release from Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson. The reporting party had been asked by a relative of the homeowner to check the homeowner’s welfare.

When he checked the residence, he found the homeowner deceased and summoned law enforcement. The decedent has been presumptively identified as Earl Arthur Olander, 90. Olander, who lived alone, was found with his hands bound and he appeared to have been assaulted. Olander’s house had been ransacked.

Gaylord man dies in farm accident

A rural Gaylord man is dead after a farm accident Wednesday afternoon, KDUZ reported.

The Sibley County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a farm accident at 4 p.m. about 3 miles southeast of Gaylord near the intersection of 441st Street and 290th Street. Authorities say 81-year-old Kenneth Quast was working in a field when he was struck by a pickup truck driven by his 79-year-old wife, Lois. Kenneth was taken to Ridgeview Sibley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Housing addition approved in Cologne

Cologne City Council members recently gave preliminary approval to a fourth addition for the Hans Hagen development, giving the go-ahead for an additional 17 houses located directly west of Cologne Academy, the Waconia Patriot reported.

The home plans are geared toward the “empty nester,” according to Hans Hagen VP of Land Development John Rask. Anticipated pre-sales will take place closer to construction two months from now.

Reward offered in Annandale arson case

A reward is being offered for information leading to the identification of the person or people responsible for setting a fire at a high school equipment shed early April 5, the Annandale Advocate reported.

The building contained track and field equipment, as well as equipment for football and phy ed, a Bobcat, and other maintenance equipment. The financial loss is estimated at $200,000. The fire is believed to have been intentionally set, and a reward of up to $5,000 is available through the Minnesota Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators for information leading to an arrest.

Man who killed parents in Waconia to move

Although Richard Happ, 46, who fatally stabbed both of his parents in their Waconia home in 1999 and was later deemed mentally ill and dangerous, remains a resident of the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, a recent state panel ruling will allow Happ to move to a less restrictive facility in West St. Paul, the Waconia Patriot reported.

The ruling, made by a Supreme Court Appeal Panel consisting of Judge Karen Asphaug, Judge Robert Rancourt, and Judge Edward Lynch, was made in Dakota County March 27.

Electro Industries retirement in Monticello

Bill and Merrlyn Seefeldt, founders of Monticello-based Electro Industries, were honored for more than 40 years of business success at an open house recently, the Monticello Times reported.

The couple has announced their retirement, effective Friday, May 1. Electro Industries is unique in that it not only internally designs its own products, but fabricates its own sheet metal parts, has a welding department, and does circuit board assembly and testing.

Diary sparks alleged assault in Hutchinson

A dispute over a diary apparently led to a 15-year-old Hutchinson girl allegedly being assaulted by a 14-year-old girl from North Mankato, the Hutchinson Leader reported.

Hutchinson police said they were called by the alleged victim April 11. The girl reported she had returned home from work when three girls came to her home. One girl, the suspect, asked for a diary she had left there in February and then allegedly punched the victim about 10 times while a 14-year-old Hutchinson girl videotaped the incident on an iPad. The diary’s owner said the 15-year-old had shown the diary to others. Police later found two of the girls riding bikes. One had an iPad, which was confiscated. Police will try to retrieve video that the girl said had been deleted.

Orono 9-year-old dies from viral infection

A 9-year-old Orono boy has died due to a viral infection, according to a letter from Orono School District Superintendent Dr. Karen Orcutt.

In the letter, Orcutt stated, ”It is with a very sad heart that I write to you with the news that today we lost Ben Ruedisili, a beloved child of our Orono community. Ben, age 9, did not survive a very sudden onset of a viral infection. He died surrounded by his loving family, parents Anne Harbison and Steve Ruedisili, and sister Hannah Rose Harbison Ruedisili.”

Drug cases, violence up in McLeod County

An increase in controlled substance cases and crimes of violence was noted in the 2014 year-end report recently presented by McLeod County Sheriff Scott Rehmann, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.

The report shows controlled substance crimes that involved jail bookings increased from 189 in 2013 to 304 in 2014. Crimes of violence are up to 240 cases from 235 last year, and sexual misconduct crimes rose to 42 from 38. In the report by the Southwest Metro Drug Task Force, there was a rise in search warrants from 49 in 2013 to 83 in 2014. The number of drug-related arrests rose from 75 in 2013 to 120 in 2014.

Crash on Highway 25 in Buffalo claims life

An 87-year-old woman died following a collision at Highway 25 and Catlin Street in Buffalo at 4:42 p.m. Wednesday, the Delano Herald Journal reported.

Lorraine Kurtz of Buffalo was westbound on Anderson Avenue in a 2001 Chevrolet Lumina and was believed to be attempting to turn south on Highway 25. Korey Fritz, 32, of Ottertail, was northbound in a 2014 Peterbilt on Highway 25 when Kurtz pulled out in front of him, causing a broadside crash. Kurtz was pronounced dead at the scene. Fritz was not injured. Both drivers were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.